Sunday, 29 July 2018

Once upon a time...

I just spent the morning sorting photographs, as in from a jumbled folder of miscellaneous pictures into properly labelled folders according to event and year. The picutres thus sorted came in a mix of sewing projects and life events. Of course I got to reminisce about past crafting and sewing projects. A lot of them never featured on this blog, which I started writing much later. So I thought it would be nice to take you along a trip down memory lane and show you some early projects that I completed with varying degrees of success. 

2009 - Earnest the Cat

Puppilalla, DIY, Soft Toy, Sewing

Does anyone remember the Toy Society? The idea was to make soft toys and leave them in public spaces to be found by someone passing by. In the vein of paying-it-forward and creating a something-for-nothing experience, crafters worldwide enthusiastically took to making and gifting toys. I still think it a lovely idea. The toys were put into zip bags with a note that explained the experience and invited finders to report the toy found at the Toy Society webpage. It has undergone a number of transformations over the years. I do not know whether the movement is still going at all but it had been going strongly for several years when I made this toy in 2009. 

So to get in on the fun, I too wanted to make a toy back then. Look at the pictures. Their quality tells you something about mobile phone cameras back when. =) A cat was designed and sewn and embroidered but in the end not hidden. See always that problem with the follow through. While I was busy doing other things and definitely not getting the toy ready to be hidden, my friend Tina fell in love with it. So in the end I gifted it to her and Earnest the Cat has been living in Cornwall, UK ever since. Incidentally, he still hails me from the pillow of the guest bed whenever I come to visit. 

2013 - Woodblock Printing

Puppilalla, DIY, Woodblock Printing, Druckstock

Do you like stamps and stamping? I do, as well as any sort of printing. And paper pop-ups and photo sessions and painting - to name but a few interests that never feature on this blog. Therefore, I did a wood cutting course to try my hand at something bigger than cutting small stamps into the surface of common erasers. At the time a friend attended a wood cutting workshop so I decided to tag along to try my hand as well. It was not easy. You need a steady hand and patience. The staedy hand I can do but the patience bit is harder. =) 

Puppilalla, DIY, Woodblock Printing, Druckstock

I dediced to make a fish print and prepared two printing plates, one for the motif and one for its surroundings. Try to match the outline of the two perfectly while cutting away at the wood. It is hard and then you have to print them in a way too that matches them preferably seamlessly. 

Puppilalla, DIY, Woodblock Printing, Holydruck, Fish, Fisch

We were meant to do only prints on paper but I also wanted to try the motif on fabric and brought some liquid fabric paint and fabric along to one session. The result is not all bad but the fish still wait patiently to shine in a sewing project. 


Puppilalla, DIY, Bunting

Oof - I do not even remember when I made this bunting. It was definitely before 2014 but I have no records left to tell me when exactly I made it. This is a fun project and - confess you too love bunting. It creates an instant party atmosphere. It is however notoriously hard to photograph. So here you see some attempts of mine to capture it in a photograph.

Puppilalla, DIY, Bunting

Now that is better =)

I just run out of steam. But it was fun to pull out these old photographs. Maybe we should do that again some time. There are plenty of more historic projects I could talk about. Have a nice weekend you all. 


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Briar Bear Pillowcase

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Carolyn Friedlander, Thicket Fabric, Gingiber,

Order has been abandoned. Chaos is in ascend! I am still trying to catch up with the projects I have completed in the last six months post writing wise. Currently, the posts you are reading do not reflect the order in which the projects were worked on or completed. I find that I write on whatever pictures I have to happen to have edited at that moment in time. It does not matter too much really as long as my work gets recorded somewhere. This blog is still meant to be a some sort of official diary of the sewing projects I have created. As I am giving the majority of them away , it is nice to retain a shred of evidence of the working process and final project.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Carolyn Friedlander, Thicket Fabric, Gingiber,

