Thursday, April 28

To de-stash or not to de-stash...

I've added some great books lately to my ever growing collection.( I not only have a fabric stash but also a book stash.)

I love the series from the Hargrave ladies!  I have been quilting for ages, but i'm a newbie at machine piecing and these books offer lessons, tips and tricks to master that. To be honest, i don't do all the lessons, simply because the projects are not to my taste ánd because I do know how to strip piece. Nevertheless, I learn a lot by studying the books and doing lots of excersizes.
The 3rd volume is all about triangles and I already managed to sew hst's with all the points matching perfectly! (well 90%....*lol*)
Time to tackle another project in another book
The plan was to sew this quilt from all of my fabrics that lived for faaaaaar to long in my drawers. I don't like them that much anymore, colours are not as bright as I'd want them today and some are just boring. This project would be perfect to get rid of all those..
But...what do you get when you cut up all your boring oldies for a quilt? Yep, a boring quilt! So more and more newer bought brights are added and now I'm thinking about BUYING new ones for this. So much for a de-stashing plan!

This is part of what's already on my wall. I feel it's missing something. I definately need a bright purple e.g. and more really bright red...What do you think? What should I add? (and no Corrine: absolutely not anything PINK, not even if you call it "lighter red"..) 

Thursday, April 21

The "Happy joy" how to :)

I got some emails asking me how I drew the "happy happy joy joy" blocks.
First credit where credit's due: I got the idea and inspiration from Freddy Moran. I got the book "collaborative quilting" and just couldn't stop looking at her extremely happy quilts.
I made the pattern myself and thise is how I did that:
Note: I'm working with CENTIMETRES  instead of INCHES. You should find your own equivalent in inches!

First draw a square the size of your finished block. Make it easy on yourself and pick a size you can divide by 3.
Mine is 21x21 cm.
Mark the middle and where you divided it in 3. I made a mark every 7 cm, 'cause 21:3=7 :)

Connect the dots and there's your propeller....
Now it's time to look for a pair of compasses and draw your first circle.
Diametre of my first is 14 cm
Then the second circle. Diametre is 16 cm.

The small circles in the centre are appliqued on later. I used a threadspool as a template.

And that's all there is to it!
I cut the paper parts, added seamallowances to the straight lines,glued them on sandpaper and drew every piece on the fabric. Old-school piecing that is :)
Do not forget to add seamallowance to the curved lines. I eyeballed that while tracing the templates onto the fabric. I already had my sewinglines and since I sewed by hand, I had no problems.

A word about colour: I went from the idea that anything goes. If the outer circle had a purple dot, I sometimes chose a purple background for the inner circle. Other propellers are randomly put together just because the colourcombo seemed nice to me (and bright!)
Happy sewing!

Sunday, April 17

Math..:(

A while back I came across a nifty tutorial on how to sew half square triangles. I believe it was on Nancy's blog. Anyway..I wanted to try it and this is how it's done:

First cut 2 squares, e.g. one light and one dark and put them right sides together. Sew all around with a 1/4 " seam allowance

Then cut twice on the diagonal
Press,fold open and tadááá...4 hst's and a quick and easy pinwheel.

Problem could be that all the edges are on the bias. If an alternating block is not, you should be okay. If your doing a quilt with only pinwheels...I don't know if it'll work. Solution? Cut your squares on the bias and your hst's are straight!

Next problem I came across was the math. I wanted a pinwheel with finished size 6". How big should my square be???? I googled a bit, drew a pic, did some trial and error, got a headache and then i found the formula:

In short:

When you cut in 2........add 7/8
When you cut in 4........add 2.5

So....where does that lead me with my squares? Finished size should be 6". I will cut it in 4 pieces so a square that's 6+2.5???
NO! That's where I kept going wrong.
I have TWO layers of fabric that I fold open...this meant that I had to divide the 6"by 2. So...6 : 2 = 3. And 3 should be the starter point. Adding 2.5 gave me a square that was 5.5..

In short:
When you cut in 2........add 7/8
When you cut in 4........add 2.5
When you have 2 layers: divide finished size by 2 and add 2.5 (if you cut it in 4 ofcourse!)

If you want 4" pinwheels, divide by 2 =  2 and add 2,5. You should start with a 4.5 square.

Pffffff, now you get the headache!
My sewingroom got awefully messy in the process..

and I also made a lot of these

Don't know what it'll look like in the end, fact is that I was very busy and i'm now completely covered with tiny threads. (and so is every room I've been in)
Another tip: do not wear a black dress while franticly cutting and sewing!

Thursday, April 14

Dutch design

A friend was on the hunt for bicycle fabric, so i searched the net a bit to see what I could find for her. I came across www.spoonflower.com and to my surprise I found fabric featuring  ME on my way to work :)
The hair colour, red clothes, jeans, and MY bicycle, it really IS me!

I found this fabric is from a Dutch designer. The spoonflower site allows you to make your own fabric: you can upload your own designs and spoonflower prints it onto real fabric. How cool is that!! You should check the link and read how it works... This very talented lady uploaded 44 designs and they all look absolutely great. I found several very Dutch,like these Dutch cookies :)

Dutch trains...

She also has lots of more international designs..love the feathers!


For dot lovers..

But my absolute fav must be ofcourse the ones the spoonflower site will not let me save properly :(


The bikerlady is in pink and as you know I do not do pink. But....the designer can upload it in red if I want to (and I do!)
The link to see all her designs is http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/verycherry?designs_page=1 If the link doesn't work, look for "verycherry" on the spoonflower site. You should.
I personaly think that some manufacturer like Marcus Brothers or Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman SHOULD  contact her. The designs are fresh, colourfull and modern. I know I would buy them for sure!!