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Topics - RJR_38

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Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Quick table runner
« on: November 03, 2019, 19:00:42 PM »
 My sister 'ordered' a Christmas table runner for her in-laws and I needed to do something quick - especially as it needed to be 1.8m long! It uses Winter Manor fabric from Moda which I.really like for a subtle Christmas feel. I just need to quilt (once I have decided how!), back and self bind in more Winter Manor fabric.

While I had it laid out to measure to double check my piecing in inches converted to the request in cm correctly, my helpful cat decided to check it all...


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Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Finished Quilt
« on: October 06, 2019, 06:29:56 AM »
So I've finally finished the quilt.for my sister. Relatively pleased with it - there is one section of flying geese that I am not particularly pleased with as they somehow managed to gain some fabric fullness when quilting the borders around them. Hoping this will shrink a bit when washed.

Otherwise I think it turned out well considering it is the biggest project I have self designed and uses only scraps. The quilting on the pin wheels looks good but continually turning it through my sewing machine was not fun!. I wasn't brave enough to do the straight lines as FMQ!

The colour of the backing is a nice pink colour as well but the camera would not pick it up.

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Patchwork & Quilting ... Welcome to the Darkside / Quilt top finished
« on: September 08, 2019, 20:59:49 PM »
A few weeks ago I asked advice on how to expand a small central panel I had made into a much larger quilt. Well the top is now all pieced together and measures 58x62 so a much better size!

All fabrics are scraps or other pieces from my stash. I have purchased some extra wide backing though.

Next job will be to baste and quilt it when my batting arrives. I normally use cotton or 80/20 but my sister is always cold and will appreciate something thicker for her ‘sofa quilt’ so I have ordered some polyester to try for the first time.

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In the wardrobe / First solo garment attempt...
« on: August 18, 2019, 11:15:22 AM »
After my dress-making class I decided to attempt a half-circle skirt for my first solo project.

It has turned out ok and fits but not 100% happy with it. I definitely needed to put interfacing in the waistband (which pattern didn’t reference at all and so I didn’t really think about it).

Also my invisible zip didn’t go in as smoothly as my first attempt in the class - I had some wrinkles (pic 2). What would have caused this?

I’m still not sure if I am going to be a convert from quilting and bag making but we’ll see...

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I decided I wanted to use the June Tailor pinwheel ruler I had to start making a lap quilt for my sister for Christmas. Pink and neutral is her preferred palette for these things so I began. The ruler was actually really easy to use. I joined up my 5 inch squares and border (pic 1). Then cut them up using the ruler and stitched them back together (pic 2).

They aren’t quite as contrasting as I had hoped but I think that once they are quilted they will probably stand out more (will probably shadow quilt just inside each pinwheel).

At the moment this centre panel will be 21x27 finished size and I want the quilt to be at least double this ideally (if not a little bit bigger - roughly 50x60 which is a standard throw size).

So... what to do next? I have plenty of fabrics (but no more of these pinks as these were recycled men’s shirts!)

I bought some african wax fabric yesterday and I wonder if I should cut out the big pink flowers and applique them onto a white background but this might be a bit bold? (Pic 3)

Or do I do lots of smaller borders but I worry the whole thing will end up looking too busy...

All ideas and thoughts welcome (however ‘out there’)

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Fun with Fabric / Fabric finds
« on: August 13, 2019, 15:25:31 PM »
So this morning I went to Walthamstow as recommended by my class instructor last week to buy some fabrics for us to ‘learn and practice on’. I was surprised how many shops there were. There were at least 15 fabric shops and 4-5 Haberdashery shops plus several market stalls as well. They mostly cater for the Asian and African communities so think bold colours and prints. The Haberdashery shops were like nothing I have ever seen before - literally Aladdin caves with ribbons and things hanging from the ceiling in one shop!

Lots of the fabrics were bold lace type fabrics with lots of bling attached - so not for me. I was quite interested in the African wax fabrics as I do like bold prints for dresses and skirts and they are 100% cotton. While some were too bold for me I did find some that I think I will wear if the garments come out well. Wax fabrics come in standard 6 yard cuts (about 5.4m) and they varied in price from £15 for the most expensive to £5 for the cheapest. At £5 for just over 5m it is perfect fabric to learn on and a toile won’t be needed.

They had a lot of viscose and chiffon fabrics as well (in plain colours, more muted prints and bold prints) as well as quite a bit of scuba in plain colours. I think these fabrics are beyond a beginner but it is worth remembering. They also had quite a good shop for home decor fabrics (varied leatherette and thicker curtain fabric etc).

I’m sure I will go again - just to stock up on ‘practice fabric’ if nothing else!

