Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reunion Jack

My paper piecing project is finished. It didn't take as much time as I feared to remove all that paper, just a couple of TV-programmes...
I have seen several simplified versions of British flag cushions online, but I'm such a nitpicker that I had to try to make flags with the correct dimensions, which I found here. I drafted my flag in EQ and printed out the pattern for paper piecing . Some of the strips are so narrow, that I couldn't have made the blocks any other way. I used fabric from the Reunion line by Sweetwater, and a linen/cotton-mix for the frame on the front.
There are more Reunion fabrics on the back, and the zipper is hidden under the green stripe, using this brilliant method. So there you have it: Union Flag (or Union Jack as it is often called) + Reunion fabric = Reunion Jack.

Friday, April 27, 2012

WIP Friday

These last couple of days have seen me running straight to the sewing machine when I come home from work. I have had an idea I wanted to try out, and the only way I could get the precision I wanted was to go for paper-stitching. However, once I started I remembered why I hadn't used this technique for so long - aaargh, this was too much! Placing the fabric in the right place so that it covered the area it was supposed to when it was flipped over... Let's just say that the seam ripper got a good workout!

But finally, these last couple of days the gears clicked into the right slots in my head and the fun began. I find myself staring into space and thinking about stitching and flipping during meetings at work, and about which colours to use next, as I'm walking home. So I really have no choice - it's straight to the sewing machine, and dinner just has to wait, and once it's in the oven I can stitch some more until the timer goes off...  All that extra sewing time has paid off though, so I'm almost done now. Just don't mention all that paper I'll have to remove in a while...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I'm almost embarrassed to post this after all this time. But a bit proud that I actually saw it through, though. I seem to be rather good at starting things with great enthusiasm when inspiration strikes, but then everyday life kicks inn and I get distracted by chores or new inspiration and another UFO has been born. That's what happened here as well: I eagerly joined Project Spectrum - Elements in 2009 all fired up with inspiration. Emily Dickinson's poem Wild Nights seemed to have it all - fire, air, earth and  water, and I decided to use the poem as inspiration for my quiltlets. They are only 8 x 12 " so I didn't think I'd be too owerwhelmed.

Fire was easy, the bed with flames and the beginning of the poem, hot colours and flame quilting, yes this was fun!
Air was next - light colours, a sea chart printed on organza, quilted air currents and fluffy organza clouds with pearl raindrops around the edge - yes I was on a roll!
Next in line was Earth and I was a bit baffled about how to illustrate "might I but moor tonight - in thee", but a boat in a safe harbour with brown and green hills seemed just right. I used brown and copper paintsticks and placed the fabrics on a basket to rub some pattern onto it in. The boat was coloured in with watercolour pencils and brushed with water to make the colours richer. A bit of brown wool around the edge finished it all off. So far, so good.
But then the doubts set in. Was the whole concept too cheesy? Using the poem like that? Disrespectful? So there it all stopped...
Until a couple of weeks ago when some friends and I started talking about those dreaded UFOs we all seem to have hidden away. I pulled the three little quilts out of hiding and decided to just go for it and make that dreaded fourth one. Water is my element after all, so how hard could it be? I didn't really stop to think, just did it - I used some water/sea-prints added a piece of folded and scrunched up Bali fabric to represent a boat, some beads and finished it all with a floral binding to represent Eden.
A few hours later it was all done. Not perfect, but finished. I stitched them all together adding some pearls in between and some ribbons and pearls for hanging and Elements was ready to go on the wall. Not perfect, but finished. And I got to try out some new techniques and ideas that I might use in other projects. Not too bad, after all.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hometown ribbons

Wouldn't you believe it! It has been bright and sunny for days, but on the day I finished my Hometown Ribbons quilt, and started taking pictures, the sky turned grey and rain started pouring down, so the colours aren't quite as bright as I would have liked in these pictures. But, the main thing is that my quilt is finished and I'm loving it!
Sorry if I sound too smug, but actually, it is the combination of fabrics I love most of all, and that pattern was so fun to sew! I started out with a jelly roll of Hometown from Sweetwater. I don't know what it is about that line of fabrics that makes me so happy - the text fabric, the polka dots, the colours? Everything, really. I combined it with some blue chambray from a local shop. It has the look of denim, but is soft and thin like the quilting fabrics, so they play well together.
I used an IKEA door fabric for the back and quilted echoing lines and spirals in the blue areas and a paisley/shell design on the ribbons. The pattern is "Fast Forward" by Jaybird Quilts.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thread play

I've been adding pieces of folded, torn and woven fabric and stitching to this piece of felt for a while, and I think it is time to call it quits for now. I think it might need something to pull it all together, and tried adding lines of light grey embroidery across the whole thing, but I'm not sure it is enough.
The top photo doesn't really do it justice though - you need to come in close to get a close look at the texture all that folding and stitching creates.

I'll let it marinate for a while before I decide if it is finished or not. Sometimes it's just a matter of agreeing with myself that it is done...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Covent Garden thread collection

This is my entry for the Aurifil Make-A Designer-Collection competition over at Lily's. I used the same inspiration as in the fabric bundle competition the other day - if I were to make something from that it would be nice to have matching thread, right? Or you could just blame it on too little imagination...  Well, actually these colours are not ones that I would normally put together, but after taking that photo in Covent Garden I'm beginning to think I might actually make that quilt...

The thread is Aurifil 50 wt and the colours are: 2540, 4225, 2155, 1318, 2134, 2810,4093, 4182, 2845, 2630, 1246, 2605.

Button girl

Ah, it's all done! After finding this redwork again and going off in an entirely different direction from what I had intended, things got together rather quickly. I machine quilted some lines around the frames and hand quilted lines in between. I also covered the background of the stitched picture with crooked little cross-stitches, as if they had been done by a little girl. It's amazing how difficult that was when you have been taught to make your stitches nice and even, but eventually I was quite happy with the result.
The binding seemed to take forever, though - there just wasn't enough time to sit down and get on with it, it seemed, but eventually I got there. I had no real plans for this one it would be nice in a little girl's room, I think, but there are no little girls in my life at the moment. However, my mum fell in love with it when I showed her a picture on my phone, so it might just go to live at her place...