Just finished another cute quilt, the pattern is, I love Home from Jacquelynne Steves Here
I´ve had this pattern for ages but only got around to making it now. Sometimes I really just like to follow a pattern, I still feel like I´m being creative without the anxiety of …..is what I am creating here ridiculous or is it good…. 🙂 yep I´m never quite happy with what I create from scratch.
This quilt was also an opportunity for me to practice some free motion quilting, I did feathers, pebbles and stippling, but the feathers were my goal, I´ve been wanting to try those for ages, and they didn’t come out to badly, just a few wobbles here and there.
Here is an image of the back.
And here it is, all finished , another quilt to add to my granddaughter´s collection.
A while back I finished a quilt based on a pattern by Suzys sitcom – Esmeralda´s garden Here When I first saw the pattern I really liked the fact that the background was dark depicting a nighttime garden. I’m so used to making quilts on white backgrounds, that it was quite a change to work with black.
I changed some of the animals to ones that my granddaughter would find easier to identify, such as the owl, hedgehog and snail.
To make the animal blocks I only used my fabric scraps, I honestly thought I would make a huge dent on my scraps, but not true, I still have too many scraps, so now I´m planning a new scrap busting project.
I had quite a problem with the fusible I used on this project. I had heard so many good things about Steam a Seam Lite, that I ordered a whole bunch from Amazon, it was quite expensive with transport costs etc, it´s not available for sale in Portuguese stores. As soon as I started sewing down the applique pieces, my thread started shredding, and I couldn’t figure out why, I tried different needles, re-threaded a bunch of times, watched loads of videos on You tube on how to do maintenance on my machine, sanded lightly the top plate of the bobbin area in case it had a notch that the thread might be catching on, etc etc.
The thought that it might be the fusible never ever entered my mind, until I happened upon an old online post, where someone was having the same problem, and the culprit was Steam a Seam lite, it gums up the needle, and the thread gets caught on the gummy needle and shreds. So, I was totally ecstatic that the problem wasn’t my machine, and totally horrified that I had all these appliqued blocks ready for sewing down the appliques and I couldn’t sew for longer than a few seconds before the thread would shred.
Well….. I had to finish the quilt, I simply can´t have unfinished projects. So I got a Q-tip and poured some rubbing alcohol into a saucer, and every 10 seconds would stop and clean the gunk off the needle with the alcohol soaked Q-tip. Needless to say a lot of cursing went on during this whole tiresome process 🙂 Now of course I still have a bunch of steam a seam that I don´t want to use ever again.
In spite of the issues I had with the fusible. I really love this quilt, I simply love the idea of a garden coming to life during the night.
When not in use, it lives in my granddaughter´s bookcase, because it also has a story to tell.
A friend of my daughter will soon be having a baby boy, she´s a lovely girl, so I thought I´d make her a baby quilt…… baby quilts are the best….Being on Covid Lockdown doesn´t really help when we want to make cute baby quilts, fabric stores are closed, and we can’t even leave our area of residence, so I had to make do with what I had at home, which in terms of baby-themed blue fabrics wasn´t much at all, Yes, I could have ordered fabric online, but I also took it as a challenge to use fabrics I already had.
Anyway, even with my limited fabric selection, I think it turned out quite pretty.
The pattern is very simple and comes together very quickly, I found it at
On the back I made a little label with baby´s name and date.
I gifted it to her the other day and she really seemed to like it. I´m very pleased I took the time to make this quilt, because in gifting this quilt, it was also a gift to myself, because gifting this quilt, brought me joy. Goodness…. being a bit philosophical here, but you all know what I mean 🙂
My scraps are growing at an alarming rate, I´m not much of a hoarder so I like to keep things simple and organised. So when I had finished appliqueing the top of the Esmeralda´s garden quilt, from Suzy´s sitcom, (which I still need to quilt and bind so I haven’t posted it yet), I had a whole bunch of itsy bitsy scarps that were basically unusable. Still I couldn’t bring my self to throw them away, I’m very frugal 🙂
All these scraps had Steam-a-Seam 2 lite on them already, so I thought I would just stick them down on some muslin. Actually I began sticking them down before I even finished the quilt top, whenever I had a few bits of scrap I would stick them down on the piece of muslin I had next to me. Needless to say I didn’t overthink it at all, I just sort of stuck them down.
I then put tulle over them, because I figured it would be easier to quilt, since some of the pieces didn’t stick down to well, and also because I wanted to have a more harmonious kind of look to the whole thing, kind of dreamy if you get what I mean. On the one I used brown tulle, I wanted to tone down the pink pieces, on the other I used Yellow tulle. It doesn´t really show up on the photo, but it does have yellow tulle on top.
