Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quilt to Chew On

I've been following the Zakka Sew Along, and I started the Zakka Style quilt.  I'm also moving, so I can't spend the kind of time I'd like to on this. It's a good quilt for a beginner though.  The instructions are clear, and I think the pattern is more than a little spiffy.  There's plenty of room for interpretation.

I'm going to have to pack it in, if we're ever going to get going to our new place. I would love to just go over to the sewing table and sew a little during breaks, like doing a crossword puzzle to wind down for the night.  But I know that's not going to happen!  So I have to pack it down, and chew on how I want to quilt it when we get to the other place. It won't take too long I hope!

Here's how far I got!  You'll recognize some of the SMS Giveaway fabrics in there:




My camera is already at the other place. Not the crispest of pics, this one, but you can see the hedgies, can't you?

I wasn't that thrilled with using natural linen, colorwise, but I do like how the colors shine against it.  I'm planning on using this quilt on our new back porch for chilly evenings, so it's just as well it's beige instead of white, or purple!  Not sure if I'll keep the backing I started but if I do, I can call the quilt  Gående Bord for one of the vignettes on the white kitchen fabric.  Gående Bord means a buffet table or smörgåsbord, in Swedish.  Literally, it's Walking Table! I plan to drag this quilt (with its pictures of tables in it) all over the place, so maybe I can keep that name!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

************Winners!**************

What a blog hop that was!  Thanks to everyone who visited my tiny blog--I can't call it teeny tiny any more because my followers number has now exceeded 100!  This was my first giveaway and I received 500 Comments on the linen and linen-cotton blend bundles.  I'd say the interest in hedgehogs definitely edged out the interest in Dala horse fabric, but the response was positive to both bundles.  I guess you guys like Swedish linen as much as I do!  I hope you all take the time to come back to my blog later now that the the giveaway is over.

Thanks!  I thought it was really fun to "meet" so many quilting (and traveling) enthusiasts!

Without further ado, Here are the winners of the linen bundles, as drawn by the True Random Number Generator:




That's  40 and 230, two new follwers who said:

40. wasstephmabry, who said:
I'm a new follower! Look forward to seeing your posts. :), and
Ohmygoshthosehedgehogsareamazing. They're amazing. Seriously. I'm in love. LOL. I'd probably pet them for a long time before I ever got around to making anything with them! :)

And 230. was mframe, who said: I love both bundles. These are colors I don't have a lot of.
mframe00@gmail.com, and
blog follower- mframe00
mframe00@gmail.com

Congratulations!  An email will be sent out to each of you  shortly! ******************************

Friday, May 25, 2012

Swaps Part Two: Doll Quilts!

I am taking part in what seems to be a yearlong swap with a new group called the Doll Quilters Monthly.  Every month, we follow a theme (if the pairs agree to) and get a new swap partner. This month, I got Patty Hall, and she got me!


I received the most beautiful little doll quilt from Patty, complete with a little handbag pincushion that I suspect is filled with walnut shells, which they say helps keep your needles sharp.  It must be true, because the hand quilting Patty did is just the sweetest, so tiny and so precise, and it gives and overall homey look to the lovely quilt she sent me!


It's got buttons!

  


I'm just speechless.  Such craftmanship, precision, lilting colors; the quilt is just really beautiful!  Even the backing is beautifully chosen.  And the binding and sashing is the sweetest, dreamiest floral.  It's really quite lovely!



 

THANKS PATTY!!  I so appreciate the thought and care and fun you put into this sweet little bowler hat quilt!  Buttons, bands, Heavenly!


Here's one more peek of the one I sent Patty:


I think the swapping itself might be as fun as creating the item for the swap.  I know I have no where near as much experience as Patty with quilting, or Jennie either, from Mumma Sews Mug Rug Swap.   But I put as much care and thought as I could for each creation, and the rest is just to swap and see what happens.

Swaps and a lucky lady! Part One

Wow!  This week I received two amazing swaps-- quilty bookends to a hectic week!



