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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting the holidays mixed up



I couldn't resist snapping this picture of my latest appliqué block in progress and a the Christmas cactus from my Mum's kitchen :o) Not hard to see where the inspiration for the block pattern came from, even though I still have some red buds left to appliqué.

A few weeks ago I joined a block of the month program at the SBS & Other Elm Creek Quilts yahoo group. At the moment there are 14 of us working on blocks from the Christmas Greetings from Elm Creek Manor quilt. This is the April block - Star of the Magi:


The Christmas Cactus isn't due till June, but I'm slow at appliqué, and I needed something portable, so cheating and skipping ahead on the block was a good option.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Results from sewing day

On Thursday I visited Yvonne for a day of sewing, chatting and lots of yummy food. We set up at either end of the dining table, cutting on the kitchen counter and ironing board at the end of the kitchen


Girls being creative might look a tad chaotic, but we achieved quite a lot during the day. Yvonne stitched and cut and planned more blocks for her version of Svennebrevet - I'll let her post those, so pop over to her blog for a look in a few days time :-) I too worked on my version of that quilt, you can just spot the top folded over the back of the chair in the foreground. Around mid-day we stopped for a yummy lunch - just look at this spread:


It was sooo incredibly tasty, and I kept on stuffing my mouth, and the energy got the creativity flowing.

The binding went onto my Sunkissed table topper, so that yesterday morning it could find it's way onto my kitchen table


Wondering what I did to my Svennebrevet? Scrappy borders - it took a bit of time, but far less than the piano keys I had originally planned, and I really like the look of how it turned out



Doesn't look much like the original quilt, does it? I did some thinking when I started planning the sashings.... I hadn't sewn a stitch on my Dear Jane since last summer, and honestly I have lost the inspiration to work on it. Looking at the 9" blocks got me thinking those blocks really would mix well with my DJ blocks. Just to make sure I wasn't completely off my rocker, I took a snap photo of the blocks laid out on the floor and e-mailed the pic to Rose to see what she had to say. The response I got was:

"U know its a shame to use your DJ blocks but I looooooooooove it!!!! They work perfectly with the 9" blocks and its very very clever (but do u wanna do those DJ blocks again??? lol) Then again, far better to be in a quilt than in a bag in the drawer."

Thanks sweetie for not thinking I'm nuts! *lol* I really wanted to keep the stripy feel of "Svennebrevet" so I decided to do the DJ blocks in rows alternating with the larger blocks. I thought perhaps to make the quilt a square, but that would mean 3" sashing strips, and I felt that was a bit too wide, so it is a few inches narrower than it is long. Now I "just" need to get it basted, quilted and bound!

Happy Easter!


Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kissed by the sun again

I had planned to do some cutting and patching of the background squares for my little hexie flowers, but laying out the charms I found I wanted to keep it simple and just stitched them together and scattered the flowers on top:


Yesterday I popped into Kathrine's Quiltestue and picked up some finishing fabric. I had planned to only quilt it and add a binding, but looking at the bolts I gave into temptation to get the scrumptious green check for a border - it does look heaps better with a frame! - and a striped pink for binding.



The quilting is some paisley shapes all over the background and some sort of swirly flower shapes in the flowers themselves.


I have been quilting and un-picking parts of the border twice - first I did a very strict lines and crosses pattern, and then I attempted to do a feather, but I wasn't pleased with either - so in the end I have decided on a very simple stippling



Yvonne and I plan a sewing day on Thursday, so I'll bring the binding with me to hand stitch :-)

Hugs and stitches from
Anne Ida

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunkissed flowers of spring

I have never been fond of English paper piecing, but seeing the lovely quilts at the evening of inspiration with Sue Daley, I figured I'd give it another go :-) So I bought a pack of pre-cut shapes for some hexagon flowers and a Sewline glue pen. Coming home that night I started cutting fabric and glue basting the shapes rather than going to bed.


I have been visiting my Aunt and Uncle since Friday afternoon, so I figured they would be something small and handy to bring along. There were enough paper for eight flowers in the packet, and look:



All eight are pieced, and they were so quick and fun to do! The fabrics are Sunkissed by Sweetwater, cut from a charm pack. The flowers are ca 4" finished, so I was able to cut six petals from each charm square. There's an idea for how to use more of the charm squares for setting the flowers swirling around in my head - think I'll have a cute spring/summer table topper soon :-)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Friday, April 15, 2011

Inspiration

Australian designer Sue Daley is in Norway, and last night Kathrine's Quilte Stue arranged an evening of inspiration with her as speaker. Of course I had to be there, camera at the ready. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:



















Bjørg's version of the quilt:


Oh and I just have to show a little tip - think it's very clever and sooo cute *lol* I was browsing in Laila's sewing basket and saw she has been to McD and pilfered ketchup cups



Instant mini trash baskets!

