Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quilts and sewing space

My niece has recently gone off to University for the first time having spent a gap year working and travelling. Part of her time was spent in Tanzania working in a Bible School and training to climb Kilimanjaro, which she succeeded in doing towards the end of her stay. Before she went I asked her to see if she could bring back some material for 'an African project I would be doing over the summer'. She obliged by bringing back some tartan fabrics, some black and white fabric and 2 different lots of batik style fabrics with animals on them. Over the last 3 years or so I had been collecting very brightly coloured patterned fabrics as I had it in mind to make her a quilt for going off to Uni - she loves very bright colours. But - how to mix the 2 lots of fabric into a quilt that didn't look a complete mess?

Looking for inspiration early in the summer I found a Fabrications magazine that had a quilt in it with stars and decided to adapt it to use the bright fabrics - many of the smaller sized stars have centres made from a duck material which added some humour to it. I also used the tartan fabric and some of the batik fabric for the centre stars/squares. The black and white fabric had a variety of African motifs on it so I cut them out and appliqued them onto blue fabric to use in the corners.

Here is the finished front - I started by trying to be very random in my choice of fabrics, but that didn't work for me and I thought I would just end up with a mess so I was then more organised in my combinations of fabric.

Next to the back - the batik fabric was pale aqua and brown with animals on it - I knew I wanted to use large panels of it and managed to find some chocolate brown patterned fabric at the Festival of Quilts which seemed to go very well - I also bought a bit that was brown with gold glitter on it!

I bound the edge with a plain darker aqua coloured fabric, outlined some of the motifs on the front with Madeira 'Glow in the dark' thread and quilted it with a variegated thread in primary colours and got it finished so my sister can deliver it to Christine today - hope she likes it and enjoys using it.

Now for my sewing space - here is a photo of the sspace where I was doing some silk painting last week in the kitchen.
When I counted up I realised that I was storing my stuff in at least 9 different places around the house - we live in a 3 storey house - so that's a lot of stairs to climb everytime I was trying to do a project. My very tolerant husband accepted the fact that there was always stuff lying around the lounge and kitchen but would have much preferred it to be tidier. So ... last Friday I mentioned the problem to him and we decided to move things around on the ground floor - the result being that I have my own dedicated sewing room!! Wonderful. Son number1 now has a music room for a bedroom when he comes home from Uni at Christmas (it has 2 pianos in there + guitars and amps) but there is room still for his bed, so he does have somewhere to sleep.

So - here is the room - the wardrobe has been pinched from Son Number1 and now houses my fabrics and things like freezer paper and heat gun

Now all I need is to finish marking lots of my students assignments then I will have time to play and create in there - wonderful!

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