Sunday, July 26, 2020

HST

Another month, another quilt.
This quilt is made from a total of 781 hst squares in six different sizes from 1 1/2 inch to 5 inch. I've got the idea from the book 'No Scrap Left Behind' by Amanda Jean Nyberg (aka crazy mom quilts)
 One thing I changed from the book is that instead of the same number of rows from each size, I made each size group more or less the same hight. Meaning I had 3 rows of the largest size and 8 rows of the smallest size.
I good thing I already had most of the squares for the smallest size, which I had collected over the last couple of years.
The quilting is simple straight lines from left to right in roughly 1 inch distance.
I love how the quilt turned out. I loved that I used up pretty much all of the HSTs I've had. And I also love that I managed to find a fabric with dots going from small to big for the back of the quilt (no photo, sorry)

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

Originally the pattern (April Birthstone 'Diamond' by MJ Kinman) is done in some foundation piecing technique where you piece the individual pieces together bit by bit - I didn't really understand how the designer really wanted it done, sorry. Insteady I handled it as classic foundation paper piecing, sewing on and through the template.
The result at least looks more or less like the photo on the pattern, and that's what counts, right.
I cut a large heartshaped opening into the background and appliqued it onto the heart. I saw this technique in the Quiltmanufactur in Frankfurt (were you actually still can see this wall hanging done in reds and pink)
I've finished the pattern maybe mid of last year, I think.
Don't exactly know why it took me forever to actually quilt this wall hanging. There are just some straight lines for crying out loud, and not very many of those either.
But I like the effect.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Swedish Quarter Log Cabin Quilt

One of my favorite collegues is leaving the company nex month, and so I decided to make her a quilt (she's a sewer, so she will appreciate it)
The start of the quilt was basically me going through my scraps and noticing I have a lot of solid blue stripes. I mean, there were really a lot, as I like to use blues for the back of my quilts, and also like to bind quilts with blue.
I've added patterned blue stripes (also had a lot of those) and white(ish) stripes, and, finally, for a splash of oomph, one stripe of bright, sunny yellow to each block. The blocks came to 9 x 9 inches and I made 50 of them, setting them on point with a narrow stripe of white sashing.
 The finally quilt is about 215 x 175 cm (85 x 69 inches)
Quilting was simple wavey diagonal lines left and right to the sashing, and once through the middle of each block. Quick, easy and so much fun.
The yellow and blues reminds me of the Swedish flag, and the white of the snow up north, hence the name: Swedish Quarter Log Cabin Quilt.
This has been a fun quilt to make, and I hope my collegue will like it once I give it to her.
Now I only have to find out when to actually meet her to hand it over, as we are both in home office right now.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

More Paper Making

I mentioned that paper making can be addictive.
Just to show some of the papers off (this time in a good size of 23 by 30 cm - 9 by 12 inches)
I've made a whole stack (around 50 sheets):
Besides pure white (with little black sprinkles from the prints) I made a paper with first only green and then green and blue speckles. Problem here is that the speckles are too thick, and I can't use them for writing or printing. I CAN use them, though, as the covers of thin note books, and I have made two of those already (and already put them to use).
Next thing I tried was adding confetti to the furnish. I really adore the result, and I might use them for birthday cards.
Then I tried some embossing, which worked out okayish. As template I used the the Witcher signs from the game, as they are fairly simple to cut out. I need to think on this technique a little bit more.
Eventually I moved away from white and added green furnish to the tub. Got a nice subtle shading, as I added more and more or the green..
Finally I tried some stamping / embossing using a cork in the fresh paper. The trick here is to use not too thin paper, but it worked out pretty good (if I may say so).
I'm sure this won't be the last time I'm making paper. It's just too much fun and I still have plenty of ideas.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Paper Making

No, I'm not in such a deperate need of toilet paper that I turned to making it myself.
The current lockdown has the 'advantage' that I finally got around trying out some things I wanted to do for quite some time.
One of those is making my own paper using the traditional method of using a paper mold (I used an old picture frame and window screen) and a furnish (shredded paper I soak in water over night, and then processed to get a fine suspension of the fibres in the water)
Dipping the frame into the water and pulling it out afterwards, leaves a thin layer of fibres on the screen. I then carefully dip it on some fabric (I used new floor wipes), pressout some of the water with a sponge until I can seperate the screen from the sheet. This doesn't always work well (the less material - thinner paper - you have the harder it gets), but more often than not I managed to get the sheet where it's suppose to go.
Once on the wipes, I hang the paper up for drying.
That's all there is to it, really.

