Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sweet dreams

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning - there was just too much to read and enjoy and dream about making in this lovely book! Those two Material Obsession-girls have done it again: created another book chock-full of inspiration!

I just loved the first one, and have so far made one quilt from it, my Sunflower quilt, but there are several more I want to make. And now there's another one with at least three more quilts that I itch to stitch ;-)
I'm going to set myself up for trouble here, though, with some real challenges, but nothing ventured...
I deliberately give you blurry images from this book, just to share that there is some nice stuff in here, but this is one you really need to go out and buy for yourself - seriously!
Now I only need to find some extra time - I think I need a craft clock!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just because

Just because I spotted the braided newspaper basket at How about orange, I had to give it a go. I grabbed a cross stitch magazine from the recycling bin and started cutting and folding. It was a bit fiddly at first, but with the help of some pieces of masking tape, I managed to hold the strips together while I was working. So what is it for? Well, I didn't really have a plan, I just wanted to give it a go, and Jessica's idea of using it for the remotes is as good as any I could come up with. And when I'm tired of it it can go back in the recycling bin, I suppose..

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carry on...

So I finished the handbag, with some extra touches of my own. The pattern is, as I mentioned in the earlier post, the Meadow bag from Melly & Me. The pattern was great and it all came together effortlessly, so I can certainly recommend it.
I had some misgivings about the fabrics I had chosen, but with the added yo-yos on the upper piece, I think I toned the lightness of that fabric down a bit. I first thought that it made the main fabric look too grubby and worn, but with the checkered piece inbetween it seems to work all right.

I wasn't too conscious about it when choosing the fabrics, but they all seem to have sentiments of love, happiness, joy, dreams coming true and celebration - even the lining fabric. So it's all really fitting to the occasion, I think. Because this bag is a gift for my best friend's mother, on her 70th birthday. She is a wonderful person, and has been a regular stand-in for my mom all through my life, so I feel really close to her, and wanted her to have something special that I had made. I also added an inside pocket with two compartments - one for a phone and a magnetic closure. It turned out that I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics for the handles, but I added some of the checkered fabric to the middle of the strips, and I think that gives just the right accent to bring it all together. The bag turned out to be a bit larger than I expected - the shopwhere I bought the pattern had a finished bag hanging on display, but I think they must have made it smaller, because I can't remember that it was this big. That just makes it all the more practical though, it's not just a dainty little thing for your lipstick and phone, but there is room to carry all the stuff you might need on a day out, and even some of your shopping...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Looking up

What a difference a day makes... At least with the sun out, and my trusty old weatherbeaten ladder back in place, the flowers look much better. Now, for a bit warmer weather so they really can get encouraged to grow and start resembling the hanging plants they are supposed to be, and summer will really be here.While I'm waiting I'm having fun with my sewing machine and my lovely Keiko Goke book that I rediscovered on my shelf this morning. I have made one quilt from it earlier, but there is so much great stuff in there that it really deserves a second workout!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June is a summer month, right?

- at least it should be in the northern hemisphere... Looking at my poor plants all huddled together in the rain and wind on the balcony you could wonder. It is just temporary, though. I know the sun will come out again soon. We..e..e..ll, not in the first week or so, if the Weather Man is to be believed, but he has been wrong before...
Oh well, it's perfect quilting weather, at least!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Blushing giraffe

I mentioned this fabric earlier. When I first came across it, it said 'giraffe' to me, and the pink areas suggested that he was blushing. I had a vision of a cute cartoon-like appliqué, but couldn't quite make it happen. When I found a giraffe stencil, a different idea was born.

I used a brown Paintstick to transfer the image to the fabric, added some squares of an African-look Kaffe Fasset fabric along one side and started quilting. And then I was stuck. It just seemed too boring.
Lily suggested that the poor giraffe was hiding in the greenery. And that was just the kind of prompt I needed. A bit of research (or googling) later, and I knew a lot more about giraffes and their life on the savannas of Africa among the acacia-trees. Did you know that giraffes go in for a lot of necking? Really! Maybe that's where the expression comes from ? If you want to know more about these fascinating creatures, this is a good place to begin. Anyway, having read about thos acacias and looked up pictures of their leaves, I was ready to move on. I added some Steam-a-Seam Lite to a piece of green bali and started cutting leaves. One movie later and I was ready to go back to the sewing machine and apply branches and stitch the leaves down. The silhouette of the giraffe didn't stand out as much as I wanted, so I added seed stitches around it, some longer stitches further out, and ended with crosstitch (or kisses) before the hand-stitching merged into the machine quilted hearts.
So there you have it. My Mini Quilt for Monday ended up as a close up of the neck of a love-sick giraffe, lurching among the bushes with a sweet giraffe girl on his mind. Or something like that...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Flower Power

So here we are at last. This Quiltalong seemed to take me forever compared to the rest of the gang, but I kind of knew that it would when I joined, because I have had a lot going on workwise. And knowing me, I can't just stick to one thing at a time, but always have several projects going at the same time. But then it doesn't really matter, does it? It wasn't a competition anyway and I'm really pleased with the result
I was thinking of giving this one away, but maybe not just yet... I have used some of my favourite fabrics from Sandy Henderson and Amy Butler among others, and I'd hate to see them go. But I can't be all stingy with it now, can I? Half the fun is in sharing. I have a lovely girl in mind for this one, and her big day is still a few months away, so I can get to enjoy looking at it for a while. And actually having a finished quilt all lined up for somebody's birthday must be a first - usually there is nighttime sewing in the week leading up to the event or worse, a half-finished quilt that I take back to finish... I decided to be a bit thrifty and only use what I had in my stash for the backing, so I had to be a bit more creative than planned. It seemed like a good idea at the time to use that red and pink Sandy Henderson fabric on the back, the only problem: that was my last piece and I don't feel that I'm ready with it yet, so I might have to buy some more... Well, any excuse to go shopping, right?
Now go have a look at all the other lovely quilts in the Mod Sampler Quilt-Along Pool!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I was visiting Sew and So to buy some tapestry wool, needed to finish a cushion I started ages ago, when I came across this:It tickled my silly bone, so I wanted to share it. Now, I didn't order it - I told myself sternly that it would take me ages to stitch and then where would I hang it? I have oodles of floss and heaps of charts for great things to stitch lying in wait, so I really need to keep myself in check here. Here's the link though, in case you find you need it ;-) And Bothy Thread have so many other fun charts, like the Cut Thru' series and the other silly samplers of teapots and bras... Have a look if you dare!
I thought this is rather cute too, link here. Like a country style quilt, in fact. There's also one with cup cakes - so tempting...
I didn't buy any though. And in my eagerness to resist temptation I even forgot to buy the wool I needed. Now dare I make another attempt...?