After receiving my chicken, of course I had to go ahead and make mine immediately. Those are just too tempting, and quick to make! When choosing fabrics, I got inspired by the black and white chicken from Granny Maud’s Girl, which I tried to win but didn’t. So I combined a black and white scrap with some binding strips left over from another colourful quilt I made last year, that looking back at my blog I’ve never posted about. I promise to remedy that soon!
But back to the chicken, here’s what I ended up with:
And because she insisted, here’s the view from the backside:
Before we get to the giveaway, while making my chicken I came across a few things that may be useful to future chicken makers that I’d like to share:
- When making the log cabin blocks, it is useful to secure the seams in the last round, especially at the side where the tail will be inserted. I didn’t, and it was quite fiddly to get the seam allowances turned for where the tail goes without half the seams falling apart.
- That tail seam is one of the places where I found it useful to hand baste the seam before sewing. I tried without that first, and ended up with the tail attached to the upper part and a gaping hole where it should be attached to the lower part. So, after spending way too much time taking out the seam again, it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to hand-baste that seam:
After having that in, it was very quick to machine sew the tail into place, this time without any gaping holes.
So, now you know the tricks I found useful to make my chicken, it’s your turn!
If you would like to win this chicken, you need to do the following:
- Agree to make a chicken of your own to give away, so the Chicken Run can continue. If you have a blog, you can do the giveaway there, while linking back to the originator of the Chicken Run, Avis of Oh Sew Tempting. If you don’t have a blog, you can still play, and Avis will be happy to host the giveaway for you.
- Make a comment to this post, telling me how you’d call this chicken if you win it, and which country it would need to fly to to reach you.
The giveaway will be open until Saturday, April 19th. After that day is over in all timezones, I will draw a winner from all valid entries. I’m looking forward to sending this on its way!
Look who I found resting on top of my mailbox when I came home yesterday! Isn’t she pretty? Sunnygirl made her way all the way across the Channel from Squarebird. Check out the other posts on her blog as well, she’s got lots of interesting things going on.
The idea of the traveling chicken comes from Avis over at Oh Sew Tempting, and after having won this pretty one the next step will be to make a couple more of them and to host a giveaway here. I’ll be pretty busy the next days, but they do look fun and quick, so watch this space for the giveaway! I wonder where my chicken is going to live!
Tags: english paper piecing
So, there’s the Olympics going on in Sochi at the moment, which is one of the few occasions where I will spend an extraordinary amount of time in front of the TV. And since I’m incapable of holding my hands still, the long-running hand-sewing project I posted about a few weeks ago is making more progress than expected. Getting some traction there was my official plan for the Olympics, so I did some preparation beforehand:
I finished up the sample I made so many years ago:
I appliquèd the pattern pieces to the original background fabric I will use on the big piece. I was unsure if that would be successful because of the pointy edges, but it went surprisingly well. I also tried out the yarn I found for quilting. I’m using the old couching trick again, with a black cotton knitting yarn that has some added sparkle. The effect is nice and subtle.
Then, at the last weekend at the studio with my quilt group, I tried to finalize the arrangement of the pattern:
When I got home, I plunked down in front of the TV and got to work. To my big surprise, I just took the last stitches on assembling all the pieces, with the Olympics only half over! Things do sometimes go faster than expected, although the usual case tends to be the other way round.
So, the next step will be to appliquè the big piece onto the background. I’m thinking to remove at least part of the paper in the middle of the piece first, in order to see how it really shakes out and to avoid puckers. Question to the experts: good idea, or bad one?