On my first round of paper making, I didn't have a big enough tub for larger sheets of paper, so I started out with 13 x 13cm (about 5 x 5 inch).
There, among other things, I experimented with using a piece of lace for the screen, and it came out beautifully. Sadely I don't have enough for a bigger size, but I do plan on getting more.
There are so many different ways you can play around with this technique. Here I had some blue in my suspension, and also added some shredded fabric.
I also had a batch of green, made exclusively from egg cartons (yeah, recycling)
At one point I tried to work with dried and pressed flower pedals (didn't work out so well, as they stained the paper yellow).
Then I cut out shapes from the paper of the first trial run (blue) and added them to the freshly sieved paper (white). That worked very well, actually.
Once I had enough paper, I actually bound it into a little booklet. The front for the green one is a piece of scrap marbled paper I got in Venice last year. As the cover is rather on the thin side, I close it with a little bow.
 Finally, I bound a little book, using some of my stitching as a cover for the blue paper.

I'm very new to paper making, but I find this is super fun and quite addictive.
Only problem, if I ever should run of toilet paper (not risk of that at the moment), I don't really know if I would want to use that paper. It's not soft enough ;-)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Modern Lone Star

I admit, I totally ripped off the Mega Star quilt pattern by Zen Chic. It was one of those cases of falling in love at first sight, but also looking forward to the challange of working out to how on my own (well, and there are a ton of free lone star quilt pattern around, after all)
 As a wall hanging it ended up as 110 x 110 cm in size, which fits the space where the swans used to hang quite nicely.
I did straight line quilting with my walking foot, alternating directions every third diamond. This adds also nicely to the modern look of the finished quilt.
I have to say, I'm quite proud of my matching points. I put in a lot of effort to get them nicely matched up and, mostly, I succeeded.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Socks!

I've warned you that I made a lot of socks lately.
First pair is using a pattern called 'Shur'tugal' (after the dragon riders in the Eragon saga). I used a Wollmeise twin in a beautiful shaded red.
For the next pair I used a yarn I picked up last year in the US, from Old Soul Fibre. Sadely the color is not quite fast, and lost already some of it's deep blue/petrol. Still pretty, though. The pattern is 'Glynis' from the book Sock Innovation by Cookie A.
Then I started to use left overs. The pattern it 'Broken Seed Stich Socks' and I used only Wollmeise Twin left overs in shades of blue and green.
After that I made 'Stashbuster Spirals' with part of the rest from the second and the third pair, just added some dark blue for cuff, heel and toes.
The final pair of socks (at least for now, I think) used a pattern called 'Cranberry Biscotti'. I used (again) dark blue to frame it, some green, the final rest of the Old Soul and plain white. I really liked the way how those came out.
Considering spring's about to start, I believe I have enough socks for now.
But, what to knit next ....?


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Little Drummer Boy

Sorry for the long silence.
Part was, that other than socks (lots of socks) I didn't have anything interesting to show.
But, finally, I've got another finished quilt:
This one is called The Drummer Boy Dresden Quilt (or, as I like to call it, the Little Drummer Boy). The idea came from a quilt along, started by Stiched in Color and The Making of Joy, though I never officially joint.
It is a scrap friendly, colorful quilt. I started around September, cutting fan plates and sewing them together to make the quarter Dresden Plates. I applicated the 83 fans (and the little quarter cycles in the corner) to the background by hand, and then sewed the blocks together with the sewing machine. For a while I debated if I should recover some of the background behind the fans, but in the end decided against, mostly for stability reasons.
The size is about 125 x 175 cm, which is a good size for cuddling.
The back is from solid dark blue fabric I had sitting around, plus a couple of star blocks from my orphan block box.
Quilting was done free motion, following the shapes of the fans.

