Friday, 24 October 2014

Shedding Autumn Leaves

I am pleased to say, after last week's post, that I did indeed finish some of my tasks: here are my 'Earn Your Stripes' Mitts, with the ends sewn in and on sale at Sunday's craft fair. It was a lovely warm sunny day, so I did not end up selling any... but at least they are done. 

I also finished making my neck warmers. A fun ceramic button really completes this bright pink one:

Not only did I finish my large shawls, but we also squeezed in an impromptu photo shoot, ready to list the patterns on ravelry. Ok, so I haven't finished and uploaded the instructions yet... but I will, soon enough. I'm really pleased with these shawls- they provide such instant gratification to make!

I know I also mentioned last week something about stash-busting, and I had begun to play around with this: it's a little difficult to see in the photos what's going on, but it is the makings of a quilt. Now, if you have known me for a little while you will also know that I have started to make quilts before... and failed miserably when it comes to getting them finished. I have a stack of Liberty print quilt squares which I baled out on, as they looked so hideous when I laid them out together... and that's just one of my aborted quilt projects! I had spent hours of an evening hand stitching little 5cm squares. Naively, I had thought that as they were all such individually beautiful prints they would look stunning juxtaposed randomly, but I was wrong! 

I love looking at quilts, I love the idea of quilts, I have books on quilts, I even live in a drafty house, where sometimes a quilt would be most welcome. But none of this adds up to me being able to get through a quilt. Or so it seemed, until now. 

When thinking about what I could do with some of my fabric stash, the yearning for a quilt again flashed through my mind, and I started leafing through 'Quilt Me', by Jane Brocket. What really draws me to this book is the demystification, and the fuss-free approach that the author puts across, along with her modern creations that seem like they would comfortably fit into any interior. My eye alighted on this: 

What could be simpler? Long strips, joined together to make large squares. The recent acquisition of some very cheap neutrally-coloured fat quarters at Ally Pally reminded me that I had sorted through my fabric before, and bunched together a lot of warm browns and oranges and the like, and after a bit of playing around with what to put in and what to leave out I have come up with all of the striped squares I need to make the quilt top. 

Unfortunately I think there is an error in the dimensions given in the 'Quilt Me' book, but it is very simple to come up with your own template. 

I have even joined some large pieces of the softest babycord from my collection to make the quilt back (I know I will live to regret that, as every tiny fibre and thread sticks to babycord, but I just can't resist the print and the softness), and decided to use the fabulous tea cup print lawn seen on the far left below as my binding.

For a very short while I was toying with the idea of getting somebody else to do the actual quilting, simply in the name of getting this project finished, but when a recommendation for a couple of quilters came back from a friend with the words 'not cheap' attached, I wondered what on earth I had been thinking, and decided that I will definitely do it myself.

Hopefully, whilst it is still autumn and I can enjoy these really seasonal colours displayed together.

Imagine that, the whole of the top of a quilt, and its backing without having to buy any fabric. It feels so good though to be putting these beautiful textiles to good purpose. It has got me thinking, what else can I make entirely from my stash? 

Something which I know won't ever make it into my stash is this stunning grey slubby cotton yarn, which I also bought at Ally Pally. It is a little difficult to see in the photograph, but it has gorgeous shades of yellow and pink running through it. I have a specific idea for what I'd like to make... but I do have some shirts to make and some tie patterns to cut at the top of my jobs list this week. 

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