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Entries in quilting (9)

Thursday
Apr122012

iPad cozy

Another project that finally got finished over the Easter weekend!

iPad case

I bought an iPad at Christmas. I have justified it by using it lots for work. I think best when I'm scribbling and that normally results in pages and pages of scrawl. I now do that using a stylus in Note Taker HD, and can save and tag my scrawls so that at least I can find them again later when I want to know why I did something! I also use Goodreader for my PDFs, have it synced to dropbox and Ravelry so I can now get hold of my papers or knitting patterns and don't need to print them out and lose them. It's working well. 

One side effect of that is that I no longer want to leave my 'notepad' at work overnight when I run home. That's fine - picked up a small Haglofs Ace - 5l capacity, and routing for a hydration pack. So that means my iPad is being bounced along right up against 1.5l of water. Didn't seem entirely sensible if I'm honest. So I made it a cozy and bought a drybag. The cozy protects (minimally) against bumps and rubbing, while the drybag protects from disaster.

The cozy was made from some more of that upholstry fabric haul - a slightly metallic orange this time. Lined with my normal cotton quilt batting, and then some lovely green patterned fabric from my stash. More accurately, from my mum's stash that I liberated. I put the E on it just to see if I could, really. Machine quilted, then just folded in half, stitched up the sides, added the binding (extra strength) and finally added the velcro this weekend.

Velcro not poppers or buttons? Yes. What I've found is that any lump or bump on a bag (e.g. the bolts on my panniers) will rub against what's moving around inside and cause friction marks at best and nasty gashes at worst. So I went with the velcro because it will be flat and flex. I don't think the iPad can move inside the bag, but the bag will move against whatever else is in with it (glasses case, wallet, inhaler...) so it just made more sense. The two sets of velcro are at 90 degrees to each other to allow me to be less precise, if I'm honest.

The set up has been working well without the velcro for a while now. Quick, useful, and fun! 

iPad case

Monday
Apr092012

Quilting Bee Round 4

I know, I've skipped round 3. Round 3 was mine, and I haven't done it yet. I know. But I'm kind of still waiting for 2 squares, and then I'll see what I need to fill in. I have a vague plan for what to do with them - but it can wait!

Round 4 was Kate. She asked for: 

"Colours:  Autumnal Colours

Ideally based around brown, green, orange, red, burgundy, yellow (though I'm not a big fan of yellow so ideally not as more than an accent please!). Happy to donate fabric, I have loads of these sorts of colours in scraps if you don't have any - just let me know & I'll bring along. 

Theme: Anything so long as it involves 1 or more hexagons."

So. I checked my stash, and found two possible Autumnal colours. I'm finding that my fabric stash is really slightly inadequate for this! On this occasion, I went with just being slightly more restricted in my colours and more inventive with my pattern. 

Quilted sqaure

I went with paper piecing for this. I've never done it before (reason 1) and I needed quite a lot of accuracy for the pattern to work (reason 2). It worked quite well, but there are a couple of lessons learnt. The beige is not a terribly stable fabric, and I just didn't quite leave enough for the seams (sorry Kate!). I really need to give the finished square an iron - the seams are not lying well at the moment, and it looks a bit bumpy. I'm pleased with the outcome though. 

Quilted square

The papers (on the floor) are not the standard hexagon! I have a set of those on the go too (from my birthday), I shall need to get back to that next.

Wednesday
Feb292012

Quilting Bee Round 2

This time the difficult bit was not the cutting and sewing, but the choosing of fabric. 

Quilting bee round 2

This was for Emma. She wanted:

"Basically, I would like everybody to help finish (well, start, tbh) a quilt I've had in mind for a few months. I bought a charm pack of the Moda Sherbet Pips fabric and I want to make simple quilt just using squares. Here's a pic of the collection: http://www.fabricdonkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Sherbet-Pips-Moda-Aneela-Hoey.jpg

So, what I would like is for peeps to make a square made up of four smaller 4x4" squares in colours that co-ordinate with what I've already got. So, that's pale and dark pink, powder blue, grey, white and red in plains, patterns or whatever people have around."

She gave us all a square to match from her set. Mine is the light grey with the orangey-red squares on. These are not colours I use a lot, and my meagre fabric stash had only one thing that might be appropriate - the solid brick red colour. It pretty much goes with the red on the sample square, so I'm hopeful. The other two fabrics are from fat quarters I had to go and buy specifically. I think they work. Fingers crossed. Plus I rather like them, so they will probably pop up in other squares I do for the bee. 

I did try hard to get the four squares to meet in the middle, and I think I did ok on that. I definitely gave myself enough for the 1/4" seam this time! 

My theme is next. Really looking forward to seeing what I get back.

Thursday
Sep082011

Quilt of scarves

I got a challenge earlier this summer. A friend of mine who lives oop North has a rather unwell mother, and had found this bag of old college scarves when helping her mum sort out her stuff. Apparently, they were 'trophies' from various men - reminders, if you will, of her mother's misspent youth. Her mum said she had always intended to make them into a quilt, but now she'd never get there. 

"Aha", thought my friend, "I know someone who might be mad enough to help with that..."

Now, I am not one to turn down a challenge. Particularly one I think might be a bit tricky and kind of fun. So when Surrey WCC played Cheshire WCC (ok, when Surrey travelled North to watch it rain for the day), I duly received a bag of 5 scarves. 

This was a challenge for several reasons. I've never machine-quilted anything before. I've never actually bound and finished a full-size quilt. Wool is stretchy. But from the quilting I have done, I know preparation is key. So I took my time. I hand-stitched the scarves together, long edge to long edge. That's when I discovered that not all college scarves are created equal - some are longer than others! I had to trim the ends anyway, so not a disaster. I found some lovely 100% wool Prada pinstripe fabric for the backing. I went to the Brighton Sewing Centre for some of their 100% cotton wadding (and a walking foot for my machine). In short, I sourced the best materials I could. Something I've learnt from knitting is that there is no point scrimping on materials. 

So then all I had to do was put it all together! Minimum 4 layers of material (the scarves are double thickness), maximum anything up to 6 I think (the hems for the stripes). I had to play with the tension on my machine a bit before I was happy with the stitch shape. I opted for a really simple quilting pattern, just straight lines following the scarf stripes. Horizontal quilting would have detracted from the strong vertical lines of the quilt. I had to add a couple of extra lines in the wider stripes, for which Clarkie came up with the brilliantly simple but effective idea of using LX tape to provide a nice straight edge. Then I had to work out the binding. 

Finished wool quilt

Eventually - ok, the morning before it had to be delivered - it all came together. Honestly? I am really proud of this. There were points through the process where I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew, when I had to take out long lines of quilting and redo them, when I was trying to manipulate this big, heavy roll of fabric through my little sewing machine (Clarkie did help me when she could). But in the end it all came together and looked and felt lovely. Quite a heavy quilt, and just the right size for snoozing on a sofa with. 

Test driving

The quilt has now been delivered to my friend's mum, who apparently was really pleased with it. Fun job well done, I say! 

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