My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I've been experimenting.

I volunteered to make a small wall hanging for my son's primary school.  It will be auctioned off at the Opua Regatta (kinda like a gala day or a fete, held on the Opua Wharf to fund raise for the school) with some other art work.  

Warning! Advert!  Opua Regatta, 25th February, Opua Wharf, stalls, rides, fun and the annual dog swimming race!

So I thought I'd try something new.  I'm sure that when you are making something with an aim and a deadline, you shouldn't experiment.  But hey, I don't call myself The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady for nothing.  I wanted a layer of organza in the shape of various plants on top of my background.  Basically I wanted to applique organza, sounds like fun huh?

I learnt a heap about sewing organza real fast.  I thought I'd share some tips with you to save you some sanity just in case you ever want to experiment.

Organza is slip, slip, slipperty.  Pin the snot out of it.  Use a smaller stitch length and a sharp sewing machine needle (microtex).

You can't mark organza and hope to follow the line (at least not with any markers I tried).  Trace your design onto tissue paper (or Solvy or whatever you have on hand), pin this on top and sew through it.  Then rip away your tissue.  This helps to stop the slipping and sliding too.

Synthetic organza frays like nothing else and it melts too.  So a heat tool is your friend.  I used my soldering iron to slice away the excess organza.  It cut it and sealed the edges all in one, no more fraying, just a distinctive odour - do this in a well-ventilated area.

And lastly, steel wool is better to wipe your soldering iron on than a rag.  Ask my fingers why.

So that's what I learnt about organza today.  I also learnt that shortly my husband is abandoning me for a week to steam a new tug and dredging barge up from the South Island.  I learnt that the Mainfreight delivery man can back a hulking great truck all the way down my 200 metres of driveway after delivering our new bed.  And I learnt that the bed would be staying in it's packaging because said husband is getting home late and can't help me carry old bed out to make room for new bed.



  1. When I had a go at this I just soldered it onto the background and used that to hold it while I sewed it down :) But then, I'm not much of a perfectionist and it was just an experiment. It is fun though:)


    ps Our bed is a little unique at present - there is a shelf at the bed head end and I have used it for my tomato preserving there being a distinct lack of shelving round here. So my headboard contains 42 jars of tomatoes and pasta sauce :)

  2. Oh girl, you are funny! Hope you get to try out that new bed soon!

  3. oh fun ..looks like an interesting challenge (thansk for all the headsups) I love those fabrics/colour! Enjoy your new bed...when said husband is available to help :0)

  4. I love your little tutorial - I love the same fabrics - I have them all, at least very nearly the same - "up-over"!


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