Friday 30 August 2013

Thank You Aeroflot

Last Friday morning we were at Krakow airport waiting for the plane home when I spotted this exceptionally pretty aeroplane.

These flowers and leaves must be based on Russian folk art - there is a beautiful flow to them, making them perfect inspiration for free motion quilting.  Today I looked at this picture for a while, and then did a bit of free motion practice.  I know there is no point in trying to do pencil sketches or plotting any guidelines on the fabric - I just can't work like that.  I just have to put the quilt sandwich in the machine and see what I can do.  This is what I ended up with :-

...  a fat quarter sized panel with three plants, a leafy vine in the middle and stems with berries on either side.

Here is one of the leaves, loosely based on the big gold leaves on the plane,

.. and here are the berries, which are not quite so noticeable on the tailfin.

As a rule I don't find aeroplanes particularly fascinating, but I loved this one!

Update - Read more about this gorgeous plane on the  Allplane blog.  Aeroflot held a competition for designs for the special 90th anniversary livery.  Allplane has a link to Aeroflot's site, where you can see the designs that were submitted.  They certainly picked the right winner.  Also there is a link to Wikipedia, showing Khokhloma, the folk art on which the design is based.
If Aeroflot produced this marvellous livery for the 90th anniversary, what will they do in ten years' time?

Welcome to Denise Heydon, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

This post is being linked to Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday so you can see what other people have been up to this week...
and also to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday,
and to Nina-Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Meet My Daughter

... the parcel tape version, that is, wearing a blouse I made for her a couple of years ago.  She wanted a sleeveless square necked dress, and I wanted to try pattern drafting.  I realised that drafting a dress pattern for a first attempt might be a bit ambitious, and so she got a blouse. Also she was still growing.

Youtube is full of videos showing how to make a dress form with tape.  This is the video I watched yesterday morning before my daughter and I went mad with the tape.  No non-stick scissors here, boring brown tape, and no sacrificed items of clothing to cut away - I used an old pillow case with holes cut out for her head and arms and it served as a mini shift dress.

This video doesn't show the dress form being stuffed, but I had already got the stuffing ready - three old pillows that I had washed before we went away on holiday and that had been left hanging in the house to dry.  The filling is synthetic, so they were thoroughly dry when we came home.

Originally I thought I would take out the stuffing, but when It came to it I decided that could get dusty and messy, so I just pulled the pillows through whole.  The lower half is now nice and solid, but I will have to find some more stuffing to fill out the upper part properly.

The back of the neck is in a state of collapse.  I am going to have to wash an old cushion to use to fill in the empty bits.

To avoid transatlantic confusion - pillows are what we sleep on, and cushions are what we chuck onto chairs.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Charity Shop Finds

Yesterday I ended up in a charity shop and had a very productive rummage through a drawer full of fabric.  This lightweight cotton is at least three yards long.  I bought it thinking it would be a handy fabric for backing or joining strips on a quilt as you go project.  After I had washed it and was ironing it dry I realised that it would be ideal to try out a 1940s blouse.  The pound coin is in the picture for scale and also to show how much this piece of material cost me.

Also for a pound I got this vibrant African print with a narrow border.  It is in fact a skirt, but for some reason had been bundled up in the drawer with the fabrics.  Perhaps because it was so shapeless. After seeing how much dye came out of it it was plain that it had never been washed before.  It might take me a while to decide what to use this for.

Welcome to Rachel Cold, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Monday 26 August 2013

Seen in a Shop Window...

...around the corner from where we were staying with my husband's cousin - a massive, sturdy old Lucznik.  If I were having curtains made there I would ask them to make them on this machine, but I would probably find out that the motor had blown and they can't get the parts any more. Perhaps next year we might pass by when the shop is open and get a better look.

Sunday 25 August 2013

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Hummingbird Hawk Moth

We have just had a twelve day stay in Poland, spending a few days at my brother in law's little wooden house on the side of a hill, and the rest of the time with my husband's cousin Bogusia.

This picture was taken in Bogusia and Waldek's garden.  The zinnias were alive with butterflies this year, but I only saw one of these moths.  We don't see them very often in England, so I took loads of photos.  This one is my favourite - he looks like a helicopter aiming for the landing pad.

Friday 23 August 2013

Gold and Purple Pansy Doll Quilt

This is the doll quilt that I sent to my partner Diane in Minnesota, my July partner for the Doll Quilters' Monthly swap.  She told me that she liked purple, and I have been meaning to do a pansy for ages, so here it is!  I posted a photo of the centre of the pansy a little while ago to see if Diane might guess what was coming.

All the straight stitch machining was done with the 1949 Singer 15K hand machine - the detail on the flower, the piecing and the binding.  For the stem I used the method I describe here, and for the outline quilting I used the hand machine with the cording foot attached, also as shown in the previous post here.

