Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New project

I have cut all 18 strips for the new turquoise bag. I have had this project in mind for quite some time now, but somehow I haven't been able to get around to it. But now at least the strips are cut and I'm ready to start stitching. It has been a busy week - no crafting and no blogging :-( But I have set aside the weekend for all things stitchy. No Saturday trip downtown, a minimum of housework and some quality time with my sewing machine is what I have in mind. The bag I've started is the Chelsea Tote, but I'm going to stitch all my strips of turqouise together to use for the main body of the bag instead of using a single piece. I'm auditioning several fabrics for the pocket - maybe orange or fuchsia... More about that later. I have so many new ideas at the moment - a great meeting at my quilt quild on Wednesday brought lots of inspiration! One of the members showed a bed quilt in blues, yellows and a dash of lime green that I have been lusting after ever since. After reading about Project Spectrum and seeing this lovely pile of red and pink fabrics at Be*mused I'm thinking of signing up for the project myself, maybe using the block pattern from that blue and yellow quilt and make a table runner or something in reds and pinks, with just a little dash of lime... mmmmm :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lazy day

I've had a lazy day in town today :-) I'm usually so full of plans for my weekends with all the things I want to do. My head is full of lists of housework, quilt projects and everything that I feel I need to do to use my time well, but today I didn't do anything and the sky didn't fall down... I thought I' just pop into town to pick up a few odds and ends I needed and ended up spending the whole day in my favorite quilt shop, my favorite restaurant and then the quilt shop again! It was great! They were having a miniature workshop that I hadn't signed up for - not quite my kind of thing... But several of my friends were there so I popped into the class room to say hi before I sat down in the shop with one of the owners who has become a great friend. We had coffee, discussed different patterns and projects we want to do, I bought a few things, and then some more... In between I helped out with several of the customers, more friends came by and we went out for lunch. Then back to the shop - I found fabric to make two new handbags from the Amy Butler patterns - as if I didn't have enough projects on the go... and a good time was had by all. We are just so lucky to have this shop, it's become my second home, probably like the corner shops you hear about from the olden days where the whole community meet to gossip and chat. Eventually I made my way home, head full of ideas and belly full of taco, not to mention the substantial Espreschoc I had for dessert - lovely, but a bit too much really - I won't need to worry about fixing any meals for a while...
I won't bother about doing anything "sensible" now either, just settle in front of the TV with my knitting, I think. I think a lazy day was just what I needed after a busy week :-)

Monday, February 20, 2006

And this is the result!

I finished my little house quilt today. I had trouble deciding on the colour of the triangles surrounding the house and ended up with blue sky with stars. I had an idea of making it look as if it was floating in space, but it didn't quite work out that way. With a darker sky and maybe continuing with the same fabric in the border I might have made it work, but then again, maybe not... Anyway, I'm quite pleased with it. As a sample for the class I might teach at the quilt shop next month it will work just fine. So tomorrow off it goes to the shop. If enough people find it interesting enough to sign up for the class, I'll have a bit of extra work. I'm in two minds about this. The only teaching I have ever done is a small embroidery group one Saturday last year. Is this really something I'll be able to do??? I have taken enough classes to know what doesn't work, and my reasoning is that if I make the class into something I might have enjoyed as a student, it will work - I think...If I'm able to get my ideas across to them? Come to think of it I have run several workshops at the guild as well and they have turned out OK. Well, we'll just have to wait and see. The handbag class in April is definitely going to happen though, there's a waiting list already!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The builder

My house is almost done. I only have to decide on some fabric for the background and frames. I've been auditioning several different fabrics, and I'm leaning towards a blue one with stars - the house-block is a bit weird, so I thought why not let the whole thing be floating in space? Another idea was to use a green foliage fabric to give the idea of a house in the woods. Or maybe some neutral fabrics... Hm, I'll have to think about that until tomorrow, or Friday more likely... -I'm going to a work convention thing tomorrow - a long trip, so I'll probably not be up to doing much when I get home. I hope to get it done by Saturday though, so I can take it to the quilt shop for display - there might be enough interest to run a class...
When this is done I'll finally get started on my turquoise Chelsea bag. I know I promised myself I'd finish the tree skirt before I started anything new, but Christmas is miles away and I have to do something else right now. I don't want quilting to become a chore, so a break is necessarry I tell myself ;-)

Sunday, February 12, 2006


I just had to share: Came back from a meeting at work on Friday and there was a parcel waiting for me. Apparently my "little" sister had been downtown and popped in to say hello. Sorry I missed her, but I loved the present she left for me. She's started making these little felted creatures, and I told here I loved them, so she made some for me :-) aren't they cute?

Bags of fun

I finished both the handbags. I'm still not sure about the Velma one, it's a bit too soft and floppy, so if i make another one I'll use something sturdier for the interlining. I love the Madison one, though (the yellow one), and I think I'll make one for myself in a different fabric. These are for the quilt shop and they are both on display now. Apparently ten people have signed up for the class already, so it's definitely one that will take place! I have until April to plan the actual teaching and maybe make another bag. It's not like me to be so organized, something is bound to go wrong...
I think my sisters might like the different styles, so I might make one more of each (half done for the class so I can use them to demonstrate the process). And, as I mentioned, another Madison for myself. Maybe with longer handles so it can be used as a shoulder bag, we'll see...

I couldn't help myself - I had to start a new project to celebrate ;-) It's a one-block quilt of a 3D house from a book by Sarah Nephew. I bought the book and ruler to explore easier ways to cut and piece building blocks and other shapes with 60 and 120 degree angles. It's not to difficult to use, although there's a lot of leafing back and forth, since the pattern I've chosen uses parts from different patterns and I also have to keep going back to the instructions to make sure I'm doing it right! Being left-handed doesn't help, so I have to adapt the techniques a bit, but I'm getting the hang of it now. Here's half a house and some trees ready to be stitched:

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A little bit of sunshine

I have been a bit lazy lately - it's about time to post something, the whole point about this blog thing was that I would use it to talk about my things in progress and remind myself what I was thinking at the time... We had a quilting get-together a while ago with no set topic, just that we were to make something yellow and cheerful to remind us of summer and sunshine. So that's what I did! I made some sunshine - it's like two pieces of a sun stitched together with a zipper in it, and what is it for, you might ask? - Well, to keep my sunglasses in of course! What better reminder of summer than this. I was in a hurry when I took the picture, so I only found my "ugly glasses", so I might have to take a new picture later on. I stitched the strips together by machine before I left and did the rest by hand - couldn't face lugging my sewing machine all the way - told you I'm lazy :-D. The pattern is by Norwegian designer Hanne Asplin Firman, by the way.

I've been doing something different lately: The owners of my local quilt shop have asked me to hold a class in making handbags. It isn't until April, but we agreed that it would be great to have the bags on display in the shop asap, to tempt people into signing up for the class, so I'm busy stitching along. The bags are Madison and Velma by Amy Butler, to be stitched in fabrics from her Charm collection. The fabrics are so lovely that it is a joy to work with them. I'm a bit worried about my abilities to teach, though, but I'll think more about that later.... I'm taking notes about dos and don'ts as I'm working. I have already discovered that using heavy linen instead of canvas as an interlining in the Velma bag is a definite don't! The first bag came out way to soft to hold it's shape properly, so it's back to the sewing machine. And before anyone gets too worried about copyright issues - yes, all "students" in the class will have to buy their own copies of the patterns! I'm mentioning this because I think copyright is such an important issue - there are way too many copycats out there...