Saturday, 23 June 2012

Meshwork Class at Made on Marion

Students hard at work in a Meshwork class today at Made on Marion - Wellington.  Notice the sustenance, lollies, cupcakes & coke!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kaleidoscope / Quilting Tips

I have just completed a wall hanging where the background is made up of kaleidoscope blocks. I fused the background blocks with a thin iron interfacing.  This was to prevent my blocks from stretching (as they are on the bias) while I hand applique my image onto it.  This worked realy well.

I machine quilted my piece with my new sewing machine (Janome Horizon 7700).  I have to say I am missing the BSR foot which my Bernina had, that regulated my free motion stitches but I'll get better with practise.  So therefore some unpicking was required.

When unpicking you are left with stitch holes in your fabric.  There are two methods I use to close them up.  (click on image to view holes)
With a needle or pin, I carefully move the weft & warp threads working them to close the hole.  This works with most cottons however I wouldn't use this method on silk as you will scratch it.  If the holes are not closing well or you are using a very fine fabric, lightly damp the area with cold water (light spray or cotton bud) then rub lightly with your finger then press with an iron.

I use the later method quite a bit. Though today I did have an accident.  I had used a fine black mesh on my piece to create a shadow effect.  So after unpicking my stitching, I wet the fabric to close up the holes then ironed it, promptly forgetting about the mesh and melting it into the background fabric.  Needless to say my iron has black mesh melted onto it.  Trick to remove gunk from the bottom of your iron is to iron a brown paper bag.  In most cases it gets it of. 

With acidents comes discoveries - I had already quilted over the mesh and with it now melted into my fabric, it has created hard surface and now wont lift or frae.

I've named this piece Spinning Koru.  For those of you reading my blog from outside of New Zealand, Koru is the Maori name for a curling fern frond.  As the frond grows, it uncurls.  Bit like new life.  Koru means twist. 

Center of the Spinning Koru

Spinning Koru
Happy quilting  Shirls

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Quilting Friendships

I played golf with my husband this afternoon.  I'm pretty useless at it but its an activity we can do together.  I can't see him quilting (though he has been seen on the odd occasion fixing something for his golf bag on my sewing machine) - so I have crossed the line to play golf.  While waiting for my turn I was thinking about my quilting friends and the bond we have.  I know - pretty heavy & didn't help my golf.
There are twelve  of us called the Kwilting Katz and we meet every Thursday night.  The latest member joined us end of 2011. The group was a lot smaller when we began 15 years ago.  Four of the of us would meet at my house once a week and I would teach them the basics of quilting.  The group grew from there, meeting during the day and as our children grew, we returned to work thus meeting up in the evenings.  Its fantastic to see the amazing quilts that are being produced and the different directions each quilter has gone.  Husbands have been conditioned - Thursday night is "girls quilting".  Dinner never is flash as we all hurry out the door taking turns at having the group meet in each other's homes.  Armed with a glass of wine & our stitching we converse for a glorious three - four hours.  Very therapeutic.

I highly recommend being part of a group.  If your not, join your local quilting club, participate in their events and retreats.

I portrayed the Kwilting Katz on my sewing machine cover for fun.