Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Season of Vampires

When you have seen Twilight one time too many meaning you begin to notice it's flaws (happens after 10th time) it is time to investigate what other movies there are in the genre. Now that we have the season of darkness and frost at hand what better pastime than go through a bunch of vampire movies. In a broad daylight horror movies are just great exercise for stomach muscles but your reactions might change when the circumstances are right. When you look outside and see nothing but dark blue almost black sky it feels possible that such creatures like vampires do exist.

I don't much enjoy watching horror movies with too much ketchup and beetroot. My favorites are actually movies that use vampires as a style detail to tell an important story. Some of the movies I have listed today could be too heavy to watch without the fantasy element. It gives viewer a chance to take up space from melancholic atmosphere and go through thoughts the movie has brought up. Stories about school bullying, loneliness and the art of existence are important to tell. Reality of life is so harsh sometimes. If it would be put in to a movie there might be quite few people who could bear to watch. Therefore the best of vampire movies have at least two levels. They are fantasy movies telling a story about the world around us. I have listed six vampire movies that I think are interesting and worth watching. I am sure there are many great ones I haven't seen. You can leave your own suggestions to comment box so everyone can see. Because I personally don't like monster horror / action movies that much these are maybe more traditional drama.

1. The White Reindeer (Valkoinen peura) 1952
There is actually a witch / wereanimal / vampire in this film. Snow white fells as far as you can see and a woman left alone for long periods when her husband goes away. She begins to change to a white reindeer who temps men to their death. This film from 1952 has won Best Fairy Tale Film in Cannes and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.

Director: Erik Blomberg / Writers: Erik Blomberg, Mirjami Kuosmanen / Actors: Mirjami Kuosmanen, Kalervo Nissilä, Åke Lindman

2. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) 2008
This is a very rough story about school bullying with all it's shocking details. Also the contrast between real life horror (school bullying) and imaginary vampires is thought provoking. Young Oskar is bullied at school and he finds a friend from her neighbor Eli who is a vampire. Eli has got her terrifying secrets but still she is the friend to support Oskar in his unbearable situation.

Director: Tomas Alfredson / Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist / Actors: Kåre Hedebrandt, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar

3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night 2014
This film works in many levels. It it aesthetically beautiful and cool vampire western. The main story is poetic and very romantic.  What I saw in the movie was also a good description of loneliness. As the film's name says girl walks home alone at nigh. Streets are empty and the girl is a cold vampire.

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour / Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour / Actors: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh

4. Only Lovers Left Alive 2013
Bohemian vampires deal with philosophical questions. Rock musician Adam has lost his belief in humankind and sees things getting only worse. His wife Eve travels from other side of the globe to give him new hope. Best parts of the film were when this ancient couple look the world from their time perspective. Sometimes they give cool statements about the so called progress humankind has made.

Director: Jim Jarmusch / Writers: Jim Jarmusch, Marion Bessay / Actors: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska

5. Byzantium 2012
Byzantium moves in two time levels. Present day mother and daughter, who are vampires, move to a coastal town. They have made several moves during the past centuries and the daughter is beginning to seek some more permanent solution. She would like to have a connection to other people and tell her story. In the story she reveals her early life in 1800s and how they became vampires.

Director: Neil Jordan / Writer: Moira Buffini / Actors: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley

6. Interview With the Vampire 1994
In this 90s classic a melancholic vampire describes the down sides of being an immortal. His story is long and begins from 1700s when he was turned into a vampire without him knowing what are the costs of the life. This is on the list because I haven't yet come to a decision if one should take this movie seriously. It somehow has it's moments, mainly because it is hilarious to see Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas in vampire costumes.

