Thursday, 25 August 2016

Three Ways I Used Freezer Paper in One Quilt

EPP quilt

I mentioned before that, finishing the bubbles quilt (which I eventually named "Color of Lightness, Color of Joy"), I realized that I had used freezer paper in three different ways in the process of making it. That's a good illustration of its versatility and usefulness for the quilt-building industry! And that's by no means an exhaustive list, I personally use it in two different ways for hand appliqué and for curved piecing as well (but that's a different story). As I didn't plan to write about it when I started I don't have all of the process photos, but I made a mock-up to fill in the gaps))

freezer paper for quilts

1. Freezer Paper for English Paper Piecing

For some it may be evident, for some maybe an eye-opener, but I find freezer paper EPP templates to be more convenient than ordinary paper which has to be pinned to fabric to hold it in place. What I do is print out a page of Geta Grama's hexagon templates, layer it over three pieces of freezer paper cut to A4 size, lightly iron them to each other so they stick together, and cut through all the layers to get a whole bunch of templates at once (follow the link above for Geta's detailed and clear instructions, and the templates also work for the "jewel" shape). Then I iron the freezer paper templates to the fabric, eyeballing the 1/4'' around them, and cut the fabric pieces out. 

english paper piecing

The resulting parts can be put into a box or bag waiting to be tucked - no pins needed! That said,  if I'm making a lot of hexies, I usually use the printed paper templates as well, with pins.

english paper piecing

2. Freezer Paper for Pattern Making

After I put together the hexagons for my bubble quilt, I had to prepare the background pieces. I was using two fabrics - the bubbles, of which I only had half a meter and the solid white, which was also limited, so I had to lay out the pattern pieces carefully to make sure I had enough fabric for the quilt. Moreover, the shapes of the "holes" inside the circles and the "edges" around them were all different and quite complex. So what I did was trace the hexagon shape onto freezer paper (dull side), cut out the pattern pieces and then play around with them, arranging them so that to make the best use of fabric (not forgetting a generous seam allowance).

Here is a little mock-up of the technique: a circle of hexies which I want to be filled with one fabric and surrounded with another.

english paper piecing

The shape of the "hole" is traced onto the FP to make a pattern piece

english paper piecing

Now, the pattern piece is ironed to fabric and the fabric is cut with a generous seam allowance

english paper piecing

FP is slightly transparent, so it even allows for fussy-cutting, although if you have to be precise, you'd better use plastic templates (I use plastic folders or pockets you can get in any stationary shop).
Now, the hexies can be appliquéd to the inside fabric. I used hand-applique in my quilt, but if we are to make something that will get a lot of handling, machine topstitching is preferable.

english paper piecing

You can see that the generous seam allowance came handy, as I decided to reposition the motif a bit. Finally, the assembled piece can be appliquéd to the background. I decided not to make a hole in the background in this case, but in my quilt the background was all made up of separate pieces, cut to the corresponding FP patterns.

english paper piecing

3. Freezer Paper for Quilting Templates

The complex shape of the "bubbles" didn't lend itself to any regular quilting, and the idea of bubbles itself called for irregularity, so I decided to do my hand quilting in random circles. I cut several circles of different sizes out of freezer paper and ironed them to the basted quilt sandwich, so that some of them touched.

hand quilting

I then quilted around the circles, the touching shapes made it possible to continue stitching the next circle without cutting the thread. I didn't use the quilting hoop, but I think these kind of templates could be used with a hoop as well.

hand quilting

After I quilted around all of my circles (I had seven of them, I think), I peeled them off and then ironed them to new places, so that they intersected with the previous ones. And so on and on and on - starting from the middle and out in two directions until everything was more or less uniformly quilted.

hand quilting

So, I really find freezer paper an indispensable quilting supply for EPP, patterns, quilting templates and appliqué and I have an inkling that I haven't discovered all of its possibilities yet. What are your favorite ways to use freezer paper?

Linking up to Fabric, Thread and Yarn @ France Nadeau
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

One Lovely Blog Award

Lisa J. of Sunlight in Winter Quilts nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award, which was an absolute surprise, but a very pleasant one! Thank you so much, Lisa, I'll take this chance to name some of the blogs I regularly read and love))

The Rules:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
*List the rules.
*Display the image of the award on your post.
*List seven facts about yourself.
*Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

So, for the seven facts I decided to brag somewhat and tell you about the different arts and crafts I have tried so far.

1. In my teens I attended an art school and in addition to the more traditional drawing and painting we did silk painting and also tapestry weaving.

