Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Giveaway & Book Tour - Crafted Applique: New possibilities

Welcome everybody to my stop on the Crafted Applique: New Possibilities blog hop!
I am delighted to be involved in the hop and share Lara's generosity by giving away a copy of her new book!  I've been following Lara's blog BuzzinBumble for ages and last year when I was renovating our kitchen, we got chatting by email about being too far away from each other to be able to drop by for a cuppa, so we decided on a mug rug swap instead and this way have a virtual cuppa with each other.  This is what Lara made for me!
If you have been following Lara's blog hop you will have seen this mini featured on Sew Mama Sew but I had to show it again for my stop on the hop to show what you can be done with Lara's applique method!  It is perfect for tiny pieces to add detail.  Check out their perfect expressions - this little mini brings me such joy - it captures the personalities of our Charly & Wilbur perfectly!

I ordered my copy of Crafted Applique from the AQS shop as soon as I heard it was available for pre-order and got it last month ahead of the hop & just in time for an applique project I was planning.   I had the bright idea of making a glow in the dark Lego inspired Darth Vader for a Star Wars mini quilt swap on Instagram!
Lara's method is very well explained in the book and when I emailed Lara to tell her I had a copy of her book in my hands she gave me pointers to help me apply it to Vader and it made the making of this mini so much easier!  The applique parts can be re-positioned and moved if you need to and I did!  The no fray aspect allowed me to make some tiny cuts into the fabric on Vader's face to give him a bit of a scowl.  I also added some detailing on his breastplate by cutting parts away and this made the glow in the dark fabric shine through!

Being able to make small cuts and not having to worry about fraying edges got me thinking about making a second project!  I am a big fan of all things Space related and have a great fondness for things like Star Wars and Doctor Who!

Lara Buccella
The Doctor, a Time Lord from Gallifrey has a language made up of circles and is read anti-clockwise.  The TV program is full of beautiful images using the circular language and someone even went and created an alphabet for it.  Here's my name, Ruth and Lara's full name in Gallifreyan!

Yes there is a bit of artistic licence in this one - well its a made up language for starters!  But you can move the dots and lines about a bit and change up the colours and like Lara's method for applique the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

So I've stared cutting into fabric again trying to make something circular inspired by circular Gallifreyan.  I tried cutting shapes with a scalpel and that was tricky even with paper as a base as there is so much give in fabric.  So, out came the scissors and I just played with the shapes.   I am starting to think I need a die cutter as the only limiting factor with this one is not Lara's method but my ability to cut a curve!

I am far from finished, this is only layer 1 and 2, but I'm having a lot of fun and really enjoying the variety of things you can do with no fray applique!  From butterflies to flower gardens, mermaids to dogs on carts the possibilities really are endless!

To win a copy of Lara's book Crafted Applique:  New Possibilities please leave a comment telling me what you would like to make for your next applique project!  The giveaway is open until midnight Sunday 29th May, winner will be chosen at random next Monday, 30th May.  Good luck!

To see more amazing applique projects and more chances to win Lara's book please visit my fellow blog hoppers on the book tour below! If you just can’t wait and want to buy a copy right now, Lara has offered to refund your money if you win a copy in one of the giveaways! You can purchase a signed copy on BuzzinBumble, or from Amazon.co.uk

Crafted Appliqué… New Possibilities Blog Hop - May 1st to June 5th 2016

Introduce Tour   

Valerie Smith
Dana Gaffney
Lorna McMahon
Mary Schuberg
Alycia Carmin
Sherri McConnell
Lara Buccella
Guest Post

Christina Cameli
Melissa Corry
Soma Acharya
Angela Pingel
Sandra Walker

Cheryl Brickey
Judy Murphy
Yvonne Fuchs
Cindy Pieters
Connie Campbell
Cynthia Brunz

Jenn Trott-Zisserson
Paulette Horn
Sandra Jansen

Christine Sherman

Darlene Simmons
Giveaway Winners Announced!         


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ticker Tape Basset Hound - Here's How I made Wilbur in fabric!

