….August?!

My last post was in August?!?!  Good grief.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Not that I have been slothful for the last four months, far from it, but I’ve been slothful about posting about my crafty activities.  My bad.  🙁  I’m going to do few catch-up posts to share what I’ve been up to craft-wise while I’ve been failing to blog, so this is part 1 of n, in which n is likely to be 4 or 5, given that some of my projects really do deserve posts of their own.  😉

To make a start, I’m still working on my hexagons project – as well as all the pretty hexies I received, I’m in the process of making a bunch of my own, it’s a great activity for unwinding in front of the TV of an evening.  Here are some of the hexies I received from my swap partners, plus bonus fabric in many cases:

Cute, no?  Once I’d churned through the bonus fabric (some people, bless them, also sent bonus templates!), I cut a whole mess of squares from my own stash to “use up” the spare templates I had printed and cut out.  I’ve got over 300 hexies finished now, and the number’s set to grow before I’m “done”.  🙂  I have a sneaking suspicion that I could end up with a squares/templates arms race if I’m not careful.  😛  But it’s safe to say that I’ve really been bitten by the EPP bug now, as I’ll demonstrate soon with a project I am really proud of.  😉

However, the big news for the summer in craft terms was the completion of my second commission project, Blue Diamonds.

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It was great to see it finished and in its new home.  🙂  I finished it while sitting on dogs in Dorset (all those points means a lot of hand sewing of binding), then delivered it in person en route back to Wales (with a side trip to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, one day is never quite enough for that show!).

The lady I made the quilt for does a lot of crafting herself and kindly gave me some bits of blue-and-white fabric for my stash that were already cut into (rather approximate) squares.  In the theme of “pass it on”, I decided to use the fabric she gave me, plus a little from my own stash, to make up a little quilt top to donate to a friend who works for Project Linus:

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In a brief departure from quilting, I was seduced by a beautiful, untouched skein of a merino/silk blend yarn that I saw in a local charity shop for the comparatively bargain price of £3 (I looked up the yarn later online – it’s usually about three times that!).  The colour scheme was blues and greens and the yarn itself felt lovely and luxurious.  I do like yarn, but as a non-knitter I don’t often buy it because the nice stuff is usually expensive for an amateur like me to mangle.  Most of my previous efforts with yarn have ended in tears and swearing.  However, one skein seemed not too intimidating and I can use a crochet hook a bit, so I took it home with me and googled free crochet scarf patterns.  Happily, I quickly stumbled across a pattern for yarn that broadly resembled mine in appearance and weight and was also pretty straightforward for a novice hooker, the broomstick lace infinity scarf.  Bonus points for being an infinity scarf (a big barrier for me wearing scarves is dealing with the ends) and for pretty much only needing one stitch.  I tracked down a suitable crochet hook, pressed a short length of wooden dowel into service as my “broomstick” and set to!

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A few evenings of patient hooking (and one of untangling the horrid mess I made because I forgot to ball the yarn before I started!), and I had myself a lovely new scarf for the winter.  I love it a lot, it’s really nice to wear.  I made my scarf a bit longer because my yarn seemed to be slightly finer than that used in the tutorial, and I think I should also have made it a little wider, too.  There’s still not quite half the skein left, so I am debating whether I can figure out how to attach it to make the scarf a few units wider.

So here’s a start, I’m off to hunt down supper and write up some more project posts to share.  🙂  Expect part 2 of n soon!

Producing Produce Bags

I’m currently away on a dog-sitting mission in Dorset, so I couldn’t resist paying a visit to Hansons in Sturminster Newton.  It’s quite the Aladdin’s Cave of crafts!  I didn’t really have anything particular I was looking for (and when has that ever stopped anyone shopping anyway?), but in the back of my mind, I recalled the fund-raiser coffee morning for the Riding for the Disabled Association I’d been invited to by the local sewing group I joined last Monday.  Part of it will involve a tombola with bags as prizes, and when I saw some really great novelty fruit and veg prints, I had a bit of a *ping!* moment.

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How cool are these?  Definitely the kind of thing to use as the feature fabric on shopping bags, I thought.  A bit more rummaging and pondering and I came up with four toning solids and an earthy-looking brown blender (Makower’s Spraytime):

This, I felt, could become something.  I added a metre of cotton batting to the pile for good measure and proudly carried my finds home (after getting hopelessly lost in Blandford while looking for the vets).

