Monday, 20 October 2014

Rå kylling in Florø

The second class which I taught at Vestlandstreffet in Florø, was Rå kylling. Rå kylling is a fun and relaxing collage class, working with scissors and free form cut shapes. Some students find the free form cutting a bit difficult and unfamiliar at first, but usually it gets easier very quickly.

The materials are all off-cuts from the Fargerike shapes. We started out with all of this,

and soon had some fun chickens in the making.

This is a class where sewing machines are optional, so we did our stitching by hand. I demonstrated some simple stitches which I had used on my samples. If you are a newbie to hand stitching, you may be surprised what you can do with simple techniques. It’s all about adding texture and colour and see where the next stitches will take you.

You can only get so far during a 4 hour class, so the students will finish their projects at home by hand or by machine. A combination of the two works very well, although I myself have a tendency to get hooked on the hand stitching.
I love how different the projects turn out! Thank you for spending the morning creating raw chickens with me, ladies!

There was still just as much scraps left at the end of the day. We had to clear it away before starting stiching to keep us (read me) from being distracted. You can do anything with this pile really, right now I'm thinking Christmas cards - as soon as I have finished some other projects..

Florø is a beautiful small town at the west coast of Norway, and even though the hotel wasn't right by the fjord, my room still came with a view.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fargerike Florø

The annual Vestlandstreff was this last weekend and I left for Florø on Friday, taking my first small-plane-flight ever. It was, as always, lots of fun catching up with old friends and making new ones. There was exhibitions and dinners and raffles and lots of colour and laughter.

I taught two classes, the first being the colour theory class Fargerike. The class preparation is a lot of work, but it’s all worth it. During a few hours we go from this

to this, working our way through different ways of putting colours together. No sewing, just fusing pieces together until the tables are empty.

Colour theory is rather heavy stuff with lots of terms, so I aim for making it less about theory and more about how to use it.

(My sample there on the wall)

After making colour wheels and putting 60 blocks together, we dived into this

practicing what we had learned through some exercises using the students favourite colours, and least favourite colour.

There were lots of laughter around the table and quite a few aha-moments as someone realized they actually loved their least favourites looking at them in a new way. Who said you cannot do serious learning in a playful way.

We finished our time together clearing all the colour off the table and talking about different ways of using the blocks, and how they could be quilted. A very nice way to wind down indeed. 

Thank you ladies, for being such great students, and have fun playing with colours!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

One week in October

In between making colour theory kits and house matters, I have spent this last week doing some fun things too:

Creating a new hand stitching sample for the upcoming Rå kylling class.

It has been so much fun, just adding a little stitching here and some colour there and watching it grow. After the first sample was done, I made another one just to keep on stitching. It is the most relaxing thing, and highly addictive.

Watching my first live Viking soccer match ever.

Viking is the local team, and grandson is a rather engaged fan. We brought one of his friends, and there was popcorn and hot dogs and big screens and music and supporters and lots of fun.

Our young man on the big screen. 

He did a commercial for the team a while ago and it was the first time I saw it on something bigger than the phone. Big grandma moment; I taped the whole thing with a proud lump in my throat.

It was a quite enjoyable evening I’d say, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.

Catching up on my marketing communication skills.

Our daughter is studying marketing this term, and since it’s more than 30 years since I last studied this subject, this was the perfect opportunity to do some fun reading. There are so many new types of media, but the basics are still pretty much the same.

Quilting the living daylight out of the challenge pieces.

I was in too much of a hurry and cut the orange top too short. Oh well, nothing that a little piece of fabric cannot fix.

The almost invisible bindings (tutorial here) gave the opportunity for some more relaxing hand stitching.

They were always supposed to be a base for something more, and I was feeling rather uninspired for a long time, but yesterday inspiration struck and I have been adding a lot of stitching. 

I’m not sure that I should have added the third idea, but I’ll just have to leave it for now and see if I have time to fix it next week.

If not, I’ll just add it to my list of things that did not work out so well, right next to the white glue lines. Sometimes you don’t know how far you can go until you go too far, right?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Prep work

The weather has changed drastically and moved from what has been a very late and warm summer, to dead on fall. Just like that. The light has suddenly changed too, making it hard to see colour properly even outdoors on cloudy days. I am very thankful for daylight light fixtures which make my work so much easier.

Particularly when prepping for the Fargerike class which I’ll be teaching the weekend after next. I have been a bit stressed about the prep work after having moved everything away from That spot in the old house in which all my class stuff was stored. It had been a while since I last went through the material, so I was very happy to find everything in place and that all but one of the 40 fabrics were ready to go.

While I try to purchase the solid fabrics for the kits locally (way easier that having to order online if you need something like right now), some colours have not been available here. Since I knew there would be a huge time gap between the first test class and the next, I had ordered everything I would need from the US a long time ago.

I have kept track of the fabrics and suppliers in a moleskin journal, which I have held on to through the moving process, and after a quick phone call to the shop where I first purchased the missing fabric, I could pick it up on my way home.

