Wednesday 8 July 2015

WOW: Polka Dots ...Of Course

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays 
The polka dots win. I think they always do. I love them.
For the rest of today, I'll be cleaning up my sewing room - it's out of control again.

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 7 July 2015

LE2: Centre Middle Ring

 I'm auditioning the centre middle
and considering whether to keep the darker inside ring edging (a new addition) and between the polka dots or cross overs...

Monday 6 July 2015

LE2: Putting Together A New Compass

I went into compass overdrive the first time around - I think I actually made 6 in total before creating one that was accurate. The compass is no easy step! Since Love Entwined, I've learnt a lot and I've seen Group members tackle the compass in their own ways and I've learnt things. For one thing, I've started taking my own advice - creating in segments. For no good reason, I kept skipping this step myself, thinking I could make it work by working around the piecing segments. It's better when I actually follow the steps.
The other thing is LE2 itself. I just feel so much more relaxed about LE2 than I ever did (and do) about Love Entwined. For one thing, I feel really at ease about my fabric options - going with red and white has really worked for me and I don't feel any hesitation or feel that I'm waiting for the right fabrics to arrive, like I do with the original which is growing into a beautiful, but consuming, heirloom.

I guess I just feel more light hearted about LE2 which is precisely the point. It IS more approachable and do-able and dare I say it...? Fun.
I thought I would applique the compass but don't think I have the nerve. My eye is not satisfied unless I achieve accuracy. The compass draws in the eye immediately so if there's anything amiss on it, it will be noticed and I just can't live with a glaring problem in the centre of my wall hanging! Each piece has to be accurately traced and prepared. Then, the pieces are joined together in segments before coming together as a whole. I know how helpful it is to have visuals on how other quilters create their pieces, so here is how I made my LE2 centre compass:
 Instead of using paper or freezer paper, I use stitch and wash fusible. It makes the fabric easier to handle and edges to join and stitch. I also like the stability it lends the compass.
One thing I've learnt about stitch and wash fusible for projects like this is to pay more attention at the preparation stage. I printed out my compass parts directly onto Polyfuse fusible instead of drawing the shapes. I did this because I felt it was easier at the time. Unfortunately I didn't consider that the ink from the printer would remain on the fusible. 

As you can see, all my segments are marked and when these marks occur on white areas of fabric, the printed mark shows through in the light. Even if you don't see it directly, there's every chance it will ghost through at some later stage. How annoying! 

Normally I always cut away the printed edge lines just in case they leak or bleed during the wash and I always tell students to do the same. Printing onto fusible is convenient, but you should always cut away the lines, not leave them on because you just don't know how your printer ink is going to behave down the line. I could have prevented this by hand tracing the shapes. It's a mistake I won't make again as now I have to carefully cut away the areas with inked markings. 
This is the second compass I've made for LE2. I still like the first, but it just didn't feel right so I thought I would try again. I think the first time around, the fabrcs were amiss. I can't really put my finger on why I don't like the way it sits with the quilt. I do advise that you make the compass first as its a good part of the quilt to be finished with. However, in both my quilts, I have found myself returning to the compass and tinkering with it to make it work with how the centre was turning out. This time, it just feels right. Most of my LE2 is done now so the compass almost feels like icing on the cake. Almost, I still have some border work to do. I'm nearly there..

Saturday 4 July 2015

Cutey Progress

The borders are on and I'm really happy to almost have my cutey quilt completed. Next week I'll be showing my group how I quilt and will be taking my machine in to quilt the group quilt on the spot. Well, start quilting at least. All I have to do now is buy some polyester batting that can withstand frequent washing. My current batting stash is all wool based and not suitable for a baby quilt.
I can't believe I was ever unsure about this project, it's cute! Another benefit is that baby quilts are so much more accomplish-able than my usual quilting style, I really like starting and finishing a quilt this quickly! It feels longer because I've been teaching stages as I went, but the actual hours are refreshingly do-able. I can't wait wait to call it done now...

