Friday, December 21, 2012

Do you have some Stockings to show?

I'm linking up to Quilting Lines: Christmas Stocking Hang Out!  Patricia has a bunch of great stockings to admire that she has sewn over the years and she's running a giveaway too!  You should see all the stockings in line already :D

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Stockings

These lined Christmas stockings are made using a great tutorial from Melissa at Sew Like My Mom.  Very simple once you get the hang (!) of where to put the hangers.  There are lots of pictures to use as a guide!  I'd love to do some scrappy versions too....

Sew Favorite

Stockings and Teapot

Simple Stockings

Next up? I'm going to use  this pattern, by Amy Friend at During Quiet Time, a paper pieced Christmas stocking!

Of course, if I had Really been with it, timewise and skillswise, I could have sewn up some patchwork (postage stamp?) stockings with Amy's tutorial here.  Beautiful!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Still Sewing, More Swedish Winter

I'm still in, sewing.  Not ready to show anything yet, but here are some more winter pics.  The temp dropped a little more, down to 20 below zero, Celsius, -4 Fahrenheit.  The birds have been busy!

Hungry birdies, -4 F/-20 C

Hungry birdies, -4 F/-20 C


For Ottmar, 4 Below

For Ottmar, 4 Below

December 13, -4/-20, 1:30 pm

At least we have more sunlight today.  This is from about 1:30 pm.

For Ottmar, 4 Below

Hope you all are busy and happy!

Lizzie in Sweden

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Swedish Winter

Today is No Sew Saturday for me (but tonight might be another matter ;) so I have some pictures to show you of where I live and what inspires me!  By far, my favorite time of year in Sweden is winter.  I love having a real winter, with beautiful natural light, even though there isn't that much of it.  The winter days where I live in middle Sweden (Jämtland area) are pretty short, with sunrise on the first of December at 9:25 am, and sunset at 2:33 pm.  According to the "Sun-hours" site, we're losing about 25 minutes! of daylight every week, until the winter solstice on December 21'st, when the number will go up again. So it pays to look for the good side, when there is actually Sun-light instead of just Day-light!

Here are today's pictures:

See the little wavy lines?  Made by our 2 dogs!

It's chilly when you get into the shade at the end of the field there, but there's no wind to speak of when you get into the forest.  Plenty of bird tweets to hear, and some moose prints too.

These pics were snapped around one pm.

I took a couple pictures of our favorite snow shovels too.  Which one would you choose to use?  I'm not sure if you can see how large that scoop with the big handle is, but it's for walking behind and pushing the snow.  Perfect for fluffy snow and driveways.

The smaller one has an ergonomic handle and it is perfect for heavier snow (for me) because it pushes it away great, but it doesn't accumulate too much at one time, so that makes it easier to either lift or just shuttle the pile away from you.

I just took the today's last pictures, around three o'clock, to show my inspiration for the Sportlov Sussi/Sweet Skating Sue mini I made.  Here's just a taste of how it looks later in the winter in Jämtland, Sweden.  See the nice steely grey, and that thistle sky next to it?  Even deeper a little later in the winter.

This is what I see from my sewing room!

We don't have an awful lot of snow yet, but it sure is pretty in this light!  Hope everyone is having a super Saturday!  Now I am going to go off to sew!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Mail!

I received some winnings from Sew Sisters Canada Connect Blog Hop this past week!

It was a lot of fun to see what folk on the other side of the pond are up to!
Karen Griska, from the Selvage Blog, sent  me a set of frosty looking pinsies, which I put immediately to use with le Modern hedgies.  I think they would be fine in their own selvage log cabin pincushion.  Karen has more in her Etsy shop.  

It's still dark outside and their's some snow stuck to the window, just like in an old movie!


I was also lucky enough to win a bundle of 5 half yard solids, from the Sew-Sister Quilt Shop itself.  They have a great selection of Kona solids and some nice sewing links.

Aren't they going to be great with Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas?  They look nice with the vintage New Year's fabric too.  


I also received my Sweet Skating Sue Swap from Sandy in the US.  Have a look!

Isn't the pom pom sweet?  She also sent me a nice piece of the spotted background fabric.
I wonder if mine has arrived to destination yet?  I have a different swapper than the one who sent to me.

Thanks, everyone, for making it a little brighter this time of year with the little squishies you sent me!

