Monday, 25 August 2014

Why I do what I do!

The lovely Mara from Secretly Stitching invited me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop, and it has helped me reflect a little about this relatively new, but immensely important part of my life - sewing, quilting and blogging! 

What am I working on?

Although I would like to work on one project at a time I get bored and restless too easily! I am currently working on two baby quilts that I am making as gifts - one is scrappy and came together very easily (you can see it here). The other has taken me many months of embroidery but I have finally started piecing the blocks and hopefully will have the top finished soon.

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I have also just last week started to teach myself Free Motion Quilting. Ten minutes practice every day (following the #dailyfmq hashtag on instagram) has been a great motivation for me and I can already see a tiny bit of progress. Happily though I can sense that this is a part of quilting that I will really enjoy and I am loving a new challenge.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I don't really think it does! I follow a lot of sewing blogs and friends on instagram and pull so much inspiration from them. I like to use bright colours and love adding embroidery or hand quilting to add a personal touch to what I make. I am a bit of a perfectionist and try to finish off what I create as well as possible.

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Why do I write/create what I do?

I create because after 38 years of declaring myself a 'non-crafty person' I have finally found a creative side and a hobby that I can immerse myself in and enjoy. I create as a way of escaping from the harshness of life - as a means of relaxing and unwinding. I create because I love the joy that comes from creating for others - and I most easily express my love and appreciation of others by giving them home-made gifts.

Mini quilt from scraps

I write as a way of contributing to the blogging community where I have made many friends - I love that I can connect so easily and readily with friends around the world who share my love for fabric and sewing.

How does my writing/creating process work?

I usually come up with who I want to make a gift for first, then search around until I find a pattern or idea that I think they will love.  My favourite part is then choosing the fabric before I sew it together.

Komebukuro Bag


Thanks for reading. Next week I have asked Jess from The Elven Garden to share with us. Jess is one of my favourite quilters. I cannot believe the awesome quilting she does on her home machine, and I love her style of improvised piecing. She is also really down-to-earth and has an obvious love for creating beautiful things. Thanks Jess!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Rainbows through the Rain

Maybe it is because I am back in Indonesia, trying to communicate in 3 different languages, or maybe it is because my kids have been on school holidays for 11 weeks, but I am finding it seriously hard to write anything that is comprehensible. So I will just show you some photos!

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First up a scrappy baby quilt top, made entirely from my 'scraps box'. I actually love how it has turned out and am linking it up with 'The Purge' at Stitched in Color. I think I will make some more like this to get through my scraps!

I have also made a couple of cushion covers. One for a friend, from gorgeous Japanese vintage style fabrics, and a rainbow one for me.


 I have found it hard to express my emotions recently, especially over the many horrific and tragic events being reported on the news. When I made the rainbow cushion I was trying to express my belief that even though we grieve now in the midst of so much darkness and tragedy, there is always hope. There are glimpses of mercy shining through, like sunshine shining through the clouds and the storms. And every now and then we see a rainbow. This cushion now sits in my sewing room as a visual reminder to me of this.

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Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, The Slow Bloggers Linky and The Purge.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Time to create

I've had a bit of time these last couple of weeks to think about what I want to sew next. I drew up a list: of commissioned projects (only a few, but it is a start!), of gifts that I want to make for people, and a wish list of things that I want to make just because I want to! I hope that over the next few months I can get a good balance of sewing from each of these categories, and keep the creative juices flowing while at the same time creating for others, which I love to do.

I started with a gift for a new baby boy who was born a month ago to some friends here.

A new project. Time to use up some scraps and get throigh these baby gifts. Thanks for sharing the pattern @patchworkdelights

I used a pattern by Fiona in the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It took me a couple of days (unlike the half day suggested in the magazine!) and I managed to use scraps, which is one of my bigger aims at the moment, to get through that scrap box! 

It took me longer than a morning but I loved making this baby gift

It came together really easily and hopefully they will appreciate a hand made gift. 

I was about to start a scrappy baby quilt next but my eyes were drawn to some strips of fabric that I had ordered from Karen while I was in the UK. I love her hand printed fabric and had chosen these colours for something else. But in the end I just had to play with it. I ended up making three things. The first isn't finished yet, but the other two are thank you gifts for some sweet quilting friends.

One little mini all finished #blueberryparkmakes #finishitfriday

A Mini Quilt

One little pouch finished. #blueberryparkmakes #finishitfriday

and a rainbow pencil case.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and the Purge!

the Purge

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pretty Liberty and Hand Quilting

While we were on our travels I did manage to get some hand stitching done (not much admittedly, but there was the occassional evening when I was able to just sit and sew!).

