Sunday, October 26, 2014

Frustrating Sewing Day

Today was supposed to be a super accomplished sewing day, but instead it ended up being one of those days where nothing got accomplished. Don't lie, I know you have those too!

I had decided to sit down and knock out this bear bargello quilt.

It was fun to make, but the honeymoon has worn off and I am off% ready to be done with it.

One reason I'm done with this quilt is that at some point, something went massively awry with the fusible web. I was using heat 'n bond, which I know is on the lower end of fusibles but I have used it many times before without incident. At some point, I have no idea when, why, or how, the fusible somehow stained the fabric. It's not too noticeable in my salmon because they are meant to look scaly. But its really obvious on this bear in particular because I only put a strip of fusible down to try to keep him soft.

See the shadow on his forehead? That's the fusible web. You can see it has imprinted some kind of grid pattern too. (sorry for the lint, ignore that!) Also all of the fused pieces are crazy stiff. I know heat n bond can be stiff, but this is a whole new level of stiffness. I am thinking that maybe all of this is related to it being expired fusible? I don't know if it actually is, but it certainly could be two years old at this point.

So anyways, ready to get this quilt the heck out of here!

Joann's had a big sale all week, so I went over there and purchased some crazy soft and comfy "ultra cuddle" fleece. My boyfriend has a ratty old blanket made of this material and he takes it everywhere he loves it so much. I will admit it is super soft stuff. But I've never sewn with it before so today was an adventure in getting to know this fabric!

First when I sewed the two chunks of the backing together, I didn't realize that the grains were going in the opposite direction for the two pieces. It is a velvety material so grain really matters. Then when attempted to resew it correctly, my thread would NOT stop breaking. I tried everything! I changed the needle, wound a new bobbin, rethreaded the machine, changed the foot, and finally took apart the machine and cleaned and oiled it. I'm not sure what worked but finally something seemed to click and the breakages ceased. (phew!)

So onto my porch for a little spray basting:

The advantage and disadvantage of this cuddle stuff is that it is really clingy. So it was easy to pull it nice and smooth for the basting but it also wrinkles really easily. We'll see how well it keeps its position during quilting.

Speaking of quilting, that was the next thing I tried. And then promptly stopped. Because every single stitch was bringing up pilled backing fluff.

So if you have any tips on that, let me know. For now I guess I am setting it aside and returned to plugging away at my skill builder BOM. I am still a number of blocks behind, but this week made progress on the book shelf block:

I have started to just do my own thing on this quilt. This block was supposed to be made with a glueing technique that I despised, so I just pieced it following a tutorial here. I guess I am more set in my ways than I thought because I have not wanted to use a lot of the new skills that are being taught in this skill builder!

Okay one last thing I accomplished this week, to end on a high note.

I have taken up jogging, even though I hate it, because it's good exercise and a great time to chat with my boyfriend and a great way to get to know our neighborhood. Just this week we found out that the high school less than a block away from us is actually a combined middle and high school! We learned this by jogging over there and jogging around their track for a bit.

Anyways, my little ipod has no clip and my shorts have no pocket. So in anticipation of a 5k race on Saturday, I modified my shorts with this little ipod holder.

 It took about two second to make with some scrap fabric, and it working like a charm at holding my ipod during the race. Woohoo!

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