Birthday Quilting – Ryan Gosling on a Quilt?

I have been crazily busy, so please excuse the slowness in posting. I am carefully planning my quilts trying not to have more on the go than I can cope with, whilst trying to keep my wandering quilt mind in check!

I have been creating Birthday gifts, one conventional, designed by myself!

The other a moment of madness that had to be followed through!

I’ll start with the first one, which started with a rash and unplanned trip to the quilt shop that features so often in my blog ‘Hometown’ in Rochester. Hard to imagine in this current weather, but it was a cold Wednesday night in the run up to Christmas. My husband late night collecting parcels from the sorting office left me to my own devices in the quilt shop that was open late…. (mistake!)

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I found this gorgeous fabric, with woodland scenes, autumnal colours with birds, bears, deer and raccoon. So I then had to buy a whole host of fabric to go with! Obviously!!!

I knew who I had in mind when I saw it but no design yet… I wanted to show off the beautiful animals and so to cut it up in to small bits wouldn’t do. So I came up with a 9 block design that would have 5 showcasing the woodlands fabric.

Autumn Quilt

Laura’s Birthday is in May, plenty of time given it was only Christmas but given I am prone to start quilts, then start another, I figured it needed to be earlier rather than later!

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Fortunately I achieved my aim and Laura received her present in time for her birthday 🙂 I loved this quilt so much I almost kept it!!!

I have also been practicing my embroidery. So have finally been adding labels to my quilts. Something all quilters should do but something I am rubbish at!!

Present - Copy

At the same time I was also working on another Birthday quilt this time one destined for my friend who likes Mr Gosling!

Spoonflower, an American based company that allows crazy people like me design fabric, have a yearly staff challenge for their workers where they all create a quilt. One group put their creative minds together to create a ‘Ryan’ quilt http://blog.spoonflower.com/2013/03/2013-spoonflower-staff-quilting-challenge-pt-9-a-ryan-gosling-quilt.html

I shared this blog post on Facebook and I received lots of comments, mostly with other celebrity quilt suggestions! So in a moment of madness (one that matches our friendship!) I ordered the fabric for my friend Kirsty and got machine quilting

Ryan Quilt - Copy

This one involved a lot of machine quilting!

K Label - Copy

To finish it off I added a label on the back, using Ryan Gosling’s meme ‘Hey Girl…’ though he has never been known to say it, Gosling fans frequently use it on posters etc! I thought it was apt to use it on the label 🙂

His recent announcement that he likes to knit, caused a stir amongst crafty ladies across the world. So deserves a mention on any creative project which involves his face!!!

Present K

I am happy to say both quilts went to happy homes 🙂 and hope that they will have years of love. Although I recognise that Kirsty’s husband may not ‘love’ the Ryan quilt as much as his wife…

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Tea Please…A Fabric Blackboard?!

Imagine my excitement when I discovered that there was such a thing as chalkboard fabric!!! Yes it is a little sad, just how much excitement but all the same, it is pretty awesome!!

I bought mine from ebay, a fat quarters worth cost me around ÂŁ7 but I figured if I cut it up I could make quite a few blackboards (family & friends beware, guess what’s coming to your home soon!)

What I love is that you can be as creative as you like! My friend just before Christmas was looking for mini pegs so that she could hang her Christmas Cards up on string which got me thinking… what about a section where you could hang a photo, then where to put the chalk, so that spurred on the idea of a pocket, before I knew it I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve in my head!

Last week I mentioned those gorgeous fabrics I bought from Spoonflower including my own designed fabric and thought this would be the perfect project to incorporate some of those in!

So two dragons stand proud next to the postcard pocket, guarding the chalk!

Fabric Blackboard Tea Please

And finally the top which has our surname initials and in the middle a section of my own fabric!

It took me an afternoon and was immensely satisfying to make. Visit my ‘How to make your own fabric blackboard‘ page above for details of how to make your own!

The great thing is, is that it can be as long or as small as you want and well anything goes!! Show off your embroidery, create separate blackboard fabric sections, applique… the options are endless.

What was the first thing to be written on the board? It has to be the most said phase in the house…. ‘Tea Please’ !!!

Tea Please!

Spoonflower and a world of endless possibilities!

So last year I took the plunge I designed my own fabric! I have always wanted to do it but thought it would be expensive to do so. Not sure what started me off, but one bored evening I started googling. A habit that always ends in money being spent!!!

That’s when I discovered http://www.spoonflower.com, a company based in America that allows ordinary quilters and artists to design and print their own fabric at a reasonable cost. What they also allow you to do is sell your own designs so others can buy your designs too. There are thousands of designs available for purchase from a huge range of subjects from Birds to Monsters to Urbanscapes. I spent hours browsing the site seeing what others had done and working out whether this would be a costly venture!

The trouble is now that I had finally decided on designing my own fabric I needed to make up my mind what design to make! I love cityscapes and in 2011 I designed a fabric postcard which was a simple black outline of a sun with an apocalyptic sun.

Fabric Postcard of Cityscape

To turn your design into fabric all you need to do is upload a file in either a JPG, PNG,  SVG, AI, GIF, TIF, or EPS file which basically means anyone can do it. I took a photo of my postcard and then in Paint I adjusted the picture. Including making my sun more dramatic. Any blemishes in the picture need be worked on as they will appear in the final product as they work exactly from your file. You can find out more about how to make your own fabric on Spoonflower’s website under FAQ’s

Surprisingly a Fat quarter retails at just $11 for Kona Cotton which is around ÂŁ6/7 depending on the exchange rate, which when you consider its your own design that’s not bad! And the shipping costs were minor (a few pounds) considering how far it comes. Now to make it really worth it, I suppose you ought to buy other fabric at the same time…

So I bought 3 other designs from various people, the best thing is everytime you buy someone like you is making money, which is lovely to support. I chose an Amsterdam themed fabric, Chinese Lanterns and some awesome Dragons.

It took about 3/4 weeks to reach me but I was beyond exited when I got it and the results are as below! I opted to mirror my design and made it smaller than the original postcard size. I haven’t decided how I am going to use it yet, but have a city inspired quilt design in mind.  Its a little trippy but I love it and I am so proud that its all mine 🙂

the finished design

I should point out that Spoonflower don’t just do fabric but also do Wallpaper and  Wall Decals, lucky I don’t live in my own house or I might be wallpapering as we speak!

So what are you waiting for?? Go forth and create!