Monday, July 30, 2007

Atelier rouge

About 2 months ago I started a project on the web I had found on a blog. It is run by Pascale (same name), in northern France.

I find her very inspirational. She started well before me and shows a lot of different things very interesting. Her blog is in French only, it is called

She called her project "Atelier Rouge", the idea is to use fabric and thread, and the subject is houses, in red.

Her blog is visited more and more. When I started looking at it there were only references to a few other blogs, now there is a very long list. Well done Pascale.

She is very good on embroidery, from ribbon to Hardanger, with some photo demonstrations.

So far I have made a few blocks in the project. The first one is called "Birdhouses".

Following her advice I have used felt to do the roofs and openings.

All the fabric pieces were machine appliqued.

The second is the mushroom houses, in redwork for myself.

I remember very well doing this block as we were on holidays in Kent, and the weather was very nice. Little did we know that we wouldn't have much sun after Easter.

The third was supposed to be 3 houses but I changed and used one of my daughter's drawing to do modern terraced houses.

I used my artistic interpretation for the size and shape of the windows. That was quite fun. I still have to put some bird nests on the chimneys,

The fourth, is a scene with a windmill.

I am not sure about the sheep, it doesn't show much on the background.

Finally, I have made the igloo, just changed slightly the drawing from the original, and I did it in red work again, it seemed the easiest option considering the design.

I am thinking of adding my own block next, and it could be an african village, with mud walls, and a straw roof. That would be in keeping with the theme of different houses around the world.

Thanks for reading me and do leave a message, in French or English.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My First Quilt

At about the time when my first daughter was born, I bought a book on quilting, with lots of different styles, from Molas, to Country, to Japanese, etc...

The book is called "Rags to Rainbows" and the author is Miranda Innes. I still love it 12 years later.

I started my first quilt with a pair of scissors, a sewing machine and some pins. No rotary cutter, cutting mat or a ruler. And I managed quite well considering.

The book was very good as it explained how to sew half square triangles in rows, to save time and effort. Of course I was marking my fabric with a soft metre, and I didn't square up anything.

After a lot of time and effort, a year later at least, I managed to finish my top. It looked beautiful in my eyes, although I had to tease the fabric in some places to make it fit.

I visited the Bouchara shop in Paris and bought some synthetic wadding. There wasn't any other option. I also got the backing fabric, with printed buttons.

I started the quilting with my regular sewing machine. I had never heard of a walking foot. The result is less than perfect. I used a nylon thread, and you cannot see it, but the foot of my machine dragged a bit on the fabric creating folds that didn't exist before.

I haven't yet binded it, nor did I put a label. I am wondering if I should undo all the quilting and start that bit again, or leave it as it is as a souvenir of my first effort.

We use it anyway. At the moment it is covering the most worn out part of the sofa, until we get the new ones delivered.

Since this quilt I have been hooked, and this quilt and the book will always have a special meaning for me. And of course I have made many more, tried new techniques and invested in a lot of kit to make it easier.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our Scottish Quilt

A few years ago we had a lovely holiday in Scotland, it was the heatwave, and we didn't get a drop of rain.

Of course I visited a patchwork shop close by the place we stayed in Edinburgh, and saw the plaids. I felt very tempted and bought some fat quarters in different colours.

I had to decide on a design, that didn't look like all the products sold for tourists in the city. I chose the square in a square, and matched each plaid fabric with a plain one. There are a lot of colours : yellow, greens, reds. The fabrics are different, the weaves change, but I kept the same pairs with the plain fabrics throughout.

Here is the result.

Monday, July 09, 2007

a new doll is gone

I have been making this doll with my eldest daughter for her little cousin who lives in America. The idea was that it would be light to take back on the plane. We finished it in a hurry, as usual, and wrapped it up nicely after taking these photos.

The body is made in cotton, the filing is synthetic, the hair is some knitting wool I had left over. The dress closes at the back with 2 poppers, she has some little trousers, and a big hat called a "Charlotte" in french. Her shoes are very cute, made of pink felt with a popper to close them, and a flower to hide the stitches.

My niece can really play with it, but she was not as impressed as her mum. We will see later what she thinks, there were so many toys around her when she received it.

The patterns figure in a book, only in french as far as I know, called "Poupees de chiffon" by Corinne Craberscu. It is a lovely book and I am very tempted to make something else.

But of course I have other projects to finish first.

I will soon tell you more about the project I finished for a challenge we were given to make something recycled in our patchwork group.


PS I downloaded this photo the wrong way around and cannot figure how to turn it, and i cannot erase it either, so it has to stay like that. !