Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Today’s natter is mostly quilt related, please skip to the end for the knit bit.

So it was the second of the three quilting classes last week. ( What is the difference between a class and a workshop, for sure I don’t know).

We stitched the nine blocks together using the chain method and nesting the seams! The tutor held each one up as we finished and we each had a round of applause and people said nice things which made me feel inordinately good .I also had a bit of a smug moment which I mostly managed to keep to myself. Remember last time the tiz I got into cutting up fat quarters , well the other two beginners had no such trouble. Smug moment coming. We were stitching them together and I knew that I had to get  those corners matching and the seam had to be 1/4 inch wide exactly. So there I am plodding my way down the seam slowly slowly, snails pace. Lady next to me, whiz , bang wallop, she’s finished . HA! I still feel the glee as she was not only told to unpick seams but cut some more pieces because they were the wrong size. Guess who finished first in the end, the tortoise… oh so smug. I am feeling smug even typing this, not nice Cathy.

Please note the quilting language creeping in too I feel rather proud at learning the lingo. Then we cleared two tables and the three of us beginners and the tutor sandwiched our quilts. We laid the wadding down first and then the flimsy on top. Carefully lifting each corner we sprayed fabric glue and gently laid the top back down. Then we flipped the quilt over and laid the back down and repeat  with the spray fabric glue. Then we used curved safety pins to pin in place. I never knew there were curved safety pins in the world.  Then we were ready to start quilting, yikes.

Now comes a bit I’d like your thoughts on please. We were given something called a frixion erasable pen to mark the quilting lines with ,and if you iron them they vanish. This seemed a bit odd to me so I did some research when I came home, and apparently they are designed to be used by children for invisible writing on peper, because if you put your writing in the freezer they come become visible again. Now I won’t be putting the quilt in the freezer, but they sound a bit dubious to me. Has anyone used them? I gather there is a problem too with ghosting.

I then saw someone mentioned using a hera marker , but try as I might I can’t find out if they just make a crease mark or an actual mark mark? Does anyone know?

I also saw the suggesting of using masking tape to show where to go. I didn’t finish the quilting in class and would love to know what people recommend before I part with some hard cash, well credit card, please.

So without further ado and a lot of humility here is how my quilting looks.

The big picture.

I was supposed to be in the ditch on the seam lines. whoops.

but at least my corners meet.

but off here, and you can see the red lines where I need to iron them a bit more to make them go away.

Here I need to go from bottom left to top right still, but how to mark the line. The in the ditch looks a bit better too.

We have started to talk about the next quilt too. It’s called rail fence I think, not telegraph pole as I said in class. It uses jelly rolls. For the beginners quilt I have used fat quarters I already owned, bought for no good reason ‘cept I liked them, so they don’t really make a cohesive quilt. So if I do the next quilt I want to buy a jelly roll I really like, but they seem so expensive. The one I like is a Moda and nearly £40 , does that sound about right. Should I be thinking of buying cheaper, buying better. Again please give me your thoughts.

And finally I want to say a huge thank you to all the quilters whose blogs I have followed and learned so  much from. Without you I would not have had my smug moment. It was entirely down to you all that I know the importance of that 1/4 inch. Moving on..

I have actually managed some knitting this week.

Back and front and half of the first sleeve done. Can I do another in a week? I’ll try to have more knitting next week.

Otherwise it’s been quiet round here. We have stayed on top of the house and garden. Mr E even made the bed two days running! I continue to plod away at family history, I do love it when something suddenly slots into place.

The weather is a bit damp and drizzly , typical UK weather really. Hopefully I will get out in the garden or better still go for a nice walk. Next week is busy again, things to look forward too.

What about you? Anything planned for the weekend? In the meantime,

Take care,

Be Happy,





Comments on: "Quilt, Knit and Natter Friday" (51)

  1. Chalk pen maybe?

    Quilters glue?! Seems cheaty somehow, but I know zero about it, only what I watched on How to Make an American Quilt!

