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.

IMG_3983

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.

IMG_3872IMG_3923

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

Autumn Nine Patch

When I started this quilting adventure, one of my best friends mentioned how she would like a quilt in autumn tones, so for her upcoming birthday, I decided I would gift her with one.

Because as usual I am pressed for time and the quilt had to be all done in time for her birthday, I went ahead with a simple 9 patch disappearing quilt top. I couldn’t help myself and added some green blocks, in autumn you can still find bright green leaves right?  The binding is a scrappy one, and the quilting is simple wavy lines, the quilting is quite spaced out because I want the quilt to have loft and be supple.

I did have a few hiccups along the way, I bought beige background fabric at our local market, where I was assured that it was 100% cotton bla bla. But when I started ironing the seams of the sewn up blocks, the fabric literally shrunk before my eyes, pulling at the printed fabrics. Very frustrating. I had to unpick everything and buy new fabric, soooo… a lot of wasted time and money.

But all´s well that ends well, I finished the quilt ahead of time and hopefully my friend Amanda will like it.

Here it is.

IMG_E3031[1]

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

 

 

The Purple One!

A while back a friend of mine asked me for a purple quilt. I kept putting it off because purple is just not my colour! and also because my time is so scarce, and I had other projects in mind, so I couldn´t summon up the enthusiasm to make it. But then the universe conspired against my unwillingness to make this quilt.

Another very good friend from Mozambique come for a visit and brought some batiks for me, and wouldn´t you believe it, 2 of them were in purple hues! A week later when I was at our nearby seaside village São Pedro de Moel, that on Sundays has a few stalls, and when I say few I really mean few, it´s usually just the 2 that sell the same thing 🙂 identical clothes! Anyway, the one stall is owned by a Senegalese couple, and lo and behold  they had a purple and yellow batik! So I got myself some, and that’s when I knew I would have to make the quilt. I bought another 3 purple fabrics, 2 of them solids.

Here is a photo I took of São Pedro de Moel, a few years ago. It´s very pretty, the photo doesn´t do it justice.

DSC_0379

Anyway, I decided to make it using the scrappy trip method. So although I only had 6 different types of fabric, I went ahead with this method on the Purple One…. Shame, that’s what I called it all the time, The Purple One! in the beginning it was really not very loved, but over time it started to grow on me, and as I put it together I started to like the purple combinations more and more.

IMG_2550

Initially I was just going to bind the quilt without making borders, but it really would have been quite boring, so I added the two white borders and the pieced border in-between. I think the borders changed the whole look of the quilt and it turned out quite nice. I  quilted with wavy lines in a cream coloured thread.  I was going to use purple thread, but wanted the white borders to have a clean look, so I used the cream, for the back I just used a plain white fabric.

DSC_0527

 

 

DSC_0532

So finally I was all finished and in love with my purple quilt, and off it went into the Washing machine, threw in some color catcher sheets, used detergent for mixed colors…… and would you BELIEVE IT! ….The quilt lines on the back were stained purple, everywhere that the Senegalese batik and the darker solid purple were. Well… thats it, I am officially back to hating purple, this quilt has taken its revenge!

IMG_2798[1]

I´ve always been told not to pre-wash fabrics when quilting, but if I had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. After this disaster I took a swatch of both fabrics, quilted them and put them in bowls of water with detergent, and this is what happened, the dark purple bled into the water, and the batik did not, however after drying, the batik had the quilt lines stained and the dark fabric not! How confusing is that!!?? I think I´ll have to take up another hobby, it´s very frustrating to spend hours and days on a project, in my case months, because I have so little time, and then this sort of thing happens. I don´t know whether to scream or cry.

Here you can see how the bowl that had the batik is clear, but how the colour bled in the plain purple quilted swatch, and yet it´s the batik that bled to the thread.

 

Has this ever happened to any of you? If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Parade Quilt

Finished my elephant parade quilt! I came across this pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts – Lorna is an absolute genius when it comes to patterns, especially animal patterns. When I saw this pattern I just knew I had to make it, it just reminds me sooo much of home!

IMG_2528[1]

For the big Ellies I used a batik fabric that I have had for over 20 years, it was bought in Mozambique, and in my younger days, when I didn’t have any money to buy Picasso, it hung on my lounge wall, actually I still don’t have money to buy Picasso 😉 somethings never change…..Anyway since I grew out of my  bohemian decorating style, the batik has been  packed away, so now I took it out and with some sadness at cutting it up, and yet… happy that it was getting a new revamped life, I went ahead and cut it up.

