Sunday, 31 October 2010

Socks of Goldilocks

The challenge of not using patterns is figuring out what to do and how to do it. With quilting the outcome is quite foreseeable; with knitting not so much. Knitting socks from unfamiliar yarn can go either this way or that; too big, too small or right on the money. These oh-so-soft socks fit grandson’s little feet almost perfectly after unravelling the first sock more than once. Oh well, better too big than too small.
Today is the last day of Blogtoberfest and it has been a fun challenge. It has inspired me and to my surprise finding something to blog about every day has been easy. I don’t think I’ll continue blogging every day, but I’m baaack, quilting and blogging is fun and I have started planning for next year. Yup; working on a plan for October 2011 as I write this, no more finishing samples the night after due date. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Got to go looking for more yarn; knitting soothes my soul and keeps my fingers moving in the evenings.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Christmas on Earth Testdrive

A less-than-successful quilt is born and embellished.I will hopefully get this right at some point or maybe I should just archive it under lessons learned and move on. For now I’m leaning towards making it right; Christmas is still 2 months away.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Inspired by fall

Welcome to my blog, Mrs Moen! I am a quilter who designs patterns and teach classes on the side, and this is where I not-so-secretly record little pieces of my creative life. This is my third time participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side and I’m sure it will be just as fun as the previous ones. Living a no-sugar life I’m afraid I can’t offer you anything sweet, but I’ve got mini carrots, meat balls, diet soda and sugar free chocolate in the fridge if you’d like to stay for a while.

I have picked a small quilt for this show, “Inspired by fall” (8”*12”), one of my recent favourites.
I have been playing with yarn this fall, making a few flowery samples for “Playing with yarn” classes, and as the class title insinuates, playing and having fun myself as I have been preparing for the class. The quilt is made from cotton fabric, leftover pieces of yarn from this quilt, this quilt and this quilt and free motion quilted.

It’s the quilting that makes the fall forest come to life. Can you see the water running past the tree trunks?
It’s something about the cool colours that make the warm pop and the other way around.
I’ve got miles and miles of fluffy, puffy, bumpy and twisted yarn so there definitely will be more yarn quilts in my foreseeable future.

Click the button to see rest of the quilts.
Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Quilting should always be this much fun.-)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Make An Appliqué pattern

I don’t know if you make your own appliqué patterns all the time, but I'm drawing little sketches and illustrations everywhere and onto everything. Often I throw them away when I’m done with them, and have to recreate them from quilts or even worse, old photos.

Inspired by the Napkin Challenge I thought I would show you the very simple technique I use to transfer my sketches and old appliquéd motifs into appliqué patterns. The technique works also well for mirror imaging patterns. I have used a napkin for this tutorial but be careful about copyrights though.

You’ll find the tutorial here.

I’ve been having a lot of company lately, from 7am to 8pm most days, and although I’m determined that this is OK it’s kind of difficult to be creative with this guy 1m from the house. They accidentally broke our water pipe and had to dig all the way to the wall.Oh, it’s a blast; thank goodness I have a iPod that can drown out some of the noise.-)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rules Of Embellishment; No 4

If you believe that giving your white little house a Christmas-lights-glow using an orange fabric crayon is a good idea, it is. If you think that rubbing it a little just to speed up the drying process is another good idea, it’s really not – unless you want an orange house. On the other hand, some of us (like me) actually dream of living in an orange house…

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Make An Appliqué pattern

I’m drawing little sketches and illustrations everywhere and onto everything so I use this technique when I transfer them into appliqué patterns. I have used a napkin for this tutorial but be careful about copyrights though.

You’ll need
- A motif; any kind of picture, napkin, illustration, children’s art or drawing would do fine.
- A fine tip permanent marker, like a CD marker
- A sheet of film for copy machines or see-through plastic folder. My sheets come with a protective paper on the back.
- Copy machine for enlarging the pattern

If your motif is a picture you might want to copy it onto paper and mark the lines on the photo first.

Slip the motif under the film.
Draw along all lines of the motif leaving out small details that will only clutter up your pattern. I write an R on this right side.
Now the pattern is ready to use, either on the right side for a mirrored image appliqué or flip it over to the wrong side to make the motif the “right” way.
Draw dotted lines where the appliqué pieces will overlap if you prefer.

It’s easier to transfer the appliqué pieces onto fusible web if you use a paper copy, the film is quite slippery.

Use a copier to enlarge the pattern if you like; my pattern is 130% of the motif and on the wrong side.
Now you can make your motif into a small quilt, or make several blocks for a bigger piece.

Scary moment

The scariest part of knitting a jacket is zigzagging and cutting it open in the front and where the arms will go. I haven’t been knitting much lately and forgot how many up and down seams I used to make and now I’ve got a couple of loose ends to sew down before I move on.