Speaking of which, I have completed another pillowcase. I am clearly into those at the moment because the work needed to make one is manageable and you have a finished product on hand really quick. Furthermore, you can try many different styles and techniques, which is a bonus. This pillowcase is called ‘Briar Bear’ and I gifted it weeks ago but am still not done thinking about it. My bestest - as in very much loved person - friend Jens still had no sewn piece made by me in his household. I have gifted blankets and pillowcases all and sundry but Jens had yet to receive a little something. That was mostly due to wanting to make something extra perfect and fitting for him and thereby completely blocking myself.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Carolyn Friedlander, Thicket Fabric, Gingiber,

So in lieu of discussing the Thicket Fabric Baby Quilt, Jens mentioned that he liked the bear panels best of all the critters. As I had another one I made the snap decision to use it in a pillowcase, as Jens will have to wait a long time before he will get a quilt of his own - (too many WIPs). So one bear panel and some orange fabric because it is Jens’ favourite colour. I decided on a reduced colour palette of green and orange and looked for graphic prints. Carolyn Friedlander’s fabric line ‘Gleaned’ fit the bill marvellously. The criss-cross pattern of the bear is complemented by the dense graphic lines in the ‘Gleaned’ fabrics. To add some contrast I used rose vines on dark green background of a Sleeping Beauty print, I had used in the Tall Tales Throw Quilt.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Carolyn Friedlander, Thicket Fabric, Gingiber,

With all the leafs and vines and organic shapes going on, the project reminded me of Briar Rose and as the bear is the star of the show, I came to call him Briar Bear. Design wise, I tried something new with partial seams and a broken frame – sort of. I prepared foundation paper templates for the diamonds to the sides of the bear - but messed up. I had forgotten that two of the four would be inverted and as the templates were not square but rectangular that threw the design off. Obviously, it did not occur to me to just re-draw two of the templates, which would - in hindsight - have been easy and logical but instead got caught up in trying to make it work. In essence you have now a leaning bear framed by wonkily placed diamonds which throws the symmetry entirely.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Basic Grey Grunge

I think, this is what still bugs me. While, I am debating whether or not I like the ‘broken’ frame of green and orange around the bear, the wonkiness of the diamonds causes my eyes to twitch. Well, while we aim for perfect every time sometimes your work in progress leads you elsewhere.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Carolyn Friedlander, Thicket Fabric, Gingiber,

While wonky, I think Briar Bear still lovable and a nice adult version of a teddy bear. The limited colour palette also works very well in this context. Get ready to cuddle. =)

PS: I have not yet figured out, why blogger is no longer forwarding comments to my e-mail inbox. Likewise my comments on other people's blogs do not seem to be accepted and appearing when I write those. Does anyone know how to fix that? Happy to be advised.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Assorted Odds and Ends

Puppilalla, Shape Moth, FPP, Paper Foundation Piecing, Patchwork, Feather

Whilst working on my various projects, I produced various odd ends, mostly blocks that would not work the way I needed them to for the project I had in mind. Like currently, the last of the 'Rakish Needle Round Robin' quilt tops is waiting to be progressed. I had thought to make more feathers but wanted to try to use a different style from the ones already displayed in the quilt. I chose the FPP- Feather template that 'ShapeMoth' made for her wonderful Forrest Quilt Along in 2013. The templates can still be downloded for free from Craftsy.

Puppilalla, Shape Moth, FPP, Paper Foundation Piecing, Lillyella, Patchwork, Buttertfly Charm Block,

The colours and textures made a really cool feather, which would however not work in the context of the strongly geometrical Arrow and Feather round robin quilt top at all. Oh well, it was worth a try. So I did not then make the second smaller feather. Instead I finally tackled one of Lillyella's free FPP  Butterfly Charm block templates that I had meant to make for a long while and applied the same colour scheme there.

Puppilalla, Deer Patchwork, Block, Colourway, Fabric pull

Both blocks will go towards the 'Oh Deer' quilt and work well there. Recently, I had pulled out all the pieces that I already had prepared and laid them out again just to find that I still hate what it would look like were these sewn together. I love the colour recipe very much but the divisible squares idea has to go. I guess, fabric amounts available permitting, this is at some point going to turn into a medallion quilt with the deer block in the middle. Maybe.


