Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

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Project 25: Finished quilt and lessons learned

July 18, 2011

My first quilt

It’s done! I finished the last of the stippling and put the binding on last night. I love it! There are loads of mistakes, but I found that this particular pattern was very forgiving. Now I made a quilt and I can definitely imagine making more. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Lessons learned:
– Things probably aren’t as hard as you think they will be, especially if you take them one step at a time.
– My sewing machine can do all sorts of things besides the one or two stitches I tend to use.
– A good effort is better than perfection.
– You never know if you can do something until you try!

Yay quilt!

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Project 26: It’s Friday already?

July 15, 2011

Wow, this week flew by and I didn’t get a single thing done. I worked a bit on the quilt but I still have nothing to show you. The only plarn in my house is a small ball I had made last year. I did embroider a few items for a baby shower tomorrow. I’ll show you those after the recipient gets them. Tomorrow evening I have plans to help a friend make cushions for a chair.

My thumb is feeling a lot better. Next week I think I’ll tackle a thumb-intensive project that I’ve been putting off since my injury, and of course I’ll need to finish the quilt and make some more plarn.

Watch this space!

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Project 25: Stippling

July 12, 2011

Stipple 1

Now that the quilt is well on its way to being done I thought I might show you some of my early stippling attempts. I really had no clue what I was doing, but, armed with my sewing machine manual and a practice quilt, I set off to learn this technique.

My first attempt is above. I knew enough to lower the feed dogs and that I should be able to move the material around freely, but I really didn’t know how to get there. With my presser foot down it was impossible to move the fabric. When my presser foot was up I ended up with the sort of tangled mess you see here.

Stipple 2

Attempt #2. I think I had increased my tension and tried to move the fabric faster, but the foot was still up and it was still a tangled mess.

It was at this point that I learned how to change the tension on my presser foot. I made it as loose as I could so that I could keep the foot down and still move the fabric. That resulted in this beauty:

Stipple 3

Huzzah! Then I got bold:

Stipple 4

Resolving to stick to abstract designs, I held my breath and moved my beautiful quilt under the needle. By attacking it block by block I managed to stipple over half of the quilt that first night. I just have 6 more blocks and the borders to go before it is time to figure out how to attach the binding.

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Project 26: Plarn

July 11, 2011

Photo by Thoughtful Rose

This week’s project is less of a whole project and more of a project ingredient. I’m going to make plarn. Plarn is yarn made from plastic grocery bags. If I can make enough by the end of the week I may attempt a project using it, but that depends on how quickly I can finish this quilt.

Sneak peek of the quilt’s progress:

Quilt progress

More later!

Plarn bag photo by Thoughtful Rose on Flickr

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Project 25: Next step

July 8, 2011

Finished quilt top

I accomplished everything I intended to do yesterday. I picked up some cotton batting from the quilt store and cut out and attached the border to my quilt top. Now it is officially done and awaiting the next step: quilting.

This part is making me a little nervous. From reading about it I think I need two more supplies: extra bobbins and a package of safety pins. I also need to make a practice sandwich, as the three layers are called, so I can get my technique down before ruining my whole quilt.

It seems that the most common quilting technique people are using these days is called stippling. To see what I mean check out this video.

She makes it look so easy!

I don’t anticipate having another block of time until Sunday, so it is probably time that I reclaim my dining table and put sewing central away. I’ll update again when I have made some progress.

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Project 25: First quilting day

July 7, 2011

Quilt top

It is amazing what 7 hours of uninterrupted sewing time can do. I can’t believe I got all of this done yesterday! I’m sure it doesn’t even take a seasoned quilter’s eye to spot a myriad of mistakes, but it’s my first and I love it so far.

Today I hope to add the border and get back to the store to buy the batting. I won’t have another stretch of time like yesterday so I don’t want to make any predictions about when it will be done, but I’m feeling optimistic that it won’t be as long as I thought.

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Project 25: Buying fabric

July 6, 2011

Quilting supplies

Yesterday I went to a local quilting shop called Elegant Stitches to buy my supplies. The pattern I’m following calls for a Moda¬†layer cake, which is 40 precut squares in coordinating fabrics. I chose one called Lovely because it has lots of cute florals in it. The woman at the shop then helped me find fabrics to use for my sashing (the spaces between blocks), border, and backing. I also picked up a spool of thread and a rotary cutter to use with the mat I purchased a few months ago. I didn’t realize until evening that I had forgotten to buy batting, but I can get started without it.

Everything was kind of expensive! I probably could have saved money by not buying a pre-packaged set of fabrics, or by scouting around for sales, but because this is my first quilt I wanted to feel confident that I had the right supplies.

I think the real reason I had to spend so much is that I haven’t done this before. I figure it’s just like learning to cook: at first you have to buy every ingredient from flour to spices because you have nothing. After a while you find that you have enough staples to whip up a meal without having to invest too much in it. If I were to make more quilts or sew more in general I’m sure I would build up a scrap pile and a fabric collection that would allow projects like this to come together much more effortlessly.

Of course, the cost didn’t help with my apprehension of cutting into that fabric for the first time, but I did it. Check back tomorrow for my progress.