Saturday, 15 January 2011

Niece on a Tree Swing

Since I joined the fabric diet that Angela is having my whole mindset has changed.  I started thinking about why I bought fabric, what I wanted to do with it and how to get my money to work the best for me.  That inevitably means looking at what I have already and seeing what I can do with it.  I told you in another post about how I wanted to improve and master new skills. I had so much fun making the wonky star mug rug and already had another project in mind.

Cue - The Girl on a Tree Swing Tutorial  by the uber talented Aneela Hoey who blogs at Comfort Stitching and has created the design Sherbet Pips that everyone (including me) has been coveting.  

Now my regular sewing machine does not have any kind of foot to facilitate machine embroidery or free motion quilting and this is a skill I've wanted to get back to for so long.  I took textiles in my third year at school and really enjoyed playing around with machine embroidery (certainly more than Lisa Y, who having spent ages building up a nice textural piece of embroidery had managed to sew her school tie into the work!) but I've not attempted any since.  You may remember this post when a friend gave me a load of her stash and a nearly-new sewing machine because she was downsizing and hadn't ever really got into the whole creative thing.  Well my friend had been more interested in fibre art and textural work with machine embroidery so had bought a suitable foot for her machine.  Unfortunately the machine came without a manual and wasn't the same as mine and when I'd had a play with it I hadn't been able to get it to sew evenly - it was very jumpy and the needle kept jamming.  Anyway, last night I thought I'd go and see if I could get it working. I discovered the problem was the little arms that hold the hook race assembly in - they'd not been done up so it was loose and wobbling around. Fixed that and problem solved!  I had a quick practice on some scrap fabric then dived in with the tutorial. 
I thought if it turned out ok. I'd turn it into a mini quilt for my niece who has a birthday coming up in March. Her favourite colour (like me) is purple but my stash is woefully short of this colour - and not much in my scraps box either. So I opted for pink for the background.

It took a while to get used to the 'freeness' of using a machine this way (let alone a machine I'd never used before).  Even now I keep forgetting that you can move the fabric in all directions. When I started I kept stopping to change direction or I used the reverse lever to go backwards - when all I had to do was move the fabric duh!  I couldn't re size the template so gave up and drew my own following the pdf for parts.  I changed the girls hair because I thought it would be fun to put my niece on the swing and whilst she used to have a cute little bob like Aneela's girl, these days she has longer hair. 

I am not happy with the right hand swing line which does not come down nice and straight - but this is my first attempt at this kind or work so I think that can be forgiven. You'll also notice I sewing a piece of Liberty lawn over the Mendocino girl near the bottom right hand side. I never thought I'd want to cover up Mendocino, but it looked like a mermaid was coming in to drag the girl off the swing by her ankles and so I had to get rid of it. 

The finished picture was a bit small for a mini quilt so I've sashed it grey. I'm going to straight line quilt the grey sashing, bind and then - voila! A little quilt I hope my niece will like. I'm going to call it: Girl Niece on a Tree Swing


And...everything in this 'make' came from my scrap box or already used fabric. 


  1. The most beautiful present, my daughter, age 10 went "ahh..." when she saw this

  2. This looks great! I'm sure she'll love it!

  3. so cute! I need to see if my machine will take that kind of foot... it looks like fun! I LOVE your hexie quilt!

  4. When I saw this on flickr I went to your inspiration website, which I'd been to before but forgotten about. Silly me....
    Your interpretation is very, very lovely. Do not under any circumstances think that the little part you mentioned you are not happy with takes away from the piece. The whole package is wonderful. I need to get my foot working because I want to make one now!

  5. Love it!
    This has been on my to-do list for ages!!
    I'm really looking forward to Sherbert Pips in the Spring too


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