vrijdag 23 maart 2018

More creative therapy, much needed...

I've been back at work for two month now, and unfortunately not much has changed. I'm living on adrenaline and hope, but this Friday I'm in desperate need of some quilty therapy...

Here is what keeps me sane:

My colourful hexies.
 I started these a few weeks ago. There is no fixed plan, I just enjoy picking colours, glue basting and piecing by hand. It's a slow, meditative proces. It calms me down, makes the palpitations go away, brings me joy.

A mother-daughter project.
Marieke embroidered the center panel, we picked the fabrics together and I pieced and quilted a cushion cover for her. She is very proud to have in her "room". (she shares with her brothers, but has a corner with her own shelves, little desk and even a beanbag. She is very happy with it.

woensdag 21 maart 2018

First free motion quilting adventures!

Somewhere in January I decided that I needed to learn free motion quilting. I want to finish more quilts, and buy more fabric without guilt! Plus hand quilting gives me tendonitis (in combination with playing the clarinet, which takes precedence, that's just the way it is).
So I enrolled for a FMQ class with Monique De Canne in De Potterije, in Lokeren, bought a new sewing machine (Pfaff Ambition 1.0) and booked a hotel room.
What with a job and four kids, I don't get out much, and I thoroughly enjoyed my three day getaway. I went jogging along the Durme, sewed most of the day, in the company of seven lovely ladies, had a nice dinner and felt just a little bit lonely at the end of the day. It was fun to learn so much and to practice the skills immediately. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned in those three days. It was also so much fun to meet other quilters. Quilting is not a very popular thing in Belgium. Most people just give you an empty stare when you tell them you quilt, so this was fun, talking to other enthusiasts. Now some pictures:

Some of my practice swatches from the fmq class

Fillers and feathers

I'm also quilting along with the #freemotionchallenge by Angela Walters.

When I got home I put my skills to good use on this pillow case.

Very proud of my feathers!

I can fit them in just about any shape, so versatile!

Then I pieced this placemat.

I bought the fabric at the Potterije.

The almost plain purple panel gives me an opportunity to practice free motion quilting, ...

... but it doesn't stand out to much on the dark fabric.

A feathered heart. The squiggles inside should have been smaller, for more contrast.

I orange peeled the border squares.

I love this lamb fabric!

And they go perfectly with my great grandmother's tableware.

I intend to make six, one for each member of the family. The plan was to have them finished by Easter, but I don't think that is going to happen :-)

Then I practiced all kinds of filler on this quilt.

It's a disappearing nine patch, with fabrics from the Acorn Trail collection by Taegan White.

I started free motion quilting it with my old machine, but that was so discouraging. Now with the new machine which has an embroidery foot, I'm really getting into the the fmq groove!

And I'm quilting my lone star!

The red diamonds get a point to point pattern, inspired by Angela Walters.

And simple feathers in the white diamonds

"Straightish" lines work well from a distance, I assure you! ;-)

I'm having soooo much fun with my new skill set! I'm already planning and cutting more quilts, so I can do more free motion quilting. I'm think of including bigger negative spaces and borders, to do some fancy quilting in!

woensdag 28 februari 2018

Easter mini quilt, ready for basting!

I designed this little quilt myself, using some pieced blocks from "Happy Flower Quilts" by Atsuko Matsuyama.

Ready to baste!

Spring buds bursting!

Designed these rabbits myself. I gave up good contrast in favour of fun backgrounds!

Spring breeze.

Basket of tulips (notice the butterflies in the background).

Easter baskets: tulips, bunnies, strawberries, flowers!

Baby animals: ducklings and fawns.

Spring sunshine!

Geese returning after winter

Tulip (own design) and more baby animals (this fabric is too cute to cut up, so I just used a 3' by 6' panel)

Same tulip, different colour.
All in all I love this little quilt. It was a lot of fun to chose the fabrics and do the fiddly appliqué, on the petals of the spring burst and on the tiny baskets and bunnies. Halfway through I lost my cream background fabric (still have no idea where it is) so I gave up on contrast all together and just picked fabrics for fun! The only concession I made to "proper design" is limiting my colour pallet a bit. I stuck to teal, yellow, pink and purple (a little unintended green and blue may have snuck in :-) ). This little quilt is going to be hung in our living room, at eye height, so it's easy to get up close and have fun discovering all the little designs in the fabrics, and I don't mind that it's a bit of a pastel muddle when viewed from the other side of the room!

And I started yet another quilty project! I'm finally tackling my scraps. I sorted them into a rainbow of sorts, and started improv piecing. We'll see where that is headed later! I am also almost finished on my lone star quilt (pictures on Instagram, as sara_brankaer ).

donderdag 1 februari 2018

More Valentine Sewing

Here are the crafts I made for the #sendalittleloveswap2018 .

The neat inside of the tea cosy, before lining.

Winter love, for Marieke

Spring love, for Pieter

Fall love, for Lucas

Summer love, for Felix

Loop on top of the tea cosy.

The whole thing. (pattern from Happy Flower Quilts, by Atsuko Matsuyama)

Made with love

I used a blind hem stitch to machine applique the hearts on, after quilting each panel.

The other side of the whole thing

More details of the quilting and machine appliqué

Perfect framing: all my swap gifts in one picture (you can see the mini in the mirror)

I covered some buttons with the fabrics I used.

Four seasons of love mini quilt.

A lovely ensemble! I can never decide which side of the tea cosy is prettiest, ...

... so I just keep turning it, ...

... round and round!

I had a lot of fun making this, the swap spurred me to make some fun crafts, which I never would have made just for me. I always get stuck, because I don't need a mini or a tea cosy. I did do some very fun Easter stitching, though, more on that in my next post

My swap items, ready to ship.