Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Thistledown


Ethereal fluffy down and fearsome thorns.

Welcome to Allison, Maureen, Marina Strasser and Maureen Brand, the latest followers - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 62 - Tea Time Crib Quilt


Until now all the little cot and crib quilts that I have made over the past few weeks have been assembled from blocks.  As a result I have been left with lots of short left over strips which I need to use up.  This seemed like a nice simple solution - scrappy strips framing a central panel of one of my favourite fabrics.


The back is also scrappy, because I was left with pieces of the plain blue, which I have stretched out with other odd bits.


The London tea time print is definitely one of my all time favourites.  It is so cheerful and comforting, and somehow strangely familiar.


I can't think why I am so attached to it.

Talking of tea, I need frequent tea breaks with this landscape project, which starts with a few free motion quilted lines (as shown on yesterday's post, where you can see a really quick video of the same piece of work at an earlier stage)...



... and continues with more lines being added to gradually build up the picture...


... with frequent changes of thread to give subtle shifts of colour.  That, in a nutshell, is the method.



blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 62..


Many thanks to everyone who linked up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

The project in Week 61 that really caught my eye was this lovely quilt of falling leaves by Judy.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more photos and read about how she made it.
 



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 the 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 Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts 
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Rigging Up The Camera

 
 
Quilting with a camera in the way brings its own special challenges.  Not only am I working on a free motion landscape at the moment, but also I am working out how to do some videos, which is something I have wanted to do for ages.

My husband has devised an ingenious system - a metal tube held in a wooden block clamped to the counter beside me, giving clearance for my hands and forearms underneath so I can move the work.  This photo shows the adjustable attachment that the camera has to be screwed to, but of course there is no camera in the photo because it was taking the picture  To do the filming I lean over the camera and look between the camera and the machine.

video

Here is a very quick test video, showing the same piece of work at an earlier stage.
I think the landscape will be finished before I have really got to grips with the video production, but we're getting there!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Verbena Bonariensis


Yellow and orange marigolds give the perfect background to complement the soft purple of the verbenas.  If only I could convey the scent too.

Welcome to Lizzie and Linda, the latest followers - thank you for joining!

Linking up to Grantham Lynn's blog My Journey Back for Fabulous Fall

Friday, 18 September 2015

Repairing a Thread Guide on a Singer 99K


Looking at a safety pin the other day, I realised that I had found the answer to the problem of the missing thread guide on the face plate that I showed last week.  This cheap and nasty blunt safety pin got what it truly deserved.  My husband's pliers double up as a nifty pair of wire cutters.


Next I used my jewellery pliers to bend the sides to fit inside the faceplate.  The slight kink on the right was needed because the wire has to go over the pin that secured the original thread guide.


Next I poked it through the hole in the face plate and kept it in place with a couple of blobs of blue tack - this photo shows just one blob, before the second one went on.


Here is the inside once the blue tack is holding the improvised thread guide steady...


... ready for the wire on both sides to be covered with metal glue.  I used J B Weld.


The glue needed to set overnight, so I put the face plate up on my bookshelf out of harm's way.


Although the glue was still a tiny bit tacky next morning, it was firm enough for me to put the face plate back on the machine.

While doing this repair it became apparent how the original thread guide must have been broken off.  My theory is that the face plate was dropped face down onto a hard surface, so that the thread guide took the full force of the impact and was snapped off on the inside where it was attached to the plate.  I must try not to let history repeat itself.  I can just imagine dropping the plate face down and the wire popping out of the little beds of glue.

Now it seems worth giving the machine a thorough clean up.  I just hope it turns out to be a good runner.

Linking up to Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 61 - A Finish, A Start and a New Feature

 


 Only a small quilt finished this week, crib size rather than cot size.  It is approximately 27 inches square.
 
 
This is an ideal size for free motion quilting.  I find anything much bigger than this and it can start getting unmanageable.
 
 
These stripes  were a bit worrying.  Frankly, they need a health warning.  They are like an old black and white TV that has lost its vertical hold.  The effect is worst when I am ironing the material.  I feel as though I am going to keel over and crack my head, then come round seeing cartoons.  Fortunately they didn't get me while I was quilting.
  
 
I was much happier quilting the scooters...
 
 
 ... and this entertaining print of toys hanging out to dry.
 
 
The traffic jam print worked a treat for the binding, with all the cars driving round the edge of the quilt.
 
 
I didn't have enough of the plain blue to do all the backing in a single piece, so I used up some odd strips to make it stretch.
 
 
Any excuse to use up the stripes.  I defy anyone to look at this and not feel seasick.  I hope the baby that ends up sleeping under this is a good sailor. 
 
As for this week's new project, I have started a landscape for the annual 12 x 12 challenge at Midsomer Quilting.  Not a massive amount of progress yet...
 
 
... but at least I have started sewing!  No prizes for guessing that it is another thread landscape.
 
