Monday, 1 September 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

Being asked by Becca if I wanted to join in the Around The World Blog Hop meant a good enough reason to get out of my summer blog-less funk and post something.

I was tempted to say 'no' because I don't know that I have anything new to say that you haven't heard already but because it was Becca and because I like what she does and because I like the premise of finding out about what quilters are up to all around the world, I'm saying 'yes' and joining in.

Just don't expect any earth shattering revelations about me and quilting.

OK.

What am I working on?

Quilting this one.


I love it.

I love it so much I can't screw it up.

I can't do an all-over diagonal/straight line/cross-hatch.

I can't.

It deserves more.

So I have slowly, at an almost glacial pace, been fmq it bit by bit with as many different random designs as my head can think of.


Whatever I feel like, I am doing it.



And in the process I've discovered I don't really like quilting gloves.

I think it was a combination of the long, warm summer, taking a class with Philippa Naylor and a Craftsy one with Ann Petersen (neither of whom use quilting gloves) that made me give their preferred option of rubberised shelf liner a go.

And I like it.

A lot.

I feel more in control, my fingers don't get clammy and the whole process just feels more natural.


I've also started a new quilt, made predominantly from 60 degree triangles, with the colours inspired by this piece of fabric.


It's from Kathy Doughty's line A Wandering Mind and I just liked the colours on this feature fabric.

So I've cut up a whole hot mess of other fabrics to add in and am just playing around with ideas.


I don't have a plan.


I'm kind of making it up as I go along.

That could be a metaphor for life.

And finally, I'm going to make a dent in this tower of Soy Amado quilt blocks.

Yes, I did succumb and buy a whole bolt of Nummers because, well, it's a rite of passage for a true quilter.

It's sat there for the best part of the summer and it needs to be turned into quilts.


How does my work differ from others in its genre?
This is where it gets boring.

I have absolutely no idea.

Does it differ?

I'm just doing what I'm doing.


Why do I create what I do?
That's an easy one.

With quilting there are no defined rules. You can make what you want, how you want. You can follow a pattern or make it up as you go along. You can use one colour or a hundred and one. You can use old fabric, new fabric and at the end of your process you'll still have created a quilt that is completely unique and (hopefully) an expression of you.

It's a chance to get lost in a creative process that slows me down, relaxes me and allows me to get subsumed in the enjoyment of the process than necessarily the end result.

It's an opportunity to give something that can't be bought.

An opportunity to give a bit of myself to someone else.


How does my creative process work?
It's completely random.

It may start with fabric, with colour, with an idea for a pattern, with the need to try a commercial pattern and see if I can make it my own.

It's an exercise in pushing myself to just do something different.

I don't want to plan a quilt. I don't want to map it out beforehand. I don't want to calculate the fabrics I'll need (because secretly I want to run out half way through and push myself to use something different and take the quilt in another and unexpected direction). I don't want to think about what it will look like when it is finished because I don't really have that idea in my head when I start.

I just want to start with the kernel of an idea and see where it leads.

To play around.

To just have fun.


And those, I believe, are all the questions answered. I'm supposed to link to three more quilters to keep this going but I'm not linking to anyone specifically. Instead, if you'd like to join in, please feel free to start your own Around The World Blog post.

In the meantime, I suppose I should be doing something about this.




*I don't know where the Around The World Blog Hop originated. If anyone knows, please say as it would be good to link up with others doing this too and share.





Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hand Quilting Heaven

After almost a year of slowly on and off hand quilting, I have a finish.

What follows are a random selection of images I took of the quilt, to try and give you some idea what fantastic texture dense hand quilting has added to the quilt.



I talked about the original seed of an idea for this quilt here where I set out to try and make a quilt that had an antique, muted feel to it, yet mixed in more contemporary, modern fabric with some of the traditional chintz.

The honeycomb centre pieces are entirely hand pieced (not EPP) and radiate out to darker shades at the edges,



The quilting was mostly outlining the shapes, nothing too taxing.



It was just the sort of project to return to every now and again.


Summer has been racing by and it's been too fun and too hot to spend any spare time indoors. Quilt related activities ground to a welcome halt -  save for the odd evening when it was cool enough for me to feel the urge to sew and then I picked this quilt up and hand quilted my sewing compulsions away.




Soy Amado blocks have continued to turn up on my door stop so that's a scratch I'll soon need to itch and I've been dipping in and out of blog reading from time to time - this post in particular resonated with me- you should definitely read it- including clicking on the link she gives to the YouTube video.

Makes you think.

Overall, the lack of sewing machine activities has meant I've really enjoyed turning to what got me into quilting in the first place - slow hand piecing and slow hand quilting.

