Meadow Brick Wall

It’s time to share with you my first free motion quilt finished. I’m so happy and so proud of the result.

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Have a seat on this cute bench, admire the view of New-Zeeland sea and let me tell you the story of “where” this quilt is for.

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I made this quilt not for a person but for a place. It would be for my husband’s family house. This house is quite special: it is where we met and where we married ten years later.

This house belongs to the entire family. When the great-grandmother passed away, none in the family could afford the house. It is located in a beautiful tourist place where the taxes are extraordinary high. Not to count the bills for such a big house…

However, everyone loved the house so much and they would have been devastated if they had to sell it. My husband’s granddad and his three brothers came up with an idea: building an association where every member of the family own the place, so that everyone could still enjoy the house and participate on the expenses. And it worked ! The four brothers were in charge of the house until the next generation was ready to take part. Now, the third generation (my husband’s generation) is also playing a big role.

The family meet every two-year (70 people!) in a different part of France and discuss the budget, where money should be spent, if anything need to be repaired, etc… It is a serious meetings but it is also the occasion to get to know each other better and have a laugh. I must say, as a partner of a family member it is very intimidating to be at this meeting for the first time but they are a lovely bunch and they welcomed me well.

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The house is like a holiday house, you need to book it to be able to go there and you pay a small fee per night. I was first intrigued by this fee but now I think it’s normal. As you can stay there with friends, it helps participating on the bills.

My husband spent many holidays as a kid in this house, with his cousins. Later on, we also went to this house spending holidays and long weekends with friends. It is such a relaxing place.

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Now, the fourth generation is starting to grow: one of my husband’s cousin has two kids and another one just gave birth last week. I thought it would be nice to have a quilt in this place to enjoy the garden with little ones. The quilt is dedicated to the fourth generation of the house. I’ll offer the quilt during the next meeting (next year). I’m not sure if we will be able to make it to the meeting (we missed a few when we where living in Australia) but my quilt will. I can’t wait to see all the cousins playing and getting to know each other on this quilt. I hope it will be part of a good memory of the house.

IMG_9664The label was totally inspired by the artist E. Wolfmeyer. I was looking for quilt label ideas and I fell in love with that one. I like the aesthetic and the fact that it has a lot of information without being cluttered. As the quilt will most likely be used in the garden, I thought adding a waterproof layer on the label was a good idea  would be a good idea, hence the shininess. 
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Can you see how happy I am with the quilt? Offering the quilt to the house is also a way to still be able to enjoy it from time to time. Ha!
Quilt Details
Finished Size: approx. 53′ x 55′
Fabric: Meadow by Leah Duncan
Backing: Solid Blue
Binding: Alexander Henry, Fashion for the Home
Pieced and Quilted by: Me

This quilt was part of my Q4 finish along list. Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy mum Quilt.

Sailor jumper

After the success of my last baby jumper (little matelot sweater), I decided to continue my journey of knitting with another baby jumper. This time, I went for Touch Yarns, a 100% Merino New-Zeeland wool. I chose one of their patterns, a little sailor jumper.

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The first difference from last time was to start with a ribbing (purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, etc..). I was slightly concerned to change thread back and worth for every single stitch, but it wasn’t that hard. I got the hang of it just by watching one or two video on YouTube. You can “admire” my first ribbing:

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I started with the back, which was very similar to the other jumper, so I didn’t need help and did it quite quickly.

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The front was similar but with bigger stripes and some shaping at the collar. I still find it enjoyable and easy and did not require help up to this point. IMG_9631

I now have the sleeves to do, the collar with some buttonholes (this would be challenging) and joining up all the pieces together.

I must admit that I really enjoy knitting and I already dream of all the projects to come.

Does anyone know about good link up parties for knitting? I love sharing my work and seeing what everyone else is working on for quilts, would love to do the same regarding knitting.

Mobile hearts

Don’t you love effective projects that are so easy, they could be done within minutes? Yes, me too.

While walking on the beach nearby my house, we came across a lot of dead wood and I thought it would be great to use some to hang something up in our room.

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Coming back from the walk, I grabbed some leftover batting and fabric that I liked. On the fabric, I traced some heart shapes, sandwiched it with batting and fabric and sew inside the shape. I then simply cut where I traced the heart, leaving row edges.

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In no time, I had this little mobile hearts up on the wall. It’s a great way to display your favourite fabric.

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I’m sure it would look lovely in a little person’s bedroom too.