And now for a new feature for Free Motion Mavericks.  Every week I shall be revisiting a project from last week's link up. 

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 61..


Many thanks to everyone who linked up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

The project in Week 60 that really caught my eye was this amazing picture by Andree!  If you haven't visited her blog already, nip over now, and see not only her quilt, but also the photo it was based on. 

Yellow Kayak


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 the 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 Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina-Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts 
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Grantham Lynn's blog My Journey Back for Link the Linky Party.




Sunday, 13 September 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Tiles on a Portuguese Church



Heaven in blue and white tiles. 

Welcome to the latest follower, The Joy of Jen - thanks for joining!  

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Clean Up Job Postponed



Lots of machines look like this when I first get them - a bit sad and grubby.  This is a 1918 Singer 99K that was given to my husband to bring home to see if I could get it going.  The movement is incredibly stiff, and I have checked under the needle plate and found the usual wads of fluff.  The face plate didn't look too bad...


... until I was about to take it off and realised what was missing.



For comparison, here is my 1927 99K, with the thread going through the hook which the other machine has lost.


How on earth did that happen?  There is no sign of damage to the outside of the faceplate, nor on the inside, but somehow it came to grief.

Needless to say, that stopped me in my tracks with the clean up job.  I am mulling over whether to try an improvisation with a hair grip and metal glue.  Time will tell.  There's no rush.

Update:  No, I scrapped the idea of a hair grip - see the repair here.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 60 - Going Slightly Green


If you think this quilt looks slightly familiar...


... with the trade mark cars in the middle... and there is an inner groan of "oh no not again", then spare a thought for me.

It has been a bit of a self imposed test to see how many quilts I can turn out, getting a mini production line going and avoiding all things pink or floral, so I can put aside a few quilts for baby boys. 


This traffic jam fabric fitted the bill for the wheels theme, and the pale sage green cars tied in with the brash green crate with the rusty bonnet in the middle.


Green popped up again with the little trains,


and surrounding the London tea time fabric, where this time I have managed not to slice through the tea pots.

But I still don't like the sludgy purple.  I must remember to keep it well away from green.  I thought the purple might make the green look greener; instead, the green makes the purple look sludgier.  Not that I should really care, because the baby that ends up sleeping under this one won't give a hoot.

Anyway, before I bore myself to oblivion with all these cot quilts, I have the next project bubbling between my ears, and I really should get started.


I even got some threads out today to help the planning process, such as it is.  That is as far as I have got.  The weather was far too glorious for staying in, and I have spuds to dig up.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 60..

Many thanks to Kim, Judy, Bernie,
GwynedAngie and Malinda for linking up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

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 the 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 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
and Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Clouds Over Clevedon


A low spring tide on 1st September.

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

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 59 - Two Cars in the Middle


Having made a couple of cot quilts for baby boys over the past few weeks, I thought they would all turn out looking very similar.


The cars have made a reappearance right in the middle of the quilt, so the wheels theme carries on, but the colour scheme is a bit of a departure.  Not my usual shades at all.


This nursery print is to blame for sending me in a different direction.  It's a  version of one of my favourite fabrics, the toys hanging out their washing, which I have been using in cot quilts for months.  I bought several bundles of four fat quarters, each of which had the same print with different colour backgrounds - pink and pale green, both of which I have almost used up, a peachy pink which is so pretty I have been saving it, and this really peculiar sludgy purple which leaves me slightly confused.  It is not a colour that I readily associate with babies.  Leafing through one of my books this week I found that purple was a colour that was popular in quilts in this country in the mid 19th century, especially after Queen Victoria took to wearing a shade derived from a synthetic dye called mauveine.  That probably explains why I associated this iffy purple with mourning, not a brilliant choice for a nursery print, and I wondered whether I would ever find a use for it. 

Then I tried it next to this rather jolly scooters print and decided to use it.


The tiny hearts in the border print are exactly the same shade of mauve, and by using the glum plum nursery print for the binding I might manage to use it up quicker.  It has given this quilt a definite make-do post-war austerity look. 


But that doesn't mean there isn't any fun in it.  The tea time theme is here again, with a Big Ben mug turning up in the London mugs print...


...and tea cups, tea pots and jam pots with little hearts...


...which manage to tie in neatly with the hearts in the border print.  Even the binding is fun-packed, with this elephant peeping out at us...


...and his friend going cross eyed on the corner.

So it has turned out to be the perfect quilt for the vintage austerity baby boy racer who is determined to have fun against the odds.


And after all my misgivings about the purple, something went totally right.  I used the same colour bobbin thread for the quilting and the binding, and this is how much was left when I finished.  It wasn't just that the bobbin was almost finished, but that I couldn't have refilled it anyway because I had none left.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 59..

Many thanks to Bernie,
Gwyned, Alison, Norma, Cynthia and Angie for linking up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

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 the 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 Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts
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.

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