Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sewing themed Crazy Quilted Wall Hanging

Hi - today I thought I'd share this sewing themed crazy quilted wall hanging, made for one of my best friends.  I am very lucky that I have two very dear friends that mean the world to me: Sarah who I met at school when I was 13, and Wendy who I met when I was 17 and in my first job.  We all turned 40 in the same year and have been through so much together.  (Another Gratitude to add to my jar!)

This was made for Wendy's birthday this year, and she has seen it now so I can share it here.

I chose a sewing theme as Wendy is a quilt-aholic! We started attending the quilt club at the same time but she has made so very many beautiful quilts. We have actually nicknamed her Whippet Wendy because she is so quick and seems to have completed a new project between every class! I also had to include an owl - mostly because if we ever see fabric with owls on Wendy nearly always has to have it - I'm the same with maps and text on fabrics!


I am very careful to only use patterns that have either been gifted by the designer on their blogs, or that I have purchased myself.  Something I am keen to stress is that it is not acceptable to find the images and simply copy them without the designer's permission.  I am aware of several designers and artists who are genuinely distressed when they find that their work has been copied without permission after they have put so much work into them. (rant over!)

Some of the places I find the patterns I use are Urban Threads (www.urbanthreads.com) who have both machine and hand-stitching embroidery patterns; the Quilter's Clock was from www.mastelitas.blogspot.com; the pincushion was from www.cathroncountrydesigns.typepad.com and I linked it with the sewing basket which I found on Red Brolly (http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/free-red-brolly-patterns.html) as part of The Wish Christmas Quilt; the owl was from http://stitchybritches.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/owl-love-you.html I usually visit Google or Pinterest to search for free patterns or tutorials first and this usually then leads to a whole evening of very enjoyable blog-hopping and then me feeling a little guilty as I have done nothing at all other than browse the internet! 


So the little stitcheries were the starting point for this hanging, but originally I was going to make it as a more conventional quilt design with each stitchery at the middle of a block.  Once I'd bought the fabrics though and started to think about how they would go together it quickly morphed into a crazy quilted piece.  This meant that I had to trim the stitcheries down into odd shaped pieces and then construct each block using a stitch & flip method (I will do a tutorial on this at some stage - promise!).  Each of the small blocks measured in at 7.5" square and the central piece with the text in the middle was 7.5" x 14.5" - after joining together this gave me a piece that was 14.5" x 21.5 due to the seam allowances.  I then used strips bits of lace and some metal charms to embellish areas of it, I decided not to use beads on this piece as I wanted to keep it more 'homely' as I felt this would suit Wendy best.  I then cut some wadding the same size and a back piece of fabric. 



Normally I would sandwich these together, pin and quilt them and then bind it; this time however as I wanted to add a piece of broderie anglaise trim to one side I decided not to add a binding and instead laid the front and back right sides together and then pinned them with the wadding behind the front piece and the trim down one side.  I sewed around the outer edge, leaving a small gap in the centre of the top and then turned it right side out through this gap, and then closed the gap with a whip stitch.  I smoothed it out flat and re-pinned it before quilting down the seams joining the different blocks together.  As this was for a wall-hanging rather than a functional quilt I think it is enough, but I would have done more if it had been a lap-quilt for example.  I then added a hanging sleeve and a label on the back to finish it off. 

I am away now for just over 2 weeks as I'm visiting my uncle in New Orleans (yay!) and I'm not sure on what internet access I will have.  This means I probably won't be updating the blog until the beginning of March.

Take care everybody & thanks for reading.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Technique Toolbox with Claudine Hellmuth

Well I'm feeling incredibly lucky :)

A little while back while visiting one of my favourite blogs - that of the talented Tammy Tutterow which you can find here at http://tammytutterow.com/blog/ - I entered a giveaway competition.  And - guess what - I won!!

The prize is a place on Technique Toolbox, a 5 week mixed media online class with Claudine Hellmuth!  It's being hosted at Big Picture Classes - www.bigpictureclasses.com - I'm really looking forward to this.  Over the 5 weeks Claudine will share 25 different techniques with us, and as a little bonus she's given us a PDF of a little toolbox that we can print out, assemble and then use to store details of all of them.  I just need to get some card that will fit through my printer and then I can get cracking with that!


There is still time to sign up for the class, which starts on 10th February and runs until 12th March.  If you've not taken an online class before and are uncertain whether that learning style would suit you they also offer some free classes which will give you a little taste of how they work.  Well worth a look :)

I'm also planning to take the Tim Holtz - Chemistry 101 & 102 classes and I think the toolbox may come in useful for storing those techniques too!

Anyway that was just a quick update from me - I've got some sewing to do!!!