Sunday, September 25, 2011

Retro Pillow Challenge - 5 days before closing!

September went by so fast and the Retro Pillow Challenge is almost closing! There's less than a week left for the finished pillows to be submitted for voting.

Here are the completed pillows so far (in no particular order!):

Pam of Threading My Way [blog post]

(Rikka I hope you don't mind I chose the picture with the cat!! She's just so cute and offsets the pillow so well!!!)

Keren from sew la vie! (*ahem* that would be me) [blog post]

These pillows are still in the works - - or maybe they're done and the photos haven't yet been uploaded?

Kadie of Seven Alive [blog post]

Kate Walker of Kate's Curios [blog post]

Amy of MoMomma

Adrianne of Happy Hour Projects [blog post]

I am curious as to what the following Challenge participants are up to - are their pillows in the works?
Please update us, we're dying to know!

Lakshmi of Adithis Amma Sews
June of Creations by June
Emily of Domestic Deadline
Lauren from Michigan

Saturday, September 24, 2011

place mat done - photos

I finished one out of four place mats. The rest will be pretty much identical, except for the randomness of the design, obviously.

The owner of the quilting shop told me I should use 100% quality cotton thread for quilting, and I can't get that in the store near me. I preferred to have quilted using a matching brown thread, but since I had none, I went for my natural-cotton colored thread (cream / off-white).

I think the brown thread and a tighter quilting design (stippling) would have given a prettier result.

Overall I like the colors. I think it might be a bit too busy, but nevertheless I'm content with it, I guess. I will finish the other three and form my opinion after putting them aside for a couple of days...

What do you think?

Friday, September 23, 2011

place mats in progress, and finished baby quilt


Just thought I'd post up a bit of my work so far! It's all totally quilting related, and very much "Oh, Fransson!" inspired.

I abandoned the place mats with the fade marks for now and started making new ones, out of quality quilting cotton. Alas, they were not ready in time for the wedding I am attending. I guess they will be a gift for another occasion, then!

Here are some photos of the new place mats in progress.

These are the fabrics I chose - the top row of blues/turquoises are for the wonky blocks, the dark brown is for the background and the back of the place mat, and the stripes are for the binding.

I cut 6-inch strips from each blue/turquoise fabric piece, and sewed a 3-inch dark brown strip on either side. Then I chopped them up with my trusty rotary cutter, sort of wonky shaped.

Then I sewed the wonky blocks together free-style, and squared them up.

Finally I added another brown rectangle piece to make the place mats 35x45 cms (about 14x18 inches): 

Up next: finish the fourth place mat, quilt them (meandering / stippling), and bind! Which reminds me that I want to write a post about meandering and stippling...!

I finished the baby quilt I'm making. I can't show it to you here on the blog (though I'm dying to!) because it's a gift but I will give you a sneak peek! if you want me to send you the full photos, send me your email and I'll be happy to show them off!

all packed up and waiting!

The quilt design was inspired by this lovely creation by amydunn (based on the chopped vegetables design by "Oh Fransson!")

Sunday, September 18, 2011

more placemats

Here's what I made today. I actually made four placemats, but I ran out of the red backing fabric so I quilted only three (no binding yet):

one placemat, right side up
I wanted the placemats to have a dark-ish background (I figured white isn't too suitable for something you put a plate of food on), so I chose this jeans-colored plain cotton weave. Problem is it has these "fade marks" on it - you can even see that in the photo. So I guess I will be re-making these placemats and giving these particular ones to someone who isn't picky about the fade-marks!

Anyway, I had fun making them. I love this slice-and-dice technique. I love my new rotary cutter and Omnigrid ruler! The rotary cutter has a handle that you press while cutting, which exposes the blade, and when you let go, the blade goes hiding back behind the plastic on its own. It is also suited for left handed people like me which is so much more convenient. The Omnigrid ruler is great, though it does slip - it's a good thing I got the non-slip stickers to stick onto it.

rotary cutter like the one I got

Omnigrid ruler like the one I got
I want to choose a print fabric for the binding. I've run out, though! So I guess I am allowed a trip to the fabric shop tomorrow (yay!)

