OK, so I said two weeks ago that I was going to quilt the baby quilt at the weekend. Well, I have done exactly this much…
I guess two blocks is better than none, and I tried out two different stitches on my sewing machine the straight quilting stitch and the built in stipple stitch.
The stipple stitch is quite nice, but it is quite small so wouldn’t be great for across a really large area. The straight stitch not so much as the fabric was bunching when I sewed towards an area I had already stitched, but pretty good considering I don’t have a walking foot for this machine yet.
I haven’t been doing a lot of sewing lately. I’ve been trying to finish a quilt from a kit and have to be honest, I love the quilt but I’m not a make things from patterns person. Everyone sews for different reasons I guess and for me the problem solving bit of making things from scratch is part of what I find enjoyable about craft. I like figuring things out.
In the interest of getting my groove back, this weekend I tipped a whole bunch of fabric onto my coffee table with the intention of making something small and getting some practice quilting on my new machine.
I didn’t start with a pattern in mind I just started by picking some fabric that I liked and the idea of making something simple. So I went with the plaid fabric that I bought in Japan with the idea of making basket weave blocks. When I went to cut the blocks which were supposed to be made up of three 21/2 by 51/2 inch rectangles I realised I couldn’t cut very many pieces from the small bits of fabric I had, but if I cut them 21/2 by 5 inch I could get twice as many. So I did that.
The problem then was that my basket weave blocks were rectangles not squares and I had to think of some other way to put them together. I decided to separate them with some plain blocks and then went back to my coffee table for more fabric.
After putting it together I decided it needed a border to make it big enough to be a baby quilt. I auditioned a few choices.
I couldn’t make up my mind so decided to go with both.
Not sure how I feel about it at the moment. The blue pops way more in the photo than it does in real life, but I think how I quilt it will change the look again so I have pinned it and quilting will be this weekend’s job.
I don’t think its uncommon for long-time sewers like myself to have a scrap system, though I know some people would think mine is a little too serious or rigid.
To start with everything gets put in a small basket. Small because once the basket is full it gets cut up into standard sizes and if the basket were too big it would be a marathon effort. As it was I think I spent about 5 hours cutting scraps this weekend.
While it seems tedious its a good activity to do when I am feeling uninspired or not sure what project to tackle next. I cut into 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 inch strips, 5 inch squares, 3 1/2 inch squares and 2 inch squares. The idea being that one day I’ll have enough to make some delightful scrappy quilts. They also come in handy for other crafty purposes such as making bags like this one.
When I bought the pattern I was tossing up between the pattern and a kit which came with a lovely selection of Japanese fabrics. I ended up going with the pattern because I realised hexagons was a great use of some of my 3 1/2 inch squares.
My list of works in progress has inspired me a little to get somethings done.
I’ve finished off three baby quilts I had cut out.
Knocked over a knitting project as well. This project started life as a scarf but when I picked it up again I realised the reason I stopped was that the finished product was just too dense and heavy for a scarf, it didn’t drape or flow like it should. So I unpicked and reworked it into a cushion cover.
Been doing a little work around the house as well, putting new putty in my windows and trying not to get frustrated with the slow progress. Someone who lived here before tried to fix the windows with a silicon filler instead of the proper glazing putty so it is taking forever to get the silicon out so I can do the job properly. Got to keep telling myself I’m not in any hurry.
I think the last time I posted was almost a month ago and I’d just got back from the Sydney Quilt Show. A couple of days after that I came down with a head cold that stuck around for almost 3 weeks. After so much time feeling sorry for myself I am now trying to get things back on track and struggling, because it’s amazing how ratty your house gets after no cleaning for 3 weeks and don’t get me started on the garden. We got a bit of rain and so the lawn needed mowing and the weeds are going nuts and still need to be dealt with. Of course not much sewing has been getting done. I have been trying to get a bit of knitting done and I did finally finish the bag I was procrastinating about (It’s a Liberty Applique Rice bag kit from Don’t Look Now). It didn’t turn out too badly despite my qualms about my machine quilting/thread drawing skills. Now just need to finish the matching zipper pouch.
Feels like the year is getting away from me as it always seems to, but for now I am just enjoying having had a weekend away. I spent the weekend in Sydney for a visit to the Sydney Quilt Show and accompanying Craft Fair.
Had a lovely time and spent way too much money. I won’t overdo the photos and leave you with just one of the venue. If you’d like to see more of the quilts you can at https://quiltnsw.com/quiltshow/
I always get to the stage when I am about to finish something where I get just a little antsy. It’s hard to describe. It’s not that I am sad about finishing something that I have enjoyed working on, its more that I just want it done. I’ve lost patience with the process and hate working on the piece. Which is fine when I am at home working on a quilt and I can just sit down and crank it out until it’s done (or throw it in a corner in frustration). Not so great at work when I am getting cranky near the end of a project.
Today though we had a public holiday, so the quilt top got finished. It’s interesting, because I don’t think I put the blocks together the way I intended in my head. I think I wanted the pink triangles sitting next to each other to make a square, but I like the way it turned out. There is a kind of pin wheel effect going on.
I’m having one of those months where I don’t feel like I am doing much but somehow I keep getting things crossed off the list. So much so, that I feel like I need to have a new planning session soon to figure out a new list and that is way ahead of schedule.
I have also found some time to be crafty, finishing a scarf from some silk and alpaca blend wool I picked up during a trip to Sydney earlier this year with sightseeing relatives. The wool was so lovely just by itself, so I kept it simple and just knitted on big needles.
I’ve also started a new quilt. Its going to be vertical rows of border fabric broken up with rows of the squares. Only problem is I don’t have enough of the pink and green fabric for triangles so I have to decide whether I go back to the store and by more or fudge it with a few squares that are just the centre fabric. It is not my usual colour choice, but will look nice and soft and pretty when it is done.
It feels like I have been house painting forever even though it can’t have been a month but I am definitely making progress. I have one more long wall of the house to do which I think I can polish off next weekend and then it is just down to fiddly bits. Windows, my house’s crazy knocked together porch and of course going round and fixing all the edges where I haven’t quite got it right due to my absolute lack of finesse with a brush.
I’m making equally slow progress on the quilt I started, but am doing ok considering I have pretty much only been doing a half hour a day. It’s a pretty straightforward design five inch squares and ten inch squares all from my stash of batiks. I’m hoping I might be able to rummage and find enough material for a backing so it can be a total stash quilt.
I was feeling a bit inadequate because my shower was leaking and I thought I would put on my big girl, home owner pants and change the washer myself and failed miserably. It’s not that hard I thought – after watching one how to video on you tube. Well, I tried and nothing went at all like the video. For a start someone had glued my tap to the wall. I finally got it off after what felt like 2 hours of chipping off rubber glue, and unscrewed everything and realised it didn’t look anything like the video and the bit that the video guy was pulling out of the wall, was not coming out of the wall. I was briefly tempted to just keep hitting it with a hammer until it came out but resisted on the grounds that I didn’t want to damage the pipes and make my shower unusable for weeks. So I retreated and called a plumber.
I’m feeling slightly less like a plumbing failure now, because the plumber took one look at it and said – you don’t see that very often. Apparently I had ceramic taps and they don’t even have washers. I didn’t know that was even a thing. Though it did mean the whole inner tap needed replacing. Still waiting for the bill, but now my shower isn’t leaking and I can get back to doing other cool stuff, like knitting a scarf and hand quilting the quilt that had been sitting half done in the cupboard for far too long.