Sunday, 29 November 2009

Playing with colours

If you enjoy playing with colours, you might want to try this technique. You can use it for blocks, small quilts, Christmas cards, or anything really. It’s fun, fast and easy, and suitable for kids too.

You can make this

using these

You’ll find a tutorial on the technique here.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Big & Tall

One more little finish this week; another UFO from my ever growing pile of UFOs which I didn’t even know was that big until I started looking for and collecting them from around the house.
A year ago I drew this little design and transferred it to a piece of fabric thinking I wanted some handwork. I might have been wrong, because after a year, it was still laying here basted to a batting recommended for stitchery. So; off came the batting, the little top was spray basted with a new firmer batting and backing, and off to the sewing machine.

When I do “stitchery” by machine, I sew every line 3 times, and so I did on this one too. Some pieces of binding from my Big Bag of Binding, some triangles on the back for hanging, and done!

If you have someone sweet and small in you life, feel free to make you own little “Big & Tall” piece, you can download the image from my Free pattern page.

Now I’m going to add this to amylou’s Thanksgiving sew & tell, and to Rosebud’s Fabric Friday.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Panty bag

I have not done much this week quilting wise, as I have pretty much been a full time grandma due to some unexpexted and unwelcomed bumps in the road of life. So, as I get to spend some extra days with my favourite little guy, I have less time to spend in my sewing room working on Christmas presents or making my usual mess. Anyway – what I have finished is another UFO from last year’s Christmas season.

This is known as a “panty bag” – a bag for underwear or other stuff when travelling (or anytime else for that matter). I made lots of them last year, and this one for mother in law was left unfinished for some reason.

The top, made from scraps, was done, and all I had to do was baste (spray, very quick) and quilt it (walking foot and wavy lines in the speed of light), clean up the edges and sew it together. I make the panty bags very simple using ready made bias tape on the top, a button and button hole for closing, and a velvet ribbon for hanging. You’ll find a short description on how to make the bag in Norwegian and English here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

O Helga Natt (2000)

I have been scanning photos of some older work, and even though the quality is not exactly top notch, I want to share some of them. These pictures were from a long gone era when husband was used as a quilt hanger, and no, the quilt is actually square!O Helga Natt (Oh Holy Night) was a Christmas present for my parents in 2000, and they still just love it. They put it on their dining room table December 1. and it stays on pretty much all through Christmas. The rest of the year it’s neatly stored in a pillow case, only to be unpacked for show & tell once in a while.

In 2000 I was still quite new at the whole quilting thing, but I drew the appliqué designs, pieced some stars and made it all into a medallion style table cloth. It measures ca 63”*63” and comes with a horrible polyester batting which was a challenge to quilt using an even more horrible invisible thread. It’s far from perfect, but they don’t care, and neither do I.

One day I’ll make a Christmas quilt for me which, if I’m lucky, I’ll love as much as my parents loves this one.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Big & Strong Quilt

Spending so much time and energy on the Big & strong program, I just had to make a Big and Strong quilt. I drew this little guy some time ago, and now the quilt is finished. It’s rather raw, with fusible appliqué just roughly quilted down around the edges. The background is free motion quilted, and the lettering added by hand with pearl cotton embroidery yarn.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Village No 1

The first village from my Finish It! project is finished. If you would like to build a village of your own, Christmassy or not, you’ll find my free pattern for this table runner both in Norwegian and English here. I am very pleased with how it turned out, but as daylight is rather scarce here this time of year and weather, I had to get a bit creative when photographing it.

Now I’ll pop over and add this to amylou’s sew & tell and Rosebud's Fabric Friday.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Gorgeous Guinea Fowl

I have received my last fabric from The African Fabric Shop, from this order anyway, and I’m totally in love!

Guinea Fowl, Ghana Blue

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Building Site No 1

The third weekly update on my Finish It! project:

The first village is moving on from building site to an almost finished community. I found another filler fabric, black with white dots, which looks like snow. I come from a part of the country where Christmas is always white, so I can’t help myself:-)

The rows of houses are done, but I cut the heaven strip too short, so I’ll have to cut another one. Fortunately I have lots of this fabulous fabric. I have used only 22 of the 36 houses or the table runner would be way too long for any of our tables.

