Saturday, November 26, 2011

An 8 day Course

Since Monday I have been teaching 5 ladies of the Clover Mama Africa project. They are all experience sewers and have done several courses. Today the first 2 quilt tops (2 m X 2 m- about 6 ft square) was completed.

In this week they have practiced several techniques making basic units. We started with checkerboards. Then a strip pieced checkerboard border was made.

They also start hand piecing the basket blocks.

Piecing multiple Half Square Triangles and trimming them to siz, gave hassle free results for an outer border. In making 6 Ribbons star variations, the basic units of Square in a Square and Flying Geese was made to complete these blocks. The next day they made Ohio Star variation blocks, with Quarter Square triangles as main technique.

Antionette and Hettie came from Durbanville to show the interesting technique to apply circles- these blocks were used in the  corners of the quilt.

The center block was tackled last. All of them made a perfect 8 point star- applying the mantra of "keeping the  part that will be in the center"on your left hand when you press the two diamond units and also the 4 diamond units. They then made a "cross". The four corner units with their set in seams were constructed. These units were then set- in with the "cross" unit

Yesterday they start sewing on the borders and blocks. Today the basket blocks was completed and the handles appliqued by machine.

 At the end of the day we have basted one top in the basting frame. A second top was completed and we hang it on the wall to admire. Tomorrow the other three will be completed and basted.

Tomorrow they will also start with ditch quilting to anchor the seams, prevent shifting of the layers and stabilize the quilt. Once this is done we can quilt the borders and bind the quilt. They will practice some free motion quilting to be able to fill in some details in their quilts when they go home.

For a teacher it is a relieve when students have successfully completed their assignments and I am very proud of the high standard of their workmanship! Congratulations to all of you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pencil Rolls completed

I had a new plan for my pencil rolls. This time I cut the strips for the part that will keep the pencil at 1 and 1/2 inch (Actually 4 cm- I work in decimals- 25 units to an inch). For the bottom part I sewed the same 2,5 cm (1inch) strips but this time I worked on the Industrial Bernina and moved the needle all the way to the right(gives a 5 mm seam allowance- giving me 2 mm more on each of this.

Then I got the great idea to embroider the outside of the roll (which was a real waste of time- because one never see it) but I also embroidered the flap and that look nice. If I knew or realized that one will only see the embroidery on the flap, I would have taken more time to select the best looking designs for this. I used a coarsely woven thick fabric for the outside and unfortunately many of the embroidery stitches sink into the fabric and was not that visible. This is when one either select  another fabric or sew on a water soluble (the plastic like) stabilizer. I did neither so the embroidery only look so-so.

My plan was to sew the pieced part and the outside fabric together- right sides facing and then turn the right sides out giving a self faced result. Hereby I would eliminate sewing bindings on. Unfortunately the thick backing fabric was again my downfall. Also if you want to do that- you should not end your strip with a place for a pencil- the pencil pop out and do not look neat. You should add a strip of fabric first.

Well I thought with the thick fabric the best would just be to use bindings. So that was what I did. I gave quite a bit of thought on how to close this and decided on two pieces of elastic- one on the top and one at the bottom.

So I completed my 5 pencil cases and got and extra one plus the faulty one- I must still decide if I will unpick it and complete it with bindings, use it like it is and hate it, or throw it away.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Harvest time

We started harvesting on Monday. I was out yesterday to a fun class and forgot to take the photo of the ripe wheat- the view from my front porch. When I reach home I saw the camp was already harvested- well there is always next year- except next year that camp will be for grazing, so then it will be in 2013.

This is the little coloured window on the side walls of the porch- this is very typical of a Victorian era home.

I have completed my crazy patches that will go individually on the bags. I am a real novice on crazy piecing. I did it by machine and did the seam treatments with machine embroidery stitches. I have made a study of Crazy Patch blogs and have discovered another world! Check out Sharonb's website if you want tons of information.

Machine stitches fail to give the texture and the complexity that hand stitches can give. I can also see that this is a great way to be adventurous with beads and adding laces and trims. I got the beading video of Lyric Kinard- Bead it like you mean it and could apply a lot of what I learned in this DVD on my crazy patches.

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