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    Ormen Lange Bargello

    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

  • Mosaic Circles

    Downloadable pattern for Mosaic Circles

  • Bargello Flame

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Flame

  • Bargello Dancing Flames

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Dancing Flames

  • Somerset Pillow

    Downloadable pattern for Somerset Pillow

  • Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

    Downloadable pattern for Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

The Quilted and the Non-Quilted Feast

The first day of our tour we spent sightseeing in Moscow, and in the afternoon we ended up inside the Novospassky Monastery, where a delicious meal had been prepared for our international group.

novospassky

We were to dine in one of the towers that sit on every corner of the wall surrounding the monastery.

The entrance was through a low door in the inside wall, up some long and narrow steps to the gallery, and again ducking through low doors and into the tower room.

It was a lovely sight: tables already set with lots of delicious food, old cupboards against the walls holding beautiful pots and crockery, traditional costumes on display, along with various crafted items, – and everything lit only by candles and the natural light coming through the small windows, filtered through blue and white glass.

Many old and newer samovars were displayed around the room and on the steps to the upper room:

We were told that we were going to have a traditional Russian meal, – as in a feast, – and our guide inside the monastery described each course as they were served: what they were, a little about tradition and production, how they should be eaten, etc.

I think there were more than ten different courses, – I lost count somewhere during the meal, – and all of it was delicious; the pumpkin soup, chicken and mushroom pie, pancakes with caviar, fish, pork, cucumber rolls and everything else.

We had sweetened mint flavoured juice to drink, – very good after a long and warm day out in the streets. Then there was cake and desserts along with hot tea made from lots of different sour fruits and berries, and sweetened with comb honey.

What a treat!


 

A week later we went into another monastery, in Suzdal, and inside one of the churches there, we laid eyes on another feast.

22 year old Xenia Shlyakova had single-handedly provided a full table of yummy food, – all made from fabric and set onto a large, handmade, table cloth.

There were all kinds of food:  fish with both red and black caviar, mushrooms, and chicken…..

……. pelmeni, cucumbers, roasted pig with vegetables, goose and apples, prawns with lemon and strands of dill……

….. breads in a basket with an embroidered napkin, and decorated bread or cake.

Bearing in mind the topic of the festival was Love, and Wedding, this would probably be the kind of decorated bread made especially for weddings. Note the poppy seeds on the braided loaf, – they are all tiny french knots.

Of course there were desserts too, – fruit, berries, cake, and cookies.

No feast is complete without something to drink.  In the bottle there is moonshine, and my guess is tea in the teapots and the samovar.

I wondered a bit about the boot on the top of the samovar, but Mr. Google informs me that it is used instead of a bellow to fan the fire inside the samovar.

And then the tea is sweetened with comb honey, – everything so neatly made, down to the last detail.

quilt

One the artist’s beautiful quilts was overlooking the table.

 

Both feasts were amazing experiences, and even though the last one was for the eyes only, it is remembered just as well as the one which we could also taste and smell.

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

 

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Lagre

Transforming a Pillow

The mention of shoddy in my previous post, reminded me of a pillow I rescued from the bin when sorting out things at my parents’ house last summer.

shoddypute

I think it originally came from our grandparents’ home, and I remember sleeping with that pillow when I was a little girl. It was very lumpy back then, and even worse now. Nobody else wanted it, and my first thought was to toss it, but then I rather liked the two fabrics it was made of, and since it would also be good for supporting the breakables during our drive back home, it went into the car instead of the bin.

shoddy

Back home I opened it up and emptied the filling into a plastic bag. This is what shoddy looks like after it has been inside a pillow that has been used for more than 60 years. Very lumpy indeed.

shoddy2

Shoddy is made from old woolen garments, like the socks in my previous post, which have been shredded and carved into fibers, and then carded and made into fillings for pillows and duvets. Close up, one can see some of the original threads and many different coloured fibers.

shoddyputestoff

I washed the fabric and put it away in a plastic bin.

Then we bought a new sofa, and I needed a couple of new pillows. I had seen one in a recent quilting magazine which gave me some ideas, and when looking through my stash for some background fabric, the old pillow came to mind.

kutte

I brought it out, and decided to use both fabrics, and I could even keep the old seam. I cut it one ruler width from the seam on both sides, and then cut the length into two parts, one for each pillow.

