Jacks’ Portrait

I finally found the courage to venture into the world of art quilts. After a lot of procrastination, such as tiding the workspace a few times, dusting the sewing machine a bunch of times…I just sort of dived in without the due attention that it merited. I wanted to start with a portrait quilt of one of my dogs,  however, I didn’t choose the best photo for either, I just picked a photo randomly without the notion of which pose etc. might be the best for a textile rendering….. Lesson number 1 has been learnt. Jack´s pose in this photo is not the best, it has a lot of depth, which makes it harder to portray.

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I actually began the Portrait of my other dog Oscar first, because he´s a shaggy brown dog and so I thought it would be easier, but then I put him aside and started Jack because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was going to portray a totally white short-haired dog, and I always like to get the difficult stuff over with first.

This is a quick summary of how I did it. I took the photo, enlarged it to an A4 (page size) and then using a lightbox traced the major outlines and shadow lines to another paper, then took that to our local copy store and had them enlarge it. Using a sharpie I traced the enlarged image to a thin muslin type fabric. ….Lesson number 2, ……use a waterproof sharpie because when I changed my mind about a piece of fabric and had to squirt water to loosen the glue, the ink smudged all over the muslin and the fabric pieces, and on light coloured fabric that is definitely a no no.

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The interesting part comes next, which is choosing bits of fabric, cutting it, gluing it, and thereby creating the image. I spent quite a bit of time reading Susan Carlson´s blog Here she´s such a fantastic teacher.

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The background was particularly difficult for me, I just didn’t know what to do., I messed around a bit, changed my mind a bunch of times, and eventually just settled for what you see here, red squares portraying the floor, and a different upper fabric. The red part is covered with red tulle and the upper part with black tulle, I stipple quilted with matching thread.

I also made the background to big… lesson number 3, …..know which size the finished work should be, so I don´t waste time and fabric. I bought a canvas from the local store and attached the quilt to it by folding over the sides and stapling it to the back, so it´s nicely stretched.

And there you have it, all done!

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I showed it to Jacke and his friend Ollie, They think it´s kind of ok 🙂

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Christmas Tree Runner

So, I´ve been wanting to sew with tulle, or netting if you prefer for quite a while, and since  Christmas is here, I thought it might be a good time to join the 2, Christmas and tulle.

I saw this cute table runner from Addy Lou Creates here, so I made a version of that pattern,  3 different fabrics for each tree.

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Then I added the tulle on top, this is a very fine tulle with fine gold glitter.20191026_151604

Free motioned crazy patterns on top of each section of the trees and stippled the background.

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I don´t know quite what I was thinking when I decided to add the stripes in the middle if I had a redo, I wouldn’t do that at all, but oh well, now it´s done. I  found that the tulle does mute the colours of the fabric quite a bit, but is actually far easier to work with than I expected.

So now it´s Christmas time, and I have a new table runner to display 🙂

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Wishing all a blessed happy Christmas!

Mini Quilt

Just finished the cutest little mini quilt ever! I found the pattern at Flamingo Toes by Beverly Mccullough, here and I just fell in love with it, I loved the black and white theme with the dots of colour. So I was very, very uncreative and made mine the same.

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Also because I have never embroidered in my life, It was an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to make french knots and embroider the birdy, I actually can’t believe I managed to make the bird, when I tried the first time it kind of looked like a huge alien vulture, so I ditched the embroidery floss and used normal sewing thread.

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I really love this project and can see myself making another with different coloured houses.

Thanks for stopping by this neighbourhood 🙂

Almost Black on White

As promised in my last post, I  finally hung up my latest quilt. The proof is, of course, the usual bad photos presented here 🙂

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The pattern is Five Smalls Crib Quilt by Kacia Hosmer, I bought it from Modern patchwork. It was just what I was looking for, simple yet striking! I just made mine wider and shortened the length.

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Every quilt I´ve made so far has taught me something, this one taught me that when using just 2 tones, every little mistake is glaringly obvious, there are no patterns or shades of colour to distract the eye, ….nope… every square that is not exactly pieced, jumps up and hits you in the eyeball! But it´s all a learning curve, next time I´ll know to be more precise in my seams and cutting.

I absolutely love it, it´s one of my favorites so far.

Free Motion Quilting

At the beginning of the year, I chanced upon a Quilt-along by Karen from Redbird Quilts here I´ve been wanting to practice free motion quilting for a long time but didn’t want to mess up any of my pieced quilts. So when I saw this quilt-along using a panel, and such a cute panel it is, from Susybee, I knew this was the perfect opportunity I´d been waiting for.

So off I went looking to buy the Lew the Ewe panel, but as usual here in Portugal where I live, there was nothing, Quilting is not really a thing here. My options were to order online from overseas, but postage costs from the States are crazy, and even from the UK it was just too expensive, I opted to buy the Hildy the Goat panel also from Susybee from Italy, and try to adapt the free motion quilting to this panel.

Well, I must say the whole experience was very interesting, I had never sewn with 12wt Aurifil thread before, which of course, I also had to order from overseas…..Maybe I should just move overseas 😊, hopefully, one day I will find Aurifil thread in this country. Well anyway, I love the look of the 12wt thread, it´s so bold and adds great dimension to the quilt, I used it to highlight the clouds and on the borders, will definitely be using it again in the future.

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Ok so my free motion pebbles are a little rugged and wobbly, and my meandering across the grass is more of a lurching along the grass 😃 still it was rather fun, I also tried the swirls shape in the sashing between the squares. During the swirls, my thread kept breaking in spite of me trying new and different size needles, so I didn´t have the heart to try sewing feathers, because I knew this pleasant experience would turn out to be a frustrating one instead, so on the outside border, I just quilted my usual wavy lines.

