Back on Form

First of all I have to show off the finished quilt.

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I am so pleased with the way it turned out  and thankfully the mistakes were minimal in the end. Getting wrapped up in it was the best feeling after all that hard work. Next quilt will be one for my beloved made from vintage Thundercats bed sheets. Thinking of trying  a technique that does not require binding for that one.

I had a commission last week to make a scarf for a friend in work.

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It’s a Derby County football scarf and I managed to get it done just in time for her to wear it to the game. I’m very greatful of the commission as I am saving up for my custom made boots.

I am so very proud of the new bag I made during the bank holiday.

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I found the tutorial on craftster.org. I love this pattern as it makes a really quality finish and it’s just the style I’ve been looking for. I can believe the tutorial was free. I am thinking of making a few more in different colours. I got this fabric from a stall at a craft fair that was selling vintage fabric really cheap. I really hope I come across them again. I have some left over so I will be making some matching accessories soon.

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I will be doing a stall this weekend (31/05/2014 – 01/06/2014) at Freedom Fields Festival in Plymouth with my mum. I will be selling some of my creations including these cute owls and my mum will also be selling her lovely button jewellery. You can get the pattern for this owl at my old blog.

Thanks for reading.

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Crafting with the sniffles.

I have had a delightful throat infection this week and I have been off yesterday and today trying to recover in time for beloved’s birthday.  Although salt water gargle is disgusting it seems to be helping.

Anyway,  on to the craft. I have been doing little bits of the quilt in the mornings before work and I have now finished the quilting.

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So it is all trimmed now and ready for binding.  I have some lovely bright pink fabric with batik stars that will be a nice contrast. Just need to cut the strips and get sewing but that can wait till I have more energy.

At the beginning of this week I whipped up these little pouches to keep my hand bag organised.

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The pink one is one of my favourite patterns I have used it multiple times for gifts etc as it’s a really handy little pouch. I use it to keep plasters and pain killers like a little first aid kit.

The blue one is the first time I have done a boxy pouch and I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I use it to keep my many lip balms and lipsticks in. I figured making a small pouch will limit the number that I carry around with me. I plan to make a receipt wallet to match soon so I will post pictures when that is done.

After the sock disaster last week I have started knitting a new pair of socks

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They are in a lovely 4ply cotton and wool blend from my stash. My gran found the yarn in a charity shop and got it for me 🙂 I’m using 2.5mm needles so the progress is slow and beloved will be getting an IOU for this birthday but they will get done sooner or later.

How I cocked up my socks (another cautionary tale)

I can’t quite believe after the problems I’ve had with the quilt, I have now messed up the socks I was knitting for my beloved’s birthday. True the socks were ambitious,  knitting antarsia and undertaking my first ever short row heel but this would have been my 6th pair. I thought I was a pro. I was at my knitting group at the pub when I slipped the socks on to test them and realised the were way to tight 😦

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You can see here how stretched the stitches are.

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The stretching also pulled the lettering out of shape and it just looks awful. 

I wasn’t sure what to do after I had put all this effort into it so far so after some discussion with the ladies at knitting group I decided to finish the sock and use it as a Christmas stocking.

Where I went wrong
I think the problem was that I didn’t test the gauge or do any swatches to see how the yarn would knit up. Also I can’t remember there being any sizes on the pattern and a larger size might have helped.

So I still need to knit a pair of socks for beloved’s birthday. I went to a craft shop to see if I could get more of the Regia Dk sock yarn I used last year but this year they have released the yarn in florescent colours and I don’t think he would be into that, however I do like some of the colours ways, especially the blue and pink.

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Well at least this episode of screw ups hasn’t put me off. I still have many pairs of socks planned and I’d like to keep using the short row heel as it is much quicker and easier than knitting a heel flap etc. In other news the quilt is coming along. I have been doing little bits of sewing when I get a spare hour so it hopefully won’t be long now.

Thanks for reading

How I cocked up my quilt (a cautionary tale)

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You may have seen in previous posts that I am currently working on this beauty.  I am so in love with the colours and the cute characters. Well I have been working on quilting it this week and my first attempt was a disaster! I ended up with wobbly stitching and a huge pucker which required 2 hours of unpicking for me to start again.  Most of my sewing experience has been gained through trial and error but thanks to the wonders of the Internet we can share tips and tricks to keep errors to a minimum.  I’m going to break down what went wrong with my quilt so you can avoid the same mistakes.

Ironing/pressing
I have a very slap dash approach to most of my crafting. It took a long time for me to get into the habit of measuring project pieces instead of winging it. Pressing and ironing fabric has really made a huge difference to my accuracy in measuring and the quality of the finished project. In the case of this quilt I neglected to iron the backing fabric which caused quite a lot of wrinkles and little folds which contributed to an untidy finish.

Tacking
During the process of tacking the layers of the quilt together I ran out of the magical 505 spray (temporary glue to hold the layers together) so I pinned it together with safety pins. Unfortunately this wasn’t done well enough and the wrinkly backing meant that the layers were moving around a bit.

Sewing
I have made two smaller quilts before so I assumed this wouldn’t be much different.  WRONG! The huge amount of fabric with just a normal sewing foot was a real struggle to work with. I was really having to pull the fabric through the machine and this made my stitching wonky and caused the horrible pucker. I also broke a needle in the process which was a whole other drama as the broken needle fell into the machine!

How I made it right
Well after lots of unpicking I ironed the backing fabric, picked up more 505 spray and tacked it all together again (very nicely this time) and put the walking foot on my machine. The walking foot really made the biggest difference.  It was less of a fight to feed the fabric through the machine. The stitches were even and no horrible puckering. I’m hoping I can get the quilt finished this weekend. Fingers crossed!

I have also been working on the falcons socks at knitting group this week. I am now working on the heel and really enjoying the short row technique so far 🙂