  2. I have tried hera markers and I can’t see the line it has made. I have a pen that writes purple and the line disappears in a couple days–so can’t mark very far ahead of working on a project. I can’t recall the brand right now. I always test it on a piece of fabric to be sure it will disappear from THAT fabric. I have never had it not; but I don’t want to be surprised. As to tape, I use blue painters’ tape when I need to mark straight lines. I’ve heard somewhere to use new and not to leave it on more than 24 hours. There was a reason to use it instead of masking tape, but I don’t remember what it was.

  3. Joanne S said:

    Huzzah! Lovely quilt, great quilted corners!

  4. Love the quilt! I could cozy up on it 🙂 I like the red popping up between the soft colours.

  5. I love your excitement at learning all these new skills! Quilting is such fun and such a great way to express yourself–and, yes, taking your time, Ms. Tortoise, always pays off! I’ve never using the Frixion pens and won’t–they were not originally designed to be used on fabric and I don’t think they have been tested on fabric, long term. Who knows what that chemical will do, 20-30-50 years down the road? I’m team masking tape, personally.

    • I can see the sense of masking tape, and if I fail to get one of the ceramic pens I too shall be team masking tape, which I actually possess already.

  6. deemallon said:

    I never used to mark my quilts but mostly stipple quilted them, so even distances didnt matter so much. Now I have a “fascination” blue dressmaking pencil for a new quilt I’m hand stitching where I want the lines to be straight. I’ve bought one or two jelly rolls in my life. They feel like a huge extravagance but worth it for the related fabrics and uniform width.

    PS my favorite part of this post is the smug reference. Funny!

    • Thank you so much for your information on marking. For this beginners quilt I have used fat quarters I already had which I had bought simply because I liked them, and they don’t go together as well as the fabric in the other two makers quilts who bought the fabric especially for the quilt. So whilst I like what I have made I don’t love it. So for the next one I want to choose a jelly roll I love!
      Glad I gave you a smile, hope it helped your day.xx

  7. I’ve used frixion pens and have had decent luck with them but that’s no guarantee for any product. They all make me nervous. You have good reason to be smug. The tortoise is always the winner. Being mindful of your work is better than being done first. 😉 Your quilt looks wonderful and you should be proud of it. It’s all about the playing with it and mistakes are bound to happen to seasoned quilters so don’t let anything deter you from your play. Kate is the best for quilting advice. That’s who I go to with lots of questions. It’s like she’s next door not across continents. 🙂

    • Thank you for all this encouragement. I am learning so much in this class but always come away with so many questions. I had struggled so much with the cutting of the fat quarters, totally unable to make sense of cutting five pieces from my material, and was really trailing behind the other two by the end of day one. Then on day two the other two beginners were romping ahead again and I was slowly trundling through my 1/4 inch seams. Then the tutor inspected the work before we could go onto the next stage, and the others were chuntering away they had to undo seams, and I got a that’s very good. So Smug. Naughty me, but it did feel good.

      Kate has been amazingly good and kind with her advice as has every other quilter
      I shall continue with my tortoise like ways, because actually it feels good knowing it’s going well, and I shall try to ignore the hares in the room.

      • I’ve always been the slowest in the class as well but my seams come out perfect that way. Understanding directions has always been my greatest difficulty with quilting or any other craft. ;( We may be slow but when we get it, we get it well. 😉

        • Don’t know about you but as well as watching a demonstration I need written instructions too. Good for us tortoises I say.

  8. Lovely quilting! I’ve never used frixion pens on fabric but we do use them at school for marking books as you can erase them. One teacher left her books by the radiator and all of her marking on every piece of work disappeared becauase of the heat! I never thought about using them on fabric before but it seems sensible.

  9. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    The quilt looks lovely! can’t help with the invisible pen except to say we made invisible ink at brownies earlier in week using lemon juice and got it to “appear'” by ironing paper with hot ironing!

