Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Too hot to quilt

The thought of handling batting in this weather really makes me feel like giving up quilting. But I still have to keep some promises. Like that matching pillow covers and cushion covers for my sis! I am doing those currently and cheating a little by hand quilting in the comfort of the air-conditioned living room. I also have to prepare kits for a workshop I have promised to do. That's a first  and I am keeping my fingers crossed.
But no quilts this summer which of course could translate to a few more months in my part of the world. But for my OMG I am going to do a tote. I have quite a few fabrics stashed as suitable for totes and I recently stocked up hardware and faux leather. So tote it is this month!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Organised sewing

And so after about two years of procrastination, I finally made myself an organiser. I have to admit putting it as my OMG target really pushed me to do it! And when I saw a pattern as part of the bonus projects in The Splendid Sampler I decided to get it done. I took the bare outlines from that pattern and just changed it to suit my needs. With some favourite fabrics and trims I ended up with a pretty organiser.

I also finished the quilt I was working on for my sister and heaved a sigh of relief. Still got to do matching pillow covers and a pair of cushion covers for her.
And one more project that I managed to complete was a wallet in faux leather for dh. All in all a productive March!

Linking it up with OMG.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

As the month marches by

Last month I failed to keep my target. It was a combination of circumstances like running out of fabric for the backing and the shop not having the colour in stock, receiving the border later than I had expected and so spending ten days doing other stuff - yet it is a fact that I could not finish on time.
And already a week has gone by in March and I am still doing free motion quilting on that quilt for my sister.Did I tell you I chose a really close pattern to quilt and it has consumed 2000 metres of thread already! I must be adding to the warp and weft of the fabric I think. And I still have to do a pair of pillow covers and cushion covers to match the quilt.
 I am not going to make these my goal to finish this month though! I will certainly finish them but there is something that I want to sew and have been wanting for a couple of years. An organiser for my sewing stuff! I had drawn the specs last year,kept aside some see through vinyl and yet have-not got around to sewing it. Every time I drop pins and my scissors and other stuff off my sewing table I tell myself I need to get my organiser done. So this month I am doing some selfish sewing. Hoping to share a picture then!
Linking with OMG and Red letter quilts

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sharing is Caring

There are so many quilts I have made that I wish I had written a tutorial on the process as I soon forget how I arrived at my measurements. But I am always lazy about taking pictures as I work and often start with good intentions that are forgotten down the road. And so those tutes never get written. And yet I am always so grateful for all those well written tutorials that spare me doing complicated math and are well illustrated too. This time when I drafted a simple board game and then a second one to go on the back I thought it was time to show some caring. A sort of thank you to all those who share freely. I managed to take pictures of almost all the steps too. Yes almost! Some did get missed out so you may have to guess a little. Here is the finished board - this side

And that side.

Snakes and Ladders tute
Fabric in two colours preferably  solids as it gets too busy otherwise.
10 strips of 2.5” x 20” in each colour.
Strip sew them alternating the colors and keeping  a seam of ¼”.

Cut them across at 2.5" intervals.
Arrange the strips so that it looks like a chess board and sew again with ¼ seam allowance.


Press with hot iron to make it lie flat.  Add a light interfacing to give the patchwork some stability. That is the basic board. Now for the embellishments
 I googled the game and used an online image to decide where the ladders and snakes would go but I am told there is no hard and fast rule. Just make sure you distribute them evenly over the board and use the same number of ladders and snakes. For the ladders I marked them first and then used narrow satin stitch to do the sides of the ladder and straight stitches for the rungs. I did sew the rungs twice as I had to travel back and it looked better that way.
The snakes were a little more of a challenge as I decided to use HeatnBond Lite for the applique. Now I think that needle turn would be a better idea as long as you cut the fabric on bias. If you are fusing you will need to draft the board on paper, draw the snakes, cut them out and trace them after reversing on your preferred brand of fusible paper. Bond it with fabric and lay it in the right place and press. Then sew over it. Add your embellishments like a red tongue and beady eyes. I did use beads. I also painted the snakes for the heck of it. And then go back to kindergarten and sew the numbers or write or paint them. Make sure the path of the numbers is correct though. I used the font in my machine. Do the numbers at the end as often the snakes may end up hiding them otherwise.

And that is your Snakes and Ladder! And now for the Ludo board!

