29 July 2011

Making Patterns

So, I have bitten the bullet and done what I never thought I would do.
I am opening my own (teeny-tiny) shop-corner here on the internet, and am, as of today, now, beginning to sell patterns.

I have also 'opened' the left-hand margin of this blog. On it, you will find links to my shop. Each picture will be a link to the shop-page, and on the shop-page, the head-line for each pattern will take you to the blog-posts that are relevant for the pattern.

I know there is only one pattern for sale right now, but there will be more. In the fullness of time.
Do not, however expect to see it next week or the one after. I not only design and make patterns, I see some in my life too, and one of the recurrent patterns is, that every time I believe I have plenty of time and energy for something, something else happens that throws a spanner in the works, and it all goes to pot.
So don't hold your breath for the next one, just ... keep your fingers crossed.

The first pattern is called Tea Roses.
Size of quilt : 48 x 66"
Uses Inklingo Collection #3 for templates.

The pattern uses 10" squares (actually, it uses a Layer Cake), but can be made with F/16s too, or scraps from your stash.

If you encounter problems with either buying or using the pattern, please contact me :
tildebinger (at) paradis (dot) dk
This is my new shop e-mail, so everything sent to that addy will go directly into a separate folder, and I can deal with it momentarily (if I am awake, at home, and by the computer)

This, first pattern is launched with a sale-price of only 7.50 US $
After August 15th, it will be normally priced, and will set you back 9 US $

IF you are living in Denmark, and buying from there, please use the Danish Kroner option in the shop. Here the price - until August 15th - is 39 kroner.

What you get :

A pdf-file (you need to print it out yourself) containing 12 pages, with fabric- (and other) requirements, notes on how to make the block, Inklingo printing tables, and a lot of words.

28 July 2011

Here comes the Sun(flowers) 2

So, the big open space of a 5"+ diameter centre for my 12" sunflower was too much for me.
Which means I'm ready to try something different. Something that will give me more interest in the centre of the block. What about a double Sunflower.
Because, let's face it, where is the fun in stiching a 12" block with 49 pieces (that's without the outside, background, which hasn't been put on yet, and thus does not count), compared to stitchin a 12" block with 97 pieces !
So here it is : Double the Sunflower, Double the fun (! ???)

And lessons learned on this one : Not so much green. I really must reduce the amount of green on these blocks. On to the next one.

27 July 2011

Organizing Fabric

I'm a messy quilter (who would have thunk). When I start a new project, I pull fabrics, and audition them. All over the place. They are draped on tables, on floors, on chairs ... everywhere.
Then, as choices are made, they tend to stay where they were.
On tables, on floors, on chairs, everywhere.
And that is how a true mess is born.
This time, with the Sunflowers, I've decided to try a new strategy.
Once a fabric is chosen, it has been put in a box. Many fabrics in one box ! All together now. Yes, it is overflowing, and there are too many fabrics to rest comfortably in it, but they are all together now. I can take out one, put in another, and I can still, at a glance, audition whether or not I think it works with the rest of them. As it looks now, I would say that this grouping has the prospect of a nice, soothing quilt in the general colourway of 'chartreuse and magenta are neutrals' variety.

P.S. To those of you who think OMG, she can afford magnum bottles of Grand Cru wine from Saint Emilion, rest easy. It was a gift from someone of my acquaintance who can afford magnum bottles of Saint Emilion Grand Cru. And I never (never) say no to gifts of wonderful wine. As you can see, I even save the wrapping. It was the first, and will probably be the only, time in my life where a wine of that calibre ever enters my life.

26 July 2011

Another one bites the dust

This is a finished quilt-top. Not a finished quilt, but at least it is a finished top.

Project was started in late August 2008, and have been stitched on rarely. Until this May, where it moved to the top of the list, and became my priority project.
The blocks are entirely hand-pieced, but the joining of the blocks is by machine.
For the longest time, I called it 'Rectangular Hexagons', but after the previous quilt was finished and up on the design-wall, and this one went up (while the last blocks were pieced), DH said that it looked like old-fashioned, English Tea Roses, so that's the name.

