Rhino Fabric Collage

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.

This and That

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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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This was so fun, now it hangs outside my front door.

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Well, I´m off to work on my mammoth Rhino collage, thanks for popping by, have a great day!

Pinwheel block Quilt

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.

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And of course, Oscar, as usual, got a bit jealous and also rushed to be in one of the photos.

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Now my new quilt hangs on the quilt ladder in the lounge.

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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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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!