Thursday, 30 July 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 55 - Last Chance to Link Up for the Give Away - and a Finish!

 
This month, because it is July, it is time to celebrate a few birthdays (mine, my husband's today, a brand new great nephew), and a couple I missed in June (the blog's third, the linky's first). Everyone who links up during July will be entered into the give away.  The more times you link up, the more entries you will get.
 
Everyone who joins in this linky qualifies for entry.
 
What are the rules?  Just link up, following the usual rules for the linky.  There is just one thing I have to mention - any links that don't have anything to do with free motion quilting don't qualify.
 
The prize?  It is either one of the two landscape quilts that I have been making over the past few weeks, shown here and here.
 
The draw will take place next week after this linky closes, and the winner will be announced in next Thursday's post.
 
I have to confess I am getting a bit excited about the draw...
 
 
In the meantime, I have made an all-boy cot quilt.
 
 
Easily the most boyish fabrics I have ever quilted, with lots of cars and a few planes.  The cars worried me a bit because they were so big.  It would have ruined all the fun to cut them up too much, but it was tempting to give them the ugly fabric treatment and cut them up small.
 

The answer was to put them around the edge as the border, and keep the centre fairly sober and restrained.
 
 
By the time I had finished I was beginning to enjoy the cars.  This one even has right hand drive, tempting me to jump in, crunch the gears and scream off doing handbrake turns.
 

In the centre I went for colours that complemented the cars.  This deep rust probably matches the sills and inside the wheel arches.  I'm not taken in by all those speed stripes.



 
The shades of grey and blue are not colours I often use, but tiny grey check and blue starry fabrics worked really well.
 
 
Although I had forbidden myself from using flowers, I stretched a point here because I needed more shades of rust.
 
 
And just to remind the little bloke in the cot that he really is a baby and can't even say driving licence, let alone spell it, I chucked in a bit of my all time favourite nursery print.
 
Now I'm revving up to make the next one...

 
blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 55...

Many thanks to Yvonne, Maartje, Gina, Nina Marie, Alison, Gwyned, Angie, Carie, Rita and Dena for linking up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Fri
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Bit of Haberdashery


Two interesting items that live inside my tin of bias binding, in amongst all the stuff that I actually use.



This glamorous lady wearing the New Look seems to be cocking a snook at post-war austerity, twirling her skirt and showing off her long gloves.



The binding inside is good enough to use, but I am not sure I will have any use for the colour, which is distinctly khaki.  Much as the label may claim that the colour is mustard, with "mustard" cunningly stamped over the word "England", this looks suspiciously like army surplus dressed up as fashion.  Alternatively, they might have meant French mustard, but I doubt it.



Far more luxurious is the 1920s binding, which is possibly silk, and disintegrating.  The picture on the label suggests that it might be suitable for trimming underwear, yet to me chocolate brown suggests sensible hats with cardigans and straight tweed skirts.. 



Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Picture for Sunday - St. James


The statue of St. James above the high altar in the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela.

Welcome to Quiltmania, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 54 - Link Up for the July Give Away

This month, because it is July, it is time to celebrate a few birthdays (mine, my husband's, a brand new great nephew), and a couple I missed in June (the blog's third, the linky's first). Everyone who links up during July will be entered into the give away.  The more times you link up, the more entries you will get.

What are the rules?  Just link up, following the usual rules for the linky.  There is just one thing I have to mention - any links that don't have anything to do with free motion quilting don't qualify.

The prize?  It is either one of the two landscape quilts that I have been making over the past few weeks...


... so the winner chooses between this one or the one I showed last week.

The wonders of ever changing light.  The two little quilts were photographed on different days, so the colours look different, but in real life they are exactly the same.

Any suggestions for a title for this quilt, anyone?  Whoever ends up winning the give away can decide what title to give the quilt they choose, but in the meantime suggestions are welcome!



blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 54...

Many thanks to Gina, Super Mom, Julie, Gwyned, Angie, Maartje, Beth and Dena for linking up last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up to Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cars and Planes


Having acquired a brand new great nephew this month,  I decided to buy some boyish material and steer myself away from all the pretty stuff.  These fat little aeroplanes are quite sweet.



