Ah, the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2. It’s a finicky beast, to be sure. I’ve owned mine now for a little over a month, and I’m on the fence as to whether it’s the best thing since sliced bread or a very expensive error.
One day, I will totally follow through with my intention to start making Christmas presents early and finish them on time. However, Christmas 2014 was no break from my usual tradition of being up in the wee small hours of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day frantically trying to finish making something, and I didn’t manage to finish anything like the amount of things I wanted to make. That’s par for the course too, and a “tradition” I’d really like to give up!
I’ve managed to get very little done recently. Partly because I’ve had nowhere to set up a sewing machine and partly because all my sewing machines seem to be in various stages of death. Mum’s Huskystar, which has been my principle machine for at least a year, got caught in a plumbing leak we had and was found sitting in a puddle of water. I took it to my trusty sewing machine repair man and he worked minor miracles to clean out the rust and get it working again (fortunately it’s a purely mechanical machine), but when I came to use it at Quilt Club I found that the tension seemed to be all over the place, it was not sounding completely right, and then a screw fell out while I was doing a bit of free-motion quilting on the border. Ack. And Toby’s quilt is now partially quilted but I think I’m going to have to rip it all out and start again because the back is a nightmare of loops. I’m going to take it back to Mr Knight to see if anything can be done to salvage it (again!). But that’s ok, I thought – I have my cheap-ass AEG machine that I bought in Germany! It’s been serviced and sorted after I accidentally nadgered it, let’s see how that works out. It won’t FMQ (can’t drop the feed dogs), but maybe I can make a start on piecing Jess’s quilt!
When I entered the Pembrokeshire Country Show, at pretty much the last possible minute, I had more ideas than actual finished articles. I knew I wanted to do the two baby quilts for the patchwork quilt class, and had high hopes of finishing off mum’s door curtain and making up a new bag to enter into the patchwork items class, so I paid for two entries for each class and set to. Continue reading Creative Oozings #21 – Joining the Japan Fan Club
I love batik fabrics, and had collected quite a few batik fat quarters with no specific plan for what to do with them. With my sister’s baby due at the end of August, I decided to use my batik pretties to make a quilt for the new baby. The advantage of my batik collection is that it isn’t particularly male or female oriented; a bonus because the gender of the baby was going to be a surprise! To make sure I actually got on and finished it in good time, I also planned to enter it into the Pembrokeshire County Show. I took a week “off” from editing to concentrate on finishing this quilt and the Birds and Bees quilt. (I had hopes of making some other things too, but underestimated how much work even two smallish quilts would be for a comparative quilting novice!)
I’d taken a great fancy to the Sparkle Punch quilt on the Oh Fransson blog, and thought it would look very well with a vibrant selection of batiks. I bought a few more fabrics to round out my colour palette, and decided on the size of my squares to make up the stars. Continue reading Creative Oozings #19 – A Crafting Holiday: Star Baby Quilt
Long time, no post. Not because I haven’t been doing things, more because I’ve not stopped doing things. August and September have seen several completed quilty bits, several shows of varying sizes, and a new member of the family, among other things. It’s not been dull!
Below are some sneak peeks of things I’ve made over the last couple of months; I’ll add links to the specific posts as I write them.
I’m a member on Craftster, and while browsing around on there the other day, I spotted the Challenge Section for the first time and the upcoming challege – 100 things – caught my eye. Some time ago, I’d been reading the blog over on Oh Fransson and had admired her Postage Stamp tutorial. 100 things, I decided, could *definitely* be 100 squares of fabric!
What do you do when you’re house/dog-sitting for a fortnight? Spend it sewing, of course. I’d intended to make some progress on some of my many on-going projects, but ended up making the blue messenger bag as a birthday present for my cousin’s wife and a table runner for my aunt instead (which I only finished binding about half an hour before they got back from their holiday).
Pretty chuffed with how they came out. Especially the letter on the bag, which I’ve never done before and made up as I went. Apart from not being central (aaaaaaaargh, how did I manage that?!), it looks like an A and I’m very glad she doesn’t have a name that starts with something difficult, like a B or a Q!
My new embroidery foot showed up recently and I finally got a chance to wield it; first on some test scraps and then, finally, on my rainbow Bargello! It was quite a challenge to keep the machine running at a sensible speed – fast enough to make nice stitches but not so fast that I couldn’t keep up and feared for my fingers – and there are a few places where I found myself in a quilting cul-de-sac and panicked, but all in all I’m quite pleased with how it came out and with the rainbow variegated thread I chose. I think it really works well with the rest of the quilt top.
The top is now neatly trimmed and just needs the binding to be a completed quilt! However, I’ve run into a fabric-shortage problem with the binding, and it’s entirely self-inflicted. I’d been to Annie’s to pick up assorted fabrics to finish off a couple of projects, including binding for the Bargello. After measuring and doing some very generous calculations, I ended up with almost a metre of dark red-orange fabric to use, which was more than enough for my needs. Unfortunately, I’d been tempted by a FQ pack of five blue-and-white Japanese prints on eBay, and after they somehow found their way through the front door I immediately launched into making a bag with them. Initially I’d had my eye on a different fabric to use as the lining, but it became apparent that it really wasn’t a good match, whereas the red-orange solid fabric I’d bought for binding was just perfect. The fabric had spoken, so I cut up what I needed for the bag and then cut the remainder into 2 1/4″ strips to bind the Bargello. It probably says a lot about how much fabric I bought that, even after using a lot in the bag, I’m only about 24″ short for the binding of the Bargello! It’s frustrating to be so close and yet so far, but it will just have to wait until I can get more.