lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-09-02 07:40 pm

Return of the beading

I've been looking at those Bead Journal Project pieces I made in 2010, making plans to turn more of them into wall-hangings. I've been folding some fabrics for the dark green one, and I think I've found a layout that I like. The original beaded piece is 5.5" (though of course you're seeing the seam allowance here as well, go for where the white dotted line is), and if I follow the sketch I've just drawn up, the total wall hanging would be 10.75" square. Here's what I've thrown together so far. Assuming the black will be a solid throughout, and following the sketch for current proposed accurate sizes, does this look well-proportioned and generally nicely-balanced to you? And should the border pieces be longer at the sides, as they are in the sketch, or longer at the top and bottom instead?

The obligatory pictures )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-04-10 09:35 pm

Crazy Women project entirely complete

The Crazy Women project is finally over, all except the card and accompanying note which will go with it to the charity it's going to. I picked Forward UK because I wanted to focus on something connected to female sexuality, a theme we all explored in this project. They do fantastic work in an area many people do not want to think about. It was challenging and inspiring to work on this project, and I am honoured to have worked with the women of the LJ Birthday Block swap group who contributed, as well as my blog readers and friends who helped with advice and even an impromptu photo shoot in a nearby park.

Photos! )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-04-07 03:27 pm

Further adventures of the Crazy Women wall hanging

The main question is: how much more bling does it need, and where? It's hard to give a good idea of beading in a photo, but here it is anyway. I've now added the final border, a 1/4" strip of fabric which is almost entirely gold metallic, and which is in lieu of a binding (and which I now wish I'd made 1/2" wide, but what the hell).

The obligatory photo )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-04-01 10:22 pm

Crazy Women quilt: working on the wall hanging

I'm now working on the Crazy Women wall hanging, and have done a certain amount of embroidery and beading. Any suggestions as to where I take it from here? And does the beaded gold spiral look well-balanced?

Pictures, including a photo of the Crazy Women quilt outdoors in the sunlight )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-03-18 04:24 pm

Crazy Women: matching cushion

I finished binding the Crazy Women quilt the other day, and am now working on the cushion cover that will go with. It's a single 12" block, made from three very similar fabrics in deep pink, and it will have plain red fabric on the back of the cushion cover and the same light pink batik for binding that was used on the quilt. I have come up with a nice design for it, involving the expected shape with six rows of stitching. The third shape in turns into a little spiral at one end (towards the top left). I had originally planned to use six different threads for this, shading from the darkest in the centre to the lightest at the outside. The colours are off-white, pale pink, deep pink, red, dark red, and purple. I've done four out of six, and the snag is that you just can't see the two middle ones, which includes the little spiral detail. My options at this point are

a) unpick most or all of it and do the whole thing in a single colour, probably either dark red, off-white or pale pink. I'd lean towards pale pink, which would pick up the binding;
b) unpick most of it and use two alternating colours, say dark red and one of the light colours, or alternatively alternate either light pink with off-white or dark red with purple for a more subtle effect;
c) continue as planned, and then turn the whole thing into whipped running stitch, using the same thread (probably off-white) for the whipping. I'm not sure this would actually look all that good, but it may preserve the effect of the shaded set of threads in some way, and would save me the unpicking. Although it's only about 40 min's worth of sewing to unpick.

Photo of how it looks so far )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2012-03-05 01:14 pm

Back to the Crazy Women!

I am finally making progress again with the sewing, although at a slow and stately pace. Yesterday I finished the quilting for the Crazy Women quilt, and hope to get it bound this week. I am also considering what to do with the matching cushion that will go with the quilt when it's raffled off, and the wall hanging which will go to the charity for their own use.

