Earlier this week I did a workshop at Stitchcraft, our new sewing centre, with Dawn Cameron-Dick. You may remember she was the guest speaker at the opening of Stitchcraft but I missed her talk as I was displaying my own work. This was the first workshop I had done here and I was impressed with the friendly welcome accompanied by 'help-yourself' tea and coffee all day and an included lunch.
The workshop took place in a very roomy room with plenty of space for all of us. The subject was 'Invisible Machine Appliqué' and Dawn proved a very entertaining and informative teacher. (Sadly I forgot to take my camera! What am I like?) Dawn spent the morning showing us examples of uses for invisible machine appliqué and talking to us about needles and threads. I think this is the first time I have actually got to grips with what all the numbers mean on different threads. I made copious notes (as Dawn remarked) but also bought Dawn's Pocket Tutor for future reference.
As I am unlikely to hold all the info about needle and thread sizes in my head I'm sure the Pocket Tutor will get some use.
Before we were allowed to go for lunch we had to get our machines set up with clear thread, the correct needle and the correct bobbin tension, having stitched some sample rows. I had kittens when Dawn merrily took a screwdriver to my bobbin and 'righty tighty' off went my tension! Gasp! I have always lived by the law that you keep a separate bobbin for tension twiddling but, no, it is perfectly acceptable, indeed desirable to alter the tension in the bobbin according to the thread on the bobbin spool. A thin thread will need a tighter tension than a thicker thread (seems obvious now). At the moment my machine is still set up for IMA. I'll let you know if I have trouble getting it to sew straight again ;-)
I can't show you any process photos but I can show you the pieces I produced.
The three pieces above don't look much but they took a while to work and I am delighted to have worked them. I never thought I would ever attempt any part of a dresden plate but done this way it was very straightforward. The dresden plate section just needs the backing calico clipping away. The three pieces above allowed us to work with three different ways of using IMA. . Freezer paper and fusible vilene played their part.
Although my circle is just a little wonky I am pleased to have achieved this panel and am looking for ways to play with this technique. When I get round to making something myself with the technique I will take some process photos in case you are not familiar with Invisible Machine Appliqué. I can see some great uses for it maybe in landscape quilts and it takes all the pain out of insetting circles.
I have been very busy all week on a little project that I can't share with you just yet and it's going to take me another day or two to finish it then I shall have to take stock and see where I am going next. Apart from some UFO's or not-quite-finished projects I don't have a clear plan for the next few weeks.