Sunday, 27 May 2012

Another Frame for Little Imp

There has been a long delay since I last worked on filling the final picture frames for Little Imp's feature wall.  The latest idea for one of these was thought up after last week's sewing lesson with Trish where we discussed using Kantha stitches to create patterns and designs in fabric.  I'd never heard of Kantha before, but now know that Kantha stitch is 'simply' running stitch that is used in different arrangements to make patterns on the fabric.  I will not try to pass off what I have done as anything as beautiful or delicate as what you will find if you do a search on traditional Kantha stitch, but this is my version.  My rows of running stitch 'paste' strips of material, some new, some scraps & one piece of vintage sequined something onto a piece of calico.  Some of the rows of blue stitching I used to add sequins & beads as well.  

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Floating Block Quilt

I've finished the floating block quilt and I'm pretty happy with how it has worked out!

I asked a couple of other bloggers their thoughts on whether I needed a walking foot to do the straight line quilting.  50% said yes ', 50% said no (n=2).  I didn't have a walking foot, the choice of walking feet on ebay for my machine was overwhelming, and I wanted to start quilting straight away.  So you can guess that I listened to the 50% who said 'no' walking foot required.

My opinion - I think they were right.  The first few lines I did weren't great, but once I refined my method the rest were fine.  I adjusted the presser foot pressure (a bit lighter), stitch length (a bit longer), speed of the needle (a bit slower) and found myself a little box the same height as my machine work space that functioned as a kind of extension to help me guide the quilt sandwich through without it catching. Having a plan to make the lines unevenly spaced saved exact measuring. I measured, drew and sewed a few main lines to act as guides and then worked to the left and right of those using my presser foot and shifting the needle position to create new lines roughly parallel to the main lines.

All the long vertical lines were done first, then the horizontal ones across the pink strip at the bottom.  I decided at the end to also then outline each of the coloured blocks with a single row of stitching, in part to break up the vertical lines & also to just help them stand out a bit more.

And here is the back.

I haven't washed the quilt yet, so I'm interested to see how it will look after washing.  Think it will go on the bed tonight instead sure is getting chilly in the evenings now.

Here are links back to the posts I did on the planning stage and the finished quilt top before I began the quilting process.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Hand stitching

There is an incredibly beautiful store on Wray Avenue in Fremantle called Madame Bukeshla.  Walking in you feel like you have stepped away from the world into something so serene and welcoming you might never want to leave.  I'm not sure what the owner, Trish, has done to create this sense.  No doubt the delicious assortment of hand made things for sale, from clothing to pictures to stuffed toys is part of it, but the space itself also plays a role.  Go and experience it for yourself & you will understand what I can't get down in words.  

Trish started classes last term and this week I went to the first of four sessions.  One of the objectives of the sessions is to understand and develop some of our inner creativity.  The aim for the first class was to 'draw' an everyday household item using back stitch and embroidery thread on linen.  Nothing fancy, just to get the feel of getting down onto fabric what you can see in your mind's eye.  Scary for me who isn't so good at sort of thing!  Homework for the week is to think about if we have a symbol we use often in our creative space.  I have a few ideas as to what mine might be....

The lamp came out first and then the little red bear appeared alongside

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Felt Hair Clip

Little Imp has her daddy's hair.  Straight.  She also has a double crown.  No idea where that came from & no one on either side of the family is owning up to being the genetic culprit (not that a double crown is something you can hide very easily as far as I can tell!)  The up shot of this has many bad hair days already, even in her short life of only two years.

A few friends have started using little clips in their girl's hair and I figured it might be time we try the same to keep Little Imp's hair out of her eyes.   I found some of the silver snap type clips at Spotlight and raided my box of felt for some little scraps to cover the clips.  I'm sure there are other versions of the same type of thing I came up with to make these clips, but this is what resulted after an evening of snip, stitch and glue in front of the TV.

The husband came up with the idea of the leaf outline under the lady bug - he does have his uses!

Basic 'How To'
Essentially you are going to use two pieces of felt to cover the top part of the clip to make it pretty, while leaving the back 'snap' mechanism free to grip onto the hair.

  • Using your hair clip as a guide, trace around the clip onto paper allowing an extra 3/4mm or so all the way around.  Cut this paper template out & use it to cut out 2 pieces of felt to the same size. 

  • Next you need to cut a small slit into what will become the back piece of felt.  The red line on the paper template below shows roughly where I cut the slit, Snap open the clip and poke the back section of the clip through. 

  • Then do whatever you like to decorate the top piece of felt.  Embroidery thread, buttons, more felt, beads.... imagine and sew!  If you're not keen on sewing then I'm sure glue would also work a treat, just leave any big embellishments to be glued on until after you have sewn the felt pieces together!

  • Next, position the decorated top piece of felt over the bottom piece of felt, sandwiching the top section of the metal clip in between the felt. Align and then stitch the pieces of felt together.  For the Ladybug clip I used a simple back stitch all the way around & the Button Heart clip I used blanket stitch.  Again, use whatever suits your design.  Glue any big embellishments on (like my ladybug) and you are done.

view of back of clips once sewn together, 'snap' mechanism poking through bottom piece of felt