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First up was this little Liberty table runner. The hexies are tiny (less than an inch I think) but I used EPP to stitch them together and then appliqued them onto the Essex Linen. I hand quilted around each flower, first in a pale blue Aurifil 28wt thread, and then in a pale pink Gutermann quilting thread. I wanted something subtle and pretty, but I think this may have been just a bit too subtle! Because I didn't have access to my fabric stash I ordered some premade Bias binding from The Polished Button which I thought would add to the prettiness of the Liberty fabric, and for the backing I used some Klona cotton which I bought when I visited the lovely Backstitch shop in Cambridge. I finally finished stitching the binding down yesterday, and I have to say, I like this small finish!


 The second project I worked on was a mini quilt for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap Round 2.  My partner didn't have a blog, but from what I could tell from her Instagram feed anything Bonnie and Camille was the way to go. I was lucky that I had a mini charm pack of the April Showers fabric range in my stash, so I paired this with other similar coloured fabrics and made a 'Mini-dwell' quilt. Cutting out all those tiny pieces nearly got the better of me, but I did it in the end and managed to get the top pieced before we left Indonesia. I then hand quilted it and hand stitched on the binding while we were travelling. Thankfully my partner liked it, along with the other 'extra's' that I included!


Linking up with TGIFF and Finish it Up Friday today!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop and many thanks to Beth for hosting. I have had a lot of fun reading posts from the other quilters on the Blog Hop and enjoyed seeing so many amazing quilts. 

Plum and June

I am Deborah, and I am originally from England, but grew up in India, married an Australian, and we currently call Indonesia home. I am a mum to two boys (age 11 and 7) and spend my days trying to keep up with them! In my previous life I was a geneticist and spent my days looking down a microscope at fruit fly embryos (don't ask!!) I learnt to quilt just over 2 years ago, and haven't looked back. At first I sewed everything by hand but now I have a machine I have been enjoying a mix of hand and machine stitching, including embroidery. I can't cope if I have too many projects on the go at once, and I love bright colours.

I have made less than 10 quilts, so it isn't hard to show you my favourites. I made all of these this year and enjoyed the variety in the patterns and the quilting.

(1) Memories of India    (2) Central Park    (3) Radiant Orchid    (4) Mosaic Tiles

I also love making smaller projects: mini-quilts, pouches, cushions. They make fun presents and provide some quick satisfaction! (Most of these projects were made before I started my blog so I can't provide links to them, but you can see them on my Flickr stream if you are interested).


Over the next few months my goal is to learn to FMQ. I love straight-line quilting, but I am looking forward to a new challenge. I am also aiming to start a long-term hand pieced/quilted project, but haven't decided on a definite pattern or idea yet. Any suggestions?

Here are some few things you may not know about me, and a couple of tips:

Favourite Book: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.

Favourite Sport: Formula 1 (people who know me still can't believe this!)

Favourite past-time: Drinking coffee in a cafe with a friend.

Biggest dread: Big parties and tsunamis.

Favourite TV Shows - Sherlock, Silent Witness, Silk, Lewis, The West Wing (etc etc!)

Favourite holiday destination: The beaches of India

Quilting tip: Use double the amount of pins for basting than you originally think!

Blogging tip: Blog when you can and enjoy it. I love the Slow Blogger Linky hosted by Catherine. It is a reminder that we sew because we enjoy it, and then we blog, rather than the other way round (if that makes sense!)

 Home cushion

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog - it is a privilege to be part of this community.  And please visit the others who are part of the blog hop today:
Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork
Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
Karen @  Capitola Quilter

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Memories of India

I have been silent for a few weeks on this blog (and from commenting on others blogs - sorry!) as I spend time with my family. We are loving being together again and England has put on the sunshine for us which has been wonderful. 

Last weekend I was able to give my parents the quilt I had made for them. They spent 25 years in India, so as soon as I saw the Madhuri fabric range by The Quilted Fish I knew this was for them!

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 If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I had terrible trouble trying to quilt this one. It is the largest quilt I have made to date (72 inch square) and it just keep bunching as I quilted, despite numerous pins, rolling the quilt, using a walking foot etc. I think in the end the problem was that I didn't have enough space to rest the quilt on - I don't have an extension table on my machine and my dining room table is small! So I splashed out and sent the quilt to Trudi Wood for her to longarm quilt. To say I am pleased with how it turned out is an understatement!

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This is my final finish for the Q2 FAL 2014 and I am pleased to say that I managed to finish all my goals this quarter - yay!! (original post here). Thanks for reading, and I will be pack on July 16th with my post for the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

The 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop (hosted by the lovely Beth at Plum and June) is about to start and I am so excited to be a part of it.

I do not make an appearance until July 16, but make sure you follow along and encourage all those other new bloggers out there. And if you have any suggestions for how I could improve my blog, or things you would love to see, please let me know. 

Plum and June

Thank you to all of those who have been excited with my about my upcoming trip to visit my family in the UK. We leave on Friday, so things are likely to be quiet around here for a little while as I enjoy the precious time we have together. I will have a few sneak peaks to show you though, including the Madhuri quilt I have made for my parents, and a mini quilt I am making for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini quilt swap.