Sunday 30 October 2011

Productivity versus time

I assumed with ten days free from work, household responsibilities, in fact any sort of responsibility, my quilting productivity would soar to stratospheric never-before-seen levels.

This was my sum total.

I even had lots of blocks cut and ready to sew but didn't quite get to them.

So... I am back now to normal life with snatched odds and sods of free time.

By my inverse reckoning, that means a heightened level of quilting productivity is on the cards...

Saturday 15 October 2011

Do you sell your quilts?

Quilt making for me has always been about relaxing from real life, enjoying experimenting with new ideas with the end result being things to give away as gifts or to take part in a swap.

Quilt making for me has never, nor ever will be, about making quilts to sell. Then pressure steps into the equation and the whole point of quilting is to get away from pressure.

A few years ago my father 'volunteered' me to a lady he played bridge with, who was looking for someone to turn her 'lifelong collection of batiks' into a quilt. I wasn't wild about the idea but felt I had no alternative to say 'yes' if they were to remain happy bridge partners.

A couple of weeks later two big boxes arrived at my house...full of old clothes. What no one had told me was that this Malaysian lady's collection of 'batiks' was in fact her old saris and such like that she had worn over the years and the fabric required to make the quilt would be provided by cutting off all the cuffs, pleats, button holes, hemlines etc etc. The note with the boxes thanked me for my kindness and said she would be pleased to receive a 'super king size' quilt.

I won't go into how I felt at this point suffice to say I knew it was going to be a very simple pattern that I attempted. Many months later the requested quilt was completed and then came the awkward question of 'how much?' I had spent  hours and hours on the quilt but I just felt asking for what it would have cost if I had charged myself out at an hourly rate would have been so mind-numbingly huge, that I chickened out and asked her to 'pay me what you think it is worth.'

She sent a cheque but it was so far short of the mark that it made me realise that non-quilters really have no idea of the hours we actually spend creating something and that if I was going to do it again, it would most definitely not be a super-king size quilt and I'd only do it if I had control over the design and the fabrics. I also concluded you're not going to be taking early retirement just by making quilts so I will only make for others infrequently and when I do, whatever is spent on supplies, I will double for my time which I do realise is still well short of a quilts actual worth.

Fast forward to a month ago and a work colleague asked me if I would make a quilt for her to give to a friend with a 'nautical' feel.  I thought about it for a bit, memory sufficiently dulled by the batik experience and said yes. In my head, nautical was all about bits of driftwood, a beachy, laid back kind of feel and I thought I could achieve that. She thought that too but unfortunately she didn't think her friend would; she thought his idea of nautical would be:

and this:

I don't dislike them...but I don't really like them either.  So I needed to find a way to work with them to make them more modern and hopefully I have found it:

All I did was cut up 6 1/2" squares into half-square triangles, played around with the pattern and colour until I was happy with it and then sewed them all together.

I really like it now.

On with the quilting.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

I got it wrong.

I was so convinced that the next Little Island baby to arrive (that I wanted to make a quilt for) was going to be a boy, that I sat back, secure in the knowledge that I had some boy quilts ready.

But it wasn't.

It was a girl.

And I had no suitable quilt to give and very little time to rustle one up.

Cue this book, packed full of really great quilt designs that don't take a zillion years to complete and all starting out with 2 1/2 inch strips so jelly roll suitable. I've sort of fallen out of love with jelly rolls because I don't like a matchy matchy looking quilt.  So, although I did use a few jelly roll strips, I also cut up some of my own scraps to get the required starting point of 2 1/2 inch width strips.

I decided to make the quilt featured on the cover and it really was quick and simple.

Just by cutting up varying widths of 2 1/2 inch strips you can end up with (imo) a fairly sophisticated looking quilt that looks more complicated than it really is.

With a few spare hours here and there you've got yourself a baby quilt ready to gift.

The back is just a sliver of Heather Ross Munki Munki set in to the middle(ish) {eyeballed it...didn't get a ruler on it} of the back.

Just needs a label and then it is all set to go.

Friday 7 October 2011

Cushion/pillow cover swap

It's called The Pillow Talk {Swap} but in my part of the world it's a cushion cover.

Either way, I've finished mine for my partner and if I'm allowed to say so...I rather like it.

I've had a lovely, chatty partner which has allowed me to pick up lots of hints and tips along the way and I'd like to feel I really nailed this one.

Gratuitous selection of images now follows.

From time to time I see other makers commenting that they are going to find it hard to give away what they have made to their secret partner and I've thought: "How odd, you've made it to someone else's likes so how can it be hard to send it off to its new home."

I'm odd too then.

I've loved everything about this cushion cover; from the fabrics to the pattern to the end result.

I'm going to have a hard time giving this one away.

Monday 3 October 2011

Words quilt finish

Many hours of hand quilting later I got to this:

Excuse smudge on lens which makes the pink bit look a bit smeary.

But I just didn't feel it was quilted enough.

So I carried on.

I still think you can transform a quilt so much by densely quilting it.

And then I think the point was reached where both myself and the quilt felt we had spent enough time together and we agreed to stop.

So I could move on to the next quilt.

Kona White with one triangle pieced into the back.

Linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge 
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