Lockdown Quilt

During lockdown I started on a new creative project to cheer myself up and help me keep busy, and five months later I have finally finished it! An appliqué quilt, but as I already have a winter quilt for my bed, I wanted to make it into a really bright, colourful, summer duvet cover instead. 

I spent ages deciding on the pattern I wanted to use, and finally discovered this gorgeous pattern by Laura Heine.

It’s a paper-piecing technique where you cut out the shapes using the template provided (its the same template for every square) and then use double-sided sticky paper (fusible web as it’s often known) to iron it into place on the fabric. Then I sewed around all the edges to hold them in place and stop any fraying. Continue reading

Panda Pop Quilt

I’m a natural hoarder, so being a new mum I want to keep EVERYTHING – every babygro, every onesie, every adorable dress etc. However my house is now heaving with stuff and we simply don’t have space, plus I’ve been looking for a new crafty project to get my teeth into, so I decided to make a little memory quilt for my daughter using clothes she has grown out of. (Or more fashionably known as “Upcycling”).

After a little searching in the interweb I found a really cute pattern called a Panda Pop Quilt and I am thrilled with how it looks (although I have adapted the pattern a little). Continue reading

Tutorial: How to make a T-shirt quilt

T-shirt quilts are popular in the USA but less common in the UK as far as I am aware.

The idea is you find a collection of t-shirts, such as for your favourite football team, or collected on holidays or at music festivals, and cut them up to make a quilt. I tend not to wear t-shirts much, but in my work overseas in the humanitarian world, branded t-shirts are common to identify yourself as a staff of an NGO and make it easier to work with communities and government officials etc, as well as showing off your donor’s logo as required!

As a natural-born hoarder, I have kept all of my response t-shirts from all my overseas aid work, as well as various t-shirts collected from other events here and there, and I recently discovered them gathering dust and mould in my attic and decided my maternity leave was the ideal time to get started doing something useful with them.

It is also 10 years since my first deployment as a humanitarian to South Sudan in 2009, the beginning of my career as an aid worker, so a quilt to mark 10 years of my humanitarian career seems fitting! However I must admit that over the years some of the NGOs I have worked for have significantly more t-shirts than others, and one NGO I have worked with for around 3 years only ever had 1 t-shirt (once you settle into HQ you tend not to get so much of the branded stuff) so the quilt appears rather skewed towards one particular NGO which is not necessarily reflective of my career but nevermind – I’ll let you guess which one!

Continue reading

Crafty Things

I realised recently to my horror that while my blog contains all sorts of amazing travel photos from around the world, pictures and stories of my work, and some of the most hilarious anecdotes known to mankind, I have failed to document one of my other favourite hobbies – knitting, quilting, sewing and generally being creative and making stuff!

So, be prepared for a backlog of photos of various crafty things made by Maya…

There will be many many photos of gloves, hats, scarves, quilts and so on, most of them made by moi sometime in the last 5 years or so.

Shout-outs go to the incredible Kate Davies, the super Sheep Shop and lovely Made Peachy who have inspired me most often, helped me adjust patterns and figure out the bits I don’t know how to do yet (well, and I should probably thank YouTube too), as well as the fantabulous Kaffe Fassett and his amazing quilt designs. If you’re a knitter and you’re not on Ravelry – well you should be! Loads of patterns, ideas, projects and forums for the novice knitter to find helpful suggestions!

I realise knitting is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is my blog, and knitting and sewing is just part of the package.  🙂