The free motion quilting was done on the 1945 Singer 15K treadle.  For the background quilting in the central panel I did my favourite meandering infill.   For the border I did a curving stem with curled back leaves.  Luckily, I didn't run into too much trouble going round the corners, but I'm not too brilliant at stitching over the guideline stitching so the stem is a bit fat in parts.

I really enjoyed this project, and it was lovely to hear from Diane how much she liked it - she took it out into the garden to take photos of it.

This post is being linked with Leah Day's blog for FMQ Friday - lots more projects to see there!

Welcome to the latest followers, Angel Momma and Lizziebeth - thank you for joining!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Friday 9 August 2013

Karol at the Window - Finished!

Here is the photo of little Karol in Poland gazing through the window at the snow.  The picture was taken by my brother in law, Richard, and he loves the picture (and Karol) so much that this is his screen saver on his computer.  When Richard said he would like a miniature quilt based on this photo I wasn't at all sure how I would do it.  I thought of appliqué for the shape of Karol, but really could not work out what colour to use.  In the end I decided that the answer lay with free motion quilting, not appliqué...

... and here he is!

Thank you to everyone who has posted comments about this project - you have all been wonderful and helped me along!

I think Richard will be pleased when he gets this little wall hanging - it is only 13 and a half by 15 and a half inches.  I'm not sure that Karol is going to be too impressed.  He is a big boy of 5 now and will want to know why I have shown him as a little baldy with a wrinkly neck.  I fully expect his granny Bogusia will want one, so I will see whether I can make a better version.

Anyway, I'm happy with the end result, and I hope you all like it too.  It was nice doing a project just using the two Singer 15K machines - the 1949 hand machine for all the straightforward straight stitch, and the 1945 treadle for the free motion work.  Truly marvellous machines. 

This post is linked with  the BedTime Quilting blog for the TGIFF link up- lots more Friday finishes to see there.
Also to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.
And to Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday
And to Vals Quilting Studio for Tuesday Archives.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

1940s Blouse Pattern

This morning I found some nice pale blue cotton chambray shirting - only a short length, unfortunately, it was the end of a roll, but it came home with me.  It is 60 inches wide, so it should go a long way.  When I came home I pulled this pattern out of the cupboard and started thinking about making it a project for the autumn.

Somebody has obviously thought about it in the past and done a little pencil sketch in the centre of the collar folded open.  However, the pattern has never been used.  The pieces are all inside folded together and in perfect condition.

These sunburst darts look really stylish and never go out of fashion.  They can't possibly.  It says so on the envelope, bottom right...

Fashion-Fresh      We hereby certify that this style is a current fashion. 

Yes, just like the hair do.  I want one of those.

Or perhaps I should opt for a swept back style, more fitting for the mature lady.  Would I look that serene after tackling the shaped yoke?

Perhaps I would if I avoided doing the cuffs and made a short sleeved version.

I have had this pattern for at least thirty years.  I really must get round to using it.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Adding Outlines to Karol at the Window

Here is the top of Karol's head.  I needed to make him stand out a little better against the background, so with the Singer 15K hand machine I put in a line of stitching in yellow thread to make him stand out from a distance.  Perhaps white might have worked better, but it's too late now.

The curtain behind him isn't exactly neat.  I had no clear idea of what free motion pattern I was going to do.  My approach to free motion quilting is to thread up the machine, put the work under the foot, and then think "now what?".  The results vary.  The curtain is a bit messy.  I had to put in extra quilting over the pattern I had already done because from a distance there wasn't enough contrast between little Karol and the curtain behind him.

Anyway, it's nearly finished...!!!

Linking up today with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday - lots of other projects to see there!

Sunday 4 August 2013

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Wild Garlic

Taken in the woods in May, when the woods smelt of garlic and had a carpet of these beautiful white flowers with bluebells mixed in.

Friday 2 August 2013

Free Motion Moon and Sky

Thank you to everyone who commented on Monday's post.  

The general consensus was that it had to be a night sky with a shining moon, so here it is!  I hadn't got any navy blue thread so I had to buy some, and I finally settled down for a spot of serious treadling this afternoon. Stitching the sky was tricky at times because the thread was difficult to see against the background.  It was a bit like flying by radar.  The stitched moon isn't perfectly round, and there is so much thread packed into a small space that it is stiff as a board.  

I'm really pleased with the result.  It is my first stitched landscape and now I have a hankering to do some more.

Linking up again to Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday - plenty of exciting projects for you to see there!
And also Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Victorian Drinking Fountain

This gorgeous drinking fountain dates from 1895 and is made of Doulton tiles.

The glazes are various shades of blue, brown and green.

The flowers and leaves at the centre are beautifully symmetrical.

The overall design is so graceful.

But it is no longer connected to the water supply, and the bowl is full of rain water, dead leaves and fag ends, so I have spared you a close-up.  Still, irksome details like that shouldn't get in the way of inspiration.


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