Thursday, 19 February 2015

Comma and Pluses: A quilt for home

Of all the quilts I have made so far, only one of them has remained in our home. So this year I have decided that I need to make quilts for both my boys, and hopefully one for me too! Now, it is hot where we live, all year round, and there is only the odd evening in the year when we might even think to snuggle under a quilt on the couch. But they still look good draped over the couch or folded on the end of a bed. And I guess a time will come when we move away from the tropics, so it is good to be prepared! 

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My second son turned eight this week so his was the first quilt I needed to work on. He was very particular about choosing the fabrics and design he wanted, and even specified that he wanted the quilting to be 'doodles all over in yellow thread'!! I love him for that!

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I am really trying to use the fabric I have at the moment, and so decided to piece together a back. The lovely Leonie agreed to share with me the design that she put together when she made this quilt for her daughter. I had to adjust the sizes a little as her quilt was bigger, but the effect was completely worth it.

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I used the last pieces of left-over fabric for the binding, and the overall effect is a colourful, but definitely boyish quilt. Mr. 8 loves it!

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The design for the front of this quilt came from Issue 1 of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, so I am linking up with Sew the Library this month. 



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Le Challenge - Dots!

With all the curves sewing I have been doing recently, 'Dots' was an easy challenge this month!

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Two mug rugs or pot holders. I used Insul Bright instead of normal batting/wadding so that they can be used safely for hot items. 

A great way to use up some scraps too! 

Linking up with Le Challenge and Scraptastic Tuesday.

Friday, 6 February 2015

This may just be it!

I may just have found the skill and technique in sewing that I have been craving, but didn't know where to find! 

Improvised curves. Seriously! No measuring, no rulers, just free cutting and then stacking layers together, and the effect is slightly abstract but brilliant! 

Improv curves first attempt #curvesclass #stitchedincolor

Following along with Rachel's Curves class, last week we started off by making note cards, and learning how to cut and sew those curves. I found some scraps that I had already sewn together in straight lines and they were a great starting point to cut into and make the curves. This was fun, but it was the next project that really appealed to me.

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Starting with a charm pack of Botanics fabric, and adding a few extra cuts of the gorgeous saturated colours, I just randomly sliced, sewed back together and then freehand cut the curves, and sewed them back together. I love how quick it was, I love that I didn't need to be precise and I love that I didn't need pins to sew those curves.

Feeling proud moment! #curvesclass #stitchedincolor #botanics @carolynfriedlander @stitchedincolor

I followed Rachel's advice and didn't add batting to this, instead just quilting the back and front together, and then binding with one of my favourite prints from Botanics - the colour is just amazing!

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These colours really remind me of Indonesia - the luscious green, the vivid orange and yellow and the deep blues.  And so I am going to gift it as a 50th birthday present to a friend here who walks beside me during the ups and downs of life, and who loves this adopted country of ours as much as I do.

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Curves and Christmas

My sewing challenge for this year is to conquer curves. I have only ever tried sewing a wavy line once (when I was making a sampler quilt) and it was such a disaster that it put me off ever trying again. But I can see how being confident in sewing curves opens up numerous possibilities for quilt designs, as well as maybe tackling making garments.

Scalloped bunting

I was thrilled therefore when Rachel (who blogs at Stitched in Color) decided to offer her curves class again this year. The focus for the first week has been on basic curves, and the projects have been quick and enjoyable to make. The scalloped bunting resulted in much laughter in my household as my boys declared that it looked like a row of bras, and so it had to be quickly taken down!

Clamshell pillow #curvesclass #stitchedincolor

The clamshell pillow took a little longer to make (well cutting out the clamshells did anyway!), but the sewing was again straightforward and I love the result. I used some linen as the foundation fabric, selected a whole lot of scraps for the clamshells, and on the back I used a piece of Ikea Home Decor fabric which I had been given a while ago. It works really well for a pillow like this as it gives a little more structure. I also made my first ever button-holes which were super easy on my new Juki!

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I can't wait for the second week of this class - bring on the improvised curves!