  10. I’d be feeling smug too, your quilt is looking great 🙂 re jelly rolls, have a look at the Lewis & Irene ones (good British company!), Empress Mills are selling them for £25.50. L&I fabrics are lovely, good quality and great designs. https://www.empressmills.co.uk/product-category/fabrics/quilting-fabrics/jelly-rolls/
    I’ve heard a few negative things about Frixion pens, Sarah Fielke in particular says never use them. I’ve used hera markers for straight lines, it leaves a fine shiny mark a bit like a crease on a pair of trousers. I’ve used masking tape too, you can get special 1/4″ wide stuff but I’ve used normal width masking tape too.
    Glad you’re enjoying quilting – it is a bit addictive !

    • Thank you for this comment. I have never heard of Lewis and Irene, but I had heard of empress mills, but not by way of thinking of them as a fabric supplier. I thought they were mail order clothes! Doh! So as soon as I finish typing I shall follow the link, thank you. I think I shall be in the market for a ceramic pen and a hera marker, and between the two I shall have marks!

  11. You are doing a wonderful job on the quilt – I had to smile at the tortoise and the hare story – I am always the tortoise and I felt smug for you!! I think your piece of knitting is what mine should look like – I am not sure mine is looking as good but I have enjoyed getting back into knitting – I will be doing a quick post and picture soon – if I dare – with a cry for help with the making up – have no idea what to do stitching it together – the pattern doesn’t elaborate on this bit.

    • I shall look forward to seeing your knitting. I have found that there are some quite good books available that have helped me with the sewing up of knitting. Taking time helps! And of course if you share on a blog then people are so generous sharing their knowledge. The lady who sits next to me is so fast zip goes her machine, clunk clunk goes mine. She was the one who had to go and cut a complete new piece because the original one was just wrong.

  12. Your quilt’s looking fab! Great job! I’ve used Frixion markers and never had the lines come back. I always think the difference between a class and a workshop is that a workshop is a one off, but a class is on of a series of several classes. If I see what you mean.

    • Thanks for that I never know whether to say I have been a workshop or a class. Good feedback on the frixion markers. I don’t suppose I shall ever want to put a quilt in ether and aeroplane or a competition!

      • It’s only my definition, but it makes sense to me! No aeroplanes for my quilts, but I might just pop one in our village produce and craft show.

  13. Wow! Good job Cathy, that’s a fabulous quilt. I used to use a frixion pen when drawing and turn the heat setter on the lines to make them disappear when I’d finished whatever I was doing…. it’s a great tool to use on paper. But then I lost my pen ….. 🙂 You’ve reminded me to buy some more 🙂

  14. I am definitely on the side of buying better, and that price is what we would pay here. I love jellyrolls — if I figure my time is worth minimum wage, I definitely save in cutting time what I spend on the precut fabrics, and since I would rather piece than cut, it is worth it to me.

    I never get my stitch in the ditch to go where it should either. But your stitches look lovely and even!

    As far as the Frixion pens, I like them. The problem with them reappearing when it’s cold can really affect competition quilters that are shipping their quilts — the freight areas of the airplanes can get cold enough to make the ink reappear, and then they arrive at the show with marks visible. But one time I grabbed a permanent ink pen, thinking it was a Frixion. (Fortunately just on a practice piece, and those marks came out with nail polish remover.)
    But I really like the little Clover chalk markers, maybe not as precise but they work for my purposes.

    • Thank you so much for your helpful comment. the part I find hardest is cutting, so I reckon jelly rolls were made for me. People seem very divided on the mark making on fabric, but I think I have my conclusion.

  15. Well done, you! I have a white mechanical marking pencil, I think it must be like Kate’s and I love it! As for jelly rolls, they lovely I’m sure, but I always just cut my own long pieces. You can do a lovely split rail quilt with only 4-5 colors, so if you have some fabric you want to use you can definitely make it work! Love the colors on that sweet little sweater! I am playing a Book Recital for a 1st grader tomorrow; he informed me that if he does well, he gets a pet fish!😆 there is also a blizzard scheduled, but he is only 2 miles up the road, as long as I can make it up the hill. Not much snow in town, but 40 mph winds and 6-8 on the prairie, so it will be right dangerous for them.

