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Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Funny Faces BOM
« on: January 16, 2022, 12:11:05 PM »
With (too much?  -< ) spare time on my hands, I've signed up to a Block of the Month club called Funny Faces, from Shiny Happy World. I think it cost £3.05 and I don't think that's too bad per month. I can manage spending that.

I keep seeing a few of these brightly coloured quilts on Pinterest and I like them, especially the Monsters one.
Aimed at children mainly but who's to say when you're too old to enjoy brightly coloured daft things.  ;)

They're really simple raw edge appliqué...(OMG, I've just done my first ééé!  :dance: Thank you to whoever told us about that little trick.)

I've got heaps of fabric which ought to be perfect for this sort of thing. Made a start yesterday on a cockatiel.
Really happy with this one.  :)

I'm going to lay them out in a 'Polaroid' frame-type layout, that's why it's wonky. I don't have the background fabric yet for outside of the frame area.
The block itself is 10 inch finished size but with my polaroid frame setting it's going to be 17 inches finished.

They'll release a new face on the first of the month, and I was still just in time to access last months skunk, so I've done that one this morning.
Not quite so happy with this one. Toyed with the idea of using some red and white fabrics but felt the 'skunk' was going to be lost without the identifying black and white colours. There were some samples shown in pretty colours but they looked (to me anyway) like teddy bear faces with squirrel tails.  ><

I think, (but maybe I'll change my mind as I go along), I'm going to try to be believable and realistic with the colours used, where I can. If there are any monster faces I'll be able to do as I please.  0_0

I'll try to remember to show you the other ones as and when they're released.  :)


Today... One thread per day / Thursday 13th January
« on: January 13, 2022, 06:00:13 AM »
I'm awake early this morning. Stirred to get comfy and suddenly remembered what my ex said to me yesterday. No chance of getting back to sleep.

It's frosty again today. I think we have a few days of dry but chilly weather. I prefer it to day after day of grey and damp gloom. It makes a nice change.

I've got no work again. Menswear said he was very quiet so he brought me nothing yesterday.

My Dad might be visiting today instead of tomorrow because he has an appointment to attend in the morning. Hope it's not icy underfoot.


I bought this years ago for my son thinking he probably wouldn't really like it (a bit too boring/old fashioned? Too grown up) but he gave it the thumbs up. He's all grown up now in a big bed  0_0 so a single quilt cover's no use to him any more.

Can't remember where I bought it from but it's 100% cotton and it's not printed. It's real life stitched together patchwork squares.

Oh, I do wish they'd pre-washed the fabrics before stitching them together.  :S  ><
It's been an absolute nightmare to iron. Like trying to iron a human body! It's twisted, wrinkly and shrunken in places.
It was even annoying to fold up because it was so twisted.

Didn't know whether to charity shop it or dump it in the clothing bank nearby, but I've decided to take it apart and turn it into a quilt. I like the colours. Sort of denim-y blue-grey.
I simply cut it all apart getting as close to the stitching line as possible, and have pressed all the pieces. was lovely  :loveit: to iron flat.

I don't think it's going to be hugely different to the original. The more I tinker with the squares, the smaller they'll become. They need squaring up for starters, so that's going to trim them down.
I'll try to have a think about some sort of layout.
No idea on a time scale for my plan but one day I'm sure I'll make a start on it.


I'm having a little rummage and I've rediscovered these two quilts I made when my kids were in primary school. Thought you might like to see them.  :)

Daughter was into pink at the time and she had some say in what fabrics to use.
Sons room had the green colour on the walls so I added the blue.

Barely used. Not because they didn't like them. They just got put away and forgotten about.


In the wardrobe / From Slanket to Sluddie
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:58:38 PM »
I've mentioned recently that my daughter has a slanket and as much as she likes it, she would prefer it if it was more of a hoodie. The length of the slanket, dragging on the floor, annoys her.

This is following on from Lowena's Oodie. I asked my daughter if she'd seen them...yes she has  :thumbsup:... and it's reminded her  ><  that I'd said I'd have a look at the slanket for her.
She asked me last Spring, so it's about time I did it.

She gave me her (current) favourite hoodie for general size/length and I've done it (very) roughly to this.
She wanted it as a shorter length, which is a good job because there wouldn't have been enough fabric to cut it any longer than it is.

She has no idea I've done this. She hasn't come downstairs yet.  :)

It's been mainly overlocked together. It's a bit shoddy around the neckline but who cares...not me. I found a large piece of grey jersey in my scrap bags to line the hood with.
She wanted the sleeves to remain as wide as they are but said she might want elastic at the cuffs so that might change.

So this is now going to be known as a sluddie....slanket/hoodie = sloodie?/sluddie.


Machine Accessories / New Desk Lamp
« on: December 29, 2020, 09:58:42 AM »
I've always been short-sighted and I need glasses to see distance clearly. My reading/sewing vision has always been pretty good but I've noticed this is changing now.  :(

My eyes aren't as good as they were and I'm finding that I'm struggling a bit in unnatural light or winter gloom so I've just ordered a PureLite lamp. It's a desk lamp with a flexible neck. I'm hoping it'll sit comfortably on my sewing table.
The model is Quad Spectrum CFPL17.