I think I am going to make a simple dress out the green fabric, a half circle skirt from the black and the white/peach one. The pink flower one is a 3 yard cut from one of their remnant bins I spied on   [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  top (£3!!) I think it will make a great back for a pink quilt I am making my sister

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In the wardrobe / Seeing the light....
« on: August 06, 2019, 18:19:30 PM »
I’ve been a darksider for a long time but my sister and mum bought me a course for my birthday which I went on today ‘make a dress in a day’. Pattern pieces were pre-cut for us and interfaced with some overlooking done but everything else we learnt today.

It was a basic shift dress but we learnt to do darts, invisible zips, the weird shoulder strap thing I never understood from reading instructions, overlooking and a simple hem. My dress actually looks like a dress - I’m so pleased. I will post up some pics later.

He also gave us details of some bargain fabric shops in London.

I think I might be seeing the light....

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Access All Accessories / Janome atelier 5 and pleather
« on: August 05, 2019, 14:15:58 PM »
I have been a darksider for a long time and only just finding my way into the light and have been getting into bag making.

For the first time I have been trying to sew with some very thin pleather to make straps. The lady I bought it from at FOQ says she uses her normal foot, needle and settings as it is so thin and flexible ...

Well my machine does not agree - it has been skipping stitches constantly and I can’t work out how to fix it. So far I have tried: Basic unthreading/rethreading, using a leather needle (size 16), increasing the stitch length to 3, sewing over masking tape (which improves it slightly but ruins the pleather and doesn’t work 100% anyway. I have also tried both normal foot and walking foot.

Anyone got any other ideas? I have read around a bit online and wondering if I need a Teflon foot but don’t know what shank my machine is as it doesn’t say in my instruction book. I haven’t had to buy any feet for this machine before as it came with so many.  I have only had this stitch skipping happen once before and that was one particular batik fabric so I took the easy route out and didn’t use it again...

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Publications / Book advice
« on: July 23, 2019, 21:43:37 PM »
I have been quilting and making bags and little house bits for a little over 2 years now but have decided to bite the bullet and have a go at sewing clothes.

My parents and sister clubbed together for my birthday to buy me a course called ‘make a dress in a day’. It is meant to teach the basics which is what I need! I go on this next week.

I’m looking for a book that I can be reading while I am on my clothes making journey. Particularly one that will tell me about different fabric types (as I have stuck with 100% cotton until now). For example I saw some lovely cotton jersey in the shop today but I have no idea what I would use it for. Does anyone have any recommendations of books I should buy? A ‘sewing bible’ if you will

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I have decided to make the millefiore quilt by Katja Marek. It will be a slow, long term project as I can do lots of
EPP for a few weeks and then I get bored. I have finished the first rosette of the quilt and am pleased with how it has come out Part of me doesn’t want to carry on with the rest of the quilt in case I ‘spoil it’ haha.  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

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House Beautiful / Storage baskets
« on: July 13, 2019, 18:23:28 PM »
Needed a few storage baskets for the hallway so quickly knocked these up with some fat quarters, scrap cotton webbing for handles and some foam for rigidity.

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Access All Accessories / Plastic handled bag
« on: July 13, 2019, 18:21:22 PM »
So I was given a set of plastic handles and floral fabric and asked if I could make a small bag. I’ve only really made totes before but this is what I came up with. I made my own pattern and it is the first time I have made a zipped pocket. I used a thin wipeable ‘suedette’ I acquired for the lining. I’m quite pleased with it but will never use these handles again!

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Darkside Diaries / Splendid Diary
« on: June 16, 2019, 20:13:10 PM »
I plan on making large quilt from Splendid Sampler blocks. Most will be from Splendid Sampler 2 but there are a few that will be from Splendid Sampler 1 if I choose to swap some out. There will be approximately 100 blocks in total

The entire quilt will be in Batiks and one unifying White-on-White fabric. My rough plan is to make each block in only shades of one colour and white and then make a colour graduated quilt.

I've made 42 blocks so far and have posted a picture of them very roughly laid out. I will post each block I make from now on on here so I can keep track of progress.  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

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I've just finished another quilt. This one is for my sister and is a large 'snuggle' quilt. It is a big lap quilt and is the colours she requested to tie in with her lounge.

Rather than use batting and fabric for the backing I like to make these quilts with a backing of a waffle plush - it is cosy but the overall quilt is still light so perfect for on the sofa on a chilly night.

Thanks for looking!

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Hi, I'm new... / Hi!
« on: June 11, 2019, 21:45:32 PM »
Hi everyone! I am so pleased to discover a UK based forum as I live Buckinghamshire! I have been on American ones for several years but am looking forward to being on in here as well.

I mainly quilt and have been making bags and simple hime furnishings. I love to paper piece (the more detailed and complicated the better) and have tried most types of hand sewing.

I would love to expand my repertoire even further so I’m looking forward to having a rummage around previous posts and getting stuck in.

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