Jan 18, 2015

2015 multicrafting

I finished the sample and pattern for the knitted beach cover-up. I need to do one more sample and test the pattern, and then it will be ready to release. So rad. Should be ready within a couple weeks.

I finished the half-square triangles and all the ironing for the superhero quilt. I'm not sure that this is the final layout, but it will definitely be pinwheels. I'll sew them into their four-parts and then work out the final layout after a bit of squaring up.



I also have some quilted placemats on the go, but I took two steps backward with them yesterday. They need some replanning.

I have the fabric I'll need for a bed scarf, and I'm anxious to get a move on with that. I was going to do pinwheels and wonky piecing, but we shall see.

And then there's the bargello. I haven't decided yet whether the idea I have will work or not, so it's still in its strip-pieced state.

I had a sew-in yesterday. A couple things I learned:

1. It seems like everyone used to prewash their fabric but now no one seems to. They make some product for the wash that sucks up loose colour, so there isn't a rampant fear of colour bleeding.

2. If you need to free-motion quilt with your quilt oriented a particular way, and that particular way makes a huge pile of quilt in the armpit of your machine, you can totally turn your machine. Bam. That blew my mind.

Okay, I'm going to grow some balls and go cut that bargello. Enough of this stalling.

Yikes!

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Dec 28, 2014

rummoli ... from my brain to yours

Okay, this is a pattern, of sorts, but I'm not super-specific with measurements, so it's more like a suggestion. It is enough info to get you started, and is a photographic diarization of the steps I took to make a quilted rummoli board for family members who love to play. Merry Christmas, family!

I looked at pictures of rummoli boards online and saw that there were 8 sections (triangles, really, with their points in a smaller, centre octagon). Half of 360 degrees is 180 (for 4 sections) and half of that is 90. So, I thought, after joining 2 sections, I'd have a 90 degree corner to square up on. Excellent. Also, I figured, each section had to be 45 degrees. That worked well.

Leaving that math aside for a minute, I wandered around the fabric store and found some cheap seasonal things like hearts and clovers that would do for two of the suits. I found some blue/green shapes that could pass for spades, and red diamonds.


I wanted a wee sashing in between each section to separate them, so I used a black-and-white checker pattern. I also wanted the smaller octagon in the centre to be a different colour since it is used as the pot, separately from the other sections. I also decided to use the checker fabric for backing and binding.

I needed one different fabric for the 7-8-9 section, and another different one for the poker section. Since the reds formed a nice cross, I decided to make the poker spot red. I stuck with green for the 7-8-9 section.

On with the cutting then:

1. For the centre, I started by cutting 45 degree triangles that are not a right triangle, and which would have a 3-inch-wide top after sewing. (I measured the lengths of the sides in order to get the top properly flat.) I have a 45 degree line on my ruler that I lined up as below:



2. I cut one-inch widths of the sashing fabric, keeping in mind that I had a triangle in the go, so it had to be wide enough to be trimmed to match the triangle. They are a bit wider than the 3.5 inches of the top of the triangle.


3. Then I sewed them together.


4. And trimmed them.


5. Now it's time to cut the eight sections. I measured the bottom, keeping in mind where the seam would be, and what width the triangle would be at that point. Then I cut 45 degrees from there.


6. Getting the top and bottom square to the 45-degree angled sides is where you need to measure sides and do the fold-in-half test. Be fussy on this.
I then used my 7-inch tall trapezoidal section as a template for the next one, but a paper pattern would probably have been better from the start.


7. I sewed the trapezoid to the triangle, making sure that it was centred, with a bit of the sashing hanging out beyond the trapezoid on each side so that afterwards, I maintained the straight side, on the 45 degree angle, with just a little trimming.


8. I pressed that bad-boy and trimmed it up. Then I did that 7 more times. I did all my pressing toward the sashing. Since it was a quarter inch on either side and the finished size of the sashing is a half-inch, it tucked nicely. It also caused the sashing to 'pop' a little, which was okay, but not exactly what I wanted. (I later sewed them down.)



9. It's time to pay attention, as if you weren't before. The sections go in a particular order, so I was careful not to join them incorrectly. I used a one-inch piece for this sashing as well, so that it would all be consistent and small. It isn't sewn in the photo below, so it looks bigger.


10. With 2 joined, I squared up to 90 degrees, but left the tops for now. We will square those up later.


11. After a half was together, I squared it to a straight edge on the bottom (180).


12. Almost there! Let's see how the 2 halves line up together. The reds make a nice cross and the two spade fabrics are across from each other. Nice.


