Thursday, 28 August 2014

"Soft treasures"

This quilt did not make its way into the world easily, so with a late-but-big Tah Dah, I give you "Soft treasures" (Jan 2014, 65*77cm)

With all the fabrics and notions available to us quilters, it is easy to lose track of the simple joy of creating your own images, so I wanted to go in the other direction using only solid black fabric and colourful thread, and techniques from my free motion quilting class, Quilta Figurer.

The quilt is free motion quilted in various patterns and hand embroidered. Extra texture and depth have been added by playing with the thread tension and adding just a few lines with fabric crayons.

Those of you who read this blog, know that it took more than a few experiments to get the colours

and techniques

and stitches right.

Those of you who do free motion quilting, know that it takes more than a few hours to do such dense quilting.

Those of you who do hand stitching, know that it takes more than a few days to do this much hand stitching.

It did indeed take quite a lot of work to finish the quilt, but the competition for which it was made got cancelled, and after a lot of mishaps on the way to an exhibition, it was finally showed at a “Show & tell”, for half a minute, in a very poorly lit hall, 100 feet away, all crinkled and horrible. Tah dah. I felt crinkled and horrible too.

Hopefully I’ll feel better about the quilt when it gets unpacked in the new house. Maybe I’ll want to take properly lit pictures. At least I can use it as a sample in future Quilta Figurer classes.

I'll keep you updated..

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

"His wedding, and hers"

Flipping through the folders on my computer in which pictures from different devices have been uploaded since moving became The Main Verb around here, I decided to give up on getting the pictures and stories and whatnots in chronologic order and just go for it.

“His wedding and hers” (January 2014) was made for the annual Norwegian Quilt Association competition. The theme was Lady and the tramp (contrasts between feminine/masculine, smooth/rough etc), and was to be interpreted any way we wanted to.

(Sorry, my only head on picture was taken indoors)

When reading the theme, I immediately thought about weddings and how the bride’s and groom’s perspectives often seem very different. While the groom may show rather reluctantly up in any old suit, the bride often has planned her wedding since early childhood. Disclaimer: this is based more on life portrayed in TV, movies and books than real life experiences, but still, I find it rather baffling.

Anyway, I envisioned a rooster popping in at a chicken run, just looking for a bit of fun, and getting caught in the wedding frenzy of the yearning bride-to-be,
her mother,

future maid of honor.
Can you tell how he feels by the look in his eyes?


The panels are made of recycled painted tablecloths, curtains, a bridal shawl, hessian, and felted wool. They have been free motion quilted, couched onto a brushed polyester backing, and then embellished by hand and machine.
There are quite a few happy go lucky new techniques in here which, all in all, worked out pretty well. You never know until you try, do you.

You can see previous posts here and here.

I had so much fun making this quilt, and it drew quite a few smiles and comments hanging at the NQF exhibition back in March.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Little boxes on the hillside

I’m singing this song

pretty much every day

kind of like my theme song these days.

Maybe not so odd, is it.

One big box

on the hillside

looking rather sad with the windows and doors all covered.

No fabulous face on the front .

It will get better, at least that’s what they keep telling me.
In the meantime, we’re staying right next door.
As uncomfortable and crammed and messy as it is, it’s still the most awesome place in the world every now and then:)

The grandboys and I are sharing a room with dozens and dozens of clothing bags, and this weekend we all had a cold. Not too much sleep, but still a grand weekend. I'm having a hard time getting them to stay still so I can take proper pictures, and never mind looking at the camera and smile at the same time. I kind of like it this way. Keeping it real.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Breaking the Blog Barrier

When it comes to barriers, the only one I have had any real interest in visiting, is the Thames Barrier. If I’m not mistaken, it was a British crime TV show with John Hannah that first peaked my interest (in the barrier, not John Hannah as such, although he’s rather dishy with that accent and all, and him reading that poem in "Four weddings and a funeral" is totally unforgettable). The barrier is still on my list of places to see.
(Thames Barrier, picture borrowed from here)

The Blog Barrier, on the other side, had done nothing to stir my curiosity whatsoever. It has neither amazingly cool design nor John Hannah nor my favourite city close by. During my 5 years of blogging I have of course faced little Blog Bumps when getting back to blogging after holidays etc, but the Blog Barrier has been unchartered territory to me. Until now.

