Monday, 11 January 2016
Monday, 23 November 2015
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Well it has been busy! The biggest thing since my last post was my trip to Houston, Texas for Quilt Market followed by The International Quilt Show. My what a feast!
So that was almost 10 days of quilty loveliness.
I hope to share a few pictures as the weeks go by. But here is a little taste of Houston!
Between the two shows I had a day to myself - and so I took a cab across town to NASA Johnson Space Centre. For a science geek like me it was AWESOME! This is the obligatory space shuttle selfie - and Yes, that's really really big!!!!
Of course I balanced it out with a trip to HobbyLobby on the way back for a bit of a fabric fix!
Thursday, 13 August 2015
You could also join me on this fun Freeform Class on Friday 16th October where you will learn design techniques to help you create your own free form quilt designs.
So as you can see there is plenty there to keep me busy :)
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
A traditional type of quilting that is certainly making a come back - EPP is often a starting point for new stitchers because it is simple and extremely portable. A pile of hexagons or diamonds stuffed in a plastic folder take up no space at all in a travel bag - and is my holiday project of choice! In fact - it makes me a far more sociable stitcher even at home because I can stitch in front of the TV instead of tucked away in my sewing room.
This is a tutorial to make a small block which you can then turn into a pin cushion. You can omit the last stage and simply applique it onto a background and use it as a block!
It is a fabulous way of using up all those scraps - and this little lot is all made with left over Tilda bits and pieces. Why waste a single inch???
- 19 paper hexagons
- 6 inch square of fabric for pin cushion backing
- Scraps of coordinating fabric (4 x 5 inch squares from Spring Lake Tilda Charm pack were used for this sample)
- Handful of stuffing
- Threads – contrasting for basting and a matching thread for sewing together
- Small sharp scissors
Make the hexagonsYou can buy precut paper pieces or cut your own from recycled paper. Cut your fabric pieces at least ¼ inch larger on all sides than the paper piece. This extra fabric will be folded over the paper pieces to make a hexagon exactly the same size (see Fig 1).
Next, baste your fabric around the paper. Use a paperclip to keep the first fold in place and then gently fold the fabric edge over the paper template. (fig 2)
Tie a big knot in the end of a contrasting thread (so you can easily see to remove it later) and place a stitch on the fold. Keep the thread taut as you stitch the corners – you want to keep the fabric tight to the template. (See fig 3). You can buy fabric glue sticks that remove the need for stitching but I don't really have any experience of these.
EPP as blocks
Friday, 3 July 2015
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Question - what do the different methods of processing mean?
- This is where fibres are needle punched or dry felted together to create uniform layers that are strongly fused and creates a soft drape.
- The more the fibres are punched together, the denser the resulting wadding.
- Needle punched wadding requires very close quilting - often with stitching no further than about 4 inches apart.
- The needle punched fibres are easy to glide a needle through ad so is perfect for the hand quilting enthusiast.
Needle Punching with Scrim
- Scrim is a lightweight sheet of stabiliser that is needle punched into the wadding as it is formed.
- It adds strength and durability, and supports the final item when it is washed after completion.
- This stability also allows for quilting much further apart, allowing stitching lines 8 - 10 inches apart.
- Thermal bonding is used for fibres like polyester or wool. Needle punching for these fibres can cause fibre migration (or bearding) where the finished wadding has a 'fuzz' and can easily show through the resulting quilt.
- Thermal bonding is where a small amount of 'low melt' polyester is mixed in with the wadding fibres and then passed through a warm oven to melt them together.
- Thermally bonded polyester has a higher loft (height) and is very light weight and 'poofy'! This can add real dimension to the quilting and adds real definition.
- Thermal bonding in high loft wadding often requires a stitched area of 4".
Question - Should I pre-shrink?
- Some wadding will shrink depending on the fibre content - and this is usually noted on the packaging so make sure you keep a note once you have removed it from the packaging.
- 100% cotton & cotton blends tend to shrink the most. This can be used to create the 'antique' look that many quilters desire by washing AFTER the quilt has been completed.
- If you do not want to achieve this affect, you should pre-shrink.To pre-shrink your wadding, submerge in warm water (not hot) and soak for 20 minutes. Gently squeeze out excess water by rolling it in a dry towel. Be careful as wet wadding is very fragile. To dry your wadding, lay it flat or put in a warm dryer for a short time.
Question - What are the different varieties of wadding and when are they best used?
- It is lightweight and durable - it will spring back into shape no matter how many times it is washed.
- Washable by hand or by machine.
- It is good for those with allergies because there are no allergens in it.
- Inexpensive and available in a wide range of lofts & thicknesses.
- Higher loft wadding are great for showing quilt stitch definition.
- Bags and items of haberdashery that are used often.
- All items that require frequent washing.
- Good thermal properties so great for cold weather quilts!
- Children's play mats - though not recommended for babies (you should only use 100% cotton for baby quilts)
- It is soft and can be quilted with a lot of detail.
- Washable by hand or machine (on a cool wash).
- Great for hand quilting.
- Cotton wont melt if you put a hot pan on it, so is great for table runners, place mats etc.
- Thin and low loft
- Ideal for giving your quilt that heirloom look, as it shrinks (about 3%-5%) and wrinkles the first time you wash it.
- Heirloom quilts.
- Summer quilts as it is light and breathable.
- Competition quilts
- The light low loft feel and breathability of cotton with the durability and safe washing of polyester.
- Popular blends are 80% cotton/20% polyester and 60%cotton/40% polyester.
- A blended material is a good choice for quilters who are unsure which batting is the best for their quilts. Cotton and polyester blend batting is typically less expensive than pure cotton but pricier than completely polyester products.
- Just about anything!
- Wool is the warmest of the waddings on the market and is the best choice for quilts which are used in damp and cool climates as they are able to absorb moisture.
- It is too warm for Spring and Summer use.
- Wool is popular with both hand and machine quilters.
- It is lightweight and retains it's loft though out the life of the quilt - making it popular with art quilters.
- It can attract moths if not stored correctly.
- It can be tricky to wash - and should NEVER be tumble dried!
- It is a pricey option!
There are other waddings available on the market - including bamboo and silk. Eventually, the choice of wadding is personal. It can be based on how you plan to use the finished quilt, how you want to quilt it, what look you want it to have or how much money you can afford to spend.