Monday, 30 April 2012

Girlie gifts

I’m not sure how it happened, but life seems to be primarily Mondays and Fridays. This Monday is Tax return-day in Norway. It’s not all that much work really, but it needs to be done, checking that all the prefilled numbers are correct and making any necessary changes. I planned doing mine last night, but I was too tired after another fun family filled weekend.

My nieces’ confirmation was lovely; the ceremony, the girls, the food, the speeches, the company – all lovely. The day included quite a bit of shuttling people here and there and we were all pretty much exhausted by the end of the day. 10 family members flew in for the occasion and my parents stayed with us. The house was quite empty when everybody left yesterday but instead of spending the rest of the day in my studio or working on my tax return I spent the afternoon slouching on the couch (again).

The gifts to the girls, two small mixed media quilts, were finished and signed the night before the event, and turned out very well considering I tried out a few techniques for the very first time on them.

“Konfirmant Vilde” and

“Konfirmant Thea”

both have pictures transferred using gel medium,

are quilted using the snakes pattern from my few motion quilting class,

have sheer heart shaped pockets

with bits and pieces of sheer fibers and fluffy yarn inside

and a little bling.

The organza has a little glitter on the front, but most of it came off during washing and tumbling leaving the rest of the fabrics sparking and shining. Great.

Still sparing my hand, the quilts were made without any hand stitching. Not one single stitch. The edges were finished with couched yarn and the embellishments are glued on with gel medium. I did take a few pictures during the process, maybe enough to make a short tutorial later.

Time to drop off the tax return. Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wash down workout

I finally got around to hemming daughter’s curtains today after a couple of days on more baby-&-washing-duties. Daughter and I washed down her old apartment yesterday while MIL was babysitting and by the end of the day I was very aware of quite a few muscles, especially in my upper arms. It was all rather enjoyable - lots of laughs and great company.

I started on the living room curtains yesterday morning, getting reacquainted with my machine after a recent tune-up, and it sews like a charm. I, on the other hand, did not and messed the first two lengths up, trying to rush them through my machine and not noticing I had adjusted the top tension too much. That’s what happens when you’re rushing, so I started this morning by unpicking those wrinkly things. Beige on beige. Exiting!

Look at this weird spool of thread that I found in my thread drawer while looking for beige. I haven’t seen anything like it before (well, I obviously must have since it’s in my drawer). I wonder how the different colours stitch out. Now I have to try it.

I had to cut off almost 1m of each length so I offered to make a few pillow covers from the excess fabric. First I will make a couple of small pieces for my beautiful twin nieces for their confirmation on Saturday though. I asked my sister for some pictures and have printed them onto transparency paper.

Those bright blue shapes are on my protective sheet thingie and will not be transferred although I do love the look.

A fine woven fabric

and some gel medium,

a little burnishing with the back of a spoon and the pictures are transferred. I’ll show you how that worked over the weekend when the confirmation is over.

I also tried to transfer some very soft black and white pictures of the young ones, but they were too pale to make much of a print.

I will try again with darker images, but in the meantime I’ll see what I can do with these.

Off to work on the confirmation pieces. Have a wonderful Wednesday evening!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Queen bee

We had a busy but lovely weekend here at the Mrs Moen house spending lots of time with the young Mr Moen-s. The big one was staying for his regular weekend visit, filling our house with energy and joy and the first flowers of the year.

Pure sunshine in my favorite hand painted mug.

It’s still quite cold in the mornings, so the quilts still get a lot of use.

Daughter and her family were moving houses this weekend so family and friends were all helping out. Obviously raising a child is not the only task for a village; moving houses acquires quite a bit of village-ish assistance too. I felt rather privileged being assigned to baby duty/cuddly time instead of packing and moving stuff – sitting like like a queen bee with a little baby sleeping in my arms while everyone else were running around.

By Sunday evening I was rather exhausted, and my planned hours in the sewing room were spent slouching on the couch going through yet another bag of stuff to be sorted out in the studio. Among other things I found these scraps from making Fancy Boobs. I planned to use them for making brooches and had stitched some free form ovals with black thread.

I cut them out about 1mm outside the seam and they look quite nice with all the colors and textures. They do need something more though. Paint? Buttons? Beads?

Having a lazy evening I decided to try out some new inks that were also in the bag.

Well, ink wasn’t the answer and I didn’t feel all that creative anyway, so back in the bag with the ovals.

Then I found a couple of quilted flowers leftover from one of the projects in my book. Hmmm, they would make nice brooches too. Hmmm what else do I have here in the bag. A button and a string of yarn? Yes, that would work.

A few beads and a pin on the back later and there you go – a brooch.

