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ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 05 9:06 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

something i've always wondered about...

i've always wanted to make a crazy quilt (patchwork). i want the old fashioned type made from squares of old used fabric not these highly stylised things they sell at amish markets etc.

anyway, do all the fabrics have to be the same ie all lightweight cotton or all denim etc or can i mix and match?

i've got loads and loads of fabric samples that would make excellent quilts if i could just use them all together...

i would love to make one complete with the little red yarn knots throught the centre of each square

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 05 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It would probably help if the fabric was of similar weight, as it will "sit" better and cause you less problems with the tension of the thread, also you need to consider how easily it will wash. However, if it's all cottony based fabric, you could try a design where the heavier stuff is around the edge.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
i'm in the process of trying to find an inexpensive sewing machine.

my problem has always been adjusting the tension...any tips on that one?

does anyone have any suggestion for what to look for in a machine? i want one that sews the button holes but i can cut them myself if necessary. also, how useful is a serger (think you call them overlockers here don't you) i seem to remember the one we had in school was brilliant as it finished the edges and trimmed the excess off at the same time... those are fairly expensive, is that right?


You can get a decent basic sewing machine new for between 100 - 150. A good reconditioned or ex demo model from a dealer would be around the 75 mark, and you could probably pay a lot less if you bought second-hand - but I would be looking for a specific machine 2nd hand, rather than just any old thing.

I can recommend the Janome machines. I have an old one that MIL gave me (when they were called NewHome). She had messed about with the tension, and claimed it didn't work - I cleaned out the fluff, oiled the bits you are supposed to oil and put everything back to how it should be and it has worked great ever since! It sews backwards and forwards, does zig-zag, satin stich, buttonholes and an overlock stitch and had everything I needed for several years. I now have a super-duper new Janome model with tons of features and and extra-large throat that I use for machine quilting and fancy stuff, but I still get out the old workhorse for heavy duty sewing or anything that just involves straight lines.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
something i've always wondered about...

i've always wanted to make a crazy quilt (patchwork). i want the old fashioned type made from squares of old used fabric not these highly stylised things they sell at amish markets etc.

anyway, do all the fabrics have to be the same ie all lightweight cotton or all denim etc or can i mix and match?

i've got loads and loads of fabric samples that would make excellent quilts if i could just use them all together...

i would love to make one complete with the little red yarn knots throught the centre of each square


A crazy quilt is a really wild type of quilt, made up of lots of little pieces of fabric of all shapes and sizes, sewn onto a backing fabric to make squares and then the squares are sewn together to make a whole quilt top. The joins between the pieces are traditionally heavily embellished with different embroidery stitches. Here is an example:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/6531/antique3.htm
In this type of quilt, you can get away with using different weights of fabric, as the backing (foundation) fabric and the embroidery embellishment stabilises the whole piece. In fact the wider the variety of fabrics, the better the effect.

For a "pieced" squares and triangles sort of quilt, you are better off using fabrics of the same weight otherwise, as Nettie says, it will not sit well together. One great backing for this type of quilt, is to use a big piece of fleece material - this works really well if you want to tie the two haves together, rather than hand or machine quilting.

If you have lots of bits of denim, though, you can make a really quick and easy quilt by sewing together squares of denim with big 1 inch seams. You then take a pair of scissors and snip up to the seam lines many many times. When you then wash the quilt and put it through a dryer, it frays the edges beautifully, with really snuggly results.

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

judith

thanks for that link! it's not exactly what i was remembering but it's even better! i used to do a lot of collage art so this is right up my alley!

now i'm really wanting a sewing machine

oh well, it's now time to gather up all those random fabric samples and start figuring out how i'm going to put them on the backing. what sort of material do you recommend for the backing?

i think the old knots of yarn through each square may have been the cheap and easy way of keeping the backing and the fabric together but i prefer the fancy needlework look myself

SparklyWellies



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Oxfordshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm struggling with the concept of sewing for pleasure

Any tips on not sewing name tapes to your thumb gratefully received

Deedee



Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 250
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

SparklyWellies wrote:
I'm struggling with the concept of sewing for pleasure

Any tips on not sewing name tapes to your thumb gratefully received

Buy iron on ones
great quilting link www.quilterscache.com I love that site!!
re overlockers depends really what you want them for..to cut,stitch and finish you need a 5 thread ,I only ever saw one domestic 5 thread think it was made by Janome?? A four thread will finish the edges but not give the seperate line of stitching next to it,a 3 thread will also just finish the edges.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Buttery: an old cotton sheet cut into squares would do as the backing fabric. I think traditionally a loose-weave muslin would be used. If you are thinking of hand sewing, then you don't want a fabric that is very tightly woven because that makes it quite hard work.

Sparklywellies: Even people who have been sewing for decades occasionally stitch themselves into their work - you are not alone!

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

would an old flannel sheet be ok? i like the weight and feel of them so they'd be nice to snuggle up against if i actually decided to 'use' the quilt

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you are going for the crazy quilt, then you will have two lots of backing. The first is the foundation blocks - the 12-inch squares that you sew the scraps of patterned fabric to. You will then sew these together to make a quilt top. When you have your quilt top sewn, you will then need to back it with a single piece of fabric to finish it off. Flannel would be great for this.
If you want to make a thicker quilt, you could also sandwich a piece of wadding or fleece between the two layers. I don't think it is essential for this type of quilt though.

This is great - you have inspired me to actually finish off the scrap quilt that I have been doing on and off for the last 3 years. I have now got enough scraps together to do the edges, so there is no excuse.

Home on the Hill



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 313
Location: Warwickshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At school I was taught that if your sewing machine starts playing up, before you adjust the tension etc. change the needle. It works for me! Also, I always use a new needle for each new project.

On the subject of quilting - I've made a couple. Anyone interested in a look should follow the www link below and then look in my sewing room

moogie



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 525
Location: Near Bridgend
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My sewing machine died a while back and something I do to make extra money is make curtains for people. I couldn't afford a new machine but saw one of those tiny little portable ones for 15 in woolies. It doesn't have zigzag or anything else on it but I can knock up a fairly decent pair of curtains on them as quick as I used to on my expensive one and it can manage thick fabric ok. If you want something tostart on without forking out for one I'd really recommend it. Its good for mending things on too. I will be investing in a real one again soon but its definately great if you don't use one much.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just thought I would add, you can pick up those lovely old fashioned black Singer hand machines for about 20 on ebay or in charity shops. It won't be able to do many fancy things but they are lovely machines to use.

ButteryHOLsomeness



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i used to have one of them. well actually it was one of the first electric models they did in america. it was gorgeous and it still worked! had tons of bobbins, thread and needles with it still in it's cabinet and i got it for $12 at a yard sale that was 15 years ago but it was definately a bargain then...

i used several times but mostly it was there for looks. the woman that sold it to me was kind enough to tell me that when the rubber thingy (sorry i have a migraine) broke she just got one from a vacumn sales place that was the same size,it obviously worked because that was what was on the machine when i bought it, i thought that was very clever

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I went though a 'phase' in my teens of collecting and servicing those old sewing machines. One thing to be aware of is that they often do have a bit of wear and tear on the shuttle race, and sometimes no amount of new needles or oil in the world will get them sewing properly again. So, if you do start looking for an old hand cranked machine, amke sure you can try it out properly first.

Saying that, I still have several in my mothers attic that work fine, and would be pleased to see some of them rehomed. She's in Berkshire and I'm in South Wales, if anyone without a machine wants an old hand cranked one, let me know and we'll see what we can do about digging them out and getting them to a mutually sensible place for collection- probably too heavy to post effectively.

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