Memory Quilt

2017-01-22-memory-quilt-complete

I was asked back in late summer of 2016 to make a quilt for someone in memory of her mother, using a number of her mother’s favourite blouses.  I thought this was such a lovely idea.  The blouses were mostly in shades of pink and purple, and of beautiful material – all cotton and most were very fine cotton.  The client selected a ‘Rail Fence’ Design.  Out of 15 different materials, 3 weren’t used.  The main block had 9 different fabrics, 2 further ones for the sashing, and another for the binding.  The backing was white calico.  Quilting was using a multi coloured (pink and purple ) thread on the top and white on the backing.  I made a label using my sewing machine alphabet in the multi-coloured quilting thread on white backing. (If you click on the photo to see a larger version the materials will show up better)

I started on 14 August 2016 and the quilt was finished on 22 January 2017 so elapsed time was approximately 5 months.   This time I kept a log of the hours and minutes I worked and the actual work time was 96 hours.  This was broken down into  :

30 hours 40 minutes for material preparation – de-constructing the blouses and unpicking darts etc, ironing on very soft interfacing.

5 hours 35 minutes for cutting the material into strips – this would have been a LOT more without the use of my acquaintance’s die cutting machine

8 hours planning on which fabrics to use where and the layout of the blocks

26 hours 50 minutes sewing the strips into blocks and sewing the blocks together

9 hours 30 minutes quilting

15 hours 25 minutes sewing on the binding, creating the label and sewing it on.

Mini Christmas Knits

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I have been knitting for Christmas; actually I started in June and then abandoned it until October.  These are some of the tiny items from Sue Stratford’s wonderful book ‘Mini Knitted Christmas’.    Her books are shown on her web site: http://www.suestratford.co.uk/.

I may yet finish some more in between stained glass window number 2 and other sewing. Whilst they are small in size and quick (ish) to knit (although fiddly), they do take HOURS to sew up and stuff!.

6 Days to a Stained Glass Window

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I have recently completed a 5 day workshop with Vitreus Art, building a large (118 cm long by 43 cm wide) window for a porch.  Ultimately there will be two of them one on either side of the porch.  A HUGE thank you to my tutors Jenny and Mike without whose encouragement, tutoring and help the window would never have been built.

The window stretched my capabilities – I was unaware of the challenges until I started – accuracy in cutting and building straight lines, and I don’t ‘do’ straight!.  Thanks to the eagle eye of Mike and his assistance the lines ARE straight.

The main photo shows the window against the porch where it will be installed.

Day 1:  Started with quite a bit of practice cutting and grinding. Then the setting up and the decision on which way the long lead cames would go.  Doesn’t look like much progress!  2016-10-17-day-1-left-window

 Day 2:  Some progress was made, including putting together and taking apart a couple of times to get an accurate fit!  2016-10-18-day-2-left-window

 Day 3: Finally it looks like a window!!  By the time I arrived in the morning it had been dismantled and re-built by Mike – reason number 1.  2016-10-19-day-3-left-window

Before Lunch time it was dismantled and re-built – reason number 2.

If you compare day 3 photo with day 2 you might see why!

The piece labelled B6 (blue) actually fitted just as cut without further grinding !!  this is a SUCCESS.  I am improving on cutting straight lines and grinding straight lines.

Day 4: Significant progress was made.

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I’m getting the hang of cutting mostly accurately so building the pieces up didn’t take as long as previous days.  It was a long day and by the end I’d lost my energy.  So Mike kindly helped out with the last 4 tricky pieces (the edge ones) and put in the came at the top as I just wasn’t capable.

 

Day 5: Today’s steps were:

  • Add came and steel to the remaining side
  • Solder all joints on both sides (yes they let me loose on a soldering iron!!). Sadly I was disappointed in my soldering skills which soldering had an ‘off’ day
  • Apply cement into all the came edges followed by powder to encourage the cement to dry, on both sides – this is a VERY messy job.
  • Finally it was partially cleaned up on both sides – removing excess cement from the inside of the panes. 2016-10-21-day-5-left-window-cement-and-chalk

 

As the cement needs some time to harden before the final clean up that was scheduled for a few days time.

Day 6

This was cleaning day – 7 hours worth!.

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  • First the excess cement was removed from the glass with a scraper and vacuumed up.
  • Then Grate Blacking was applied to the lead cames with an old toothbrush; this also got over the glass – very messy.
  • Then the lead was polished with a cloth, removing as much of the blacking from the glass as possible.
  • Finally the glass was cleaned using special glass cleaner and a cloth to reveal a clean window on one side.
  • The window was turned over and the process repeated.

I think the window did look good afterwards.

Fabric Dolls

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Some time ago (okay quite some time ago!) one of my Linus sewing friends passed on a printed kit for 2 american style dolls.  And then from somewhere (I don’t recall where) I acquired a printed kit for an Amish doll.  Well I’d never made dolls before, and now there are children within my circle, I had a reason to give it a go.  This was a challenge for me that with many, many grateful thanks to my sewing guru Mary was eventually finished.  Some of the instructions in the patterns made no sense to me!.

I made just one of the girl dolls – so there is another USO (unstarted object) in my pile!

Both dolls have gone to their new homes.

Trevor the mini Turkey

20160224 mini turkey 2    This cute little fellow ( 9cm 3.5” high) is from Sue Stratford’s book ‘Mini Knitted Christmas’ (http://www.theknittinghut.co.uk/). He had to come and join my household of course! (refer back to Gerald the Turkey!). I am publicly declaring I will be knitting for Christmas from this book. Now I HAVE to start!. I already have the wool so no excuses really….

Stained Glass Door panels

         I am so excited to show off these completed stained glass door panels – my own design and I made them!. (Click on the picture to see a larger version)

The door is between the (very) small ‘hall’ from front door into lounge room and the installed effect is just what I hoped for. My house is all painted pale yellow and the lounge has rugs and sofa in green, hence the majority of the glass colours. Some of the subtle effects of the different glass is lovely although not evident from the photos. There are 2 different blues and 2 different greens. The glass that looks clear is actually a very pale yellow. The orange stripey glass is one of my favorites – I included it in both previous pieces.

From idea conception, back in October 2015 through design and construction her patience, expert help and assistance enabled creation of the panels.

The elapsed time was months, but this included a number of design iterations, Christmas and New Year breaks, and finding mutually available days.

This achievement was only possible with the expert tuition and help of Jenny from Vitreus Art – www.vitreus-art.co.uk, and using their workspace and tools.

I owe a huge thank you to Richard from Apple Stained Glass http://www.applestainedglass.co.uk/ , who so kindly agreed to install them for me. He is such a nice person and thanks to him, the installation went smoothly.

Now for my next project or two!. Yes I already have some in mind.

Reversible Rail Fence Quilt

20160116 kaths 2nd quilt side 1    20160116 kaths 2nd quilt side 2

A further quilt for a friend following redecoration of her sitting room. The first quilt did not colour match. As she likes uncluttered styles I suggested a Rail Fence design; from the alternative construction combinations this was selected. The colour choice and fabric purchase was all hers. I think this shows that a simple design can very effective. The big challenge for me was getting the reverse side the correct way so the pattern was reversed!. I laid the first side right side down and placed the blocks on top to get the correct layout. Basic, but it worked!. The photos may not be turned the correct way around! Quilted in straight lines to echo the pattern.

Now for cushion covers to use up the small amount of remaining fabric

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