Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Romans And Quilting

Last week I went to Israel for a week (mostly work, but I got a few hours for myself before my flight was due on the last day). On the way to the airport, I stopped at Caesarea, an ancient Roman city, and did some sight seeing.
While I was there I noticed that a lot of the mosaics they had unearthed resembled well known quilt patterns. Here some examples.
The Double Irish Chain:

Clamshells
Triangle:
And Orange Peel (I liked that one the best):
Now I try to imagine an ancient Roman household with a quilt throw on their bed *grin*

Monday, May 01, 2017

Goldfishpond - A Finished Quilt

I finished a quilt. Yeah! Go Me! Go Fish! ;-)
I did finish the quilt top already back in December, but only got around to make the actual quilt a few weeks ago (and then my stippling foot broke and I had to improvise). 
It is the first time I made a quilt following the pattern in a book, but when I saw the funny goldfishes on the cover of Bernadette Mayr's book I fell in love. I don't think I changed a single thing from the pattern, except maybe that I converted to American measurements, as all my rulers are in inches (rulers are only used to cut the blocks to size).
Making the quilt has been loads of fun. Not using a ruler when cutting can be quite liberating, and I was always curious how each of the fish would eventually turn out (that fellow below with the small overbite and the hump is totally my favorite)
For the binding I used an ombre yellow, which also adds to the quilt (I think)
I very much love the quilt and it's definitely one of my favorite quilts to date.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all.
When we went to Easter dinner at my sister's, she had the brother of this little fellow on the table.
Of course I had to ask for the pattern (it's from blog.kreativbuehne.de and is a freebie)
He turned out okay for the first result, but second time round I would use a different glue (I used liquid glue, but some tape with two adhesive sides would have been better)

Friday, April 14, 2017

This, That, And A Little Bit Of This, Too

A couple of smallish things have been finished.
First of I needed a new container to hold my cloth pins, after the handle of the basket I used to keep them in broke. I looked around and couldn't find something that I really liked, so I made my own thing.
First I made a paper template and then fudged my way through to the basket/bag above. It's attached to the rail with velcro. It turned out a bit on the small side, but is functional nonetheless, so I call it a win.

Next up, more pot holders.

Both pairs went to friends of mine.
I'm a bit surprised I still have cotton left overs, though I did managed to reduce the really small scraps by quite a bit.

Finally, I new pair of socks. Also a scrappy project as I used two different skeins, which each on their own wouldn't have been enough for a full pair. Pattern is 'Blender' and I simple switched the yarn every row and let the stripes surprise me. Not identical, but close enough.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A Broken Foot

No, no, don't worry, it's not one of my feet. They are fine.
But I broke the quilting foot on my sewing machine. To be more precise, the bit of wire on top that causes the foot to hop up and down while quilting simply snapped.
Of course it happened in the middle of me quilting. Darn!
Then I remember reading somewhere that somebody recommended to break a foot on purpose then wrapping some rubber band around the top to put some pressure on the spring and then use the foot not as a hopping but as a sliding foot. As I couldn't get a foot fitting my machine on short notice anyway, I decided to give it a try.
It actually works pretty good. Nice about this is that the movement is not quite a jerky as with the hopping foot, and also that you can leave the tension of the upper thread at the normal machine setting (normally I have a setting of 4.6, which I need to reduce to around 3 for quilting).
Disadvantage is that if there's a bump in your quilt, you tend to get a bit of a snag there, and also that figuring out the perfect number of coils for the rubber band is a bit tricky.
The swirly waves are done with the intact foot, and the stippling is done with the modified foot. Looks good.
Anyway, I finished the quilting more or less without further problems and am in the middle of sewing the binding on.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

