Sunday, 7 April 2013
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Online… But Am I?
The emails are now up and running, in a new formatted outlook to the one I am used to, so a bit of educating on my feet is being done to accustom myself to it.
What about the rest of me?
Well the chronic back pain and hip agony have proved too much to handle without extra medication. The Dr has up’d my dosage on the Gabapentin by the same again as I was taking. The result?
Still in pain, but I can sleep 20 hours out of 24! Which is great if you are Ripvanwhinkle, but I’m not, I’m a mummy to two active toddlers’s and can’t be spending my time in my bed. The quilts don’t get made whilst I am asleep, nor to the clothes for the little ones either! The dress I want to make for my birthday dinner isn’t underway either! Hrumphj!
With two running about until gone 2100 and a back that screams blue murder at the mere thought of doing some house work, it is nigh on impossible to get anything done to a standard that I find acceptable.
Well as it stands, I have two new born. Neo-natal quilts done and ready to add to the pile I’ve accumulated here. I do also have some lovely table cloths that are ripe for the cutting table and set to be reassembled into another neo-natal quilt. The photographs will be added at the end of this entry.
So in all fairness, I have done some things, the kitchen floor is gleaming and the house smell’s of bleach (a lovely clean aroma that allows me to believe the house to be a clean one!). Both babies are in bed, and the youngest is now not climbing out and running riot about the house. It takes time and a voice that can command an army, but we get there.
Is this home a failing one? Maybe in some respects, but in the reality of the situation? No, it is a functional home that has laughter and tantrum’s as much as any other. Oh, and a month of birthdays!
April is an expensive time in our family, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t’ enjoy it. I am 40 as is my twin, Mother is 70, Sian is 13, Devin is 2 and my Nephew Harry is £15. All needing presents that mean something to them.
What can little money and a home filled with fabric buy? Well clearly nothing! It’s all home made and from the heart!
Take care and I hope that your April Fool, was a Happy Fool
Thursday, 28 March 2013
What did we do prior to the internet and emails?
Well, I wouldn't be accessing friends blogs across the globe that's for starters. Indeed we wouldn't be friends at all! Strange to think that this world has become so incredibly small. With the advent of fast air travel, the size had decreased, but not incredibly. Now I can chat live time, to friends in New Zealand - quite literally the opposite side of the globe from me.
We have now got the opportunity to learn about other cultures in our own homes. The knowledge at our finger tips is phenomenal. Ignorance is no excuse anymore. When I begin my degree, I won't have to spend hours in the library researching, I can turn on the PC, and log onto what ever provider I chose, and read.
However, when it doesn't work what do we do?
We get angry, frustrated, lonely, and we grieve!
What on earth is wrong with us? We expect this 'animal' to be continuous, 100% all ours and with no gliches what so ever.
Right now, with a new pc, I can not get access to my emails from two accounts. I've got emails there that I need access to. The frustrating part for me? My partner is an IT engineer and can sort it out with a flick of the mouse. Why hasn't he done this? He will say he was looking after the kids... whilst sat on his laptop watching You Tube? LOL
So the reality is, I rely upon the internet animal 100% of the time. Right now it's 2300 and any normal person would be in bed, chilling out, trying to calm down from a busy day and getting refreshed for another. Now I have this animal that will work with me 24/7, I expect myself to be able to do so. I can't, something has to give - and with me it's my body that's telling a tale.
So I'll sign off, do a bit of sewing of the latest newborn quilt and off to beddy boes for me.
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Not a Holiday!
We haven't been away anywhere, nor have I been taking a sabbatical.
I had a new PC delivered, (one that was meant to be a whole world quieter than my 'old' one) though it is most definitely quicker, it is just as loud... :-(
hrumph... though the sewing machine has been working, it's not been working on quilts... the one that was in progress had an argument with some Pepsi and lost... a quick hand wash seem's to have worked the evil out, but I'll only be able to tell 100% when it's back together.
So for now, I sign off, try to regroup and get the blocks started again
Friday, 8 March 2013
The Smallest Quilt
You can most likely see a cross in the bias fabric on the top edge.
