Welsh quilting

Monday, 20 September 2010 12:17 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Not long ago, I fell in love with Welsh quilting. While America is undoubtedly the home of an incredible variety of patchwork blocks, the quilting, as in the stage when you go through all three layers with thread (let's call the overall process Quilting to distinguish them), has always left me cold. Modern free-motion quilters such as Leah Day are doing fantastic things, but the traditional quilting patterns are rather limited, sometimes twee, and designs such as the omnipresent feathers just don't do it for me.

I discovered Welsh quilting through a stunning red wholecloth quilt in one of Barbara Chainey's books, and was moved to buy Making Welsh Quilts. It's a fantastic book, containing a thorough discussion of Welsh quilting, photo gallery, projects, and a particularly useful bit at the back which assigns a page to each common motif, such as paisleys, hearts, spirals, leaves, gives a host of examples of how to vary them, and good clear instructions on pattern drafting. I've also found an excellent blog about Welsh quilting, Welsh Quilts, and you can see many beautifully photographed examples intelligently discussed there. The patterns in Welsh quilting really speak to me, being at once classic yet fresh and modern as well. The designs are graceful and elegant, with great scope for creativity yet easy to put together once you know the basic principles.

My second cousin is due to have a baby in about a month, and naturally it took me mere seconds to offer her a baby quilt when I heard the news. Plans for my first Welsh quilt )

Stencil suggestions

Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:46 am
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I am about to place an order with The Stencil Company for a nice big spiral and this background for the Hoffman quilt (though I'm not discussing that here as this is an unlocked post, except to say that it'll be rotated 90 degrees). While I'm paying for international postage, I may as well pick up a few nice stencils as the UK has very few. Borders in particular, I think. I'm in the throes of taking up Welsh quilting, which you can learn more about here and here, and while I intend to learn how to use a sewing machine eventually, I'll be hand-quilting for the foreseeable future. Any suggestions as to which stencils will be particularly useful, or at least which sizes/border heights tend to be the most useful? I'm thinking of something along these lines.

(Meanwhile I have found some fabulous quilters who add beads, have ordered a book on beading fabrics, and am trying not to go too wild buying beads. I may as well think about the beading for the challenge quilt while I'm unable to sew, and there is so much prettiness!)
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
I bought a Husqvarna Emerald 118 in December, but so far I've only dared try it once. Unfortunately, both the manual and my quilting books assume you already know how to use a sewing machine. I made a pathetic phone call to the shop I bought it from, where a quilter on the staff walked me through a few basic things such as threading the machine and got me started. I practised for a while on my own, and was completely puzzled as to why most of the stitches didn't come out as they should, despite following the chart carefully in all ways. The straight stitch and zigzag were OK at least.

I then left it for ages because I was a bit scared of the thing, and so dopey from an M.E. relapse that I couldn't hit the bin with a teabag, as we say in this place. [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea is away on a training course from this morning until Friday evening, giving me an ideal oppportunity to have my sewing stuff out for a few days, so I was brave and had another try. This time I ignored Presser Foot J and so forth, fished out a quilting book and leftover fabric and wadding scraps, and tried doing some proper quarter-inch seams. I'm veering off a bit at the start and end of pieces, but since I'm planning to keep piecing by hand anyway I'm not too bothered about that, I can practise. I successfully shortened my pyjama bottoms. The line is a bit wonky in places but it's black on black, no one will notice. Next I need to work out how to sew on stretchy fabrics so that I can shorten all those sleeves which are too long (the joys of being a short-arse).

After that I decided to try quilting, the main reason I bought the machine. Read more... )

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