    • I think I shall certainly get myself one of the ceramic pens. I have just about ascertained that no one company sells everything I am looking for to save on postage. Think I have finally settled on my favourite jelly roll.
      Wishing your pupil well and that he is rewarded with a fish!

      • I got my pencil after visiting at my local quilt shop, and I use it for sewing too. I want to get a colored one too. Young Mr. Derek had a dinosaur recital, complete with cake and pizza, and did a great job. He gave me a thank you card that he had drawn with shark species. It said “thank you for being my peano playr.” So much fun! I think he will get his fish!

  16. Impressed with your quilt and all you technical knowledge. Shows me even more than I thought already that quilting is not for me. I thought quilts were all hand sewn didn’t realise you had to use a sewing machine as well! Sure to be a pretty jumper the colours are so lovely. Some overlap with the colours in the quilt. Are they your favourites?

    • Yes the colours are amongst my favourites. I am not fond of green and brown. I reckon you would be a natural at quilting as your perfection skills are needed, whereas my that will do attitude is no good here. And sorting out the measuring of the fabric exhausts me!

  17. Hi Cathy: I love how your quilt turned out. I especially love the red fabric and how the color just pops. Don’t worry about getting off of the lines. You will get better the more you make. Love and Hugs, Tamara

    • Oh thank you for the encouragement. Finally learning how to quilt is a long held ambition, but by golly it is stretching me no end.

  18. I use a Hera and other vanishing markers, I stay away from Frixion as they were never meant to mark fabrics. Yay for lessons that gain you another skill set, and go right ahead and be smug!

    • Reading your blog and those of others has really inspired me and the little nuggets of wisdom slowly filter through my brain. Thank you for telling me what you use.

  19. Well done you! As Daffodil says, your fabrics have made for a lovely, somehow very traditional English looking kind of quilt.
    I love jelly rolls. Some people make them up themselves and sell them but I would say Moda are the very best. Have a look on Ebay UK and you should be able to find some for nearer 30 quid, sometimes with free postage. Here’s one very nice one for example https://goo.gl/FbUvHf If you see cheaper ones, check to make sure there are around 40 2.5 inch strips in the roll – some do half size ones i.e. just 20 strips. If you can spare the cash, I’d stick with Moda for consistent quality.
    A Hera marker will just leave a crease. I have used the Frixion pens and I don’t mind them. If the quilt gets cold and the lines reappear, they will disappear again as soon as you reapply heat. The only problems with ‘ghosting’ I’ve found is with the fluorescent colours. Stick to the ordinary ones in a colour as close to your fabric (and/or thread) as you can get whilst still being able to see it and you should be fine.
    I haven’t tried the ceramic markers so you could give them a try too if Kate likes them they must be O.K. However, most people find quilt marking a trial – you’re not alone – and I think the holy grail of marking a quilt has still not been found.
    I like the effect of that striped yarn – I prefer those soft colours to the brighter ones so I’m biased. It’s perfect for a little girl.
    This weekend, I’m going to overlock all the edges of the satin lining pieces I’ve cut for my coat this weekend and, if I have time left, will put a border on the foxy print quilt I’m making for my future great niece and might even have time to sandwich it

    • Thank you for your help on fabric choices and markers. I love the fabric jelly roll you linked too. The one I like most isn’t on the market till next month. It should be available in time, and is slightly more expensive. I really love the Tilda range!
      Good luck with the overlocking. It scares me even to watch overlockers in action on the Sewing Bee!