It has four settings, warm, natural, daylight or cool.
I have a bit of money in Paypal so I've bought it off Ebay. As it happens, it only has to get to me from a seller in Walsall. (Down the road from me).
Unusually, it was (I think) the cheapest one I found online at just a smidge under £40.

I did a quick search of reviews and it looks to be a good choice. I'll come back and let you know what I think of it when I've tried it out.


Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Denim Rag Quilt
« on: December 05, 2020, 09:15:21 AM »
I have a box full of denim scraps, 'just in case', and I'm sick of seeing them.
It goes with the job that I keep useful sized fabric scraps because I never know when they might come in useful...and to be fair, they often do.
But enough is enough with these. I do have a clear-out from time to time.

Mooching around on Pinterest the other night, I came across the most beautiful quilt  :loveit: all done in denim scraps. ( A Russian maker I think.) It looked beautifully done and I loved the colours.
Clicked on it for a better look and followed other links to much, much (much!) simpler ones.  0_0

Anyway, I really liked the look of the simple squares, joined with the seams all frayed and fluffly on the quilt top.

I've cut 7 inch squares and I'll join them using a half-inch seam. The finished size will be 60 inch square.

So far I've got 77 squares. I have some more denim on the way. (I need 100 in total.)
It weighs a ton :S compared to quilting cottons.

Once it's all pieced, you're supposed to encourage fraying by clipping along all the seams at quarter inch intervals  ><  :\  :S before bunging it in the washing machine and tumble drying.
It will improve at each wash.
Daughter has expressed an interest to help with the seam clipping. Don't expect she'll last long though.

I think I'm going to back it with some fleece? I'll need to attach it somehow. I'll probably tie it.

Can't make a start until I have all of my squares cut because I need to make sure I mix all the different colours up properly.  :)


Sewing Machine Reviews / Janome HD2200
« on: October 12, 2020, 19:57:37 PM »
Blimey! It's quiet in this part of the forum isn't it? Helllooooo... Helloooooooo...

Is there anybody there?  0_0

Thought I'd do a review of my new machine. Might be of interest to someone.

My beloved Bernina has had a few problems in recent years. I've had it for 24 years and have used it a lot. (Really, ever such a lot!)
It's been my one and only machine and I've been thinking that I ought to retire it and purchase a new one. It's been absolutely brilliant. An excellent yet fairly basic machine. I've loved it. I intend to take it to be looked at to see if it can be fixed. I assume it probably can. I hope so anyway. It can be my spare.

Sadly, I can't afford Bernina this time, so after only very brief research of my own, and with a little bit of input and advice from a local well established shop, I decided to have a look at the Janome HD2200. It sounded like it could be a good replacement.

As many of you know, I alter and repair clothes. I need a machine to stitch heavier fabrics, like jeans, or thick coats, but also stretchy jersey, a bit of lycra, and lightweight stuff too.

The Bernina could do it, but will the Janome?


Pics show what I've been used to and what I now have to get used to.  :S

I called at the shop on Saturday. First impressions were that the machine was a good weight. It felt quite sturdy. The lady was explaining about the dial thingy on the side and how you turn it to change the stitch but she lost me a bit to be honest. I wasn't really taking it in. (It obviously comes with a manual so I know I'd find all that out at my leisure. )
Didn't test it out. Didn't ask if I could. Don't really care.
Brought it home and stared at it for a couple of days.

Read the manual yesterday and it says I must only use the twin needle supplied.  :\

If that's correct, then this is a bit naff. The needle on the left is the twin needle I use for shortening t-shirts, jersey dresses and trousers etc. and their needle is the one on the right. Daughter suggested very, very carefully trying my own needle to see if it'll work or not.  -<

Actually stitched on the machine today. Sounds good. Feels sturdy. I like the higher clearance when lifting the foot. I think I'll find that useful.
Grabbed an old cut off hem from a pair of jeans and it stitched beautifully. Haven't tried it with the thicker upholstery thread yet, which is what I'll be using when I shorten jeans for a customer.

Tested a couple of the stitches. Tried a buttonhole. Must remember this travels in the opposite direction to my Bernina buttonhole.  :S
Haven't tried all of the extra stitches. Most of them probably won't ever be used so couldn't be bothered to try them today.

Early days, but I think I like it. Feel a bit miffed that I've got to get used to it. (Don't like change) I could have stitched on my old one with my eyes closed.
Quite a bit miffed about the twin needle but need to check it out better.


Did anybody else check out the quilt entries virtually on the FoQ website?
Sorry, I don't know how to do clicky linky thingies for you.  :[

Not as enjoyable as seeing them in real life (obviously) but still good to see them. Had a pretty good look through them, but a bit of a chore to keep clicking on the images.

Some were photographed more professionally than others. Some were simply pegged from the washing line or draped across a bed.
Lots of beautiful ones, but one which has stuck in my mind was called 'Wave'...(I think)...paused on that image for ages.  :loveit: I'd have loved to have seen that close-up.


