Posts Tagged moda fabric

When Forgetfulness – Or Laziness – Comes Back To Bite You

 

Six years ago, I made a quilt for Mlle Tialys’s 18th birthday as I had done for her (slightly) older sister.

I can’t remember the pattern I used but it used a jelly roll and was some sort of hidden stars design as you can see below.

Mlle. Tialys the Elder was presented with her quilt on her 18th birthday but had to give it straight back to me as I hadn’t finished it so the Younger fared better in that hers was quilted and bound.  It has since languished across a chair in her bedroom because it is a large double size and (from choice) she has a single bed.

Recently she decided she wanted to go and live in England and share Mr. Tialys’s commuter flat together with her sister who’s already there.  In the required ‘upgrade’ to a three-bedroom flat, a double bed was purchased for her and so I thought I’d send the quilt over for her to finally use on a bed as nature intended.

However, when I picked up the quilt to give it a wash before packing it up I realised that, either from wanting to get it finished in a rush or just sheer laziness, I had only done the absolute minimum of quilting.

All I’d done was quilted around each star.

Extreme minimalism which, I realised, just wouldn’t do now it was going to be actually used on a bed.

What was I thinking? Don’t ask – it was six years ago and any reasoning (or forgetting) that went on at the time is lost in the mists.

As the quilt was already bound I thought I’d have to take it all off but I did some research and found somebody else who had asked the question on a quilt forum and the news was surprisingly good.  Apparently, some quilters actually do this intentionally.  They do some minimal quilting, then bind it, which helps stablilise the quilt for further quilting.  Who knew? I didn’t but I might pretend I did if anyone asks.

Of course, that meant I had to wrestle the quilt under my domestic machine so, all I did was stitch in the ditch along the vertical and horizontal lines formed by the design which fortuitously happen to encase each star in a square.  It’s still far too scant really but it’s better than it was.

The third horizontal line in this photo is actually a fold crease in the fabric not an intentional quilted line – in case you were wondering 🙄

In my defence m’lud, I did hand quilt those stars which is probably why I went down the ‘minimalist’ road originally, supporting the verdict that it was probably laziness rather than forgetfulness which the prosecution had suspected all along.  The evidence is now on its way to England in the back of a car courtesy of some friends who are driving back after visiting their holiday home here for the Summer.

So it all turned out well (and very bright) in the end.

 

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Be More Squirrel (Edited to Contain Warning)

You may remember that last year my dogs ate the plums from our trees from the unripe to rotting stage and would do so all day long if allowed to.  The evenings were not pleasant.

Mr. T. decided that he would cut all twelve trees down as they are very old and the plums are not particularly nice anyway – well,  at least we didn’t think so.  The fig trees are also a doggy favourite but I couldn’t quite part with them so they are staying for the moment.

In future, all fruit trees will be planted on the other side of the fence that cordons off a part of the garden that the dogs haven’t got access to (apart from when they dig holes and get under the fence).

All three dogs have now discovered acorns so our walks are slowed down considerably by them snuffling around eating all the acorns they can find but, luckily, these do not seem to produce the gaseous emissions that plums do so I’m not overly worried about it although I must check they’re not toxic to dogs or anything.  (Update:  Yes, they are – please see note at the bottom of the post).  I truly believe my dogs will eat anything – the more disgusting the better.

I have also become a bit more squirrel this month and have reverted to my old habit of hoarding fabric.  I made a pair of trousers at long last and, flushed with success, placed an order for dressmaking fabric in the mistaken belief that I need more clothes or that Mlle. Tialys the Younger will be persuaded into dresses any time soon.  The trouble is, dresses are my favourite clothing item to make but I live in jeans and  so does Mlle. T.   What am I to do?  I think perhaps a solution might be to make more ‘tops’.  That way I can indulge myself with nice fabric and make pretty things but put jeans on underneath.  Of course, that might mean I’ll have to buy more patterns as most of mine are for dresses.

I have a clear cutting table at the moment while I await Mr. T’s return from the U.K. with my latest haul so I will make a second pair of trousers while I remember how to do it.

Meanwhile, I am making progress with the Eastern Jewels crochet blanket and have joined the first two rows together – only two more to go!  The more I do, the more I love it, the less I feel I will be able to part with it.

I took some time off from the crochet to knit up a couple of cotton dishcloths in my bid to cut down wasteful buying of kitchen towels, etc. but I’ve only managed two so far.  I’m going to try crochet ones next as they will probably be quicker.

Love the little ‘French tea-towel’ effect one.  You can find the patterns for both here and here.

  I’ve also been making waxed wraps in an attempt to cut down on single use plastic such as cling film but they are in use around cheese and the tops of bowls.  When I make some new ones – using beeswax this time instead of pure soy wax – I’ll show you some pics.

My fabric arrived from Laughing Hedgehog – don’t you just love the name – a company I hadn’t used before but they had the French General fabric I was looking for to back my Shabby Union Jack.

