Hello Fabric!

I used to love buying fabric ‘just because’ but now that money is very tight (the joys of being a single mum) I only buy fabric for specific projects and mostly use my stash. It’s been great, actually, as I realise that there’s always more new fabric that is going to be my favourite and it’s nice to see your old favourites used and out ‘in the wild’.

I’ve signed up for the handpiecedminiswap2 on Instagram as I really enjoyed the first round. It was organised by Jo from A Life in Lists and specified that you had to make a mini that was completely pieced by hand. However, you were allowed to machine quilt and bind. I didn’t; I did everything by hand and had a total blast.

Lantern

I did a little bit of hand quilting around the lantern and added a scrappy binding. I really loved it but I have to assume my partner didn’t as she never got back to me to tell me that she had received it. She also didn’t reply to Jo’s email either. It’s very sad when you put in many hours, design a mini, hand piece it and then nothing. Not even a ‘it’s arrived’. Nada.

This swap wasn’t a complete disappointment though, as I was given the best mini from Paula from Mud, Pies and Pins who’s been a real life friend for the last fifteen years and who lives only a few minutes from my house.

Paula's Mini

She used some of my all time favourite fabrics and even though we were talking about the swap every time we met I never realised that it was for me. Sneaky! And can I just say “Jackpot!”

Anyway, I was talking about the second round. My partner likes fabrics that I haven’t got so I decided to order some Cotton & Steel from Westwood Acres. I chose Bandana by Alexia Abegg as I really love the colours and prints. Some half yard cuts fell into the basket too. Compared to prices here in Switzerland they were a real steal. Service was fantastic and so quick. It was my first time ordering from them but it definitely won’t be my last.

Bandana

I can’t wait to start stitching with these gorgeous colours. And did you see those two bits of fudge in the middle of my circle? I think I need to order more fabric in the hope of getting more as they were absolutely yummy.

The Purple Quilt

Worst blogger ever, I forgot to take a picture of the quilt before I gifted it…

The Purple Quilt

I did remember to put a label on it, though. I simply couldn’t think of a good name for it and I didn’t want to put the name in my head (Purple Sucks) on there as a lot of people love purple. So in the end it I named it The Purple Quilt. The Aurifil I used, purple 2581 in 50wt, shows up beautifully on the back.

Here’s a picture my sister sent me of it in situ:

Kristine's Quilt

Doesn’t look too bad, does it? It crinkled up nicely in the wash and I hope she’ll use it lots.

The next quilt is already in planning, although it’s only a mini for a swap I’m in. Templates have been drawn, fabrics chosen, thimbles sewn (I make my own leather thimbles) and the Aurifil’s ready. The only hiccup: my fabric is still in America. I’m hoping that it’ll arrive soon as I’m looking forward to this one.

 

Quilting

I practiced my free motion quilting (fmq) on a piece of paper before starting on the quilt. I always do that as I’ve found that it helps me remember where I’m going. Sometimes I concentrate so hard on the quilting that I forget what I’m quilting. Blonde much?!
Honeysuckle Practice

I love fmq much more than straight line quilting although there are quilts that simply cry out for a few straight lines. This one isn’t one of them, I thought of quilting ivy on it first but my ivy didn’t look quite right, so I changed to honeysuckle. I’m not sure they all look like honeysuckle but once the quilt’s washed and puffed up it won’t matter all that much, I hope. It’s all about the texture after all.

Honeysuckle

 

Curves

CurvesI know a lot of people are scared of sewing curves but I’m having a great time with some curvy piecing. This is a commission for Quilt Now! so I can’t show you more.

However, I can tell you that I’m going to use this pattern for my fat quarter bundle of Florence by Denyse Schmidt. As soon as I find a few minutes of spare time that is…

Hello! Anybody out there?

A rather belated happy New Year! I’ve really missed this blog. It’s not that I haven’t finished projects I could share with you but simply that I lost my blogging mojo. Here’s to hoping that it’s here to stay now.

Much has happened since the last time I blogged so I’m going to try and go back in time and tell you about a couple of projects I’ve made. First of all, I was lucky enough to have a project accepted for the new English quilting magazine ‘Quilt Now’. My cushion cover, ‘Emerald Tile’ appeared in issue 3 which had a Moroccan feel to it.

