Tulip Parade

I recently finished my tulip wall hanging, originally it was meant to be a table runner, but when I held it up to show off to the family members…( I usually chase them, screeching ..Look what I´ve done, what do you think, what do you think?? …..and they´re very good about loving everything I make 🙂 )…..well anyway, they all agreed that it would look great on the wall, specifically where it is now, this little nook where we prepare coffee, toast etc. So that´s were its´s living now!

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I found the pattern at Porch swing quilts, http://porchswingquilts.blogspot.com/2017/12/tiptoe-quilt-along.html and decided to give it a try.

This was my first time making flying geese and HRTs, and as you can plainly see it´s not perfect, somehow I ended up with  blunt center tips on the blue and yellow tulip. I contemplated redoing these, but  I really didn’t feel like it! I was in a hurry to finish and left them, with the excuse that in real life flowers aren’t perfect either 😉

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I quilted the tulips with wavy lines and the background with straight lines, my machine has a tulip sitch wich I used to stitch down the border. All in all I´m very happy with the way it turned out, and it just makes me happy every time I make coffee or toast.

Thanks for the visit, Have a great day!

Almost Zig Zag

I FINALLY!!! Finished my almost zig zag lap quilt. I say almost zig zag because you kind of have to look carefully to actually see the pattern. I really just wanted a very simple mixture of a redish and greenish quilt, so I bought charm packs of Kaffe Fassett reds and greens. You might recall this was the quilt in my blog post “Patiently waiting”, well it waits no longer and is done! For the back I used a flowery red fabric I found in a store not so near to me.

Along with the simplicity I wanted it to be soft with lots of loft, so I did minimal quilting, just wavy lines along the seams, I used cream Aurifil thread on top and red on the bobbin, so it’s hardly visible at the back.

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Jack as usual wanted to pose alongside the quilt 🙂 He knows he´s ever so handsome!

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Oscar still wearing his winter coat, come for a quick look and dashed away, he´s very camera-shy.IMG_3451

Here´s a photo of the quilt on my work table to show the zig zag pattern.

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And because I´m vain, I added my label, Hand made by The Monkey Thorn, 🙂 I had these made up and shipped from the Dutch Label Shop.

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Thanks for stopping by, Have a wonderful day!

Patiently Waiting

After gifting the last 5 quilts that I made, I thought it was time to make one for myself . I ordered charm packs of Kaffe Fassett reds and  greens.  I had to order them from England, because I can´t find them in Portugal!!

I want the quilt to be very  basic, just plain squares sewn together in a pleasing manner, but because I´m a bit of a control freak, I placed the squares, so that if you look carefully you can see a zig zag effect.

Well it´s up on my design wall, I´m still playing with the layout, I like to walk past now and then and change the odd square, so every day it looks slightly different. 🙂

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It might stay there for a while. I decided a month ago to learn the piano, it´s been a dream of mine since I was a child, and now at 50, I have finally decided to give it a shot. So what with a full-time job, sewing up the odd present  or two (I´m currently making another baby pouch), and now the piano lessons with the hours of practice that go with it…..my little quilt patiently waits to be pieced, but it feels the love I´m sure! 🙂

Have a great week!

Isabella´s Backpack

Well here we are again, and once again Isabella is the muse for this post, ever since she  started school, I have wanted to make her a backpack, because it´s very important for 10 month olds to take their nappies, baby wipes, bottles and toys in a pretty backpack to nursery school, and also because I´ve been wanting to make a backpack for ages and this was the perfect excuse 😉

For most of the fabric I used  scraps left over from the quilt I made for her cot Here and also bought a strip of owl print fabric, I just love owls!

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Before assembling the bag I quilted  with straight lines along the seams. The bag is lined in plastic so that it can be wiped down, it has press studs on the top of both sides so it can be opened up easily, and the straps are adjustable so that when she starts university she can still use it 🙂

 

Well here you have it, all finished and ready for Miss Muffet to use.

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Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day!

