Thursday, 18 August 2011

UFO'S (Un - Finished - Objects)

So I'm sitting here at my laptop after a round of Etsy taste testing, waiting for Monty to come back with the takeaway pizza supper and looking at some of my many UFO's in the sewing space around me.  In particular I feel as though I should be working on the owl baby quilt promised to my sister Meg for a friend of hers. I hope she isn't reading this!

However, while many people would look at this space and see complete mess and chaos, to me it's an organized chaos.  And in all fairness to myself and the many other crafters and DIY'ers out there with messy, cluttered and seemingly disorganized spaces (you know who you are), a true crafter/DIY'er will have at least 3 projects on the go at any given time. 

Back to the mess - I mean organizing......

My fabrics are for the most part folded and neatly stacked into colour groupings and styles.  And while they aren't exactly home decor, I like having them easily visible and accesible. My threads, tools and notions are tucked in a few handmade tidy trays and my scrap fabrics go to one of three places:

1) tiny scrap baskets for minute bits that I may (or may not) do something with someday.  I mainly use these bits to make buttons or fabric cards.

2) medium sized scrap basket to be used on smaller projects or in scrap quilts.

3) cut into 2.5", 3.5" or 4.5" squares piles for future use in quilts.

But that unfortunately, is the extent of my current organizing.  Until I settle into a place with enough space for me to have my own crafting room and I can get Meg @ to design an organized space for me ;) 
Until then I will continue to enjoy looking at my half finished baby quilt on the floor, the unfinished upcycled skirt handbag I started 3 weeks ago, and my very recently finished baby booties.  Besides I can always make myself feel better by looking at the other side of the room at Monty's mess!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Finishing Touches

I'm so sorry it's been awhile since my last post.  This is due to the casing surrounding my bobbin falling out of my machine WHILE I was using it.  Lucky for me it's still under warranty so it was off to the shop where I bought it for fixing.

In the meantime I am now more than a little lost without my machine.  I was just really getting into a groove making bags and wallets while still doing some quilting and now.....nothing.  There was some admin that needed doing on my sites for Etsy and Facebook but that got boring fast.

Reluctantly I turned to all those small finishing jobs that I sometimes put off at the end of a project.  Sewing up the turning openings on bags, finishing off the threads from lines of quilting, organizing scraps and adding labels are just a few of the minor jobs that had been piling up.

So today I finished off a project I've been working on for months and I just have to share!

It began when I started collecting fat quarters of vintage looking floral fabric in shades of cream, pink and brown.  I had a vision of a shabby chic vintage looking quilt in mind.  I decided on simple squares sewn together to make the center and quilted with diagonal lines across the squares.  As I cut I weeded out any fabrics that didn't quite suit once all the fabrics were placed together.

After the center was sewn I took off to the nearest (and only) patchwork shop to look for accenting border fabrics (yes , many people would say "you'll never find anything after the fact).  To my delight I found 3!  A small scale pink with pin stripes, a brown crackle print, and a lovely cream and pink paisley print.  I also found a wide backing cream butterfly print that fit in nicely with the colour scheme.

Now I know that not everyone is a fan of girly colours like pink and floral patterns.  I must admit this quilt was totally out of the normal realm of fabrics and prints I would use.  But once the borders were attached and I'd basted and quilted the top it was looking pretty beautiful - even if I do say so myself!
It had just the right balance of colour and movement and had a lovely vintage English garden look about it. 

Two more months went by before I managed to cut and sew on the binding. And then my pretty, nearly finished quilt sat there for another 2 months.  That is, until my sewing machine broke, I got bored with the computer, and finally pulled up my socks and began and finished hand sewing the binding on. I even finally remembered to sew on one of the quilt labels I bought in a patchwork shop in Switzerland in 2008!  It was a lovely finishing touch. 

Sometimes I feel that today's choices of pre-coordinated, pre-cut fabrics and quilt kits can take some of the specialness out of something handmade.  So I'm especially happy to have finished this project knowing that it's the only one of its kind.  And while it's nowhere near perfect I feel that just adds to the handmade feel of it.  I hope my friend gets as much enjoyment from using it as I have making it!