2. I did a lot of knitting and crocheting for myself and my family before I took up quilting. I have knitted hats, schools, sweaters, jumpers, mittens, dresses, baby afghans - everything ... except socks)))

3. I also did some beading and made quite a lot of necklaces in all kinds of different techniques (mostly for myself ;))).

4. I tried making basic skirts and sundresses for myself in my teens, but it was several years ago when I was staying at home with my second baby that I took up a full clothes making course (to escape from home a couple of evenings a week ;))) The pinnacle of my tailoring achievements are three jackets (though I don't dare to repeat that without the help of my teachers))).

5. When I was staying at home with my first kid, I sewed quite a lot of toys, both for her to play with and decorative dolls to be kept on the uppermost shelf )). I was making a ballerina doll when pregnant with the second kid, and couldn't finish it for a long time because of health problems. When I finally finished it, I went into labour the next night))) Now that second daughter wants to be a ballerina))

6. Another thing I tried and liked was felting. I attended a workshop in a craft store on felted beads and flowers, then watched some tutorials on the internet and made some purses and a bag for my mom. (Embroidery, including ribbon embroidery was a passing fade, so it doesn't get its own entry).

7. I was using my mom's old sewing machine for my toys, and she offered to buy me a new one so that she could use it herself too. The lady at the shop suggested a suitable Janome machine, saying, among other things, that it's good for patchwork and quilting and has some specialized accessories included. "Well, quilting is something I'm definitely NOT going to do," I said then... Little did I know...

Now, to the blogs I love reading and would like to nominate for One Lovely Blog Award. I'm sure at least some of them have been nominated before. Please visit them and I'm sure you'll find a lot of inspiration ))

France @ France Nadeau. Inspiration Imagination Creation
Tomomi @ Slaney Hand Craft
Juliet @ The Tartankiwi
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Ruth @ Charlie and Ben's Crafty Corner
Julie @ Pink Doxies
Geta @ Geta's Quilting Studio

Also linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Little Kitty Village

Here comes the second of the quillows I made for my kids (you can read the full story here).

Once again, it started with a fat quarter with kitties, which I bought in a small shop in Moscow, just for fun - I have no idea what collection it is or what manufacturer or whatever. Its colorway is somewhat peculiar for my taste, but it had to be my starting point.

It's a twin (though not identical) to the Little Puppy Village, but I chose a different quilting pattern to see how it goes (you know how scientists jump at a chance to conduct experiments on twins?)

I think I like this quilting better, and there is also less of it, so this quilt seems fuller and warmer than the other one (on the other hand, I love the colors on the puppy quilt more; as for the girls, they both love cats more than dogs, but the little one is more dogged, so she proclaimed the kitty quilt her own))).

And again, a pillowcase to match:

We were lucky to get a glimpse of sun this afternoon, so we had a little photo session with the quillows. The girls are wearing matching kitty fabric dresses that I made for them a couple of years ago (love raglan sleeves - they make a garment fit anyone, regardless of size)))

The Puppy quilt (as well as the Goldfish) is in the Pets of Quilts show, which is still running at Lily Pad Quilting, I can't enter the kitties, because there's a limit of two per person, but the show is still on, so you can check it out (there are beautiful pet-themed quilts as well as lots of fluffy cuteness) and also enter (there's a chance to win some wonderful prizes too!)
Linking up to Fabric, Thread and Yarn at France Nadeau
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict


Monday, 15 August 2016

Little Puppy Village

Now, this was meant to be quick and easy and here it is completed, BUT: it was started in winter - half a year ago)))

houses quilt

The idea was to make a couple of quilts for my kids to cuddle under on winter evenings, to play on, to take when they are going for a sleepover at their aunt and uncle's place, etc. They were meant to be handled a lot, so I wanted them to be really easy to make and also rally cheap (meaning using my stash only)))

houses quilt

houses quilt

houses quilt

They started with two fat quarters - one with dogs and another with cats (I'll show that one later. UPD: the kitty one is finished too!). Each one had twenty full "portraits" which were the starting point for all the maths as well as the color scheme. The photo below is not the final fabric choice, just the only picture I have before the dog fabric was cut.

houses quilt

I put the tops together very fast indeed, but then I decided I wanted the quilts to be warm enough to sleep under and, having consulted several ladies at the IPS branch meeting, I found out I needed wool wadding. This proved tricky, but eventually the ladies from the Limerick Quilt Center brought some for me for the May meeting. At that time I was too busy with other projects, and it was only in August that I got around to finishing this quilts, one of the incentives was the for which was the upcoming "Pets on Quits" virtual quilt show. And I managed just in time as it started yesterday! Do check it out as there's going to be a lot of eye candy for pet lovers as well as a lot of prizes if you decided to join in the fun (you still have ten days to do so!).

