Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This is the bag I made for my middle sister. She had made more granny squares than she needed for an afghan, and handed me the remaining six a while back, hinting that they would look great on a white linen bag. I feigned indifference and promptly forgot about it. It resurfaced a while before Christmas and I set to work. I stitched the panel to a piece of linen and added a heavy interfacing to the back. I didn't use a pattern, just gave the bag pieces a bit of shape with my rotary cutter, tapering the sides and rounding the corners before stitching it together.
Anyway - there were tears on Christmas eve, and not because she hated it - my sweet sis claimed to be the luckiest girl in the world, so it seems she liked it!
And by the way, I got the same reaction to the Austen angel, so yes, Christmas was a success as far as I'm concerned!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sew Sunny Homestyle. I have been wanting to make this for a while, and when my little sis said she wanted one, I thought it would make a nice Christmas present for her.
I didn't have time to order fabric for her skin and used some pale pink cotton I had in my stash instead of the tan fabric Tilda uses. Combined with white for the dress, she became rather pale and listless, and my choice of yarn for her hair makes her look a bit dishevelled. Well, she is very bright, and plays the piano beautifully, although she is a bit of a show-off. She might be joined by one of her prettier sisters at a later date, but not in time for Christmas, though.
I didn't mean to be too harsh with poor Mary - being breathtakingly beautiful isn't all it's cracked up to be, and she is a strong and handsome young woman with a lot going for her.
And she has very pretty purple wings.
Monday, December 06, 2010
It probably helps that I haven't planned on making a lot of homemade presents this year, so there's no stressing by the sewing machine. In fact it has been so cold lately that spending time in my sewing area (which is in a corner of my bedroom and hence not too warm) is not very tempting. I might have to set up a work station in the kitchen to get anything done.
I have managed to sew this cape though. When my sweet little sis asks, I find I cave in every time and make whatever she wants. She works in a kindergarten, and this time the request was for a cape for the kids to wear when it's their birthday. I didn't have a pattern, so I just winged it, adding darts at the shoulders and back to avoid a lot of fabric bunching up at the neck. I wanted something that would work for both boys and girls, so I made it reversible. The blue fabric with silver stars adds enough magic for it to double as a magician's cape for playtime as well, and the red and white hippo fabric (Ikea)adds a bit of fun. I just hope they can use it! (They'd better...LOL).
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I love my advent decoration this year - a little moss covered landscape with candles. I added a strip of paper with (slightly wonky) numbers around the edge. The idea was to have a Santa or snowman magnet to move along from day to day, but all the holiday stuff is still up in the attic, so I just grabbed a magnet from my fridge door for now. I like the effect, though - it could be a door into a secret garden, perhaps? Maybe I need some little gnomes and red mushrooms peeking out from under the moss hills...
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Now, if all my craft projects were as quick to do, I would be ready for Christmas with time to spare...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Boo Dilly's lovely quilting I went with alternating lines of machine and hand quilting, dividing the quilt into quarters - two with horizontal lines and two with vertical lines. After washing the quilt got a lot of texture, and up close it looks like furrows in a field. Combined with the lovely fabrics with prints of onions, mushrooms, corn, cauliflower, leaves and chrysanthemums the name was obvious - this just has to be the Harvest Quilt! I just love the texture that the heavy quilting has added, and it is so soft and snuggly. Just right for cold autumn evenings. This one will definitely not leave the building ;-)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Huddling under a pile of quilts in a quiet corner has helped me get some work done, however. A quick dash into a chilly sewing room to quilt a few wavy lines here and there, followed by some cosy hand stitching means that I have finished a few things. My Lonnie Rossie/Autumn/Harvest quilt (name pending) for one. I'll try to fit a photo session in tomorrow during those precious few hours of natural daylight, so I can show it off. Meanwhile, here's a picture of some more mug rugs I made from bits and pieces in my scrap bag. Have a closer look in my Flickr album if you like!
Monday, November 01, 2010
Bloggers' Quilt Festival this time around. This is one of the quilts I have made that I have actually managed to keep for myself. I found the pattern in the first Material Obsessions book and thought it would be a good pattern to show off the lovely Sole Sunflower fabric by Valori Wells. I had been hoarding this fabric for a while and been reluctant to cut into it, but with 18" blocks I got to show off the lovely sunflowers. Once I had managed to pick the rest of the fabrics, the blocks went together easily enough, but I had a hard time choosing fabric for the border, and auditioned several choices on Flickr and got lots of help before finally ending up with the red fabric.
