Sunday, January 27, 2013

Machine binding?!

I'd promised Emily a Nook holder for years now, but finally got around to it this week. She loves camo and pink. The sequins are because I like shiny things.  I used the Moda Bake Shop 'Bookkeeper' tutorial, but rotated it so that it was longer than wider and added the sequined elastic.

I used flannel on the inside so the screen wouldn't scratch. I even used my machine to sew on the sequined elastic. Everything went great till it was time to put on the 'binding'. I decided to machine bind it. I should have hand stitched; it wasn't a lot and I should have sucked it up. NIGHTMARE! I have a tendency to have wider binding on one side; I pull further over one side to hide the sew-on-the-binding stitching. That doesn't work for machine binding. I ended up using a zig-zag and turning it into kind of a flange by stitching in the middle of the front binding so it stayed on the edge of the back binding. This is my second time with machine binding and my corners turned out a bit better than last time. I used a suggestion from a blog that said when you stop a quarter inch from the corner, sew off the edge. That helped get beautiful mitered corners on the back which means it would work great when hand sewing. The other problem I ran into is since the binding didn't run all the way around, I had to start at the end of one strip. I couldn't get it started. I kept getting caught and stitching in place. There was also differences in bulk through the project so my zig-zag is of inconsistent length. Any suggestions on what to do? 

Seems like I didn't enjoy the process, but I did. Again, it is because it is going to a friend. I hope she likes it. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Two steps forward, two steps back

This Saturday was an all day sewing day with the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild. It was a lot of fun. This was first real 'group sew' and I was a little intimidated going in. I had a great time and quilters make excellent bakers. I didn't get there super early and I left a bit before 8 o'clock so it was about a 9 hour cutting fest. I didn't take my machine; just my cutting mat and my 2011 FQS BOM. Still only done one block. I cut about 7 months worth and then quit. I was getting tired and I had sorted the blocks by number of fabrics and cutting difficulty. Instead of sorting with decreasing difficulty, I sorted with increasing difficulty so as I increased in tiredness I was cutting more difficult blocks. Yes, I am a science nerd and PROUD of it.

On Sunday we got snow which I was not expecting so I spent the day in after church and did some cross stitch. This deer couple has been a thorn in my side! It is suggested that if you don't have a colour to go ahead and use a lighter shade or darker shade than listed. So not me, but decided to give it a try. Stitched all of the word 'January' with 827 (on hand), realized that it wasn't frosty enough so went out and bought 828 (listed) and restitched the whole thing. The white snowflakes aren't showing up well, but I am just going to leave it as is. I have two more to do before this month is done.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gifted and well received

I ended up widening my seams so the pillow would look more stuffed. It worked . . .sorta. It is fuller, but the corners are still a bit loose. I did try punching in the insert so it would spread out more towards the corners. I didn't try it because I can barely sew a straight line, but Linda suggested a slightly rounded corner. "Use a small drinking glass to draw the arc around each corner. Place the edge of the glass so they align with your sewing line. Follow your straight sewing line on the sides and continue 'round the bend' following the drawn curve, picking up the straight line again on the side". Next time I will give it a shot. 

I am still pleased with how it turned out. I gave it last night and it was well received. The family I gave it to have been so very, very good to me. 

I started working on my Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Monthly Sampler. It wasn't as easy as I expected. The mark of a good pattern is having to unpick if you mess up. I unpicked twice! If you look closely you can see the larger holes from where I'd already stitched. This month is a deer couple. I had joked with Emily that we should do a side by side comparison of our deer, but at the rate I'm going, I not so sure. Hopefully I get done before February's arrives. I can't get behind on this. I still have 11 blocks of the 2011 Fat Quarter Shop Block of the Month to do. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pleased and proud

I am so pleased with the way the pillow turned out. Two wonderful ladies made great suggestions on what to do with the quilt and I had two other wonderful friends who gave in person advice.

I added a flange as suggested by Linda.

I used a textured type fabric as suggested by Doris. I wanted something that was more furnishing like and ended up with micro-suede. I did research on how to sew it and it ended up being a breeze. No different than cotton. No special needle either.

I mitered my corners and using the micro-suede was very helpful. It was very forgiving and being a pillow it doesn't have to be ironed. It took some figuring out though on how to negotiate the 45 degree angle and get the corners sewn together. I even did a flap back. So pleased with myself. I see more pillows in my future.

It has turned out super well, but as I type this and look at it at it I don't like how the corners seem baggy. I made it exactly to the pillow size (18x18), but it just seems kind of limp. Any suggestions? I think I am going to sew in another quarter inch on each side to bring it down to 17.5 inches.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Now for the pillow making

Any suggestions are welcome. Fabric border or no fabric border? If border, how thick? Does border fabric have to match fabric on back? What fabric? What size pillow? The aida is 15x18 and the picture is pretty much all of it.

I love it. It will be hard to part with, but it is going to a very deserving home. I am also happy that I am having a hard time giving it away because I know then that it is worthy on the recipient. If I didn't like it, then why would I gift it?