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Welcome to the Modern Quilt Group October 2017 Newsletter
A great big thank you to everyone who joined in with KITTENOPOLIS, see the photos below |
A word (or two) from the Editor
The Sound of Silence: I am suffering from an ear-worm at the moment. I am sure you have all had one from time to time; the song that sticks in your mind and goes round and round. Perhaps it was the last song you heard on the radio before you left home in the morning, perhaps a snippet of sound heard during the day that reminds you of something else. It can get quite annoying.
Well, Autumn, mellow mistiness, panic attacks about Christmas, all that. I’ve been having a deal of fun teaching various Improv Techniques, and we have a nice new pattern for you all (see below) to play with - as usual we will be utterly delighted if you send images of what you make..
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org uk
KITTENOPOLIS: Finished Quilt!
Sewing button eyes
and more buttons eyes!
|FREE PATTERN: Kittenopolis Block by Helen Butcher
CLICK HERE for a link to the PDF of this simple cat block pattern
QUILT STORIES: Headline NewsSticks and Stones 1
by Judith Lynch
During January I was watching an episode of thequiltshow.com in which Victoria Findlay Wolf was demonstrating improvisational piecing. Most of my quilts have been traditional or contemporary in style, but this summer I decided to try improvising and explored just how narrow I could keep the pieces. I liked the result and decided to use fabric from the Makower range ‘Wrap it up’ set in white squares. I made about 30 blocks and then arranged 25 of them on my design wall, spending a few days re-arranging them until I decided upon the fade-out from top to bottom of the quilt. I added white borders and liked the result. This is fairly typical of the way that I work: doing a lot of designing in my head and experimenting on the design wall. I don’t do more than a rough sketch on paper before starting work.
SEWING MACHINES FOR BEGINNERS (and more advanced students!)by Helen Howes NEW SERIES: PART 1 - Needles
Now, all the sewing machines ever made need a needle, and apart from some very early and unsuccessful attempts, almost all have a needle with an eye at the sharp end. It is said that Singer dreamed this, waking in a panic from a dream of being chased by fierce warriors with holes in their spear-points. Almost certainly apocryphal…
Needles are the cause of more irritation and grief than is needed.. When did you last change yours? It is recommended that they are used for no more than 8 hours of sewing before replacement, and it’s possible to bend or catch one in putting it in, so maybe after 2 minutes. I don’t often blunt mine (sew too fast) as I tend to break them, but I often look across a classroom and suggest a New Needle - “How can you tell?” is the plaintive cry - well, listen to the sound, if they “pop” they are past it..
Needle sizes are quite logical, if a little odd. There are several systems, and most packets will have at least a couple of alternate sizes marked for each type. Bigger numbers = bigger needles. So, for piecing cotton, you need a fine needle (12/80) and a thinner thread than for quilting (14/90). For mending your jeans (you don’t do that, right? Alterations are for Other People), maybe a 16/100. Match your thread to the work (for fine silk, a very fine thread and perhaps a 9/75 needle. For cotton piecing, perhaps a 50s cotton thread. For quilting you might use a more substantial thread so that it has a good “look” on the surface. As a very basic rule, if the needle is really hard to thread, go up a size, if really easy, go down one..
Types of Needles - The regular point (sometimes called “universal”) is good for most plain cloths, and I use these almost all the time. If you sew jersey fabrics, use a Ball Point needle, as these are less likely to cause little running holes. For embroidery you may like a needle with a bigger eye (Metallic), but these can be fragile. Sewing leather? Use the right needle, and don’t expect your machine to like it much. Then there are Denim, Microtex, assorted others which claim to have sharper points.. I’m not totally convinced, but your machine may like them. Buy a good brand (Schmetz, Organ, Groz-Beckert) and not from the supermarket...
Lots of old machines come to me with a Poker installed - my theory is this. You buy a pack of Mixed Sizes. You start by using the 14/90s, as they are easy to thread and fairly suitable. Then the 12/80s, as they are harder to thread but still pretty good to sew with. Then the remaining 16/100 gets put in, never breaks, and eventually starts to make huge holes in the cloth..Oh, dear.. One lady rang to request “one needle” as she had just broken her 47-year-old last one.. I sent 5. Later, she rang again “It sews ever so much better with the new needle"
Treat yourself, have a new needle today… (and another tomorrow)
CHALLENGING?Click through to the Challenge 2018 page on the MOD-Q website for more information and dates for next year's challenge FOOLING THE EYE, as well as reminders for the return of past challenge quilts (yes, HH still has some from 2016!) Also we would like next year's challenge to go on the road if anyone has ideas of suggested venues they would be appreciated.
CLICK HERE to see the latest crop of pictures and to read all about it