Quilt Now Issue 3

I had already designed the pattern earlier but had to adapt it a little to make it work. It was my first commission and quite scary, I have to admit. In the end I absolutely loved the whole process and pitched more projects. I was very happy to have had another two projects accepted for issue 6.

Sadly I haven’t received my copy yet; Christmas seems to have disrupted the postal system so badly that my copy of ‘Quilt Now’ has disappeared *insert sad face* and I’m rather worried. One of my fabric baskets made it onto the cover and I’m desperate to see it. Here’s a pic of the baskets in my messy sewing room:

Fabric Baskets for 'Quilt Now'

When Little Miss Bossy-Boots heard that her fox had made it onto the cover she started dancing and singing “I’m famous, I’m famous….”.

I also made a quilt and cushion for the same issue but have no pictures of either. Here’s a picture of a cushion I made for my nephew and his girlfriend from the pattern.

Orange and Turquoise Cushion

There’s another quilt waiting for its spot in the limelight.

Secret Project

I can’t show you any more yet but I’m incredibly proud of this quilt. I think it’s my favourite so far. Charlie likes it too!

Another quilt Charlie likes and which I can’t show you yet is ‘Three’. This one was made for the designer challenge in Fat Quarterly and will be in their February issue. It’s really exciting to be able to show the things I’ve made on a bigger scale and I hope that someone will use one of my patterns and make their own version. That would make me truly happy.

Three and Charlie

 

Jackpot!

After every swap I participate in I say that I won’t do it again; but I always do. The last swap I joined was the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap and you may remember the half circles I cut and started appliquéing. I can now reveal that I made this quilt, which I named ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ for Amy. I met Amy at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2012 and 2013 and it was just lovely to make something for someone I really, really like.

Over the Hills and Far AwayI sent her the mini with some extras but none of these were recorded here at Shark’s Dinner. That’s right, I was so excited about sending the package that I never took a photograph. Blogger of the year? Don’t think so…

Over the Hills and Far Away

The design of this mini was something I cooked up for a big quilt. I was going to do the backgrounds in greens and yellows and do the half circles in light blue. The fabric pull has been sitting in my cupboard for two years now but the quilt still hasn’t been made.

Anyway, let me show you now what I received in this swap and you will understand why I keep joining these swaps again and again. This one is a stunner and I feel like the luckiest girl around. Alison is one talented lady!

Tea with Kate Spain

As always, the photo bomber had to have his say too. I love everything about this mini: the colours, the fabric, the beautiful execution. I mean just look at the details:Tea with Kate Spain

The cake looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? And look at the blackberries.Tea with Kate Spain

Tea, anyone? I’d love a tea pot like that. The FMQ is just incredible too.

Tea with Kate Spain

Little Miss Bossy-Boots tried to get me to hang it in her bedroom but I denied her the pleasure and have hung it in the sewing/craft room instead. I really would have loved to have it in the kitchen but I have no walls I can hang it on. So it’s joined the other minis on the wall and I love looking at it and being inspired by it. There were some extras too, a cute pink ribbon and some 3D stickers for card making but Little Miss Bossy-Boots got her little hands on those before I had a chance to take pictures (Hmm, I’m sensing a theme here). I definitely hit the jackpot here.

PS Oops, I’ve done it again. Sandy, aka Curly Boy, is organising a swap and I’ve signed up. If you’d like to join too, hop on over to his blog and fill out the form. You’ve got three days to do so!

 

Surf and Turf meets The Birds and The Bees

When Jess from The Elven Garden asked for pattern testers for her new Roundabout pattern I couldn’t help myself and volunteered.

I’m on a (self-imposed) fabric buying ban but still get the Simply Solids stash club every month. When I saw all the pinks and oranges together I really wanted to make a quilt using just the two colours. However, when I started pulling fabrics for the Roundabout pattern I added some fresh blues to the mix. As a neutral I decided to use some Heather Ross fish which I got when Claudia from Machen und Tun München had her destash.

Roundabout Pattern by The Elven Garden

I loved the combination and soon started cutting. I checked the fabric requirements for all the colours but not for the neutral as I was convinced that I had enough of it. Well, long story short, I didn’t. After piecing two quarters I realised that I wouldn’t be able to cut enough for another two. I wasn’t going to unpick; unpicking foundation paper piecing is a nightmare and I didn’t want to waste my precious Heather Ross. So I hunted around in my stash for a neutral I would be able to use for the other two quarters and found some My Happy Garden by Cloud9 Fabrics that I used as backing for Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ flannel quilt.

