Thursday, 21 March 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 221 - Between Projects

You might recognise this picture of my hundred year old machine year old machine.  Time has flown, so it is now 103 years old, and I have been using it constantly since I hauled it out of the cupboard at New Year three years ago.  It hasn't missed a stitch.  The only mishaps have been a couple of broken needles, for which I take the entire blame.

I have been doing under the radar sewing this last couple of weeks, doing a project for someone who has set aside some curtain material waiting for the day a seamstress comes along to help.  So I have been busy with this little machine, which happily tackles seams through thick layers - curtain material, blackout lining and curtain tape.  So no photos, I'm afraid, just a round of applause for the machine.

At the moment I have no quilting related project on the go, but I am mulling over plans for a stitched landscape.  Somehow I can't tackle them in the winter because the daylight is so poor, but now that we have reached the equinox and the sun is setting after six o'clock, the subtleties in my variegated threads are much more easily seen and I ready to start planning.  This year I will be prepared for the annual 12 x 12 exhibition in December at Midsomer Quilting.






Here goes for week 221:-

Many thanks to Gail for showing her progress with her UFO.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.

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If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.



Thursday, 14 March 2019

Clasps for Book Covers


Really fiddly, but worth it.  After deliberating over how to fasten the book covers, I finally settled on Norwegian metal clasps of the sort usually seen on expensive hand knitted jackets.  Fortunately I found some in a local shop at the weekend.  The bible cover needed three, and I decided that these fleur de lys style clasps in an antique brass colour looked perfect.


It was hard work getting the needle through the binding, and particularly tricky working the hook half of the clasp as I was having to get the needle inside the enclosed flap for the front cover.


The little prayer book case has two much smaller clasps in a pewter colour.


I had the same problem sewing through the binding, and took the precaution of putting  a small piece of iron-on interfacing on the inside to thicken up the fabric for the other half of the clasp.  The prayer book is a very snug fit in this case, and I was worried that the clasps might strain on the stitching, but as it turned out they work really well.




Free Motion Mavericks this week is at Andrée's blog Quilting and Learning and I'm linking up!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

A Picture for Sunday - St David's Day


A rare treat - fine weather on the 1st March for a day trip to Wales.  The clouds cleared for the short time we spent at Llanthony Priory.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Baby Cardigan in Brioche Rib


My fiddliest knitting project ever!  I can't tell you how pleased I am that I have finally finished.

When I started this little cardigan I knew I was in for a mind bending adventure.  Brioche rib isn't for the faint-hearted.  Using two colours and double ended needles was bound to be fun.  So much fun, in fact, that I abandoned this cardigan for a few months and tackled easier projects.

Earlier this week I decided I had to finish it, which meant weaving in twice as many ends of yarn than I thought possible...

… undoing about three rows around the neck because I had knitted too many...



… and sewing up the last unfinished seam.

The seams all seem determined on bending themselves inwards, which is extremely irritating.  I shall have to rethink how to work the ends of the rows so that the next time I use this stitch I have an easier edge to sew up.  


To avoid shoulder seams I put all the pieces onto a circular needle, and am really pleased at how the raglan shaping turned out.



What I am most chuffed about is how soft and warm this stitch is, with the softer yarn on the inside.  This is a really cosy little cardy.  One of these days I shall have to knit another.  

Not just yet, though.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 219 - A Bible Cover


On the third try, I think I can claim success in making a book cover.  It isn't quite finished, because I haven't yet put on any fastenings, so pins had to do for the photo.


Instead of winging it and trying to make it by eye, I did the job properly and actually measured the book.  The width of the panel wasn't crucial, as long as I had a good overlap. However, the measurement from top to bottom had to be a good fit.  The book covers measure eight and a half inches, so I cut the panel at nine and a half inches, and then cut the binding strip a little narrower than I would cut quilt binding.



On the inside I inserted a flap for the front cover to slot into, and a ribbon for the back cover to slide under.



The bible has soft covers, which makes it easier to handle, but nevertheless I wanted to make a snug fitting cover that I could put on without bending the covers back.

The back cover slides under the ribbon first...



… so it can then be pushed across so the ribbon is as near to the spine of the book as possible, and the edge of the front cover can be tucked into the flap...



… and pushed right inside as far as it will go.

It is a very snug fit.  Another sixteenth of an inch and it would have been too tight.

I am still deliberating about fastenings.  However I resolve it, I can guarantee it won't be velcro.




Here goes for week 219:-

Many thanks to Angie for linking up with her beautiful soupçon quiltalong quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.




If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

A Picture for Sunday - Christmas Roses


The golden orange roses were part of a Christmas arrangement.  I saved the best ones and dried them by hanging them upside down.  They kept their colour really well, better than any other colour rose that I have dried.

Linking up to Wandering Camera at Whims and Fancies 

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Still Experimenting With Book Covers


Second attempt, using the first piece that I cut out last week.  This time I decided to make a pouch rather than a cover that open and shuts with the book.  I can just about squeeze a prayer book inside it.



When the book is inside the binding at the sides sticks out at right angles.  Perhaps I should use it for a slightly smaller book.



The flap only just overlaps, so I won't be able to fasten it with a button and buttonhole.  Loops for buttons are a possibility, or perhaps a clasp.  I am still deliberating and rummaging through my tins of bits and pieces for ideas.  For the time being a bit of cord will do the trick.

I have yet to sort something out for the book I originally wanted to cover.  Let's hope it's third time lucky!





Free Motion Mavericks this week is at Andrée's blog 
Quilting and Learning and I'm linking up!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

A Picture for Sunday - Cycling in Snow


It didn't last long, but I made the most of the two days of snow that we had last month.

These two cyclists were on a path that cuts across a field of winter wheat.  I love the effect of their silhouettes against the stripes in the field.

Linking up to Wandering Camera at Whims and Fancies

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Little Miss Marple Cardigan


Ready to give when a little girl arrives.  There are two babies on the way in the family, so I have to be doubly prepared, with two baby boy cardies and two baby girl cardies.

I rather like the pink tweedy effect, which comes from using two random yarns in two row stripes in fisherman's rib.  It gives that old fashioned conventional look, similar to the little blue cardigan with cables that I made last year.




I really enjoy the effect of the raglan shaping on the stripes, making them turn a corner.



The buttons are the same as the ones on the blue cardigan.  Of all the buttons I have stashed away, they were far away the best match - they really completed the old lady look.  Of course, once there is a little girl inside this cardigan she will make it all her own and I will forget all about little grey haired ladies solving crimes.

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