AROUND THE WORLD BLOG HOP

Hello there! Today I'm participating in the Around the World Blog Hop! I'll be answering four questions and then, I'll ask three other bloggers to do the same. I've enjoyed reading the answers of many bloggers I follow and today I'm quite thrilled, as it happens to be my turn!

I was invited by Maryse from Maryse Makes Things, she's such a talented lady, so go and check her work! I'm quite in love with the two quilts she's working on!

For those who are new here, first off welcome to Sewing Lab! I'm Ingrid! Fabric is my big passion and I love to experiment with it! I started Sewing Lab as a creative journey in order to share my projects, learn and connect with other people! I'm from Barcelona but I moved to Norway few months ago. Before of that, I lived in California for nearly two years, so as you can tell, it's been a huge change, but I'm loving the experience!

What am I working on? 




I recently finished a quilt top that now needs to be quilted. I love this quilt so much! It has so many special fabrics and different textures. I've been contemplating it for a couple of weeks, while deciding the perfect backing for it and now I'm totally ready to start the quilting fun. I'm planning to make a matching bolster cushion cover, but I want to see the finished quilt first!


I'm also working on a baby quilt! I had on hand a fat quarter bundle of the fabric line Storybook, in the pink colorway that was calling for my attention. As the line is clearly girly and infantile, I decided to start a quilt for a baby girl. I have almost all the stars done and I just need to sew some borders to separate the star blocks from each other a little bit. I think this one is gonna be quite cute with its castles, air balloons and clouds, can't wait to see it finished! :)


I'm almost done with the pattern/tutorial for my Little Mouse baby quilt! I've spent lots of hours working on it, drawing, testing and writing, so hopefully it will be available by the end of the week! I've also included templates and instructions for the little guy above, cause I adore it!

I'm slowly preparing a tiny room in our new apartment to be my studio. Lately I'm obsessed with the idea of hand printing fabric, sewing with my own fabric designs has been a long time dream of mine and now it seems to be a bit closer. These days I'm spending time just figuring out all the materials I need, the cost of it all and how to fit everything in the tiny room. I think it's gonna take a while, but I'm so excited about it!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?



I like to think that everyone's work is special in some way. Sometimes maybe we aren't even conscious, but in every decision and stitch we make, we create something that is unique and that we love. In my case, I think my work is constantly evolving and it feels good, because it means I'm learning and trying new things every day. I love to make sweet and warm quilts and also other fun sewing projects! It always makes me smile when I think that all the things I do are made out of just two ingredients: fabric and love! :)

Why do I write/create what I do?

Well, I think my head would explode if I didn't! It's really important to make what makes one happy and for me, this means spending time surrounded by fabric. I do all the projects I do because it means the world to me, I'm the happiest when I'm planing and working on something new.

How does my writing/creative process work?

Normally I have way too many ideas in my mind, I write to do lists everywhere and actually sometimes I feel bad because the work I get done is just a little fraction of the things I want to do. I wish the day had more hours! Normally I work in two or three projects at the same time and when I get stuck in one of them, I leave it for a while and move on to the others. Apart from to do lists, my creative process also involves a lot of crazy drawings, until I decide to finally go for it. And then, I normally change everything up again in the last minute!

Choosing fabrics is quite an instinctive (not random) process for me. Normally I don't make projects where the fabrics are sewn together randomly, I need to carefully decide where each fabric goes. I think that even if I really wanted to make a totally random project, it wouldn't work out! (I really need to try it someday though!)

I find inspiration everywhere, in every quotidian moment. I love to make things that will add beauty to those moments and that will make us feel better in our everyday.

Now I'm gonna keep the ball rolling! The there bloggers I've tagged are: Ann from anniemac original, Manu from i ManuFatti and Kimberly from Robot Mom sews! They will be posting next week, so make sure to stop by their blogs!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Ingrid

HAND PRINTED PLACE MATS




Hello!I've been wanting to try my hand at hand printing fabric since quite a long time now. I really wanted to start very simple, making a quick and fun weekend project. I went to my local craft store and bought a set of fabric paint and brushes! It's the only I had to buy, so, apart from easy, this project turned out very affordable too!

We are taco lovers at home, specially if they are fish tacos! taco Tuesdays became a tradition in California and we are keeping it here in Norway as well, which is a must because we find really good fish here. We can't find tomatillo though, so no more tomatillo sauce! :( instead we prepare a lime sauce now which is super delicious too! Why I talk about all this? well, because I made a couple of hand printed fabric place mats for our taco Tuesday nights! I thought that hand printing "limes" on them would be really cool!

I'm using them as place mats, but they could be used also as tea towels or napkins!

Wanna know how I did it? I'll explain it in a second, but first let me also tell you that this is the perfect project for doing with kids! It's so fun!

Ok, what we need?

Materials

- water-based fabric paint. I used green, yellow and white!
- bowl or plate to mix the paint 
- fabric 
- scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
- carrot (oh yes, a carrot!)
- knife
- brushes 
- water to clean the brushes 
- iron
- Basic sewing supplies

As always, let's first see a quick overview of the whole process. Detailed instructions below!



1. First off, get your fabric ready! I used white cotton. Wash and dry your fabric before painting. Then, iron it and cut it to the desired size. I cut two fabric pieces of 21" x 19", but you may want another size. If you go for another size, just remember to add two extra inches on each side for the hems. 

2. Cover with plastic or newspapers the surface where you're gonna work and put all the materials on it before starting the project (you might prefer to leave the carrot and the knife in the kitchen). This is very important if you don't want to create a huge mess! I worked on the floor and covered it with a big plastic I had on hand.


