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

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Horses on a Quilt

Today is the start of the annual Pets on Quilts show over at Lily Pad Quilting! Everyone is welcome to share the photos of their pets posing on quilts and pet-themed quilts, if don't happen to have any you can still enjoy the cuteness and vote for your favourites.

I don't have a pet, but I do have quilted pets - like, about 20 of them:


They were actually meant to be wild horses, but for the sake of the show we'll call it a pet-themed quilt, ok?

I have already written about it in a previous post, but I thought it deserves another one, not just because of the Pets on Quilts show, but also because it got juried into a real-life show as well, the RDS Craft Awards show, which features just a small selection of various crafts, I think it was one of only five quilts there. It didn't get any awards, in case you're wondering, but we were told that getting there in the first place is an honour in itself.

Here we are at the exhibition opening:


The exhibition is still running till the end of this week as a part of the Dublin Horse Show (call it a coincidence?).

If you want to know more about the process of making, it's all in post 1, post 2 and post 3. And here is just one close-up:


Do visit the the Pets on Quilts page and enjoy the show.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Scraps of Summer

As I haven't still got all the stuff I need to finish my One Block Wonder, I took a change of direction  to make a quilt for our branch exhibition, which has to be in by the end of August anyway. The theme of the exhibition is "Scrap Happy" (and the required size is 16'' by 35''), and I like kind of tone it sets. I was (and am) thinking about my kids who are on a seaside holiday with their grandparents - playing on the beach, eating ice-cream, wearing sundresses - you know the lot. So I decided to put together these bits and pieces of summer holidays:

summer quilt

I wanted it to be improvised, so just made a loose sketch and assembled everything right on the quilt sandwich, like this:

summer quilt

You can see the group of fruit already stitched down, and the flowers just cut out and roughly placed in position. I used raw edge appliqué to give it maximum scrappiness, applied little bits of basting glue to keep the pieces in place and stitched them down on FMQ machine setup.

summer quilt

Here is the top part assembled:

summer quilt

And the whole image, without the text:

summer quilt

I didn't take pictures of making the text, because this was the most tedious part of it all - I wrote the letters on freezer paper, ironed it to one side of the fabric, ironed the bondaweb to the other side of the fabric, and then cut out every letter through all the layers. I didn't want the lettering to dominate the quilt, so I chose a fabric with a scrappy feel to it, which kind of breaks the shape of the letters.

I quilted the background with a little curvy pattern (don't know if it has a proper name) in a YLI variegated sandy thread.

summer quilt

I certainly enjoyed making it, this kind of improvised appliqué is my favourite style of work, and I hope I managed to achieved the relaxed, summerly, scrappy, happy look I was aiming for.


Have a nice summer!.. and how 'bout some ice-cream?

ice cream quilt

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
Show Off Saturday at Sew can She

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Progress Report

A progress report on my One Block Wonder quilt (see previous instalments here and here).

After finalising the layout I stitched together the vertical column of half-hexagons:


And then put the columns together, see how the look changed after the seam allowances went to the back:


The fabric is satin and quite naughty, so I didn't really bother matching all the seams to a point, in many cases they are a bit off.
But the satin finish has a plus side, too: it creates a nice shine and facet-like look to the quilt. I will be still visible after quilting.


Here it is on the bed. It cover most of the bed surface, so I need a border for the overhang, and, unfortunately, I don't have enough suitable fabric (and also not enough backing and not enough batting - I have made any bed-size quilts in a while), so I need a fabric shopping trip.


Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

One Block Wonder Takes Shape

It's been a long time since I did any quilting and, consequently, blogging, but now I have a little break in my studies and want to finish some UFOs.
The first thing I started with is the one block wonder quilt started as demonstration pieces for my workshop. I finished the second batch of the blocks and spent a couple of hours yesterday playing with the layout.


It's going to be a bedquilt for my daughter's bedroom, so I knew I wanted the purples, the focus colour, to go in some sort of diagonal from the corner which is going to be closest to the door. The photo above was the first preliminary layout, and then I shuffled and reshuffled the blocks for ages. I wonder if anyone can spot the changes ;)))






If by any chance you have nothing better to do, you can play the game "spot N differences between two identical pictures".
I think I should better get sewing, otherwise I will want to rearrange them again - I can see a couple of "odd men out" in the last photo that I didn't see yesterday.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 9 June 2017

We and I

We are all unique and different from each other, yet we often have to run in the same direction and do  as we are told - or do we?


Maybe sometimes we have to look around and ask ourselves if "we" is really more important than "I" and if what everybody does if really the right thing to do.


Those were the thoughts I tried to render in this piece, which - from sketch to sleeve - took over a year to complete. You can have a look at the previous stages here and here. This post is about the quilting and finishing.


As you can see, each horse got his or her own quilting pattern, to stress their individuality in addition to the different fabrics used. I used my beloved YLI variegated thread for some of them, and plain cotton for others. As most of the fabrics are patterned, the quilting don't show very well, but that's OK because the texture of the manes makes the quilt look very busy.


The felted manes are inserted into the seams of the top and then stitched down in some places to create the feeling of motion. The eyes and nostrils were added to define the faces, yet I kept them very stylised in line with the overall feel.


I didn't want to restrict the horses' motion with a frame, so I chose to face the quilt, letting the manes overhang on the left-hand side. It finished about 93 by 165 cm (36'' by 64'') if I remember right, so you have to take a couple of steps back to take it all in :)).


Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Mary
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Free Motion Mavericks at Lizzy Lenard Vintage Sewing
Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hands Across the Border Exhibition - Aurora

This Tuesday I attended the official opening of the "Hands Across the Border" exhibition organised biannually by the Irish Patchwork Society and the Quilters' Guild of Northern Ireland. This year's theme is "Aurora" and it proved to be a great theme with multiple possible interpretations and really strong visual impact.


The room is large and well-lit, but there are only two walls available for hanging quilts, so they are a bit crammed together. The  opening was a very nice affair, with opening speeches by Ruth Bourke of Charlie and Ben's Crafty Corner, our chairperson,  and Leo Enright, space journalist and writer, wine and party food, but mostly lots of talking and discussing and just catching up.


I took loads of photos of quilts, but it's impossible to fit them all here, so just some:







And some close-ups, I'm afraid the names of the authors are not really visible, and haven't got a catalogue, so apologies for leaving them nameless:


Lovely batiks and really inventive border treatment here.


This goes to show how far a simple straight line quilting can take you!


Not shows well in this photo, but it really shines with Angelina fibres.


Fabulous texture and colour in this beauty.


This one is called "Sunrise, sunset" and I love love the clever difference between the two parts.


 Lovely hand-dyed fabric here and nice sense of motion.

And last, me with my "Dance of the Goddess":


I'm going there again on Monday, so I might take some better pictures to share and make Part 2.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

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