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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today I Gave myself Permission to...

Stay barefoot in the garden...

Practice flight...

Play with colors (ooooh yeah!)...

... ops! ;))

Enjoy being still...

Take some 'me time' without feeling guilty...

Look at the world from another perspective...

... And you? Do you give yourself permission, every now and then?
Monica x.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coffee Break.

My life is a little overwhelming at the moment, a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, and to be honest I'd need something more than a coffee break! I have to make decisions, and I don't mean which color I'd like new curtains to be (even if, believe me, that would be hard choice too!LOL). But I try to stay serene, positive and bubbly despite the fact I'm physically exausted... and just surrounding myself with what I love, helps me keep going!

Love my lilac quilt... needless to say that I'm planning to make another one (I think you're not surprised at all!), but at a much slower pace this time! 

I want to celebrate my 300th follower, so I will have a giveaway soon. Stay tuned!
Have a wonderful Thursday!
Monica x.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ta Daaaaaaaaaaaa!! My Very First Quilt!

**Note: quilters, please close your eyes! ;))**
I've been inspired by lovely Hen to make my own quilt. I thought quilting was impossible for me with hurting hands until I saw hers... I realized it was pretty simple and could be done completely with the sewing machine. Hen sent me a sweet encouraging email (thanks a million, Hen!) and I took the plunge and started it! It's not a piece of art like those fabulous and meticulously handmade masterpieces out there, but I put much love, time and loving care into it, and I am very happy with the result!

I used a selection of favorite fabrics, all around a lilac and pink scheme, in no particular order.

For the rear, a matching fabric with romantic roses. My Mom commented it's so beautiful I could use it reversed too!

Here's my simple tutorial. I mean, for anyone, like me, with no knowledge at all about quilting. You must have good sewing skills though. Just to let you know before starting this project. But it's easy and doable in a short time, it took me about 24 hours from start to finish for a single sized blanket. I made it over a three-day-weekend. I didn't buy a single pin for this project, just used what I had at home.

First, cut no less than 7 different fabrics into squares of the chosen size. Mine were 90 squares 17 cm x 17 cm./6.7" x 6.7" (finished, 15 cm x 15 cm./ 6" x 6") for a blanket 155 cm. x 140 cm./59" x 55". You can spot there are 6 matching fabrics here, but then realized I needed one more (and luckily, I had!).

Sew one square to another, to make a 2-squares-rectangle, then another pair, and then sew them together to make a 4-squares-square (a block). Do this for all your squares.
I put them on my bed to work better on a wide raised surface.

After you've found a pleasant arrangement, sew all the blocks together. Press well. This is the longest step, and caused me plenty of backache! But it was worth it!;))

Now make a sandwich with your quilt top, batting and backing. Baste with the proper thread. I know many of you hate this step, but I strongly recommend you don't use safety pins and baste instead- this will make you save time and spare frustration at the sewing machine later on. This step takes about 1 hour.

See, the basting doesn't have to be perfect or regular,  it just prevents the fabric from slipping under the sewing machine when you proceed to quilt.

Press prior to machine- stitching.

And now off to the sewing machine, you will go faaaast if you have followed my advice. I promise!

Perfect! Half an hour to do that. I quilted along the blocks lines.

Press well, I also used a bit of scented ironing water... this is the best part of the ironing, for me! :)

Now make the binding with matching fabrics. I thought and thought if cutting on the bias or not... then decided it wasn't needed (I saved alot of fabric this way) because of the shape of the blanket. So I made stripes with my rotary cutter, then pressed them well and regularly this way...

and ended up having about 7 metres (I made more just to be sure not to run short of it) of finished matching binding.

I basted it all around the quilt, previously zig-zaged to keep the three layers together, and then machine-sewn. It was impossible to finish it by hand for me, with my hurting hands, but if you want, go for it.

No idea about quilters, but as for me, I'd suggest you to have plenty of this at home!! LOL

Hope you liked this tutorial and the previous one I posted last week! It is very time consuming preparing these for you, but I am happy to share if you find them useful and inspiring!
Happy Tuesday! 
Monica x.