Sunday, 27 April 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014: week 17 and tension issues

April's colour for the RSC 14 is purple
I'm afraid I only have one addition to the purple family this week:

Jacob's Ladder in purple

I've been concentrating this week on getting the quilting done on my quilt for the Triangle Quilt Along at the Sassy Quilter. (Sorry, far to many "quilts" in one sentence!)

Last weekend I posted a quilting question and got so many helpful answers. On whether or not stitching in the ditch is necessary when doing an all over pattern the consensus is: NO! Thank you all who replied. I'm gradually working through writing replies individually. I'm sorry it's taking me so long.

Yesterday, however, I had a setback:

Tension issues
I had done about 2/3 of the quilting when I saw that there were problems with the tension. I had to unpick the quilting on a section about 3'x1'. The photo shows the situation about 6" from the end, but it had been a fairly gradual transition to this from looped top stitches only in bends. They all had to come out. Actually the bottom thread was easy to rip lying on the surface like this, but it was really a chore!

Do you know what causes this?

  • I couldn't see any problems with the thread either on top of the machine or on the bobbin.
  • It seems to have started about 2' from putting in the third bobbin, which I did after parking on the edge of the quilt and removing everything, including fluff, but not oiling (I oiled and fitted a new needle before I started yesterday) 
  • When I stopped to unpick the faulty threads there was an exceptional build-up of fluff round the bobbin.
  • After cleaning and reassembling (about 4 hours later) everything functioned normally on my practice scrap. I still have to try on the quilt.
I blame the fluff, but what caused so much more fluff than otherwise? The needle maybe, but there were no stitching problems later on the practice scrap. Only time will tell.
So I'm now going to continue, but now stop after an hour to check the stitching, the bobbin and the fluff.

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

I'm linking up to Scraphappy for the RSC 14 and to
Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Mondays

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Preparing to quilt

At the moment I'm trying arrangements to make cushion covers from the triangles left from the triangle quilt. I don't really need cushions, and I'd rather make another quilt, a wall hanging this time, with big hexagons on a pale blue/grey background. 

But I do need to practise FMQ on the fabric used in this quilt. It's my version for the triangle quilt along at the Sassy Quilter.

May I pick your brains? If I do an allover pattern, swirls or ripples, do I need to stitch in the ditch first to stabilize? The quilt is 1.80 x 2.20m (approx 6 x 7') and I'll be quilting on my Bernina 440 QE, so there's an awful lot of quilt to fit in to the right of the needle. I shall be pinning the quilt sandwich together with safety pins.

I welcome your ideas on this.

I'm linking up to:
Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesdays and 
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social

Happy sewing


Sunday, 20 April 2014

No-waste Flying Geese

I have made flying geese units by flip and sew, and by Marti Michell's method using her templates and both require sewing along a bias edge, and cutting off triangles (wasting fabric). Then I found this in a McCall's tutorial

The no-waste Flying Geese


Step 1

You need one large square and four small squares in a contrasting colour.

Sorry, here comes the Maths ...

Calculate the sizes of the squares according to this formula:

large square (geese): length of finished unit + 1 1/4"
small squares (sky) : width of finished unit + 7/8"

Example: to make 4 identical flying geese with these measurements:
Length of finished unit: 3"
Width of finished unit: 1 1/2"  
you will need:
1 Large square (geese)  3 + 1 1/4" = 4 1/4"
4 Small squares (sky)  1 1/2 + 7/8"= 2 1/4"

**  If you'd prefer metric, click here for Vireya's metric maths.  **


Step 2

Draw a diagonal on the back of all the small squares

Step 3

Pin 2 of the small squares, right sides together, onto the large square, as show in the photo. Make sure that the two diagonal lines form a continuous line and that the corners of the squares are aligned precisely


Step 4

Sew 1/4 " on each side of the line.


Step 5 

Cut along the drawn line.


Step 6

Fold the small triangles back and press.


Step 7

Pin the remaining small squares to each of the units, as shown in the photo.


Step 8

Sew each side of the drawn line, as at step 4. The two units can be chained pieced.
Cut along the drawn lines, as at step 5

Step 9

Fold back the small triangles, press and cut off the dog ears.


Voilà. Four flying geese units

and a tiny pile of dog ears.

Linking up to Sew Many Ways: Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party.