Photos, a bit on the not-safe-for-work side in a very stylised way )
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
2012-01-26 10:09 pm

We're not in 2011 any more, Toto

I have eventually realised that due to forces beyond my control (OK, buggering up my arms with RSI for months on end was sort of my fault, but you get my drift), I really am not going to finish the 2011 Bead Journal Project. I had fun, I learned some more about beading, and I completed seven nice little pieces. The time has now come to finish them off, and I've decided to make them into little individual wall hangings and give them to assorted friends. They're all 5" on the dotted basting line at the moment, apart from the bottom one where I miscalculated and made it 1/2" bigger. Does anyone have any particular suggestions as to how I should frame them? I think the January grey tree needs an unbeaded border, probably in a darker grey batik with a gentle pattern, while the turquoise round spiral could work with something more elaborate, perhaps even several borders.

Bead Journal Project 2011

In other news, my hands are finally improving, possibly because I've been in an ME crash lately which has made me rest properly, and I'm starting to sew again a bit at a time. Right now I'm finishing off the quilting on the Crazy Women quilt.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-04-26 12:09 pm

Bead Journal Project 2011: catching up

I ran a bit late with the BJP piece for March, and only finished it the other week. At least I got April done straight afterwards, and I may try to get May done at the start of the month. With any luck I'll be moving flat this summer, so I'm trying to get ahead on the craft stuff.

Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-27 10:10 am

Succumbing to stencils

Having chosen a top fabric at last, I have started to think about designing the Welsh quilting for the owl wholecloth quilt. I've done a little Welsh quilting so far, and I know that I love it and plan to keep on with it, especially for traditional or geometric quilts. A typical Welsh quilt will involve various different patterns which you have to draft yourself. Now, my grip is poor and my hands aren't all that steady, and I am crap at drawing. Something to guide me is really useful. So I'm planning to place an order with the Stencil Company. It won't be cheap, and the shipping alone will be a good tenner, but I think I know enough about my quilting habits by now to know what will be useful.

Looking at a variety of Welsh quilts and also my books on the subject, the following shapes recur again and again: circles, squares (oten on point), double or triple lines, spirals, leaves, hearts, paisleys, flowers (including tulips and roses), fans, cables, zigzags, lines radiating out from the centre of a circle. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-26 11:39 am

Owl wholecloth: fabric found!

I have at long last found a good fabric for the owl wholecloth. It's a lovely warm yellow, lighter than the marigold yellow on the owl fabric so that it won't be overwhelming, but an excellent colour match. You can see it in the photo below sitting on top of the quilt, with random eyebrow designs done to test out threads. I will order it now, but I have to finish quilting the turquoise/green baby quilt first, quilt the Crazy Women quilt, which will be my first foray into using thicker thread (perle #8, with correspondingly bigger stitches), and at the least get started on quilting the seashell quilt. This will give me a chance to mull over threads and binding choices. I could use the stronger yellow/orange batik fabric which I've put in the photo below the owl fabric, or I could pick out an orange or pink from the quilt, or else I could use this fabric from the same range, which might be a bit dark, hard to tell. I'm including a photo of a quilt the manufacturer has put together with lots of fabrics from the same range. The two fabrics in question aren't right next to each other, and it's a small photo, but you can at least see them near each other. Is flannel a practical fabric to use for binding? Alternatively, and having now tested out more of my fabrics near the combination, something like this would make a lovely binding (also shown below).

As for thread, the photo shows a perle #8 in a medium-deep pink on the right, and two strands of 40 wt quilting cotton in a darker fuchsia on the left. The right hand thread is one I could get in a perle #12, whereas the left hand thread isn't, it's just the only thread of any sort I have in that colour, and the nearest equivalent would be this. For the first one, you can get slightly different colours in the same range: the one I have right now is col. 28, and I am finding it hard to tell whether there's one which is basically just a slightly darker verion of the same pink. At the moment, I think the lighter thread looks better of the two samples, but then it has a stronger effect because it's in a thicker thread, and I was thinking of using perle #12 for this one. That said, it shows up so strongly as #8 that it should still show up pretty well as #12, and it would interfere with the owl fabric on the back of the quilt less. I think I will wait and see how the Crazy Women quilt turns out, and by that time I will know whether I want to do an entire wholecloth in perle #8 (I suspect not). It'll also give me a chance to see whether I have visual trouble working with the deeper pink/red threads.

