Sunday, 6 May 2012

Folksy Chevron Quilt

I finally finished my chevron quilt! I'm so excited!

It was made to exactly fit the strange dimensions of our Ikea guest bed. The bottom drawers pull out to make a double bed, but the quilt I made is designed to just fit it as a single bed, mostly so the room looks good for the majority of the year when no one is staying in it.

Again, I didn't use a pattern for this quilt. I just made enough blocks to test the width and could then figure out how many I would need to fit the length. The pieced blocks are half squares, so the only real difficulty is making sure your points don't get cut off when you're attaching the rows of chevrons together. My new machine made this process much easier than it used to be with my reliable, yet basic, Brother machine.

I decided to quilt along the chevron pattern and I am happy with the end result. The quilting was really difficult to keep the lines straight in the center because the bulk of the rest of the quilt under the machine's arm required a little more pushing and pulling on my part. Had the lines been straight - side-to-side - this would have been easier. However, the zig-zag pattern added just enough difficulty to make me skew the lines so much that the stitching had to be ripped out of three rows. I then had to re-do the quilt sandwich and re-do all the safety pinning for more than half the quilt. Not a happy moment. 

I'm thrilled with it! The look is interesting and colorful, yet clean and modern. As I mentioned before, with the pocket pillow I completed first, the fabric is from a retro print Anthology line that I bought as a collection of around a dozen fat quarters.

The binding is a mix of two similar shades of Kona green from my stash that I alternated, mostly because I didn't want to go out and buy more fabric, and also for a little something different. I also hand-stitched the binding.

I knew I wanted a tangerine color for the back - something that would be bright, happy, and unexpected from the front. The fabric is Kona cotton in Cheddar. Mmmm....cheese - what's not to like there? I love how the uniform color really shows of the quilted lines on the back.

And that's it! Our guest room is another step closer to having better personality. My plan is to do one or two body pillows to set against the wall so the bed is more couch-like and we can sit in there for a little reading retreat.

Now, on to tackle the walls and the mis-matched furniture on the other side of the room!

We'll be enjoying the rest of our Sunday with a heap of kids books and some of the nice light that we've been getting late into the evening.

 Have a great rest of your weekend! 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


 Where do you get your inspiration? For a long time, I think I got most of my inspiration from inspired people, rather than really being inspired myself. This is still partly true, of course - I read a lot of creative blogs, books, and follow creative people on Pinterest. But I’m finding myself a little changed from three years ago, when I first began sewing - changed at least in the personal creativity department.

Before full-time motherhood, I just didn’t have any extra time to take in the things in that I now can. I did what I could with my limited free time, but now that I have more of it - or rather, am able to better organize what I want to do in a week, I find that I am far more open to being inspired by things myself, rather than someone else’s interpretation. The setting of a room, the shadow of a tree on a sidewalk, the color of the the tiles in a public bathroom - I’m much more open to the subtle beauty of little things around me. Beauty in a public bathroom? Exactly.

I’ve been reading this blog lately, and have been truly moved to see things through a different lens. There is a quietness to her photography that I just love. This post in particular resonated hard with me. The point is, inspiration comes the more open you are to it - and for me, the quieter the moment, the clearer it is.

There is also nothing like a new place to make me notice things I would ordinarily walk right by. We were in Germany last month and I found so much inspiration - feeling foreign must surely heighten the experience. The color of a blooming tree against an apartment building, and even the backdrop of a drab gray sky gave me a fantastic idea for a quilt. The architecture in the zoo's botanical gardens...and the flowers, flowers, flowers. Flowers are probably pretty obvious inspiration, but I just had to include them here. They’re like gobs of fluffy whipped cream on the perfectly sweet cake that is SPRING.

This month, I am very inspired.

The only real downside to lots of inspiration...?

...That would probably be the realization that there just isn't enough time to do it all.