Saturday, July 14, 2012

Verticle basting

When I started to quilt it was the basting step that nearly finished me off. I could never get how to put big basting stitches in without the backing shifting. And I could never understand why, if you were supposed to put big stitches in without it shifting, you could not just put the little stitches in right off.

Then I tried saftey pins. I spent a whole afternoon in the basement of a quilt shop putting the darn things into a king size quilt on their large table (and making several runs back up to the shop for yet more pins). Then I spent even more time taking them out everytime the machine foot was about to hit one. It did not make for free and flowing machine quilting. I was told that long armers would machine baste your quilt but that cost money for something you would rip out.

Then I discovered you could pin the backing to a carpet and spray baste with 501 spray. Much better. Apart from the fact my knees are much older than I am and disliked the kneeling. And it always required my husband to help float the top over the sprayed wadding and that inevitabley involved a mini argument about who was going the wrong way. And then we moved house, put the same carpet all through the house and got fussy about anything that might mark it.

But fear not. I now have the perfect solution. I am very sure I am not the only one to do this but I don't recall reading about it anywhere. So for newbie quilters googling basting a quilt, here is my method.

1. Pin the backing wrong side up to a design wall putting the pins in the very edge of the backing which needs only be a little bigger than the top.

2. Spray with 501 spray.

3. Hold two corners of the wadding andmatch them to the top corners of the wadding much as if you were going to hang it on a washing line. The wadding sticks from the top as if you had pegged it on a line and you can just smooth it down over the whole backing.

4. Spray with 501 spray.

5. Repeat step 3 with the top

6. Remove the pins from the edges of the wadding and voila! Perfectly basted wrinkle free quilt in five mins flat.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reveal day

The Twelve by Twelve Mythology quilts have been revealed today. You can read more about my Urban Myth quilt here.

Apart from participating in the group challenges I have also challenged myself with the 20/12 series to make my own quilts fit into a series by themselves and I am very pleased how it is going so far. When I was doing Lisa Call's Working in a Series course I began to realise that setting parameters is as limiting as I thought it would be, but that in fact limitation can be freeing. It takes some of the decision making away so that you can concentrate energy on the core of the piece. Yet it simultaneously heightens the challenge to have to fit the new work into the series. I don't know yet what the final two 20/12 subject matters will be but I don't think anyone will be suprised to hear me say I have a good inkling what the colour scheme will be....

And yet even with set parameters, you can break the rules and still stay in the spirit of the rules. I had set out to make wholecloth quilts but Urban Myth has a seam in it. Ok, only one but I still broke the rule! Who knows what I might rebel and do with the next quilt? What I do know is that I can't wait to find out the challenge word and get going with it!


Monday, July 09, 2012

The land that time forgot

Dennis keeps our back garden looking good. But, beyond the obvious garden is a hidden piece of land on which the original owners had a shed, greenhouse vegetable plot, compost bin and several fruit cages. It was functional but it was also clear that the sellers, who were 'senior' had, in recent years been unable to put the time and money into that plot that they had earlier. We had originally intended to build a studio on that area so it didn't matter to us. But then we build the studio in a loft conversion instead and Dennis planted potatoes one year. But apart from that, the land has remained out of sight and out of mind. And while we were not looking..... Monster triffids began to grow!

So on Saturday I decided to wage war. I have No Clue when it comes to gardening so I worked on the Total Destruction approach. It didn't matter if I didnt know what they were because they were coming out anyway. I did recognise the potatoes when I pulled them up and the pain was a good clue to the nettles. I made a conscious decision to leave the four foot high thistle where it was because it didn't seem right to dig it up the day before The Dour Scot (aka Andy Murray) played his Wimbledon final. Plus it was a big spiky, slightly hairy, brute of a thing and frankly I was a bit scared of it.

But, after an hour and a half with my bare ( Ok, bare except for gardening gloves) and the bluntest pair of shears in Christendom I think I was, overall, winning.


I quite enjoyed myself but then I have motivation. I am aiming for something a little more like this. It will be a while yet I fear but one day,a hammock I shall have!


Sunday, July 08, 2012

It made me smile...

The sinks in the ladies' toilets at Dobbie's Garden Centre near Liverpool Airport. Isn't it nice when someone makes an effort to be fun and different?





Saturday, July 07, 2012

Kitchen boo-boo

I love magnetic nesting measuring spoons but sad things can happen when you put a muffin tray down on one without noticing, then transfer the tray to the oven....


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Past the finishing post!

Excuse the dodgy Ipad photo... Formal photos take place in the Winners Enclosure later in the day!

The map is of Chester Racecourse which is why the quilt is called The Roodee and it is a suprise gift for a colleague who loves racing and who appeared to be genuine when he said he liked a previous quilt made with this technique! It is made with mostly handdyed fabrics for the horse and a background painted, stamped and scraped with screen inks. The writing is all about Chester Races, the history of racing in general and the history of Chester. It is 35 x 42 inches.