Tag Archives: Camille Roskelley

Pin cushion done!

Nina With Freckles - Pin cushion finished 2015-07-23

This little project, a pin cushion made by the pattern in Camille Roskelley’s Playful Piecing Techniques on Craftsy, which was started back in March (this year, phew, not 2014), finally got the last seam sewn by hand about a week ago.

I had stuffed it with cushion filling in late spring, I think, but sewing by hand wasn’t an attractive thought, until I got annoyed by using the magnetic pin dish by Prym. Turns out I’m not fond of the magnetism going on, although admittedly it’s a useful device when you manage to throw half your pin box upside down on the floor…

Anyway, here it is in use now:

Nina With Freckles - Pin cushion finished with pins 2015-07-23

I can’t recommend enough these pins for quilting by Clover, by the way. They are the finest and sharpest pins I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with!

Finishing projects will hopefully be my middle name one day. Stay tuned, there’s more coming up in a moment!


Pretty pin cushion in need of filling

NWF Pin cushion 2 2015-03-25

Ah, I finally made a pin cushion! Well, it’s almost done, because I still have to hunt down some good filling, but the patchwork and quilting is done. It is lovely, simply wonderful to finish sewing projects!

Craftsy - Camille Roskelley - Playful Piecing TechniquesThe pattern is by Camille Roskelley and it is the first project of the Playful Piecing Techniques Craftsy class. Ever since watching the first lesson last year, I’ve been meaning to make one of these nifty contraptions, but my research into fillings took me to a standstill. Apparently crushed walnut shells or similar would be one of the best materials, but after having searched some local pet-shop websites, I’m still standing in square zero. Next step is to stop by a pet store and then to check with one of the fabric shops.

Since I started the project the other evening, the lighting wasn’t very nice, which is why the progress photos appear only now, after you have seen the more vivid colours:

NWF Pin cushion 1 2015-03-25

The quilting that Camille does is quite simple, but I need to practice more than straight lines. Using my walking foot, I did indeed quilt straight, but the pivoting and loss of first guide line still throws me off a bit in my precision. I also embraced a quality this time that fits with “Done is better than perfect”, which quite frankly should be observed even more around here. Oh, and I started the whole thing by drawing an X with a hera marker, but probably drew it too lightly or didn’t have enough light in my working area, because I barely saw either line.

The choices of quilting threads were interesting. I have inherited a bunch of 50-weight cotton threads in all sorts of colours, and while one might seem suitable at first, once it’s been quilted in place it no longer looks as smashing. The green, dark navy, and violet were the only options, but the turquoise got a first line quilted in another thread. Colour-wise it was better, but its weight clearly around 30 or heavier even (I’m not very good at estimating thread weight yet), so I ripped it out again. My seam ripper is excellent, by the way, and it seems to have earned the red dot award a couple or so years ago, so I’m not reluctant to use it at all.

Anyway, since I managed to fit five lines in each quadrant of the back, and since three fit into the coloured areas, I added two more in the white areas of the top in an attempt at echoing the design. The quilting feels like I’m still practicing, so I’m okay with a slightly wonky result.

I did, however, rip out the last middle seam, or I know the half-millimetre shift in the centre would have annoyed me to no end forever and ever, so the second time I did pin the whole seam properly. Watching the Bernina used in several Craftsy classes makes me think it’s not just me, but currently a new machine is out of the question. At least I corrected what I could :)

How many pin cushions do you have? And what shape and size are they? I’m thinking my appliqué needles might want their own.

Sweet Life quilt from Camille Roskelley’s Simply Retro

NinaWithFreckles - Camille Roskelley Retro - Sweet Life quilt

I received Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley last week and while her first book Simplify is really nice, this contains several more quilts that I want to make, not just learn from reading the patterns. There is some fabric in my stash that was gifted to me and I thought it’d be perfect for a baby-sized quilt using the Sweet Life pattern.

NinaWithFreckles - Sweet Life block 1

Block 1 of Sweet Life, Retro by Camille Roskelley

As you can see, there’s both sashing and borders in the original pattern, but since I’m downsizing it to contain only four blocks, I’ll go with plain sashing (no nine patch in the middle) in between blocks as well as around them. In theory the sashing outside of the blocks is a border, but it will be the same width as the sashing, so the look will be thinner than in Camille’s pattern.

It’s a fun block to make although the bias edges aren’t a favourite of mine to work with. This was also the first time for me to make flying geese and they were quite fun to make compared to half-square triangles. I think we’re not best of friends, the HSTs and I; there’s just something about them that rubs me the wrong way.

The first block I’ve made is far from perfect, but it could be much worse, too. Its cheerful sharpness outweighs the imperfect points and I love how quickly a huge block like this can come together. Had I cut all the white fabric in one sitting rather than leave the part for the three remaining blocks uncut, potentially I could have finished both quilt top and back during the weekend. Since I wanted to use various scraps rather than cut from yardage, this didn’t happen. Currently, the middle sections are done for all three of them, whereas the outsides containing white are still not done. I’ll get around cutting the white fabric later this week and hopefully will finish the quilt top this week!