First, I received a lovely mug rug from Jennie in Northumberland!  We both participated in Mumma Sews mug swap, and I'd say we both had a great time!  It's so nice to meet through blogland, and it's so fabulous to see how another person sews.  I for one am always fascinated!

Here's what Jennie sent me:


Isn't it sweet?  It is her own design, and she even looked up how to say coffee break in Swedish-- Fika!
That comes from kaffe, which is coffee, being said backwards as a kind of slang that stuck.  Ska vi fika?  Wanna take a coffee break?  I sure do!   I could have some of that nice chocolate she sent with!

This little jewel is so sweet, I can't imagine putting a coffee mug anywhere on it!  Well, maybe a tiny esspresso, in the corner with those lovely postage stamp scraps.  Thanks Jenny!  I love it!  I think it's wonderful that you used such bright summery colors!  And the detail of the embroidery is so tidy and so cheery, it makes me smile when I see it  : )

Here's what I sent Jennie:



I made the design myself as well, using a little hedgie for a pocket, and some of my favorite dyed linen!  I wrestled with the binding, and after I mailed it, I got the Eureka moment that I really should have done a single fold binding instead of a double fold.  Live and learn!

Isn't it neat that we used such similar color schemes?  They almost go together! And here I was afraid if I used orange, her eyes would blast off!  The yarn on the green stripe actually has polka dots!  I don't quite know how they did it, but it seems the yarn itself was crocheted, kind of like the pull string on a potato bag, if you can imagine that.

I also sent a special Swedish painted dishcloth (a thin square sponge) with triangles that look like quilt blocks, and perhaps a springy blue flowered one too, but I can't remember if that made it into the mailer.

Thanks Jennie!  I'd swap again with you anytime!  I'm such a lucky lady : )

Part Two is the next post !


Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Day!





Welcome to my teeny tiny blog!  I'm a scrapper in Sweden, learning how to sew as I go!  I love fabric and colors!  I am a painter, a collage artist, a mother, a wife, an owner of two dogs and two cats.  I'm an American living in Sweden.  I love the Swedish language, Swedish design aesthetic, and the nature here.  There are no polar bears here, but I see reindeer, foxes, cranes, and moose, as well as deer and lots of water birds.  There are magpies, but no blue jays or cardinals.

I love Sweden, but I miss the quilt culture in the USA, and that's why I started blogging. I have met lots of fantastic sewists so far, far and wide. There are even a bunch of us in Sweden, and I'm still seeking them out.

One of the reasons I've been so keen to get into the blogging world is to find new ideas and old for quilting.  Another is to find out about all the fabulous fabric around these days.  I grew up in the '70's, with plenty of calico and pin dots around.  I love those, but I love the newer stuff too.

And in Sweden there's a great selection of 100% linen and linen cotton blends.
That's what I picked out for today's giveaway!

I have two bundles to give away.  Each one has a half yard of patterned cotton/linen blend, with 3 different fat quarters of dyed linen.  These are great if you are into the Zakka style sewing that has become really popular.

Bundle number one has a Dala Horse printed linen blend and 3 different dyed linen pieces,




and Bundle Number Two has a Hedgehog printed linen blend with 3 different dyed linen pieces.





For one entry, please leave a comment on my blog.  You can leave a general comment, or tell me what you think these fabrics would be great for!  Or tell me which bundle is your favorite.

If you want a second entry, be or become a follower of my tiny but growing blog!  You don't have to, but if you do, you get a second entry.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the Sew Mama Sew May blog hop!  I'm linking up with Sew Mama Sew to share my giveaway!

There will be two winners.  Winners will be chosen by Mr. Random Generator.  The giveaway will be open until May 25 at 5 PM PST.  2 Winners will be notified by email and I will also create a "winners" post.
I will ship the bundles by June 1.

This giveaway is open to everyone!













Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sol Regn - Sun Rain, the Second Zakka Cloud

That's the weather today, and that's what I was aiming for with my second Zakka Style Rain cloud.  It's based on, but not bound to, an original design by Christie Fowler of www.pigeon-pair.com, featured in the book Zakka Style, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale.

We've had a cold spring, so I wasn't feeling that cozy about a little rain cloud.  I wanted to show that deep color that happens at the end of the storm when the sun starts to come out while it's raining. What do you think?  Did I make it?



I used the same cloudy print for the binding as the first one, but I used orange batik for the second cloud.  Same Sulky variegated thread, but more of my style with the wind and rain.  I also used the front side of my re-purposed linen bag, inside out.  There is text, and sheaves of wheat, but they were too bold to show as the front of the mug rug, so I flipped the fabric over.  I really like the extra dimension the white print gives to the sky.  I made the cloud larger, and the binding a little wider too.

If you think you see a face, well, that's what happens when you look at clouds, eh?



I also sewed a little silver lining into the cloud.......


Here they are, both first and second, crisp, and a little moody:




 I can't bear to use either of them as mug rugs, so I think I might frame them and hang them in the front hall or by the back porch.

 If you want to join in the Zakka Style Sew Along, go on over to LR Stitched and link up with Lindsey and the Zakka Style Flickr group!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sewing While Distracted





Sometimes there's no getting around feeling distracted when you're trying to finish something.  The T.V. might be on, you're having a conversation that gets really interesting, you get up to answer the phone.  It can be hard to remember where you left off.

That's what happened to me while I was sewing this week's Zakka Sew Along Project, the Raincloud Mug Rug.  It turned out quite different from the way I envisioned it, and I can't help but think I pushed on when I should have taken a break.   By the time I was halfway through embroidering, I was imagining how I Should have done it, and what I could do next time.  Maybe there's something to be said for being dissatisfied, because that feeling can lead to  more interesting solutions for a project.  I didn't stop, because I've vowed to do my best, but not let trying to be perfect take the fun out of my sewing.  And I'm glad I did, because it was fun, and I learned a little.  It's also worthwhile to finish a project, so you can muse on it and how you might do it differently.  So I like this one just the way it is, in all its humble cheer, But I'll like another one too.

Here are a few pictures, taken inside without daylight. I promise I'll update these when I can get some good light! **Update:  new pics now added :)








So much to learn still, about everything!  I'm going to make another version that I'll post soon.
I used Sulky thread for the embroidery and I thought it was great fun. I stitched the pattern instead of drawing and stitching.  I might choose to draw my own next time.  It's a fun pattern, with plenty of room for interpretation.  I'm not going to use mine as a mug rug though.  I think it would fit better as a small table topper, perhaps for book beside the bed.

If you want to join in, go on over to Quilt Dad and check out his version, and check the Flick pool too!




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quiet and Sunny, Quilting for Kids



Yesterday I linked up with Jenna's Manic Monday linky party, and I looked around at the other links. I found a new one by Sarah from So Sarah Sews, for the Quilts for Kids Group.  They are collecting blocks for  foster kids, and the block is really simple.  Just a box in a box, with the colors they listed on the Flickr group, as gender neutral as possible.  As many or few boxes as you like, so long as the block is 12 1/2 inches square.  I made one up during the afternoon and another one this morning. I'm going to link one of them back to Sew Happy Geek and see if some others will join!  I think it's fun to make the prescribed blocks and flex the design and color skills!

Here's the one from this morning:  


And the fabric I found in my stash that started it all today:


I don't know if you can see the cat supervisor, but luckily I had cut the square Before he lay there next to it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Flax Fields

I'm feeling a little homesick for spring today, as we are having a cold snap up in Östersund still (34 degrees Fahrenheit today.)  So I thought I'd put up some pictures of southern Sweden, of the flax fields from May in 2010.  They only bloom for a few weeks, but they look and smell lovely!  Hard to catch that special greenish yellow though.











