Thursday, 30 April 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 42 - At Least It's A Start


Probably the most boring picture I have ever posted about free motion quilting.  A bit like a kid waving a blank piece of paper and yelling "Look mum at this lovely picture I'm going to draw." Bemused mother can do no more than feign interest.

Anyway, the plan is to use up some part synthetic fabric that is cluttering up the cupboard as a practice piece.  The solitary line will be a horizon and some sort of landscape is just going to have to evolve because I really couldn't be bothered planning one.  It's been a busy week, with a very exciting and unquilty finish.



At first sight an equally tedious picture, but it is about time I showed you one of my husband's ingenious constructions.  The pine table behind the treadle is in fact a hinged flap, a bit like a leaf of a gate-legged table but minus the table.  It is virtually impossible to do free motion quilting when the treadle is up against the wall because there is no room for the work behind the machine, and it is too much effort to push it over the dining table, which is the wrong height anyway.  My husband cast his ever practical eye over the situation quite some time ago. Now all I need to do is pull the machine away from the wall, pull up the flap, swing the leg into position underneath it, and off I go.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 42...

Many thanks to Maartje, Katy, JudyGwyned, Teresa, Stitchin At Home, Angie and Julie for linking up last time.  

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

1949 Lutterloh Blouse for Spring For Cotton 2015


Finished today, just within the deadline for the Spring for Cotton 2015 Sew-Along, first announced on Rochelle's blog Lucky Lucille, and now showing lots of fabulous finishes on Flickr.

The rules were straightforward - use only cotton fabric to make a garment using a vintage pattern.



It was the perfect opportunity to try out a pattern from a 1949 book of Lutterloh patterns. This is the blouse that caught my eye...


... and this is the one and a half inch high pattern that I had to enlarge.  There were a few minor problems with the pattern, but today I was able to try on the finished blouse and pass the camera to my daughter for a photo session.


Not totally identical to the illustration, but most definitely 1940s!  I didn't put so many buttons on the front...



... but I added one to the centre back of the collar.



I stuck to the rules and used only cotton fabric and thread.  For the interfacing in the collar and down the centre front I used calico. 



The bias binding on the armhole seams is also cotton - a sure sign that I have had it stashed for ages, because I can only find cotton and polyester mixes these days.


The machines behaved themselves impeccably.  Most of the work was done on my 1937 Frister and Rossmann transverse shuttle, except for the buttonholes, which were done on the 1936 Singer 201K treadle.

video

The buttonholer probably gave the me the greatest fun of the whole project.  Excuse the grubby fingernails.  I've been planting spuds.

The greatest setback was working out how to give the fullness for the bust.  Just one look at the immense dart on the pattern once I enlarged it and I knew that if I made the blouse as drafted I would end up looking like a failed Nurse Diesel.



I bashed ahead with what I thought was the easy option and did tucks on the shoulders, and they looked pretty shocking.

So yesterday, when the blouse was all but finished, I put in darts.  Not the best time to do it, when the armhole seams are bound and the collar is on.  I had to unpick about a two and a half inch section of the shoulder seams  - French seams, so I had two lines of stitching to contend with.



Anyway, I managed it.  Don't ask how long it took.  Here is one of the shoulder seams showing the head of the dart.



Here is the same seam again once I had folded in the raw edges and hand stitched the top edge together again. 



And this is how the dart looks on the front.  It is only now, looking at the photos together with the line drawing and the pattern that I realise that my darts run at a slightly different angle. Not that it matters.  It fits. 



On the inside of the collar seam I used a bias strip cut from the fabric to enclose the raw edges.



This means that I ended up with a line of machine stitching visible on the right side.  To make sure that the edge of the collar conceals this stitching I added a button and buttonhole at the centre back. 



It was a good excuse to use another of those gorgeous buttons.



The line drawing shows three buttons on the collar.  They must be tiny, because I only had room for one.  The buttons are five eighths of an inch, and spaced three inches apart down the front.



On the opposite side I have an uncut buttonhole.  The thread is a variegated cotton, which I also used for the edge stitching.

If it hadn't been for the Spring for Cotton challenge I am not sure when I would have got round to trying out a Lutterloh pattern.  Thank you Rochelle!  I am ridiculously chuffed with the result.  The fit is incredibly comfortable, it has a lovely tailored look so it can do for smart or casual outfits, and I am already thinking of making another.

Now I'm off to Flickr to see what everybody else has been up to - the finishes are coming in fast...

