Wednesday 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, hello 2015

Time to say goodbye to 2014.

This year I made a handful of quilts.  Still not the fastest worker in the West, but not too shabby.

Clockwise from top left: More is More,  Leaves, freestyle New York Beauty, Square Peg, Fragment II, Fragment I, Big Red TrianglesWalk, Don't Walk

There were also some other makes - a couple of Artist Trading cards, and a handful of things made for, and at, the Stitch Gathering.

Clockwise from top:  Winter Sparkle ATC, front of bag for Stitch Gathering swap, tote bag, Bass Rock ATC, back of bag for Stitch Gathering swap, name tag for my secret partner

I'm gradually working out what is 'me' so it's all good and it's exciting to plan for the year ahead.

Last year's resolutions:

Get fit again [fail]
Eat more fruit [fail]
Try not to worry what other people think [partial success]
Do something creative every day [hysterical laughter]

This year's resolutions:

Get fit again
Eat more fruit
Try not to worry what other people think
Do something creative at least once a week

Time to look forward to 2015.

To anyone who reads these witterings and to those whose friendly support and encouragement is so valued I'd like to wish you a very

Happy New Year!

Friday 12 December 2014

Fragment II

Hello Blog, I have been neglecting you a bit.  Life at the moment seems to be one never-ending round of pre-Christmas obligations and that's just the children's stuff.

In the time I have to myself I am still following the current obsession with Oakshott pieces.  Here is Fragment II.

I have found a new wall on which to stick my quilts!  I love its texture with its crackled render and it matches what I was trying to say with the quilt.

Like Fragment No I this quilt is made from scraps of Oakshott Rubies, pieced together into strips which are then curve-pieced together, and Essex Yarn-dyed linen.  I wanted the Oakshott to look like something very precious which had been rescued and patched onto the linen.  For this reason I left the edges of the Oakshott raw as they are actually very beautiful like the lovely fringed selvage of the Essex linen.

I quilted this using the same little crosses as before, but in an Aurifil embroidery floss instead of quilting thread - it has a bit more clout to it.

It is always so difficult to catch the colour and radiance of shot cotton but the light was just right today, so I had to take lots of pictures.

Monday 1 December 2014

Very Berry Handmade ATC Swap - Winter Sparkle

Once again I'm taking part in the Artist Trading Card swap hosted by Ali Very Berry Handmade.  The theme for this swap is Winter Sparkle.  I was all set with one idea but when I was riffling through my fabric I came across a tiny remnant of robin fabric that I'd bought last year and forgotten about, so I got distracted.

It's not at all what I had originally planned so I think I'll probably have a go at the first idea too.  It took me a while to understand why ATCs are so addictive but now I'm completely hooked on the challenge of tiny pictures.

Winter Textile ATC Swap Starts Here!

Sunday 16 November 2014

Slow Blog Linky - it's all in the details.

Welcome Slow Bloggers, it's that time of the month.

It's been quite a full month in the Knotted household.  Sprogs and I went away for half term - no prizes for guessing where we went first.

Yup. London.  We visited the Cutty Sark - a tea clipper built ten years or so before my house.

She is a beautiful ship.  If you are a fan of the novels of Patrick O'Brian, can you imagine Preserved Killick brewing up the rat-shit coffee in this pantry?

The Cutty Sark is named for the outfit worn by the witch in Robert Burns's poem Tam O'Shanter, and  here is the witch herself, still clutching poor Maggie's tail.

Our holiday was full of contrasts and comparisons.  I loved the Cutty Sark's beautiful rigging

and here is something entirely more modern.

We got a boat up the Thames to check out the London Eye....

...threw financial caution to the wind, and went up.  It was so worth it, even on a dark and stormy day, for fantastic views.  That's Westminster down below - you could see for miles.

From London to the Sussex countryside.  We visited a tiny local church where we spotted this in the medieval floor tiles.

Don't you wonder about the person who decided to cheekily imortalize themselves in this way?  There were other details in this simple church, like this:

and the ancient stag, who supports one corner of the whole building from his position in the bottom of a drain.

These details were modest compared to the ones on Canterbury Cathedral.  Its vastness can't be conveyed by a photo, and every surface was embellished.

Even the details had details.

Inside was just as awesome.

