Monday, February 29, 2016

A Door With More

Happy lucky 29th of February!! I love how quirky it is to have a extra day every 4 years. Wishing all those who are celebrating their birthdays today a very special Happy Birthday.  

I haven't been sewing as much as I'd like over the past few months because in those precious spare moments of creative time I've been tackling long overdue projects around the house. Some are a bit boring, like painting furniture and looking for bathroom vanities but some are fun and colourful like decorating my lounge room door. 

Although I used tissue paper and there's not a stitch in sight I think the door looks like a quilt with colourful patterned blocks joined with sashing.

I've always been fascinated by paper cut outs from Chinese paper pictures to festive Mexican banners. Then there are those pretty paper snowflakes that appear around Christmas time. These are what came to mind as I looked at the clear glass window panes in the doorway of my lounge room.

It's not a room that needs privacy so the glass didn't need to be fully covered, in fact I wanted the light to still be able to travel through when the door was closed. 
Which it does perfectly.

I hadn't thought of the shadows it would create so when I was even more pleased when I saw the ethereal lace-like patterns on the wall behind. 

Another surprise that I noticed later was how the shapes echo the shapes and lines in the nearby rug.

Here's how it works with my quilts on the walls. I think it fits in perfectly.

Yes, I love colour!! 

For those interested in how I went about making my colourful door here are the easy step by step instructions. 

I used tissue paper because I like the translucent effect it gives, but I've done things in the past using thicker coloured paper. 

Start by cutting out rectangles the same size as the window pane. 

Fold the rectangles into segments and cut out shapes on the folds. It's fun to experiment with folding the paper in different ways to get a variety of results. You could practise with newspaper if you first to get a feel for the technique and not waste precious coloured paper. I'm not at all pedantic about perfectly cut shapes, i like the hand cut look. 

Once you are happy with your design give it a press with a cool iron ( depending on what paper you've used) and pressing cloth to remove the creases made from folding. 

I used small pieces of clear sticky tape to attach them to the glass. I'm sure glue would work as well but I liked that the sticky tape made it easy to move them around to get the right colour placement. 

A bonus is that it makes lots of pretty confetti.

So what do you think? Would you like me to show more of my colourful house projects?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A finished quilt

I first wrote about this vintage orphan quilt top 3 years ago here.

I saw it on Etsy and its polka dot happy ways and free easy piecing called out to me. I bought it for a song.

I know nothing of the person who made the top. After a while I came to think of her as Betty. I know she liked to piece by hand because it was entirely hand stitched. 

in a very liberated or make-do style.

To keep in character I knew the quilting had to be just as rustic. At first I chose to tie it with yarn ties but in the end gave up that plan because the woolly gatherings distracted from the interesting piecing. 

So I reverted to my favourite style of quilting with big stitches using perle8 cotton thread. I free hand quilted in simple shapes of crosses, squares and my favourite: circles. 

When it came to the binding I wanted to keep the uneven edges so I used scissors rather than a rotary cutter to trim away the excess 

I guess you could say the quilt is a collaboration between Betty and I. Betty choosing the fabrics, the pattern and piecing all those little pieces and I was in charge of quilting, the backing and binding. 

And I get to choose the name. Maybe it could be Partners In Crime. Some of you will recognise the pattern as being Courthouse Steps. The place where crimes are judged. My partner ignored the rules with her ad lib piecing, wild block placement and soft rebellious puckers. Then there's me with my big uneven stitches in random shapes and colours, wavy edges and scrappy binding. We're like rebels taking our stitches into our own hands and being on the run from the Quilt Police. 

Or I could call it simply The Polka Dot Daisy Quilt. 
I haven't decided yet.

As you know I always like a photo shoot to celebrate a finished quilt so I wandered down to the local park and took a few photos.

The backing that I made using fabrics from my stash similar colours to the front.

Feeling uninspired for clever photo shots I started looking around. A pop of blue blue in the distance caught my eye.
" Why hello little balloon" I greeted it, " Did you get lost on your way to a party? or have you perhaps flown from miles away from a celebration of sorts?" .

The balloon didn't say anything but I noticed it was pointing at a large rock through the trees.

 I'd never noticed the rock before but it was the perfect size for draping a quilt.

 Some quilts look so pretty scrunched up and tousled, as though they want to be used and handled not just admired hanging on a wall or laying neatly on a bed. This is one of those quilts. I can see it being a favourite on the couch or travelling with us when we go on holidays.

If you ever come across an orphan top that makes your heart flutter I highly recommend you take it home and give it a new life as a quilt. 

One more photo... I took this on my way to the shops yesterday. The light shining on the ferns was glorious. I could almost hear angels singing. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Scrappy Heart

A big hearty hello!!

I know its been a while but I'll hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive my recent silence. 

Some say absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

I'm sure you all know how life can take over and before you know it days, weeks and even months have flown by. I kept meaning to write blog posts and I do have lots of fun things to share but I found the longer I left it the harder it became to sit down and write the words.

But thats all water under the bridge. There's love in the air with Valentines Day around the corner and I couldn't pick a better day than today to share a happy scrappy heart. 

So what's the story behind the big heart dancing around under the trees??

One day in the storeroom of the flower shop where I used to work I came across an old polystyrene heart shape and in my mission to add colour to the world I thought it would be fun to cover it in bright fabrics. For added sentimental meaning I used the fabric pieces from the bunting we had at our wedding

I was too caught up in creating to take progress photos but I simply sewed the fabrics into long strips and then wound the strips tightly around the heart shape. When it was fully covered I folded the fabric ends in and under and pinned them into place. 

I haven't found the right place to hang it yet so instead of a wall photo we took it for a walk in the bush. 

I'm sure I heard fairies giggling as Mr Daisy and I wandered along the paths with our big heart. 

And of course we echoed their giggles with our own. 

And with that I wish you all a colourful Valentines Day full of happy heart giggles.


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