Sunday, 23 March 2014

Minty fresh!

Today I baked, playing with some sugar paste, pretty food colouring gels and making a couple of icing bags.

I am hugely pleased with the results.

They have the look of spring and are minty fresh.

I love mint choc chip.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Not much of a rush

It was my birthday last month and, as a present I received a lovely art quilt kit from Deborah O'Hare of QuiltRoutes who sells on Folksy, Etsy and blogs here. I first came across her kits on Etsy and fell truely madly and deeply in love with her Moon Gazing Hare, which I will purchase one day.

Last year, Iain took me on a magical steam train journey to Weymouth where we spent a wonderful anniversary paddling in the sea, walking the promenade and visiting the lovely RSPB wetland of Radipole Lake where I stroked my first bullrush!

With such lovely memories, it seemed fitting to add Deborah's kit called Bull Rushes to my present list.

The kit comes in this lovely and sturdy manila card envelope with full colour image on the front. It just speaks quality to me.

Inside is everything you need except the threads to make the quilt. Beautiful hand painted fabrics, backing fabric in the most perfect mouse (I am slightly ashamed to say that the colour of mouse is as beautiful as the hand-painted loveliness on top of it), fusible batting and double sided sticky stuff. (Please forgive the lack of terminology, but this is my first art and fused quilt.) There are also the pattern pieces and layout diagram for those who wish to follow it and excellent instructions which also provides to link to Deborah's website, theseare provided on high quality paper.
What isn't included is thread and fabric to bind the edges of the mini quilt. As it is designed as a picture it can be finished in many ways and, after some thinking and research, you can see which method I chose at the end of the post.
My but the fabrics are just delicious.
I went shopping and chose 3 lovely threads that I thought went well. Guttermann is easy to purchase here in my two local quilting/sewing shops and I do like their threads (not that I've sewn with too many others to be honest).

It was time for a bit of ironing followed by some free motion quilting (FMQ), I've only really done one other piece before so I am still pretty uneven in stitch length etc but I don't really care that much.

Wow, that sky is blue. At the time of sewing there hadn't been much blue sky for the whole winter.
Then it was time to trace the pattern pieces onto the sticky stuff.
And fuse it to the wrong side of the fabric. Yep, you heard me - wrong side. So why did I decide to stick the leaves to the RIGHT side? I could have cried especially as this was such a lovely piece of fabric with a beautiful gold shimmer. Luckily for me this fabric is hand painted and so the back of the fabric had a good depth of colour, not like printed quilting fabrics. So after a bit of talking down by Iain, I was able to continue.

With all the pieces placed and ironed on, it was time for the fun to begin.

Man, this type of work creates lots of ends if not thought through.

With a bit of sewing it really started to come to life but I also realised that the leaves (now paler than intended) needed a bit more definition than I originally planned.

The purchase of some shiny green thread really worked. I also decided to zigzag the edges of my quilt, after I had carefully trimmed it square.

And voila! the finished quilt. I think it is lovely and, if I hadn't mentioned the leaves I don't think you would not be any the wiser. That blue is not so obvious now.

I love my little quilt and the memories i have attached to it as I sewed it. I would recommend one of Deborah's kits if you want to try making an art quilt.