Monday, July 9, 2012

Mad new skills

When I am in the middle of hand quilting a great big quilt I make little things to keep my need to "make stuff" fulfilled. I am always seeing things that I have-gotta-make-right-now and last week was no exception. I saw this cute tote on one of my favourite blogs and just had to make one.

This is how it turned out. I got to use lots of prints that I have been saving for....just such a project. I used the quilt as you go (QAYG) method which is super easy. Each panel is 18" x 20" - probably just a bit too big actually. This is a deep bag but is good for a baby bag, fits nappies, lunch, a blanky and plenty of books and toys. I even put in a zippered pocket, I used this tutorial. It was a bit confusing at first but worked out pretty well in the end.

Online tutorials have changed my life for sure. Above - a close up one of the panels.

A little wide mouth boxy pouch a la noodlehead. I have since made another one which I am keeping and using.

This pretty hot number has been gifted to one of my dear friends who loaned me her Janome when mine broke down about 2 weeks ago. (I now have my machine back. $140 later. Apparently I'm not threading it correctly and it blew a fuse. Expensive mistake!)

Yesterday I took a class in FMQ - free motion quilting at the Craft Depot. It was $25 for a 3 hour class. The best money I have spent in ages. I convinced my Mama to come along too as it's something she's interested in.
I would say I have many hours of practice practice practice ahead of me but  I learnt how to set up my machine for FMQ which I reckon is half the battle. Getting the tension right and messing around with feed dogs etc with an expert looking over your shoulder took a lot of the stress out of it.. The teacher was patient, skilled and encouraging. Needless to say I learnt plenty and am confident I CAN master this mad new skill.

A first attempt at stippling. I kind of got it, although would lose it if distracted.

A feather. A lot of concentration and tongue out of mouth action on this one. I'm not that into feathers but it was a good exercise in trying to achieve a goal and learning to control the machine.

Today I turned this block into a cushion cover by adding a border and stippling it. Not perfect but it's passable and a start.

And then because I was feeling jubilant, and my little monkey was still (remarkably) asleep I used this inspiration to whip up the above coaster/mug rug thingy. I can't get enough of Svetlana's blog!

I will continue to practice on small projects and work up to a baby quilt before tackling anything too big. I promise!

Meanwhile I am going around in circles with my SBS quilt. The end is in sight though. I will have to start thinking about binding options.

Have a great week!

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