Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bangkok: Stars on my sofa

The blocks started off as an all- star bed cover project, but took the UFO route.  The sofa needed a color boost, so the project took another turn and was made into a cover.

Kathmandu: Eight auspicious symbols

My difficulty was trying to simplify as much as possible for the purpose of hand-stitching, the intricate patterns found in these symbols as they are depicted as wood carving and fabric embellishments in Buddhist temples.  Eight quilts were sold to a Buddhist retreat and meditation house just outside Kathmandu.  March/April 2012

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Bangkok: Crumbs - 360

When using a sewing machine to piece blocks together, it helps to have handy, small pieces of fabric that you can use as a "Leader".  Why?   Because when you start to sew, the fabric is sometimes pushed into the inside of the machine, and causes the beginning of the pieces to be crumpled.  And if you do not notice it at first, it pulls your needle and thread into the bobbin then you are in trouble:  you snip and snip and remove the culprits, then start all over again.   

Well, by having a boxful of small scraps (called “crumbs” in quilting language), you can start by piecing two small pieces together, then feed in the beginning of your block piecing, do a few chain piecing (by not snipping the thread after two pieces are sewn together but continue feeding your two til the “end”), then use another two pieces of scrap as your “Ender”.  This “Ender” is not snipped off from the machine, as it will be your “Leader” for the next batch of chain piecing that you do.

I have used this method for a good while now, using whatever crumbs I have handy and they come in all colors and shapes.  I cut out a tapered newspaper template so that the completed circle will measure about 55 inches in diameter.  It was a case of cutting-piecing-measuring til I got the number of tapered pieces and the circle right.  There was a big round hole in the center, but never mind:  a round piece appliqu├ęd covered the hole.

I have yet to decide how to do the corner pieces so that the finished quilt comes out square:  I will let it stew for a while til I get a smart idea to make it work!  Or maybe I will quilt and bind it as a round piece.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bangkok: Kids' quilts for the orphanage

At last, I have finished five kids' quilts, ready for shipping to the refugee camp's orphanage.  It took a while, but it is such a great feeling to do the final washing.  There are others in various stages of progress, and will depend on how fast I can do piecing for the backing.  Some are embellished with four inch paper pieced blocks I was experimenting with until it was a boxful and became more than ready to add spice to the quilts!