Thursday, 28 November 2013

Apple Baby Hat: November challenge for Across the Pond Sew Along

Here is the Apple Baby Hat I made for this month's challenge for the Across the Pond Sew Along. The hardest part of making this hat was actually... taking the photos! It is so difficult taking photos of children, they move sooo fast. In the end I took some photos just of the hat, I was getting quite desperate!

The Apple Baby Hat is made using the pattern for the Dino-mite Hat from Patchwork, please! by Ayumi Takahashi. I just swapped the spikes for a quilted leaf and a fat stem.

Of course, the apple fabric helps give the idea too. The red and pink meant that I could use pink minky on the inside (to make it nice and warm) and pink velvet tags for tying the hat under baby's chin.


I think I just have to get faster at taking photos or take a thousand to get one good shot!
 It was fun though!

Amy Made That! eamylove

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Quilt Photography Workshop: Japanese Fabric Zipper Pouch

 This month's challenge at Beth's "The Quilt Photography Workshop" is all about colour and using white balance to get the truest representation of that colour. To practise using the white balance on my camera (actually a Nokia N8 phone) I decided to use a Japanese fabric zipper pouch I made using a beautiful bundle of fabric from Nunoya.

Nunoya is a Spanish based company specialising in Japanese fabrics retail and wholesale. Their shop is located in Barcelona's historic centre but they also have a very good on line shop. I found out about them at a fair in Milan. Take a look at the Japanese fabrics they stock in their on line shop, you'll be really impressed! From Echino to Nani Iro by Naomi Ito (stunning double gauze fabric), from kawaii to traditional motifs.

Back to the challenge: I started off by taking photos of the pouch using the white balance presets on the phone, taking the same photo using each time with a different setting. Here's the result:

Custom white balance setting



I then tried out the manual exposure  function on the camera. I can only change using preset exposure ranging from -2.0 to + 2.0. Here are the photos I took:





To finish off, I tired changing the colour of the background, with the same order of white balance: custom, daylight, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent:

Look at the difference the background makes, it's incredible. Conclusions? My favourite is actually the first photo. I know, after all that, it's the custom white balance setting, on a light background! But to be honest, the truest colours are in the cloudy version. This challenge has been super interesting and I've learned so much!

Plum and June

Monday, 18 November 2013

Debbie's @ A Quilter's Table Mango Block for the Global Scrap Bee

For the Global Scrap Bee last month's Queen Erica from Happy Fabric asked for blocks with red and green on backgrounds of white/cream in a block design of our choice. Erica wants to make a Christmas sampler quilt with her bee blocks. I decided to try using Debbie's (A Quilter's Table) Mango Block, that had caught my eye. I liked it how the circle reminded me, in Christmas colours, of a wreath and how the pinwheel would make that wreath stand out.

The instructions for making the block and the templates were super clear. I don't have much experience sewing curves but it went off quite easily with the help of a few pins. My version of the block isn't perfect but I like the fabric I used for the circle as it has a pretty pattern that looks just like a wreath.

Debbie's version using Nordika is fantastic, the quilting is stunning!

Photo from A Quilter's Table

Photo from A Quilter's Table

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sewing in Fashion and Design: embroidery hoop clocks, zip bracelets, buttons and more

Some time ago I wrote a post about how everything "sewing" (and craft in general) was inspiring fashion and design. In Italy this trend seems to be growing and here are a few products that I thought you might be curious to see.

Starting from these fun embroidery hoop inspired clocks by MIHO Unexpected:

Happy Hour

Take Your Time

Tea at Five

Il Centimetro has developed their tape measure bracelet concept into other products: watches, keyrings, wallets and bags, all made in Italy:

Photos from Il Centimetro

Seletti has also come up with a clever product called Philo that is a coloured electric cable wound up on what looks like a thread reel:

Photo from Seletti

Photo from Seletti

There are also some super fun products for children that are very popular at the moment: Zip bracelets by Shokkybandz

Photo from Loook

and Sbottonati, a collection of 120 buttons you can sew or stick on to decorate (Preziosi Collection):

This is the only photo I managed to take before the buttons disappeared into Ella's school bag!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Making Christmas List: Fabric Christmas Cards, mobiles, quilts and wrapping up presents

My list of projects to make for Christmas seems to grow every day as time quickly passes before Christmas. I'm joining the Making Christmas Blog Hop created by Rebecca @ Making Rebecca Lynne and Janine @ Rainbow hare quilts to write down this list, trying to stop it growing in my imagination...

