Sunday, 30 October 2011

Law against bloghopping...

There should be a law against blog hopping, don't you agree? It leads you astray very easily... All these lovely projects of other people to look at!
I have been quite intrigued by the 12x12 quilters and their work, and recently Ms. Lottie had mentioned on her blog she had made a journal quilt titled "One" so here we go, the resolution to my 'what to do' dilemma!
I have no idea why she called it 'One', but inspired by the 12x12 quilters this became the theme of my quilt. So what is 'one'?
To my mind came images of mosaics where lots of often irregular pieces form a one (much like some of my crazy quilting placemats, or the diary cover and matching pencil case). Mosaic is also one of the similes I have used in my work when I try to explain to teenagers that everything they do in their lifes will add to the mosaic that is their life, and blank spaces might be filled up by different experiences or choices later on.
I also thought about contrast, how white = light and black = absence of light. Good or bad wouldn't exist without the other. The Yingyang symbol would have to be part of my creation, but not in a negative but in a complimentary way, much like Paul McCartney's "Ebony and Ivory": Living together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano, so why can't we...
I didn't take working progress photographs, but essentially I made a background from brightly coloured squares and rectangles (oranges, yellows and pinks). While I had aspired to make it 12" square, I got sick of it at about 8" :-) On top of that I invisibly appliqued a Yingyang symbol from ivory and blackish Moda fabric scraps. However, something was missing, so I found some dark blue batik and appliqued the square onto it with satin stitch and on point. Much happier now! Masking tape provided me with the distances for some parallel lines in the blue corners, and inspired by some recent free motion quilting practice I used variegated thread to quilt the 'hairband' pattern on the coloured pieced part. Voila!
Now a quick handwash to get rid of marks the iron left on the light fabric and - disaster! The blue batik bled all over the work... Yes I know you are supposed to wash all fabrics when you buy them, I have done so with some but not all, and so far, in about 6 years, I have never had a problem until today!
Following good advice I ended up removing the Yingyang and instead of invisible applique I tried out my latest purchase - Mystifuse - and with raw edge applique added a new Yingyang - phewww! The lines still needed something else in them, so I decided to free motion 'write' in the space. At home we speak German (though the boys' is rather a Genglish...), so following my theme of the 'different parts making a one' I wrote eins and one in two opposite corners, and zusammen and together in the other two:
 Yingyang (with bonus hair at the bottom). The points turned out much better with raw edge applique.

together (the good old cursive lessons in Y1 were good for sth.!)

eins (= one) oops another little piece of thread!

some of the 'hairband' quilting, and yes, the yellow looked less green before washing...

Overall, I am quite happy with the end product, less glamorous than some of the works that have inspired me, but a decent start. Number 'One' after all :-) Suz asked the very good question what I would do with it - what does one do with these?? I am not sure, any suggestion much appreciated. Nadia suggested to have a few hanging above each other as a wall hanging - a good idea if they go together.
So why make journal quilts? To set yourself a challenge. To make sth. small and achievable. To try out a new technique (or a few). I wanted to see if I cut turn sth. abstract into a quilt. Have you got any other suggestions?

Just a quick picture of the blanket stitched reverse applique:
I will find a frame for it eventually!

As for UFOs, I have decided I will finish the pastel tessellation and the fabric weaving quilts, I would struggle to pick the former up again if I put it away (and I still like it), and the latter has just been taken out of hiding, so it might as well stay out to.

That's me for the moment, and if anyone can tell me how to post two photographs side by side I will use up way less space.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


School holidays in my house mean that I shift from looking after (yelling at) other people's kids to my own. These holidays we "crossed the ditch" and had 9 days in Queensland, travelling in a camper from Coolangatta to Cairns. It was great!!! [though I didn't get to enter a single quilting shop (sniff!!!)] and the yelling only had to occur occassionally :-) We got back yesterday and it was FREEZING - 10deg at 5:30am touchdown in Akl vs. 35deg on Monday afternoon in Cairns!!!
Well, today the weather improved and I have 5 dry loads of washing to prove it (one more load left out on the line - I just hope it will still be fine tomorrow!). Still no sewing done, but I pulled out loads of weeds from the garden and collected 9 (todays) eggs from the chooks (will need to do some baking tomorrow...).
I have been thinking about sewing, there is still that pastel tesselation quilt on the design wall (...), I have an ufo I wanted to get back into after my recent experiment with fabric weaving or should I start sth. completely new? I have scribbled down a few ideas, one a collage about the area I grew up in Germany, one about "home" and what it mens to me, one about the sights we saw on holiday - all these require energy and concentration, do I have them??? I like Ms. Lottie's post about her journal quilt, I have thought about smaller size projects since I have read the 12x12 book hmmmmm...
BTW, the reverse applique was machine blanket stitched and turned out nice, needs to be finished, not sure if I cut sth. else out in addition?? I was thinking about putting it into a frame, I don't like the idea to put glass inf ront of it though,there is sth. about touching fabric...
Will see what if anything I get into before these holidays are over...

Sunday, 2 October 2011


That pastel tessellation quilt just doesn't talk to me at the moment... so I keep on going off on little sidetracks to satisfy my creative 'needs'.
Had to do some little repairs to the 8y old's "Don't worry, be happy" backpack - he still loves it, and almost two years on it has held up well:)

 I also pulled out Jan Mullen's Reverse Applique with no Brakez:

Here are my sketch (please note the muddy prints one of our 4 cats has left...)

my secret layer,
(the greens at the bottom don't come out very green on the picture!)

the top with faint outline

and the sandwich ready to quilt:

Plan was I might take it on holiday to hand blanket stitch but this turned out to be a naughty word because after about 6 blanket stitches I couldn't stand the look so I might machine quilt it after all, and I will have to go on a quilting detox for the 10 days we are away (horror!!!)
There are a few other little projects I am working on, one can't be revealed yet as it is a present I have been working on for a while but still need a few bobs'n'bits, and I would love to get my shopping tote finished before the big trip to Aussie; we'll see...

P.S. Reached a new mile stone today; not only have I now found that card reader on the laptop (duh... except the batteries on the camera are flat lol), I managed to upload pics with the ipad (way more complicated though) but I ended up editing it on the laptop after all. I'm obviously not made for ipads...