Saturday 30 August 2014

The Butterfly Challenge part 2

Well I'm always up for a good challenge and so I decided to have a bit of fun with my 2nd entry in Tartan Kiwi's Butterfly Challenge.
I decided this time around that I would alter the original pattern and do something different on the wings.  Using this butterfly picture as my inspiration, I dug out my scraps of batiks.

After playing around with a few ideas, I finally settled on using a Basket Weave design for the upper and lower wings.  I paper pieced these bits separately and then trimmed them down to size to fit the main wing template.
Once I had  finished piecing the entire pattern, I decided to add some sparkle by using some DMC Light Effects Embroidery Floss (E130).  This time I didn't just hand stitch on the antennae, but I also stitched around the outside perimeter of the butterfly and highlighted each of the colour block sections.  It glistens & sparkles each time the light catches it.
As I didn't have enough of the darker blue or pink batik fabrics to use for borders or binding, I decided to turn this one into a cushion instead.  I raided my fabric stash and found some blue butterfly fabric which also had a bit of sparkle in it.  Perfect!  I sewed around the outside of the butterfly and stuffed it with Hobby Fill.

Once finished I let it fly free around the house.  The first place it settled was on the futon next to Gemma the cat.

Then I let it fly around outside:

Here are some close ups of the detail of my "Basket Weave Batik Butterfly":

Sunday 24 August 2014

Tea for Two for Alison

I recently received a lovely parcel from my Instagram friend Alison with some blocks for my Block Swap & numerous lovely prezzies.  As a thank you I made her a couple of mini quilts to send off with her quilt blocks.  I knew that she collected beautiful tea sets (as she had sent me some photos of her collection), and in her sewing room she has a beautiful quilt hanging on the wall made with lovely pastel fabrics.  I hope that she will like these:

The Two of Us

"The Two of Us" is a little carry bag stitchery design by one of my favourite Australian Designers  - Rosalie QuinlanThe original pattern is designed to be a child's bag measuring in at just 25cm (10"). 

When I showed the kit to my Mum she immediately tried to claim it for herself so I made her a deal that she couldn't resist - if I could hand sew the embroidered section and supply her with some pretty fabrics, then she could make it into a handbag and keep it for herself.  My Mum no longer hand sews (her eyesight is slowly deteriorating with age), but as a former dressmaker and a handbag addict she has recently started to make handbags. 

It didn't take me too long to finish stitching the small panel - I often tend to hand stitch on my down days or at night when I am watching TV. I found some Tanya Whelan fabrics in my stash that seemed to go well with the design so I gave these to Mum.

Stitching requires chocolate! ;0)

Some weeks later I happened to be at her house and caught her just as she was about to machine stitch the embroidered panel onto a larger backing fabric.  Both came back home with me so that I could chain-stitch around the join instead as stitching this by machine would have looked oh so wrong!


A week later Mum proudly showed me the finished bag.. she has added a few internal pockets to it as well.

Front View
Back View

So there you have it - "The Two of Us" by... the two of us! 

The fabric used is Tanya Whelan's "Valentine Rose".

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ursula Ulysses

After posting a photograph of my Butterfly Challenge block on Instagram, I was asked if I could make one for an IG friend. She offered to pay me but I seriously had no idea what would be a fair price to charge so instead we agreed that she would send me the fabric & I would make it for her gratis.

I had time this afternoon to sit down and devote to paper piecing a blue monach butterfly for my IG friend using @TartanKiwi 's pattern. Her new owner has named her "Ursula Ulysses":

Earlier this evening I sat down on the couch and opened the gift that was included with the parcel of fabric.

I was TOTALLY blown away by what was contained within! Seriously I was not expecting any form of payment.

Inside the parcel were some beautiful HST patterned cards from Ikea (these would look gorgeous framed & hung on a wall); 2 chocolate lions (they didn't last for long) 😉; some lollies; a peppermint Bubbly bar (YUM!!!); some wonder clips (for binding - I am yet to try these) & a Moda "LOL" candy mini charm pack (which is a stack of 42 2.5" squares). I'm not going to tell you what I discovered inside the card but yes it brought me to tears. 

Tuesday 19 August 2014

The Butterfly Challenge

I love to quilt and I love paper piecing and I recently discovered Tartan Kiwi's blog & patterns.  She is currently running a competition based on her butterfly pattern.

This photo was my inspiration:

I have used a variety of fabrics by Pat Sloan from her "Bobbins & Bits" range together with black homespun and I have used a  black DMC Light Effects Embroidery Floss (E310) to hand stitch the antennae.  As I am still gaining confidence with my FMQing, I have kept the quilting simple and stitched the outer ditch of the butterfly in a black thread.