Saturday, 16 June 2007

Miss Lydia Pickett, Lone Star and Sunglasses


I've started piecing in the replacement blue background on my vintage Lone Star. It took me a while to get my head around this, but here is how I am doing it. The Star itself is pieced mainly from fairly coarsely woven fabric (feedsacks?) with some thinner solid pieces. The first thing I did was to spray starch the whole top fairly heavily to stabilise all that old fabric and those bias edges. I was pleased to find that when I ironed the top flat, most of the volcano effect disappeared as well from the middle. Next I carefully unpicked one square corner at a time (I've done three corners now, but the pic shows the first one I did), making a note in pencil on the pink square as to where I needed to add more fabric on (because many of the set in background pieces are too small and don't extend to the star tips). After the pink square was removed, I rotary-cut the star's seam allowances down to 1/4-inch where they were more than this, but the stitching line is extremely erratic and the original seam allowances vary from about 1/16th" to 1/2". Then I pressed the pink square flat and laid it on my blue yardage and used it as a pattern to cut a replacement piece - this is because none of the pink 'squares' are actually 90 degree squares, but as the quilt lies more or less flat, I don't want to mess that up by getting too pedantic about angles. I lay my ruler with the 1/4inch line along the seam line of the pink square, and rotary cut the blue fabric so that it was 1/4inch bigger than the original pink seam line regardless of what the pink seam allowance was. On the outer two blue sides, I allowed an extra two inches to make the blue squares big enough. Then I discarded the pink square, its job was done. Then I pinned on the starch-stabilised Lone Star edge right sides together on top of the blue square, trying to keep the star's original stitching line 1/4inch from the edge of my new blue piece. Then I stitched from the centre of the star to the outside tip, exactly on the original seam line unless this was too skimpy then I added a bit more. As the tips had mostly not been completely sewn in (because the original pink background was too small), I had no stitching line to follow on the tips, so I used an Easy Eight Ruler to drawn in the appropriate diamond-shaped stitching lines in pencil on the wrong side of the tip. I repeated the above steps for the other seam, with the added step of checking after the first half inch of sewing that my inside corner was ok and going to lie flat. The result so far is pretty good - in the pic the blue has gotten a bit wrinkled but it is actually laying pretty flat. Once I have all four corners stabilised, I am going to unpick two quarters of the Lone Star and try to swap them about, to break up the three points which have scraps of a different colour so they are better distributed about the quilt.


Another project I have completed is this cover-up for my boring black sunglasses case, inspired by the Japanese book I bought at Malvern which is called something like 'Tiny Patchworks I Love to See About Me'. The two house blocks (used side by side here) are actually from a placemat in another Japanese book I own, but I immediately thought they looked like beach huts and the concept kind of grew from there. Both sides are the same, and I sort of paper-pieced it using my own lazy-girl method where I just trace the pattern onto tracing paper, then cut it up as necessary for paper piecing and pretend it has seam allowances. I am going to Sisters in three weeks (I am so excited!!) and I am going to be the cool quilter who has a quilted camera case and a quilted sunglasses case (yes, no doubt I will actually look nerdy but there you go).

Being a new month, I received my next Miss Lydia Pickett 1/2 inch scale dollshouse kit from Judith of 'In Some Small Way'. This month it was two small kits: a bench and two stacking boxes, and a cat bed/dog bed combo. I don't want a cat/dog bed in my 1/2 inch scale scene (call me crazy) and this is the drawback of being in a club because you get stuff you would not necessarily have ordered yourself. However, I decided to make a virtue of it and I turned the cat bed into a breakfast tray by leaving off the front side and gluing the cushion fabric onto the 'tray' surface, and the printie that would have gone onto the front side was glued onto the rear of the tray. I took the dog bed and added some legs, and again glued the cushion fabric onto the flat surface, to create a little writing desk. The legs look slightly unrealistic but my plan is to hide it in a corner of the room where you can't see the legs too well.

We're actually away camping this weekend at a campsite about 8 miles from our house, but it is pouring with rain (as usual when we go camping) so we've come home for the afternoon which has given me a chance to blog! Best wishes all, I love reading your comments.


6 comments:

swooze said...

The lone star looks great! Love the idea of rearranging the points a bit. Can't wait to see the final product. How will you quilt it?

Greenmare said...

wow, what an effort and the blue already looks sooooooo much better!
and as always your miniatures are adorable.

swooze said...

OK do you have the Lonestar done yet??? ROFL!!

Kathy Wagner said...

Wow...fixing this lone star quilt is so complicated! I am amazed at your ideas...hope all goes well. And I must say that you are the only person I have ever heard of that has a quilted case for sunglasses!! You'll be the talk of "Sisters"!!

Su Bee said...

That Lone Star is one heckuva project -- wouldn't it be nice if the maker could see it done?

jovaliquilts said...

I am in awe that you would undertake to fix up that lone star -- but how fabulous when it's done! And I totally love your eye glass case. :)
Cheri

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