Friday, September 18, 2009

Vlisofix, the iron and little bits of fabric...

Just a note to myself more than anyone else... as a quilting novice, or applique novice is more appropriate, when ironing numerous little bits of papered fabric it is important to find a cool area on your ironing board as the heat from the previous piece will make said small piece curl and virtually impossible to iron!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clyde and Ollie

Clyde and Ollie have been stitched! Clyde looks pretty hard core and Ollie looks a bit tame in comparison. I struggled a bit with Ollie's wings, because 'someone' has taken my pattern and 'hidden' it somewhere... almost 4 year olds! Driving me insane!!! If/When I find it I might redo the wing feathers...

But I am happy and we are off to Dural this morning to get the next block. I will do the borders on block one at some stage over the weekend.

Happy Days!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blossom Creek pt 3

Then I set about doing the blanket stitch... Never having blanket stitched anything in my LIFE, not intentionally blanket stitching anyway, I turned to that wonderful moderin invention of You Tube and watched this tutorial over and over and over again until I got it! I went through my massive bag of DMC threads and selected my colours and I set off blanket stitching up a storm and I haven't looked back, it is SO addictive! A bit like scrapbooking, this comes together so quickly and looks so good. Okay so my stitching isn't perfect but you know what, it's my first attempt! My house roof isn't on quite stright but you know what, it is individual and it adds to the quirkiness of the quilt! I LOVE IT!

So now we are adding Clyde and Ollie (they are outlined in blue) then doing the edges, hopefully tomorrow afternoon then back up to Dural for block 2!

Blossom Creek pt 2

Sorry to drag this out but I am quite excited. By the time I get to block 3 it will be a picture of the finished block!! Bear in mind I have done most of this when Amelia is at pre-school and Stef at work so it has been stolen minutes during the day...

So, I traced the pattern (from the right sheet) onto the Vlisofix

Cutting the pieces out roughly I laid them on the appropriate fabric in a box

Then I made a deal with myself that WHEN, and only when, I had gotten to the bottom of the very large ironing pile was I allowed to iron the pattern onto the fabric. So I started the ironing on the Saturday night and continued on the Sunday morning, Stef at work and Amelia occupied I put on a chick flick (Marely and Me) and set about getting those wrinkles out of them clothes!

Amelia had a very important job of once the paper could come off the back she was allowed to remove it, then her next important job (with clean dry hands) was passing me the special pins to put the fabric onto the backing fabric. Her face was a picture when she saw it coming together! 'You are doing good work Mum, it looks just like the picture!' she said proudly!

Blossom Creek

For a long time I have looked at quilts and though that I wouldn't mind trying my hand at one but some of them just conjured up images of hexagonal squares everywhere when I was a teenager. At that point in my life I struggled to find beauty in what my mother was creating, and no, I didn't want a waistcoat, thanks all the same Mum!

I have looked on numerous websites for quilts, had my appetite whet by some and others I have just closed the sites down almost as soon as I have opened them! And then I discovered Natalie Ross and in particular Blossom Creek. I fell in love. I drooled and slobbered all over my computer screen. After wiping my chin dry I popped into every store listed as stocking her things trying to find a price for a pattern and somewhere that was doing it as the Block of the Month. I have since learned that bom is the phrase for those in the quilting know!

Not finding what I was looking for I took a gamble and emailed Natalie directly. What a wonderful lady she is! I had a reply within an hour!! She directed me to Country pickin's at the Corner in Dural, not too far from where we live. Phone call made, armed with the credit card, child safely deposited at pre-school I set off on my journey.

On the way home I was thinking to myself 'hmmm, what am I going to tell Stef' and then thought 'I don't care what he thinks, I like this, I am going to finish it and if he doesn't like it then tough!'

I think it was 2 days of having this hidden before I could open the packet. The delicious mix of fabrics, cherry reds and sunshine yellows, summer aqua and lucious lime green. I read the instructions about 10 times to make sure I understood what I had to do before I took the plunge and cut my first piece of material.

So this is how it started...

Monday, September 7, 2009

T'is Done..

Well, I rewrote the pattern, re invented the wheel so to speak, unpicked, re stitched, ran out of cotton but t'is done.

And has been to school for show and tell already!

No where near the bulk of the one in the magazine but I did use different batting. This is actually quite easy for Amelia to carry on her own.

For Lucy's I will probably play with the placement of the ribbon, perhaps have 2 one either side of the centre. Amelia is getting the hang of hopping, jumping then hopping again. The concentration is priceless!

