Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Ta Da!

Last week was all about this quilt - my take on a shape that recurs in garnet work in the Staffordshire Hoard.

I finished my 'grand spiral' on it - the first time I'd tried it. 

I'm pretty pleased with how the quilting worked.
 Here is the whole thing - although I have to confess that I designed it with it rotated 90 degrees - but my DDs aren't tall enough to hold it up that way!

I'm quite pleased with how the different fabrics work - I actually got the values right on them for a change!
The back was going to be grey, but I decided that might be too dull, so used this bit of Ikea fabric (obviously purchased for a backing at some time!) with a fabulously bold print.  It really lets the quilting show up!

Binding finished, label on - I have finished it!

I also managed to finish my Mod 11 of my C&G too - with these photos and a few more.

Module 12 here I come, and if I can finish it before mid May I will complete it in time for the external moderators visit to the School of Stitched Textiles this year..... just one DDs birthday, a holiday, some school holidays and general family life stand in my way!  I shall do my best, but not worry if I don't make it - there are, after all, more important things to worry about than my hobby!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Some precision required!

 The blocks for my 'Staffordshire hoard' were made - and this is them laid out ready to sew together.  Like so many 'scrap' quilts the layout needed to appear random, but really I wanted to make sure that fabrics were distributed across the quilt top rather than clumped together.  I think that I managed it OK, but it would have been easier if I'd had a bit more variety in the paler patches!
 The precision piecing continued in order to get all the right seams to match with each other.  Now it's time to get on with the quilting.  Apart from one hideous kink (near the machine - I'm going to have to re-sew that bit!) it's coming out slightly wonky, but more or less OK, I think.

How do you quilt?  I miss Radio 4 (can't have it loud enough without feeling that it would disturb other people) which is what I usually listen to.  Now I have the technology to stick an iPod down my bra (classy!) once I've downloaded some podcasts from iPlayer.  I sew away happily with my audio landscape 'comfort blanket'.
 Of course, all this requirement for precision must be balanced - the yin and yang of quilting!

I read about this idea in 'Cloth Paper Scissors' (I think).  Take a square of felt, add a square of fusible, jig saw some fabric scraps over it, then cut up to the size that you fancy before adding stitches or other embellishments.  Six little hand sewing projects, perfectly portable! 

These are cut into 4 1/2" x 3" pieces, ideal for card toppers.  I just hope that everyone I want to send cards to likes purple too!
 To finish with something finished, these cards are assembled now.  The card background printed and the little kantha pieces stuck on with double sided tape.

In fact I made another one (not shown here!) and kits for another half a dozen or so.  Some of my friends came round for some kitchen table crafting last week but some of those who couldn't come wanted kits.  Quick to make, fun to finish. 

Not long now and I'll have got back to my C&G sample piece and finished it.  Quicker now I've stopped echo quilting around the motifs and started the straight lines!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Kantha Capers

 I broke off from my C&G kantha sample in order to make two little valentines pieces.

This one doesn't show up that well - sorry - I was photographing it to try and show the background stitching, but it was at the expense of clarity of the stitched motifs!

Anyway, it's a chain stitched bird with a little back stitched heart.  The background stitching echoes the shape of the motifs
 This one suffered in the photo slightly too.  A long stitched heart, this time the background stitching is straight up and down (which is much easier and quicker than stitching around the motifs in my opinion).

Both cards need more in the way of a border, but they are a good start ahead of Valentine's day next week.
This is the bigger C&G sample piece.  Just like the smaller pieces, it is four layers of butter muslin (so an open weave) and really soft to work on and through. 

This one is printed with the basic motifs that I wanted to use, and then stitched around with lively colours.  I might go back and stitch over some of the purple ink, particularly on the ladybirds.

I need to add all the background stitching now.  Plenty to keep my hands busy this week.