I’ve never done this before:
So that’s a Thing right there. I hope I did it right. Work’s been quiet recently so I’ve been doing quite a lot of sewing instead. How did I do that with an apparently broken sewing machine? Well, turned out that the problem wasn’t the machine, it was my walking foot. As long as I don’t want to quilt anything, I can sew to my heart’s content. And speaking of hearts, I’ve finally made a major leap forward with a major project, the project that kind of kicked all this off:
*flails excitedly* It. Is. Huge. And I haven’t even added a border yet! (Although I’m only planning to add a top and bottom border, probably in a nice red/maroon to set off the cream and the hearts.) And it’s going to need backing, probably in the same fabric I use for the borders. I have a bunch of heart blocks left over, so doubtless some will find their way onto the back of this, others may become a couple of throw cushions. The thought of doing the quilting is already terrifying me and I’m not even sure the wadding I bought is going to be big enough. In short, EEEP!
I also recently had a bit of an epiphany over what to do with the back of my big D9P quilt that I finished the top of ages ago (it has borders of plain black now, though for some reason I don’t seem to have a pic of that…). When I was making my new niece’s Star Baby quilt, I’d cut a big pile of 2.5″ strips of all the batiks thinking that I’d do a sort of pseudo jelly-roll race on the back, but then I discarded the idea (but not the strips!). I’d sewn all the strips together with diagonal joins and had already cut some of the resulting giant technicolour tapeworm into shorter lengths and had even started sewing some of the lengths into pairs. I didn’t want to just waste them but wasn’t sure what to do with them either. Then I picked up a quilting magazine because one of the projects, a frosty Lone Star, caught my eye – I find Lone Stars attractive but hadn’t tried one yet. The penny dropped, and I realised I could use my partially pieced strips and tapeworm to make a big scrappy Lone Star for the back of my quilt! And because it’s the back, I don’t need to feel too bad if it’s not very amazing and the corners aren’t perfect. I still wanted to use the black-and-white sheeting, so it got pressed into service as the background. Some fiddling about (pro-tip: don’t decide to suddenly do an odd-numbered Lone Star point half-way through piecing it!) and some rootling around to find the last scraps of fabric from the front and I ended up with this:
(I think my ’80s are showing.) It’s still in the process of being put together and I’ll have to trim it down (I was generous when cutting the background) and add borders to make it big enough to back the quilt, and I suspect it’s going to be rather wibbly in places, but I’m really pleased with it. In particular, I like how the joins between the strips have been incorporated into some of the diamonds to increase the scrappy look and I’m glad I thought to use the front fabric to make the focal star in the centre (I had to make up the number of black diamonds with some plain black because I ran out of big enough bits of batik, but it’s not too obvious). It’s been very educational – the diamonds are a lot harder to piece neatly than my beloved equilateral triangles are, and I think the points of this meet far better than I deserve! (This is another project I’m having heebee-jeebees over quilting, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it…)
From the scraps and off-cuts of the strips I used to make the lone Star units, I found I ended up with some interesting-looking triangles that I put together to make these:
Not sure quite what they’ll end up being, there’s an awkward number of them; I was thinking that they’d look good set on point (and I’ve not tried that yet, so yay new technique!), and I may use them to back another project just to get it out of the way. Said other project is this:The first Disappearing Nine-Patch I did, but it’s a silly size and I made an oops (you can see it in the top left there). Still, it’d be nice to finish it and turn it into a lap quilt or a play mat for Nia or something, so I bought some more of the same charm squares I used and dug out the last scraps of that weird pink/orange batik to make some more D9P blocks. But the charm squares are cut really badly (the original pack were too) so I have to spend some time trimming them down and square. ‘Nother pro-tip: If you’re doing a D9P, don’t choose a square size like 4.75″. Ask me how I know. :s
I say chevron, but I may faff about with layouts once I’ve trimmed them all. We’ll see.
Other stuff… well, with Christmas coming up, I decided to have a go at making a quilty Advent Calendar wall-hanging after I picked up some lovely festive-coloured flannels from Cotton Patch, and some assorted green fabrics to make a Christmas tree shape. I love Advent Calendars, I used to make them out of paper and card when I was a kid. So far, I have these:
I cut 4″ squares of the flannels, ironed them onto fusible web, added a variety of ribbons to make them look like wrapped presents, and have also cut out “backs” from a selection of Christmassy charm squares I bought. I printed out the numbers today and will use more fusible web and probably a bit of hand-sewing to apply them. Originally I was going to embroider the numbers with some sparkly embroidery threads, but didn’t like how indistinct the stitches looked on the flannel. I think I’ll attach the backs first though, mostly because I’ve already removed the protective paper from the web on the back and I can see myself accidentally fixing these to the ironing board otherwise. The flannel has a lot of give to it and I’m hoping fusing the ordinary cotton will help support it and stop it getting too saggy. Once the “presents” are in an approximate state of being finished, I’ll be able to use them to decide how big my tree shape will need to be (and consequently how much fabric I’ll need for the background).
Lastly, from the left-over “scraps” of flannel, I think I’ll cut as many 3″ squares as I can and see if there’s enough to make a Christmas teddy for Nia. 🙂I have a nagging feeling that I’m going to spend much of today trimming stuff…