Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quilt in Green

It is finally summer in Holland and what better way to spend it than sit inside and write a first blog post in a long time... It has been a very cold spring and early summer here. The funny thing is that I have not been complaining about it this year. Am I becoming Dutch? They never complain about the weather  - they just cycle through rain and wind with the smile on their face! In my country of origin Finland we have our share of bad weather but unlike the dutch we deal with it by complaining, getting all melancholic and feeling sorry for ourselfs!

At the beginning of this year it was time to make a big boy quilt to my youngest son. It took a long time to figure out what he likes so I patiently waited until I got it. He loves green! So I bought a big pile of green fabrics, made a plan and started working. Being me I of course changed the plan couple of times along the way. But I have now accepted that it is how my brain works. I just can not follow instructions, not even if I have writen them myself.

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Phone pictures...Best I could do for now

After I had pieced the quilt I had a very rare opportunity to spend a whole day home alone! I decided to use the day for free motion quilting this quilt. I have very little experience FMQ and in reality I should stick to practicing on practice pieces - but that is just too boring! With great enthousiam I started in the morning setting everything up only to realise that I had forgot to buy thread. I only had thread in variating shades of blue and yellow to densely quilt my green and yellow quilt. Finally I decided to just use it even though it really would show my beginners quilting.

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It was a interesting test. You kind of create a new layer on the fabric and with better skills in FMQ it could really transform a quilt. In my case the result was - like my daughter put it - a bit too sewn on. To finish the quilt later I got my self some green and yellow thread and that worked much better. All in  all I think is a fun quilt and looks nice on my boys bed. It wouldn't win any awards but it serves its purpose and I learned a lot.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I'm a quilter

During 2014 I did not make as much as in previous years and certainly did not blog as much. On that regard I seem to be following the trend, but I hope blogs still are here to stay because I love to read them! But I can see how instagram is enough if you don't have much to say and only want to share your work. I have been commenting less as well, but I would comment much more if somebody would make it easier to do with the smartphone.

Not making as much and not bloggin as often became an un-intentional test - would I drop my sewing hobby all together if I slow down? That has been my fear for as long as I have been sewing. It turns out I won't. I love it and have been sewing through out the year but on a far slower pace. And I like it. It does not quite fit with the internet world of sewing and sharing, but here and there I have noticed that many are ready to slow down a bit. Not just change from blogs to instagram, but you know, maybe watch a TV show and not handsew a binding or knit at the same time. It is amazing how much we quilters and knitters get done. It has been great to make so much during the last four years, but I have reached the point where to just sit and watch a TV show is great too! I also have noticed, that I like to work on a project for a longer period of a time. Let it rest and pick it up again even few years later. Combining these kind of projects with instant satisfaction projects that can be finished in few days seems to be a formula that works best for me.

One of the quick projects that I made this year but did not share yet is my Umbrella Prints challenge entry, only I missed the dead line by one day :( Never mind, it was really fun to make, I really like these kind of challenges!

Even thought I made it in May my inspiration came from Christmas. As much as I like the Carl Larsson type of Christmas musings there is another kind of Christmas magic that gets very little attention. When I was a child we lived in an appartment building and my favourite thing during the dark December month was to look at the Christmas windows of the near by appartment buildings. To me they looked like little happy postcards full of light. So when I was arranging the little pieces of fabric that came to my mind and was my inspiration

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Picture taking is still not my strong point. Luckily I had little help this time!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Double Dutch Random Sampler Quilt Along - Block 4

If this is new to you we will start with some introductions:
  • you can find the announcement of the Double Dutch Random Sampler QAL here at Lotjes blog. 
  • you can find the tutorial for the first block here on her blog. 
  • you can find the tutorial for the second block on Muriel's blog here
  • you can find the tutorial for the third block on Eva-Marie's blog here
  • you can find our dutch modern quilting group "double dutch" on Flickr here- and you can join the QAL on Flickr here

Curves! 

This month we are going to sew curves. It is a bit tricky, but fun to try if only this one time (at the end you can also find a no curves option).

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There are of course lots of different ways to sew curves. We are going to make improv curves. For instructions watch this  tutorial. The curved part start about after 6 minutes. There are also other tutorials, pick the one you like best, but do watch a video, that really is the best way to see how it works. 

Here is what you need for 6 inch block:

- two strips of the solid (yellow in my block) measuring 8 x 3"
- one strip of both print fabrics measuring 8 x 3"

That was easy, right?

