Climbing Back Into The Saddle

Hello Blog Friends

Long time no squeak. Many apologies.
Life events took over the front seat, but hopefully now I’m climbing back into the saddle.

So, what’s new? Well, we have a new addition to the family.
Her name is Lecien and she wandered into my life at the warehouse after being abandoned in the middle of the Ras Al Khor industrial estate where I used to work.
Little did I know at the time, she was pregnant. (Probably why she was thrown out of house and home)
Anyway, as is the nature of cats she chose me as her new human and hasn’t left my side since. Three of her four kittens have wonderful forever homes with my lovely colleagues while the tom kitty was usefully employed as a mouser in the warehouse.
Lecien is most definitely a sewer’s cat. I’m sure, if she could, she’d be at my sewing machine when I go out. Here she is checking out one of my “toys” giving it her seal of approval. What can I say, cats and boxes…. so true.

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Other new things are:
I have finally joined the 21st centaury human race – I have a smart phone!
Remember the Apple sales guy form my previous post waaaaay back when?
He was right! Aaaand, not only that, I also acquired a tab; not just any old tab but a note tab (I really cannot give up my pencil, not just yet)
Now that I have the tech, I need to get to grips with the other the stuff to make it all work.  So far so good, I hope.

My new passion is Lori Holt’s Bee In My Bonnet “Farm Girl Vintage”.
OoowMyGosh, I love her stuff sew much!
Check out her blog for this amazing book and others by her.
http://beeinmybonnetco.BlogSpot
Image 1

I joined the Bee In My Bonnet Sew Along community on Facebook.
Wow! What a bunch of talented and lovely ladies they are.
If you’re looking to join an on line community of friendly quilters, this is the place.
The latest swap is a quilty pocket and this is what I’m sending to my swap partner.

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Below are two versions of one of the blocks I made when I first bought Lori Holt’s “Farm Girl Vintage”

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Anyway, that’s it for now. I hope to blog you again very soon. (“To blog”, a new verb?)
TTFN my lovelies
Chrissie xxx

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Patience Is A Virtue

Hello Again
Goodness, I feel like the number 7 bus: nothing for weeks then 3 posts in a row 🙂 🙂 🙂
I had to post again today after finding these wonderful coaster buddies in my mail box.
My uber talented swap partner from Canada mailed me my box of goodies back in August. I think you’ll agree they were certainly worth the wait 🙂

Enjoy, I will…..

20131104 Coaster Buddies

20131104 Coaster Buddies Back

Mixing It Up In A Melange Of Mengelmoeskardoes

Hello Again Friends

Living in Dubai I am blessed with friends from all over the world:
As well as the United Arab Emirates, they come from America, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Canada, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia to name but a few of the people that make up the eclectic population of this incredible country.

When I started making this quilt, almost three years ago, I was inspired by one of my Canadian friends to stack and whack some of my favourite fabrics.
Some of the gorgeous fabrics came from previous projects, and some of them came out of my stash.
Many of my friends will know how much I love bright cheery colours (some of them are actually quite scared by my choice of combinations and will run away when I ask them what they think of them. But hey, we’re all different 🙂 ) so were not surprised when this quilt came into being.

The name of my quilt is also inspired by two of my lovely South African friends.
For those who do not speak Afrikaans (I have to mention here that I only know one or two words) the Afrikaans word Mengelmoeskardoes does not have an English equivalent but generally means a mash of colours.
As for Melange, I just love the Frenchy sound of it.

So I dedicate this post to all my wonderful eclectic Melange of Mengelmoeskardoes friends all over the world.
Thank you for all your support, I love you all very much.

Enjoy 

Melange Label

20130726 Melange Quilt 1

20130726 Melange Quilt 2

20130726 Melange Quilt 3

20130726 Melange Quilt 4

20130726 Melange Quilt 5

It’s Time To Share The Love Again

Hello Everyone in quilting land and beyond

It’s time to share the love again!
Michele Foster aka Mishka is doing it again.
This time the swap is Little Buddy Coasters designed by Vicki Ruebel.
They are sew cute, how you could possibly resist them?
So all you quilters out there, if you fancy cooking up some cutesy little bug coasters, get yourself over to the quilting gallery to register for your pattern and get ready to have some fun!

http://quiltinggallery.com/quilters-fun/applique-coasters-swap

Watch this space for my little critters.

Lotsa love 🙂
Chrissie

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Akela We Will Do Our Best

Hello Again Friends
I can finally reveal my secret project 🙂
It is a memory quilt reflecting the life of our Akela of 2nd Dubai Cub Scouts.
Our Cub Scout Leader will leaving at the end of this term 😦 after XX ahem years of living in Dubai and the Middle East and having given more than XX ahem years of service to Scouting.
So what do you give to a man who has dedicated a huge amount of his time to such a worthy cause?
A quilt of course 🙂 which we presented to him last night amid a few tears and blubbing later on.

