It’s just going to be a little blog post this week as all of a sudden I have started to
struggle with the heat. It is again ( as it was like this in the same week last year)
much hotter than it would normally be in the UK for the time of year. The last few
days I have been struggling with muscle weakness. One day I found myself
unable to chew - must be my idiopathic hemifacial spasm playing up….
***sarcasm*** because it went with an additional dose of mestinon. Obviously
the placebo effect ….**sarcasm**
Around the middle of May I posted about my trip to the dentist and the fabric shop,
where I chose the fabric I was going to use for my first ever proper quilt. Not a quilt
as you go where the blocks are all laid out for you but an actual proper quilt.
I had seen a quilt design I liked called “Floating Triangles” in a magazine called
Simply Sewing designed by Janet Goddard. I loved the minimalist look of it and
thought I’d love to make something like that.
So that was it, on a whim the fabric was bought and then it sat on my
shelf in the kitchen until June 2nd, when I decided to start cutting it out.
A few days later I started to make the half square triangles (48 in total).
I must be strange as I enjoy all aspects of sewing, it's the cutting out I find
hard but that’s been made a lot easier with my new creative grids stripology
rulers. However for all the squares I had to cut out I couldn’t use my new
rulers as they needed to measure 4 ⅞ inches. Typical! So I ended up making
a cardboard template. I am useless at drawing straight lines, I really need to
buy myself a set square to help in situations like this. I have already invested
in a compass for the centre of my Dresden Plate designs!
The following day I started adding the strips to my half square triangles.
Unfortunately I was a little over eager on my trimming of my half square
triangles and found that I had to remake a load of half square triangles
as they were so much smaller than the others and it would have made
the rows wonky. I think in total as further down the line I had to make some
more blocks I probably had to remake 10-15. Its annoying but I have kept
them all as I will sew them together to make a bag, as I love the fabrics
I chose for the quilt. I also had to buy more backing material due to my
many cock ups with measuring. Thankfully with the new rulers those
should be less!
Oh I forgot to tell you about my EPIC mistake of accidentally having
two rotary cutting blades on my cutter. How did that happen? Well I bought
some expensive blades and they were all covered in oil. I am guessing
when I replaced a dull blade I didn’t check properly that it was just one
blade. So it cut all my material as if a hoard of hungry mice had been
chewing the side of it. Thankfully most of that could be hidden in the seam
allowance. I am telling you this because some people seem to think everything
I do is perfect and I never make a mistake. Of course I do! If I didn’t make
any mistakes I’d never learn anything. I want you to know mistakes
are ok, even if I am known on Instagram now to some people as
“Two Blades Rach”. It’s quite funny really!
Once I had made all my blocks I sat down and worked out the plan of my
triangles. It was important that I did this so I knew how my rows would
go together. I also wanted to place certain fabrics together so they had
a bigger impact rather than drowning each other out. I did a full size
quilt plan and then I broke that quilt plan down into two.
Once my blocks were made I then put them away in a box and cracked
on with a lot of makes for other people, birthday presents, thank you gifts
and of course father's day. I made Jay an Owl soft toy for father's day which
you can see on last week’s blog post. I also made him this lavender pillow
I kept putting off making my quilt as I was terrified all the blocks would be
all the wrong size and it would be a disaster. It is quite common for me to
ignore a project for a bit if I am feeling anxious about it. I also have to be
in the mood to sew certain things. I have to be in the mood to make clothes
- I find it boring and hard work because I have such a skills gap. I have to be
in the mood to quilt as it takes a long time and you can be doing the same
thing over and over. It also involves a lot of pressing which in this heat you
really don’t want to be doing. It wasn’t until I started making quilts that I
learned there was an actual difference between ironing something
and pressing something.
