Saturday, September 18, 2010

New quilt project

I'm making a quilt [in a hurry] for my cousin's wedding present. It was a spontaneous decision, and probably a poor one, but I didn't know what else to get a couple who already have everything.
My only clue for fabric choice is that both like blue. I needed an accent colour and found a lovely warm orange which contrasts beautifully. Tonight I cut the fabric:So much for finishing my 'to do' list before I start anything new! I haven't been near my machine for ages, and it is actually hidden away in a cupboard at the moment while we are renovating. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tokyo Subway Quilt - Progress- Quilt Fuse

I completed block 3 of the quilt along this afternoon. I've been using the quilt fuse product to make the piecing easier. Here are some pictures of my progress.

It's a thin fusable interfacing which has a 2 inch grid printed onto it. It was suggested by Danielle of Caboolture Sewing Machines. I'd never heard of it. I popped into the shop last week on my way home from work. Just a quick visit to search for some fabric- and got chatting, as I think most people do in fabric shops. I was telling Danielle of my plans and she brought out the Quilt Fuse from under the counter- the shop seems to have more 'things' everytime I go back. So I thought that I would give it a go and bought a metre to trial.

I returned today and bought enough to do the rest of the quilt. At $10 per metre, it's gives enought to do 7 blocks per metre. I've cut a grid 8x8 squares which is the size of the block. 

Given that I had never seen or used it before I thought that other people might be interested in how I got on.
I have my 2" squares cut and organised into assorted colours so each block does not require cutting, just playing with fabric choices.
I laid out my block as per the diagram on the Oh Fransson blog. I pressed the pieces with my iron -set on hot- to set the layout.

I then folded the block along the dotted lines, and sewed my usual 1/4" seam. I initially tried to use my 1/4" foot (that makes piecing so easy). However, the increased thickness of the fabric meant that it did not feed easily- so instead I have been using my walking foot. I think that my seams are a bit narrower than usual, but they are reasonably consistent. I sewed all seams in one grid direction, alternating direction of stitching to minimise fabric stretch.

On my first block I simply pressed my seams to one side. However, the increased bulk made these look untidy.  The instructions for the quilt suggest pressing seams open, which is different to my usual practice. So I split the quilt fuse to allow me to open the seams. I initially used my small scissors, but Danielle today suggested using my stitch ripper. A great idea! Thanks Danielle.

I then pressed the seams open, and repeated the process for the seams in the other direction.

.......And finally....... the completed block. A relatively painless process, the pressing of seams is a bit fiddly but much easier and quicker than pinning and sewing multiple 2" squares of fabric. Seams are square (if not entirely straight- my dodgy sewing there) and corners are sharp. I am converted.  

The final picture is of my progress so far: The first 3 blocks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tokyo subway quilt along

My next project is a quilt for my friend A's daughter's 18th birthday next year. I had planned to sit down with her and gauge her tastes, styles etc. But it is exam season and when she is not studying it seems she has a better social life than most! Just as I was pondering what to do I saw this quilt-along on the Oh Fransson blog, and I worked out what I was going to make.

I had intended to use all fabrics from my stash, I had no grey so a trip to the quilt shops was in order. The rest of the day has been taken up with cutting! I have given up on cutting the 800+ white squares. I'll do these as I go along. 200 should get me started.

I have a 2 inch grid called Quilt Fuse to try out. It promises to make the piecing much easier. I'll try and report back.