Sunday, 1 February 2015
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Then there was the quilt donated by my quilting teacher. When donated, it was at the basted stage so the quilting and binding are my work ( although K. made the binding which was a time saver).
A couple of years ago, someone donated a pile of 9.5” QAYG string blocks. I made a quilt from some of them that was shown at the Airing of the Quilts in 2014.
While sorting through UFOs at the beginning of January, I found another 28 blocks. That wasn’t enough for another quilt so I made another 14 blocks – and in the process discovered that I don’t really like making QAYG string blocks!
How is your January progressing?
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Before I continue, thank you to all the people who left comments in my Sunday post about binding quilt – it seems we all use more or less the same method!
My year will not continue in this vein. Right now, many Australians are on their summer break. Schools are having their summer holidays/vacation. Nearly everything I am involved with is in recess until later in January. That means I have plenty of time to play in my sewing room if I feel so inclined.
Since my post last Wednesday about works in progress, these are the projects that have had some attention:
THE FOUR PATCH QUILT
I only had to finish sewing down the binding on this quilt. However, I had a lot of trouble with the fourth corner, even more than usual, so I had to unpick the binding and carefully sew it back on again. The fourth corner is now the best corner of the lot! I referred to my issues with mitred corners in my post on Sunday; this is a skill I really want to master this year, sooner rather than later. Here’s a photo of the finished quilt (not my work remember; I only added the binding -- I wouldn’t mind laying claim to it though! It’s a great pattern beautifully constructed; if a little too large for me to hold up for the photograph!).
TRIANGLE BRIGHTS AND FLOWERS
The only task left on this quilt was to hand-stitch the binding down. I completed this by the bright, fluoresent light of my sewing room around one o’clock one morning! This is another beautiful quilt (not made by me) but, again, too big for me to hold the width while being photographed!
This was the project I showed in my post on Sunday. I was quite surprise and pleased to find that I could quilt almost the whole block in one continuous line – joy! It may not look like it but, with the exception of the two grey lines which were quilted in a different colour, this was how it was done. Quilting gloves and the extension table for my sewing machine made the job easier too!
Despite my joy at completing this project, I’ve decided that quilting in the ditch and dragging a twin-size bed topper through my wide-necked machine are not my favourite parts of the process!
Between bouts of quilting, to alleviate the stiffness in my shoulders and neck, I tried to work on the QAYG blocks. I found and cut some batting and backing. I learnt, very quickly, that pre-cutting QAYG backs the finished size is a recipe for disaster! Of course, this makes sense given that we always make our backing larger than our quilt top before quilting and trim away the excess afterwards! So, after carefully cutting several backings to 9.5”, it took only two strips to realise that wasn’t going to work. Fortunately, I have a lot of fabric so making new backings, 10.5” this time, wasn’t a problem. I will save the 9.5” squares (they’re all the same fabric) for another project.
I made a mess of the first block made on the 10.5” backing by not using strips that were long enough! We live and learn and now I know two ways not to do it! Plus I have one orphan block for another project! I watched several videos about QAYG (hurrah for YouTube) and thought I could see my way forward with this project.
Today, I am feeling unexpectedly lethargic (despite a full night’s sleep) so have been pottering on this project. Unfortunately, it means I’ve learnt yet another way not to make it work! The pre-existing blocks are made in a particular way, with a 9.5” front and back and a piece of 9” wadding centred between! I started with a 10.5” back and made all my strips the same (diagonal) length as the ever-shrinking back (it’s being quilted remember) but the wadding moved and ended up less than a quarter of an inch from the edge of the front and back in some places and nearly an inch away from the edge in others! I thought securing it with pins while I sewed on the strips was enough but apparently not enough to stop it from shifting! Thank goodness for seam rippers! Any hints you can give would be greatly appreciated since it’s another three weeks before I see my teacher again!
CRUMBED CHURN DASH
To complete each churn dash block, I need four ‘side’ units and four ‘corner’ units. I am making the corner units with HST (as expected) but I’m making the ‘side’ units from one strip and two squares – it’s a little bit different and helps remind me that these are scrappy blocks after all! I was very excited to see the first Churn Dash block come together – this is my first ever churn dash block and I’m very pleased!
So far, I have made two complete blocks and have eight extra ‘corner’ units completed.
Other than that, I have also cleaned my machine – I try to remember to do it regularly, especially after working with batting: that always seems to make additional lint!
I’m not sure that there will be a “works in progress” post next week – I will be away for three and a half days: tomorrow, WM and I are joining several other couples from church for a long weekend away at Sanctuary Point on the south coast.
I’m linking this post with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced blog (hosted by Lee) when it goes live later today.
What about you?
What have you been working on this week?
Monday, 12 January 2015
WM is not well so what could be a better way of spending a wet Sunday afternoon than curled up in front of the television watching the final two-part episode of “A Touch of Frost” (a British detective series) while sewing down the binding on a quilt?
The quilt was donated to our quilting group by my quilting teacher in 2013 in response to the terrible bush-fires that occurred in September of that year in which 200 homes were lost and a further 200 were damaged. This donated quilt was only at the basting stage and no amount of effort by me at the time it was given would have gotten it done in time. I asked my teacher if she’d like it back but she said that once given, it was given (or something to that effect).
In my last post, I explained that my week had been spent working on other people’s projects. Quilting this fairly small quilt (48” x 62”) took me three days – I haven’t quilted anything for more than a year and I found my muscles tensed up a lot; each quilting session was shorter than the previous one! Anyway, I finished the quilting late on Saturday night; thank goodness for excellent lighting in the sewing room. I was so exhilarated by finishing that I even attached the binding which went on extremely easily and quickly compared to the previous two quilts! I found a video on YouTube which instructs the quilter to stop a quarter of an inch from the corner, which I have always known, then turn the quilt clockwise 90 degrees and sew off the edge of the quilt. Those extra three stitches have made turning corners so much easier than my previous method, which was to backstitch when I got the quarter of an inch mark!
What was even more exciting for me was that the corners mitred on the back so easily! I am absolutely stoked with the results I got this time. The only thing I don’t like is that the binding is not as “padded” as I prefer because I trimmed the backing and batting to the same size as the top (as instructed on this video) – my previous teacher had me trim a quarter of an inch out from the quilt top which gave that little bit of extra padding to the bound edge.
For my next binding, I will try this new method of doing the corners (which logically shouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference!) with the extra quarter of an inch batting under the binding! I might find I need to cut my binding at 2.75”, or even 3”, to compensate for that extra padding but I won’t know until I try.
Did I mention that I’m just so happy that the binding looks almost as good on the back as it does on the front? ;-)
How do you do your bindings?
By hand or by machine?
With a 2.5” binding strip?
What about the corners?
I’m linking this post with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s quilts.
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
- four patch quilt – to be bound and labelled
- triangle brights and flowers – to be bound and labelled
- pink brights and gingham – backing required
- K’s project – quilt, bind and label (binding supplied)
- QAYG string blocks – 14 more blocks needed