Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Finish it! Houses

The houses are cut out, all 9 of them. I haven’t been working with blues for a long time, so it was nice revisiting some old favourites.

The next step will be cutting out more appliqué shapes, but not today – it’s my birthday and I will not be eating cake.-)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Shouldn't have

I shouldn’t have done that.

9 yards of this fabulous linen
with trees
and a cow
and a bridge and cars

Of all the things I should be doing yesterday, like tons of laundry, working on a piece with a deadline, and preparing hand work for Easter family time, shopping was not even on the list. Yet I’m sitting here with yards of new and thrifty fabric and yarn and big rolls and small rolls of fibre that’s neither fabric nor paper. It reminds me a little of Lutradur, so I’m guessing polyester something. Some rolls are definitely felt which I hope can take the heat from the iron; the sales lady had no idea.
I do need a bit of change, and think my new purchases will be fun to play with. Some of them are already destined for specific projects, so that makes me feel a little better about the unplanned and unnecessary shopping spree.

Most of the fabric went into the washing machine before I got the camera out, but look at these – how could I resist this red table cloth

or these adorable dogs on a French designer duvet cover?
I’m back on the list this morning though. Boooring…

Sunday, 28 March 2010

I know, I know

Some times I wish life was more like school; you know, back when you knew all the answers. Instead of having to make up the all the answers to life’s many big questions as I move along the path that has never been travelled, I would love to be able to raise my hand again and say ”I know, I know”.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Travels & Monsters

This month's theme for the Monthly Design Challenge over at Finki’s is European Travels. My little “European Travels” quilt is made with one of the bags from my Treasure Box, decorated with images of my two favourite places. With shopping being part of big city trips (travelling alone you’ll be shopping for your kids; travelling with daughters, you’re pretty much the bag-and-credit-card-carrier) a bag was the obvious choice.
The pictures and words are printed on Lutradur in soft greys.
Greenwich Observatory, London, England
I used to work for a company with a London based International headquarter, and spent a lot of time there. My first, of many, visit to Greenwich was almost 20 years ago. The area around the Observatory (where the GMT time line is) is so idyllic with a huge park and amazing buildings, the perfect place for a bit of piece and quiet from the crowds and noise of the city.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
I dreamed of going to Barcelona for 15 years before my first visit. I read a lot about Antonio Gaudi’s works, and wanted to see them, so 14 years ago daughter and I spent a week there. My first visit to his unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, blew me away, and I fell in love with the city. I have been back and the love affair is still going on.

Another finish from this week is “Monster Monday”.This is the first of a Monster Week series; small quilts made from scraps and recycled material and with this monster shape (from my Make a Shape tutorial). I will use different techniques for the monsters, just experimenting and enjoying the process.

Now I’ll pop over and add this to Amylou’s Sew & Tell.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Seven Something-s and Two Winners

I have been nominated for two more awards; thank you Corrine and Vivika, I’m honoured! You’ll find these and previous awards properly linked below.

Although keeping track of rules and nominees and picking who to pass these on to is too hard on my overworked & sleep deprived brain; I will share another 7 fascinating facts about myself."Man", experimenting making shapes look fragile.

1 While I would love to make only prize winning quilts, I have way too many ideas and not enough time and energy to spend gazillion of hours on each project.

2 There is always a bit of seriousness in my work; even the ones I make for fun.

3 I played classical piano from the age of 6 to the age of 18.

4 The library has been my home away from home wherever I have lived.

5 I hate coconut; if I get it in my moth, I will spit it out (discretely of course; I’m not a 2 year old, although when it comes to coconut, I wish I was).

6 I love simple design.

7 Steep, long escalators (like some of the ones on the London Underground) terrify me; especially when I’m lugging umpteen shopping bags (which I seem to do more often than not while visiting London).

Thank you to the lovely bloggers who find my English readable and artistic style enjoyable enough to nominate me for awards:

Corrine at Dosfishes
Vivika at Vivika DeNegre Art Quilts
Rene’ at Rene’ Creates
Tone at 2nes Hobbykrok
Astrid at Gradma’s Red Needle

And moving on to the Nothing To Wear pattern Winners part; today is kind of packed, so I have to do this early. has again done its magic and

Sølvi is the winner of the Norwegian pattern and
Rene' is the winner of the English pattern.

Congratulations to you both; and to the rest of you – thanks for playing along - again!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The House Quilt; Finish it!

I’m starting on a new Finish it! project: The House Quilt from my Treasure Box.

I started this project more than two years ago. The appliqué shapes are drawn onto a (horrible, bumpy, slippery) fusible web and ironed onto fabric.
Some of them have loosened; I hate when that happens!
The first step will be cutting out the houses. I’m using a template and narrow strips of fusible web, so that will take a bit of time.

I will not use the background fabrics I chose though; maybe table cloth backgrounds would be nice…

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Put your mark on it!

At classes and retreats there are often notions left behind. You all know how it is – we have things in our hands walking around, we borrow stuff from each other, things fall on the floor, we cut here and iron there – it happens all the time. Returning these items to their rightful owners is easy when they are marked with names, but some times they get put away in lost and found for ages.