  20. Of course quilting and knitting are foreign concepts to me, but I always love your end results. 🌝
    I’m off to the Lakes for a couple of nights all being well. Forecast is a bit dismal but I’m sure it will still be brill. X

  21. You are definitely entitled to a smug moment! and I enjoyed sharing it with you.
    I know what you mean about a whole new language – when with a group of quiters for a couple of weeks on a textile tour, it seemed such a foreign language and I definitely felt like I was part of a different tribe.
    Curved safety pns!!!! Who’d’ve thought it – I do love the right gadget for the right job – i’m sure I can find a use for them – I’m going in search of them next time I’m in a shopping mood.
    Your quilt looks delightful, and somehow very English – which is lovely.

    I do like the way your variegated yarn is working out – so pretty.
    I have just returned from a week away, into some family stuff that needed sorting, I’m knackered, so the weekend will be spent watching iPlayer, crocheting and recovering. If the sun shines and the wind drops I’ll do a bit of gentle pottering in the garden.
    Mr E sounds like he’s turning from Mischievous Elf to Helpful Elf – was it something you said???!!!

    • Thank you for the nice things you said about my quilt. I honestly don’t think I would be enjoying it all as much as I am without the couple of years I spent reading and absorbing the quilting posts on blogs and now benefiting from advise via blogs. People are so kind.

      I am really pleased with how the yarn is coming out, more grown up than I thought it would be and very suitable for a little girl.
      Sorry your return was marred by family stuff, they can’t function without you, but I hope your holiday was good.
      As for helpful elf, it hasn’t lasted!
      Hope the sun shines in Dorset and you have a relaxing happy weekend.

  22. Get you and your quilt-speak 🙂 And may I say, smug moment richly deserved! OK, well now you see the value of those pesky quarter inch seams, and how nice nesting the seam allowances makes the front look. One of these days I’ll do you a tutorial on how to rotate the seam allowances for flat centres on blocks…
    About quilt marking. I’ve never been inclined to try the Frixion pens; things that seem too good to be true sometimes are, and markers that are supposed to fade in the air or wash out don’t always do that, either. If you left your quilt in a cold room in the winter, would the lines reappear? Personally, I’m a big fan of ceramic markers, which are basically propelling pencils that have either white or pink leads in them depending on what colour background you’re marking up. For very pale fabrics I use another pencil, but this time with regular leads in it, a very fine version and a hard lead. Both types seem to wash out without any trouble, and I can use a normal eraser to get rid of the marks if I want to change anything.
    Regarding the jelly rolls; the price for the Moda roll is a bit steep but OK so long as you get 40 strips. Do be careful with widths. Even expensive jelly rolls can have a good deal of variation in how wide the strips actually are, and if they’ve been hand cut, the strips can also sometimes be a bit banana-shaped. Personally, if size is going to be critical, I’d buy fat quarters, or even a few 20 or 30 inch lengths of WOF (width of fabric, more quilt jargon), and cut my strips from that. At least you can then control the width of the strips and be accurate. Hope this rather long and involved comment helps. If you have more questions, you know where to find me 🙂

    • Kate thank you so much for writing me such a useful comment. I’m going to google the ceramic markers. According to what I read abut the pens yes the marks reappear at -10C. We don’t often go that low but it could happen if left in a car. I watched some you tubes on making scrappy bindings and people seem to use pencil for that because the marks get hidden. The jelly rolls I think get joined up then chopped then joined again! Thanks for the WOF jargon!

      • Glad to help. If you Google Sewline ceramic pencil it should come up with the right thing. If the rail fence pattern is the one I’m thinking of, you join 3 jelly roll strips edge to edge, cut them into lengths, and rejoin the lengths alternately horizontally and vertically. The width of the strip could become an issue if it’s a bit scant…

        • Yes that’s the pattern. I am hoping Moda jelly rolls are true to size. Some of my fat quarters were scant, but at least I can use them for the scrappy borders. I can’t tell you just how grateful I am for your help, and you know how terrible I was to begin with!

  23. Very impressed with your command of the technical language of quilting!! And of your careful patience in getting those corners to meet up so well – wish I could quilt like that 🙂

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