Friday, 25 October 2013

Hexagonal work in progress

I've been working on some hexagons, inspired by this quilt, using up fabric I already had in some muted, modern colours. I don't have a pattern, but I do have a ruler with a 60 degree angle marked on it, so I studied how other people had created hexagons and off I went.

For each segment of a hexagon, I'm sewing a 60 degree triangle to a strip of fabric, then trimming the joined pieces into a large 60 degree triangle. Then I sew three of those together to make a half hexagon.  Eventually I'll lay out all of those how I want them in the quilt, and join them into vertical strips; then when the strips are joined, the full hexagons will appear without me having to sew complicated Y seams.

And to finish here's a trial quilt layout, with some sage green chambray fabric from Village Haberdashery (London)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Orange peel

Just a quick post with picture of Not Orange Peel finally finished.  There was only just enough sunlight to get these pics...

First the whole quilt, showing how the stems (of varying lengths) and leaves are laid out:

Some quilting detail: the lines were machine quilted in expanding curves - marked out in washable pen

Along one side of the back, a rainbow stripe which uses one piece of every "leaf" fabric used on the front:

More quilting action:

And another part of the rainbow strip

I have to say it turned out looking really nice, and I'm very pleased with it.
Next quilt has hexagons on....

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A new sort of bag

Have you ever used coated cotton for your sewing?  I'd made a few aprons from it in the past, but never ventured into the sort of "3-D" territory that I regularly do with ordinary fabric - until now.

I've been making some satchel-style bags and the results seem good, although I have a few further refinements in mind.  The pattern I used here is a mash-up of stuff I've seen made elsewhere, and some tips from the wonderful internet, with my own sizes and ways of finishing things thrown in!


Above are some bags I recently finished, using up some scraps of coated cotton and some bigger new bits.

So here are my top tips for sewing with coated cotton:
1. If you pin, make sure it's in the seam allowance. Holes in this stuff stay!
2. When sewing, your ordinary polyester thread is fine. For top-stitching you'll be better using something a bit thicker, maybe linen thread.
3. Use a big needle, it makes a great difference. I use a number 90 and it sews very well, even through two layers of coated cotton, two layers of webbing and a lining!
4. Practice sewing on a scrap before you put your project under the presser foot, to make sure your tension, stitch length etc are all good.
5. A walking foot solves all problems of this stuff sticking to the stitch plate or presser foot. They cost a little bit, but once you've got one you'll use it loads.
6. Avoid turning bags inside out and back again numerous times - you can iron coated cotton, but some creases stay longer than others.


Here's the inside of a bag, showing an internal pocket and also the top edge, and strap adjuster.
Next up I'm trying coated cotton in combination with zips! Should be interesting...

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