Sunday, 29 March 2015

String piecing

I have a new crush! I am totally in love with string piecing at the moment.

Each of these took an evening, maybe 2 or 2.5 hours. Which I think is pretty good, as they were the first thing like this I'd ever tried! It would be quicker next time, I'm sure.

I'm currently learning new quilting techniques by following a free Craftsy class. It is a Block of the Month course, where each month focuses on a different technique and you end up with a sampler quilt of 20 different blocks.

This month has been string foundation piecing, and it is brilliant! Have a look at the class here.

You simply cut a background piece of fabric and stitch 'strings' - strips of fabric in various widths - to it. It gives the most wonderful kaleidoscopic effects, and is almost ridiculously easy! I can't quite imagine making a whole quilt in half square triangles or some of the other fiddly techniques, but I could easily imagine making a whole one using this.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A Quilter's Prayer

Quilting God,
Take the ragbag of our lives -
Delve in, and pull out fistfuls -
The torn scraps of half-forgotten dreams,
Ragged fragments of failed plans,
Bits and pieces cut off, torn off,
Half-finished, regretted,
Or still taking shape.

Take blues of peacefulness and sorrow,
Greens of growing, playing, or envy,
Yellows of summer sun and sickness,
Whites of calm, quiet and cloud,
Reds of anger, pain and passion;
Greys of soft mist, old age and sorrow;
Scraps imprinted with memories -
A face here, a landscape there -

Quilting God,
Take these scraps of our lives
And combine them with the fibres of your story.
Pierce us with your sharp wisdom
So that, backed by your eternal presence,
Wadded with your incarnate fullness,
The thread of your indwelling spirit
Makes us one with you.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Wedding card

A mini-project today: making a wedding card for two friends getting married today.

For this, I used some scraps of pinky-purply felt that I had previously needle felted and then wet felted. I cut out two hearts, then quickly felted them together overlapping. I used a single needle and only a small amount of felting, as I wanted to keep the look and texture of two distinct hearts, but joined together as one.

I then sprinkled a small amount of gold strands over the top, and lightly felted them onto the surface just to give a little extra sparkle! I had originally planned to add initials or interlocking wedding rings, but when I laid them out they didn't look right, so I left it as it is.

Then just stuck it onto a plain card blank with glue dots - voila! It only took about 10 minutes and I'm really pleased with the result.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

New Blog!

Hello! Welcome to my new blog, devoted to my new hobbies of quilting and felting.

I am very much a beginner!

I've been felting for just over a year. I've done bits and pieces of sewing over the years, including some patchwork as a child, and a few basic children's quilts over the last decade or so, but have just begun to get interested in quilting proper after attending a 'Quilting and Prayer' retreat run by the Creative Arts Retreat Movement.

So this isn't going to be an expert how-to blog, but a place for me to talk about and show off my works in progress, and link to those expert blogs that I'm enjoying!

I've always loved fabrics, textiles, and colour. I've tended to buy lovely bits of fabric and then stash them away, not really knowing what to do with them! What I love about both quilting and felting is the excuse to surround myself with colour and texture - both crafts are so tactile, and the house is now overflowing with gorgeous dyed wools and beautiful fabrics.

My current work in progress
I'm not a terribly precise person, so this isn't the place for exactly matching corners. I don't think I'm likely to be designing and making some of those incredibly complex quilts that fill me with awe, but also seem faintly sterile to me. I'm not a matchy-matchy sort of a person either, and I gather quilts that don't match are known as 'scrappy'. I rather like a hobby where 'scrappy' is a term of endearment and indeed a technical term, rather than a condemnation!