This Tartan Seat is Taken

Spring seems to be springing this morning and, though the ground is a little frosty, the sun is shining, the daffodils and crocuses are out and look what I have just seen in my back garden!

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Over and over I have found that when I have finished piecing the surface of a quilt and I am ready to do some hand quilting or embroidering  I suddenly stop for a few days.  Part of that is about thinking how best to tackle it, letting my subconscious work on it for a while, but it’s also the fear of making a mistake and ruining what I’ve done so far. I have to gather courage and while this is all going on in the background, I make something else.

Recently I have made some more matchboxes. This one was for my husband for Valentines day:

 

Around the edge it says “There’s no Sunshine when you’re gone.” Those goggly eyes made him laugh!

And this was one for his birthday. The vegetables inside are edible cake toppers:

 

Each side has a different garden tool on it and around the inside it says, “Happy Birthday Special Gardener.”

I have also made some paper houses –  but more of those in a post coming soon.

Remember this first picture of an empty tartan chair? It was on one of these blog posts about three years ago:

 

How time flies! Eventually I added a hook and put a cat on it. Now I’m thinking I might stuff the arms to match the seat cushion and put it in  a box frame. I want it to look more soft and comfy and protrude towards you in the frame:

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I have just laid the chair in the frame, to get an idea of how it might look. I definitely need a solid fabric background behind it though. Off-white like the cat, or white like the frame? Or another colour, a very pale mint green perhaps? What do you think?

I had always intended to make a series of these chairs with cats and dogs lounging on them, so I’ve made a start on a few more. I thought it might be fun to make a chair with a box pleat on the base like this one in progress:

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This is how I began the one above; with a drawing:

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In this drawing I made the chair too wide, so I folded in a middle section until it looked about right. Then I usually play with ideas of adding a button back or fancy arms, little stumpy feet, or a fabric cover over the back. And then I like to add a cat, or maybe a dog. I want them to look as if you would never want to disturb them in the chair.

I photocopy the drawing of the chair and in true English Paper Piecing style, I cut out each paper shape, place them onto fabric and cut around them (leaving a seam allowance) until it all looks like this:

 

Then the fabric is tacked around the paper shapes and they are all sewn together until they resemble the chair in my initial drawing. The chair has a back too, and this will be sewn to the front with interfacing between, to stiffen the chair slightly.

 

Here is my initial drawing of this chair, so you can see what it will eventually look like:

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I think I might add a cushion, in that space between the cat and the left hand arm of the chair. The cat looks adrift.

I have begun a third, that I think will have fancy corded curls on the arms and little wooden-ball feet, and perhaps a dog on it….?  I haven’t quite decided, as it’s very unlikely that I will get more than one or two of these chairs finished before I am drawn back to the pile of quilting that is clamouring for urgent attention.

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So, until next time….

thanks for visiting.  Comments, suggestions, or experiences you’d like to share, are always welcome!

 

 

Little Pieces of Scotland

Hello again,

img_8655Just a quick post to show you another two of my small quilts with a Scottish theme. The first is called ‘Deer in my Garden’ and is a variation on a log cabin design with some added surface embroidery. Our garden has so many fuchsia coloured flowers appearing throughout the year that this seemed an appropriate colour to choose in a festive design from Moda, with a touch of gold from Lewis and Irene, for Christmas. It’s just 7″ (approx 18 cms) square. I may add a small quilt hanger so that it can go on the wall.

The second quilt, ‘Thistle Cottage’ is larger: 14″x 10 1/4 inches (approx 36 x 26 cms) and uses fabric from one of my favourite designers, Lewis and Irene, for the house walls, roof and border.Quite a few of Lewis and Irene’s themed fabrics suit our Scottish landscape. This one is quite muted, a lilac grey with touches of pink and green which I have echoed in the quilting stiches. I found the black, red and lilac plaid fabric with tossed Scottie dogs (also by Lewis and Irene) irresistible and just had to have one of the dogs peeking out of the window.img_8651There were two leaf designs already printed on the part-striped, dusky pink piece I chose for the background so I decided to embroider around them. I was going to add a plant pot but decided I prefer them just as they are.

My first Winter Fair is getting closer (19th November) so I’m moving onto a set of tall Christmas houses now and a larger, floral quilt which is not at all Christmassy but is so pretty and cheerful. It’s always nice to have something you can use all year round.  I have so many new ideas of things to make for the fair but time is beginning to run out on me. It surprises me how much I need for the day, so much more than my little creations, and I have been writing huge lists of stuff I need with me from paper bags and tags to sticky tape and staples.

When I post after the Winter Fair, I will not be sewing as frantically and will have more time to photograph the various stages of what I am making, something I have not done much lately. Perhaps I will have some photos of the Winter Fair to share with you. I also want to post more on techniques in English Paper Piecing and to sum up what I have learned on my quilting journey this year.

Till next time….