Thursday 28 May 2015

Tulips from....Delft maybe?!

After I entered the Bloggers Quilt Festival with my last two posts (here in the Art Quilt category and here in the Scrap Quilt category - have you voted yet?! voting is open for one more day, and you have 3 votes in each category), I have actually been sewing!

I had been considering making some blocks from the Cloud9 pattern "Amsterdam Quilt", but I could not find the intended red and pink fabrics for the tulips! In my impatience I grabbed some other fabrics, and made a block anyway:

The block went together so well, that I HAD to make some more, and before I knew it, the kitchen table (which is where I usually sew) was full of them:

Very quickly they were transformed into this:

 A last cream border will be added the next time my sewing machine gets an outing, the strips are cut ready to be sewn on.

According to the song, tulips are from Amsterdam, though the blue colours remind me of Delft blue, so there is some debate about the naming of this one... since it isn't quite finished yet (a quilt isn't a quilt until it's quilted), I may ponder for a while yet...!!


Saturday 16 May 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival - second entry

Now I got over the first hurdle and entered "Vestibule" into the Bloggers Quilt Festival with my previous post, I had less trouble to be convinced to enter a second one. This is such fun, and there are already such wonderful entries to browse through!

This one I made a long while back, but I don't think I ever showed it here. It is made with scraps and pieces from my "leftovers" box on a black background. While you often see very brightly coloured scraps in combination with a black background, I went for a more muted colour palette with this one, and I LOVE the result! 
So here it is, my "Black Jewel Box":

To get a good Jewel Box effect, the scraps were sorted in slightly lighter (bottom left to top right) and slightly darker scraps (bottom right to top left).

The quilt has been hand quilted (rather tacked) with black perle in a Turkey Track stitch in each patch, with several rows of large stitch hand quilting in the black border.

Finished off with a scrappy binding of course (I love scrappy bindings)!

For the backing I found a black-on-black print I love (I may have to use it in a quilt top next time!), I never knew they existed until I found this one...

Not easy to photograph black fabric... notice the single stitches from the Turkey Track tacking.
So there you have it...


"Black Jewel Box"
Finished July 2009
Size 42" x 63" - we often use it as a bed topper
Scrap cotton fabrics, black cotton perle thread
Machine pieced, hand quilted

Entered in the the scrappy quilt category of the Bloggers Quilt Festival (thanks again, Amy!):
Nominations for the Viewers Choice can be entered now, and voting starts on May 22...


Friday 15 May 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival

For several years I watched all those wonderful entries to the Bloggers Quilt Festival, and tried to decide which quilt I should be voting for. This time I have decided to enter a quilt myself, so exciting!
This is my "Vestibule", inspired by photos of a building by Frank Lloyd Wright:

Regular readers are well aware that I have been working for my City & Guilds Certificate in Craft and Design for Patchwork and Quilting (to use the full name for once) for the last few years. This involved a serious amount of sewing and art, and has virtually kept me from any other sewing. Now it is all finished except for a few last stitches, I am looking forward to starting some new projects - and finish some old ones! I have so many ideas in my head...

For the course, I have had to make a cushion, a bag, a box, a wall hanging, and a bed quilt (see the City&Guilds tab above if you want to know more...). Unfortunately, the bed quilt is the one that needs a little more hand quilting to finish, so it cannot now be entered into the Festival (maybe next time). But the Wall Hanging is finished and has been hanging in it's place above the stove for a few months now.

In place above the stove
The quilt is made using raw edge machine appliqué and quilting using many types of threads and different stitches.
quilting seen on the back, before being covered
After finishing the stitching, the edges were faced (no binding) and a "false" back was inserted into the facing for a neat finish. Some detail:

A bit more detail of the stitching

The facing is quite wide for stability, and the back is neatly covered
An earlier post with more detail on this quilt can be found here.

size - 34½" x 39½"
materials - patchwork cottons from Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais for Moda, plus one lime fabric from elsewhere; cotton wadding; cotton, silk and polyester threads in different weights and colours
techniques - raw edge machine appliqué, flanges, faced edging, machine quilting

Thank you, Amy, for organising what undoubtedly is going to be another fantastic quilt show!
Nominations for the Viewers Choice can be entered now, and voting starts on May 22...


Monday 11 May 2015

A Box for City & Guilds - Another Finish!

