Monday, September 15, 2014

University Bound with a Quilt, of Course

Hi everyone:

There have been a lot of changes this summer in my household and suddenly it's much quieter around here. Why? My daughter has started university and is now cozily ensconced in her own private room - with private bathroom - at Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Although she isn't the noisiest one in our household (I think my son and I are tied in that respect), it is definitely quieter around here. It could be that with one child out of the house, the remaining one isn't able to carry on the sibling discussions that have been so popular in recent years. In any event, it was time for Sarah to take that big leap into adulthood and we reluctantly drove her up to Edmonton to settle into university life (yes, mea culpa: I did encourage her to accept that university's offer). 
I used the "Wordplay" panel for the centre of the quilt
When she graduated from high school at the end of June I decided to make her a quilt. Although I had grandiose ideas of what I would design for her, I realized that I probably wouldn't have that quilt made until she had graduated from university, so I opted to use a panel to make her quilt. It was a great idea as I actually finished the quilt in time for her graduation. Yay! I think it turned out quite well and I used an orange flannel for the backing as that is her favourite colour. 
A sample of the quilting on Sarah's quilt
When it came to the quilting, I really wanted to do something special, so I decided to free motion quilt a saying from Harry Potter (actually from one of the movies, for those purists out there) around the border as Sarah is a huge HP fan. 
I was pleased at how the words turned out
I wrote out the words in the appropriate scale and then traced then onto the quilt and machine quilted over them. I was pleased with the result - I didn't want the words to overwhelm the quilt, but to be rather in the background for the viewer to discover. 
If you're wondering what I quilted, it is: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" Albus Dumbledore. I also stitched a Deathly Hallows symbol on the border.
Quilting details on the back of the quilt
While I was pleased at how this project turned out, I then realized that Sarah would probably need some other quilty items for her birthday and dorm room. More projects to think up and create! I'll tell you all about these projects in a future blogpost.
Charlie approved

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Telecast Thursday - All About Accessories

Hi everyone:

This Thursday I'll be continuing my series on vintage sewing machines. In this video I'll be examining the myriad accessories that come with the Singer Featherweight sewing machines. They may look strange, but they can do lots of practical things - just watch out for that ruffler!

If you haven't already subscribed to my Youtube channel, be sure to do so to receive automatic notifications when new videos are posted.

Just a hint about next week's video - it'll be a little bigger.

Monday, September 8, 2014

QAYG - Part 3 - Using a Jelly Roll

Hi everyone:

When constructing my latest QAYG project I decided to use a jelly roll. The fabrics would already be coordinated for me and cut, so this would save me time. But... I wanted to add more interest to the table runner and didn't want every strip to be 2 ½", so I decided to trim the jelly roll strips so they would be different widths. Here's how I constructed my table runner:

First, I decided on the finished length and width of the table runner. I cut a piece of batting larger than this and marked off the width and length of the table runner on the batting with a black marker to ensure that my fabric strips would cover this. I would be trimming the pieced top and batting down to this size after I'd finished stitching. 
Getting ready to mark the batting
Batting marked - I should probably have left more of a margin
from the drawn line to the edge of the batting to allow for shrinkage
Next, I opened up the jelly roll and chose one strip to be the centre strip. I wanted the table runner to be symmetrical with strips repeating on either side of the centre strip and I wanted a variety of widths in the fabric strips. I selected a variety of jelly roll strips then laid them out to one side of this centre strip. I made sure that I had more strips than required to cover the batting as I was going to be trimming them in width in the next step. 
I chose the "tape measure" fabric to be the centre strip
and then laid out other strips to either side of it
I randomly trimmed the width of the jelly roll strips so each one was a different width than the strip to either side of it. This added variety and gave interest to the project.
After trimming the width of the strips, I cut each strip in half length-wise and then laid them out on either side of the centre strip, again checking to ensure that the fabric strips would cover the batting base. I had to remember to account for seam allowances, so I overlapped the strips a bit when laying them out.
Note the variety of strip widths
Everything looked okay, so I laid the centre strip over the marked centre line on the batting, laid the second strip on top and sewed them to the batting with a ¼" seam. I then pressed them open. Yeah, the project was started!

I continued to add strips to the right and left of the centre strip, pressing them open as I went along until the batting was covered.

I'm pleased with this project so far and glad that my decision to trim the jelly roll strips added more interest to the table runner. Next I'll have to trim the top and add the backing  to it. Then it will be time to actually quilt it. I guess I'll have to decide on a quilting motif. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Just leave them in the

comments below.