Puppilalla, Diamond FPP block, Patchwork

A similar thing happened with the above diamond blocks. I drew a template and found half way through the sewing process that my fabric would run out before I could finish them. Yup, I am really bad a quilt math. Therefore, I called a second similar green solid to the rescue but considering the way the templates had been sewn so far - chain pieced - I  could not change some of them now for lack of the first fabric. I finished them with the second fabric but could no longer use them in the way I had meant to. See half of them were meant to be inverted and the second colour would have been in the wrong place then. These diamonds blocks will be put to good use in my Up the Ante Sampler rather than in the fox themed baby quilt they were envisioned to go into.

 ... the Summer Edition

On IG another round of 'Get your quilty wishes granted' is winding down. I did not play, as I feel quite content with my stash as it currently is, but went to grant one wish anyway. CrankyKangaroo wished for our UFOs. On previous occasions she had enjoyed working with projects and blocks commenced by other makers and wanted to challenge herself again. I could immediately relate to that excitement of working with styles and fabrics that you might not have thought to choose yourself. This is similar to getting to work with these exciting round robin quilts or blocks for a Queen Bee.

My Tessallation style FPP-blocks have languished in my drawers for a long time now, since August 2015 to be precise. I figured it was timeto let go, as clearly nothing would ever be made with them. so packaged all... hem hem... most of them up and send them on their long way to be adopted. (I might have kept a token few to go into the triangle scrap bag to enliven a scrap quilt along the lines of my Scrappy Triangle Improv Pillow ...      la la la - move along nothing to see here ...)


Saturday, 23 June 2018

Tall Tales Throw Quilt

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket, Kate basti

Before you know it entire months have come and gone. Spring is on our doorstep and last night I could hear the cries of migrating geese returning from warmer climes. I am very much looking forward to spending prolonged times outside again. The last few weeks we had a summerly heat wave and I spent a lot of time outside. It is marvellous to soak up the sun and to feel the warm air on your skin. Meanwhile, I found that the absence of monthly assignments in form of bee blocks to sew also significantly reduces the time spent at the sewing machine and at writing blog posts. I also seem to slowly succumb to the seduction of the always instantaneous Instagram rather than sitting down to record my work in form of this blog. This means that pictures of my sewing are visible on Instagram days and sometimes weeks before I get around to writing another blog post. Having witnest this phenomenon on other blogs too, I am not worried. Sometimes there is just that little bit of blogging fatigue and you have to wait until you feel ready to blog again.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Despite it having been less often, I did get quite some sewing done. As you can see I started and completed a new project. Kate Basti’s ‘Tall Tales’ foundation paper piecing block had been beckoning me for quite some time. The book blocks are simple but effective and deciding the look of the next little book was actually a lot of fun. I enlarged Kate’s template a little in order to enliven the throw-quilt-in-the-making with blocks in various sizes.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Choosing the fussy cuts is downright addictive. I aimed for each book to stand on its own and was banking on the background fabric to bring it all together. This way I could use fabric prints that are distinctly different in style. When asked about her favourite colour the 4 year old intended recipient replied: ‘dark blue! … and green… and red.’ There you have it.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Therefore, I settled on this fabulous blue fabric for the background. I had seen it in a local fabric shop and it did seem just right to me. I had other blue fabric at home already but went out to buy this fabric anyway because somehow, I could only envision this project using this fabric. I nicely framed the blue main area with a 2 inches wide white border and bound the quilt with a red bias tape. It turned out lovely.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

The quilt has already been gifted and graciously accepted by the now 5 year old recipient at her Birthday party to which I was invited by special invitation. I love it when kids want you to be around! =)

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

By the way, I had no hand in placing that quilt as seen above. I merely walked into the room and when I found the quilt all laid out like that, I simply had to snap a picture.

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'
Happy Sewing everyone!