Monday, May 28, 2012

Swoon Leftovers

20120528-P1200789.jpg Finally I have finished the top of this small leftover quilt.

20120528-P1200790.jpg I didn't do the borders particularly well but everything lines up and is pretty accurate which is good. Now I just need to baste and quilt it. It can join the queue.

20120528-P1200793.jpg I'm on the fifth block of the big Swoon quilt so I am officially half way!

20120528-P1200794.jpg I'm enjoying the Stef Francis fine cotton which is good. I have had to start waxing it a bit though as it keeps knotting. Mum did show me how to plat and keep my thread though which makes life a lot easier.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sewing machine mat

Finished So inbetween Swooning, I made up this little birthday present. My mum and her friends all made them for each other and I thought they were a great idea. A mat to go under the sewing machine with pockets for scissors and other bits.

Sewing machine mat I decided to only use scraps. I had a lot of the material for the hexagon quilt left over because I decided to make it smaller in the end as I didn't like it. For some reason, I find this new colour combination much nicer and I wish I had done that for the hexagon quilt now.

Kelmscott Designs Scissors It was really easy to make and quilt. I might have to make myself one but all those colours are gone now. I used every last bit! A scrap bag success. The little gold scissors are Kelscott thread scissors which I have been lusting after for some time now.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Swoon Leftover Action

20120513-P1200714.jpg Another sunny, quiet morning with light streaming into the warehouse. After croissants I decided to make up my first block, which came together pretty quickly. Only three more to go. I worked it out that I scaled every Half Square triangle down to 2 1/2" as I wanted it to be a bit smaller and more delicate. Then I cut a central block 4 1/2". I like it when sizes match my rulers.

20120513-P1200707.jpg I laid out the blocks in the order I wanted then started sewing them together a bit at a time.

20120513-P1200710.jpg I sewed them into blocks of four, ironing my seams flat all the way through. It takes me much longer with all the ironing but I am on a constant mission to be more accurate with points.

20120513-P1200715.jpg Here's the other side of the finished block. It gets pretty lumpy where points meet making the material ruck up so flat seams seem to help a lot. Believe you me, I have done it both ways. It is a bit anal though.

20120513-P1200717.jpg Voila! The finished block. It's not perfect which was a bit disapointing and I even had to undo a few seams and resew them, but it's pretty good. The finished block is 12 1/2" so now I just need to make the remaining three and see if they are good enough to butt up together or whether I will make the whole thing bigger by putting white blocks inbetween.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Swoon Leftovers

20120512-P1200696.jpg It was such a sunny, lazy morning today. I had no emails, no pressing things to do. In fact I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because no one was emailing me. So I decided to have a think about all the mini triangles of waste material from the Swoon quilt. So I set up shop and got the chain piecing machine cranked into action. 20120512-P1200692.jpg I'd sewn half of them when I realised just how many I was wasting. So I just had to go back and finish off the ones I hadn't started on. I hate going backwards in general, but today felt like a good day of nothing in which to get to grips with the task. It was much quicker than I thought. 20120512-P1200699.jpg Then it was just a case of cutting and ironing each one flat. Having to do flat open seams is annoying with an iron so I have started using my seam flattening tool. It really is a great tool. 20120512-P1200700.jpg Here it is. I thoroughly recommend one to everyone. It speeds up the job no end and makes ironing much easier. In fact, you don't really need to iron them afterwards as they go pretty flat, but I want it to be as perfect as possible.
I couldn't decide what to do with them so I had a hunt on Flickr and Pinterest and saw from Little Scraps of Happiness which lends itself perfectly to the offcuts I have. Swoon leftover.jpg So I drew up a diagram. I couldn't decide whether to group the colours or not so I had a tinker and I think grouping each corner slightly will work. 20120512-P1200703.jpg So now I have my station set up and I am trimming in front of the TV.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quilting Swoon

So I have been away on holiday for a week. I took the Swoon beast with me hoping I would get loads done in the evenings, but the reality was that I was knackered each night from the daily excursions. I got one block quilted basically.

I was basing my quilting on some really nice examples I had seen on the swooning on a hop flickr group.

hand quilting in progress
20120511-P1200677.jpg Now I am onto my second block and I have decided to use different coloured quilting thread for each block. I am not sure if this is a good idea or not especially as I don't own that much quilting thread and it's all different thicknesses and types but I thought it might be a good lesson in helping me decide which kind I prefer. It's not often I do something do dark and contrasting but I thought I would give it a go and see how it works out. I think I have already decided that the linen thread I bought it probably not right for this as its thickness varies and the thread goes hairy after a while.

20120511-P1200678.jpg My quilting stitches are also really uneven which doesn't help and I have found a stupid massive crease on the back of one side which is not going to look that great, but it all serves to make it look homemade I spose. I secretly wonder if I would lose interest if I mastered how to do all these things anyway, but it is annoying. I mean how did I get such a huge crease!?

20120511-P1200683.jpg Anyway here is my growing stash of quilting thread. Everytime I go to a show where Stef Francis is I get a little bit at a time but I have just been buying random thicknesses really. I really like using the 6ply fine cotton though so I might start buying a range of colours. I never thought I would venture away from the standard plain YLI thread (which I also don't have enough of) but the variegated really doesn't show that much and the quality is so nice to work with. So the aim is to build up stashes of both YLI and Stef francis thread. See my pitiful YLI collection below (I think I have a pink as well).

20120511-P1200685.jpg Eventually it should look as lovely as this