Friday, 19 October 2018

Star of the Sea

This post is well overdue, and the emotion has already subsided, but let's say we all gathered here to celebrate the winning of a pretty little award almost two weeks ago!

This is the happy winner:

Actually, this is the happy winner:

And together:

And now the full story. Each year, the participants of the Irish Patchwork Society AGM are invited to take part in in a challenge, where they usually are asked to bring a mini quilt on a particular theme. I took part last year, and the year before. The winner (determined by popular vote) receives the James Lawlor perpetual trophy - a clever and beautiful thing, which is a miniature statue of a quilting lady (bronze, I think) working away on a miniature quilt made by the previous year's winner, this one was made by Linda Cowley:

This year's theme was "Star" and I decided to make a star fish as I was working on my 3D samples and had just made another, little star fish. This one, though is THE star, very bright and unmissable attention-grabber...

... relaxing in the gently lapping waves of a warm sea...

Linking up to:
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Freemotion Mavericks at Lizzy Leonard Vintage Sewing
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Show off Saturday at Sew Can She

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sentimental Sampler

This is another workshop sampler for 3D appliqué techniques in quilts. It's 9'' by 12'' and it's supposed to be a classic still-life come alive.

If you read my blog before, you might recognise the rose, which is basically the same as in the Dancing in the Wind quilt, only a more dramatic colour. this time I used two different shades of red - a darker one for the outside of the petals and a lighter one for the inside which is seen in the curled bits.

The rose has leaves made with a single layer of fabric:

Then there is the green apple - yummy!

And the pink flowers (I think they look like apple blossoms, but they don't really have any branch to keep them in the vase)

You can have a look at my other 3D samplers here and here, they feature all the same techniques assembled into little scenes.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina Marie

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Seafloor Sampler

Following the Succulent Sampler, which received very nice feedback, I'll continue posting my 3D samplers.

This one also uses several different techniques for creating 3D elements to show a little underwater scene. To be honest, I don't quite like how the layout turned out, and I might still change it somewhat, but as a technique demonstration, I think it works fine.

It started with a quilted background 12'' square - quilted, logically, with pebbles - in a sandy kind of colour, with a couple of raw edge appliqué pebbles thrown in.

As seafloor generally is, this bit is densely populated. The star of the show is the star fish:

Then there's the seashell in lovely yellow Stonehenge fabric:

A coral (I think it's what's called a "brain coral"):

A couple of different kinds of seaweed:

And - I bet you didn't notice it in the first picture - a little jelly fish:

Well, maybe you still can't see it, but that's often the case with jelly fish. This particular one is made with white organza and netting - very see-through altogether.

I really love playing with these samples, trying out different shapes and variants.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew fresh Quilts

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Dancing in the Wind

Sorry to those who already saw this quilt (very recently), but it is my favourite project of the year and so I just have to enter it into Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

It's very simple piecing with some blocks featuring a bit of hand embroidery and 3D appliqué - my latest craze.

Here are all the little ballerinas who are dancing in the wind:

The triangles are made of blender fabrics with subtle floral/botanical prints and quilted with wonky triangle spirals, which creates a nice texture. And it's all as bright as it can be - just the way I love it.

I recently encountered a quote by J.W. Goethe, which goes: "...savage nations, uneducated people and children have a great predilection for vivid colours". I'm still wondering which of these categories I belong to...

Thanks for visiting and do check out all the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival - some fabulous stuff there!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Succulent Sampler

I'm trying to finish my workshop samples before my college year starts, and I have to tell you, it's a lot of fun. So when I saw that Blogger's Quilt Festival is on, I thought I'd share the fun with everybody!

This is one of the samplers for a workshop on 3D appliqué, and it features several different techniques for creating 3D shapes, all crammed together into a mini quilt 12'' by 9''.

I love succulents and they seem to be trending now (or is it just my Pinterest feed?), so it was fun to try and recreate some of the shapes in fabric. There was a lot of behind-the scenes experimentation, I went through four different versions of the cactus, before I arrived at a variant which is both fast to make and pretty.

Here are the close ups:

The 3D elements are hand-appliqued on top of a completed quilt sandwich with binding. I chose a simple, but bright background and kept it all in an analogous colour scheme.

I think they turned out nice, with all the different shades of green and the little brown pots, and they are easy to make, too.

Do visit the Blogger's Quilt Festival, there are already a lot interesting entries and more are added, as it s open till September 24th.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Throwback Thursday and Forward-Looking Friday

Yesterday I saw that Sandra of mmm! quilts was running a Throwback Thursday link-up and it kind of chimed in with what was on my mind, so I decided it's not too late to join the fun.

First I'll show you what I'm at now:

It's the beginning of a new watercolour quilt background - looks huge, you can see it takes up the whole dining table, but when finished it's going to be just 20'' by 30'' (if my maths is right, anyway).

The technique is the same as described in this little tutorial - it's usually called pixellated quilt or watercolour quilt, but on a larger scale. The squares here are 1.75'', so they are going to be 1.25'' finished - hence the drastic decrease in size. I didn't quite enjoy cutting 384 squares, but laying them out was fun.

I'm not telling you yet what's going to be on this background, just that the background represents the sky.

That brings me to the throwback part of it all - two quilts I did before in this technique in pre-blogging times (not that long ago, really):

(They are straight, honest, it's just some camera distortion!)
I put them here side by side not just to show the different sky colours, but also to compare the effects different square sizes produce: in the left-hand one the squares are 1.5'' finished, and in the right-hand one 1'' finished.

Now, a little bit closer. First, the tropical sunset - warm and bright:

Then the Northern sunset, cool and crisp (and with a hint of Japanese prints style):

What I like about this technique is that the background is so interesting in itself, that it only needs some simple silhouetted appliqué to finish it off. Here in both pieces the appliqué is raw-edge and the quilting is very simple, too (except the pine branches in the borders).

I like taking this pieces out and putting them on the wall from time to time - the tropical one works particularly well in the middle of winter :)))

Linking up to Throwback Thursday at mmm! quilts
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Monday, 3 September 2018

Mother and Baby

A quick (and sweet) little finish, another horse portrait that didn't make it into workshop samples, as I thought it was a bit too difficult:

When I was piecing my horse portrait samples, I experimented with different types and colours of fabrics to see how they changed the mood of the finished piece. I intended to try florals as well, but I don't have a lot of this kind of fabric, so I couldn't find enough that would work together. I finally made it after I found the yellow gingham with the little daisies that seemed "related" to the daisies on pink that I already had, and the green blender with a hint of floral pattern that seemed the perfect meadow in a fabric shop (yay to the summer sales!).

The trick here is to choose fabrics with small-scale chintzy kind of patterns that have one predominant colour, so that they "read" as yellow or pink or something from a distance. Yet, the addition of the flower pattern is a sweet touch that is very suitable for this particular mother+baby portrait.

I decided not to add any borders and leave it a simple mini quilt, about 17'' squared. As I had recently come across Angela Walter's Swirls Quilting Challenge with excellent video tutorials, I tried three swirl/pebble variations in the quilting of this mini.

The manes are made with felting wool and stitched into the seams.

Linking up to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
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