Challenge 2017 – Fall Jewels

April 30, 2017 at 8:48 am | Posted in Patchwork | 4 Comments
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Every year, my quilt group issues a challenge to make a small 40×40 cm quilt using specific materials. We show the results in our yearly exhibition. Here’s last years entry.

This year, I was a bit stumped to start with, and took a while to come up with an idea for this:

Challenge 2017 - Materials

There’s some gorgeous-looking but hard-to-work-with blue velvety stretchy fabric, which I had already stabilized with some iron-on interfacing in the picture. Then there’s a nice ribbon in a kind of olive colour, and a button. There were different buttons to choose from, I spontaneously went for the leaf.

So, what to do with the loot? The blue fabric, while it looks and feels lovely, is not very patchwork-friendly. In addition, turns out there’s not very much of it, which killed my first plan. At the end, I took the leaf button as the topic and central point of the quilt:

Challenge 2017 - Finished

The idea was to show the gorgeous colours of fall leaves lying on a lawn. The panel in the middle was made with English Paper Piecing, leaving a hexagonal hole in the middle. I then prepared the backing and batting, layed the dark blue fabric – two strips for the sides and a hexagon in the middle – on top of it and attached it with a couple of seams. Then I put the panel on top, securing it on both sides where the ribbon would be attached later. Everything else I secured with the free-motion quilting. First I did leaf forms on the fall-coloured areas, and then meandering for the background. In hindsight, I think the thread I used for the meandering is a bit too strongly coloured, especially on the pale tiles. After quilting, I hand-stitched the ribbon on top where the panel overlays the blue background. From the colour scheme, this will fit nicely into my living room, so I finished it as a pillow cover, which is a nice use for those 40×40 cm pieces.

I’m leaving you with a detail view of the quilting:

Challenge 2017 - Detail

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SAL Update: Seashells #7

April 23, 2017 at 9:54 am | Posted in Embroidery | 15 Comments
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Progress! The big shell with the chainstitch filling is done!

Previous version:

Seashells - progress 2017-04-02

Today:

Seashells - 2017-04-23

There’s just a tiny bit at the bottom left that will be filled with long and short stitch, and then it’s on to shell No. 4.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Seven Sisters – a leftover challenge

April 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Patchwork, Quilting | 4 Comments
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Last year, our quilt group went away for a weekend retreat for the very first time, and we managed it so everybody could come! To mark the occasion, one of our members, who tends to end up with all the leftover material for our raffle quilts, collected all the leftovers, made 14 nice packages out of them, and we drew lots to choose from the packages. I got a pretty early number, and from all the packages still there at that time, here’s what I chose:

Seven Sisters - the Leftovers

I immediately fell in love with the paper-pieced stars and the colour scheme. But, what to do with them? The challenge was to use our package to make something for this year’s exhibition, coming up in November. After a while of having the pieces laid out and thinking back and forth, I decided to make a tablerunner. I’d have to add a few stars and quite a bit of background, and I was lucky again that the same friend who set the challenge still has about half a bolt of the background fabric, so I could get some from her. Otherwise I’d have had to be very creative. As it was, it just was quite a bit of work, since I wanted to mix the differently coloured stars up, so I needed to disassemble the blocks first before I could sew them together again. I learnt quite a few tricks about English paper piecing that way – and the fact that there are quilters that sew so densely that it’s almost impossible to get the pieces apart again, while with others you just have to look at the seam sternly and it will fall apart on its own.

So, here’s the table runner ready for this year’s exhibition (I even already attached a tunnel):

Seven Sisters - Finished Tablerunner

I decided to quilt spirals in the dark hexagons, so the stars could pop out even more:

Seven Sisters - Detail with Quilting

Oh, and you’re interested in how the original raffle quilt looked like? I was as well, since this quilt was from 2005, when I wasn’t yet involved with this group. It took quite a while, but after repeated asking one of the members found a picture she took back then, so here it is, and you can see exactly where my leftovers came from:

Seven Sisters - Original Raffle Quilt (2005)

SAL Update: Seashells #6

April 2, 2017 at 10:05 am | Posted in Embroidery | 13 Comments
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I’ve been a bit preoccupied with another project, so didn’t get anything done before Avis’ reminder Email. To save myself from the embarrassment of not having to show anything at all, I did manage to add a few lengths of thread in the last couple of days.

Last time:

Seashells - 2017-03-12

Current state:

Seashells - progress 2017-04-02

At least the biggest wedges are filled in now, so maybe we can approach the end of the big shell next time? To tame the very unruly thread, I did an experiment and slightly waxed a length of thread in the last full wedge. Thread immediately tamed, but unfortunately the sheen is gone as well, even though you can’t really see the difference in the photograph. I tried to take a close-up, but still coudn’t see the difference. So, back to the original unruly version it is.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine. Welcome to two new participants, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Scrapbox management

March 19, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Patchwork | 2 Comments
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Reading about Kate’s efforts at scrap management, I got inspired to have a look at my own, much smaller scrap collection. Being somewhat in need of a new handwork-in-front-of-TV project, I decided to see how many 1-inch-hexies I could create out of the contents. Turns out not as many as I thought. Here’s the box after emptying out, with everything that wasn’t going to become hexies lying around it:

empty scrapbox

On the left side, there’s a small pile of solids that doesn’t belong in there, since I do have another scrap bag just for solids. On top, a few pieces that are pretty much big and coherent enough to count as fabric, even though they live in the scrap box. And that big pile on the right, pretty much everything that’s too small to cut a 1-inch-hexie out of it. Also some non-patchwork fabrics, and some black and white stuff that I didn’t want to include in the rainbow of hexies I was planning.

Looks like it’s still going to fill the box, and it did. The pieces I did pull out became this:

scrap hexies

Hexies in all the colours of the rainbow. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them yet. The plan is to make more, keep them sorted by colour and maybe use them for some colour exploration or smallish projects. Since a hexie turns out to be pretty big for most of my scraps, I may also continue cutting rhombs for baby blocks out of the fabric left over. Lots of geometric forms to play with!

If you want to create your own EPP templates for hexies, baby blocks, triangles and more, I recommend the graph paper generator that I also link from my sidebar, so I can find the link whenever I need it. Very useful tool!

Progress on this may slow down now that winter sports TV season is pretty much over, but that also means that spring is on the way and it’s time to find inspiration outside.

 

 

SAL Update: Seashells #5

March 12, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 15 Comments
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Another report of not very much progress, but at least there’s still a little bit.

Last time:

Seashells - Progress 2017-02-19

Current state of affairs:

Seashells - 2017-03-12

The last picture taken in direct sunlight lost a bit too much detail for my taste, so it’s back to my working light now.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook

February 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Fiber Art | 10 Comments
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Sometime last year, Anne Lawson and a few blogging friends came up with the idea to send one of her beautiful handmade sketchbooks around the world for artists of all kinds to add to it. I think I saw the call for volunteers over on Kate’s blog, and signed up immediately. This was just the kind of project I love to be a part of! Quite a few others from around the world liked the idea as well, and so the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook was born.

The sketchbook has been making a very leisurely trip around the world since then. You can read all about its adventures here. So, back at the end of January, when it was actually winter around here, the sketchbook arrived at my place. What a treasure to see!

After some thinking, I ended up taking my cue from the time of year for creating my contribution. I love how the trees look in winter, with snow on the grounds and the leaves all gone to reveal the complex structure of the branches. So this is what jumped out of my brain into the sketchbook:

Winter Tree - Travelling Sketchbook

On the facing page I added a little letter to my fellow sisters about the inspiration for my addition:

Page spread - Travelling Sketchbook

I’ve now sent the sketchbook on to its next stop on its travels around the world, and I hope everybody is going to enjoy it as much as I did!

SAL Update: Seashells #4

February 19, 2017 at 10:18 am | Posted in Embroidery | 15 Comments
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Just a tiny little bit of progress this time round. Before:

seashell_20170129

Now we can see how the second colour changes the appearance of the shell:

Seashells - Progress 2017-02-19

There’s a couple more progress reports with the big shell waiting to happen …

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL Update: Seashells #3

January 29, 2017 at 9:00 am | Posted in Embroidery | 16 Comments
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This is where I was last time:

seashell_20170108

And this time, I just managed to finish the first colour of the big shell!

seashell_20170129

It’s still a slog, but thanks to wanting to show you something new each time, I’m keeping up with it! I do like the result, so that helps as well.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Wendy, Linda and Catherine.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

 

SAL Update: Seashells

January 8, 2017 at 10:18 am | Posted in Embroidery | 20 Comments
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I think I may be in the middle of the longest slog this project has. Last time:

seashell_20161218

Current state:

seashell_20170108

Filling in the big shell with chain stitch is slow going. And when I’m done with one colour, I get to do it again with another colour in the spaces currently left free. My guess is that I’ll have to show another shot of this stage three weeks from now.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen and Steph. Welcome back to Wendy, and welcome to Linda and Catherine who are joining us for the first time!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

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