Just keep quilting, quilting, quilting …
I got my sewing machine out to zig-zag around some canvas (for my embroidery class) and thought I should make the most of the easy access and work on the sampler quilt.
I started to think about work flow and the best way of tackling things – at the moment I am cutting each piece of batting as I need it (same with the backing fabric). Should I cut everything at once? What is the best plan?
In a bit of a win I found the note I wrote myself about the sewing machine settings!
I must say this quilting as you go thing is working well – so far at least. I guess the joining together of the blocks might prove to be the stumbling block.
Another block is quilted
I am back to trying to finish my sampler quilt. I am trying to spend a bit of time on each of my three main crafts – knitting, canvas work and this.
I discovered today (in the manual) that my sewing maching has a setting for free motion quilting – how good is that? And it worked well.
I have never tried ‘quilt as you go‘ before and I am interested to see how it comes together. It has definitely been easier to pin the quilt sandwich together and to quilt the squares.
I have been thinking about my goals for next year and the big one is to finish my ongoing projects – this quilt was started in May of 2013! The other goal is ‘no more craft supplies!’ – always hard.
Courthouse Steps Block
I finished the four blocks that make one courthouse steps block. As I want this quilt finished, I’m trying to do a little often.
SewWitty’s Golden Wedding Ring Block
This is another block that is only 1/4 of the final block. Check out a whole one here. It came together quite easily – I’m starting to feel more confident using Embird. As you can see in the image, I had a bit of difficulty cutting my pieces big enough, but this is just a practice run to determine whether my digitised design is OK.
I think I now have eight blocks: Log Cabin, Pineapple, Flying Geese, Courthouse Steps, Snail Trail, Iowa Star, Golden Wedding Ring, Hour Glass. My plan was to make 12 blocks for my sampler quilt, so only four more to go. Although at some stage I changed my template, so I need to double check the earlier blocks.
Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories
I know I have written about this book before, but I have finally finished reading it. This book is a textile lover’s dream – the illustrations are beautiful and it is full of fascinating information. It is not the type of book to read all at once, but just dip into every now and then (even to just look at the pictures and be awed by the skill, patience and dedication of the maker).
The book consists of four chapters; Making and using quilts in eighteenth century Britain, Complexity and context:nineteenth century British quilts, Maintaining the craft:British quilt-making 1900-45 and Negotiating space:fabric and the feminine 1945-2010.
Here are some of my favourites …
Unfinished Patchwork of Silks, c 1860-70
Pieced Wool, c 1863-77
‘Sanderson Star’ quilt in cotton sateens, c 1910-1920
Sara Impey, ‘Punctuation’. Machine stitched Silk, c 2009
Janey Forgan, ‘Liberty Jack’, c 2008
Coverlet, patchwork of printed cottons, c 1803-1805
As I love liberty fabrics, Liberty Jack is probably my favourite, but Sara Impey’s Punctuation is brilliant to, and then the amount of work involved in the earlier quilts is mind-boggling.
Pineapple Block being digitised
I’ve started work on the Pineapple Block and it has proven to be a little bit tricky, but on the plus side I’ve learnt a few things about Embird.
This little magic tool
Transformation Tool in Embird Studio
allows you to specify the length and width (exactly) of objects – no more using the grid to create the right size.
And you can use Guide Lines to split objects that is how I chopped the top off the outer most triangles.
Using Guide Lines
That way I just created one triangle and copy, pasted and rotated as required – much more accurate.
My one concern is the non-straight seams and how easy they will be to stitch and flip.
Is this going to be too tricky?
I have another design in mind that only has straight seams it might be worth changing now before I have committed too much time.
On a completely different note, it is Australia Day and my pavlova is cooling in the oven. I think I am prepared.
Courthouse Steps Version 1
This is the first attempt at the Courthouse Steps block. One of the seams isn’t quite right and I think I can fit another step in on the flowery steps.
It came together easily, so easily I might try a Pineapple Quilt Block next (like one of the ones below) …
Pineapple Quilt Block from quilting.about.com
Snail Trail in Progress – Pieced in the hoop using an embroidery machine
I’m back onto foundation piecing using my embroidery machine, but it is progressing very slowly. It usually takes about half an hour to make one block, but today I started at 9:30 am and it is now 1pm and I’m only half way through – we did walk to the library (and booked into some school holiday activities) and buy groceries. My plan of getting two blocks finished today might be unreachable.
My aim is to make 12 traditional blocks (each one consisting of 4 smaller blocks) and then to make a sampler quilt. So far I have Hour Glass, Flying Geese and Snail Trail. I have also made a log cabin block, but it might not be the standard size (must remember to check that). Next up is Courthouse steps (just a fancy Log Cabin).
Fussy Cutting Baby Clothes
This project (making a quilt from the girls’ baby clothes) seemed like such a good idea. What could go wrong? Baby clothes are cute therefore the quilt would be cute. The clothes are cute, but they don’t necessarily mix well together. And then there is the cutting! Oh the cutting. I’m 2/3 of the way through the cutting and then comes the designing, the sewing, making a back and the quilting. There is a long way to go!
I have almost finished this cardigan – Miss A wanted a bolero cardigan who am I to complain!
Flying Geese Side of Cushion
Hour Glass Side of Cushion
I finished my cushion. I’m calling it my ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ cushion because the fabrics on each side are so different.
In the end it came together quite easily. I wondered how easy it would be to put a zip into two quilted pieces of fabric, but that was fine. Now I have to decide what block to do next.
You can find the machine embroidery designs here.