Monday, July 28, 2008

Large florals

When sorting out my fabrics I came across these treasures, tucked away waiting for inspiration to strike. I just loved these huge flowers when I first saw them, and bought pieces at shops and shows whenever I could find some. But I have been hesitant about that first cut, and they have been left unused and almost forgotten for a while now. That is no good, I want to use them, and know I have decided what to do. They will become a modern strippy quilt. Something like this, but with green sashing, I think. I have been picking out fabric for that one too, so now I have two piles of fabric waiting to become quilts - that should keep me busy for a couple of days, don't you think?

Do check out Anita at Bloomin' Workshop's photos and links to other albums featuring the Sisters Outdoors Quilt Show - there are so many beautiful quilts there! One day I will visit Sisters on the second Saturday in July to see the show for myself ...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Material girl

I have always been a material girl. Not in the Madonna sense, more in the cotton sense... I'm convinced that some fabrics actually talk to me: "Buy me!", " Take me home with you!" - so there's no wonder in the fact that my sewing room is bursting with fabric. Some of these sirens give me some real challenges, though - this lovely sunflower one with flowers up to 8 " across, for instance - it really deserves a setting to allow the flowers their place in the sun ;-). Enter a new book:
I have been a frequent visitor at the Material Obsession blog for a while and have admired what the two owners of this enticing Sydney quilt shop and their customers do with fabric. Often quirky, colourful and unexpected combinations of fabric and pattern, but never boring! Imagine my delight when I discovered that they had a new book coming out. I immediately preordered it from AmazonUK, and two days ago it finally arrived (thanks to my local post office where they apparently thought it a good idea to let the parcel rest on their shelves for a couple of weeks before notifying me of its arrival - but that's another story...). I came home late, and just allowed myself a brief glance through the pages before I went to bed. That brief glance was enough to make my head spin though - and I spent the night dreaming about lovely quilts. So much so that I actually had to get up at 5.30 to go get the book and take a proper look before I went to work. And I must say I love it! It all seems so fresh and new that I'm "itchin' to be stitchin' ". A lot of the patterns are trusty old standards, like courthouse steps, and pinapple blocks, but it is the way they have been used - the size of the blocks and the fabrics that have been used together that is so inspiring. The book is full of advise about how to make it work - what to look for in colour and contrast in each pattern. I tell you, I'm ready to toss away all my ongoing projects to start one or two or three of the ones from the book!
This one: "Retro Starburst" is the first one in line - I think this might just be the one for my sunflowers - big squares of sunflower fabric and courthouse step blocks. The advice is to look for fabrics that vary in value, light, dark and everything in between and a variety of colour.
This is my starting point - I will make a few blocks and see if I can make it work, and maybe add some more along the way - some more lights perhaps? I just have to give it a try, and any blocks that don't work in the quilt can easily be made into cushions - they are that big!

Oh, and I must add that I think the books would be great for the novice quilter too - it has a very good, and well illustrated, section about what equipment you need and how to go about all the different steps of creating a quilt.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I seem to have been unable to settle down and DO anything lately. I was so eager to sew after I had got my fabric all sorted, but none of my marinating quilts seemed very tempting, so what does a quilter do? She starts a new project of course!
I had picked out three fabrics for a tablecloth a while ago, and wanted to try my hand at the "Disappearing Nine-patch" craze which seems to have gripped most of my friends lately. It soon turned out that the amount of fabric I had purchased was not enough for more than a little table topper though, so that too came to a rest. Then it occured to me that I have this Project Spectrum thing going. I finished the Fire quilt on time, and thought I would have plenty of time for Earth, but before I knew it we were well into June. It was actually almost finished by the end of the first week of June, but I didn't quite know how to finish it, so I started straight away working on Air. While I was doing that, it occured to me that some brown knitting wool couched along the edge would do the trick. It stil needs some beads or hand embroidery or something, but I'll get around to that shortly. I'm quite pleased with Air, though, which has puffy organza clouds around the edge.
Come August it is time to start on Water, so I must see what ideas I can come up with there. I'll show these two as soon as the embellishing is done.

Things seem to be picking up on the quilting front, though - I bought some more of the tan fabric for the tablecloth yesterday, so I can add a couple of borders, and that might just do the trick. And I received the most amazing and inspiring quilt book from Amazon yesterday. More about that later, let me just say that I can't wait to start making something new!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I did it! Got the picture up on the wall, that is, without further delay, and here's the grainy picture to prove it. Rainy summer days are not the best for taking pictures in dark corners. It might have helped if I had turned the light on... Actually getting the thing up on the wall made me think of doing another one, so I might have a look through my stash to see which one it will be - heavens know I have enough kits and charts to choose from!

I'm happy to say that I have been given an award from the lovely Tine at Sødeste. Thank you!

The rules are:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

My award goes to:
City Girl Quilts
Hop Skip Jump
Knit One Quilt Too
Tree Fall
Turkey Feathers

Have fun visiting them!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


In case you think my stash ate me or something - no , I'm still here, and still sorting things out, little by little. Going through the piles of fabric and what have you, I found this finished cross-stitch from earlier this spring. I had put it aside until I found a frame for it. The frame was purchased a while later, but did the two ever meet? The answer is no, of course - rocrastination being my middle name and all... Well, you will be happy to hear that I have got around to framing it now - properly, with a thin layer of batting underneath and firmly laced on the back, and all - so in no time at all it should be upon the wall. Knowing me I probably shouldn't make any rash promises like that, but at least I think I know where to put it - to join this one: The latter is actually an awful picture, taken with my old camera, so I should take a new one, but you get the idea. Witches. There are more of them, and more to come.

