Monday, October 27, 2014
This weekend I made some progress on the washi-inspired patchwork project I'm working on for a swap. I made a big panel of patchwork and then cut it up again. I was a bit scared of that step, but I thought it would be necessary for achieving the effect I was hoping for. I won the ruler some years ago in a giveaway online and had never used it before. It seemed like a useful tool for this project.
As you can see I cut up the panel quite randomly, some pieces a bit askew, some straight and I took care to cut some in both directions, so the text fabrics would stay more or less the correct way up when put together again. Of course this process has left me with a certain amount of scraps, but I don't mind. I think I'll use those to make a little pouch for myself.
I think I will add in some more of the "tape" stripes in between these pieces, let's see if it works out the way I imagined!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Above you can see a number of fabrics I've been playing around with for a swap. I decided to use the Washi tape fabric as the main source of inspiration for both colours and shapes of my project for my partner.
I wasn't quite sure if I could recreate what I had in mind, but so far I like what came to be. The largely improv nature of sewing, planning and constructing this project has been quite meditative. It will be interesting to see how the project will turn out in the end!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
When I was working on this EPP hexie rosette I got the idea for this quilt. I started the rosette with no particular plan, I thought maybe it might become a pillow cover similar to the one I made for a swap last year. More and more, however, I thought that it would be perfect as a feature in a little quilt for V.! As Kirsty pointed out in the comments on my last post, I'm really drawn to these colours and this quilt includes many of my top-of-the-list very favourite fabrics. Also, several fabrics have been bought while I was pregnant and/or I've made something for V. from them before. So, it's just meant to be. My idea is to surround the hexie-square with simple patchwork squares. This will probably slow going (as are most my projects right now ...), but I don't really mind. And I've got no hurry, since V. already has Kirsty's beautiful quilt! I cut some of the squares one naptime, others the next and even already pieced some rows. Let's see where it goes!
About the fabric buying, well, I hadn't bought any fabric for a year, so I'm quite excited about this. Also, I love seeing what kind of fabric purchases other people make, so I thought I'd show you what I chose.
Firstly, I got Denyse Schmidt's Hadley in FQs. I love the blue colourway, the mustard yellow and browns, and the nostalgic seventies vibe. Also, I like the orange in this line, which is not very typical for me. I've been looking at her book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration a lot these past months and love the retro feel of it, so I thought if I really liked her next collection, I'd get some of it.
These are my favourite prints from the collection and the ones I was first drawn to. (No surprises there ... ;-)).
And these are the ones I really like now that I've seen them in person. Don't you think that that check would be a great idea for a quilt layout?
Secondly, I got some Carolyn Friedlander prints. I was tempted to get a Botanics FQ bundle, but I stayed strong and only got my absolute favourites in half yards, as well as this crosshatch (I don't have a lot of black and white fabric, so this is a great addition to my stash).
Then I got these woodgrains, because I love the print and I love the colours. Also, I thought they'd be quite useful.
These last ones were more "just because". I really like that shade of purple and the prints are lovely (plus, they were on sale ...) The flag print is so pretty, cheerful and it reminds me of Frida Kahlo, so I bought it. And I'm glad I did, I really love it.
Well, those are my purchases after the big fabric diet ... What did I learn? The truth is, I could have gone on without buying any more fabric for a while, since I've got enough to keep myself sewing for another year ... or five ... On the other hand, it's a nice boost of inspiration to get some new supplies every once in a while. When I decided not to buy any fabric for a while, I started writing down the fabric lines and prints that I really liked instead of buying them. Not all of them were a priority anymore when I made the order after some time had passed. It also motivated me to pick up and finish some WIPs and to cut into some extra special fabrics instead of just letting them linger and take up space in my stash. Also, I took part in my first fabric swap. I noticed what my stash really needs in my personal opinion (more chocolate brown !?! and blenders) and that the fabrics that stayed on my wish list the longest were the more understated and classic prints. I guess most of this is just common sense, but there were some things I noticed about my sewing process and fabric choices that were inspiring and motivating to me.