Tags: 2014 Challenge
So, last week left us with a finished top. Next step: quilting. As I wanted to replicate the strong graphical pattern of the original fabric, I knew a simple black machine quilting line would not give me the effect needed to achieve this. So, I remembered a cone of ribbon yarn a friend gave me quite a few years ago:
The yarn forms a narrow, flat strip, perfect for couching. I’ve done something like this in another challenge project, so I knew I could get the effect that I wanted using this. I consequently started to quilt my top, using a zigzag-stitch to sew down the thread. I added some additional lines, and then quilted all the lines of the pattern:
Here’s the back, so you can see the quilting pattern a bit better:
And finally, here’s the finished project:
Here’s a detail so you can see the quilting a bit better:
That was a fun challenge, for sure! I’m currently working on a couple of very different projects, so I think I’ll dive into one of those for next week’s post!
Tags: 2014 Challenge
So, looking at the strong graphical patterns of the fabric, I though it would work out well to use a magnified section of the pattern as a patchwork block. Some drawing and fiddling later, I had this:
Since I liked what I saw, I started making the other eight blocks needed part by part. Starting with the easy things, the quarter-sqared triangles:
Followed by the squares made from irregular triangles:
You can already see that I had to be pretty economic in my use of the black and white fabric, since there was so little of it, but I managed somehow.
The half circles:
And from that, the completed half blocks:
Combined with the smaller squares from above, I got eight blocks:
Adding the test block back in makes 9 blocks, which can be arranged into a 3*3 pattern:
Looks pretty dramatic and captures the fabric well, I think. Since this ended up being a bit smaller than the required 40*40 cm, I added a narrow white border:
It’s now a bit too big, so some of the border will be cut off once it’s quilted. We’ll look at that next week I think, this post does have enough pictures already!
It has quickly become a tradition that my quilt group does a challenge each year for the next exhibition. During our yearly exhibition in November we’ll choose the parameters of the challenge, and then we have time till the next one rolls around to come up with something. This year, my challenge quilt was finished less than a month after the exhibition, I just couldn’t help myself. I even remembered to take a few pictures of the process, so I’ll share those with you during the next weeks.
But for today, the challenge. We each got a piece of this fabric:
The piece as shown is about 15*55 cm in size, which is all each of us got to work with, since the seller of the fabric didn’t have any more than that.
- Finished size of quilt: 40*40 cm
- Additional fabrics allowed: plain black, plain white and one additional colour.
- The challenge fabric must be clearly visible on the front of the quilt.
I have to admit that I was very happy with the choice of fabric, and I was part of the small group that chose it. I’ll show you what I did with it next week. So, what would you do with it? Any ideas?
For inspiration, here’s some previous years’ challenge quilts of mine:
They’re quite different from each other, I think. So how will this year’s look like? Find out next week!
Tags: english paper piecing, Islamic Pattern
Way back in 2010, I wrote about my samples using an islamic pattern taken from an object in the V&A collection. With the dark blue quilt long finished, I haven’t written anything about the paper pieced quilt since then. It has not been forgotten, but I did run into a couple of snags on the way. Apart from that, hand-sewing is slow, and this has been almost exclusively a travel project over the last years.
But I’m slowly getting somewhere now, so, progress!
This is the currently finished pieces laid out on a tentative background fabric. The big circle in the upper left is already assembled. Very, maybe too colourful for a whole quilt, and I’m running out of the yellow fabric as well. So, plan B is in order.
The tentative title of the piece is “Crumbling Beauty”, and the idea is to not cover the whole area of the quilt, but let the pattern gradually run out towards the lower right, with smaller pieces here and there left, while most of the tiles have already fallen off, like a mosaic that’s slowly falling apart. I’m thinking of a very dark blue for the background fabric, but haven’t been able to acquire just the right fabric till now.
Wandering around Greenwich on my trip to London a few weeks ago, I also ventured into Queen’s House, lured in by a poster that had of all things something fibery on it! And my eyes weren’t deceiving me. There’s currently an exhibit by Alice Kettle at Queen’s House, named The Garden of England. It’s still running till August 18, 2013, so if you’re in the area go ahead and have a look, it’s free! It’s a small exhibit, just four or five pieces, but it seems to have left an impression on me, since my mind has been wandering around making flowers lately.
