Posts Tagged Liberty tana lawn
Even though the patchwork block swap I’ve been participating in hasn’t quite finished yet – there’s one month to go – I have actually made all the blocks I need to and I’ve already started getting withdrawal symptoms. Kate and Sue who have run the F2F (Foot Square Freestyle) swap for the past two years, have decided they need a break from organising duties and as I am more of a participant than an organiser I didn’t offer to take it over so, sadly, when Claire receives her 24 blocks from 8 other quilters around the world by the end of February, that will be it.
I found that participating in the swap really motivated me to improve my work, try out some new techniques and get things finished on time
So, what to do next?
I searched around the web for other swaps but the few I managed to find had either already started or didn’t appeal.
Kate has started making a quilt – unusually it will be for herself – from a book both she and I have had for years.
We’ve both been in love with one particular quilt inside it – I even made the templates for it and one block back in the mists of time – but never got any further.
It’s rows of vintage hatboxes made to look as if they’ve been covered in wallpaper, as olden day people used to do, and each one set in the angle of a little cubby hole with a floor and two walls. So, lots of design decisions to be made.
Kate has been busy with it for a few months now – you can see her progress here – and I decided I would join in with her and we would aim to make three blocks per month and publish them on our blogs at the end of the month. This will be my motivation.
I am making a wall hanging for my bedroom rather than a quilt – there is an empty wall behind the bed and I thought this might go well there rather than a picture. I don’t want it to dominate the room or anything so I’m not making it too large, just four blocks wide x three blocks high. If I make three blocks per month, it should be ready to start putting together in May.
Each ‘cubby hole’ is constructed by joining two trapezoids, one reversed, plus an 8.5 inch square which is set in to the angle of the trapezoids. Eek! I was so pleased when I got it right first time and then realised my perfect seam would be covered up with the hatbox appliquéd on top – still, that’s patchwork for you. Here’s a ‘blank’ just so you know I can do it.
And here’s the block after the hatbox has been added.
I decided to use scraps for the backgrounds where possible and Liberty tana lawn for the hatboxes. I realised too late that, because the tana lawn is so fine, you have to be careful what you put underneath it. You can see the stripes of my ‘flooring’ vaguely show through but I thought it sort of looks like part of the design on the box so I’ve left it.
This one is a darker print so I got away with it here but, for the other blocks, I won’t use that particular striped fabric. I am not usually an ‘appliqué person’ but Kate has got me trying several techniques I’ve either never done before or previously said I’d never do such as foundation paper piecing so here’s one more to add to the list. I am using Bondaweb to attach the hatbox shapes and then using a turquoise thread and machine appliquéing on to the background.
This next one had to be re-done because I had used light coloured tana lawn for the hatbox and the ‘floor’ was showing through and making it look as if there was a shadow across the box. I had to peel it off – a tragic waste of both Liberty and Bondaweb -and use a darker design. You live and learn.
I’m enjoying making these hatboxes but my workroom is a mess – strewn with fabrics over every surface as I audition them for ‘wallpaper’, ‘flooring’ , the hatboxes themselves and the bands. Decisions, decisions……
I will finish by proudly announcing that I have managed to complete Dry January without a drop of alcohol passing my lips – apart from that used in cooking which doesn’t count because all the alcohol comes off as vapour (boo!) . I never usually touch Pastis – the favourite aperitif of the French – because wine is my poison and the aniseedy alcoholic tipple makes me go woozy very quickly which is a feat in itself. However, Ricard (the favoured brand of the French when imbibing their favourite aperitif) make a version called Pacific which has no alcohol, no sugar, no calories, no nuffink apart from quite a few E numbers but I haven’t looked them up to see whether they are dodgy ones. As with the real stuff, you dilute it with 5 parts water but, unlike the real stuff, it is already a cloudy colour.
This, and Bucklers non alcoholic beer (which is really Lager if you are British) , kept me on the straight and narrow when temptation threatened to overcome me. I don’t know whether you can get it (or Bucklers) outside of France but, if you can, and you are the designated driver or want an alcohol free evening for any other reason, I would recommend it.
