Sunday, 8 March 2009

March Machine Maintenance

I've been enjoying participating in the BQL Calendar Challenge ( continuing to to apply the 12 inch square format I used last year for the CQ Journal Quilts). The challenge for me is to stick quite closely to the instructions supplied but make it interesting and relevant to my current work. This months challenge was to print a photo on fabric and surround it with grid of squares cut from 2 inch strips of fabric. As I'm currently working on a larger 'Weir' piece, I used a photo of that and the strips were the trimmings I'd cut off the edges. It's a long time since I've done much accurate piecing so I was relieved I could still make (most) corners meet.
For many people doing the challenge , it was the first time they had attempted printing on fabrics using the computer and I've been interested to read the comments. I've been using C. Jenkins 'BubbleJet Set' solution and preparing my own sheetsfor several years now so I was interested to try the 'Miracle Fabric Sheets' which are made by the same company. I have to say that I wasn't very impressed -the results are much lighter and duller looking than with my own sheets despite all the usual tricks of increasing saturation and contrast of image (to the point it looked garish on the screen) A commercially available sheet that worked really well, with bright colourful images, were those available from craftycomputerpaper. Their only downside is that it's quite a thick, tightwoven material, not easy to stitch by hand. I now use these when I want to print on a white background and save the'Bubblejet Set' for dyed fabrics and organzas which are not available commercially (or very expensive).
I also spent some time cleaning out and adjusting my sewing machine. I was having terrible problems with looping of thread on the back which persisted despite changing the needle. Just as well I have a back up machine (or 2)! So I invested in a can of air used for cleaning computers and after a few puffs of that, quite a bit of of lint flew out despite diligent use of a brush. I also retrieved 2 pins using forceps and tightened the screw on the bobbin case. With another new needle , it now works like a dream.

Not so much time in the garden this weekend apart from laying out a hosepipe to get an idea of where we want the edge of the gravel area ( we have plans to remove the lawn later in the year) and buying a hazel hurdle to screen the compost area.
Last weekend , I bought some twigs of Forsythia in and the buds opened out in the warmth. As the buds are beginning to break outside, time to consign these to the compost.
I like the combination of the yellow and the blue of the art glass 'cornucopia' which I bought as a present but kept for myself as it was too heavy to post.


Linda said...

Air-spray - what a stroke of brilliance, there are bits of my Pfaff's underside that I just can't reach. Small things can make a person very happy sometimes!

Eva said...

The shades of blue really talk to me. At least a bit of blue these days.

Aussie Jo said...

Ha, a likely excuse!! The vase is beautiful, I would have kept it too.
I must try the bubble jet set, I've been using the ready prepared sheets but they work out quite expensive.


I like the sound of the blast of air - could be very useful for those inaccessible places. I've done a bit of piecing recently and found it quite relaxing. I also had to do some mitred corners, which were not!

Be Grim said...

Nice job on the piecing and quilting. And congrats on cleaning out your sewing machine; I need to do that myself. Great reminder about the canned air.
The forsythia! What a great idea; I'm going out right now to bring a branch inside.