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?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

"Look down"

One of my most favourite things about quilting, is recording moments of life.

While it may be difficult to translate a process or emotions into words, these little ones speak quietly.

“Look down” was made this summer while I was clawing my way back up from the rubble of our home.

Recycled linen cloth, free motion machine stitched, edges finished with yarn couching.

Sometimes you need to look back to see how far you have come.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"Fall Unfinished"

In the beginning of this year, I received an email from a coordinator of the British Quilt Guild. They were raising money for the guild and asking artists from all over the world for unfinished quilts to sell at the Festival of Quilts. The quilts were to be in each artist’s personal and easily recognizable style, approx A4 size and unfinished. I was flattered to be asked (yes indeed, flattering will get you anywhere), and happy to help those who put down so much work at The Festival of Quilts, which I love.

This is my contribution, “Fall Unfinished”. Getting proper pictures on a bright sunny day before shipping it off wasn’t easy, but there you go.

Details; layer upon layer of fabric, stitched by machine, hand embellished.

While I started on my project early, I had to set it aside while packing up the house and moving, but I made sure to keep track of it during the whole mess. The last few finishing touches were done just in time, and it was shipped off and presold before the festival, like the rest of the quilts. You can read more about the fund raising and see more of the contributions here.

I thought you might enjoy seeing some process pictures:

My starting point – two recycled curtains

Using some of the threads I purchased at last year’s festival seemed appropriate

Looking at the starter fabric and the quilt in progress side by side, it has been quite a transformation, wouldn’t you say?

Wrapped up in plastic and ready to go.

Thank you to the British Quilt Guild for inviting me to contribute, it was great fun and I wish I would have been there to see your booth with all the quilts on display at the festival!