Thursday, 1 February 2018

Just some fun

Well, with the grey of winter, one has to have a bit of fun.  For the longest time I have had a silk flower on my shelf of 'lots of things'.  You know; what you see and wonder what you can do with it.  Or perhaps you are not such a magpie as I am.

One day I found a silk flower in a bright green; the opposite of what it was outside.  It was on sale and looked lonely.  It has floated around but today I did try something.  It is not perfect but it does hint a possibilities in the right circumstances.

I took a few minutes and grabbed spare bit of fabric and batting lying around already from the teaching prep I was doing and this is what I created.  The colour pops and although he is not what one might call practical he is amusing.  A light sketch with a pen, some petals and a bit of embroidery with straight stitches and

If nothing else he is a spot of colour in my sewing room on the design wall.  But the petals give texture and it is all done with just straight stitches.  I can see some possibilities.  And of course there are all those beautiful silk flowers on the shelves of the craft store.  The colours are intense and gorgeous. 

Here is a closer look at the stitching.  The thread is a 60 weight cotton so it does not show too well but you can see  how the outline stitching lets the petals take the cupped shape they originally had.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Not just quilting

It is January.  This is cabin fever time for me in Nova Scotia.  It is not always this way but we seem to have attracted storms for the past few weeks.  Going out to blow snow is not exactly the excitement and company I would like.  It is a good time to clean out cupboards and to sew and to think about cleaning up the sewing room. 

I have been working on a International Challenge Quilt from The Quilt Show.  My partner is a lovely lady from South Carolina.  The Quilt Show, International Exchange.   All participants have been matched but you might be interested in following the exchange on the newsletter.  No pictures until it is allowed but it has been fun and so good to meet someone with similar interests.  Expanding friendships especially across borders is interesting and rewarding.  And serendipity has arranged that we have things in common and some links. 

As well The Quilt Show has been having the block of the month for this year and as a member I decided to do the quilt.  There are 3 blocks x 3 at the start of the month. January has been completed. The designer is Edyta Sitar.  Beautiful quilt so I have decided to do it with my scraps. Who knows exactly how it will turn out. I love barns and here in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia there are lots.  Like many areas many are abandoned as farms have no one to take over.  I keep pondering a series of small quilts to record this.  Pondering is the word.  Is there a way to extend the number of hours in a day?

Back to cupboard cleaning.  I am ashamed to say I found in the laundry cupboard which is huge, a lot of plastic bags.  There are many more than I can use.  The supermarkets have cloth bags but they are big and difficult to hump from car to house because of the weight when full.  Then a light bulb went on and I remembered a big bolt of fabric I purchased for whatever reason.  It is upholstery weight with a lovely design.  It has taken up shelf space for too long. 

Rather than start from scratch I went looking for a pattern,  I found several but particularly one that seemed simple and more closely resembled the plastic ones; i.e. the integral handles.  This makes it easier for the clerks in the store to fill as they have a hook for the plastic bags.  This site is where I found the pattern.  Mansewing.  I followed the pattern but after one bag realized that the instructions did not quite fit my weight of fabric. For regular fabric the instructions are great.  So with a few modifications I am now cutting out and sewing in under an hour.  Four are finished and four more to make today. Here are a couple of pictures.  I think the fabric must have been intended to be cut into panels, hence the white line but I will consider it a design feature.  They are grocery bags after all but different from others and washable.  The size has varied in some part to take advantage of the print.  We shall see how they work but I do hope so and I know the fabric washes well. 

 But I won't be filling up my cupboards or the landfill with plastic bags from groceries.

When these are finished it is back to quilting.  There is a special one coming in that I have not seen and I know it will be beautiful and probably challenging.  Great.