My free motion quilting certainly has improved. It's been fun!

Tell me what you think of this style.
Do you like it?
Would you make something using this technique?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

photos of cats, mat, and quilt


During this weekend visit at my parents' house in the country, I took a few photos outdoors using my dad's superior camera lens. 

Less words, more photos!
Enjoy and please do comment!

Shugy, the sweetest cat in the world, doing what he knows best - relaxing

Probably imagining tasty treats or belly rubs!

Practice Mat

Practice mat I made, inspired by this. I like it!

my free motion quilting is improving - it's easier with the new self-stick American batting I got
back side of mat (sorry, this photo was taken indoors...)


Francis - the eldest cat, who does not like the others, in one of his hideouts

Baby Quilt

Here's the baby quilt I made a few days ago, in natural sunlight

My brother

my brother and Shugy


Pushkin - the furriest cat of all!
he loves feet...


Shugy, "helping" me photograph by sitting on the mat

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

finished baby quilt and retro pillow - with photos!

It's 2AM and I am wide awake, so I snapped some photos of the finished baby quilt and the retro pillow. I know it is just wrong to take photos indoors with bad lighting using a flash! I know! But I am a lazy photographer couldn't wait.

Finished 24 hour baby quilt

Yes, I made this quilt in under 24 hours on the clock, start to finish! It is the 3rd quilt I've ever sewn. The reason it went by so fast was that I finally understood and applied the ingenious methods, tips and tricks of my quilting gurus: Oh, Fransson! and the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorials. They are just smart, the way they piece everything together.

Cost: $0 - fabric, batting, everything from my existing stash.
Dimensions: approx 85 cm x 110 cm (33 inch x 43 inch)

BTW, I decided to give this quilt to a baby that's already been born, and make another one for the originally intended baby, so I can show it to you uncensored :-)

Back of the quilt is completely white.

I chose a quilting design that is very simplistic, where the seams are spaced rather far apart, because the batting I used here does not allow for closer seams - that would have left the quilt stiff and cardboard-like.

The color scheme was quite spontaneous - after seeing what I had in my stash, I decided to go for pinks and greens. I'm rather pleased with the result, even though I was confined to using only fabric scraps that I had at home.

I wonder what the mother of the future owner of this quilt will say when she gets it!

Finished Retro Pillow

My first Retro Pillow is done! I don't know if it will be my last, because although I love the technique used to make it, I'm not so happy with the balance of white and color. I prefer more color, larger scraps, thinner sashing (the white strips in between the colors). We'll see. I hope you can still see the hand-quilted circles in this picture. I promise to post better photos soon!!
retro pillow - front
The striped part of the back of the pillow is machine quilted. The quilting seams are wonky on purpose, to give it a more relaxed look. It was rather time-consuming and obviously more fabric consuming than just using a single layer for the back, and I'm not sure it was worth it. It was fun to try it, though, and I do love the binding strip.
retro pillow - back
Treasures from the Quilt Shop

I spent around 3 hours at the Quilt Shop here in Israel. It has been open for 8 years and for some reason I found out about it just now!

These are the fabrics I selected for my next baby quilt. The off-white / cream colored fabric (top right) will be used as sashing. The printed, polka dot and solid pinks (bottom row) are for the blocks. The pink with wonky dots (top left) is a soft flannel, for the back of the quilt. All good quality, cotton, quilting fabrics, which I've seen and acquired for the first time in my life!

 Here's the free fat quarter I got for becoming a member of the shop's discount club:

Finally, here are a few additional treasures I picked up at the shop:

  • batting that has built-in stickiness (that comes off in the wash). The top and back of the quilt stick to it, so no basting is necessary before quilting!
  • OmniGrid ruler, in inches (the proper ruler for a rotary cutter)
  • A new rotary cutter, where I can move the blade to the other side because I am left-handed
  • 100% good quality cotton thread to match the sashing color
  • "sandpaper dots" to put on the ruler so it doesn't slip

Tell me what you think!
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