Friday, 16 January 2015

Necessity and mothers

In need of a perfectly round 15mm template, I had a look in my bobbin box, and there was indeed one with a 15mm diameter. Perfectly round. If I cut right inside the drawn lines, my circles will do just fine.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Putting the face on

Hello 2015! 

So far the new year has been rather busy here in our new home. We got our moving-in permission on Friday 19.12 and the movers filled the rooms up during the weekend. 

I was determined I would not do Christmas at all, but our young ones decorated the tree for us and put up a few decorations between all the boxes. It was lovely.

We spent the holidays unpacking, building LEGOs with the boys, pretty much just trying to catch our breath after the crazy fall. 

While my master plan once was to finish unpacking before the new year and take January off, that did not happen. As one bathroom has to be recreated, a study has to be finished, a storage room has to be made, closets have to be built, a three month delay of the cladding and so forth, there is still a touch of a building site feel to our home. There are boxes that cannot be moved until other boxes are moved which cannot be moved until the storage is build which cannot be built until the closets are in place. You know how that is. Besides that, I am more concerned that we will get it right instead of rushing things, so we’re taking our time.

The house itself is very modern and minimalistic, which I am not. I want it to feel like our home and not like a showroom or a page in a glossy interior magazine, so for now we’re not replacing stuff unless we need to. The first thing that got finished was the downstairs bookcase. 

It almost looks like a scrap quilt, doesn’t it, with all the lines and happy colours. I love looking at it, and rediscovered some much loved re-readable treasures during the process.

I hung the first pictures today using 3M Command hooks. I’m not sure what I think, there are too many and the bottom line is not quite straight, but they will have to stay up there for a little while. Unless they fall down; this is my first experience with the Command products.

The carpenters are busy putting up the cladding, and what a difference it makes! 
(The slightly sloping roof is partly covered with solar panels, and the rest with cladding)

I almost missed the scaffolding when they took it down as the living room windows are huge, but I’m getting used to them. They are almost like mirrors in the dark, creating more interesting views as the outside and inside reflections merge. 

Twice as many orange goodies...

Can you see the face now? The sideburns will be trimmed.)

It’s a bit gap toothed as the glass panel which will go between the windows has not arrived yet, but I love the warm teak coloured skin. It was indeed worth all the trouble. The light makes it look like two different colours where the curved roof begins, and there will be even more variety when the vertical cladding is finished and the two accent colours are added, one of them matching the fab orange door.

With this patchwork-y image and the hope of getting back in my studio soon, I bid you farewell on this rainy winter day. Thanks for stopping by:)

Saturday, 20 December 2014

"Hemmat te jul"

Having to wait for a delivery the other day gave me the perfect time to breathe a little and quilt a few Christmas cards that were prepared weeks ago. Hemmat te jul means back home for Christmas. I wasn't going to do anything Cristmassy at all this year, but I just had to. Looking back, I should have set up the machine on the dining room table weeks ago and enjoyed some relaxing fabric fondling every night. Oh well, live and learn.

The house was approved for moving into yesterday, so today we are MOVING. It's hard to believe, but I am indeed sitting in our half empty temporary living space eating my lunch. What a ride it has been; most of the time an enjoyable although exhausting one.

I cannot wait for our lives to go back to normal, you know, quilting, sleeping, blogging, cooking, doing laundry. Oh how I am looking forward to doing all those everyday things in a warm and comfortable home!

Big wet cold messy happy dance and best wishes for the holdidays from Mrs Moen:)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Green & Glittery class at Rogaland Quiltelag

Another week has passed, and we are one week closer to finishing the house. Just a few more crazy weeks to go where everything hopefully will come together. Maybe the house will even have the proper coloured cladding; we’ll see.

The grandboys have been spending the weekend with us, giving us a much needed break from everything. We spent a few hours Christmas gift shopping on Saturday which was brilliant. After one ice cream break and lunch at McD, we could cross quite a few gifts off the list. And, during a few hours here and there, I have finished a calendar for the grandboys and have only a few touches left on the only two gifts I’m making. As far as holiday preparations goes, I’m way ahead I’d say, particularly as this is all I’m planning to do this year.

And speaking of Christmas, here are a few shots from the Green & Glittery class back in October.

