Wednesday 21 November 2012

Messy sewer

So I came up to the sewing room this morning to do a bit more on my quilt, and look what greeted me. Five minutes transformed it into a semi respectable space. I am a very messy sewer. I wonder can you be a tidy sewer?

I have begun work on the main body of the quilt. I need a background that will sweep around the circle onto which I am going to applique scrolls, petals, tendrils, ?leaves ?flowers ?butterflies.
So I was looking on line for some ideas and came across the North Wind pieced block. I think it should work really well as I want to move tonally from dark to light across and up the quilt. And also add more colours into it.. beiges and pinks.

It is such a lovely block. I think I will use it for my daughters bed quilt. The one I have been intending to start for about 2 months.

I paper pieced each section. The pattern was drafted onto graph paper.

Then traced onto greaseproof paper. I used tracing paper for the first few then ran out and greaseproof paper seemed to work just as good, if not better.

There is quite a lot of wastage with paper piecing but it is very accurate. I wouldn't use this method for a bed quilt but instead make 7 half square triangles and two squares in each corner.
If you google North Wind Block you will see what I mean, or go to

I went for a swim this morning and while I was swimming up and down thinking about stuff it came into my head that I don't really like the girl in the quilt. I don't like her stance, or her expression. I dislike her dickie bow.  So I will have to rethink that one. Start looking for inspiration.
Any excuse to while away the hours on Pinterest.

I have 13 boards, 213 pins and 67 likes to date, many of them quilt or craft related.
If you were a cook person you could have a board for recipies. Or a doggie person have a board just for dogs, or birds or cats or chickens,cars,embroidery. absolutely anything in the world. You can follow other people who you may or may not know, and it's not like facebook, you don't communicate with them, you can just get inspired or whatever by what they pin on their boards. 
I think it would work well if you had a board of ideas for your current quilt or textile piece, eg with colours, design ideas, imagery etc
ok, have gone on a bit too long

Thursday 15 November 2012

Need stuffing

yesterday I finished my little postcard.
Very simple machine embroidery/quilting over the evalon. And I backed it with some gorgeous handmade (not by me) paper.

I spent this afternoon making a teddybear of sorts.

..inspired by a bunny that I have had since I was a baby. So not a very old bunny.
Anyway, it wasn't as straight forward as I thought. I  took some photos as I went along with the thought of doing a tutorial. Won't be posting that one!

I have to buy some stuffing.
That will definitely improve the poor fellow.

He's about 30 cm tall.
Absolutely a one off.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Progress with Lucy

I think I have made some progress with Lucy. Over the past few days I have painted her clothes and aged the background.

I used transfer paints to give the muted tones over the cream fabric. Transfer paints work perfectly on synthetic fibres but not so good on natural fabrics like cotton. So before using the transfer paints I painted the cotton with a product called Transfix....

You can see in the image above that I painted transfer paints onto paper doilies, then ironed onto the cotton.  Great effect.

I still have an epic amount of work to do. The foreground will be in brighter tones, scrolls, flowers, tendrils, that kind of thing, maybe a butterfly or three. 
 And there will be a few circles of various sizes in some areas. Once the foreground colours and design is established then I will probably need to paint the figure some more to tie the whole thing together.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Owls Everywhere!

There are owls everywhere at the moment. On fabric, cups, notebooks, napkins. everywhere!
This is our newest and quietest member.
Made by Rosie.

Also made by Rosie....

Martha,s gorgeous quilt.
...and bag

Brenda's (mum's) lovely cushion top.

And I am working on a small postcard, using Evalon and transfer paints. a great combination.

just need to do some machine embroidery to finish it off.
Love Evalon.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Goosey Lucy

My car has been in the garage getting a few things sorted for the last 3 days.  On Monday I had to walk to the shops! Imagine! Walk! I actually really enjoyed it and I met this lovely goose along the way. Sounds like a childrens rhyme about the sky falling down. I think he or she is a Canadian Goose. (sounded more American to me).

I have spent a bit of time, in fact a lot of time getting the background fabric for my girl quilt under way.

It's a very slow process. Took most of a day to cut out the design, then hours today colouring it, But very enjoyable whilst sitting listening to the radio.
And neglecting the house.
So my aim tomorrow is to paint the girl more, tackle her clothes and finish hair, maybe do a bit to her face. I will probably paint about an inch behind her too then cut her out.
I want the Markal paintstiks to dry for a few days then I need to do more work on this bit to age and fade it.
Thats the plan.

I think girl quilt 2 is called Lucy after my favourite hen and my goose encounter. 

Monday 5 November 2012

Happy Birthday Rowan

my gorgeous son is 15 today.


This morning I was shaken out of my Monday morning relaxed holiday mood (am off work for two weeks), by a sparrowhawk on the attack.
Earlier while I was watching the birds feeding they all got spooked and flew away, so I had it in my head that there may have been a large bird about.
But it was about half an hour later that the sparrowhawk swooped and pinned down the unfortunate pigeon.

Isn't it an absolutely beautiful bird. I have seen sparrowhawks a few times in the garden, and I know circle of life and all that, but I felt for the pigeon and opened the back door.  The sparrowhawk allowed me to take a few more photos then flew off leaving a stunned pigeon who himself flew off a couple of minutes later.

I was absolutely thrilled to see this.

Anyway this is a sewing blog I think so I am going to share a few photos of our latest speaker at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild.

Ann Fleeton

A few of her quilts layered on a table.

Her work is exceptional. Each piece she makes conveys a message or tells a story, historical, or modern day. I am really inspired by the meaningful way she works/creates and wish I was more like her in my approach. She is an artist using quilts and stitch as her medium. 
I learnt a lot.

To my sewing room I will go to move onwards and upwards with my girl quilt number 2!