Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WOW 26th Feb, up and running

Hi Everyone,
Finally, I can access my blog again and hopefully upload some photo's.
Computer problems started a couple of weeks ago after Glenda letting me know I  may have been hacked.
I had had 2 messages from Yahoo saying they had noticed unauthorized attempts to access my yahoo account  from the US, the first said to please change my password which I ignored, Lol
The second locked me out of Yahoo until I changed my password, which of course I then did.
A few days later, Glenda's message and another change of password.
Next Day, our computer crashed!! Coincidence or not I don't know, but it had been working fine up until my last password change. Just maybe those messages were not from Yahoo after all!!!!
Anyway, Steve had bought a second hand laptop to set up for me in my sewing room, so no problem, we would just use that one.
However discovered it was running a very early version of XP so we had to find a service pack to update it as it could not download either Google chrome or Firefox.
Even with service pack 3 installed, Google ran so slow and would crash just after it finished loading a page, lack of virtual memory which I have now increased, it is working better unless I try and look too far back on any page and then it runs out of memory again and closes.
As I am not very computer literate trying to fix these problems really slowed down my progress on Love Entwined but with Steve working  it was up to me if  I wanted to visit the group.

I managed to download Part 9 of LE between problems and just had to make a start even though my second part 8 border is only half finished.
I was going to use the same green fabric for the Oak Leaves in this border as I had used in the first borders, until - whoops I need 16 of them and I don't have enough fabric as this is one of my curtain samples and I want some for the corner blocks as well, that was the first rethink.
So this is what I came up with.

Just enough green to carry  through into these borders and leave me some for the corner blocks plus a more open motif from my inspiration fabric.
The second problem I nearly had was my dark clogs. I sailed ahead and traced the 24 I needed for these two borders onto my fusible with room for easy cutting and yes it fitted onto my fabric, again a curtain sample so not able to get any more!!! Pressed my fusible on and at the last minute before I starting cutting, lightning struck - HOW MANY do I need for the corner blocks? OOPS 4 per block that's 16, no way do I have enough fabric with how I had traced my 24.
So I cut another piece of fusible to the size of my fabric and traced  in any direction, however I could fit them in as I needed 40 in total.

Just made it, 42 so have 2 to spare in case of too hot an iron. This fabric is synthetic so grain is not an issue, once it's fused it just sets and has little fraying.

The next thing before I go too far is to see if my borders will work together.

I think they do but I sort of wish I had been further behind and could have worked on both borders at once.
Remember that all of you who are late starters, you have a big advantage as you know what comes next!!!
I am glad I didn't rush in and add the flowers each side of the first vases as I now know what colors they should be and yes they are needed.

Added these this morning and yes much better I think. Never would have used these colors if I had done them earlier.
My medallions at each end of the first borders I now wish I had cut apart and made more open but it may only need an addition not an unpick, only time will tell.

Now to see if I can link to Esther's WOW this this.
Happy stitching everyone, Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Work on Love Entwined Wed 5th Feb

Hi Everyone.
Have had 3 days off and working on my second border has been my top priority now that my first border is finished and am  happy with it. The 15th is going to be here before we know it and I would like to have my second border completed by then as well.

On Monday I pressed the seam allowances away and positioned my border close to how it should sit onto the center.

You can see why I am happy with how it turned out, but the more I have looked while working on border two something has jumped out at me.

There is a new floral shape forming, at least it is in my mind!!!!
If I had seen this earlier maybe my flower basket wouldn't have my kimono flowers, but be stronger. 
I am glad I didn't pick it as I love them, but will now be looking for the right accent for each side of the vase as to me it is becoming another corner and will need Esther's detail. 
The original maker of our coverlet had to be a master designer, Esther I thank you  for your wonderful interpretation which I am loving more with each stage. 
I know most people are hand stitching, but if you are new to the group and machine stitching like me you might find the following useful as I have taken photo's of how I prepared my second border.
I do it very differently from hand sewers.

After joining  my paper pattern together and checking the measurements were correct I marked and cut it with a quarter inch seam allowance. Also marked on the pattern my placement line for my fused borders, as you can see the border will cover them completely.
Pressed the center line of my fabric in both directions and also the pattern center.
Line these up and pin the pattern onto the fabric which has been cut with excess all around.

I have used photo editing to enhance the lines on my fabric for clarity and they are slightly off.
The grey line will be my final cutting line with seam allowance. IF there is any shrinkage from the applique it will still be inside my seam allowance.
The red line is my marking line for the applique border placement and becomes completely covered by the border.

I start fusing outwards from the center, only touching a top or bottom corner with the iron to hold them at this stage until I have a perfect fit. Then I can ensure the center line is perfect as I fuse each piece into place.

Zigzag border stitched into place.
I never usually think about how long it takes me to stitch by machine but this time I decided to see how long a border like this takes. My fabric was marked out and my zigzags were precut weeks ago so the paper backing's fell off easily.  Half an hour to fuse the applique pieces into place.
Another half hour to stitch the 35" inner side, then 45 mins to stitch the outer side as had to straight stitch in and zigzag back out at every join. Border complete in one and three quarter hours.

Exactly the same for my .Dutch Pixies. I love this name for them, it is so fitting.
I start at the center and just touch the tip of each cone with the iron to hold it while I position it, then work back adding their clogs and fusing each in place as I go. Can't use full heat as my gold frays and my dark burgundy melts with a hot iron. So I need to stitch this as soon as possible.

I thought for a while before stitching this border as I really HATE Start, Stop and tie off, and I could see this happening if I stitched each "Pixie" individually.
So a bit like chain piecing, I stitch along one side and then the other. It has taken me an hour to stitch one side, those clogs are very slow going as I have to move my fabric every couple of stitches.
I am never watching machine time again, Lol.
But, I would love to know how long it takes a hand sewer to stitch this border.You have far more patience than me, I am sure of that.
I need to go back and spend another hour at my machine to stitch the other side, so am linking to Esther's blog now.
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone.
Cheers Jenny.