Tuesday, 24 December 2013

't Was the Night before Christmas...

Snow and storms have been part of the weather for the last week or more, though there have been several bad storms and only small amounts of snow in between. But taking a walk in the mountains behind us, some snow can be found on most days, while the water is gurgling energetically in the little streams.

snow isn't far away
And we haven't given up on a white Christmas either, since the latest storm has just passed and cold weather is again expected.

Which brings me to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and keep safe wherever you are!


And because I love stars I leave you with this:


and a promise that more will follow soon.

Sandra

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Skipping?

Even though I have been sewing quite a lot recently, there is only one small project of some interest to show you. I will skip the hand quilting I have been practising, and much more Kantha quilting I have been working on. Those technical practise samples just don't make for nice photographs...

Inspired by the many Christmas projects around, I decided to make a star (I do love stars!). And to increase the chances of the project being finished before the year is out, I made it into a small item. In the end my star is not specifically Christmassy, and the fabrics were already lying around. But... after a few evenings it is almost finished and ready to be given as a present. I like it so much, I may have to make a few more...


Since today is a quiet day for (paid) work, I decided it was time for a walk. Helpfully the sun came out, too. You can see how low it sits at this time of the year, showing off my silhouette nicely tall and slim!


The wide views just beyond the village have a soothing effect...

The local standing stones, today no cows to rub against them...

Back in the village this bare tree shows against the blue sky

The walk really lifted my spirit. I may even have skipped for a very short stretch, though only far outside the village. It made me feel happy and cheerful, though also very unfit, and a small bit silly...

I think I am ready to do some more sewing now.

Sandra

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Too busy to blog...

I have been rather neglectful of the blog lately, but all because I have been sewing. I'll show you some of it:

Progress on the bag:

straight line quilting

meander quilting

tying off threads
gussets quilting

made a pocket in the lining

The bag panels and gusset pieces are quilted,the lining is prepared. Next step: putting it together, yippee!

 Playing with Seminole piecing:







And then there was some playing around with stars:

don't really like the colour though; may have to make more in different fabrics

Then today we have been starting on hand quilting, tacking and tying, and Kantha quilting: Many more samples in the pipeline. But at least I can do the hand work in front of the fire:


And if I'm quick I may be able to enjoy another slice of my own baking, too:

fruity tea brack
Have a nice weekend,
Sandra

Monday, 28 October 2013

More scrap blocks, texture, and other activities...

Even though I have been sewing quite a bit recently, nothing seems to get finished. And I suppose other things in life have been taking up my time, too....

There was a (belated) birthday party to prepare for our youngest:

birthday cake - favourite soccer team

And my own birthday to celebrate:

Birthday flowers

And another weekend at my course. No wonder I have not managed to finish any sewing project. Even worse: several more samples that have been started at the course last weekend now need finishing, too... However, I really HAVE been sewing quite a bit...



More scrap blocks have been made in different variations:







I have also been playing with machine quilting:

free motion lines - low to high density

vermicelli or squiggle - different scale and density

using density to indicate a block


Heart created with machine quilting

My machine quilting could do with more practise; I have to add pebble quilting to the density sample, and I'd like to see how the heart will look if I would use thread in the same colour as the fabric... I may have to increase the density of the quilting to make it show up enough.

In the course machine quilting is related to the "texture" module, which is the current subject. So at the weekend there was a lot of paper (mis)used, and different textures (real or visual) discussed and created. Since then I haven't been able to look anywhere without seeing texture! So I have been photographing textures as well... loads of them (my new phone - with camera - has been used a lot)! I won't bore you with all those pictures, but I have to sneak in a few; there have been some rather interesting ones:


I can see how they might lead to some new ideas...

And finally, on this holiday Monday, some progress on the bag:

first bag panel quilted - threads to be tidied...
 Have a good week, and happy sewing!

Sandra

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Strips, scraps and strings - and happy mail


At our latest course weekend, we have been working with strips and scrap strings.

The strip work was all about using strips and strip sets to put blocks together. Some lovely blocks were made and different layouts tested...


... as well as border possibilities...


Then there were the possibilities offered by half square triangles cut from two different (2 strip) strip sets:

double pinwheel

For these the cutting of mirror images had me confused for a while, so I ended up with way more triangles than initially intended...

Which were then made into these lovely variations. I love tem even better than the original blocks!

pin wheel variations
In the last post I showed you a quilt made from scrap strips. The scraps in that quilt were of course bought together and were undoubtedly from one range of fabrics, which made it look very coordinated.

This time our baskets of scraps (for me a more ordinary, but overflowing, large shoe box) were coming out for some string piecing:

string pieced squares with red in the centre

In both versions red has been used as the unifying colour.
 
spider web triangles

Unfortunately, it will be a while before I have enough time to make more of these blocks so that I can make them into proper quilts. There is so much to work on - and hopefully finish in the not too far future - that I haven't even been able to make a proper list of it all. Has anybody found a way to increase the hours in a day?!

Last - but definitely not least - I got Happy Mail!! It made my (too short) day...

Late September I won at Kathy of Kayak Quilting's 100th blog post. 

The mail took a while. So long in fact that I was no longer sitting behind the letter box waiting for it to arrive, so I got a note to say that a package would be at the sorting office. - They are good at keeping you in suspense, not saying who or even where it is from. But I do not get packages that often, so I did get my hopes up! - I was all excited when I went to collect it today, and rightly so:

a lovely Mama Said Sew jelly roll

you see that nice swirl?!
Isn't it lovely?! I have it sitting right in the middle of my sewing corner where I see it every time I am passing, and my mind is whirring with ideas of what to make with it... Mmmmm, decisions, decisions...

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Kathy!

I better do some feeding, before I get complaints...


Sandra

Friday, 4 October 2013

Scrap Strip Quilt

A chance remark I read about scrap strips reminded me of "one I made earlier":



I joined all strips and then cut squares from the resulting fabric. Two leftover creams were used for the sashing, and some leftover red for the corner stones.



Hand quilted with a fan shape in the blocks, and some straight lines along the sashing.






Bound in dark brown it has made for a favourite light throw on the bed for slightly chillier nights.

In the last two weeks mist seems to have permanently descended here and my visible world has been limited to the garden:



Not that I'm complaining about the garden, but it has been rather gloomy with it, so great weather for sewing... Now I only have to finish something...

Have a nice weekend!


Sandra



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