IMG_2555

I must say that I was worried, that It would be too hard to make and that I would lose heart, but Lorna´s instructions are so precise and easy to follow that I made it, Yay me!

 

IMG_2556

 

I quilted with wavy lines, and because I wanted some loft  I spaced them 5cm apart (2 inches), for the binding I used both fabrics from the Elephants, big and small.

I´m gifting this quilt to my daughter Andi, who loves animals especially elephants.

I must say that making this quilt was a wonderful challenge, I love the way it all come together, and will probably try my hand at the giraffe pattern soon.

Thank you for visiting!

Baby Sashed Quilt

Once I found out I´m going to be a grandmother, the burning question was… Is the baby a girl or boy? While we waited for baby to grow a bit, so we could find out during the scan, I made a few items in greens and yellows, but what I really wanted to make, was a quilt for the cot. So as soon as we found out that baby is a girl, I jumped into action and bought the material.

I got some of the fabrics from IKEA, and some beautiful Tilda fabric.

I don´t really like to make major measuring decisions, I sort of just go along and see how things evolve 🙂 and when I figure it´s big enough I stop!

So here is how I made the quilt.

Cut strips of the various fabrics into 21 cm by 7 cm, allowing for 0.5 cm seams.

img_1629

Join the strips in batches of 3, using different strips all the time, the aim is to try to get as much diversity as possible, of course this all depends on how many different varieties of fabric you have.

img_1665

Once the strips are sewn together, cut them in 2 horizontally, so you land up with 3 strips of smaller blocks.

And then mix and match these smaller strips with others and sews 3 of them together to form a new block.

Because I didn´t know which strips I was going to join together, I ironed all the seams open.

This little tool you see here, is actually a black head remover that I bought from Avon! But I find that it works brilliantly as a sewing helper in keeping the seams open during sewing. 🙂

img_1642

Cut the strips for the sashing, which in this case are 17cm x 7cm (which will allow for 1 cm seams) and squares for the corner blocks 7cm x 7cm.  sew  small squares to the white strips for the sashing between the rows, horizontal or vertical, whichever you prefer.

img_1671

I always try to chain piece as much as possible

img_1674

So you land up with a long string of sashing parts, then just cut the thread between each.img_1675

Once your blocks are sewn,  sew a strip of the white sashing to one side of the block, always add to the same side of the blocks, either the bottom or the lateral side

img_1655

Then add the  sashing  with the corner square to the block. I ironed the sashing seams to one side. Alway try to iron towards the dark side,  although sometimes  this isn´t possible.

img_1678

Here you can see the white sashing at the bottom of the blocks and on the top left corner, the sashing on the side already sewn to the block. In order to keep my blocks in the manner that I found most pleasing I pinned the number of the block to each, because I can easily get lost when I am busing sewing and ironing the seams.

img_1672

Once the blocks have the sashing,  sew them together to form rows, and then  sew the rows together.

img_1687

To the top and bottom row, sew a strip of sashing.

img_1689

Right…. So when you have the top all sewn….whew… must say, on my very basic sewing machine and sewing at night, it took me a while! But all worth it 🙂 ….Well now you know why my photos are sometimes quite dark, I mainly sew at night and also my sewing room is in an attic room with a smallish skylight window!

Cut the batting so that some of it is visible all around the top.

img_1704

And cut the backing so that is a little wider than the batting.

img_1708

Before joining the backing, I appliqued a square of fabric of Alice in Wonderland to the backing, just to make sure that baby always knows that Granny Alice made this quilt 🙂

img_1707

Then you have to make sure that the 3 layers are smooth using safety pins to pin, pin and pin, the more you pin the easier it is to keep the layers together without shifting during sewing.