Then I added strips of a blue cotton damask fabric, which I had dyed myself many years ago. The two backgrounds are a bit different in size as the inner pillows I had available were of two different sizes. I also turned the stripes horizontally on one, and vertically on the other.

quilte

Then both backgrounds were layered and quilted with a wavy, on point, grid.

teikn sirklar

Next, I drew lots of circles in three different sizes on paper backed fusible web. They were ironed on to the back side of many different yellow, orange, red, and some purple scraps.

 

sy2

Then I placed my “flowers” on the green and blue background. I moved them around till I was satisfied with their placement, then ironed them down.

 

sy

I sewed around each circle using the satin stitch on my machine. Since the background was layered and quilted, there was no need for a stabilizer.

stilk

I drew some stems with chalk, and then sewed them using a wider satin stitch.

blad

In order to make some leaves, I ironed strips of different greens onto fusible web. Then I drew some leaf shapes in different sizes, and made some templates which I used to draw on the paper side of the fusible web already ironed to the strips. I cut out lots of leaves so I would have some to choose from when distributing them on the background.

blad2

When I was satisfied with the placement, I ironed and sewed around all the leaves using the satin stitch.

ferdig1

Then I only had to make backings for the pillows. Since I did not have zippers available, I made the envelope style backing. I use that a lot.

ferdig2

And onto the sofa they went.

🙂

Eldrid

Annual Spring Report 2015

May 1st has come and gone, so my annual spring report is overdue, but here it is.

spring15a

I guess there is no such thing as a “normal” spring, but if there were, this would be close, I think. At least this is very close to my memories of what spring used to be.

spring15b

Since we were going away on May 1st, I took these photos in the evening the day before, and nothing had changed much overnight, so I think they count as May 1st photos.

We have had a relatively mild winter with little snow here on the coast (inland dwellers will tell a different story), but the spring has been quite cool, especially April. The leaves on the birch trees have just started to come out, but very slowly.

spring15d

 

spring15e

The daffodils are budding, and a few are in bloom.

spring15g

The exceptions are the ones by the walls facing south, they have been blooming for some time. The crocuses are all finished, unlike the very cold spring 2 years ago, when they were still in full bloom on May 1st.

spring15c

The flowering currant bush is also in full bloom, ….

spring15f

…. but none of the rhododendrons have shown their colour yet, – not even the early ones.

spring15h

The tulips by the wall are ready to bloom, and were opening up when we arrived back home two days later.

spring15i

The rose bush has got some green leaves, but the spirea bush only has a hint of green on it.

spring15j

No leaves on our old rowan tree yet, but it is budding. We still have snow falling now and again.

As we travelled into the fjords on May 1st, we could see that there was still a lot of snow in the mountains, and the greenery varied from quite green to none at all, depending on whether the slopes were facing south or north, and on the altitude. Some high lying farms inland still had their fields covered with snow.

 

 

🙂

Eldrid

Fair Weather Hexagons

The weather has been nice, – in fact more than nice: really, really hot for these parts of the world.

That is when I pull out my ongoing hexagon project and sit in the shade, cutting, basting and sewing.

hexagonjuly14a

When making the shorts shown in the previous post, I ended up with a lot of odd shaped remnants, perfect for cutting up into hexagons. They have all been basted, along with a few other remnant pieces laying around my sewing area.

hexagonjuly14b

A few have been made into flowers, with a few background pieces added, ready to be attached to the growing top.

hexagonjuly14c

I am starting to think that this will become a small throw for the sofa. It is wide enough by now, but has only a third of the desired height, so I will need to add about a hundred new flower blocks, plus some half blocks to make the edges even.

I see I will need a lot of fine weather to finish this one 🙂 🙂   Bring it on!

🙂

Eldrid

Ukrainian Folk Costumes II

We have just celebrated the 200 year anniversary of our Constitution on 17th May, and as usual on the National Day, everybody who own a national costume, wore it to the festivities.

While I was enjoying myself looking at different dresses with a myriad of interesting details, I was reminded of the rest of the photos of the Ukrainian costumes that have been sitting in my computer for some time, waiting to make their way into this post.

Well, here they are at last.