Teeny Tiny Itty Bitties

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizziebird/7192568042/


I have a cat I call Teeny Tiny, but these Zakka style magnets are tinier! I had to do them twice because I started out making my seams 1/8 of an inch, instead of starting with a quarter inch and trimming down.  
I love the colors, and I love the finished result!  I could call them charming, or wonky, but they are still just a little off, seamwise.  I'm still learning!  I'm going to have to put tape on my seam guide plate, for starters.  Wear my reading glasses, for seconds.  Make sure I have light, and look, look, look again!

Here's another picture:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizziebird/7192572994/

I left the guy in the center larger because I wanted those nine patches to be all the same size.
I thought it was tricky to turn them right side out, and I had a time sewing them shut, as the linen kept unraveling.  They're really on the edge of my threshold for tinyness, but aren't they sweet?

I used some moda scraps called Cherries Jubilee, as well as some Kaffe Fasset and Heather Bailey (I think.)  The fridge words are in Swedish and they say stuff like "enjoy/nuance/snow/sun/shadow/whisper/surprised/soft/laugh...."
Just the fun stuff to put on the outside of the fridge next to the grocery list!

I'm done with my mug rug swap, but I can't show it yet.  The doll quilt is almost done too!

Update:
I've linked up to Jenna's Sew Happy Geek linky party!

Join the linky fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The last Fabric Quarter Idol Week


All available from Sew Mama Sew
Starting top left, and continuing to the right:
1. Cactus Hearts Yellow ~ Chickadee, 2.  Victoria Tea Party Macaw Blue ~ Tradewinds,  3.  Weave London Bus Red ~ Summersville,  4.  Ringlets Marine Blue ~ Quilt Blocks, 5.  Red 1308 ~ Kona Cotton, 6.  Triangles Turquoise ~ Alegria ORGANIC, 7. Brew Fiesta ~ Happy Home, 8.  Morning Dove Coral ~ Chickadee, 9.  Lemon 23 ~ Kona Cotton, 10.  Flying Stripe Marine Blue ~ Quilt Blocks, 11.  Evening 195 ~ Kona Cotton,  12.  Tiny Veggies Red ~ Kitchen Collection








I just love these fabrics together! A little retro, a little Bohemian, quirky, quilty and colorful; that's me in a nutshell!

Here's my entry for the final round of the Fat Quarter Idol Contest, over at Sew Mama Sew.  You know it's fun to pick out fabrics for a quilt, or for projects.  It's really fun to pick them and make a mosaic so you can really see them.  This little bundle-to-be is definitely on my wish list!



Here's how you can enter to win a bundle of your making from Sew Mama Sew: 



Teeny Tinies

Well,  they're not all that tiny in the pictures, but I've taken out my smallest and sweetest scraps to iron.  Some of them will turn into Itty Bitty fridge magnets.  Otherwise, I'm still doll quilting and mug rugging.





Monday, May 7, 2012

Patchwork Prism



This pattern is keeping me up at night, so I can tell I ought to give it a try!


There's a Quilt Along going on over at Sweet Diesel Designs with plenty of tips and encouragement, and there's a Flickr group too.  And best of all, not only are there fabulous prizes, Anna Maria Horner's pattern is free.  You can find it here.

Otherwise, this week, I'm working on Zakka Style itty bitty fridge magnets, a mug rug, and a mystery doll quilt!
I've also got a wall quilt in the works.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Orange! Or Is It Tangerine?

It's been snowing today here, not feeling much like Cinco de Mayo at all!  Think I should go to Mexico to catch up on the heat?  I'd love to!

I spent part of the day finally getting to work on the Zakka Style Pencil Case, and I called mine Rosie Posie!



