Thursday, 15 March 2018

Busy Bees Patchwork

Your centre for City and Guilds Textiles and Patchwork
in South Wales

 Week 22 City and Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Textiles 7161

Machine Quilting

March 14th 2018

After a couple of weeks of red, blue and yellow hands the dye is starting to wear off!! Going shopping with hands the colour of a smurf is not really what you want to be doing but sometimes we have to suffer for our art. Wearing gloves is preferable but sometimes restricting especially when unwrapping tight threads from bound fabrics.
There were so many examples to photograph there wouldn't be enough space on the blog to show you them all but I can tell you there were some stunning results indeed, some surprising and some, well we don't talk about them we just over dye them!

Needless to say, they have got the dyeing bug and we will soon have to replenish stocks of procion dyes in the class shop. We have listed some of the items on our website but if there is any thing on this blog that you would like to purchase then please call the shop for more information (01633 810801) as stock is changing all the time.
We have been using colourcraft products which is a well known company for dyes, paints and mixed media products and all things arty.

This week we have embarked on our 4 week sewing machine appreciation course, considering most of the ladies are, lets say, less than best friends with their machines it is my intention to break the fear and become more adept at using their machines.  Having worked with machines of all makes, from basic to top of the range of computerised embroidery machines for many years now, they all have one simple thing in common............. .....................a needle, without which they would be deemed completely and utterly useless. I have had the privilege of using many a beautiful machines, each having super functions that make sewing so much smoother, easier and those that produce incredibly detailed embroidery which just blows your mind but without a needle they are nothing. A little piece of metal with a hole in it, you wouldn't think was so important and so integral; that we forget the whole purpose of a sewing machine was to replace hand stitching. If you break it down a sewing machine is a motorised needle. It took some time to perfect this process but from that simple beginning to the amazing super dooper machines of today it still bewilders me how important that little needle is and how much we take it for granted.

I run several workshops on learning how to use your sewing machine.  I also undertake private tuition as well from basic to professional level, if you are at all interested call Busy Bees Patchwork shop and ask for Beccy.

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Here Celia has joined together a batik jelly roll that was lerking in her stash, using the machine with the feed dog in work she is using a traditional style of quilting by sewing straight lines relatively close to each other diagonally across the pieced 2 inch strips.
Making a start that's all you need to do and build up the design as you go along, I am sure this is going to turn out to be a very vibrant piece of machine quilting.

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In this shot Sonia is exploring using the machine with the feed dog in place to sew leaves. Learning how to manipulate the fabric around curves without distorting the stitches or pulling on the feed dog. You should always allow the machine to make the stitches without pulling and tugging or forcing it through to go faster, this only results in distorted stitches and in time can break the machines feeding mechanism! If you can handle speed this is the best way to move the fabric in a curve but quite often that can lead to disaster if you are not used to it, so take it slow and if it is a tight curve stop and pivot with the needle in the material as many times as necessary to get you around that curve. 
Unnecessary pulling and tugging when your quilting is not a good idea  either because this will result in the fabric layers shifting as well again not what you want.

The link below will take you to my quilting course on Saturday 12th May 2018

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Ann is sampling using straight stitches to create a more free approach to quilting. Ann is very happy to use her machine so I'm looking forward to see what she produces. I have asked them to make the stitching the star of the show, so no layering, applique just the fabric, wadding and stitch. Quite a challenge.

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Linda's lovely bright coloured dyed fabric really shows the effect of quilting here. With the darker thread you can see how the stitches flatten the wadding leaving the puffed up area next to it. It's such a comforting look, you just know that't going to you warm and snuggy on a cold wintry night.

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I love the effect of the thread on Sonia's other piece, she was only playing around with contouring and yet I can see this depicting a sky or water.

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Kay as always likes to take a more scientific approach, a bit like me I like to see what happens if I do this or that, change the length, change the needle position, how could this improve my work, what thread should I use, shiney or matt. I'm sure that Kay's will be thought out.

Well that's all for this week folks to quote old Bug's Bunny, now I am going back in time! 
I hope you have enjoyed my blog, please leave a comment below we would love to hear your views on our blog.
If you want any information on City and Guilds textiles then don't hesitate to call!
Best Stitches

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