21 januari 2016

My mother calls my decorating style 'Interesting'

... And I'm totally taking that as a compliment.

So, remember how I started a huge hand-quilting project last spring and then abandoned it because it got too hot? Yeah, logic. I picked it up again a few weeks ago and was determined to finish it this time. My boyfriend and I have been slowly filling our walls with pretty things but I kept reserving this one particular piece of wall for this quilt. Now it's up there!

Woohoo! This is the small constellation quilt kit by Haptic Lab. They have released a large version since this one, but the sheer size of that thing makes me want to lie down. This one already took ages! But fun ages. And with a very satisfying result.

The basic idea is super simple: the quilt template has been printed on a kind of tear-away stabilizer. All you have to do is layer your fabric and batting layers, baste the template on top and go to town. Since this was always destined to be a wall hanging (fancy blankets are a no-no if you have a cat with claws he likes to use) I didn't bother to make the back of it look nice. So no pictures of that, haha!

The top fabric is a lovely soft double gauze, and it's backed in a dark blue cotton. I used four colours of embroidery thread for the quilting: dark blue and light grey for the map lines and dashed lines between the stars, and two colours of metallic thread for the stars and milky way. Metallic thread can be a bit tricky to work with since it frays and splits like crazy, so here are a few things I found helped: an embroidery needle with a larger eye so there's not as much stress on the thread and shorter lengths of thread than you'd usually take.

I didn't have enough fabric left to do matching binding, so I used some black linen from my stash. I made hanging loops from the same linen and just handstitched them to the back. The stick is a broomstick with a bit sawed off. I used this tutorial for the binding and it worked like a charm! I also added a little bit of extra embroidery after the sad events of last week. It seemed fitting.

Both the boyfriend and me love the outcome, and I've been eyeing the World Map... Even though another project like this might give me even more grey hairs. Encouraged by this success I immediately embarked on another decorating project: more personalised IKEA furniture!

I painted a little side table last year and loved the result, so when we were thinking about putting a little chest of drawers next to our front door to keep hats, scarves, keys and all the other junk that just ended up on our dinner table I decided to go that route again. I dragged this thing home one day (along with a shark) and got painting earlier this week. The base colour is a lovely gold that has a really subtle shine in the daylight, and I added a big running hare because I could!

At first I had painted the original wooden knobs black but it looked a bit cheap, so I switched them for these cut glass knobs. Wayyyy better! I'm really happy with how this turned out, and so is the boyfriend! It suits our appartment pretty well.

I'll be back soon with some sewing! There's an Inkodye workshop at Pauwels Stoffen next week and I'm already excited about the possibilities!

09 januari 2016

It's got me written all over it. Well, not really, but give me time and a crayon.

I've been doing some drawing lately, and thought I'd post a few things I've been working on! It's very strange, I don't get around to drawing nearly as much as I'd like to, and everytime I get into it again I'm kicking myself for not doing more of it. So to motivate myself a bit more I'll show some things that did get made!

I've been trying to spice up some storebought (omg!) clothes lately, and find that painting something on them is a really nice way to do so. This sweater was bought in a wardrobe emergency (I went to a party on a Friday night and would spend the night there, going straight to work the day afterwards, but stupidly forgot to pack a clean shirt for that next day. WOOPS.). It was a bit too big (no time to try it on!) so I took in the shoulders a bit and then painted a cat skull on the front. It's quickly become a favourite!

The black thing is a basic viscose maxi dress which I adorned with a stag head and some leaves. It's more of a summer thing though, so it's been packed away in the closet for now. I made both of these in the same way: sketched a design on printer paper, used carbon paper to put it on the garment and then used Setacolor fabric paints, small brushes and some patience (+ a few Night Vale podcasts) to get the job done. Both of these are holding up really well in the wash as well!

Next up is a birthday card for a new friend. He likes snowboarding and white tigers, and I think I managed to cater to that! This was made in my usual way: cut things out of paper and glue them together. Sometimes I'll just scan all the pieces separately and put them together in Photoshop, but since I was going to give the original (more like, didn't have time to get it printed, cough) it all had to fit together on the page. It only took me an evening, although those tiger stripes were the cause of some swearing!

Last but not least: another birthday present! My friend St├ęphanie had her birthday in December and invited a bunch of sewing people over to her house for food and fun times. I decided to make her something to decorate her sewing room with! Again, everything has been hand-cut from coloured paper and then glued together. I was super happy to hear she loved it! This is not the only drawing I've made for her recently, but the other one is SUPER TOP SECRET at the moment, hehehe...

I'm currently back on working on that quilt I started ages ago (embroidering all those stars with metallic embroidery thread seemed super daunting but I'm getting the hang of it- short pieces of thread and a needle with an even larger eye than usual), but I do think I'll make some more time for drawing!

05 januari 2016

All of Time and Space, Every Star that ever Was

Hooray! 2016! I survived New Year's Eve (it was pretty awesome) and now I'm back with a finished project and some cool news!

Ok, the cool news first: my dear friends Hanne and Caroline took their Sew it Up project a step further and opened an online shop! They sell specialist notions that can be hard to find in Belgium (hair canvas!), and now they sell postcards drawn by yours truly! Hop over here to take a look...

Now for the finished project! Remember how I printed my own fabric for Draw all the Things? I couldn't wait to make something out of it, so that's exactly what I did:

I only had about a yard of fabric (a black linen) so I decided to go for a super comfortable and super simple skirt. It turned out to be perfect for a few festivities (ELASTIC WAIST!)

New Year's resolution: pay more attention to posture. Noted.
The pattern (if you can even call it that) is too simple for words. I cut two rectangles, using the entire width of the fabric, sewed the side seams together, gathered the top to be slightly larger than the widest part of my hips and attached that to a piece of elastic that fit me around the waist. Bam! Skirt done in two hours. Hand-sewing the blind hem too as long as everything else together.

The print turned out so nice, and I love how there's no real pattern repeat in it. The ink I used didn't have to be heat-set, so I just let my yardage air dry for a few days, wiped the cat hair off and went to town. The waistband elastic is some sparkly stuff they started selling at the shop I work at, so now my boss is happy too, haha!

It's a very easy skirt to throw on and dress up or down, so I expect this will get lots of wear!

We took these pictures during a visit to the MAS in Antwerp, so of course I had to ask my friend to help me with this tough task of modelling, just like our previous museum visit together. (I just noticed I was even wearing the same shoes back then. Are these my museum shoes now?)

She then managed to snap a rare behind-the-scenes picture of me and the boyfriend. The things he's willing to do to help me blog!