Showing posts with label Pillowcase. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pillowcase. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Improv Triangle Scrap Pillowcase

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting

Being ever conscious of my growing pile of triangle and other scraps, I thought it was time to try use some of them up, for the matter not to get entirely out of hand. Thus, I grabbed a fabric to serve as background – is really anyone surprised that it is aqua coloured? I didn’t think so – and the bag of triangle scraps. The only thing I had settled on by this stage was the fact that I wanted to use this particular grid based quilting design on the front.

Improv quilting, Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting

The rest started out by improvising away. I grouped triangle scraps to form attractive clusters before I sewing them together. That was time consuming because you had to extend the smaller pieces with some background fabric before you could combine them.

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting, improv quilting

Next I took a larger square of background fabric and cut it up into a grit of pieces and made sure that the columns I cut were of different widths. Tringle scraps were placed at the corner of the squares to form wonky diamond shapes. I just did not want the entire panel to be grid based because that quickly evens out and then looks rather boring. I needed the pillowcase to decidedly not look boring. Therefore, some thought went into the deliberate placing and orientation of the triangle shapes.

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting, frankenbatting

Some 77 triangle scraps taken from 56 different fabrics later an attractive design had taken shape. I also used a Tula Pink print to enliven the back. Some ‘frankenbatting’ and an old orange cotton bed sheet also went towards making that pillow. The batting beneath the front panel brings out the quilting lines, which really turned out as lovely as I thought they would. The old bed sheet is used as lining on the inside to secure the seams on the pieced panels and to cover the other side of batting.

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting, bias tape

As I am a not-so-secret-fan of neon pink and neon orange, I made this fun a bias tape to make matters complete. Some neon pink triangles had already found their way onto the pillow’s front panel anyway and I reasoned that the bias tape would work in that context. The result is not subtle but very very fun to look at.

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle; pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting

My first association upon completion was that the lime green, aqua and pink fabric on the back gave off the vibe of a modern trippy take on the traditional alpine look of red and green and gingham patterns. If you are familiar with the Alpes, you might know what I mean. I cannot shake the impression just now. The pillowcase (and pillow within) were gifted and the quite happy birthday boy immediately started associating billowing sails and boats on the water. That is a nice picture, especially as I had no picture or vision in mind but was mostly interested in using up some scraps. My focus was on building interest within the piece and I am very happy with how this turned out.

Puppilalla, scrappy triangle, pillowcase, patchwork, modern quilting

One fun scrappy improv pillow done. I would not mind making another one just like it. =)
Now this gifted April last year. I have since visited the pillow in its new home in Hamburg.

There are still so many things to catch up on on this blog.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Oh The Gardens! - Pillowcase

To get back in the swing of things sewing wise, I cleaned my sewing machine, which had accumulated quite a bit of dust and looked at a block design that had somehow taken my fancy. Pat Sloan is currently hosting a free weekly mystery sew along called: ‘In the Summer Time’. On her webpage she publishes the tutorials for the individual blocks and the second of the series called ‘Oh The Gardens!’ caught my eye. Pat’s rendition looked so tasty that I felt moved to try my hand at it, like immediately. I decided to use some of the fabrics I had adopted at the recent Berlin Quilter's Get Together as a way to legitimise my impulse fabric hoarding. =)

I decided to make a quick pillowcase and made four of Pat’s blocks omitting the borders, as I did not need them for my project. I just love jewelled colours and the saturated yellow with the Anna Maria Horner fabric snippets just makes me very happy. The block consists mostly of squares and HSTs and comes together very quickly.

The four blocks by themselves looked a bit wanting and I added a white solid to add some contrast. As always I quite like my little pillowcase - it looks quite happy - and as always, I will be giving it away as a present. I had kept last year's fun improv pillowcase for myself but it got abducted to Greifswald by a friend, whom I had lent it to while he was in hospital locally. I am still waiting to get it back.