Over the last few weeks, I have had a few people ask me how I made my Ticker Tape version of Wilbur, our Basset Hound.  I thought I'd write about how I made him, so if anyone wanted to make something similar they could!
I bought a copy of Scrap Happy Quilting and like most quilting books admired it, thumbed through it and put it back on the bookshelf.  Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts had a quilt a long two years ago to get us using our Library books and I picked this project as something to try from the book.  Then we had a get together with the Modern Quilters Ireland group in Galway and I swapped it! It has a lot of colourful projects and you can buy the book as a PDF here.  Having given mine away I had to come up with a plan to do my own ticker tape project!
So of course I chose Wilbur!  Elephants are cool and I love them in fabric, so much so, it was because of this elephant print, that I bought my very first fat quarter bundle of Valori Wells fabric, called Karavan.
Having said that, any Basset Hound owner will tell you not much compares to a Basset, so I pulled out my scraps of Karavan that I had left over from my first pieced quilt and arranged them in a bassety shape and thought this could work!

The first step is to draw an outline on your background fabric of the shape you want to fill in.  Then hand stitch along that line with perle cotton to give yourself an outline to work with.
I had great fun sketching Wilbur and was very pleased with the head and nose but couldn't get his legs right so I turned to google and searched for Basset Hound Silhouette!

 I chose the first image to work with and used that as a basis to complete my design.
If you don't feel comfy scaling up an image by hand to draw on your fabric, you can do it on the computer easily enough and print your image across multiple pages.  Tape them together and you get a full size image you can trace.  The easiest way I found to do this was to save my drawing in Photoshop Elements as a PDF, then open Adobe Reader and print my drawing as a poster or banner across multiple pages.

If you want to use my template you can download it here and I have made a PDF of the individual pages for printing if you want it here!

Once you have your outline sewn on your background fabric you then baste your quilt top, wadding and backing.  My project was about 40" x 30" so I spray basted my quilt sandwich and that made it easier than having to remove and work around pins.

Ticker tape is technique that uses raw edge applique.  You sew through all the layers of your quilt as you are applying your scrap pieces. The idea is that the pieces fray over time and you get a textured effect.  I first tried a straight stitch and realised that 1/4" was too big a seam.  Reading up on it, it should have been closer to the edge about 1/8" or less so I ripped this bit out and went again but this time with a small zig-zag all around.  I got lucky with the eye fabric and am delighted how his head turned out.

Sewing through all the layers makes a really cool outline on the back of the quilt too!

I first started with laying pieces down and trimming around them with a sharp scissors using the perle outline as a guide for the outside edges.  For the inside edges I cut straight lines and left a small gap between the pieces approximately 1/8".

It got a bit messy with lots of bits and pieces on the floor but I really enjoyed the process and trying to fit all the pieces together like a jigsaw. 

I did try to use fabric colours guided my Wilbur's own colouring.  He is a tri-colour Basset so he has black, white and a beautiful reddy brown coat.  I used blue for the black areas, white and pink and mustard for the red/brown areas.

Even though I like the shades of pink, maybe that might be a colour choice I would change going forward as G commented that it reminded him of the butchers diagrams showing the various cuts of meat you can get.  Wilbur and I are ignoring that comment!  So ploughing ahead the final layout was like this!

I initially pinned the fabric in place but with all the turning through the machine zig-zagging the little pieces down it was easier in the end to use glue. 

I tried both fabric glue and fusible tape and the tape was the easiest.  I have since bought Roxannes Basting Glue and have had great success with it so I would probably use that next time instead!

If you don't like the frayed edges of ticker tape you could use Lara's no fray applique method from her new book Crafted Applique.  Lara's method would make this process very easy!  I'll be giving away a copy next Tuesday on the blog so please come back and visit.

Finally when all the pieces are secured, quilt to finish!  I used a wavy line just like the elephant project that inspired all this in the first place.  When washed it gives amazing texture!

So there you have it - Ticker Tape Wilbur!  I hope you are tempted to try your own ticker tape silhouette project.  If you do I'd love to see it!

