Unfinished Business (UL 11)

Another one from the UFO Lottery – this time it’s Unfinished Business.


In memory of
Jeff Healey
1966 – 2008

Back in the old days when I was still able to listen to music I was a big fan of the Jeff Healey Band. I went to a couple of their concerts in Germany and also saw them in Canada where I met them after a show, due to some serendipitous circumstances. But that’s a long (and personal) story.

Unfinished Business refers to the fact that Jeff Healey died at an age of only 41. That’s why I left the panel with uneven edges – unfinished.

When I learned he had died I started a piece based on the triangular shape of the guitar picks he used. This pattern is again one from the book Tilings And Patterns by Grünbaum/Shepherd, one of my favorite sources for patchwork patterns. It’s not the original layout I had in mind when I started it, I intended to add some embellishments like ribbons and beads but in the end went for a simple finish.

finished size 65 x 78 cms, cotton fabrics, buttonhole thread

 

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Schräge Vögel (UL 4)

It’s finally time for the next winner – Schräge Vögel.

I think I need to explain the title of today’s piece a little for my English speaking readers. If you translate this literally, you may get something like ‘diagonal/slanted birds’. But it’s also playing with words – in German ‘schräg’ is used also to describe things, sounds or persons (or their garments) that are a little off the normal or ‘odd’. ‘Vogel’ (bird) in this case also refers to people – in English you would call such a person a ‘crazy guy’ or, a little more on the polite side, a ‘character’.

And of course flying geese shapes in an aslant setting – diagonal birds – schräge Vögel.

I had to block this top because it was totally out of angle. It worked, but after sewing on the border strips it had returned to its odd shape. With a little picture editing jiggery-pokery I made it look almost square again for you. 😉 There are two different background fabrics because I didn’t have the amount for the whole top and couldn’t buy any more of either fabric. I decided upon a line running from top left to bottom right rather than midway across the piece. It’s a little hard to see on the picture above, but the one below gives you a better idea.

Top and backing are made entirely of fabrics from the Fossil Ferns range, finished size is 89 x 90 cms.

top with two different background fabrics and green backing

‘Japan’ Finished

Here’s this week’s first finish (yes, I’m suggesting there will be at least one more 🙂 ).

After my lunch break I pinned the edges and began to sew the top and backing together. I had to be a little extra careful because I was sewing with a contrasting thread so the stitches would clearly be visible. I used some variegated quilting thread from my stash, Gütermann Sulky in colour 4008.

Everyone gets nightmares about ripping things apart. I’m happy that it turned out easier than expected. Getting started was the trick. Now it’s finally as it should have been in the first place with beautiful flat edges. If I think about the first version that looked like corrugated iron… *shiver* The extra hours have clearly made the project a success.

Now I’m off to cut the backing fabric for Rainbow Kites as that one already has got the border strips sewn on, and maybe a little pinning. I might even squeeze in cutting and ironing the border strips for the next project. We’ll see. 😉

Japan – Update

The last seam is finished and I managed to keep the borders lying flat. Yay! The top is now complete for the second time.  Here are a few detail shots.

I chose a rusty red for the thin border which echoes the reds in the indigo prints from the panel. The dark blue border is from Moda.

For the back I chose another Moda print, Sweet Land of Liberty by Sandy Gervais. Not exactly Japanese, but it works for me.

On the weekend I’m going to cut the backing fabric and do the pinning so I can take it to work next week and do the stitching. Time for the next UFO Lottery draw now. 🙂

UFO Lottery #7 – Saving ‘Japan’

Here’s my next project from the UFO Lottery – Japan. Sorry again for the blurry picture. I bought some gorgeous indigo coloured prints inspired by Japanese patterns, got some matching beige faux uni and added a narrow strip of rusty red from my stash. I chose a simple pattern often seen in Japanese design, et voilá!

Uh-oh!

As you can see, I’ve got a little problem with this one. The border strips got wavy after I attached them. I have no idea why as I took great care not to stretch them during sewing and ironing.

So now I’m on a mission to save Japan.

This involved some ‘unsewing’ in which my dear friend Jack (the Ripper) was glad to help. First the blue strips came off, followed by the red ones which leaves me with the naked panel now.

I’ve already pressed the strips again and will now rejoin them, hoping they’ll still fit as they were cut without any extra length.

Fixed! Friday 40

Welcome to the next part of Fixed! Friday.

As you may have noticed, I’ve picked up patchwork sewing again. I’ve mentioned before that I have been busy for quite a while doing a lot of other things. Still struggling to develop a somewhat orderly schedule for next year which includes all of my crafts.