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday
and Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and AmandaJean's blog CrazyMom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

1949 Lutterloh Blouse Nearly Finished...


Yesterday was buttons and buttonholes day.

These buttons were irresistible - exactly the right colour, and with a glittery centre.


I raided my box of variegated threads and found one that went perfectly with the print.


It was a case of extreme pattern matching.  Here is the front of the blouse all buttoned up. Spot the overlap.

Today's job has been rather more irksome.  Once the buttons were done and I was trying on the blouse it was glaringly obvious that the shoulder tucks, which seemed a great idea at the time, just had to go.  They looked pretty awful in the last pictures I posted, when I had just put on the collar. By the time I went to bed last night I had resigned myself to the inevitable... unpick a section of the shoulder seam and replace the tucks with a dart.  Today I tackled it, the greater part of my day got sucked into a black hole, but I've done it.

Only the hem is left to be done...

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - A Horse in Granite


A beautiful fountain in a square outside one of the side entrances to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela.

I went for a six day trip to Santiago last week with my brother.  It is a city built of granite, massive and forbidding under grey skies, but when the sun comes out the stone absorbs the heat and reflects the light in such a way that it feels like a different city.

Welcome to Mona Dolan, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The 1949 Lutterloh Blouse Has a Collar


After spending ages today sewing on the collar on the Lutterloh blouse, I can schedule Monday as buttons and buttonholes day.  Then I shall have to get my skates on and do the hem and sleeves hems because the deadline for Spring for Cotton is next Thursday.  

I shall have to do something creative with those shoulder tucks.  They make the front of the blouse hang like a little girl's bedroom curtain.



I shall make sure that my final photos are better than this.  Bathroom mirror selfies aren't my forte. I'm the wrong generation.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 41 - Home Again!


Today has been my first full day back at home after landing back in England shortly before midnight on Tuesday.  Much as I would have loved to have tackled some sewing today, the sun is shining, so I am knee deep in laundry.  Good drying weather is not to be sniffed at.

Where have I been?  True aficionados of continental pastries will get it in one.  The café tablescape is of our favourite haunt for breakfast and afternoon coffee.  Only in truly civilised countries does coffee come with complimentary cake, two pieces each.  The non-complimentary cake I ordered has the fork already poised, Sword in the Stone style, so there is no excuse for wasting time before diving in.



The local haberdasher's had a delightful window display, combining exquisite stitching with atrocious spelling.  The advantage of not spotting mistakes is that you don't have any unpicking to do.  I didn't have the heart to tell them.



blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg



Here goes for week 41...

Many thanks to Maartje, Gwyned, Angie, Linda and Leanne for linking up last time.  

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.



Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Goldfinch


Gorgeous little birds.  They come back every year to nest in a bay tree overlooking our garden.  Not the clearest photo, but I was sitting on the draining board to get a view out of the kitchen window. Lucky I didn't drop the camera in the sink.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 40 - Back in 2011...


... I tried free motion quilting for the very first time, using ordinary white machine cotton,


meandering around some really drab samples of furnishing cotton,


with thermal curtain lining instead of wadding.  The resulting samples are still lurking around the sewing room.  I haven't a clue what to do with them.  But because I have done nil quilting this week, for today's rather unusual linky I thought I would show you my first unsteady steps.

This week you have an absent hostess...

I am off on another jaunt with my brother and will not be back until late next week.  This post is on automatic timer, a bit like an oven, so you can link up as usual and eat all the cakes.  I will not be able to visit your blogs for a while, so please make sure you visit each other.  Also, if you leave a comment it won't show, but please don't let that stop you from commenting - when I come home I want to look forward to reading real comments after I have deleted all the wretched spam.

See you all soon!  I shall take plenty of photos on my travels...

xxx


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg



Here goes for week 40...

Many thanks to Brianna, Cynthia, Hilary, Gwyned, Maartje, Linda, Claire, Angie and PearShaped for linking up last time.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Monday, 13 April 2015

1949 Lutterloh Blouse - Halfway There...


This is the pattern for the blouse that I am making for Spring for Cotton.  It is printed in the back of the Lutterloh book on a minute scale.  These are the outlines for the back, front and sleeves.  The images for the back and front are only one and five eighths of an inch from top to bottom.  I thought that so long as I didn't read a 1 as a 7 everything would work out perfectly.  It didn't.  The measurement of 33.5 cm at the bottom left of the picture threw the whole pattern piece out of shape, so I ended up redrafting the front.  It is a bit late to dash off a cross letter to Lutterloh about it.

