Saturday, 30 July 2011

Wait. No. Surely not. Some actual planning?

Yuh actually, some. Nearly finished the denim quilt and already thinking about what to do next. The product making for my next stall has gone pretty well thus far and I'm feeling a little ahead of the game so thought I'd work on another quilt. Have got quite a few left overs from the man quilt, and some additional tweedy bits so I think man quilt No.2 is in the offing. I want to try something different with this one though, so instead of my usual bull-in-a-china-shop action I'm going to have a little think. First idea: big chunky pieces of tweedy fabric, then strips of less chunky bits using some of the fine linens and cashmeres...

Quilt planning

Quilt planning

The bottom line of this swatch card is mostly to be disregarded because it is evil silk velvet and we all know how I feel about sewing it.

Oh and 150cm x 150cm is my new best friend. A manageable size to handle through my ancient Bernina, it means less swearing, a bit more control and enough snuggly coverage on chilly evenings. Perfect-o.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Scraps of this, that and the other

My ability to go off track is becoming more and more predictable. Hence, faced with a to-do list as long as my arm I decided this is the moment to start on another quilt. So here it is. Stayed up until the wee small hours sewing these bits together. Went for a completely random approach in the cutting and piecing department. I love the feel of soft, old denim and all the wear out patches and what not. And using an entire leg of denim with the pocket still attached made me chuckle.

Denim quilt #3 work in progress

Not entirely sure about the third row from the top with the mix of different fabrics, but I was on a mission to use up a bunch of fabric samples I've had about the place for the longest time. What I do like is the red, white and blue - it makes me think of seasides for some reason :-)

Sould I get rid of that third row do you think?

Denim quilt #3 work in progress

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A bit wierded out by some inspiration

I popped into the White Cube today on Hoxton Square as I had some rare downtime at work and thought it best to go and look at something rather than do random internettings. See some actual art for once. Breathe some fresh air. Get out. And given that the gallery is literally round the corner I had no excuse.

 (Image from Dinos & Jake Chapman are currently showing, so in I wandered, managing to completely bypass the "this is what the show is all about" piece of paper that was left at the entrance. I've never seen any of their work before and to be honest the show felt somewhat disjointed to me and a bit random. Turns out they have both been working in separate studios and this is an amalgamation of their work; some is shown in Hoxton Square, some shown in Mason's Yard - I definitely got that sense without knowing it. I found it all a bit wierd and disquieting - the small children with strange animal parts morphed onto their faces, and religious statues with parts of their facial skin pulled back to reveal the muscles and bloody mess underneath or bloody animal tentacles emerging from mouths. Looking at the pieces very closely, they really are beautifully executed and the skill of their art sort of overtook my feelings of discomfort. The aim with this art I suppose is to inspire a reaction and that certainly happened for me.

And it made me reflect somewhat on my craft. By playing it a bit safer with what I make in order to appeal to more people am I actually denying my natural impulses? I always wanted to aim for a bit of an edge, to make stuff that is a bit marmite, not just for the sake of it, but because it's what interests me and gets my juices flowing. I think I'm running the risk of losing that. So all in all, this spur of the moment 30 mins of feeling a bit uncomfortable enjoying someone elses art has had quite an impact. I shall be pondering what to do about it. Hmm...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tote-ally going for it.

Sorry. I know. Couldn't resist.


Anyway, hot off the press are these simple little tote bags made from cottons that I have been hoarding for the longest time. I just thought it was high time I cut into them and stop feeling so precious. You know what it's like when you love fabric more than anything you can possibly describe - I just adore their cheeky ways! Previously, I've mostly used them for small bits of fussy cutting here and there - the insides of purses and kindle covers and what have you and I thought it was high time they had a chance to live loud and proud and show off their brilliance. Hurrah for saucepots and half naked cowboys and stylish cool cats!

Tote-ally Saucepot

Tote-ally Americana

Tote-ally Cowgirl

Tote-ally Coolcat

Tote-ally Cowboy

And I think this fabric combo is my favourite - I love the large, robust foliage against the delicate and subtle foliage. Lush.

Totes handle

Lovely creative stuff going on over at Our Creative Spaces via Kootooyoo

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Things are back to normal

IE: I am being a sewing mentalist again. After the stall at Cally Fest I took a week off to recover and reflect. And that week sort of ended up being two. I think it's really important to take a breather now and then, reflect a bit on what has been happening and give the old noggin a chance to rest and wait for inspiration to strike.