houses quilt

They needed very little quilting to stay warm and fluffy, so I decided to practice my walking foot quilting again, and again used my beloved rainbow variegated YLI thread. I chose wonky lines, firstly, to keep it fast and easy and, secondly, because the top reminds me of kids' coloring pages or something like that. My girls, who have just started trying to use my sewing machine, got to stitch a line each (can you see which are the wonkiest of them all ;)))

I also checked out several quillow tutorials and made a (quick and easy) machine appliqué pillow cover for it. Here is the tutorial by Rob Appell that I used as a basis, the only problem is I made the pillow cover a bit too small and it doesn't look very neat when folded. Anyway, this is the way it's going to look most of the time sitting on the sofa or the armchair.



Also linking up to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Another of my curve piecing samples quilted.

As it is rather low in contrast, it just had to get some glitter)) I bought some large gold-colored sequins and bugle beads and found a monster "gem" for the eye. I also had some white sequins left from another project, which worked for the bubbles in the water.

The look changes very much with a change of light.

Here are some views in different light to compare:

I like how the binding/sashing fabric (which I bought for a different purpose, actually) works with the seaweed here.

Linking up with Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River

Let's be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

I'm also going to link it up to the Pets on Quilts linky party on Sunday - check it out, it's a yearly event and promises to be real fun (with prizes too)!

Pets on Quilts 2016

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Throwback Thursday - Lake Baikal at Sunset

It's time for another throwback post about the dark pre-blog ages. Though with me, of course, it's not that long ago)))

I made this quilt in the summer of 2014 as a part of my "Advanced patchwork" course (topic: stained glass quilt) and at the same time as a gift for my father, who lives in a small town on Lake Baikal - the most beautiful place on Earth. We were going there for a visit and so I needed a special gift.

stained glass quilt

It's picture-like size, maybe 50 by 60 cm or thereabouts and I only have this one photo of it. It doesn't show a particular place, just kind of an impression. I remember going to some "vantage points" on the shore to admire the view with my father, and he said that the mountains on the opposite side at sunset remind him of Nikolas Roerich's pictures of the Himalayas, this kind of thing:

"He Who Hastens" by Nikolas Roerich from Nikolas Roerich Museum website - have a look, the paintings and drawings are beautiful!
I didn't set out to replicate Roerich (although some of his mountains are highly piece-able, as I can see now), but I did use his bold colors)) Actually, as I was working on it, and even after it was done I thought they were too bold and nobody in their right mind would see a landscape in those bits and pieces, let alone recognize what it is supposed to be. I was really surprised (and pleased) when my mum, on seeing it for the first time, asked "Have you made this for Dad?" To my bewildered "How do you know?" she answered "I see this is Baikal."

I now know that the problem is value, as it so often happens - I presumed that if something is made of green fabrics it will be recognized as one whole thing which is the shore))), but it doesn't work like that)) Anyway, I still like this piece and I like the fact that it hangs in my Dad's living room. Looking at it reminds me of Baikal and I long for a chance to go there again. I'll show you a couple pictures from our last visit so you know why))):

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal

I actually made many more gifts for my other relatives and friends when going there, including three potholder sets with raw edge appliqué - really fast and fun to make and produce a great impression ;))

applique potholder

I'm linking this up to Throwback Thursday at A Quarter Inch from the Edge - it's the link up's anniversary, there will be a lot of quilts to see and there are even prizes to be won, so you can still join, I'm sure everybody has nice quilt stories to tell!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Magnolias - Pieced

Yesterday I finished piecing together the magnolias that I wrote about before. It's still a flimsy, so it behaves like one in the breeze outside))

curve piecing

It's about 1 by 1.5 meters and it's all machine pieced. I must admit, it wasn't that bad as the most of the pieces are quite large and the curves are really gentle. Well done me for an easy design)), although I must admit realism had to be sacrificed for ease of piecing - the parts are quite large, so smooth color transitions were hard to achieve.

curve piecing quilt

On the other hand, viewed as a whole from a distance the shape of the magnolia flower is recognizable, what do you think?

curve piecing quilt

I rather like the little zest added by the patterned fabrics

curve piecing quilt

The large areas of more or less solid background look rather dull for my taste at the moment, but I hope to perk them up by the quilting. I'm still thinking it over, but I want to try improvisational quilting, combining several designs as you go, something that I admire so much in other people's work. I have bought black-and-white variegated thread for this quilt, but I'm now inclined towards getting a solid, medium or dark grey one instead. The flowers, on the other hand, do not need much in the way of quilting, some curves to outline the petal shapes - and they are done.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River and Let's be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

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