After playing around a little with the numbers, I cut each of the novelty prints into two 10.5 x 19″ rectangles (the FQs were really generous!), attached them to each end of a rectangle of brown Spraytime, lightly quilted the result with straight lines, sewed up the sides and boxed the corners to make my outer bag.  The solids made very nice coordinating liners, and I finished the raw edges around the top with a binding of more brown and added brown handles.  It didn’t occur to me until I was part-way through bag #2, but the brown really does look like the nicest kind of soil, especially after I quilted it with brown variegated thread!  (No, I have no idea why I own brown variegated thread, but this weekend I was really glad that I did!).

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For variety, I quilted the print area with perpendicular straight lines – happily again I discovered that I (mostly) had coordinating thread suitable for each colour.  Yay for random purchases!

I think they look really neat as a set:

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In total, 12 FQs, 1.5m of brown Spraytime and 1m of wadding was just enough to make all four bags (it almost wasn’t when I messed up cutting the brown a bit, but luckily I managed to gather enough off-cuts to make binding and handles for all of them in the end). My plan is to donate two of them (probably the lemons and carrots) to the RDA coffee morning and keep the other two.  I’m really proud of how they came out.  🙂  I think I will also write up a tutorial/pattern for them (with slight size adjustments so they’ll be more US FQ friendly).  They’re pretty easy to make and I had a lot of fun with them.

Linking up with Monday Making and Sew Cute Tuesday as and when they go live.  🙂

Mug Rugs – Using Iron-On Vinyl

I love a good experiment!  I’m planning to make some items that I might want to use iron-on vinyl for, so I decided to order some and have a play with it to see what it can (and can’t) do.

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I wanted to test how it looks when applied to fabric with a metallic element, and I wanted to see if it could be successfully applied over already-quilted fabric.  Enter my test subjects, four 4″ quarter-square triangle blocks (which were themselves a test to see if I could make big enough QST units from 5″ charm squares for a different project – the answer was no!).

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I grabbed four more suitable charm squares for the backs and some scrap wadding, then quilted my four little quilt sandwiches with some simple straight-line quilting:

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Next, the vinyl!  It’s easy to cut – there are helpful guidelines on the paper backing.  The “sticky side” I found to be not actually that sticky, though that’s probably a good thing.  If it were really sticky, it would be more likely to stick irredeemably to itself or be harder to apply to the fabric without annoying bubbles. The instructions tell you to place the peeled-off protective paper onto the vinyl to protect it during pressing, although you might also need a couple of bits of ordinary printer paper to protect your iron and ironing board from little bits of plastic poking out from the edges, which you will get unless you’re some kind of ninja-genius with a pair of scissors and are only dealing with regular shapes.

It appears to work ok on quilted fabric, although a fair bit of pressure is needed to seal it really well into the quilted grooves.  The metallic red fabric looks better than I feared it would, though it has lost a bit of the sparkle effect.  I think that’s the effect of making the whole thing shiny – it “flattens” the shine that was already there.  Claims of durability were somewhat undermined by me scoring the vinyl quite easily with my thumbnail, although it was warm from the iron at the time.  When the vinyl had cooled, it did seem more resistant to scratches, though I don’t think I would choose to use it for anything that would experience serious abrasion.  I’m also not sure how much flexing it would handle without coming unstuck.

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Here are the four mug rugs all finished and bound, with vinyl on both sides of each mat.  I am not quite sure that I am completely sold on how it looks over the top of quilting, but it worked a lot better than I feared it might.  I am not completely sure whether I will use it for the project I’m planning, but I think I will definitely use it for other things, such as more coasters or place mats.  I like the idea of them being more easily wipe-able.  And at least now I have a set of unique coasters for my cups of tea in my craft room – I can almost hear my cutting mats breathing sighs of relief!