Here is one easy and one more time elaborate but decorative way of marking your stuff:

CD/DVD marking pens
These are inexpensive and work on practically anything! I have written my name on all kinds of stuff, even the blade of my scissors; really noticeable right? If your name eventually comes off – write it again!
Tape & marking pen
On dark stuff where the marking pen won’t show (like a cord), or on things where you might want to remove the marking (like a ruler), I put a piece of tape on or wrap a piece of tape around the item, and write my name on the tape using the CD/DVD marker.

I made lots of these tags for guild members who lent irons and ironing boards to an event we were hosting. They are made similar to the badges in my tutorial, but the fused sandwich was cut into rectangles, zigzagged around the edges and a thread added for tying. I also printed our event logo on fabric and fused one to each tag for decoration. I still have mine on my laptop bag and ironing board.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Nothing To Wear pattern Giveaway

Another pdf-pattern, Nothing To Wear, is finally ready to leave the closet. This of course means another celebration in the form of a pattern giveaway. The pattern giveaways are for my regular readers only.
There are as usual two patterns in the drawing – one copy in English and one in Norwegian. You will find the buttons for my pattern pages in my sidebar “Mrs Moen Patterns” and “Mrs Moen Mønstre”.

Leave a comment on this link for the English version

or this link for the Norwegian version.

The patterns will be sent by email, so if you are a no reply blogger (or not a blogger at all), make sure you leave your email address in your comment.

I’ll draw the winners on Thursday.

Good luck to you all!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Table Cloth Challenge; Before-pictures

OK, so now I have shown you some of mine (yes, I do believe I have a few more somewhere…), and it’s time for you to show off your table cloth(s) that you will transform into something beautiful or useful or both.

1: Post a picture of your cloth(s) on your blog mentioning the Table Cloth Challenge and with a link to this post.

2: Add the link to your specific post (not just your blog address) to Mister Linky (you’ll find an excellent explanation on how to link to a specific post here).

3: On June 1st we'll do the same with our finished projects.

4: Blog about your process or not, that's up to you!

5: Have a look around the other participants blogs for inspiration and tips.

If you don’t have a blog, email me your pictures and I’ll add them to the bottom of this post.

Mister Linky will be open for new links until the end of April, so there is plenty of time to join in. You can see more posts about the challenge here.

Feel free to copy the challenge image to your sidebar and link it to this post.

I'll start with this cloth as a background for applique

Have fun!

This is Brit's cloth

Sew In No 2

I never thought this day was coming, but the dreaded silk purse is finished. It did not even take that long – a few hours in the afternoon and a trip to the local quilt shop (which included a nice dinner with husband; love Fridays!) – and the purse is ready for MIL’s 70th birthday on Monday.
I took some pictures during the process for a how-to, but unless I start a new blog called Mrs Moen How-not-tos, I’d better leave it up to those experiences purse makers.

The first thing I tried was fusible interfacing highly recommended by many friends. That did not stick, the silk was too slippery. I fixed that one by sewing wonky horizontal lines through silk and interfacing.
The next thing I tried was fusing the batting to the interfacing. The interfacing bubbled and stretched, but the batting stuck - kind of. I fixed that one by quilting vertical lines through all 3 layers.
The next steps were easy and included a zillion little bits of silk threads everywhere, but at last I had a quilted silk rectangle and a black cotton lining rectangle unintentionally decorated with colourful clingy silk. Somehow those two pieces magically turned into a finished bag without too much trouble.

The plan was to make the bag with 3 pieces so that nothing would be upside down. This plan was abandoned rather quickly, I believe somewhere between trying the fuse the interfacing and stitching it. This means that the back side is upside down. Oh well!
The silk being so delicate, I did not really want a handle, so the lovely staff member at the shop suggested a round polyester ribbon. It fits the purse perfectly, goes all around the flap (lid??) and is stitched in the sides so that she can adjust the length or remove it if she wants. The magnetic button thingie was the perfect way to close the bag, not visible on the front.
I do hope she will like it !

Friday, 19 March 2010

Experiments with Cloth

3 more table cloth experiments are finished.

The two Lutradur pictures from this post turned into these two small wall hangings, one for the proud mother, and one for the proud grandparents.

“Red noses”
“Grey noses”
I used linen cloths for both and absolutely love how the structure and lines show through the pictures.
I had planned to quilt them but just quilted around the noses on the black & white piece and left the rest unquilted.

The Lutradur was fun and easy to work with. It’s quite stiff, and I did not iron it enough to set the colours (guess I was afraid to melt it), but I will use it again. I think it would be perfect for adding words and details instead of free motion stitching them. Have any of you used it for bags and know how well it stands up to wear and moisture?

The third piece is made from a linen cloth which has a burlap feel to it. The fibres are very stiff and short, and it stretches out of shape very easily. I tried to stabilize it with a fusible batting, but it did not stick.

Super simple; adding a piece of lime organza to the sandwich and quilting through all the layers. The textures look so great together.

This little guy is one of my favourite shapes. Am I the only one who falls in love with a shape and use it in different ways and fabrics and sizes?

Now I’ll pop over and add this to Amylou’s Sew & Tell, pick some table cloths for tomorrows Table Cloth Challenge post, and start working on the topic of today’s Friday Night Sew-in – the dreaded silk from this post. Wish me luck!