Aklea will be sorely missed by the Cubs and Leaders as well as all his friends here.
He leaves a large hole and a huge pair of boots to be filled.
I just hope I’m big enough to fill them.
I will do my best…..

So here is Akela’s memory quilt in all its glory.

Enjoy!
Cx

Akela We Will Do Our Best

Scout Membership

Knot

Airplane

Dubai

Camel

Arabic Coffee

Flags

Camping

Compass

Sunshine

Geko

Just because I love it

Hello friends
I have completed my first module and it has been uploaded for verification 🙂 hooray!
When I have the tutor’s comments back I’ll post up some more pics so watch this space.
http://www.sofst.org/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/65416089@N05

In the meantime I’ve been designing and playing about with one of my favourite techniques, fused applique 🙂 and made a few little bits and pieces.

I made the Teapot mat for my lovely friends at remade DXB who’s door is always open and ply us with never ending tea and numnums, thank you 🙂
Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/pages/reMADE-DXB/210139855788142

Teapot mat

This little Ice Cream mug rug is a very pink version of one my class offerings along with a daisy and sail boat

Pink Ice Cream Mug Rug

I couldn’t resist trying out this cupcake. Far fewer calories than the real thing 🙂

Cupcake Mug Rug

Thanks for stopping by
TTFN
More later
Chrissie

Fiddle & Twiddle vs Wrestling Snakes……

Hello Again Friends
Some of you will know that I’ve had my head down recently studying towards my City and Guilds level 3 Patchwork and Quilting. I’ve had loads of fun so far and looked ahead to see what the future modules held and was caught up short when I saw that I was going to have to confront English paper piecing….

Years ago I saw my mother fiddling and twiddling with teeny weeny bits of fabric over pieces of paper and thought “no way Jose” and for years believed that this was what patchwork and quilting was all about…
If someone had told me then that I would be doing EPP I would have run out of the room screaming.
Up until yesterday afternoon I would have rather put my hand in a basket full of snakes, such was my aversion to it.
So what changed?
I discovered a wonderful book written by Jessica Alexandrakis called “Quilting On The Go! Paper piecing patchwork you can take anywhere: techniques, patterns and projects”

What a revelation! Published this year, Jessica’s book is filled with lovely photographs showing simple step by step techniques to achieve wonderful paper pieced quilts.
I love her easy and friendly style and the fact that she’s equally passionate about sharing her passion with the world. You can’t help but love her…
For anyone like me who would rather have wrestled a reptile than even consider doing EPP this book will surely turn you around.
I’m so excited I can’t wait to get started 🙂

Check out Jessica’s blog at http://lifeunderquilts.blogspot.ae/
http://www.amazon.com/Quilting-Go-English-Projects-Anywhere/dp/0770434126

In the meantime I will be finishing up my module.
Here’s a sneak peak of some of my work.
Until next time, big hugs, enjoy!

20130517 Lvl 3 Patchwork Nod 1 Ex 3 Using Colour Purple Cropped auto colour corrected

Cake Stand 1

20130531 Log Cabin Spirals

Get Stitchy in Dubai with reMADE DXB – Classes

Hello Friends
As promised, here is more news about remade DXB and yours truly.
In my last post I was delighted to meet the lovely ladies of remade DXB, Paula and Teresa and I have been invited to teach a class about my favourite things, quilting and fused applique.
🙂 HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
I recently designed a selection of small projects that could be completed in a few hours and I am thrilled to be able to share my passions with new friends and keep the craft alive.
So, if you would like to join in the fun and learn some new skills and make a cutesy coffee break mug rug, or if you prefer tea break, then come along to reMADE DXB on Tuesday 21st May 9.30am-12.30pm
(booking is essential as places are limited to 6 per class)

Check out their facebook page calendar for all the different events taking place and don’t worry if you can’t make the 21st, there will more fusable applique, mini quilt classes running in June.

Take a look below at the project samples you can make.
Look forward to seeing you soon 🙂

Chrissie X

https://www.facebook.com/pages/reMADE-DXB/210139855788142

reMade DXB 2

20130423 Fresh as a Daisy x

20130423 Fresh as a Daisy cropped x

Ice Cream Treat

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Sail Away

Sail Away Cropped x

Get up and shake your booty

Hello there

Back in the dim and distant I used to be, among a host of other things, a DSE Assessor/Trainer (DSE stands for Display Screen Equipment, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily as DSE) Anyway, I was the office nanny going about metaphorically slapping young men on the head telling them to stop slouching and sit up, get your feet off the desk, tidy your mess etc etc, they used to hide when they saw me coming, you get the picture?…

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder is a growing problem in the work place, so imagine my annoyance when my words danced up behind me at home this week and bit me squarely on the butt.
Why? I hear you cry….

