Friday, 3 June 2016

Pattern testing

When Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting asked on Instagram if anyone wanted to pattern test the first quilt pattern she was going to sell, I offered.

Not because I fancied pattern testing per se but more because the pattern fascinated me. I could see there was a lot of precision cutting involved (and subsequent trimming of blocks which I hadn't really factored in ) which I thought would be a challenge.



It's made up of two different blocks which are then set on point.
Each square finishes at just 1.75" so it's a great scrap buster for using up even the smallest scraps of fabric.

Did I mention there was trimming involved?




I don't often follow actual patterns these days so I never worry about whether I have 'enough' of one fabric to make the quilt. I was about a third of the way through this quilt when I realised I did not have 'enough' of that yellow floral I was using as a background.

Cue cutting up a sort of lime yellow dotty fabric to fill in the missing bits.



Which obviously was a deliberate design decision.



Then it was on to quilting and I went for a zig zag (ish) stitch.





Which I think gives a lovely texture.


And then it was on to binding and it was done.



For an early morning  photo shoot which seemed to make the quilt glow.





And then when I'd finished I added it to my pile and decided I really ought to try selling my quilts locally.

I approached a lady who runs a sort of craft gift shop in town with this quilt. In my head I was thinking I would be happy to part with it for around £250 but she told me that she had kantha style quilts (made in India) in her shop that she struggled to sell for £69 a piece.

I was amazed. We live on an affluent island and have over 100 cruise ships calling in here each year, bringing thousands of tourists.



Reluctantly, I decided to sell it for £150, less her commission, just to see what would happen. Within a week it sold but to a quilter who told her she understood the hours that went in to the making of it.

I gave the lady another quilt to sell but I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I don't believe you could charge what it actually takes in man hours to make a quilt but on the other hand, what is an acceptable and reasonable price?

I'm not doing this to make a living; rather quilts just happen to be a by-product of a hobby I love to do. Is it because quilts that ultimately end up on beds are seen as utilitarian and therefore attract no greater value than what you could buy in the bedding section of a department store? I don't really know.

Meanwhile, in other news, I finished the outside of my Weekender Bag but that's for another blog post when the lining is in and I can reflect on its making.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Colour, colour and more colour

There are very few fabrics these days that completely knock my socks off.
We seem to be drowning in an increasingly large sea of new fabric line after new fabric line with not much to distinguish one from the other.

In my opinion of course.

And then along came Mostly Manor from Victoria Findley Wolfe and the orange fabric in particular stopped me in my tracks and I knew I had to purchase some.

So I did.



I've never made a quilt with half triangle rectangles before so that's what I decided to do, using as many bright fabrics as I could find.



It was my first time using the Bloc-Loc ruler to trim this particular block and it took me a while to get a hang of it.





The long evening shadows meant it became very difficult to photograph it without inadvertently appearing myself.



How can you not want to hoard that orange fabric?!



I feel it's a happy, cheery quilt which hopefully signals the arrival of warmer, sunnier weather.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

The other sewing

I started a Sew Together Bag.



And I finished a Sew Together Bag.



Then I made a pink quilt.

This was the front.



And this was the back.



Then I made a cushion cover for a skills swap with a former work colleague who now fires her own pottery designs, many with a Guernsey theme.



Can you believe that in return she gave me these:







Then youngest daughter picked fabric and pompons for two cushions for her room.



After which I made a cushion cover for my secret partner in the cushion cover swap I set up on Instagram.



And then I made another one.
Just because I had a wobble moment about working with softer colours.


And then I unfortunately made another one.
Because people don't always do what they sign up to do.

Organising a swap has been a HUGE eye opener to me.
I will never get people who willingly sign up for something on the basis of a set of rules they have re-read and then completely fail to follow through.

It is HUGELY time consuming (and frustrating) having to chase people and I'm afraid I lose a little bit of respect for them in the process.

In this swap there is one person who suffered a life-changing medical situation where she is currently unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair. Yet, she still contacted me to say she was not a flaker and would be finding a friend to mail her package. I would never have expected her to do that.

It just heightens even further the lack of communication from others.

So I had to make another cushion cover.



Then I had a temporary obsession with sewing together teeny tiny scraps into pouches and needed to make four before the scratch was itched.



I swapped mini quilts in person with the lovely Rhea at one of my favourite quilt shops ever.



I don't often get to see quilt stuff in person so when I did, I made a number of purchases.

Such as this pop-up basket. You buy the pattern and wires and you do the fabric choosing and assembling of.



And a Linden sweatshirt.
There was a sample hanging in the shop and it looked so nice and I keep hearing it is easy.

So this is as far as I've got.



And a Weekender Bag.

This is like the Holy Grail of bag making and although I don't actually need one, that is beside the point.
I need to make one.
So I've started.



I'm using Peltex, wadding and scraps of cotton canvas.
I may live to regret such a sturdy layering.
Only time and needles will tell.

And finally...I've started another quilt using these fabrics.
Just because.



I hope you know what that means.
I sent my mum some flowers this week with 'just because' on the delivery note.

She called me to thank me for the flowers but asked what 'just because' meant.

Just because
is
Just because I can.


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Soy Amado sewing, sewing and sewing

Let's bring you up-to-date on all the Soy Amado quilts.

No. 76 is anonymous - unless someone wants to shout up.
A very kind person keeps sending me beautifully constructed whole quilts like this every so often but there is no note in them.

They're called 'SK8' because that is the UK postcode on the parcels. If there's anyone in Stockport in the UK who is making these for me, I am really touched.



Then there is No. 77



No. 78



No. 79



No. 80 was another anonymous one from 'SK8'.



No. 81



No. 82, another anonymous 'SK8.'

Considering how windy it was, that was a pretty good shot.

No. 83



No. 84

This one was taken in the German Underground Hospital, a leftover relic from World War Two and now a visitor attraction.




Over a mile of tunnels underground.
Water seeping through the cracks.
A damp, depressing atmosphere.
Makes you think.



And No. 85



In between all that I've done a bunch of other sewing, including helping to run my first pillow/cushion cover swap on Instagram.

That's a post for later in the week.


I hope!
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