Flowers have long been a favourite motif for all kinds of needlework, so I started to rummage in historical needlework books. First, my favourite source, Project Gutenberg’s Crafts Bookshelf. Since I want to create free-standing flowers, to be applied to a larger piece later, I skipped the embroidery books and landed on the Bath Tatting Book. On closer inpection it turns out that the first three doilys presented there have a small flower as their basic unit. Just what I was looking for!
I then realized that my last tatting projects were long enough ago that I had forgotten how to make the knots. Another favourite to the rescue: the Encyclopedia of Needlework has the clearest tatting instructions I’ve ever come across. Half an hour later I was up and running. Here’s what I made:
What I did not expect just from looking at the pictures and a cursory readthrough of the instructions, was that the flowers are actually three-dimensional. I started with the rose shown in the middle. Here’s the doily it comes from:
On the left there’s the cornflower from this doily:
On the right is the sorry attempt at the chrysanthemum from this doily:
I’ve currently given up on that one. There’s a lot of picots and not many double knots holding them in place, so they tend to turn round or vanish when you’re not looking. Even after looking closely, in the current round I’m never quite sure if I’m tying to the correct loop, since those are loops I already tied to in the previous round. And there’s lots more of that kind of stuff coming when creating the spirals on the outer edge of the flower. I think the result would be stunning, but I’m not quite sure if I can pull it off. I may try to pick it up again in a few days or so.
For a few years now, my quilt group has issued a challenge to make a small (40*40 cm) quilt with a common fabric (or theme) for our yearly exhibition in November. You can read about my contributions for previous years in their own posts: 2012, 2011, 2010.
This year’s fabric was chosen after quite a bit of discussion, but it won on the merits that it definitely isn’t boring, and we were sure to get a lot of radically different quilts:
As usual, everybody got about 25*55 cm worth of fabric. On the left, that’s my piece, and on the right one I had borrowed to get more of the repeat. Those are big color repeats on the fabric, each individual piece shows only part of the repeat, and since my plans included extending the pattern into another fabric, I needed to trace the part of the pattern I didn’t have in my piece.
While a few of my quilting friends cut the fabric into very small pieces, so the flowers aren’t visible anymore and only the colour impression stays, I decided not to cut up the fabric at all. I wanted to show the pattern in as big a piece as possible. So, I transfered the tracing onto a piece of dark purple fabric:
then I ironed both fabrics onto some iron-on batting, so the pattern continues from one to the other:
Machine quilting the whole thing took quite a while, despite its relatively small size. I used an orange machine embroidery thread on the purple, and a rather subdued green on the Fassett fabric, since it definitely didn’t need more colour. Here’s the back of the finished quilt, where you can see all the quilting.
I added an orange strip as a border between the two areas, and finished the piece as a pillow cover, which I think would be a great use for it after the exhibition.
I enjoyed making this piece, and I think it does show off the fabric nicely.
WordPress just informed me that this blog is seven years old as of yesterday. I couldn’t believe it at first, so I went looking at the archives. Of course, they’re right. I wrote my first post on May 17, 2006. This was followed by the first quilting post on May 20 of the same year. You can read the rest of the story by delving into the archives yourself, so I thought for today’s post I’d go a bit farther back.
While cleaning up my CD-Roms a few weeks ago, I found pictures of my first patchwork projects from a backup that was dated 2004:
I’m not quite sure, but I think this may be my very first attempt at patchwork. It’s a Christmas doily made from a kit I bought at the Kreativ Welt Wiesbaden, which is where I first contracted the patchwork virus.
And this is a table runner I made for my Mum for Christmas 2003, as well. It’s paper-pieced, and the pattern was printed in Patchwork- & Quiltjournal September/October 2003.
While I don’t seem to get around to posting as often as I used to, I still like to share what I’m up to in my textile adventures. I’ll try to get back to posting a bit more regularly!