dinsdag 28 januari 2014

Quilting my Jacob's Ladder quilt


Before starting a new Feathergirls project, an update of the first one: recently I started quilting my Jacob’s Ladder quilt. I decided to handquilt it, had not done handquilting in a long time and I love the process.



These are the pattern pieces I made for the quilting patterns. I decided to treat the area where 4 blocks come together as a block on itself, regarding the quilting pattern.

 
 
 


Hope you can make out the pattern.

Then, regarding the two-colored lines that cross the quilt, I decided to use this pattern piece, there will be 3 of these quilted in one (2-colored) piece of a line – oh dear, hope that makes sense to you…-.

 



Because my eyesight is not what it used to be, my stitches are not as small as they used to be, but I don’t mind, my goal now is just to make even stitches.

I am using a #10 quilting needle and Yli quilting thread in Ecru. As markers I use Sewline pencils, a grey one and a white one.


And now for something that really made me happy: in the past when I quilted I would always do serious damage to the top of my left hand middle finger, I used that to feel if the needle has come thru all 3 layers, so I use it as a kind of pincushion (I have tried other ways : thimble pad, spoon etc. but none of it worked for me).
After a quilting session my finger would be bloody and sore and I could not quilt for 1 – 2 days waiting for it to heal, before I could quilt again.

But now I have found what works for me, this!




My English (quilt)friend Emma recommended this to help with another problem I have with my hands in wintertime (splitting cuticles, ouch!) I bought this in London.


And then I figured why not put a few layers of this wonderful stuff on my left hand middle finger before I start quilting to protect my skin. And yessss! It worked! Now I can still feel the needle coming thru all the layers and the only thing that gets damaged is those layers of ‘New Skin’. My own skin does not get damaged at all and I can quilt day after day after day….. it is wonderfull!

 


So, if any of you experience the same problem try and get a hold of a bottle of ‘New Skin’,  I bought mine at a Boots in London , but they are all over the UK.

Happy quilting!

Phyllis

donderdag 23 januari 2014

A new year, a new project?


After finishing the Jacob’s Ladder quilt top it was time to oil The Duchess for the first time on Sunday. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but with the help of this website it was easy…..






However, some of the places that need oiling were hidden in the machine and I was glad to have the help of the flashlight in my Iphone



If you want to oil your Featherweight as well apart from the website link above Francis posted some clear instructions this week as well.

After oiling and with a new needle The Duchess sews wonderfully again, having working on my Pfaff lately for Eline’s Stars I missed that lovely sound of a Featherweight!

The sales at the quiltshops near where I live (we are so lucky here in The Hague, 3 quiltshops nearby!) were visited with great results! Soooo …….. with a Featherweight raring to go… and new fabrics…….is it time for another Feathergirls project??



Phyllis

maandag 13 januari 2014

A great way to start the New Year!


Maybe a bit late and not quite according to etiquette, but still, I wish everyone a healthy, happy and creative 2014!

And to start off the right way: a finish!

Yes, I finished ‘Eline’s Stars’ on time to give it to her at Christmas, so at 16 years she finally has her own quilt (shame on me, I still have not finished her babyquilt… but that is another story…) Here it is:



Statistics:

Size: 148 cm x 190 cm / 58”x 75”
Block size: 15 cm / 6”
Quilting: machine- (Aurifil 40/2) and handquilting (with DMC Perle 8, loved this!)
Fabrics: most of them given to me by fellow bee members, so their memories are in this quilt as well!

Batting: Quilters Dream Blend (70% cotton, 30% poly) which was great for machine quilting but as it stays a bit stiffer than the 100% cotton batting I usually work with I don’t think I will use it again.

Of course the quilt has a label:

 

With regards to the binding, I tried something new: usually I make my binding with the aid of a bias tape maker. Once finished that means the binding is a single strip of fabric around the quilt.
This time I used Jenny Doan’s method of the Missouri Quilt Star company, which not only makes the binding a double layer of fabric (especially great for this quilt, because it is already getting a lot of use) but also the ‘trick’ used to bring the two ends of binding together (at 8.30 mins into the video) works!  When you have finished the binding you really cannot see where you started/ended your binding, it comes together perfectly!

 
 

This will definitely be my way of binding from now on for larger quilts that get some real use.








So this was one Xmas present, the other was a New Year’s trip to London. For years Eline and I wanted to see the Xmas lights in London, but DH was not keen (“Much too cold to be walking the streets that time of year..”). So this year, rather than asking if we should go, I said Eline and I are going and asked DH if he wanted to join us. He said…. no.
OK, that made 2 of us (in the worst weather I have ever had in London: gales and lots of rain) in London on the first weekend of this year.
An impression:
After arriving the first thing we visited was beautiful Leadenhall Market, right in the City.


It is famous for this:
 
 
Because it is right in the City of London, the contrast between the old and the new is rather stark, coming out of the market at one end the building next to it is this, the Lloyds Building:


And on the other end, looking up, you see the same contrast:



After years of wanting to do so, we did finally see the Xmas lights:

 
I loved the above lights on King’s Road
And the view from the upper floor of the Starbucks in King’s Road was this


Eline making pictures in the middle of Regent Street while trying not to be blown away by the gales
Street food! This smelled soooo delicious, unfortunately we came across it straight after breakfast so we had to give it a miss (next time ;-)!  )


One of the highlights of this trip for me: a visit to Shaukat with a basement full of Liberty fabrics!


Beware though: this is not a quilt shop, so no fat quarters, the minimum they will cut for you is half a meter, but there are some scraps…
Soooo, that was a wonderful way to start 2014, hope your year started off great too!
Phyllis