Monday, April 25, 2011

Pastel mug rugs

Pastel mugrugs front by crafty mathea
Pastel mugrugs front, a photo by crafty mathea on Flickr.
Taking part in the Mug Rug Madness I got so many ideas I wanted to try out. The starburst was one of them, and I had a go, using some of my scraps. I used strips and stitched them together at an angle, trimming as I went. When I had finished making the top, I had a lot of leftover wedges of fabric and started stitching them together randomly. A few strips here and there, and before you knew it I had both front and back ready for another mug rug. So there you go, two for the price of one. Of course, when I look back at the mug rug that was the inspiration for mine, it looks nothing like this - I should have made the narrow ends more pointed to get the starburst effect. Maybe next time...
Never mind, they are bright and cheerful, and quickly found a new home. Friends who appreciate the work we do should be rewarded after all ;-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Disappearing nine-patch

 Ta da! I finally finished this quilt. I was given a pile of blocks from my friends in the guild when I stepped down from office some years ago, and eventually got round to piecing them together some time last year. After the top was finished, it needed to marinate for a while (as these things do), but eventually I got round to finishing it.
I backed it with fleece, and despite careful measuring, I realized while I was basting it that the fleece was a tad too narrow. I didn't really want to cut off any part of the blocks, so I decided to turn the edges over to the back and stitch them in place instead of adding binding. Once that was done, I machine stitched two parallell seams along the edge to finish it off.

The blocks were made using the disappearing nine-patch method. An easy method to make a lot of interest and variety in a quilt. My friends had agreed among themselves on using bright colours combined with black, making all the blocks play well together. A nice and scrappy quilt with fuzzy backing and blocks stitched full of warm wishes - what could be better to snuggle under?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Something new

I have spent so much time finishing old projects lately, that the fun was going all out of it, so it was time to start something new. I got my lovely Echino fabrics out of hiding - they should be out and about being showed off to the rest of the world, so a why not use them for a new bag. Now anyone who has visited this blog before might argue that I have more than enough bags! But the thing is, I haven't got a bag for my computer, so there's my perfect excuse for a new project...
Now, constructing a new bag is hard work, and there has to be some play as well:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Signs of life

 Finally there are little shoots peeping up...
 Honeysuckle leaves are unfurling...
 A few tentative violets are showing up...
But still, it's quite chilly outside, so I'm enjoying a bunch of shop bought tulips indoors while stitching some miles of binding...

Monday, April 04, 2011

More mug rug madness

Inspired by the last weeks of Mug Rug Madness, I couldn't resist whipping up a few more. I picked some of my favourite fabrics from the scrap bag: polka dots, text, numbers and houses. I used a paper piecing pattern of an umbrella for the first one - can you 'spot' it? ;-)
For the other one I used some lovely house scraps from the pillow I made recently. I just stitched pieces together randomly and added a bit of machine quilting and hand stitching.
All that randomness was quite fun, but now I'm ready to try some of those great tutorials from the Mug Rug Madness. Have you seen all the lovely inspiration in the Flickr group?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Not too crazy

It turned out that I wasn't too crazy after all - I actually finished the hand quilting with time to spare, even though the birthday celebration was moved from Sunday too Saturday!
It was fun to work on a quilt with such big pieces and blocks for a change. Each block is 20" square with 1 1/2" sashing, making the quilt 55 x 76 1/2". The pattern is from Fat Quarterly way back in May 2010. I was intrigued by the simple Windowpane blocks and have been playing around with them in EQ ever since. I used fleece on the back to make it a fast and snuggly quilt, which meant that I couldn't quilt it as heavily as I normally would have. An allover quilting pattern would have made the blocks blend in more, but the raspberry machine stitched lines between the blocks go well with the fabrics and so does the grey cotton floss I have used for the big quilting stitches inside the squares, so I quite like the effect anyway.
I used a sage floral print for the binding. I would really have liked to use the Flora and Fauna pink with the bees, but sadly I didn't have enough. Still, a more subtle finish works as well, I think.
The main thing is that my sister was thrilled with it. I had some concerns, because her home is on the "minimalist" end of the scale while mine is more "maximalist"... but this combination of modern florals and neutral gray proved to be just right for her, and she really loved it. She almost pushed us out the door at the end of the evening, because she couldn't wait to snuggle under it ;-) You gotta love that reaction!

My starting point when pulling fabric for this quilt was that lovely "Spotted Owl" print from Alexander Henry. My sister loves owls, so this was just right for her. I must admit I have a soft spot for it myself, and luckily I ordered several yards of it, so I still have something left to make something for myself. Now, what will I make...