This is where I have folded and ironed the bias where the two ends will meet. (I use an Antex Mini Iron as you can see above the quilts top edge).
With the end’s folded like this, the diagonal edge will be less conspicuous than a straight edge. I don’t know why it is so, but it works so I stick to it.
I unpinned the entire top edge’s bias, and sewed the two ends together using the same colour thread as I will use when sewing the bias to the quilt.
After sewing them I trim the ends down to 1/4 “ and fold outwards. Then I lop off the little triangles that show above the bias seam.
|The two ends folded and mini ironed into place to form a neat line as a guide|
|This shows the edges sewn together|
|Close up of the sewn edges|
My Antex Mini Iron, one thing I wouldn’t be without. Not only is it cheaper than the clover iron, it is just as usable, and if you do come across with a problem, no matter how small, they will gladly have your’s back for testing and fixing, no charge!
Above you can see the Silver making good the seam’s on the quilt. Not only that though! You can also see my newly manicured nails!!!
Above you can see the binding and decorative stitching to cover the line left over from the bias being sewn down. I don’t worry about invisible stitching as I like to have the decorative stitching all round the quilts as it leaves it with more substance and less likely for any stray edges/seams to unravel!
The above picture shows the quilt in action. The ‘baby’ is called Annabelle, and can be purchased through most good toy shops ;-)
This quilt will suit a pram, crib, bouncer, moses basket, a Pram crib, or anything of that size. If you wanted I can put Heat’n’bond vinyl on one side to make it a change mat and blanket in one. Or I can do a blanket and change mat to match with vinyl on both sides. This of course does add a fair sum to the item as it is currently retailing at £8+ per half metre (23cmx43cm)
Pattern and Tutorial
Proof that I haven’t been off galavanting somewhere having a whale of a time. No indeed I have been putting bit’s of cut up fabric together and making them into one coherent whole. Furthermore, I’ve been creating my own Bias Binding to add a very personal touch to anything I make.
The last part is the most time consuming because of the amount of measuring, drawing, re-measuring, cutting, sewing... Oh the list goes on, but the end result is one that always pleases.
The former is the Jam to the toast. Finding fabric’s in little bits and then using a blade and ruler to cut into littler bits, then the Silver to sew them back together in a different way that produces some very dramatic quilts, throw’s, cushions or just fabric.
The neo-natal blankets have very little quilting on, for a very good reason. The little ones that are under these blankets are very small, and very delicate, too much stitch work will make the fabric less pliable and too stiff for the little ones. They need to be held with cotton puff hands, and these blankets allow that to happen. The plan is, that I will get some ‘volunteers’ to try the pattern out first.
Once their feedback is in and error’s rectified, the pattern will be published and ready for selling. I am in negotiations with fabric retailers with respect to fabrics used for the patterns and potentially I may be able to put the pattern and fabric together in a kit. Though not pre-cut unless the demand for a pre-cut kit is great.
I am making them at a slow pace right now as I am clearing up mistakes within the planning stage as I go. I think I could be better placed using my time doing it in an ordered fashion, but as I am a total novice at this type of thing I really am walking blind.
If any of you can suggest a method that may work to have more done a week,( because, let’s face it, the blankets aren’t huge!), Please get in touch
Well, that is for the home grown Bias. Because I enjoy making it so much, I can’t keep my enthusiasm to myself! As long as you have a decent enough fabric, not thin and flimsy, you can make stunning bias. I use my cutting mat, rotary cutter and mini iron (Antex) to the best effects.
Watch this space for the tutorial in written form. I will be posting a video of the methodology and practice as soon as I can convince my Darling Other Half that he wants to do it!
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
This week at my quilting and patchwork class we started our next phase in bag construction. I have made bags in the past and knew that what ever I chose it had to be something that I would use or it would be a pointless exercise!
The previous bag was our board and rotary set bag. As my board is a double A3 one the bag had to be large enough to cope with that and the 24" ruler that I use. I chose a white linen (hind sight say's that was a foolish colour for a bag, but then hind sight is always 20/20), the linen was folded in quarters, and I kept them together in that configuration to maintain the thickness and bulk that I wanted in order to prevent any points from poking out and stabbing anyone.