Does it count as a finished quilt? Probably not, but it does have three layers and quilting stitches…

Today I’ll be hemming curtains for daughter’s house. There’s no way I can make curtains cheaper than buying readymade ones. Go figure. Why does hemming curtains sound like such a boring task when sewing quilting fabrics sounds like fun?

First I get to spend a few hours with the baby though:)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Washing advice

I need some advice on washing buttons. A family friend brought me a bag full of buttons – everything from buttons from discarded cloths to buttons from her mother and grandmother’s stashes. I am so thankful for her generosity, and have already used a few of them in the mixed media piece here.

However, having been stored for ages, the buttons needed a little cleaning up so I put them in lukewarm water with a little dish soap added. After a day or so of soaking, I rinsed them and spread them out on a towel to dry. It did help a lot, but they would benefit for another round of cleaning.

I have thought about putting some of them in a laundry mesh bag and wash them on a wool program in my machine. Any advice? What would you do?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bit of a stretch

I had some problems with the batting that I used for the christening-quilt-in-progress. I should have known. It’s not the first time it has happened with this particular batting. Live and learn? More like live and learn and forget and be reminded I’d say.
As I was quilting the lines I discovered a few puckers forming on the top. Oh …! That cotton batting has a life of its own and stretch and move around no matter how much I spray and pin the darned thing. Half way through I decided to adjust the top. Big mistake! The result was that the quilt ended up ½” or so wider on one end than the other. Both ways.

Thankfully the quilt is a tone-on-tone background only so no one will notice that I chopped off the excess.

And the rest of the offending batting? Put away with the batting scraps to be used in small projects only!
Next: binding. Yeeey.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Make a Boob at Solborg Folkehøgskole

The first Make a Boob workshop of the year took place at Solborg Folkehøgskole in Stavanger. Folkehøgskole is a one year study (typically between our high school and college/university), where the focus is on self development. The students can choose from a variety of subjects at different schools all over the country. This particular school has classes for, among other things, different types of arts like photo, movies and sewing, and I got to spend a few hours with the young ladies of the sewing class and their teacher.

It’s very interesting to visit different kinds of groups from all ages and situations. The young ladies were sweet and fun and surprisingly quiet, but that might be because of my presence. Although their main focus is on sewing garments, they seemed to enjoy the handwork.

The class has a light and airy studio at the top of a beautiful old school building, and all kinds of sewing machines and sergers at their service. I wouldn’t mind working in that studio at all!
I came home with 15 beautifully decorated boobs and lots of new knowledge about the school.

I find myself still stitching faces; they are fun and easy to make so I don’t have to think too much and can participate in conversations.

Thank you to the teacher and students for having me over and contributing to the project!
You’ll find more pictures from the day at the Make a Boob blog.

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Sketchbook Challenge, April

The theme for this month is “Open” and I have played with an inexpensive little case of pretty markers in different colours with and without sparkle and shine and bling.

So much fun and surprisingly relaxing, like a  teeny tiny drawn quilt.

I have spent the day rearranging my studio to make room for all my art supplies and chucking out lots of little bits and pieces and boxes I had forgotten I even had. Right now it’s a total mess, you know the way it gets when you pull everything out and nothing have found their new place, but the rest has to wait a couple of days. Yesterday I did the first Make a Boob workshop of the year and this weekend I’ll teach the Quilta Figurer class, so I’m repacking my gear and getting ready. A new class is always exciting and this one will be fun.

Have a wonderful weekend; I’ll be back soon with pictures from workshop and class and the results of my recent obsessive sketching!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Buy a Brilliant Book!

The copies of my book, Gledesspredere, are ready to order (details at the bottom of this post). Please notice that the price has been adjusted to the current online price.

The book is filled with 50 fun quilted projects made in lots of different materials and techniques and covering all kinds of seasons, situations and sentiments.
The book is made so that you can mix and match illustrations and techniques – or you can use the illustrations for stitching, needlepoint, painting, mixed media, cards, scrapbooking or whatever materials you prefer. You will find a gallery with such projects for inspiration in the book.

I had a hard time to stop making samples as I wanted to try out all kinds of things and the ideas kept on coming, so I will most certainly make more Gledesspredere for myself, my friends and family, and probably some strangers too. Like today, husband could use one of these

a family friend who just had a baby one of these

daughter one of these (credit card included)

and I one of these (feel better)
(all pictures by Ragnar Hartvig).
You’ll find more pictures here and here.

All books are to be paid in advance through PayPal (international orders) or bank (domestic orders). The price is NOK 320,- (corrected price) hich is the same price as in the Norwegian online shops. In addition to this price comes shipping and handling.

To order:
Please send me an email (link in the sidebar) with your address, and I will calculate the shipping fees and send you the information on how to proceed.

I will also sign the book if you want:)

The book is in Norwegian, and I am sorry, but I don’t know whether or when it will be available in other languages. I will however keep you posted when that happens.