Friday, 30 July 2010

What do you do on your first week of summer break?

You get ill!
Or at least that's what my little man did.

Lucky the weather wasn't to great either. So in between nursing my boy back to health I sewed ~ what else is new!

The result, two new pillows.

Pillows prove to be the perfect size for me to practice free motion quilting. I must admit I made one more pillow but it failed miserably. It looked fine before I started quilting it! But a change of thread worked wonders. I was using a polyester machine thread and switched to cotton. I couldn't believe the difference it made in how my stitches looked.

But a change of thread worked wonders. I was using a polyester machine thread and switched to cotton. I couldn't believe the difference it made in how my stitches looked. I'm pretty pleased with myself that I dared to try something other than just stippling! {in contrasting thread colour I might add}

{Proud pillow on top of new storage cabinet.}

Oh and birds are my new 'thing' see how long that one lasts..!

X Leila

Monday, 26 July 2010

It was love at first sight...

when I decided to put together a pinwheel and some 1" squares for a new pillow. This is definately a combination I will use again.

Still practicing my free motion quilting but I'm getting braver and bolder.

Even though my stitches are still a mess and the tension isn't all it could be, I did it and I'm overall happy with the result.

I'm thinking a larger pinwheel in a more contrasting colour with the white and these cute 1" squares next time. Perhaps there'll even be a quilt in this.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

fish are jumping & the cotton is high

Summer break is finally here!!

The kids were so very pleased to get to take their pillows home. It made me feel good to get them all finished up in time for them to show them to their parents ~ glowing with pride of course!

Im excited about not having the alarm clock go every morning. Getting to spend more time with my family and friends, spending more time outdoors and probably a little less time blogging {something's gotta give } But I'll be around and I'm most likely to be working on something that I'll feel like showing you all.

Thank you for your kind comments on my whimsy quilt, they really make my day!!
I've taken some time to make a tutorial should you feel tempted to make one for yourself. I found this quilt to be quick & simple to make with a very cute quilt as the end result. I'm thinking it would be a great quilt to just whip up when you're in need of a present for someone quickly. It being my first tute there might be some flaws there so just let me know if you stumble acros any mistakes I've made. And I'd love to get some pictures of course!

Ejoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Circle Quilt Tutorial

Whimsy circle quilt

Circle quilt tutorial

This quilt top uses up a whole Layer Cake and Charm pack, no left overs! Because we're using raw-edge machine applique for the circles this top comes together quite quickly. Ideal for when you need a present fast.

Lets go make a quilt!
For this quilt top you'll need:
1 Layer Cake + 1 Charm Pack {I've used Whimsy by Moda}
Backing fabric
1/2 yard for the binding

Start by unpicking your Layer Cake and choose 18 LC squares that you want to leave uncut.
Cut the 24 remaining LC squares in half lengthwise and divide them into lights and darks. Make sure you've got 24 light and 24 dark half squares. Sew together one light and one dark half LC square using 1/4 seam allowance. I chain stitched mine.

Press seams open.
Put these aside for now.

 Fold your Charm squares in half twice {length & width} and finger press to mark the center of your square.

Use a cup, bowl or CD or something else that's round to mark circles on your Charm Squares. Make sure it fits nicely within the charm square.

Cut your circles, I used my scissors to cut them out but you could use your rotary cutter if you feel brave enough!

Now spend some time arranging your Layer Cake squares and circles. Pair circles up with Layer Cake Squares untill you're satisfied with the look of your quilt top. It helps if you've got some empty floor space {or luxury~ a design wall} so you can see the whole design.

Fold and finger press your LC squares as you did with your charm squares to determine the center of the square. Place your circles on top making sure they're centered.

You could of course skip the folding and finger pressing  and eye-ball the postition of your circles on your squares.

Sew your circles on top of your Layer Cake squares using a zig-zag stitch.

Instead of starting and ending your circles with a back stitch pull your threads to the back and tie a knot. This will look much smarter on the front of your quilt!

 Now with some of your lighter circles, especially if they're on top of darker LC squares, the background fabric will be visible behind your circle.  You can choose to cut away the background fabric from behind your circle. I didn't bother with this for my quilt.

You'll have to square up all your blocks. The LC squares that you've left uncut will be a tad {1/4''} larger than the half LC squares. Make sure all your blocks are squared before sewing them all together.

Sew all your blocks together.

Press seams open.

And you've got yourself a quilt top!

Baste and quilt as desired.

My quilt measured roughly 53''x 62'' after quilting.

Enjoy your quilt!

If you decide to make this quilt please let me know, I would love to see your creations!!

my Whimsy circle quilt

It's finished!

A little info:
Fabric is Whimsy by Moda. I've used one Layer Cake and One Charm pack wich I bought here
Inspiration came from here & here
This quilt measures roughly 53" x 62" { 132.5 x 157.5 }

{ I love this photo!!}

{my little monster had good fun modeling and pretending to be asleep!}

Perfect quilt for lounging on the couch.

I'm loving this quilt!

x Leila

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Going back and forth { a long post}

While machine quilting my Whimsy quilt I've got lots of time to think. So I thought I'd share some of these thoughts with you. This quilt has a lot of firsts for me, first time using precuts, first time I'm machine quilting { if you don't count my very first attempts at quilting when I was machine quilting with my regular pressure foot! I know!} first time using machine applique, first time a quilt has come together this quick. Well I just had lots to ponder on.

