Tuesday 18 December 2012

One down, one to go

So here is the cushion/pillow cover for the second person who won my Sew Mama Sew giveaway.

I'm still pondering my options for the first person.

I had the words  'texty' 'scrappy', 'triangles' and 'linen background' to go on which was quite liberating in the sense there were no colours specified.

I hope I ticked all the boxes.

And the back:

And that's it.

I'm all done for 2012.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by - I'd like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a safe 2013.

I'll be back in the New Year.

Linking up to WIP

Friday 14 December 2012

Where do your quilt ideas come from?

In my case, sometimes when I least expect it.

Some tidying up.

Which results in 'new' fabric being found.

And bits of fabric from past projects.

And pieces that you hoard because they have such large prints that you don't want to cut into them because you don't want to lose the pattern. So you just keep them and keep them for some indeterminate next quilt.

And then inspiration is sought to try and marry all those disparate finds together.

Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance

Which is how I have ended up with this.

I may go bigger, I may not.

I may just do a bit more tidying and see what appears to be added to the mix.

How do your quilts evolve?

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Some Secret Santa Sewing

The rule was that no more than £5 was to be spent...which I didn't.

Because as we all know...

...scraps are priceless.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday

Friday 7 December 2012

And the winners are...

Thanks very much to everyone who entered my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway. I was a little overwhelmed by the response but still managed to read every single comment.

What an education. I had no idea that a word like 'steampunk' even existed for a type of cushion cover style and it was really interesting though to read what everyone would like.

And because there were so many of you that entered, I've decided to pick TWO cushion cover winners, as well as the charm pack and a wodge of my scraps winners. I do hope if you are the recipient of my scraps winner that you don't feel like you got the booby prize - I'll make them nice scraps, I promise!

First pillow cover will be made for:

Who was:

I'm OK with those words; it's her comment before that I shall struggle with 'Bold, Egyptian, Pieced.'
It'll certainly be a challenge.

Second person to get their own cushion cover will be:

Which was:

She also had a comment before with these words:  'texty, scrappy, triangles.'

Then the person getting the charm packet is:

Which was:

And finally, the person getting the creme de la creme of my scraps is:

Which was: 

Feel free to drop me an email with your addresses if I don't email you first.

Thanks everyone for a fun giveaway.

A pinwheel half-square triangle quilt

I first wrote about this quilt here (if you're interested there are measurements for the block size and a little 'how to' construct each block). It's also hanging out in all its unquilted nakedness on my blog header.

It's now all quilted up.

As you can see there are two types of pinwheels: ones using two fabrics of similar colour and ones that are an excellent opportunity to use fabrics with big patterns on them.

I definitely think having the little butterflyesque scraps of extra colour add to the movement and interest.

And the back probably gives the best view of how I quilted it: with a simple grid pattern either side of the seams.

I do like the challenge of a complicated quilt but equally, sometimes it's very relaxing just to put together a simple quilt which can also be just as effective  in its own way.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday

Monday 3 December 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

The giveaway is now closed

With Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day this time, I am offering to make someone their own cushion/pillow cover.

These are some of the ones I've made before:

To make it fun, if you want to be in with a chance, leave a comment with just THREE words to describe the kind of cushion/pillow cover you'd like eg. bright, scrappy, fun or monochromatic, modern, cool. You get the idea.

If you're a follower then you can leave an additional comment with an extra TWO words to add to the three you already left, giving you a total of FIVE words to describe what kind of cushion cover you'd like.

The winner will be drawn randomly on 7 December, after which I will have eight weeks to make and send the winner her cushion cover.

Second randomly picked number will get a Hometown by Sweetwater charm pack - there are some great text fabrics in the packet.

And finally, third random number will get a wodge of my scraps.

If you leave more than the requested amount of words, I'm afraid I won't include you in the draw.

Oh and if you use the word 'cool' I am going to assume you mean cool colours and not that something is cool style wise!

Good luck...make those words count ;-)

Friday 30 November 2012

The phoenix rises from the ashes

OK, grab something...a cup of coffee, tea, bottle of alcohol...this is going to be a long, picture heavy one.

Where to begin.

Well there are previous posts about this quilt here (and somewhere else on my blog but I can't find it and it's not that important so on I go).

It was a pattern that I have no idea why I bought at the time other than I thought 'I could do that'.

Like a lot of things in life: clothes, shoes, boyfriends; I look back and think 'What on earth was I on at the time.'

