Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wild women

Stitch Magazine (Dec 2006) had some wild women brooches and I used the idea to make my Little Green Men. These are around 3 1/2 inches high, made from confetti fabric.

To make the confetti fabric I chopped up scraps of fabric into tiny pieces. Ironned bondaweb onto some base fabric, scattered the scraps over, covered with a piece of nylon scarf. I covered this with some non stick baking parchment and then ironed. Then stitched rows of straight stitch over and over changing the thread every few rows. Then I stitched a few rows of leaves and a few flowers. Then I stitched some more. It takes ages to make a sheet of fabric but a little goes a long way, and I don't need brain cells to make this so it is good to make on a day when I am tired. I backed the fabric with iron on pelmet vilene and more of the base fabric. Stitched the outline of the little men with straight stitch, cut out as close to the stitching as possible and then did a row of zig-zag to tidy up the edge. The face, hands and feet are artchix charms, hard to see in the picture but each little man has glass bead hair.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I thought I would share my way of stitching perfect circles onto fabric. You need a drawing pin (thumb tack), a small piece of rubber/eraser/blue tack and some masking tape. I also used cold water soluable fabric. Leave the presser foot on your machine and lower the needle. Work out what radius you want for your circle and measure that distance from the needle. Push your pin through some masking tape and place it so that the pont of the pin is the radius from the needle. My circles were one and a half inches across so my pin needed to be 3/4 of an inch away from the needle.

Put the water soluable fabric into a hoop. Put the hoop under the presser foot and press the pin through the fabric (I have to take the foot off to do this, then replace it.) Put a piece of rubber/eraser/blue tack onto the point of the pin.

Lay your piece of confetti fabric, (or whatever fabric you want to show on your circle) onto the hoop and stitch with a standard straight stitch. Try not to touch the hoop, let the machine do the work. (There is only soluable fabric in my picture so that you can see what is happening)

Take the hoop off the pin and out of the machine. Carefully cut around the straight stitches as close to the stitching as possible. Do not cut the soluable fabric. Put the hoop back, replacing the piece back onto the pin in exactly the same place as it was before. Set the machine to a close zig-zag, just wide enough to cover the cut edge and straight stitching. Stitch, letting the machine/hoop/pin do the work.

Take it out of the hoop, cut away the circles and disolve the soluable fabric.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

sewing perfect circles

Everyone seems to be making 1"x1" squares so I challenged my friend Diane (aka yarngoddess) to make some circles. Diane made hers using a paper base and bounced the challenge back to me. So here are my circles. I started with confetti fabric (from Beginners guide to Machine Embroidery by Pam Watts). I put cold water soluable fabric into a hoop and using the drawing pin/masking tape/eraser technique, stitched circles with straight stitch. I cut out my circles leaving the disolvable fabric intact, then restitched with a close zig-zag.

Then disolved the water soluable fabric. Voila!

Now I am going to have to think of ways to embellish these.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grandad's certificate

I recently joined a journal quilting group with the intention of making one quiltie a month featuring a family member/ancestor.

This is my journal about making my quiltie......

I had the design all worked out, decided to print off the background onto some calico. Found my fabric, hand washed it, dried it, ironed it, soak it in bubble jet, allowed it to dry naturally, ironed it.....

Ironed it onto freezer paper, cut it carefully to make sure it would go through the printer without mishap, put it in the printer, it got stuck. Too thick to go through. No problem, I have another printer somewhere with a differant feed system. Search for and found the printer. Drivers out of date so searched for and installed the drivers, it needed a parrallel cable, searched the loft, couldn't find one. Swore, checked again and realised that there was a usb socket hidden on the side, plugged it ink. Searched for and found new ink cartridge (back of drawer, fancy me having one). Getting excited......put my ink jetted fabric in feed. Bloody thing wouldn't go through, too thick. Said very rude word.

So I found some cotton fabric that would fit through the printer (it is whiter and finer than I really wanted but needs must).

Sent a piece through without bubble jet setting it and tested it thoroughly. No smudging, the ink stayed put. Did another, messesed up the quilting so dyed it with tea to see what it looked like. Looked ok and no smudging.

So I printed my picture and spent hours quilting it. It is only small but so are my stitches and I only go slow.

Used the purple air vanishing market on one spot as the print wasn't very clear and the line was important. Too impatient to wait for it to disapear so I sprayed it lightly with water.....bloody ink ran.

I have decided that it must have meant to be a bit smudged so will leave it....but, I wanted to age it with tea. Dare I?

I bubble jetted setted some cotton fabric. Whilst I waited for it to dry naturally, I thought I might as well experiment with with the messed up piece.

So I sprayed it with walnut ink. The print stayed put but I didn't like the effect of the walnut staining. So I made up some tea and dabbed it with that. Oh dear, it turned bright orange, obviously I use the wrong brand of tea!

No problem, it had already gone wrong, so nothing lost. I scrubbed it in soapy water to see if the tea would fade, not a hope. However, the original smudging of the print did wash out leaving me with a perfect print. Perfectly quilted. But a bright orange colour! Deep sigh.

Todays bubble jet setted fabric has now dried. Ironed onto freezer paper, printed on and is waiting to be quilted again.

Got up this morning raring to go and quilt my piece. Saw that it had printed in blue ink. Said new naughty word!

I have decided to think this through. I get my pfd cotton fabric. Soak it in bubble jet set. Print in black and white mode. Rinse it with the bubble jet rinse. Stain it with walnut ink. Quilt it.


The binding was easy, I stained some more of the fabric, backed it with iron on stabliser, added tear away and stitched the text using the fab Pfaff. I used inkjet t-shirt transfer paper to print off the photos of grandad, backed them with bondaweb and ironed them into place. Simple zig-zag stitching to finish.

I printed some information about grandad about grandad onto t-shirt paper and collaged the prints onto more cotton fabric. Used a little bondaweb to stick this onto the reverse of the quiltie and hand hemmed the binding into place. I have left the left hand edge unstitched as I am not sure how I am going to finish the quilties, maybe make a book with them.