Tuesday, 28 June 2016

W2 1DY

If I was into writing Memes, I would title the picture below “my face when I received my Riley Blake fabric for the Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge!”  or “Are you expecting me to work with this?”.  My inspiration was zero, nil, blank…

Riley Blake challenge

The fabric was put away for a while (I have many pictures of my cat sleeping on it).  Time passed.  After I came back from London to help Alice, I was looking through my pictures from my previous visit, finding a collage from Edgware Road Tube Station in London got me starting.

I don’t know whether this could be called a ‘creative process’, I did not do any master calculations, however all the blocks, negative spaces are a multiple of 3.  As you can see, I work directly on my design board with a vague idea of where the quilt was going.  So I guess that’s improvisation!  I’ll have to consider that and reflect on it as I think of myself as a person who does not like improv.

Riley Blake challenge5

Collages

Above are the original pictures, down my interpretation.  Do you see it? The tiles, the stairs?

Riley Blake challenge2

Riley Blake challenge4

I’m pretty happy with the final result (and I guess my cat is too).

Riley Blake challenge1

Riley Blake challenge3

The quilt is named W2 1DY (which is the postcode of Edgware Station).

0You can see more quilts from the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge on Instagram under #MQGfabricchallenge.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The big 5 0 !

We escaped to Key West for a special thing!  What was really special was to be all together for a few days.  If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that there’s no other way I would spend my time, just all of us in a nice place, having a very good time…

Key West

Key West2

Key West1

scrapbooking papers5

Key West4

Key West3

It’s been a very short escape, but we managed to make time for

brother and sisters time
funny face contest time
toes in the sand time
toes on a boat time
washing the sun down from a boat time
spying cats around Hemingway’s house time
being together time
playing with a selfie stick time

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Before June is over

June is almost over and I wish I had a better grip on it.  It went fast, too fast, with good stuff, horrible stuff, family stuff…
At the beginning of the month, for the first time in 20-something years, I went for a long week-end away on my own.  Five days just for myself, no children, no husband, nothing family related.  I felt a pinch of guilt as I made it to the airport, and forgot about it very quickly.

The main purpose of this escape was to participate to Glampstitchalot 2016 organised by PinkCastle Fabric.  I went a day early and spent it in Detroit.

I have no architectural knowledge and a very superficial historical background on Detroit, however I would definitively say that this city has been built on testosterone and steel.  It’s a show-my-muscles kind of city, or at least what I’ve seen of it.
Detroit on my own2
“Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail.” Abraham Lincoln
I love that quote! Can you imagine a world where we live by these words?
Detroit on my own1
Detroit on my own

Detroit on my own4Detroit on my own3

I know that’s only a legend, but I still like the idea of underground railroad quilts


Detroit on my own5

As far as the Glampstitchalot retreat was concerned I LOVED it.  I don’t have much to show.  6 great teachers (all sewlebrities), 6 lessons in 2 days, it was super busy and intense, I learnt some new things, met new people but I won’t make a post out of the experience.  If you search the web, some people have done it better that I can do myself.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

May’s events, reasons for celebration

How are you celebrating life events such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, awards?… Do you throw parties?  Go out of your way to find fancy, inspiring gifts?  Do you bake epic cakes? Plot surprises for months?  I don’t. I’m not sure why.  However after a discussion with Victor, I realised that we should probably go bigger on celebrations and make happy memories

So here is what we had to be grateful for in May:

some family and friends birthdays… quite a lot actually
an engagement… 24 years ago
a wedding anniversary
mother’s days… twice, the American one, then the French one… the British one was in March
the end of High School for Victor… we missed Speech day, but we will be there for the Graduation ball
Juliette being recognised for her Community Service engagement… with an award and a letter from the White House
a (almost) mended leg…Alice is still walking with a boot, but not for long
all the kids done with their exams
summer time and hot weather… not quite sure why I’m celebrating hot weather!

000 Temp16

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Baby star

I started on this quilt for no particular reason, except the fact that Juliette had picked up the fabrics when we were in Savannah in February, a bundle of 8 fat-quarters.  Actually, I think she wanted me to make a quilt for a friend’s baby, but instead  I had knitted a tiny cardi

Well, I had the fabric, I had an idea so in the end I made this big star quilt.  It is only Half Square Triangles in the end!  Mine are measuring 10” plus some 2.5” squares for the uneven borders.

And then I went crazy on the quilting.  I am sure there’s a rule about not over quilting a quilt. The quilting is the result of two things.  First I took my first lesson on Craftsy, Machine Quilting Negative Space by Angela Walters. And secondly, I recently purchased of a quilting ruler with a specific quilting foot for domestic sewing machine.

First the Craftsy lesson.  I really enjoyed it but also felt frustrated.  The first part focuses on practicing designs on paper, pebbles, swirls, leaves, paisley...  I love doodling, I’ve been doing it for a long time and it is very satisfying to see how I improved over time.  I actually find doodling easy, the doodling area is small, not overwhelming – easy peasy!  For me, the difficulty starts with larger spaces,  And when it comes to put the quilt on the machine then the frustration kicks in.  Thanks to Angela Walters, I learnt to mark, or more precisely I finally accept the fact that marking, even very roughly, is a necessity.  It makes sense you need a roadmap and some escape strategies to navigate a whole quilt.  I also accept that machine quilting is not a speedy process, but it takes time, planning… What a surprise!

Baby Star1

Another thing I learn is to change the scale of a design, to mix it with another one to make it more interesting or flowing from one pattern to the next one.  I practice of few of the techniques on each point of the point of the star.

My frustration comes from the fact that the lesson is probably more design for longarmers.  I know that several time Angela explain how to translate the design on a domestic sewing machine but I would I loved seeing it done.  Also, the designs taught in the first part of the lesson (the doodling part) are repeated one the machine.  I would have loved to learn more about planning for the quilting patterns: how to look at a quilt, how to decide the density of the quilting pattern…

Like everything, the lesson is not enough.  I now need to do my homework, practice and practice again.  I will go back to the lesson because I realised that doing the exercise while watching the video did not work too well for me.  I will also go back to her book, Free-Motion Quilting which actually is a very good complement to the lesson.

Baby Star2

Now the ruler and quilting foot for domestic sewing machine.  I quilted straight lines between the points of the star using my newly acquired ruler.  First, I had to get use to visualising the 1/4” difference between where the ruler is and where the needle drops.  I realised that I might be eye-hand-coordination challenged: so many time I lifted my hand before the needle was down resulting in stitches skipping off the straight line.  In all honesty, I think I would have save myself some trouble by quilting with my walking foot.

Baby Star

Overall the result is not as bad as it sound.  Actually, it is a pretty darn little quilt.