You'll find my house tutorial here.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Heavenly Angel

The latest issue of the Swedish quilting magazine Fat Quarter is out, and so is my Heavenly Angel.This was the last of my ideas for the Christmas workshop and patterns, but was a bit too different to go with the rest of them. It’s free motion embroidered and quilted by machine – super simple and done in an afternoon.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Pink Purse

The Wollen WIP is not a WIP anymore, but a finished Pink Purse for mom (mom, if you’re reading this, it’s too late, now you know what you’ll get for Christmas).

The woolly appliquéd layer was all done, and the lining finished, then put away. Mom did not love the lining fabric that much, so I got a plaid, Japanese one. Of course I cut it too narrow first, and had to cut another one, and the thing was too thick to get under the presser foot and had to be done by hand, but at last it was only missing the handles. I had bought a couple of bamboo handles, but had no idea how I would attach them without the seam showing on the outside. Finally I made 4 straps from the lining fabric, folded them around the handles, and attached them to the inside by hand.

Voila, another finished UFO, and I want a Pink Purse too:-) Now I’m going to add this to amylou’s sew a tell.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

African fabric

Here are my first genuine African fabrics from The African Fabric Shop; aren’t they fabulous?

The owner, Magie, kindly donated a prize for a quilting event my guild arranged a while ago, and I have been window shopping, well, not as much window as screen shopping as she’s located in the UK, up until a few weeks ago when I fell I love with these:

Two Huts, Blue

Guinea Fowl, Blue Steel

Pyramid, Blue Steel

Now they are laying in my living room waiting to be washed and added to my stash; I just have to look at them for a while...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Building villages

Remember my new Finish it! project; all the 4 ½” strips of fabric? This week I have started making super simple house shapes from them. You’ll find a tutorial for making the houses here. I have made 36 houses so far, enough for a long table runner, and played a little bit with filler fabric. The cool thing with these shapes (in addition to being super easy to make) is that the white triangles will be a part of the background if you use the same fabric as filler, and snowy roofs if you use other fabric.

White fabric

Light blue with white swirly things (doesn’t it look like it’s snowing; well, it probably would if it was ironed...)
Dark grey with dots (doesn’t it look like it’s snowing at night?)
Black with gold swirly lines
Black and white stripes

I’ll have to make a lot of villages…

Monday, 9 November 2009

UFO progress

I’m slowly making some progress in my pile of UFOs, but somehow it seems like another one surfaces as soon as I get one finished. How many of them are actually lurking around out there??

This is a very simple, little table topper, "Purple squares", made from leftover squares from a bunch of table runners which I made a couple of years ago. It just needed a border and finishing. I ran out of the purple thread I was using for quilting half way through, and threw out the empty spool without looking at the colour number. I used another purple thread to finish figuring that if I could not see the difference, nobody else would either.

I decided that it needed something blue to cool it down a bit, and added a solid blue binding from my Big Bag of Binding. Not quite sure I’m too happy with the result, but the blue binding is here to stay anyway.

I have heard Norway is the only country where purple is the colour for advent. How strange!

The Warhol angel quilt is moving along (not a great picture...). It has borders and as of yesterday it’s pin basted. I forgot how tedious pin basting is, and how sore your fingers get, but I‘m using a very soft polyester batting which is impossible to baste using glue as the layers shift.

My squares quilt rests peacefully waiting for a second date with the seam ripper. I finished it by folding the fleece backing to the front and sew it down - 3 times - without noticing that the ¼” seam allowance was quite a bit less than ¼”. Daughter loves it, so I will finish it, but I ‘m not sure whether I will do the fleece folded binding again, or just add a regular one. I do love the fleece edge though.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Crazy week

It’s been a crazy week, so I’m grateful it’s finally Saturday. Pretty much everything I have done quilting wise the last week, have to be ripped apart - again. I did finish a little table topper yesterday, but by now it’s way too dark to get a nice photo, so maybe tomorrow.

