Quilting a rainbow

One of the things I love about seeing other people’s quilts is their use of colour. Sometimes putting together fabrics that you never thought would go, other times the use of a rainbow of colour that really stands out. Often it is the contrast between the fabric and the background and sometimes it is the quilting that helps the colour really pop.

This quilt entitled, ‘Bubbles of Joy’, by Anne Lilleholm Jorgenson is one such quilt, the fabric is gorgeous and what makes it really lovely is the contrast of the fabric bubbles and the quilting on the white background.

Another similar quilt used colour in the quilting really effectively, both sides, grey and black, were displayed and the contrast between the little pops of colour fabric and the quilting was really effective. This reminded me of the Spirograph toy we had as a child.

This one is called, ‘Atom’, and was made by Brenda Sanders.

In my craft room I have a stash of rainbow fabrics just waiting for the right project, they look so pretty on the shelf I really don’t want to cut into them! Maybe I could make something like this lovely hexagon quilt, sadly forgot to take a picture of the maker’s name.

There were also some gorgeous colourful  flower quilts like this one from Sheena Stubbs, ‘A Country Garden’.

Quilt Festival Flower 1

One of our other huge favourites was part of the Korean and Japanese quilters’ exhibition and was a pair of quilts which not only used colour really well but also wonderful Kantha stitching.

These are, ‘Lotus Pond 2 – Midsummer Day’, by SangSook Kim. We felt that not only were these quilts stunning but they felt like the sort of thing that we could actually make as the hand quilting used for the Kantha stitching is a lot less scary than the machine stitching in the other quilts.

The background is made up of wonky log cabins and that in itself is beautiful but the Kantha stitching and flowers really makes them into works of art.

Lots of inspiration again and has added so much to my future projects thoughts. At the moment I am working on two sets of things, a new set of Christmas ornaments using paper piecing and some more of Jenny’s lovely stitching, this time from her Primitive inspired designs from last month’s Stitchery Club. Looking forward to another delivery from her later this week.

Will show you more of that in a later post as well as some of my recent makes and fabric finds!

Thanks very much, as always for visiting, and have a great week ahead, the sun is shining in Yorkshire for the second day running which is brilliant!

 

 

Quilt magic

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and happy. Just back from a very hot Spain to lovely damp Yorkshire so what is a girl to do but take a trip to look at beautiful quilts? It was the brilliant Festival of Quilts trip again yesterday, just myself and Sharon this time.

We were very good, just a few purchases, no fabric for Sharon as she seems to think that she should use some of the stuff she has got before buying more but I got a little more insulation for the craft room🙂

We both bought books, they had a special offer on the Sarah Fielke Little Quilts book  and as we so enjoyed meeting her recently we felt that we just had to!

Sarah Fielke Little Things book

The main reason for going was of course all that magic that people can perform with bits of fabric and thread and there was again some absolutely amazing and inspirational work.

We loved the two quilts by Claudia Pfeil ,whose work we first saw last year. The colours are amazing and the level of detail and embellishment just make them sparkle so much. There is more of her amazing work on this Pinterest board here.

There were some wonderful art quilts and pictorial quilts. I loved all the floral ones in very different styles such as these by Hilary Gooding, the more modern one which had a Judge’s Choice award, and Dorothy Clee  who had interpreted a walled garden. I love the stitching detail on both these very beautiful quilts.

One of my favourites combined quilting with my love of history in costume in a beautifully executed and very interesting idea based on Tudor dress showing the structural as well as the decorative elements of the fashion. This is by Joanna O’Neil  and has some gorgeous machine embroidery making the lace on the costume.

There was another set of historically based quilts of a similar theme based on effigies which were also beautifully stitched. These were made by Canadian quilter Dorothy Howard.

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 1

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 2

I have lots more to show you in a later post but for now will go and get some stitching done. Am going to be finishing the ring pillow today so time to choose a new project to start, am toying with either one of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely designs or starting some of my Christmas ornaments.

Take care and enjoy what every you are doing this weekend, thanks for visiting.

A little bit of history

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and happy. It is another damp and dreary weekend here in Yorkshire but that means plenty of time for catching up on blogging and crafting!

Regular readers will know I love visiting historic places, all places are special in their own way and all very beautiful but sometimes you come across something really special that is a real wow moment.

You may remember that Ellie worked at Hardwick Hall before she moved to Clumber Park, they have an extensive collection of Elizabethan textiles, some worked by Bess of Hardwick and some by Mary Queen of Scots, her husband’s charge in the years before her death.