Director: Neil Jordan / Writer: Anne Rice / Actors: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

View from my window is changing rapidly. Last time I looked there were beautiful autumn colors. Now it is turning grey and last night when I looked at the weather forecast it promised snow. I notice spending more and more time at home with no lust going out to the chilly weather. Movies, books and crafting seem like a good idea to spend time (always are). I have been coloring a new quilting pattern that would describe October moods. Fairy lights also seem like an excellent idea and on my walks I have seen many people decorate their balconies and yards with lights. When yellow and red leaves vanish we get bright fairy lights.

Have a Peaceful and Cozy Week my Friends!


Friday, 6 October 2017

DIY Modern Quilted Pillow

Happy Weekend! Here is the second part for my quilting tutorial I wrote a week ago. Last time I showed how to quilt this simple and bright colored quilt block I named Brisk Winds, Warm Stoves, click here to learn more! Now that we have the quilted pieces we can do the batting and stitching and sew these to modern pillows. I stitched these traditional way by hand as it makes pretty finish. You could also do this part by machine if you like. With beautiful embroidery yarns this part is a pleasure to do by hand and see how the patterns form to the fabric and complete the quilting work. I will also show an easy way to sew a pillowcase that needs no zipper! Lets get making!

For one pillow you will need:

Quilted square 57*57 cm.
Batting (I used thinnest on store)
Cotton fabric
Sewing yarn
Embroidery yarn (seven colors that match to the fabric colors)
Embroidery hoop

Cotton fabric for sewing the back piece ( I used green)
Sewing yarn
Sewing machine

Step 1. Cut from fabric and batting pieces that go over the quilted piece. Put layers as you can see from the picture, fabric first then batting and quilted piece.

Step 2. Pin the layers together.

Step 3. Take sewing yarn and needle and sew layers together to keep all together when doing the final stitching with embroidery yarn. Remove pins.

Step 4. Choose embroidery yarns to mach the one colored triangles.

Step 5. Attach the embroidery hoop to one triangle and start stitching simple front stitches. I divided the triangle to four sectors with stitches. To get straight lines use pins.

Stitch all one colored triangles (leave out striped triangles).

Step 6. After you have stitched all triangles cut off the extra back fabric and batting.

Step 7. Then lets make the back piece. Cut a 77*57 cm piece from the fabric.

Step 8. Fold twice the short ends with iron and pins. Sew the folds.

Step 9. Cut the piece to two parts so that you measure 28,5 cm from one side. Now you should have one 28,5*57 cm piece and one 43,5* 57 cm.

Step 10. Put the finished ends together as shown in the picture so that the smaller piece is on the top of the bigger piece for 15 cm. Sew pieces together with 7 cm as shown on the picture. This way you get a handy pocket behind the finished pillow where you can put the pillow in.

Step 11. Put right sides together and pin. Be sure the pocket comes to right direction according to what you keep as the right way to keep the quilted pattern. Sew pieces together and finish the edges with zig zag. 

Step 12. Before you cut off the extras check on the right side that all is OK.  

Your pillowcase is ready! Now you can turn the right side out and put in a pillow!

I really enjoyed making these pillows. This was not too huge project and allowed me to pay attention to details like stitching. It would be possible to make these in two or three weekends. I am now planning to make more quilting projects like these. Pillows are always needed, laugh, and this would also make a stylish gift for a person who appreciates the craft. Currently strong and honest colors are trendy and these will fit to many kinds of interiors from ultra modern to bohemian. In modern decor these would be like abstract paintings. 

Are you interested in quilting and sewing projects? Do you agree that quilts can be a stylish elements in modern home decor?

