Friday, 29 May 2015

Bits and Pieces

Life has a habit of getting in the way of uninterrupted sewing time! That's fine for a while, as there is always work, family demands, household domestic goddess business, and friends to keep us busy and bring joy to our lives and others. We roll along and get things done. But after a while I feel restless and in need of some down time. Time to sew, potter about and play with colour and design is necessary to maintain a balance, recharge the batteries and be creative.

Why then is it so hard to prioritize this time ? I don't know why, as I continue to feel the need to justify myself when I set aside time to sew. It is always the first thing to get shelved. I imagine that I am not alone in this.

The buzz term is currently mindfulness, and I find that it is my sewing time that allows me to clear my mind of worry, and focus on the here and now. It definitely is a " living in the moment" time for me. 
It is not New Year, but I need to be resolute and put this time way up on the priority ladder! When I do, I know I function better in so many aspects of my life. What do you think? Do you struggle with this dilemma too? 

Meanwhile , in the tiny bit of sewing time I have squeezed  in I have been busy making bags as gifts for special people in my life. These bags are made using my quilt as you go technique. The travel bag holds an iPad, and the Babushka bag is designed to hold templates and quilting supplies.

 I am also busy preparing for my next bag making workshop at The Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood next Wednesday. It is going to be a wonderful day. I love watching the transformation of fabulous fabric pieces into one of a kind bags that reflect the personality and style of the maker. 

Take the time to stop, sew  and be creative. Essential really and not a luxury!! 
Happy sewing , Miriamx 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Welcome to Sewmiriam - my blog about quilting, sewing and design. Today I am sharing my quilt entry in the scrappy Quilt section of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. which can be found at Amy's Creative Side. Click here.

This quilt takes me to a happy place when I look at it. I think it reflects the joy I found while making it. Hopefully you will see the sunshine in it too.

I have decided to enter my Trip Around the World quilt as I think it fits perfectly with my philosophy of quilting, and hopefully it will resonate with you as well! I don't want to feel lonely. 

First and foremost it is scrappy. All fabrics used came from my stash. 

Secondly it is all hand pieced. I even eyeballed each seam, no measuring allowed. Boy- was that a test in self trust , and a definite skill builder exercise. 

Thirdly it is hand quilted in a cross thatch pattern. 

The stats you ask? Well the quilt is made from 2 inch squares. The seams are a scant quarter inch.  There  are 24 rows. The finished size of the quilt is  60 inches by 60 inches. The idea for this quilt came from A Brigitte Giblin Trip Around the World sew along which I just happened to chance upon while looking up what's new in Brigitte's world on the net. Serendipity it would seem. The instructions were easy - use what you have, start with a red spot , and include a row of red spots every now and then. Some rows are all the same fabric, others are make do, which I actually found really fun and added interest to the quilts overall design.
Needless to say this quilt has become a family favourites already. I loved making it. But be warned should you wish to make one - it is addictive!! 

If you like my quilt please vote for it in the Scrappy Quilt section of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Please visit again soon. You are always most welcome !

Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Fussy Cuts

For a while now, one of my slow burner projects has been a Marg Sampson George quilt which requires about 90 hexagon and diamond rosettes for the centre panel. I finished my last one earlier this week. Hip, hip, hooray! It has been a challenge to hand sew so very many rosettes and to use fussy cutting to make unusual and delightful designs from fabric. 

Paper piecing is very exact, and the shapes all fit together like jigsaw pieces for the rosettes. There is something very satisfying about the process. Using a see through template ( or peeper) is handy when deciding on how to cut up a fabric to create a new pattern. 

The hexagons shown below are 3/4 inch and the diamonds are 1 1/4 inch. 

Here is one of my favourites

Like to see a few more? There is definitely an animal theme going on for some

Others are more traditional

I can't resist a few spots, stripes  and floral prints

They are all now in a huge pile . From this I will randomly chose one at a time and stitch them onto a large square of linen. Yikes! That is a lot of stitching. 

This post will finish with a little eye candy just for you! 

Happy sewing and thank you for reading Sewmiriam. You are always most welcome!!

Friday, 8 May 2015

One Happy Daisy May and a Great Workshop

Last week I shared my low volume take on Jen Kingwell's ' She Loves You ' cushion pattern from her wonderful book Quilt Lovely. As things turn out, mine has become a doll's quilt. Daisy May loves it as you can see.

Here is the quilt finished. 

It was a delightful project and one that really helped me appreciate the depth and subtlety of soft colour ways. 

The week has been wonderful with another successful bag making workshop last Wednesday at Cottage Quiltworks. Each workshop results in fabulous bags - each person attending creating something unique and personal.

Toni, Lyn, Beth and Eva made these panels.

Marianne, Mary Jane and Christine made these ….

Andrene created this lovely back front. Andrene is even going to cleverly match the stripes for the base.

Which only leaves me with this wish for you, whether you be a carer, a mother, an aunt, a good friend -
Thank you for being there for others, whenever they may need you, and for giving of yourself selflessly. Know that you are loved, admired and appreciated. You keep this world a spinning! 

Happy Mothers'  Day 


Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Marshmallow Softness

I have fallen  in love with the soft marshmallow colour way I have chosen to make Judy Newman's quilt - Vintage Comfort. This is a huge departure from the more saturated colours I usually choose for my quilting projects. I have surprised even myself! I like these fabrics so much that I had to make this heart with some of the scraps - hopefully it will turn into a cushion cover from Jen Kingwell's new book Quilt Lovely.

The process of making Vintage Comfort was all absorbing, from the fabric selecting

to the cutting of the pieces.

The more closely you work with these low volume fabrics- the more you see in terms of depth and hue. The end result is that your eyes float over the quilt, stopping here and there to pay attention to a subtle detail. The following photo is dreadful - sorry! I am just not tall enough, even standing on a chair to get a good shot of this quilt where it is laid out for pinning. I think I did a bit of a wobble when taking this.

 Now to decide whether to hand or machine quilt. If only there were 36 hours in every day!! I am thinking hand quilting, as the marshmallow softness of the quilt top would be matched by the softness of hand quilted stitches. What do you think?

Meanwhile, the talented ladies from my  bag making workshops continue to create fabulous bags.

Tess is working on her bag pieces

Rosalyn has made this beautiful bag

Sue is working on this stunning bag - here are the front and back sections .

I am looking forward to this Wednesday's class at The Cottage Quiltworks. There is another bag making class on Monday July 6th during the Quilt Escape Week at The Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood.  The line up of teachers is outstanding - Marg Sampson-George, Judy Newman, Jen Kingwell, Chris Jurd, and like a Lilliputian among Giants - me! LOL ( and do a happy dance!)

Happy sewing, Miriamx