Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sam's flowers

variety of fabric flowers

The theme for Sam's memorial project is flowers.

Making flowers was what I had started doing before Sam fell ill. I made a bunch of them with Sam either on my lap or right beside me on the sofa.
So making flowers feels more Sam-related than a quilt.

I'm going to make Sam a wall hanging. It's going to be a flower sampler. The flowers in the photo are made from fabrics, but I plan to add silk ribbon flowers to the mix, and some spiderweb roses.
For stems and leaves I'll be doing a combination of applique and embroidery. The embroidered leaves will be done in silk ribbon and embroidery floss. 

The background fabric is the actual background I'll be using for the wall hanging.

For the silk ribbon flowers I have several gorgeous wired ombre ribbons, but they're very hard to come by and I don't have a huge stash of them unfortunately. So for the time being I'll practice the ribbon flowers with fabric strips and/or more readily available ribbons to build enough confidence to use the pretty ones.  

Except for the yoyo maker flowers, all the flowers come from a wonderful book I bought several years ago when Nils was still alive. The author is Janice Vaine, and the book title is "The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery, Embellishment and Appliqué."
This book contains an abundance of techniques: fabric, ribbon, beads, you name it. It has lots of diagrams, and the instructions are quite easy to follow.
Definitely worthwhile, and very inspiring.

closeup fabric flowers

The flowers in the foreground are so enjoyable to make! In Janice's book they're called Batchelor Buttons.  The red flower above them is made with the yoyo maker, and the 2 cuties on the right are called Traveler's Joy. The Traveler's Joy flower were the easiest, but none of these flowers are hard to do. Some just need some more practice than others.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Till death do us part....

Cat Sam
My darling Sam

On Monday the 17th at noon my beloved Sam passed away at the age of 4.

Like Sieuwke, he died peacefully. Sam passed away at home on my lap. 
I'm devestated.

Rest in peace, my darling Sam. I love you so much.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A good decision

When I moved into this modest size terrace house, the largest bedroom was an obvious choice to dedicate as a craft room. It has plenty of room for multiple tables, and I could leave my sewing machine set up permanently.
The size of the room is fine, but there's no direct sunlight ever.

When I started the wall hanging, I set up a foldaway table in Nils' room, because the natural light is so much better there, and I love the view from the window so much.
But it's a smaller room. Leaving the table in there for days in a row was quite impractical. I use that room for drying laundry, ironing and storage of craft stuff as well.
However, I knew right away that this was the room for enjoyable craft adventures. And now I've finally come up with the perfect solution: the gateleg table (or is it a drop leaf?). Anyway it's perfect for a room this size!

table with dropped leaves

When not in use I can drop both leaves, allowing me ample space to access the storage cabinets or to do the ironing. And the room looks bigger of course.

But when I use it I have two options for size, fully extended or half extended. How brilliant is that?

table 1 leaf extended

table fully extended

Furthermore this table comes with six generous drawers. I haven't made up my mind yet on how I want to fill them. For now all my scissors and the rotary cutter are stored in the top drawer.

table drawers

This is how the room looks when the table is in use with 1 leaf extended. Still plenty of room to move about.

view of the room

sewing machines and overlocker

I loved how the room turned out. It makes crafting so much more fun, when you can do it in a pleasant environment.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Singer 15 meets Sieuwke's Quilt

Machine quilting

Well, it took me long enough, but I've finally started to quilt Sieuwke's Quilt.

I used a rather unusual way to sandwich the quilt, due to the size. Of course I wasn't looking forward to sandwich a quilt on the floor on my hands and knees to begin with, but also because I'm short. So I would have to crawl over it anyway, and most likely inadvertently cause wrinkling.

Instead I first spread the background fabric on my bed, and positioned the wadding (batting) on top of it. I had already marked the center.
Then I laid the background fabric along with the wadding on a table with a smooth surface, and checked for wrinkles. Lastly I carefully draped the patchwork over them, again smoothing out the sandwich and started pinning from the center.

Although I used a thin wadding the quilt is quite heavy. Much to my delight quilting in the ditch is going well, considering that I'm not very experienced at machine quilting. So far I've managed to stay in the ditch most of the time.
My arms tire, though, from handling the quilt. So I do two to three rows at the time, and take a rest or work on something else for a while.

After using the 127 to stitch the quilt top, I'm once again amazed at how quiet the Singer 15 is when you're operating it. Not that the 127 is noisy, but when you use the 15 you can hardly hear it at all. You just see the needle moving, ;-)))

A closer look at the machine quilting:

detail quilting in the ditch

Well, here you can see why it's hard on my arm muscles. I can stitch almost 3/4", smooth out the fabric, move the large part that is not being stitched along, and keep the folded part flat so it doesn't interfere with my lamp.

That's it, folks. I'm off to bed.