Once we were back from half-term, I made two quilts which I like

and one abject failure, because my hapless attempt at quilting completely cocked this up (thank you so much Maureen for the expression "crud balls":-)  

So that's my month - what about you?  If you'd like to share what you've been doing crafty, or otherwise, over the last month, please do link up. I'd love to see!

Wednesday 12 November 2014

On Failure

I quilted Murmuration and it was a disaster! It looks so awful that I can't bring myself to post a picture of it here:-)  It is not salvageable because I don't think the raw edge applique will survive unpicking.  It's only a quilt, but I was a bit despondent - then I cheered up because at least with every thing that doesn't work I am finding out what does, and learning more about what I like in the process.

There are two ways to go after this - one is to chalk it down to experience and let it go, and the other is to leave the idea simmering for a bit and then try to come at it from a different angle - which is what I'm going to do.

Monday 10 November 2014

WIP - Murmuration

I spent the weekend working on this.

I know pretty much how I want to quilt it, but am too scared so I am procrastinating.

An accidental photograph, but I like it.

Monday 3 November 2014


I really like Oakshott cotton and hoard all the little bits left over from other projects. 

At the weekend, I sorted these by size.  

There were some oddly shaped triangles, no bigger than 2 inches on the longest side, trimmed from my Leaves quilt, and just for fun I started sewing them together into random squares without trimming them.  

I sewed the squares into strips, again without trimming, and curve-pieced the resulting uneven strips together.  That was followed with some curved sashing in yarn-dyed essex linen, and a bit of echo machine quilting in red Aurifil for the Oakshott.   Then I used Gutermann hand-quilting thread to sew rustic crosses in the sashing - I wanted something vaguely medieval to contrast with and complement the sumptuousness of the shot cotton.

It is approximately 12 by 14 inches, so only a small thing.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - More is More

I am entering a second quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival - it's a finish of earlier this year so apologies to those who have already read about it ad nauseam before.    I'm putting this one in the Large Quilts category, where it is in the company of some amazing quilts.

It was made for a child living in a children's home in Mexico City, which I learned about on Alison's blog Little Island Quilting - you can read more about her "Soy Amado/a ("I am loved") project here.  This explains the embroidered message bottom right, which was done in variegated thread using a tight wide zig-zag on my sewing machine.

I thought about making something unisex, but then I decided that I would go all-out girly for someone who should have one of her own.  I didn't think I was a "pink" person but I must have been in denial as somehow a fair amount of it seemed to have crept into my stash.  I used all of it in this quilt, it was quite liberating!

The quilting is simple - straight lines a quarter inch from the seams in the squares, and stars in the white sashing.

The over-the-top pinkness and bright chartreuse green binding are why this quilt ended up being called More is More.

If the truth be told I was quite sorry to see it go off to its new home, but I hope it makes someone happy!

Thank you for visiting!

You can see my other entry in the Festival here.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Square Peg

I'm linking up this post to the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  Thank you to Amy for hosting such a fantastic event - it's so interesting seeing the diversity of quilts!

If you are visiting from the festival welcome to my blog - please have a poke around:-)   This is my entry to the Small Quilt Category:  

Square Peg

I started this quilt as a prototype for another idea, but it took on a life of its own.

The central pattern is made using a background of low-volume prints along with a handful of Oakshott shot cottons in pale neutrals. The appliqued circles and blue square are all Oakshott.  The square is in the only cool colour, but I chose some purples to suggest the influence of the square peg on the circles around it!

The borders are yarn-dyed essex linen and the binding is made from scraps of the same shot cottons in varying widths, with one tiny piece of blue along the bottom to represent the square.

I had finished and quilted the central panel before I decided to add the borders, which meant sewing on the batting and essex linen, and then carefully lining up the matchstitch quilting.  Way to make life difficult:-)

I love the texture of this lichen-covered wall just round the corner from my house.

My eldest daughter helped me fix the quilt to the wall using the sophisticated method of rolled up wodges of duck tape, and until it blew off we took pictures of it while trying to ignore the fact that someone was apparently in the process of being arrested further along the road.  It's all excitement here.

I'm so pleased with the way this one turned out and hope you like it too.  Thank you for visiting!

Quilt details:

Size: 25 inches x 25 inches
Materials: Yarn-dyed essex linen, and Oakshott shot cottons
Quilting: Matchstick in white Gutermann 50 weight
Binding: half-inch single, in essex linen and Oakshott scraps


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