Marked out with ponce
So this week I went ahead with the ditch stitching and finished the grid. Here is what it looks like after sewing ...........
Where are the markings?
A closer look - some very, very faint marks remain on the border - but too faint to follow
There is not a single marking left on the top! Gone, disappeared, nothing! This seems to be an ongoing problem for me. Whether I use ponce, pencil, or chalk, the markings disappear after making the sandwich and ditch stitching. Admittedly, the grid quilting required a lot of handling, and perhaps I should have done the FM first (although grid first is the order Harriet recommends), but I am really getting frustrated with this.
The only marking tool which seems to stay on and stay bright are the blue washable pencils. Having made a sample using the clover one which didn't wash out, and hearing lots of horror stories about the blue markings re-appearing after washing, I am reluctant to use them.
Having used stencils and not the lightbox to trace the designs, it wasn't difficult to re-mark the top. The centre design caused me grief as I managed to confuse the lines and mess it up. After unpicking I re-marked the design in different coloured chalks - orange chalk for the inner design and green chalk for the outer. This worked a treat and I had no problems following the correct sewing order.
Sadly, I messed the sewing up completely - I suffered 2 bobbin tangles while doing the free motion, and my technique was pathetic, going off the lines, jerking and very un-even stitching. I think this is what happens when I try to FM under stress. The stitching was too small to unpick so I have to live with it. No, I'm not even going to show a pic of the mess, as it's too embarrassing!
Finding that doing free motion quilting on top of a grid, particularly a grid which is rather puffy from the wool batting, rather than the flat cotton I'm used to, I decided not to sew the rest of the planned designs on the top and went straight to the borders.
I like this border design!
The pattern needs to be FM'ed four times, once for each line in the design, and as you can see from the picture, the markings had become quite faint by the time I'd finished. I'm getting so much better at staying on the lines now, but need to work on my stitch length, which are still erratic and too small.
HANDS ON LESSONS
I've had my first beginner quilting lesson with Stephanie, most of which was working on ditch stitching and gridwork. The next lesson will concentrate on co-ordinating hands and speed in free-motion, which is exactly what I need! I've also booked in for lessons on free-motion feathers and another set of lessons on trapunto, which I'm looking forward to.
I'm off to Melbourne for the quilt show and won't be back until next week, but I'm hoping I can finish off the Asian Nights first (unlikely). There will be lots of traders and as well as sourcing stencils, battings and threads, I'm going to look at marking pencils. Sounds like an excuse for a shopping trip rather than looking at quilts, but I'm sure I can manage to do both!
I'm moving house! We bought a house on the weekend and have only a month to move. That's not a lot of time to sort, pack and hold a garage sale, so sewing has to take a backseat for a bit. Actually my sewing room was the first to be packed up. My current sewing space is a disused shop attached to the house, and it's brilliant, with lots of space and even in-built shelving. But the room is also used for storage and now is needed to store packed boxes and the bits and pieces for the garage sale. I've left out the bare essentials for quilting, so can continue working on and off over the next month. I think I'd go crazy if I couldn't sew for over a month!
My current sewing space is not pretty, but it's functional. This is only one corner of it, there is an ironing station, sink and washing machine behind me (and more shelving used for storing other stuff). No windows!
The new house does have a space for a sewing room (it was part of my house-hunting criteria) but it's a lot smaller and it's going to take quite a bit of creative organising to make it work. The room has windows on 3 sides and double doors on the other, so there is very little wall space for shelving etc. On the upside, it's very light and bright and has great views!
This is going to be my new sewing space!
Till next time.............