I’ve ventured over to the dark side. I’ve been quilting.
And because there’s no quicker way to learn something than by doing, I’ve joined a quilt-a-long I found in Instagram called the Aussie Aviatrix QAL hosted by Linden from VineLinesQuilting.com.
The quilt we’re making is designed by Elizabeth Hartman – who happens to have a quilting blog -one I started following years ago. So I guess you could say I’ve been flirting with quilting for a while, just holding off for the right time.
I’m hosting border number four – Small Squares, on the 24 November, so more about that later. But for now I thought I’d share the progress so far.
I showed you the fabrics the other week and since discovered they’d sent me two the same. So to make them look different I added some spots with fabric paint and the end of a pencil.
The fabric paints came from A Little Creative, come in a great range of colours and only need to be set with an iron – easy peasy.
The cutting has taken forever but now the centre medallion has been finished I think it’s going to come together fairly quickly.
If you’re interested to see how the other blog hop quilters are going, here’s where you can find them –
When you’re set to do a load of cutting, you’ll work more efficiently if you have a system in place. There are a few techniques for this and the aim is to find the best solution for you. Now I say this because not everyone is going to have the same steps or work flow. Factors such as work space, the type of items you’re cutting and the materials you use all contribute to how your system is going to pan out.
For example, someone cutting a bulk lot of kids shorts is going to need space to stack the shorts in bundles as they are cut. Their workflow flow for cutting may look something like this –
unroll and check meterage. Check for flaws in the fabric and mark them with a safety pin at the selvedge
place pattern pieces in the most economical way taking care to follow grain lines, pattern matching and avoiding any flaws
mark shapes, sizes and notches onto fabric. I generally trace pattern pieces onto the fabric with a soft pencil or biro and mark sizes within a seam or hem
cut shorts and stack each garment as a complete bundle (ie the front pair and back pairs stacked together)
discard scraps as you go (a tall laundry hamper or plastic bin is good for this)
keep a tally of what sizes and how many of each you’ve cut as you go
slide the fabric up the table and arrange ready to trace and cut the next lot.
I use a table like the one pictured below where it has a space for you to add fabric swatches, the sizes you’re cutting, the number you need and a spot to keep a tally of what you’ve cut as you go. If you keep one of these sheets for each garment you cut, you’ll have a way to go back and check any discrepancies at a later date.
This process can be repeated till you’ve cut as many as you need. Once you’ve done with the fabric, move onto any other fabrics needed for the item. If any pieces require interfacing, keep these separate and cut all together.
Cut elastics all in one go. Make a mark on your cutting table or ruler to save yourself measuring every single piece.
Once all your pieces and trims are cut you may need to fuse interfacing. Always use a pressing cloth to save your iron or steam press from any excess glue. Remember this is the iron you’re going to be using to press the finished garments.
Count out your labels and keep them in a little shallow container to sit beside your sewing machine. This is a way to double check you’ve cut and sewn the correct number and sizes. If you get to the end of your sewing pile and have a set of labels left over then something’s gone wrong!
Now you’re ready to prepare the sewing machines which I’ll be covering in a future post. To be sure not to miss out why not subscribe and have it sent your inbox. Just enter your preferred email address in the subscribe box on the right and it will come automatically.
There are a few reasons why you might like to line a skirt – for modesty if the main fabric is a bit see through, to help the fabric sit smoothly and not cling to your legs when wearing stockings/leggings, or perhaps to make the skirt feel thicker if the main fabric is too light. The type of lining you choose needs to complement the main fabric so it doesn’t interfere with the main fabric and because you are going to be washing them together.
The most common fabric labelled as lining is thin, plain coloured and has a slippery/slinky feel. It can be made from polyester, acetate or silk and would be suitable for lining most garments. If you wanted a cotton lining – say for breath-ability – you could use cotton voile or any other light weight plain weave cotton.
The two simplest ways to line a skirt is to either sew the lining with the main fabric as one, or to sew the lining separately and joined only at the waist. Here I’m going to show you how to use a separate lining attached at the waist and around the zip.
Firstly cut your skirt pieces from the main fabric. For the lining you’ll use the same pattern piece but shorten the length by 2.5cm.
Sew the main fabric side seams, centre back and zip as normal.
Sew the lining side seams and centre back the same way.
Press all seams flat – do not press the opening for the zip on the lining.
Arrange the main skirt (right side out) with the lining inside (inside out) matching up the zip and zip opening in the lining.
Pin the lining to the zip tape on both sides.
Sew the fabrics together as close to the zip as you can get. You may need to use your zip foot/half foot to get close enough on the flap side.
Leave some room for the fabric to move around the end of the zip. Having the lining caught too close might cause your zip to become distorted.
Another option is to hand sew the lining around the zip. A slip stitch with matching thread will work best here.
Press the lining away from the zip teeth.
Hem the lining and the main skirt using the same hem allowance – remember you’ve already trimmed the lining so it will sit 2.5cm shorter than the main skirt.
Attach the waistband with the main skirt and lining as one.
And you’re done. A lined skirt does feel luxurious and is well worth the effort.
The skirt pattern used is the women’s A-line skirt available at Very Debra on Etsy.
I’ve been feeling a bit rushed with children on school holidays and assignments due these past few weeks but I thought you’d like to see what’s sitting on my cutting table – projects that have been calling to me trying to entice me away from what I’m meant to be doing.
First up is this lot of fabrics for the Aussie Aviatrix Quilt-A-Long hosted by Linden from Vine Lines Quilting. The pattern is by Elisabeth Hartman and can be found here. The fabrics are called Dreamin Vintage by Jeni Baker which I bought from Hawthorne Threads.
Then I decided to make up a mini quilt for the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild’s display at the upcoming Stitches and Craft Show. I’d known about it for a few weeks, but you know – good things happen at the last minute. The challenge was to make a mini quilt using the guilds colours – orange, aqua, blues and greens – with a Brisbane theme. If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen the finished quilt.
Here’s some mini hexies I’m making to go towards the Teeny Weeny Swap. It’s been organised by the Modern Quilt Guilds in Vancouver and is a way to connect with makers around the world. My swap partner has requested a zip pouch so these will work well.
And finally something I finished last week – a Hello Kitty embroidery on blue gingham. Well the embroidery part is finished, the neatening of the back will be done soon.
Yes too many projects as per usual – but I don’t know how to operate any other way. If I were to clear my plate of all these commitments, I’d be planning something new by the end of the day!
To help with justifying all this I’ve decided to follow Rachael Godfrey’s lead in her UFOctober2014 mission to complete as many unfinished projects in the month of October as we can. And since Christmas is just around the corner what better motivation do you need?? Read more about it on her blog Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow.
I’d love it if you joined in – I’ll be sharing my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #UFOctober2014 I bet you’re forming a mental list of unfinished projects right now aren’t you? Do it – it’ll be fun!