Thursday 1 February 2024

Walking with Giants

 Today on the Endeavourers Challenge blog we are revealing our responses to this quarter's Challenge - Patterns in Nature. Now, given that I proposed this particular challenge you would think that I would find it really easy to come up with a quilt to fit the theme, wouldn't you? Alas, no that was not the case, I dithered for ages over what to make. 

Then one day this photo popped up on my screen. The photo was taken a few years ago when we visited Northern Ireland and Donegal and went to see the Giant's Causeway. The site was very busy when we visited so it was almost impossible to get a photo of the basalt columns without several dozen tourists clambering all over them, so I was very pleased with myself when I managed to get this photo of just the columns. I had been thinking of plants, leaves, flowers, etc., for my Challenge quilt but realised when I saw the photo that these hexagon shaped columns would be ideal for the Patterns in Nature theme. 


I gathered together my supplies, quilting cotton for the basalt columns from the Cottage Cloth collection by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabric, Linen/Cotton mix shirt for the background and Linen for the treescape. The linen and linen mix fabrics are a nod to the Linen industry in Northern Ireland, which prospered not far from the Causeway itself.

With the aid of some hoarded hexagon templates and papers I was able to create a range of paper-pieced columns to replicate the Causeway. 

So, here is my finished Challenge quilt - Walking with Giants. 

Once I had worked out how I was going to interpret the theme I enjoyed putting it all together, but one of these days I am going to surprise myself and not leave it all to the last minute :)

If you want to see how my fellow Endeavourers responded to the Challenge head on over to have a look here.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Scares and Dares

 There have been some very strange fabrics passing through my sewing machine recently! I love making clothes for the grandchildren, as you know, but it is especially fun to make them costumes. 

I knew as soon as I saw this mummy wrap fabric from  Kids Print Fabrics that our elder grandson would love a mummy costume for Halloween. As I wanted him to get more than one nights use out of it, I made it as a separate top and leggings with a balaclava to complete the outfit, so that he can wear them later as pyjamas without the balaclava. 

Our little grandson is Spiderman daft, so was very agreeable when I suggested that I could make him a Spider's Web costume for Halloween. Again I have made a separate top and bottom with a balaclava with this great Spider Webs fabric from Kids Print Fabrics . The web is stretch netting embroidered with spiders, which I have attached in a couple of places along the sleeves and neckband so that it can easily be removed once the scaring is over :)

I am delighted to report that both outfits met with the approval of the grandsons!

Of course, I couldn't make Halloween outfits for the grandsons without also making one for our darling granddaughter! The flounce is made with the same stretch spidery net that I used on the spider web costume. I rather overestimated how much of the bats and spider web fabric I would use, so our granddaughter may be getting an outfit from this again next year :)

The first of November is also time for another Endeavourers Reveal. This quarter the challenge was circles and squares, which seemed quite straightforward at first but took a while in the end to narrow down. Ultimately I was inspired by a quilt that I came across on Pinterest (and now cannot find!) that had circles appliqued on to a background quilted in a grid formation.

I decided to expand upon that basic premise and used this checked, gingham fabric for the background and selected all dotty fabric for my appliqued circles. It is not easy to see from the photo but the background has been quilted in a grid formation. 


 The larger circles have also been shadow quilted in circles, except this one which gives the quilt its name - Dare to be Square :)

Along with the Endeavourers Challenge project from November 22, I had the ideal hall setting for any Halloween visitors. Sadly we are not even in the same country as any of our grandchildren at the minute so will not get to see them in their scary outfits, so will have to make do with photos instead :( 

Head on over to the Endeavourers blog to see what my fellow Endeavourers have cooked up for this quarter's challenge, you will definitely be inspired!

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Floating Around

 This quarter's theme for the Endeavourers Challege was Collage and, I must admit that I really struggled to come up with something to fit the theme for most of the quarter :( 

 I finally finished "Floating Around", above, on the day of the deadline! 

At a Textile Printing Summer School last year, I had put together these pieces of printed fabric but not progressed further with them so they lay in a cupboard for a year. The theme for the summer school had been leaves and grasses and, at the time, I felt that, although I really liked the colours and textures that I had achieved, the fabrics didn't really fit the theme that I was meant to be aiming for. 

However, I could see possibilities in using this piece as a starting point for a bigger project on a water/underwater theme. 

When I found all of these orphan blocks in the same cupboard I decided that this challenge piece would incorporate existing pieces to create an entirely new one. 

The final piece to be incorporated was this small frog and lily pad cross stitch that my mum completed years ago and I inherited when my parents passed away.

With the pieces all set, I got to work on the fun part - embellishing!

First up, the incorporation of a length of this great yarn that I bought years ago in Estonia and never used.

Next up, I turned to my all-time favourite stitching book, Creative Stitches, and some of the lovely hand-dyed threads that I have hoarded over the years.

I like nothing better than leafing through Creative Stitches deciding which of the amazing selection of stitches to have a go at next :)

With the addition of some beads and sequins, inherited again from my mum, Floating Around was complete! 

Despite leaving it to the very last minute, I really enjoyed putting this together and can't wait to see what my fellow Endeavourers have come up with to fit the theme. If you want to see too, head on over to The Endeavourers you will definitely be amazed!

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