The pattern has an enormous dart down to the bust from the shoulder.  Regrettably, I haven't got the figure for it, so I have done tucks instead.  Also, the pattern as drafted came out too narrow in the back, so I had to add to the width of both the back and the front.  No need for drastic measures this time.


Today I have done a bit of sewing and have finished the binding inside the armhole seams.



  
The process I followed was much the same as for Meg's dress, with tucks at the top of the sleeves.



The blouse is now beginning to take shape.  The collar needs to go on next, then I can do the buttons and buttonholes, hem the sleeves and hem round the bottom.  I'm not sure yet whether I will put in waist darts, I shall have to see how it fits once it fastens up.  I know for sure that I shan't be bothering with a pocket...



... after all the serious effort I put in with the pattern matching.  Manically meticulous, but worth it.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Winter Fuel


Part of the enormous stash of logs in the yard of my brother in law's neighbour in Poland.

Look at this picture for long enough and your eyes might start to dance.

Welcome to Marilyn Fletcher and Wrigglefingers, the latest followers - thank you for joining!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Problem Attaching the Seam Guide


It was only yesterday that I cleaned the holes in the bed of my 1927 Singer 99K and attached the seam guide for the first time.  I had forgotten that I had never been able to get the screw in because the hole was gummed up.


Having had good results with paraffin when cleaning up a Naumann machine with a stuck foot, I decided to try the same method to clean out the holes.  I twisted the ends of a very narrow strip of cotton material and poked them up through the bed of the machine from below.


Underneath, in the base of the machine, I put a little ramekin with a tiny amount of paraffin in it. Once the machine was lowered back into the base, the cotton strip was left lying in the paraffin.  It acted as a wick, soaking up the paraffin and breaking down the residue that was gumming up the screw thread.  I left the cotton strip in place for a few hours.


Then, after removing the strip, I dipped an interdental toothbrush in paraffin and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the hole.  It only took a few minutes, and then I was able to get the screw in.

Success!  Now I can use this machine with the seam guide.

And I even remembered to take the ramekin out of the base.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 39 - Pink Cradle Quilt


Finished today, the pink version of the red and cream crib quilt.  It is the same size, same piecing scheme, but there are a few differences apart from the colours.


Instead of just leaves and swirls, this time there are a few berries thrown in for a bit of variety.


Also, to prevent the seams of the little squares bumping up, I started by putting a straight line of quilting down each side before getting started with the free motion quilting.  The whole quilt lies a little flatter, which is what I wanted.


The free motion swirls that fit into the squares are the same way up as the swirls in the pink panels. On the red and cream quilt I managed to get the swirls upside down by mistake, but it was one of those mistakes that nobody else would notice unless I told them, which is why I have waited until now to own up.

I wish I could say that this quilt had been plain sailing.  There were so many stops and starts that I felt that I had slightly lost my thread, and the binding took twice as long as it should have done - it just didn't want to fold over neatly.  It was one of those irksome sewing days today, but fried up left over spuds and a fried egg for a late lunch made it all seem all right in the end.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg



Here goes for week 39...

Many thanks Julie, Maartje, Hilary, Gwyned, Sophie, Alison, Lyn, Claire and Quilt Musings for linking up last time.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 38 - Slow Progress


Better than no progress at all, I suppose.  Since last week I have done eight more leaves (well I can boast that averages more than one a day) and a few berries.




When I quilted the red and cream crib quilt I managed to repeat the pattern at regular intervals.  This time I have slightly lost the plot, and am approaching spaces wondering how I am going to fill them. I had also forgotten my tried and tested rule, that it is easier to travel down a stem than up.  I should write these thing down, in a blog post for instance.


This week's startling discovery is that I do better at FMQ when there isn't so much going on. Like turning the house upside down to have windows fitted, and then having a visitor.  My brother in law is with us for a stay.  He turned up last Sunday evening having driven here from Southern Poland. We were expecting him, but had no idea what day or what time.  He doesn't believe in phoning ahead - too middle class for him. Somehow I must have anticipated his arrival on the ether, because there was an extra portion of chicken left over from lunchtime ready for his supper.

I'm not complaining.  The sewing never stops, and I have made great progress on the latest 1940s blouse.  The men in the family quite happily supped beer and watched the trials of pattern drafting on the dining room table.  It's more sociable than free motion quilting.



blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg



Here goes for week 38...

Many thanks to Maartje, Hilary, Sophie, JanineMarie, Teresa, Irene, Dora and Andree for linking up last time.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  .
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up to Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

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