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Then you but one solid and one print strip on top of each other like on the picture above. You don't use the ruler for cutting, I just put it there to keep the pieces in place (not sure that helped much). Keep in mind that the final blocks needs to be 3.5" so don't make the curves too deep.

I have made the measurment generous on purpose, so you can start cutting with straight line (1/2" or so). That way you get an easy start when you start to sew. If you wish you can trim the straight part of when your done. For instructions how to cut please see the youtube video, here is the link again.

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Sometimes when I use this method in the end the strips don't match. That's fine, you just trim that off. Here the yellow fabric is also a bit thicker than the print fabric which made it harder to sew, so if possible use same kind of fabric.

When you press the finished strips I like to start on the right side of the fabric so that all weird creases that you sometimes get with curves stay on the back side.

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Then you make of each strip two 3.5" blocks, assemble them and sew them together. 

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For the quilt I might put my blocks on point.

Please, no curves!

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As promised here is a no curves option. Repeat the steps above, but when cutting make a diagonal line with your ruler instead of curves. Quick and easy!



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Riot!

Catching up.....

Better never than late... Quilt group Double Dutch has started a Double Dutch Random Sampler QAL!For more info go here here and here. And be sure to go HERE to see Lotje's amazing quilt that was the inital inspiration to start the QAL.

I haven't had time to start yet, but I will be soon! I already have a theme and a "color scheme" for my quilt.

The color inspiration is from a piece of paper I found lying around kids craft table:

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And the name and guide line I have chosen for  my quilt is: RIOT! So now I start  to hum this song every time I think about the quilt. I predict a riot!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blogger’s Quilt Festival - For Me


For me



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I started this quilt fall 2012 and only finished it this January. I wanted to make the coziest and softest quilt just for me! The front is voile and back flannel, all Free spirit fabrics from Anna Maria Horner and Joel Dewberry. For batting I chose wool for the first time. Choosing the fabrics was sort of an exercise in letting go of all ideas what I like or don't like and be bold. That is also the reason why it took so long to finish. Every time when I was working on it and started to second guess my choices I stopped and let it rest.

I first quilted it by hand with two shades of blue pearl cotton - also a bold choice for me. To be sure that the quilting was steady I added some simple free moition quilting curls on it. I'm still FMQ beginner so did not dare to try something more advanced.

After all second guessing I really do like this quilt and it every bit as warm and soft to cuddle under as I imagined it would be.

I entered this quilt to Blogger's Quilt Festival in category Original Design Quilts. I though that would be the best category for it - all made and designed for me by me!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Warning! Knitting can cause severe neck pain

At least if you are stupid enough to knit with circular needles that cost €0.70 ($0.96). I was so  eager to start with the follow your arrow kal that I just bought them from a local shop dedicated to anything cheap (Wibra) because they where fastest ones to get. Of course the thread constantly got stucked between the wire and the needle causing lots of frustration and combined with a pattern that I kept getting wrong I managed to hurt my neck and shoulders like never before and the only choice was to stop knitting. This was in February.

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Today I decided to try again. Going straight back to Follow you arrow shawl felt too adventurous so I added some rounds to my socks project. So far so good, so I guess I can start knitting again!

Ginny's Yarn along is about knitting and reading. I can not do those simultaneously, but they do occupy the same moments of the day, so there definitely is a link. So since I have not been knitting I have been reading. I read Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies (affiliate links). Really enjoyed the Wolf Hall, but read a bit too fast through Bring up the Bodies to thoroughly enjoy it. That happens to me some times, maybe some leftover from the time when I had to race to finish a book before I needed to take it back to library? I don't know. Anyhow it was a really nice preparation for upcoming vacation in England, so I decided to stay on the island and just started to read good old Agatha Christie. This is how she begins the story:

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Yep, I guess that is me :)

Linking with Yarn Along

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yay to Little Projects!

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This table runner was so easy and fast to make. I love love love this Anna Maria Horner fabric, it is magical. When the day turns to evening and the light changes so does the fabric with all the lime popping up. And I love poppies and so does the rest of the family, so we are all enjoying my little home improvement project. 

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The project was fast, but even better I learned something new! I used a tutorial from Silly BooDilly how to face a quilt which basically means how to have no-binding-binding. My dislike for bindings is not just about the fact that they are hard to make perfect. I often don't like how they look. I don't want to frame my work. So this was just perfect. Since I used a very strong color for  for the back of the quilt it still peeks out a bit, but I like it. Little ray of sunshine coming through.

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 I free motion quilted it and it was so much fun! Have to have more of that. 

What a perfect little project. Makes me happy!