Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sails of Silver

 I grew up listening to Steeleye Span, my parents loved them and so did my sisters and I. While listening to music one day I knew the chorus from Sails of Silver would make a great wallhanging.
I started with a vague plan, I knew I wanted to paper piece the letters and it needed a boat. I used the Refridgerator Magnets by Elizabeth Hartman. It is not a paper piecing pattern (it uses a different method), but if you have had some experience you can work out how to use them. 

 I'm no expert, there was much ripping out and swearing, but I eventually made all the letters.
 Next I googled images of sail boats and then drew up a generic one in Electric Quilt. It is not obvious in the photo, but the sails are made from a silver fabric I found in Bunbury at Craft Collections. I think it is this one from Kaufman. 
 For a bit of contrast with all the paper piecing and to add some extra colour I improv pieced some waves using different blues and more of the silver.
 To put it all together I placed it all on the design board and starting with the letters I joined one line and then the next, I just worked on adding one more section at a time and gradually it all came together.
I really enjoyed the process of making this quilt. I don't often go into making a quilt without having the whole thing mapped out, but it was quite enjoyable seeing where it went. Now to think about how to quilt it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Butterfly and Cocoon

Olive was browsing ravelry one day with me and saw this butterfly and cocoon. I think it was love at first sight as she has been asking me to make her one ever since. She is turning 5 next week and it's all wrapped up waiting for her.
 Ok now to my quick review of the pattern. I'm not a big fan of dpns and small fiddly knitting, but this was actually enjoyable. It was fun to see it emerge and it was quite quick to knit. I think it is the finishing that actually puts me off knitting toys, but there wasn't much to do here and the little bit of finishing off was done as you go. It's hard to tell how big it is in the photos so I measured it and it's  about 8" tall (without measuring the antennae).

It is also super cute, in and out of it's cocoon. I'd definitely recommend this pattern - more details on ravelry. 

Monday, September 04, 2017

Flat Cap

Wool we bought in Kyoto last year, Liberty lining and the excellent Flat Cap pattern by Nicole Mallalieu
It was so much fun to make, and Chris was so happy with it, that I immediately made another one for my Dad. I can't recommend this pattern enough. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Naturally Dyed and Printed Dress

I really enjoyed the process of making this dress for Eva two years ago so I thought I would make one for Olive. It took a few months, but here it is!
This time I added another step to the process - I started with white fabric and dyed it with avocado pits (and used alum as a mordant). I saved avocado pits and froze them until I had enough to do the fabric and a few skeins of yarn. I cut up the pits and put them in my dyeing slow cooker. I put the yarn into a laundry bag, but just threw the fabric in (it wasn't hard to get the bits of avocado off after).  I left it cooking for a few hours and then turned it off and left it for a day or so and then rinsed it off and hung it out. 

It's quite a nice pinky colour - the exact colour of this hellebore.
I originally planned to print with silver, but it wasn't working so well so then I mixed up a dark pink with red, white and splash of black.
Olive chose a stamp I carved last month and I randomly printed all over the fabric. 
The pattern is one of my favourites - the Madeline Dress Pattern (I think I could make it blindfolded now I've made so many!).
It really is satisfying to transform a white piece of fabric into a dress. It is really nice not to rush something and to enjoy every step of the process.

Friday, September 01, 2017

A Piece of Cake - Book Tour

The amazing Peta from She Quilts a Lot has written a book!
If you are a fan of pre-cuts (which I definitely am!) then A Piece of Cake is the perfect book for you. All the quilts are made using 10" squares or a Layer Cake. There is a really good mix of designs and quilt sizes in this book so whatever your style, or whoever you want to make a quilt for, you will find the perfect quilt in here. 

As soon as I saw the quilts in the book I knew I wanted to make the Wrapped in Love quilt. The original is made with 10" squares but Peta has also given the instructions for making a mini version. I have A LOT of scraps from jelly rolls so that is what I used for my mini quilt. 
The instructions and diagrams were very clear and this little quilt top came together very easily one afternoon. I basted, quilted and bound it the next day, so this would be the perfect little weekend project.
There are so many great quilts in this book. I really love Modern Spools.
And also Origami Squares.
To see more from the book check out the wonderful bloggers below.

14 Aug Sedef - Down Grapevine Lane
15 Aug Jemima - Tied with a Ribbon
16 Aug Samantha - Aqua Paisley Studio
17 Aug Andy - A Bright Corner
18 Aug Kirsty - Bonjour Quilts
20 Aug Alison - Cotton Factory
21 Aug Carrie - Moda Fabrics
22 Aug Nadra - Ellis and Higgs
23 Aug Angie - Gnome Angel
24 Aug Tara - Tara Sews
25 Aug Jules - The Creative Retreat
26 Aug Kristyne - Pretty by Hand
27 Aug Kimberly - Fat Quarter Shop
28 Aug Lissa - Moda Lissa
29 Aug Amy - Diary of a Quilter
30 Aug Kerry - Kid Giddy & Cat - Hello from Cat on Instagram
31 Aug Jane - Modern Makers Retreat
1 Sept Kate - Never Enough Hours
2 Sept Jodie - Vintage Ric Rac
3 Sept Sharon - Patches Indooroopilly (in store & online!)
4 Sept Amanda - Material Girl Quilts
5 Sept Amber - A Little Bit Biased
6 Sept Xanthe - Wife Made
7 Sept Rachel - Family Ever After
8 Sept Jenny - Martingale
9 Sept Amy - Nana Company
10 Sept Peta - She Quilts A Lot