If you are a Liberty fabric lover I just thought I’d give you the heads up that they have a lot of their tana lawns and silk satins online now for 50% off.
Here is my stash so far
(the top gold bit is the paper wrapping!)
I can’t promise I won’t go back again for more – somebody needs to help me out here!! My
excuse reasoning is that I have a project in the wings for which I have decided to use Liberty tana lawns – it’s not that I haven’t got a stash of it already but I couldn’t resist a few more at that price.
If you fancy treating yourself , you can find it here but don’t say I didn’t warn you that the temptation is great .
I’ve had a bit of cabin fever recently. First, there was some snow. To be honest, not a great deal but we live up a hill which is not pleasant to drive down (or up!) once it is icy so I prefer to stay put unless absolutely necessary. Second, I had a dental implant and was not fit to be seen by the outside world. The inside world wasn’t too keen either but they live with me and had to put up with it. Don’t get me wrong, the procedure to have the implant done was no problem – just in case you’re thinking of having it done and don’t want me to scare you – it’s just that my face was swollen up a bit for a few days, I had an impressive bruise, some stitches which showed between my teeth and almost drove me crazy and a gap while I waited for the temporary crown to be made. No pain though. Plus the swelling plumped my face out somewhat and several wrinkles disappeared although, alas, that was only temporary.
So, using the time spent indoors profitably, I opened a new Etsy shop for my dog collars as they were starting to overtake my current shop and making it look a bit too ‘doggy’. Of course, this will not be a profitable shop because I am doing it mainly to help out the Dog Rescue but I can’t tell you what fun I’m having picking out the designs and trying to persuade my sewing machine that it really doesn’t mind stitching through multi layers of webbing and grosgrain.
I know there are lots of people making dog collars out there but I can’t take any more dogs on – I already have three plus four cats – and I’m a bit far from the Rescue Centre to help with walking the dogs on a regular basis so I wanted to do something else to help.
So I’ve set up ‘Ouaf Ouaf’ (or Ouaf for short) which is what French dogs say instead of ‘Woof’ and will gradually put them on there, along with the bandanas I was making before, as and when I can make them, as well as touting them around friends with dogs (and some without!) and local fund raising events.
I’m having fun taking the photos too as you can see although this dog looks rather more like a hippo which I’m sure don’t cock their legs up to wee but you get the idea.
My favourite cartoon dog of all time. I was chuffed when I found Muttley from Wacky Races on a ribbon.
These collars have caused a bit of a commotion in the house as, every time I finish one and brandish it, chrome D ring clinking, as I like to do, the resident dogs think it’s a sign they are about to be taken out on another walk. I’ve found it easier, in most cases, to take photographs of the collars off the dogs’ necks rather than on but a few modelling assignments have been handed out.
Sometimes, there is just curiosity and my photo shoots attract unwanted attention.
I tried making a sort of double fold bias tape from some Liberty fabric I had in my stash for this one which worked well and might end up being more cost effective than ribbon (especially if I don’t use Liberty tana lawn!!).
No blog post about dog rescue or dog collars is complete without a basket full of puppies of course. Just look at those little faces. Of course, being puppies these little girlies will probably soon find homes but the underlying problem is too many people – and it is a big problem in France – just can’t or won’t sterilize their dogs. Then they let them out to wander around unsupervised and this is the result. You can read their story here but, basically, the mother was rehomed by the Société Protéctrice des Animaux before they introduced a policy to sterilize all female dogs before rehoming and the new owner didn’t bother and this is the second litter of puppies that have had to be rescued from her as a result – the first litter and another three from this one she gave (or sold) to who knows who?
Anyway, I am off to do some vacuuming before Mr. T. gets home from the U.K. and thinks I’ve been doing nothing all week except mess with ribbon and webbing, set up amateur photo shoots and read up about what is good for bruising – arnica cream?? Then I’m going to make a bag – just for a change.
