29 October 2012

One down, many to go

My list (yes, I have to have a list) for tonight included getting one quilt laid up on the frame ready to quilt.   Hah!  Not only put on the frame, but quilting done!  (Means the other 6 things didn't get done!)
 Most of the quilts I've made are put together by laying batting, back face up and top face down, smoothing out each layer well, pin about 6" all around edge, sew along edge 1cm in, leaving a 8-10" gap (for turning).  Trim the batting very close to stitch lines, trim back to match top, turn inside out.  Reach in and fold the corners nicely, pin the opening closed, and top stitch 0.5cm from edge.  (The metric is how I learned to do it!)  I normally then smooth out and pin-baste, then machine quilt, but not very densely, just enough to make it secure.  This quilt was already to do the first sewing, so went ahead.  Then pinned it to the leader fabrics on the frame.  All free-motion quilting.  Mostly was brilliant fun to do, stitches in places a little big, but that will improve next time, but the tricky part was near the edge, as machine kept bumping up against the side tension clamps, so just removed them and stitched slowly-ish.
One draw-back I now realize is that although it is a big frame, the Pfaff 1200 still only allows about 6" of quilting at  a time, and I am glad I laid it length-ways.
Charity quilt #6 - finished - 38" x 49"

28 October 2012

Quilt frame continued

In between preparing (ie taking out the stored stuff) younger daughter's bedroom for her return and collecting her from the airport today, I managed to get the leader fabrics on the rails of the quilt frame.  I also tried out the "new" machine, it sews fine, slightly noisier than the older one.  Have placed it on the frame... just got to think what to use to test it, seeing it is now nearly 10 pm!

View of sewing room from front hallway through french doors
View of sewing room taken through glassed-up serving hatch into what used to be our dining room

The process of assembling the frame yesterday was a curious business.  It came with a DVD, but no installation manual, and seller said watch the DVD at least twice.  Ok....  the video presumes you have the manual, so I spent about 3 hours watching, stopping, making notes and photographing laptop screen, plug phone in and extract photo, add to own document, which worked brilliantly (could not take a Print Screen, and because I still use Win XP, no snipping tool, and a snipping tool I found on-line didn't work either).  I am a firm believer in reading manuals, so not having one was frustrating.

Here are some of the photos!

Did also cut out the corner and setting triangles for the pineapple block quilt, and started to stitch the blocks in rows.

And sweetheart daughter brought me a beautiful piece of Australian print fabric she bought in Cairns about six months ago, and has kept for me until she came home.

Oh dear, just remembered that the pictures were again just snapped and uploaded - will try to remember to edit first next time!

And one last picture of the frame with the leader fabrics (which took about 90 mins to fit!) and the machine in place.

27 October 2012

Quilt Frame

Fetched the new to me quilt frame (a demo model from a local quilt shop closing up) on Thursday, and have spent the better part of today assembling it.  It's a bit bigger than I thought.  Yes, I knew it had a 1m x 4 m footprint, but it has filled up the last of the floor space in my sewing room.  it's an Imperial Quilting Frame, I think made by Grace & Co.  I have one quilt that needs this 120" wide king-size frame, and when that's done will re-assemble it to half the size (But then will have the problem of storing the extra bits!)  Tomorrow some pictures and a try out with the demo Grand Quilter Hobby 1200 bought with it.  The purchase of a second machine was from the thought that I love piecing with the second-hand one I got last July and don't want to move it back and forth from frame to table so took the opportunity to buy the demo one.  Hope that both work!  Will have to move things around for it.  P not at all happy about it.   Hope it works!

24 October 2012

Better pictures

For the longest time I've wondered why the photos on my blog are somewhat lacking visually.  My thought was that maybe I need a better camera than the one on my phone (that may be true of course), but doh, yesterday the penny dropped.... don't just upload the photo, edit it first!   I use Picasa to shrink the pictures so they open quickly, but hadn't thought to use it to improve and crop before uploading.  So here is the first go at this, showing both an original (as I would have usually used) and an edited one. Hmmm... I like seeing pictures with cutting mat scales.  This block is 15.5" square.  I do know that daylight and perhaps a tripod would improve things further.

