Thursday 14 July 2011

You Guys Are Brilliant!

Blogging is just made for people like me. Because it links me up with brilliant people like you. I know I could have sat here and research 'stain removal' on the Internet yesterday and most probably would have come up with the same answers you gave me - but I didn't. I relied on that knowledge that I knew lay deep inside so many of you, and that I lack totally. And you came through for me, and I really, really appreciate it.

Based on your collective advice I came up with a plan. I would try each suggestion in a set order. As the quilt is obviously not finished yet anything that involved the washing machine would have to wait until it was done. I am not that patient a person so the order of the day was hairspray first, and then if that failed I would wait until the quilt was bound and could be fully submerged. Several of you told me that if I sprayed the hairspray into a little dish and dabbed it on that would allow me to do a spot cleaning. So here was my kit -

I did as instructed and sprayed into the dish (outside - I really don't like the smell of hairspray), used the cotton bud and dabbed at the ink. And it turned darker, and broader, and scarier and my heart did a little flip flop. But then it all came right as it slowly faded to nothing. Woohoo! I rinsed that one little area of the quilt under the tap and now it resides outdoors, drying in the sunshine, in all its pristine glory.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to all who came forward with advice. It is so greatly appreciated, and the next time someone asks me if I know how to get an ink stain out I'll be sure to pass on the knowledge.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch farm I have been doing a Farmer's Wife block here and there and now have six more to show you. I still haven't ventured into template territory. I live in fear of that. This book was most definitely written for those who like to quilt the old fashioned way - by hand, every last stitch. Those template blocks are beautiful but there are a few horror stories out there in blogland of people struggling with them. Sooner or later I will have to give in, but not yet.

Here are my latest additions to the FWQAL blocks -

No. 41 - Friendship Star
No. 12 - Broken Sugar Bowl
No. 11 - Broken Dishes
No. 34 - Flock
No. 9 - Box
No. 26 - Cut Glass Dish
Altogether now - on the badminton net again.
What will I do in the winter time?
I do love the results once each block is finished, but I must admit that the Farmer and I have the odd domestic here and there. This book was written by someone who made the whole quilt by hand, not a machine stitch anywhere. And it shows in the way she has written it. I am pleased to hear that the author's next quilting book will include instructions for rotary cutting. But it does leave the feeling that she was keeping this book very niche if she thought that only people who did all quilting by hand would be buying it. I may sound close minded but cutting each and every piece by template is just not my thing, hence me working out the blocks I have done so far in my head. I know I am not the only one out there doing the maths. I an dreading getting to the blocks where there is little choice but to start with the templates. We shall see.

It is not a negative experience this though. A learning one yes, and interesting. I have never followed a pattern before in quilting. I have seen ideas I liked and adapted them to my needs and always worked out the cutting of the fabric on my own. I am such a rule breaker that doing this quilt-a-long is a good discipline, having to pay attention and stick within the guidelines. And I suppose learning to quilt with templates will be a very good skill to have - because eventually I will find a quilt I want to make that can only be done with templates. And then I will be prepared.

For those of you doing the FWQAL, how are you finding it?



  1. I will start on my wives as soon as I have my mum's birthday quilt done (my only deadline) then it'll be a race to catch up, doing all the easy ones first!

    Sooooo glad the stain came out! Just make sure it doesn't take too long drying or the birdies might use it for poop practice!

    What is up with those pegs!!!! Do you wear odd socks!?

  2. glad the hairspray worked never heard of that one but will try it if i have pen marks !!! to remove .your farmers wife blocks are great .

  3. You had my heart in my mouth as I was reading the report of your stain removal.

    Love your FW blocks!

    Have courage with templates it is not that hard - guess it is easier for me as that is how I started.

  4. So glad you got the pen out! I totally get what you're saying about the old farmer.. the thought of inevitable template work is the only thing stopping me - which is probably a good thing! Your blocks look really lovely though :-)

  5. Bon courage with the FWQAL blocks - they look beautiful.

  6. So glad you conquered the ink stain! Isn't the blogging community just like the old family unit where Aunt Martha and Grandma Mac knew every solution to all life's problems? Your FW blocks look fab btw! Definitely worth the effort and angst. Jxo

    P.s. Hadders is OCD about pegs!!

  7. Yeah!!! So glad the hairspray trick worked!

    Loving your farmer's blocks and I'm really really trying to resist buying the book. I'm working on a Dear Jane and I really must focus on that! :o)

  8. Began to panic as I read today's post that I'd given you a duff steer on the hairspray but am VERY relieved it worked for you as it has for me n the past! I'd never have forgiven myself for ruining those beautiful wonky stars!

    Your FW blocks are gorgeous. I did make a start but found the templates a wee bit tricky. I put it down to having had to use the old machine while the Janome was being repaired. Now that Janome is back I need to get back at them and I think I will avoid templates where I can too - not because the sewing is a problem but more because the rotary cutting is quicker.

  9. I love the way your blocks look. I am actually using the templates provided by the author and machine stitching the whole thing. I'd die if I were to hand stitch it. I found on shortcut, though, I can use my Go!cutter for some of the templates and that definitely cuts down on my cutting time.Yeah!!

  10. I'm so pleased the stain came out - I'll remember the hairspray trick, you never know when you're going to need a tip like that! Your FW blocks are looking great, I'm not a FW (don't even intend stepping foot on the farm, never mind marrying the owner!) but can understand your frustration with the templates. I love to hand piece but wouldn't go back to drawing round cardboard unless I really had to! Have a good weekend.


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