Monday, 30 June 2008

Strawberries and cream

After quite a concrete interpretation last time, for the June theme 'Strawberries and Cream' I decided to go abstract. I was in the middle of two classes on making a bag I am ridiculously proud of hosted by the very patient Fiona Brockie at the Seattle Quilt Company and was delighted with finally getting to grips with free machine quilting on a shop Pfaff, I made everyone laugh by commenting 'oh, I didn't realise you didn't have to turn'. I can be a little slow, I blame the brain cells lost in trying to care for a 4 year old.

I carefully made sure I'd cut out enough backing for 9 cards as nothing would be worse than finding I didn't have enough. I ironed bondaweb on the front and then cut out lots of strawberry shapes from scraps. The thing I love about atcs is it slots into my eco friendly ethos meaning that I now rarely throw any fabric away, cutting the pretty motifs off daughter's outgrown clothes, and in this project I was able to use even little scraps. I placed the scraps on the background and ironed them down.

I don't have a free machine foot at present, may be on my wish list for the Festival of Quilts in August, so I used the patterns I had on the machine, a green leaf pattern for the strawberry leaves and cream waves for the cream. If I'd been free machining I would have tried swirls, maybe better not!

I printed the backing cards in a chirpy pink using a funky font called 'Chick'. I cut my embroidery into atc cards and sewed the backing cards on with a machine that was determined not to do satin stitch, well, not to keep tension, it does need a service I think.

Once upon a time...

I got really excited when I got this title and had ideas about tiny cathedral windows and secret gardens as I learned how to do in my first bit of sewing from an article from Lynne Edwards and I came back, as ever, to The Snow Queen again but then I changed my mind (!) and decided to marry cross stitch, my enduring history, and atcs.

I stitched each motif on some great sparkly aida I had left over from a long ago advent calendar project, I love the way each suggests a story rather than being about one, seeding the imagination.

I had great fun choosing the font, I downloaded a wide range from 1001freefonts and was able to find one called The King and Queen Font which was just perfect. I like paying as much attention to the reverse as the front of my atcs.

I printed the front of each card pink using my printer and cut the motifs out carefully leaving three or four lines of holes on each side, and using a needle to pull the threads out to give a pretty frayed look, then I stuck them on. So the cards look very thin.

Rainbow serpent completed

This is the first ATC set completed that I am really chuffed with. My final choice of words for the set was:
Red – courage, love - two of the most important things in my life
Orange – life, warmth - despite my illness, or perhaps because of it, life calls to me even at my saddest
Yellow – sunshine, sand - sunshine is fab for feeling down, and we live by the beach
Green – spirit, nature - the importance of the green goddess in healing cannot be underestimated
Blue – sea , day - again, we live close to the sea, and each day is a new one
Indigo – denim, night - soft denim is a cuddly joy, and night is a time of opportunities as the rigidness of daily life fades away
Violet – magic, richness - magic is everywhere if you know how to look, mostly in my daughter
Grey – sleep, neutral, peace - sleep brings peace and healing
Black – dreams, shadows, mystery - all fabulous with possibilities

A quilt for Isabel

Something I wanted to put in here to record what I've done: the quilt I made for I's christening (my daughter's second cousin) and the two doll's quilts I made for Woodlands Nursery School.

It's the second time I've made the baby quilt, from Learn to Quilt by Sharon Chambers but last time I only did the centre and didn't bind properly, this time I learned and hand quilted, which is much easier than using a machine and very soothing. I bought the fabrics at last year's Festival of Quilts, the green and yellow are pretty aspirational designs with dragonflies and frogs, and the orange flowers just went, I found it torture choosing. The design is just right for 2 fat quarters for the pinwheels, however, I nearly ran out of white and was close on the orange!

The dolls quilts were made from scraps from my mum's stash, one to show off the quilted flower and the other to just be a really colourful mish mash. The yellow squares with little sheep on them are left over from the first version of the baby quilt I made