I have been blaming it on feeling a bit worn out and down after the moving process, the holidays, the heat, the happy weeks with the grandboys, making umpteen decisions about the house, catching up on patterns, on class samples, on the sun, the moon and the stars. All valid reasons, I’d say, but today I broke the barrier and wrote two posts about my two new classes on our guild blog. It felt soo good so see the words and pictures and fabulous colour right there up on the screen. Yeey, happy dance!

The guild, Rogaland Quiltelag, is celebrating their 25th anniversary in October, and we are hosting an anniversary weekend with  4 different classes and a dinner and lots of fun and good food. The classes are open to everyone, so if you’d like to spend a fun weekend with us at a very nice and cozy hotel in Sandnes, you should check out the guild blog where 3 of the 4 classes have been posted today, or leave me a comment, and I’ll send you the information.

Going through my pictures, I have quite a backlog of summer joys and projects to share, like my guild’s anniversary challenge in progress.

The challenge format is 50*50cm, so I’ll be stitching two and two of these small quilts together for the exhibition. I was demonstrating different ways of doing so at the guild meeting yesterday, and will take pictures of my sample for an upcoming tutorial.

But first and most importantly, it’s Thursday and grandma day, my chores are done, so off I go to pick up the boys.

If you too have experiences with the Blog Barrier, I am rather curious to hear the whys and whats and hows and your solution to crawling over/getting around it!

See you soon and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Forever and never

Hello there.

Things are moving ahead and the dust is literally settling down around here. Since I last wrote a proper blog post, quite a few things have happened. We have packed-up-or-trashed all our worldly possessions.
Empty, empty, finally empty!

We have moved into our temporary housing. It’s not top notch, but it’s temporary, so it’s ok. Our house has been demolished and the building site is being excavated to make room for the new house in which not only husband and I will live, but also our young ones who will have a separate apartment downstairs.
The gentle yellow dinosaur taking its first bite.

It has indeed been an interesting process, and I have enjoyed it very much, even the exhausting parts. Heading into this, I was debating with myself whether I should blog about the process, but myself and I agreed that it might be a bit too personal. I wish I had though, as it would make an interesting journal for me to keep.

You see, I had forgotten that a house does not make a home, people do. Some thing seems so significant that we want to hang onto them forever, and never let go, but forever and never are equally long and rather useless words to describe anything in the future, aren’t they.

Here are some of my forevers and nevers from the past few weeks:
- I never thought I would step away from my blog, and all other blogs, for weeks and weeks, but I did.
- I never thought I would draw on walls, but I went a bit marker-mad drawing smiley faces all over the first floor walls. It was so much fun. Not creepy at all.

- I never thought I would enjoy watching our house being demolished, but I did. I actually spent the morning sitting on a stool on the other side of the road, filming it. It was awesome. A two and a half week delay of the building permission helped; by the time we finally got it, I was sooo ready.

- I was feeling anxious about the move forever, but it stopped. I think I packed it into the first box. Wooosh, gone.
- I have let go of things that I would keep forever and ever.
- I never imagined making 20.000 decisions in a couple of weeks, but I did. Keep? Trash? Recycle? Donate? Store? Unpack? And this? And this? And this..
- I would never imagine how much dust and dirt that accumulates in a house during 21 years; now I know. Quite interesting, I’d say.
- Sometimes it felt like the packing/purging would go on forever, but it didn’t.
- I never expected finding myself walking outside in my pjs to take a shower next door, but I did.
- I never would have thought I would miss doing the dishes, but lacking a properly working kitchen sink, I do very much.
- It seems like the noise from the gentle dinosaur will go on forever, but the truth is that it will be done within the next week.

The rubble formally known as our house.

See the sewing machine which I drew on my former studio wall? Told you. Bananas.

The big hole in the ground in which we will all live in about half a year’s time.

Well, not in the hole as such, but in the rather funky new house. I was sold when I saw the face; who wouldn't love to live in a house with a face. 
Isn't the architect's model adorable, all those fabulous lines. Hmmm, how can I put this into a quilt..

I will not be spending too much time on my computer this month neither as I’ll be enjoying some hopefully-warm-and-sunny-non-house-related time with my family, starting tomorrow morning with a trip to Lillehammer to visit my family.

Have a lovely July and see you later!