Monday, 15 September 2014

Le Challenge - 'Era'

After a couple of months break from linking up with Le Challenge, I am back with my interpretation of their latest challenge - 'Era'. 

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This was actually quite an easy one for me. A while ago a friend of mine had given me some scraps of Liberty fabric that were precious to her. Her grandmother had used the same fabric to make a blouse for her, many years ago. The blouse is now very faded and well-worn, but my friend asked if I could make something for her using this fabric, to remind her of her grandmother.

As my friend is a big tea drinker this is what I came up with.

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I adapted a pattern from Pretty Bobbins for the tea-pot, and used a pattern from VeryKerryBerry for the tea-cosy. I am a bit disappointed that I didn't do a great job of fussy cutting the Japanese tea-pot fabric along the bottom, but I now know better for next time!

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Linking up with Le Challenge, using fabric from another era!

Friday, 12 September 2014

One scrappy, one planned.

A finish today with this baby quilt I made using only scraps. Rachel at Stitched in Color has been motivating us over the last couple of months to use up our scraps, and so I jumped on board and I couldn't be happier with the result.

Love this little baby quilt - going to gift it to my friend today.

I gathered all my blue/aqua, orange and grey scraps and got to work cutting strips, or joining scraps together to make strips and then sewing these together to form blocks that were 12" square (I took the idea from here). I then joined 9 of these together to make this small quilt - perfect for a little Indonesian baby!

I decided that, after practicing FMQ for a couple of weeks on scraps of fabric, I just needed to jump in and try to FMQ this one. I attempted a meandering loop, and I was very proud of the finished result (and I couldn't believe how fast it was!).

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Obviously there are lots of imperfections, and I struggled with the lack of throat space on my machine, and with uneven motion (I definitely need to get something to help me grip the fabric better), but it looks great as an overall impression and I love the texture it gave the quilt. I see more FMQ in my future!

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As a complete contrast, this week I also finally put together a quilt top that I have been working on for the past year. No scrappiness here, instead lots of precise embroidery and piecing. 

Woo hoo! Quilt top is finished :)

I loved making this, and want to thank Liz for suggesting and co-ordinating the ABC sew-along. I don't think I would have finished it without her encouragement. I am going to hand quilt this one, so it won't be finished for a little while yet, but I have a recipient in mind (depending on whether the baby is a boy or girl!).

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