The class is rather small which is good for this particular class, but cutting rectangles and circles still takes a lot of time. Ripping, pressing, folding, pressing, layering, cutting, fusing and on and on it goes, but, with such a lovely rainbow of colour, who am I to complain..

Friday, 26 September 2014

"Colour me pink"

I have blogged about my early days in the studio earlier, happily rediscovering old treasures in the Treasure Box. The 9 blocks from this post were made into a table topper for MIL for her birthday, finished up the day before we started packing up the house back in May.
(Pre quilting)

The flowers were orange so I wanted to add some hot pink to them to tie them to the border fabric. I have, for some reason, been working a lot with pinks lately, and am falling in love with them big time.
(Background squares all from thrifted fabric.)

I had some heavy weight, shiny rayon embroidery thread from last year’s shopping extravaganza, and while it was way too thick to go in the needle, it worked well enough in the bobbin. Hitting the middle of the flower from the back did not work quite so well, so the swirly swirls ended up wherever they wanted. As long as they were on the flower, I did not mind, who said they needed to be in the centre anyway.
(Flowery fabric from the Mrs Bouquet quilt)

I did not have a lot of time to fiddle around with the thread tension either, so I decided to like the hot pink eyelashes keeping the decorative thread in place. You can like almost any quilting mishap if you just put your mind to it, right?

It has a scrappy binding which was hand stitched to the back 2 minutes before we were due at the in-laws' house for the annual Norway Day dinner. The Big Box of binding is a great time saver indeed.

The quilt is very bright and cheery and MIL is rather fond of it although I’m not sure orange was quite her thing before I started quilting.

The overall appearance became a little pinker though.)

Have a wonderful weekend:)

Thursday, 25 September 2014


I am happily playing along with the pink strips from this post. Daughter’s quilt top is finished and parked in the to-be-quilted pile on the big desk. I am trying to get the most out of the creative high I am on, starting one project after the other, sketching a new one while the last is still on the design wall. It feels awesome and only a tad scatter-brain-ish.

The almost all-pink top had to be toned down a little. I had added some dark browns into the mix, but it still was a bit on the hot side, so I started wondering how small I could go with a contrast colour and still get a result.

The answer is a ½” strip (finished). Yes indeed, that little. With this quilt being a present, I cannot show you much, but I recommend that you give it a go the next time you need that little extra touch. Just cut a few 1” strips, and see where they take you. You may be surprised.

My strips had to be sorted by value, and you know how tricky that can be with different colours. Instead of the old copier or camera/computer trick, I used the iPad to determine the values, so I thought I could show you how I did that. My iPad is in Norwegian, but your screens should look pretty much the same. My iPhone has the same options, and I am sure other smartphones have them as well.

Lay your strips or fabrics out in an order that make sense to you. Take two pictures (one will be altered).

Tap one of the photos.

Choose Edit
Choose Filters
Choose Greys

Choose Use
Choose Save
Now you can flip back and forth between the colour and grey shots. It is much easier to see the values now, right.

Move any fabric that seems out of order, and do the same again to check.

I’d better get down to the dark and musty laundry basement while there’s still some daylight. I have picked up a total of 16,6 meters of fleece today as all my finished and yet-to-be-finished tops need to be made into soft and cuddly quilts, and as fleece shrinks, it needs to be prewashed. And dried. We have no tumble dryer here in our temporary home and it’s raining outside. Yeah, that’s gonna take a while..

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A day in the studio

I got the gift of some extra time with our young man on Saturday. He enjoys spending time in the studio with me, and was quite happy to bring the iPad and some snacks up there so I could work on some quilting. Today is the monthly guild meeting, and I wanted to finish up quilting some class samples which were long overdue.

So far he hasn’t been too interested in what I have been doing besides cluttering the house and mending his pants, but then again, I haven’t been quilting a lot when he has been staying with us. We did embroider his name on a fabric strip a while ago though, and now he wanted to try the sewing machine again. No wonder; there is speed and noise and a pedal and a reverse button, what’s not to love, right.

We agreed on making a gym bag, and he chose a fabric with soccer balls on it. I did the cutting, but he handled the iron like a pro,

controlled the pedal and buttons,

cut all the threads and threaded the rickrack ribbon using the Purple Thang.

We were both very happy with the end result, but I think he was quite surprised to see how much work that went into it.

Back at home, we spent some more happy hours playing with the PlusPlus pieces. With the little one, there is rarely a big chunk of quite time, so I had almost forgotten what a peaceful activity it can be, and of course all those lovely colours.

The Purple Thang is, by the way, a very useful tool.

My friend Krista of Poppyprint was so happy with hers, that I convinced all my friends to buy one at The Festival of Quilts last year. My thang, however, was left behind at the hotel after I had been emptying all my shopping bags on the sofa when I was packing my suitcase to go home. Thank goodness for good friends; two of them did, at separate travels to the US, bring me a new Purple Thang. Great friends indeed!

Thanks for stopping by!