Now for more minis and stockings to sew.  Hope everyone is enjoying the blog hops this week too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sportlov Sussi-- Sweet Skating Sue Swap

Yay!  I finished one of my favorite mini-quilts to date:  Sweet Skating Sue!  I am starting to really love the technique of paper piecing!  I had a feeling it could be my form of crossword......

Sportlov Sussi

I am participating in the Quilting Gallery's Sweet Skating Sue Mini Quilt Swap (try saying that three times fast!) using the pattern Jennifer Offenstein came up with at Sewhooked.

We don't usually have frozen lakes till after Christmas in Sweden, so I started thinking about the colors we have when those dark short days start to get better.  Fantastical pinks and half purples, weak yellows, and dozens of different greys.

I changed the pattern a little to add a fringe to the Sue's hood, and I narrowed the neck a little too.  I used text for the background.  I admit, I was thinking about the Joni Mitchell song, I Wish I Had a River (to Skate Away On) when I made this.  So often when I am outside in the winter, my mind is full of thoughts.  The text print stands for letters and history and thoughts, and letting go of them to just be with the skates (or skis, or forest, as it may be.)  That is the best part of winter for me!

Fringed hood, detail of quilting

Detail of the wonky log cabin border and some of my winter white on white stash:
Winter whites

Her sewing skates.....

Sew skating

And the girl herself, wearing her favorite winter coat!

Icicles and SueI called her Sportlov Sussi in Swedish, which means literally, Sport Break Suzy, or Winter Break Suzy.  Kids do get a spring break here, but there is usually lots of good snow left for skiing, and lots of frozen lakes for skating, and ice fishing.  Many families make a day of winter sport, followed by barbecuing outdoors on the ice.  We usually like to get outside one way or another, as it's cold, but sunny enough to get a little sunburn, or at least close your eyes and sit in a sun chair on the ice!

This is going to a very creative quilter in the US (Surprise!!!) 
I hope she loves it :D

A Little List of Works in Progress

I've been busy lately, and here's what I have to show for it! First up, log cabins for Ellison Lane's Scrappy Stash Sew Along. I found it so inspiring to dig into my stash and make these fun blocks, I'm going to make a larger quilt with these. Here's some of what I have so far:

I have a way to go before I'm done!


I have also been working on a quilt using a Tula Pink pattern called Beanstalks.
This one looks a little wavy at the moment, but I have gotten help through the Tula Pink flickr group, so I think I can save it!

Beanstalks in progress

Beanstalks in progress 2

Wavy Gravy 1

So that's what's up, and I hope to have better pictures of that Beanstalks soon!

Now I'm going to post these at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday, and join in looking at what others are up to!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back in time, Summer Doll Quilt

Here's a another doll quilt I finished in September.  It was for the August swap, but I got a little bogged down finishing it.   Eek!  I didn't get it into the mail until September!  In the meantime there have been breaks, and flus, and what all somehow getting in the way of posting.  But here it is!

I used quilters cotton and Swedish linen with a fairly rough weave for this Doll Quilters Monthly swap quilt. I quilted it with a variegated sulky thread.  The theme was Sunny and Warm.  We had rain, rain, and more rain this summer, so I am sure I was affected enough to make some cloudy skies behind those tents!  I called it "Sensommar" in Swedish-- "Late Summer."   I was aiming to show the colors at their peak, just after a rainstorm and when the flowers are at their best.  I think it worked out pretty well.

Honestly, my quilting and my piecing were really off in some places!  I wish my technique could catch up to my ideas, but I know we all improve with time and effort.  It'll come, as my sis always says to me!

Here it is outside in some sun-rainy light, right after the dew lifted and before a rain storm came.   Just like late summer.

Sigh* I hope my swap partner doesn't take it too much to heart that I tried out designing on her quilt.  I think if I did this again, I might change the layout slightly to add a little more of the yellow sashing, even if I don't do the complete side sashes with the diamonds.  Maybe also choose sky with more contrast?

Original Tipi Village pattern from Quiltmaker 1993

The original pattern comes from an old Quiltmaker magazine I've been carrying around since 1993!  I even gathered some Southwestern fabric back then for that fine day I took up quilting.  My version has just a few blocks, and I made tents instead of tipis, with tent flaps added.  Instead of the Southwestern theme, I chose batiks and florals for a more organic look.

