Quilting – it’s a process.

At long last, some actual sewing on this blog!

We finally had sunny weather and I managed to get a few pictures of my hand quilting in progress. IMG_8351

I’m really happy with how it looks so far but I can’t deny it’s slow going. I thought I’d done quite a bit but then I spread the quilt out on my bed to see how it looks and wow – after many hours and a whole season of Pretty Little Liars (!) I have quilted just a tiny drop in the giant sea that is this quilt.  But it’s okay, I don’t mind. (Yet.)

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Quilting is really a seasonal activity, isn’t it? Piece it in the summer and quilt it in the winter when you don’t mind sitting inside with several layers of fabric and batting on your lap. It’s minus 5 but I’ve had the radiator off and the window open half the time I’m quilting. So: the quilt is warm. Success!

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No pictures of the back because it’s kind of a mess. Well, that’s exagerating. It’s not a mess but it is quite ripply. Either I didn’t spread it out smoothly enough or I didn’t baste the layers enough or, more likely, a bit of both. Although I really did baste a lot; I spent about two hours on the floor with this thing! Oh well. The important thing is that the front looks nice, right?

I was actually regretting my choice of backing fabric at first, thinking that maybe the plain calico is well, a little too plain, but it’s super cozy so I like it again. And yes, I have already tested the quilt out. If you spend enough time with a quilt in your lap you’re bound to take a nap under it at some point, right?

New brush!

new brush edits

…sorry, I know this is a sewing blog. Buuut… I have a new paintbrush! It’s distracting. Plus, there’s not much to show on the sewing front, just lots and lots of tiny running stitches and the weather still too grey to photograph my quilt. So you get another painting to tide you over for now!

Hand-quilting

So here’s what I’ve been up to this week: quilting!

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(artist’s rendering)

I basted everything on Sunday night & Monday morning, which took surprisingly long. Then I finally started quilting!

Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the actual quilting, it gets dark so early this time of year (today I was eating lunch while watching the sunset!) so I haven’t managed to take any.

Quilting is slow, a little faster than I anticipated, and definitely easier than I thought it would be! I found hand-quilting the tea cosy I made this summer to be physically quite difficult, it was often a struggle to get the needle through the layers. Now I realise that’s because I was usually quilting through the seam allowances, naturally it’s much easier when you’re only dealing with three layers. So phew, quilting this will be much easier and maybe even a little faster than I imagined, and it’s quite fun!

mending, sashiko-inspired

While I was researching last week’s post about slow fashion, I found so many beautiful examples of sashiko (Japanese quilting)-inspired mending and boro, the traditional Japanese practise of mending indigo-dyed cloth again and again. (Click the link to see a blog post with many beautiful examples of boro!)

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lovely mended jeans on honestly wtf
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a very old kotatsugake featuring sashiko
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lovely examples of mending
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sashiko-mended jeans on Rivulette

Looking at all these lovely things inspired me to f i n a l l y mend these jeans of mine, which have been languishing in the mending pile for months.

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(sorry for the gross lighting, it’s basically impossible to get a photo in daylight at this time of year)

Not real sashiko but, as I said, sashiko-inspired. I used some heavy-duty Gutterman thread in my favourite shade of blue. The stitching gives the fabric a cool texture and a sturdy feel.

IMG_8270The bum, with a patch on one side and reinforcement stitching on the other side where it’s wearing thin.

I am so happy to be able to wear these again, and bring my total up to three whole pair of wearable trousers!

Quilting time is coming!

Soon my quilt squares will actually start becoming a quilt – i.e. a fabric-filling-fabric sandwich held together with small stitches. I ordered extra-wide unbleached calico from Plush Addict for the backing. Today I pre-washed it and it’s hanging to dry. I keep laughing every time I see how wide it is (235 cm). I don’t know why I find that so amusing, but I do!

I’ll be spending a lot of time with this quilt in the next few months so I decided to work on a quick clothing project in the meanwhile, you know, just to get some variety in my life.

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I ❤ plaid selvages

These plaid bermuda shorts (Simplicity 1695) are, however, turning out to be a little trickier than I planned. There are no in-progress pictures to show yet as I’ve only gotten as far as basting the backing onto the fronts. Having done that I discovered my plaid doesn’t match at the centre-front. Tears! Yes, I really screwed these up when cutting. I didn’t buy as much extra fabric as I should have, managed to cut two identical fronts instead of mirror-image and it all went downhill from there. It’s going to take a little cunning to get this “quick” project to work out!

IMG_8244More details later. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of my bunny getting in the way while I was cutting, perhaps she was trying to stop me before I made a big mistake!

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Sewing room!

I made this sign for my sewing room door out of perler beads.

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It really comes in handy since it can be hard to tell this is a sewing room at all, what with all the books and fabric and things obscuring the sewing machine (basing this judgement on my friend who took one look in the door and said “oh! so you’re using the spare room as a storage space now!”). Anyway, the door is usually closed to keep our curious bunny out. This way the mystery of what’s behind the door is removed, and it brightens up the dark hallway.

The inspiration is here, found via pinterest.