I'm not sure where this will end at, so it hasn't got a label yet.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Christmas 2019

... is over already. I don't know how time can pass so quickly.
I did a little bit of paper folding for decorations.
 Made cookies to eat.
And sow a bunch of rice pad hand warmers (the big ones are upcycled for a pair of jeans, for the small ones - of which I made ten for friends - used an old bed cover, which I dyed a while ago)

Other than that, nothing really exciting is going on, hence my radio silience for the last two months. I try to do better next year (though no promises).
Happy 20201


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Venice

I've been to Venice :-)
So, pictures:





Sunday, October 20, 2019

Weaving and Bookbinding

After a long while, I've pulled out my riged heddle loom once again, and did a bit of weaving.
One thing I wanted to try is mixed-media weaving. Here's it fabric, yarn and paper stripes mixed. The result is okay, though I'm not so sure now, what I'm going to do with it. For now I consider it an exercise.
More practical is this rag rug I've made, using fabric stripes from old t-shirts and bed sheet covers. I still need to fix the fringes, but other than that I really love it.
There might be a second one in the near future, as I have plenty of fabric left.
I also did some book binding using a combination of the accordion binding and the simple coptic binding. The book is 15 x15 cm and perfect to store CDs.
For the leaves I used the sleeves from old floppy discs we trashed this week at work (I did ask if I could have some - we had tons). So basically, this is some form of upcycling.
I had to do the coptic binding twice, as the book behaved very differently depending if it is full of CDs or not. First time round, it was way too tight, but now I'm really happy.
The cover paper is from my first experiments with paste paper making last year. I think I have enough material to make about 10 of those books.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Cross Stitch Meets Binder

And some more projects from my current favorite book.
Binders!
In the book, they are actually sewing binders, and I made one using an old sewing pattern, which I laminated and used to cover the outside boards of the binder. I used book screws to link the back and the front, and also to put in plastic sleeves for some of my sewing pattern.
I very much liked the result, so I decided to make a few more, this time using old cross stitch finishes I had made a long time ago, which were sitting in a box, doing nothing.
I picked two finishes, the first from a Bucilla kit called 'Curiosity'. The size of the kit and the size of the cover don't quite match, but I'm still quite happy with the outcome.
 The second finished cross stitch I found is this wonderful Oehlenschläger pattern with owls (I think it was also a kit, though I'm not 100% sure). As this one has less definded borders, it does fit better in size to the cover.
For the spines and the backs I used also cross stitch fabric, which I laminated to silk paper and then pressed while it was drying (same method I used with the cross stitch pictures).
I'm very pleased with the results of this little project. I've got to use some of my old finishes, I had fun making those binders, and in the end they are even useful.
A total win in my book.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fabric Meets Photo

Last week I mentioned Michaela Müller's Book 'Fabric Meets Paper'.
I made another project from the books, a small photo album.
For the cover I used a stitch doodle I made, when I went through my stitching thread stash and found a box with left overs from a Theresa Wentzler project from long, long ago. Mrs Wentzler has wonderful, very elaborated patterns, which use a lot of blended flosses (and I mean a LOT). In order to organize them, I always wrapped the leftover thread around a cardboard bobbin and that's how I found them. So I took the left overs and just stitched little 2x2 squares randomly in an 11x11 grid until a thread ran out and I pulled the next one from the box.
I bonded the fabric to silk paper and then covered thick cardboard stock (like 2mm) for the front and back of my photo album. For the binding I folded a stripe of paper to a little arcordion and then glued the leaves of the album into the folds. The cutting is not perfect, but well ...
Inside went pictures from an evening photography class I took in March (this is my favorite made in Offenbach's harbour at sunset). 
I also did a little bit more stitching and finsihed three booksmarks. I already gave one of them away before I took the picture (it had a little seahorse one it)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fun in the Sun

Two years ago I won a craft book by Michaela Müller ('Bunte Bücher'). I really enjoyed the book and did some of the projects, so when her new book came out this week, I didn't hesitate to buy it outright (I don't think I can rely on winning it again)
This time the topic is 'Fabric Meets Paper', both things I like and enjoy working with. One project was using the sun (or rather the heat) do some type of printing (not cynoprinting, that needs special light-sensitive paper). The idea is to paint cotton fabric with deluted silk-paints (which I have still plenty around, even though I haven't done any silk painting in years), cover parts of it with small(ish) object, and place it in the sun (it also works in the shadows, it's the heat that does the trick)
In the book, the author uses buttons, and that's what I used as well.
When the farbic starts to dry, it does so faster in the open areas. The pigments from the covered areas are moving to the open areas, so in the end the places where the buttons where are lighter than the rest.
It actually works quite well (this is from another test, where I used blue, instead of black like in the first picture)
 I then started to play around with some other materials. I kinda like that it's not always sharply defined.
 I also really like this test, where I had two rounds, one in a golden orange, the other in green. I used Ginko leaves from my parents' garden which I picked up and pressed last year.
As the book is about how fabric meets paper, there are also instructions in how to make a traveler's journal (among other book related projects). This one is rather small (only about 15 x 11 cm), but I really like how it turned out.