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend! If you found this tutorial helpful and/or inspiring please share on social media :)


Friday, 29 September 2017

Quilt Pattern: Brisk Winds, Warm Stoves

Quilting fever has hit me again! Maybe it was brought by Autumn winds from far far away quilting land. Idea of making seasonal quilts has inspired me lately. When quilts start piling it is an heureka -moment when you realize you can make different quilts, like blankets, pillows and kitchen accessorize, for every season and this way display all your great works. I am already thinking about Halloween and Christmas! I try to avoid too traditional look with seasonal quilts by choosing fabrics that will match to my personal style. This means somewhat bright colors all year around paired with skeletons and snowmen depending on the season. Today's quilt pattern is inspired by Autumn but made with clear classic style color blocks fitting to all seasons if preferred. This is a great pattern for beginners and relatively quick to make. Today I will give you step by step tutorial on how to quilt this pattern. On next quilting post I will show you how to do the batting and stitching and make pillows using these beautiful designs. If you love quilting inspiration stay tuned this Autumn and Winter season. If I am not miraculously cured from my quilting fever I will keep posting quilt projects every now and then. My BuJo is filled with sketches waiting to actualize!

Brisk Winds, Warm Stoves

With this tutorial you will get two 57*57 cm pieces you can use to make for example pair of pillows.

You will need:

Fabric in 8 colors (preferably fabric that has no pattern in it).
Sewing yarn

Quilting equipment: 

Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Sewing machine

You can use this picture as a pattern model when making the blocks. You will come up with two pieces that are slightly different when looking the stripes. Collect the blocks together as shown in the picture and picture below.

Step 1. You might not find exactly same fabrics that I am using so decide what fabrics you are using instead. To make it easier to do the cutting I have listed the pieces that you need from each 8 colors.

Green & Blue Palette

Light blue: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 1 piece / 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5, cm 4 pieces
Olive green: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 1 piece / 21,5*6 cm 4 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 3 pieces
Moss green: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 1 piece / 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 4 pieces
Bright green: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 1 piece / 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 4 pieces

Red and Orange Palette

Orange: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 2 pieces / 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 3 pieces
Red: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 2 pieces / 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 3 pieces
Cyclamen red: 21,5*6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*5,5 cm 3 pieces
Lilac: 21,5*21,5 cm Square 1 piece / 21,5* 6 cm 2 pieces / 21,5*,5, cm 3 pieces

Step 2. Iron the fabrics properly. Because all pieces are 21,5 cm wide cutting is quick and easy. First you cut 21,5 cm piece and the cut of the 21,5 cm wide square and then the stripes. See picture.

Step 3. Because 6 cm and 5,5 cm wide stripes can be difficult to tell from each other I suggest you put a post it on the top of the 6 cm pile. When you have cut all pieces it is time to start sewing pieces together.

Step 4. First consult your plan or the picture of the pattern on this page. In this pattern you can see 9 blocks that consist of five stripes and triangle. Work one block per time and see the order of stripes. Take the tree stripes in the middle from the 5,5 cm wide pile and the stripes that are going to both sides from the 6 cm wide pile. 

Step 5. Sew stripes together with 0,75 cm seam allowance. You get 0,75 cm when you sew following the edge with the foot as in the picture.

Step 6. Iron the seams properly open.

Step 7. Take the square that is the same color as the triangle of the block. Draw line from corner to corner to the wrong side.

Step 8. Pin the squares right sides together as shown in the pictures.

Step 8. Sew from both sides of the line with the 0,75 seam allowance.

Step 9. Cut the triangles apart following the line you draw before. Iron the seam well.

Now you got the first blocks for the pattern. Do other blocks similarly. Note that you are making everything in pair for two different bigger blocks. 

Step 10. When you got all blocks ready you can combine the parts together according to the pattern. Sew blocks together row by row.

Step 11. Iron the seams properly. Then you should combine the rows. Be careful that the corners of the blocks match.

Step 12. Pin the rows together carefully and sew with 0,75 cm seam allowance.

Step 13. Iron the seams and the complete work. Combine the blocks of the other piece same way.

I will continue working with these quilted pieces and turn them into pillows. I will write a tutorial about that too so stay tuned, part two is coming soon. If you are interested in quilting check my other posts about quilting:

Step by step guide on how to quilt a block, gives you another way to sew blocks!

Welcome to the quilter's residence, gives you some color inspiration in a form of quilted blankets.

Happy Friday and Weekend to you all!