It's hard to beat.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Stitching just because

After the last few months of production line quilt assembling, I had accumulated quite a few ideas in my head of quilts I'd like to make and this was the first one to become a reality.

Earlier in the year I purchased a Triangler ruler and the accompanying book.



Perverse as it may sound, I was attracted to them because I didn't have half of quilty blog land telling me I needed them. I'd also seen the book (which is more of a booklet) and liked the variety of kaleidoscope patterns you could create with the ruler, all from piecing it in rows.

And in truth, the booklet should be a book. There is so much information crammed into just 20 pages and ideas to experiment with and try out that I actually don't know why more people aren't singing this booklet's praises. I think it's money well worth spent.

I chose to kick off my use of the ruler with the cover quilt, which is called Cosmos.


I knew I wanted to go scrappier than the original version and I knew I wanted to use as many of my Anna Maria Horner fabrics and I knew I wanted it to be bright and cheerful and that was my starting point.



And I've loved piecing it. Granted there are quite a few points you need to match up and a fair bit of cutting if you go for a decently large size (approx 70" x 76" in this case) but it was worth it. I cut and pieced 25 kaleidoscope coloured shapes and it was great to showcase so many different fabrics.

The pattern suggested using white as a background but I decided instead to use three AMH fabrics (different colours, same print) for the background just to keep the eyes even more interested. I also used two different complimentary fabrics for the star points where the pattern has you using one.

I love it.
I really love it.



It's just so completely happy and fun and random and makes me realise why I love quilting so very much.



And I've missed that feeling these past few months.

linking up to Finish It Up Friday


I feel I'm back :-)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Soy Amado No. 50

Did we really get to 50 so quickly.

I guess we did.

That's an amazing one thousand blocks I've sewn together. If you'd told me six months ago I wouldn't have believed you.

Technically that means I've reached my goal BUT (!) I still have a few more blocks here to sew into a couple of quilts, plus I know of a box in transit from Canada with 100 blocks in so I'll still carry on till I've got these out the way.

Now for No. 50, I  asked The Photographer to get the cruise ship in with the quilt as I thought it would make for an interesting shot and this is what I discovered when I uploaded the images to the computer.

Possibly not completely what I had in mind.




No. 50 is all about pinks and purples and the other pig whose mate appears in No. 47. A female pig no less with a rather fetching white bow in her hair.

And we're levitating quite nicely too.


Note the clouds - we've had a little rain but not enough.


As you can perhaps see, there are some beautiful quilting skills going on with this one.



Soy Amado No. 50



And as promised, a little look back at the last six months.

Wow!



And what did I learn from the last six months?


  • That it is far easier and much less hassle to turn the other cheek and not do anything 
  • But so much more rewarding if you do something

  • That you don't need the latest and designated 'must have' fabric to make great quilts
  • Whatever you have to hand is just as good and far more personal

  • That help doesn't always come from where you think it will come 
  • But it will come and from people and places you didn't even know existed before 

  • Not everyone will understand the concept of 12  1/2" (and some people won't understand the concept of quilted quilt blocks either!)
  • But I became very adept at fudging up to a quarter of an inch more or less

  • That if I ever do something like this again I really do need to mix up my footwear some more





Sunday, 6 July 2014

Soy Amado No.49

Now if you come on holiday here and hire a car, you'll get one with an 'H' on to denote it's a hire car.

So, if you've got a reluctant quilt holder upper with you, they are well versed in spotting cars with an 'H' on them. They will continue to hold said quilt up while helpfully adding 'It's OK, it's only holidaymakers...I'll never see them again.'



So if quilt holding upping necessitates standing in the middle of the road to get a good shot and you spot a car with an 'H' on coming towards you...


...it really is no cause for alarm because by the law of averages you're never going to see them again.

Yes, I know, the hearts are upside down.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Soy Amado No. 48

On the way back from the recycling we pass a boat yard and I thought it would make a good backdrop for No.48 so along with dried up paint tins and stuff we don't need any more I popped the quilt in the car for an impromptu photo shoot.

As you do.

Totally normal behaviour.


And there are lots of warehouses opposite with really good colours for backdrops against quilts.

I expect that was forefront of mind when they were choosing the colours.



A real smorgasbord of blocks and colours.





Coming together to make no. 48

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Soy Amado No. 47

A windy No. 47



Would you look at that pig.

I LOVE the pig.


Keep an eye out for that pig.

It's female soul mate is set to make an appearance in another quilt.



Ok, so not the best picture of the back but you get the idea.



That's the trouble with taking out less than willing participants who try to shirk their promises and instead get me to hold the quilts up so they can take the photos.


She doesn't know I saw a text to a friend who was asking what she was up to.

'Out with mum AGAIN, holding up a quilt. LOL'

Clearly quilt holding upping is not being taken seriously.
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