They seem to steel into my stash in pattern (LH23) and fabric form. Now if they'd only swing those brooms and help me become a bit more tidy, but I seem to have missed out on a gene there, somehow. Oh, well, back to work!
Oh, I forgot to say: the first one is "Witchy Washy" by Raise the Roof Designs - they have a wonderful collection of washing-line designs, like "Santa Clothes" and "Turkey Dressing" and I really love their "Crabby all Year" design...
The second one is a Lizzie*Kate "Snippet" (small chart). The broom on the frame was my own idea.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Conquering the stuff

After finishing the bag the other day I was all set to continue with another project - I have enough UFOs, or "marinating" quilts as Jan of Be*mused calls them ;-), to keep me busy for a while, and there are an insane amount of ideas for new quilts in my mind and in my notebook. Enough to keep me busy for a very long time! I just couldn't seem to settle on anything I wanted to do. I could blame the heat for me not wanting to spend time in my sewing room, but no - I had to face the truth: I didn't want to spend time there because it was too messy!

So the last couple of days have been all about conquering the stuff that has invaded every available surface and trying to find room for it all. I'm not there yet, and the room actually looks worse than when I started, but I have done a lot. First of all I tidied all the 15 mushroom crates of fabric I have stacked under a shelf by the window - refolded and sorted fabric and managed to find room for the newish ones that have been cluttering up my cutting table for far too long. All the scraps have been sorted by colour and put in paper bags, waiting for more of this. I have been meaning to get round to making these in all colourways and that might just be my summer project this year. I also sorted the two boxes of backing fabric, and other big pieces of fabric that will be used for something "special" (like the two red/orange/white IKEA prints in the second picture) I found that putting the fabric vertically in the boxes gives me a much better chance of seeing what I've actually got in there, instead of piling it all in a big heap. Well, I did actually add another layer to each box, so there will have to be some sifting through layers, but still...
So that's it for now. Tomorrow I will deal with the work surfaces, and little by little the room will be brought to order. Eventually I might even share some pictures of my space...

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Yesterday was really too warm to do much, but I pottered around, transfered some patterns for embroidery, folded fabric and sorted stuff, trying to become more organized. But I suppose some have a knack for that sort of things, while others just don't. I tend to claim that I'm creative, so you can't expect me to be tidy too... But sometimes excuse just won't do, and the actual, boring work just has to be done.

Eventually I settled on the couch though, and finished the last of the binding on my tablecloth, so there it is in all it's glory, posing as a floor cloth ;-) I was going to take a photo of it actually on a table, but forgot until just now, so I'll put one in Flickr later.
Today I woke up to a cooler day, and spending time at the sewing machine seemed more tempting. So I finished quilting this 30 x 30" square before turning it into a bag.
It's probably not going to be my favourite bag, and if I were to do it again, I might have done a few things differently. For one, I believe the original wasn't quilted - it was just made from two pieces of fabric stitched right sides together and turned inside out, and that must have made construction easier. Because after folding the quilted piece, there was some stitching through several layers of quilt that was really tough going, I tell you! I was about to give it up for a while, but a break, a glass of water and some fresh air helped, and I managed in the end. The fact that it is quilted also means that I cant close it completely, the way you are supposed to with a drawstring bag. Well, you live and learn. I quite like it anyway, and I will use it to tote my hand sewing when I go to guild meetings and such. Because of the way it is folded, it has four handy pockets inside for all the bits and pieces one always have to bring along.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention: it was made following instructions on Quilting Arts TV - the first series.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Remember those felt beads? Well here they are again. Some of them, anyway. I have been playing around with some beads, sequins and embroidery floss, and embellished the beads and made a necklace close to what I had in mind. I was quite pleased with it, and wore it to a quilting bee the other day. Everybody thought it was "cool" and wanted to know where they could get hold of some beads of their own. Later that day I wore it at my sister's birthday party. Not a single soul noticed it until I pointed it out to them. And then it was all: "Oh, you have made something again, have you? What is it for?" - Weeell, people are different I suppose, and you have to be a crafter to see the point of some of the things I do - just making something because it's fun and without having to justify its usefulness seems foreign to some. I'm not being grumpy or anything, mind you - I just find it fascinating that people can be so different. My youngest sister (who wasn't there that day) and I are the only ones with a craft gene (there is one - isn't there?) and we keep making things for each other, but the rest maintain a polite interest.

Maybe they'll see a use for these, though (or maybe not...). I'm not quite sure I do myself, but they were fun and easy to make. They are covers for post-it notes, making them into sweet little books. I found the instructions here and made a few last night. My cousin and his family are coming to stay in a few weeks, and I thought it would be fun for the kiddies to have their own little books, and spread sticky notes all over the place. As an indulgent "auntie" who only sees them a couple of times a year, I can live with that for while :-)
I made these from some scrapbook paper, but I think those pieces I had are a bit flimsy, so I will look for something a bit sturdier for the next batch, I think.