In May, I decided to make an effort to finish this top, before my b'day this year, and I'm proud to see that I met my goal.
Now on to piecing the backing.

25 July 2011

Washing fabric

I always wash my fabrics before storing them on my shelves.
Always !

I think I have one JellyRoll that is still wrapped tightly, with the ribbon, that isn't washed, but other than that, all fabric on my shelves are washed. Yes, that includes 5" charms, 10" squares and the other small bits.

Now, washing F/4s and even F/8s is easy. Pop them in the washing-machine with the rest of it, and you're done.
Washing charms, or even the 10" squares, is worse. Popping a small bit of fabric, with nothing but 'loose' sides into the washing-machine, makes for lots and lots of fluff in the load, and might unravel more than one is ready to loose, so, here's what I do :

Using the hottest water I can wring from my tap, and a bit of (mildish) soap, everything is dumped into the hand-wash basin in the bathroom, and left there to soak a bit.
I agitate it lightly, just enough to know I have done it, but as you can see, I have quite a small sink, and there are 40 squares, each 10" now crammed into it.
Rinse - again in water as hot as you can get it - as many times as you need to get all the soap out. On the last rinse, do not drain (!)
Now comes the fun part.
Take off your shoes or socks (or be prepared to have them soaked) and roll up your pants / jeans (again : or be prepared to have them soaked, at least at the hem).

Take the soaking, dripping, running wet squares, one by one, and 'hang' them in your shower. Tiles or glass, either works. My shower has tiles, but I've done this in showers that have glass.

Flatten out the squares as you hang them, so there are no large air-bubble caught between shower-sides and fabrics. Don't obsess ! just ... do it.

And then, when all are plastered to the wall, leave the shower and close the door. Depending on air-humidity, you will be able to pick up almost-dry squares of fabric within a few hours. Some will have fallen on the floor before they were dry enough to store, but that's ok too : Give them a quick run-over with your iron, and they are perfect.

With 'big' pieces like 10" squares, the majority will loosen before they are completely dry. With 5" charms, the majority will stick until they are completely dry.

The beauty of this way of doing things is :
You get your fabric washed.
You don't get fabric that is impossible to iron out.
The majority of shrinking has now happened, AND, whatever nastiness the producer has treated the fabric with, is now out, and even scent-allergics (like yours truly) can handle them without fear of a fit.
And that's the way I do it here in Copenhagen.

24 July 2011

Going on

Well I'm progressing slowly, but surely on the Hexagon quilt.
Now two thirds of it is together.

And that's about what I'm getting done ... which is much more than nothing.

Other than that, I'm reading, and leafing through quilt-history books, and listening to music, and doing nothing in particular.

Working hard at wasting the last week of my vacation. Come August 1st, and I need to get back to studying and preparing and taking notes for classes. BUT not yet. Not yet.

Weather is, as can be seen on the picture on the right, rainy. Interspersed with showers of rain. Unless it is drizzling.
Naturally there is the occasional pour-down, but mostly, it's just rain.

23 July 2011

A day of prayer

Well, in the wake of the horrible happenings in Norway, I've turned off the TV and the radio and all the rest.
I know what happened is horrible. I know it is devastating now, and will continue to be so for the survivors, probably for the rest of their lives.
I know, that thousands of lives are going to be wrecked because of this.

It is beyond words.

I don't want to be caught by a churning TV and endless repetitions of what happened, talked about either in sombre tones, or in the slightly shrill, breathless voices of reporters trying to wring the last drop of drama out of what really isn't a drama, but a tragedy;
instead I've sat down myself to stitch, and to reflect, and to pray.

And I'm halfway there on the hexagon-rectangle TeaRoses.

Very restful colours, and I certainly need those today.

22 July 2011

Progressing on the hexagons

Not much progress on any Sunflowers.
BUT, I have some rows together on the rectangular hexagons, or TeaRoses as DH would have it. One third of the top is now together, and they are, even if I say so myself, looking good.

