Friday, July 13, 2012

Up to no good...

Here is my youngest rummaging through my sewing things. Though my kids know it is off-limits, they cannot resist poking in mommy's corner.

Needless to say, it follows that mommy has to clean up a great big mess afterwards!

Oh how I yearn to have my own sewing room. One day, when we stop living out of a suitcase.

Have a tidy day!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tokyo Subway Map Quilt top finished

As promised! The Tokyo Subway Map Quilt top is finally all sewn together. A lot of work but a good exercise in learning precise piecing.

The instructions provided by Elizabeth at Oh Fransson! are as always so easy to follow.

For once there were clouds in the sky, so my standard "stained glass" quilt top pic did not turn out as spectacular as planned.

Here is a close-up. 

So many different squares linked to other quilts I have made. It's basically a memory quilt.

I don't normally take pictures of the backs of my quilts, but could not resist the urge in this case.

Have a spectacular day!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Apollonia aka Arsuf

As usual on our weekends we try to get out and see the sites. This time we drove North of Tel Aviv to see the Crusader fortress of Apollonia. It is not the first time we come across a place with at least two different names (normally three: Hebrew, Arabic and English), and we were driving around in circles a bit because local people did not recognize the name that we had on our map.

Actually, this has been a well visited area well before the Crusaders and the name indicates Hellenistic origins, though the Phoenicians were there first 6th-5th century BC. However, the larger fortress was built by the Crusaders to be a bridge to Europe for supplies and a foot in the Holy Land.

As you can see, there is not that much left of it as it was destroyed when the Mamluks conquered these shores. A lovely spot in any case.

This one was very eager to be photographed with the knight...

... while this one less so...

The dramatic coastline was a marvelous site to behold.

A mosque majestically placed on the shore. Just below there was a beach where we took a dip, though the waters were a bit rough.

One last look over the Mediterranean before heading back inland to Jerusalem.

Have a majestic day!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

i-pad sleeve

I have sinned. I have bought an i-pad. And what does an i-pad need? Why, a sleeve of course. Once again I dug into my shiny Middle Eastern scrap stash to see what I could make.

There are a number of tutorials out there and the norm is that one adds an inch on the dimensions each way on the item and you can figure out the measurement of the fabric required. The ipad 3 is 7,5" (19 cm) x 9,5"(24 cm) - ergo I cut out 8,5" (22 cm) x 10,5"(27 cm) fabric pieces: outside layer, cotton batting and lining.

I tried to stipple this fabric to keep the batting in place, but after a few stitches it became evident that this was not ideal. So I sewed together the lining with the batting and then attached the outside fabric and top-stitched the two pockets, while ensuring that the ribbon was centered on either side.

Velcro shreds this fabric somewhat and I did not have any fancy buttons to use as closure, but instead used some lovely ribbon I happened to have. Doesn't it look like a present with the bow on it?

As you can tell it is a bit short, so that 1 inch extra rule did not work for me. Perhaps 1,5" is more appropriate for the length. In any case, it fits well into my purse now and I no longer fear getting it scratched.

Have a brilliant day!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tokyo subway map quilt blocks 15-20

This will be my last update on this quilt before presenting the finished quilt top, because I have reached the 20th block - just five more to go!

Have an adventurous day!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My quilt labels have arrived!

After doing some research about quilt labels, I came across a post by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts who revealed who made her simple but professional looking labels. If it is good enough for Rita, then it is definitely good enough for me!

So I contacted Anna at Lilla Lotta on Etsy. Once my ideas were communicated to her, she waved her magic (computer) wand and voilà!

I am so pleased with the result! 

Also, it looks like there is quite a large number of individual labels in this roll to keep me going for a long while!

I think you recognize the source for the logo. You can even see some of the details from the fabrics on the tiny sun on the label. Anna really did a fabulous job. Perhaps I have to re-do my blog site now...

Here are the first quilts to use the labels. Because the quilts had already been quilted, I just hand stitched  the labels in place. Next time around I think the label will be put on before quilting, so that it will be more fixed.

Have a stupendous day!


PS: Happy 4th of July to all you Americans out there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh, and one last thing...

Of course I managed to think of one last thing I had to sew on the set destined for Zimbabwe. The pillow, which I thought to leave un-stippled in the center, since my attempts to embroider some words of wisdom failed to come out as intended. However, the pillow nagged at me to be sewn. Since I had stippled a relief of the little girl's Japanese name in the center of the Sun Star Quilt, I thought that the character for "daughter" was fitting for the center of the cushion.

And here it is all stippled. In order for the symbol to be visible on the picture, I had to take it without a flash, so the red is not as dark and shadowy as seen here.

There! I finally feel satisfied and can confidently send the parcel.

Have an enriching day!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Japan meets Zimbabwe

I have finally finished off the whole set that is destined for a little girl residing in Zimbabwe. The Sun Star Quilt was the last one awaiting final touches, which were done today.

Since there were five empty circles, I had thought to embroider or free-motion quilt five Japanese characters, namely: mother, daughter, the little girl's Japanese middle name, love and happiness. After having contacted a Japanese friend of mine to have the translation of the above, I became a bit dismayed. The characters were all Chinese (as these characters are part of the Japanese written language) and were rather complicated and not all were just one character.

After much reflection, I decided to stipple the white circles white and contour stipple the girl's name in the center red circle.

Before sewing the red sun, I visited my husband's tool box and found some green tape that was ideal for masking out the said symbol. Using very fine stippling, the contours started to emerge.

Do you see the relief? I was going for a discrete approach, so as not to spoil the holistic look of the quilt. Doing the same in all circles would have been too much, I reasoned. With this solution, I thought that if the recipient's mother does not care for how the red circle looks, the stitches can be removed and just left plain without spoiling the quilt's final look.

And this is the quilt all done.

Here is the entire package: two quilts (both of which may be used as wall-hangings), two mouse sleeping bags for her dollies and a bonus pillow cover. I had thought to sew sashiko on some of the Sun Spiral Quilt circles, but changed my mind once I did a couple. It just did not turn out right. An idea to use in the future, though.

I took my time with this project, as I wished to have cohesion between the different items but that they could stand alone if desired. Also, I learned to free-motion quilt, so I think it was worth the effort and the time. Hopefully the items will be treasured and well used.

So, it is off to the post office.

Have a Happy Canada Day!