Finished Quilts

Monday, 8 September 2014

around the world blog hop

The lovely Jess has asked me to join in with the Around the World blog hop...


I usually shy away from some such but (a) Jess asked! and (b) she said I don't need to make anything for it which is brilliant cos my mojo is still hunkered down being the bikesheds, with a bottle of Buckfast and a massive deep fried pizza supper. The idea is pretty simple, answer some questions and then invite someone else to hop on board.  So here goes....

1. What am I working on?
Well, I think my intro answers this question!  What I should be working on is a massive pile of bee blocks, a baby shower present for my friend who has already had the little guy and piecing the backing for my bonadoochi quilt so it can be sent off for some Trudification.  I have a week's leave coming up so am praying that McMojo gets its a**e back here sharpish.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Wowsers, now that's a question!  I am a follower not a leader when it comes to creative things so probably not that much, other than being not as good.  When I started out, I was a slave to others' patterns and initially, I even wanted to use exactly the same fabric.  I guess this is quite common.  As my practice has developed, I feel more comfortable going off piste and have started designing my own quilts - well not in a " design, write a pattern, tell the world" way, more of a "I fancy it looking a bit like this, let's see if it works" kind of way.  The way I'm different is probably that I don't go in linear "plan-choose fabric-cut all fabric-sew all blocks-make quilt top" - believe me I wish I would, it would be far more efficient and far less annoying! I'm a "plan- choose some of the fabric-cut a small amount-start sewing-change plan--buy more fabric-cut some more-sew some more-rejig plan" repeat until finished or dead kind of girl at the moment.

3. Why do I create what I do?
I think there are a couple ways of answering this question.  I have finally found a hobby that makes me feel creative, that I want to keep up with and develop and that pushes my boundaries and makes me feel that I'm more than just a mum/wife.  I also love making things for people.  My house has hardly any of my makes in it, just a couple of quilts, a cover for Nanny Plum, my Kitchen Aid mixer and one small fabric basket.  No cushion covers, no piles of quilts to stroke on the way past, no table runners or place mats.  Pretty much the bulk of what I make gets gifted to someone and this makes me happy (although I'm not sure it has the same effect on those receiving the gift!) 

4. How does my creating process work?
I kind of covered this in #2.  I am influenced my lots of modern quilters (although I appreciate the term modern can be a contentious one). So a lot of the times, my plans are triggered by something they have done. Not necessarily the pattern, more the use of fabrics and colour.  Unlike Jess (who I admire so much), I usually jump in with no firm plan and start sewing before I have even chosen all the fabric.  I get so bored cutting out fabric, that this is done in shifts. It means that I change my mind on the fabric selection all the time and a lot of time is wasted worrying about this and ordering more just in case!  

I've had EQ7 for a couple of years now but really only dabble round the edges.  I am hoping to be more adventurous with it in the future.  

This wasn't one of the questions but this post got me thinking about where I am against where I was and where I want to go, if that makes sense.  It is always easiest to bemoan the fact that you don't feel as good/creative/productive as others out there but it's good to reflect on how far you have come on your own journey.  I started off with little belief in my own creativity and therefore followed others slavishly at first but as I have gotten more confident with my sewing, I can see that I am more confident in my design choices.  I look at Jess, for example, and marvel at her journey.  But we are all different and it's important that you take time to appreciate your achievements, even if they are slower or smaller than those you measure yourself against.  I wish I was more adept and more creative but I am enjoying my journey, even if it is a little more meandering than I'd really like.

I've asked Kelly over at JeliQuilts to hop on - she is flipping amazing,the queen of the rainbow who seems to be taking over the world one flying goose at a time.  Seriously, I love her aesthetic and she's hilarious too...what's not to love?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bandwagon jumpin'

I am in the middle of my own sewing hell (bee block disaster zone) so thought I'd take some time out to ponder on some of the other "issues" with my quilty antics.  Inspired by Kerry @ Penny Dog, who was inspired by Molli Sparkles, who was inspired by Amy @ 13spools, ... some of my quilty little secrets