Friday 3 July 2015

Apple Core Cutey

I've started referring to the two apple core baby quilts as 'cutey' because they just are. And it's so satisfying to see my gorgeous pink stash put to work. I'm using an apple core template. I stacked the fabrics and let the women choose which ones they liked. At first, I wasn't really in love with their selection, but I've completely changed my mind now. I think its adorable! 
We chose the 7.5 inch template because I felt the smallest one at 3.5 inches was too much for a beginner's group to tackle. I think each of the apple cores would be utterly gorgeous and each size has its own charm but I am so relieved that I didn't persuade them to go smaller because I'd forgotten how finicky sewing concaves and convexes is! I showed them how and to get the lines really neat, they had to use pins all along the seams and it took longer than I expected. Another thing I'd forgotten about was how to logically stack the 'rows' so you can sit down and sew them in the right order. We talked a lot about puzzling the fabrics into the right order when it was up on the design board and naturally, we want to keep the right arrangement when sewing it all together. There is no magic formula, you really have to concentrate and stay focused. I know this because I did it wrong twice! I didn't realise how much my mind wanders when I sew....but it really does!
Now that I'm at home, I'm working on the second one which I'm making for myself. I thought it would be good to make one alongside my group as I taught them because I know I'll never get time to do it otherwise. I didn't think I'd have the time, but I find that if I tackle the progress as soon as I get home, I manage it. This one is nearly done now and after our next class I think it will be ready for some quilting. Afterwards, I'm hoping to sell it in my Etsy shop.
I quite like hexis, patches and HSTs so the apple core isn't something I would have chosen, but I am in love with it now and I love the overall look of the fabrics slotting in together. It really is so versatile, it suits both modern prints and traditional colour ways.
For the border and background, I've gone with the rose fabric which is different from my ladies who opted for a leaf green border. They went with green to match some other baby things they're making and whilst I think green and pink are a perfect compliment, I'm hopelessly romantic and have opted to keep my baby quilt all pink and roses. I love this fabric. The water colour roses are just the thing and I can't help it. I can't do unisex quilts. This baby quilt is going to be all unapologetically -girl-.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

WOW: Oma's Little Circles

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Today I'm making those round little circles for Oma's Blues centre plate edge. Progress is slow, but I'm getting there. Visually, I think they are a smidge too big, but when I compare them to the pattern, they are exactly right, so it might be a blue on white illusion on my eyes!

What's Your WOW?

Monday 29 June 2015

Broderie Perse Musings

I'm having musings about creating a broderie perse style applique wall hanging. I just adore the Tree of Life panel and it's really popular at the moment. I purchased it to use as a wall hanging - I was going to simply add batting and put it up on the wall. But then, I decided that just wasn't me. I think I'm going to do things quite differently with the panel.
 Like fuse and cut out these birds
 I can use these border scenes on a matching cushion or table runner when I change the room decor around (I'm thinking of a Tree of Life room theme for my lounge room).
 This is what the panel looks like when it is hung. You can get an idea of the size here
My plan is to fuse and cut up the tree too
 and broderie perse some of the branches into a new kind of (abstract?) tree
 I was thinking of appliqueing my chosen cut out shapes onto a new background and had thought about using this one, but it looks a bit dull and I don't think it will work
I had considered appliqueing my new design onto a black background, but I don't like the idea of living with a large black wall hanging in my lounge room - especially as these colours are quite rich and will sink in rather than stand out against such a backdrop. I think I will go with a warm woody tone or maybe even an unexpected blue.

Do I have the time? No. But I've discovered that if I only did the things I had time for, I wouldn't get anything done. So, I'll just do what I can as the opportunity arises. This is one of those projects I've been brewing in the back of my mind for over a year, well before I even purchased the panel. When I have a full free day, I'm just going to dive in and get it done on a whim, When I do, I'll share the results here and consider this my "before" post. 

Wish me luck !
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