 

 

 

Car Bin Bag

One of my best friends is a Sales Rep, so her car is her office, which she keeps  impeccably clean and tidy. One of her accessories is a little plastic bag that she hangs on the gear shift, so that she can throw in the daily rubbish, dirty tissues etc.

I decided to make  a special little quilted bin bag for her. The inside has plastic lining so that it can be wiped clean, and the handle is only on one of the sides, so that it can hang from the gear shift onto the passenger side.

here is what it looks like.

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My friend lives in South Africa so I had to send it via DHL,  she received it yesterday and sent me a message saying how much she liked it, so that makes me happy!

One of the joys of sewing is being able to make and gift items, that are handmade with a special person in mind.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it

Autumn Nine Patch

When I started this quilting adventure, one of my best friends mentioned how she would like a quilt in autumn tones, so for her upcoming birthday, I decided I would gift her with one.

Because as usual I am pressed for time and the quilt had to be all done in time for her birthday, I went ahead with a simple 9 patch disappearing quilt top. I couldn’t help myself and added some green blocks, in autumn you can still find bright green leaves right?  The binding is a scrappy one, and the quilting is simple wavy lines, the quilting is quite spaced out because I want the quilt to have loft and be supple.

I did have a few hiccups along the way, I bought beige background fabric at our local market, where I was assured that it was 100% cotton bla bla. But when I started ironing the seams of the sewn up blocks, the fabric literally shrunk before my eyes, pulling at the printed fabrics. Very frustrating. I had to unpick everything and buy new fabric, soooo… a lot of wasted time and money.

But all´s well that ends well, I finished the quilt ahead of time and hopefully my friend Amanda will like it.

Here it is.

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Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

 

 

Pot holders

Today my mother asked me to make her some pot holders, as she had just burnt hers. My  first reaction was… Oh no… So much work for just Pot holders!!…. that will get all grubby or burnt!….. Silly hey. I was over thinking the simple pot holder,  making them with HST´s or strip quilting etc. Then I looked at mine and realised they were very simple with no quilting.

I remembered seeing a simple pot holder tutorial at: http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/easy-peasy-potholders/ Great! Made them in  no time at all 🙂 I actually enjoyed making them as it was so nice to finish a Project so quickly…. Yipeee.

I used fabric that I had once bought from a store that I wandered into, and couldn´t find anything I really liked, but was too embarrassed to walk out of without buying something (the owner kept hovering over me), I know  I know,….I have this problem, that´s why I generally try to avoid empty stores, otherwise I end up buying stuff I don´t really need because I am too embarrassed to walk out with nothing!

But anyway it´s the type of fabric my mother likes, so all is good.

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And here they are! not to shabby for my first Pot holders, and the good news is, if she burns these, I still have loads of the same fabric 🙂

IMG_2850.jpgThanks for stopping by.

 

The Purple One!

A while back a friend of mine asked me for a purple quilt. I kept putting it off because purple is just not my colour! and also because my time is so scarce, and I had other projects in mind, so I couldn´t summon up the enthusiasm to make it. But then the universe conspired against my unwillingness to make this quilt.

Another very good friend from Mozambique come for a visit and brought some batiks for me, and wouldn´t you believe it, 2 of them were in purple hues! A week later when I was at our nearby seaside village São Pedro de Moel, that on Sundays has a few stalls, and when I say few I really mean few, it´s usually just the 2 that sell the same thing 🙂 identical clothes! Anyway, the one stall is owned by a Senegalese couple, and lo and behold  they had a purple and yellow batik! So I got myself some, and that’s when I knew I would have to make the quilt. I bought another 3 purple fabrics, 2 of them solids.

Here is a photo I took of São Pedro de Moel, a few years ago. It´s very pretty, the photo doesn´t do it justice.

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Anyway, I decided to make it using the scrappy trip method. So although I only had 6 different types of fabric, I went ahead with this method on the Purple One…. Shame, that’s what I called it all the time, The Purple One! in the beginning it was really not very loved, but over time it started to grow on me, and as I put it together I started to like the purple combinations more and more.