I think one of the reasons this quilt feels special to me is that I got so much input from my internet friends and that really made all the difference. I really got the sense of being part of a community who helped and cheered me on.
The quilting took ages. I used quite a lot of free motion quilting on the sunflower blocks, and straightish lines on the strips of the courthouse step blocks. I regretted my choice of quilting more than once, because it seemed to take ages, but I got there eventually. After washing the quilt became very soft and crinkly and remains my favourite nap quilt.
More photos of the quilt here.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Spoonflower just arrived and I'm just so excited! When Heather Ross announced on her blog that she had some new fabrics available on Spoonflower for a short while, I knew the time had come to take action. I had been playing with my own design for a while, but decided to just test go for it and order a yard along with some favourites from other designers. I'm using the word "designer" with tongue firmly placed in cheek as it applies to myself. All I have done, after all, is list some of the bus stops along my local line from my time in London way back.
I have mentioned earlier my fascination for those bus destination blinds that have become so popular. They have proved to be very hard to come by, and I also realized that a full length bus blind would be difficult to hang in a small flat.
And I also got some beautiful designs from others - go to my Flickr photos to get details and links to the other designs.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
the new quilt is finished and it is huge! 22" in fact. I am really not used to working on such a grand scale, but at least I get results rather quickly. In fact, once I had finished this one, it didn't take me long to piece the first seams of the rest of the blocks. There are only six blocks, after all. I'm chain piecing, and stitching as many seams as I can on each block before pressing, so it shouldn't take me long to finish the rest. I quite like the effect of these big pieces - you really get to see the beautiful patterns on all the fabrics this way. After a while where I just didn't feel like sewing at all, it seems like my sewing mojo has returned and my head is bursting with ideas. I have so many new plans that I really need more hours in the day to make them all happen.
I'm also working on that fruit tablecloth and there is that pile of batting for mug rugs to begin to tackle. A bag for my laptop and two finished quilt tops ready to be quilted, well, I certainly have enough to do in my spare time! And I haven't even begun to think about Christmas...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I went into a bookstore to get a birthdaycard yesterday and as so often happens, I came away with more than I had planned on buying. No books this time, but somehow I just "needed" these bookmarks. Marketeers really know what they are doing, don't they? If these bookmarks had been grey, it would never have occured to me that I needed them, or even if they all were just one colour. A set of eight purple bookmarks? I might have glanced in their direction, but that's it. But the fact that you get a veritable little rainbow of colours? Draws me in every time! I have bought document folders, binders, paperclips, envelopes and of course crayons and pens more times than I care to remember just because they were available in "every colour", and of course you always need the full set...
Not that it is a big deal or anything, just an observation. And look, these are really sweet - I just noticed that they look like little houses! Maybe I can use them as inspiration for something quilty ;-)
This little guy came home with me as well. Luckily they only had him in one colour or I would have come home with a whole family of them. But he is such a clever little chap, that it might even have been a good idea.
I resisted the sweet little clip on lamp to place on the top of your book, but come to think of it, my computer corner can get a bit dark...
Sunday, October 10, 2010
the Fat Quarterly blog and they will be huge. 20 x 20 ". I never work that large, but I wanted the different fabrics to be allowed to shine, and big blocks seem to be the way to do it. We'll see how it looks once I get started piecing them together. This will be a lap quilt for my youngest sister who is a bit of a minimalist. Her living room is all neutral: black, white, gray with just some little hints of colour, so I had to run my colour choices by her. I sent her a photo of the pile of fabrics via my mobile asking if these were colours she could live with. The answer was positive, so now she knows I'm up to something. Well, it doesn't hurt to have her wait a while to see excatly what is going on :-)
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Now, how did I turn that sewing machine on...?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
But I haven't been totally idle - I have painted my quilt ladder to match my book shelves. Ah, much better! Now perhaps the teddies' bench next... Or should I go quilt something...?
Paint or quilt, that's the question...
Or maybe just sit here until the urge to do something goes away...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
I added a pretty polka dot ribbon along the zigzagged edge and some aqua beads in the upper left hand corner.
So there you have it. A lot of new techniques resulting in seven little quilts. Not perfect, I know, but that's hardly the point. They are finished, and that makes me happy :-)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I bought some 10" squares of Amy Butler's latest fabric line and of Kaffe Fassett's polka dots and shot cottons. Some V&A reproduction fabric and some batik also went home with me plus lots of gorgeous thread.
Takings were rather good after all...
More pictures at Flickr (just click on the picture).