I am linking up these projects with a Blog Hop which I am proud to be a part of this year: Ho, ho, ho and on we Sew! It is hosted by Fiona and the idea is that we don't leave our Christmas making until December, but instead make gifts throughout the year, so that (hopefully) things will be a little less stressful at the end! There is a linky party each month (hosted by different bloggers), so head on over to Fiona's, check out her tutorial for a cute Christmas cushion and join in with the chance to win this gorgeous felt bundle.
 

Your projects don't need to be Christmas themed, they just need to be presents which you are setting aside, to be gifted at Christmas (and I am going to have to make sure that I gift that bunting to a friend who doesn't have boys!)

Sew Cute Tuesday
Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Mini Patchwork City

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was the book 'Patchwork City' by Elizabeth Hartman.


It is marketed as 'a bonanza of 75 innovative blocks for the modern quilter', and it really is that! 75 non-traditional quilting blocks, all made in fun, modern fabrics, along with 6 ideas of how to put them together into quilts. What appealed to me the most was that although the blocks are well planned, and the instructions for making them are really clear and precise, the finished look is one of improvised piecing - my favourite!

I decided to go ahead and make four of the simplest blocks for my Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap. I chose one main colour for each block and they were so easy to piece (it took me longer to choose which fabrics to use, all from my scraps of course!).

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I just love the end result, and am thinking of making more of these blocks this year. There is a Quilt a-long starting on Instagram soon - #patchworkcityqal

Loving it! #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #mofamichelle

And for those of you who are interested, my new Juki whipped up the straight line quilting without any trouble - yay!

Linking up with Sew the Library,

Scraptastic TuesdaySew Cute Tuesday



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2015 Q1 Finish-Along goals, and thoughts for the year.

I just have two goals for this quarter.

I don't think I can do this! Been asked to make a memory quilt. This is all I've been given and two of the shirts are that funny synthetic running fabric. Help!!

The first is the t-shirt quilt that I have been commissioned to make. I now have a more definite plan that includes paper pieced blocks of a killer whale, the tardis and something Harry Potter related. I am still rather concerned about cutting into the t-shirts, but I am hoping that if I make the rest of the quilt awesome, somehow the whole thing will come together okay!

I think I have a plan!

The second is a plus quilt for my second son. His birthday is in February, and one of my goals for this year is to make quilts for both my sons. They are unlikely to get much use out of them while we are in the tropics so I want to make quilts that will last them for many years. Mr. Nearly 8 really wanted a rainbow quilt, but in the end I persuaded him that this fabric pull is still bright and colourful!

My main goals for this year as a whole are to learn how to sew curves (more on that coming up soon as I have signed up for Rachel's Curves Class which starts next week), and to make at least one garment for myself. I am extremely excited that at the end of last week I received a new sewing machine that I am hoping will make these aims slightly easier to achieve! I am already loving the automatic thread cutter and needle threader, that I can choose to stop with the needle down, and that straight line quilting was a breeze. The extra space is surely going to make quilting that much more enjoyable!


Linking up with

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Pay it Forward!

Just before Christmas I received a package in the mail from the lovely Fiona. It was a Pay it Forward gift that I had been lucky enough to sign up for almost a year ago.

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A lovely travel sewing kit made in a gorgeous blue linen with a Prince Charming print, and a matching pin cushion. I just love it as it is is both gorgeous and practical, and I will get a lot of use out of it.

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Fiona also included two fun Fat Quarters (pirate themed), a frixion pen (which I can't get here), some cute buttons and some yummy Cadburys chocolate which of course has already disappeared. 

Thank you so much Fiona. And now it is my turn to Pay it Forward!

If you don't already know the rules you need to leave a comment on my blog and in a few days time I will draw three winners. Then sometime over the next 12 months I will send you a small handmade gift. The only thing you need to be prepared to do is to pay this forward to three more people once you receive my gift.

So if you want to enter just leave me a comment below, maybe suggesting what type of small handmade gifts you like to receive :-)

*EDIT* The Pay It Forward is now closed and the lucky winners (chosen by random) are Serena (Sewgiving), Faith (Willit Neverend) and Ruth.