The same can't be said of these rather brash cars, complete with speed stripes, some of which are flying past upside down.

I can feel a new series coming on - cot quilts just for boys!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Art Nouveau Door


The entrance to the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Salamanca, a great place to spend a couple of hours on a hot afternoon.  It has an immense collection of dolls, but I was totally transfixed by the glass.

Welcome to Eddie Brown, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 53 - Link Up for the July Give Away

This month, because it is July, it is time to celebrate a few birthdays (mine, my husband's, a brand new great nephew), and a couple I missed in June (the blog's third, the linky's first). Everyone who links up during July will be entered into the give away.  The more times you link up, the more entries you will get.

What are the rules?  Just link up, following the usual rules for the linky.  There is just one thing I have to mention - any links that don't have anything to do with free motion quilting don't qualify.

The prize?  It is a choice of either one of the two landscape quilts that I have been making over the past few weeks...


... so if the winner loves this one, it's theirs!

Suggestions for a title for this landscape would be most welcome.

The other quilt made from the same piece of quilting will be ready to show next week.  All I have left to do is to stitch some birds in the sky.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 53...

Many thanks to Quilt Musings, Judy, Laura, Gwyned, Carol, Angie and Andree for linking last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Vintage Book Review 1 - News Chronicle Needlework and Crafts


Here is my slightly battered copy of the News Chronicle Needlework and Crafts by Irene Davison, Agnes M. Niall and R. K. and M. I. R. Polkinghorne.  The smudges on the cover are where I scraped off some ancient candle wax.


The sub-title hints at the scope of the book, which is just over 330 pages long.



There is no date of publication given, but the delightful frontispiece has a late 1920s look to it.

The chapters on sewing and needlework take up approximately one third of the book, the remaining two thirds covering a wide variety of crafts, including raffia work, simple ways of weaving, an introduction to basketry, poker work and artistic leather work - but not, as I might have expected, candle making.

Inevitably I have been drawn to the chapters about sewing.  The opening chapter deals with plain sewing - the art of making finely sewn garments by hand.  In real life this is the type of work I would run a mile from, but I am quite happy to read about it, because in doing so I am transported back to a vanished world.  Comparisons are made between the different methods and styles used by seamstresses in Britain as opposed to those in France. Curiously enough, we are told that what we know as a French seam is known by the French as an English seam.  The samples for the photographs of various stitches and seams were all specially worked in France, yet unfortunately the sepia-toned photographs are tiny and far from clear, with about eight crammed onto one page.



These line drawn illustrations in the dressmaking section are far better.  

I always find it easier to understand how to make something if I can stare long and hard at a picture, but essentially this isn't how this book works.  This is a reading book.  Not only are you taken back to the domestic scene of the years following the First World War, you are also expected to pay attention to every word and pick up a needle.  So rather than look at paragraphs describing in minute detail how to do embroidery stitches and dismiss them as incomprehensible, I decided to read them properly.  As a result of visualising the process, I could now try out bullion stitch (described as a prolonged French knot, which makes a firm little caterpillar) and any number of equally ingenious little tricks.

The section about care and use of sewing machines contained a strange mixture of common sense and absurdity.  The sentence If anything goes wrong with your machine, don't tinker with it! manages to combine both - common sense when the book was written, but absurd now, when anyone with a vintage machine has to be prepared to do their own maintenance and perhaps the occasional repair.

The most ludicrous advice concerning machine sewing reads as follows:-

...But here is a valuable tip for keeping your machined lines straight, as, for instance, when stitching just within a fold-edge.  Kneel down so that your eye is on a level with your work, or sit on a low stool, and you will find that you can work much faster and more accurately.

Impossible with a treadle, darned uncomfortable with a hand machine, and hadn't they ever heard of the seam guide?  Obviously written by a plain sewer.




The rest of the book takes a tour of crafts I am never likely to try.  Nevertheless, it is a good read, and I doubt I would otherwise have heard of barbola or thought through the practicalities of gesso work.  Some of the illustrations are gems too, like these disembodied hands showing how to do poker work...



... this ivy design, which I am tempted to adapt for free motion quilting...