Kristall (Crystal)

Made in a self-developed 3D technique which I had tested on small pyramids before. Framed (not very expertly, I have to admit).

detail shot

Made between April 2002 and March 2003, 50 x 50 cms, 342 pieces

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Starring

Fixed! Friday 14

Here’s the next part of Fixed! Friday.

My boss, a lawyer, was on holiday this week, so I was in charge of the office. After a quick round of shopping for the weekend and a late lunch I’m now a little tired. I’ve brought home some plastic and jute yarns (it’s Garden Week at the local supermarket) which will go into some experimental crochet objects. Which reminds me of the fact that ‘Coral of the month’ is also due on my Olde Arte Blogge.

Coffee is ready now to enjoy. No music today, the new neighbors are redecorating their flat (their walls must look like a Swiss cheese by now from all the drilling). My other neighbor is making her usual ‘household noises’ which sounds like she’s wrecking the place. Well.

Here we go.

Kaleidoskop (Caleidoscope)

I took this pattern from Jinny Beyer’s book Designing Tesselations. It was only a very small line drawing somewhere on one of the pages, so I had to figure it out myself. Three kite-shaped blocks make a triangle, one side of which measures 10 cms. I love the effect of the overlapping shapes.

my hand drawn pattern

Made between October 2003 and February 2005 using cotton batiks, this one took 73’30 hours to make. Size is 55 x 65 cms, number of pieces is 648. The templates for this project were photocopied on standard paper (80 grams/sqm) instead of using thin cardboard as usual. This works well with smaller pieces and thin fabrics.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Sternenhaufen (Star Cluster)

Fixed! Friday 03

Welcome to Fixed! Friday again.

I’m posting a little later today because I’m only home now after a trip into town. Some of my works are still on display in a local sewing machine shop. It’s time to welcome them home soon.
Now I’ve settled down in my corner of the couch with a cup of tea and a little cardboard tray with two wieners, a little bun and some mustard. I know what you’re thinking – Ah, she’s finally run out of Christmas goodies. – No, I haven’t. They’re made of marzipan and were a Christmas gift. On the turntable: Rage And Ruin by Jimmy Barnes.

Also on today’s menu:

LPP42-13

If you ever see one of my pieces named like this you can be sure it’s another one from my favourite book of all times: Tilings And Patterns by Grünbaum/Shephard. This is #4 in the crash fabric series.

I love the transparency effect where the hexagon ‘rings’ overlap each other which was created by using a light colour and a dark one. As soon as you think you know which one is on top the layers shift. Your eyes can wander around in this one never finding a fixed point.

This is the sketch in which I have outlined the blocks.

Made between May and December 2001, size is 82 x 82 cms. It took 66’25 hours to sew the 475 pieces in this un-quilt together and add the borders and back. I’ve used a thin polyester batting/wadding this time for a little more ‘body’.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Kairo (Cairo)

It’s Fixed! Friday

I’ve made myself comfy on the sofa/settee/couch after getting soaked on my way home. Outside it’s still raining cats and dogs. Next to me I’ve got a thermos full of tea, some leftover Christmas chocolates (yes, such things do exist) and my last cinnamon scented candle is spreading it’s warm light. And I’ve put some soothing music on – Away Again by Mikael Rickfors.

Welcome to my first Fixed! Friday.

As I already mentioned in my last post, the archive pages with all of my works are no longer publicly visible – I’ve set them to ‘private’. But I’ve decided to pull out the best bits one by one and give you some more information on the pieces than was available before. So every Friday I will write about one piece – the fabrics used, my inspiration, maybe share some design sketches or detail photos in case I took any.

Let’s start with some pieces made from some of my favourite cotton fabrics. I call them ‘crash’ fabrics because of the printed pattern and because I don’t know their real name.

Würfel (Cubes)

This is an original pattern, the first one in a row made from the so-called ‘crash’ fabric. As far as I remember I saw this pattern in a book and made a sketch. This was back in 1989.

I remember buying the pad I sketched the pattern on. A well-known local stationery shop in the heart of town. I asked the saleswoman for a pad with 60° isometric triangles. At the end of the 80s this was still sometimes used for drawing in technical education, but the golden age of CAD had already begun. For a second she looked at me as if she was going to call the police, obviously thought of it again and went down to the basement from where she produced the pad. I’ve still got a couple of sheets left. With no hope of a replacement in sight I’m lovingly caring for them.

I started sewing in April 1996 and finished the piece in September 1997. The size is 70 x 72 cms, number of pieces is 611. It took 87.5 hours to make, using the English paper piecing technique. It is unquilted, as my pieces usually are, and there’s no batting/wadding.

Looking forward to your comments. Maybe you made this or a similar pattern, too.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Waben (Honeycomb)