Let’s Try This One More Time

This poor blog has been sorely neglected for quite a while now. When I started it I was living in England and wanted a way to show my family what I was up to. Now that I’m in Switzerland and living close to my family I seem to forget about blogging. Add to this the fact that I love Instagram (@lemonshark) and am very active over there and it’s a bit of lose – lose situation for my poor little blog. I’m going to give it one more shot and see if I can get back to making this little space my happy place.

I have been busy sewing even though I haven’t been blogging and am back to working on my Spring Carnival quilt. This quilt was started after the first Fat Quarterly Retreat in 2012 and is still not finished.

I ran out of the stripy fabric and for ages couldn’t find anything I could replace it with to make the quilt bigger (it’s about lap size at the moment). Hence, it’s been lurking in a box under the bed for at least two years. However, not long ago I found the perfect fabric to add: Michael Miller’s Dumb Dot in white and dark grey. I’ve already sewn a few wheels and love the change from stripes to dots.

I’ve happily been working on this quilt in the evenings and have added lots more wheels since I took this picture. After five years of working on it it’s really time to finish it, don’t you think?


Thread Catchers

Last week I attempted to make a little thread catcher but as I wasn’t concentrating it didn’t turn out great. I normally cut the lining a little smaller than the outer to make sure it doesn’t end up baggy. You’ve guessed it, I didn’t do it this time and ended up with a  baggy lining I couldn’t live with.

Thread Catcher

As I was looking at it and complaining Little Miss Bossy-Boots arrived and looked at it. When she realised that I wasn’t happy with it she asked if she could have it. Of course she could.

Panda

 

Missy turned the thread catcher into a hat for Panda and I think he looks absolutely fetching!

I didn’t give up, however, and made another, even smaller, thread catcher. It’s a little 2″ cube. This time, however, I used a completely different technique: EPP and iron on pelmet. I’m very happy with this one which is going to a  new home this week.

Thread Catcher

I added a magnetic needle minder and a little pin cushion just for fun. The fabrics I used are some of my all-time favourites: some Oakshott, some Lu Summers and some Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury Collection. I used Aurifil to sew it together and loved every second making it.

I’m already making another one…. With polka dots….

 


Magical Diamonds

I like having an EPP (English Paper Piecing) project on the go at all times and I am constantly designing new ones in TouchDraw on my iPad. This summer I went off to Norway and decided to start ‘The Big One’, a quilt for me which Little Miss Bossy-Boots has named ‘Magical Diamonds’. It’s going to fit my queen size bed and I’m using some of my all time favourite fabrics, Denyse Schmydt’s Florence and Oakshott shot cottons in blues and greens.

Magical Diamonds

I wasn’t sure at first how to place the fabrics but then decided to use the Oakshotts as a sort of frame for the prints. I was so excited about this project that I started before travelling and ended up with two very quickly. Each segment is 10″ x 14″, so they’re quite big.

Once I arrived in our cabin in Norway I set up my little work station outside. I was blessed with the most wonderful weather.

img_6765

I continued sewing a little every day if I wasn’t reading or cycling to the shops or the beach.

img_6789-1

This is what they are going to look like: 48 of those segments sewn together like this. I’m still thinking about colour placement but as I have a few more – 41 to be exact- to do, I have some time to think about it.

img_6764

This, by the way, was my view while sewing. I have to admit that I was distracted every now and again. Especially when big boats were passing.

It was a most wonderful and relaxing holiday. I managed to sew five segments which was less than I had hoped for but I also read four books and cycled quite a few kilometres. Bliss!

 


Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop

Hello! Today is my day on the Oakshott Liparis Blog Hop organised by Lynne from Lily’s Quilts. I feel very flattered that I was chosen to be part of this and would like to thank both Lynne and Michael from Oakshott for letting me play with these beautiful fabrics.

