Friday, 30 March 2012

Trying out trapunto

When Geta very kindly sent me a copy of her new book I spent a couple of evenings flicking through it thinking it was waaaay beyond my 'make it up as you go along' capabilities.

But then I decided to have a go because I've never tried trapunto before.

To try Geta's technique, I would say there are really only two things you need to check you have before starting - namely water soluble thread and organza - the rest of the requirements are common to all quilters.

I was definitely starting small with this one so decided to do my version of her Edelweiss pattern

My version involved a few alterations

  • No small circles in the middle - too lazy and too inaccurate to cut those out neatly
  • I didn't leave the organza over the whole quilt top as Geta does. I cut out sections of it from the top to add interest
  • To stop the organza from fraying (because of the point above) I used a close blanket stitch all around the edges...
  • ....except in the middle of the flower where I used a decorative stitch just because
Not the world's best phone photo for sharpness but hopefully you get the gist - this is the back
 And here is the result, turned into a cushion/pillow cover.

And, more importantly, I threw caution to the wind and i.n.s.e.r.t.e.d a ZIP.

Clearly room for improvement there but cunningly positioned at the bottom of the cover so you can't see it.

Helped along by this video

I will admit to pausing it several (OK, loads of) times and rewinding it as well but it is about the clearest, easiest to understand video I've found for inserting a zip.

But it worked and it will do for me.

The back.

And the front again.

A really interesting technique that I shall be trying again.

Linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday

And while I am on the subject of cushion covers...this is the lovely one I received in PTS7 from MichelleSews.

Thank you very much Michelle - gorgeous.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

It's awfully lonely over there...

...if you don't leave a comment!

If that's too obtuse a comment I'm really, really pleased this is featured on 100 Days of Modern Quilts today

Monday, 19 March 2012

"How long does it take you to make a quilt?"

I am often asked that question by non-quilters. It's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string.

So, for this quilt, I've worked out how long it took.

I took one jelly roll and some contrasting fabric; 1/2 an hour...but it would be a whole lot longer normally when pulling fabrics for a quilt if I hadn't used the jelly roll so let's say

1 hour.

To cut into 2 1/2 inch squares and sew a row together took half a hour

There are 26 rows in this quilt x by 1/2 an hour .

13 hours.

It took 10 minutes to sew each row together x 24 seamed rows.

4 hours.

Splice the backing fabric down the middle and add in some left-over 2 1/2 inch squares and seam two rows.

45 minutes.

Quilt it with simple diagonal lines.

1 hour.

Cut a 2 1/2 inch wide binding, press in half, machine stitch to quilt.

45 minutes.

Hand-stitch down.

2 1/2 hours.

So 23 hours to make a quilt measuring just 38" by 38"

Now let's introduce a 'how much' element to the equation.

The minimum wage on the Little Island is £6.15 an hour. Times that by the 23 hours it took to make the quilt and you get to £141.45

Then there is the cost of all the materials themselves.
You'd have to have bought crib size batting (60" x 45") for this quilt - approx £10.
Backing fabric - you'd need about a metre and a half:

Just for interest, this is how much quilting style fabric is per metre on the Little Island...

 ...which is not to say I pay this amount because I don't.
So approx £7 a metre say imported from the USA at a metre and a half.
Jelly roll - approx £15 going on the assumption this has also come from the USA.

Then you need to factor in postage for said items to arrive at your front door, thread, wear and tear on your machine, electricity used to give it a spin in the washing machine, time spent clipping off loose threads etc etc
Let's add on another £20 for that.

Now the total is £196.95.

What do I conclude from this?

  • That to earn a living from making quilts is impossible
  • Non-quilters will never 'get' the amount of hours that go into making a quilt
  •  That my hobby is everso-slightly-more-expensive than I first thought
  • That giving a quilt is an incredibly generous thing to do...if someone had just had a baby would you have gone out and spent nigh on £200 for a present for baby?
  • That I still enjoy doing it despite all of the above

Friday, 16 March 2012

Almost there...

...but not quite

I need to add four more rows and then I'm done.

I didn't use a whole jelly roll in the end. It was getting beyond tedious cutting everything up into little 2 1/2 inch squares so I took out maybe 10 different shades of what is already in there. Hopefully the rainbow effect is not lost.

I also have some 'thank yous' to do.

To Margi for giving my blog a much needed spring clean. If you fancy changing your blog and paying someone else a very reasonable sum of $CAD ask Margi.

A thank you too to Geta who very kindly sent me a copy of her new book

I'm going to have a flick through it this coming weekend and see what I can attempt.

And finally, a big thank you to Susan who sent me this a little while back...

...for no other reason than I unashamedly hinted I'd like one when I first saw one similar on her blog.

Thank you to all of you.

(It's Finish It Up Friday time again at Amanda Jean's)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Cypress trees anyone?

Or pots in a bazaar.

Or maracas.

Or wrapped up sweeties.

All suggestions for what the pattern in this quilt looked like.

I just saw it as a good way to go wild with random scraps of fabric; not caring if they matched or not as I felt using the solid cream would calm things down.

I didn't baste this one. All I did was put the backing fabric on the floor, put the batting on next, then the quilt top. I gathered the three layers up and then used my hand-quilting hoop to secure the middle of the quilt, this immediately providing a taut surface.  I then hand-quilted the inner outline of the coloured shapes, moving the hoop around as I did so, to keep the surface continually tight and flat.

That was accomplished over a couple of evenings. Then, once the whole quilt was secure, I machine quilted the rest of it. On the plain beige I echoed the shapes and on the coloured fabrics it was the well honed technique of pedal to the metal and go mad.

Back is some cuddly flannel spliced between a regular quilting weight cotton.

I can thoroughly recommend the ruler used to make this quilt and have absolutely nothing to gain by mentioning it.

 I just think if something is a good idea you should share it.

Onwards and upwards to the next quilt now...
Oh and it's Finish It Up Friday over at Amanda Jean's

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mute Monday

(Bit like a Wordless Wednesday but I've kind of blown it by writing this but then again if you put it in italics it doesn't really count)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

On a roll....

...or a curve depending upon which way you look at it.

I saw this.

I'm not even going to pretend I was heavily influenced by it.

I wanted to try and copy it.

So I have.

There was a bit of this:

And some of this when I wanted to fussy cut some of the shapes

And then there was quite a bit of this

Which has got me to this

Which will look a whole lot better when my camera is charged and I don't have to take photos on my phone.

Meanwhile I am now distracted by this

I've taken the one remaining jelly roll in my possession which is just a Kona solids one and am slowly working my way through the rainbow of colours, cutting them up into 2 1/2 inch squares and pairing them with an black and white print.

There is no doubt I will be a while.

What do you think?

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