Tuesday 25 September 2012

Left over fabrics-make a quiltlet a day

I have found another way to use those pieces of fabric, scraps of batting that I can't use for big projects.....playing card sized free machine quilting practice pieces. I have cut up fabrics and batting a card size.  Then every morning I sit at my machine a quilt it in what ever way it takes my fancy.  I use those reels of thread that have only got a little left on them first.  This sometimes means the threads don't match the backing but that's OK as it pushes me out of my comfort zone with colour ways.  I get surprised at how well some colour schemes actually work. 

1. Cut up scraps of batting a similar size.  Mine fit in an ice cream container for easy storage

2.  Cut up bits of left over fabrics or "failed" fabric a similar size to the batting rectangles

Chose a variety of fabrics to work with.  This makes it more interesting and challenging.  Add a a backing.  I use off cuts of my backings from other quilts.  Use plain colours or surface design fabrics to quilt on.
3.  Quilt a little quiltlet a day
Experiment with shapes and colour

Make a journal entry for the day
Practice swirls,  geometric shapes and faces

A testimony quiltlet
Experiment with contrasting unusual colours

Try cross hatching

combine a picture and patterns.  A wee owl on a branch
Put patterns onto other shapes
It is amazing how much you can improve each day just with a little practice.


Tuesday 18 September 2012

'Failed' fabric

Well you are all probably wondering where I have been over the past month?  Between a few Internet problems,  family challenges,  sickness and taking time to smell the roses :)  my blog has unfortunately been the one thing I have had to put aside.  Life does get like that some times.  It just takes over and things that aren't top on the priority list have to be put aside for those things that are more important for that time.  I think important things change too.  Sometimes I have to take priority and other times my kids or parents take that place.  It is all about management of time and working out what to say yes and no to so that some sort of normalcy is kept in our lives.

I have been condensing my sewing supplies.  They have metamorphosed into a monster out of control (many of you will know what I mean)  Just how many cotton reels or pegs does one need :)  I was forced into this job when I realised my boys were ready to go back to drawers after having a box for their clothes for the past 18 months.  So my 2 drawers in my sewing room had to be returned.   After a week of work my room is sorted.  I ended up with a giant box to give away and 3 rubbish sacks of rubbish (where does it all come from?)   During my clean out I found a lot of fabric I had made that  I now didn't really want to make into anything.  the thinking cap went on....what could I do with this discarded fabric? 

Questions I asked myself
  • Can I get all this fabric to work together?
  • Can I make contrasting blocks that work cohesively?
  • Will the varying textures of fabric be compatible?
  • Will I be able to create a work of art from discarded and "failed fabric"?

 I decided to cut all the fabric into strips and to make some striped patchwork blocks and take the chance to see if this could work.  There was nothing I could lose (apart from fabric that I couldn't use any where else)

 Patchwork isn't really my thing but doing it like this with no plans and no precise cutting was rather liberating and dare I say it......fun.  I have been making on every day to start the creative juices flowing.

What to do to make your own fun blocks from "failed fabric"?

  1.  Straighten up the edges of the fabric
  2. Cut into strips varying in widths.  I made mine between 2cm and 6 cms.
  3. Cut to the length you want them.  I had 2 lengths so I can have 2 different sized blocks
  4. Throw the strips into a container
  5. Pick out any colour and stitch it to any other colour of fabric.  Don't choose the colour pick it randomly.
  6. I put approximately 8-9 strips per block but you could choose any number you want.

A couple of complete blocks
The effect with all the blocks next door to each other.
I love the uniqueness of the blocks and how spontaneous this process is.  The next question is how am I going to put these all together?


Monday 3 September 2012

The kindness chronicles

"I want to be kind to everyone 
for that is right you see
so I say to myself remember this
kindness begins with me"
(song from the children's song book at our church)

I love this song.  It was one of my favourites as a child.  It helped me remember that I can't make others be kind to me but I can always be kind to others.  Too often in our world people spend time finding fault with others and blaming others for the communities problems without making any effort ourself to help the community. One way we can simply help making changes in our communities and families is to just be kind in our attitudes,  comments,  acts and serve others.  

This months acts of kindness I have seen
  • A teenager getting up and doing jobs around the house without being asked when I wasn't feeling well.  This was so wonderful for me that I didn't have to do any washing, dishes, or cleaning for a whole day.  Just bliss!
  • A motorist giving way to a cue of cars who had been waiting for quite a long time in road works.
  • Someone phoning me to see if I am feeling O.K.
  • Receiving a compliment on my character from one of my students in my marriage class I am taking at church.
  •  My daughter taking care of a friend who had a concussion injury.  She watched and didn't leave her alone for a few hours so she would know if she needed any help.
  • My daughter had the guts to tell friend she was concerned about her drinking.
  • My husband taking a chicken to the vets because of how upset the children were about it getting injured
  • My son seeing I needed help and just getting to work and doing jobs that needed doing.
  • A friend stepping in on an awkward situation and assisting to help sort it out. 

Challenge for the month: 

 I challenge you to do one thing kind everyday this month and to record it.  

Let us make the world a better place one act of 
kindness at a time

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