Friday, June 17, 2016

Crazy Quilting Pillows

Last post I mentioned that I had spun flax for a little project, and this is it. 
A few weeks ago I was asked to make a pillow for a Singing Bowl. Once I looked up what a Singing Bowl was, I knew what I would make.

The little pillow was part of a retirement gift for the Librarian I have been volunteering for for the past 7 years, so I was thrilled to be asked to make something.
I wanted it to be very natural and 'earthy', so I used neutral colours of linen, cotton and silk fabric for the crazy quilting. I spun the flax for the linen tassels

The pillow is about 6" square (this bowl is about the same size as the singing bowl, which is copper and silver in colour).

For the embroidery I used silk, rayon, and cotton threads, as well as some of my hand spun yarn. There are tiny seed beads and a few garnet chips for embellishment.
The pillow is stuffed with plastic pellets (it is like a bean bag, so the bowl can sink into it).

The final pillow wasn't the first crazy quilting square I made, this one is-

My family and I thought that it was too busy and wouldn't work for a singing bowl.

Crazy Quilting is one of my favourite things to make (and the one craft I have been doing the longest, I made my first piece when I was 13, and I just turned 50!).
I did take pictures as I made the first square, and this is how it came together-

Basic Crazy Quilting (CQ) is about sewing pieces of fabric around an irregularly shaped centre piece, in a log-cabin style way, on a larger piece of foundation cloth (plain cotton fabric in this case)
I like straight lines for CQ, so if a seam is going to be too long I will sew two pieces together, and then add it to the block.

I like to match the seam with an other seam - this intersection then becomes a great place to add buttons to hide it.

Here the piece is the right size. I drew a square,

then stitched around it with a row of straight stitching and a row of zig-zag stitching.

the finished CQ square ready for embellishment
Then trimmed the whole thing. I like to keep the foundation fabric large, so I have somewhere to hold for the embroidery, and if I need to use a hoop for any embroidery.

My favourite piece of quilting I have made is a wall hanging with a square of crazy quilting (shown here), so with this extra square I decided to make something similar.

I bordered the square with raw silk, and had more fun free motion quilting. I chose feathers radiating from the square.

And 'organic straight lines' as a background. To keep the lines kind of parallel I laid down a few strips of masking tape as a guide. The quilting was done with 100Wt Invisafil thread. I used one layer of cotton batting with a full layer of wool batting on top - the feathers came out nice an puffy.

I purposely kept everything a bit skewed, so that I wouldn't have to worry about having to match anything when finishing the square.

I made a pillow with this square - it is about 16".

I finished the cushion like a regular quilt, with binding (a bit wider than normal because there is an extra piece of fabric for the backing), the backing has some buttons for closing.

I also finished a pair of socks this week. This is with hand dyed yarn I bought in Montreal.

As if there wasn't enough pictures in this post! These next photos are for my Mom, who I thought I had died because I didn't phone her this week, because I was busy working outside -

My youngest son and I have been renovating in the back of the yard (taking out more grass and adding a little patio around the fire pit). Hopefully we will be finished this weekend.

Some other garden pictures -

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Finished Blocks and a Linen Doily

It is nice to stay caught up on QAL blocks for a change!

These are the two Circa 2016 blocks for this week.

I recently spun some flax to make linen tassels for a little project. It was the first time I have ever spun pure flax and it turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated. I came out quite fine - about light fingering to lace weight.

Since I had a bit of linen left over, I thought it would be interesting to see how it would knit up. Rather than just making a swatch I knitted a doily (about 12"). It really softened up as I knit (I did 'beat' and boil the finished yarn to help soften it before too) and was lovely to work with. I am looking forward to spinning more flax for a bigger project.

Here is the finished project along with more flax ready for spinning. This flax top is from Louet.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
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