One (very) proud (and slightly smug) mamma!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saving money on this project

Now, I have enjoyed making this project and have had a few comments (not posted) about the cost of it. All up this has cost me in the ball park of $100, more if I had used 'proper' batting.

So, everything I purchased from Spotlight with my 'VIP' card, not sure what that entitled me to as I had the wrong card and someone else has been swanning around with my card and benefitting from my spending! Anyway, we sorted that out on Sunday...

The felt was about $13 a metre. If you are looking to save some $'s I would cut the numbers out of the larger square and cover the cut out with the smaller square, so you have the same colour number as you do large square, or if you are going to make more than one, keep the numbers and sew the cutout as the number (so the reverse of the number is that makes sense?). Or you could use plain fabric in 3 colours...

The fabric for the top and the bottom, you need about 3m. If you are savvy and good with mixing and matching you could go through the remnents bin and see if you could muster up 6m of oddments, if you are going to mix and match and do panels as I have done then you would need 35cm as a minimum (x 6) and 40cm x2 (for numbers 1 and 10) and make sure everything is the same width! then 2.5m total or there abouts for the backing.

Batting - this is the most expensive part of this project by far! I had thought of using polar fleece but as Amelia's fabric is so pale it was going to have to be white and of course that was one that wasn't marked down... So, Spotlight do a bamboo batting that is $15.99/m and it is about 2.4m wide. I purchased 2m of this and cut it in half for the 2 hopscotches. They won't be as nicely padded as the one in the magazine but it is about practicality not looks as far as I am concerned!

If you are giving the hopscotch as a gift make sure the recipient knows the washing instructions of the batting. You don't want it going in the drier and being ruined. Actually, with the felt on the front you wouldn't want it anywhere near a clothes drier! Handwash only! An old bath sheet or several towels might work just as well but would add to the weight and the wetness but it was something I thought of.

Look, maybe this isn't the done thing to do but in these economic times and handmade gifts being the choice for a lot of people I would rather put these out there than keep them to myself.
The finished Hopscotch in Homesewn is divine and if you stick to the pattern you should get a similar result. There are no rules that say you HAVE to use the materials suggested, jus tlike there are no rules that say you should take my suggestions on board!

Starting again...

When I was sewing the original hopscotch I sewed the numbers on the backing in a big hurry and made a real botch job of it. I found the bulk of the fabric too much to deal with and needed to break the job down into little peices. So I unpicked the numbers off the backing fabric then cut the backing fabric into 6 35cm lots and 2 50cm lots (or thereabouts). Making sure I had the 2 wider fabrics for the end numbers (1 and 10) I set about and trimmed the squares a little to neaten them up, with my new best friend combo, the rotary cutter and cutting board, and got to work...

Using a gazillion pins this time in an effort to keep things where they were supposed to be (I am sure in school and when Mum was teaching me how to sew we were told to something stitch - baste or stocking?? - big wide stitches thet held everything in place and were removed once you had sewn the article with a sewing maching... I then saw these as an easy no effort way out of using little stitches and later realised they wouldn't hold the hems of skirts and trousers up too well...) I digress! So we methodically set about putting the number squares on the backing fabric making sure they were centred and set the machine to work. Amelia got the camera while the sewing was happening... luckily I ducked!

We ran out of cotton, of course, about 3 squares from the end so Amelia went next door and came back with my neighbour and a big box of cotton reels in all manner of glorious colours!
''Oh what a delightful collection of cottons!",
"yes" said my neighbour "mum warehouses Gutteman cotton!!!"
*glee* How about that! Handy or what?

10 numbers sewn on and we are done! Then we pinned right sides
together, making sure the numbers were up the right way and sewed each panel together in order and tah dah (again...)

Sewing laid on the floor is an open invitation for a certain almost 4 y/o to lay on, practice swimming on and declare me the best mother ever and her favourite game in the world is hopscotch! We have to add here that Amelia can't hop very well and has no idea how to play hopscotch but this will soon put an end to that little drama!

And then I noticed, with all my care about getting the numbers in the right order and up the right way, the backing fabric pattern doesn't repeat itself exactly across the width of the fabric. This will bug me and you will have to look super close to notice it but, numbers 1,2 and 3 are unpicked AGAIN ready to be resewn AGAIN and THEN we can get on to putting the batting in and finishing this project off!

A job for this morning, Amelia permitting!