Lipari2016_range_ruched1

The Oakshott Liparis are absolutely gorgeous and can’t truly be described, they have to be seen. Each of the eighteen colours are woven with black thread to give a dark and rich palette. They are 54″ wide so go a lot further than regular quilting cottons which is great as you get quite a lot of fabric in a Fat Eighth bundle. Find out more about the inspiration for this collection here.

The minute I realised that I was going to be part of the blog hop I sat down and designed a quilt.

Persimon QuiltObviously there was no chance of making it with a Fat Eighth bundle so I thought I’d just miniaturise it and make a mini quilt. However, when the fabrics arrived and I started playing with them, I came back to the same colour combination again and again, blue, green and orange, red. I then found it difficult to cut the beautiful Liparis into small strips so decided to keep all the stripes at the same width and make the wallhanging quite big. Because it ended up as a wallhanging, not a quilt as planned it has a backing, some lush Lipari Marina, but no batting and no quilting. I was worried that the batting and quilting would make the wallhanging too rigid and that it then wouldn’t shimmer in the light as much.

This is what I ended up with:

Persimon Quilt 'Heaven and Earth'

The stylised ‘persimon’ are English paper pieced and then appliquéd onto the quilt.

Persimon Quilt 'Heaven and Earth'

This quilt/wallhanging is quite striking but easy to make. I will give you the measurements I used but it would be easy to resize from small to large.

You will need

8 Fat Eighths of Oakshott Lipari for the background, I used Stromboli, Lisca, Dattilo, Lentia, Porticello, Salina, Scari, Volcano Bleu

3 Fat Eighths of Oakshott for the ‘persimon’, I used Milazzo, Basiluzzo and Pollara

1 m of backing fabric, I used Marina

Persimon Templates

Thread for basting and sewing, I use cheap thread for basting and Aurifil for sewing and appliqué.

  1. Cut a 5.5″strip from each of your background fabrics and sew together. I went from deep red to blue to get my heaven and earth feel.
  2. Cut out the templates for the three ‘persimon’, you will need twelve of each shape
  3. Pin the templates onto your chosen fabric, cut out with a 0.25″ seam allowance and thread baste onto the paper template. P1020327
  4. Sew the small triangular shapes onto the big wedge shape, then sew the wedge shapes together to get a ‘persimon’. Pollara Persimon
  5. Lay the ‘persimon’ onto your background and pin into place. I ironed a line into the background about 8.5″ from the edge and centred my ‘persimon’ on it. Pin into place leaving the papers in.
  6. Appliqué the ‘persimon’ onto the background with small stitches starting with the inside. Once they are sewn on it’s easy to take the papers out of the small and big shape before pinning the outside down again and sewing around.
  7. Trim your top to get nice clean edges. Mine ended up at 25.5″ x 40.5″.
  8. Lay out your backing fabric and lay your top face down onto it. sew around with a 0.25″ seam allowance leaving an 8″ gap so you can turn it inside out. Press well and close the gap with a ladder stitch.
  9. To hang, I sewed a bamboo stick onto the backing.

You could of course also quilt and bind it the traditional way.

Persimon Quilt Heaven and Earth

The Oakshotts look different in different lights, they are absolutely fascinating. I’ve hung my  ‘Heaven and Earth’ wallhanging over my bed and I love how goes from very dark to shimmering like a jewel depending on the time of day.

Persimon Quilt Heaven and Earth

I’ve absolutely loved working with the Oakshott Liparis!

5 May     Allison Dutton       allison-sews.blogspot.com
10 May   Nicholas Ball         quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com 
12 May   Helen Purvis          archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com
17 May   Lynn Harris            thelittleredhen.typepad.com
19 May   Kitty Wilkin           nightquilter.com (Now moved to 2nd June)
24 May   Jessica Skultety      www.quiltyhabit.com 
26 May   Karin Jordan           www.leighlaurelstudios.com
31 May   Elisabeth Vaughan  sharksdinner.com