Linking up with Crazy mum quilt.

Using my Arizona bundle

Small WIP today to let you know my plan for the Arizona line (from April Rhode) that I absolutely adore!

As some of the prints are too pretty to be chopped too small, I found a nice pattern combining different sizes of rectangles. The pattern is from the book 1,2,3 Quilt from (Ellen Luckett Baker). As I have a coordinated solid fat quarter bundle, I think this quilt pattern is perfect. It looks random, but it’s actually very well structured. It combined a repetition of only five different blocks.

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It’s my first time following a proper pattern for a quilt and I thought I may as well doing it seriously. So, I’ve written all the rectangles sizes required on each block to make the cutting process easier. arizonaartgallery

Do you know this feeling of being scared to cut through your beautiful bundle? Well, to make things last longer, I’ve pressed every fat quarter. I thought this was a helpful mental preparation. Ha!

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I’ve now cut all my stripes. It took me quite a while to go through both bundle but I enjoyed it. The only stressful part was that I wasn’t sure to have enough fabric. According to the pattern, I didn’t, but I managed to make it work. Lucky day! Arizonafabric

I was itching to start straight away but I’m waiting for Bria (from The Good Smeller) who wants to join me for this quilt. She will also uses her Arizona fabric and we will do a QAL. I’m not sure if there is an official definition for QAL, for us, it’s just means that we are working on the same quilt at the same time. It will be fun!

If you want to join us please feel free. I’m sure this pattern could be used with many other lovely fabrics.

Linking up with:

WIP Wed

Little matelot sweater

After the success of the scarf (yes my husband wears it on cold days), I was determined to continue my knitting ventures. I wasn’t ready however, to start a new adult item as it took me forever and used a lot of yarn. So I opted for a smaller item: a baby jumper! Small note here: no, mum, I’m not sending you any particular message with this baby jumper.

We have a lot of cute patterns to chose from at the shop I work, I chose a “matelot” jersey from Sublime. It seems a bit daunting but my colleague assures me I was able to do this.

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My colleague helped me every step of the way, I could not have done it without her help. She is such a patient lady. She explained the pattern step by step and even showed me. Sometimes, I had to write notes to “translate” the knitting language into something I could understand.

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I’ve learnt to work in “sequences”. At first I had to write every row I was knitting (1 knit, 1 purl, 1 knit, 1 purl, change colours, etc.). Yes, it is time consuming but I was lost otherwise. I even managed to get it wrong couple of times, so there were some unpicking involve. But, I slowly manage to recognise where I was and I didn’t need to write anything when knitting the back. Progress! IMG_9386I managed to knit all the pieces quicker than the scarf. Shaping the collar and the sleeves wasn’t too bad. In fact, I didn’t even need help for the sleeves. I deserve a gold star, right?

As my hands were still painful while knitting, I checked some hand positions on Youtube and found a wrapping system that works well for me. I’m so thankful to all the people out there who takes the time to post videos on basic things like that.

IMG_9461Joining all the pieces together was way harder than I thought it would be.The back is coming on top of the front panel and joining them at the right place wasn’t so straight forward. The collar was also quite tricky, we had to unpick four times! I love this type of collar though, and my colleague said it would be easy to go through a baby’s big head.

Et voila:
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I’m so proud of it. I didn’t know I was capable of doing that, this little jumper is super cute!

I was surprise on how each extremity rolls itself up. What would you do? I’ve heard of using a damp towel and lots of steam from an iron. It didn’t seems to work that well for me though. Do you have any tips?

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I really enjoyed making this garment, it was much more exciting than the scarf. I would love to do this pattern again, being more independent this time and relying less on my colleague. But for now, I’m excited to build up my skills and I’m choosing another pattern to learn new tricks. So, stay tuned for more knitting projects.

PS: If you want to visit my colleague, her name is Shirley and she blogs at Don’t wait to create. She shares her knitting and quilting projects. Say Hi from me :-)
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Knitting Details:
Yarn: Naturally loyal 100% wool, 8ply
Shade: Green (947) and cream (901)
Needles: 4mm, plus 3,75mm for the collar and sleeves
Pattern: Sublime matelot sweater (code 6013)
What I learnt: The purl stitch, alternating two colours, working in sequences, following a pattern, adding stitches to a stitch-holder, picking up stitches from a cast off row (I needed help for that), shaping collar and sleeves, sewing a garment together
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Linking up with Crazy mum quilt