13 Spools
button available @ MolliSparkles

  1. I very rarely use pins.  Maybe when I'm sewing large strips to each other and need them to line up properly, I'll use a couple of pins in the middle.  I probably should use more but really who can be bothered?
  2. I don't press, I iron.  I start out with really good intentions every time sometimes but always end up ironing.
  3. I rarely iron my fabrics before I cut them up.  It causes me problems but if I'd realised how much ironing was involved, I may not have taken up this hobby/obsession.
  4. I hate the cutting part, including trimming.  I rarely cut everything out before I start sewing.  Hugely inefficient but required for my sanity's sake.
  5. I hate clashy clashy.  It makes my head hurts.  Which leads to....
  6. Kaffe Fassett is definitely NOT my bag.  And I'm not too bothered about Amy Butler either *ducks head*
  7. Machine binding is not for me. I hate doing it and I dislike the look of it.  I'm a hand binder, get over it.
  8. I've had a 12.5 inch square ruler for nearly 4 years now and have only just worked out how the markings work.  This discovery was made after trimming bee blocks this afternoon, hence my current foul mood.
  9. Applique Shmapplique. And while we're at it wonk shmonk!  Of course, my fear of cutting and general stupidity with rulers means that I unintentionally wonk. So maybe that should be intentional wonk shmintentional shmonk.
  10. One of my most treasured things is a mini quilt I got in Brit Quilt Swap  and I've just signed up for Curly Boy's IG mini quilt swap because I can't see a bandwagon without jumping on.  But mini quilts...what is point? #contrarymary #thron


Have a look around blogland and you'll see that your own quilty little secrets may be more common that you think!




Saturday, 16 August 2014

judging

So, it would seem that my sewing mojo is on extended vacay so there's not much sewing action Chez 'boiler.  I have managed to get some quilt fix though, mostly through this year's Festival of Quilts.  After last year's disappointments, I rashly announced that we would not be gracing the FoQ with our presence this year.  But I soon caved, partly because the EMMQG submitted a competition quilt into the Group Quilt category.  It was handed over at the last possible minute after some demon Trudification and hand finishing by Mary G, so it would have been rude not to go check it out.  Here it is in its hung glory....

#519 Where We Live
The idea was to do "improv" blocks representing an image of where we live.  Improv in this context meant do what you want.  No quilt police/pedants here.  So it represents the East Midlands from West (bottom) to East (top), with Bridget's panel at the bottom, then Kerry's, then Hannah's and finally Trudi's at the top. I did the sashing, Trudi quilted and Mary finished.  The others gave advice and guidance throughout the process. For most of us, it was the first time submitting a quilt, doing improv, working without a pattern.  I think the quilt works really well and it did not look out of place in the FoQ.  I am proper chuffed!

So, when the wee man and I took a road trip to pick it up yesterday (last one to be collected...last chicken in sainsbury's?!), I was really keen to see the feedback from the judges.  The envelope was finally located and here are the results..... this was first out of the envelope...

Hmmmm
I was a bit miffed when I read it.  It didn't seem to fit with the comments.  How can you comment on the quilt hanging well and then give it "satisfactory" for that element.  And... hello... the quilting needs work?  Are you joking?

So it was with a little trepidation that I unfolded the comment sheet from judge #2....

that's more like it!
It's difficult to read the comments but it says "fresh treatment, successful combination".  A totally different opinion then.  In fact, here the "quilting: design and execution" element is given an Excellent mark!  I just don't understand the inconsistency.  Now, it's all noise really.  The EMMQG ladies should be really pleased with the end result.  But, if we are to learn from our first foray into competition quilts and use the feedback to help plan our next one, how can we with this feedback?  I know, I know....it's all in the eye of the beholder.  One person's winning quilt is another person's WTF?!

This is a perennial issue.  I have commented on a number of blog posts and IG photos bemoaning the feedback received.  At least we didn't get a comment on the lack of brown batiks!  So I guess it comes down to subjective, personal, individual taste and in that case I FREAKING LOVE IT!

As for the rest of the quilts, a much better year than last year, in my opinion.  We were a little disorganised this year so didn't manage to see everything but here is a little selection of my favourites (no names, obvs!)
you had to be there

absolutely LOVED this - well done, Reene

made with shards of denim

amazing points

loved this

not in competition but a Shevvy beauty 



There was a fabric grandfather clock which was utterly astounding, in a "but why would you?" way.  And lots of others that I forgot to photograph.

And I was very restrained, purchase wise...

£6 a metre!  It would be rude not to.
I missed as many people as I saw.  We went on Saturday and it seemed much less busy than expected, which was nice.  A good day, all told.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

slowly does it

Thank you to the lovely Catherine for asking me to host this month's Slow Blogger linky party

Don't know about you but sewing is taking a back seat for me at the moment.  June was rammed with other stuff and now July feels pressured to catch up, especially after all that time spent on the Bonadoochi beast. As usual, instead of getting down to what needs done, I decided to make a couple of birthday presents for the wee man's friends.  It's the start of birthday season so I think I've just set myself up for trouble....

I knocked up this lovely top up in a couple of hours the other night but it would have taken much less than that if I hadn't had to unpick the neck to retrieve the elastic that I accidentally let go of #fool.

T3 peasant top
I didn't have enough of the MoMo butterfly fabric to do the arms as well but I think the DS fabric went well with it.  The MoMo fabric has been in my stash for about 4 years (oh the shame!) but I used some new to me Soak Flatter on it and the creases fell out brilliantly.  I am chuffed to say that it is french seamed to the max too!