Photo time! )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-24 10:41 am

A simple colour dilemma

I picked up this owl flannel fabric a while back because I simply couldn't resist. It is cream (not white as in the photo, which looks a bit bleached out) with owls and small dots scattered over it in shades of rich golden yellow, orange, pink, and a tiny bit of purple. The plan is to use it as the backing to a baby quilt, where the front is a single piece of plain or semi-plain fabric which I will do as a Welsh wholecloth quilt. Patterned backings of this sort aren't usual for wholecloth quilts, but who cares, it's going to be a baby quilt for my friend DG and I'm sure it will still be lovely. She came around yesterday, loved the fabric, and mentioned that she is perfectly happy to use pink for a boy, and that indeed her mother has given her some spare baby clothes in pink.

Meanwhile, I am dithering over the other side. Pink is out, I don't like it much, and I don't want to do purple either. Should I go for:

1) Yellow fabric with quilting in red standard quilting thread - while standard quilting thread doesn't always show up well, this level of contrast would. One snag here is that I'm having trouble finding a matching yellow, it's darker and orangier than most of the ones out there.

2) Orange fabric, perhaps a little lighter than the fairly deep orange in the owl fabric, with cream quilting thread. Possibly perle cotton #8, which is quite a lot thicker than standard quilting thread and will show up nicely. Perle #8 is getting popular these days for the "big stitch" quilting technique, you can look it up fairly easily in Google Image.

3) Turquoise blue fabric, with perle #8 (ordinary quilting thread wouldn't really show up) in cream and/or deep yellow, possibly even a bit of hot pink thrown in. Using more than one colour could be fun, though I'd need to spend a while working with some traditional Welsh wholecloth patterns to see whether it would work out or whether it would just look wrong. I'm also not sure if I want to be staring at a huge stretch of that strong a blue while quilting.

I'm trying to take into consideration how much the quilting on the top will interfere with the owl print on the back. I think that as long as I keep it to either a standard quilting thread, which shows more as indentations than colour on the back (hand-quilting, remember), or perle cotton in cream or yellow, where you'll see bits on the back but they'll blend in nicely with the general fabric, I should be OK.

Photo of the owl fabric with a few other fabrics next to it )
lobsterdesigns: (Waterlily quilt)
2011-03-24 09:12 am

I am getting quite a bad habit of planning too far in advance

I am planning three posts for today or soon, so watch this space.

You know how I'm participating in the 2011 Bead Journal Project? The rules are that you make one piece per month, sticking to the same shape and size (5" square for me this year), and in theory you are in some way journalling your feelings about the month, though I think many of us just go for whatever colours and patterns we're drawn to at the time. I'm currently waiting for supplies to turn up to make my March piece. Anyway, I woke up with the idea of making the 2012 BJP an interpretation of Bartok's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle. Go and read about it here, and if you're so inclined, prowl about on Amazon.com and listen to extracts, say this recording. I absolutely adored this opera throughout my adolescence, it's the most amazingly evocative work, dark and beautiful and bright and cruel.

There are seven rooms, each with a different meaning and assigned a different colour of light. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-21 09:58 pm

Bride of the needle case

My hands have been hurting lately, probably due to the joys of ME/CFIDS plus somewhat overenthusiastic quilting a few days ago. I really need to avoid overusing them when they get like this, I had RSI for a month last summer, and quilting is not something that makes them happy. Modest amounts of piecing, on the other hand, I can sometimes get away with. The other day, I finally labelled sections of my needle case with S11 (#11 sharps), A10 (#10 appliqué needles) and so forth. I put in quilting needles, but I keep my quilting kit in a small tupperware box for portability, and the needle case needed to be rolled up to get into it and still took up half of it. Since I only need my quilting betweens for quilting, I made a nice neat little needle case just for them tonight. I made a right pig's ear of the ribbon with the press stud on it, the first time I sewed it in the wrong way around and the second time I got it right but with the press stud on the right side and upside down! That's why there's a bit of beading on it, to hide where I poked at the ribbon. Anyway, I'm quite proud of it, and it's a cute little thing.

