Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Challenge for IMQG

The March Challenge for IMQG was to make anything, but using only 2 fat Quarters, one a solid colour and one  a print. I thought I would make 2 cushion covers, and have actually started them. Luckily I read the instructions again and it said only 2 FQs and nothing else. Which meant I was breaking the rules of the challenge as I had already started quilting them! So once again fabric was taken out and I was mulling around thinking what I should make with the limited amount of fabric I had. Finally I hit on the idea of the tray cloth and tea cosy. I never seem to have enough of these anyway. Since it has come out quite nicely, I will keep it for Christmas!

I love doing bits and pieces by hand, and so decided to use the bits and pieces that were left over to make appliques. The red fabric has a paisley design, so I decided to repeat that for the applique. Ideas just pop up as i go along! Just so much fun really!

Block 6 for Crafty's BOM

Well I finished this today, after some effort! The sewing wasn't difficult, but I realised that I hadn't really thought through the colours, so a red I had used, just didn't fit! So I actually ripped some of it off, and added other strips. I still feel the bluey green isn't quite right, but since I am going to repeat these same fabrics in other blocks for this quilt, there should be a continuity and it should be fine!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sewing Sunday!

I have had an amazingly 'sewing productive' day today and am feeling relaxed and very pleased with myself! I started by making the IMQG Block of the month which is the pinwheel. I decided to challenge myself a little and looked up different ways to use the pinwheel. I am making my blocks 12 1/2 squares, so cut 4 inch squares, 8 in the background colour and 8 in 4 other colours! Here is the result!

Many firsts while making this block....I have never made the pinwheel before, never used pinks and mauves (my colours are earth colours), very rarely used any other fabric than traditional Indian printed handlooms!!!! I have only done crazy quilting till date, and love it. Since joining the IMQG, I have decided to try other forms, and this is my very first block which has involved precision cutting and stitching.

The next block I made is for the Crafty BOM and is one of the 2 string blocks for this month.
I SO LOVED making this block and realised  I will finally stick to blocks that do not require so much precision....I like to create things that evolve as they are created.  There is a surprise element in that, which is exciting. Its been a terrific day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another log cabin cushion

Nafisa wanted a new cushion cover for her new home and took a fancy to the one I had made for the IMQG Jan challenge! So I made it again, this time with strips cut from my printed scraps! Both Nafisa and I are delighted with it! I read about using a dark and a light side, so chose the fabrics accordingly! I finished with green stitching as it was visible and added a nice touch to the cushion, besides ensuring it was properly attached to the lining fabric!

I read that this block started with the Amish. The square block in the center was normally a dark one to represent the hearth or fireplace in a home surrounded by wooden logs, hence its called the log cabin.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sharing a precious piece of my history!

I was sorting out my linen cupboard and refound this amazing piece of history. It was the crazy patchwork bed cover  given to me by my husband's grandmother as a wedding present.   I sat back and let the memories flow through me.  I remember feeling awed at the very beauty of it, and thinking how very blessed I am at having married into a family where there was so much love for its members, I remember Granny telling me how some of the pieces were bits she had saved for over 50 years, I remember Viveck recognising a few bits from old school pyjamas of his!  So you can see why I  use it ever so sparingly.  It is so very precious.   I have used it again after a very long time and felt I would like to share the story with all my needlework friends.

This was my first introduction to a crazy patchwork quilt. Granny was in her 80s when we got married 35 years ago and had made this for us even though her hands were crippled with arthritis. She said the making of quilts and doing the most amazing cross stitch embroidery was something she had learnt from her mother, an Englishwoman. She made the quilts in the form  of   bed covers, using her old saris as lining. None of the fabric she used was new but were from scraps she had saved while sewing clothes, or from garments that had got too small, or old curtains etc. I remember her telling me that the brown fabric was new as someone had presented her with it. I have had to replace a couple of the patches, as the fabric got torn. Each piece was first tacked on to a background fabric (in our quilt this is an old sari) and then finally sewed with tiny herringbone stitches. She had seen 2 world wars and hence saving, making do with almost nothing and not wasting was part of her DNA I think. I learnt so much from her about making the best of what we had, be it with food or clothes or anything really. She recycling everything and made such wonderful use of things!!! She was also a terrific knitter and hence all of us, including my children always had hand knitted garments.  I learnt to undo old sweaters, wash the wool  recharge it with glycerin and use it again to make something different!  She always maintained we were a wasteful generation and had been spoilt as we got too much too easily!!! I wonder what Gran would have said if she were alive today!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Block 3 and 4 for Crafty's

These are my 2 blocks for February for the Crafty's Block of the Month series. I remade them as the first 2 came out much smaller.

I think I have made a mistake in the way I have constructed these. I realised only after my 4th block that the background fabric I am using is thicker than the others, and this creates its own problems! Possibly I will need to remake all the blocks using the similar thickness of fabric! Sigh!!!!!!!
Maybe I will do that, so the final quilt comes out as perfect as possible!

A bag for my needlework

I am not really into making bags and such likes! However this just happened...and I have had a fun time making it. I use a cloth bag to carry around my current piece of needlework! The one I use is one of the carry bags that Cotton World give out when you buy something form the shop! Its a terrific size and fits my stuff really well. My kids are horrified that I carry around this bag, so I decided to make a more respectable one for myself.

I had made these 2 blocks for the Crafty's block of the Month series, but they came out an inch too small, and I have made fresh ones. So I thought I would use the small ones in the bag! I am really delighted with it, and have had a super weekend making it. Also did quilting on a block for the first time!