Monday, 18 October 2010

How can you mess up a simple coaster?? Read on and I'll show you!

My birthday is coming up and my mum and dad have promised me a sewing machine.  I'd decided (after reading the comments my lovely readers sent me) to get a Husqvarna.  Ten minutes walk down the road from my house is a Husqvarna shop.  I'd never been in as I'd never wanted to buy a sewing machine.  Well!  I had been missing out, it was packed full of gorgeous fabrics including those from the likes of Tilda!  I chose the machine I wanted (an Emerald 116, or, if it's too much with me going half price, then an E20), then I set myself loose on the fabrics!!  I can't believe I didn't take a picture of my stash, but I bought a handful of fat quarters, then a metre of the most beautiful, double-width linen with "Coffee" on it (see below) and another with little animals printed on it. 

As soon as I saw the coffee fabric, I knew I'd make coasters and placemats for my brother for Christmas as this fabric is right up his street, and, after all, how hard can it be to make a coaster?  Well, I overestimated myself!!

Attempt number one:

And a close up of the awful stitching on the wonky binding:

Clearly I can't do bias binding!!  Ladies, any tips on where I went wrong??  Other than picking it up and thinking I could sew it I mean!

Attempt number two:

Hum, also somewhat wonky!  I'd used a layer of batting/wadding inside to make it thicker, but I had to iron it as the fabric was all creased after I'd finished poking and prodding it, and it flattened the wadding completely!  In the end I chose interfacing and got it right... not perfect by any means, but OK for a first third attempt.

Ta da:

A close up of one of the designs and (hang on though, I have to press publish after each photo then come back into it, what's happened to Blogger??)...

A view of all four coasters and...

A view of the set showing the back.  Comments and suggestions would be very very welcome before I try the placemats ladies!

I didn't actually do much at the weekend but I did get some more of the basket weave scarf knitted:
It's now 54cm (21 inches approx) long!  I've set myself a challenge to knit at least 20 rows per night in order to get it done soon so I can knit something a bit lot more interesting.  The colour of the photo still isn't right, it's now orange!

And finally in today's little show and tell, I started embroidering bookmarks last night.  I'm going to make a couple for each reader in my life (shockingly few people!), with a personalised embroidery on the front and back it with a lovely piece of Moda fabric from the layer cakes I splashed out on and have done nothing with but sat and admired them ever since!

This one is for my dad, he likes his real ale, the design is from Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching, The Motif Collection, and would have been straightforward had the bulb on my lightbox not blown...  I should point out that only the beer glass is Aimee's design, the random little mess between the glasses is all my own work.  It's still to be stitched to it's backing of course!  That's probably be a disaster much like the coaster disaster...

Sorry, once again the photo is rubbish, I'm crap at taking pictures and I don't have the patience for it. 

I don't know when I'll next have something to show you as I have to get to work with a piece of pink Lycra and an hourglass shaped stool for one of the shops the company my husband owns is fitting out... don't ask!


Laurie said...

I think your selling yourself short!! You're doing great, and you just started sewing. Most comes with time and practice, and you're on the right track! Keep up the good work, and congrats on your new machine!

Bev said...

you should see my bias binding, absolute rubbish!!, like the idea of place mats though, might have a go at them when i get my new house ( the things i am going to do when i get to i had better win some money to pay for it all)

My 1st Bambina ! said...

I think they turned out great ! I like them better without the bias binding.
You are a fast knitter !
The bookmark is going to be so cute !
PS (Did you order the Embroidery Craft book ?... It's ok, you can blame it on me ... LOL..)

Ms Muffin said...

What cute coasters. You know, I think the few timse I used bias binding I was just lucky! It did turn out not too bad ... but I was kinda jittering the whole time while sewing it in place! I was so scared to mess it up. There were a few spots were it was not too good ... but with a bouncy skirt it is alot harder to tell than with coasters! ;-)

I admire you for actually doing this project several timse until you were happy with it! Awesome! I would have given up half way through it .... :-/

Kelly said...

Hey the last attempt looks great! Don't give up! I find the neatest way to make binding is by sewing it on the front along the first crease of the binding, folding it over then sewing the back on by hand. 'Tis a pain, and takes longer, but is a much neater finish.
I found a little tutorial on binding:
Oh and another few here:
And here's some good photos of how to do the corners:

Good luck!

Tracey said...

I think those coasters look brill, and the coffee fabric is perfect for the coasters,

Whens your birthday, if its very soon, Have a great birthday and enjoy your day,

Bridget said...

Hi there - thanks for the great idea on my blog - why didn't I think of that? RE: binding - if you go to Flossie Teacake's blog she has (somewhere!) a tutorial for making it all a much simpler experience - she cuts the backing bigger than the front and wadding and then using the excess to form a binding, but just folding it onto the front - it's really very simple. Hope this helps!