Monday, June 30, 2008

Quilted and ready for binding

I shouldn't announce things like - "more pictures tomorrow"... That's a surefire way of making sure that something happens so I don't get to show any pictures at all...
We had a great time at my sister's birthday, and the next day some friends came to visit, which was great of course, but left no room for sewing (or blogging). I did get time to quilt on Saturday, though.This is going to be a table-cloth, so I added a minimum of quilting to allow it to hang softly from the table - just some wavy lines. I also added the binding by machine and was all set to do some hand stitching to finish it yesterday, but some friends invited themselves over, and the day went in a happy flurry of baking and tidying, chatting and eating. Fun was had by all, but it actually never occured to me to pick up a needle and do some work. But at least here is a picture to show that I have made some progress :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cool stuff

I came across this cross stitch generator via Whip up today - isn't it great? You can choose between six different fonts, spell out the words you want, and voila, you have a chart, ready to start stitching. I used to do a lot of cross-stitch earlier, but have had a pause for a while. Lately I have been thinking about starting a new project - I have several of them waiting in the wings, so it's just a matter of deciding which one to do first. That reminds me that I have a few finished pieces I should get framed too... well I might just spend some time playing with this generator first, I think...
-Or maybe with this thing - it's a Wordle - a toy for generating "word clouds" - you just type in a lot of words, click "go" and then you can change colours, fonts and settings to your heart's content. And the hours just trickle away...
I'm off to iron the backing for my tablecloth - the top is finished and I'll just have to decide on the quilting - someting simple I think, but it won't get started until Friday - it's my sister's birthday tomorrow so I have a party to go to.
Have fun!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kaufmann cloth

Just a quick snap in bad lighting to show you that I did actually get some time with my sewing machine yesterday. I cut all the pieces and stitched all the "four square in four square" blocks (or whatever you might call them) plus all the setting triangles, so I was quite pleased with myself (she says, smugly...) The fabric is from a Robert Kaufmann collection I bought a while back, because I fell in love with a tabe runner a friend of mine had made with this combination. I knew I wanted to make something in the same colours, but not to copy what she had done. Table runners aren't quite my thing either, because my coffe-table is rather squareish, so a table cloth would be better. In the latest issue of Quilt Sampler I spotted a quilt in one of the shops that I really liked, and after studing it before I went to sleep one evening, I woke up with the perfect solution of combining that pattern and these fabrics. I had some misgivings along the way, and had to be really creative to get enough fabric, but I made it work - so what if some of the medium squares had to be pieced to be big enough? It is patchwork after all, isn't it :-) I have almost finished the top tonight, so there will be a closer look tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yo-yo pincushion

yoyo pincushion
Originally uploaded by crafty mathea
So this is where those yo-yos ended up, a little frivolity or frippery, just for the fun of it. But it can actually be used as a pin cushion, so it's not entirely useless. I found the pattern, by Michele Muska, in Cloth Paper Scissor's Studios issue.
This was as I said, just for fun, I'm not really planning to go in for a whole lot of yo-yo making, but I just had to give it a go. The circle cut ruler is more for making circles to use in quilts - I have some ideas... Hopefully this rain will continue tomorrow so I'll get to spend some time with my sewing machine...
I didn't get around to sewing all afternoon, as I have spent my time tweaking the blog - where did the time go?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cutting circles

I promised to tell you more about that Easy Circle Cut ruler I bought, and here it is! It really is what it promises to be - an easy way to cut circles from size 2"- 10". You just fold your fabric in half, place the ruler on top, aligning the black line labelled fabric fold line with the fold of the fabric, and cut within the curved slot labelled with the size you want. The half circle cut-out unfolds to make a circle, and that's it - nice and easy!
You do need a special rotary cutter with a small blade to do this- the curve is probably too tight for an ordinary rotary cutter, but with this one, I was OK. You can also cut half circles, of course, and there is an extra line for that purpose, so you get the added seam allowance.
Small circles were no problem either, and here are some of my 2" ones. I was off and running the minute I started, and before I knew it I had a stack of circles -
- and then some yo-yos in all sizes. This was fun! Wonder what it will become...?

