Archive | July 2015

Feeling Proud…

What can be more thrilling than seeing your designs coming to life?

Sobana Sundar has finished piecing all her Round the Year blocks.  She has also joined the majority of them to the background, something I am yet to do, as I wait for the fabric to arrive from the USA. 

 Aren’t they gorgeous? What is more, she has promised to do a guest post for this blog, telling and showing us the techniques she used to join each circle to its squircle. So, please stay tuned in! 

Printing on Fabric on Home PC Printer – A Failed Experiment

I wanted to print a label for my apple core quilt which I am gifting to my brother in law and his wife. I do have printable fabric sheets, but they do not go through my printer easily. If at all I can coax them through, they emerge blank. Hence, I decided on using the freezer paper method suggested by the Graphic Fairy to print the label on my tiny inkjet printer. 

I got the apple graphic from Office clip art and typed out my label text on Word. I merged the two on Paint and checked out how it looked.

  
That looks nice! I prepared the fabric, ironing it on to freezer paper and ran it through the printer. So far so good ; the print looked as good on fabric as on paper. However, I did not take photographs at this stage. 

To set the printer ink, which is not waterproof, I placed the fabric ( paper removed) flat in a tray containing diluted white vinegar, as advised in the tutorial. It obviously did not work. 

I suppose I will eventually have to use the Font Stitch on my machine to write out the text…

While the dark grey is still readable, the orange has totally dissolved and the brown, red and green are barely visible. 
I guess one could try printing it in black only…or I could try one of the other five methods the Graphic Fairy mentions on her site! 

Conclusion : Vinegar did not help set the ink. Method not recommended if you plan to wash the fabric.

My ‘Dare-to-Wear-Black’ Quilt

Some of you may remember this quilt was started more than a year ago, intended as a  gift for a very special couple, my husband’s big brother and his wife, whom we love and respect enormously and my children adore,  for their anniversary in June.

…finished at long last…

    Then I got involved in the BOM quilt and this got put away. The pattern for the quilt is ‘The Big Apple’ from the Fons and Porters’ Love of Quilting mag July-August 2012 issue. I used fabric from my stash for the piecing, the cambric backing was bought in the local market. The apple core  borders ( two deep) have been quilted with inspiration from Thread Head. I also studied the apple quilting tutorial by Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt. I had a problem keeping the tension balanced and my movement smooth!

Echo quilting on the centre cores

Each core took me upwards of half an hour to quilt, so I echo quilted the apple cores in the centre! The white portion (added to make up the quilt length when I ran out of fabric) was more unforgiving as mistakes glared at you from a bright background.

I used a cardboard template to draw the apples

  

Leaves and spirals were added free hand as fillers. There are some half eaten apples and others rotten to the core!

  I quilted it in light grey, but then ran out of thread. So came up the orange bands…

In retrospect, I think the orange quilting really made the quilt special!

  …which made this my dare-to-wear-black quilt! In a much-aired Indian television commercial for an anti-dandruff shampoo, one famous Boolywood actor dares another to wear black, and thus prove he has no dandruff! As a beginner free motion quilter, I felt something like the actor who was dared to take up the challenge… 

i had appliqued a few apple cores on the white portion to add an element of interest to the proceedings!

At the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed!

Learning to enjoy Free motion quilting!

For the binding I used shirting fabric, which kind of tied up everything together, I thought. For a change, the entire binding was attached and sewn down by machine.

Worthy gift for a special couple, would you say?

 

A close up of the binding done entirely by machine.

Learnings from this quilt: 1. I got to practise curved piecing. 2. I tried to echo quilt in free motion with very ugly results. I need more practice here. 3. While quilting the apples, at several places, I have tension issues in my quilting, specifically too high tension at the back. I think it is because I was pulling at the fabric. However, at the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed! A set speed also gave much neater results. 4. I regretted not pulling up the bobbin thread when starting off the quilting, for example after a thread breakage. When I didn’t do that, the stray thread ends got caught up in knots and caused uneven stitches. 5. FMQ is fun and I think I am going to love it! So, I leave you to look at these pics while I decide which of my UFOs I am going to tackle next!                  May all those apples keep the doctors away from their lives … and yours too!