(did you notice the name tags?)

Simple shapes being transformed into trees.

No Christmas threes without lights

The mandatory shot of the works in progress at the end of the day (one of the students had to leave early). There is a lot of work going into each of these fabulous projects.

I have seen a couple of the finished projects, and they were awesome! Well done, ladies, and thank you for taking my class!

Thanks for stopping by. If you don’t hear from me in a while, you'll find me looking at samples...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Braided fabric cubes

About a year or so, the board of our quilt guild issued a challenge – make some new Christmas decorations using fabric. While I did not find time to do so last year, I have been waiting to be inspired as making Christmas decorations is one of my favourite hobbies.

One day I stumbled upon this blog, The Cheese Thief, leading to this video on YouTube, and I thought it would be fun trying to braid cubes using fabric strips.

The 4-strand-braiding-technique is quite simple - if you know how to braid; if not, you can check out this video.

My strips are 1” wide and approx 13”-14” long.

First you need to stabilize the fabric. I fused 2 ½” wide and 13-14” long scraps to rather heavy weight paper (drawing paper from IKEA), letting them overlap a bit as I would need to cut ½” off each strip. Just cover the paper with fusible glue and iron fabric in place, making sure the edges are properly secured.

Cut into strips; the wider the strips, the longer they will need to be.

Follow the directions in the video, and weave the edges in as shown there.

The tighter you get the braid, the squarer they get. As with everything else, keep trying and you will get better at it.

I cut the edges off close to the overlapping strip. If you pull them a little while cutting, the edge will be hidden underneath the strip.

The edges were secured by adding a dot of glue on the cut-off edge, and I used small cloth pins and paper clips to secure them while drying.

For hanging, I added strings of elastics with a little bell and a couple of beads.

Thread a long needle (doll needle), and stitch right through the cube – from one side to the other. This will only work if you do it in the right direction.

The opening in the front of this cube is closed one layer down. You will understand what I mean when you see the way the 4-strand-braid curls.

These little cubes are highly addictive. 

Before I knew it, I had made 28, and they were used as centrepieces at the guild’s anniversary dinner back in October.
(Getting ready for the hotel staff to set the tables)

I did a little demonstration at the guild meeting last week, so I’m looking forward to see more colourful Christmas cubes at our next meetings.

Have fun braiding!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pink ploughing

I am enjoying the huge worktable in my studio these days, quilting a large quilt without anything dropping onto the floor while I’m wrestling with what seems to be tons of fabric. 

I used safety pins when basting the quilt which I haven’t been doing for ages. I have been spraying my way through can after can of basting spray over the years, but as my studio don’t have any windows that can be opened, I’d rather limit the amount of spray I use.

If you have never tried quilting with a contrasting thread colour, you may want to give it a go when looking at this.

A field of pinks with teal tracks. They make each other shine, don’t they. This is the almost-all-pink Christmas-gift-project which was induced with slivers of teal back here. Now it has a teal fleece backing, and lots of contrasting stitching. Just a few more lines to go and the edges are ready to be finished. I’ll be folding the fleece backing over as shown in my tutorial here.

I know they say that a walking foot is supposed to walk, but oh man, that thing can run...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

"Grønt & Glitrende"

The latest addition to the layer upon layer classes is “Green & Glittery”.

Clean lines, lots of different materials, a little bling, lots of stitching. While the shapes are techniques are simple enough, they do take quite a few hours of happy creating before everything magically falls into place.

These pillows are not for afternoon naps and sticky fingers. I have used some old fabrics for the back sides which by the way, both have zipper closures.

The turquoise pillow cover (no pillow forms in the studio, no light at home..)

The pink pillow which daughter loves. 

The starry fabric has been waiting around for years. It was purchased as a quilting fabric, but the stars melt when ironed. This was the perfect project for it to (literally) shine.

And the double-tree table runner.

I had so much fun making these this summer despite the hot weather, and I managed to finish them properly before the Green & Glittery class in October. I am afraid this will be it when it comes to quilted Christmas projects this year, so I’d better enjoy them before they go to their new homes. Maybe I’ll just keep one for myself, or maybe two..

How about you; knee deep in Christmas projects or crossing that bridge when you stumble upon it?