Saturday, 27 September 2014

FolkModern Art Smock

Any toddler who is as messy as our 2yo Hurricane, is in need of an art smock. Back in my childhood, we simply used one of Dad's old long-sleeve shirts, with the sleeves rolled up. Nothing fancy, but worked a treat.
I don't know what school kids are doing these days, but i came along this great old Simplicity pattern (4286) which includes and art smock for ages 3-8.

It was super easy and quick to make and i reckon should keep the paint and whatever else the Hurricane gets his little hands into, off his good clothes! I made it using some mid-weight FolkModern by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka (made in Japan) that i had left from another project (My Mum reckons he can lay on the bed with Harvey and totally blend in!). I used some bias binding that was a bit bigger than what the pattern suggested, but again, i had it in my kit and didn't want to make any new binding up before using this first. I reckon the thinner bias binding will look much better.

I like that it has two simple ties on the back and a pocket on the front. I'll be able to make new ones as he outgrows them. I can recommend this's great!

Linking up with:
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday and
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social

Monday, 22 September 2014

Memory Lane: Mt Rainier, Washington

Back in 2009, i was fortunate to travel to the United States as part of a collaboration with researchers. I spent most of my time there in Seattle, Washington. I'd never travelled to the U.S. before, and i was overwhelmed with the kindness of people and the beauty of the state during summer. The highlight for me was visiting Mt Rainier National Park with my friends Roger and Barb. The mountain was like nothing i'd seen before and i just couldn't believe how big it was! The park with its spectacular wildflowers and alpine scenery was beautiful.

While visiting a quilt shop in Seattle, i came across a McKenna Ryan pattern from the Calling Me Home series called Going to the Sun. It reminded me of the flowering bear grass i'd seen at Mt Rainier and of the alpine scenery. I'd never made an art quilt using so much fusible web appliqué before and thought i'd give it a crack.

Upon returning home, i quickly got to making it, and while i was really happy with my fabric selection (i really liked the colours in the original, so tried to match them as much as i could), my enthusiasm waned over time. It felt very stiff and i wasn't sure where i would hang it once finished. Well, it sat in my cupboard while i completed my studies and worked on some other projects. To be honest, i wasn't sure i'd ever pull it out again, but i was recently looking through some photos from my travels to Washington and was reminded of the art quilt. So, i've been slowly working on it over the last month and it's finished.

It does remind me of my visit to Mt Rainier and Seattle. My favourite parts are the purple spotty binding, the maple leaf quilting in the border and the gold thread (Madeira) that i've used for the quilting in the sunset sky. I can highly recommend maple leaves like these for beginner free-motion quilters like me. I drew them onto the quilt with a home-made template before quilting, and i've found them really forgiving of my pretty messy free-motion work.

I'm still not sure where to hang it, but i do like it. I don't like the stiffness that comes with all the fusible web and i'm not sure i'll make anything using this technique again, but it has been fun trying something different.

Linking up with:
- Amanda Jean for Finish it Up Friday
- Gemma for I Quilt Thursday at Pretty Bobbins and
- Lorna for Lets Bee Social