Wishing everyone a great weekend!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last three blocks and a chat with Trine Bakke

It got pretty late last night, I felt I was on a roll after the two previous blocks, and with only three blocks to go I put my foot on the pedal of my sewing machine:


Sorry the pic is so yellow - bad lamp light late at night. The rose block is lacking the smallest circle in the center, but I'm thinking of putting a cute little button there. As you can see I swapped the basket block block for a different one - this one having an appliqué handle rather than the little HSTs. The abstract geometrical appliqué ended up a bit larger than on the original quilt - that's what you get from drawing free hand ;o)

I also had an e-mail chat with the designer of the"Svennebrevet" quilt, Trine Bakke from Lappemakeriet, regarding the patterns. She had heard some of us had some frustrations, so she thought she'd clear up a few things (that's what I call customer service! Wow!). Knowing there are others out in blogland suffering from some of the same frustrations as me, this is a summary of what we talked about:

Why centimeters and not inch?

Judging by comments from beginners coming to the shop, inch is scary. Especially if the newbie is going to learn on their own, i.e. not living somewhere they can easily sign up for a class where they immediately are presented to inch measurements. The magazine class is first and foremost directed to the quilters who can’t attend an actual class, and Trine hopes those who don’t have personal support can be inspired and learn from the magazine pattern (I'm still not convinced it is good to teach centimeters to beginners knowing the bulk of patterns out there are in inch, but that is the reason for their decision).


Trine had drafted the blocks full size so those wishing to could measure for themselves and chose whether to use cm or inch, unfortunately the magazine opted against printing the blocks full figure. She says it is sometimes frustrating the editors making changes and cutting back on illustrations and explanations, but she is still confident beginner quilters will learn what they need to make the quilt from what the magazine has printed.


Block size and weird fractions

The original BOM from the shop had 9” blocks, the blocks in the magazine finish at 20 centimeters (just shy of 8"), so the patterns are not interchangeable. The blocks are constructed over grids of 2,4,5 and 7 units so no matter what there would be some weird fractions in some blocks, the change in size was to make the fractions less weird. So those who started out doing the first blocks in 9” size has to bare in mind that changing to centimeters for the more complex blocks will end up with two different sizes.


Why a whole centimeter seam allowance?

1 cm is marked on the needle plate on most sewing machines and easy to line up fabric to. I took another look at my Bernina – it has markings every 0.5 cm, but it also has 1/4” inch markings, so… And let me tell you, I'm not giving up my quarter inch presser foot for anything! I looove that little gadget!


At the end of our chat she suggested I could post my inch measurements on my blog so those who have trouble could check back here. Now, my notes are for the 9" finished size and they are a shambles! It would take a lot of time to type them up to make any kind of sense. However if someone reading this are having trouble, I'm happy to lend support and help with the math - chances are you are running into the same problems I did ;o)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A couple of more blocks

Still cheating and skipping ahead of the class. Both blocks are done by machine, none of them are perfect, but still I think they turned out ok.


I figure I do so much set in seams by machine, I split the center on-point square of the bow tie block and did quick corners. It means a little more bulk to quilt through, but I'm fine with that :o)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheating in class

There has been some disclosure in the media lately about the percentage of students cheating - so at this point in time I'd thought I'd own up to my cheating in class at "lappeskolen". Yes, I'm cheating; skipping ahead and making changes! Why am I cheating? Because the patterns are completely useless!


As I mentioned in my first post on this project, the patterns give cutting measurements in centimeters. What on earth the editors were thinking, I don't know! The seam allowance is 1 cm - which is way wider than your usual 1/4" . i.e. you can't use your quarter inch foot on your sewing machine. And what quilter these days cut 9.1 or 10.3 cm squares? - not to mention they actually show them cut with scissors!


All quilting rulers I've seen at the quilt and craft shops have measurements in inches (I don't even know if you can buy rulers for rotary cutting that has cm); almost all patterns out in the big quilting world give measurements in inches; most of us (probably all of us) learn to quilt using inches. I feel bad for those unfortunate beginner quilters learning using this school program, they are going to have loads of trouble if they try any other pattern or sign up for a class that is not strictly for beginners.