The first one here is a costume from the  Transcarpathian flatlands. We are still in the era of the sewing machine, as can be seen on the vest. It has colourful ruffles made from a very thin fabric, which have frayed a bit over time. The shirt has fantastic smocking and embroideries on the cuffs. The photo of the skirt is sadly out of focus, but shows the multiple colours of the ruffle border.

I have been studying the belt, but cannot quite decide on the construction technique. I have been wondering if it might be made in the old braiding technique called “sprang”, but I am not sure. Maybe someone reading this will know. As I wrote in the first post, there was no information on the individual costumes other than the region they came from.

The costume above comes from the Lemko area. Again, the amount of detailed work is amazing. I like the dense embroidery of the head dress, which is also repeated on the cuffs, and I love the large pearl collar, – and not just because quilters are partial to hexagons.

When studying the embroidery on the skirt, you will notice that each motif is perfectly aligned with the pressed folds of the skirt.

I wonder how many pearls would be used for a dress like this.

Then we move on to Bukovyna, and here they had costumes for both men and women on display. The one above is for males, and it looks like they were not averse to wearing flowery decorations embroidered in many colours, – including hot pink.

The detailed work done on leather is impressive, and I love the woven belt. Also, I was surprised to see that the bottom of the trousers has a border of drawn thread embroidery. They show very little wear, so these trousers  must have been for very best use.

Above is the female costume, which, as a whole, appears less colourful than the male counterpart. The most impressive parts are the sleeves, which look unusually long, by the way, – and all covered in embroidery in three very different patterns. The edging on the vest with alternating dark and light fur, must have taken quite some time to accomplish. The belt has a similar pattern and colours as in the male costume, but seems to be narrower.

 

Now, this one from the Pokuttia region has everything: embroidery, fringes, pearls, handmade cords, – you name it, – and then some detailed leather work to blow your mind.

First, I love the head dress with the colourful borders. To wrap it around the head and make it sit correctly must be an art in itself. The shirt sleeves are also heavily embroidered.

But the most impressive part is the vest. I have no knowledge of leather work, so can only guess at how these things are done, but even to an untrained eye, there is no denying that a lot of work has gone into this piece. Just look at all those small pom-poms, – they look like they are felted. Anyway, each and every one of them have been fastened, – probably sewn, – to the leather along with an accompanying dark triangular leather piece.

The narrow checkered borders on both sides of the the front looks like narrow dark leather bands have been woven into slits in the light leather background. Then there is some cross stitch embroidery, and red and yellow twisted cords are couched on both sides.

The alternating pieces of dark and light fur on the edges of the vest, are even narrower than on the vest we looked at above, and there are also lots of small triangular leather pieces, looking like praerie points, on top of the fur pieces.

 

This women’s dress from the Hutsulian area is also rich in details, and colours.

The head dress is interesting, consisting largely of pearls, – but I wondered about the tinsel. I guess it must have been highly valued at some point to be displayed so prominently.

I love the pattern in the pearl necklace, – although there are repeats, it appears quite irregular.

The upper part of the shirt sleeves has a very dense, colourful embroidery.

The vest has similar decoration details as the one above, but they are arranged a bit differently. Lots of couched cords, and the edges of the dark triangular pieces are also couched in dark thread, – so much so the leather almost disappears. Lots of eyelets are also used as pure decoration. It also has a colourful embroidered border at the bottom, in style with the shirt embroidery.

Here it is obvious that the base leather is sheepskin, which I also suspect is the case of the vests in the photos further above.

In addition to a woven belt, there is also a woven band adorned with pom-poms wrapped across one shoulder, reminiscent of a ceremonial sash, some times used at weddings. Now, if this is a wedding outfit, maybe that would explain the tinsel, – just guessing here.

 

The corresponding men’s costume from the Hutsulian area is even more adorned than its female counterpart, minus the pearls.

The shirt front is richly embroidered in many colours and patterns, including numbers which indicate it was made in 1961.  The woven belt is quite wide and has stronger colours in it than the one on the women’s dress, – maybe it is newer and less faded.

The vest has similar decor elements and placement as the one above, minus the embroidered border at the bottom. This one has larger, dark triangles, and they are adorned with lots of eyelets and have their edges couched with green cord. The checkerboard strips are wider and have three bands woven into them.

