F2F: Let’s go green!

This month it is my turn to receive quilt blocks in the F2F swap. I’ve chosen green in any shade as my colour scheme and so far everyone has included at least one block that’s a bit on the modern site. It looks like I’m ending up with a great mix of modern and traditional blocks, nicely tied together by all being completely green!

Six sets of blocks have already made it to the Netherlands which is half of the blocks. Each time a set arrived I’ve put the blocks almost immediately up on my design wall so I can look at them as I am working in my sewing room. Until now I’ve kept them organised per maker, but in the final quilt top I will definitely mix things up.

green blocks

A great variety in style and shades of green!

The complete set of 36 blocks would make a (in my opinion) huge quilt, that I’m not really sure I have a use for and that is certainly way too large for me to quilt comfortably. I think I’ll select 4×8 blocks to make a quilt that we can use to cover up the bed in our guest room when it is not in use. The remaining blocks will then be used in the backing, or perhaps I can make a reversible quilt so we can vary a bit with which side is showing. This quilt will certainly brighten up the guest room as apart from putting in a bed and a night stand we haven’t really done anything to it yet.

I still have to receive 4 sets from fellow participants and make my own blocks to complete the quilt top. Pat passed away a little over a week ago which is why I am making 6 blocks instead of 3. We were able to complete her quilt in time for her to see it though. If you’d like to see how it turned out please visit Kate’s blog.

I’m looking forward to receiving (and making) the last blocks and I hope I’ll be able to show you some progress on this quilt in the next couple of months. I just love green…

Tutorial: Fabric coasters

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Lovely (can you still call it new if you’ve had it for 9 months?) dining room table deserving of pretty coasters!

In May we bought a new dining room table so we can finally seat 8 people comfortably instead of 4 rather tightly (even though we still only have 4 dining room chairs, but that’s a different story). The top of this table is a lovely piece of thick oak and we would like to keep it looking lovely for as long as possible. So, no water stains please! We already had coasters, but these are pretty old. There used to be a picture on top that has long since disappeared, leaving only glue residues. Not pretty, although still functional.

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boring old coaster

As I was pondering pretty coasters I thought of the fabric postcards that I make and realised that something similar might also work as a coaster so I adapted the postcard method to make coasters. The main difference is the type of interfacing and how it is used.

You will need:

  • Fabric for the top and bottom of the coaster, I used quilting cotton, but I think other cotton fabrics should work as well.
  • Decovil I Light interfacing (this is sturdy but still flexible and machine washable)
  • Thread

Method

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Step 1: Fuse Decovil I Light to 2 pieces of fabric large enough to make the number of coasters that you want to make. I realise there are 3 pieces in my picture, the piece of cream fabric was a bit oddly shaped so I couldn’t cut a single piece that was large enough.

 

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Step 2: Place 2 pieces of fabric on top of each other, the Decovil I Light sides should be touching.

 

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Step 3: Use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut fabric in 10×10 cm (4×4 inch) squares. Cut both layers of fabric at the same time.

 

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Step 4: I like to use quilting clips to keep the squares in place when sewing around the edges. Pins don’t really work.

 

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Step 5: Use the zig zag stitch (stitch width 5, stitch length 0.4 or 0.5) on your sewing machine to stitch around the edges. I usually use a Schmetz quilting needle size 90/14 and walking foot or open toed embroidery foot. I didn’t take a picture of this step but it is explained in step 7 of the postcards tutorial.

 

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Step 6: Use your coasters!

We have been using these coasters since May and I like them a lot. We’ve washed one that became stained. After washing I gave it a light press with my iron on both sides and now I can’t tell which one was washed. Huge success all around.

Completed: Sweater 3b from Knippie 5 – 2010

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A friend recently had a second child and I made a baby sweater. I wanted to try a new pattern and use a new technique to challenge myself somewhat. The sweater I chose has a neckline that is finished with a binding, but closes with snaps. This is a closure I had never made before.

160214_linedrawingThe pattern is from Knippie, a Dutch sewing magazine with patterns for children. I made sweater 3b from issue 5 of 2010. I had enough blue fabric left over from another project to make size 74. The child probably won’t fit into this sweater until autumn but I like to give something that they can wear more than once. The orange jersey was left over from an abandoned project that was cut out but never sewn. I really like how this shade of orange pops against the dark blue.

To make my life easier I decided to remove several seam lines that were only decorative in nature. For the back bodice this meant not cutting through the yoke line of the pattern piece. For the front piece it meant I had to tape the front yoke pattern piece to the right side so it became one pattern piece. This is not difficult to do but you have to be careful to line up the correct line of the yoke and front piece.

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Construction wise this was not a difficult project. All seams were overlocked and top stitching and hemming was done with my coverstitch machine. Attaching the neckline binding was fiddly and the most challenging part of the sweater. I ended up ignoring the instructions completely. I am still not entirely sure what I was supposed to do but I thought it became an annoyingly bulky affair that didn’t look pretty. Instead I took a single layer of the jersey, stitched it to the right side of the neckline with short extensions at the opening. Folded these edges to the back and stitched in place by hand. Folded the neckline to the inside and again stitched the ends in place by hand. The binding was then topstitched with my coverstitch machine.

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The instructions told me to stitch twill tape around the armholes and add applique but I ignored this as well. I like clean and simple.

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You can see how I folded the binding to the inside and stitched the ends down by hand. If you look carefully you can also see where I missed part of the binding with the coverstitch machine and remedied this with some handstitches. From the outside you can’t tell.