Thursday 27 January 2011

Life of an Ebay Quilt Top ... Part 2....

Well, just made it for January, this is my first finished quilt for 2011 ... as some of you know this is an ebay quilt top.....Part One can be found here

I filled the outside borders with freehand echoed feathers on a curved stem....not too obvious on the patterned fabric but I was please with the way they looked from the back of the quilt on the cream fabric.

On the inside border I went all out with hatching using a template board on my Quiltazoid another was a long way around that border but I was amazed at how it turned out and how my hatching matched up at the join point.....

As I worked my way around the nine patch blocks I stabilised the quilt all the way to the bottom. In the nine patches I did continuous curve using my Fine Line Rulers from Carol Olson at Accents in Design, these rulers have finger grips to hold onto so are very secure for using around your hopping foot, I finished off those coloured blocks with a stylised swirl as I went.

Once everything was stabilised I came back to the top and quilted the plain blocks, again I used my Quiltazoid but this time with the feathered wreath template, this was the first time for this template too.... a bit tricky at first using the segments but once I ignored the instructions and just followed my instincts it was fine!  Freehand echoes, pebbles and tendrils.

This quilt finished at 82" x 90", I used Quilters Dream mid loft Poly and Metro thread in cream top and bottom.

Bearing in mind that this was a cheap and grubby quilt top....I think the terms Silk Purse and Sow's Ear come to mind....

"What do yo think"?

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Do you see what I see?

I've been out and about today and thought that you may be interested in seeing some of the sites I saw.....

These ducks enjoy living life on the edge.....

Modern sculpture.....perhaps.....more likely someone lost their scaffolding during the recent storms!

The little piglets didn't seem to mind which one was Mother and the Sows didn't seem to mind which little piglets suckled either....happy families!

The Geese must have had a reprimand at Christmas.... 

This building formed part of a Prisoner of War Camp during the Second World War.....

It's unusual to see an abandoned house, such a shame it would make a wonderful family home????

 The skyline at dusk...........then we turned around and headed for home.    


As it's Burn's Night tonight I thought a poem was appropriate.......

"Green Grow the Rushes Oh"

Chor. - Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.
Green grow, &c.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O;
An' war'ly cares, an' war'ly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!
Green grow, &c.

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl e er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.  

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,  
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

Sunday 23 January 2011

A Busy Weekend!

First, off the frame was my ebay quilt.....I'm busy sewing down the binding.....then you can see it!

Next, I came across these 'churn dash' blocks's time they were used so I found fabric for and cut the setting triangles and borders, got them stitched it's a flimsy waiting to be quilted....more practice.....

I am trying to use up my 'nothing special' tops for practice and trying out the new gadgets for my longarm...these types of tops set on point are just great for that...there's room for a bit of experimentation!

Next, my Granddaughter came to visit on Saturday around 2.30pm and we spent the next 4 1/2 hours in the studio piecing together the blocks for her very own is Fieron sewing one of the long seams on her Singer 99 handcrank......she's only seven years old.....I had to come back to say Fieron is eight years did that

 We are mostly used to having two hands to control fabric these days...that's a long seam and it was fairly straight with just one hand.....but Fieron has already got the technique off....see her tongue is sticking out...just like mine does....that helps!

Fieron had booked her quilt in next to be quilted and it has now been quilted so that too will be shown in due course when bound.

All in all an interesting weekend!

Saturday 22 January 2011

New Fabrics!

What do you do with yours?

I like to fold mine into little piles and look at them for a few days!

Saturday 15 January 2011

Arrhhhh....How did that get there!

No red thread in this project and I also use a hammock to hold my batting and quilt top of the floor....

The only panick was 'where did I put my crochet hooks'...had to think long and hard, hadn't seen them since before I moved my studio into this upstairs room, I did eventually find them....

These are the tools I use to remove those pesky threads that sometimes appear and of course are so obvious behind a white or pale coloured square.

I use the pin to open up the fibers and then the crochet hook (that's a size 20, very small) to poke in there and tease out that thread.....

Took two attemps but got it all out!

That's a lot of thread!
Let the fabric relax and no one will know it was ever there!

Thursday 13 January 2011

The life of an Ebay quilt top! Part 1

I originally drafted this post in the summer last year.....

I am always looking for something to practice on.... freemotion quilting that is.......

I have tops that I could quilt, but you know, I think if I leave some of the bigger ones a little longer I will be able to make a better job of them when I have a longarm machine (that's a machine with a bigger throat/quilting space) .....zzzzz......zzzzz.....that's me dreaming again about buying that longarm.......zzzzz.....zzzzz......

So, I think most quilters are probably in the same position, you want something to practice on and show what you are capable of, but at the same time are aware that there is a huge learning curve and you don't want to spoil a top that you have invested alot of time and money in!

So that said, I went on a hunt for cheap quilt tops on Ebay......well, there's another place to waste a bunch of time, there are some beautiful quilt tops on Ebay, even finished quilts..... the better pieced tops can fetch a lot of money!

I watched for a while and bid on a few, but any that I really liked were making way too much money...... I could have made a couple of quick tops but you know I was struggling for motivation.....

Anyway I saw this very simple nine patch/irish chain in blue and cream put a bid on it and got it , did I say it was cheap...sat back and waited for it to arrive.....

It was eventually delivered, I opened it, before I even took it from the package, I knew this wasn't one of my tops, it smelled different, I took it out and looked at it, it was a bit grubby, what was I thinking, Arrrhhhh!!!

I turned it over, it was badly pieced, the first thing I saw was all the frayed threads, then the twisted seams...obviously the piecer didn't posess an iron, the seams were anything from 1/8th to 1/2 an inch!

I threw the top on the bench in my sewing room....the top lay there for a few days, then as I was walking past one day I thought, " You could still do something with that", I picked it up and had another look at it, it's only a simple nine patch, how long could it take to fix, I started doing one block at a time, maybe two blocks a day, maybe a whole row.

It still smelled a bit, I hung it in the fresh air, I felt that if I washed it now it would fray too much, so I carried on. I had to unpick some of the seams to lay the seams straight, snip and re-sew and press the seams in the right direction. I could have made a simple quilt top like this in no time at all.

I don't know how old the top is, I wouldn't say vintage, it wasn't the best of fabrics, but I did do a burn test and it seemed like cotton....those seams had been laying that way for a long time, I used lots of starch to hold them down, it started to smell better!

I've put some time and effort into this top and trimmed a bunch of threads!! It's still just a simple nine patch/irish chain but now with kind of straight seams and borders!

Well, that was last year, 2010, I've had my longarm quilting machine since September, I am quilting up some samples, so this top is now on the frame, pop back later to see how I quilt it!

Sunday 9 January 2011

In a Tangle!

Santa brought my Grandaughter a Zentangle how he knew about that!

It's addictive!

Friday 7 January 2011

Look what we got!

Our tractor man could hardly believe his eyes when he came across this out in the fields yesterday.....

Luckily my DH brought them inside as it was minus 15 celsius here this morning!

DH said....'Well it's a start'!

Sure is....we don't start lambing till April!

Wednesday 5 January 2011

It's back again!

The white stuff that is.......

Monday 3 January 2011

A bit of thought!

I know that it's past but.....

Sometimes it not the actual present but the extra thought that went into wrapping it!

That's a picture of a scrappy quilt that my Son printed on looks and even feels just like cool is that?

The present was cool too!

Saturday 1 January 2011

Lang may yer lum reek! (Long may your chimney smoke!)

May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.

The above, in translation, reads:
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your grain store with a tear drop in its eye.
May you always stay hale and hearty until you are old enough to die.
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be.