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And what’s the project that may or may not see the use of iron-on vinyl, you might ask?  Well…

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Oh yes!  I’ve seen a few examples of Amy Butler’s (in)famous Weekender bag around the place, I really like the look of it, and my sister needs a birthday present next month and her old overnight bag has died a death (heck, I don’t technically need one but I kind of want one for me, too).  My plan is to get hold of the firmest, sturdiest canvas I can find and then borrow Elizabeth Hartman’s quilt-as-you-go method, and I have spent some time tracking down helpful blog and forum posts to help me piece this beastie.  If my sister is very lucky, I may well use my RK Shimmer 2 bundle for her one!  I’m considering using the iron-on vinyl over the top of the quilted outer pocket panels and the underside of the bag to add a bit of protection and waterproofing (the rest will be fine with a good coating of scotchgard, I think), though I’m a little wary of how it will perform over a larger quilted area.  The pattern only arrived today, earlier than I feared it would, so I have a good amount of time to make it before my sister’s birthday in the middle of March.  Yay!

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and Needle ‘n’ Thread Thursday!  🙂

Foundation-Pieced Crane – Quilted!

Here’s what happened to the foundation-pieced crane I showed off in the last post:

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I rootled around in my stash and discovered some more postcard-themed fabric, which I used to set the crane on point, then gave it a border with some textured chocolate-coloured fabric to bring it up to a better size for a cushion.

For the actual quilting, I started by quilting in the ditch for all seams, then elected to try matchstick quilting for the first time, by following one edge of each polygon shape of the cream background fabric:

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I love-love-love how it looks and feels (as a chemist, it reminds me of crystal grain boundaries!), and it gives the crane some definition and dimensionality that it was lacking before quilting.  🙂

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I didn’t want to clutter the busy postcard fabric on the corners, so I ended up using some neutral grey thread to quilt around the postcard edges and stamps.  I’m very pleased with this – it gives a nice feel and look without weighing down the design or competing with the matchsticks in the centre.  Even if it did mean I had zillions of ends to bury on each corner!

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And here it is all together:

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Currently I’m auditioning fabric for the back of the cushion; I’m an idiot, so I don’t have quite enough of the blue and white postcard fabrics left to do an envelope back with them.  Something fairly neutral is called for, I think!  And I need to hunt down some nice buttons, too.  🙂

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and WIP Wednesday.  🙂

How Not to Do a Commission

Follow these hot tips for an authentically frustrating and stressful experience!

First, make sure the client is a friend of a family member – this means that backing out or saying “no” is that bit harder.  Oh, and they’re only paying for the materials, not your time.

Next, make sure the client has no idea what you do or how a quilt is constructed.  Ideally, they should also have no idea about size, colour or design and no apparent interest in discussing any of these points.

Lastly, time the commission so that it coincides perfectly with a really stressful event in your own life, such as a house move that falls through *after* you moved out of your old place.

Congratulations!  Now you’re all set for maximum hair-pulling and ARGH! moments!  😀

Grizzling aside, I think it actually came out ok:

These are also the only WIP shots I have of this quilt, since I only got re-united with my camera a few days ago.  I usually like to have a good progression of WIP pictures, but it simply wasn’t possible this time.  🙁  The brief was for a “king-size” quilt for a wedding at the end of August.  However, I couldn’t get any dimensions other than the standard measurements for a UK king-size mattress, which I based the size of the centre panel on.  And I did manage to eventually get a colour brief of “maybe blue, definitely NOT brown” and some fabric picks to work with.  I took it upon myself to throw in some cream-coloured fabric to warm things up a smidge.  Given the circumstances, I shamelessly chose the simplest design I could think of – rail fence with some sashing.  I think it actually took me longer to figure out how to sort out the sequence of 2″ squares around the centre than it did to piece the rails together.

With the borders, the quilt has ended up being approximately 80″ x 90″, so it’s a bit on the small size for a “proper” king-sized quilt, but there should be at least a bit of spare quilt to hang over the edge of the bed.  It’s also easily the largest thing I have quilted to date.  Nearly all of the construction and quilting was done while camping out for three weeks with my aunt and uncle, so I’m feeling like it’s lucky there’s a quilt at all.  Also, I now feel I very much owe my aunt and uncle a quilt too – this beast would never have reached the quilting stage if they hadn’t engineered a chance for me to borrow the floor of the local village hall to do the pin-basting on and let me take over half their dining table and living room with quilting stuffs.

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The rail-fence centre is quilted in straight lines, with some wavy lines courtesy of the pre-programmed stitches of the Pfaff.  Originally, it was all going to be only straight lines everywhere, but the cream border was crying out for something extra and luckily I’d bought some cream-coloured thread of exactly the right shade and weight, so I essayed a filler design of leaves to hold everything down and give it a necessary finished look.

