Saturday, 19 December 2015

A last minute challenge

Last week (and this week, too!) I missed the "Tip on Thursday" (you had been warned it might not be that regular), but it was going to be very short anyway: "Don't decide to take part in a challenge two days before it's due!" Especially when you also have two Christmas concerts and a quilting class to go to in those two days...
No surprise that I didn't listen to my own advice!

I have been a member of the Irish Patchwork Society of Ireland (IPS) for years now. The Southern Branch meet once a month in Cork city, and going to meetings helped me enormously getting to know people when I first moved here, they are a friendly bunch! There is coffee, tea, biscuits and chat, show and tell, demonstrations and/or a speaker, a diverse library, and a shop (of course!). There are also regular initiatives like a block of the month, or a challenge (usually at Christmas and over the summer). While I enjoy seeing what others are making, in all the years I haven't been tempted to enter in any of the challenges and I didn't think I would enter this time either, but I pulled myself together was inspired at the last minute.

For this challenge we were each given three circles of fabric, at least two of which should be used to make a Christmas item. Of course I could do that... I was going to make a table mat anyway (I had seen a lovely eight-pointed one demonstrated just there)! Then I discovered that the circles were not only three different sizes, but also of different types of fabrics: There was a 5" circle print with robins, a 3" circle of solid white flannel, and a 2" circle of plain black felt. Mmmmm. I wasn't so sure now...

However, ideas kept nagging at me, until at the last minute I decided at least I could give it a try. Searching my boxes for Christmas fabrics I didn't find as many as I thought I had, but they had to do. After all there was no time to waste! Before class on Thursday morning I drew some circles on Bondaweb, and while at the class I pondered which fabrics I would use.

Thursday afternoon saw me ironing Bondaweb to the robin fabric, the black felt, and three other fabrics. I sewed the eight pointed shape as a background, played with an appliqué layout, ironed, sewed and quilted, backed, sewed and quilted some more, added some details by hand... and gave a sigh of relief! If it wasn't up to challenge standard at least it was up to my standard and I'd be happy to have it on my table! I even added some gold embroidery to my black felt circle to tie it in with the other fabrics.

And if you want to make your own table centre, or indeed place mat, coasters, mug rug... or if you need a last-minute gift, I wrote a tutorial, too. Follow the link, or find it under my new "Tutorials" tab.

- edit: I have now written a proper pattern for it, with easy step-by-step instructions. 
Find it FREE on Craftsy or via the link in my Patterns and Tutorials PAGE -
And the challenge? Yes, I did win, too, and now I have another challenge to ponder over the holidays: What to make with this big box of flannel fabrics! I have some ideas already...


1 comment:

  1. You made me smile, trying to squeeze in a last minute challenge like that Sandra! And a beautiful job you did too! I love the shape of your mat and the ornaments that "hang" from the center!


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