confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Sewing machine

Sewing outside the lines – take 2

Although I have dedicated this weekend to repainting my entire house (well, that’s what it feels like), I couldn’t resist playing with some spare cotton from an old sheet, a huge embroidery hoop, and lots of ends-of-reels-of-thread on my sewing machine.

Better than my first attempt, doncha think? (you can tell I started with the green, can’t you?).

Yes, my name now has two little hearts above it, I wasn’t paying enough attention when I did the first one, which turned out to be over the “r” instead of the “i”.


This turned out a lot more fun that I thought it would be. I still have some issues to work on, but the hoop helps a lot.

Highly caffeinated Claire Bear

New quilt top (bad blogger)

Bad blogger for abandoning your blog!

You know sometimes when you just can’t get out of bed or off the sofa to do anything, and the list of things you need to do gets longer than the list of things you want to do, or even the list of things you can do? That’s been me the last few weeks. Gotta love that SAD!

Although better this winter than for many years due to eating properly for once (at least 5 fruit and veg a day and no alcohol)  and having a child- and responsibility-free lifestyle now, I guess SAD had to hit eventually (seasonal affective disorder, or depression brought on/worsened during the winter months, I have the milder version known as seasonal affective syndrome, but I’m going to refer to it as SAD because that’s the name that people recognise and you can google it).

Essential tasks only… paying utility bills, occasionally even cleaning  the place. Not much blogging, as you may have noticed…

Although… I did get fed up with not sewing the other day and made a quilt top, and then my sewing machine annoyed me so much (it’s having serious tension issues) that I stripped it down, removed a year’s worth of broken threads and replaced the light bulb that went months ago. Actually, that’s not bad going all things considered: a quilt top and a semi-serviced machine! Yay me!

My plan for a boy quilt (see I even planned) that I wanted to make out of old jeans:

Big squares of denim (some with the pockets attached) separated by white cotton sashing and backed with navy fleece (for softness). Photo as part of my Process Pledge.

Only two problems with this plan:.

1) trying to get the big squares of denim cut from old jeans,

2) not having nearly enough sashing.

A-ha! to plan B! (I’ll just archive this plan for another time when I can make sure that I measure and cut the denim properly and have enough sashing!)

Plan B = Random scrappy quilt using denim and fleece, cut to the same length but different widths (or same width but different lengths?).

Right now it looks like this:

(I would apologise for the less than great photography, but it’s raining right now, and I got wet taking this photo)

Not bad, huh? Looks better now, hanging up than it did on Friday night at never-mind o’clock. And yes, all of the jeans pockets along the bottom actually are pockets you could use them for whatever you want. No matter which way up the quilt is (almost,) you have a pocket the right way up.

I didn’t realise that all of the little-bits-of-fleece-with-sashing-round-them are all at the top.

Things I learnt making this quilt top (I’ll get around to backing and quilting it when someone says “oh I love it, can I buy it” but I’m still counting it as my “Monthly Make” for February)

  1. Small stitch length when piecing works really well.
  2. I can now reverse appliqué (fourth column from the left, top block)
  3. I can improv-piece weird-shape scraps ( 2nd column, 2nd block)
  4. I can piece stretchy fabrics (in this photo, if it doesn’t look like denim, it’s fleece and fleece is streeetchy) by using iron-on interfacing
  5. I need to check that the interfacing I’m using is iron-on before I start ironing, you can iron-on sew-in interfacing, but it doesn’t stay put for long (although it does still stabilise the quilt block)
  6. Sewing denim to something else is physically easier than sewing denim to denim, especially when it comes to joining rows.
  7. Quilt tops look different hanging on my washing line than they do spread out on my “design wall” (sofa).

Actually quite proud of this. Usually I’m really control-freaky about colour and layout, but I just went with the flow on this one, and it looks cool (still going to be all control-freaky on the rest of my quilts, just glad I can go random when I want to).

No idea when I’ll be posting next, I’ll try to make it something interesting.

Thanks for bearing with me,

Claire Bear

Other quilts I made: My Daughter’s Quilt, ZigZag Rainbow Quilt, Rainbow Stack of Coins Quilt

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