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rainbow scrap challenge 2014: week 16

I am participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge where we make blocks on a specified colour each week. This month's colour is purple.

Production increased by 100% this week over last week!

Snowball and Dutchman's Puzzle
I was able to use the four flying geese units that I made the wrong way round a couple of weeks ago (see this post) in the Dutchman's puzzle block.
If you're interested in how I made the flying geese units  I'm putting a tutorial under the tutorials tab at the top of my blog, when I've worked out how.

I'm linking up to Soscrappy 
so hop over there to see what others have made for the challenge this week

Happy sewing,


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Triangle quilt along: top finished.

 This week has been a race against the clock. Finally I can report the piecing is finished. 

I positioned the triangles randomly. I did however make piles of one of each fabric and first place them on the design wall and swap them around a bit until I was satisfied. I was terrified of getting to the last row with a handful of identical triangles. So i guess that's controlled random!

rows pinned together:
not through the join, but close either side.
I have learnt a lot this week, but there is just one thing I'd like to share: 

  • When joining the rows I put a pin through the points, as  Paula at the Sassy Quilter suggested. 
  • Then I put a pin about 1/2" each side where there are fewer layers of fabric, and removed the first pin. 
I'd never pinned this way before, but found when I started joining the rows that the fabric was bunching up on the pin and distorting. This way the join stayed flat and was easier to lead under the foot.

This was a tip I saw last year in a McCall's video in the Sand and Surf project; sorry I don't remember which lesson! I had forgotten all about it, but it came in handy this afternoon.

I'm linking up to Paula at the Sassy Quilter for 

Happy sewing


Monday, 14 April 2014

On my design wall 14 April

I'm linking up on Wednesday 

This is on my design wall at the moment.  

rows 7 to 10 of the triangle quilt on Monday afternoon.

These are rows of my Triangle Quilt, for the Triangle Quilt Along at The Sassy Quilter. In the photo above the top two rows are completed and stitched together, the third row is almost completely pieced and the fourth partly. My design wall isn't wide enough for this single-bed size quilt, the patches at the ends keep falling off!

Detail of third and fourth row.

The first six rows are completed and have moved to the living room floor:

Another three rows will probably be enough, and then I'll be moving on to the borders.

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday and 
with Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Mondays.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Finish along Q2

In an effort to prioritise my projects I'm participating in the finish along hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle.

I think finishing the following 5 projects should be feasible

1. Triangle quilt:

I'm participating in the quilt along hosted by the Sassy Quilter, but making a single-bed sized quilt. I have just under 500 triangles cut. I was late starting sewing because I wasn't able to buy more fabric until Saturday but I'm hoping to catch up this week and, if I keep on schedule, should be finished by the end of April .

2. Jigsaw quilt: 

Jigsaw quilt pattern by Pam & Nicky Lintott
from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts
in Mmeropolitan Fair by Barbara Beckman for Moda
The top is finished, I have the wadding, but I still need to get backing fabric. I forgot to buy some when I was at the quilt show last weekend. This should be finished in May.

3. Celtic Solstice (Bonnie Hunter Mystery December 2013): 

The top is in four pieces (hence the labels), joined in rows, and has been since the second week in January! To make it ready for quilt-as-you go I just have to join the rows (at present they're webbed). I have both wadding and backing fabric. The problem is I now wonder if I could maybe quilt the whole single bed sized quilt in one go on my Bernina 440QE. Quilting the entire quilt in one go would enable me to try some more interesting quilting, maybe emphasizing the circles. This has to be decided and done, I hope before the end of June.

4. Cardigan

Back and both fronts and hopefully enough wool for both sleeves.
otherwise they'll have to be 3/4 sleeves.

which I started a couple of years ago, before Carpal Tunnel Syndrome forced me to stop knitting. When you can't knit one needle in one go, you know it's time to stop. After operations on both wrists last year I'm going to pick it up again. Now, where was I ...?

5. Toadstool House mini quilt:

I started this in a workshop on using the Apliquick: it was the piece for the workshop, but to be honest, it's not my thing. This is the first time I've started something and really lost interest very quickly. It's such a small thing, and most of it is cut and ready to appliqué, but until a few moments ago I was seriously considering scrapping it al together. But I don't like giving up, so here it is. This is going to be a real challenge to finish. Meanwhile I can be thinking what I'm going to do with it. Any ideas?

