Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Monday 25 May 2020

Wholecloth Quilting

A couple of weeks' back I started machine quilting a whole cloth quilt as part of my "self-threaducation" during lockdown.  I have set myself the task of trying out different weights of Aurifil threads in various applications to see how they look. As a dealer for this wonderful product I feel I should not just offer the thread for sale, but actually know how it performs in various applications.
The stitching was a breeze, but getting a good picture has been tricky!
This is a pre-printed kit from Benartex;  on their website it is entitled simply Nautical Wallhanging, but it is labelled as Anchors Aweigh #783 on the package.

I chose to use a 28 weight thread on top, and a 40 weight on the bottom. For the 28 weight (wound on the grey spool) I chose a shade darker than the fabric 2314 Beige, just to give a bit of contrast.  The thread in the bobbin is 40 weight in 2021 Natural White. It was a perfect match to the muslin.

Cross-hatching those straight lines seemed to take forever.  In hind-sight, I should simply have used those lines as grid-marks for a quicker free motion filler.
The anchors and rope borders moved along very quickly.  I had reservations about those lines coming out in the wash, but they did, all in one go.  I hung it on the line to dry.
Since it has a nautical theme, I thought photographing it on the steps of the light house in Five Islands would be smashing.  However, the tide was coming in when we were there and the high tides along this Bay of Fundy coast blow in with great enthusiasm. This small quilt didn't stand a chance of staying flat in those winds!
I tried it in various places, at various times of the day, with variable cloud and sunshine. Here it is in front of our new old barn.

In the end, soft natural light through the window seemed to show the stitching the best.
I am quite enamored with this 28 weight thread and how easily it stitches. You can purchase the thread here.  More colours will be added soon.
 The package calls this a wallhanging, but I think it would make a beautiful, heirloom baby quilt.

Saturday 16 May 2020

Andra Tutto Bene

Yesterday while sewing a stack of somewhat subdued colours into half-square triangles, I could hear a little voice whispering, " know there is a rainbow in the basket behind you."
I ignored it as long as I could, but somehow that basket ended up on my sewing table and sure enough...out spilled a rainbow...of Hoffman 1895 Bali watercolours.
The previous day, I had read a post on the Aurifil blog about a small wallhanging designed by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of  Whole Circle Studio.  The post says, "AndrĂ  Tutto Bene (Everything Will Be Okay in English) was inspired by the words and beautiful artwork created by children in Italy during the Covid19 pandemic in 2020. While children and their families in Italy were quarantined in their homes, many displayed rainbow-themed banners and posters featuring the phrase "AndrĂ  Tutto Bene"to send messages of hope and positivity."  We could all use a bit of that.  Sheri supplied a foundation pattern for the rainbow, which I printed on newsprint for easy removal.
The 1895 Watercolours are perfect, especially the blue for the sky.
The original design featured clouds, but part-way through sewing I decided I would switch out the clouds for a world. I searched out my largest paper coffee filters to make positioning the circle super easy.
Then I printed an outline of the world to that size, and cut out the shapes to applique.
They were fused in place, and stitched down using clear Aurifil monofilament.
I sewed completely around the circle and matching lining, and cut an X in the back near the top where I could turn the world inside out.   It was appliqued in place using the clear monofilament.
I printed "Andra Tutto Bene" in a script font in Word, printing 200 point size letters in mirror image so I could trace them onto fusible web.  Cutting out the letters was the slowest part of this project.  They got stitched down using free motion quilting.
Then the fun began: choosing thread colours to quilt the rainbow. I am using all 50 weight Aurifil in this project.  I found a scrap of Hobbs Tuscany silk batting which was just the right size.
The bottom edge was cut to the same shape as the rainbow.
A little red heart is stitched on where I envision Nova Scotia to be.

This bit of hope and encouragement is now hanging in our Family Room window.  It's raining today, but perhaps soon we will have a real rainbow.
If you would like to make your own, there is a link to Sheri's pattern here on the Aurifil post.  Thank you to Sheri and Aurifil for making this available.