Monday, April 21, 2014

Log cabin - of sorts!

Today dawned clear and gorgeous. I rode Zanny two days in a row, and gave her a break today. She isn't a spring chicken any more, after all! Last time I rode three days in a row she was lame on the third day, so I told her I hope to see her tomorrow instead. By then we'll have a freezing southerly wind with rain probably. I already filled the green bin, so you know what that means! Crafting!

First up, I had a wee practise on some free machine quilting, which is something that you need to keep working at. It can be a bit tricky, but I love it, especially on small projects. Bigger quilts are a trial to quilt on a home sewing machine, although it can be done. I've got one quilt top that I have been reluctant (scared) to finish because it is huge, and I really want to quilt it all over, rather than tie it. No such problems with these wee creations, which may be pot holders or trivets, although they would get very grubby and would be prettier just on display in the kitchen.

This one is quilted in a swirly pattern. It is a while since I free machine quilted, so there were some uneven stitches, and bubbles.

 If you look closely at the reverse there are lots of tension issues, knotty bits and uneven bits. Problem solving - I forgot to lower the feed dogs. That probably explains some of the knotting on the back. I also should have used a new needle. Quilting is hard on needles, and a nice sharp one is the best idea. Sadly I have run out of spare needles. Looks like I'll need a visit to a quilting shop soon. Oh dear. How unfortunate.
 So, ignoring the need to replace the needle, on I went. This one is sort of stippled, which is a wavy pattern that doesn't cross over. Very tricky to get your head around after doing the swirls above.
 Much more even with the stitching, and presentable on the back too.
 Once I had those whipped up, I was planning to add the binding, but nothing appealed from the stash. How can that be? I have all sorts of bits and pieces. In the process of hunting I found this bundle of fabrics from a former project and decided to have a go at a log cabin block. I've never made a log cabin block before, and thought the range of strip sizes and lengths, along with one small piece of the feature fabric, would be perfect.
 I ironed everything carefully, and cut some pieces into narrower strips. No measuring though.
 The traditional log cabin block uses strips of an even width. My block is the more modern uneven log cabin.
 Mr Mouse loves a warm ironing board, and supervised very closely. I had to avoid ironing or trimming the fur on his tail.
 I had a lovely pile of matching strips. It was a very good idea to keep the bundle of leftover fabrics together, all tied up with a ribbon.
 I started with the square of floral fabric and sewed on a strip, then trimmed.
 The iron was on throughout the process so that each seam could be carefully pressed. Most of the seams were pressed open.
 Lovely, we're off!
 Then I kept adding strips, moving around the central point, ironing each seam before sewing the next strip on. I am lucky to have a 1/4 inch quilting foot, which helps me to sew even seams. I usually sew seams like I've been knocking back the Midori and lemonade, so the special foot really helps.
 How much fun is this??!! I absolutely loved working on this.
 I couldn't resist taking it outside for a photo or two.
Here it goes all pieced.
 And the next step was to make a quilt sandwich (top, batting, backing), pin, and then machine quilt. Here it is, bristling with quilting pins.
I experimented with leaving the pins open on the trivet thingies, and, apart from one pin being launched into the wild blue yonder when I accidentally hit it with the sewing machine foot (never to be seen again!), it worked very well. I left all of the pins open on this block too. I always close them up on bigger quilts because being poked by pins as I machine quilt is guaranteed to make me wild. 

Next time you see this I'll be quilting it. I can't wait! I needed to help Johnny with some junk disposal outside, and then we went out with Miss Dog for a meander around the nature reserve and new subdivision, so haven't got onto it yet.

What a great day. I'm really keen to try some more challenging quilt projects, and to learn some new skills. I do love a simple quilt made up of squares, but there is a whole world of possibilities out there. Time to explore.


Anonymous said...

Gosh you have a lot of patience, I would be a terrible quilter!!! Love the fabrics and colours...gorgeous!

We went out to Ngatimoti for the day, lovely lunch thanks to mu and gorgeous Easter bunny thanks to Dad.

Love you,
Meg xxx

Anonymous said...

I love the colours too, the log cabin is going to be beautiful. Lovely to have a special Easter lunch today, spoke to Jim later and he had been out at Westhaven helping his friend clean up fallen trees. xxxx