Happy sewing and fortuitous finishes


Rainbow Scrap Challenge week 15: purple

This is all for this week:

Depression block

and I only had to cut two triangles, all the rest were the cut-offs from the pieced binding I made for a purple quilt last year.

Now to see what other people have done for the Rainbow Challenge this week
hop over to Soscrappy.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Triangles on the design wall

Here are my first nine triangles for the triangle quilt along hosted by the Sassy Quilter. This week's assignment is sewing the rows; click here to see what others have done so far this week. Clearly everyone is much further than me; I'm still cutting and trying pieces out on the wall.

There are 33 more of each of these triangles (with the exception of the fourth from the left - cutting oops!) waiting to be included. 
I'm using the Marti Michell 6" equilateral triangle ruler, which gives a triangle side of 6" rather than a perpendicular 6", as other brands of ruler do. I got 11 triangles out of a WOF strip, but my triangles are slightly smaller than Paula's. Another difference I've discovered is that with the MM ruler, like all MM templates, all the corners are cut off. I'm going boss eyed checking the straight of grain on every triangle, and I'm not even sewing yet! 
This is not the definite arrangement, but until Saturday these were all the fabrics I had. 

some of my acquisitions on Saturday

On Saturday, however, I went to the local quilt show and bought these 1/2 metre pieces to add to the fabric already cut.

Since I took the photo early this morning I have been starching and pressing.

Wednesday update:

and starching and pressing, and cutting. All the new fabric is now cut into strips, and the  cutting of triangles is about to begin.

I'm linking up on Monday to:

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 5 April 2014

RSC14 week 14 Purple

Once again I didn't manage much rainbow work:

One star block, and four geese that headed off in the wrong direction.

As you can see at first  I had the fabrics switched, but I'm sure they'll come in handy before the end of April.

I used this McCall's tutorial to make the flying geese.units.  In this method the large square gives the four large triangles, and the four small squares give the eight small triangles.

So here the flying geese units need: 
1 large square = light
4 small squares = dark

I'm sure lots of other people have done much more, so head over to Soscrappy to see what they've made.

Happy sewing


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Triangle quilt along week 2- cutting


I'm just scraping in at the last minute. I haven't finished cutting yet, in fact I haven't got all the fabric yet.
This is what I have cut so far: 

There are 33 triangles in each pile, except the triangle print on the left of the middle row. There I had a cutting mishap.
I'm using the Marti Michell equilateral triangle ruler, which gives a measurement of 6" finished side, and not 6" down the middle. 
Here are Marti Michell's cutting instructions:

As with her templates you use the triangle to measure the depth of the strip. This means that the ruler has to be lined up with its SHORT EDGE along the fold in the fabric instead of with the long edge against the previous cut. I followed her instructions and they worked for 26 of the WOF strips., but two of them turned out narrower for part of their length. I'm right handed so I was cutting on the right hand side of the fabric piece, rather than to the right of the ruler, on the left. Somehow I moved the ruler and then didn't notice how far off the line it was. It's difficult to judge when you only have 6" to line up with.

I still have to cut more fabrics and as Marti's triangle is just under 53/4" tall I'll cut the rest of my strips 53/4" wide in the conventional way and then cut the extra off the top, along the triangle ruler.

Linking up with The Sassy Quilter for: 


click on the badge.

Happy sewing

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet

In March 

I finished a quilt for my 7 year-old grandson. For its post-sewing rinse it needed 15 Colour Catchers, yes, 15, to absorb the excess dye in the dark blue batiks.

I made the top for a small lap-quilt/throw.

The fabric is Metropolitan Fair by Barbara Brackman for Moda, and the pattern is from Two From One Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I still have to make a trip to the LQS to buy fabric for the backing, but that probably won't be until next week.

I bought fabric for the Triangle quilt along being organised byThe Sassy Quilter, (click on the button on the right to find out more about that QAL)

and I started cutting it,

I also made a few sampler squares for the RSC14.

Somewhere in between all this I finished the fourth border, with EPP stars appliquéd on squares, for the Emma medallion quilt, only to find that it's too short for the third (the previous) border. I'm still working on fixing that. It looks as if I will have to take the third border off and make it narrower, so that the quilt so far will be 2" narrower than at present. This is really something I dislike.

On Tuesday I'm linking up with Lily's Quilts for 

Lily's QuiltsLily's Quilts

and on Wednesday with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday,
and with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.