Things [ Hand Made ]


My chance to wonder about hand made things and tell the world about those I make, love and cherish!

Monday, 24 January 2011

I'm in the zone ( the placemat zone anyway)

This weekend has been a machining weekend, funny how I can suddenly need to be machine sewing instead of hand sewing but you know me, mostly I don't care as long as I am making something.
Well this weekend I have mostly been machine sewing. Its started with the usual last minute rush to make bunting as 2 of the offspring were off to parties and bunting with the party childs name in is this year "must have" gift.
Well its what they are getting anyway.
Then the sewing moved to a quick gypsy skirt for the 4 year old for the party after a discussion of how difficult it is to bounce on bouncy castles with a party dress on.
I do see her point and a rummage through the fabric box bought enough to make a pretty gypsy skirt.
It turns out that word on the playground was wrong and it was a disco not a bouncy castle but the skirt passed the twirling test and all was well.
 so then I am caught up in the whole "need for speed" thing and decided to make place mats.
I know I am not the only one for whom new year means new place mats and it had been on the to do list all week. there are other things that have been on the to do list for weeks but they didn't involve the machine so they still linger on the list. The rummage through the fabric box had bought up a pack I had bought from Oakshott fabric. They are local and I bought it cheaper at the sale in December. I luurve it when someone has matched up all the colours for me. I still consider myself a beginner in the colour class.

 Then I proceeded to do that ridiculous thing of cutting the fabric up in order to sew it back together again.
I had Malkas book for christmas and was utterly inspired by the freedom in her piecing and the intense quilting she does.

 .... so I cut and pieced and cut and pieced then quilted round and round and round, and finished just as the boys finished watching Star Wars ( first time for the 6 year old, 143rd time for the 10year old... or at least it feels like it.)
I chose a big reel of a reddy, browny colour and I love the way its hows on some colours but not on others. At first I didn't like the unevenness of some of my circles but by the time I had finished them I loved the wonkiness. More interesting. 

I handstitched the binding with some bias binding. I have only recently found out that you do not use bias binding on all bindings. I was forever making my own bias strip with leftover cloth. Malka suggests ( see, that how much I like this book, we are on first name terms!)  not squaring off the things you make and letting them be a bit wonky, then binding with bias to accommodate the uneven edges.
I a soooo pleased with these mats, I keep stroking them. I love the almost abstract composition contrasts with the circular quilting.  Daft really when you think these are just the spare ones when the individual mats are in the wash.
I ran out of bias binding so here are the first 3 lined up. I cant wait to bind the others, then I will have 5 to stroke. I also love them in the centre of my table with a little vase of daffodils........
 so we will have another quick picture of them.

OK I will stop going on about them now!


Carrie said...

They're fantastic, I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to use them.

Malka Dubrawsky said...

We are on a first name basis and I totally love your placemats. I especially love that you took the inspiration and made it your own.

gill said...

I went to the December Oakshott sale too! I also have Malka's new book - I love her work!
The placemats are fabulous!

moss stitch said...

Ooh, I spent yesterday doing spirals on my sewing machine too! Not as big as yours and on a big quilt so got in a bit of a tangle trying to do the centre ones! It took a while to get used to freestyle sewing!
They look great.

PepperPi Pals said...

Your placemats are just gorgeous!
Clair x

Anonymous said...

I've never tired spiral stitching, found machine quilting so hard. Although I now have a walking foot for my machine and will play with that!

Katie said...

Placemat? These are just small works of art! I love your blog! So many nice things, I could comment eveywhere.

Lina said...

These are lovely, I especially love the spiral quilting - gorgeous! And great colours that look like they'll cover all manner of ketchup stains!

Snippety Gibbet said...

They are gorgeous! You do such wonderful things with fabric. jan