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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Having Fun Retreating

I admit I was a little worried about this year’s retreat as many of my friends weren’t going. Due to some other commitments I couldn’t participate in all the hype beforehand either although I did enter the sample swap and name tag swap before realising that I would be swamped with other things. I made a name tag for Di of Willowbecks Designs, a lady I absolutely love. She is one of the nicest, most generous and beautiful people I know so I wanted to make something beautiful for her. I think I managed it but as I completely forgot to take a picture of the name tag you’ll just have to trust me on that one. I got the best name tag, which the lovely Trash made for me when my partner opted out a couple of days before the retreat.

My name tag from Trash

Friday’s classes were a fantastic start to the weekend as I was first taught to hand quilt by THE Jen Kingwell. I admire Jen tremendously and learned so much in her class. Hand sewing is my thing anyway and I’ve always loved the look of hand quilting so it was fun to get a chance to get tips from the expert. I got very little done in class but came away with so much knowledge.

Jen Kingwell with her Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt

Afterwards I went to a class I had hoped to get into last year: TouchDraw with Lynne from Lily’s Quilts. I use TouchDraw all the time to design my English Paper Piecing patterns and thought I knew my way around this app rather well. Boy was I wrong. I learned a ton of things and came back absolutely amazed at how much easier I could make things for myself. I’ve had a little play with TouchDraw since coming home as I wanted to make sure I don’t forget all the tips and tricks but nothing I can show you yet.

In the evening I went for a wonderful meal with 15 lovely and creative women and had an absolute blast. I was a very happy bunny when I went to bed.

Saturday started with another fantastic class: Screen printing with Karen from Blueberry Park. I’ve admired Karen’s work for a long time and have bought a few things. I was incredibly excited to meet her and get to do some printing. Most of my materials had been left at home as I packed my suitcase in a rather haphazardly way, it seems. I had a hoop, a craft knife and some paint and begged, stole and bought everything else and came away with two different designs that I really love. I’m really excited to make something with my two panels and am desperately trying to find the time to do some more printing soon.

SharksFlowers

The afternoon was a return to hand stitching and Jen Kingwell. She gave us her ‘Green Tea and Sweet Beans’ pattern and lots and lots of tips on how to make hand sewing easy and fun. This kind of hand sewing is even faster than EPP and seems more relaxed. Once you’ve cut out all the pieces the sewing is really quick. It’s just as portable as EPP but gives a completely different effect. I didn’t like the background fabric I used for the block I had chosen (I used the background I had brought to print on in the morning) so am going to start again with some different background fabric. I know I shouldn’t event think about starting this project as I really need to finish my Spring Carnival first but as soon as that is done I’m starting on GT & SB and won’t stop until it’s finished and hand quilted!

Jen Kingwell and I

Saturday evening saw the return of quilt market and I did buy some fabric. I couldn’t resist some Oakshotts and some Cotton and Steel. All in all I was very restrained as what I really wanted was a big fat quarter bundle of Oakshott but there was the slight problem of no room in the suitcase…

Pub quiz; you either love it or hate it. I enjoy a good pub quiz although I’m usually the one smiling and nodding while everyone else is giving the answers. This time, however, it was all about fabrics, designers and books and I knew quite a few of the answers. So did the others, though, so I was still sitting there nodding and smiling. And the nodding and smiling paid off as we won. We were allowed to choose a pattern from a selection of patterns and I picked Jen Kingwell’s ‘Steam Punk’. I have no idea when I’m supposed to find the time to make it but, to be honest, I’m just happy to have it in my house.

Sunday morning saw me traipsing back to the Baden Powell House with no materials for my last class. I’d bought the materials before leaving for England but had to leave them behind as there was no space in the suitcase. That’s what I get for sharing a suitcase with a six year old. My last class was with Amy Smart, who I’ve admired for a long time. She’s written a great book ‘Fabulously Fast Quilts’ and we were going to make one of the quilts from it. I walked into the class and told Amy that I was happy to be the pressing girl and thus help out all the other ladies. Luckily for me the wonderful Di from Willowbeck Designs was in the class too and I ended up pressing and sewing for her while chatting non stop. It was a truly great end to a fantastic weekend.

Di, Amy and I