We were wandering through our second Trust Property, Coughton Court , really enjoying the beautiful treasures when we came across a darkened room full of the most amazing things.

Firstly there was this beautiful chalice cover with the most wonderful Elizabethan goldwork, then a priest’s cope which was made by Catherine of Aragon, (another heroine of mine), and her ladies, no pictures as it was too dark but you can get a glimpse of it at the collections site here.

Coughton textiles 5

Coughton textiles 6

Then at the back in a case was this very simple chemise, embroidered around the neck, the chemise that Mary allegedly wore when she was executed at Fotheringay Castle in 1587.

Coughton - MQS robe 1

This was one of the most wow moments I have ever had at a property, one of those really goose bumpy moments when you realise you are actually really close up to the reality of history. You can see a full length picture of the chemise at the collections site at the above link.

It was also very interesting as all contemporary reports said that Mary wore blood – red undergarments, the colour of a catholic martyr, maybe this was under those red robes.

You can read more about Coughton and the family history at this great blog post  from the very informative Tudor Stuff blog. The family were staunch Catholics and so had a bit of a rough time during the reformation but managed to retain their beautiful property.

There were also some other lovely costumes in portraits. The blackwork on the neck and sleeves of this robe and this lace collar were two of my particular favourites.

There was some very good interpretation using textiles as well, this is something that Ellie and I have noticed as a growing trend in Trust houses and one that we really like. I think it is far more interesting to read something set in the context and also from a practical point of view easier as the print is larger and several people can be reading the information at once.

This was a dinner party at which the guests were all members of the estate who died in the First World War. A very touching and lovely way to remember them, with their photos as place cards and their stories on the back of each chair.

Coughton - textile interpretation 1

Coughton - textile interpretation 2

I will be back soon with more lovely Trust stuff, now off to make another little basket, have resisted the urge to make more for a few weeks but they are so cute and this will be a present for a younger relative.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.

Absolutely love it!

Hello everyone

Am very excited this week as the Splendid Sampler  people have not only released the most gorgeous paper-pieced block but also a great bonus idea of what to do with it.

The block was released on Thursday and is called Stitching Fashion and it was designed by Charise.

Charise stitching_fashion_pic_yellow -small

I have visited her blog before and love her designs. She has step by step instructions at this post and you can download the pattern from the Splendid Sampler here.

There is also a Periscope video here by Alyssa from Penguin and Fish.

It was obviously very popular as there have been so many beautiful blocks made since then. All pictures come from the Splendid Sampler site and the Facebook page and are by,  (in no particular order), Carrie, Debbie, Lydia, Maria, Maudy and Amanda, brilliant work ladies.

Charise also has an Etsy shop with many more gorgeous paper pieced things. I was looking at her Flickr group  as well and came across this fab idea made with one of her other patterns for a vintage dress that could just as easily be made with this one.

Barbie Doll Tidy

This is by Miss Ginny from England, you are a star and I love this!

As is that wasn’t enough excitement yesterday a bonus project for this block was released, this cute notions pouch available from Craftsy here. Charise also has her patterns for sale here as well including some lovely free vintage blocks.

SplendidNotionsPouch - medium

Don’t you think this would make a great make up bag gift as well without the spool , or storage for all those Barbie shoes and accessories. Makes me wish Ellie was little again as I used to love making things for her Barbie dolls.

We once spent the Easter holidays making an entire Barbie flat out of large cardboard boxes, with real carpet and wallpaper and all the furniture made out of cereal packets!

I am going to go back and look at some more of Charise’s patterns, have never done any paper piecing as have been put off by all the little bits but look at the cuteness of this that she made as a block a while ago. I also really enjoyed making the sewing machine cover and that was 33 pieces and 9 hours but great sense of achievement .Photo from her Flickr site.

Charise paper pieced sewing composite -small

Right am off to spend the rest of the weekend hand sewing braid while watching mindless television! Have been super busy at work including working the last two weekends as well so really looking forward to doing very little that needs a brain.

Have only about 10 feet of the braid left to go on Ellie’s coat and that needs to be finished for next weekend as we have an event at Ashby de la Zouche Castle. And I get to finally go and see her new flat and the chapel at Clumber Park 🙂

Have a lovely weekend and week ahead and thanks for visiting, oh and enjoy the Bank Holiday next Monday if you are in the UK, you never know it might even be sunny!

Spring resolutions

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I have had the same one for the last 10 years now to do more fun stuff and less housework and boring stuff but have been inspired by the prospect of Spring and a bit more time and nicer weather to think about sorting and getting on with stuff.

