Thursday 27 April 2023

To Do Tuesday #17 - Working Away

The weeks are going so fast!

My tasks from last week:
- cut out the fabric for a new pattern for my Etsy shop (sewing machine has been for a service and is working well again)✅
- work on another table runner pattern, i.e. draw out the main elements and think about proportions✅
- transfer my 'formal' table runner to fabric and make a start in stitching this out (fabric is already washed and ready to go)✅
- maybe baste the last charity quilt?

A productive week, even though it did not feel like it.

I made a start on my 'formal' table runner.
Felt great to be quilting something again. I am using cotton batting which I have not used for a while. It is like stitching on almost nothing. I am stitching with Aurifil 50/2 with a 70/10 needle in a wine red colour to make life a bit more interesting as I usually stitch in lighter colours. The darker colour makes it very hard to see what my stitching looks like, so I am getting a bit excited for the time I can take the blue marker out. I am stitching in manual mode and yes, this table runner is a bit tedious. I literally stitched heirloom feathers for hours...very therapeutic though and thoroughly enjoyable to me. Have not done this for a while and it almost feels like therapy. There is something incredibly calming about just slowly stitching the same shape 100 plus times.
It is also interesting to stitch this to see how my drawing on the Ipad went in terms of size, shape and some of the angling of the plumes. As I went along I could see where I did squash my feathers  up a bit when I needed to adjust the wave in the outer feather. Also, it is a good idea to draw all the feathers on the same day...or make a mental note on how tall and wide you want your feathers to be. I noticed that my top motif had slightly different feathers...they were slightly slimmer and actually better drawn out which made sense as that motif came from my other wholecloth drawing. On the tablet they did look the same, or so I though, but stitching them out I did notice that slight difference. Something to watch out for in the future. Overall I am really happy with how this is turning out though.
Started outlining the motif and the feathers and then moved onto the grid. Still debating whether to fill the center or leave this plain. Time will tell.

Apart from this I did design another, more organic table runner and will see what the sewing shop thinks of that for a workshop. Also managed to cut out the fabric for another quilt for the Etsy shop. Did a few trials of half square rectangles as I had forgotten how to do them properly. Thank God for the internet! There are some very good tutorials out there. Nothing to show yet though as I have not put any blocks together. That will be next week's task.

So for next week this is on the list
- sew some blocks together for the new pattern, actually start with the 10 easy four patch ones!
- continue stitching out the formal table runner
- discuss the organic table runner with the shop
- baste the last charity quilt.

That's it, realistically I will not get more done as I also got a few other things on this week still. Nevertheless, I am happy with my progress and feel I am getting back into the swing of things after a few weeks of just floundering.

Linking up to To Do Tuesday#17 over at Quilt Schmilt


Tuesday 18 April 2023

To Do Tuesday #16 - Going Down the Rabbit Hole

This was my list from two weeks ago!

- start tracing my design onto the fabric
- baste another little charity quilt.

Definitely got side tracked again πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I continued with my new fantastic rulers from Michael Quilts and did another little charity quilt with Baptist fans, this time concentrating a bit more on accuracy. 

and a bit closer

This time I ensured that my starting edge was a bit straighter and I also took more care in actually stitching this out. Again, as I am on a sitdown machine there were some discrepancies when moving up but with the markings on the ruler I was able to fudge that back in position. By the time I had to turn my quilt around and quilt from top down, I was in almost perfect alignment. Too good! I reckon lots of those charity quilts will now get a Baptist fan over them. Love doing it, it's very relaxing and at those sizes goes relatively quick (the biggest ruler is half of an 11in circle).

After that I went down the rabbit hole of designing as only I can do. I mentioned before that I got a new drawing program for the Ipad...Affinity Designer 2. I went ahead and designed a table runner with mainly feathers. I still had not watched all the tutorials of the program and muddled my way through. It's quite an involved program and I was becoming more and more aware that I was missing some basics and really had not explored all that you can do with this program. I persevered on my table runner and came up with his very formalised piece (which printed out beautifully)
Probably not everybody's cup of tea but I like the formality of the feathers. The oval alone took me almost a whole day to draw out precisely. Never realised how stylized feathers need to be in an oval. The designs on the side are taken from my other wholecloth design. Altered them slightly and just whacked them in there. The border was horrendous...I drew maybe a 1/3 piece of the border and then constructed it copying and pasting. That seemed to work until I had to flip and rotate it for the other side. My curves were not lining up! So I spent another few days fixing that, shifting and correcting and generally cursing a lot. But it got done...not 100% but good enough.  Inititally I was going to put a background filler in there but now I am thinking that I will finish this off with just a simple grid to keep with the formality of the design. While this was originally planned for another workshop I now think that this might be simply too boring to do. Not a lot of learning in there unless you just want to increase your muscle memory on how to do formal feathers. Not sure how useful this is. I will stitch this out and see what I think. Also got another idea for a more 'organic' looking table runner that has more elements to practice in it. 
Since then I have watched all the tutorials on the program! Wow, there is a lot you can do with this program and I figured out a few new things that would have been a bit helpful in drawing this. Never mind, I now know and hopefully will remember some of the things I read about next time. While mucking around for an entire week, I produced many elements and shapes that you can store in a library ready to be used. Very handy!

Really happy with this program and currently debating whether to invest in the desktop version which of course is much dearer than the Ipad version but could be very useful in writing my patterns. I am still using an older drawing program (Serif Draw) on the desktop to create diagrams for the patterns in my Etsy shop  and have struggled at times when having to draw more involved shapes (like a piece of fabric strip where you flip the strip over a bit to show how something aligns for example). Will ponder on this.

I was so distracted for the last two weeks that I had to make a list of what I need to work on. So, for this week I am thinking that I will work on the following
- cut out the fabric for a new pattern for my Etsy shop (sewing machine has been for a service and is working well again)
- work on another table runner pattern, i.e. draw out the main elements and think about proportions
- transfer my 'formal' table runner to fabric and make a start in stitching this out (fabric is already washed and ready to go)
- maybe baste the last charity quilt?

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #16 over at Quilt Schmilt.


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