Triangles Into Squares

We are almost at the end of January and this is my first post of the year! How are the resolutions going? Along with many of you, I am trying to declutter and get more organised.  Cupboards have been cleaned, tiles scrubbed and bags (and bags and bags) have been delivered to charity shops across Sheffield.

All the sorting and tidying has unearthed a rather unhealthy amount of unfinished projects….so I thought I would make start on finishing these rather than adding new projects to the pile!

First on the list is this bundle of half square triangles……

triangles jan 14

 

I made these a good few months ago when I was in my *triangle phase* (thankfully I am now through that one now) , they are made mostly from an unknown Moda charm pack with some Amy Butler, Riley Blake and a splash of Liberty. Once made up I struggled with the colour and layout, there was just too much colour, pattern and points! So I bundled them all up and forgot about them until my tidy up.

When I looked at them with fresh eyes I did like everything, apart from the triangles. So I sliced and diced them into 2 1/4″ squares and stitched them back together…

Squares together jan 14

 

 

And a close up of my not-too-bad-at-all seams (just don’t look at THAT one at the bottom)…

close up of squares jan 14

My plan is to quilt it with a layer of batting and calico back, and then turn it into a 50cm square cushion cover. I may even have a go at free motion quilting if I can find a simple design which will work. If you have any ideas please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page (see right), I would be most grateful.

Free-Motion Raw-Edge Appliqué Made Easy

If you *like* Little Red Monkey & Co’s Facebook page  you will know that last night I did a somewhat foolish thing.  I cracked open a bottle of wine during an impromptu sewing session.  You know the sort where you empty your entire fabric collection – including the scrap box – all over the living room.  I was inspired by a fab tutorial found on Comfort Stitching, no idea how I stumbled onto this blog (may have been the wine distracting me from online grocery shopping), but I am glad I found it.  So out came my fabric,  large helping of wine, and I was off on my free-motion-embroidery journey.  I didn’t expect it to work, i really didn’t.  Maybe it was the lack of expectation, maybe it was the wine making me carefree about that needle cm’s from my hands.  But it turned out alright……I was that pleased I made it into a cushion.  Little M has claimed it – he is my number one fan after all 🙂

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I Love Screen Printing

A little while ago I signed up for a one day course in screen printing with the fabulous Running With Scissors. Those with a good memory may remember it was here I had my first introduction to quilting and log-cabin cushion making. And now I have a new love for printmaking, particularly screen printing. I have yet to do any at home, I need to get myself a screen etc. But it is definitely on my shopping/christmas list!!

During the class I printed a folk-art inspired print onto a tea towel, with plans to frame it (still waiting) and a lovely copper sunburst onto a second tea towel, with plans to make it into a cushion (still waiting). They are pretty amazing, but the best one of all was this…..

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((Camouflage incase your wondering!!!))

I still can’t quite believe that I printed it, it’s fab 🙂 And M loves it. Now I can’t take any credit for the design, I downloaded it from the super talented Oana Befort, you can find it on her beautiful blog here. I cut the design out of an acetate, taped it onto the bottom of the screen, and voila!  Well it was a little more technical than that but all completely doable .  If you live in the area I would thoroughly recommend doing the workshop, It was a great introduction to the world of screen printing.

Now I am off to dust down the free-motion embroidery needle on my sewing machine, I have signed up to a F-ME class in a few weeks.  If I remember correctly I downed tools last time I had a go at this at home as I couldn’t get the bobbin thread to lay flat, it was all loopy.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me???

Birthday Thoughts – Quilts, Sewing and Critters

It is my proper birthday and my blog birthday this week or thereabouts. It has been a whole year since I introduced these guys to the world…

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I enrolled on a two day quilting course last year and have now caught the quilting bug (and a severe blog reading addiction!)…

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And my latest Ta Daaaaa, which hasn’t even been blogged yet (my little one is growing up too!)

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I have learned a huge amount from other bloggers and have made some blog-friends along the way too!!

A few weeks ago I turned this ….

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…into this!

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(Another Ta Daaaa moment!)

There have been ups and downs in both my virtual world and real life, but what a year I have had. A lovely thing about blogging is that it leaves a snapshot of the nice things that have happened. I created this blog with the intention of recording my creations and developing my style. I have certainly done that!! Never in a million years did I think that anyone would read it! Thankyou to each and every one of you who stumbles upon my blog, thanks even more for choosing to follow* my Little Red Monkey escapades. You have helped and encouraged me more than you can ever know 🙂

(*via a blog reader, facebook or twitter – its my bithday, I am allowing myself a plug!)

Tiny Denim Friendship Stars

I have had a strange few weeks. I haven’t been able to settle on a project. I have flirted with paper piecing, water colour and trying out quilt blocks for my “experiential quilt”….more on that to follow. I have shared a few photos of these on Facebook and twitter (please feel free to follow either, I put up links to new blog posts there too).

Tonight I have started a new project. It is to make a cover for my sewing machine. I have wanted to do one for a while to protect and prettify ( did I make that word up?) the hard case. It is kind of a practise for my “experimental quilt” too, the plan for that being to use blocks and techniques that I have not used before. This is going to include my first go at free motion quilting on a proper project! So the sewing machine cover will be my practice piece to hopefully minimise mistakes on the quilt.

Anyway, here is my first go at tiny (3″ finished) friendship stars. Made from contrasting denim.

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Admittedly they are a little wonky, but I am very pleased with them. I thought they were going to look awful right up until the last seam press. I got a lovely surprise when I turned them over. And they will fit in perfectly with the wonky houses I intend to do!

I feel quite rebellious tonight, I pressed my seams open and I used steam! They turned out much better that the traditional “press to the dark side”. I like the neatness of it. Which method do you use?

Its monday so I am linking up with Handmade Harbour, why don’t you join me…..

A Quilt Back Reaches The Top!

I made a back for My First Fabulous Quilt using scraps from my blocks and a grey bed sheet. I basically sewed small pieces into squares, cut the squares into quarters, swapped them about a bit and rejoined back into square blocks. I then had a glass or to of wine (not a great idea when your supposed to be concentrating!) and thought that I could go one step further and make pinwheels. So I did a bit more cutting and sewing, decided I preferred them as diamonds, and made the blocks as you see them now. I made it up to the required size using strips of the grey.

When I showed this quilt back to the the teacher of the quilt course, she thought it was too good to use as a back, and recommended that I make it into a quilt, using parallel quilting in the large grey areas. She then informed me that the tool that I thought was some sort of screw driver (there are a lot of tools with my new sewing machine) was in fact an aide to quilting in straight lines! Here are the results…..

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