Last Friday I decided to bite the bullet and put this quilt together. I really
hate having WIP’s ( work in progress) hanging around and I don’t do
UFO’s (unfinished objects). I have a small house so projects need to be
completed and gone rather than hanging around collecting dust! I checked
all the sizes of the blocks and as I said earlier realised that some weren’t
good enough and needed to be done again. So that added more time
onto getting the quilt completed. For me it seems like it’s taken an absolute
age to get done but Jay assure me to him it feels like he went to work
one day and came back to a completed quilt!
I only managed to sew the rows together that day, as a lot of planning
had gone into each row. Checking against my quilt plan I put all the rows
in order using post it notes on each - with the fabric order on also, so that
the chances of me making a mistake were minimal. I have made mistakes
before with my quilt as you go quilts, where I have decided on an order
that the blocks would go in. Taken photographs, only to realise once its all
been sewn together…………..3 blocks have been sewn upside down totally
ruining the pattern I had wanted to create. At the point of discovery of
my mistake it was too late, I had sashed and bound it by then.
Lesson learned, this time I over planned!
On the Saturday I started to sew my rows together.
As it was only 8 rows it went together very quickly, however disaster
struck on the 8th and final row when I realised I had sewn the blocks
together in the wrong order. Out came my trusty seam ripper and the
blocks were then sewn in the correct order. I am so glad I managed to
catch that mistake before continuing as it would have stuck out like a
sore thumb otherwise the final row would have been completely different
to all the other. If I am honest there was a lot of unpicking as the rows were
sewn together as I managed to sew triangles together in the wrong position
etc. I never let this wind me up though, I’d rather find a mistake at this
point than like the quilt as you go first quilt I made.
I then cut ( using my stripology ruler) my borders for the quilt and sewed
those on. At this point I was just totally in awe of what I had created. My first
ever quilt top was sewn together. This was a huge moment for me! I then
decided **ck it and decided I would baste my quilt. Basting is basically
putting on your wadding and backing fabric, to the quilt top. As I didn’t
have much room I did it in two halves not ideal but there was nowhere
with enough floor space for me to work. I did it using the ironing board,
it wasn’t perfect but it was done. I used a temporary glue spray and safety
pins around the edges to ensure it was secure.
Sunday was the day I decided to quilt my quilt, that sounds bizarre but
a quilt isn’t a quilt until you have sewn all three layers together. This quilt
had a very basic pattern just straight line stitches that went through every
second row of triangles. I managed to get some floor space in the lounge
whilst everyone else was asleep and I marked out the quilting lines with a
fabric marker and my huge ruler ( another creative grids one). Thankfully
I had set my machine up the day before, so my extension table was on
( I discovered a neat trick as my extension table can move a little, especially
when I bash the edge of it by accident, so I used masking tape to keep it in
place just taping from one edge of the table to the other sticking it on the
bottom of the throat space of my machine - avoiding the needle plate. I only
used two strips of tape). I had also ensured that I had rested as much as
possible, as I wont sew when I am tired. I started quilting on Sunday
afternoon whilst Jay watched the England match. I was finished just
after half time. I forgot to say I used my walking foot. I had to unpick
a couple of little bits due to puckers and re sew them but its the neatest
quilt back I have ever sewn.
Yesterday (Monday) I decided I would make my scrappy binding and
then attach it to my quilt. I machine sewed the front of the binding in
place using a tutorial from Lucy Brennans
It went on very easily and then I had the afternoon to slow sew
the binding onto the back. I finished late yesterday afternoon
( lots of frequent breaks as I have been really struggling with
double vision the last few days so that makes threading a needle
an absolute nightmare).
I had made a label for my quilt on Sunday evening but my eyes
were so bad by the time I had finished sewing the binding on that
I had to stop. I sewed my label on this morning at around 7am as
I had been up for an hour or so by then.
Once the quilt label was on it was time to give it a wash to get rid of
the temporary glue and the fabric marker from the quilt lines.
I am so pleased with this quilt I am still in shock that I made this!
And obviously I lied when I said it was going to be a little post,
hubby brought our huge fan down from the loft this morning and
put in the lounge for me. What a difference that’s made for me
and the dogs!