Remember that wrestling match I talked about in my masking tape post?
Yeah well, I managed to put my shoulder out fighting with it in the machine.
While it’s a fair sized quilt, I have quilted larger, the batting was pretty lofty and boinged about under my size 90 green marked quilting needle….
so I can’t blame the needle 😉
I was determined not to have puckers, pleats or any other mess ups and forgot to follow the cardinal rules I preach to my students:

1. Thou shalt baste like mad
(nothing must slip about under your needle)

2. Thou shalt not quilt when thou art tired
(go to bed and sleep, it’ll still be there in the morning)

3. Thou shalt not get cross when quilting
(your quilt is supposed to be made and infused with love)

4. Thou shalt quilt 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off
(take breaks, an upper body limb injury at ZERO miles an hour is not cool)

5. Thou shalt get up and shake your booty (quilting should be FUN!) 🙂

So dear reader, the finished result below, one puffy boingy quilt for my big kid brother 🙂

Black & White Finished

More On Labels… necessity and the mothers of invention

Hello Again
Spring has well and truly arrived here in Dubai and the mercury is on the up again and it’s that time of year when I change over to my uber light weight duvet.
It was while I was stuffing it into its cover that I became distracted by the oversized labels that IKEA insist on appending to anything textile from: sofa covers and curtains to soft toys and tea towels, and took a closer look at the care label.

I thought about the labels I put on my quilts for posterity and future quilters’ interest and it occurred to me that in order for my work to survive the 50+ years I mentioned before they need to be looked after properly. The recipients of my work are not necessarily quilt savvy in their care so I wondered about appending my own care label.

So, full of excitement I set off on my mission to make a care label for my kid bruv’s quilt only to find that I have one printable sheet left in the packet.
“Curses”, I thought, I’m saving that for another project.
It was while I was fingering the fabric sheet, pondering another trip out to the shops and the hideous cost of another pack (it never is just one thing… you know what I mean) that I had a light bulb, palm smacking head moment…..
Why don’t I make my own printable sheets? Surely it can’t be that hard?
Guess what? It isn’t – it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Wanna know how? Then read on, if not, park your self here and take a peep at the photos 🙂

Ikea Duvet Label

20130322 Quilt Care label

Welcome back Dear Reader
So, to make you own printable fabric sheets you will need:

An ink jet printer (mine is a Canon MP250)
A piece of prewashed close woven cotton. I used calico* just slightly larger than A4 (or whatever your paper size your printer uses)
A piece of freezer paper, again just slightly larger than A4 (or whatever your paper size your printer uses)
Rotary cutter and ruler (or what ever you like to use for cutting)
Iron
* prewash your calico on a hot wash to shrink it down and draw the fibres closer together. Washing also removes any sizing or finishing that may be present on the fabric.
DO NOT use fabric softener as this will adversely affect the ability of the ink to adhere to the fabric.

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Method:

1. Iron the calico nice and smooth and flat. Use a fine water spray if necessary to help iron out any stubborn creases, just be careful not to scorch the fabric. The smoother the fabric the better the result will be.

2. Then take your freezer paper and lay it over the calico shiny side down. Using a warm, not hot, iron press the freezer paper onto the calico. Freezer paper will stick to the calico forming a fabric/paper bond. Make sure it stays nice and flat.
Then let them cool.

3. Using a piece of A4 paper as your guide, trim the bonded calico/freezer paper to size.

You are now ready to print onto your calico.

Place your bonded fabric into the printer feed. Make sure it is in the correct way up so that the ink jets onto the fabric. A quick way to test this is to mark a sheet of paper on one side and check which side the printer prints on 🙂

When you are happy with whatever you what to print on your fabric, set the printer to print on standard, not econo fast and not photo quality. Fast printing will not deliver enough ink for the fabric to absorb and photo will deliver too much and saturate it causing the image/words to bleed into the fabric.

After printing set your printed creation to one side to dry for at least 15-20 minutes.
I personally like to leave mine to dry over night.
The next thing is to peel off the freezer paper and gently soak the fabric in tepid clear water to allow any excess ink to be released from the fabric.
I have to say that I have yet to have any ink run out from my fabric at this stage.

At this point I’m usually quite impatient to get going with my labels so I then lay the fabric between two tea towels and dab then damp dry.

Then I use a warm iron on the back side of the fabric (not too hot otherwise the fabric will scorch and all your hard work will be wasted) to dry it out and make it lovely and smooth. The warmth of the iron at this stage also helps to set the ink in the fabric.

Voila, you are now ready to cut your label to size ready for your quilt.

This idea can be extended into making photo journal quilts, bags etc etc
Your imagination is your only limit….

I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried this or has any other ideas.
Experiment and enjoy.

Lots of love
Cx

PS If you’re short of image ideas and want some inspiration I love this website http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.ae/