Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fruit salad

I have finished my first piece of work in 2011! I started this back in October, but once I had the blocks finished, something else must have grabbed my attention, because there they were, when I tidied my sewing table on Boxing day. I stitched them together, but somehow adding the border must have seemed too much at the time (note to self: must persevere). Anyway, I did get around to it eventually, and now even the quilting is done!
I don't know the name of the block, but it is one I spotted in an interior magazine years ago and made a quick sketch of. I put my EQ to good use, redrafting it several times before I was happy with the proportions and the right block size to get a tablecloth to the size I wanted it.
I didn't really use that much of the fruit fabrics I had gathered for the top, and I had no idea what to use for the backing, so I ended up stitching together strips of all the fruit fabrics alternating with some lettuce and veg fabric, making a colourful fruit salad backing. I used a thin soft batting (Thermore, I think) which gives a soft drape for a tablecloth and quilted in an open swirly pattern in green thread.
The mouthwatering fabric is Kyle's Marketplace - gorgeous prints that make you want to pick the fruit straight out of the fabric and eat it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Making sandwiches

Making sandwiches
Originally uploaded by crafty mathea
I was quite industrious the other day and got three quilts layered and ready for quilting. Somehow the tops tend to pile up as I seem to be better at starting new projects than finishing, but I'm getting my act together and trying to finish all my UFOs before I start any new quilts, what with all this new inspiration from new fabrics and books, thast might be a good idea ;-). I think layering must be my least favourite part of the quilting process, but I must admit that it is quite satisfying once it's done.
Once I had everything cleared out of the way and got started on the first one, it was actually not too much hassle to move on to the next two, and now it's time to start quilting - yay!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Did I mention books?

So I mentioned my recent shopping spree. These three books also landed in my mail box. I've only had time for a quick browse, so far, but they look promising.  Ihave been on the lookout for simple, modern patterns to help me make some inroads in my stash, and I think I might have found some good ones here.
The first one is  Malka Dubrawski's "Fresh quilting" which really seams to live up to it's name. I have loved Malka's quilting style since the first time I came across her blog A Stitch in Dye, years ago. She has a fresh colourful style which seems to bring energy and makes me smile, so I'm really looking forward to exploring this book. From what I have seen so far, I'm really going to enjoy this one.
During the weekend I have concentrated my energy on finishing quilt backings, and preparing quilts for quilting, so I'll come back to the other  two books later.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The postman always rings...

There have been a few incoming items lately due to a few slow days during Christmas when a quick online shopping spree took place. Ahem.
What I meant to say: I have been spending a bit of money again. On fabric. And books. I have been meaning to cut down, but sometimes I just can't resist. Coming across Ruby Star Rising I had one of those moments. The nostalgia on seeing that ViewMaster Disc fabric is to blame this time. I remember really coveting one of those gadgets when I was a kid, and since I never got one, that fabric is going to make it SO much better. How's that for an excuse? ;-) I'm not quite sure about what to make yet, but the fabric is quite sturdy and would be great for a bag. So I got a bag pattern as well.
I love the big slouchy bag with cargo pockets - plenty of room for a laptop with all the trimmings. Now it turns out that I'll need a lot of different rings, swivels and hooks as well, but fortunately there is a hardware kit available, so I have an excuse for more shopping. Now if I can find a shop which sells these and also have this pattern, we're talking business. I love letters, so I just might have to make this quilt... More shopping anyone?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Things to do on a rainy day

Rain doesn't usually make me happy, but when the temperature rises and relentless rain is doing a very good job of removing the sheet of ice our roads have been covered with for weeks, I'm happy! Since I don't really have to go outside, I can just enjoy the sound of ice melting and spend my time doing something fun indoors. Like quilting, for instance. I finished my log cabin top yesterday, and here it is in all its glory. My two Honey Buns yielded 51 blocks. I might have managed to scrape together a few more from the scraps, but not as many as three, which would have been the next usable number, for a 6 x 9 layout. I was quite happy to stick to the 7 x 7 block layout I had in mind originally though, and chose an off centre barn raising layout.  The light/dark divisions might be a bit blurry here and there, but it doesn't really mater, does it? I just split the rolls in two with the lightest strips in one pile and the darkest in the other, and one of the reds for centre pieces, but since some of the fabrics have large patterns, some of the darker ones might look light in some areas and vice versa. I think I might do the quilting with white thread in the light areas and brown or green in the dark areas to emphasize the contrast, though.
My task this morning was constructing the backing. I used the two leftover blocks here. The larger areas are from a lovely, red, christmassy paisley. It looks a bit pink here, but the background is really a dark red which goes well with the red in the blocks. Some polka dots in white/red, green/white and brown/teal and some more greens complete the picture. So that's the backing done. I need to prep my batting (I always prewash) before layering, so that won't happen today. I have another top to piece, however, so stay tuned, there's more rain tomorrow...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Originally uploaded by crafty mathea
I finished my quilt top today. Sorry about the blurry photo and the partial view - I'll show it properly tomorrow. I have lots of Christmas fabric in my stash, but the colours are all too bright for the muted palette of Figgy Pudding, so I had to go to the regular stash. The quilt is 49 x 49" so there will be piecing involved. These are some of the contenders for the backing. I really wanted to use some of that light blue from the logs, but I haven't got a single strip of anything resembling it. To make some inroads in my stash, I have decided to piece all my backings more creatively this year, rather than buy new fabric (my one and only resolution...) so I need to do a bit of measuring and drawing...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

So that was it for now...

Luckily, this isn't the state of my living room floor, as I have been cheating for years now opting for an artificial tree, but as of today it is all basted and bound ans snug in it's box in the basement. The ornaments are packed and ready to go back to the attic, and all the stuff I had stored in my sewing area has been put back in it's right place, so there's room to sew again! A new year and new opportunities. Yay!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Figgy logs

I fully intended to make a new Christmas quilt for myself this season, but once I decided to make some presents, that plan went out the window.
I managed to snag a couple of Honey Buns of Figgy Pudding just as they seemed to be vanishing from the face of the earth, and they have been sitting prettily on a shelf being admired for quite some time. I have been reluctant to untie those bows, because they were so pretty, but on boxing day I just couldn't help myself. The 1 1/2" strips in those Honey Buns are perfect for log cabin, aren't they? I started on one "bun" and I got 20 finished blocks and 8 half finished ones out of it. The light/dark contrast isn't all that strong on all of them, but I think it will work out all right in the end. I love the fabric and if I finish the quilt now, put it in the top cupboard and forget about it, come next Christmas I 'll have the lovely surprise of finding a new quilt among my Christmas linen. Good idea, no? :-D

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy new year!

Best wishes for the new year from my happy little village, which has grown this Christmas - the two towers were among the lovely gifts under the tree. Some good books, and other stuff (more about that later) were also among the thing I was blessed with.
We had a white Christmas, but the weather at the beginning of the year has not excactly been delightful - wind and sleet makes it more tempting to stay indoors and contemplate what I'm going to make in 2011.

I have a few plans lined up, so there's no reason to be idle in the coming weeks. The idea is to keep busy through January, finishing projects and hope the momentum carries me into February, avoiding the usual February Funk. Above are the eight projects I'm currently working on. I'm hoping to make some progress here, and finish some of them, if not all, but of course I have hundreds of ideas of new things I want to start, so we'll see if I get distracted along the way... (very likely!).