... and this rather worrying mythical beast eating a giant salad, which would look better carved in oak rather than on a leather bag.

In summary, the News Chronicle Needlework and Crafts gives a fascinating insight into domestic history, and is the sort of book to enjoy in winter when sitting by a roaring coal fire, but I am not sure that it is a book that is going to inspire me to any great degree with future projects.

Linking up to Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 52 - On Track for the Birthday Give Away

This month, because it is July, it is time to celebrate a few birthdays (mine, my husband's, a brand new great nephew who arrived today), and a couple I missed in June (the blog's third, the linky's first).  Everyone who links up during July will be entered into the give away.  The more times you link up, the more entries you will get.

What am I giving away?  Well, I haven't quite got that organised yet.  It's all part of being a Maverick.

What are the rules?  Just link up, following the usual rules for the linky.  There is just one thing I have to mention - any links that don't have anything to do with free motion quilting don't qualify.


Today's sewing has been mainly parallel lines.  When I started work on the sky this morning I was level with the top of the spire.  Slowly but surely the stitching ended up level with the top of the clouds.


video


The light was good enough to make a video today.  If you think stitching straight(ish) lines is boring viewing, just imagine you are on a train watching the landscape glide past.



Since taking this picture I have completely filled in the blue, grading the shades to darker tones at the top.  All I have to do now is fill in the clouds, which I don't particularly enjoy. Clouds are so light and ephemeral, and I always think my attempts to stitch them look like a load of scribble. 



blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 52...

Many thanks to Cynthia, Gina, Andree, Ida and Dora for linking last week to show their free motion quilting projects.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.




Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Picture for Sunday - Avila


Because today is my birthday, here is my favourite picture taken on my recent trip to Spain - a view from just outside the city walls of Avila as the sun was going down. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 51 - Birthday Give Away Coming Soon!

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to Linda for being the first ever guest hostess for the linky while I was away on holiday last month.

Now for a spot of excitement

This month, because it is July, it is time to celebrate a few birthdays (mine, my husband's), and a couple I missed in June (the blog's third, the linky's first).  Everyone who links up during July will be entered into the give away.  The more times you link up, the more entries you will get.

What am I giving away?  Well, I haven't quite got that organised yet.  It's all part of being a Maverick.

What are the rules?  Just link up, following the usual rules for the linky.  There is just one thing I have to mention - any links that don't have anything to do with free motion quilting don't qualify.


Work resumed on the landscape today.  I haven't touched it for weeks.  Somehow going away to Spain and Portugal interfered with the English landscape department in my brain. When we came home last Friday and were hit by climate shock, shivering in long sleeves and being grumpy about grey clouds, I thought I might be starting some free motion quilting to keep myself warm with some furious treadling.



Then this week we have had ridiculous heat, hotter than we have had for years, so treadling was out of the question...


... until today.  Grey skies, a bit of rain, cool temperatures - situation normal.  Once I started treadling, with a bit of Vaughan Williams playing in the background, suddenly all the muted colours made sense again.  At the moment I am concentrating on filling in the colours.  It should look a little more interesting next week, but for the time being you can admire all the frilly bits.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg


Here goes for week 51...

Many thanks to Katy, Cynthia, Sophie, Bernie and Angie for linking up for week 48, and to everyone who linked up to Linda's blog while I was away, to show their free motion quilting projects.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up to Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My Daughter's New Dress

For information about the July Free Motion Give Away click here


She looks pleased with the latest creation from Salon Muv, a copy of her favourite green dress which we bought in Bath a while ago.


I decided it was time to get over my lining phobia.  The dress is lined throughout, so it shouldn't be one of those annoying cotton skirts that rides up or flies away in the wind.


The key to getting the fit was the bodice.  I drew the neckline and armholes by laying the green dress flat on the table, jotting down the measurements, and then drawing directly onto the old duvet cover that I used for the toile.


The fiddliest part of the bodice was making and attaching the bias binding around the armholes.


The joy of this dress is that there are no darts, zips, buttons, buttonholes - no real shaping or openings, just elastic around the waist.



We are both pleased with how it has turned out.  My daughter likes it so much she has already chosen the material for the next one.

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.




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