The footwear is also similar between the two costumes.

This is a woolen cape from the same area as above. It has some embroidered decor around the neck, down the back, and along the seams.

The tip protruding at the back looks like it could be a hood, but  I have not been able to detect an opening for the head. It is a mystery to me why it looks like this, unless it is meant to cover a load carried on the back.

The last two costumes that were on display, are from the Podillia area. The men’s costume has a long shirt, with a wide embroidered border around the opening at the front. Stitches around this opening also serve as a strengthening of the fabric, which can easliy tear at the bottom of the split.

The decorative leather work on the west is more similar to the ones from the Bukovyna area than to the two shown directly above. This also goes for the belt, which seems to be woven in a jacquard technique.

The most prominent feature of the women’s costume from Podillia, is the strong decor on the sleeves. With two heavy, black and red pieces at the top, – not sure whether they are embroidered or sewn in fabrics, – and a wide, black zig zag ribbon sewn in a spiraling pattern around the sleeves, they sort of define the whole costume. The red colour is also repeated in a many stranded pearl necklace.

The vest is decorated in similar technique as the one above.

——————

Seeing this exhibition, and then studying the individual photos afterwards, has been like a journey, – very interesting. People everywhere like to dress up, and being well dressed is always a way to show off either wealth or status.

A lot of these costumes has been very time consuming in making, showing that these people had time on their hands, and material, to spend on other things than just scraping a living.

—————–

The first post about the exhibition can be seen here.

 

🙂

Eldrid

The First Kameleon Quilt

It is Festival time again over at Amy’s Creative Side.

Since I am working on projects that cannot be shown yet, I decided to write about an older quilt this time, – and then I thought, why not go to the real old ones while I am at it. So here we go: the first Kameleon Quilt:

nightandday-night

After the quilt was made back in 1998, people were constantly asking: How did you come up with this idea?

Well, how indeed.

Keeping track of my creative process, and then explaining it afterwards, is not at all easy. The process is for the most part visual, and does not translate well into words. Words as such come into play only as long as they trigger mental pictures.

Well, –  here goes anyway:

It started as a brainstorming for a special log cabin quilt I wanted to make, – something that would be a bit different from just ordinary log cabin.  I had been into three dimensional folding techniques for a while, and was pondering if three dimensional pieces could be added to the quilt somehow.

nightandday-night-detail

I had also just read, and immensely enjoyed, Antonia Barber’s book about The Mousehole Cat.   I loved the illustrations, and many of them were mainly in blue greens, which are my favourite colours.

 

Mowser the cat helps save the starving village “Mousehole” by pacifying the Great Storm Cat so his human can land a catch of fish. Afterwards they celebrate with “Stargazey Pie”.

Just from this last word a lot of associated pictures came to mind: yellow stars gazing out of a velvety blue sky, the oval bluish fish peeping through the golden pie crust, the pie shape in my quilt design program which easily makes a melon patch block when doubled and flipped over.

I had also flowers in mind.  They are always appealing, and the Stargazey-Pie-word  made me think of the flower called “Night and Day”, a small pansy-like flower with dark violet-blue and yellow petals.

dagognatt2I wanted to make a quilt which would remind me both of this flower and the starry night sky. But how?

I was finally able to visualize log cabin blocks surrounded by flower petals, a yellow centre, something orange and pink folding out onto a blue-green background of leaves. Yes – I could make that happen by alternating the colours of the blocks and let the petals be three dimensional., standing out from the surface.

nightandday-day
Could I make the petals open and close? – that would be fun. What would the quilt look like with closed petals? Very green, perhaps, because then the petals would cover the yellow centres. And maybe it would be boring if all the yellow disappeared behind the green leaves.

Could I make the leaves more blue and put in some yellow spots for stars somehow? The Stargazey word had not left my mind yet, and since the flower petals close at night, the quilt ought to look sort of “nighty” with the petals closed.
What if the petals didn’t close completely, but let some of the yellow flower centers show through? Cut holes in them? Yes, that was definitely a possible solution. But when the petals opened again, then the blue-green would show through on the orange-pink side of the petals, – well, so what? The holes could be leaf- shaped, then they would fit nicely with the flower theme.

