Friday, December 27, 2013

A bit of knitting


When I was in the UK this year I spent some time in the Lake District.  There were sheep everywhere, and I couldn’t resist picking up tufts of wool along the hedges and stone walls.  My sister showed me how to wash the wool, then she carded it, spun it, and plied it.  I came home with a tiny ball of “Hedgerow 2-ply".  The wool is probably from a breed of sheep called Herdwick – the wool tends to be rather coarse and scratchy.

A few weeks ago I found a simple lacy bookmark pattern and knit up the wool -- it made three little bookmarks.    Perhaps these need to be tacked onto pieces of felt to make them functional as bookmarks.  But whether they get used or not, they make nice reminders of a lovely holiday.

Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Plodding along with Celtic Solstice

The excitement of Christmas Day is over and today is a chance for some peaceful sewing.  I’m  making some progress with Part One of Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt.  Somehow with all the activity over the last week I have misplaced the Tri Recs rulers that I was using.  (I’m sure when they turn up I’ll also find the couple of Christmas letters and photos that have also disappeared!)


Without the rulers I’ve turned to foundation piecing to complete these units. I like to make foundations from freezer paper and use them multiple times.   (There is a fine tutorial describing this method here. )

I have half a dozen freezer paper foundations and a pile of rough-cut fabric shapes. Some gentle Christmas music is playing on Songza  while I sew a little, press a few seams, do a bit of trimming


As I complete the units I put them up on the flannel wall to admire before stacking them in sets of ten and tucking them away.  Will I get all the units I need made today? – probably not!  But I’m having a great time!  

Monday, December 9, 2013

A cover for a WHAT?

The oddest request I’ve encountered so far -- could we make a quilt to cover the side of the bass drum at church?  The drum is open, and an old comforter of some kind sits inside to soften the sound (I THINK that’s why it is there).  Whatever the reason, it looks rather ugly and can distract from worship on Sunday morning.
It just so happens that we have some hexagons sitting around, left over from a previous banner project.  So we took some measurements and set to work.
drum cover mockup
I used my trusty Electric Quilt program to draw up a plan to give some idea of layout and size of the hexagons.


Then I printed out a template from EQ7 for the hexagon.  I made a window template from an old file folder so that I could centre the hexagon correctly.

The template was used to make trim seven hexagons to the required size.  The background is ready --  it is a piece of black fabric pre-quilted on the long arm machine.  At the moment the circle shape is defined by a paper template.  When we decide on the layout we want we will stitch the hexagons in place and cut the background to the correct size.  There is plenty of the print fabric for binding.

We still have to work out the method of attaching this to the drum – hair elastics might work. And does it need some embellishment? – that could be added later. 
Of course, if this turns out well, we could find ourselves being asked for more – seasonal drum covers, perhaps?  Coordinating banners for the music stands?  It seemed like such a minor project when we first started!
Technorati Tags: ,

Monday, December 2, 2013

Progress on the Smoothing Iron quilt

I’ve been working on the Smoothing Iron quilt that I’m making with my African indigo fabrics.  Just two more long seams and the top will be complete.  THEN I can start on Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice!
There are lots of bias edges with these sixty degree angles and lots of points that I would like to have match nicely.  So I’ve been pinning carefully as I go along – I would rather spend a few minutes pinning than a lot of minutes picking out!
As I worked I became annoyed at finding pins with rough spots on them.  Seemed every second pin I picked up had burrs on the shaft.  I finally reached for the little pill container in which I put discarded “Sharps” and dropped the next nasty pin in there.  No more rough pins!  I had been picking up and putting back the same bad pin for half an hour!!