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Initially I was just going to bind the quilt without making borders, but it really would have been quite boring, so I added the two white borders and the pieced border in-between. I think the borders changed the whole look of the quilt and it turned out quite nice. I  quilted with wavy lines in a cream coloured thread.  I was going to use purple thread, but wanted the white borders to have a clean look, so I used the cream, for the back I just used a plain white fabric.

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So finally I was all finished and in love with my purple quilt, and off it went into the Washing machine, threw in some color catcher sheets, used detergent for mixed colors…… and would you BELIEVE IT! ….The quilt lines on the back were stained purple, everywhere that the Senegalese batik and the darker solid purple were. Well… thats it, I am officially back to hating purple, this quilt has taken its revenge!

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I´ve always been told not to pre-wash fabrics when quilting, but if I had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. After this disaster I took a swatch of both fabrics, quilted them and put them in bowls of water with detergent, and this is what happened, the dark purple bled into the water, and the batik did not, however after drying, the batik had the quilt lines stained and the dark fabric not! How confusing is that!!?? I think I´ll have to take up another hobby, it´s very frustrating to spend hours and days on a project, in my case months, because I have so little time, and then this sort of thing happens. I don´t know whether to scream or cry.

Here you can see how the bowl that had the batik is clear, but how the colour bled in the plain purple quilted swatch, and yet it´s the batik that bled to the thread.

 

Has this ever happened to any of you? If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Parade Quilt

Finished my elephant parade quilt! I came across this pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts – Lorna is an absolute genius when it comes to patterns, especially animal patterns. When I saw this pattern I just knew I had to make it, it just reminds me sooo much of home!

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For the big Ellies I used a batik fabric that I have had for over 20 years, it was bought in Mozambique, and in my younger days, when I didn’t have any money to buy Picasso, it hung on my lounge wall, actually I still don’t have money to buy Picasso 😉 somethings never change…..Anyway since I grew out of my  bohemian decorating style, the batik has been  packed away, so now I took it out and with some sadness at cutting it up, and yet… happy that it was getting a new revamped life, I went ahead and cut it up.

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I must say that I was worried, that It would be too hard to make and that I would lose heart, but Lorna´s instructions are so precise and easy to follow that I made it, Yay me!

 

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I quilted with wavy lines, and because I wanted some loft  I spaced them 5cm apart (2 inches), for the binding I used both fabrics from the Elephants, big and small.

I´m gifting this quilt to my daughter Andi, who loves animals especially elephants.

I must say that making this quilt was a wonderful challenge, I love the way it all come together, and will probably try my hand at the giraffe pattern soon.

Thank you for visiting!

African Urban Chic Quilt

I´m currently working on a quilt, that when I showed my daughter, she said it looked very African Urban Chic….. What is that exactly??…. No idea! ….but I love the sound of it, and because I actually bought the fabric with the tortoise motif, because it reminded me of  home  – Africa, I have staked my claim to name my quilt – African Urban Chic.

Well anyway it´s basically a disappearing 9 patch square. The pieces are pretty big 15cm x 15cm (6 inch) squares. img_1468

I cut the the middle squares in half

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And arranged the new blocks in the order that most pleased me. You´ll notice that I´ve pinned numbers on the blocks. I have to do this or I lose my way completely!

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Sewed the blocks into rows.

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And sewed the rows together.

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Well that what i´ve done so far, and believe you me, this quick to make top, has taken me forever, because it is soooo…. cold at the moment, that my sewing room is freezing, so I basically sewed for 5 minutes a week 🙂

Well next step will be to sew some borders to this top, ….but of course,  in this neck of the woods that I call home, I´m having trouble finding fabric that complements what I´ve done so far.  I Will have to forage further afield during the weekend, perhaps in the next village they´ll have what I´m looking for 😉

Stay tuned, and stay warm!