Monday, 28 March 2011

Christmas Through the Year - March Finish

I have finished Ellie's name panel!

Ellie quilted and bound

I ended up machine quilting cos the hand quilting spider's web with pearl cotton I tried went a bit pear shaped. I think the lines and spots on the fabric made me too cross eyed ;-)

I feel like I need a break from making name panels, so will be doing something different for April's this space...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sit Quietly

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself” (Zen Proverb)

sit quietly 2
sit quietly 3
sit quietly 1

Yep, it's 3 more postcards for the DIY Postcard Swap 2011.

And here's the last one (I had a bit of fun with this):

create play

And here's two I made for swaps on Trading Fabric Postcards:

black and white

The blackwork sheep pattern is from this website. Although I changed it a bit with my miscounting ;-) Not sure I have the patience/eyesight/concentration span for counted thread embroidery lol!

March lottery

I think it's safe to say I've had enough postcard making for the time being. Time for something BIGGER!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A Creative Life

I've been making more postcards for Hanna's DIY Postcard Swap. They are all on a common theme based on this quote from Joseph Chilton Pearce:

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong

postcard 4postcard 5postcard 6

I made stencils of crosses; then took some fabric from my scraps box and painted these with black and red acrylic paints. I also experimented a bit with some sequin waste on one piece. Then I chopped up the painted bits of fabric, sewed them back together in a different order and added the quotes. I am pretty pleased with how they turned out, and think they convey the message well. This time, rather than using Vilene and muslin for the backs, I have sewn them straight onto a heavy cardstock using a machine zigzag. It knackers the needle but works fine! So, that's six made, four to go :-). Check out the Flickr group to see all the great creative postcards being made.

algerian stitch

I have also made a start on the latest set of Sharon B's Stitch Files. This little sample shows Algerian stitch. I enjoyed working these - I think my favourite is the second row of smaller stitches in a wave pattern. Next thing is to try the stitch on a more interesting background material.

four coin strips

And lastly, I have finished the coin strips for my friend's baby quilt. It's very feminine and muted, not my style at all (!) but think it will go down well so that's the main thing :-)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Spring Comes to the Cabin

spring comes to the cabin

I finished my journal quilt for March. The technique for the month was applique. I used hand applique for the stem, and machine applique (fused) for the leaves. The background was made with a leftover quilt block from this quilt. I have called this journal "Spring Comes to the Cabin" a reference to the red square of a traditional log cabin block and because, well, it looks a bit like a vine growing in front of a cabin! (or maybe a giant beanstalk?!?)

I must admit, of the journal quilts I have made, this is my least favourite. I think it's mainly because it doesn't have any particular meaning to me. I like the composition and the colours well enough, but don't really feel like I put much of myself in it. It could be partly to do with the lack of hand stitching. I am beginning to realise that hand stitching makes me feel more connected to a piece.

postcard 1postcard 2postcard 3

As well as the journal quilt, I have knocked up a few postcards for iHanna's swap. These are pretty experimental for me. The backgrounds are some Vilene which I dyed using transfer/disperse dyes. I used these quite diluted and the effect is maybe a little toooo subtle. Next time I think I will thicken to make them more paint like. Then I used the embellisher machine to integrate merino wool fibres, scrim and various sheers, and added hand stitching. I have backed them with a muslin stiffened with fusible Vilene. They are pretty sturdy so hopefully will stand up to the postal service!

amish adventure

On my ever-expanding "projects I want to tackle soon" list is making a quilt with solids,so I was quite excited at this weekend's Spring Quilt Festival at Chilford to find this lovely bundle of Kona solids. Even better, a copy of Roberta Horton's "An Amish Adventure" in the reduced section of one of the bookstalls. I can't wait to get started...but first I am must finish piecing my friend's baby quilt...sigh...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bees, Birthdays and Babies

B for Brenda
Brenda over at Scraps and Strings will soon be celebrating a special birthday. She has put a call out for people to send her free pieced "B" blocks to make a birthday quilt. When I saw this, I thought "Yesssssssss! The perfect use for this fabric". Waddya reckon?

Hope she likes it! And if you want to make a letter "B" for Brenda, you have until 6th April to get it to her.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine is expecting a baby this summer and I have promised her a quilt. I have decided to keep it simple, with a Chinese coins design and have sewed the first strip of coins:

first strip of coins

The fabrics are all from my stash, although quite a few are leftovers from charm packs I bought for making my hexagon charm quilt so it does have a bit more of a "co-ordinated" feel than most things I make. Once I have five strips of coins, I will add white sashing. Although I love liberated and free pieced quiltmaking, it's sometimes nice to sew together pieces that are all precut the same size, just to get into a mindless rhythm.

journal wip
I have made a start on my March journal quilt but it's just not quite right. I scanned it into the computer to see if I could play with it and work out what's wrong. I need to integrate the red square somehow - not sure if it's repetition of colour, or shape or size I need; or something else entirely?! I am hoping if I look at it long enough the answer will come to me :-)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Get Your Stitch Files Quick!!

Hooray! Sharon Boggon has released the next instalment of the Stitch Files. She is offering these at half price for the next two weeks. They are $5 (which works out at £3.18 for us Brits), normally $10. If you want to see what they are like, you can download the freebie sheets as a taster. Just go here to join in the fun:

Here's some pics of work I have done on previous Stitch Files:

cretan stitch

fly stitch

chain stitch

chain stitch explorations

Join in! You know you want to :-)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Unruly Letters for My Unruly Niece!


I've pieced the letters for my next Christmas name banner. This one is for my niece, Ellie. Ellie is a bit of a pink princess - but more warrior princess than Disney princess :-)- and she loooooooves bugs, so this pink spider fabric is just perfect for her. I might even hand quilt this one, cos I've been itching to have a go at some Baptist fans but too scared to try on a big quilt. So, I'm thinking pearl cotton (what else?!) but should I go for pink cotton, white, or a different colour entirely? Hmmmm....decisions, decisions. What on Earth did I spend my time thinking about before I started quilting?!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

I *heart* 3 Creative Studios

As if joining in a challenge with a group of talented and creative people wasn't enough reason to make a journal quilt each month for the 3CS challenge, each entrant is also entered into a prize draw. And guess what? I won in February!!!!!!!!!!!! The prize was a pack of Vicki's wonderful hand dyed fat quarters. Choosing which ones to have was an agonising decision (check out her etsy shop if you don't believe me!) but I eventually went with "campfire" and am very pleased I did. The fabric is simply gorgeous - I'm afraid my picture doesn't do it justice.

prize fat quarters

Another reason I'm glad I found the 3CS website, is that I found out about Terri Stegmiller, whose blog is here. And via that, about the 12 by 12 group; and from there about the Twelve by Twelve book, which I received yesterday. I haven't had much chance to look at it, but what I have seen is amazing! As well as all the beautiful inspiring pictures of the quilts, each of the 12 quilt artists talks through how they arrived at a quilt on each theme. A book to treasure!

12 by 12 cover

12 by 12 identity

12 by 12 chairs

3 Creative Studios Badge