Thursday 14 January 2021

January Cushion of the Month for IPS

Our Cushion of the Month project is going strong, and it's so nice to see all the various interpretations of the previous patterns at our virtual meetings. I'm hoping to see some January cushions at this month's meeting, too.

For people leaving in more continental climate this interpretation of January might seem strange, but in Ireland, this is what January looks like: there may be half a snowflake, but spring flowers are certain to pop up here and there. I have a snowdrop bud in my garden at the moment, and Dublin botanic gardens posted their first snowdrops back in December.

As usual, I made the sample with Moda Grunge fabrics, using the basic machine appliqué technique and free motion quilting. The quilting echoes the flowers with drop shapes.

I took the photos in my daughter's room, as the cushion fits well in its colour scheme; and sure enough the cat had to take part.

Here are all the cushions up to date:

To finish, here is a photo from the botanic gardens a couple of years ago; unfortunately, we can't go there (or anywhere) at the moment, but looking forward to visiting again some day.

Linking up to:

Off the Wall Friday at Creation by Nina Marie

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Owl Be Watching You

 It took me the first week of January to finish my biggest "debt" from last year. I posted about work in progress on it back in July and finished the top speedily, but then it had to wait for its turn to be quilted.

I designed the pattern specifically to use a sunset-coloured fat quarter bundle and my vision was based on stained glass cathedral windows (as you can see from some of the shapes that make up the background). Every quilter is familiar with the stained glass effect you get if look at a top against light, and here it was especially pertinent.

The pattern is quite complex, with a lot of small bits, but comes together nicely. I was wondering if anybody would be interested to purchase the pattern? I'm planning to start adding patterns to my Etsy shop this year.

The whole quilt is curve pieced, this is a detail of the wrong side of the top in process:

And this is my little helper taking care of the cut pieces:

As usual, it took me a long time to decide how to quilt it; I went for some ornate pattens on the owl, especially the wing...

... mixed floral and geometric patterns on the moon...

... and parallel lines on the leaves and the sky.

This caused some problems with flattening the quilt, but I like the effect quilting gives it.

So, this is the owl finished, and I have a perfect place for it at the top of the stairs, where it is supposed to look like a window (I know you have to have a really vivid imagination to think it is a window) and the owl is watching you every time you climb the stairs.

Linking up to:

Off the Wall Friday at Creation by Nina Marie

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday 25 December 2020

Christmas on the Cards

 A little Christmas post on Christmas Day.

This year's Christmas challenge at IPS Eastern branch was making a fabric postcard to be sent to a care home resident. I made a few and sent some to friends and neighbours too.

After posting the cards on Instagram I was also invited to take part in a fabric postcard exchange by some Russian quilters, and I made a special New Year  themed one for my exchange partner in Moscow.

It took some time, but the card arrived safe and sound, almost at the same time as her card came to me:

So, this is how I dived into the world of textile postcards and started to discover its possibilities. If you haven't tried them before, there is a little tutorial on IPS website, and Instagram is full of inspirational examples.

Forgot to show the backsides - here I got to play with some of the decorative stitches on my machine that I do not normally use for anything.

Linking up to:

Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Tuesday 22 December 2020

December Cushion of the Month for IPS

 The December instalment of our "Cushion of the Month" project just had to feature Christmas symbols, and although there are many, I picked holly and poinsettia as the whole thing was going in the botanical direction by now.

I plan to make all the samples with Moda Grunge fabrics, and as the holiday edition needed some shine and sparkle I used Moda Grunge metallics for the appliqué; red and green provide the perfect seasonal contrast.

I'm using stylised simplified shapes in Art Deco style, but the addition of berries makes this appliqué a bit more fiddly that the others. I still think they add a lot of interest, but I made a note in the instructions that buttons can be used to represent berries.

The quilting is in angular leaf-like shapes to work with the appliqué.

Previous instalments:
October cushion

Linking up to:

Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Tuesday 15 December 2020

November Cushion of the Month for IPS

A quick post to catch up: I wrote before about the "Cushion of the month" project we are doing at Eastern branch of the Irish Patchwork society, and this was the November instalment.

November not having any holidays with recognisable symbols (I know Americans have their turkeys, but we are not in America) I found it hard to pick one seasonal thing. Finally, guided by the maxim "When in doubt do flowers", I opted for a chrysanthemum, one of the latest flowers you can see in November.

My sample cushion picks up the golden colour of the sofa, so it may become a permanent fixture in the living room, regardless the change of seasons.

The quilting is black on black (and so hard to photograph), in the shape of petals/leaves/feathers to support the shapes in appliqué itself.

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

Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday 14 December 2020

I Spy a Couple of Baby Quilts

I fell in love with the idea of "I-spy" (or "eye-spy"?) quilts several years ago, but my daughters were two big for this kind of games by the time, so I just admired the various interpretations on Pinterest. Now I have two little nieces (on different sides of the family), and I just had to make this play-quilts for both of them.

The problem was that I don't normally use novelty fabrics in my quilt art, but I needed quite a lot of them to make the idea work. So, I rounded up whatever remnants I had from previous kids' projects and then started to buy fat quaters of this or that until I had about 42 non-repeating things to name. There I had to stop collecting and start working before the girls grow too big - they are turning two, which is the perfect age to start naming pictures and looking for them.

My novelty fabrics were cut into 5'' squares (some of them came from a charm pack) and, obviously, I had to add something to bring the quilts to about lap size. I chose a Fossil Fern layer cake and some white to tie the whole riot of colours together. I chose two simple traditional patterns - square in a square and Irish chain, to make it quick, but not too repetitive.

The first one I had to finish very fast, because a friend was flying to Moscow and could take it with her (which is much safer than posting), so I don't even have good photos of it. I quilted it in loose zigzags on the diagonal, which worked great, as I was able to the quilting in less than a day.

The 60" backing was a godsend too, as I didn't need to piece anything, and it made a perfect binding, too.

I even inserted my new label (I know my niece couldn't care less, but it just fitted in ;)) I just realised haven't shown the labels here on the blog, so I'll make a little post about them.

With the second quilt I wasn't in that much hurry, as my second niece is just 15 minutes' walk away from me, and the quilt can wait till Christmas, but I still finished it while I was on the same wavelength. This one is Irish chain for my Irish niece.

I was able to use up the offcuts of the Fossil Fern fabrics for the squares and more white for the background, and I ended up with some extra blocks that I put together into a little cushion.

This one was quilted in "orange peel" grid, and this is the first time I ever quilted a pre-marked grid, as I normally do it freehand.

And I was also able to have proper photo session, with the cat helping along as best he could.

Same fun backing/binding fabric, and a label, too.

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

Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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