Sunday, 16 August 2015

Half Square Triangle quilt complete

It is done. This light dark HST quilt has taken a while to eventuate, but I am definitely happy with the result. The perfectionist in me can spy a few not-quite-perfect intersections. I have realised though that even quilts in fancy quilting books are not perfect and it is the overall impression that is what makes a quilt.

A plain teeny weeny dotty back shows the quilting lines

Finished size with binding about 41x57" (104x155). Backing - single piece. 
10 columns x 14 rows of HST (140 squares once made up = 70 light & 70 dark 5"charm squares).
Finished size of each square in quilt = 4",

Friday, 31 July 2015

More clothes for dolly

After her quiet play time a few months ago, LittleImp had written me a list of what dolly needed:
"Nite Nape" (night time nappy)
"Top" (for the day time)
I said if she was dolly's mummy she would need to pay this seamstress to make more clothes. Ten cents apiece was the agreed price and so off this seamstress went to work. For pittance!

The "Nite Nape" was cut from felt, with velcro added top and bottom (on opposite sides):

The daytime top was from some stretch knit scraps. A side plate used as a circle template.

Once the circle was cut out, I folded it in half and snipped out a small circle for the head (the fabric stretches so start small rather than big with the cut out). I then straight stitched from the outer curve up towards the neck line where the black lines are shown in the picture. This created the arm holes and sleeves.

 Because this seamstress is generous (and she was having fun) she added a dress free of charge.
Using the same technique with a larger plate I cut out a big circle, folded in half and made the head hole. Becuase I was using cotton I cut the neck hole a bit bigger (no stretch) and also stitched around it with a zig zag stitch to stop heaps of fraying.
I took a long thin strip of fabric, found the centre and placed this centrally across the back of the dress as shown, attaching it to the dress with zig zag stitch over the section highlighted with the red line below.

Over her head, brought the strip ends around to the front and tied a bow. A very easy circle dress!
 Dolly is still scary.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Half square triangle quilt in the making

 Piles of 5 inch charm squares from a whole lot of different packs. Autumnal shades, with some brighter blues and greens to lift it. My idea is to make these into a light/dark half square triangle quilt.

This quilt has been forming and storming for a long time.
Playing around on my board with different light/dark half square triangle combinations.
This was one idea...
 But this was where it began heading instead. My ideas board wasn't big enough for the planning of this layout, so I used an existing quilt as the 'board' on the floor so I could still move it out of the way.

Eventually I was happy with the design.

This is how I went about making the light/dark HSTs.
One dark fabric charm square and one light fabric charm square placed right sides together, edges well aligned. Pin to secure. Draw a line with fabric pen corner to corner using a 45' ruler to get the angle correct.

Sew 1/4" to either side of the drawn line. You can chain stitch all the pieces to move the process along.
 Then use some slave labour to speed up the process of removing pins and cutting the threads if you have chain pieced...

Next use your rotary cutter & cut along the drawn line to end up with 2 triangles. Open up the triangles and press. I decided to press seams open for this quilt rather than to one side.

One pressed open square
 Trim the square to size (4.5"), using the 45' angle to line up and ensure the triangles are of equal size.

BEWARE - this step can lead to confusion and frustration if you turn any of the squares the wrong way or mismatch any pairs! Lots of photos and lots of checking.

Match pairs, pin along side to be stitched together. I added a diagonal pin to help prevent any shifting of the fabric.

 Chain piece pairs together, remove pins & press open. You will now have rectangles made up of 2 squares each (4 triangles).

Pair, pin & sew the rectangles in a similar way to end up with blocks made up of 2x2 squares (8 triangles). Before opening clip corners off to help reduce bulk at seam.

Then press seams open. 

Continue in a similar way to slowly piece larger and larger blocks together. This is where I am up to so far. A bit of unpicking today to make sure that the seams are meeting where they should. A pin at 90' to the fabric at each intersection seems to be the best method for me, and then plenty more pins in between to keep the top & bottom layers nice and even.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Pyjamas for dolly please

Little Imp does not often ask me to make her anything in the ButtonRoom, but the other night, just before her bedtime she did. "Do you think you could make dolly some pyjamas mummy?"

Oh dear. I have been thinking for a while that dolly could do with some new attire. All she came dressed in is definitely from a summer range, and I feel cold just looking at her at the moment! But she is quite small, and plastic, and not very bendy, so I was scared of how I could make something that Little Imp could also get on and off of dolly without needing my help.

And then I had an idea... I keep many of Little Imp's old clothes for cutting up and sewing with & this was a perfect reason to use them. Once I got going it was actually fun, and before I knew it, not only did dolly have some pyjamas, she also had some cords & a skirt!

The PJs came from a sleeping bag. A sleeve became the pants, with the sleeve cuff as the waist band and a triangular seam creating the legs. Pinking shears worked to eliminate the need for sewing seams. THe top was made out of the base area of the bag. I pinking sheared a circle for the neck & stitched a few seams to create the shape of a long sleeve top. Done, & stretchy enough for Little Imp not to need me!

To make the corduroy pants I cut a square from the top of a pair of pants, including the elastic. Dolly is lying here to help me gauge the length.

A few simple straight lines of sewing along the open edge to create a tube, and then along the purple lines you can (just) see below to create the legs.
 And then pinking shears again for the base of the pants.

The skirt was even simpler. Cut out from the top of an existing elastic waistbanded skirt with a single seam to create a tube. Pinking Sheared bottom. Done.

Saved this picture for last. Dollys scare me. Even when they are in their pyjamas.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Angel Wings

I made Little Imp some angel wings. Pity I can't make her behave like one too...
She did enjoy herself running around Kings Park with friends this afternoon while wearing her wings. Almost angelic.

How To:

I traced a paper template from a friend's set of angel wings. You could make any shape though really.

Use this template to cut 2 (one reversed) wing shapes out of some stiffish felt (or thin wadding or interfacing). This will provide a bit of shape for the wings. The fabric I used for the wings was a big offcut of dusty pink upholstery fabric (the white below is the water resistant 'wrong side' of this fabric). Double over the wing fabric, right sides together. Pin so the fabric doesn't shift and then place each piece of felt onto the fabric. Mark the outline of the wing about 3-5mm bigger than the felt itself and then cut out.

Assemble a 'wing sandwich' for each wing: fabric-felt-fabric. The fabric should be facing right side out as you can see below. Pin all the way around to hold the 3 layers together.

Then stitch all the way around the outside of the wing to hold all 3 layers together (with the felt hidden inside). I have a blanket type stitch on my machine that I used to finish the edges at the same time.

 Add some straight line stitching for a bit more stiffness and definition.

Add elastic for attaching to the body.  I used about 24" of elastic. Take each end of the elastic and bring into the centre and stitch to hold (so you end up with 2 loops as seen below).

I should have attached the elastic to the back of one of the wings at this point so that the rectangle stitching you can see on the wings I made was hidden. But I didn't - so the pictures show what I did do.
2 wings pinned together

stitch oval shape around centre of wings to hold them together
Add elastic (as I said above - should do this before stitching wings together),
add elastic (should do this before stitching wings together ideally)
and then also cut a small rectangle of wing fabric and stitch over the elastic where it attaches to the wings to make it look a bit neater.
back of wings

front of wings (with the rectangle stitching visible unfortunately)