Sewing Professionally / How I Made a Waistcoat Larger
« on: August 10, 2020, 17:38:02 PM »
For @Iminei  @Efemera and anyone else who's interested.  :)
I was asked to make two waistcoats larger by 5 inches  :S

Now, there's not many options to do this. I don't have a magic wand and I'm not going to go out and buy the customer the correct size, so when I'm asked to do this I usually put some strips of near-enough colour, lining fabric in the sides to widen them. Gaining five inches is rather a lot though. It will obviously make the armholes bigger too.

I assumed they would be regular style waistcoats with fabric fronts and lining backs. No. These have fabric front and back...and they're double-breasted.  ;) You can guess how I gained some of the extra now can't you?

There's very little chance of finding some fabric to match...So, what I did was, I took the belt strap thingies off the back and used those. They were a little short so I pinched one of the pocket bags too to add on.
I used some nice quality lining fabric to replace the belts and I replaced the pocket with some near-enough colour fabric too.

I don't have any 'before' pictures. I just quickly snapped these this morning before they're taken away.

I got just about two inches in each side seam from the belts, so moved the front buttons over accordingly to gain the missing inch or so.

The instructions on the ticket tells me to put black strips in the sides if I can't find some fabric to match.  :o  :S


Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Celtic Twist Block
« on: July 26, 2020, 12:19:27 PM »
I found this block while I was mooching around on Pinterest the other day, and just HAD to have a go.

I've used my 2020 BOM colours. They were handy and I thought they might work OK for this.
It was fairly easy to do but you need to keep your wits about you to remember which colour goes where.  :S
I'm pleased with how it's turned out and I think it'll probably? end up in the finished 2020 BOM quilt.


Another purchase from the Festival of Quilts. I must have bought this 5? years ago.  :S

It's been stuffed in a drawer ever since, with all the bits to make it, but I just haven't had the inclination to make a start on it.  :\

It was bought from the (Liberty) Alice Caroline stand, and you get the pattern and instructions to make a small quilt or wallhanging. Finished size is 32" x 42".
It's raw edge applique. I've got a stash of loads of Liberty fabrics...just small pieces in lots of different colours. Just what's needed for this.

Well. It's larger than I was expecting it to be.  :o

The tree's looking a bit Wintery for now.
I've been sorting through my fabric stash for fabrics which might be suitable for the leaves, flowers, butterflies and the peacock...yes. There's going to be a peacock.  ><

Took ages getting the tree into position. I'm running very low on the Bondaweb stuff but I have some more due to arrive in the next couple of days.

More pics to follow when I progress further.


I've bought several kits from the Festival of Quilts over the past few years, and apart from looking at them occasionally and thinking how nice they are, I've been a bit slow at actually making any of them up.

Well...we have a bit of spare time on our hands recently, don't we  ><  so I decided to make up my 'sashiko and applique circle tote bag'...( Euro Japan Links)

Never tried sashiko before. Not sure that I enjoyed it, probably because I don't especially enjoy hand stitching, but I like the look of it and I'm pleased to have completed it.

I've lined mine in a bright orange cotton fabric.  :)
Lining wasn't supplied in the kit. There was a choice of two fabrics for the applique circle, and I've used the spare one to make a small patch pocket on the lining.


Sewing Machines / Worried About my Bernina
« on: June 30, 2019, 20:57:45 PM »
I love my faithful old Bernina 1001. I've had it about 20 years, (I think), from new, and it's worked very hard for me.

A couple of times recently, I thought something smelled a bit 'hot' while I was working. The window was open and I assumed it was a funny smell wafting in from outdoors.
Today I used it just for a couple of minutes and could smell that hot smell again...sniffed closer to the machine and realised it was coming from the little bulb. Reached in and I've (lightly) burned my fingers...I can still feel a bit of a tingle now.

I feel worried and a bit sad. What do you suggest? Is it likely to be really bad? Electrics problem? Am I going to have a small house fire going if I'm not careful?
It's unplugged from the wall at the moment.

It had a pedal problem last year, and it had stopped working the year before that, so had to go to be fixed. I think it's dying.  :(


Vintage Machines / Jones Z-620 sewing machine
« on: March 28, 2019, 09:28:59 AM »
My friend has recently acquired this Jones sewing machine.

'Model Z-620 Foreign'. I've not found a serial number on it yet.

She was after a simple machine for minimum use...she's not a sewer, but could/would be able to sew very basic items.
She asked me to have a look at it to see what I thought.
It weighs a ton  :S
Looks fairly clean. I've been told there is power to it. I've not dared to try to plug it in.

On to problems....Firstly, there is no bobbin case and no bobbins. The only other problem I can see, for now, it that the lever doesn't lift/drop the foot...the lever lifts and drops but the foot stays put. Clearly, I'm unable to try any sewing with it.

I'm not finding much/any information about this machine online. Is it worth tinkering with? I've found somewhere for a replacement bobbin case and bobbins, although I've not ordered them.

I'd appreciate any advice on what might be the best option for it.  :)

Thank you.


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