Monday 22 June 2015

FMQ progress

I can definitely see progress here.  I bought some gloves at the weekend, as several of you suggested, and I think they helped. The first photo is the front, and the second shows the back.  My stitches are beginning to be a more consistent size, shame I can't say the same about my loops!  All in all though, I'm feeling optimistic today that one day I might become almost a passable quilter.

Sunday 21 June 2015

More playing ...

... does this woman ever do any housework/cooking/etc?  How come she gets to play so often?  That's what you're all wondering isn't it? Well the answer is that when you've got the builders in it's not worth doing things like dusting or vacuuming and it's best to plan meals for the slow cooker that do two days.

So, now we've sorted that out, let me show you what I've been doing. Yesterday was our monthly meeting of the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group that both Scrappy and I belong to, and I decided to carry on with my ideas for the slice and insert block that I've been playing with lately.  This is what I came up with

By the way, they're not really all puckered, they're creased from where I had them all scrumpled up in my bag when I came home last night and I couldn't be bothered to iron them before taking the photos, sorry.  I'm not sure I like either of these versions, but I had to try them didn't I?

Oh, and Just in case you think I've given up on my free motion quilting, here's a little pile of sandwiches I've just made

Thursday 18 June 2015

Today's playtime ...

... resulted in this block which is a variation on yesterday's.  It uses 14, yes 14 different fabrics.  I love it.
I made it by cutting strips from different fabrics, sewing them together and then sewing them into a tube, cutting rings from the tube and opening them up at various places on the rings and then slicing and inserting them.  I really had fun with this.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

It's playtime ...

... in my house.

We've got the builders in, refitting our en-suite.  They're making lots of noise and creating absolute havoc, so, what's a girl to do?  Go and play with her sewing machine, which lives at the opposite end of the house.  So, this is what I've tried out today. (Oooh, I've just realised the strips match the colour on my book cover and also on the blog background - I must like turquoise.)
It's a little bit puckered, but that's cos I forgot to change the tension back from where I have it for my free-motion quilting adventures.  I really like this block and I can see all sorts of possibilities for it.

So, in the last month I've had a go at machine applique, free-motion quilting and now this.  I'm obviously in the mood to experiment.  What next I wonder?

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Free Motion Quilting ...

... I'm planning to regularly shame myself by showing the results of each lesson from my Craftsy course as I complete it.  I am hoping that over the time I am doing the course, I will get better at it. Heaven only knows, looking at this first example, there is plenty of room for improvement .  This was almost finished before I decided to quilt my finger in as an additional design feature.

I am very happy with the tension, but not so happy about the fact that the fabric is drawing in a lot, and unevenly.  Maybe that's something to do with me not pinning enough, or is it something else?  If any one can make any suggestions, I'd be very grateful.

I am finding it tricky to work out the relationship between the speed of my hands and my machine to give me decent sized, consistent stitches, but I hope that will come with time.  I am also giving myself shoulder ache if I do too much at one time as I guess I'm tensing up too much.

Anyway, without wittering on any more, here is the piece from Lesson 2.  The first photo shows the top, and the second shows the bottom.  There are good bits and there are bad!

Sunday 14 June 2015

Well, who'd have thought ...

... that free-motion quilting can be a dangerous sport?

Well it can.  I managed to try and quilt my finger!  I just missed the nail but went through my finger. It hurt, but I was very brave and luckily I didn't break the needle. 

It did put a stop to my FMQ antics for today cos it keeps bleeding, so, since it's cold and raining here today, I decided to console myself with a lovely cup of hot chocolate with some cream on top, and a good book

Friday 12 June 2015

Free Motion Quilting ....

Who? Me? Yes that's right, me.

Last weekend I decided it's time I really tried to do some FMQ rather than always relying on Big Bertha to do my quilting for me. I know, I must be mad, but there we go.

So I bought a Craftsy class called Free Motion Quilting Essentials by Christina Cameli and off I went.  I watched the first lesson (twice) and made my sandwiches and played with my tension until I was fairly happy.  I decided to really ask for trouble by using two different colours of fabric and two different colours of thread, so that I would always be able to see if my tension was good, so I used white fabric with a burgundy thread for the top and grey fabric with white thread for the bottom. Then I watched Lesson 2 a few times.  I did the muscle-memory training thing that is always recommended, and then off I went with my machine.  Here are the ugly results that prove a) I have a long way to go, and b) that my muscles seem to have a very short memory!

 Hopefully the next time will show some improvement.

Friday 5 June 2015

Create something ....

Edited: apparently some people can not see the picture on my blog, I am sorry for that.  I do not know the reason but will try and find out.  In the meantime, if you can't see it, click here to go to this sale.

Craftsy want to encourage everyone to create something that defies all expectations, both our own and other people's. Therefore, for this weekend only, they are giving us the chance to learn something new, by offering great savings on ALL their online-video classes, and don't forget, once you've bought a class, you will be able to access the lessons for ever and ever. Don’t delay though, this sale ends on Sunday - shop now by clicking on the picture above! 

Wednesday 3 June 2015

another Handy Household Hint ...

... this is a good one, and well worth taking note of.

Do not, EVER try stirring a mug of coffee with one hand while shaking an aerosol can of cream with the other.  Unless you're one of those clever people who can pat their head and rub their tummy at the same time, that is.

Take it from me, the result is a mess.

And if you're looking for the photo of the resulting mess, you're going to be disappointed.  I was to busy trying to mop up to remember to take pictures.
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