Sunday, 28 December 2014

Tea Time

Today I am sharing a commissioned work with you. It's a cover for a lidded stove, 2 by 2 feet finished size. The lady who ordered it provided the fabric (which is not quilting weight cotton but a heavy cotton weave --- this made it tricky to work with, because it frayed terribly, but it was lovely and smooth to quilt). She wanted a kitchen theme on the cover.

I started by browsing the internet for tea cup and a tea pot shape, which I printed and traced onto thin paper. I then cut out blue fabric in those shapes and used a zigzag stitch around the edges to apply the shapes to the quilt top.

I quilted the details from the tracing paper with contrasting thread. This gave the shapes some nice dimensionality, too.

To make things easier, I did not cut the thread till the end and just hopped from spot to spot.

Here's a view of the back.

I quilted some steam coming out of the tea pot (the first layer was in matching beige thread, but you can just make it out here.

With the same beige thread, I filled the background. I thought about tearing out some of the wavy lines right down the center and redoing them to get better perspective, but in the end, it was not worth the effort, so I left it this way.

I added some blue thread to emphasize the steam coming out of the tea pot and used proper quilting weight cotton in matching blue for the binding (just attached to the front in this shot).

Here it is all sewn down by hand (possibly my favourite part of quilting)...

And here's the back, including the label, of course!

It was a fun little project, though I once again noticed that I prefer non-commissioned work. I can do what I want without wondering whether the customer will like it, and there's no deadline!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry snowmen table runner

Inspired by this post which somehow has to do with this BOM project. 
Hah, it took me only a whole 20 min of browsing likely candidate blogs on my blog link list; I had of course totally forgotten where I had seen this (almost a month ago!), but wanted to give credit. 
Apparently, this strip (with two more snowman heads) is part of a larger wintery quilt, but to me it screamed table runner, along with the name of the lucky recipient :-) One christmas present down! 
A colleague of mine wanted to make it too, so I wrote up instructions. Will post this as a tutorial soon...

Monday, 8 December 2014

A new robot project

I made a baby quilt with the cogsmo robot fabric line a few years ago. Still love the colours and the designs. Every time I see my leftovers, I think that I want to make another quilt. Eventually, I settled on another baby quilt, featuring the robot fabrics as off-centered squares on white background.

Let the chain piecing begin!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Holding up well!

This quilt was gifted almost four years ago, when this little gentleman was born. I just received this photo from the lovely mother. It makes me happy to see this quilt (a) still in use and obviously cherished and (b) holding up so well, after what likely amounted to a gazillion washes...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A walk in the park...

Looky here! The center of the quilt top for the Afternoon Garden Path is done. I'm quite pleased with it, if I may say so myself! I'm particularly happy with the subtleness of the intersection motif, the brown-green diamonds. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Quilt progress

Ah, I have figured out how to do Email posting! This will make my blogging life much easier...
Here's how this quilt began --- an inspiring assortment of fabrics from my stash. I was obviously craving warmth...

I did some figuring to start with, then began sewing strip sets together: 

Halfway through, I decided that I did not want all the blocks to be identical. That's when things became difficult... Because to avoid having the same fabric in neighbouring patches turned out to be tricky. That's the downside of a scrappy triple Irish chain.

In the end, I had to do a lot of labelling to keep the correct order of strip sets, and a lot of piece-by-piece adding of patches...

But the quilt grew and grew, against all odds.

Next time I'll show you how far I got!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Sneak Peak

My latest project is another Triple Irish Chain. This one in burgundy-beige hues with brown-green intersections and white background. My working name for it: Afternoon Garden Path, since it reminds me of bricks warmed by the sun, with some trees in between.

More coming soon!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Pink Pillow

Remember this quilt?

I finished it in the fall of 2009 as a gift to my second-longest friend who particular asked for a pink quilt.
Recently, it was time for her annual celebration again. This year, I managed the multi-hour trip there to celebrate with her. It was a spontaneous decision, and the day before the party I thought: "I could make her a gift instead of getting a gift card or something else impersonal." My idea: a matching pillow case. I had a look through my fabric stash and recognized a few of the pink fabrics I had used for her quilt. I mixed those with a few new pinks and went for a simple patchwork pattern. Some rather rough calculations to get the approximate size and proportions of center and border and off I went.

Not sure: is this called a 'five-patch'? I cut 2.5" squares, added a 1" (cut) skinny border and a wide white border.

I quilted about 1/4" on either side of the seams. I rushed this job, and unfortunately some of my squares were pulled too far in one direction so that I ended up with slanted squares in some cases. Oh well.

I also added a 'fake' frame by quilting parallel lines around the white border.

I'm quite happy with the look of this!

During this rush-project, I truly appreciated having 2 sewing machines. It meant that I could quilt and sew binding strips on with the walking foot on one machine, while I could refill bobbins and sew together binding strips on the other one without having to cut thread or switch spools. Handy!

The top finished at around 16.5" square. For the backing, I used up the very last bit of fabric I had left of the original pink quilt backing. 2 pieces of about 13"x16.5". I folded one long edge on each piece twice to make 1/2" wide finished edge, ironed it and sewed it down with a double seam.

I then sandwiched everything together so that the backing pieces overlapped for about 5 or 6" and cropped the overhang of the backing. I attached top and backing of the pillow as I sewed on the binding. This was a bit tricky, but with enough pinning, everything worked out fine.

I started at 5pm, had a 2 hour break in the evening to go to the gym and had the pillowcase finished at 20 past midnight. Whoot whoot! The pillow case finished at about 16" square.

Here the finished product by daylight, bound, labelled and ready to go! The gift was a big hit that evening!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

When will I ever learn???


One more time: I should not cook while quilting...

15 min of scraping this pot, phew...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Some playing and planning

I've been playing with fabrics, planning some new quilts, coming up with creative ideas and throwing them out again.

In the end, I had more plans than I could handle, so everything was put on the back burner again :) But I tell you one thing: looking at prints, feeling the cotton and mixing and matching colours makes me as happy as ever!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Sailor's Delight

Felt like doing a quick little quilt and decided on simple rail fence pattern. For some reason, I was stuck on the white-blue combination I had picked out for the aborted wedding quilt, so I picked this dark -- medium -- light combination of blues:

As planned, the quilt came together in no time. I cut 2.5" strips, sewed them into triplets of, and cut those into 6.5" long pieces. I then sewed those together in a 5 x 6 block layout as shown here:

I've gotten as far as the first border, a thin strip (1" wide) to contain the pattern:

Then summer, travels and visitors "happened", so this is one of my many WIPs.

As soon as I saw the quilt top center, I was thinking of marine things, so the name came to me in a flash: "Sailor's Delight"!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Now it has an owner

Friends of mine needed a baby shower gift and asked to buy one of my quilts. They chose the pink and grey one and asked to have it personalized.

The baby's name is Bjork, so I played around with the arrangements of letters.

We tried to come up with something for the second side, and in the end decided on the birth date. That didn't look good vertically, so I turned the letters to face inwards (it felt more of a unit than one of the sides facing outward).

I didn't like the colours of the birthdate at first (the purple was too dark and heavy), and settled for a more subtle mix of colours.

Then I zigzagged around each letter, dot and number. My god, it took forever. There were so many round shapes (which take longer because of the constant turning). I hope the next baby is called Lilly and born on 1.1.17!!! :)

I've been told that the quilt was a huge hit ;) What better news to warm a quilter's heart... Now I hope this quilt will be spit on, puked on, washed lots and loved for years!