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So here is the panel all finished, or as finished as I wanted it to be, you´ll notice I didn’t quilt the sky, in this case, I thought less was more, well that’s what I´m telling myself anyway 😊

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So, what have I taken from this experience? Well, I´m very happy I tried it, and now I know that if I practice some more, I will actually be able to sew great looking pebbles and meander along like a pro. Having said that, I don’t think I have the patience for this type of free motion quilting, it would require too much of my time and I get easily frustrated, and I still don´t understand why my thread kept breaking during the swirls. So I think for now I´ll stick to my straight lines and occasional wavy line quilting.

This gorgeous panel is now meandering off, to hang on my 2-year-old granddaughter’s room, she really likes the goats and bees 🙂

 

 

 

Table Runner

This weekend I finished a new table runner. Initially, I was going to make it with Dresden triangles. I got the idea from Mama love QuiltsHere I cut and sewed the 2 rows, however, once I had finished sewing them together, I hated the way it looked.

I wanted the runner to have an ethnic feel to it, but because I had chosen so many busy fabrics, it was just too overwhelming.

Here is a photo of one of the rows, before I cut it in half.

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Not wanting to scrap the whole project, I decided to cut one of the rows in half, flip them around and sew white borders around and in between. For the binding I used one of the fabrics, the orange-green with the yellow flowers, this fabric is a batik from Mozambique. The quilting is straight narrow lines, still my favorite method of quilting.

I am actually very happy with the result, it´s colourful and bright, with the ethnic touch I was looking for.

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Not quite sure what I am going to do with the leftover row, I might just cut it into smallish squares add some solids and make placemats, but right now I have a few other projects in hand so that will have to wait.

Thanks for the visit, have a great day!

 

All about Pillows

It´s all about pillows!

It´s been a while since I´ve been here, it´s been kind of hectic, I’ve basically finished up a few projects and started others, so I have a few WIP – works in progress.

Here is one of my finished projects, matching pillows for the quilt I made for my granddaughter, you can see it Here.

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I really enjoyed making these pillows, I used leftover blocks and scraps, made them into pillow covers with binding around them, I think the binding gives it a great finished look.

I also had some unfinished blocks from the Tulip parade wall hanging Here, that had been on my design wall forever, so my daughter the other day suggested that I incorporate them into bright pillowcases for her. So I went ahead and used plain red fabric for the background and finished up 2 cushion covers in a jiffy, and here they are.

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Thanks for listening to my Pillow talk 😉 have a great day!

Doll crib and quilt

I have a very old doll crib that my girls played with when they were little, it´s been sitting in the garage for years gathering dust, but now it´s time to be played with once again. I am gifting it to my granddaughter, who is almost 2.

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But first this little cot needed a little makeover, so I painted it white with chalk paint, I love chalk paint, it´s so user-friendly, the washing up is a breeze, and I just love the finish. I must admit I didn’t spend too much time in the prep work, so it´s still a little rustic with the odd crack here and there, but I don´t think dolly will mind too much 🙂

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Once the crib was painted, I made the mattress, just some polyester wadding, and a basic slipcover, made the pillow, and then the quilt.

Crazy as it sounds, this little quilt was the one I most loved making to date, it was probably because I wasn´t stressing about perfect seams etc, I used old scraps of fabric, I even had a giggle while basting, what a pleasure to stand and baste this little cutie, and not have to crawl around the floor like usual. If you´re wondering what the spoon is for, I use it to help close the safety pins, I saw this on a youtube video once, and it´s a great tip.

The quilting is a simple wavy lines along the seams.

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Everything just lined up perfectly, and it´s all just so cute!

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And here is Isabella playing with her new dolly 🙂

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What a fun project this has been!

Happy Jelly Roll Quilt

Well, I finally finished the jelly roll quilt that I started ages ago! It´s the biggest quilt I´ve made so far, it´s for my granddaughter’s bed which is a single bed, but I want the quilt to reach the floor on either side, so it´s quite big. My behind the scenes helpers had a bit of a problem in holding up the quilt properly, and there was a fair amount of moaning and complaining going on 😀

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Initially, I bought a roll of  Heather Bailey – Nicey Jane collection, but then I had to buy another roll to finish the quilt, but I still have loads of strips left over to make matching cushions or whatever, I haven’t decided it.

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The backing is a plain cotton bed sheet. I needed to cut down on the cost of fabric and the work in having to piece the fabric to the size of the quilt top, so a sheet was the answer for me, bought a king size sheet and trimmed it to size.

The binding is a lime colored Kona solid. The quilting is straight lines on the white background, I didn’t quilt the jelly roll strips, because I want it to pop out a bit.

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I´m quite pleased with how it turned out, the colors are bright and airy, and will make for a happy room.

20181209_143318Thanks for the visit, Have a bright happy day.

 

 

Pencil Pouches

This weekend I sewed up 3 pencil pouches, but one I gifted away so quickly that I forgot to take a photo 🙂 I gave it to my daughter who started a new job.

For myself, I made a very simple flat pouch so that I can just carry a few pencils and an eraser to my piano lessons and it needs to fit inside a folder. This is the easiest pouch ever to make, I found the tutorial here 

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The other I made, just because I wanted to use up scraps, I still have left over from my granddaughter´s backpack. Since she´s only 22 months old, I´ll keep it until she goes to school, which won´t be for a while Haha. 🙂 Actually, it´s a nice pouch to carry a fabric rotary cutter, scissors etc.

Thanks for the visit, have a lovely day!