Thursday, 2 November 2017

Falling Leaves... Finally

Now that most of the autumn leaves outside have already fallen, I finally have this inside:

I chose to quilt the background of each block separately, in almost matchstick quilting style, but slightly more irregular, varying the direction of the lines.

The leaves have just a few quilting lines to keep them flat, but they are supposed to pop up from the background.

It turned out to be quite a lengthy process, because making parallel lines with the FMQ foot was very tedious and I couldn't do a lot in one sitting.

Anyway I like how it turned out, though it has its problems, it adds some light to the overcast days.

And now I will leave you with the song that was going on in my head as I was working on this quilt:

Linking up to Free Motions Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a fabric Addict

Friday, 13 October 2017

Falling Leaves

Every autumn I feel a strong urge to make a seasonal quilt because I love the gorgeous colour. So, this year's autumn project is taking shape on my design wall:

 ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...

...and ready to put the blocks together now!

It took me about two weeks to piece the blocks, with a little break as I ran out of teals by the end of road and had to replenish supplies. The blocks are machine curve piecing, the same technique as I showed in these tutorials: one and two, but here each block is different, just hand-drawn in actual size on a piece of paper tablecloth as you can see in the photos. The whole top is going to be about 1 by 1.5 meters.

As usual the questions remains how to quilt it, but I hope it won't take too long.

Have a beautiful autumn wherever you are!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creation by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday, 29 September 2017

A Binary Opposition

I've got a question for you that's sure to split people in two camps:

This is my entry for a challenge themed "Binary" (meaning you can use only two colours of fabric in your quilt). I wanted to make it binary not just in colours, but also in the subject and chose this familiar opposition.

I made a sketch and then played with it in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop:

But although I like the cup mandalas, I decided against using them in the quilt, just printed out the letter outlines to make the appliqué. I used freezer paper to make templates and bondaweb to attach the appliqué.

 Then I added borders, assembled the sandwich and got out embroidery floss and needle ... and didn't take any more photos until it was complete :))). The letters are stitched down by hand with whip stitch (with the slanted part on the back).

And then I decided to add a "simple pattern" of stylised tea leaves and coffee beans around the border, and of course that took forever. All the stitching is done through all the layers, so it doubles as quilting. The background was filled with the running stitch. Good thing it's just a mini, 23'' by 16''.

It's been a very long time since I did any embroidery at all, and I have never done any like this, so that's a new experience for me and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

Now back to machine work, I'm feeling the seasonal mood and want to make an autumn quilt before it's all over. I'm all set up with my pattern:

And a pile of fabric:

... will keep you up to date on this one.

Linking up to
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a fabric Addict
Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Friday, 15 September 2017

CMYK quilt

Back to school - back to basics. I started the new season by assembling my tie-dye samples turned quilting samples into a little wallhanging.

It reminds me of printing swatches of the four colours used in most printing jobs - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (meaning black).

I wrote previously about my quilting practice on tie-dye pieces here and here, so I won't go into separate pieces again. I don't really like UFOs sitting around, so I decided to put them together the quilt-as-you-go method without any particular aim in sight.

Going by the smallest piece I started trimming the samples 10'' by 10'', until I reached the heart piece, which was a couple of inches wider... Fortunately the ladies from my sewing group practically stopped my hand in midair and made me find a way to accommodate the heart in full. I still had two pieces that could be trimmed to 10'' by 12'' too, so they formed the middle row.

I think it turned out lively and quirky, not sure if can be classified as modern quilt or anything else, definitely it's an interesting exercise in colour and texture.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Big Finish

I want to start this post by expressing my deepest admiration for people who make bed-size quilts on a regular basis. People, you're heroes! So far, I've only made four large quilts, and every one has been an Endeavour. This is the latest one, the finally finished one block wonder:

If you're interested in the process, here's the full journey:
post 1
post 2
post 3

Because the quilt is destined for my daughter's bed, I decided to pull out the bright colours for the border, rather than the grey, and you may say the border is too bright for the middle - I won't argue. The magenta fabric, by the way, comes from the fabric dyeing workshop held last summer at the IPS Eastern Branch. It's the so-called low immersion dyeing and I think its irregular colour works well with the quilt.

I had a difficult time choosing the quilting pattern, considering that I do the quilting on my domestic Janome. I ended with a  rather simple allover flower pattern, which is almost invisible on the busy middle and comes out on the border.

I have written before that the fabric used in the quilt is satin, and it didn't behave well in piecing. The same was true in quilting, I had a hard time making it lie flat, and there are some glitches in the back, but it has a nice shimmering texture, especially with this kind of quilting.

The quilt also turned out difficult to photograph, because the satin surface is highly reflective, so I'll try to take some better photos (some day).

At the moment I'm happy to have the Big Summer Project off my shoulders, which means I can start something new!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Can I get A Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at A Quarter Inch from the Edge

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Horses on a Quilt

Today is the start of the annual Pets on Quilts show over at Lily Pad Quilting! Everyone is welcome to share the photos of their pets posing on quilts and pet-themed quilts, if don't happen to have any you can still enjoy the cuteness and vote for your favourites.

I don't have a pet, but I do have quilted pets - like, about 20 of them:

They were actually meant to be wild horses, but for the sake of the show we'll call it a pet-themed quilt, ok?

I have already written about it in a previous post, but I thought it deserves another one, not just because of the Pets on Quilts show, but also because it got juried into a real-life show as well, the RDS Craft Awards show, which features just a small selection of various crafts, I think it was one of only five quilts there. It didn't get any awards, in case you're wondering, but we were told that getting there in the first place is an honour in itself.

Here we are at the exhibition opening:

The exhibition is still running till the end of this week as a part of the Dublin Horse Show (call it a coincidence?).

If you want to know more about the process of making, it's all in post 1, post 2 and post 3. And here is just one close-up:

Do visit the the Pets on Quilts page and enjoy the show.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Scraps of Summer

As I haven't still got all the stuff I need to finish my One Block Wonder, I took a change of direction  to make a quilt for our branch exhibition, which has to be in by the end of August anyway. The theme of the exhibition is "Scrap Happy" (and the required size is 16'' by 35''), and I like kind of tone it sets. I was (and am) thinking about my kids who are on a seaside holiday with their grandparents - playing on the beach, eating ice-cream, wearing sundresses - you know the lot. So I decided to put together these bits and pieces of summer holidays:

summer quilt

I wanted it to be improvised, so just made a loose sketch and assembled everything right on the quilt sandwich, like this:

summer quilt

You can see the group of fruit already stitched down, and the flowers just cut out and roughly placed in position. I used raw edge appliqué to give it maximum scrappiness, applied little bits of basting glue to keep the pieces in place and stitched them down on FMQ machine setup.

summer quilt

Here is the top part assembled:

summer quilt

And the whole image, without the text:

summer quilt

I didn't take pictures of making the text, because this was the most tedious part of it all - I wrote the letters on freezer paper, ironed it to one side of the fabric, ironed the bondaweb to the other side of the fabric, and then cut out every letter through all the layers. I didn't want the lettering to dominate the quilt, so I chose a fabric with a scrappy feel to it, which kind of breaks the shape of the letters.

I quilted the background with a little curvy pattern (don't know if it has a proper name) in a YLI variegated sandy thread.

summer quilt

I certainly enjoyed making it, this kind of improvised appliqué is my favourite style of work, and I hope I managed to achieved the relaxed, summerly, scrappy, happy look I was aiming for.

Have a nice summer!.. and how 'bout some ice-cream?

ice cream quilt

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Show Off Saturday at Sew can She

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