Sunday, 27 July 2014

Japanese Meshwork Needs List

Japanese Meshwork
Tutor Shirley Mooney
Meshwork is the Japanese art of weaving with strips.  With this weaving you can create the illusion of a miniature quilt.  In this a one day class, students will prepare strips and then weave them into two designs allocated for this class.  

First design will be a two colour way standard weave and the second a three colour way weave which will create a tumbling block appearance. All directions for the blocks shown in sampler (right) are included in the class notes.

Many cultures have their own weaving designs, so once you have learned the basics, you will be able to experiment with your other designs.  Your finished pieces can be included into a quilt (as per my example) or made into a bag, purse or needle holder, coaster etc.

Needs List
Rotary cutter, cutting board and ruler
Clover 5mm fusible web – 1 packet contains 1 roll
Clover bias tool size 9mm (purple in colour)
Clover Appliqué pins (used to hold down your strips).
Clover Bodkin – (twin set) grabs and holds the fabric while you weave it.
Fine scissors –embroidery scissors ok.
Cork pin board.  61 x41cm approx (Warehouse stationary) with eight flat tacks.  Please don't use floor tiles or any cork product that has a backing.  You will have difficulty pushing in your pins and they will not stay in.
Chalk or biro to mark your fabric.
Small ruler with 60deg angle (if you have one).

Background - cut two  7" squares.  These will be your backing fabric. Choose a fabric that will compliment your weaving fabrics.
Weaving fabrics - Choose three really strong contrasting colours i.e. black, white and red.
One 20cm strip (full width from the bolt) for each fabric is preferable however fat quarters are ok (but do create a bit of waste).  If you are unsure of your choice then bring additional fabrics.
Batiks and fabrics that change colour can look really stunning and even check out your ugly fabrics.  Some batiks have product residue on the surface (these will need to be washed) and please avoid fabric with lots of metallic paint.   
Clover tools are the best for meshwork because they are fine (not chunky or clumsy), well made and less taxing on the hands.  They do cost a little bit more than other brands however once you have them - you have them for life (provided you don't loose them).  I have had mine now for 10 years.

Clover tape comes in two widths 5mm and 10mm.  Please make sure you purchase the 5mm tape and the larger roll (some shops stock only the smaller rolls of which you will require two).  Other branded tapes are 6mm wide and will not fit in your bias maker.
Applique pins.  Clover pins have firm oval tops which are easier to use than other brands which have flat tops.  Believe me - I have had students nearly in tears due to the pain in their fingers using lace and applique pins with flat metal heads.
Bodkins are traditionally used for threading elastic or cord.  There are several different types - some look like big needles (we cant use these ones). Clover sell their bodkins in a duo pack. One has a claw used for gripping your fabric, the other has a loop so you can tie on yarn and weave.  Again other brands are larger and chunkier.

Join the class and Lets mesh.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Capital Quilts 2014 Quilt Exhibition

A very busy weekend for our local Lower Hutt Quilting club with our 'Quilting a Modern Tradition' exhibition.  It was held in the new Performing Arts building at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt.

Here are some of my favourites.
Seabirds by Sandra Kennington
She is running classes on her technique. 

5 Days and 5 Nights in New York by Tracy Carew.
Just stunning.

Pinwinne by Irene Anderton
Woollen fabric with a modern twist.

This is a great stash buster. I didn't photograph the number so I couldn't
workout the name of the quilt or artist.

Dresden Plate challenge - Game of Hydrangeas by Sandra Clark.
Its three D effect is hard to see in this photo.  Beautifully made.

Towrags on Target - Debra Delorenzo
group quilt.  I love the colour and layout.

Simply beautiful and the hand work stunning.  I didn't photo graph the number so cant give you the
name of the quilter.  If you an scroll into this photo you will see stamps.,

Dresden plate challenge - My Dandelion phase by Tracy Carew.  So innovative.

Dresden plate challenge - I see fire by Adrianne Reid.  Very clever and great colour work.

Winner of the Dresden Plate Challenge - Dresden Bloom by Lyn White.
Scroll into the flower petals - beautiful hand work and beautifully executed.

Caravan by Liz Cocker.  Real fun quilt with great colour.

Golden Wedding Anniversary by Rayna Clinton.

Last but not least - my Siren Song
Best wall hanging made by one person.

Hope you enjoyed looking at these quilts.  There were 221 entries.  Great weekend.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Working with one fabric made from stripes

And I thought my journey making quilts from one fabric was complete. Oh No.....   I'm now exploring stripe fabrics.  In the case of these two quilts - one striped fabric and 60deg triangle.

This is my first quilt - Tunnel Vision.

Tunnel Vision close up

Tunnel Vision

When choosing my fabric I went for stripes with a bit of interest and not totally regular.  I found I couldn't use my long ruler to cut my fabric.  Stripes are not necessarily printed straight on the grain so I had to free-cut with my rotary cutter along the stripes - down the length of the fabric.  In this case 3.7 metres.  This did take time and lots of patience but the result was worth it.
The stripe repeat determined my 60 deg triangle size - in this case 8".  I did find this size fiddly to handle.  Placement of triangles was really quick.  Sewing them together was tricky.

After lots of un picking I developed a formula that worked for me.

Lay out triangles matching lines.

Start pinning from the block center point and on a flat surface.
Ease fabric to line up your stripes.

Quality of pins if important.  The finer the pin - the flatter it sits in your fabric.
The yellow pin is a standard quilters pin.  The brown glass is the finer Clover quilters pins
which are my preference.
Sew from the center to the outside of your block.  Use a leader fabric regardless
of whether or not you have the scissors feature on your machine.
Using a leader keeps the center point straight.
Iron blocks in the same direction so the seams can butt together nicely when sewn together. 

Match up points and stripes, pin then sew.

I also noticed that by using a small stitch length (1.8) and sewing slow, it helped prevent my stripes from moving away from each other.

Siren Song is my second piece.

Triangle size approx. 4".
If you double click on this photo you will see better detail.
Quilting detail.  I used various colours of thread to enhance
the stripes.

My exploration of stripped fabric hasn't finished.  I now have a collection of striped fabric waiting for me to chop.  I will be trying out different shapes.

Happy quilting.