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It came out pretty well, I think, and I discovered an important truth about leaves – they can be almost any shape at all, but if they have a sort of point and a mid-vein then they’ll look like a leaf!  I call this the “Quilter’s Fancy” Tree, aka the Lolwat? Vine.

It’s almost complete now – all that’s left is hand-finishing the binding, which I’m about half-way through already, and burying some thread ends from the quilting on the stripy outer edges.  And I should probably sort out some manner of label to add to the back, once I discover the names of the happy couple…

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social, Free-Motion Mavericks (when it goes live), Can I Get A Whoop Whoop (when it goes live), TGIFF (when it goes live; I ought to be done with the binding by then!)

Japan Fan Club – FINISHED!

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This is my proud face:  😀 😀 😀 😀  It’s taken over a year, but at last mum’s new Japanese-style door curtain is finished!  (Ummm, just in time for us to move out of the house it’s useful in, but oh well!)  It’s also well in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday and for the A Lovely Year of Finishes challenge for March.  🙂  Mum’s seen it in progress, but I’ve managed to keep most of the final quilting and finishing secret, so I don’t think she knows it’s done yet.Japan_Fans_FINISHED2_2

The backing is some fabric from mum’s stash, and was just the right size for this project.  Most of the quilting was done before the back was added, and only a small amount of in-the-ditch quilting around all the gold sashing was done afterwards to hold the sandwich together nicely and stop the backing flapping about a lot.  For this I used a gold-coloured (NOT metallic!) Aurifil on top and grey YLI soft touch in the bobbin, which has blended in really nicely with the back.  The top stitching all around the quilt was done with grey YLI soft touch and seems to have worked well, though it does show up quite a bit on the black areas.Japan_Fans_FINISHED_4

Now it’s done, there are a few things I think I would have done differently.  I’ve never done a turn-through backed quilt before, and if I did another then I would be wary of doing such dense quilting.  The quilt “pulled in” quite a bit because of the background quilting on the grey areas and that affected how flat (or not!) the quilt lies and made trimming it square tricky.  I should also really have done the foundation quilting in the ditches first, not last!  I did this for a reason – because I wanted to use that quilting to hold the three layers together – but in practice that was a bit of a silly way to do it!  The dense quilting really affected the squareness of the blocks and there was nothing much to brace against to mitigate the effect.  The backing worked out astonishingly well, though, and I’m very happy with how neat and square it is.

All in all, I am ever so pleased that this has come out looking even slightly like I imagined/hoped it would!  Fingers crossed mum likes it on Sunday and that it keeps many draughts away!  🙂

Linking up with TGIFF, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? and ALYoF!  😀

More FMQ, More Fans

I’VE FINISHED THE CLOUDS!!!Japan_Fans_1003_2

I decided to experiment with the tension some more, dropping it from 4.6 to 4.2 and then to 3.8.  Based on how the last few blocks look at that tension, I’d say 3.8 is a winner.  There seemed to be no adverse effects on the back, either; I hate it when my thread grows tension legs!

You can see (just about) that I’ve started doing some quilting on the red bits of the window frame.  It’s essentially a squared off, slanted zig-zag between the two seam lines.  I’m doing these free-motion and finding that straight lines and FMQ is an uneasy combination!  They’re quite wibbly.Japan_Fans_1003_3

I started off completely free-hand, no marking at all, which worked but was slow because I had to juggle FMQ and figuring out if I was going in approximately the right direction.  Then I remembered (and found!) my new water-erase fabric pen and decided to do some guidelines because I’m better at following a line.  And then discovered that, even with a pen, I can’t draw a straight line!  Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse about the not-straight FMQ lines.  It has made the FMQ go a bit quicker, though, and I’ve found an angle to work at that I can manage fairly well in all necessary directions; initially I was rotating the quilt around the needle at every corner and it was doing horrible things to both quilt and needle.Japan_Fans_1003_1

Despite the wobbles, I’m not going to start using a ruler or a walking foot for this – better if it’s ALL kind of wobbly and organic-looking rather than a mix of wobbly and machine-precise.  I’m pretending it’s wood grain!

Mum can’t see why I would want to do this free-motion rather than with a walking foot.  I tried and failed to explain the need for practice to achieve better control over the movement of the fabric and needle and thus better results in future.  I admit, this doesn’t look as amazing as I’d like it to look, but I’m not going to get any better if I don’t do more of it.