Posted by mathea at Sunday, September 19, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
There aren’t any exact measurements in this tutorial as ties vary in width, but what you need to do is to cut off the first 6” of the tie from the widest end. This can either be a pocket for your cell phone or a closure flap. Also, you need to cut off the pointy bit at the narrow end of the tie.Measure the remaining length of tie and divide by six. This is your measurement for cutting the remaining pieces. To make sure you don’t get your pieces mixed up, label them from 1 to 6 in the order shown.
Now it’s time to get your seam ripper out. Open the seams on the back of each piece and remove any interfacing and lining fabric. Press each piece to get he creases out (careful with the heat if it’s a silk tie – a pressing cloth is a good idea here!)
Now lay the pieces out as shown (the wide end down), pieces 5-1-6 makes one side of the purse and 3-2-4 makes the other. Sew the pieces together and press seams open. You might have to trim the pieces a bit so they end up the same size. Cut two pieces of thin batting and two pieces of lining fabric using one of the sides as a template. Layer each side with batting and quilt to stabilize. I just stitched some lines on either side of the seams and a few more in between. Lay the outer right sides together and stitch down one side, across the bottom and up on the other side. Do the same with the lining, leaving an opening to turn the bag inside out when finished. Turn bag with the right side out and put it into the lining and stitch along the upper edge. Turn bag right side out through the opening in the lining.
If you want to use the piece you cut off from the end of the tie as a pocket, you can stitch it to one side of the purse, like I have done (see the first picture), before you stitch the pieces together. If you prefer to use it as a strap to close the purse, you will need to attach it as you stitch the seam around the opening. You can use your purse as a clutch purse, or if you prefer a strap, you can make it from matching fabric or use a cheep pearl necklace, like I have done. Embellish to your heart’s content and enjoy!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
OK, so I promised to share more about my visit to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (UK). Now where to begin? I realize that my photos can't really do the quilts enough justice, and there were so many, that I only managed to photograph a small percentage of them. There were beautiful traditional quilts and wonderful art quilts and everything in between, so what I share here are just a few glimpses of things that caught my eye. The information about the quilts is from the show catalogue.
First out is this one by Annette Morgan, called "Pay the Ferryman" including image transfers, screen printing, foils and paint. I was not surprised that it won the Art Quilt category.
Here's a closer look.
This 3 D quilt which includes felt and batting which has been shrunk to distort is the winner of the Contemporary Quilts category. It is called "Squaring Up" and is made by C. June Barnes.
Here's a closer look. I had to clasp my hands behind my back to avoid reaching out to touch and try to discover how it had been made ;-)
"A Future and a Hope" by Lynne Quinn was just amazing. It is her City & Guilds final quilt and includes a "storm at sea" pathway and "light" to shine the way.
"Rainbow Colours" by Kathy Unwin.
Nina Lise Moen made this winning entry for the Quilters' Guild Challenge "Summer in the City".
This quilt by Rosalind Gregory and Joan Herrington is called "Where have all my shirts gone?" and is made from recycled shirts. Inspired by Taunton's lost shirt factories, red braces and citiscapes.
I find myself drawn to quilts with buildings on them, whether they are homes, cityscapes or industrial plants, modern or historical, I'm always drawn in. Here's another one, "A New Leaf" made by a group of four called Fusion.
Alicia Merrett's "Mapping Earth" falls right into the same category. She had a similar, larger version, in the Art Quilts group as well.
I was amazed to learn that this one was made by a young quilter, Harry Lyons, age group 9-11! I wouldn't mind having this on my wall :-)
Among the stunning work displayed was also this one made of Kaleidoscope blocks. The maker, Solvi L. Krokeide, calls this "Life in a Kaleidoscopic World". It was originally made for a Norwegian contest themed Lonesome, Twosome, Threesome"
Ferret has made another magnificent quilt. It is called "Phoenix Rising" and includes stunning feather quilting. I have noticed her work at previous festivals and you her blog is really worth checking out.
The miniature section had quite a few stunners as well. This tiny gem "Bluer than Blue" by Betty Ball can't have been more than 7 x7 " - makes you wonder what she has done with the seam allowances!
Some fun and colourful pieces to round off this little tour of the festival. This is "A Rose Garden" by Hiroko Fukawa. It consist of square in square blocks of different sizes, quilted circles attached to the edges and lots of tiny yo-yos scattered around. Really fun and whimsical!
I finish with a detail of Ylva Ugerup's quilt "Fly out Swedish Ladies!" from her series of quilts where she portrays women who have made an impact on the world. I don't know enough about Swedish history to tell you who these two are, unfortunately, but I love all the details and handstitching in her work.