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Monday, 6 June 2016

I've Moved!!!


I now have a new website at  www.carolyncollinsart.com  


Please check out what I've been doing lately and read my new blog/art journal by clicking on the link above .....

Hope to see you there!!


Monday, 7 March 2016

Old Italian Block


I've been thinking about the second quilt I need to make for the twins ....  decided it should be a different design but want it to be quick and easy like the Arrowhead block.   I've found a new "smart"  block ... if anything this one is easier ...  you start with starched squares of fabric, cut the shapes and then stitch them together ..... here's what the block looks like ....




I've made a set of blocks in blues and purples to see what the quilt might look like.  Here is a sample up on my design wall ......




I think this might do quite nicely for the second quilt!

Monday, 29 February 2016

Boys and Arrows

Our twin teenage grandsons are now over 6' tall ...  and not surprisingly have outgrown the quilts I made for them a couple of years ago .... so its time to make them new quilts ....

My first thought was that a New York Beauty design would make  terrific quilt for teenage boys .... geometric and colorful .....  so I went off to a class with Chris Jurd to master the design .... that was great fun and I made half a dozen blocks .... then it dawned on me that to make 2 large New York Beauties was going to take me I don't know how long but I'd be lucky to have them both completed before 2017 at the earliest!!!!

So I've been searching round for designs that are geometric and colorful and most importantly quick!!

A Crafsy class titled 'Traditional Blocks made Simple' with Anita Grossman Soloman caught my eye and after purchasing it,  I discovered her very clever technique for  making an arrowhead block ....
I can recommend this class ... it contains some really great tips and the technique delivers an excellent result ... even for one like me who is not much good at precision piecing ....



so I've decided on a navy blue and turquoise/blue-green/blue combination using geometrics, batiks and minimal flowers!!!  Think it should look very masculine.   I will need about 80 blocks ... so best get to work ....



This Way or That?

I have made some progress with the arrowhead quilt ... about 20 blocks so far  -  have decided I will only need around 60 in total if I add a border to the design, so that's the plan now.

I wanted to try out the layout options on the design wall and see what the quilt might look like and assess how my color choices are working.

 The first option is alternating the direction of the block ......



In the second layout, the blocks are all placed in the same direction .....



The effects are very different .... can't quite decide which I prefer.

Which one do you like?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Boro Vest - Part 4 - Ready to Wear

I've been busy stitching away on my Boro style vest ... it's taken a while but it's been a very enjoyable project ...  the hardest question is to know when you have done enough stitching !!!   Here is what the stitching looks like .....



Once the boro stitching was done, I machine stitched around the edges of the vest using a small stitch to secure the boro  and the edges.   I trimmed the edges and then used a quilt style binding to finish the edges and so it's done .... ready to wear ...



I'm very happy with the end result and I'm contemplating whether I might make another version using the softer colors of the yarn dyed fabric I've been collecting.  




Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Day's Work .....

Attended a workshop with Chris Jurd on Friday and had a wonderful day!

We were making foundation pieced New York Beauty Blocks.  I'm making new quilts for grandsons who have outgrown the ones I made for them a couple of years ago!!!  and New York Beauty blocks seem like a great design for teenage boys.

Chris is a great teacher and her approach to foundation piecing works so well.  If this is a skill you would like to master ... then a Chris Jurd class is well worthwhile!

We worked on three foundation designs during the day each a little more complex ....  I managed to almost complete all three ......



The only downside I can see to foundation piecing is removing the paper so I'm trying out a couple of the wash away paper products to see how they go with these blocks.  While there is a cost,  I think is might make the process much more enjoyable!!  Will let you know how it works!!!



Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Boro Vest - Part 3 - Stitching


The stitching is moving along quite well.  I started with a Valdani Pearl 12 variegated blue thread and long rows of stitching,  from neck line to the bottom edge, about 1/4 of an inch apart.....

After a while I found this a bit boring and started to stitch around the shapes .... squares and triangles ... for a bit of variety .....



It's a bit hard to keep the stitching even and straight ... which is OK.  But to create some varied texture  I  added an extra row of stitching between every 4th row, using the heavier weight plain blue Pearl 8 thread.  This will help the two balls of variegated thread go a bit further!!!

Here is what the reverse side of the vest looks like.  You can see the various shapes as well as the parallel lines of the stitching .....  I'm not sure I will wear it with this side out ... but that's the theory!


As the fabric pieces are all raw edge ... it will be interesting to see how the boro style fabric I have created stands up to wear.

I found a very interesting blog post by Helen Terry which reports on a visit she made to a Boro exhibition in Cologne.  She describes the various forms of stitching used in the traditional Boro pieces.  Many examples use stitch around the edges of the fabric shape and into the centre in  a spiral form.  

 Here is the link to her post  http://www.helenterryart.co.uk/blog/2015/8/2/boro-the-fabric-of-life

Well worth reading if you want to know a bit more about Boro!

I'm making good progress with the stitching ... about half way there!!







http://www.helenterryart.co.uk/blog/2015/8/2/boro-the-fabric-of-life