Now the City & Guilds is really finished, it is high time to put up a post on the fifth item that I made as part of the course. Why did I wait so long? Well, let's just say I lost interest at some point and it took forever to pick it up and finish the last few stitches...

One of the five "Items" for the City and Guilds Certificate needs to be a three-dimensional item, and I had decided to make a box. This box is intended to be used for appliqué and patchwork blocks; to store them together, and/or to take them with me, together with fabrics and hand sewing materials, so I can work on them in classes or anywhere else, really. In short, a work box.

The inspiration was taken from images of Tulips (I had to get some Dutch influence in there somewhere, I suppose). I have always liked botanical drawings, so I started out with a few of those and drew and re-drew tulips until I had an image I was pleased with. The idea was to applique the tulip flower and some leaves.

Then I found some lovely silks, heavily discounted (fortunately), but not quite the right colour (unfortunately?). The heavier dupion silk is a green-grey curtain material with a slight slubby effect, and quite firm. Ideal for the box. The drapier satin silk I found in the wedding section, but of course it was white. This then made me take out my silk paints, and have some fun! It was good I did not have an unlimited supply of silk to play with or else I would still be having silk painting fun - and no stitching would have been done on the box at all!

After a lot of samples:
Trying out sea salt effects on silk paint - sample

Mixing and blending to get the right colour for the leaf and stem - samples
Then the "real" work started, a bit scary, because by that time I was down to just enough fabric to make my piece...

Painting the piece of silk to use for the tulip flower
Fortunately, it all worked out just fine! So, then the sewing started:

The leaf/stem shape, and the flower shape were transferred to the dupion silk, and reverse (hand) appliquéd into place. This actually went very fast!

Then the piece was quilted, and stretched over the grey board panel with some extra padding. As you can see in the picture above, I also (foundation/paper) pieced side panels for the box - and left the paper in for stability.

The box panels were slip stitched together, then I added extra stitching to the top edge:

Tabs for the handles were added during construction as well, and the handles themselves were cut to size from a kindly donated lecturer's stick...

So there you have it:

Another job done...


Friday 8 May 2015

Ending City & Guilds with a star...

... and an exhibition in Nadelwelt, Karlsruhe

- warning: photo heavy post -

This week saw this:

It was the last stitch on the binding of the big bed quilt I made as part of "my course". To be precise; the City & Guilds course in Craft and Design for Patchwork and Quilting, level 3 Certificate.

This quilt has been rather long in the making, and of course it needed a deadline to get to this stage! Today this quilt, along with ALL my City & Guilds makes, were being sent to Germany to be exhibited... so the last threads were only tied off 5 minutes before I jumped in the car to deliver it yesterday evening!

A few days ago all my other course material went to our tutor, to be sorted and packed up:

There were two boxes full of samples, ranging from EPP to hand piecing, machine piecing, hand and machine appliqué, hand and machine quilting, crazy piecing, hawaiian appliqué, Mola, Kantha, Sashiko, strip piecing, etc. etc. Then some note books, and a huge folder full of our art work, divided into colour, line, shape, texture, form.

Five items were designed and made during the course and each has its own folder with the design process and samples of all techniques considered (just visible on the left). Then there are the five items themselves: a cushion, bag, box, wall hanging and bed quilt.
Seeing it all together like that I realised why I have not had time for much other sewing in the last few years...

Ah, but you're not here to hear about all the design work in the course or even  to see that last measly stitch on my quilt! So, here is the full reveal:

Hand and (domestic) machine quilting was used on this quilt:

As you can see in the last photograph, the hand quilting is not quite finished - it will be done, I promise - but at least all the quilting that I planned has been started so you can see how it will look in the end.

And the sleeve is on, as well as the label:

Which was very important since like I said, all the work is to be sent to Germany. We (my co-students and tutors) are having an exhibition booth at the large Nadelwelt event in Karlsruhe where we are showing what is really involved in doing a City & Guilds course in Craft and Design. Not just the end results, but the whole process will be shown to the public.

So, if anyone is in the Karlsruhe area on 15 - 17 May, do come along and have a look and a chat, there is bound to be one of my co-students around. And there is some hand quilting action planned, too.

For now, I am trying to get some more blog posts written, and I'll have a leisurely ponder on a next project to work on. One that has nothing to do with any course!