Sunday, 25 June 2017

Cool breezes

The heatwave is over, for now, and we are back to overcast cooler weather which is currently spitting rain. Hurrah, and long may it continue. We had a very pleasant visit today to some open gardens in Weedon Lois and Weston, which felt lush and green as opposed to arid and baked like the gardens we went to last weekend. We quite enjoy poking around other people's gardens in pretty villages which are open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme, especially when they include very posh places or in today's case, the lovely country mansion of a genuine Lady. And there is usually tea and cake on offer somewhere, today it was in a pretty little Baptist chapel. It's also a way to get ideas for our own garden - we were lusting after a pretty little pond today with surrounding planting.

On the way there I was knitting on my Rose Window hat , which is a free pattern on  I couldn't get the yarn they used here in the UK so I am using an Opal sock yarn (Fresh & Juicy 9365) with a black Cascade 220 fingering (which feels thin and I don't really like it).  The colours are coming out more citrusy than I would like, but DH is expressing interest so it may end up being for him. Luckily I have a big head so it will likely fit him as well. It's quite fun seeing the colourway unfolding and of course comes out differently on a hat circumference rather than a sock.

When we went to the boot sale last week I picked up a little shelf quite cheaply.

I gave it a lick of paint and inserted a backdrop of a picture of patchwork cut from a magazine cover.  This is going to be a little display shelf to house the needlework tools that have been passed on to me by older stitching friends who have passed or who are destashing.  I've cut a little piece of plexiglass to go on the front when I've stocked the shelves.

I've spent some time this week working on preparations for my next Bucks Point lace project.  I bought a pricking for a hexagonal edging from Irene Tomlinson of Shireburn Lace but to make it useable I have to prick every single hole first and there are hundreds ( possibly thousands).  So there are a few hours into it already this week carefully pricking each hole using a needle held in a pin vice and a magnifying visor for accuracy, and I am just over halfway.  I also need to wind 39 pairs of bobbins very full, which will also take quite a while.  I think this is one of the reasons I prefer knitting, you just pull out some yarn from the ball and cast on and you are away.

On the sewing front, I finally got my ancient Indigo Bear's Paw quilt to the top stage.  It's come out bigger than I thought, a generous double and I think could even be used on a queen size bed.

There was a bit of a debacle with one of the side white borders and I'm currently feeling not very happy with the whole quilt due to some puckers and distortion that still remain despite much remedial action. What happened was that I cut the final borders to size and pinned on the first one. I was aware that the multiple sawtooth patches were a bit fluttery even though they are on the straight of grain, but I foolishly thought my feed dogs would ease any excess in.  What actually happened on the first border was that the feed dogs stretched the patches and made even more excess, and no matter how much I tried re-sewing the worst segments, I couldn't ease it all in.  I had to unpick the whole border, which stressed the fabric even more and caused many of the sawtooth seams to start coming apart plus the white fabric started fraying as it is not a very close weave.  So I had to resew a lot of those seams, and then re-pin the border doing what I should have done in the first place:  smooth and pin the outer white border to the inner white border as they are both straight/flat, then pin in the fluttering saw tooths with a multitude of pins in the same way that you would ease in a sleeve cap in dressmaking.  This subsequently worked well on the other three borders, but by this time the first border was so abused and stretched that I still had to take in some of the sawtooth seams to reduce the excess and there are still some small pleats. And this is all before even worrying about whether or not I was chopping points off the indigo triangles.  Nightmare.  It looks good from a distance  :(   It's probably one of those things that I will forget over time and in a few years I will be happy again. Before I put it away, I need to cut some binding strips and decide whether to bind it in blue or in white.  I think probably in white because the indigo African fabric is fairly coarse and I would have to piece many short pieces to get enough length for binding so I think it would be difficult to achieve a smooth result.

1 comment:

swooze said...

I made a blue and white Quilt with a tiny sawtooth border. It's been so long since I made it I don't recall how it went when I added my borders. Those tiny pieces were very fiddly though.

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