It took me a long time to try this pattern out, but I am sure I'll make another one.

Tipi Village/Sensommar, to be continued....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Autumn Doll Quilt-- Blogger's Quilt Fest

I want to show you one of the doll quilts I made this year. 
This one is from September and I really tried to capture autumn with it. 

Chasing the Sky
Approximately 24 x 18"
Materials: Quilter's cottons and poly batting
New to me: Making a hanger sleeve on the back, washing the quilt after making and getting that crinkly effect!
Special to me because it reflects the best parts of my fall impressions, even though this is usually a tough time for me, with the days getting shorter and darker.  This quilt is a record that I made it through the dreary skies to the crisp snowy season,where the light bounces off the snow and everything feels more festive!

When fall comes, I love the changing leaves, the nip in the air, and the last lingering sunshine.  However, the toneless white sky that often comes with it just drains me.  It's hard not to feel down when you can't tell what time of day it is.   

This year I did the only thing I could think of, I nested.  I cleaned the house, opened the doors, brushed the floors to the outside.  I started on my quilt.

I chose the fabrics, cut the pieces, started with the log cabins.  I wanted to capture the colors I seek when autumn comes and the light starts losing its strength, and the days get shorter:  turning leaves, moss, lichen, and endless colors of sky, those days when the sun breaks through to make it blue again.  I decided to pair solid fabrics with the prints of Deb Strain's Giving Thanks, by Moda.  I needed to remind myself to be thankful while I was trudging along!

I had troubles with my machine.  I sent mails back and forth with my mother to try to troubleshoot.  I changed thread, needle, re-wound the bobbin, cleaned under the plate.  One day my husband brought home a new-to-me used machine, an early birthday present.  I started sewing and realized how nice it is to have a quarter inch foot, and a smooth machine!  A bunch of the seams already were a little off, but with the month coming to a close, and October coming on, I really had to just keep going. After so much stopping and starting, I was back in business.

Back in business!

I wanted to get across that bittersweet feeling in fall of how fleeting the blue sky is, and yet, how really blue it can be, if you catch it. I decided to use blues for some of the log cabins. Greens to show fading grasses, and the moss that starts to show more just before the snow comes. For the sashing, I wanted to convey the reflection of the sky and sun when you do the last fall cleaning.  I also wanted a way to balance the log cabins, to come outside of the houses, so to speak, much like my gaze did while sewing this quilt.

I had fresh impressions of South Korean textiles, and I liked the breathing space that the off white created for the pale solid fabrics.

                        Example of South Korean textile handicraft

I decided to take the sky and sun dapplings outside the edges of the cabins with scraps of some of the solids.  I had a bit of inspiration looking at Tula Pink's pattern for her quilt called Fairy Tale Lane, which has a dashed sashing that meanders through the quilt.  I used a scale that suited my quilt.  For the binding I went scrappy and just used the various blues, to echo the shimmering sky on those best days of fall.

Fairy Tale Lane quilt, by Tula Pink, from my copy of her book, Quilts from the House of Pink

All in all, I am satisfied with this quilt because I pushed my design boundaries a little more to make a log cabin pattern that expressed my feelings about autumn.  I had one more chance to practice my 1/4 seams, and they Did improve by the end of it.  I figured out how to make a hanger sleeve for the back, and I took the plunge and washed the quilt after making it.  It didn't fall apart, but got nice and crinkly! I really enjoyed letting it develop organically, just following my impressions of the color and light of the season.  It's not perfect, but it reflects just where I am in the quilting process.

Best of all, I made it through the worst part of fall along with the best, by having this sewing puzzle to see me through and take my focus outward.  Even though I sent it away to a Doll Quilts Monthly swap partner, I have the quilt in my memory for this particular autumn.  I made it again! 

And when I was all done,  I was rewarded to see a pair of moose, in the neighbor's yard, just enjoying that last bit of sun and uncovered ground.


                        Moose sightings from the sewing room window

Specs:  Doll Quilt
             24 x 18"
             Sewn and quilted by me of quilter's cottons with polyester batting
             First hanger sleeve, first quilt washing! 

I'm linking up to the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side!  
Won't you come and participate too?  Lots of fabulous makers out there in blogland!  There's Tons of inspiration to share in!