Skip to main content

And I stitch...

  
So, despite the fact that I do have 2 sewing machines (3 if you count an old White "Jeans Machine" that lives in the bowels of the basement with the other relics of ventures past) I have been drawn to the pursuit of mastering some form of "elegant accomplishment" (which after a brief googling of the term I have discerned to mean dancing, needlework, drawing and music).



 And so I am hand sewing my pieces together.  I am using Jinny Beyer's book Quiltmaking By Hand. It's a terrific book that helps the complete needle newbie get started. Everything from thimbles, thread weight, needle types and sizes, to cutting techniques, templates, and of course the "simple running stitch" is reviewed. I always enjoy reading books that include a bit of history or trivia about a technique or practice of the time. It amazes me that there can be such strongly held views about the proper way to hold a needle, or mark a seam. Having said that I do understand having preferences. And I'm probably developing all sorts of suboptimal habits already - but the practice of elegant accomplishment usually began when girls were 4 and 5 years old. Having said that I am an ancient knitter and only recently switched to "continental style" technique because it made more sense to me. So what does all this blathering mean? Only that it is never to late to teach an old broad a new trick...


I had read somewhere that using painter's tape (which is sticky but peels off easily, is a good alternative to marking 1/4 inch seam lines.  I also read online another person who suggested placing the tape on your thumbnail instead of the fabric and using this as your marking tool.


I'm working diligently to make my stitches small and uniform. The book says to always do a backstitch every 4 - 5 stitches to anchor the row.The blue painter's tape is working out very well - it sticks when I need it to and peels off easily without leaving a residue. It's not fraying the fabric edges.

   
I can readily see a number of benefits with stitching by hand. For starters, I have much more control over my joins where several seams are butting up against each other. I am also able to store my block in progress, needles, thread and scissors in a little box and keep it handy - I've been sewing in the evening while I watch drivel on TV (I am addicted to competitive Reality TV shows such as Chopped, Top Chef, Project Runway, Amazing Race and yes I still watch Survivor!)
Me: So ... what did you do last night?
Colleague: Oh I flopped out on the couch. How about you?
Me: Oh Me? (smugly) I worked on my elegant accomplishments.
Happy quilting!






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

To Russia with Love!

So for all you Sochi Fans this is a quick post for a few of my current "in process" projects. I belong to Team Canada - a knitting group on the Ravelry site which is competing in the once upon a time Ravelympics group (now called the Ravellenics after receiving a cease and desist order from the IOC - strange but true).

I am a big fan of the Winter Olympics. So much so, that I take a winter vacation during the Olympics, and immerse myself in all things related to the big event. This year to accommodate the time change I am PVR'ing events all night long and watching them all day long (no spoiler alerts!).

This is a picture of my Sochi interpretation of Peace Gloves by Nanette Blanchard for the nordic colourwork combined / mitten moguls event. At this point I am well into the gusset of the left thumb...
I've also hauled out my sewing machine into the living room during the day so I can quilt and watch on the big screen. I had some matryoshka doll fabric in my stash - so I&…

All that glitters...

So - I know. How often can one write "Ooops! Sorry! Long time no write!" and get away with it. It's not wasn't matter of laziness (I don't think) but more a matter to feeling I had nothing to say.

Imagine that! Nothing to say? she said.

I could say I've been in a funk (I have been) but who wants to read a blog about being in a funk? (not me!)

I guess we all feel funky from time to time  - I'm usually pretty oblivious to it all until I stop all my mindless "doing."  And then (once I stop doing) I have occasion to fall into the valley of the funk - I get funky!

Anyways I'm climbing my way back out. I've had a lovely few weeks away from work, done loads of Christmas baking, made some fantastic family dinners (imagine turkey dinner with all the fixings - wine biased short ribs with leek & mushroom risotto - Belgium waffles with fresh berries, whipped cream, bacon and freshly tapped Canadian Maple Syrup - now really can it get any better…

Tour de Fleece - viva la fleece!

So it is summer in the city. I am currently spinning my BFL /silk roving from West Coast Fibres that I bought when I was in Olds last month. This is part of my efforts for Ravelry Tour de Fleece 2014  - in which Teams from all over the world with wild and wooley team names like "I Got Ewe Babe" "Russian Underpants" "Into the Whirled" and "Team Tardis" all happily spin and co-mingle. We share our glories (spun 3 1/2 inches of cobweb singles today!) our challenges (rider down! broken drive band! cracked a bobbin on the final stretch!) and our distractions (rats! family in from other side of the planet just arrived - glad to see them but didn't they know I'm spinning for the yellow jersey this year?) We've had a few smokin' hot days along the way - and I admit I've taken a few "unauthorised" rest days. But I've always climbed back in the saddle. My goal it to get all my 200+ gms spun, plied, skeined, washed and…