Thursday, 26 September 2013

Holiday Mini Quilt

Introducing my appliqued and quilted wall hanging of McLeod's Tables on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Fiskavaig, Isle of Skye.

Just like a real landscape, this wall hanging changes in different light and keeps surprising us as we walk past it.

The Inspiration

In 2012 we went on a lovely holiday to the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland.  Every summer the Island's artistic residents open up their homes and studios for anybody to come in and see their work.  There's even an official map and guide.  One of the studios that I visited twice was the Skye Quilt Studio.  Not only did we get a detailed tour of the quilts on display, there was also a proper little shop set up in the loft / attic space.  So right there and then I decided I'd like to design my own wall hanging based on the lovely view from the windows of our rented accommodation using fabric purchased on the Island.

This is only my 4th ever completed quilt, and it makes me so happy to look at it and think of that lovely part of Skye - Fiskavaig - where we enjoyed this lovely view over the bay out to McLeod's Tables.  We spent days walking out to the peninsula on the left as well as to the pieces of land jutting in from the right - my Mister even caught us some fish from the peninsula on the right.

Here is a collection of my photos that I have used to inspire my quilted wall hanging.

And this is the photo that gave me the idea for the gold thread quilting stitches at the bottom of my work:
I took this sitting amongst the grasses whilst on the peninsula
looking back towards the house from behind the yellow trees

The Construction

I started making this almost as soon as I got home (blogged about it here) and got as far as appliqueing the sky when I became distracted with other things and put it aside.

I took it out again last month when I saw a competition at Celtic Thistle Stitches to create a mini quilt based on a holiday memory.  And so I took it out again (blog mention here)  and finally completed it.  There's nothing like a deadline to get me motivated into action!

I have mostly used needle-turn applique and a little bit of machine stitching.  The quilting has been done on my machine.  I drew the design myself onto freezer paper templates.  Completed it measures 14.5" x 18.5"

(I'd probably choose different fabrics if I could start again, but I bought them with just the landscape colours in mind and at the time I didn't really have an exact idea of which exact part of Skye I would try to recreate.  And so although the colours may not be the most accurate tones, they are special just because they were bought on Skye when the inspiration struck me.)

For the back I chose a piece of fabric with an actual sky print as a play on words.

and this is the first time that I've ever used free-motion quilting!
I can't wait to see all the other Mini Holiday Memory Quilts over at Celtic Thistle Stitches!
Viewer's choice voting has now begun!  Go here to vote.
Grab button for Celtic Thistle Stitches
I wonder if viewing all the other holiday quilts, cushions and accessories will give you the travel bug or the creative bug?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn Sewing Plans

Fall Esssentials Sew Along 2013
I have decided that I need some motivation to get me back into some garment sewing, and I saw this and thought I would give it a try.  I enjoyed the camaraderie and support from previously joining a flickr group and so am looking forward to see how other people challenge themselves alongside my own sewing challenge.
The sew along challenge can be found written in full here.  There are 7 categories in total, but I am going to be sensible and am aiming to complete 4. So without further ado, here are my Autumn Sewing plans:

Under the category of Baby It's Cold Outside, I am going to make a Harris tweed waistcoat.  I already have the tweed as well as a blazer/jacket pattern that I can use if I leave out the sleeves.  I just need to find a gorgeous fabric to line it with.
Vogue 8333
The next category for me is Fabulous Frocks. I am going to make another version of my Highland tunic.  I think I will do it in a navy knit if I can find a nice thick one and will omit the collar and sleeves so that it is more of a pinafore style and then I can wear shirts and jumpers underneath.

My third chosen category will be Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather, a garment for below the waist.  I shall make a self-drafted skirt with a waistband and tucks for work.  No thick material required as the heating is very effective where I work, so I will probably make it in cotton, unless I am tempted by corduroy whilst online shopping for the navy knit!
I may use the fabric on the right for my skirt.

The last category I shall tackle if I get a chance is Chic Chemises for Cool Climates, which is basically a top of any description.  For this I think instead of making something new I shall re-work the sleeves, shoulders and collar of a knitted jacket that I made but was very disappointed with the final fit.  It's a Debbie Bliss pattern, and I had no idea at the time that she purposely designs her patterns to have excessive ease.  Not just normal wearing ease but 80s boxy shoulders, wearing your Dad's clothes kind of ease.  I won't be knitting her patterns ever again, but I would like to rescue this one item from the bin if I can.

So there you have it, my sewing plans for the next two months.  Here is a link to the flickr group, just in case you were thinking of joining in too, and the link to the original idea is in my sidebar on the right, or you can click here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Too much Reading and Not Enough Finishing

I am currently mulling over a toile that I want to get right and am working on three patchwork items - some english paper pieced hexagons, a jelly-roll strip quilt, and a needle-turn wall hanging, but none of them are finished yet.  I still have my crochet flowers to work on too but I'll wait for the weather to truly turn to Autumn before I take these up again.
Three of my current WIP

Instead of actually completing any of my own projects I seem to be spending a lot of time reading about other people's completed works.  This is getting to be a bad habit for me - I read blog posts in the morning before work and then again in the evening when I get home.  The time I use to spend doing or making has now turned into just reading about other people's doing and making. This is not good really and I shall try to limit this - any good ideas you could share about managing your blog reading time?

And yet doing all this reading has led to two very good things recently.

I was reading Jeri's blog post at My Modern Vintage about being stuck in a sewing rut and not having the motivation to get on and do the alterations that she needed to do.  She asked for some advice and she liked my comment so much that she offered to send me the pattern of my choice from her stash!  How lovely was that?  Then not only did she send me the one I chose (pattern on the right) but when I opened the envelope there were my second and third choices!
Thank you very much Jeri! x

The other nice thing that has happened because of too much blog reading is that I was able to offer two stars and a wish (teacher lingo for constructive comments) to Alison who blogs at Another Little Crafty Creation . Alison put all the commenter's names into a hat darth vader mask and drew out my name to receive a lovely package of sewing goodies to celebrate her achievement of 100+ blog readers.  Thank you so much Alison. x
What a pretty bundle: sewing themed sticky notes, two ribbons, chocolate,
1 metre of liberty lawn, dressmakers notebook and hand stitcher's wax,
which I have long wanted to try!
If I can, I am going to try to use the very pretty fabric from Alison to create the pattern that I received from Jeri.

So really, perhaps the time I take to read and comment on blogs isn't wasted time at all.

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