Sunday 27 October 2013

Friday 25 October 2013

Doll Quilt - Pegged on the Line

This is the quilt that I made for Pattilou, my September partner in the Doll Quilters' Monthly swap. The theme was "Quilt in a Quilt", so I decided to do a quilt hanging on the line.

First I pieced a tiny little quilt top from pieces of dress weight cotton poplin that I had stashed in one of my scrap jars.  The individual squares in the tiny quilt ended up at seven eighths of an inch, and the border about an inch wide.

In the finished quilt, which measures about 16 by 16 and a half inches, the tiny quilt is hanging on the line in a free motion quilted garden.  The background colours are varied to give the impression of depth, with darker neutrals for the ground and a strip of pink in the sky.

The real fun in making this quilt was doing the free motion quilting.  The line needed to be strung from something, and posts would have been boring, so I decided to have it tied between two trees.

The first free motion quilting I did was a line of ferns for the foreground.  Next I did a line of grass.

Then it was time to do the trees.  Doing the tree on the right was easy enough.  To prevent having too much of the work bunched up under the arm of the machine, I decided to turn the quilt round and worked the tree on the left upside down.

Once the trees were finished I filled in the rows of grass in the background, diminishing the size and changing to a paler thread to give a feeling of perspective.

For the binding I used a pale brown cotton with a tiny pattern in a similar rusty red to the border of the quilt on the line. 

The finishing touch was hand stitching on the cord for the line, and quarter inch cylindrical wooden beads for the pegs.

For the piecing, straight line quilting and binding, I used my 1949 Singer 15K hand machine, and for the free motion quilting, the trusty 1945 Singer 15K treadle.

This quilt is now hanging in Pattilou's house in Utah, and I have to give her a huge vote of thanks for sending me all these pictures today so I could do this post... I can't use my own pictures because our computer is totally out of action.  I love and hate computers, whereas I love and love my sewing machines.  And Pattilou tells me she loves this quilt, and I love hers, so we are both happy!

Linking up again with Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and also this quilt is being entered into the Bloggers's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.... so loads of links for you to follow this week!

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Made from Scraps

I was rummaging in the cupboard today and came across these - triangles joined in little strips, each a fraction less than six inches long.  They were made from the cut off spare triangles when I made a quilt in the Sister's Choice pattern about two and a half years ago.  I made them and then shoved them away, not quite knowing what to do with them, but after coming across them today I think there might be an idea brewing...

Monday 21 October 2013

A 1905 Postcard

This photograph is on a postcard which I bought at an antiques market recently.  It still has the stamp on the back, with Edward VII on it, and the postmark is July 15th 1905.  The anonymous garden fence and the chair could just as easily be now, but the child!  How long was it before that beautiful fine white cotton dress and bonnet got grubby?

The more I look at this picture the more convinced I am that it is a little boy - there is something about the boisterousness, and the beefy fat face.  Also, I have seen shoes like that on Lindaroo's blog, and they had been worn by her father.

This picture now lives in my sewing room.  I enjoy having a cheerful little face looking at me.

Sunday 20 October 2013

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Roman Sunset

Taken on the evening of 12th October, looking along the Tiber to St. Peter's from Ponte Umberto I.

Welcome to Judy Prescott, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Friday 18 October 2013

Free Motion Grapevine

This is the latest experiment in free motion quilting - a grapevine.  Again the sample is fat quarter size, but this time I used a darker thread.

The bunches of grapes are a bit messy.  It occurred to me before I started that the grapes are a variation on the pebble design, which I have never done before.  Hardly surprising then that they turned out to be the part of the design that I had the most difficulty with.

The leaves, on the other hand, were pretty straightforward, just being a larger, similar version of the leaves copied from the Aeroflot plane. 

This was the first treadling I have done since coming back after a quick trip to Rome.  I felt ever so slightly out of practice.

Welcome to two new followers today, Diane Schotl and Helen Tulip - thank you for joining!

Linking up again with Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday,
Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday,
and to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday - lots of interesting projects to see! 

Tuesday 15 October 2013

In a Shop Window in Rome

Not the usual touristy photo, but I spotted this little Frister and Rossmann in a tailor's shop window in Rome and had to take a couple of pictures.

Welcome to Wendy Janssen, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Sunday 13 October 2013

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Sunrise

The guest photographer today is my son.  He took this photo on the way to work one day last month.  He had just come out of the railway station, which explains the unglamorous townscape. Can't complain about the sky though.

Meanwhile I was safely tucked up in bed.  I rarely see sunrises.  I'm more of a sunset girl myself.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Making a Sewing Machine Cover - Stage 4

The final stage - putting on the binding.  Once the lining was inside the outer shell of the cover I secured the two layers together with a line of stitching about an eighth of an inch from the edge.

Because the outer shell is a fraction bigger than the lining, I used large hand sewn running stitches to gather in the slight fullness before doing the machine stitching at the edge. Fortunately there was very little discrepancy in size between the two layers - had I needed to I would have done an extra line of machining, as I did with the tea cosy.

After that it was an easy job putting on the binding.  The African print had a narrow border, and there was enough for me to use as the binding with only an inch and a half to spare.  
Exceedingly jammy.

Here is the completed cover with the Singer 201K treadle hiding underneath.  I am actually going to use it on the 15K treadle, but the 201K treadle had to stand in to do the modelling job because the 15K is surrounded by sewing room chaos.