How about you? Do you have any fabric-buying wisdom to share? :-)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Yesterday I finally finished the little mini quilt from Sarah Fielke's Quilting from Little Things I'd been working on on and off for over 1 1/2 years! It is not my most precise piecing etc., but I think the outcome is quite cute, anyway. I decided to make life a little easier for myself and didn't quilt the outer corners as densely as the other spaces between the "diamonds".
Since I got the book, I really liked the idea of this mini, fracturing a geometric fabric print even more to make some little sparkling diamond blocks. When I bought the main fabric used here (from Carnaby Street by Pat Bravo), I thought it would be perfect for this! I decided on the dense quilting, because I felt that my diamonds didn't pop enough against the background once they were pieced and I think it helps a bit to remedy that.
I think it looks lovely from the back, too:
This was a fun exercise in fabric choice, piecing and quilting. For instance, it made me smile to see much more coherent everything looked once I added the pink binding. I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with it to put it on the wall, but at any rate it makes a nice dolly quilt! :-)
Have a lovely weekend!
Friday, August 22, 2014
This week I managed to sew one more envelope! Yay! ;-) (Actually I also managed to sew a T-shirt for myself, double yay!) If I weren't aiming to use mainly scraps, I'd probably never come up with this combination or that background, but I have to say that I love it for all its craziness!
I also have two hand-sewing projects on the back-burner. The first is hand- quilting a mini that I started last year, a little before V. was born:
It's the Diamond Chips pattern from Quilting from Little Things by Sarah Fielke.
Then, I have some EPP hexies that will become something in the style of this pillow I made last year.
Sometimes it's nice to do some slow hand-stitching, plus it's easier to pick up and put down than having a session at the sewing machine.
Have a great weekend!
Monday, August 11, 2014
This summer I bought the beautiful book Patchwork, Please which had been long on top of my wish list. These envelopes are what convinced me to buy the book, but frankly, I'd like to make all the projects in it now, they're all so cute and most of them are perfect for using up scraps!
I decided to do just that and used mostly scraps for making these. It has been such fun to make one envelope at a time, using a (more or less ...) limited number of fabrics and not thinking too much about fabric choices. My goal was to make the individual blocks look harmonious but not to agonize over the colour schemes too much. I has been fun using up scraps, trying new fabric combinations with fabrics I'd used before in a different scheme and remembering all the projects I made with the fabrics.
I really love making these, and they are my first try at Foundation Paper Piecing. The instructions in the book are very clear and this particular pattern is not too difficult in my opinion. No really tiny pieces, nor too many of them.
My plan is to make the wall pocket project from the book as long as I don't decide that the scrappiness of the blocks is too busy for that in the end. At the moment, though, I think it will be really fun and cute!
Monday, July 28, 2014
Some little summer sewing has been happening ... I made this sun hat for V. some weeks ago, it's from a free pattern on the Ottobre Design website. (Thank you again Franziska for the tip! :-)) I could only find the pattern in Finnish and German, not English, but I think it's relatively straightforward to sew if you have some experience. You only have to remember adding seam allowances to the patterns and some lightweight interfacing to the brim of the hat. Also, if you have a directional print, I think it's nice to place the direction of the print upside down on the underside of the brim so it will be right side up once you flip up the brim. (I didn't do that with V.'s hat and I'm a bit annoyed by it, so now you're warned. ;-))
I made another one for our godson, but I had to recruit the singing dog to model that one. Maybe V. was sensing that the hat wasn't intended for her ... ;-)
I think it's a nice and practical design that works for both little boys and girls!
V. needed some shorts, so I made two pairs of what just might be the quickest to make shorts ever, at least with a serger that won't give you too much grief. The material is jersey and the waistband ribbing (without the addition of an elastic band), there are no side seams and the legs are finished with a rolled hem. I decided to make two nearly identical ones, because then I didn't feel like lingering too much on fabric choices.
I like how they turned out and the Briar Rose knit has been holding up well in the wash, too. I hope there will be knits for the Windham re-release of Far Far Away as well, since these knits are so nice and those snails and frogs would be so cute for kids' clothing!