I prepared some 'Franken-batting' and quilted a few lines as my actual quilting skills are woefully lacking. At some stage we need to discuss the inside of our pretty sewing projects. If I showed you mine, you would see plenty of unloved fabrics securing the seams and a lot of unsightly 'Franken-batting' that still does the trick quilting wise. =)

I did not only pull the fabrics out to make these fun blocks but really to ease my way back into a sewing frame of mind. In parallel I have also ironed the front and back of the Thicket baby quilt and started to prepare the quilt sandwich, as this is what I really ought and want to work on. 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Last Sewing Project of 2017

Following the credo of 'waste not, want not' I might be in the habit of keeping more scraps around than I might ever possibly be able to use. In order to use some of my numerous scrappy fabric strips and selvedges, I decided make a scrappy string pillowcase. I had seen such pretty fabric string projects around, for example Maureen Cracknell's 'Diamond Strings Quilt

Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase, diamond string

The scrappy string blocks are easy enough to make and I used an old linen sheet as basis for the fabric strips. The pillowcase even contains scraps of fabrics used for my very first quilt made in 2008. 

Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase, backside

For the back I used an assortment of pink and berry coloured fabric pieces that seemed to work in the context of the blocks in front. When the pillowcase was finished, I was in two minds, whether I liked it or not. It seemed to me that I had been more in love with the idea and the small scale photographs of scrappy string projects than with the actual blocks in front of me once I had made them. Has that ever happened to you? I might not be in a hurry to make another scrappy string project any time soon.

Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase,

I gifted this pillowcase to a friend of mine as a Birthday present and know that it will be loved there. This was the last of my sewing projects in 2017. Once I get the Christmas tree is out of the way on the weekend, I can concentrate on continuing the WIPs I wish to complete in 2018.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Stash Bee Queen of August - Block Parade

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing,

I know it has been quiet on this blog these last few weeks but somehow, I did not feel like writing much, nor like sewing actually. My time was taken up with recovering from surgery and building the most fun LEGO set ever. I might slowly get back into the flow of things though. Lets for example take a look at the Stash Bee blocks that were made for me. This August I was the Queen Bee of our Hive 4 at Stash Bee. I had asked for my own design the 'Static Interference' Block to be made for me and had chosen a delectable colour scheme based on turquoise. Over the course of October and November the blocks arrived on my door mat, where I got to unwrap them all. 

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash Bee

The blocks were lovely and diverse. The only unfortunate bit was that six of them came in the wrong size. My fellow bees had forgotten to check that they were printing to size. Therefore, I have now got a multitude of blocks that I cannot use well together in the same project.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash bee

Subsequently, I decided to use them up in small batches, commencing with my own queen bee sample block, as this one was incidentally not playing nicely with the others. This block was too coherent in itself and used a completely different shade of yellow.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

One of my friend's Birthday came up and I used the sample block to turn it into a lovely pillowcase. Albeit my head being in the game that day, I made one mistake after the other, measuring wise and others. I finally gave up on my initial game plan and improvised my way to the finish line. And surprisingly enough, I really like my happy accident. It turned out better than what I had initially in mind.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

My friend has a couch in a darker shade of that turquoise and was really happy about her present. She wrote me a message a day later about how well pillow and couch got on and how much the pillow played diva on the sofa.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

A job well done =)

Stash Bee

Thursday, 5 October 2017

And that makes me really really happy

I do not know how it is for you but once I have gifted a sewn item to someone, I usually am not privy to its future life and treatment in its new home. That is mostly because it never occurs to the new owners that I might be interested in some feedback. For them it is mostly only one more item (albeit a beautiful one quite obviously =) in their household and nothing to fawn over. Which is exactly as it should be of course. Still as a maker you always wonder whether the item you made is actually being liked and used.

Therefore, I am always happy when I come to visit and find that yes, the items are in use and loved. It gives me so much joy. I had a few happy moments like that recently. Just last week I visited friends and unexpectedly spied three items I made in various rooms of their house. 

My Polaroid Photo quilt is in constant use. I was told by the seven years old owner that it is just like an astronaut's blanket, because you can lie under it and only the head sticks out, which of course would be in a helmet and then everything is covered. OK... works for me.   =)

Here is one of the Polaroid Photo pillowcases fully household integrated and in use. Another pillowcase I had made a few years before the Polaroid ones, was in the next room over. This said room was in a state of teenage disarray however and not not fit for photographic presentation. So we left it at that.  =)

Oh also, I recently found that my Polaroid Quilt (among others) was used as inspiration picture for a Polaroid Sew-Along hosted by Tea & Brie this Summer. How nice.