I pinned them to canvas fabric and quilted haphazardly.
and this is how it turned out, 2 crazy wall hangings. I actually like them, I especially like the fact that instead of creating rubbish I created art, well that´s what I´m calling it 😀
When I was growing up I had a very special relationship with an aunt of mine, although she lived quite far from us, she lived in East London, South Africa, and we lived in Zimbabwe and then later on, in Johannesburg. We would spend a few weeks each year with my aunt and uncle on holiday. As a young teenager I would sometimes visit on my own during school holidays, my parents would buy me a plane ticket and off I´d go. My first ever date was on one of these trips. My aunt´s friend had a very good looking son, and he invited me to the local drive-in, being very shy I was petrified but my aunt encouraged me to go and so I did. When my mom found out she was livid with my aunt, and to my disappointment the boy never asked me out again, Hah Hah, I really was such a nerd 😀
All the above waffling is just to say that I think aunts and nieces can have a very special bond, this kind of relationship is very evident in my daughter Megan and my granddaughter Isabella, and that’s why I wanted to make a fabric collage portrait of both of them
Now, about the actual portrait, I´m not really happy with it, it´s my second “people ” one, but I feel I didn´t really progress, I found it much harder than the first one, and thank goodness my daughter Andi, Isabella´s mom helped me correct some glaring issues, because eventually I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees, in the end I also added some shading with inktense pencils, because the fabric I had just wasn´t the right tone.
I´m not sure I´m cut out for this type of work, but I´m pretty stubborn and I won´t give up on myself quite as readily as that young man did 😀 so I think I´ll probably be doing another soon, but I´m going to make it colourful, and not try to match skin tones, hopefully that will be more liberating.
lately I´ve been making fun stuff, yep, no stressing about making life like fabric portraits or being acclaimed as the number 1 fabric artist in the world, Nope! it´s been all about being cool, trying new stuff, spending more money on craft stuff, buying stuff I already had, but forgotten I had, you know, just cruising along 🙂
So here is one of my fun projects. The pattern Here is from Pam Holland, who in my book is a world acclaimed fabric artist, she is truly brilliant. I had great fun drawing and colouring fabric, and the colours are so vibrant, it really is such a fun and gorgeous project.
My other project is a coloured and thread painted fabric Panel. Now that winter has arrived, we light a fire in the fireplace every night, it´s set up to heat the radiators in the house, the problem with this, is that sometimes before it gets going it can smoke a bit, and I didn’t want my precious Rhino quilt Here to get grey and grubby from the smoke, and I wouldn’t be able to wash it. So I decided to cover it with a panel, that took minimal effort and after winter I can take it off and wash it, and my rhino will reappear fresh as a daisy in the springtime again.
I have meters of this panel batik, so I cut some of it, and had some fun with it.
So now in the evenings I don´t see my Rhino, but I do get to look up at my fun panel.
And to top it all, my aunt who is a retired seamstress gave me her treadle sewing machine. Well my mom asked her if she would sell it, because she wanted to give it to me as a present, but my aunt offered it, so mom took it to a sewing machine professional who tuned it up etc. I am so happy with it, it sews like a dream. It´s a Portuguese model called Oliva, from the 1940s, they don´t make them anymore.
It still has the original manual, isn´t that great!
This machine is just brilliant and I am having loads of fun with it.
I have delved into the scary world of fabric face portraiture, and I found it really daunting 😲 The best part of course was all the planning in my head, and buying the fabric, after that it was all about feeling lost and frustrated, why do I do this to myself!! And then of course because I work full time and then it´s cooking dinner, keeping house and all the boring stuff we have to do, I only get to work on my projects on weekends and even then, not all weekends and only a few hours at a time. So, the projects tend to drag on and on to the point where I get fed up with looking at the same project for ever, and then declare it finished, even if it needs more tweaking. That’s kind of what happened here, but also because I was scared that if I carried on, I would mess it all up.
I read up on some of the techniques used, which consists mainly of making a pattern for each piece of fabric and using fusible, but I don´t like to use fusible on art quilts and I´m not much of a pattern maker, I prefer to just glue the pieces down with craft glue, so that I can change my mind at any time, spray some water on it and peel it off. So basically I´m just winging it as I go along I never do any real prep work, just sort of dive in and start doing.
Anyway, here is the outcome of my first attempt at making people. My model of course is my gorgeous granddaughter Isabella, I have certainly not done her justice but she loves the portrait anyway, tells everyone that it´s her 😀
I won´t bore you with details of how I made it, there are plenty of sites and videos of people far better equipped than I who explain how to go about making a portrait quilt, I´ll just leave you with a few photos of mine.
