No, I’m really not planning to take up basket weaving but I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to buy Canework by Charles Compton, de-accessioned from the Handweaving and Spinning Guild of Victoria’s library and on sale at their textile bazaar, held this morning.
The photo shows my purchases from that sale – an inkle loom and shuttle, one roll of cotton yarn and two of linen (both from Sweden) and some ratchet wheels for that day we decide to build our own loom.
I got to chat with some guild members I hadn’t met before and even swapped knot techniques with one of the senior members, who was pointed out to me as the inkle loom expert. This delightful lady was of retirement age and willing to share and enthusiastic about learning. Once she explained to me that the inkle loom warp is a continuous circle and that I need to thread alternate warp ends through the heddles, it all fell into place. I did take the opportunity to borrow a book called Inkle Loom Weaving by Frances B. Smith from the guild library as a reference though. The guild charges members 50 cents per book borrowed which is something I’ve never come across before. Perhaps the charge is to fund the library’s accession program. I’d love to know.
The knot technique I taught the lady was an English knot or fisherman’s knot, one I’ve had to do a few times lately after messing up my most recent warp so badly that all I could do was cut it, sort it out and retie it over the warp rod. That will be a blog post for another day, but the lesson learned is that two crosses are NOT better than one.
Meanwhile I’m stash busting with a log cabin quilt. I’m calling it a warm hearted log cabin because it has larger central squares than my previous log cabin. This setting is called barn raising.
I decided on a log cabin because I wanted something to do where the piecing would just flow without too much thinking or fiddling about. Work is busy at the moment and I just wanted to be able to cut and sew without running back and forth to the ironing board or fiddling with triangles.
I went to Generations Quilt Patterns to look at what they had to say about layouts. They had advice on how to make sure no two log cabin blocks abut each other with the same fabric. I din’t want to be that particular. It seems to go against the spirit of a scrap quilt. I just tried to make sure I mixed things up a bit as I went.
Started late in 2012 and painstakingly pieced and finally finished.
The dimensions are roughly 110cm by 120cm. I wanted to quilt it myself about a quarter inch from each seam line but I realised that would require more time than I had available. My professional quilter expressed a preference for an edge to edge design because it was easier for her to execute. I regret agreeing to that as I feel my design vision wasn’t delivered. I like this quilt, but I don’t love it as much as I was hoping/planning to.
The batting is Quilters Dream Poly (throw sized) in mid loft which was quite inexpensive and can be quilted as far as 12 inches apart. It will withstand lots of washing and doesn’t require pre-washing but I find it little stiff. So far I have not found a polyester batting that drapes in the way I want it to, ie like cotton batting. I have a packet of low loft Quilters Dream Poly ready for a jelly roll quilt that is yet to be started and I’ll be interested to see how that compares.
Note the quilt stand in this last photo. It’s my brand new (to me) Druva four shaft floor loom and it came home yesterday.
With the current state of unfinished objects/projects in train around here, it probably makes sense to start for me to start working on Christmas projects in April. But actually this block has more to do with post holiday sales than it does with pre-planning.
We weren’t really happy with the selection of Christmas decorations we had for our celebration last year and I resolved to make some Christmas bunting. I took advantage of a January sale at Spotlight and picked up some seasonal fat quarters for $1 each.
Then I came across this description of how to make a double nickel swoon block and decided to try it out with the Christmas fabrics I had lying around.
And so another project begins.
The border is a bit of photo editing wizardry but it does illustrate the border treatment I plan to use after I get the quilting done. Then I will add a hanging sleeve to make a Christmas wallhanging that I expect to finish at about 23 inches square.
Spotlight have had 30% off all fabrics over the few days between Christmas and New Year. Of course I had to go check it out and of course I found some fabric I had to have, though dressmaking fabric, rather than quilting fabric. I’m quite looking forward to getting stuck into some garment sewing but needed to get the charm top out of the way to clear the workspace.
Finished but for a little more Pressing
Today I managed to both name our new canoe in a moving ceremony at Lilydale Lake (well, in a ceremony anyway) and finish my MYO charm top. Along the way I learned a new trick that reduces the likelihood of messing up a planned row between the table and the sewing machine, something that has been an ongoing challenge for me.
Basically, you put one safety pin in the block to the far left, two in the block to the far right, and then you work inwards until it’s time to join the two components of the row. You can string piece right up to the last join and it’s been working well for me. I can’t imagine that others haven’t also used this approach but this time I came up with it myself rather than reading it on someone else’s blog.
I made a video to show you the technique but it seems WordPress want me to pay for an upgrade before I can show it to you directly, so that will have to wait for now.
I found the backing fabric for the charm top at Spotlight, too and have decided to take this one to the professional quilter after all, to get it off my ‘to do’ list and onto hers.