Much as I love this dog, I don’t really make quilts, especially not quilts made from Liberty tana lawn, for the benefit of my pets. Instead, I go to the local charity shop once every few months and buy up some used blankets which I put in their beds and, once they have been chewed, ripped to shreds or made ‘dog smelly’, I dispose of them and go back to the charity shop. However, Flo had other ideas and took advantage of the fact that I was doing some artistic ‘draping’ for purposes of photography to dive on top.
Although I used the fence around the chicken hut to lay the quilt over, the chickens don’t seem to feel the need to lay on soft blankets so the quilt was safe for the outside shots.
As a point of interest and not really relevant to this blog post, one of the words I have soooo much trouble with in French is ‘poulailler’. Now, most people could probably survive without ever having to say it but, as I keep chickens, and as it means ‘henhouse’, it is a word that I sometimes need to say, much to the amusement of anybody French that is listening at the time. The other word I have difficulty with, which also contains lots of the letter L, is ‘rouille’ as this also necessitates rolling the ‘r’ in front before twisting your tongue around the ‘ou’ sound and that double ‘L’. As ‘rouille’ means ‘rust’ it is a word that, for various reasons, I do find myself using quite frequently.
Anyway, I digress. As suggested by several of you when I asked for advice on this particular project, I quilted it using wavy lines which I think works well. Somebody said they would look ‘organic’ but, as I didn’t mark anything out apart from the distance between the lines and really just followed my (wonky) eye down the quilt, vaguely trying to echo the line before, I think that might be quite a flattering word for it. I’m going to stick with it anyway.
It appears that one of the advantages of using bands of fabric the width of the quilt means that, when folded lengthwise and placed on a sofa or chair or wherever, you are able to see the full range of fabrics used which is not always the case with more complicated designs.
Persuaded by a friend of mine to start a new quilt together, I have resolved to finish the last bit of hand quilting and add the binding to one I had almost completed but, as I had draped it over a chair in my workroom, it became to look like part of the furniture so I sort of considered it finished. It wasn’t!
So this weekend should see the ‘handbag quilt’, first blogged about an embarrassingly long time ago, completed and then I won’t feel guilty about starting a new one.
Meanwhile, I must remove a dog from a quilt.
No use pretending to be asleep.
I’ve pieced a top using some strips of Liberty fabric that I bought on a visit to the Liberty store a year or so ago. They came in a pack under the ‘Worn and Washed’ label like this.
I’ve made a quilt using Worn and Washed fabrics before. They are good for making quilts you want to look as if they have already had a bit of a life and, when used with cotton batting, and washed to shrink just a little, they can look a bit vintage. Here is one I made with a bundle of those fabrics a few years ago – actually, thinking about it, probably around 11 years ago now, eek!.
Not a great picture – I find it really hard to photograph quilts properly – plus we are having a very grey day today – but you get the idea – it already looks as if my grandmother might have made it (which would make it very old indeed and also very unlikely as my grandmother never sewed a thing in her life as far as I know!)
Anyway, the lady behind Worn and Washed which you can read about here, has a link with Liberty now and you can buy some of her bundles there. Otherwise, for non Liberty bundles, I think it is best to buy from the shows she attends as it is best to see and feel the fabrics which, by their nature, are quite individual.
This is the quilt top I have made with my pack – I’ve kept it very simple to highlight the fabrics and it will be backed with a silvery grey plain cotton. I took it into the fabric shop with me to match it with a plain for the back and the staff were stroking it because it is sooo soft and smooth, being tana lawn and also having had a bit of a wash I suppose. If you click on the photo it will allow you to zoom in a couple of times so you can see the fabrics better. I love the poppies and the sweeties at the bottom.
My question for other quilters is how do you think I should quilt this? I have a roll of Hobbs cotton batting and that needs to be quilted with no more than a 2 inch gap so I won’t be doing it by hand. The back is plain so parallel lines across the width would look boring. Also any bad stitches would be very obvious! I’m not very good with free motion quilting. Would diagonals work? Any ideas?