Monday 30 September 2013

Music bag - WIP

Making my daughter a bag to take her piano music to lessons.  Free-motion embroidery, raw-edge applique.   My ability is trailing behind what I wanted to achieve, but I'm having fun!

Saturday 28 September 2013

Beach Finds - Holiday Memories Mini Quilt

You have a whole week left so it's not too late to enter the Holiday Memories Mini Quilt (or bag or cushion) competition hosted by Fiona at Celtic Stitches - such a great idea for a competition because there are so many ways different people can take inspiration and run with it which makes looking at entries such fun.  The quilts and cushions linked up already are fantastic.

Celtic Thistle Stitches   

The memory which inspired my entry was one of the best days of our summer holiday.  We spent a lovely day on the beach with three generations of family in Bute (posted here).

My nephew helped me pebble hunt.

I thought I'd make a mini quilt of our finds, using brown, grey and off-white Oakshott scraps left over from a current rather larger WIP  because, as you can see, I'm a bit obsessed with the loveliness of pebbles which always make their way home with us...

The grainy Oakshott is perfect for the texture of the pebbles which are all pieced, except the one with a circle on it which is reverse applique using the Bondaweb method I used for a cushion.  They are appliqued to the background (Klona white  - I tried different sandy coloured fabrics but the effect was a bit sludgy and I love the crispness of Klona).  It seemed right to pebble quilt round them - not very competently as it's the first time I've used a proper FM foot - including some wavy lines to represent the ripples you get from trickles through sand.

I sneaked in one tiny clamshell for the hell of it.

I bound it with scraps of the same fabric but left parts of the binding white to let the trickles flow across the quilt unimpeded.

Disasters (luckily minor) with this quilt were failing to remember that Warm and Natural batting has a good side (in the wrong light you can see the little cotton seeds or whatever they are, through the white) and stabbing myself really hard with the needle when putting on the binding  - luckily the bloodstains are on the back!

Oakshott, from the Lipari and Minerals ranges, and Klona cotton
Warm and Natural batting
Scrappy binding
Gutermann threads
Pebble and wavy line quilting
23 x 23 inches

Please visit and even enter the competition at Celtic Thistle Stitches!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

WIP Wednesday

I am catching up on WIPs, and determined to get this one done.

This is the stripey stones quilt I started way back when and is so far made entirely of Oakshott cottons.   As you can see from the wrinkles most of it has spent summer in a box.

I am not sure about what colour to do the remaining pebbles.  I had in my mind a perfect blue-grey but have not been able to find a suitable shot cotton - if anyone knows of one I would be very grateful to hear of it.   I did find a Kaffe Fassett one, but it is rather too fine compared to the Oakshott, so I may have to stick to the existing colours.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Afternoon of fail

Sometimes the ideas in your head don't quite make it out.

This was intended for the Textile ATC swap at Very Berry Handmade but not only has it turned out too big, but youngest sprog thought it was an apple, and the husband thought it was a pumpkin.  It's obviously chestnut good enough (boom tish).

Monday 23 September 2013

Zipped Liberty Pouches

Despite a day of pouch rage last week, I managed to get it together in the end.

The pouch is quilted, with the Liberty panel stitched in the ditch (or meant to be - oh the satisfaction when it works!).  The border was sewn with seed stitch and each colour overlaps the last and the next so there's a kind of rainbow shift in colour as it goes round.

It's lined with some of the ancient fabric I used for Komebukuro bag 2.  I wish I could find more in this colour.

And, along with a few goodies, it's going off to a new home where I hope its owner likes it and doesn't notice any of the flaws (huge mistake to make a first pouch for somebody else.)

The second one took about a quarter of the time to assemble and has also gone off to a new home.

Fresh Poppy Design

Thursday 19 September 2013

Sewing a pouch - random lessons for the day

  • Lining fabric is a slippery bugger.  Now is the time to break the habit of a life-time and pin.
  • Is your zipper the right way up?  Really?  Are you sure?
  • The hole required to turn a pouch is larger than you think it is.
  • Chocolate consumption goes up in direct correlation to the number of times required to unpick.
  • Sewing faster when the bobbin is running low doesn't mean you will get to the end of a row of stitching before it runs out.  Though it should.
  • It is sometimes better to sew hopefully than to arrive.