1) Fabric Christmas Cards: I've been playing with this idea in my head for a while, thinking of the best way to finish off the back of a fabric card. I don't want the batting to show on the sides and I would like the back to look good too.

2) Mobiles: I absolutely love them! So I'm planning on making at least two for Christmas. One is about transforming these leaves, made following a Mollie Makes pattern and inspired by some leaf fabric I used in my Shantung Shangai blocks, into an autumn mobile.

3) Quilts: I'm finishing my Column quilt and I have a mystery quilt to make for Christmas too. The mystery is will I ever manage to chose the fabric, get it delivered and make the quilt in time? We will see!

4) I'm going to finish some Christmas Lollipop decorations too, making a version with a tag on top for hanging too.

5) I would also like to work on my wrapping up for Christmas. Every year I like to think of a new way for wrapping up presents and I have a few ideas to work out here too...

Linking to the Making Christmas Blog Hop, this week hosted at Whims and Fancies.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Apples - November's challenge for the Across the Pond Sew Along

For the Across the Pond Sew Along Amy from Amy Made That! has chosen Apples as this month's theme. I love apples: eating them (!!!) and in design too. It's incredible how an apple can look really great in so many different designs. Recently I made the Yum-Yum apple bib for the Zakka Along Patchwork, Please.

Have a look at the Patchwork, Please Flickr group to see how many different versions of this bib were made!

Cropping up over Blogland, as Amy noticed, are the fantastic apples from Lori Holt's (Bee In My Bonnet) new book Quilty Fun. Are you following the Sew Along and Blog Tour? You mustn't miss Kerry's version of the apples at verykerryberry. She is hosting the first stop of the Quilty Fun Sew Along and Blog Tour. I'm very tempted to buy this book...
Kerry writes one of my favourite blogs, have a look yourself and you'll see why!
This photo is from her blog verykerryberry showing a detail of her version of the Quilty Fun blocks:

And have you seen this beautiful necklace? It's made by the talented Ingrid Figueras at Sewing Lab.
Take a look at the rest of her Fruta collection too... delicious!

I had better get working on my apple project then!

Amy Made That! eamylove

Monday, 4 November 2013

Updated List for 2013 Q4 Finish-A-Long at Leanne - she can quilt

At last I've managed to take some photos for my list for the Q4 Finish-A-Long at Leanne's She Can Quilt, between rainy days! As the last months of the year are always so hectic and I know there won't be much time for sewing, I'm concentrating on two quilts. I am planning on finishing some "ancient" unfinished projects:

1. Shantung Shanghai

I was taught this block during one of Roberta Sperandio's fantastic courses, went home and made loads more. They've been sitting in a pile looking at me for ages now. The time has come to put them together. Roberta calls the block Shanghai, like the game with sticks. Shantung comes from the fact that I've used beautiful shantung silk inside many blocks.

Here's some details:

2. Column Quilt

The Column Quilt is another dinosaur, started at a great course by Francesca Miglierina at her shop Tessilesa in Laveno, it's been folded inside a box for ages (hence all the folds you can see in the photo!). If Francesca's reading she'll tell me off next time she sees me for not finishing it. It's a really clever technique for making a quilt, very fast (unless you're like me taking ages to finish it off!). I even started quilting it but unstitched loads of it because I didn't like the decorative stitch I'd chosen.

A detail:

I'm updating my link to the 2013 Q4 Finish-A-Long at Leanne - she can quilt on my previous post.

she can quilt

A reminder: if you would like to vote for my entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, you can in the Quilt Photographer category here and in the Art Quilts category here starting from the 1st of November until the 7th of November over at Amy's Creative Side. To vote click on the heart in the corner of the photo when you scroll over my entry. Thank you!