Monday, June 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by crafty mathea
I have always been fascinated by those kaleidoscope thingys we had when I was a kid. A cardboard tube some mirrors and a few beads and paper scraps, a quick turn of the tube and the most wonderous stars would emerge.
In the Quilting Arts' series of DVDs there are some segments showing how you can create kaleidoscopes from photos, print them on fabric and use them in quilts or just embellish them with beads and embroidery and create one off fabric tiles or pictures.
When a while later, I found the Kaleidoscope Kreator on sale at Keepsake, I was tempted... and the last couple of days I have been having fun creating all sorts of amazing pictures. This one started out as a photo of a few buildings on an island, and look at the fairytale planet I ended up with! A click on the picture will take you to Flickr for more. I have played with a photo of an Amaryllis and it's amazing to see how many different kaleidos you can get from one photo!
Obviously I will have to play some more to discover which kind of pictures work and which don't, but I have some ideas. Now I'll just have to order some fabric to print them on. This internet shopping thing never stops, does it? ;-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quilting design review

My post about the goodies in the mail has created a flurry of interest - thanks for the comments an e-mails! I thought I would give a few reviews to answer some of the questions.

The quilting design software is the first one out. It's one of three containing quilting motifs previously published by Quiltmaker magazine. I have a few binders of those magazines from way back full of great motifs. The problem is usually finding the right one when needed and changing it to the right size, so when I saw these CDs I thought that was a great way of keeping them all handy. I only ordered one to begin with to see what it was like.

The CD installed easily and in minutes I was ready to go. You can open the program on its own, and apperantly you can also link it to EQ6 and use it in your designs. I only have EQ5, so I haven't been able to test that feature.
What you actually get is a lot of files catalogued in different themes. You get a preview of each motif in the browser window and when you want to print it, you just mark the motif and click on the print button.
In the print window you get to choose the size of your motif, the thickness of your line and how many you want before you click the next print button. It's as easy as that.

The program also has a learning chapter with helpful tips on how to adapt patterns, how to transfer them and more. Quite a good CD, I think, so I just might just get the other two to have the complete collection. That could clear up a lot of shelf space too - cause I just might get rid of those mags...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fun mail

One thing leads to another. As I mentioned earlier I bought a set of DVDs from Quilting Arts earlier this spring*. As these things tend to, one purchase soon led to another, and some online shopping later, a parcel arrived from Keepsake. I discovered in their latest newsletter that the Kaleidoscope Kreator was on sale, and having watched the DVDs with all the fun you could have with this software, creating all sorts of caleidoscopic images from your photos, I just had to have it, didn't I? A roll of gorgeous felted wool also found its way into the shopping basket, along with some other goodies.
One of the programs demonstrated this ruler for cutting circles along with a special rotary cutter for those tight curves, so naturally I'll just have to give it a go... And a CD of quilting motifs will always come in handy, wont it? Am I going to have a lot of quilting fun this summer or what? Expect to hear more about it!

*The first set on the page I linked to - I wouldn't be surprised if I feel the urge to order the second set too, though...

Monday, June 09, 2008

I knew it!

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.

A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.

No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Well, it is as I thought - maybe that's why I always get that funny feeling inside of me, just walking up and down, maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I love London town...
And maybe that's where I should go for my holiday, it's been a while...

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I have a subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, and every time it arrives I'm bowled over by all the great ideas, and want to start everything at once. After a second reading, I must admmit that I usually end up thinking : "one day, maybe..." In the last issue however, I fell for a necklace made from felted beads by the Art Girlz , embellished with embroidered stitches, beads and sequins - something like this (number four in the second row), only better, and I wanted to start making one right away. I'd just have to order some felt beads, and endure the long wait as they made their way across the Atlantic. Imagine my surprise yesterday, when meeting up with my mom at a family birthday party, she handed me this blue box. "I got this as a free gift from my bookclub", she said "- can you find a use for it?"
Can I ever! They are perfect! The colours in this pic aren't quite true - compared to the background on the previous pic it is a bit too yellow, and the colours are more saturated. So now I can get my embroidery floss and beads out and do a bit of stitching. Perfect while trying to decide on my next quilting project!