Edited to add: Back from the brink.  Pouch didn't have to go in the bin.  Phew.

Linking up to Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Komebukuro bag 2

I've finished a second komebukuro bag.

Again it is made of Liberty from the lovely Ali of Very Berry Fabrics and Essex yarn-dyed linen.

The drawstrings are made of claret (burgundy? shiraz?!) ribbon.  I love the way the colour picks up the colour of some of the flowers.

And this one is lined with a remnant of claret lining fabric I found in my cupboard.  I've probably had it about 20 years - hoarding vindicated!

It's not quite as bright a colour as it looks in the lovely sunshine we are having today in the pic above.

This bag is about seven inches square and could hold a stack of precious fat quarters - as it's essentially a cube it opens right up so you can easily put things in or take them out.

It folds nicely at the top when the drawstrings are pulled - maybe it's also nice enough for a trip out once in a while!   Here it is enjoying the sunshine with an astrantia (variety Hadspen blood) in my garden!

Sunday 15 September 2013

Calling Slow Bloggers

Today is the day when all Slow Bloggers are invited to join in the monthly linky party.  You don't have to be a permanently slow blogger - if you have had a fast month and been craftily creative join in and celebrate your achievements here whether you made one thing, or a whole mosaic load.  Or tell us what else you've been up to if real life has been taking up your time.

The aim of the Slow Blog manifesto is to take the pressure off, so you don't have to worry about falling out of the loop - so link up here, and link up anywhere else you like - and I don't want it to be just about me, me, me, so if you'd like to host one of the monthly linky parties, just let me know:-)

This is what I've been up to:

taken some walks in the countryside, bought a new sewing machine, attended the Stitch Gathering, learned how to make crazy patchwork, sorted out my stash, been photobombed by a cat, visited the Scottish parliament, seen the Great Tapestry of Scotland, made a Liberty komebukuro bag.

[edited to add you can read more about the Tapestry of Scotland here, and about Jo's group's contribution on her blog here - Jo's group's panel is shown in my photo bottom row second from left, and another image from the tapestry top left.  It's amazing!]

Your turn!  

Monday 9 September 2013

East Meets West - Liberty Komebukuro Bag

Over the last couple of posts I've shared pics of a work in progress.  This project started a while back when Ali offered some of her beautiful Liberty fabric to anyone who would like to try out a particular idea, and I wrote asking for a Maxi Scrap Pack.  I'd been thinking for a while about a bag I wanted to make, and here it is!  (Sorry for the picture heavy post.)

My bag was inspired by an interest in Japanese textiles and embroidery (a shout-out to Cynthia who fuelled this interest with her fascinating posts from Japan).

In particular I'm interested in boro and its relationship to English crazy patchwork in the way they both aim to use scraps of fabric to make a larger piece of usable cloth.   Boro fabrics are often stitched using a large sashiko running stitch and English crazy patchwork is often embellished using a variety of decorative stitches.

I thought it would be fun to unite two cultures in a Japanese style komebukuro bag (traditionally used to carry rice) made using English crazy patchwork panels made of Liberty tana lawn.

I used some of the stitches on my new sewing machine to embellish the crazy patchwork, and running stitches in different shades of Perle 8 to quilt the 'sashing' which was made with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.  Each side has a different colour of quilting (thanks commenters on my last post:-)

It has a cotton lining made using some Dorothy from the Liberty Bloomsbury range, which I was lucky to get in my Stitch Gathering goodie bag.

I didn't want to use it all, so I supplemented part of it with some plain cotton at the bottom.

The tabs are made of red grosgrain ribbon.

A piece of yellow ribbon pulls the tabs together.

I had difficulty photographing it in a way that does it justice and wish I had finished it at the weekend where the jewel-like colours of the Liberty would have looked lovely in this setting!

Thanks to my local B&B for the use of their garden instead:-)  Passers by on their way to the bus stop must have wondered what the idiot lying on the patio was doing.

I'm really happy with this bag and I think the Liberty goes beautifully with linen but it also teams up well with Klona, or Oakshott and I'm in the middle of making two smaller bags pairing it with different fabrics.

You'll find a tutorial for one way of making a komebukuro bag on the Oakshott website but the process I used was different and I'll post about it, and another alternative method, soon.

Thank you Ali, for the luxury of an opportunity to experiment!


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