I  quilted using zig zag stitching along the seams of the sashing, I love zig zag it´s so forgiving of little mistakes.

img_1709

 

Here is the top

img_1713

img_1775

And here is the back.

img_1720

Next step is the binding, I wanted a little something extra before the final binding, so I cut  6 cm wide strips of contrasting fabric, joined the strips on the diagonal,  folded and ironed in half, just like a  binding strip.

img_1722

I sewed the strip to the front of the quilt, just like a normal binding strip, but I did not fold it to the back of the quilt. i left it loose on the right side

img_1727

I then made the binding 8 cm wide with the same fabric as the sashing squares and attached the binding to the quilt. For a great binding tutorial go to (https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/09/how-to-bind-quilts/ ) I left the batting around the quilt +- 4cm, so that when folding over the binding it had the fullness of the batting.

img_1759

Hand sewing is not my favorite thing,  but in this case it was the best option to sew the back of the binding to the quilt

img_1756

And there you have it. Baby quilt all done. Of course Hubby also had to do his bit, so his job was to hold up the quilt for the final photos 🙂 Now he wants all the credit!

img_1763

img_1765

Well thats the quilt all done, now it just needs to be washed and placed in the cot, to wait for baby´s arrival….Cant´wait!!

Placemats

I recently decided to make placemats for my daughter Andi.

So off I went shopping. I fell in love with some bright ethnic looking fabric, and opted to pair it with just 2 other colors, purple and mustard.

Wanting the colors to really pop, I chose black for the binding.

I decided to make the back of the placemat different from the front, so I made it predominately black with strips of the printed fabric.

For the front, I cut the squares 13 x 13 cm allowing for 1 cm seams, so the finished squares were 11 x 11cm. The final length of the placemat was 55cm

capturar_1

For the back I cut the following strips, allowing for 1 cm seams.

2 black 7cm x 33

1 black 5cm x 33

I black 27 cm x 33

1 Print 6 cm x 33

2 Print 7cm x 33

capturar

So…. To make the placemats, you just sew the front squares together in whichever manner pleases you.

img_1486

To make the back, join the strips.

img_1480

Attach a layer of interfacing in between the top and bottom using safety pins to keep it all in place. I did a quick zig zag around the edges to join the 3 layers.

Then you just bind the placemats. I used black strips of 6cm to make the binding and used the machine to bind the front and back.

img_16121

At the back I pinned all around and machine sewed the inner edge of the binding in black. thread.

img_1613

 

And there you have it, quick and easy placemats 🙂

img_16251

Baby Quilt

Since I´m a newbie in this patchwork / quilting adventure, I don´t really have a stock of fabrics. Where I live, fabric choices are very limited, and not wanting to travel a 100 km, I bought 7 types of fabric. I didn´t want it to be only in shades of blue, so I also chose yellow and white, I also fell in love with a fabric that had balloons etc, not realizing that when I cut it into small squares, it mainly showed up the pink ….. oops,… oh well,… every man needs a little  pink in his life…. I went ahead with the fabric choice.

I wanted the quilt to be a postage stamp, so I cut strips of fabric 6 cm wide, this will allow me to have 0.5cm seams, and have 5cm finished squares.

After sewing the strips of fabric, I cut them up into 6 cm wide rows, thereby getting the 3 sets of squares below.

img_1189

I ironed the seems in the rows in alternate directions so that I could nest them when joining the rows.

img_1192

I find I can align the squares better when I nest the seams, rather than when I iron the seams open, that’s not to say I always manage the magic of perfect alignment, many times my squares just don´t want to line up. Sewing is my zen time, so I don´t stress too much when this happens, a wonky square here or there is not life changing.

img_1197

I always pin as close as possible to the seam line.

Below are the nested seams.

img_1196

Here is the first row of blocks.

img_1193

Here are the 2 sets of rows sewn together. You can see on the last row that 2 last squares are really very badly aligned, I actually unpicked these and redid them, these were just to wonky even for me.

img_1194

I then sewed 2 borders of white and blue of different widths, just to make it a little diferent.

img_1162

Added the batting and zig-zagged the front to the batting all around to hold it in place.

I did the backing and binding at the same time, that is,  I used the same piece of fabric for the binding. I folded the sides of the backing twice and mitred the corners to achieve the binding strip at the front.

img_1166

At the back, all you see is the sewing line from sewing the backing/binding in the front.

img_1174

Before sewing the backing I apliqued a little square of a “Alice in Wonderland fabric”, so that no-one would ever forget that it was an Alice that made this quilt 🙂

img_1172

Since I have a very basic and inexpensive sewing machine, quilting is not an option, unless it´s straight lines so I decided to leave the quilt as is. The binding looks a little ruched, but once it was washed and ironed, it looked perfectly fine, but I forgot to take a photo before giving it away.

And here is the finished product… Yipee… my first ever baby Quilt.

img_1171