Wednesday, 20 November 2013

My card reader didn't work so I got a new one.

Now I can show you how I prepped that horse.
 I did the mane and hooves first as they are behind or under the main body pieces.

 Each shape was traced onto freezer paper, then I ironed that piece onto two more layers (three in all) before ironing it to the wrong side of the fabric before cutting out with a scant 1/4" allowance.
I painted starch on the turn under allowance and used the tip of the iron to fold it over and iron the starch dry. I clipped the inner corners and any concave curves. I use an old bit of linen under the iron whilst I do this as it gets scorched and excess starch burns. It mostly washes out but it is easier than ruining your ironing board cover. I pulled the freezer paper out before using a glue stick to hold it in place.

It was easy to stitch down, with the exception of those ears....... I am getting better at hand work but it is taking it's time. As always put Perfect Marking pen in the little search box at the top left to find a pen you can use to mark your own background fabric.

 I bought The Art of Machine Piecing when it was first released years ago. I opened it, saw a few blocks were done with English paper piecing and felt a little cheated. It went on the shelf and not looked at again until this week. Stupid me! What I hadn't realised is that Sally Collins pieced all these blocks at three inches square. They are incredible and I am not sure I could ever reproduce them. I am in awe.
 Remember this is just 3"
And this. I bow down to her.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Gizmo and design?

Sometimes I cannot help myself and buy odd sewing implements just because. This 'just because' item is to mark the length of skirts for hemming.  You place it on the floor next to the worn skirt, squeeze the little puffer and a line of white chalk hits the skirt, then work your way round. Brilliant.

These two mugs are the same size, the same company and the same (ish design). It is odd I didn't notice the difference before (my set is in different colourways). My guess is the top one is the original and they lost the design and asked someone to copy it. Or perhaps they just sent the first one over to China and suggested they reproduce it. Or perhaps it was the other way round, perhaps the 2nd one was the original and someone in the factory said they could improve it a hundred fold. Who knows but this makes it easy for us to see how the traditional designs in quilting have changed over time.

I can imagine a woman going to a friends house, making a pencil sketch of her quilt and going home to copy the idea. This woman might have been a great designer and skilled stitcher herself and improved on the original or she might have just had her sketch to go by and did the best she could.

I have spent a lot of the last year looking at and analyzing old quilts. My first thoughts were perhaps the designs got watered down over time but perhaps, just perhaps it is the other way round.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sorry about that book!

I got mine for $5 US and there were quite a few about at that sort of price. It's a nice book to have but not the $60 plus it is going for now. Wait a while and the price will surely come down again.

In the book was a horse with a soldier on it. I cannot remember who now but someone from US history. I removed the rider and slimmed the horse down a bit (I think it still needs to go on a diet).
I prepared it last night and will treat myself to appliquing it down once I have finished the next row of half circles... I think I need to learn needle turn but thus far it hasn't suit my clumsy fingers.
I will do one facing it on the other side of this top border. I think it has ended up looking a little like a fairground pony with the flowers.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Great New To Me Book.

 I cannot remember where I saw this book recommended, another blog, Facebook, I don't know but I am grateful. It is full of designs for the various motifs used in applique. Just the thing for me, when I want to create something which 'could' have been designed well over a hundred years ago. ( I have who mentioned it, The Happy Appliquer, and you can find her post here)
 A random sample page.
 And another.

Not much has been happening on the quilting front. I hurt my back just before I went to the Autumn Quilt Show at the Malvern Showground. And two weeks later, it is better than it was but still a long way from good enough to sit and sew at my machine. I have done a little handwork but the prep work hurts...

 On the way home from shopping last weekend DH had hunger pangs so we stopped for afternoon tea.  I loved the little hand knitted tea cosies.
We had ordered carrot cake and fruit cake but when we saw these huge scones go to another table we changed our order. Clotted cream, warm scones and home made jam, heavenly.