Now, if only the joining of blocks into strips, and the joining of strips into wider strips, wasn't so mind-bogglingly boring, I might be persuaded to work faster, but procrastination lures around every corner, and sometimes even dances right in front of my eyes.
And you know what Oscar Wilde said about temptation. Whoever can resist a temptation, doesn't deserve it.
I am very deserving today.

And just because, here's my kitty basket-case. Most of the cat is rolling over the edges, and bursting out over the top, as dough which raises, but you see, there are some blocks in that basket, and as long as I persist in sitting here, without a quilt laid out for her to rest on, she has to make do.
Basket case.

20 July 2011

Here comes the Sun(flowers) 1

Today the sun was - surprisingly - out to play, so I sat me down on the veranda, mug of tea and some stitching at hand.
Sunflowers !

I have been in love with Sunflower quilts ever since I saw a picture of one in 'Lone Stars' (Texas Quilt History book, volume 1), which was - incidentally - my very first quilt-book. And I have wanted to make a Sunflower quilt ever since.

I have had recurring searches, trying to find a pattern or a way to make this easier to construct, but every single pattern seemed to involve about a zillion little bits that needed to be cut terrifyingly precisely, and then curved seams galore, or, applique of curves galore. And frankly, I didn't have the heart or the courage to commit to it.

BUT, then Linda Franz issued two sizes of Sunflower templates (Inklingo), and ... well ... what can I say ... I just had to do it. I have already shown 4 small Sunflower blocks, made with the 6" collection, so here is the first 12" Sunflower.
It is 'plain', not double, just a Sunflower.
And I love it, but ...
... there's always a 'but' with me.
The centre fills too much, and is too uninteresting.
And it's almost too green
And I haven't (yet) decided what to do about the background.

I'll try shaking things up, one parameter at a time, and with any luck, by the time I have stitched 'That Perfect Sunflower' I'll have enough blocks for a quilt.

15 July 2011

Field of Flowers Finish

And I have a finished project !
The first one in years. Literally !
"Field of Flowers", which is shown above and to the right. The colours on the above picture are more true to the real thing than is the full picture on the right.

Shown sleeping on the quilt is my - occasionally - cute kitty, Josephine. In my mind (and hers) she's a terminally cute, tiny almost-still kitten. In the parallel universe that everyone else inhabits she's a slightly overweight, middle-aged cat who talks (too) loud, when she's dissatisfied (and she is frequently), hogs the covers at night, terrorizes any new cats that might come under her radar ... BUT, then she lies down on a quilt, rolls into herself and falls asleep, and she's as cute as can be. It isn't just sleeping dogs one should let in peace.
Quilt is made with the Inklingo Drunkard's Path and 6" Sunflower collection, and with oodles of scraps and F/4s (and F/8s and F/16s) from my stash. And if you click on the smaller picture, you'll see it in a larger format, and will be better able to see what it really looks like.

10 July 2011

Quilting in Progress

Well ... quilting is sort of in progress.
It is quite difficult to get up from the current project, and go wash hands or something of that order, because when I come back to the machine, this is what is in progress.
Yes, she looks dead cute our kitty, but it does hamper my style and progress, particularly because my backbone seems to be made of marshmallow when it comes to waking up kitties, kiddies and other cute critters.
I did lift her up, and quilting commenced ... eventually.

06 July 2011

200th post and the ugliest backing in the world

Yep. This is (according to blogger, at least) my post # 200 on this blog.
Took some time to get here, but now it has arrived.

And I have been pondering what to do; keep quiet and pretend nothing special happened, have a big bash with loads of prizes or a medium sized give-away. It is the latter. A medium-size give-away. BUT to qualify to enter, there are conditions, but first a bit of an explanation :

On your right is a picture of what is possibly the ugliest backing in the world. It is certainly the ugliest backing I have ever contemplated putting on a quilt; its main merit is, that it is fabric from the shelves and that together, they represent a little more space for some of the good stuff I actually want.