I am not going to do this – that would be foolish and would not help support all those lovely  businesses run by hardworking women who share my passion for fabric.

Stash joke

So I am going to tackle the WIP pile! It is not very big but now that I am on a roll with the machine I am going to get the few projects that have been waiting for me to have some serious sewing time sorted.

I am not going to set a time frame for finishing everything but am going to try and complete one a month.

First one to be done is the cover for my new sewing machine. When I bought it in July I promised it a new cover and the poor thing has been languishing under its flimsy plastic one every since.

You may remember that I bought a lovely sewing machine themed spool rack last year and that my lovely children bought me the matching hook set for Christmas.

I found some great sewing machine panels that I thought would maybe look good as a hanging in the craft room and decided that one of those would make a pretty cover.

My chosen panel comes from the Snapshots Quilt Along  held last year by the Fat Quarter Shop blog. This is a great set of patterns and they raised money as well as for each download they suggested that you donate to a children’s hospital.

Here is a picture of the full quilt from Pat Sloan’s blog.

Snapshots quilt along quilt

The block is called Sew On and Sew On and there were some lovely versions made like these ones from the Flickr group by Pam Kitty Morning and Stamperville using the original colourway from the pattern.

Snapshots sewing machine - Flicker Pam Kitty Morning small

Snapshots sewing machine - Flicker  Stamperville small

I got as far as cutting this out last year and then the machine had a bit of wobbly, probably due to lack of nice cover so I had not had chance to sew it together.

So last Sunday I pulled all of the pieces out of the WIPs box and got them assembled.

sewing machine cover 1

The pattern suggests labelling each of the 32 pieces with Alphabitties, those little letter labels seen in the above photo but I don’t have any of those so used normal sticky labels cut into pieces which meant I could put dimensions as well as the pattern colour on to keep track while I sewed them together.

sewing machine cover 2

I found the video of how to sew the picture on the Fat Quarter shop blog very useful, it took a couple of hours but soon had this lovely picture.

sewing machine cover 3

I had thought I had enough fabric to do a single piece back as I had picked up some more of the turquoise print in a local craft shop a couple of months ago but when  I unfolded the fat quarter it had fade marks along all of the fold lines so I had to be creative.

I did a pieced back with some 1 inch patches from the rest of the scraps.

sewing machine cover 4

I just ended up quilting in the ditch, I know I did the machine quilting course a while ago but need a bit more practise before I ruin something I have spent hours on!

So here it is a back and front view over a chair and in situ, went for a simple side tied and bound finish with the last of the turquoise strips.

sewing machine cover 5

sewing machine cover 6

sewing machine cover 7

I am extraordinarily pleased with this, even though it took about 9 hours in total including hand stitching the binding it was well worth it and my machine is very happy!

I am counting this as another project for the Sewing Bucket List – number 11 a project from a PDF pattern.

I also love the camera block they designed for the backing.

Snapshots Camera block -small

Not much crafting will be going on here this weekend, we have Ofsted (government inspectors) due in on Monday at work so have been busy with prep for that and the things I didn’t get done this week I need to do tomorrow.

Roll on next weekend🙂

Hope you have a nice rest of the weekend and week ahead and see you soon, thanks for visiting.

 

May miniature madness

Hello there, happy 1st of May.Hope that you are all having all had a good weekend, I am thoroughly enjoying the extended weekend here.

It is not feeling very Spring like yet but luckily all the snow has melted. Could not believe it when I woke up on Friday morning as it was all completely white. Bizarre even for Yorkshire.

I have always been drawn to making little things, whenever I craft it always seems to end up being a small project, mini hexagon patchwork, cross stitch so small you need a magnifier to do it, knitting little animal parts, I am always making tiny things. Ellie’s Barbie dolls used to be well kitted out with clothes🙂

Maybe it is because I don’t have much time and like to get things finished, or maybe I was a pixie in a previous life but most of my projects seem to end up small. I take great inspiration from crafters like Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts  as she loves making things out of tiny scraps.

This weekend I excelled in making small things, I started with a basket (another!) and wanted to use up a small piece of the fusible foam that I had left. This became a basket which is only 3 inches high – so cute! I used Perle thread to topstitch which gives a great definition to the top edge.

bags may mini 3

Being a make do and mend sort of crafter I used the cut outs from the bottom of the bag again to make a pincushion only this time decided to add from my scrap drawer and use half square triangles so here is a very tiny pincushion.