Just before I went on holiday to Japan at the beginning of September, a colleague of mine reported that the baby blanket I gifted his then new born daughter two years ago, is also still going strong.

Apparently, Anna - two and half years of age, demands of her parents to be read to while she reclines on her - by now somewhat short - blanket.  =)  How fabulous is that?! Brilliant, I love it. This is why I sew, at least in part. 

OK, back to the sewing machine then. I have another baby blanket currently in the making. 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Japanese Floor Cushion - A Sewing Lesson

I just spent almost four weeks in Japan. I really enjoyed the holiday and my, I could show you 800 plus pictures of the marvels I have seen. Don't worry, I will refrain from doing that.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

Whilst in Tokyo, I booked a sewing class (obviously =) to make a Japanese style floor cushion. My hostess Akiko picked me up at the train station and went fabric shopping with me. After I had picked the fabric for my cushion cover we went to her apartment for the class. As professional kimono maker Akiko had a lot of knowledge to share. The floor cushion was to be hand sewn using techniques that had been passed on from mother to daughter in her family for several generations.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

We started by folding the fabric once right sides together and measuring the fabric from the fold to create a rectangle of 42 x 44 cm, no overlap. I cut the fabric to size and was then tasked to sew two sides together by hand with a simple running stitch, the third side was the fabric fold. Apart from securing the thread at the start and end there was no stitching back. Once that simple envelope was created Akiko produced what looked like a huge wad of organic cotton. Not the well behaved stuff but the kind that immediately sticks to other fabrics and commences shedding and bearding on contact.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style, silk worm cocoon, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

To prevent that effect, with the view to wash the cushion cover on occasion, the women in Akiko's family have taken to wrapping the cotton into unspun raw silk threads that they gained from unspooling and widening a single silk worm cocoon.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

The wonky netting is placed around the cotton fibres before the the filling is put into the cushion cover. The thus silk netted cotton should now no longer stick to the inside of the cushion cover. Fascinating. I wonder why they did not sew an inlet instead but it forgot to ask at the time. Considering that her family were farmers, they probably had no money to spare for extra fabric that would only be on the inside of the cushion.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

Next we layered the cushion cover, still inside out, the cotton wadding and a random sheet of paper onto each other. Akiko picked the lot up, placed her arm on the paper on top of the pile and folded the entire stack in two across her arm, while I was to turn the cushion cover inside out to trap the filling inside. The paper merely, served to prevent the cotton wadding to stick to itself upon momentarily being folded in half. The paper was then removed and the cotton fluffed in shape and into the corners of the cushion.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

Then I displayed my cultural ignorance by asking a silly question, namely, whether we would put in a zipper next. Akiko regarded me for a moment and then explained that there were no zippers in Japan until World War II. That makes total sense and therefore putting in zippers could decidedly not have been amoung the sewing techniques handed down in her family. Instead the last two edges were folded inwards and I hand stiched them together with a ladder stitch.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

Here I was to use a single thread ragher than the double used earlier, the reason being that double threads are considered uncouth and are never used in finishing garments etc. Akiko explained that she only ever sews with single threads when she constructs her kimonos.

Once I had closed the last seam, Akiko showes me how to make Japanese style tassels at the corners of the cushion. Technically, a floor cushion has a fifth tassel in the middle of the pillow but we decided that the fabric was busy enough and did not need another tassel to overload things.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

And that was that. Three hours well spent. According to Akiko, the pillow, being all cotton and silk, is good to last 50 years. One is supposed to air it regularly in the full blasting sun. The latter goes aginst all fabric (colour) preservation advice I have learnt so far but the reason might be another one. The humidity in this country is very high with Tokyo having only marginally less rainy days than London and putting the cushion in the sun might be a way of drying it out completly.

Puppilalla, Japanese Style Floor Cushion, hand made, pillowcase, japanese craft, DIY

Of course if you wish to wash the cover, you have to open that last seam and peel out the filling that may not ever be washed but only aired. Afterwards, you have to put it back together and sew it shut again. That is a lot of work all things considered. Nowadays, the Japanese do not go to that length. As such cushions are cheap, though filled with polyester insted of organic cotton, they are being thrown out and replaced rather than maintained.

