Friday, November 25, 2016

Waxing lyrical

Sometimes a mad idea just grabs hold of you! I saw a picture of song lyrics done in cross-stitch and thought that was fun, but that it would also take too much time, so I dismissed it. Then one day I sat down to watch a new episode of The Big Bang Theory and trying for the umpteenth time to catch all the words in the theme song by Barenaked Ladies, the idea popped up: I would google the lyrics and stitch them, but I would do it in back-stitch, which would be less time consuming than cross-stitch. I charted the lyrics in my cross-stitch software, without spacing between words and breaking words when I came to the end of the line, thus mimicking the breathless, breakneck speed of the song. Keeping each word in one colour makes it readable. I must admit that it took a while longer than I had thought to stitch this, but I had fun doing it and now the song is forever stuck in my mind!

To unstick it, I started on another song right away and it just had to be one of the theme songs from my heyday: "We go together" from the movie Grease. While the first one was stitched in scraps from a celestial kit in tones of blue and gold, I chose pink and black for Sandy and Danny respectively with a hint of mint thrown in. Fun, but I'm done now. No more lyrics! And I've still got that Big Bang earbug...

Friday, November 18, 2016


Tada! Here's my newest quilt, Lorem Ipsum. I couldn't resist Jessica Jones's new fabric line Typography and bought a stack of fat quarters as soon as it became available. I didn't know what to do with those gorgeous fabrics at first, however and the stack just sat there on my work table for quite a while. When I decided that I needed another Sewtogether bag for my pens and pencils, my gaze fell upon that tempting stack and I started cutting into the fabrics. Once that first cut was done, inspiration struck and I started making blocks for this quilt. I added some grey and white solids and cut stacks of rectangles into wedges, changed the orders of the pieces and started stitching them together, ending up with strips of different widths - no measuring and no planning - quite a challenge for someone like me who actually like the maths involved in quilt making, but I managed to have fun with it.
I used this staple - the IKEA handwriting fabric for the backing. I'm so pleased with the fact that I actually bought a whole bolt of this fabric before it disappeared from the shelves. It has proved very useful!
It's not easy to see here perhaps, but I quilted it using a 3-step zig zag on the widest and longest setting and quilted parallel lines from top to bottom. I was a bit unsure about it to begin with as the fabric seemed to bunch up a bit, but by holding firmly onto the fabric as I was sewing I managed to avoid puckering and when I let go of the fabric I got quite a nice texture to it.
After asking for a bit of advice on Instagram, I ended up with a teal and green striped fabric from my stash for the binding, adding a few pieces of Typography fabric along the way.
I worried that the quilt might be to busy-looking, but once I took it outdoors for a photo session and saw it in the clear cold light of an autumn morning I decided that I loved it. This is a keeper!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cosy printer

I treated myself to a sweet little printer to print photos from my phone this summer. A fun little gadget, but I soon decided that it needed a bit of protection from all the other stuff rattling around in my bag. So a little printer cosy was what I needed...
I grabbed some pieces from my scrap basket and stitched them together into a long strip. I used a piece of batting to measure how big I wanted the piece to be, stitched the fabric pieces on, added a piece of backing fabric, turned it inside out and quilted the finished strip before adding a piece of ribbon before I folded it over, creating a pocket big enough for the printer and stitched a seam along each side, much like I did with my iPad cover, some years ago.
Easy peasy and quite sweet, like a little present waiting to be untied.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


I hope I didn't scare you, but I have actually finished a quilt! In time for Halloween, actually, but I only just found time for a photo session. I realized that I had amassed quite a selection of Halloweeny fabric and decided to put them all together in a quilt. I put together blocks of squares in different sizes, from four-patches with big squares to 36-patch blocks with tiny squares. I feared that it would all become a great mess, and I suppose some would say that it is, but looking at it from a distance I quite like it. I let the tiny squares gather in the middle and used ever increasing sizes going out from the diagonal. A few lime green patches along the diagonal gives a bit of extra zest to the design.
 For the back I used the leftover fabric and just pieced everything together randomly until I had a big enough piece. I used a thing backing so it could be used as a tablecloth with a soft drape, or I could hang it on the wall if I like. It might become a bit predictable, but I went for black and white stripes for the binding this time as well, as that was the only thing that seemed to work.
I'm still getting to know my new sewing machine, so I have been a bit careful about quilting motifs, so I went for the standard swirly meander I tend to fall back on, using a shiny orange thread. I'll challenge myself to be more adventurous the next time...