Saturday, March 26, 2011

Please tell me I'm not crazy!

 I finally got round to start quilting the owl quilt today. This was supposed to be a quick one, with big pieces and big blocks (20") and I'm backing it with fleece, so the quilting would have to be simple. I decided to do a grid around the six blocks first. After discarding all the spools of grey thread in my stash for being not grey enough, too blue, too brown or, well, just too grey, I decided to use a raspberry cotton and was quite happy with the result. Then I found myself sitting there staring at it for ages later, trying to decide what to do next. No matter how much I thought about it, I couldn't shake my initial idea of handquilting around each of the squares and rectangles in the blocks. So having wasted quite a bit of time lost in space, I eventually settled down with a stack of Gilmore Girls DVDs and some grey cotton floss. Several hours later, having stitched around six of ten pieces in one block, I really like the effect, but I'm not all that fast when it comes to hand stitching. The thing is, that this quilt is for my sister's birthday next Sunday. Seven days is an ocean of time...
- So I can make it, right?
EQ sketch of the quilt.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I used the scraps from my Figgy Pudding Honey Buns to make two placemats and these two mug rugs. Well, I should say that I made the tops for two placemats, because they are not quilted yet, but at least the mug rugs are finished. Very simple, with some wavy quilting, they were really quick to make. And ready just in time for the Mug Rug Madness too!
Go check it out - there are oodles of ideas, tutorials and giveaways too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


After what seemed like miles of hand stitched binding I finally finished this quilt last night while watching endless news bulletins about Japan and Libya. When it all became too much, I escaped into the fairytale world  of Indiana Jones. I got a gift certificate for Christmas from a record shop I don't normally visit, because it is so far away from where I live. But when I read in the paper that they were closing down, it was time to get shopping. The closing down sale had been going on for a while, so most of the good stuff was gone, but I came away with a boxed set of Indiana Jones dvds and the new Rumer CD. Quite a catch, really. The only downside is that now we're down to one single record shop in my town. Well, with everybody downloading music it is to be espected, I suppose.

Oh well, back to the quilt. I have mentioned it earlier, of course, but seeing it all quilted makes a difference I think. It is made from a designer roll from Westminster Fabrics. The fabrics are designed by Philip Jacobs who is part of the Kaffe Fassett Collective. I cut all the strips in half and mixed them up and just stitched two and two together randomly before cutting them in 3 1/2" pieces and stitched them together two and two before adding strips of black on two sides, ending with 6" square blocks. Alternating the direction of the blocks makes a nice woven effect, I think. I pieced the backing from a variety of green fabrics from my stash.
When in doubt about quilting patterns I tend to end up with this swirly floral pattern. It just seems to flow so easily and fills large areas quickly. All the luscious flowers and the black background reminded me of baroque flower paintings, so I thought Baroque would be a fitting name for this quilt.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March mood

1. 026, 2. 031, 3. Purity, 4. march flowers, 5. Snowdrops, 6. Schneeglöckerln in der Sonne, 7. Snowdrops (Galanthus sp), 8. Snowdrops, 9. White and Green, 10. Carpet of Snowdrops, 11. Don't pick the Snowdrops. Where are your parents?, 12. Don't Walk on the Snowdrops, 13. Oh, they're behind you..., 14. Snowdrops, 15. Blue Tit Flight With Peanut. 2, 16. Day 294 8th March 2011 Twin Snowdrops
I am so ready for this, but instead, there is more of this:

1. Snow Drift, 2. Icestorm (15), 3. Icestorm (29), 4. Icestorm (6), 5. Icestorm (19), 6. Icestorm (24), 7. Icestorm (39), 8. Icestorm (31), 9. Taiga, 10. Weekend Snow, 11. Snow Abstract, 12. Drift Breakers, 13. Headlights, 14. Snowdrift, 15. Icestorm (10), 16. Winter Tree 5x7_horizontal

Rising temperature, the sound of melting icicles, green sprouts, flowers, sunshine - I'm ready, where are you?

Oh well, I'd better think of something else. Making Mug Rugs, for instance - I have just joined the Mug Rug Madness over at Two More Seconds and I'm looking forward to sharing some inspiration.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lunch bag turned craft bag

I've been in a flurry of finishing old UFOs lately, but the arrival of a new book prompted a new project. The book, Lunch Bags!, is of course first and foremost a book of bags to carry your lunch in. Now I carry my lunch to work in a plastic box inside my regular bag, so I didn't see an immediate use for a stitched lunch bag. But lately I have been going through all my bags to find one to carry my sewing and my water bottle when I go to guild meetings and quilting bees, and in this book I found just the thing. This one, designed by Debbie Hogan, was fun to sew and everything went together just the way it should. I made myself cut into my stash of Tufted Tweets for this, and I'm glad I did. The colour combination is an unusual one for me, but I really like the result and it gives me a great chance to show off some of my favourite fabrics.
On the back is a pouch for a drink bottle. I made mine in a contrasting fabric -. a Jan Mullen print, I think.

The lining is made from a great AuntyCookie print littered with quotes that are just perfect for a craft bag - "Craft is the new black", "Make quilts, not war", "Knitters ain't quitters" are some of the gems.
So now I just need to scramble my sewing things together and prepare a new hand stitching project, and I'll be ready for my next guild meeting...
Back to the book. There are lots of nice little bags in there, and although they are introduced as lunch bags, there is no reason why you can't use them for other things, like I have done. There are several I might try my hand at later, so all in all this was a good buy.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Pillow talk

I've coveted those bus destination blinds forever, it seems, but never managed to find one online to buy at a price I could afford. So eventually I decided to create my own. I showed the fabric I ordered from Spoonflower earlier, using an edited list of destinations from the #72 bus in London that I used to take on my way to college way back when. The full list would have been too long for my purposes, but this was just right for a pillow - who says pillows can't have a vertical orientation? ;-)
The fabric wasn't as black as I initially would have wanted (I knew it wouldn't be from the information on the Spoonflower website), and when washed it got a bit of a crinkly worn look, but I have decided that I really like it, an old destination blind would have been a bit weathered and worn too, after all. I used the first of eight panels for this pillow.
I used another Spoonflower purchase for the back - rows and rows of red brick houses went very well with that London theme. And thanks to February being pillow month on Sew Mama, Sew, I came across this great tutorial on how to add a zipper hidden under a flap and it worked like a treat.
So there it is, a brand new pillow for my sofa. It makes me smile every time I look at it, and that can't be a bad thing, now, can it?
Now what to do about those remaining 7 panels? Hmm, I think I might have some ideas...