3. Prepare the paint. I was looking for a lime color, so I mixed green, white and yellow until I got what I expected. I can't tell the exact quantities because it was a really random process. I even picked up some limes to see well the color! I can't say I achieved the same exact color but just one I liked enough! 



4. Now it's time to shape our carrot stamp! (I did this step in the kitchen). Cut your carrot in segments of about 1 1/2 - 2 " long and shape as shown above (it's supposed to be a lime wedge cut in half). Shape all the carrot segments in order to have different stamp sizes, this will add variability to your pattern. You can use other vegetables and fruits here, potatoes, apples, etc. (It's better not use the juicy ones like limes for example, believe me I tried!).



5. Now comes the fun part! With the help of a brush, paint your carrot stamp! It just needs to be slightly covered, so don't put to much paint on it. Press it down onto your fabric and remove.

I stamped "half limes" all around the borders of my piece of fabric, leaving the center unpainted. In some of them, I used just yellow paint to add more variability. As you can tell from the pictures, I didn't push enough in some of them and I think it would have worked better with less paint, but I really don't' care! I didn't want to be perfectionist, it's a project to have fun and at the end I love all its imperfections! 

6. Once you're happy with your design, let the fabric dry for at least 24 hours.



7. Iron 5 minutes without steam to set the paint.


6. Finish your place mats with 1/2 " hems. To make a hem, fold 1/2" of the fabric over and 1/2" over again. Iron, pin in place and stitch it! I used yellow thread to make mines.


I really loved making this fun project and I can't wait to hand print fabric again using other methods. Hope you give it a try! There's endless possibilities to make! Have fun! :)

Happy Wednesday!


Ingrid





WE'RE BACK!!

We are back from vacation! Our second trip in Norway started like the first, on the train enjoying amazing views. We met our friends from the US in Oslo and took together the train to Bergen. I was super excited to see them again! Knowing that we were doing this trip together made less painful leaving the US and moving to Norway three months ago!



Bergen is such a great place, perhaps too rainy but still a great place! during the two days we spent in Bergen, we walked around its many beautiful streets, had some food at the fish market and took a tram up to a hill where we saw the views of all the city and the fjord. Afterwards, we decided to walk down to the city and actually, this last part was the one I think we enjoyed the most because we discovered the prettiest forest ever!




This forest was very special, so green, wet and mossy! We loved it!

Our last stop in Bergen was in the Fantoft Stave, a truly spectacular church! Our visit lasted less than five minutes because of the heavy rain. They had to close the church and asked us to leave, so we had to literally run to the car and of course, we ended up having a really cold shower! It was fun, though! :)







We spent our last days in the Stavanger region, driving, taking ferries, hiking and camping. Our five hour hike up to the Preikestolen was really beautiful (also scary) and I wish I had better pictures of the Lysefjord because the ones I have don't do it justice!

It was hard to say goodbye to our friends but I'm sure this won't be our last trip together!

Albert and I got home on Sunday afternoon and we've been trying to have a normal week after the holidays without much success! We both need the weekend so much! Today I've been working on my Little Mouse baby quilt pattern that has been waiting too long to be finished...hopefully it will be done soon!

Hope you're having a great week!

Ingrid



WEEKEND SNAPSHOTS/ VACATION BREAK

Hello! Today it's a weird day for me, it's Monday but it feels more like a Friday...that's because we are leaving on vacation tonight!! I'm so excited this time! We'll be meeting some friends tomorrow in Oslo that have traveled from California and Utah. Can't wait to see them, it feels like an eternity that we left from the US...but it's only been 3 months!

We'll visit Oslo, Bergen & Stavanger (Norway) together and then they will visit Paris. I wish we could go to Paris too but our budged said enough! :)


So, as we are leaving today, we decided to stay at home this past weekend and just relax. But it turned out to be the neighborhood festivities! I really love living right in the center, this way we always know if something is happening, if we hear music or more people than normal, we just go downstairs and check it out. There were lots of people around, mainly locals but also lots of tourists. I still feel like a tourist most of the time though! (Perhaps it has to do because I always bring the camera?)



There was a nice little market just next to our house where you could find lots of handmade things, quilts, bags, clothes, antiques and tasty food! I fell in love with a mint wooden chest (sorry I didn't take pictures of it!) but finally I didn't buy it :( ...maybe another time (luckily I have the owner's card though!)



We even had a rowing race! The red team won!










Amazing weather, music everywhere and ice cream...what else can I ask for? ;) (Oh well, on Friday I had a panic attack when I realized, after checking in every grocery store, that there's no way to buy orxata here in Norway...or at least I haven't found it yet! Do you know what it is? It's a very popular beverage in Spain and also in Latin America I think. It's made of ground tiger nuts and it's sooo good! I haven't thought about it in a while until Albert said the word the other day...I guess these things happen when you live abroad!)



I haven't done much sewing this past weekend. I have a quilt top finished ready to be quilted (see above). There's so many special fabrics into this quilt and I really can't wait to see it completely done. You really can't tell the pattern from the picture but it's very simple and clean.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen a sneak peek of a new baby quilt I am working on, I have already 6 stars done! This one is gonna be so sweet :)

Ok, we still need to prepare all we have to take with us today, make some quick dinner and head to the train station. I will be sharing some pics of our travel next Monday! Hope you all have a wonderful week!



PD: Lately I have the obsession of photographing the sky at all times from our roof windows. Here's how the sunset looked like yesterday, isn't it beautiful?


Hugs!

Ingrid