 13. Let's get the long single piece of sashing on with no pulling or weirdness.


14. Then we line up the other half on the sashing and sew it so that the centres line up.


15. Now we can trim up the top of each section. I measured the length of each side of each section and used a washable marker to mark the spot. Then I cut across. When cutting, I made sure to have a centre peak in the sashing. That's the true centre between two sections.


16. It needs a border because I got some iron-on letters to indicate what each section is for. 'Poker' was going to be my longest word, so I started the border on the not-red sections. I cut these 2 inches longer than the top of the section. Then I pressed them back. (The letters are 2 inches tall, so I'm doing a 2.5 inch border.)


17. The red sections needed to be longer than the first borders because they had to cover all of the already-sewn borders.


See?


18. Then I trimmed them up.


19. I ironed on the letters and numbers for each section so I could do it with just the one thickness of fabric.



20. Top done! I laid down the backing fabric, the batting, and then pinned the top on top. It's time to quilt. I did some free-motion dollar signs in the middle, went around some hearts, did a free-motion path through the clovers and the spades, and did a bigger diamond over the smaller ones. I did plain grid lines in the poker section and random meandering in the 7-8-9 section. I started it all with quilting down the middle of every inch of sashing. That was good for stabilizing.


21. With the quilting done, it's just the binding left. I sewed it on the front and then pressed it. After that, I got on the couch with a good netflix show and hand-stitched the binding to the back.


And here it is, all done, about 24" across, with each section about as tall as the centre is wide.


Thanks for reading!

.


Nov 30, 2014

and still there is learning

1. Threading a needle. Basic. Tying a knot in the thread - there's a hack for that. It blew my mind, I tell you!

It goes like this ... you hold the end of the thread against the needle and then wrap it (from the non-end) around the needle 5 times. Then you slide the whole thing down the needle and down all the thread, to the end, where you'll have a beautiful knot ready for hand stitching. There's a YouTube video if you search "knotting thread needle".

2. When you're burying quilting thread ends, you can pull up any threads left on the bottom so that you're doing all the burying on the top. If you're bringing up your bobbin thread at the start on a quilt line, you may just have threads on the bottom where you ended a line. Just pull on the top thread and watch for a hint of the bottom one, poke it with a pin and pull it up. Bam.

3. When you're burying those ends, you can do more than one at a time when they're right next to each other.

4. When you're quilting, you don't need to alternate direction on parallel lines unless you like the slight herringbone look.


And here's the front of this 29x37 inch stroller quilt - my second quilt.  :-D 


I hope the wee baby likes it when he's born.

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Nov 15, 2014

more learnings...

1. When quilting, easing is necessary or you get weird foldy bits from excess fabric in one spot or another. Kind of like gathers. If you follow the three-foot rule and don't look too closely, you won't see that sort of thing.

2. One regular and one extended episode of Sons of Anarchy are not enough to bind a 55inch square quilt by hand.

3. Corners are really tricky. It's best to watch a person in person or on video because verbal instructions are difficult.

4. Modern quilting, as a concept, is not an easy thing to grasp. I'm catching on, though. It's a little bit of turning the traditional askew.

5. Whereas I had no second quilt ideas when I was initially sewing this one up, I now have cut and/or planned a Christmas table runner, a baby quilt, a Christmas swap item and a quilt for my niece. And so it begins.

6. I had no real stash to speak of, but I've started picking up odds and ends that appeal to me. And so it begins.

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Nov 2, 2014

a sandwich


Yeah, so the delicious sandwich has been safety-pinned together and all is right with the world. It's about 55 inches square, so a good snuggle size, and it has four groups of four green sea turtles (honu in Hawaiian) who will forever stare at each other playfully. When we swam with them on Maui, we saw one smack another with his flipper, but these guys aren't close enough to each other to fight. They also have happy looks frozen on their faces because they aren't real. Duh.


I also have all of the binding pieced together and ready to roll. Aside from about 20 squares of 2.5", there is hardly any fabric left. It was a good calculation on a clean budget with no stash enhancement. I have fabric lined up for two more projects, so don't worry about me.

Now I have to do some practice with quilting. I've never done that before, whereas I have sewn a fair bit in my life. The difficulty I see is getting used to a walking foot, being super-precise in the ditch, and warming up to the idea of free-hand wandering.

Practice, practice, practice is what they say, so we will give it a whirl and see how it goes.

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