Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mini project

I have been very busy working on my bigger projects, but the arrival of a new phone gave me the opportunity to create a little pouch to put it in. Even better, my machine quilting skills woild come in handy. I have done a fair bit of machine quilting, as I have never sent my quilts out to be longarm quilted. I have never been entirely happy with my skills, partly because of tension issues. So I have resolved to develop my machine quilting skills this year. Focus, focus and more focus is what I need. I LOVE making quilts and other useful items. The endless possibilities excite me.

So, firstly I did some research to try to resolve my issues with tension. You Tube video tutorials are fantastic, and a wee morsel of useful information popped up - crank up the top thread tension really high. I talked to the ladies at Cottonfields, our local quilting and patchwork shop, and they put me onto a lady who does a lot of machine quilting. It seems that lots of quilters prefer hand quilting or sending their work off to be quilted rather than tackling the job themselves. I can understand why. Machine quilting requires patience, practise and intense focus. 

I dabbled with a bit of stitch in the ditch quilting for my early quilts, but after attending a machine quilting course I have done mostly overlapping lines, outlines or squiggles. I have always had trouble with tension and stitch length. After some research I discovered speed is not the way to go. A commonly held belief is that you plant your foot on the pedal to the floor and go for it to get even stitches. It does get the job done relatively quickly, but control goes out the window. So I have been practising slowing right down, moving the fabric gently and smoothly, and stitching steadily. Plus I did crank up the top thread tension a couple of notches, and hey presto- it worked! 

I adore bags of colourful fabric scraps, and picked up some little offcuts in interesting prints when Stitch (sadly) closed down. 
Then I pieced some scraps I thoight were pleasing together. 
I joined enough to make myself a chunk of patchwork big enough to use to make my phone pouch. Then I made a quilt sandwich with a firm batting in between. Shame I didn't have any basting spray, but pins were fine. Then I quilted using a curled pattern all over, this way and that. 
Not too bad. Some of the curls could be rounder, but practise makes perfect.
I love these fabrics together. Now I just need to make my little phone pouch from the resulting quilted panel.

Our students come back to school tomorrow for the official start of the school year. Life will be a lot busier. Hope I can fit plenty of creating into my year. 


  1. Looks great, love the colours. Great photos too...thanks to the new phone????
    Hope school goes well tomorrow for you both,
    Meg xxx

    1. The new phone takes stunning photos. Yay!!!

  2. Lovely colours, neat quilting and the bright colours should be easy to find in your bag. Xxx

    1. I certainly need it to be easy to find! My bags tend to gobble up everything :)

  3. I love this idea and all the colors and prints!