Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Skyloft quilt top

I tend to work on sewing projects concurrently, rather than one at a time. As a result, it often takes me several months to complete a project (that and the fact that I work full-time). So it's a particularly satisfying feeling when I finish something.

I started this quilt top a couple of months ago, after receiving a precious metre of Liberty's Bloomsbury Virginia print for Christmas. This weekend just gone I finally finished the top. Here it is!

I used a real mix of fabrics in this quilt, which is my favourite way of working. As much as I love the ease of using a charm pack or all fabrics from the same range, it's also lovely to know that something you've made is unique because you used all sorts of things to make it. This contains three prints from that Liberty collection (Virginia in rich red blue and magenta teal, and Bell in rich red blue); African shweshwe (the bright pink one with yellow bits); at least three fabrics that are reprints from feedsack; Cath Kidston prints; and several generic polka dots I picked up as remnants.

This quilt top about a metre by a metre and a half, maybe a little more. It'll be a baby-sized one when it's quilted. I am absolutely in love with it.

I don't normally name my quilts, but I'm going to call this one Skyloft, because the colours and the feeling of motion and the flags and pinwheels put me in mind of the floating town, Skyloft, in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:

(For a better idea, you can watch this video, which gives you a good idea of the general breeziness and airiness of Skyloft. I'm a Zelda geek and I have no regrets, by the way!)

I rather like making pinwheel blocks, though I haven't quite perfected the art of it yet. A close-up look reveals how I can never quite get my corners lined up. Grr!

I did trim the blocks before sewing them together, which I never used to do, and which did make a big difference. Here is Agitha "helping" me trim.

Here are some prairie points (the little triangles) before being sewn on. 

And here is the edge of the quilt with prairie points. I'd forgotten how fiddly the little bastards are. Got there in the end, though.

So the next step is to find a suitable backing fabric and to quilt it. My original plan was to machine-quilt in a freeform stipple design, but now I'm wondering about quilting in a pattern that adds to the airiness and breeziness (those words again!) of the design. I'm going to have to do some doodling.

I've made a version of this design before, when my nephew Elliott was born:

This version is hand-quilted, which I like, but I'm not sure it would work with this new design. What do you think?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cushions and a pair of socks

Here are a few of my recent and current projects.

My pal Ali bought me some beautiful sock yarn (in a colourway aptly called "gothic") a couple of years ago. After many fits and starts, I finally finished these gorgeous socks. This is my first ever pair where the stripes match across the socks, which rather pleases the perfectionist in me.

Meanwhile, I made this cushion as a mother's day gift for, er, my mother. I'm not 100% sure on the text - if I make another of these I'll use a darker colour for it. I also wonder if the design is too shoved up into one corner. On the other hand, I'm mega-pleased with the gull.

Here is another cushion, a commission for a work pal's birthday. It's a variation on my Berni's Blues design, available in my Etsy shop.

I also bashed together this start of a pincushion one evening, using scraps. It turned out bigger than I expected - maybe 12cm square - and I have no idea what I'll stuff it with. Google brought me several other craft blogs suggesting I buy a sack of crushed nut shells from a reptile pet shop. I might just use lentils!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Embroidery + pr0n

I started this project months ago, but only just got around to finishing it.

The phrase comes from (or is paraphrased from, rather), an infamous porn clip in which a young couple are interrupted in the process of admiring their lemon tree by a "lemon whore", who is squirrelling their lemons away inside her transparent leotard. Obviously the logical conclusion is that they all have sex with each other. Hey, I didn't say it made sense.

This is the back. I was really pleased when I found the lemon-print fabric!

There's also a ribbon loop so it can be hung on a wall. 

I have listed this piece for sale in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Snow day!

On Monday night it began to snow, and it snowed so heavily overnight that yesterday work was closed. Brucie bastard bonus! 

It's been a while since I've had a day off with nothing that specifically needed doing and I wasn't ill, so naturally I stuck on a couple of films and got sewing.

I'm currently working on log cabin blocks in half bright, saturated prints and half muted greys, pastels and white. Here is one. It's a bit crumpled!

Each one of these blocks measures about two feet across. Once I've made nine or twelve I'll start figuring out how to arrange them into a quilt top. The fabrics are a real mixture - in the block above, there are prints by Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett, at least one from Liberty, several shweshwe prints I bought in South Africa, and various others from my stash.

The finished quilt is going to be for my mum and dad. Mum keeps talking about commissioning a quilt from me, but she doesn't know exactly how she wants it to look -- so I figured I might as well start and then surprise her with this design.

Also yesterday -- since I clearly don't have enough to do already! -- I found myself fiddling about with my box of scraps, and before I knew it, this was happening:

I love the way they look on the back as you start to piece them.

This might end up being my in-front-of-the-telly project for the next however long. There's something oddly meditative about hand-sewing like this.

I've been meaning to post for ages anyway -- so in the next couple of days, I'll see if I can put up a few of the things I've finished recently.