How could I make the holes in the petals look nice? I did not particularly fancy raw edges at the time.  Passepoils? Too much work, and I might not get them to be flat.
Cut the petal in half and curve the two adjacent edges? That would be sort of cheating, but it might work well. Curve the edges?????? That’s it!!! Curve the edges of the petals themselves, and there will be no need for holes or cutting in halves.

 

nightandday-day-detail

 

The idea was too good not to try out, so I eventually sat down and drew a pattern and then sewed the quilt. I discarded the log cabin block and went for a block with straight diagonal seams instead.  All the time I felt so smug when thinking about my quilt which would be able to change between two looks: open petals and closed petals, and at this stage I had also figured out that I needed loops and buttons to hold the petals in these two positions.

As I had joined the blocks into rows and was sewing the rows together, the three dimensional petals wobbling this way and the other while I was sewing, I suddenly realized that my quilt would have more than only two looks. In fact, there were so many possible combinations, I was not able to figure it out. An internet acquaintance, who happened to be a computer engineer as well as a quilter, helped me figure out the number.

nightandday-diagonal

The triangles, or petals, can be buttoned in an unbelievable 1 152 921 504 606 846 976 possible combinations. The number is so huge I did not even know how to say it, and I bet many of you do not know how either.
Out of this, “only” 512 combinations will make up a symmetrical and balanced pattern, which is still a lot more than the two I had planned.

I probably should not reveal that this was a surprise to me, but rather do as the cat does after it falls off the window ledge: just walk away with a posture that says: “it was not an accident, I intended to fall all the time”.
But I admit it, I did not plan all these combinations, they just happened!

nightandday-detail

I named my quilt “Night and Day” after the flower, but a friend commented that it was just like a chameleon as it could change its look endlessly, so I also called it The Kameleon Quilt. With so many looks, it deserved to have more than one name.

nightandday-medallion

 

Later I have made more quilts using the same principle of the 3D petals or flaps, and then they were numbered Kameleon Quilt no 1, no 2, etc. They can all be seen on my website.

I also made an animation to show how the petals, or flaps, turn and change the look of the quilt.

I eventually wrote a pattern for the quilt, and also taught classes. It also hit the TV-screens during the last season of “Simply Quilts”.

Over the years people have sent me photos of their own renditions of the quilt.  I am often told that especially their menfolk are intrigued by the quilt and the way it can change its look almost endlessly. It is a great toy. 🙂

playing

Here is our oldest grandson engaged in buttoning the flaps to change the quilt.

This quilt is entered in the “Original Design Quilt” category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  Please head over to Amy’s site and check out all the other entries there.

 

My entries for the previous festivals can be seen here:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

 

 

Annual Spring Report

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports and compare between the different years.

This year beats all the previous ones in terms of early blooming.

springreport2014t

We have had a very mild winter with next to no snow, and then the last part of April was exceptionally warm, …..

springreport2014b

…….so the woods turned green record early, and everything was suddenly in bloom.

springreport2014a

On May 1st. when these photos were taken, a little bit of winter had returned. Showers of snow are coming down from the north.

In between the showers, the sun comes out, and everything looks like summer again, ……

springreport2014g

…. but it is quite cold when venturing outside.  I love the colour of new leaves when the sun filters through.

springreport2014c

The white wagtail  (motacilla alba)  has returned from Africa, and is busy patrolling our veranda bannister, hopping and flying up and down outside the windows to catch insects hiding between the wall boards.

In between he rests on the telephone line.

springreport2014i

The cherries and plums are in bloom record early. During the warmer days earlier, a few bumble bees were busy visiting the flowers, but there are not a lot of other insects around yet.

 

All the narcissuses have been out for at least a week, and hopefully they will last a bit longer now the weather has turned cold again.

 

Hopefully that will also be the case with the rhododendrons and tulips as well, – some of the latter being nearly finished already.

The strawberry bench is in good shape already, and the blueberries have been blooming for two weeks. I cannot remember seeing blueberries in bloom in April before.

springreport2014v

It is even earlier than the spring of 2011, which was the best one before now, since I started taking photos in 2009.

Spring has been really good this far, so I will not complain about a little cold and snow, even if it is May.

(As long as there is no real frost, that is.)

🙂

Eldrid