Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh, didn't I mention?

I made another quilt!

I was sitting on my bed a few weeks ago, thinking about what pattern I was going to use for the queen size quilt I wanted to make for my bed. It's going to be in red, black and white with a bit of grey mixed in. I was there pondering the delicious fabrics I had and their light and dark values, and realising I may need some more light value stuff I pulled out the bag of fabric and started to sort. In the middle of this sorting, I realised I have some totally gorgeous fabrics in colours OTHER than red, black and purple, and wondered if I could make a nice quilt without using these 3 colours.

Starting with a cute Moda fabric that had green and blue birds eggs on it, I started to build up a little pile of complementing fabrics. Beige, brown, greens, blues...even an oriental fabric in tan and teal with metallic gold highlights. I decided that I wanted to give the "string" style of quilt blocks a go, so I cut the fabric into strips and got stuck in. The first block was great, so I did more.

After a while, I ran out of patience. I liked the piecing on paper thing, but it was pretty time consuming and I tend to lose interest if I haven't made discernible progress after a few days. So instead of the original idea I had of making a wavy chevron style pattern with the squares, I made the quilt much smaller and made 9 big blocks instead. I had to buy the chocolate brown and solid teal fabrics as I didn't have them already, but I loved how these colours look together and may use them more in the future.

This quilt is small, about 140cm square, which is big enough to have it on the couch and just snuggle under or use as a pillow or what have you. (Mostly, it's just beautifying the couch, the suede is very unforgiving but it was a freebie so hey, I shouldn't complain!) I really like how it looks, the only problem is I made some of the seams too small and there are a few little seams that have popped open already after the boys "rough-housed" on the couch the other day. I'll fix it, soon, it's just too bloody hot at the moment to have it on me. And then next time, I'll just make it with a bigger seam allowance. Problem solved!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This month, it's quilts.

Yep, it's true. Crochet has been put on hold for a while as I indulge my love of fabrics. I've always looked at quilts and thought, "Wow I'd love to make one of those...but it looks hard!" I guess that's because I hate measuring and calculating and blah blah blah. I'm not so fantastic at maths but I go all right, it's just that for some reason I seem to screw things up when I'm trying to be precise. You know that saying, "Measure twice, cut once" (shut up, it IS so a saying!) well in my case it's more like, "Measure thrice, cut once, measure again then swear like a sailor since you're just that little bit under as to make a total hash of it". Ok that saying will never catch on but eh, that's what happens around here.

Anyways, it all started with the quilt that I gave my mother for Christmas:

I'd cut up the squares for myself originally, with the intention of making a queen-size quilt for my bed. Ambitious for a beginner, I know, which is why it landed itself in the "unfinished objects" pile after I sewed together about 20 squares. There it stayed for the best part of a year. Then with Christmas approaching I thought, "Hey that'd make a nice little lap quilt! I'd just have to back it with something..." and not long after I saw a polar fleece throw at Ikea for about $6. So I bought one, sewed it onto the squares with some shiny metallic thread, and before I knew it - I was in love with this little guy! Of course, from that love was born a new crafting obsession.

So my brother-in-law's girlfriend got one for Christmas too. As did my son, his was different - my first attempt at a proper 3-layer quilt with wadding. He chose colours, I just put it together:

I went with a simple pattern for ease, yet somehow I managed to screw it up too. The squares aren't all perfectly square, I blame my hand-cut fabric for this. I have now invested in a rotary cutter, a few quilts too late I think, but my "slicie" as I've been calling him, is my new friend. He helped me create this quilt for my best bud's birthday:

I really like this one! Originally, I didn't like it so much. There was none of the black sashing and all those fabrics together just looked way too busy. So in the fashion of pretty much everything I make, I had to change something at the last moment to rescue it from the brink of ugliness. I think I achieved that goal.

Very little of what I make ends up like I originally planned. I think in this way, my crafting has helped me to adapt better, and go with the flow. I'm usually an all-or-nothing kind of person, where it has to be a certain way or I want no part of it. Control freak, I hear you say? I'm not so much of a control freak, as someone who has a vision and can't rest until it's realised. But making something with my own hands...I guess it shows me that even when something is in my control it still doesn't always go how I expected. A very good lesson that translates into life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Long time, no...something.

Hey y'all,

It's been a while since I blogged last. In fact, over a year. Oh. Well anyway, lots has happened in the last 12 months so instead of trying to go back and talk about everything I've done since then, I think I'll just start from now and refer back to things I made last year.

Prepare to embark on a crafting voyage!