Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wall art for babies

This is a for a friend's baby. A is a tricky one for me. If I join the top and bottom by stitching them right sides together and then inverting them I'm stuck with the hole in the centre which I need to do in some other way. I'll figure it out somehow.

This one I made for my nephew last year. I hand stitched this one and I think its actually a little neater.... Filled it with polyfill.

Project update

I think the picture doesn't really bring the colors out too well. I took this under yellow light at night... I think it looks different in daylight/ white light. Anyway... I tried to neutralize the colors a little bit. I think the husband was right about it being a bit too much. A lesson on color theory is obviously in order!

So... that's that. Now I need to sew on all the pieces and quilt it.

A little work on plain yellow

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Tutorials @...

Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Looks like a great store as well...unfortunately I won't be able to buy... yet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Self Doubt

Yesterday as I sewed a little wall hanging for a friends baby my brother asked me how I had come to chose sewing as a hobby. I said I really did not know but its been on my mind for a long time and now its become some what of an obsession. Then he said something like this:

... hmm... so you're sitting here sewing pretty butterflies and happy colors fooling yourself that you are doing something useful with yourself when really you're just wasting your life away...

He said he was joking later but I must admit the thought has crossed my mind many times. I'm 30 and only now beginning to sew and I want to be a quilter! Will I be any good? I have no background in design or textile or art... I only see and feel and am drawn to fabric and color and textures... am I fooling myself?

Should I have started earlier? Is it too late?

Am I fooling myself thinking that I can be a quilter?

But... there's really nothing else I want to do! I want to quilt, I want to sew, I want to work with fabric and color... its all I read about or research or think about. I really don't want to do anything else!

And for the first time in my life I can say that I know what I want to do! For the first time something has grabbed me and consumes me... for the very first time in 30 years! If I don't do this... I don't want to do anything.

Searching for a quilting foot

So I went to the Singer showroom on Commercial Street today and asked for a quilting foot for my sewing machine that my mum bought from them a few months ago. The manual says that the quilting foot - not included in the standard accessories - can be purchased at the store. That unfortunately is not the case. They do not have any extra accessories and had no clue what a quilting foot was.

Then I asked them how I could drop the feed dogs coz I couldn't figure that out on the machine either and they said that I couldn't. The darning foot comes with a plate and maybe I should try that out.

Hmm. So I guess darning foot it is!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project update

I thought I was kind of done with this but I feel the patch in the beige with the tree and butterfly don't work so I'm going to take that off.

My husband also said that the colours are too bright and so was difficult on the eye. I do tend to veer towards bright colors sometimes but I agree. They are rather strong mostly since I've been working with the scraps from the practice blocks. But I think I need to tone it down a bit. So I need to see what I can do. More later.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Maggie Ayres

I was checking out some quilting videos through the interweave site and I found Maggie Ayres - Beginnings. She says what I feel now. About how you realize that everything you are are is what others have made you and you can get comfortable in it, or you can "tear through". I like how she used the word "tear" rather than break...a textile artist for sure.

I am glad to meet other people who go through similar journeys and I am grateful that they share their stories. It gives me hope. Sometimes I wonder if I am fooling myself. Wanting to quilt now... after I've turned 30...will I ever be any good? Will ever learn and know enough? But these women bring me hope.

I am trying to tear through...its painful...but I must.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I think I should also make a tree quilt.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Possible patterns

I have always doodled through lectures and meetings. These are from a recent Board Meeting and I'm putting them up here coz' I want to use them sometime.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Online Resource

When I first started reading about quilting I found this site: Then she had a full tutorial for a beginners quilt for free. Now it's in a book that you have to pay for. Anyway, my log cabin instructions were from this site and I went back to check and couldn't find it.

The site has some good stuff though.

New Project

I have been waiting to sort of freely associate with fabric and sew out of the box. But I felt that I should first learn a few traditional blocks at least before I do my own thing.

I love patchwork quilts and the intricacies of the designs. And I want to master them. But I have only given my spirit wings and so would like to see what lies beneath the structure and the precision.

I had such fun starting this off. It's mainly fabric leftovers from what my practice blocks but I really enjoyed it. I kept thinking that when you do free style kind of sewing then you need to let the cloth speak to you.

I put a square of red on the cloth and instantly thought of the poem - The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams. My professor who taught is American Literature wrote the lines of the poem on the board in his introductory class and began the semester from there.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
              - William Carlos Williams

Block 4 - Pin Wheel

I am happy with the way this one turned out. :)

Block 3 - Log Cabin

I had taken down this pattern a few years ago and I did not take all the instructions down. It seemed simple... flip one piece on top of another and sew in the order that they were labeled. But something is wrong. I need to go back and check what the instructions are! I looked for a log cabin instruction in one of my books but it seemed too complicated. I will need to go back to the site I got the pattern from.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Block 2 - Fair and Square

I wanted to do more than one block today but we've been having a really bad time with the electricity. AND IT'S SO HOT!!!! That really has nothing to do with the sewing but I thought I'd say it anyway 'coz I do, at least 20 times a day! So I could only get through one and here it is.

I am happy with the diamond in the centre but again some points don't meet. I think I cut better today than I did yesterday but still a long way to go it seems.

I used a scant 1/4th inch seam... I tried working with a marking on my ruler (just good old Nataraj ruler... not the fancy ones you see on the video tutorials... I need to get some of those). So the marking was a little less than a 1/4 of an inch and I had read that a scant 1/4th inch seam also works. I think it did really but there is obviously an issue with one of the strips.

I'm enjoying teaching myself how to do this. :) It's so much less pressure (except of course the pressure I put on myself but I work on that). I like figuring stuff out and working at my own pace and teaching myself. It's a great way to learn I think.

Today's tip: 3 important things to remember while learning to quilt - precision, practice and patience.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Block 1 - Ohio Star

So I finally got down to sewing and not just thinking about it. Got this pattern out of one my books. Its the Ohio Star. I think its not too bad for a first try but I realize how important it is to cut right! The first set of triangle blocks were terribly off so I decided to make another which was not too bad but the points didn't meet, then on the next try they did :) So progress in one block. Of course piecing it together shows up all the errors... still I'm happy I began and I know that I will get better as I go along.

This is with the casement cloth so its not going to go into a quilt. Maybe a letter holder or something like that. Also, realized how important good thread is. I need to get better thread. The ones I have get caught in the machine a lot and that can't be good for the machine or my frustration levels!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quilting Exhibition

The Victoria and Albert Museum is having an Exhibition of Quilts from 20 March - 4 July 2010. Of course I can't personally see it but I can read what's going on here.