Friday, March 20, 2015

Wannabe Longarmer

Recently I've been reading blogs about using rulers, that longarm quilters use, for freemotion quilting on a domestic sewing machine.  

It was clear that using the freemotion (darning) foot and an ordinary quilting ruler wasn't going to work.  I'd read enough that I wasn't even tempted to try and see if I could get it to work.

The blog I keep going back to is Amy's Freemotion Quilting Adventures in one post (here) she talked about using a combination of Janome feet on a Bernina.  I thought there must be an easier way.  

And there is .. an Australian company Westalee Design has designed a foot and rulers for domestic sewing machines.  After watching their video, I ordered the foot and ruler and a week later it arrived. 

Westalee foot and ruler

For the foot to work on my Bernina 440 a Bernina 'low shank adaptor foot' is required, which I already have. Following their great instructions, attached the foot and was off ...
... had a bit of a play ...

Then onto a mini neonates quilt.  While I could have achieved the same result with a walking foot, it was a great trial.  

using Aurifil 50wt thread

I found it easier to hold the ruler when it was on the left handside of the foot.   On the righthand side it tended to move abit - probably as I'm left handed. Would also help it I stuck on the non-slip strip that came with the ruler!

So now more practice and experimentation, although this will need to wait until I've finished my knitted quilt.

Monday, March 16, 2015

K1, P1, rpt

Earlier in the year Maureen at Mystic Quilter blogged about working in a series.  I thought this was a great idea and that I could work through either Jean Wells book 'Intuitive Color & Design' or Elizabeth Barton's book 'Inspired to Design; Seven Steps to Successful Quilts'.  

So instead I've been working on a commission for a second Knit One, Paint One quilt.  

Knit One, Paint One

Same pattern just a slightly different colour.  While I'd kept my original pattern I needed to recreate the freezer paper stencil - this took longer than I remembered with the original quilt!

Adding the colour was relatively fast.  To emphasise the white 'knitted stitches' I add a layer of batting and quilt around the shapes, then trim away the batting.

Stitching the first layer of batting
Freezer paper stencils

I'm currently about half way with the stitching and trimming.  The next stage is to add another layer of batting, the backing and finally quilt it.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Planning - just a bit over rated

When I start a new project I try to allow plenty of time ... however sometimes things made at the last minute turn out the best.   

Yesterday my daughter went to an 'Adventure Time' themed birthday party.  While she has watched this show it really isn't one I've taken much notice of, well not the characters anyway.

She was going to go as Fionna, wearing a plainish blue tshirt, skort and I thought that was it.  She then decided at ~12pm (party at 2.30pm) that she needed a hat like Finn wears.  

So after a few Google searches we were off ...  while acrylic felt would probably have been the best, I only had a few strips of white polyester batting, the dense variety not the boofy type.  Sewed these together to get two pieces long enough to cover her face/head, then sewed them into a tube.  Then stitched across the top creating ears at either end.  Finally cutting out an oval shape for the face.

There was a bit of a fit issue as the pony tail out the back was creating an odd bit of drag.  Her suggestion was to cut a flap instead of a full circle - excellent idea and worked well.  

It was easy working with batting - just cut wherever, no need to finish off seams or edges.  Not sure about the comfort level for the wearer, luckily the day wasn't too hot.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Through our Hands issue 4

The fourth issue of the free online magazine 'Through our Hands' is now available.  The magazine is put together by Laura Kemshall, Annabel Rainbow and Linda Kemshall and as with the earlier issues features interesting articles and heaps of eye candy. 

One of the articles is by Wellington local Clare Smith on her 'vertical performance dyeing'.  I went to her exhibition in 2012 and spent quite awhile watching the changes to the 'quilt' as the dye flowed down.

One of my favourites, from her exhibition, featured Zealandia's lower lake and valve tower.

Click here to read the previous issues.