Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Jamie gets to road test Daddies cushion.Then it was on to the cushion. I had chosen quite a bold fabric as I was going to make a cushion for the sofa in my son's room. He is still in his cot so we have enough room for a sofa in his room. I chose the turtle fabric as it is a nice strong theme and the blue would liven up the sofa.
The cushion was made up of three panels, one 16 inch square and two 16 x 12 inch panels for the backing. I tried marking out the fabric as correctly as I could and then cut it with scissors. Now I had not appreciated how hard this was going to be to follow a straight line with scissors. I can see the advantage of a rotary cutter to get nice straight lines. After putting a tidy seam on each of the back panels, the three pieces were pinned together. I can't say that I found this supposedly simple task too easy either and I think there must be some tips that I can glean from the shop.
Anyway we were away and stitching round all sides of the square to make my cushion. I was pretty pleased as I came to the end and then turned it inside out to reveal... Yep I hadn't put all the front sides together and now the front of my cushion was the wrong side. I wasn't the only one to make this basic but really annoying mistake. We had run out of time at the class so I would have to unpick at home and do it again.
At home I was using an old Bernina sewing machine of my mums. It had lots more buttons to press, an LCD screen but after a bit of work I had the bobbin loaded, straight stitch selected and was ready to go. Things did not go well, I could not follow a straight line and the stitching was going off all the time. I had to unpick three or four times, until I marked the straight lines on the fabric and then I could follow that. I think I might not have been going fast enough and wasn't letting the machine do the work. Eventually though it was done, I turned it inside out, pushed out the corners and loaded a cushion inside. Despite all the errors I am pleased with the result.
The finished cushion in place.
Pinning is harder than it looks to make sure the fabrics don't pucker up.
Sewing in a straight line and following a guide isn't that easy and needs practice.
Double and then triple check that you are sewing your fabric pieces the right way round!!
Cutting a straight line with scissors takes practice and a rotary cutter goes faster.
Next week is a door-stop!!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
There are about eight of us in the class, all with slightly varying expectations but it seemed that I wasn't out of my depth and didn't need the class on sewing for 'real complete absolute novices who haven't a clue'. Our teacher leapt straight in and showed us the sewing machines we would be using, basic but good quality Bernina Bernette machines, showed us how to put thread on the bobbin, how to load the bobbin, how to thread the needle and then said off you go!!
We had a machine each and after a few false starts and conferrings between us after twenty minutes bobbins were loaded and we were ready to sew. Now I am sure this seems very basic stuff for many of you. But I have to admit that a sewing machine is quite a daunting beast and I have never known how they work. Then with a scrap piece of fabric we were off and trying to sew. First off was a straight stitch, then lifting the foot and turning corners, fancy stitches and varying stitch width and length. You can see my first trial piece below. I have to admit it was really good fun.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Because I also get to see all the patchwork and quilting books that we sell, I can only marvel at the fantastic designs and creations that are on display. I also get an opportunity to see them up close as we attend two quilt shows a year, at Malvern and the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. We set up our stands for these shows the day before they open to the public and whilst unloading the vans of stock, I try and take the opportunity to look at the quilts on display. At the Festival of Quilts this year the detailed quilting work of Sandie Lush and the art quilts of Ferret stood out for me. We are also fortunate that on our stand we had examples of the quilts from Kaffe Fassett's new book Quilt Romance on display. Kaffe's fabrics are always bright and bold and the combination of intricate designs and vivid colouration works really well.