I was very lucky because I had ordered 1.5m which was being very optimistic but this was apparently the end of bolt so she kindly put all 1.8 m in for me which turned out to be just right.  I used the plain grey/brown for binding and, as you can see, decided to put a sleeve in just in case it ended up as a wall hanging rather than a throw.

Here it is as a throw

and here is the long, plain corridor – leading to the loo and Mlle. T. the Younger’s chamber of horrors  bedroom – where it might end up on the wall.

I think it needs a bit of something don’t you?

I’ll let you know where it ends up.

 

EDIT;

I did eventually Google the risks and found this amongst lots of other warnings –

Exposure to acorns in dogs is common in the autumn and winter months. The toxic ingredient is thought to be tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, inappetance and lethargy. Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage.

So, best not let your dog be more squirrel after all.

 

 

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A Flag for Friday

Probably four or five years ago I started a project and, after an enthusiastic start, I put it to one side, got involved with other things and that was that.  It was, however, still peeking at me in an accusatory fashion from underneath other things on the shelves of my cutting table so, in an effort to finish what I started I pulled it all out again.

I hadn’t done much – just the ‘brown’ triangles.

The project is a Moda bake shop ‘recipe’ by Lynne Goldsworthy (available here for free) and I liked the slightly raggedy look of the finished flag and the colours she used but, at that time, I’d never done much (if any) foundation paper piecing.  Now I have so it was a bit of a shock to remember that this is not at all like that apart from the fact that paper is involved.   In this method you cut up the fabric into squares using pinking shears (or cutter) and lay them on sheets of newspaper making sure they are overlapped by at least 1/4 inch.  In fact, the easiest way is to use charm packs which already have pinked edges.

Like so.

Then, you stitch down the pieces an 1/8 inch away from each pinked edge – which is why I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with this project at first because it just seemed wrong to me.  However, this method is what gives it the shabby look that I had liked initially.

Zoom in for close up of top stitching along pinked edges

You separate the colours into brown, red and cream and lay each colour on sheets of newspaper which you cut to a set size then sew them down with a small stitch so, in effect, you are making a new fabric which is sort of what you do in all patchwork but this is different in that the seams are showing on top.  It feels a bit weird.    It is also a bit of a pain because, unless you use a multitude of pins, it does try to shift around under the sewing machine.  Then you remove the newspaper and cut the new ‘fabric’ into triangles for the brown fabric and different sized bands for the red and cream.

With me so far?

At this stage I was still dubious but, once I started joining it together I became more enthusiastic and am actually quite chuffed with the resulting top.

Oops! Forgot to clear those bedside tables off this time.

**** If you are not interested in more of ‘the process’ scroll down to the next set of ***** lest you be unnecessarily bored to tears.

I did find certain problems with the instructions so I did a bit of research to find out if anybody else had the same issues but couldn’t find anything so maybe it’s just me.  However, in case it helps, this is what I found.

When I joined the first quadrant together I assumed the joining seams would be 1/4 inch which is usual in patchwork.  Unfortunately, I assumed wrongly and it came out too small – luckily I checked before I joined the other three.  It seems that everything is 1/8 inch but I couldn’t find that instruction anywhere.  The top stitched seams are 1/8 inch, yes, but as they are not ‘normal’ seams I didn’t think it would follow that the joining seams would also be that small.  The instructions have you press the ‘normal’ seams open but I didn’t bother as that is a difficult thing to do with such a small seam allowance so I pressed to one side – a maverick, that’s me.  Also, because I had to undo the seams of the first quadrant and mess with edges cut on the bias after removal from the foundation paper, it started to go out of shape so I had to be careful lining it up with the other quadrants.

The instructions have you cut ten 2 inch bands from the cream ‘fabric’ you have made but, as you can see from the photo above, you actually need twelve.  Luckily I had enough cream squares left to cobble together another couple of bands.   The instructions also tell you to use 1 inch bands for this stage but she actually means 2 inch ones as there only four 1 inch bands in the design used for the narrow strips of the flag and, anyway, it is obvious from the photo that they should be the wider strips.  The pattern is free but, even so, I’m surprised it doesn’t appear to have been corrected since it was published as I’m sure I can’t be the only one – or can I??

Anyway, enough of the technical stuff.

****

Still with me?

This is actually supposed to be a wall hanging but I’m not sure Mr. T wants another one (yet) and I’m not so patriotic that I’m going to hang a Union Jack in a prominent position on the wall – even if it is a stylised, scruffy version.  So, I’m thinking I’ll use it as a throw over the back of a sofa or chair or bench or something.

