Sometimes I make things that do not contain any fabric, shocking right? My youngest daughter recently turned two years old and I made a treat she could take to daycare to share with the other children to celebrate. What they bring has to be healthy, a policy I fully endorse but a single box of raisins just doesn’t look so festive.
The past three birthdays I picked a nice children’s book and made something to decorate the raisins that fits in with the theme of the book. The children can enjoy their raisins and as a group they get a new book to read with the teachers.
This time I picked a book about a boy and an elephant that play hide-and-seek, David Barrow’s “Have you seen elephant?”. It’s very cute, the elephant is not particularly good a hiding as you can already tell from the front cover but the boy can’t find him at all. My daughter loves elephants and hide-and-seek, even though she doesn’t really get the rules yet. She still runs out of her hiding spot the moment you’re done counting, usually from behind the floor length living room curtains, but she has so much fun!
In Adobe Illustrator I drew a box with an elephant on one side to fold around the box of raisins. I am quite proud at how recognizable the elephant turned out! I had to omit the tusks though because whatever I tried they just looked ridiculously out of place.
With the Dutch modern quilt guild we have a theme each quarter and we are challenged to make things that fit inside this theme. Last summer the theme was modern traditional. The challenge was to create something with a modern twist using the churn dash, ohio star, dutchman’s puzzle or basket traditional block.
I played around with the idea of doing a wholecloth quilt where the quilting defines the shapes of the traditional block. I got as far as making a small quilt sandwich and machine quilting the outlines of the Dutchman’s puzzle. Then I got sort of stuck on what to do next and it just sat in one of the piles on the desk next to my sewing machine.
The first theme of 2021 was slow stitching and we did a Zoom hand quilting workshop for which I needed something to practice on. Instead of making another quilt sandwich I simply pulled the unfinished Dutchman’s puzzle from the pile and started stitching in the background triangles without much of a plan. Just starting is sometimes the best way to get out of indecision. I used the Sulky 12wt Cotton Petites thread that I had received from the DutchMQG for this theme and I really liked sewing with it. It sewed smoothly and didn’t tangle.
After filling in the background triangles it was time to do something with the geese and I thought the piece needed a bit more colour so I switched to the thicker Wonderfil Perle 8 thread that I already had in my stash and picked green, blue, pink and yellow. After finishing I didn’t like the yellow so much because the contrast with the green background wasn’t as good as with the other 3 colours so I replaced it with a light brown which worked much better.
At some point I also started to hate the black machine stitched lines and pulled those out as well. Much, much better.
For the back of the pillow I picked a quilting cotton from my stash and underlined it with another piece of cotton before installing an invisible zipper. I am very happy with how this pillow turned out. I am now toying with the idea of doing a larger wholecloth quilt to create a handquilted sampler using traditional block shapes. I do tend to overthink these things and am currently stuck on what to choose for the background fabric since that is going to define the look of the piece so much. Suggestions anyone?