WiP

Currently, I have several ongoing sewing projects. I intent not to start another one, unless I've finished at least two, better even three. And with finish I mean a ready quilt, not just the top.
My current Works in Progress in order of lenght I've been working on them:
- Double Stars (Jan2016)
I have 30 blocks finished and think that's about it. I have settled on this layout, so all I need to finish the top is to sew the blocks together.
- Postage Stamps (9 patches) (Sep 2016)
At the moment I'm just putting 9 patches together, using 2 inch scraps. I'm not decided on the layout yet, but I have time for that. There are only 47 blocks so far. This is my least 'urgent' quilt, just a filler whenever I'm in the mood.
- Blue HST (Dec 2016)
I'm almost done with the blocks I need: 106 out of 111. Though I still need to do all the edge blocks, so this will take a bit longer still.
- Selvedge Feathers (Feb 2017)
So far I have 19 feathers done, so there are a few more to go. Still undecided on the layout, though I start to grow fond of placing the feather simply in opposing rows.
Other than that, I still have two quilt tops finished that need to get ready for quilting. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Scrappy

I decided I want a mat to place under my sewing machine. So I started to go through my scrap baskets (which is the place where I put all the really small scraps - less than 2 x 2 inches square), and cut anything that was still big enough into 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch squares.
When sewing fabric this small together, you loose 1/3 of the size to the seam allowance. Left side is the same number of squares as on the right, but the size goes down from 12 x 18 inches to 8 x 12 inches.
I also added some black 2 1/2 inch squares to the mix (which made for some interesting puzzling while sewing the whole thing together)
Eventually I ended up with a 21 x 12 inch large piece, which I quilted in the ditch and bound nicely.
 I fits perfectly under my sewing machine.

Anthother scrappy project is also in the works, but crochet instead of sewing. I'm using yarn I've still got left over from the Greenway blanket, so basically the same color selection (brown, blue, gray, and some off white)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Potholders (Once Again)

When I went through my yarn stash in Janauary, I noticed I've still got a lot of cotton scraps, so I decided to make another pair of my ever popular magic square potholders.
The first pair went together quickly. It's a rather wild color combination.
Except for the millions of ends to weave in (with those I don't trust just making a knot, even if it's on the inside and nobody will ever see it), they are quickly to make and a lot of fun.
I already cast on the next pair.

I've linked with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Friday.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Modern Hexies

Last weekend I had a workshop at the Quiltmanufaktur in Frankfurt.
The topic was 'Modern Hexies' and as I happened to have already a lot of hexies prepared I went to make a table runner (aim of the workshop was a pillow).

We learned two different methods to prepare the hexies (the classical one where you sew the hexis on the base and then the one with a fabric glue)
Then we learned how to prepare the background and fix the hexies to it before sewing them on.
As the sides of the hexies stay open when using this method, it's not recommended to make a quilt from it, but it's totally fine to make a pillow, a wall hanging, or, as in my case, a table runner.
Fixing the hexies in such a way that they stay in place while sewing is the hardest part and I had to rip out a couple of them after the first rows were sewn.
The method leaves a nice grid on the backside of the finished product (and it's more green than the petrol in the photo)
It's not perfect, but close enough for me.
I did leave a couple of spots empty, which I think makes for an interesting effect.
The table runner was finished and bound on Wednesday and went directly on to my table.
 I really like the effect and absolutely could think of making something like this again.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Feathers On My Brain

I few weeks ago while I was swimming in the hotel pool, I had an idea. Still wet and dripping I went to the reception and asked for some paper so I could sketch out the idea while it was still fresh on my mind.
Thing is, I've been collecting my selvedges (and also bought a bag full, or two) with the vague idea that I would like something made from it. A feather something, maybe.
My hotel pool idea was to make a couple and then set them at a thirty degree angle for a smallish quilt (150 ~ 160 cm x 130 ~ 140cm in size)
I started making feathers.
 They turned out bigger than I though they would (about 18 x 44cm each). They actually come together pretty quickly and I have 19 finished already.
After making a couple of them, I thought again about layout.
First option is straight. I would need about 28 feathers for this one (180cm x 140cm)
 Second option is my original idea. For a smallish quilt 20 feathers would be enough for a smallish quilt of 165cm x 140cm. The bigger version would take 30 feathers, but I think it would be too big.
 Option three is at a 45 degree angle. 25 feathers for a 160 cm by 150 cm quilt.
Of course, the size could be easily increased by adding a border.
Each of those layouts have something speaking for them. What do you think?

