Sunday, 5 July 2015

Again with the quilting.

One of the toughest parts of getting the quilt going was deciding how I was going to get that intricate pattern for the blank squares on to the fabric.  

First off, the pattern only showed half the design, so I had to do a mirror image and put them together.  That ordinarily wouldn't be a problem but for the hardware issues I have been having lately.  Once my main computer was repaired on Friday, no problem getting that done as you can see.

But, how do I transfer the design to the fabric?  I thought for a very long time before I made the quilt sandwich.  I decided that rather than the heat transfer or a chalk line drawing or even regular pencil or any other of the myriad ways people do this, I was going to go with the Press and Seal route.

I lay a nice smooth sheet of Glad Press and Seal wrap, the kind that tacks to itself, over the pattern sheet I made, and trace the desing with a washable marker.  Then, I take the pattern paper off and simply press the Press and Seal to the fabric, making sure that the square corner matches.  And off I go.

 One of the lines is a little off, but this quilt, a lot is just slightly off.  It will be fine.  You see how there appear to be little flowing wrinkles in the fabric above the flowers?  The fabric is adhered just slightly to the tacky wrap.  It absolutely stayed in place through the whole process.

 All stitched with the wrap on

 And with the wrap removed. If you see tiny bits of blue, those are tiny tiny bits of the plastic that I did not come off when I removed the wrap.  You do have to work a little to get it all off, but I think it's well worth it.  The rest of this process was just so easy and quick.  Any bits that remain at the end of the quilting will disappear in the wash.

Only one small problem.  I oriented the embroidered fan the same way that the pieced fan sat.

As you can clearly see, that is not how the pattern shows it.  I was about half done when I realized my error, and had to have a little time out while I thought about what to do.  I decided to complete the square as is but the rest of the squares are going to be laid on correctly so that the lovely v shape that spans pieced and embroidered squares can happen.  

Its not a perfect solution, but I have always considered perfection highly overrated.  The point, as ever, for me, is the learning, the act of making it, and the joy of using something you made with your own hands.  

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Beginning Joy

The quilting has begun. 

I don't know how anyone could bear to send this step out to have a machine do it.

How could you bear handing off the puffing to a stranger?  Or a machine?

I've quilted before.  Simple things.  I made quilts for the boys a couple time through the years, because even my amateurish work was better than store bought quilts in the late 80's.  That was the era of the tricot blankie.  The outer fabric fell apart after a few years and the batting?  What batting? I quilted because no matter how bad I did, I knew the boys would be warm.  They were not pieced work, and the quilting designs came from the patterns on the fabric. Simple, simple blankets.

What I don't ever remember is getting this kind of thrill before.  A lot of it has to do with the ability to take my time.  There isn't any rush to get this done till it gets cold in the fall.  Let's say late September.  I can think while I sew and contemplate all manner of things. 

If you don't look closely, this looks fantastic.  You do have to look past the uneven stitches and past the way that the one pink section doesn't quite make it to the blue like it ought to. It is my secret affair of 20 years and  I am having the most amazing love in with this quilt.

This is square one of row one of 64 squares.  This is also the easy square where the work to be done is laid out right in front of me.  I completely expect that by the time all 8 of the pieced squares and 8 plain squares of the first two rows are all stitched and done, that I will rue the day I thought I should do a quilt this complex by hand and will be dreaming that I had a long arm machine to do it on. 

Yeah, I am pretty sure that the day will come where all the quilting and hand stitching is going to be driving me batty but for now, for just this moment in time, I absolutely love what I am doing.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

All things considered

It's funny how just a bit of knitting here and there for a few days in a row, can get big project off the needles.

I still have a crochet edging to do around the fronts and the ties to do, but the knitting is done!  No particular pattern, but inspired by all the crossover front sweaters that were being knit a few years ago.  Its a classic shape that works nicely for me. 

I started this in May of 2013.  Two years and a thousand lifetimes ago. I cried a little when I realised that.  It was started just before everything began.  Days, by my reckoning. I think I must have begun it when Brian was out fishing with his dad and his brothers.  I had hoped to have it finished for a niece's wedding in late July, but by late July...well, that is a story already told. 

I'm pretty pleased.  Its a good piece that will fit with my entire wardrobe, dressy enough closed but laid back and just the right kind of casual open. 

I think the next up is going to be a Lipstick from  Joji Locatelli.  I am not 100 % set on the yarn choice yet.  There is a lovely rich red Ultra Alpaca and there is also a deep forest dark Mission Falls 1824 Wool .  There are numerous other possible yarns in my stash that would look lovely in this pattern, some Madelintosh Tosh DK, Some Elann Sierra Aran.  There are several possibilities of Cascade 220 and to top it off, there is at least one really good choice for it in the cottons bin.  maybe two.

I have finished a project, I have the next in  the planning stage, I have little things to knit on, and I have that quilt to quilt (started that today, but that will be a post for another day) so there is no reason to rush.   

All things considered, its pretty darn good,