Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bird On A Branch Quilt


I'm still in the use-up-fabric-scrap business. This is my latest finish. It's called Bird On A Branch. I couldn't think of a better name. This tiny quilt took a long time to complete. It also taught me a good lesson.

First of all, I wonder if anyone could tell from the quilt, which piece of fabric started the whole thing going? I'll tell you. It's the piece of calico the sun was appliqued on. I've been clearing my storeroom and found this piece of calico that had yellowed not in a good antique-y way. Most people with common sense would throw it into the garbage bin. But I'm not most people. I decided to save the fabric. One day, I happened to be at Spotlight and I saw that a fabric paint was on sale. I mean 3 bucks! So I bought a bottle (it's only 45ml), went home and set to work some magic on the yellowed calico. Um, it turned out, it takes a lot of paint to actually see any colour on the fabric. On top of 2 pieces of calico, I also had a piece of white-now-yellowed cotton canvas I wanted to rescue. I managed to cover 1 piece of calico and 1 piece of canvas cotton with blue paint. There was a small amount of paint left and most people with common sense would throw it away. But I'm not most people. I decided to use it to paint the last piece of calico. Unfortunately, the amount of paint was too little so I added more water. When I was done, the calico looked neither blue nor anything.

So I practically spent time and money working on a fabric that I should have thrown away in the first place. I had no choice but to use it somehow because I had increased the value of the fabric. I dug into my new fabric stash and found some lovely fabric that I felt could work patched together with the fugly calico. I looked in my applique box and found a ready to go bird on a branch applique. Is it just me? I have lots of ready to go applique lying around. They are my applique UFOs.

I felt the patchwork needed some running lines. Oops. I may have gone slightly overboard. At this point I felt rather discouraged because I was starting to hate this project. And so much work had already gone into it!

I pushed on and kept adding elements until I decided enough was enough. Yup, the sun and 2 giant leaves were a wink at Janet Bolton. I had to use couching stitch to sew the sun's rays as the running lines were too overwhelming and I needed to use a very thick yarn meant for knitting. I left the bird and branch a bit simple because the entire applique had fusible web and I didn't fancy sewing through the layers.

Originally the sun was left plain but I felt it needed some embroidery (blanket stitch) to give it texture because looking at the whole quilt I see texture throughout.

If you're wondering why I left out the borders, it's because I totally forgot about it. I was so preoccupied with rescuing the calico that the possibility of adding borders only popped into my head much later. By then, I thought the quilt had so much going, a border wasn't necessary. I finished off the quilt with a double binding using this tute as reference.

In case you're wondering where you've seen the binding fabric, it's from this bag pattern. Which means I've used up nearly all the fabric for the bag pattern. Only a small piece of scrap is left. Nowadays I get ridiculously happy when I (almost) use up any fabric.

For the backing, I used some of the batik scraps my mother had given me. The weave of the batik is very tight, so quite unpleasant to sew through. And lastly, I included a pocket to hang the quilt. It's a very small quilt, 11" by 12". Am I incapable of handling larger quilts?

After all the time and effort I had poured into this quilt, I'm happy to say I'm growing fonder and fonder of it every day. Thank goodness otherwise I'll be pretty mad at myself. Next time, I won't try to save everything. I'm giving myself permission to throw some stuff away.

Monday, September 16, 2019

How Many Thimbles Do You Own?

I have a total of TEN thimbles. To my knowledge, I only bought one. I don't know how I acquired the rest. For years and years, I resisted using thimbles. Usually I tape a small piece of masking tape over the finger I want to protect and that was my thimble. Lately though, I've started using thimbles when hand sewing. What triggered it was hurting my hand - my maker's hand. Thimbles I've realised are pretty useful. They don't just protect the skin, they make me think about which muscle I want to use or not use. Like if I were sewing without a thimble I would use a lot of fine muscles to pull the needle through. With a thimble, you have the option of using your wrist muscle to push the needle through. As I age, I start to think more about my muscles...

I'm not sure if this is called a Tailor's thimble. It's the most common thimble. I have one but it doesn't fit my fingers. If I use a plaster to tape it to my middle finger, I can use it. But I haven't quite got the hang of it. I think it's a fit issue. If the thimble is more snug, it'll probably be easier using it. Watch this video and this other video really opened my eyes to thimbles.

I have a sashiko thimble which I've used on and off.

The only issue I have with this thimble is your fingers get all weird due to the position of the thimble.This thimble doesn't work if you use a small needle. Watch this video if you're wondering how to use this thimble.

Since I sew a lot of running stitches I thought I had better find a thimble that I'm more comfortable with because using a gigantic sashiko needle is no joke.  This is the thimble I bought. It's Prym Ergonomics Thimble which I bought for SGD4.50. I bought size S thinking I have petite fingers but I should have bought M to fit my middle finger. Anyway, size S fits my ring finger so it's all good.

This is how I use my Prym thimble. I love it. It's the best SGD4.50 I've ever spent.

I have this thimble meant for the middle finger, I think. I haven't quite got the hang of it. I use it for small needles. I'm thinking I wear it too high. I'll try wearing it lower and see if it works.

And this thimble is insane. It's looks so interesting but my brain refuses to understand how to use it.

Anyway, these are the thimbles I don't want because I either have duplicates or can't quite figure it out. If you live in Singapore and want these, let me know and I'll send them to you.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns