Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tools and Patterns and Giveaway Links

Do you ever think about doing more than quilting?  I mean, don't you find that once you open one creative avenue, more streets and side streets appear?  I'm a painter and collage artist, but I've taken a long detour into quilting. I find that the fabric palette is very inspiring to my design sense, and my sense of balance and color is very well suited to quilts.  Even though I haven't made that many yet!  It just feels right to me, and I keep trucking ahead.

I love to see what others are up to in Blogland, and I'll admit, sometimes I live a little vicariously from their successes and breakthroughs.  Some of the bloggers I follow have published projects they came up with, or broken the  1000, or 2000! followers mark.  Some have embarked on fabric design, and some have started teaching quilting classes.  They visit fabric expos, they go to quilting "meets."  They organize blog hops and they gather sponsors.  I love to see what they are up to, and I feel confident that even if I don't have the same kinds of successes, I'm continuing to grow, just as they are!  It gives me a real boost to see the myriad of ways quilters can create, and develop, and transform themselves along the way.  It's not static!  Even when we sit at the worktable, seemingly cutting a little here and arranging there, something is moving.  A quilt emerges, a new design is uncovered, and sometimes a side path show up as well.

All by Me, Swedish Scrapper

One of the bloggers I have been following for a while is Jenny of Sew Kind of Wonderful.  She is a long arm quilter, who came up with a very cool ruler, the Quick Curve Ruler

 It's Still on my wishlist! Why do I save the best things for last?  People are making fantastic quilts with those curves, and now, even Jenny's sis, Helen, of  HGMR Deco Quilting has gotten in on it.  She's come up with 5 new quilt designs using her sisters ruler-- how cool is that?  

And she has launched a new website to showcase them.  AND, she is having a giveaway of her patterns!  I have no trouble spreading this along, cause I'm all for collaborative success.  Not only that, Jenny is giving away two Quick Curve Rulers on her blog, so click here and
here to see for yourself and enter Jenny's and Helen's giveaways!  I know I will, and I'm going to bask in the creativity too!

What a difference a curtain makes...

Happy Sunday!  Happy sewing!  Enjoy your families and get some rest!

Birches and geraniums-- shame my real camera was out of battery!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New York Beauty

I just want to share a couple of New York Beauty projects I made.  Had to wait a little, as I sent one away for the Doll Quilters Monthly swap-- but it arrived, and now I can show and tell!

This first one is Block Zero, the learning block.  I used the tutorial over at My Go-Go Life to learn how to do this one.  Let me tell you, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and I think that has a lot to do with all the great photos Kim put up with her tutorial.  Plus, it's an easier block!  I was going for Sunny and Warm, as a theme for one of the doll quilt swaps, but I really thought this one came out Sunny and Wan!  Don't get me wrong, I adore it, and it was Fun to make it, but it just has a cool, end of summer Swedish look to it, the colors are just not warm enough.  I felt funny sending it to my swap partner, who lives in a really warm place.  So it's hanging out here in Sweden, where it thrives and belongs!

I used a bunch of batik from my stash, as well as some fantastic turquoise for the binding.

I'm sure where I live affects my color choices-- how about you?


The next mini quilt is the one I sent away to Sher, for the patriotic theme.  I do sew other things besides the doll quilts, but it has been a slow summer!


I am not sure if it looks better sideways or upright, but I am pleased with it!  It was tough, and I had to stretch to learn how to do it, but I can absolutely imagine making a full sized quilt with these!  I love the puzzle aspect of the paper piecing, and I love the bold impact of the finished product.

The blocks here are Block 2, with a tutorial by Amy from Amylouwho, and Block 7, with a tute from Jeni of In Color Order.

I don't know if the quilting is puffy of design, or if it has to do with not having a walking foot, but I think I like it for this project.  I think larger would cause problems.  Any thoughts from you seasoned quilters out there?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pinning for Winning

Fresh Squeezed Fabrics had such an overwhelming response to the bundle contest, they ended it early at 3pm SMT.  Wowza!   Thanks to everyone who re-pinned my bundle pins!  Sniff, I do really like those bundles!

I'm aching to refill my fabric palette!!  I've a shameless request for you fabric lovers out there:  Please re-pin my favorite fabric bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics, to see if you can help me win the bundle!  Details of their contest are here. Why not choose your own favorite FSF fat quarter bundle and see if you can nab enough pins too!

I need as many re-pins as the dollar amount of the fabric, by the 27'th of September.  Send me Your Pins, and I'll re-pin to help you too!

If you've never ordered looked around or ordered from Fresh Lemon Quilts, they have lovely and quirky custom bundles, as well as Japanese import fabric, and a good variety of sale fabrics.

Here's the bundle I think is so bright and sweet!  I figure if I'm going to enter, I might as well go the whole hog!  Please follow to my Pinterest link here!

The lovely Madrona Road bundle, with great scale, text, and both floral and geometrics!
Pin it to win it-- Pin for me, I'll pin for you!

Source: via Liz on Pinterest

Of course, I love one more bundle too......the back up one!

Source: via Liz on Pinterest

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Mystery, My First Quilt, 1996

First Quilt, 1996, by Swedish Scrapper | Liz Tillstrom
First Quilt, 1996,, a photo by Swedish Scrapper | Liz Tillstrom on Flickr.

This summer I took this quilt out of the trunk to take a good look at it.  I started making it a few months before I was pregnant for the first time.  As the pregnancy wore on, and a beautiful boy came into our lives, I shelved it for other duties.  Now I'd like to finish it.
First Quilt, 1996, hexie fabric

I sewed all of it by hand back then, and my cutting left something to be desired.  No matter, I just cut out a new piece to fit in next to the too-short one.  It's upside down, but the flowers almost line up!  I'm pretty sure I started it with no iron, and I know I had no sewing machine.

First Quilt, 1996, Detail

Another no-no, Ink directly on the fabric!  But look at the nice and careful seam lines I drew in.  I guess those stitches from a younger me weren't too bad either....

First Quilt, 1996, Scrappy

I'm trying to figure out where I was back then, with this first quilt.  What was I thinking?  I'm sure I started with a loose medallion styled design, as I was working from the center.  I used fabrics that I schlepped (släppte, in Swedish!) to Sweden in my suitcase, my only prized possessions besides some books and photos I crushed in with my clothing.  It was a new life, a new country, and I was newly married.  Some of the fabric was from clothing I had made, and some was from pillows I made as gifts.  The other was given me from my mother's stash, which she always generously has shared.

I can see where I was going with all the flashes of red and raspberry, the path-like design of the sashing, the fabric variety, the scrappiness overall.  I think of myself now as a new quilter, but I had it started way back then.

How to continue with a piece like this?  Shall I finish it by hand too?  Shall I try to find older fabrics for those last 4 corner blocks and the binding?  Match as best I can with newer fabrics and sew it strong by machine?

I know one thing.  It has sat inside my trunk for Far too long, and although I don't want to rush its finishing, I want to make and use it, and bring it out into the family where it belongs.  So I started it as a bed quilt.... now I am willing to make it into a lap  quilt, and reinforce it enough that it will withstand a family full of love and tumble, like good quilts should!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Doll Quilts Received

I am taking part in the mini swap arranged by Barbara over at Cat Patches, Doll Quilters Monthly!

It is a fabulous growing group of very talented and inventive quilters, and I feel honored to be in their company.  Every month, we swap doll quilts, or miniatures, with our assigned swap mates.  There are suggested themes, such as "Warm and Sunny," "Harvest Time,"  and more. I like the themes as a little structure for my creativity, but you can always work out it out with your partner if you have a different mini-quilt in mind.  I love learning from the different quilters, seeing their styles and approaches.  Some of us are new quilters, and some are well seasoned, but everyone has a good time and it is a really supportive group.  We are taking new members all the time, if you want to join in!
I'll be honest, I got behind for all quilting this summer after moving, and the usual summer obligations.  But when I got back to sewing, on of the first things I did was catch up on my swap sewing.  And my swap mates did too!
Here is what I received last week from Trish, for the Patriotic theme!

It's a Texas Star.  I don't think you can see how soft it is, but it Is really soft.  I love the bright reds! Can you see the embroidery in the corners?  I think it looks like Fireworks spinning out.

I love it and it's already sitting on my Red shelf, with the dolly she sent with as well.


I also received a swap quilt from Sher, that arrived last week.  I was just blown  away by how well it happens to match the colors of our house and garden.  I love it!  It is so crisp and precise, and expertly quilted, and very nice and sunny :D  I also really like the self binding backing.  I learn something with each one of the doll quilt swaps.

Both of these are heartmade and handmade!

Doll Quilts Monthly

Hi All!  I've been absent without leave for too long!  But, after moving, and summering and colding and gardening and childwatching, I've been busy sewing up mini quilts for the Doll Quilts Monthly swaps.  I can only show a few peeks of mine, because they haven't arrived at the other side yet.

Here is a peek of the one I sent to Trish, with the Patriotic theme.  This was JULY's quilt, but I couldn't muster it until now.

Oh, I can't wait to show it, since it took weeks of my life to get up the nerve to make it!  And understand how to do it.  It was a real labor of love.  I really stretched my technical skills for this one.  I am pleased with it, and very glad I learned what I did in terms of sewing-growing.  However, I think I might have to upgrade to a sewing machine with a free motion foot!  Nuff said about that.

*  *  *

The next quilty peek is for the Sunny and Warm theme I sent to Sher.

This was for August.  I had a blast making this one too.  I enjoyed using different textures of fabric, and just going at it with color!  It is getting dark and grey here, after the rainy summer (non-summer) we just had.  It was a tonic to work on an intuitive piece.  Can't say much more, except that the original pattern that I used as a jump off point is from a magazine from 1993!  I loved the pattern so much, my mom sent me an extra copy of the issue when I thought I had lost it forever during a move.  Thanks Ma!


Next entry is about what I Received from the Doll Quilters Monthly!