Thursday, May 19, 2011

Craft ADD continues ...

It seems like I can't concentrate on just one or even two projects right now ...

Spring progress

I'm working on the Spring dolly quilt when I want some slow sewing in front of the TV. Above you can see the layout I tried out before starting to appliqué the green spiral. But I have so many ideas right now (and amassed so much fabric ...), that I can't help but start other projects as ideas spring to mind.

habitat patchwork detail

Like this Habitat quilt I started. I wanted a design that really showcases my favourite fabrics of the line, the two fabrics in the centre. So I decided to try my hand at "quilt design" and just go with what feels right. The original plan was to sew the half-square triangle border right onto the centre panels without the solid in between, but boy, do I suck at math! I really miscalculated the size a square had to be for rotary cutting before cutting the triangles, so I put in the border to make up for my mistake. Maybe it was for the better, it looks quite nice.

habitat patchwork

Still missing one side ... Please don't look too closely at my sloppy piecing ... :-P For the next border I'm thinking along the lines of the pixeled print in blue. I would like the finished quilt to have quite a "fluid" feel, so I think the same print but in a contrasting colour would support that idea. What do you think?

the next border?

As for the third project going on around here right now ... I promised to make an outfit for a friend of mine and it is quite a big project and I'm not sure if I didn't take on a bit much ... Not only in terms of the work amount but also regarding trickiness ... Alongside work I really can handle only small doses of trickiness ... Well, of course I started with the easiest part of the outfit, a bolero and fortunately it came together quite quickly!

Bolero

I drafted the pattern myself from a basic pattern and hemmed the borders and sleeve ruffles with the serger's rolled hem stitch.

bolero detail rolled hem

I think for this kind of thin and slippery fabric that is really the best and easiest option and it actually also looks quite nice. So now I'm trying to motivate myself to continue with the skirt ... I unpicked the invisible zipper about 5 times yesterday ... Wish me luck!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring

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In this picture you can see a Maibaum, or maypole, which is a symbol of spring in many places.

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Last week, J. and I spent a couple of days with my family in Germany, including the 1st of May. We were mostly in my home village and enjoyed time with my family and took walks outside.

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It was really great to visit and see my family and also soak up some beautiful greenness and sun!

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Fortunately, spring has slowly arrived to Helsinki as well, otherwise it would have been quite tough to return ...

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J. and I also spent an afternoon in the nearby town of Marburg, where I studied and where we met about 9 years ago!

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Marburg has a medieval town centre and beautifully cared for old houses. The Brothers Grimm lived here for a time, and I think the town really has a fairy tale atmosphere. Especially since moving to Finland, when I come back it really reminds me of the stories the brothers collected, partly also in the area around Marburg.

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Being an university town, Marburg offers a lot of little cafés and bistros where one can eat well for affordable prices. Also, it combines old and new, as in this advertisement for a comic book store:

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Marburg citizens need not worry, Spidey's watching ... ;-)

I'm really feeling energized by spring, maybe even too much, because I think I have some kind of craft ADD. I started a new project yesterday (with quite some unfinished projects lying around ...). Inspired by spring and by Sarah Fielke's stunning new book, I decided I want to make one of the dolly quilts from it. Of course the quilt's name is ... Spring (it's the quilt that's in the quilting hoop on the book's cover).

I received the book last week and love it! I especially like the dolly quilt idea, so many new techniques that can be tried out in a small and manageable project! I decided to make the Spring quilt first, because I had almost all the materials already (except for the pre-made bias tape ...) And since it's appliqué, I can work on it in front of the TV, something that's is just perfect from time to time!!!

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I cut out the leaves and the butterfly yesterday and I really think this will be very fun to make! This also taught me some things about my stash:

Some of them I already knew, like that I love fabrics that have either aqua or olive green or both in them, but I was surprised that my stash is actually quite varied. Don't get me wrong, I know that I have quite a lot of fabric, but I always thought that my tastes are somewhat narrow and limited. I got a nice variety of fabrics for the leaves, though, and they are not too matchy-matchy, I think. (The instructions call for scraps, but I cut the leaves out of fat quarters or half yards I horded ... Anyone else do that?! :-P) Also, I have more florals than I thought:

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I love fabrics that are spotty in some way:

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And I'm drawn to fabrics that in some way remind me of formica table tops like on the kitchen table we had when I was a child.

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I also like:

  • stripes
  • other geometric prints
  • slightly retro prints with a mid-century modern feel
  • novelty prints showing animals (especially birds), insects, kitchen appliances, crockery, sock monkeys and buildings
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(isn't this one perfect? It's a pillow in my father's house, I think I have to ask if I can have it next time and make a new one in return ...)
  • prints that contain lettering, writing or newsprint
  • batik effects
and
  • prints with simple hand-drawn (or apparently hand-drawn) designs like for example Megumi Sakakibara's prints
What about you? What kind of prints are out there that you can't resist?