So I have been using my calculator, pencil and paper. I have tweaked some of the blocks a bit to avoid some of the weirdest fractions, so my not all my blocks have the same proportions as those in the original quilt, but I think that just makes this quilt a bit more MINE ;-)



Laying out my blocks I see I should have payed a bit more attention to colour placement while making the blocks, so I think I'm going to scramble the setting a bit when I get to sewing the rows together. But before then I still have five blocks left to do:
  • the Tie block that I just have to draw up one of these days - should be fairly quick.
  • the leMoyne star - Rose has promised she will try to dig it up in EQ for me;
  • the basket block - thinking maybe I'll do a different basket, not sure I like the one in the original quilt,
  • the two appliqué blocks... still trying to decide whether I'll wait for the templates or if I'm going to either draft something from the pictures or if I'll swap them for something else.
Wishing everyone an enjoyable weekend!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Monday, April 4, 2011

Awards

Recently I have received 3 awards for my little blog; Oddbjørg has awarded me with this:


And Merete and Lise has awarded me with this:


Thank you so much, ladies! For the first you are asked to tell 8 things about yourself, and the other have five set questions to answer - so I decided to do a combination of the two:

1. Why did you start blogging?
Actually I started blogging because I wanted to sign up for a siggie swap that was for bloggers only. This was over four years ago - my blog is still going strong, but the blocks from the swap are still safely tucked away in my box of block - they will make it into a quilt someday!

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
Mostly quilting and craft blogs, but also some cooking blogs - I love to cook, and I'm always hunting for ideas for interesting tastes. Fun thing is - I can't follow a recipe - that goes for cooking as well as for quilting :o)

3. Favorite colour?
BLUE!!! No surprise??? *lol*

4. Favorite film?
That is a very hard question to answer - it all depends on the mood of the day - but mostly I watch romantic comedies and historical dramas. But... I don't usually cry when watching films - however I have seen "The Green Mile" three times and I have cried all three times.

5. Which country would you like to visit and why?
I'd love to go back to Greece someday - something about the light and the air - not to mention the food *lol* And I'd really like to go on a quilt tour of the US *lol*

....and then three more things to make up the eight: 1) I have a thing for radio theater - I think I have scoured the shelves at the library for them - something about listening to the dialogue and creating the scene in my head I find interesting; 2) a friend of mine came out from my bathroom the other night shaking her head and saying "you and your comics" - guess that says something - I keep a stack of comic books in there for whenever necessary; 3) I haven't bought a loaf of bread for over two years - just something about home baked that beats the shop bought, and honestly baking yourself isn't much of an effort and you can play around with so many variations and flavours.

Now I' supposed to award five (or ten? -or was that 15?) blogs with less than 100 followers - I really don't feel like picking five (or ten? -or was that 15?) from all the wonderful blogs out there, so if you have less than 100 followers and read this post - you have just received the award of your choice!

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lappeskole - lesson 2

As mentioned in my previous post, the second lesson of the patchwork school is all about triangles. I cut the pieces for most of them on Saturday, and piecing them was quick - none of the blocks very complex - here are the first mixed with the blocks from lesson 1:


Looking at them I felt they looked a bit cold and a bit bland, so I decided to introduce a touch of gold to some blocks to hopefully give the quilt a bit more warmth and sparkle:



I think it adds a bit more interest, right?
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Small finish and "Lappeskole"

Yvonne (Butterfly) had a birthday a little while back, and I wanted to make her something sweet and at the same time useful. A notebook always come in handy, and I had loads of fun stitching up some HSTs, some lace and some cute pink fabric

(pic lifted from Butterfly's blog - mine didn't come out well)
***
Sooooooo..... we call this a project finished, right? And now I can start something new? A couple of years ago Lappemakeriet had a BOM called "Svennebrevet" and for several reasons I was dead set on not doing it:
  • I enjoy to pick and chose my own fabrics to make the quilt "mine",
  • their BOMs tend to be popular so half the quilters in the country does them, and I have a problem with "doing what everyone else is doing",
  • I couldn't afford the BOM packages - even knowing they give you good value for your money the quilt ends up quite expencive.
  • I really wasn't inspired by the first shop model - when I first saw it I thought "oh, well.... nah!"

BUT... seeing more versions of the quilt stitched up, both at the shop and in blogland, it has definitely warmed on me... and now my fingers are itching to do my version. They are doing it as a patchwork/quilting school in a magazine these days, and my Mum subscribes, so I have the patterns easily at hand - she saved me the first two parts already.


Lesson 1 is all about squares and are simple beginners blocks.



Two challenges faced me doing the blocks - they are 9" finished which is a size I don't stitch very often - so my eyes don't spot mistakes unless I check with the ruler. And the patterns are done in centimeters, so I do have to put my math skills to work and convert them into inches. Next lesson is about triangles - stay tuned for more blocks :o)

Enjoy the weekend!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida