Saturday 28 December 2013

2013 lookback

 English paper piecing...
...and other stuff.

I think my 2013 was a mix bag kinda year.
Lots of interesting projects most of which are completed.
Plenty of gifts for friends,
(my favourite inspiration)
with many more on the horizon.

I love the start of a fresh new creative year.
I keep telling myself that 2014 is a year for painting
with less sewing
but somehow I think we all know how that will pan out!

I wonder what the next new year quilting trend will be?
Am I too late for a scrappy trip around the world?

Thank you for your everlasting friendship
I know with some of you we are like ships in the night
but it's nice to know we are still there for each other
even if it's a single word comment
just to say

Sunday 22 December 2013

Happy *selfie*sewn Christmas!

In case I don't make it back here 
I just want to thank everyone
for sharing my world this year.
 I am very much looking forward to a fresh new year
of quilting and painting.
So I will leave you now with a shot of my new stockings
my last make of 2013.
(I know the pom poms are still pinned on!) 
 Wishing you all a 
Merry Christmas
love Clare
ps. (cos there's always a ps.)
I made my own pom-poms the old fashioned cardboard way
please Santa could I have a pom-pom maker* for next year?
thank you x
* as seen on Kirsties Crafty Home Christmas
** polka dot hairband was £1.50 from a cheapy shop.
started off as a joke, but I quite like it now!!

Thursday 19 December 2013

it's beginning..

 Now that I have sent out all my handmade gifts
I can finally concentrate on some makes for me.
One project at a time definitely
keeps things simple,
even if in my head there are a million possibilities.
I made these simple two sided fabric stars for my dresser
not unlike the ones I made Lisa
 but unquilted this time.
Somehow more effort goes into making gifts for others....
maybe I should love myself more!

And we have a new floor at last...
almost finished,
knowing when to draw the renovation line before Christmas is a good thing.
As the smell of paint isn't all that Christmassy!
The floor is Swedish!
Made by Kahrs product name estrella
(cos I know someone will ask me)
Now that we have a Swedish floor
does that mean my kitchen is now a principality?

On with the makes
next up stockings....

Monday 16 December 2013

tis the season for giving

 So I have been doing a little more stitching than I have been sharing with you.
Now that they have been received I can show you 
what you can do with some thread and fabric!
In a bid to release the reigns on my epp obsession
I went for some freeform quilting
no measuring
totally off the cuff
just sewing from the heart.
Actually I just wanted to make my pal Mary a label
it just evolved a little.

  My second make also for Mary 
is this kantha quilted heart.
Mary has Irish roots and three daughters
so I embellished it with a vintage pin with three shamrocks.
(these should have been separate gifts, but I was a little tardy on posting)
Making smaller items make the finer details all the more important,
and allows you to explore ideas
like the diagonal stripe binding 
that I have been desperate to try out.

If you loved these little gifts
then why not
hop on over to Marys blog
where she is giving away
the cutest peppermint swirl pin cushion!

Tuesday 10 December 2013

pins and needles

Hows Christmas going you ask?
Well it's not...not yet,
we have way too much diy stuff happening to think about 
anything festive.
 So I thought I'd answer a question regarding my quilted star garland instead!
Mad cat quilts asked :
 Lovely! How did you attach the string to the back? Can you show a pic?
Over the years I have developed my own way of
doing things
I do not like anything too 'frou frou'.
(fussy bows and ribbons need not apply)
As with my patchwork style
I like to mix and match.
I love using the rough with the smooth
or the new with the old.
I use garden twine for many of my decorations
but as it's Christmas I have splashed out with a
festive stripe!
 Okay back to the question!
Sometimes those hand me down bags of vintage 'stuff'
contain gems like the awesome set of needles*.
I'm not about to start repairing tents or the like
I am just sharing the tools I use to wangle the larger threads
through my creations.
One of my pet hates are decorations that have the loop running from front to back
which means I am forever twisting ornaments round.
So the above picture is my all time favourite hanging method.
Thread an upholstery needle 
and make a running stitch at the top of your decoration,
remove the needle and pull the threads so they are even.
Next pull out the stitch (just a little) to form a loop,
 feed the ends through and pull up tight.
Finish off by knotting the ends together.
In answer to the question about the stars
I simply thread the twine through the backs
using a running stitch
which means the stars are not stuck in one position
and can move about.
That was all a bit too heavy
 for such a simple question!
I think I need some light relief!

*a certain amount of force is still needed
even with these giant needles!

Thursday 5 December 2013

teenage kicks decorations

 It has become a tradition for me to send handmade decorations
to my friends three kids,
ala Beatrix Potter
Now they are teenagers the cutesy stuff
just doesn't cut the mustard.
 Remember my scary skulls and the black crochet star garlands?
They were previous years makes.
I struck upon an idea that wasn't too twee
and suitably personal.
So I made another visit to my 'goto' craft compendium
and found her 
scrappy little Christmas tutorial
which continues my theme of close line quilting.
 I kept mine really simple
by just using one fabric
and a double layer of felt.
I found it easier to quilt the lines first 
and then cut the shape out.
I used my walking foot.
And made the paper letter templates
from a picmonkey font.
 I finished them off with some twine*
and some beads.
 So I am pretty much done with gift makes.
Nicky suggested that I should make some stars for myself.
So that was enough of a spark to 'get the scraps out' again!
Some of you might notice that I have cleared my dresser/cabinet 
you also might think I am preparing it for Christmas?
But no believe it or not we are finally laying a new wood floor
in the extension.
We were so excited when the wood delivery arrived
we were literally like
children going to bed on Christmas eve!
Fingers crossed I will have a wonderful new floor
to share next week!

*twine from Libertys none the less!

Thursday 28 November 2013

thanksgiving star garland

This will be my dressers first Christmas in our home.
I am excited by the idea of some festive decorating.
(not yet started...susan! )
Not only is it useful for hiding stuff
but great for displaying recent makes.
This was always my plan for these stars
as I know the recipient has a dresser
and I think I know what she likes.
In fact these stars were rehomed yesterday
and now live with my friend Lisa
whom I call one of my fabric sponsors
because she ALWAYS has a bag of vintage goodies for me.

Life is a precious thing so get living.
 Friends are a special thing so get giving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all

Monday 25 November 2013

monday making...

... making presents money just cant buy.

made with love

Friday 22 November 2013

kantha quilting

Have I been living under a rock?
Am I the last to know about kantha quilting?
How have I missed it, with all this evidence around me?
 I know I have seen such quilting
I just had no idea how big of a thing it is right now.
Kantha quilts'quilting originate in India
and are traditionally made from saris 
with simple but heavy stitching.
So it seems I am making a kantha quilts of sorts.
Currently I have stitched 15 out of the 40 strips
and used one whole ball of perle cotton....
that's 82 metres so far.
You work out the maths,
just don't tell me how far I have left to sew
I already think I'm insane.

*Kantha sources shown.
 Homes and Antiques magazine sep 2006
Granny Chic ~ Dottie Angel and Ted and Agnes.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

framing notions ~ arsenic and old lace

In an effort to
keep things simple
I had an idea 
and I completed it in a day!
 It started with an old brown frame you know the type.
Just hanging around from my childhood,
not really loved
but sentimentally cherished,
a Farrow and Ball arsenic* tester pot,
a sewing notion from Australia
and some moda fabric from America.
Put them all together...
and we have a fine romance
and not a dark comedy

*arsenic ~ just about my all time favourite colour!

Friday 15 November 2013

mini mojo quilt reveal

My mojo quilt has found it's way to it's new home in Australia,  
so I am at last able to share it with you.
It is actually called Susan's Mojo 
after my friend Susan asked me to send her 
some mojo..
and so another quilt is born.
I am very proud of this one
I think it is my best work to date.
In fact I think I work best when I know it's a gift....
must be the love!


The nitty gritties

This mini is hand pieced using the English paper piecing method
although the pattern from Linda Sewards Country Quilts book
is machined.
I have used a mix of modern and vintage fabrics,
the back is a rosali print from ikea
and the binding is my fav Joel Dewberry herringbone.
The quilting is also a mix of machine and hand quilting.
The size approx 25 inch square.
 The label is hand embroidered.
Thank You xxx