It is strange that it turned out this ugly, because each individual fabric in the mix is quite nice ... well, was quite nice before they were put together. But the sum of the parts is ... worse than I ever imagined it could be.
BUT, beauty (and hideousness) is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder, so this is where we close in on the give-away :

To enter the give-away, you need to somehow publish a picture of your ugliest quilt to date (back or front), on your blog or in an online photo-album. Once it is published, you go back to this post, and leave a comment with a link to your ugliest endavour, and you're in !
The prize ?
The prize is a 25 $ gift-certificate to an on-line quilt-shop of your choice. Yes. My ingenuity falls short of deciding what you want, so a gift-certificate it is.

Comment, with a link to a picture of your ugliest quilt (back or front) before July 15th, where I will do the draw. And remember, the prize is anything you can get for 25 $ at your favourite, on-line quiltshop :-)

And just so it won't all be ugly : Here's a picture of the finished Field of Flowers top. I swear to you, it kicks more a ... donkey in real life than it does in this picture ... is more alive, if you will. And looks nicer. DD - who has already claimed this quilt - loves the front, but hates the backing. Too bad. If she wants one, she'll get the other. The good thing about the combination - I've told her - is, that in the fullness of time, she'll be able to tow the quilt everywhere without worrying that it gets dirty or torn on the back :-) A few patches to mend it could not possibly make it any uglier than it is already.

Made with Inklingo Drunkard's Path and 6" Sunflower collections.

02 July 2011

Eeeeeew ....

We have owned this house for 21 years.
This is the first time something like this has happened.
Sewers set out, and ... eeewwww.

This is what the basement looks like (the rest of the rooms are more of the same) :

Fortunately, only one essential trunk (with photos and family papers) was hit by the water, so this is what the living-room and the kitchen looks like (and the rest of the rooms are more of the same) :

I think, possibly, that this will be the event that finally pushes me to scan the family photos, my parents' love-letters, and other family papers, and begin processing them.
It will be a few days before I'm back with you.

01 July 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook - 2

I'll do the Simple Woman's Daybook, again. It is still a neat idea. And even though I am not doing it with any real regularity, it is a good way to keep up to date with oneself.

Outside my window...
It is overcast, but with glimpses of sun. Rain has been threatened but not realised. And the doves are cooing. Amazing to be 200 meters from the road-stretch in Denmark which has the most traffic, around the clock, and barely hear the traffic.

I am thinking...
That being without teen-agers for a week is good preparation for becoming empty-nesters.

I am thankful for...
DS graduating, with excellent results; and DD finishing her first year in high-school, also with excellent results. Having gifted children can be a mixed blessing, but they both seem to have finally found a peer-group where their braininess is not a (huge) problem.

From the kitchen...
Have just made an egg-salad. In this country, that means loads of mayonaise (but in our case, tempered with low-fat sour-cream), chopped up hard-boiled eggs, apples and maccaroni; curry, salt, pepper and a dash of mustard to taste. Not diet-food, so we rarely make it, but it does taste good.

I am wearing...
The permanent uniform : Jeans and a t-shirt. Bare feet though. Which is nice.

I am creating...
Beautiful things. And striving for making order out of chaos. Always a hard thing to do.

I am reading...
'Finding Sanctuary' by Christopher Jamison; and - because that is not an easy and fast read - I am in the process of re-reading Dorothy Dunnet's Lymond Chronicles. Not exactly an easy read either, but not one where you have to stop and contemplate every 5 pages either.

I am hoping...
To find more permanent work soon. Being without a congregation is not really what I am best at.

I am hearing...
Genesis, Greatest hits / Turn it on Again, and U2 The Joshua Tree.

Around the house...
Cat is not-quite sleeping on the table. Leaning into my left arm and purring. Mentally she's a kitten, even though she is becoming a middle-aged lady, and has been 10+ pounds for years.

One of my favorite things...
The smell of air-dried, fresh linen. On the bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Make a few more quilt-blocks of the two kinds I have going. Hand- and machine-work respectively. And get back to the paper I'm trying to write. It needs to be finished by September 1st, and the sooner I get it licked into shape, the sooner I can dream away the rest of the summer.