Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dipping my toes into ... quilting ?

Another new kind of project. I've had it in the back of my mind that I'd like to make a quilt someday. Even got so far as cutting flannel remnants into squares. There's a pile sitting til there are enough to work with but up to now, that's it.

A couple of months ago a friend let me know her son and DIL were having a baby and the shower would be at the end of April. My current chat-along on PR goes from sewing to cooking to whatever life throws at us. Lately a couple of the ladies have been quilting and on a whim, I started googling baby quilts. The group was very encouraging and I soon found myself at a local quilting shop.

So, there's lots of pics to follow - I figure I'd document the whole process.
There were a few tutorials I found starting with this one...the inspiration
It was not quite the simple pattern I was looking for LOL but the half-way stage where it was just all squares seemed easy enough. All these instructions produced my quilt top.

I needed 6 fabrics - the lady in the shop was VERY helpful. A good thing since I was lost looking at walls full of fabric. It's one thing to pick one piece for a garment, quite another to pick SIX that go together! She helped me round out all the choices and put them in a good visual order. I did rearrange them a few times but like her original order the best. Go figure - experience knows best :-)

Choices - baby is supposed to be a girl, so girly-ish colours

Strips sewn together

3 strip blocks ready for slicing

Laying out for placement - each row will need the appropriate number of squares cut off one end and reattached at the other

Partway done - the rectangle is forming - the pieces hanging still need to be shifted

16 rows ready for seaming

Quilt top all seamed and pressed - at this point I was pretty pleased with myself.  Little did I know what was to come !

Next up - a trip for batting and backing. This is 1/4 size with everything all just folded over - gave me a good indication of the end product.

All 3 layers cut to size and ready for pinning/basting

Pinning went quicker than I thought but by the time I was finished there was a pin in every square. I had no idea if this was enough or if it was overkill, but this is where I decided to go ahead and start quilting.

Thinking about the actual quilting I pretty much decided on my own to just stitch all the seams 'in the ditch'. I did find a site full of information. That link goes to the instructions for actually doing the quilting.

Here I go - walking foot attached, thread picked, tested on a small sample - good to go...
um, not so much ... whaaat the heck ? Isn't this what the walking foot is supposed to PREVENT !?
a 1/2" tuck at the end of the seam...

A horrible drag the entire length of the seam !

...and a close-up of the stitching (proper tension and stitch length is at the bottom left, but just look a the variation all along the seam. And the part where the stitches are tiny is horrible !)

It took me about 5 days to figure out the problem. Multiple machines, all possible settings, different presser feet - yikes ! Finally I found a few forums talking about defective walking feet. Turns out they sometimes get stuck and can use oiling. I drenched the darn thing in oil and left it for a day. Tried again - still dragging. Drenched it again and tried later. The oiling helped and as long as I sewed really slowly it worked.

Half done

All done

No dragging, no tucks - so far, so good.

I didn't want to do separate binding. There were a few websites I found where you just cut the backing larger and fold it to the front for the binding. This is the one I used...Binding

Turning and pinning went quickly

This way of doing the mitered corners was really easy.

and looked good too :-)

All pinned

...and sewn - heading to the washer

Done and ready to wrap !

So, my first quilt was an all round success - done on time and new parents liked it.

What am I doing now ? Planning another one (this one only used half the fabric)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another addition to the hobby list

edit to add link to soap recipe -  Down To Earth - Cold Processed Soap V2

If I wait much longer to do a catch-up post you'll likely never hear from me again LOL.

So, as I get pics of my fabric and makes from this year I'll post and mention them.  Other than that, I'd just better keep going...

A couple of years ago, I found a few simple living blogs/forums and they piqued my interest. Since then, I've made some changes to my household products, starting with the laundry stuff. Making bar soap ended up on my radar, but working with lye kinda freaked me out made me think twice and I put it off for a bit.

Over the summer, I started collecting ingredients and supplies. Last Monday was the day. The dogs were locked out of the kitchen, I collected everything and gave it a go.
Seems to have worked out ok...they have to cure for about 6 weeks though, so I won't really know til then.   Here are the results...

Just started to unmold them. The silicone molds worked great. The plastic lining in the plastic Rubbermaid container worked, but it isn't a smooth-edged loaf by any means.

Deciding how many pieces to cut the loaf...big pieces, or small?

There's a shadow in the loaf, apparently ok and will/should go away as they cure.

I cut the loaf into 18 relatively small pieces. Ended up with 29 pieces in total, ranging from 1.6 to 3.3 oz. the larger muffin cups were all over 3oz., the smaller ones were about 2oz. The loaf?  Well, let's hope my cutting gets a bit more accurate as I go on LOL

Friday, July 25, 2014

Still Here

I guess dropping off the radar after the last post wasn't the best thing.

Thanks to everyone who checked up on me. It was really appreciated.

Truth to tell, I was mostly ok just seemed to lose the blogging mojo. Actually I lost a bunch of mojo - you know when you just seem overwhelmed in your head and don't get started at all. That's where I was. So many things I wanted to do but thinking too much and never really got started...or got started and stopped.

Been thinking about a blog post for a while, but after putting it off and putting it off, where do you begin ? Start fresh or catch up ?......or do nothing.

I've been sewing, knitting, even reading my blog list although not commenting much because I've just been so far behind ... all the usual stuff to some degree. I just haven't been overly visible on-line.

OK, lets just do a couple of posts to get back into it.

When I got back from New Brunswick after Christmas, I found a new toy from hubby under the tree...

Brother 3034D - Sooo different from my old Singer, sooo easy to set up and use, I needed a project - quick !

The serger came with a lesson - a trip to Club Tissus to sign up for it produced the Jalie hoodie pattern 2911 and a red/grey stripe jersey.

No idea why it took hold so quickly but I wanted that hoodie NOW! LOL But I didn't want to ruin it so I had to make a muslin. Heavy-ish brown jersey muslin and striped version both made within 3 weeks

Love 'em both, and I was off and running.

When PR Weekend Austin was announced I decided I was going. My last PR Weekend in 2010 I wore only RTW - not this time. I planned a whole wardrobe - LOL deluded much ? I did get 2 new items finished...

Vogue 1247 - I really wanted to make the skirt too but it's still not done yet.

Vogue 1250 - Gaylen of gMarie Sews sent me the pattern for this. Thanks g !!! Today there are 292 reviews on PR. My review, once I get to it probably won't add much.

PR Weekend was amazing, I tacked on a day at either end and spent some quality time with Connie who did the same. It was a great time and I met some really wonderful ladies !  Next year LA...I'm planning already.

Daniel Esquivel (from Project Runway) gave a talk Friday morning.

Lots of Twitter & Facebook posts LOL

Pattern Swap

Puppy fix - This little girl was just too adorable and lovey not to cuddle !

Still need to take pics of the purchases and the travel project so I'll stop here for now.