Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Finishes

You know what keep me blogging? It helps me to remember the little things I would have forgotten otherwise.  Looking back, I’ve re-read my first post of 2015.  I was intentionally non-ambitious with my projects list.  A couple of times, I entered UFOs challenges with not much to show for at the end of the challenges.  So this year, I DID not enter our Guild UFOs challenge and I decided to have a very limited ToDo list.  Actually, my only real goal was to finish the ONE project that really matters, the Wedding Quilt for my god-daughter.  Everything else was bonus, now looking back I got a lot of bonus!
Quilts – 9 finished (and still a couple more in progress)
Little things
Dress-making (I still want to blog about a couple of finishes)
Sewing room5
A couple of pairs of socks, Evisa, Purl Soho Diagonal scarf, Colour Affection, KAL hat, Wake, It cannot fail to please
Project-wise, it has been a good very year.  For 2016, I’m going to write (for myself only) a list of projects I want to finish, a list a projects I want to make, a list of techniques I want to explore.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to report on these at the end.
Let me know, how do you keep track of what you do?  Do you find that sharing projects on social media helps documenting your realisations?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Just a more couple quilts

I am not over it yet: the Wedding quilt is finished, gifted and received (could you believe it? $90 to send the beast to Australia, tracked in less than a week, in the middle of the Xmas posting madness – Thank you USPost for the efficiency).  I am so grateful to my friends who pushed me.  It gave me extra focus and energy and I finished more quilts in the last few weeks than I thought possible (for me anyway).
Here comes the Japanese ladies Kaleidoscope quilt.  Started sometimes in 2005 (I think) when I taugh the technique at a workshop for my friends in England.  The technique is a clever adaptation of ‘Stack’n’Whack’, but it use very little fabric (just need a piece of fabric with a middle to large size  pattern, making sure there are 4 repeats of the pattern in the length).  For the rest, it’s the usual story: I made the top for the workshop then forgot about it, then decided that I did not like it, then rediscovered it and liked it again.
Japanese Kaleidoscope
I long-armed it (is it a word?) and I am not too happy about it.  The thread is too thick and shows too much, making obvious that there’s room for improvement with my quilting skills.  Oh well, it is finished!
Now the second quilt.  I started this one over the summer.  Crazy Mom Quilt had a Quilt Along.  I had to jump in, I always loved a scrappy quilt!  My scraps bin is not very voluminous, you know, I don’t make that many quilts, and some of my scraps are so old.  I through them all on the floor of my sewing room where they staied almost all summer.
I treated this quilt as a practice for some quilting designs.  It seems that my hands are quite good at curves, loops and feathers.
It feels so good to have been that productive :-)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Modern Xmas

I can’t believe that I’ve recently finished 5 quilts (large and small), made 2 pieces of garment and I am not done yet.  So let’s start with a seasonal quilt – my Modern Xmas.

Not long ago, I attended a workshop with Carole Lyles Shaw at my Guild (the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild).  In the workshop’s description, Carole said we will have time to finish the top during the day, we might even be able to start on a second one.  I think she had under-estimated how undisciplined, chatty a bunch we are.  At the end of the day, I had cut my fabric for all the blocks, but hardly finished 2 full blocks (OK they are huge – 16.5x24.5).

The pattern is pretty simple, Carole has done all the math for us.  I love math, even better when it’s already done ;).

Back home, I finished the blocks pretty fast, but then I spent several nights rearranging the whole quilt, sewing, ripping, sewing…  What took the most time is setting the ‘connectors’ properly so they actually connect blocks together.  In addition, I decided to piece the back too.  I really love the fabrics I chose and did not want to have any left-over.

I’ve used the ‘Board Basting’ technique (thanks to one of the Guild lady for showing us the tip).  Nice and easy, and now I understand why I needed a large island in my kitchen – the perfect space to baste a quilt.

Quilting wise, I went for straight lines on the negative space, and stitch in the ditch around the squares, each square getting its own pattern to fill the center.

I’m really happy with this quilt:

  • it’s finished.
  • I got the opportunity to experiment with my quilting.
  • I love the colour scheme, it goes very well with my chaise-long and I think the quilt might stay there all year long.
  • I really ‘controlled’ the whole process, exploring my options, taking time and concentrating on the end result.

Now, tell me, how do take good pictures of your quilts?  Do you use any programme to touch up the pictures?  Does anyone help you?
I’m using Picasa for my pictures and collages.  I am always struggling with the process of taking pictures, too bright, to dark, too much shadow…

Saturday, 5 December 2015


This morning as I contemplated the chaos in my laundry room, I remembered this post from a while ago.  As I steamed away wrinkles from cotton shirts (Oh! those white cuffed business shirts…), I decided that I won’t be defeated by this Mount-Everest-like pile of garments because I have so many other reasons to be joyful.

Thanksgiving in London5Here is the pictures of the kids you’re all been waiting for :)

This is what Thanksgiving looks like when celebrated by this family, same as last year.  We are embracing traditions from all the countries we lived in, making them ours.  My kids don’t have a forever family house to go but they have each other.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Underground inspiration

I spent last week in London and it was so nice: seeing the kids, meeting friends, walking, walking, and walking even more,,, It was not too cold, not too rainy, just nice and autumnally.
I know quilters find inspiration everywhere and anywhere.  I found mine in the underground (subway in American English).  I used to look at tiles for inspirations, but this time I put my ‘modern quilter’ glasses on and I’ve seen some pretty interesting things.  I don’t know how I’m going to exploit these yet, but I promised myself to venture into new grounds next year (which mean once I’m done with the pile of stuff on my sewing table) and I am definitively planning on incorporating what I’ve seen this week into quilt projects.
Thanksgiving in London
 Thanksgiving in London2
Thanksgiving in London1 
The best thing when you can walk in a city, is the ability to be surprised by the urban architecture.  I really like how old and modern are going along together.Thanksgiving in London3
And another surprise, the Man Bun is a real thing in London.   The Top Knot with Undercut (yes, there’s a whole range of Man Buns!) seems to be the favourite style, but don’t despair, if your guy doesn't have the patience of growing on, you can still order him one :o
Thanksgiving in London4