At this point, almost all the red on one curtain is done, my plan is to finish that off and then do the same on the black frames.  Then put the back and the hanging loops on, do some minimal in-the-ditch quilting around the frames to hold the whole lot together and it’ll be DONE!  In time for Mother’s Day on Sunday!  I can’t wait!

Linking up with Free Motion Mavericks, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Finished Things!!!

And on a more cheerful note, squee!  Finished things!  (That are gifts, as it happens.)

Reversible table runner

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We have here a table runner for my aunt and uncle; they came down for a quick visit the other weekend and I managed to finally get some binding on it and give it to them.

Below are the quilts for my cousin’s little boy and girl, which I’ve had in various states of almost finished for ages.  Finally I went on a binding spree and did them both when I had a quiet moment home alone.  And the next time I take it into my head to edge a quilt with black fabric, bind it with more black fabric and hand-finish the binding with black thread, I would like to have some sense slapped into me, please!  It’s basically impossible to do in anything other than natural light, and even then it’s a challenge.  but it’s DONE!!!

Coin Stack

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 Colourful Chevrons

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These have all been finished for a few weeks now, but I had to wait for a dry, calm, sunny day to take them out and photograph them (not to mention needing to brush all the wadding lint off the Coin Stack, which I only managed today).  At this time of year, in this part of Wales, such things are hard to come by!  I’m so glad to have these done and I have a follow-up quilt laid out on the floor now for a little brother or sister (due at the start of April).  It’s a straightforward Plus quilt so it should be quite quick to assemble – just a bunch of 5″ squares.

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(I’ve filled in the gaps and shifted one or two things around, but that’s the gist of it.) With any luck, I might manage to have it done by the time baby #3 appears and be able to give all three kids their quilts at the same time.

Linking up with TGIFF for the first time!  🙂

Japan Fan Club: The Pfaff QE 4.2, Metallic Thread and FMQ

It sounds like the beginning of a dodgy pub joke, doesn’t it?

The Pfaff QE 4.2, metallic thread and FMQ walk into a pub.  The landlord looks up and says, “Sorry, I don’t serve mangled anecdotes.”

Ahem.  Anyway.  I am pleased to report that not only am I finally getting to grips with my FMQ demons, I’m doing so with metallic thread!  And it is WORKING!Japan_Fans_0503_1

(Well, kind of.)

I’m trying to do a sort of stipple effect that replicates that swirly, stylised cloud look often seen on oriental drawings and prints, with mixed success.  Sometimes it comes out quite well, other times I get lost, trapped in a corner or my hands decide to move in a direction other than the one I had in mind.  And I definitely have quilting density issues.Cloud swirl close up

However, at least I’m managing to do FMQ without lots of skipped stitches and broken thread, which is a MASSIVE win for me.  I have had the odd skipped stitch, true, but on the rare occasion it’s happened I’ve felt it was my fault for moving the quilt at the wrong moment rather than weird Pfaff-diva strop behaviour over a wrong thread/needle combo.

Japan_Fans_0503_4Initially, I started off by using white cotton piecing thread in the bobbin and my metallic thread on top in a vague effort to be a bit thrifty with my pricey speciality thread.  It worked, ish, but the white thread made its presence known, especially at any point where I made a sudden change in direction and it was pulled through to the front by the top thread.  You can easily see the build-up of white thread on the pointy bits.  :s  Not great.  Despite fidgeting with pivot height, tension and even balance, I couldn’t eliminate this effect, so after doing (and arguably making a mess of) six blocks I tucked the whole lot away until I was in a mood to tackle it afresh.

After I signed up this project as my goal for the March ALYoF challenge at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts, I figured I’d better have another bash at it, so after polishing off some work this morning I pulled it all out, set up the Pfaff for FMQ, and got stuck in, this time with metallic thread in the bobbin as well as on top.  For any interested Pfaff owners looking for settings and pointers, here are the settings I used:Pfaff metallic FMQ settings

Feed dogs dropped, IDT system disengaged, and I’ve set up a personal stitch based on stitch 1 with the length set to 0 (because I found that if I used a pre-programmed stitch then the dratted thing kept resetting itself while I wasn’t looking) and no auto thread tie-off or cutting.  I’m using the new FMQ foot that Pfaff brought out recently, which feels like it’s doing a more competent job than the wider plastic one.  The needle I’m using is a Schmetz 80/12 metallic needle.The new Pfaff FMQ foot

You can see that I’m also using a straight-stitch plate (and have the corresponding setting enabled in the tools menu on the machine), and a Supreme Slider.  Oh, and I have a lil Teflon bobbin ring in there, too, that’s supposed to help stop thread nests.  And my wonderful (and wonderfully cheap at a whole £1.50!) FMQ gloves, without which I cannot grip and move the fabric effectively.Yes, theyre just light-weight gardening gloves!

Yes, they’re totally just light-weight work gloves, but they’re brilliant!  I’ve been reliably informed that thin cotton pimple-grip riding gloves work very well too.  Who needs to pay silly money for “special” quilting gloves?  😉

Basically, ALL of the FMQ gadget bases are covered!  I love the straight-stitch plate and can’t see it coming off the machine much – the Pfaff’s great at piecing anyway but this just makes it even better.  <3

Japan_Fans_0503_2With metallic thread also in the bobbin, the look is better.  I’m not convinced that the pull-through effect of the bobbin thread has been eliminated, though I think it is better with both threads the same.  And at least it’s much harder to detect now everything’s the same colour!

My muscle memory for the quilting pattern is improving the more I do it, though I’m finding that it’s quite an intensive process both mentally and physically, so I take little breaks often to loosen up.  I think my machine’s bed is a bit high relative to my seat height, but there isn’t a vast amount I can do about it at the moment.

Starting and ending with metallic thread

This stuff is seriously sproingy.  It honestly has a mind of its own, which makes it somewhat incompatible with the Pfaff’s built-in thread catching, tie-off and cutting features because of its irritating habit of coiling wilfully and never being in the right place at the right time.  Metallic thread has taught me about the importance of bringing both threads to the top and securing them before starting to sew in earnest, since I’d already had trouble with the metallic straight-line quilting.  It’s almost become second nature already.

Bringing the bobbin thread to the topTo bring the bobbin thread to the top, I position the needle where I want to start and use the handwheel to lower the needle to just above the fabric.  Making sure I have hold of the end of the needle thread, I give a couple of gentle taps on the pedal lower the needle and then raise it again, and a gentle pull brings up a loop of bobbin thread.  This can be easily caught and brought all the way through with the point of a seam ripper.  (Using my seam ripper for tasks other than seam ripping makes me very happy!)Japan_Fans_0503_5

Holding both threads, I sew slowly and do several very tiny stitches before setting off “properly”.  At the end of my quilting, I reverse the process to end the thread.  It’s a bit more wasteful of thread than the Pfaff’s own tie-off and cutting mechanisms, but more effective and neater.  I did have an oops moment fairly early on, though, when I managed to break a precious needle at the end of a quilting line:Japan_Fans_0503_9

I think I was pulling the needle thread too tightly and when I tapped the pedal to drop the needle, it hit the stitch plate and snapped.  I was furious with myself!  The second needle is faring better though, and I’ve completely done one curtain and am almost half-way through quilting the second. WOO!

Japan_Fans_0503_12After I’ve finished all the cloudy bits, I’ll need to decide what to do about the window frames (I think they will be quilted at least a bit, they look odd now next to the heavily quilted windows) and the back (attach next, or after more quilting?).  Decisions, decisions!  😀

Linking up to Free Motion Mavericks!

Baby Chevrons progress

HST blocksThese have been sitting around in a poly-bag for far too long, all trimmed and ready to go, so I finally got up the enthusiasm (and floor space!) to lay out, join and quilt them:Final arrangementThis is the final layout I decided on – a randomly mixed variant really wasn’t working for me.  Annoyingly, I found that I had two pink blocks too many and not enough greens, so I ended up remaking those two with a left-over blue charm square (thank goodness I saved the “spare” two) and reshuffled things a little so the colours flowed better.

I added borders of yellow polka-dots, and backed it with the same:With bordersI still don’t know what I think of these charm squares – they’re quite strange shades, really.  Very hard to match with anything.  But I’m very pleased I struck on this arrangement, it should be cute enough for a little girl.  🙂  Right now I’m most of the way through straight-line quilting it with some multicoloured variegated thread in similar soft colours and it’s looking really good!  More stuff to add to my “needs binding!” pile.  😉