And this photo is of the 15K hand machine hiding underneath - entirely appropriate because this is the machine that did all the work on the cover except for the free motion quilting. Because I used the dimensions of the bentwood cover of this machine for the measurements when cutting the panels, the cover fits snugly around the base.

Welcome to Kelly Hughes, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Even though it is Wednesday, this post is being linked up to Show and Tell Tuesday - lots more projects to see there...

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Making a Sewing Machine Cover - Stage 3

The lining is now made.  I have used a stiff thermal curtain lining, which is fluffy on one side. I cut one large piece, 21 and a half by 24 inches, and two side panels.  The side panels started as rectangles measuring 8 and a half by 10 and a quarter inches, and I used the same 8 inch plate for rounding off the top corners.

Here is the completed lining, standing up all by itself and showing the fluffy side.  The seam is stitched smooth sides together with a quarter inch seam allowance.  This material does not fray, and these raw edges will be hidden between the two layers of the finished cover.

Let's see if I can have the binding on by tomorrow...  

Monday 7 October 2013

Making a Sewing Machine Cover - Stage 2

Today I have been working on the machine cover, using the free motion pieces that I had made in advance.  The cover will be for my Singer 15K treadle.  I have used the dimensions of the bentwood cover of the 15K hand machine as a guide.

First I cut a large panel, 21 and three quarters by 25 and a quarter inches.  Then I cut the two side panels, 10 and a half by 8 and three quarters.  On the photo I have shown the two side panels opposite ways up - the density of the quilting only really shows up on the back.

Next, to get the curve at the top corners of the side panel, I cut around the edge of an 8 inch plate.

Here is one of the side panels with the top corners rounded off.

The side panels were then sewn onto the large panel, using a three eighths of an inch seam allowance.  Here is the cover, inside out.  Already it can stand up on its own.

To help the cover keep its shape, the seam allowances need to be sewn down by machine - exactly the same method as I used for the tea cosy.  I worked from the right side...

... and this is what it looks like on the inside.

Here is the outer shell of the cover completed.  It will stand up more firmly once the lining is put in. That is tomorrow's job.

Welcome to Ria Vogelzang, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Linking up to Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday - lots of bogs to visit there!

Sunday 6 October 2013

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Silver Washed Fritillary on Scabious Flowers

This beautiful butterfly was flying from flower to flower in a clearing in the woods in Poland.

Welcome to Autumn Adams, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Friday 4 October 2013

Free Motion Rosehips

While walking along the front path yesterday I snagged my sleeve on a rose thorn.  It was slightly annoying, but I'm glad I did.  I changed my plans for free motion quilting and decided to try rosehips.  
Here are some sample hips from the offending bush.  In fact, bush is too grand a word.  It is a messy wild rose that has grown from the root stock of a garden rose that we yanked out years ago - because we kept getting caught on thorns as we walked up the path.

And here is the free motion quilting that I have just finished this afternoon, based on the wild rose.  It is another fat quarter sized panel that has been quilted on the Singer 15K treadle.

Here are some of the hips...

... and a few leaves.  I particularly enjoyed doing the thorns.

Making sure the quilting was reasonably evenly spaced was a tussle at times, and I had to take a few botanical liberties. Also I was not sure I was being very consistent with the size of the leaves, because I started yesterday and finished today.  There again, the scruffy rose bush outside isn't exactly consistent, so perhaps I am being botanically accurate after all.

I rather enjoyed doing this pattern.  It took my mind off the fact I have been feeling like a lump of rubbish thanks to a wretched virus.

Welcome to the latest follower, Joma - thank you for joining!

Linking up today with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday - lots of other projects to see there...
And also to Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Doll Quilt from Pattilou in Utah

This lovely little quilt arrived today.  It was made by Pattilou, my September partner in the Doll Quilters' Monthly swap.  I love the gorgeous autumn shades of the batiks, and the maple leaf and stripes design is just right for September.  

The texture is wonderful.  Pattilou has packed in lots of different quilting designs into such a small space.

The theme for the month was "A Quilt within a Quilt."  Where is the second quilt?  I was foxed for a minute, until I realised...

... it's on the back!  All the different quilting patterns combine to make miniature whole cloth quilt.

The different coloured threads make this quilt just as interesting on the back as it is on the front.

This quilt is a real gem  Thank you Pattilou!

Welcome to the latest followers, Chambers16 and Anne.  Thank you for joining!

Wednesday 2 October 2013

A Jam Session with Peaches

At the moment there are doll quilts winging their way across the Atlantic between England and Utah. Pattilou and I posted the quilts within a day of each other.  And because I can't visit Pattilou in real life, I have visited her blog, and seen that she has had a bumper crop of peaches. Coming from a country where you would need a walled garden, an expert gardener and an extraordinarily good year to grow your own peaches (a long winded way of saying it is virtually impossible), I have to confess to a slight wave of envy.  

When we were in Poland this summer the peach trees in my husband's cousin's garden were laden with fruit, whereas last year they rotted on the tree.  So this summer was the first time I had ever eaten home grown peaches, and very tasty they were too.

Pattilou has made lots of peach jam... which got me thinking...  so I took a trip to the greengrocer's and came home with peaches from Italy and nectarines from Spain, which combined with English apples and lemons from I can't remember where...

... gave me the ingredients to start experimenting.  Hooray it worked!  Here is the video if you want to have a go.

Welcome to Loree Ellis, the latest follower - thank you for joining!


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