Thursday, 19 March 2015

Hands to Help Quilt Challenge - Sign Ups Open

I have got hold of so much free/cheap fabric recently, I am keen to make something good with it but I have a real hang up about the things I make being useful. I hate the idea of making endless quilts with no idea of a recipient. Solution? Make one for a charity! There are three charities benefiting from this challenge and I am aiming for one helping chemotherapy patients. To read all about each of them see this post on Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

She is encouraging international participants and there are two options to deal with costly shipping. 
1. You post her just your front and back and she quilts it for you. 
2. You give to a local charity other than one of the three main ones - so a hospice or other charity close to you could benefit!

Reasons to take part? Apart from the general feeling of good will and the chance to show off your sewing skills, there will be lots of giveaways with great sponsors and discount codes for fabric shops. 

Click on the image above to read more and sign up!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Patchwork By Machine and Hand

The cover for my Japanese sewing machine ( a borrowed Janome) was quite pale and mellow.
Sewing Machine cover
I left that one with the machine so when my new Singer arrived I needed to whip up something new. I have been quite affected by the beige-y neutralness of the temporary flat so, with our boxes having arrived from the UK, I unearthed a pack of 20 Kaffe Fassett charm squares I'd had for a while.
The 20 squares were only enough for the top and front so for the sides I used "Dysfunctional Family" by Michael Miller.
Side - dysfunctional family fabric
For the back I used a similar black and white print, although it is about sewing!
There's a great thought bubble near the bottom:
"Look at the way she's dressed. She must be throwing Harry's money around."
Except of course it turns out she made her dress herself. Tsk!

My machine came with an embroidery foot so I decided to try a bit of machine embroidery again.
Detail of machone embroidered pebble pattern
Pebbles have always been my favourite pattern so a stream of them go across the top and down the front. I also tried some writing on the top.
Not great but a useful bit of practice.

While digging around in the storage unit I found the quilt I started aaaaaaaages ago for my Mum. All the pieces - hexagons and diamonds - are ready so now it is a case of laying them out and sewing them together. I've started at the bottom which is just hexagons, and this is the biggest bit so far.
Blue Hexagon Patchwork
The challenge is going to be deciding the layout of the rest. There must easily be 50 different fabrics involved with low value neutrals as well as blues so I'll need to go back to my original drawings and see if I can work out what should go where.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Aligning Edges and Corners

Getting points to match in patchwork tends to be something that happens to other people rather than myself. Give me EPP type stuff and I am excellent, but machine piece some patchwork and it all goes Pete Tong.
 Red and Yellow Patchwork
I did read about a way of getting it right about a year ago but didn't re-read it before I got started. Had I done I would have realised you precut the squares, not just the strips, before ironing and sewing them.
Front of strip patchwork
Back of strip patchwork
Still, straighter than my usual efforts.

The reason for this strip sewing is that I am prototyping something to make for Etsy selling. I was hoping to get some regular income that way but as it turns out I've been sent the details of not one, but two jobs that sound ideal for me. I could yet end up working more or less full-time which will come as a bit of a shock after these 16 months of housewifery. My CV has been tweaked and hopefully I'll get something sorted out quite soon.

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