While I am recuperating from a frustrating week, I thought I might share my biggest Oh …! moment so far with you; it might cheer me up a bit.

The European Quilting Association issued another suitcase exhibition challenge a couple of years ago, themed “My country”, and in an A4 page format (ca 8”*12”). As I read through the magazine, the image of a Norwegian flag with the outline of Norway in the middle popped into my mind. So, I drew the design on a piece of paper, cut the red, white and blue fabrics, and started quilting. The quilting took for e-e-e-ever. The bricks (greyish in the red and white areas representing stone and mountains, and green in the blue area representing woods and vegetation) are 1/4"*1/2”, and the map is quilted 3 times, fjords and islands an all.

Finally, I was happy with my little quilt and ready to put the binding on. Looking for the hanging instructions, I read through the magazine again. Oh …!, it was supposed to be a horizontal A4 page! No matter how I turned the quilt, it did not look right any other way. It took a few days before I was able to let go of the frustration and put the binding on, but finally the quilt was finished and put away in silence.

Imaging my expression when the images of the quilts accepted into the exhibition were published and more than one were vertical – just like mine! Oh …!!!

OK, I feel a tiny bit better about the mess I made out of what was supposed to be the almost-done-squares-UFO, but now is just another UFO. At least it can be turned any way I want:-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A new Finish it! project

I have chosen my second Finish it! project for Nicole at Sisters choice's challenge. The idea is that you pick a project, and do a weekly post about the progress until it’s finished. Being accountable, even if it’s only to your own blog, gives the extra motivation to do a little every week.

As this will be a Christmas project, I did a little kick start fabric sort of thing using these 3 fabrics from Annika at Fat Quarter, and adding some browns. I have used all kinds of fabric; batiks, flowers, tone on tones, and a few Christmas prints.

Last week I ironed all the fabric, and here is my stack of 4 ½” strips. Looks great, doesn’t it!

My friendly, little quilting group is meeting tomorrow, and I’ll start sewing.

Art class no. 4

The fourth art class was a lot of fun. Supposed to be working on the three pieces from the previous classes, I did some more damage to the one I will never finish, then moved on to a couple of new ones.

This one looked violet while I was painting, but turned out pink, pink, pink when it dried. While I was planning how to soften all the pink a little bit, the teacher thought it was great and showed me all the little diamonds that were hiding around. I had no idea I was that brilliant:-)

The second painting was an assignment. The teacher brought lots of little pictures for inspiration, and we were to interpret our choice any way we wanted to. Apparently using the same shape, size and colour is frowned upon in acrylic painting circles, the total opposite of the quilting circles. Oh, well…

Sunday, 1 November 2009

"35 weeks down, 5 to go" (2007)

I want to share this little quilt with you; it holds so many wonderful memories.

I was so lucky to take a huge part in daughter’s pregnancy. I got to go to ultrasounds seeing his little face (he looked just like his mom), shopping for everything any anything the little guy would need (like truckloads of stuff), and for the birth (which was my worst and best experience ever). He was born in the middle of May, and it was such a lovely spring; we went for walks around our favourite little lake every day while we were waiting.

A big part of being a grandma-to-be is making stuff for the little one, so I knitted and quilted through the whole pregnancy. Daughter had the most wonderful midwife who did all the checkups, so I wanted to give her a little something as a thank you for being so caring and wonderful to my daughter.

I took a picture of the proud mom-to-be 35 weeks into the pregnancy, and used it as a “pattern” for this quilt. Daughter sure does love her pinks, but as she was expecting a baby boy, we decided on blue.

I just love this quilt! I believe I started on a second (and pink) one for daughter; hmmm there is probably another UFO somewhere around here…

If anyone is interested of making a little waiting-quilt for a mom-to-be, I could make an illustration and quick description for the quilt; just let me know.