My floor cushion remained in Tokyo and was a Birthday present to my friend's husband who kindly looked after me during my stay. I sure hope he likes it. I chose the fabric because he likes to read Manga and I like pops of colour, so the fabric is to represent both of us. I thoroughly enjoyed that sewing lesson and learned a thing or two.

As for myself, of course I treated myself to a few things from the fabric shop. I am most proud of the Japanese made iron fabric scissors I got for myself. What a treat! And I went for a few choice pieces of fabric.

Puppilalla, Japanese Fabrics, stash building

Considering all the goodies, I could have bought, I think I have excercised a lot of restraint.  =)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Improv Pillowcase - A Finish

Just in time for the first quarter Finish-A-Long link-up, I finally put the finishing touches to my improvised pillowcase. It is my only finish of my 1st quarter FAL list but one finish is still a finish. I am quite happy with how it turned out too. 

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

The denim coloured super soft and light cotton works well with the colours in the front and back panels and makes the project look more grown up. I kind of accidentally started the project in February last year and am glad to report that it is finally done. I am clearly not the fastest sewist. =) 

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

I tried a few new things with this pillow. Following along several bloggers, I noticed that many sewists also use quilt batting in their pillowcases. I guess the reason is that they actually do quilt their pillowcases. Thus, I thought I might try that too this time round.

What I have failed to find out yet, is what is happening on the inside of these pillowcases. Is the batting covered by even more fabric on the inside? Is it not covered on the inside and lies 'raw' in its lint shedding state against the pillow? I seriously do not know. I, however, did not want any uncovered batting within my pillowcase and therefore tried one-sided adhesive cotton heatbond to a) secure the substantial amount of seams on the back of the improvised panels and b) to cover the backside of the backing inside the pillowcase-to-be.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

It worked so so. So in my experimental state of mind, I had laid out the entire length of the pillowcase panel, put a piece of batting, where the front would be and covered all that with the one-sided heatbond. I bonded away and had thereby secured the seams and covered the back of the backing in one go. It worked all fine for covering and securing the multitude of seams. (This is going to be my new secret weapon in pillowcase making) However, I still had a sort wiggle room or air pocket between the batting and the front panel. And this wiggle room then caused trouble when I tried to unobtrusively quilt a few lines on the front panel as the layers puckered and shifted somewhat.

Puppilalla, Patchwork, Pillowcase, Improv, Quilting, wonky log cabin, modern quilting, scrap buster, scrappy project

The upshot is that the idea works in principle (no raw edges or seams within my pillowcase, yay  =) but that some fine-tuning is still required. Maybe, I should quilt the front panel with the batting first before adding the heatbond as a finish.

I also for the first time ever used bias tape to bind a pillowcase. I must say it makes a very sophisticated finish.

I have the next pillowcase idea lined up already. I snatched up some gingiber animal panels at a local quilt shop once they posted on IG that they had those and they basically scream 'Use us! ' so I feel I might oblige.

Linking up. I noticed that there are literally hundreds of projects linked as finished. Quite amazing how big the Finish-A-Long initiative has grown.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Impromptu Pillowcase

Literally, at the last minute I decided to make a little something extra for one of my aunts one day before Christmas. I had already intended to give her a bottle of white vinegar that I had infused with elderflowers earlier that year but as this particular aunt lives far off in Turkey most of the time, she is being a bit neglected as far as in-between flower bouquets and impromptu pieces of cake are concerned.

Therefore, the Ghanaian cotton scraps seemed to be a fabulous choice in whisking up a last minute present. I used the big scraps to piece a pillowcase. To hide and secure the seams I lined it on the inside with a few of my less loved fat quarters. If I had more time, I might have framed it with bias tape but I am pleased with the outcome anyway.

My aunt liked it alright so I will call it a win – especially in view of her still banging on about some fantasy themed poster I gave her when I was 14 (!), which she put on the wall in her apartment in Turkey. She showed me a picture of it there. (Ughh!) While I am sure that my gift was age appropriate at the time AND it being nice of her to honour my present - I’d rather she got rid of it now – 20 odd years later. Maybe I ought to buy her a new wall picture - one in accordance with my current tastes – ha ha. 

Anyway, in view of the poster story I am certain that my pillowcase is in good hands and will be used. I am glad I made it.

I link up with Scraptastic Tuesday =)