On one outer side there is a Bargello panel, which I constructed using bluey/pink batik's. They are stunning together, and all the women have commented on their vibrancy. Me being the eternal cream bean isn't too sure when it comes to bold and bright's, but if the rest of the opinions are in favour, then I can live with it.
The other outer edge has a four patch of foundation pieced log cabin. Now these are white and bluey hues, though nothing bright. Subtle but strong also. The log cabin squares were a joy to put together. For some reason I really enjoyed them, and found them to be amongst one of the easiest patchwork pieces yet. Indeed, I have enjoyed it so much that I have made several Mug Mat's to keep me busy!
Now on the inside of the bag -
Instead of using the white linen, I stumped for another panel of linen style fabric, this time in a deep Christmas Green. On this panel was a Seminole strip applied to hold the ruler, and another patch that was made using a chevron effect for the rotary ruler.
The pattern wasn't exactly clear when the zip insertion was being described, however, I followed the instructions as I read them and think that the result is the correct method. Though, I didn't have two zip's that were the correct length and correct manufacture. Now I have found two (infact one of the same as the one sewn in place just a slightly different colour and two) the same colour just slightly shorter in length, the task of checking and double checking, measuring and re-measuring will commence and I can then put that project behind me. That one was not one that I really enjoyed in totality. The end result wasn't clear, we wanted an all round bag that had a centre, and then had pockets going round the out side of the bag.
Moreover, now that I have completed several bags, (there are more that I have done, they just don't need mentioning here) the task of putting a pattern together and creating my own bag isn't as daunting as previously feared!
The bag that we started this week - some last week, but I just wasn't in the sewing mojo, was for me a simple tote type bag, but it has huge hips. When you see the picture's you will understand. She has a pin thin waist and large hips. The pattern called for upholstery fabric to be used due to it's strength. Of course I didn't have the upholstery fabric that was what I wanted. The fabric I had chosen was a fat quarter bundle that I purchased off EBid a long time ago. They are by Moda from a lovely collection using creamy yellows and pinks, lovely florals that I wouldn't have necessarily used for my own purpose, but, I am for some reason becoming more er feminine!
This is the finished product, even though I had to re-jig the fabric's as I'd only taken Fat Quarter's to class and the pattern called for 1/2 meter's, the end item is actually very pleasing. I like it, as did my partner and my children! That is all that counts really isn't it?
Because I didn't use upholstery fabric, the bag would have been very sloppy with no thick interfacing. To avoid this and to keep the fabric very clean, I decided to use the heat'n'bond Vinyl on the outside. This added the stability that the bag required and it actually looks very dapper. The oil cloth bag's are very 'en vogue' here right now. Kath Kidson has paved the way with her delightful floral fabric being OIL'ed and made into hand bags. From Ikea to the World! humble beginnings can turn out to be the best advertisements it turns out.
This project was supposed to last us a few weeks I think - actually it was to last us until the end of the term. There I am steamed through the time and done it in two days! Oops. Well I guess that then lends me the time to get on with the bag AND the baby quilts.
I have put together two so far, used a template/pattern of my own and used a soft fleece (non-piling) for the back. Because these are so thin, they are suitable for newborn babies. Any thicker and they would be too warm for the little ones as they have no real ability to regulate their temperature.
The top two are the green girl's quilt, which is big enough for a Cotbed. This one is backed with a lovely berry red fleece, and the bottom two are for a none gender specific recipient. I used Moda, fabric's of my own dying and other manufacturer's. They all go together very well and suit the back which is a lovely baby blue colour. This one went to a baby boy who had decided to come out to Mummy a few weeks early. He was 4lb odd when he came home a few weeks after being born, but is said to be doing very well, as is Mummy.
On the note of babies, both mine are now nicely tucked into their beds/cot, so the after hours mummy task's must now be completed. Packed lunches made, kitchen washed down, lounge de-toddlered, so on and so forth... any other mother know's what I mean ;-)
With this in mind, I bid you all fare well and will hopefully see you sooner than later, depending on how the bag and quilt turns out x
Take care of you and yours