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!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How to clean an iron, the big test

Thank you to all of you who provided tips for cleaning the gunk off my iron! On Sunday morning I set aside one hour to try out the different suggestions. While the test cannot claim to be scientific as I didn’t have several irons with the same amount of gunk, it was quite interesting. Please keep in mind that this particular gunk had been building up for a while and was probably mainly non-fusible related.

These were my cleaning supplies, most of them from the grocery store:

A silicone iron rest; I have had this for years, and always use it when I leave a hot iron on anything other than the ironing board.

Paper cups, rag, water and a spoon

Salt and heavy duty paper

Baking soda

Scrub suitable for Teflon

Magic eraser


Just a reminder of how the iron looked after the first attempt of gunk removal. Ouch.

I first tried a wet magic eraser on the preheated iron. The residue started to come off, but it was very hot so I set it aside. You can see that it turned brown very quickly.

The Teflon scrub on the other side, showed little sign of absorbing anything but water.

Back to the magic eraser on the slightly cooler iron, scrubbing and scrubbing.

When my hands got tired, I poured salt onto a piece of heavy weight paper on top of the ironing board, and run the hot iron back and forth.

The salt helped a bit.

Then I mixed baking soda and water, making a thick paste and spreading it onto the warm-ish sole.

Some residue came off, particularly from the flat part of the sole.

Back to the magic eraser, adding more water. Fortunately I had put a piece of paper underneath as dirty water from the eraser dripped onto the table.

After one hour of cleaning, the iron looked like this. Most of the gunk was gone, but there was still that black stuff in the ridges.

Then I scrubbed the ridges with toothpaste and a cloth. I tried both on a cold iron, and on a warm iron, but with little luck.

To clean off anything leftover from the cleaning process, I filled the water tank and ran the iron back and forth on a piece of cotton fabric until the tank was empty, also pushing the “calc” button several times. I should have taken a picture of the fabric too as it was rather stained after the process, but now I don’t have to worry that anything else will come off by chance.

I am indeed very pleased with the result of my little non-scientific test as the iron looks way better than before. I think all the tips were great, and will use them again later, preferably before the gunk builds up and gets burned into the sole. I will however give a couple of other suggestions a try before I give up, so stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by!