Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lost and Found

Once, a while ago, I was trawling through other people's blogs when I found some clever crafters creating little embroidered pieces from vintage designs. 
I used to have some of those transfer designs but where were they?
A search brought nothing until, months later, I was looking for something else and I found the transfers instead.
They had been packed away, none too carefully, in a crumpled paper bag.
Here are some of the things I found.

Check out the date on this one. 1960!
My mum used to buy about 6 women's magazines a week. She followed all the love stories which used to come as serials. There were always little gifts in the magazines. We collected and actually made some of the embroideries from the transfers.

Here is one I found that I had made in my teens. I think I gave up on it because I realised that it should have been made on a larger piece of fabric. My skills have improved enough for me to save and finish this little piece. 
I could have so easily thrown these out when we shifted house. So glad I didn't. I do enjoy big clean outs and I think I threw out some things that perhaps I should have kept. It is so hard to tell what you will miss. I understand the hoarders mentality.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Fabric, New Blocks but Problems Ahead

I bought this beautiful fabric from Amitie
Lucky me, it was on sale!

And started to make some blocks.

I had bought a roll of linen from Spotlight months ago and used it for all sorts of projects. Unfortunately I have run out of it with half my blocks unfinished. A dash to Spotlight was unsuccessful as they had run out of the plain colour. I now have to wait for a new shipment and of course the dye lot is bound to be different.
Meanwhile I started hand quilting my Snowball Quilt. I had meant to machine it but the machine has been playing up big time. I think it needs a major service but I have no idea where to get one. Last time I found a wonderful man who comes to your house, has a cuppa and lovingly cleans and revitalises your machine. Alas he is nowhere to be found.
I am quilting Snowball with perle 12 as it has a thin batting and I wanted it to be a bit more delicate. I got out the trusty freezer paper, traced some plates to make circles, ironed my stencils on the snowball and sewed around it. Freezer paper makes great templates. I would never draw on the quilt in pencil, which is what I saw a lady do in a store. She said that she washes the quilt afterwards and the pencil comes out. My templates can be reused lots of times. The only pain is that I have to keep getting up to iron another few on.

The granny squares have been progressing too. They are so portable and easy to pick up for a few minutes that they are my school day time filler (not that I have much spare time).

I'm just going to keep going with these till I run out of wool. Actually they are more bamboo than wool. Really soft. I bought 8 balls for about $25. They had a great sale on and as this was a first time project I didn't want to spend too much. Wool is so expensive these days. 
My issue with these squares is that you have to sew in all the loose ends (boring) and also my tension is terrible. Sometimes it's nice and tight and sometimes really loose so the final sizes of the squares are all different.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Methodical and Organised

Methodical and organised was the approach to this quilt.

It all started when I was playing with some left over diamonds and squares on the carpet. After I left my little simple arrangement where it was, my no.2 son walked past and asked if I minded him playing with them. He just can't resist a possible play with tessellating shapes.
This is what he did.
It's not so easy to see but these were the blueprints. From here I started cutting more diamonds and squares and slowly the picture became clearer.
Dare I say, no one was allowed to walk on the carpet for a couple of days until I had cut every shape out.
There are no normal blocks in this quilt. I worked out that it was made up from a few shapes. The main shape was this pod.
There were edges and corners.
And sets of red squares.
I collected all the sets of pods and clipped them together.
There were about 20 sets of red squares and 12 edges.
I had to draw on the back of every patch with 1/4" lines so that I could line everything up. 
It's still not finished and I am undecided whether to put on some extra borders because it is quite small but I am really happy with the final result.
I think I may cut out some more shapes and just leave them lying around. You never know who might pick them up to play with.