Friday, 21 July 2017

Scraps of Summer

As I haven't still got all the stuff I need to finish my One Block Wonder, I took a change of direction  to make a quilt for our branch exhibition, which has to be in by the end of August anyway. The theme of the exhibition is "Scrap Happy" (and the required size is 16'' by 35''), and I like kind of tone it sets. I was (and am) thinking about my kids who are on a seaside holiday with their grandparents - playing on the beach, eating ice-cream, wearing sundresses - you know the lot. So I decided to put together these bits and pieces of summer holidays:

summer quilt

I wanted it to be improvised, so just made a loose sketch and assembled everything right on the quilt sandwich, like this:

summer quilt

You can see the group of fruit already stitched down, and the flowers just cut out and roughly placed in position. I used raw edge appliqué to give it maximum scrappiness, applied little bits of basting glue to keep the pieces in place and stitched them down on FMQ machine setup.

summer quilt

Here is the top part assembled:

summer quilt

And the whole image, without the text:

summer quilt

I didn't take pictures of making the text, because this was the most tedious part of it all - I wrote the letters on freezer paper, ironed it to one side of the fabric, ironed the bondaweb to the other side of the fabric, and then cut out every letter through all the layers. I didn't want the lettering to dominate the quilt, so I chose a fabric with a scrappy feel to it, which kind of breaks the shape of the letters.

I quilted the background with a little curvy pattern (don't know if it has a proper name) in a YLI variegated sandy thread.

summer quilt

I certainly enjoyed making it, this kind of improvised appliqué is my favourite style of work, and I hope I managed to achieved the relaxed, summerly, scrappy, happy look I was aiming for.


Have a nice summer!.. and how 'bout some ice-cream?

ice cream quilt

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Show Off Saturday at Sew can She

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Progress Report

A progress report on my One Block Wonder quilt (see previous instalments here and here).

After finalising the layout I stitched together the vertical column of half-hexagons:


And then put the columns together, see how the look changed after the seam allowances went to the back:


The fabric is satin and quite naughty, so I didn't really bother matching all the seams to a point, in many cases they are a bit off.
But the satin finish has a plus side, too: it creates a nice shine and facet-like look to the quilt. I will be still visible after quilting.


Here it is on the bed. It cover most of the bed surface, so I need a border for the overhang, and, unfortunately, I don't have enough suitable fabric (and also not enough backing and not enough batting - I have made any bed-size quilts in a while), so I need a fabric shopping trip.


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

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

One Block Wonder Takes Shape

It's been a long time since I did any quilting and, consequently, blogging, but now I have a little break in my studies and want to finish some UFOs.
The first thing I started with is the one block wonder quilt started as demonstration pieces for my workshop. I finished the second batch of the blocks and spent a couple of hours yesterday playing with the layout.


It's going to be a bedquilt for my daughter's bedroom, so I knew I wanted the purples, the focus colour, to go in some sort of diagonal from the corner which is going to be closest to the door. The photo above was the first preliminary layout, and then I shuffled and reshuffled the blocks for ages. I wonder if anyone can spot the changes ;)))






If by any chance you have nothing better to do, you can play the game "spot N differences between two identical pictures".
I think I should better get sewing, otherwise I will want to rearrange them again - I can see a couple of "odd men out" in the last photo that I didn't see yesterday.

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

Friday, 9 June 2017

We and I

We are all unique and different from each other, yet we often have to run in the same direction and do  as we are told - or do we?


Maybe sometimes we have to look around and ask ourselves if "we" is really more important than "I" and if what everybody does if really the right thing to do.


Those were the thoughts I tried to render in this piece, which - from sketch to sleeve - took over a year to complete. You can have a look at the previous stages here and here. This post is about the quilting and finishing.


As you can see, each horse got his or her own quilting pattern, to stress their individuality in addition to the different fabrics used. I used my beloved YLI variegated thread for some of them, and plain cotton for others. As most of the fabrics are patterned, the quilting don't show very well, but that's OK because the texture of the manes makes the quilt look very busy.


The felted manes are inserted into the seams of the top and then stitched down in some places to create the feeling of motion. The eyes and nostrils were added to define the faces, yet I kept them very stylised in line with the overall feel.


I didn't want to restrict the horses' motion with a frame, so I chose to face the quilt, letting the manes overhang on the left-hand side. It finished about 93 by 165 cm (36'' by 64'') if I remember right, so you have to take a couple of steps back to take it all in :)).


Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Mary
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hands Across the Border Exhibition - Aurora

This Tuesday I attended the official opening of the "Hands Across the Border" exhibition organised biannually by the Irish Patchwork Society and the Quilters' Guild of Northern Ireland. This year's theme is "Aurora" and it proved to be a great theme with multiple possible interpretations and really strong visual impact.


The room is large and well-lit, but there are only two walls available for hanging quilts, so they are a bit crammed together. The  opening was a very nice affair, with opening speeches by Ruth Bourke of Charlie and Ben's Crafty Corner, our chairperson,  and Leo Enright, space journalist and writer, wine and party food, but mostly lots of talking and discussing and just catching up.


I took loads of photos of quilts, but it's impossible to fit them all here, so just some:







And some close-ups, I'm afraid the names of the authors are not really visible, and haven't got a catalogue, so apologies for leaving them nameless:


Lovely batiks and really inventive border treatment here.


This goes to show how far a simple straight line quilting can take you!


Not shows well in this photo, but it really shines with Angelina fibres.


Fabulous texture and colour in this beauty.


This one is called "Sunrise, sunset" and I love love the clever difference between the two parts.


 Lovely hand-dyed fabric here and nice sense of motion.

And last, me with my "Dance of the Goddess":


I'm going there again on Monday, so I might take some better pictures to share and make Part 2.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Friday, 12 May 2017

Racing on...

Just a quick update to show off the finished top of my horse quilt. (The beginning is here if you haven't seen it).


It's almost two meters long, looks rather imposing up close. The manes are working ok so far - they are inserted in the seams, but I'm still going to arrange them and partially stitch them down when quilting. Another thing that will change the appearance is going to be the horses' eyes and nostrils- I'm not sure yet but they will probably be appliqué of some kind of glossy fabric or faux leather (any suggestions are welcome!) It doesn't have to be realistic, just mark the face.


Quilting is still under consideration as well, I think I'll have a different filler pattern for each horse. Hope I'll soon be able to show you the end result.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Wait Loss - Off We Go!

I've been watching the Wednesday Wait Loss link up at Inquiring Quilter for several weeks now, and today I have a perfect project to share. I made a sketch for this project about a year and a half ago, and only got around to making it a couple of weeks ago. First, I made a full-size pattern and its freezer paper copy:


Then started selecting the fabrics for each piece. This is what it's looking like now with pieced just pinned to the design wall:


The most interesting (and difficult) part of this quilt is going to be the horses' manes which are going to be felted. I hope they will stress the dynamism of the image. Today I started felting the manes, trying to make them soft to keep the natural wool look.


Still a lot to go, but now I've shared it with you, there's no going back, so let's charge forward!

Linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss at Inquiring Quilter

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