It has been unusually cold here lately; I need to finish this thing already so grandson will stay warm in kindergarten.

I've been having a problem with Blogger the last few days, it won’t let me stay logged in at all but kicks me out as soon as I click “show blog” after logging in. I keep logging in and Blogger keeps kicking me out. It is possible to work on my own blog as long as I keep logging into every page, but it’s impossible for me to leave comments on other blogs using my profile. Do any of you know how I can fix this?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sneak peeks

of my new community project in the start pit; don’t worry, you’ll see more of it than you ever knew you wanted to.
Thanks for all your kind offers to send me pressing mats; that is so sweet of you! I do however own several silicone/Teflon sheets and also use a lot of baking paper when I’m working with fusible web. This Thing was bought for the sole purpose to shield fabric from yellowing and those annoying shiny spots I sometimes get on dark solids while pressing seams. See? Sure it prevents shines, scorch and flattening; your iron gets unusable...

As to my much beloved thimbles; they are called Jelly Thimbles and come in 3 sizes and several yummy colours. I got mine at Kaktus Quilts, but you can also find them through here.

I thought you also might like to see my currently favourite commercial. For those of you who do not read Norwegian it says “It’s smart when you’re young - to think about that you one day will get old” (ad for pension insurance).

I just love the lyrics with the images of people expressing who they are. I too am what I am, you know, and My Own Special Creation includes a little clutter here and there (and pretty much everywhere), some excess weight, lots of smiley wrinkles, my loving family and lots and lots of quilts. No tattoos though.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Revisiting Hå

Last Sunday, on the very last day of the exhibition “Desconocida Unknown Ukjent” by Lise Bjørne Linnert, I finally made it back to Hå gamle prestegård to see it. Husband took a couple of hours off work to accompany grandson and myself, and in a second you’ll understand why the thought of letting a 3,5 year old boy loose in the room while I was taking pictures was not so appealing.
Hundreds and hundreds of embroidered name tags on display; so quiet, so peaceful, so powerful. A table was set up with stitching gear for those who wanted to participate and computers with the documentary for those who wanted to watch as I did back in August.
With a little one bursting with energy, we spent a little time riding little tractors and eating chocolate cake. Great Sunday for all of us.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Sounds too good?

If it sounds too good to be true... I bought an ironing mat that would protect delicate fabric from the heat of the iron thinking it would be great for pressing all those little white fabric pieces in my globes. White turns quickly into yellow if you’re not careful (or so I hear, of course these things never happen to me.-).

Yellowish fabric is not really a problem compared to this don’t you think? The mat melted as soon as I put my iron on it and stuck like glue onto the sole. I tried different remedies to get it off but in the end the good old kitchen knife did the trick.

I think I’ll return the mat and get a refund.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Little friend

This is my best friend when I’m doing these.
They are made of silicone (I think) and will adjust to your finger like a glove, a very thick and sturdy one that is. I have several in different colours all spread around my various sewing kits. No holes in my middle finger and blood splatter on my quilts thank you very much!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Challenge anyone?

I think it’s about time for a little challenge and am therefore inviting you all to participate in Mrs Moen Napkin Challenge.
Now this is not my idea, we did one in our guild a while back and it was so much fun that I thought you might enjoy it as well. The idea is very simple: to find inspiration from a napkin. With the holidays creeping up on us you might make it seasonal or you may choose any other colour scheme and design you like. You can see my napkin-inspired quilt here.

The keyword here is inspiration: use the colour combo, the design, whatever you like from your napkin and translate it into your medium of choice. Appliqué it, piece it, paint it, glue it, embroider it, knit it - fabric, fibre, plastic, canvas or paper - it’s up to you.

I raided the napkin isles at the grocery stores before our guild’s challenge and have a few great candidates for a little Christmas quilt. I will make 2 quilts from whichever napkin I choose; one for myself and one for one of the participants in the challenge. I’ll draw the lucky winner on December 1st, the deadline for this challenge.

- Everyone is welcome to join in.
- Sign up by leaving a comment to this post.
- Go napkin hunting, and yes, this is an excuse to stash up on glorious napkins for future inspiration.
- Make something inspired by the napkin; it does not need to involve fabric or stitching of any kind.
- Post a picture of your napkin AND finished project on your blog at December 1st and link up to the Challenge post of the day.

If you don’t have a blog and would like to participate you can email me pictures of your project and napkin by December 1st and I’ll add them to the post.

Copy the button to your blog to spread the word if you like; the more the merrier.
Have fun!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Christmas on Earth, Day 5-7

I only meant to have 4 Christmas on Earth samples, 3 decent ones and the horrible test drive, but I had to try out more variations and once I got going I couldn’t stop until I had made 3 more. One of them has of course pinks and will be daughter’s table runner for the holidays. Here they are, Day 5-7

Day 5

Day 6
Day 7
And back to the bindings again.