Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fixing PMB's 2pc sleeve

In PMB, I chose the 2pc sleeve.

I kept the HEM CIRCUMFERENCE at 8" to get the maximum cap width and elbow width. Drafting a wider hem will make the cap more narrow.

I used ZERO CAP HEIGHT, hoping to eliminate folds in the back sleeve cap.

To get a bigger BACK CAP AREA, I chose ARMSCYE UNSEWN as the back dart position, but DID NOT use that on the bodice.

This is how the sleeve pattern looked:

To begin, I located a point on the underarm 'arc' that was 1.5" from the notch that represents the sideseam...the UnderArm notch.

I cut the arc on that new point and moved the lateral portion to the front of the Oversleeve. I also extended the HEM LINES on both pieces to get my desired hem circumference.

Actually, my instructions are on each picture, so perhaps a picture really is worth a thousand words?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Square Peg, Round Hole, part 4

After washing the quilt, I was pleasantly surprised that the bleeding had indeed disappeared! But the quilt had shrunk a bit. So I had to stretch it out and block it into shape.

This quilt is slightly wider than my cutting table. I pulled out one of those cardboard cutting mats...the kind that you can buy in your local fabric store...and put this on top of my cutting table. I used clamps to firmly attach the mat to the table on one side. This way, I could pin my quilt to this mat to block it.

But the quilt was WIDER than this cardboard mat. So I pushed my ironing board up against the table and pinned the opposite side of the quilt into the ironing surface. Not high-tech, but it worked to allow me to pin this quilt into size/shape and keep it there until it dried.

At this point, I r.e.a.l.l.y wanted to be finished with this quilt but I knew I had to continue as planned and couch on this black sparkley thread that had been patiently waiting for its turn to shine.

Using a needle-threader and needle enabled me to bury the ends of this thread into the quilt before couching it. I cut long lengths and layed them approximately in place and used the needle to run both ends of the thread into the quilt surface, leaving long tails sticking out at each end. These were cut off after couching that thread.

Then I used a narrow zigzag stitch on my regular sewing machine to couch over the thread.

I covered every seam of the checkerboard with this couched thread...between each wedge and around each concentric circle. I also used it around the golden center circle (with the nipple).

It was hard to handle this heavy quilt on my sewing machine at first, but then I had an idea. I ran down to the garage and pulled out a pair of clean garden gloves that had a rubbery-grippy palmar surface.

These gloves worked GREAT for manipulating the quilt under the machine! I was better able to pull the surface taute so the decorative thread would lay in the, the gloves helped me to assist the feeding of the quilt under the machine.

Yeah, I did have to pull them off each time I needed to cut with scissors or thread a new length of the decorative thread onto the needle, but even with the repeated on and off, the gloves were a big help!

So that is pretty much every single detail I can think of regarding the creation of this quilt! Too much info, maybe?

The end. Maybe. ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Square Peg, Round Hole, part 3

After adding the background to the checkerboard area, I also cut and added the borders. The challenge rules stated that there HAD to be an outer black border that measured 3" wide...then a 1.5" border that was one of your colors...then a 3/4" border that was also black. This way, ALL the quilts would have the same 'frame'.

I had already quilted the majority of my quilt, but had yet to decide how to quilt the borders. I removed the quilt from the frame and layed it on my cutting table to audition various designs. I folded paper and cut curves, then unfolded to see what it looked like. I decided this one would work.

So I unrolled some freezer paper to a length that was as long as my quilt and cut strips from it that were as wide as the outer border.

After drawing the design onto one strip of the freezer paper, I used the tip of the iron to stick two strips together, so that I could cut two at a time.

I only pressed the strips together in the areas OUTSIDE my design the waste.

When all the sides were cut, I ironed the freezer paper templates to the quilt border all around.

Then I put the quilt back on the HandiQuilter frame to quilt the border area.

I stitched around the paper templates first, then tore them away a little at a time to do the stippling. I found I could stipple more easily once the paper was removed, and by then, it was no longer needed.

I have never used this method before, but it worked well, and if I am not too stupid to remember it, I will do this again!

I DO wish I had used double batting, though, to give a bit more of a 'trapunto' effect. Next time.

Now the quilting was done! But remember, ONE of my indigo fabrics had bled onto the adjacent goldenrod fabric, so I knew I had to wash this quilt to hopefully rescue it!

As you can see, the center had not yet been added to the checkerboard. I didn't want to add that until AFTER I had washed the quilt.

I put on the binding and prepared to toss this into the washer, not sure what it would look like when it came out!

Here you can see some of the quilting BEFORE it was washed. It was kinda lumpy.

Below is the back-side of the border area before washing. Remember? There are white pokies here, where the batting poked through the back fabric.

I knew I had to throw this in the wash, but I didn't want to add the center piece (the square peg) until AFTER washing it, so I just scabbed-on a lovely black and pink scrap to protect the exposed batting in this area.

This black/pink piece would be removed after washing and replaced with the golden nipple...I mean, 'square peg in the round hole'.

This is what it looked like as I prepared myself (mentally) to toss it into the washer, hoping the bleeding would not be made worse, and hoping the blue lines would come out.

Up close, you can see the blue lines that I had drawn on the fabric to direct me in my quilting...and if you look closely, you can see where the blue fabric has bled onto the yellow fabric in those two inner rings.

This is the back of the quilt, before washing but after the binding was put on.

Then I washed it...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Square Peg, Round Hole, part 2

I narrowed down my fabric selection to just these fabrics. Yes, there was still SOME variation in value within many of these, but I was hoping that in the end, the fabrics would read as being the same as my crayon colors.

I cut graduated chunks of each color as I wanted them to appear in the expanding checkerboard, and used hair clips to bundle these chunks together in order.

When unbundled, below is how the fabric looked when layed out in the order to be sewn. I call these 'chunks' because they were not always squares...some were the same length as width, but some were not.

When sewing these together, I just matched the center of each square to its neighbor's center, but since each one was larger than the one before it, the edges do not match along the sides.

After pressing the assembled sets, I used a 9-degree ruler to trim each set into a wedge. As you can see, there was very little wasted fabric.

Still fretting over some of my fabric choices, I was aware that there were some blue dots in one fabric that might be interpretted as a little too 'turquois'...and NOT as I used a permanent marker to color these dots purple, which was my complementary color choice.

After cutting all 40 wedges to size and coloring in all mis-colored dots, I was ready to assemble the wedges into a checkerboard. I layed them all out on my cutting table and just picked them up two at a time and sewed them in order.

Once all the wedges were connected, I 'squared' off the corner using my rotary cutter and ruler. Again, you can see that there was very little waste. That was by design!

Next I slipped a solid(-ish) fabric under the edge of this part-circle and drew around the outer edge of the checkerboard. Then I drew another line that was 0.5" away from this first line and cut on that line...this gave me enough extra fabric for 2 seam allowances. Then I pinned and sewed this checkerboard to the solid background, which was also trimmed to size.
Next, I added the borders...

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