I've been to see friends, spent a lovely weekend with my sisters at little sis's hen do (surfing in a thunder storm anyone?) and just chilled.

Me being me though, can't stay in a state of limbo for very long and another stall is beckoning so time to get on it again. I've been getting obsessed by quilts again. I have such a love hate relationship with them and don't think I'll get over how emotional they become for me. Maybe it's all the time you spend with them choosing fabrics, cutting, sewing, sewing more, pressing, piecing, sewing and then holy crapola! All that pinning and then wrestling through the machine to finally quilt. Admittedly I adore the binding stage as it seems to be such a lovely gentle way to finish; hand sewing the binding in front of the telly sitting next to The HusWife. Sigh.

Anyhoo, have got one on the go and one in the planning. First up:

Upholstery sample book quilt

Upholstery sample book quilt

The Magnificent Mum gave me some upholstery fabric sample books last year and they've been gathering dust. One afternoon I just sort of leapt on them and started ripping out the samples, and sewed them together without too much thought. Now, I've no idea if using such thick material is a massive no-no in the old quilting world, and I'm not entirely sure I like the colours, but I think the fabrics are interesting in their own right and I'm persevering. We shall see.


Possible materials for the next denim quilt

I really can't get the denim quilt thing out of my system at all. So I'm planning another. This time I'm going to integrate some of the scrappy bits and pieces I have lying around. Not sure I've got the right mix of fabrics yet... And I'll probably use larger pieces of denim. And that's about as far as the planning has got, but then that's the way I like it when it comes to these denim puppies - freestyle!

Oh and then I've also been making more purses and pencil cases and totes and what have you; I'll share those as soon as I get my arse in gear to photograph them! It's great to be back :-)

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Cally Fest

Phew! What can I say? Such a brilliant, brilliant day that was knackering, exhilerating, funny, buzzy and such good fun. All that prep and hard work was worth it, as the stall came together really nicely and the products looked good. I even met a few peeps who have been following the blog (hello Ruth ;-)) so all in all I made new friends, got great feedback about my products and sold a few bits and pieces.

The event itself was just awesome, really well organised and packed full of people having fun and mooching about.

Before it all kicked off, my stall was marked with this:

So Simmons

I love how that works on all levels!

Before The Cally Fest kicked off

We obeyed orders and got there at 8:30am, about an hour before everyone else! Well, you live and learn.

Before The Cally Fest kicked off

My stall at The Cally Fest

iPad sleeves:

My stall at The Cally Fest - iPad sleeves

Kindle sleeves:

My stall at The Cally Fest - kindle sleeves


My stall at The Cally Fest - purses


My stall at The Cally Fest - tote bags

All sorts:

My stall at The Cally Fest

Look at all the people!

The Cally Fest kicks off

It really was an excellent day for the area and I felt very honoured to have been a part of it. Anya, the market organiser was charming and calm and lovely and the whole team worked so hard to pull it off. Well done all, and thank you to everyone that came and said hello!

(Oh and the wonky denim quilt was snapped up by Ruth who is equally obsessed with Gee's Bend, I can't have hoped for a better home for it. Brilliant.)

Friday, 1 July 2011

A wonky denim quilt

I've been on a mental making mission this month. I decided to ignore all the annoying voices in my head that said it was pointless trying to sell my craft and got myself a stall at The Cally Festival on Sunday. Hence, I've been making all sorts of goodies, ipad and kindle sleeves, purses, clutches, totes (the list goes on..) and I finally got round to thinking about dressing the stall. I'd done a denim test a little while ago and liked what I saw, so thought, "Maybe I could make a denim quilt to hang ever so artistically across the stall.." So in between all the mentalness of major late nights sewing all my products I put this puppy together:

Denim quilt

And out of everything I've made this month, I think it has brought me the most pleasure. Now I know it may not be to everyones taste but I love the scrappiness, the randomness, the inclusion of the pockets and it's wonky nature.

Denima quilt detail

I did simple diagonal quilt lines (I think you can just make them out) and used a hodge podge of scraps for the binding.

Denim quilt detail

Denim quilt binding detail

I'm pretty chuffed with it and I think it'll be lovely to display on my stall. The big question I have though, is what if someone wants to buy it? How on earth do you price quilts? I have no idea how long it took as it was done in fits and starts and I had all the material bits and pieces already... It's about 150cm x 160cm and properly wonky. Help me please...what would you price it at??

You can check out other makes of the month over at the ever inspiring Lily's Quilts