OMG – an improv horse


Well, my goal this month was to make an improv quilt with any or all of the fabrics in this box…


…and it’s not the greatest quilt or the most exciting improv but a finish, as they say, is better than perfect!

Elm Street Quilts


After going away for a week I caught some kind of flu-like virus and I couldn’t muster the energy or enthusiasm to sew for a further week – I’ve never had such an illness before and I hope I won’t catch it again! Luckily, I’m just left with a cough now and I’m glad I linked up with OMG or I don’t think I’d have sewn anything this month.

The main challenge I found was that my coloured scraps were 1 1/2″ squares and 2″ x 1″ strips, which didn’t give me much leeway on cutting them and I only really managed a couple of strips and a block that I didn’t like much.

Then I thought perhaps the block would make a good horse blanket and I started enjoying the process a lot more once I felt I was aiming towards something, rather than joining pieces randomly.


And, in the end, it turned into quite a fun little project even if my horse has ended up looking more like a donkey!


Happy Sewing!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I’m also linking this post with TGIFF at Anja Quilts

Dorothy’s House


Today is the Endeavourers third Art Quilt reveal day. Our challenge theme for this quarter has been ‘spiral’ and my submission is called Dorothy’s House.


I knew I might well be short of time this quarter so I decided to go with my first idea – Dorothy’s House (from the Wizard of Oz) caught in the cyclone. I imagined it would be quite quick and simple and would also be a memory of going to see ‘Wicked’ with my daughters when it was my birthday in April. I was correct on the second point. The show was amazing. You can see a trailer below and I can think of my quilt as a sort of souvenir.

On the first point, however, I was mistaken. I learned the baravelle spiral technique from the book Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts and I have used it to make mini quilts twice before. With the mini quilts, however, I used regular polygons and paper pieced onto baking parchment. With this one, I used an irregular polygon, based on the shape of the house. The technique involves drawing the largest polygon and working inwards and by the time I came to the house the fit with the centre was not perfect but, by this stage, my perfectionism had been long abandoned!

Version 3

And I used an old table cloth as foundation, which I ended up having to stabilise with the piecing…

And I found out after I had planned for the whole thing to comprise seven clockwise spirals but, mercifully, just before I started sewing, that cyclones spiral anti-clockwise. Although I know in truth that rainbows don’t spiral at all, I just could not bring myself to have an anti-clockwise spiralling rainbow so I ended up having to redraft the whole thing in mirror image on the back of the cloth, take a photo of the fabrics and number them and write the numbers in each triangle before I could persuade myself to risk sewing on it. Thankfully, after the first couple of rounds I started to be able to see which colours to put where and I think having the rainbow and cyclone spirals going in opposite directions has created a much more interesting effect that my original plan.

And, in the end, the most annoying thing was this was a careless placement of some newsprint fabric – shown in the bottom rectangle on the fabric below – which from a distance looks like a mistake with the adjoining grey. It shows how careful you have to be but I really wasn’t up for frogging.


For the house, I drew the house on the quilt with a frixon pen, traced it onto baking parchment, transferred it onto some brown woven fabric in pieces that meant the ‘wood’ lines would follow the weave of the fabric and stitched over all the lines in threaded running stitch. Then I appliqued the pieces into the centre of the quilt.

But I found the house got lost in all the cyclone text fabrics so I added a lot more (and darker) stitching.

Finally, I got to the witch, who still has the ruby slippers because it’s before Dorothy’s house has landed on her. Although I wanted to focus on the spiral, rather than make a general Wizard of Oz quilt, I felt this was essential element to indicate it is Dorothy’s house and not a random garden shed! It was also the most fun part. Her dress is pleated, her broomstick is stitched with embroidery silk and her shoes and stocking are drawn with permanent ink on white cotton and then appliqued.

Version 2

And the label was added to cover a corner where I ran out of fabric :(


And the clogs are just for fun! Really these are my front door clogs for going out onto our relatively civilised path and drive and I have scruffy backdoor clogs for embarking into the mud that is invariably everywhere else but during our unexpected summery spell I’ve been able to wear them interchangeably and I may even have worn house slippers, once or twice to shut up the chicken…Happy days!


For our next Endeavourers challenge, I’m tempted to try going for something that strikes me as complicated and time consuming as I seem to be a very poor judge in these matters!

In the meantime, I’m very excited to see what my fellow group members have been making. Please visit The Endeavourers to see their Spiral Quilts :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I’m linking this post with Anja Quilts for this week’s TGIFF link up.