Small needle case for quilting betweens Small needle case for quilting betweens - inside

It's two layers of flannel and a layer of quilting cotton. It's also made me realise that I can do this for the two needle cases I owe [livejournal.com profile] mirrorshard and [livejournal.com profile] elfbystarlight, both of which I pieced ages (years?) ago but never got around to making up because the self-adhesive felt I used for mine was such a bugger to work with. You can see them, along with mine on the top left, here.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-19 09:40 pm

Time to do some planning

I have a feeling that I have enough quilts planned that I am not quite sure what I should make when, so here's an attempt to organise it.

Because this really is not that exciting a post )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-18 04:42 pm

Further to the Crazy Women quilt

There were two leftover blocks that didn't make it into the quilt. The first is a crazy block using three very similar fabrics, so there wasn't enough contrast for it to sit well with the others. I plan to make a matching cushion with it, as it is fine as a stand-alone piece, and to have fun with embroidery.

The second has a photo below. This was quite an interesting slant on the original brief, with a pixelated design instead of a crazy quilt block. So again it didn't sit well with the others as a quilt, but I think it could make a very effective wall hanging. I was a little unsure about the pixelated look, it's not my usual approach to things, but it's nicer than I thought once I stepped back a bit, and hey, challenges are good for me!

Photo - not terribly work-safe - and thoughts on borders )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-18 12:45 pm

Quick note

When I set up my Dreamwidth account, I did so because some people outside LiveJournal were having difficulty accessing my LiveJournal quilting blog. Unfortunately, I've now found that not everyone can access the DW version, and others just find it more of a hassle. I had originally disabled commenting in the LJ cross-post so that I didn't have to deal with two sets of discussions on the same topic, but I've now realised that it didn't really solve the problem, plus it's not as if this is a busy blog anyway.

So commenting on [livejournal.com profile] elettariaquilts is back up! Apologies for any inconvenience caused in the meantime. I'll be checking both posts for comments, don't worry. I can't apply this retrospectively, so if you've seen a older post you want to discuss but you can't comment on it, just let me know and I'll be happy to chat about it elsewhere.
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-15 03:07 pm

Crazy women quilt top completed!

I proudly present the Crazy Women quilt top. As there is one rather risqué block in there (it's the same one as before, if you've already looked at the blocks), I'm putting it under a cut.

Photos and thoughts on quilting )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-03-15 11:50 am

Believe it or not, I really did finish this in February!

And here it is in all its glory, the Bead Journal Project piece for last month. It was quite a hard month and I wasn't in the mood for complex beading, so I picked a soothing green and went for simple straight lines. They took longer than expected, of course, and not all of my bugle beading lines turned out dead straight, but the overall effect is still pretty and as usual, I learnt something from it (mainly how to get my bugle beading lines straighter!). I'll try to start the March one soon, the fabric I'm planning for it should be here any day now, as I hate doing this near the end of the month and feeling pressured by the deadline.

BJP Feb 2011
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-02-25 07:58 pm

Shell quilt - time to think about quilting

I've had this quilt sitting around for about nine months because I haven't had the faintest idea what to do with it. I suspected that it was best suited to free-motion machine quilting, and as I can't use a sewing machine that wasn't something I could just pick up overnight. However, my hand quilting has improved a lot since then, my stitches are smaller, I'm less afraid of seam allowances, and most importantly, I've learned more about quilting patterns. I remembered that there's a competition coming up which it's ideally suited to, as the theme is "Beside the Sea", and having just checked, the deadline is early July. Plenty of time, even if I quilt it quite densely, and at 22" x 26" I can afford to.

So here is my first idea, based on chatting with someone who brought up spirals. You can't go wrong with a good spiral!

Shell quilt - quilting pattern 1
Original pieced top below the cut )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
2011-02-15 10:19 pm

The best photos ever

Below the cut: baby Noah with his quiltlet. As the proud uncle put it, he hasn't quite learned how to stay still for the camera yet! He's six weeks old. They really are the best photos, quilts with babies on them.

Read more... )