Another editing attempt, in which I didn't fiddle quite so much:

22 October 2012


Block of the Month 2012

Block of the Month 2012

Just Takes 2 Block 29 - nearly complete

Week-end and Milestones

Yay!  On last Thursday evening I finally completed my four-year long marathon of taming my scraps.  Last November I wrote that I estimated that I had another year to go, and my estimate was almost spot on!  Thank-you, Bonnie.   Sorting and trimming these scraps at home would have been boring beyond belief, but sitting for 2 to 3 hours almost every Thursday evening talking with quilting friends and sharing the history of some of the fabrics was worth the reward of now having usable pieces.   I have been making notes of various quilts and blocks that can use these specifically sized pieces.  One quilt that I have wanted to do since I first saw one in an art gallery in about 1976 was (what I now know as) a colour-wash postage-stamp quilt (I do wish I knew who had made that one so long ago).

On Saturday morning went to the Stoep Quilters Exhibition - a lovely experience, especially their Christmas theme, and to Creative Quilters meeting in the afternoon - all inspired and fired-up after seeing the show and tell of these industrious ladies.

My amazingly creative mother has been taking the tiny left over pieces (from the scrap-taming) and playing!  With her help, maybe those charity quilts will all get done (done 6 - 7,8 and 9 waiting for quilting!)

Less than a week and my younger daughter will be home from a year in Australia, lots of re-arranging house and clearing out to accommodate her and my older daughter and partner who will be home in November from Wales.  Will be wonderful to have a full house again, if only for a few months!

Yesterday spent sewing some more rounds on the pineapple blocks, and re-visited the Just Takes 2 blocks (groan, so far behind!), but did finally complete the list of WIPs (was pleased to see I could cross off two that had been finished since I started making the list!) - but horror of horrors! the list is over 30 quilts in various stages of completion, as well as a number of embroidery projects.  My commitment to myself is finish one every fortnight (estimate that by December 2013 will only have new projects under way - LOL).

My older Pfaff 1212 machine needed a service (so I thought), but was told the motor was not fixable... hmm... P thinks not, so he took the whole thing apart, removed the motor, took it to be rewound (or something!), has put the machine back together again, it works, but NOW it needs servicing - I think it will be back to normal soon.  There is one part over, a small plastic cover-plate, definitely not a moving part.  Thank goodness for T's Pfaff, which is a similar model, to look at and see where everything needed to go back!

Pictures next time (maybe!)

Have a good quilting day!

16 October 2012

Some photos

Was going to add to these pictures to the last post, but why not write a new one!  Today have pre-ordered Victoria Findlay Wolfe's new book "15 Minutes of Play", just hope the postage isn't too exorbitant.  Also found some interesting books, patterns and a DVD on Welsh Quilts.

Have now completed 20 blocks, with the other 30-ish at various stages, but limiting myself to 30 minutes sewing a day and only cutting open the last square whilst chatting or watching TV (not that's much of that going on!)

15 October 2012


Last weekend I managed to get to Riebeek Kasteel for the Good Hope Quilters' Guild Fynbos Quilt-In.  Took one one-day class to make a simple Pineapple Block.  Managed to finish 2 whole blocks on the day, went home and finished 13 more with another 18 at various stages.  Ran out of the the fabrics taken to the workshop, but have matched up some similar fabrics, and have cut out all the pieces needed for a total of 50 blocks.  Great fun.  Yes, yes, I know there should be pictures!  On the other day I laid up three small quilts ready for quilting.  Many of my medium-sized quilts are put together in a pillow-case type method, so no binding.  The next thing to do is finally complete the list of my WIPs (not UFOs!) - and perhaps put a date on when each was started!  My resolve is not to start any more new projects (except maybe the year-end mystery...) until more work done on the existing ones.

12 October 2012

Some pictures

Fynbos 2012 "Go Crazy with Calico" Challenge
Specific rules were that it had to be 50 cm square, and either to use fabric as is (no dyeing, painting or such) or to dye, paint, etc.

Fynbos 2012 Challenge #1 "!?! Shades of Pantone's Colour of 2012"
 Note to self - do NOT cut out 1.5" squares before dyeing!  And double-check that the sleeve and label are attached the correct places, too late to change - but although the photo is side-ways, this is the way the quilt should be!

Fynbos 2012 Challenge #2 "Delicious and Delicate"
This one was fun to do - lots of free motion quilting.

And here are the other Challenge entries: