Monday, 11 December 2017

Airways or Airwaves?

This Saturday I went to my sewing group meeting. Despite the intense chatting and no less than three tea breaks, it was quite a productive day :)) I managed to cut and stitch all these blocks:

This is intended for my pilot brother, but I suspect it's going to be contested by his little son who is just as crazy about airplanes.  It all started with five fat quarters of aviation themed fabrics and a Shibori layer cake by Moda which were a match made if not in heaven than definitely in the sky.

So, I started with forty 10'' squares and ended with forty 8.5'' ones (if you are more accurate than me, you could probably make them 9''). That makes for a lap-sized quilt about 48'' by 48'', but I'm still contemplating the option of adding some different blocks in different fabrics to boost the size.

I chose improvised curve piecing the "stack and whack" way: you layer four squares on top of each other and make three freehand cuts through all the layers, then mix pieces of the different fabrics and stitch them together. Some of the blocks are circular and other linear. In the photo above you can actually see two blocks which are part of a set of four, I wonder if anybody can spot it ;))  No measuring and no pinning means it goes very fast, but you will have to trim them when you're finished stitching.

There are thousands of ways to put these blocks together, I went for something freeform which reminds me of cloud formations or air currents (you could say water currents if you didn't see the balloons and airplanes). I could spend hours arranging and rearranging them, so they'd better be stitched together soon.

Linking up to

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Friday, 1 December 2017

Nordic Christmas

It's been a year coming, and it's finally here:

Nordic Christmas quilt

I planned to make it for last Christmas, I had the pattern ready, and the fabrics bought, but only got round to it this year. It's the same technique that I described in the Nordic mug rug tutorial, it's known as "pixellated quilt" or "watercolour quilt" and it's made of 1'' (finished) squares arranged on fusible interfacing to keep them in place.

I had two sets of red and white fabrics, and I decided to use both of them - stars for the top and bottom parts, and trees for the middle. This was a mistake, as it would have looked more cohesive with the same fabrics throughout.

Still, I like the fact that the fabrics are not solids, but have this little patters, it makes the whole thing livelier.

The patterns I used are based on the traditional Nordic knitting and cross-stitch charts that I modified to fit my overall size.

With everything so busy the quilting had to be very quiet. I wanted to do just simple loops to make it quick, but then I saw this loops and stars pattern in Pinterest and decided the stars will work well with the stars in the fabric, so I went for it.

You can hardly see the quilting in it, anyway.

Very conveniently, the Christmas challenge theme in the Eastern branch of the IPS this year was "Red and white cushion" and used the same technique and the same fabrics for my cushion.

Nordic Christmas cushion

I'm now considering making a second one to match.

Check out the tutorial if you are interested in the technique, and Merry Christmas Preparation to every crafter!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Show off Saturday at Sew Can She

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Falling Leaves... Finally

Now that most of the autumn leaves outside have already fallen, I finally have this inside:

I chose to quilt the background of each block separately, in almost matchstick quilting style, but slightly more irregular, varying the direction of the lines.

The leaves have just a few quilting lines to keep them flat, but they are supposed to pop up from the background.

It turned out to be quite a lengthy process, because making parallel lines with the FMQ foot was very tedious and I couldn't do a lot in one sitting.

Anyway I like how it turned out, though it has its problems, it adds some light to the overcast days.

And now I will leave you with the song that was going on in my head as I was working on this quilt:

Linking up to Free Motions Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a fabric Addict

Friday, 13 October 2017

Falling Leaves

Every autumn I feel a strong urge to make a seasonal quilt because I love the gorgeous colour. So, this year's autumn project is taking shape on my design wall:

 ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...
  ... and falling...

...and ready to put the blocks together now!

It took me about two weeks to piece the blocks, with a little break as I ran out of teals by the end of road and had to replenish supplies. The blocks are machine curve piecing, the same technique as I showed in these tutorials: one and two, but here each block is different, just hand-drawn in actual size on a piece of paper tablecloth as you can see in the photos. The whole top is going to be about 1 by 1.5 meters.

As usual the questions remains how to quilt it, but I hope it won't take too long.

Have a beautiful autumn wherever you are!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creation by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Friday, 29 September 2017

A Binary Opposition

I've got a question for you that's sure to split people in two camps:

This is my entry for a challenge themed "Binary" (meaning you can use only two colours of fabric in your quilt). I wanted to make it binary not just in colours, but also in the subject and chose this familiar opposition.

I made a sketch and then played with it in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop:

But although I like the cup mandalas, I decided against using them in the quilt, just printed out the letter outlines to make the appliqué. I used freezer paper to make templates and bondaweb to attach the appliqué.

 Then I added borders, assembled the sandwich and got out embroidery floss and needle ... and didn't take any more photos until it was complete :))). The letters are stitched down by hand with whip stitch (with the slanted part on the back).

And then I decided to add a "simple pattern" of stylised tea leaves and coffee beans around the border, and of course that took forever. All the stitching is done through all the layers, so it doubles as quilting. The background was filled with the running stitch. Good thing it's just a mini, 23'' by 16''.

It's been a very long time since I did any embroidery at all, and I have never done any like this, so that's a new experience for me and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

Now back to machine work, I'm feeling the seasonal mood and want to make an autumn quilt before it's all over. I'm all set up with my pattern:

And a pile of fabric:

... will keep you up to date on this one.

Linking up to
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a fabric Addict
Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Friday, 15 September 2017

CMYK quilt

Back to school - back to basics. I started the new season by assembling my tie-dye samples turned quilting samples into a little wallhanging.

It reminds me of printing swatches of the four colours used in most printing jobs - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (meaning black).

I wrote previously about my quilting practice on tie-dye pieces here and here, so I won't go into separate pieces again. I don't really like UFOs sitting around, so I decided to put them together the quilt-as-you-go method without any particular aim in sight.

Going by the smallest piece I started trimming the samples 10'' by 10'', until I reached the heart piece, which was a couple of inches wider... Fortunately the ladies from my sewing group practically stopped my hand in midair and made me find a way to accommodate the heart in full. I still had two pieces that could be trimmed to 10'' by 12'' too, so they formed the middle row.

I think it turned out lively and quirky, not sure if can be classified as modern quilt or anything else, definitely it's an interesting exercise in colour and texture.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Big Finish

I want to start this post by expressing my deepest admiration for people who make bed-size quilts on a regular basis. People, you're heroes! So far, I've only made four large quilts, and every one has been an Endeavour. This is the latest one, the finally finished one block wonder:

If you're interested in the process, here's the full journey:
post 1
post 2
post 3

Because the quilt is destined for my daughter's bed, I decided to pull out the bright colours for the border, rather than the grey, and you may say the border is too bright for the middle - I won't argue. The magenta fabric, by the way, comes from the fabric dyeing workshop held last summer at the IPS Eastern Branch. It's the so-called low immersion dyeing and I think its irregular colour works well with the quilt.

I had a difficult time choosing the quilting pattern, considering that I do the quilting on my domestic Janome. I ended with a  rather simple allover flower pattern, which is almost invisible on the busy middle and comes out on the border.

I have written before that the fabric used in the quilt is satin, and it didn't behave well in piecing. The same was true in quilting, I had a hard time making it lie flat, and there are some glitches in the back, but it has a nice shimmering texture, especially with this kind of quilting.

The quilt also turned out difficult to photograph, because the satin surface is highly reflective, so I'll try to take some better photos (some day).

At the moment I'm happy to have the Big Summer Project off my shoulders, which means I can start something new!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Can I get A Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at A Quarter Inch from the Edge
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