I love the orange linen!  And the Kaffe Fasset scraps, and even the polka dots!
This project's new technique was those little embroidered initials.  I have seen embroidered tags on towels and things in Sweden, and I have seen the blank ribbon here too, but I couldn't find any.  I did find some of the tape people sew into their clothing nowadays, that they use a marking pen with.  So I went with that.  I looked up different ways to make initials, and some different easy stitches. I found the stitches here and I combined many different initial styles to something I drew myself.  They are supposed to be L.T. but maybe that T looks like a J!




At any rate, working with the brightly colored linen, and the fabulous posies I chose for the strips made me forget about that snow outside for a good while.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Leibstered!




I've still got 528 blog entries to read since my connection troubles of last week.  I just want to thank Amy of Crafty Shenanigans
for passing on the Leibster Award to me.  I just found it in the pile of posts!  Amy is one of the bloggers I follow, who sends me comments about my own work from time to time.  It's so nice to come out of the vaccuum, and "meet" others who create. Just a shame I didn't see this last week so I could say thank you then. 

I have read the the Leibster Award is passed on to bloggers who have 200 followers or less.  It's a way to say thanks to the newer blogs and shed some light on them.  It's expected but absolutely not required that the recipient follows these

Liebster Conventions:
1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised.
4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!



I'm not sure if that makes this a kind of Chain Letter, or just a good Pass it On Opportunity.  In the spirit of the latter, here are 5 blogs I feel deserve the Leibster:

Charise at Charise Creates, who is a paper piecing genius!
Jenny at Ecclectically Delicious, who makes great fabric bundle mosaics!
Heidi at Fabric Mutt, who has fantastic fabric combos in her work!
Jennie at Jennie's Threads, who does fabulously precise points and makes batiks shine!
and back to Amy at Crafty Shenanigans, who inspires me with her versatile productivity!

Thanks, Amy!  I got the news late, but you made my day by shedding a little light on my fledgling blog.



Pom Pom Payback





When I was a kid, I once carefully pulled each and every pom pom off my grandmother's kitchen curtains.
Now, I have my own supply.  I used some on a little banner I made for our soon to be new kitchen. With a little guilt, I added pom poms, because they seemed only fitting.  I am sure my grandmother would have approved.  Besides, she loved pom poms and blue gingham too!

I think they look like little summer lanterns!



For this project, I used some of my stash of crocheted hotpads from a flea market here in middle Sweden.  I like how ladies in different parts of the world might make the same things for their kitchens, but just a little differently.  I've never seen one quite like the one on the bottom.  

I didn't want them to languish in the shop, getting dusty and cramped in their root-around box.  I brought them home, and the Feather Your Nest project gave me just the push to come up with a showcase for them.

I have strip pieced and slashed and stacked the polka dot background.  I think it would have looked just as nice as a whole piece, but I wanted to practice the technique for another project I have in mind. I thought it would add texture, but probally the quilting takes care of that quite enough.  I also wanted to see just how off it looks, in case I use polka dots for paper piecing sometime.  I'm still learning, and i learn by trying and seeing for myself for a lot of things.  I'm pretty happy with the quirks.

I wanted a homespun feel, not too fussy, but embellished just enough.  I think the hand sewing worked well for that, and my pom poms add a little personality.  It's like having my grandmother in my kitchen.

***



My next entry is a covered bandaid box, that I added to the Zakka Style Sewing Kit I made last week.
I like the color, and the box itself is excellent for re-use.  Perfect size for needles.  I peeled off the labels with no trouble and made a little practice patchwork of the scraps from the sewing roll.  That way, the needle case will always be a marker for when I made it, even if it migrates to other sewing kits.  I wasn't to worried about piecing perfectly, only having good practice and making sure it covered the front of the case.


I attached it by double gluing Mod Podge to both the case itself, and the patchwork.  Then, I added another layer with a brush after it all dried.  It hold better than I thought it would, and the fabric is still soft to the touch, but still seems resistant to pulling or staining.  Time will tell.

Here it is with the sewing roll!


I entered both of these projects in the Feather Your Nest Sew Along, over at Stumbles and Stitches.

Great fun, and a super way to use up your stash in new ways.