The fabric I used is the same as the one in the original instructions and is a Moda fabric by French General and called ‘Falalalala’.  The text in the fabric range is taken from a French song of the same name which is sung to the same tune as ‘Deck the Halls’ but with different words so there’s a bit of entente cordiale going on here – as is fitting for a Brit living in France.  You can’t say I don’t give you useless information in my posts or even fodder for pub quizzes.  Of course, this range is hard to find now as I’d abandoned the project for so long but I wanted to back it with something pretty as it won’t be hidden on the wall but visible as the reverse side of a throw.  I found a couple of the designs still available in a shop in the U.K. – more in the U.S. of course but the shipping was silly talk – and I went for the cream one with poinsettias.  A rash choice for a house full of animals you might think but, hey, I’ve already got visible pinked edges in possible danger of fraying so I’m obviously throwing caution to the wind with this project.

Mr. Tialys will be arriving home from the U.K.  in a couple of hours with the cream fabric – and some of the plain greyish brown for the binding – I didn’t want the binding to be a feature as it’s supposed to be a flag after all – so I should be able to get it together this weekend.  I’m a little worried as the instructions say you need 2.5 yards of backing fabric and I worked out I’ll only need 1.6m – mixing my metrics with my imperials is never a good thing – so I might have to add a strip of some of the fabric I have left over, we’ll see but maths was never my strong point.  I will be quilting in the ditch only as I think there’s enough visible stitching going on already.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you the finished throw artfully draped over the back of a sofa and adorned with a cat or two (who will be chucked off straight after the photo is taken IG style)  early next week.

What do you think?  Have you ever had doubts about a project you started some time ago?  Did you abandon it or complete it and, if you completed it, were you glad or sorry that you bothered?

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Tadaa!!

Finally!

Only one year and 2 weeks late!

I know that I said I’d have it finished for her 19th (should have been her 18th) but there were 4 impediments that delayed me yet again:

1) It was 40 degrees centigrade outside and being submerged underneath a double quilt trying to hand quilt it was a bit uncomfortable

2) I got my first ever negative feedback on one of my shops – completely unjustified of course – which put me in a fit of pique all day

3) I sold a huge utensil holder/drainer to somebody in New Zealand and had underestimated the shipping.  There followed a whole morning wasted whilst I tried – in vain – to use a lighter/smaller box to pack it in but, in the end, had to spend more money than I had received to ship it to the furthest corner of the Earth.

4) My fingers started bleeding

Once I realised I wasn’t going to get it done in time I decided I might as well quilt it a little more heavily than I originally planned.  I use the word ‘quilt’ but, really, my efforts at quilting cannot be dignified with the term and I must describe it as‘ uneven running stitch through 3 layers‘.  I think the problem may well be that I find it impossible to use a thimble either on my top hand or bottom hand and so I can’t ‘rock’ the needle in and out in the movement required to get tiny, or even, stitches.  I must go on a workshop day or something.  Once I’ve done the one for matching points that is.  Anyway. the other lengthy process with this quilt was the fact that I had made the back first and thus had to tie myself in knots working out the size of the top instead of making the top first, like normal people do, and fitting the (plain) back to it.  Ah well, you live and learn and Mlle Tialys the younger will be getting a much plainer quilt for her birthday in February.

So, it isn’t perfect but heyho, it’s handmade and it is very ‘her’.  Girly pink, hearts, chocolate, cupcakes and some Beatles’ lyrics – she might not always be into those things but right now she is so it will be a good memento of her late teens for her.  The fabric is, apart from a couple of additions from my stash here and there, ‘L’Amour’ by Sandy Gervais for Moda which, of course, is now discontinued so, when I ran out halfway through, I had to trawl the depths of the internet searching for somebody, somewhere, with more supplies.  There is a beautiful monogram done in cross stitch by my friend Marie-Jo and some little tapes here and there with allusions to some of her favourite things like London, Paris, cupcakes, tea and home.

She is leaving for university the day after tomorrw and this will be going with her so I made her a special quilt label.  I scanned in a lovely picture from a card I had bought and added some text.  Then I printed it out on some special (and expensive) paper backed fabric which you can feed through the printer.  First, I was thinking about transfers so I reversed the image and tried to iron it on – fool! – so that wasted a sheet of very expensive stuff but then I got it right and was pleased with the result as my embroidery skills are pants and she would be waiting another year for me to embroider all those words!

I am on the verge of tears almost constantly at the moment.

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Bad Mother

That’s me, a bad mother and I mean this in the sense of being somebody’s mother who is not good, not in the ‘street’ sense where ‘mother’ is followed by another word beginning with ‘f’.

I can’t believe it is over a year ago that I posted about starting a quilt for my daughter’s 18th birthday but here’s the post, dated July 2010, so I can’t deny it .    How we laughed when I said there was over a year to go so ‘no rush’ and how my daughter laughed yesterday on her birthday when she unwrapped the completed back of the quilt with an I.O.U. note for the rest of it.

Here it is so far.  I must really get on and finish it because my other daughter is 16 and a half and, at this rate, I need to start on one for her straight away.

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