I find it more difficult to make for boys so I bought something and made a gift bag..

apologies for the crap camera phone photo
I'm going to try a crayon roll for the next boy gift I think.  Or I was thinking about aprons?  Any other ideas?

What have you been up to?


[sorry there's no photo option linkwise this time - they want to charge me $20 for the privilege and it's mid month, John Lewis had 50% Tula Pink and cotton&steel went on sale so it's not an option for me this time]

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Jazz Legs

Everyone has heard of Jazz Hands.  My mum had Jazz Legs...from the knee down they are a whirlwind of activity when she was excited.  It was hilarious - they were out of control.  I caught myself having Jazz Legs for the first time recently, when playing with the wee man. It's hereditary!  I have just experienced Jazz Legs again about 10 minutes ago when I finally finished* piecing the behemoth that is the Bonadoochi Quilt...

pinning the last seam*
my workspace is a little cramped!
After a couple of abortive shots with Laughing Boy holding the quilt top, I decided to lay it out on the decking and do it myself, firstly with a chair...

yay!
then from the back bedroom window (which appears to be painted shut!)...

forgot to move the chair first!
This is the biggest quilt I've ever pieced - currently 75" x 80".  I say currently and have included the * above because, after a quick validation from the lovelies on Instagram, I've decided to add a top and bottom sash so that the words don't get lost in the binding.  So not quite finished but pretty damn close!  Then, just the backing to piece then it's off to Trudi for some loving.

I have a mountain of abandoned bee sewing to crack on with...no rest for the wicked.... except not today as we are child free for the evening and off out to sit in the dark and not talk to each other [The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared].

Have a great weekend.






Wednesday, 4 June 2014

WIP Wednesday

So summer has arrived and brought with her a shed load of rain #obvs.  I think it was probably last summer when I did a WIP Wednesday post (and I'm also pretty sure it was raining too!).  Anyway, I'm on a bit of a mission to get a gift quilt finished in time for the next EMMQG meeting at the end of June so it can head off for some Trudification.

I've been doing my usual - cut a bit, sew a bit, change mind, redesign, cut some more, order some more fabric, sew a bit, realise that I should have worked out the quilt maths beforehand, cut loads more, sew wheens* more, lay it out to finally work out the design, change my mind, stop working in a huff.. you know, you all do it, right?  Am I right?  I'll get my coat!

So here's where I'm at....

one line of pp'd lyrics done

measures about 60 inches long by 5 1/2 inches high
Initial plans to incorporate 4 lines of lyrics as part of the heart....


Changed to having 2 lines of lyrics frame the heart top and bottom and another heart within the heart, kind of like this...


So I've sewn together four rows out of 16 and finally worked out what it's actually going to look like (probably)

Only three weeks to finish it off  - given that each pp letter takes me a day and I have 12 to go, I'll be cutting it fine I think. I'm now realising how much I got done when the wee man napped in the afternoon #memories. Wish me luck!

Linking to Lee @ freshly pieced


*Scots for loads

Thursday, 8 May 2014

biting off more than you can chew....

I am actually, actually in the process of making a quilt. Not just thinking about it, not just trawling the tinterweb for possible fabric choices, not just fannying around on EQ7 designing something that could easily be drawn on a piece of paper with a pen.  I've actually chosen the fabric, well some of it ;)  I've cut some of the fabric up.  I've started to sew things together.  An actual quilt,  not individual blocks for other people....not this time, no.  A quilt for other people instead!  Woohoo!

The following megablock took be chuffing days to do....

this is about 25" wide
My idea is a gift for some dear friends of mine and I'm trying to incorporate some lyrics from one of "their" songs, you know.  I originally printed out a huge wodge of PP letter templates from EQ7 but the letters were not reversed (fortunately I worked this out after half a letter!).  I could not for the life of me work out how I could reverse the template in EQ7 without losing the will to live so I bought Kristy @ Quiet Play's typography block templates and cracked on.......slowly!  One word down, twelve more to go - may not have been my best laid plan but I also bought some Thangles and am loving how quickly the HSTs are coming together so maybe it will even itself out.

I may have inadvertedly bought some fabric for that Washi pattern I bought last month...

#no filter
Some gorgeous nano iro double gauze from Francis@Miss Matatabi that cost me an additional 11 quid in customs charges #pffft

And after a challenging few days with the wee man, I decided to kill two birds with one stone with this...

#wine #cake #imsuchacliche
It helped me as I cleared my phone of shedloads of wee man selfies that all looked exactly like this...

team haircut!

Have a good weekend x

Linking with Sue's Brit Sewing Thursday...

Just Sew Sue