Friday, June 06, 2008

What next?

I seem to have been working towards deadlines for months now, both at work and in my "crafty life". Some major deadlines at work are met, and all I can do about those projects now is to wait for the politicians to make their decisions before things can be set in action, so I can actually go home at a decent hour!
On the homefront I have been doing a lot of work for my guild, but we've had our last meeting before the summer, so I can take it easy there, and I have finished the log cabin quilt and my handbag. So, what next? Suddenly I find myself with spare time for quilting, but I just can't seem to decide on anything.
I have a small quilt for Project Spectrum planned, but can't be bothered to get out my green and brown fabric just yet - maybe it needs to marinate a bit in my mind yet? On my cutting table I have some newish fabric I haven't put away yet, and somehow that seems so much more fun to play with at the moment. There are also some scraps from my Amy Butler quilt, and I find myself thinking in terms of handbags again - there is a pattern from this DVD that I want to try, but do I really need another handbag? The brown and turqouise Amy Butler print from a later collection goes really well with those scraps, and it would make a nice bag. But then that fabric also goes well with those dotted prints - maybe that could become a new quilt? I suppose the lovely warm summer weather we are having has something to do with my indecision - I think I'll just have to do a bit of research (also known as blogreading...) and wait with the quilting until that rainy day which no doubt is just around the corner...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I have received an award!

I have received an award - the sweet Sødeste nominated me for the Arte y Pico award!

The rules are: Once you've been selected, please follow these guidelines and pay it forward:

1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.
3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Please post these rules!

There are so many great blogs to choose between, so this is really difficult, but I will give this award to:

Calamity Kim for her wonderful sense of humour and seemingly endless imagination. She creates awe-inspiring aprons, quilts and dolls - I wish I could tap into the place she gets all her ideas from! And the stories she writes about some of her creations are just wonderful - they are the kind that makes you run for a mug of cocoa and a quilt to snuggle under before you continue reading!

Be*mused for all the great inspiration, both quilting and knitting-related. She has a great sense of colour and comes up with the most wondrous combinations. She's in the middle of a big move, right now, but scroll back and have a look at her "marinating" quilts, and you will see what I'm talking about.

A Stitch in Dye for her wonderful quilting and use of colour - have a look at some of her densely quilted pillows, and you'll see what I mean! She creates the most beautiful dyed fabric too.

Spirit Cloth for her amazing works of art. If anyone could make a silk purse from a sow's ear, she's the one! Have a look at how she turns the humblest of scraps into the most magical quilts. Her companion blog What If, where she tries out all her ideas is really inspiring too!

Mollychicken for her humorus, sometimes hilarious, posts about life in general and crafting in paticular. She makes the sweetest softies and writes wonderful tutorials. Her creations always come with little stories about who they are and what they get up to, and you can count on finding a little bit of naughtiness in each and every one, however sweet they are.

OK, that's my selection of five. I hope you'll enjoy visiting them!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dotty bag

It's done! You won't be hearing about this bag forever now - because yesterday I finished it! There was a lot more work involved than I anticipated. Of course some of it I brought on myself because I chose to quilt it to within an inch of its life before I actually started constructing the bag itself. And then the very heavy interfacing made it a bit difficult to work with, plus I had to try out a few changes that probably didn't make my life any easier... But it's done, and I must admit I like it.
One of my favourite aspects is the aforementioned hardware - I love the contrast between soft fabric and these huge carabin hooks and shackles - that's what they are called - when in doubt, check the packaging... Google tells me that they are pin shackles used for the rigging of boats, so there, now I know. And they can also be used for the rigging of handbags - I bet they didn't know that at the hardware store ;-)

So that's another project ready - what next? Too much time spent at the sewing machine lately means that the dust bunnies are taking over, so I'll have to spend some time with my hoover before I do anything else. Then it's on to the next project - Project Spectrum, Earth, is next in line, I think. I have been googling pictures of moored boats for this one -I'll see where that leads me. I must go have a look at my green and brown fabric to get some inspiration I think...

Hold on, hoover first, play later!