On using the precuts, I love that by eliminating the bulk of the cutting a quilt top can come together quite quickly. I'm pleased that I decided on a design where I used up all of my Layer Cake and Charm squares. I just knew that if I didn't I would end up with the bits of fabric I liked least in this line and they would be destined to remain stash for a long time.
It's easy to use precuts, but that's also the part that I'm not liking so much. There's a thrill in taking a fabric that you absolutely love and going out to find just the right fabrics to match it. Using precuts you know in advance that all the fabrics will go together. But I like the anticipation of cutting up fabrics I pulled together myself and keeping all my fingers crossed to see if they look as good all grouped together as I thought they would in my head. {I don't have one of those fancy computer designing programs, so apart from some sketches it's all in my head}
Trying to work out the placement of those two or three fabrics that on the whole help the quilt look good, but next to each other just look all wrong.
I do think I will use precuts again, I know I will because I still have a Layer Cake of Aviary and also because my local quilt shop doesn't have as many gorgeous fabrics any more as they used to some years back. Ordering online precuts, or fabrics from the same line/designer takes the risk out of ending up with a bunch a fabric you can't use. But I think I'll mix it up a bit more next time.

Since I'm not as brilliant at free motion quilting as I'd hoped, I went for straight line machine quilting. I chose to not mark my horizontal lines but rather use the edges of my walking foot as a guide. I knew that doing this my lines would end up being a bit {or a lot} wonky, wich in my mind would bring a bit more life to my quilt. And I think it's sorta kinda working. I'm not completely sure that I chose well in quilting just horizontal lines all over the quilt, but I do think I love them being wonky. I was right in thinking it would be terribly boring if the quilting lines were to be straight as well. I'm just not so sure that these wonky lines ensured a non-boring quilt. I've done about a third of the quilting and I am noticing that my blocks are starting to look a bit warped. Not sure whether that is because of not basting my quilt properly or just not quilting it properly or both!

One thing's for sure this is going to be my quickest quilt ever. I haven't even had my usual thoughts on what my next project might be, it's going that quickly. Wich is perfectly all right since I'll still be hand quilting my orchids quilt for quite some time. Oh lovely quiet hand quilting where I can watch some telly, listen to my music and let my thoughts run freely on what my next project should be.

I am so pleased you've made it to the end of my post, thanks for reading!!

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

about fabric & what the kids made & whimsy in progress

Yesterday I went to market and came back with this. All bargains of course! The fabric on top of the pile was brought there especially for me, wich made me feel really good so I had to buy 2 meters of it. The brown dots are going to be the backing to my whimsy quilt and the blue was a steal at €3 a meter so I bought it.

I also brought home this pile of lovely cuteness

I've been volunteering at my little monsters' school and helped the older kids do their embroidery. Now these will have to be made into little lavender scented pillows. I'll be busy sewing the backing fabrics on this weekend{wich the kids picked out themselves ~ cute!}.

My Whimsy circle quilt {working title} is coming along nicely. In fact I'm amazed how fast this top is coming together!
Lots of circles to be machine appliqued...

Some serious chain stitching..

And my quilt top was all done!

Here you can see it lounging on the ironing board.

If you're looking for me, I'll be behind my sewing machine ;-)

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

W.I.P {Whimsy In Progress}

I've decided to go with the circles rather than squares. To make the 'boxed in' square quilt I would've been better of having a jelly roll and a charm pack. I'll make that one day when I do have the right ingredients. This design I've worked out so I would use all my layer cake and charm squares, no left overs!

This is what I've been working on since yesterday.

Cutting circles from my charms, I ended up doing them one by one to get the circles as acurate as possible.

Sewing the circles to my Layer cake squares using a small zig zag stitch.

Making progress!

I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I've got my fingers crossed.

Somebody is going to get really lucky and win these beautiful fabrics - I so hope it's me I adore these prints!
Head on over to Marie-Madeline quickly to enter!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Top Sewing

For some reason I never quite got the hang of sewing clothes. My mum taught me how to sew from when I was a little girl, and some 9 years back she gave me and my brothers girlfriend actual sewing lessons. I learned the basics but I didn't enjoy sewing clothes as much as I enjoyed sewing patchwork. Quite frankly it stressed me out so much I gave it up all together. But after seeing this top Florence of Flossie Teacakes made I had to give it another try! It's actually Rae's Spring Ruffle Top
wich I decided to make without the ruffles as well.

I'm quite pleased with how this top turned out, not so much with these photo's though!
It was very nice to discover that I've learned so much about my sewing machine over the years that making this top wasn't at all as stressful as I expected it to be. I just love the Liberty fabric I used on this top! {sorry you can't see it very well!}

Since I felt it went rather well and I had bought lots of this lovely sheer cotton { it was only €3 a metre, who could resist!} I made another one in all white but still with different textured white for the top.

I made this one a little shorter and without the pockets. Wich you can't see because I havent mastered the art of taking pictures of myself yet!

I also took advantage of the weather cooling down a little to finally baste 'somewhere where the orchids grow'. I do it the old fashioned way on the floor with basting stitches and I just couldn't get myself to do it in that heat we've been having lately.
Now that I've basted the quilt I'm free to start on a new quilt using my Whimsy Layer cake. I make up these silly rules just to prevent myself from starting lots of different projects without finishing them!
Being extra strict with myself I made me tidy up my work space first {it's the kitchen table but work space sounds much better!}

There, that's better!
Time to create something new now :-)

Enjoy your day!