Saturday, April 22, 2006

House plans

It's official: I'm about to start a new project. As I mentioned earlier, I fell head over heels in love with the quilt from Barb Adams and Alma Allen's book "Home Sweet Home". I had some problems with the size, though. It is supposed to be 76 1/2" square (190x190 cm) and in my opinion that's just too big for a wall quilt - for my walls, anyway... It would also be too small for a bed, and I already have my plans ready for another bed quilt, so I didn't really "need" one. I have decided that I'm going to reduce the patterns to 60 % of the original size, as that will make a wall hanging of aprox. 46" square (115x115cm), which will be perfect above my sofa. I have found some great fabrics for the background - one cream coloured one with beige roses and handwriting and another cream one with soft pink flowers. The dark pink fabrics are from my stash and will look good for the houses, I think. I'm going for an old fashioned "faded" look and I'm going to find a dusty turquoise floral for some of the details. That's actually the colour I'm thinking of painting my living room walls in, when I get around to it... But I think this quilt will look good with the present dark blue wall colour anyway! So now I only need to find some greens to go with the rest and I'll have my next hand-stitching project ready to go! I make most of my quilts by machine, but it's nice to have a project to take along to guild meetings and get-togethers at the quilt shop.

The colours of this project are quite different from my usual style - I tend to go for brighter colours, but after falling for Amy Butler's "Ginger Bliss" collection, I have found myself becoming more attracted to softer hues, and I have a few projects lined up, among others this quilt top. I really need to finish this one soon... The plan is to make a pieced backing from the same fabrics to make this a totally reversible lap quilt. I just have to find a slightly calmer fabric for the border.
Talking of bright colours, look at my latest purchases, "Fields of Colour"-fabrics from Fun Factory for Moda. These will look great in my stash for the time being...

I also fell for these from the "So you, sew fun" line from RJR - a feel a new tote bag coming on!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Placemats ready

Well, I'm working my way out of this muddle, and at least the placemats are ready. I settled in front of the TV last night to hand stitch the binding, and one exciting movie later it was all done! Today I have finished the top for the birdhouse table runner and I'm about to find some backing fabric for it. I'm off to my mother's for dinner today, and I'm taking the heart runner along to do some stitching on the binding for that one. Although it is a sign that a project is almost done, I can't say I like the process. If only I could find a way to machine stitch the binding on and still have it look good on both front and back, I'd be thrilled. I know I could make a generous binding and machine stitch in the ditch along the edge from the front, but I'm just too fussy about the way it looks on the back to be entirely happy with it, so hand stitching it is...

This is the pattern by Vera Fjellaas that was my starting point. I left out the branches and did it all in "my colours". By the time I had finished the first one I wanted to do something different, so the other one got a proud mother hen adapted from a cross-stitch design by Margaret Sherry. It is from a pattern I have paid for and I'm giving her credit for it and it is only for my own personal use, so I hope I'm not violating any copyright rules here...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Not drowning, just waving!

I seem to have stepped on to a sidetrack recently... I keep fiddling with all sorts of little projects and don't seem to get any "serious" quilting done. I started making some place mats for Easter. I don't really like using patterns, so even though I started off with one, I ended up in a completely different place.

When searching for the right fabrics in my stash I came across this lovely birdhouse fabric that I bought ages ago and have been unable to cut into. Right next to it was some Bali batik that seemed to go well with it, but I decided I needed something brown as a contrast. In my box of brown fabrics I found one with feathers - perfect! And before I knew it I was cutting and stitching and a new project was well under way.

The placemats didn't get finished before the holidays, but I have made an effort today and now I'm ready to put the binding on. Incidentally, I intended to make two identical ones, but that got too boring, so I ended up using a motif from Cross Stitcher Magazine for the other one - I knew I'd never get round to cross stitching this one, but a quick sketch of the picture and voila, a great pattern for appliqué. Is that stealing? Sorry Margaret Sherry! Pictures tomorrow, I think...

I bought these sweet paper napkins for Easter and the more I look at that great hen with her handbag, the more I see it as another wall hanging in applique and freestyle embroidery. But I won't go there, not yet...

And then there are the cross-stitch projects. I am working on the teapot one as a present for a friend, and of course there is my Emily Dickinson sampler that might get a few stitches now and again.

And then there is knitting. I have stitched the two front panels of a black jacket, I have started a red and black scarf and then there is the horribly expensive yarn I bought for a new Clapotis. I haven't even started on that one, although I'm calling that self-restraint ;-) Finish the jacket first, and then we'll see...

Throw in a few pincushions and some snow people and I have enough unfinished projects to last for ages, but I really want to start a new quilt, she wailed! Something a bit more artistic - I have all sorts of ideas, but this backlog of half finished items are pulling me down. I have to finish some of them soon and then my carrot will be that wall quilt for myself using Solvy, yarn, beads and miles of rayon thread. Hmmm, I'd better get that binding on and I'll be one step closer to that exciting project...

Sorry about all the mixed metaphors - I'm in a muddle here :-D

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Feel free to comment

I just realized that the settings of my blog has only let people with Blogger-accounts leave comments on my blog :-( Sorry about that! I have changed the settings now, and I'm crossing my fingers, hoping it works!
I finished another handbag from Amy Butler's Madison pattern. For this one I used thin polyester batting instead of fusible interfacing and the result was so much better. The first one sort of collapses when you put it down, but this one keeps its shape. I was worried it would be too stiff and akward, but it worked really well, so I'll do that for the next one as well. - Yes there will be a next one: I gave this one to my youngest sister for her birthday last week. She loved it, and the middle one announced in no uncertain terms that she would expect one for her birthday in June as well. I don't usually like the idea of making more than one of anything, but it is nice when someone apreciates the work you do, so I expect she will get one... I have some new ideas to try out as well, so it looks like this will be one of those things that I might enjoy doing over and over. I haven't made one for myself yet either...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pink glow

Things have been hectic here lately, so it's been a while since I posted anything at all. With lots going on at work and in the evenings I really haven't spent that much "quality time" with my computer. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! Parties both last weekend and this one - so there are people who want my company. And then a few visits to the quilt shop became longer than expected because we had so much fun. It resulted in even more fabrics and a few new books, but a great time was had by all, and I can always use the fabric as insulation :-D Friends came to visit, and good food was enjoyed, so all in all I have been having lots of fun!

Even with all this going on I managed to finish my Project Spectrum challenge for March, just a day into April. I played around with all my pink and red half square triangles and ended up with this:

Some lime green was added for extra interest, and as a hint of things to come (the April challenge) I added a yellow and orange stripe for the binding. The picture doesn't quite do it justice - the green isn't quite as bright as it seems, but blame it on the photograper(me) or the camera (old digital one). Anyway, I'm happy with the result and this is one I'm going to keep. The strange proportions for a table runner makes it difficult for anyone else to find a use for it anyway - it is custom made for my thrift shop coffee table!

I seem to be very into pink lately. I don't know why . I have always been more into bright colours and a lot of green, blue and turqouise. I still am, but keep beeing tempted by soft hues lately. One of the new books I have bought is this one: Home Sweet Home and I'm seriously considering to start making this. Very soft and pink, and almost big enough to go on a bed, but not quite, and certainly far to big to hang on any walls here. So what's a girl to do...