Ludo board tute
You can do this with scraps so I am not giving any fabric requirements. You need a neutral colour and the four colors that make up a ludo board. You could of course change them around if you feel like. I have gone with red, green, blue and of course yellow and used white as the neutral. Since I was backing the Snake and Ladder with this board, I made sure the measurements were the same.
Cut 4 nos of 4.5” squares in white and 4 strips each in the four colors of 1.5 width. The strip length can be wof as you can trim and use it as needed. Like a log cabin or courthouse block sew the strips around the white square. You will do this for each of the four colourṣ

The next step is a touch less simple. If you see the picture you will see that the first step out is in the color of the square you start out with. And the centre path is again in colour. The finished size of the pathway is 5x3. So for every color cut 1 strip in white measuring 5.5” into 1.5”. One in the color (red, green etc) measuring 4.5” x 1.5”. Add a piece of white measuring 1.5 into 1.5 at the bottom end. The third strip is a white one with the color as a step not quite at the bottom. Cut a white strip 4.5” in white, trim off a piece that measure 1.5” inches from this and add a piece in matching colour measuring again 1.5 x 1.5. Now sew back the white. Sew all three strips together.
For the centre which is made of all the colours, cut 5" squares in each colour. Lay any two colours, right side facing and sew up to make a half square triangle as described here. Do the same with the other set of colours. Take one each of the resulting HST and again following the same method sew up to get a QST in 4 different colourṣ. I missed taking pictures at this stage. Trim carefully to get a square measuring 3.5". You can see that I trimmed too much on one side and too less on the other. Make sure the diagonals meet at the corners.

Layout the board and double check to make sure your colors are all in the correct place. Sew up like you would any patchwork.
Now mark every 1 inch in the pathway and sew in black to mark the squares. Also in the centre of the squares mark the spot where one would keep the counters. I painted the circles but you could simply applique it You should have something that looks like the picture below.
I added stiff interfacing so the board would not flop and also added a 1 inch border. I placed the two boards wrong sides together and finished off with binding. You can also sew the two boards together after placing them wrong sides together. Leave a gap and turn it inside out. Sew up the gap and also topstitch.
You could personalise it with the name of the kiḍ I opted not to do iṭ

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My sister's quilter

This month' s OMG target will be my sister' s quilt. I have dragged my foot a lot on this one just because she was not in a big hurry. She also has asked for matching pillow covers and cushion covers.  Even if I don't get those done I would like to get the quilt done. I am waiting for the borders, which are going to be block printed. Can't wait to get them. I also had a request from dh for a wallet in faux leather as he had to throw the one he was using.  He does not think I can really do it but give me a pattern and i can do a decent job. I will be googling the net for a pattern as i dont have any saved. I would like to do that this month but as I have to give only one target I would make it the quilt! Here is that picture again.
Linking with OMG Red better Quilts for February.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sleep sewing

Yes sleep sewing! After sewing about 50 circles to the background fabric, I am almost sleep sewing them. It does get boring to sew circle after circle down! I knew it would be so and that is why it took me two years to agree to do this for my sister. We discussed so many designs but she would keep coming back to it and so I gave in. Well at least the tough work is over. Just need to put the blocks together and then think about how to quilt it. I did want to use a nice pink thickish crochet cotton and sew around the circles. But 300 of them makes me wonder if I would be spending the next two months hand quilting. Not sure if I can devote so much time even though there is no deadline to finishing the quilt! What do you think. Should I machine quilt bubbles in the spaces between circles or hand quilt?
Linking this with the OMG finish party for Jan hosted by Red Letter Quilts.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Looking back

Someone' s idle remark had me wondering about all the work I did last year. Truth be told I don't quite remember the number of quilts I made. So I pulled up the photos and took the time to have a second look. When one is making quilts to order there is hardly any breathing space  and so there is no time to dwell on a finish. So taking time now to do it!
This was Mira's  springtimequilt. I never expected it to look so good and there was one happy girl to receive it!
It seemed like everyone wanted a springtime quilt after a look at it. Thankfully I could convince the grandmother to modify the theme. This was Nora's once upon a time quilt!
Another fond grandmother decided to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. Y gifting her four grandchildren quilts made by me. This was Sanjog' sweatpants quilt.
This was for the grandma' s sister's grandkids. Aditi wanted a log cabin quilt without any pink! That was challenging not log cabin but not using pink!
Asha's trip around the world was the second quilt for that family.
This was the third quilt for the same family - I loved the back and would have used it as front given the chance!
The front was pretty too and Asha' loved that her name was written many times!
And this was the fourth for the family.Meghna wanted a bookshelf quilt and I loved writing the book names as also the names of a lot of Harry Potter characters as she was a huge fan of the book!

A baby quilt for someone in the family. I used blocks made a while ago to do this. Pretty pleased with the way it turned out and on having used some blocks!
The last one for the year was starstruck! This was a quilt that saw a lot of hard work but the end result was worth it!
And there were a lot of little things that I sewed party purses, car organiser, sketch pen pouch bags and more bags. All in all a pretty decent year!