Monday, 18 March 2013

A new quilting tool: the iPad

I need to replace the quilt on my bed as the one I made in about 2001 is falling to pieces.  It is huge and when I finished the present one I swore I would never make another bed-sized quilt.  But if I don't I am not going to have one at all!

I have spent a lot of time wondering how to buy the fabric, given that there are almost no shops down here, I find it difficult to match colours on-line and I will not be going to FOQ this year (mainly because my husband if involved with a conference in London and someone has to be here to mind the cats).  So I have decided to use layer cakes and jelly rolls.  This meant I needed to choose a design.  I decided to buy one of Pam Lintott's books and settled on Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts.  I bought the Kindle version, partly because it was cheaper and partly because it is not available in the bookshops down here. My Kindle is an app. on my iPad.  I have always thought that having Kindle versions of quilting books would not work but now I realise that you just take the iPad into the studio and keep it open at the page you are working on.  You can also take photos of works in progress and this was brilliant for arranging the blocks.  I still have to work out where to put the notes I would normally scribble in the book but I guess I should start using the Notes function on the iPad.

When I make a big quilt I like to do a trial block.  Last week I heard about a project to make quilts as a fundraiser for Alzheimers in Scotland You can find details at It occurred to me that I could make them a quilt to try out the design for my bed quilt.  I have opted for one called 'Old Gold'.  The quilts have to be forty inches square which meant nine blocks plus a three inch border.  I tend not to get involved in projects with deadlines these days and these have to be submitted by May.  The aim is to cover the football pitch at Hampden Park in Glagow with 5000 quilts.

I did not want to have to buy anything for this project.  The top is made from fabrics in my stash and I have chosen to work in bright colours as a change from all those landscapes.

I knew I had some big pieces of wadding and I have managed to find a piece for the backing that I bought for something else but have not used.  Over the weekend I put the top together.

Yesterday I put a dark blue batik border on it and this afternoon I have put the 'sandwich' together.  I decided to risk glueing it rather than having more problems with machine quilting and pins.  I think some free random quilting will be needed in the blocks and I am very out of practice at that!  First, I plan to quilt a straight line grid on the sashing using random threads in primary colours.  Watch this space.

Whatever happened to March?

At the beginning of the year I decided that each month I would post the photo I had chosen for our calendar for that month.  So here we are in mid-March and I realise I completely forgot to do it.  So here it is:

This is a villa on the shores of Lake Como at a place called Corenno Plinio.  We had a picnic lunch there on the holiday I took in September 2011.

I have been busy this month and have done quite a bit of my lap quilt.  I am machine quilting it but it is so long since I have done anything this size that my skills are deteriorating.  There are numerous places where the machine has jumped stitches.  I cannot be bothered to undo them all.  I think the problem is the machine going over pins even though I take them out as I sew.  I did once have a problem with the needle jumping that required professional help but I do not think that is the case this time.

I have brought the quilt into the house so that I can end off the threads in comfort.  Big mistake.  Pania is addicted to wadding and when I have left it lying around a couple of times I have returned to find she has chewed the wadding on the edge.  Now it is living in a pillow case.  Here is a photo of Pania and Hinemoa on the quilt.  They just think quilts are for them.