If you’re wondering about what happened to the Sound Wave block, well, kitty jumped up on the kitchen table and knocked down the pressing board with all the strips on, so when Retro arrived with the post, I took it as a sign to work on something else for a while.

There’s a part in Simply Retro where Camille says she never makes the same quilt twice, perhaps in a different size or such, but never the exact same quilt. It made me view my projects in a new way and I thought I’d apply a similar approach to my sewing and quilting, unless there’s a specific reason to duplicate something. Falling in love with a particular pattern classifies as a good enough reason to repeat myself, but in general I think it’s a great idea to make something with purpose, as best I can, learn from it, and move on to new pastures. Great food for thought!

Piece of Cake 3 – Block piecing update

I finally dug out the unfinished blocks of Piece of Cake 3 and cut the two white parts per block. I sewed the first batch of strips onto one side of ten blocks. They were consistently too small, by about a quarter of an inch. The white side strip is 13” tall and the block measures about 12.75”. Consistent quarter inch missing. Sigh.

Perhaps I’m totally dense, but it never occurred to me that my quarter-inch specialty presser foot manufactured by Husqvarna Viking could be creating incorrect seams. The metal guide on the right side of the expensive piece of plastic is off by at least 1 mm. I just can’t believe this. I paid over 20€ for this presser foot and it’s this inaccurate. How is it possible???

I know I’m still a beginner and this group of sewers will inevitably cut inconsistently, sew crooked seams, press in sloppy fashion, etc., but is it too much to expect my tools to behave as they should, so the blame is mine alone when seams don’t match?

I’m so frustrated, angry, disappointed and what else that it’s hard to motivate myself to finish this quilt top. It will always be that quilt. Those pretty fabrics, it feels like everything is ruined right now, and I’d love to just chuck out that stupid presser foot out the window. It’s hard to keep sewing an incorrect seam, but if I want to have a quilt that isn’t even more off everywhere, I have to continue on the incorrect path until all seams of this quilt have been sewn.

At least I know now why my log-cabin blocks for the Craftsy BOM 2013 quilt were so totally off, too, but it’s hardly a consolation. Perhaps the company could sew it all from scratch for me? I’ve found out that in the US they claim there are no quilting feet (walking and darning) to put on Emerald 116, whereas not one but two shops here claim they have the correct feet for my machine. When I purchase those feet, I will have them demonstrate on an Emerald 116 prior to swinging the credit card or get assurance I can return them if they don’t fit. I wish I would have bought a Janome, Bernina or any other brand at this point.

Piece of Cake 3 – Fabric selection

As mentioned here and here, I’m taking a Craftsy class called Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple by Camille Roskelley and the first quilt of four to be made is Piece of Cake 3. Today I’ve made the final decision on which fabrics to include, so keep reading!

I have quite a stash of fabrics by now, but sometimes it’s almost too difficult to decide when the choices are abundant. For some reason I’ve bought quite a few quarter yards in various blues and greens and they go surprisingly well together, even though many of them are by different designers.

My organising tool for several areas of life is Bento by Filemaker and since cross-links are very easy to create as well as use, I’ve built up two databases, a “Fabric Inventory” and a “Fabric Projects”. When I create a new project, I’ve added a field to pick fabrics from the inventory database, and once I click on the button, it will take me to the inventory information sheet with date of purchase, length purchased, price and shop, and most importantly in which other projects it’s been used already. If I’m on the other hand viewing a fabric information sheet and want to remind myself of a particular project, which other fabrics are used for the same item and so forth, I click on a similar type of project button. It’s really convenient once you’ve set it up, so I’d be glad to assist, should you want to create similar databases for yourself.

This is a screenshot from the project sheet for this quilt:

Craftsy Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple - Quilt 1 Fabrics

As you might have noticed, some fabrics are nameless still; the secretary hasn’t felt like working, but she’s been slacking heavily. I think she’s at the beach or something, at least she hasn’t stopped by in a long time. I should fire her…

The directions in the pattern are to use 25 layer cakes for the block “base” and 13 layer cakes for block “decorations”. The 13 layer cakes should be cut in two (roughly put) and all but half a layer cake will be used.

Since I don’t have layer cakes and refuse to invest in more fabric, I’ve improvised quite a lot, not just regarding amount of different fabrics used, but in way of cutting, too. From quarter yards, I’ll cut double the amount of pieces, which will produce 12 “base” fabrics used twice and 1 block fabric used once (25 in total). I’ll do a similar maneuvre with the fabrics for block “decorations”. 8 fabrics will be used 1.5 times and 1 fabric 1 time, creating the needed 13 block decorations.

So far, it’s just a bit of math, but the tricky part will be when combining the bases with decorations and then placing blocks next to other blocks. It can’t go totally wrong, though, because the fabrics above are fantastic if you ask me! Next up is cutting, but I’m not sure yet when I can start doing that.