To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
Sandwiching quilts inevitably results in scraps of batting. Sometimes, they are large enough for use in another project, but much of the time they end up just a little bit too small. My unofficial resolution for 2014—actually one I’ve been trying to work on for a few months already—is to work from stash before heading to the store. I’d like to do that for the quilt I’m working on now, however my batting scrap drawer was lacking the 58×76″ piece of batting that I need.
Instead of buying more batting on my trip to the store, I picked up a roll of fusible batting tape. Not only is it cheaper, but it could help me use the scraps I have.
The verdict: I ended up with a piece large enough to use, but I don’t think the fusible batting tape was the best fit for the job. It didn’t seem to fuse well, so I ended up sewing a multi-stitch zig-zag over it to hold the pieces more securely. Maybe it was the brand of tape, maybe the batting, or maybe it’s me, but I think I’ll keep looking for a better solution.
I will say that the tape and stitching combined worked much better than an attempt a year or so ago that failed miserably, so at least I’m making progress. We’ll see how it holds up to quilting this weekend.
Sometime around now (give or take a month) is the nebulous second anniversary of when I started quilting and sewing again in earnest. I think I have a ton more to learn, although I know I’ve learned a great deal in the intervening months.
While finishing up another stuffed animal last night, I was really amazed at the difference a little experience with hand-sewing binding and closing up stuffies can do for hiding the stuffing hole seam. Compare the first one I made a little more than two years ago, when I really only knew how to whip stitch (poorly, at that)…
… to this latest one (which I’ll post about after it’s delivered to the recipient’s father once he’s back at work):
I think the stitch is called the ladder stitch, if you want to look it up. My actual stitch is some sort of hack I figured out when starting to bind quilts and not wanting the thread to show, so it’s probably not precisely the ladder stitch.
But, sometimes the lessons are a little harder. When I set out to start quilting by making a baby quilt for my oldest friend’s son, I knew absolutely nothing about quilting. Sure, I’d been sewing on and off for about fifteen years, which is why some of my choices probably didn’t faze me at all, but it’s really not very smart quilt production. It has faux-Minky, flannel, silk, eyelet, linen-textured cotton and cheap quilter’s cotton all thrown together.
It’s also incredibly well loved—to an extent that I only hope the rest of my quilts can ever match, possibly all together. As a result, I got a message from my friend showing that the silk is starting to completely wear away.
I think the only solution is to applique a better-lasting fabric over the top of those pieces, correct? (Short of completely deconstructing the quilt and re-piecing, which is not an option.) I would love any advice you have about fixing damage like this.
Two years into my journey, I still don’t think that you can’t use non-quilting cotton in quilts, but there are disadvantages, and I feel pretty safe in saying don’t use silk in a baby quilt.
What have you learned over the years? Have you encountered bad choices that you’ve had to compensate for down the road?
I’ve been procrastinating on larger projects (quilts, the Steampunk costume) by making small crafty things. The problem is, I’m now at a stand still, because I can’t decide whether to continue embellishing or just stuff them and sew ’em up.
One is for a class. It’s supposed to be either a table mat or a pillow. I don’t know what I want it to be. Probably a pillow, as it’s not all that flat. It is also supposed to have a ton of beading. I started the beads, but I’m just not feeling them.
I’m trying to modify it to look like a dog. In doing so, I decided it needed an eye spot, and maybe one on its back. But, I can’t decide if it actually needs the one on its back or if that is overkill. It really looks a bit more like a pig than a dog at this point, I think. I’m leaning toward no spot on the back (it’s just sitting on the back piece in the photo, not actually attached).
Most of the time when I hit this point, the project ends up in the unfinished and forgotten pile, but I need to finish both of these up in the next couple of weeks—the former for a discount at the next class, the latter for a gift. Maybe inspiration will hit between now and when I get off work this evening.
It’s time to get back to work on the Steampunk costume, don’t you think? The first step is finishing up the corset, since it is the base of all the other top-layer items. I’ve picked apart the drill mockup so that I can use those pieces for interlining/strength, and now I’m ready to cut into the fashion fabric and actually construct the final corset.
The problem is, I can’t decide what to make it out of. I’m sticking to fabrics I already own (and own in enough quantity). The fittings are gold/brass, so it all needs to match that, too.
I really wish I were an illustrator, so that I could draw something out to show you the image that pops in my head every time I read the word “sewer”. For now, words must suffice. Picture this, if you can:
Michelangelo—no, not the painter, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle—chillin’ in front of a late ’70s Singer Touch and Sew, chain-piecing HSTs in the TNMT’s sewer lair from the ’80s/’90s animated show. He keeps screwing up the corners and is getting increasingly agitated.
Splinter looks on, counseling “Possess the right thinking. Go slow, it is not a race.”
Mikey gets one right and yells, “Quiltablocka, dude!”
Okay, so maybe we should’t go into my head all that often…
In my post about current projects I mentioned a Strip-pieced Lone Star quilt that I’m working on as part of the bi-weekly Sew You Want to Quilt group I’m in. I finally finished one of the stars this weekend.
It seems I didn’t piece it well, because the center has a pretty noticeable bulge…
Even when you strip piece, it takes forever to cut out the bits needed for a 54″×72″ nine-patch. (In other words, not a whole lot of actual sewing has happened this week.)
But cutting out and constructing this quilt prompted a thought to ask you about: are you extremely judicious about cutting with as little waste as possible or do you vote for speed and efficiency, figuring you can use the scraps for something else, no matter how small?
When I cut out the half-square triangles for the nine-patch, I made sure to cut them to exact measurements rather than doing them so that one half was waste (for that project, at last) like I’ve seen some tutorials show. I’d like to say that I did this because I needed to make sure my FQ pack would stretch as far as possible, but that’s only part of the issue. I really am just crazy about trying to fit everything into as little fabric as possible. It works great for sartorial and historical sewing, but am I just making things hard on myself in the quilting world?
So, wise ones, what approach do you take? Some grey-area “depends on the project” approach? What makes you decide to cut down from a larger block, or cut exact measurements?