Finally, I have a quick finish to show. It's another of the little front pocket bags. I think they are super cute and come together rather quickly. This is number three already and will go to a friend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

City Sampler 85

First quilt finish of 2017
The pattern is the Tula Pink City Sampler. I made 85 of the 100 blocks from the book and decided on a layout that sets the blocks on point.
The quilt is 195 x 195cm (77 x 77 inches). I started out with a fat quarter stack of blue and green Kona cotton solid fabrics, then added some more solids and lots and lots of blue and green batics.
For the binding a used the same fabric as the background fabric (which is Kona Cotton in the color of Nightfall), with some extra batics thrown in.
I already wrote about the difficuties I had in deciding on what to do with the actual quilting. In the end I did simple wavy lines using my walking foot. I was surprised that I didn't get any pucker, but for some reasons it just worked. I didn't even change directions between lines.
The quilting matches the quilt quite well, just enough to be there, not too much to take away from the pattern.
Backside is the fabric from a quilt cover I bought at the Swedish furniture store. Big advantage, as there is no piecing involved from my side.

I admit I had some reservations in between, if my color choice was a good one, but now, that everything is together, I think this is my favorite so far.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yarn Inventory

My plans for the weekend fell through, so I used the time to finally make an inventory of the yarn I own. First I pulled out all the yarn I had in various places and put it in one big pile in the middle of the living room.
There is ... a lot. Though it could be worse (and I know of people were it's much, much worse)

I started to sort through the pile. I had a couple of givens.
- all the Wollmeise (which is in two big boxes and by far the biggest single yarn supplier)
- sock yarn (most often the result of impulse buys)
- Noro (I'm a sucker for the colors, but then never really know what to use them for)
- Lett Lopi (still have a good bit over from a couple of projects)
- Cotton (lots of small scraps - I see potholders in my future)
(that is only the small, small scraps - there is a lot more cotton out there)
- Lace (I've got an idea there how to use some of that one)
-  worsted yarn that in some way could be used together in an afghan 
Whatever was in a shape that could for some reason or another be called useful, I checked against my stash list in Ravelry (got to love Ravelry), and if necessary, updated that list.
One of the great thing of Ravelry is that you can export the stash list to excel and play around with statistics there.
After registering most of my yarn now, I have 72,7 km of yarn in my stash.
Biggest chunk in terms of meterage of that is Lace (17.9km), which is considering Lace is also the longest per weight, no big surprise.
In terms of weight I have 20.9kg. Here the biggest chunk is fingering with 8.8kg (that is all the sock yarn)
 All in all I'm quite satisfied with the result of my inventory. I plan on making an afghan with the worsted yarn and then see if I can get rid of the some of the rest by donation.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sometimes Simple Is Better

It took me three tries to finally get to a quilting pattern that I liked for the City Sampler Quilt.
The first one (which I never fotographed) was to quilt each block individually, like the blocks in the book) This one I gave up after four squares ... less said about this the better,
I unpicked what I have done so far, and started with a spiral/meander pattern. This one took longer to realize that this is not what I want.
So it also took longer to unpick. But unpick I did.
 Finally, I just started to quilt in simple wavey lines about 2 inches apart using my walking foot. This one is much, much better.
While the meanders distracted a lot from the block patterns, this one is much more in the background and works much better with the layouts.
I've finished the quilting yesterday and have sewed on the binding today. Only 7.8m of sewing by hand the binding over onto the backside of the quilt and then I'm done.

This is a little bag I actually finished last year already.
I bought the pattern at the Kreativ Welt Fair in Frankfurt in November. The fabrics were a gift at my birthday. The bag currently holds all my marker pens I'm using for quilting.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

City Sampler Sandwich

I basted the Tula Pink City Sampler today.
I used the same method I used for the Scrappy Trellis quilt, using clamps to hold the sandwich to the table while I put the pins in. I've found that this method works best for me (at least until I find something better). I have tried spray basting, but for some strange reasons I do prefer the pins, at least for the bigger quilts.
I then started free motion quilting, but after I've finished with the first bobbin (and 5 of the blocks) I decided I hate how the quilting looks, so I'm now unpicking.
This will take a while *sigh*

I got 42 blocks for me blue HST quilt done.
For a 60 x 70" quilt I need 168 blocks, so 25% are done.
That is unless I'll go with a on point layout, then I may need a few more.