Roundabout Pattern by The Elven Garden

The top was pieced with my beloved Aurifil thread (2000). I don’t really need to mention it anymore, do I? I don’t use any other thread since falling in love with it two years ago.

I have a few things I need to finish before I can actually think about quilting this. The plan is   to practice my fmq and hang it on my wall in the sewing room.

The pattern hasn’t been released yet but once Jess has finished all the editing you will be able to win a copy on her blog as well as all the tester’s blogs, including mine!

Cobwebs

Goodness, I can hardly remember when I last wrote a post for this blog. However, the cobwebs have well and truly been dusted off and I’m excited to share lots of new makes with you.

First, is a cushion I’d promised Little Miss Bossy-Boots ages ago. She’s gone off the pink and wanted more purple in her room so I bought some lovely Kaffe Fassett’s and made her a Dresden plate cushion. Everything was going really well until I decided to hand quilt it. Hand quilting is hard on your hands so I put it away for a while before finally finishing it yesterday.

Dresden Cushion

I added some free motion quilted pebbles to the centre and some leaf shapes to the background. The cushion was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt (2024); for the hand quilting I used some Perle cotton but the very fine one. Could it be a 12? I’m not sure.

Next is a quilt to go with the cushion. I’ve already started cutting the fabrics and I’m adding lots of other colours to the mix. This is going to be a big quilt that will, hopefully, last the Little Miss a long time so I don’t want it to be too restricted colour wise.

 

Circle

I have an idea for a quilt. Now, I have a lot of ideas for a lot of quilts and I’ve had to start writing them down as I’m worried I might forget.

This quilt design involves some circles. You may remember that I did some portholes after the first Fat Quarterly retreat and I love this technique but I’m worried it might make a quilt fairly heavy and a bit stiff. I therefore decided to try out some inset circles. What better way than to experiment than making a mug rug.

Mug Rug

I think it turned out really cute. I like the improv circle and the way the circle sits flat. It’s a little fiddly but once you get the hang of it it’s actually quite quick. All you need is a little freezer paper and some glue. Claudia from Machen und Tun München has a great tutorial.

I used some Kona solids and Timeless Treasure sketch and think the mug rug looks sweet in those pastel colours. I’m not normally a pastel girl as they remind me a lot of the 80ies when I was growing up (showing my age here, guys).

Circles Mug Rug

I’m really looking forward to making this quilt. Probably some time in 2075 after I’ve done all the other designs that are on my list.

 

 

PatCH

Friday I went to a quilt show here in Switzerland. It was organised by the Association of Swiss Quilters and was held in Solothurn which is only 20 minutes away by train. I met up with the lovely Helen from runquiltknitwrite and we had a great time looking at all the quilts and shopping for a bit of fabric.

You weren’t allowd to take any pictures of the quilts which I thought was a real shame as I really didn’t want to spend money on a catalogue (not if I could spend it on fabric!!!). I did sneak in one picture though with my phone.

Quilt

Quilts in Switzerland don’t seem to be about snuggling or warmth but all about art. They were all made for hanging on the wall, some with paper, plastic and bubble wrap on them. One had lots of bobbins sewn on it, others had buttons or 3D flowers. Did I like the quilts? A few. Was the show inspirational? Yes, absolutely. It made me want to push some boundaries and maybe make an art quilt for hanging on the wall. Just because I would like to see if I can. However, it also made me realise that I love to make things I can use as well as look at and that I would probably be in the wrong place if I joined the Swiss quilting association.

kaffe

What about the fabric I bought? Actually it wasn’t very much. I bought a Kaffe Fassett print that I absolutely adore and a few purple fat quarters as I want to make Little Miss Bossy-Boots a new quilt. She’s getting too big for the pink log cabins (although it’s still perfect for snuggles on the sofa) and prefers purple to pink now. Slowly but surely I’m trying to find enough purple fabrics to make her a Dresden plate quilt. I’m going to add more colours but want to start with the purples first.

yellow

Solothurn also houses the best fabric shop I have seen in a long time, Stoffartig. It most definitely has everything my little heart desires: quilting cottons, voiles, corduroy, jersey etc and everything else you need for quilting and dressmaking. It was like Aladdin’s cave and I got a bit overwhelmed. In the end I only bought a remnant and some interfacing. However, I will be back.