It´s also thanks to my daughter Andi who pointed out that the features needed more definition, that I allowed myself to lose some of the fear and go bolder.
I must also add that I posted a photo on an art quilt page on FB and a lady commented on all the things I should do to make it better, I must say that although I really appreciated all the constructive criticism, I didn´t do any of it 😀 Once I consider something finished, it´s finished. I will try to do better on the next one, and yes, even though this is hard, I´m making another one very soon, so stay tuned 🙂
And to end today´s blog here is a far better image of Isabella.
My Rhino Project is done. Took me an age to do, and it´s mainly due to being on partial lay-off, due to the Covid pandemic that it is actually finished. It´s quite large measuring 116cm x 98cm, and I am sooo in love with it
I have an enormous love of all wildlife. Having been born and bred in Africa my heart literally sings when I´m in the African bush, which unfortunately is a very rare occurrence since moving to Portugal. Actually the last time I was in the Kruger Park, was in 2013, goodness, I can’t believe it´s been 7 years already, but it´s so costly to visit my birthplace and then when I come back to my “home” in Portugal I feel homesick for ages! Oh my, just writing this has made me feel a little sad, 7 years, wow… Anyway, I chose to make the Rhino because they are literally being slaughtered for their horns and soon there won´t be any left. It´s sad that humans are so incredibly ignorant.
I have dozens of Rhino photos taken by me at the Kruger Park, I chose this one because he was really enjoying himself at the water hole, it was late afternoon, and all around us their was such serenity, all we could hear was the occasional sloshing of the water as he moved around, the cicadas, and now and then the far off cry of a fish eagle.
When I made my Jack portrait Here I already knew that I wanted to do a Rhino art quilt. Jack was my stepping stone. I knew I wanted the Rhino to be big and I wanted it colorful, and I wanted the background to be similar to it´s natural habitat, and so that’s what I´ve tried to do here.
I ordered some Kaffe fassett fat quarters from overseas, unfortunately I can´t find Kaffe Fassett anywhere in Portugal. The background fabrics I ordered from Spoonflower, and the rest I sourced from the local stores and from my home stash. I started it in early March so it took me 4 months to do.
Here are some close ups of the rhino and the birdie on top.
I mounted the quilt myself on canvas, and it´s new home is in my lounge. I´m a little worried about how it will stand up to dust etc. but mounting it in glass would have been a huge expense, I also like the look of natural mounted textile, so that the thread work and fabrics are clearly visible and touchable.
The other day my daughter Andi, jokingly said that it looks like he´s wearing a mask, so I suppose he´s very 2020 appropriate 🙂 I love looking at him in the evenings, when I´m relaxing in the lounge.
Looking at the quilt every day up on the wall, I can see so many things I could have done differently and better, but I try not to dwell on these thoughts. I know that if I had worked on it for a year, I would still be finding fault with something or other, so I´ll just enjoy my Rhino as he is.
During this lockdown period, I´ve been quite busy making a fabric Rhino collage, but I also took a few breaks from this very ongoing project and made a table runner and 4 blocks that will eventually be a small wall hanging.
The table runner is made up of 4 flower blocks, the pattern is from Julie Cefalu at The Crafty Quilter, Here who very graciously shared it as a free pattern. I think it´s ever so cute and now sits on my center table.
The 4 blocks are from Jacquelynne Steves´ happy little things BOM from last year, Here I made the blocks smaller though and fussy cut the centers. I still want to add sashing before I quilt and bind. Looking forward to having this tiny quilt hanging on my wall.
Oooh and I almost forgot that as a fun project I decorated a roof tile, painted, added Windows, door, flower pots, dog and cat, and of course roof tiles 🙂
This was so fun, now it hangs outside my front door.
Well, I´m off to work on my mammoth Rhino collage, thanks for popping by, have a great day!
I had so much of the jelly roll fabric that I used for the Happy Jelly roll Quilt , that I made a lap quilt for myself, this time however I made it using pinwheel blocks. That´s the wonderful thing about HST, they are so versatile and can make so many different types of blocks.
This one came together quite quickly, and I only wavy quilted along the horizontal, vertical and diagonals lines of the blocks.
During this very professional photo shoot 😉 Ollie insisted on photo bombing each photo, good thing too, as it adds some interest to the photo.
And of course, Oscar, as usual, got a bit jealous and also rushed to be in one of the photos.
Now my new quilt hangs on the quilt ladder in the lounge.