I’ve decided that it’s about time I finish the half made quilts that I have packed up and decided that it was time to get on with the Mirabelle Quilt. I started this quilt 2 years ago and the top has been finished for over a year! The backing fabric and wadding have been cut and it’s been ready to go for ages.
So yesterday whilst it was quiet in the shop, I sandwiched the layers and pinned it with curved safety pins.
And today, using the Elna 760 and quilt in the ditch walking foot I got started.
Progress was a bit slow as I had to keep stopping to serve customers, but the main thing is that it underway and I will keep it at the shop to work on in quiet times. I’m determined to stay on top of it and get it finished as soon as possible.
I couldn’t resist… I started another quilt yet I still have two to finish, plus a mini quilt.
But the Whitewashed Cottage collection by 3 Sisters that we had in recently to the shop was just calling out to me. I saw this free quilt pattern called Layers of Charm which uses a layer cake plus some extra yardage and last Friday I just couldn’t resist the urge to get started. Work was put to one side and I inwardly groaned when customers came in the shop, because I just wanted to sew without interruptions!
I got almost the whole top done in a day. There were only a couple of seams to finish the following day. If I’d not had interruptions and had started earlier in the day, I would have got it all done.
This is how it was when I was trying to decide where to place the squares.
I’ve chosen the backing and binding fabrics from the Whitewashed Cottage collection and now just need to quilt it. I’m going to machine quilt it on Mum’s Janome 15000 sewing machine using one of the stipple patterns that it does automatically. I want this to be a quick quilt! I’m going away this weekend to visit the in-laws, so it might have to wait until I have some time off over the Easter weekend to get it done!
The Mirabelle quilt top is now finished too, but I’m waiting for Fig Tree’s new collection Aloha Girl to arrive to see if there’s any fabric that might work for the backing and binding.
I have started 2015 with renewed enthusiasm to finish my Mirabelle Quilt quickly. All the blocks are now done and I’ve started to sew the sashing between them.
It was fun trying to decide the order in which to lay out the blocks.
One issue I’ve come across is that a 1/4 inch seam isn’t always 1/4 inch. Sometimes it’s 1/4 inch and a bit more.
I’ve sewed the blocks using various sewing machines at home and in the shop and I became aware that some of the blocks were coming out smaller than they should have been, even though I was trying my hardest to be precise.
Turns out that although I was using 1/4 inch feet on all the machines, some of the seams on the block were quite a generous 1/4 inch, thus making the blocks as much as a half inch too small. The more recently completed blocks were much closer to the 10 inches they should have been because once I’d realised I adjusted the needle position on sewing machine so that it was an accurate 1/4 inch.
Whilst sewing the sashing this week, I’ve had to redo some blocks that were just too small. A few I could stretch, but half an inch is too much! Coincidentally Pat Sloan, one of the Moda fabric designers, published a post about testing your 1/4 inch seams on her blog this week.
Knitting has gone by the wayside really. I did a few rows of my boyfriend’s socks when I was at his house last weekend and I knitted a swatch in Zealana Heron yarn, which is a new yarn we’re stocking in the shop. (It’s lush by the way!). But other than, knitting hasn’t really happened. I’m just waiting for some of the new pattern books to arrive in the shop as I’ve spotted a few that I really want to do. I’m sure that will get my knitting mojo back.
But I’ve not been idle. Last night I finished Block 4 of my Raining Cats and Dogs Quilt and started Block 5!
There’s not really a lot of knitting going on at the moment. The possum yarn jumper is going slowly, mainly because I’m scared it’s going to be too small and I’m avoiding the problem by not knitting it. On Saturday I cast on for a pair of socks for my boyfriend. The idea of knitting socks astounded him really, so I said I’d knit him a pair. He finds wool itchy generally, but I’m using Rico Superba Bamboo sock yarn which is 50% merino, 25% bamboo and 25% acrylic so it feels soft and a little bit silky so I hope that it won’t irritate him. It’s a small project that I will keep at his house for the weekends that I’m visiting him. He was amazed as he watched me handling the 4 DPNs 🙂
However I have been doing a lot of sewing recently and block 2 of the It’s Raining Cats and Dogs quilt has been complete, with block 3 well underway too.
I’m also really keen to get on with another quilt. I’m dying to do a sampler quilt with fabric from Moda’s Etchings collection. I have a fat quarter bundle and charm pack which I’d like to use. But I can only do one quilt at a time. Hopefully this will give me the incentive to get on quickly with the cats and dogs quilt.
It’s been ages since I last blogged. Life is good though.. very good 🙂 I’ve met a wonderful man but he lives about 150 miles away so we only get to see each other for weekends and have to Skype or FaceTime during the week. This doesn’t leave much time for crafting, but I’m not complaining. He’s very supportive of my knitting, sewing and weaving interests as his sister and mother love crafting too, although they concentrate on paper crafts and jewellery making. He’s used to the obsessions that crafters can have!
Anyway, I’ve made the first block of the It’s Raining Cats and Dogs Quilt by Bunny Hill Designs, that I’m running as a Block of the Month and I started the second block a couple of nights ago. My customers are on Block 4, so I’m a bit behind!
This is the first quilt I’ve ever made and there is a LOT of appliqué on each block. It takes a while to cut out all the pieces and then sew them on. The background pieces are done on a machine though, to speed things up slightly. I’m finding the appliqué is very relaxing to do though and Mum reckons that I’m doing it very neatly.
I haven’t done the bits of embroidery on the block yet (there’s some writing to go on the shop window and the dogs need eyes etc), but it is virtually done!
I was quite excited on Thursday to go to the newsagent and pick up issue 4 of the Art of Quilting and I got started on the block straight after dinner on Thursday evening.
However I made a mistake… I decided to use Mum’s already cut templates, rather than cutting new ones out from the diagram in the magazine… and this is where the problem began. The Art of Quilting templates are fractionally smaller than Mum’s. I’m guess that they are metric sizes, instead of the traditional imperial sizes. But I thought… it’s only a fraction, will it make much difference?
Oh yes.. it did. When I sewed the block together, it came out bigger than the rest and because of the design, I wouldn’t just be able to trim it down.
So guess what I did this afternoon? I undid it all, cut the shapes to the proper size and redid the block. This time, it came out the same size as the rest!
It’s not a great magazine to be honest. I think that it lacks some information which beginners would find helpful; facts and tips that I’ve learned from my Mum. But it’s giving me confidence on the sewing machine which I need, so I’ll carry on with it for a little while longer.