Pictures show bag and front and I suppose it is a Bow Tie block.

bags may mini 4

This is only two inches across and I am very pleased with how neat my seams are, even the one underneath the button has great matching. I might crack this piecing lark after all.

bags may mini 6

There was a small piece left over from cutting as well so I thought a little needlebook would be nice, this is just less than two inches wide and is lined with batting and has a little bit of felt inside. Both pincushion and needlebook have detachable straps as well.

bags may mini 7

I am very pleased with everything even though it did take hours to make as most of it needed to be hand stitched as it was too small to machine. And look I am using stash less that a week after it arrived in the house, before it has time to go off🙂

bags may mini 8

I did make a normal sized one as well, this is the very cute sheep fabric, look at that one knitting.

bags may mini 2

bags may mini 1

The pattern, Friends of the One Hour Basket by Kelby Sews, is very well written and easy to follow but I have made some adjustments to the process that I have detailed here in case they are useful.

  • When I cut out the squares from the bottom of the padded exterior section I tack the bottom and side seams flat, this seems to make it stand up easier without rocking.
  • I tack the handles into place before sewing the lining so that they stay still as I found the first couple slipped out of place when I pulled the lining up.
  • I hand stitch the lining inside at the top rather than topstitching, I am not the neatest machine sewer and like not having a line on the patterned fabric.
  • I iron the bag again at the end, both on the inside which makes the lining stick down to the other side of the fusible fleece and carefully around the outside, trying not to iron my hand as I hold it😉

With my extra day tomorrow I am going to do something different and make something for my sewing room, something I have been meaning to do for a while, don’t know how far I will get but watch this space.

Hope you have a great Bank Holiday if you are in the UK and commiserations if it is just a normal Monday for you. Thanks for visiting and have a great week ahead.

 

 

‘What this old fabric? I’ve had it for ages darling!’

Do you ever feel that you have to hide your stash enhancements from your nearest and dearest? Luckily for me my family completely understand my need to buy fabric.

Well Ellie very much appreciates knowing that she can raid the craft room whenever she needs to and I don’t think Jake would be bothered unless I spent all of the food budget on fabric and didn’t feed him when he comes back for the summer🙂

I have recently been reading a great blog called Dresden Lane  whose tag line is, ‘sometimes I distract myself from buying fabric by sewing with it’, which I think sums up many of us.

Love this joke that I found. That is so me!

 

fabric buying joke

I have had a few lovely deliveries this week, one of the other compensations about not going away this last weekend for the re-enactment event was that I had more in my treats budget this month for fabric as I had a very economical weekend here at home.

As I mentioned I found some very cute sheep fabric – this grey one was from Thread and Loop and the red one from Marilyn’s Patchwork Mania , both from Ebay via an image search.

fabric April 3

fabric April 1

These very unusual sheep hexagons come from The Vintage Fabric Market  and I will applique them onto some linen.

fabric April 2

I was lucky enough to find some more of the lovely Makower Sew Retro Notions fabric, which is now out of print, both the small motif and the larger ones.

The small motif one on the bottom came from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics and the larger print from Fabrics and Much More.

fabric April 7

I was also really pleased to find some more of some of my favourite type of designs, this blue with little red roses comes in several colourways and versions and I also bought a similar fabric in purple.

fabric April 4

This along with an ivory version of the lovely French sewing notions fabric that I used last weekend in grey comes from a site called Always Knitting and Sewing. I think this might be my favourite sewing notions fabric, I love the detail in these adverts.

fabric April 6

fabric April 5

This shop has lots of the very pretty ditsy flowers and floral prints that I love and some very pretty bundles, so tempted but am being good for now! Look at these lovelies though.

bundle-10-fat-quarters-cream-floral-Always Knitting and Sewing

Pink fabric - Always K and S bundle

I am trying to buy more sets of fabric, I have had a tendency in the past just to buy random things that I like and have ended up with a very eclectic collection where nothing goes together.

I have a very random assortment of dinosaurs, cats, elephants, rabbits, tigers, penguins and owls and lots of other novelty things that I can’t yet find as use for. At least Mum has done something good with the dinosaurs now but still have a bit of menagerie to rehome!

My plans for this weekend are to turn some of this into baskets and to get on with some medieval kit – still got 30 feet of braid to put on Ellie’s outfit and a surcoat to make, though thankfully not as complex as the checkerboard from last year!

Hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy the Bank Holiday if you are in the UK – yippee an extra weekend day🙂🙂

Thanks for visiting.