Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tea towel progress report

I finally decided to add a white border to the outside of my tea towel quilt. It is plain but my plan is to mirror the half circles from the inner border using quilting. I did a lot of calculations to figure out how wide to make it based on the potential size of the half circle motif. And, after all that I realized that I only had enough fabric to cut a 3 inch border.

While away this weekend, I found some wool thread by Madeira. I've never used this before and I thought it might be interesting to use for the hand quilting on the center tea towel panel - the colors were perfect.

I also thought I'd try to use a polyester batting - I hear that my usual thin cotton batting can be hard to hand sew through. I bought some that was prepackaged because for some reason all of the batting in the store was wrapped up in plastic and I could not feel any of them. I thought I picked a thinner one, but once I pulled it out it seemed very dense. So far, not so good. My next mistake was using a basting spray - also something I never do. After spraying half the can onto the quilt, it did not stick at all. What a waste! So, back to old school pinning.

Now that it's finally basted, I'm not sure how to attack. I think I should machine quilt the inner border first to keep everything in place. I also don't seem to have a hoop or a thimble to do the hand quilting (I think I packed them away). I confess that this is not the first time I've planned to hand quilt, but I have never succeeded. I guess I'm just looking for excuses...

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Emergency table runner

These past few days have been crazy hectic. Our house is on the market and the first open home is this weekend. A few weeks ago there was an incident involving a bottle of '30 Seconds Indoor Mould Remover', a kitten, and my French oak dining table. I thought I could polish out the offending blemish, but the finish was gone and there was bare wood showing.

What's a girl to do? I had a quick run to some nearby shops looking for a suitable table runner to cover up the problem. I could find nothing so ended up foolishly deciding to make one - how long could it take?

Inspired by the Coke-bottle coloured glass tiles in my kitchen, I made a runner in similar tones mixed with grey. The brick pattern also matches the tiles. I decided to buy some insul-bright for batting to make it heatproof.

I admit that this whole project was doomed from the start: I was rushed, I did straight-line quilting which I am surprisingly bad at, I overlooked things I should have redone... So, my stitching is crooked and the binding is wavy. I'm hoping if I toss it in the wash it will sort itself out, but I think that unlike my usual cotton batting that has some give, the insul-bright is giveless.

The runner was on the table in time for the photos for the ads and signs. I have yet to decide if I will keep it there for the open home. Sometimes projects just don't meet up to my standards and in hindsight I should have done something different - like hemmed a nice piece of linen as a runner - maybe there's still time...