Monday, 8 October 2012

Nesting and barn walls: more essentials for quilting

It is a deeply grey day, and now the rain is teeming down, washing all the colours of the world away. But early this morning I managed to get a photograph of my latest quilt top before the rain began to descend, braving the proleptic leaden skies and chill dampness in my eagerness to record another show and tell.

And this is the entirely unedited result.

A trick of the light

That damp grey autumn light filtered through the camera's beady eye has done the weirdest thing to the colours of this quilt, making them appear eerily dayglo and intense against the sinister grey-green backdrop.

The fabric is Rose Parade from Moda, and the pattern is PS I Love You from Sweet Jane , (photographed upside down so you won't notice the deliberate mistake, entirely the fault of Radio 4, which distracted me so much when cutting out blocks that I cut out a 10in and 11in, rather than two 10.5in. Hmm, you may say, and so did I, but very cleverly I sewed the selvedge edge trimming back on, and most of it will disappear into the binding, honest).

So this brings me rather to another essential for a quilter - a suitably photogenic place in which to photograph your quilts. I hanker after a barn wall like Amy's or even two tall sons at home to stand behind holding it up for me in the sunshine ... All in short supply here at the moment.

But before I am accused of being too morose, I should like to engender some positive associations in connection with the use of the seam ripper. No longer need you experience thoughts of anger, despair or destruction when you catch sight of the little stiletto in your sewing box.

I saw the light when I did a sewing course at the London College of Fashion some years ago - it was supposed to teach the amateur to sew in a professional manner, and I am sure that I am not one of the success stories, especially as we weren't allowed to use pins, and I still harbour a lingering attachment to pinkind. But the trick I remember is the use of the seam ripper, not for ripping seams, because of course real pros don't do that, but to guide the fabric through the machine, like so.

Some gentle guidance
The clear piecing foot with the handy little guide at the right is a godsend - and allows me to whip out the pin at the last minute (again using the seam ripper as a grab), so the needle does not hit the pin.

I think she needs to clean the fluff from her machine ...

The seam ripper really comes into  its own with those lovely little nested seams - I love the concept of nesting seams: the terminology, the cosiness and togetherness of the concept, and with (sshh!) two pins and a seam ripper, no squiffy nesting, no underside seams jumping back the wrong way.

Nesting

I must go now - the Head Chef has come up with the most divinely delectable variation on the best flapjack recipe ever, and having eaten some for morning coffee, I plan to consume quantities for lunch. Let me know if you would like the recipe, and I will be sure to photograph some before I eat them all up ...



25 comments:

Gina said...

I love your quilt... and don't really understand what you mean about a mistake. It looks perfect!

Angela said...

I love pins too! But hadn't seen the stitch ripper tip before, thanks!

Amy Friend said...

Well you may wish for a barn wall but I have been begging for a clothes line for years! I think it's a great way to hang quilts! Beautiful quilt top!

Beth said...

I too love your quilt! The 'extra bright' colours are very cheery on this very grey day. The radio 4 comment made me laugh as I listen to it every day whilst I sew and often make similar mistakes. Beth/thelinencat x

Thrifty Household said...

That is a very beautiful quilt!

Beth said...

I too love your quilt! The 'extra bright' colours are very cheery on this very grey day. The radio 4 comment made me laugh as I listen to it every day whilst I sew and often make similar mistakes. Beth/thelinencat x

Beth said...

PS. I have 2 potentially tall sons (at the moment only 5 & 7 but already following in their father's 6 ft 7 style)....perhaps I should take up quilting now their future height use has been pointed out ;)

greenrabbitdesigns said...

And very lovely it is too!!!! :)
I am a big pin fan too, I have to say.
Seems we have had altogether better weather here today, loads of sunshine!! :)
Vivienne x

Madelief said...

What a beautiful quilt Pomona! Love the fabrics you chose.

Wish you a happy week!

Madelief x

Tangled Sweetpea said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful quilt Pomona!
Victoria xx

Katy Cameron said...

Love the pop of brightness on a dull autumn day in that top pic :o)

Down by the sea said...

A lovely quilt how strange the colours look so different to the material you bought. I have never heard of a seam ripper before it looks a handy device.
My flapjacks are never perfect they are either too hard or soft.
Sarah x

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

I really need to come and have a few days with you.....Ada :)

...I am Nora..... said...

Mistake? where? Looks fab to me and just the colours I'm after for my daughter.

Victorian stitchers always made a mistake in their work to remind them that they and their work was not as perfect as God....quite a sweet thought I think....so maybe go with something like that and then mistakes feel more like you did it rahter than it happened!!! Hahahaha!

Wonderful xx

harmony and rosie said...

Beautiful, cheery quilt .. I can't actually see the mistake so delete that sentence without delay!!
I am partial to a flapjack or two, so am feeling a little jealous. Although I've just shared an almond horseshoe with the main man so I can cope for now xox

Floss said...

That's a stunning quilt, Pomona! I do have a great place to hang quilts and blankets, as our house was 'built as a barn conversion' ie it has a totally spurious balcony. In the winter, when I give up on natural light anyway, I hang things from it... shame I never make quilts, isn't it?

driftwood said...

of course we want the recipe. and a barn for hanging quilts. or a line. a whirlygig just isn't the same.........

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

That quilt does look pretty against the sky like that.

Happy Monday!!
Rebecca♥

Mrs. Micawber said...

Your quilt looks wonderful - and how neatly all your corners meet.

I have used other pointy things to guide the fabric, but never the seam ripper. (And have sewn over and into uncountable pins in a long and undistinguished career. I don't know why the needle breaks when the pins never do.)

Yes on the flapjack recipe!

Sarah Jane said...

Lovely quilt! Looks like a job well done, I say!
Sarah x

Susan Standen said...

I use my seam ripper tip to make the seams lie the right way if they are being recalcitrant. Glad to know I am doing something the 'pros' might do. ;-)

Flapjacks. Yum!!!!

Carol said...

Beautiful quilt. I recently tried a taster 'Beginners Quilting Course' but didn't take to the tutor and her way of teaching (didn't inspire me at all) so I have some books and will look at You Tube for tutorials.
Thank you for the seam ripper/pin tip.
Carol xx

angharad handmade said...

Wow the quilt is the perfect antidote to a grey day, lovely burst of colour. And I can't see the mistake. I also think hanging on a proper washing line is a great way to show off a quilt - I have a very ugly rotary line which doesn't quite make the grade!

Lisa said...

Your new quilt is really one of the most gorgeous I have ever been lucky enough to see through blogland.
Really stunning.
Lisa x

Barbara said...

Not using pins! That would be the end for me.

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