Linking up to
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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

WIP Wednesday - Improv Round Robin

This round of our Irish Modern Bee threw me quite a challenge. 

I have great love for improvisation style quilts and admire them afar. When I saw Cynthia's starting block pictured here at the top I thought cooooool, this'll be fun! Then it sat there looking down at me from the design wall asking me what was I going to do?

My fabric pull - closest I could get to Cynthia's block!
I tried sketching and extending the curved lines of the block and thought matching fabrics and seams would be a nightmare so I turned to Sherri Lynn Wood's: The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. When I bought this book I instantly loved it but to be honest found it a little intimidating. I closed the cover, picked it up, put it down, picked it up again and since it's been in my library of quilt books I must have flicked through it dozens of times.

It's a book you have to make time for, not for the reading though that is really enjoyable but for the doing. The book gives you Scores as in a musical score - the notes are the same but every performance is different. The projects are just beautiful and full of colour and your eye dances around the quilts. I love those kind of projects that just draw you in.

Like most things in quilting you just have to carve out some quiet time and give it a go. Cynthia's block forced me to do that and I am happy to say I had quite a bit of fun playing with improv curves. Rachel @Stitched in Color picked up the challenge of this book and is working through each score in the book with fantastic results. My little dip into it is making me itch to do a bigger project too though maybe not all of the book just yet!

So I decided on an imrov curves score, think of it as freehand drunkards path!

The score has you make a single freehand curve on a stack of blocks and re-arrange top and bottom pieces to sew them back together - then do it again and again and see what you get! Cynthia's block was based on 4 blocks, 8" in size so I wasn't sure what size to make to border the block but in the end trying not to overthink it I made bigger and trimmed my additions back to 8" too. That made 12 blocks around as a border. It's probably a bit big for a first border but I think it works and I hope it will give Mary some opportunities for adding to the next round.

Evening horrible night time shot but you get the idea!
I tried also to bring in some prints and lighter colours too in the fabics to make it easier for the next rounds. I played around with the layout and like this one, it has some colour clumping (a made up Ruth technical term!) I think it makes it seem a little more assymmetric than scrappy this way so I think I'll be sewing this together this evening and passing on to Mary on Friday! I think I might lend her the book too as it was such a great help and working through the score meant lots of concentration and no time to panic!

Best match I could get with the fabrics!

So now the design wall looks like this!

It's back to traditional blocks made modern for the next while but I think I'll be coming back to the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters in no time at all!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Wandering Camera!

This month's wandering camera has some sunshine at last!
Mum and G at Riverfest, View of the Shannon river with Thomand Bridge and King John's Castle
Limerick had Riverfest for the May Bank Holiday weekend and it was tons of fun!  When the sun shines the river just looks amazing.  There was rowing, jet skiing and tricks and stunts on the river this year and the location of the festival on the river front instead of by the old Granary worked really well - it was thronged!  The carousel had the longest line, even longer than the ice cream and Erdinger lines!
I have to say a big thank you to my Instagram swap partner@stichedbybetty for my May the 4th be with you mini quilt swap!  I received a brilliant package full of R2 extras and a light saber inspired mini quilt for my wall!
Other happy post included the next rounds of our Round Robin bee - we have a bit of a bottle neck due to one member traveling the world and now catching up.  I added very minimally to these to get them moving on again.  I turned the triangles into arrows and echoed the grey squares on the first one and then, extended the HST to flying geese by bringing back some text print that I saw had been used in the starting block for the second.  Still working on the amazing curved block - hoping The Improv Handbook will help me with ideas!

Not too much wandering outside the sewing room - the design wall looks like this in preparation for the class in June - Traditional blocks made modern.  I am definitely going to make a quilt for myself using my dog fabric and the modern economy block. 
Lastly. Wilbur is delighted to be home after his adventure at the Veterinary College. There's still lots of sleeping and yawning. Makes me tired just looking at him. He has developed a hard case of selective hearing as he is getting very good at ignoring me calling him off the sofa! I have resorted to schmackos from time to time to get him moving!  I think he is training me!

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Camera And Photography Linky Party
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