28.01.13

I’m having a bit of a fabric destash, and we’ve decided to run it as another test for the new software. So if you are interested, visit this page to see a preview:

http://poshyarn.e-lys.com/shop

The destash will start at 8pm tonight (Monday January 28th 2013). If you refresh that page then, you should be able to add items to your cart. Postage is set at £2 for UK, £3 for EU, and £4 for international, regardless of how much you buy.

01.01.13


I am so excited about 2013. Really, really excited. 2012 was a good year for me. I thought it might be. I love it when I’m right.

I also love the concept of choosing a word for the coming year. Last year my word was authentic…… This year, my word is intrepid.

I’m laughing a little, writing this, because if you wanted to find someone less intrepid than me, you’d have to look far and long. Trepid, that’s me. I have lived a life of trepidation, heck, I made trepidation into an art form. Or an Olympic sport. I could get a gold medal in fear and trembling.

But I’m getting better.

When I hear the word intrepid, I think of an explorer, hacking his/her way through a never-before-explored jungle. Stepping boldly and fearlessly over the giant snakes. Swinging over the foaming river on a vine. Sleeping under the stars, despite threat of attack by mosquito and hungry tiger.

Which, I think, nattily sums up most of our lives. Every day is virgin territory, a jungle where no foot has stepped before. Snakes rise up where you least expect them. Life rushes madly around us, and we have to find a way to traverse it and somehow stay intact. We get hurt, from little every day mosquito bites, to life threatening tiger attacks. And somehow, we make it through.

We make it through, regardless of our attitude. Fearful or fearless, the day passes anyway. Time slips by. Problems come, problems go. Some of us walk with timidity, some  with fierce boldness. We get through life, either way. But all the fun, all the adventure, all the reward, gets sucked out when we live with fear and doubt and trepidation.

This year I’m going to do my very utmost to live intrepidly. To seize opportunities, and if need be, to create them. To live, not in my safely and carefully constructed comfort zone, but to reach out as f-a-r as my arms will reach, every day. To pull on my stout boots, grab a machete, and fight my way through the jungle.

Death by metaphor. 

I would love to know what your word for 2013 will be, and why. In fact, I’m going to offer you an incentive to share. I made this mini quilt last year, and it has been sitting here, waiting to find its place. Its place is with…… you? Leave me a comment, and I’ll use the handy dandy number generator to pick one. You’ve got until the end of the week.

In the meantime, I’m starting a new quilt, inspired by last week’s photos of moss on a garden wall. Exciting!

04.10.12

I hope you’ve got a fast internet connection, because I’ve got a lot of photos to show you today! I’ve finished two quilts in the last week, which leaves just one in the unfinished pile (I’m working on it!). I’m trying not to have the same kind of WIP’s with sewing as I do with my knitting – my house isn’t big enough to store too many unfinished projects!

So, Project One. I have been in love with this one from day one. I was determined to make a quilt that was entirely improvised, not following any existing design, just to let the fabric tell me what it wanted to look like. I’m very happy with the result.

I used Kaffe Fassett shot cottons for this quilt, and now I don’t think I will ever want to sew with anything other than shot cottons. They add a fabulous extra dimension to the quilt, as the different coloured warp & weft threads catch the light.

I have to get the hang of photographing quilts so that they look straight and square – I believe the trick is to have the camera pointing directly at the centre of the quilt, but to take these shots I had to go a little higher than that, to get the whole quilt in without any distracting other bits poking into the photo. This is on my design wall, which is at the top of the flight of stairs, and I had to perch on the banister to take these. I think I need a photography wall too!

Love the stripes.

Seriously. Love them. I tried to get some curved seams into this, and I want to exaggerate that more in a future project.

Because the front was so intense in colour and pattern, I decided that any quilting would just clutter it up, so I chose to quilt in the ditch, stitching around each piece on the front in the seam lines. This means that the quilting doesn’t show on the front at all, and the back stitching echoes the shapes on the front, which I love. I used a chambray to back the quilt. Made a few technical errors in the quilting, so there’s one or two catched areas, but I can live with that. I have a special recipient in mind for this quilt – it’s just totally her. Hope she likes it!

Hand sewn binding! My very first!! I am absolutely thrilled with the results. And I found it very soothing to do. Took me about 2 hours to hand sew the binding on. Oh, this quilt measures 42″ by 45″.

This quilt is for a friend who is having her third baby. I haven’t given it to her yet, but I don’t think she reads this blog, so I’m safe showing you, I hope! I chose mostly abstract print fabrics for it, rather than babyish prints, and I used a fairly bright palette, to be gender neutral. This is a cross quilt design, and was very easy to put together. The thing I found most challenging was being very accurate in my cutting and piecing. I was careful to press the seams as I went along, to try to get everything lined up perfectly.

I went for an all over meandering quilt design. I don’t love this sort of quilting. Actually, the quilting is my least favourite part of these projects. But I’m happy with how it came out.

Again, I did a hand sewn binding on this, and did a much better job of it than on the first one. I’m very, very proud of that binding!

I chose a cheerful primary dot backing fabric, and bound the quilt in a soft lemon yellow fabric. The quilt measures 36″ by 42″.

I hope she likes it!!

One last gratuitous binding shot.

Oh, go on then, one more!! And a detail of the quilting.

This is the current quilt in progress. It’s a wholecloth quilt/comforter, for our bed. 120″ square! In voile fabric. This is the back that you are looking at. There was no way I was going to be able to quilt that beast on the machine, and a few feeble attempts at hand quilting soon brought me to my senses. (I fully intend to do some hand quilting at some point soon, but not on something of this size, especially since I chose wool batting for it, so that it would be very puffy and lofty, and wool batting needs quilting every 4″. Lord, I’d be hand quilting that forever!!!) So I’m tying it. You can’t see the stitches from the front, so it doesn’t interfere with the very busy fabric print, and the little tufts on the back look rather cute. I’m just over halfway, and it’s rather dull work, but I hope to have it finished in the next week. Or so…..

We’ve been having a really interesting discussion about creativity over on our Ravelry group. Being creative, or trying to be, is challenging. You have to overcome so many prejudices about yourself, fight so many fears and doubts. I don’t think of myself as an artistic person, but I’m trying to think of myself as a creative one. I believe we are all creative, in our own way. Finding that wellspring inside of you, and encouraging it, is one of the most joyous and satisfying things you can do – and one of the most frightening. But a life lived without some form of creative outlet (and there are many, many kinds) is a grey, silent life. Who wants that?!

19.09.12

You figure out one problem and before you can give yourself a pat on the back, a new one presents itself. The quilt is square (despite the bias skewing of the camera shot), so which way up should it go?

Every time I look, I change my mind again.

And when that is settled, how to quilt it? Decisions, decisions……..