So this pattern got put to one side until a clear-out a few years ago, when I couldn't decide whether to chuck it or keep it.

No idea why but I decided to keep it and slowly work my way through it. The plus side was it used up an awful lot of scraps, even the teeny weeny ones. The flip side was it was bone-crushingly boring but also slightly addictive. I wanted to throw the towel in soooo many times but I just couldn't. It would have meant giving up and I don't give up very easily.

So I gave myself mental milestones.

You're a third of the way there now

Your're half-way now, it would be a waste of the fabric you've already used if you gave up

It's a really good way to get rid of some of those everso not to your taste fabric remnants the mother-in-law gave you from way back when and you can still look her in the eye and say you used them

Look, you're three quarters of the way there now...wasn't so tortuous was it?

Now you've paper-pieced all the parts you just have to sew them together

Really it's not so bad is it?

These mental milestones were played out over two and a half years of on and off until I finally had this. It still took me a week though to remove all the paper from the back and I left little trails of it round the house and even sat at a meeting at work and then glanced down to see I had tiny bits of paper stuck to my trousers.

 While I was glad I had finished it, I felt completely deflated. I knew there would be another mountain to climb if I was going to quilt it with the justice I felt it deserved. I was so ambivalent towards it I would have shoved it under my sewing machine and mindless meandered all over it just to be done.

So I did something I have never done before, I packed it off  roughly 4,836 miles (I know that because I've just Googled it) to the amazingly talented long-arm quilter that is Krista where she worked her magic on it.

It then hung in an exhibition of her work on Vashon Island...you can see it on her blog...before beginning its long journey back to me, where it arrived this week.

I don't think there are enough superlatives for me to describe the outstandingly amazing job she has done on it.

The texture that she has brought to the quilt is just jaw-droppingly drooling.

She very politely described my quilt as 'an extreme fabric diary'...

...which is what it was. If I look at the shot above, I see the subtle star centres which is how I thought I was going to make the whole quilt, with lots of gentle, floral fabrics. I even recognise the blue floral as a Laura Ashley dress I wore to a wedding 20 years ago.

But as time went on, I completely forgot what I should be doing with this quilt and my colour choices became more random.

So that by the time I got to paper-piecing the fans (far right in the shot below) I was consumed by 'press-on-itus', only thought of value and not colour, such was the desire to just get to the finish.

But for all my stop-start, what-am-I-doing meetings with this quilt, Krista has managed to marry it all together with her quilting.

If you look at the back you can see how beautiful it is.

It was pointed out to me that someone had pinned the quilt top on Pinterest with the comment "This is gorgeous, but all those sharp, precision-pieced points would show up even better against a background with more contrast, like solid gray, black, or white."

Possibly true. But I didn't come to this quilt with a laid out plan that I carried through from beginning to end. I started this quilt the same reason I start every quilt I make:

Because for so many reasons, I just love the whole process of quilting.
Because I discover something new about myself and my love for quilting each time.
Because I can always see the beginning but don't necessarily need to plan ahead for the ending.

My quilts are all just an expression of who I am and the journey I took to get there.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and At the End of the Hallway

Friday 23 November 2012

What is modern?

When I saw the Modern Quilt Guild  was having a quilt show, I decided to come out of my comfort zone and enter a 'modern quilt.'

Sometimes I'm not even sure what modern means and I get it confused with contemporary and lots of other words that get bandied around when it comes to quilting.

So I've just made a quilt that I think is modern, with things that I love: lots of text fabric and a tonne of colour.

I even blocked the quilt which has made a huge difference to the way it hangs. There are several different methods out there. I chose to wash the whole quilt and lightly spin it. Then I lay it out flat on a carpeted spare room, measured it square, then pinned it into the carpet and left it there for 48 hours by which time it was square, flat and dry.

...although it doesn't really show nestled on a row of strawberry plants...

And I quilted the living daylights out of it.

But now I'm wobbling.

(Bit like the quilting really)

Because it's not perfect.

Some of the Drunkard's Path corner blocks don't match up perfectly and the quilting is more utilitarian than award-winning.

And I don't want it to be dissected by Those Who Wear White Gloves.

And I suppose the final nail in the coffin is I wouldn't have a clue what category to enter it into: Minimalist Design, Use of Negative Space, Modern Traditionalism - I have no idea.

So I'm thinking this is my test run for this year and maybe next year I'll have a proper go at being modern.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

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