Monday, 28 February 2011

Fencing in the Village

Fenced In

Phew, I aimed to finish Waif's quilt top by the end of February...and here it is! A complete village, all fenced in.

Forgive the cruddy photo, but I was too excited to wait for a sunny day!

I do love this quilt, but I think if I was to make it again I would leave a little more background on the houses, cos I don't think there's much of a place for the eye to rest. But hey, it's for a six year old boy and when do they rest?!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Christmas Through the Year - February

This month, I made a couple of Christmas presents. The first was a couple of luggage tags (posted about here) and I have also made this name panel for my nephew, Ewan:


My sister reckons he'll be thrilled with it cos it's hard to get hold of things with his name on in the States as the name isn't popular over there. Let's hope he likes it as much as I enjoyed making it :-)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sea Change

Sea change - "a profound or notable transformation" (Oxford Dictionary)

sea of change complete

This piece of work represents a transformation for the material and for my way of working. The materials themselves have been transformed by use of the heat gun and by the incorporation of the stitches. And the piece represents a transformation in my approach to making a quilt. I am certainly not renowned for making a detailed plan and following it through (easily distracted? moi?) but this is the first time I've made a piece of work without having any idea of what I wanted it to turn out like! I just started with the materials I had that fitted with the colour palette and took it from there.

So first I layered together yellow felt, light blue felt, torn strips of a darker blue plastic bag and last of all a sheer blue gridded fabric. I then machine stitched a grid. Well, it started out as a grid, but I got bored of that and started to make some of the lines wavy or zigzaggy:

sea of change before

Next I got out my heat gun and zapped away, after which it looked like this:

sea of change after

And (a bit more terrifyingly) this:

sea of change scary face

Trying to ignore the scary face, I pulled out some embroidery floss and pearl cotton and started stitching. I started off just stitching to fill shapes, first with the cretan stitch, then the herringbone. These shapes reminded me of mermaids and fish which started me on the sea theme. And the rest, as they say, is history!

To finish off the quilt, I added yellow felt as a backing and satin stitched round the edges. The edges are a bit wavy, but for me, that just adds to the sea-change feeling ;-)

3 Creative Studios 2011 Color Palette Badge

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Pieced, quilted, bound, FINISHED!

Jacobs Ladder finished

Here it is - my very first full sized bed quilt finished. Complete. All stitched up.

This quilt was my very first adventure into patchwork. I started in December 2009, just 10 months after picking up a needle and thread for the very first time, and piecing the top was a huge learning curve. I posted my first progress report here on 29 December 2009 - and wrote about learning this amazing new technique called chain piecing :-). By 28 February 2010 I had completed the quilt top (posted here), but it wasn't until May that I had it basted with backing and batting.  Then began the slow process of hand quilting, which I finally finished in January.  A few more weeks and I had selected the perfect binding fabric and got this sewn on, and ta-da here it is!  Just less than a year after completing the quilt top, the whole quilt is finished.  In the meantime, I have completed several other smaller quilt projects but, as I said, this is my very first patchwork and my very first bed quilt and so it holds a special place in my heart.  I am as proud of this as just about anything else I have ever done (child-rearing aside!!)

Here I am at 11.15pm last night sewing the last few stitches of binding to the back of the quilt:

last few stitches

And then a few minutes later, checking it over:

hows it lookin

Before wrapping myself in it :-) :

mama in quilt

Hmmm, and looking rather boss eyed.  Well I had been stitching the damned binding for at least 3 hours!!

Today, I took the quilt over to my  mum's to show her and take more photos and couldn't resist sharing this one of Waif, who insisted on being in the photos:

rafe likes the quilt

I'm lucky to have two boys who are such fans of my quilts :-)

Monday, 14 February 2011

And the word is...LOVE

white on red love
red on white love
Over on the Lib Quilters list, we have had a challenge to make "LOVE" blocks using Tonya Ricucci's unruly letters methods. These are to go the wonderful Clare who makes charity quilts for leukaemia patients. The quilts are red and white and made up of 8.5 inch blocks, if you fancy having a go yourself :-). Do have a look at the Quilts 4 Leukaemia blog and see all the wonderful quilts.

Happy Valentines Day in a Viv Style

Here's the card I made for DH:

valentines card

And what I wrote inside:

Roses are red
Denim is blue
This heart's a bit shabby
And so are... rhymes

I'm not expecting to be headhunted by Hallmark any time soon ;-)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Grow Old With Me - February Journal Quilt

I am not sure if I will get a bit of a telling off from my journal quilt partner J for this...but I've finished my February journal quilt!

grow old with me quilt (1)

Those who know me may not be terribly surprised to hear that romantic isn't really a word that figures in my vocabulary, but hey - it's February, month of a million yucky hallmark valentine's cards - why not do my take on it? And here it is: "Grow Old With Me". Let me explain.

The quilt represents what as I see as "true love". The woven central part makes a grid of 12, which is how many years I have been married. The materials used represent the mixture of elements making up a loving marriage - so we've got a bit of glitz and glamour (the silk and the brocade), then there's the process of ageing together (the rust dyed fabrics, lace and ricrac). Next up is the revealing of one's inner self (the strip of wadding included in the weaving - usually kept inside the quilt, but this time exposed). The tweed represents comfort and safety - not romantic but a vital ingredient in a loving partnership. Then there's the hearts, a universal symbol of romantic love. These particular hearts are showing some signs of distress (thanks to a heat gun!!) but are still held together by an interconnecting series of threads. Despite the wear and tear, they remain strong and together. For me, romance isn't about sugary sweet love but about growing old together, hence the name of the quilt and the label at the top (made from a piece of the colour catcher sheet I used when I washed the red squiggly fabric - it was just too pretty to throw away).

Oh, and the black jumbo ricrac? Where does that fit in? Erm, it's there because I like ricrac :-)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Christmas Through the Year - a February Finish!

First day of February and my first gifts for this month are completed.  I made two luggage tags, using some lovely African fabric I bought last year.  The directions for making the tags were in one of the free Quilting Arts ebooks. 

luggage tags front

luggage tags back

Not sure who they are for yet...maybe whichever of my jet setting family or friends shout "meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" the loudest ;-)