I finally finished the big project that’s been taking up all my sewing time! It’s a quilt for my Dad’s big birthday, and only the second quilt I’ve ever completed so I hope he doesn’t look too closely 🙂 It’s made using Altitude fabric by Pippa Shaw and Twist both from Dashwood Studio, and the Wonton quilt pattern from Jaybird Quilts. I hoped the triangles and points of the pattern would suggest mountains to reflect the fabric. I used a big bundle of fat quarters which was enough fabric in total but not enough to have all my trapeziums in the same fabrics so they alternate similar coloured fabrics.
The most complicated part was lining up all the shapes, especially getting the parallelograms together in straight lines. And then having to cut it down to a neat rectangle. It’s quilted straight along the horizontal and diagonal lines – I had grand ideas about the detailed quilting I could do but I was running out of time and I’m just not used to handling that much fabric yet so the quilting stopped at following the seam lines.
For the back I used a metre of the main mountain fabric, some leftovers of the Twist fabric, and a half metre of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ fabric. I tried very hard to line it up straight but didn’t quite succeed…
The binding is a mixture of the Altitude Trees fabric in blue and a bit of white, and a small section of indigo Twist. I really need to practice my binding, I aimed for proper machine binding (to finish it more quickly than hand finishing) but it just wasn’t straight and the stitching showing on top was all over the place, so I ended up sewing a neat top stitch along the edge on the front of the binding which holds down the back. Not perfect but it’s possible to be too close to a project and end up only seeing the flaws so I’m saying good enough.
The label is stitched directly onto the backing fabric using freehand machine embroidery.
Overall, a big success! Now to decide on the next big project…
Moreton Corbet is the ruin of a half-castle half-stately home in Shropshire, a beautiful and peaceful place on the edge of a tiny village, surrounded by fields. The castle was built over a period of 500 years and abandoned in the 18th century when the family moved to another property. It’s a fascinating place to explore, a mix of building materials and styles, and lots of little details to admire.
Moreton Corbet – 9th July 2017
I can’t be the only person who looks at things and thinks “that would make some great interesting snail mail”, like the instructions for this origami wallet I saw recently whilst scrolling through some blogs.
The original pattern uses A4 paper, I was trying to make the wallet deeper to hold a letter by using scrapbooking paper, but I just made it wider… needs a bit more experimenting! The paper can’t be too stiff or it starts to tear instead fold and tuck under, but patterned scrapbook paper makes a really bright wallet.
There’s a main pocket to hold notes/letters, and a front cut out that’s perfect for stashing extra little goodies likes stickers, tags and die-cuts. I used a paper clip to stop anything from getting lost in the pocket 🙂
And it all folds up to be tucked in an envelope!
This fun letter is on its way to Canada to a new creative penfriend, but I think I’ll be making a few more!
It’s been while since I sent more than one or two cards together, but I had an urge to send a few postcards recently…
The ice-cream card is going to a food lover in Russia, a tram to a transport lover in Germany, a view of Iceland to a postcard pal in Russia, Nottingham castle is heading to China, a pretty cottage in Derby is going to USA, and the Icelandic waterfall is off to a postcard pal in South Africa. A nice variety of countries 🙂
Now to tackle the backlog of letters!
Most of my creative time recently has been taken up by one big project but I didn’t want to miss the second round of the striped quilt block swap on Swap-bot. All my colours recently seem to be blues and greens with a bit of yellow and brown so this block definitely has a colour theme!
The block on the left is off to the USA as part of the swap. The block on the right I’m keeping to add to my eventual quilt, to help it grow faster. They’re nearly the same, but I used a wider strip of a nice Japanese print on mine to get more of the design, and of course I didn’t cut enough strips so the additional corner fabrics are different.
I need to start labelling them now, it will be nice to see where everything has come from once I have enough for a quilt.
Attenborough Nature Reserve – 3rd June 2017
I hadn’t been to Attenborough for a while, I’d missed feeding the ducks (like the sensible grown up that I am!) It’s a nice place for a stroll, helped by the great cake in the cafe afterwards 🙂
Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire 29th May 2017
It was a bank holiday, of course the weather was horrendous!
As I’m working on a big birthday gift I just didn’t have capacity to make a Father’s Day gift as well, so I decided I should at least make a card. Thinking is going a bit slowly at the moment so it took a while to think of a good theme, but I settled on a bird and baby bird because it’s appropriate and easy 🙂
I found the main bird design doing a quick Google search and liked the heart detail of the wing. The fabric pieces were attached with Bondaweb and stitched using free motion machine embroidery, except for the nest where I used a standard zigzag stitch to imitate twigs and struggled to go around the corners! The eyes are made from seed beads. Then the whole lot was stuck to a blank postcard and and I used a zigzag stitch around the edge. I’m pleased with how it turned out for a quick project and I’m sure Daddy bird will appreciate a card from baby bird 😛
A penfriend had a baby recently, and I wanted to make something to send. As soon as she said the nursery theme was coral, mint and vintage I thought of the Moda Lullaby fabric collection – the right colours and designed to be soft and cute! (It’s not as orange as it looks in some of the photos). I wanted to make something small because I had to post it, and as the name was already decided bunting seemed like a pretty but not too complicated make.
The bunting was made from part of a layer cake of fabric and a basic triangle template. The flowers and letters were attached with Bondaweb and outlined using free motion machine embroidery. The lace, beads, buttons and tops of the flags were hand sewn. I found the hardest stage to be finishing the tops of the flags neatly, there’s a few not so neat corners hidden under the buttons that join the bunting together!
I sent it registered post because I’d hate for it to get lost somewhere. I hope she likes it – it might be a while before I hear back, apparently babies need a lot of attention 🙂
The Poppies: Weeping Window installation opened in Derby last weekend as part of the UK wide tour. The poppies were originally installed on the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. It’s nice that the installation has come to Derby, it sometimes feels like not much happens here.
It’s amazing to see, a sweep of red descending from the tower and spreading across the square that viewed close up becomes individual poppies and twisting black stalks. The art suits the building somehow, I wonder what the mill saw of the war…