Sunday, June 17, 2012

...thinking about it

I've been sick, the kind of sick where I spent a day lying down and not even being able to think about sewing through the pain in my head, the pain in my throat and the stuffiness in my ears followed by far too many days of being well enough for work (although at times during the day I questioned the accuracy of that belief) but so tired at the end of the day TV was really all I could face.

Somewhere in the middle of all that I came across a post about a quilt-along for Katy's Hexy MF quilt. The hand quilting is progressing on my star quilt and it appears I felt well enough for a moment to contemplate a bigger hand pieced project because I have and email confirmation for an order of the papers.

While I wait a couple of weeks for them to arrive I have been thinking about the fabric to use, I'd like to use a bundle I've put together but when I've tried in the past here and here I've liked them but they still seem a little flat.

I want something a little Japanese and vintagy - I love this and this and this.

This morning I had a go in Spotlight with some DS quilts fabric and again, while I like it I don't love it.

Any suggestions on some rules for putting together bundles, how many colourways should I use, should they all have a roughly equal number of prints, what ratio of large, medium, small prints? I'm wondering if there is a formula or some guidelines - it would sure help me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tips and Tricks....clean your machine

A few weekends ago I went away with some stitchy friends with big plans first for some quilting on Lorraine's frame and then some piecing and hand quilting.

On Saturday morning I was up bright and early for a walk and then settled into loading the quilt and  starting up my machine. All went well for the first few passes. And then my machine stopped. I re-threaded, fitted a different bobbin, oiled and it still kept beeping and flashing an E6 error message at me. Google told me that meant a tangled thread. I couldn't find it.

To cut a long story short the quilt was unloaded and I took to the couch with some hand quilting.

On Sunday morning I attacked the problem with renewed vigour. I wasn't having much luck up top so I decided to unscrew the plate and this is what I saw....5 years worth of lint.
In my defence my machine tells me not to oil it and a screwdriver the correct size to remove the plate did not  come with the machine. To sing the machines praises this accumulation of muck didn't affect performance until a few weeks ago.

It's  been to the doctor and has returned but I've not yet unpacked it - the Contessa and I have been becoming reaquainted. She isn't as loud, as tempremental  as I remember her but she is a tough old bird!

Monday, June 4, 2012

...have you pinned the trimming entry of your choice?

Have you visited the Trimmings Competition Pinterest board to vote for the People Choice Award? You can vote for your favourite by repinning from the Competition Board (as I understand it 'likes' and comments don't count).

There is so many wonderful entries - I am always so interested in to how many different kinds of things people can come up with - even with a similar bundle of fabric.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012 a bind

In most cases I decide on the backing and binding I am going to use for a quilt at the time I choose the rest of the fabric - at the very latest these decisions are almost always made at the time the top is completed.

When I am feeling organised I make the binding at this point so I have it ready when I finish the quilting. My problem is that I often get stalled at the idea of the basting phase and right now I have a pile of binding waiting for a finished quilt.

From left to right there are the bindings for the quilted quilts - the basted quilts - the finished tops - a not yet pieced top.