Sunday, 8 January 2017

Startitis

Now that Christmas is over and I no longer have to put in long hours planning the Japan trip, I have the pleasing illusion of more time on my hands. Unfortunately this seems to be developing into a bout of Startitis.  My Spinning Pinwheels Tablecloth is still waiting forlornly in a corner to be quilted, my Pyjama trouser pattern is on the design wall waiting for the next two pairs to be cut. But pinned on top of the pyjama pattern are the Japanese fabric strip quilt and the Geisha scroll wallhanging I made last week, still waiting for some finishing. But what I've actually done this week is pursue on impulse a 60-degree equilateral triangle project to make a table runner, using some leftover Moda Portugal fabric from a long ago quilt. So this project was then pinned on the wall on top of the other three projects.  It's turning into archaeological strata.


The table runner came about because I saw a workshop online being offered for a Triangle Frenzy table topper which I realised must be the same design company behind the table topper I had admired a few years ago when we went on holiday to Norfolk, which was this one:

While googling on Triangle Frenzy designs I came across this Youtube video by Electric Quilt which shows how to use 60-degree triangles to make a table runner. It looked cool and I have a 60-degree triangle ruler so I thought I would have a go.

My 60-degree ruler measures 8 1/4" from base to tip, so I put together two strip sets around 40" long that measured 8 1/4" in width.  You need six A triangles for the central hexagon, and four B triangles for each end so eight B triangles altogether.  I was able to cut four B triangles and three A triangles from each strip set and I had sufficient excess to be able to fussy-cut the A triangles to frame a motif. 

 I starched my strip sets before cutting because of the bias edges, and I pressed all seams open to reduce bulk. I laid out the design first so that I would get the correct orientation on the triangles. Then I seamed the two lengthwise rows of triangles together first, then seamed together the two rows together along the central seam after first basting across the junctions of the points to check for accuracy. Then I quilted in the ditch and applied single fold binding.  It was a relatively quick project to complete, so could make a good gift. Nice to actually finish something!



Another thing I've started in the last few weeks is the kit I bought in Japan for an appliqued zipped pouch.  The kit included all the fabric, the zip, the wadding, and some embroidery floss.  The instructions are in Japanese but the layout diagram had some English labels.  So by using the layout diagram as a Rosetta stone, and also using the kanji recognition app on my tablet, I was able to work out the gist of it.  You do the applique and embroidery stage first onto one side of the pouch (pieced from two fabrics). The applique was a bit challenging because the fabrics in the kit are not quilting fabric, they're more loosely-woven with woven patterns rather than printed, and they fray very easily.  Embroidery is not my strong suite but I managed the bee and I substituted the word 'Summer' for the random-English word Happy in the original.


After completing the applique/embroidery, each of the three pieces is turned through with the lining and wadding to create three finished pieces. The next stage is quilting. I've started on the back piece and am partway through in this picture. I am failing to get small even stitches partly because the layers are fairly bulky. I've turned the base over so you can see the lining.



In an effort to get my Idrija bobbin lace doiley finished, I have moved it into the living room and am doing some most nights on my lap in front of the telly, before I work on the quilting of the zip pouch and my usual TV knitting. It is awkward to do bobbin lace on the lap with such a large pillow but at least it is slowly getting done. I've had to join on some more thread as I am running out on some of the bobbins.


TV knitting is still the Fairwinds Hat.  I've had a couple of false starts on it because the pattern says to cast on for 100 stitches but when I tried it on after a few inches, it seemed far too loose. I like a hat to be snug over my ears.  I pulled that out and cast on 90 stitches instead, and knit the folded brim and turned the hem.  But when I carried on with the hat itself, which is supposed to be floppy, it was fitting far too close to my head.  So I had to pull out a few more inches back to the joining row for the brim, increase more stitches, and re-knit.  This is where I am so far and I think it is going to be ok this time. To avoid purling I am wrapping and turning to knit the purple rows in stockinette from the inside, which is creating an unavoidable 'seam' but I've decided to live with that.


As you know, my dollshouse club Shed project has been hanging over my head for some time. I wanted to get it out of the way so that I can move on to renovating/finishing my own houses in time for the club visit this July, so I made a bit of a push on the shed over the holidays.  I've now progressed the inside as far as I can out of my current stash. My theme is a writer's retreat from the 1920s-1940s. It is  still looking fairly bare but I am going to a couple of shows in February and March where perhaps I can pick up more things. 




The mirror is positioned so that you can peek inside the octagonal tower to the windowseat.


So I'm going to put the project to one side for now so I can move on to other things.

I also started this week on machine knitting another machine knitted tee from the denim Panama cone I bought months ago. It will be the same pattern as the duck egg version but I'm doing a ribbed hem instead of a picot hem at the bottom (I might still do a picot hem on the sleeves and neck because it looks nice). I've only done the back so far.

And the last thing for this week was a bit of primitive woodwork on Bank Holiday Monday.  Since changing my PC and monitor several months ago, my monitor had been raised up on some books because it didn't fit on my old stand.  I scrounged some dregs of wood from the shed and managed to cobble together a monitor stand despite my total inability to cut a straight line.  It wobbles but luckily the weight of the monitor holds it down fine.  And painting it white disguised a lot of defects. It's a big improvement on a stack of books.



1 comment:

swooze said...

Wow! Your lace is gorgeous. Looks like you are having a lot of fun with all your projects. I've been finishing a good bit lately.

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