by Orkaloca February 13 bed quilt * creazioni * custom made


They bring you to think outside the box, to try new things, find an original solution.
And often they are hidden where you would not expect.

In a baby quilt, for example.

So one day a friend contacts you and asks you for a baby quilt. But he wants something special, original.

As always I try to figure the situation: "Do you want it classic, with square blocks, or an all-over design?". He responds "an all-over".
Well well things get interesting.

Second question "Have you already thought to a subject?"
And here he drops the bomb "Yes, I would like it with -drumroll- BATS"

Grin on my face.

Bats are adorable little animals, too often mistreated and viewed as disgusting beings, if not dangerous.
The reality is that they are fascinating creatures, wonderful, cuddly and perfectly adapted to their role of flying mammals.
They suffer the fame of the vampire, but the reality is that most bats eat insects, others eat fruit and there are also bats who seeks for the pollen of flowers.

Sure sleeping upside down is not the smartest thing in the world, in our opinion, but even that makes sense for them. Think at how little effort must be done to start flying :)

(Click on images to enlarge)

For this quilt I have chosen to depict bats in search of pollen. Did you know that bats can lick the pollen as they fly hovering? A bit like a big furry hummingbird.

Considering the deep blue background, and the realistic brown bat, I inserted the white and pink bell-shaped flowers to brighten the scene. The action is enclosed, but not limited, by a yellow frame that provides light.

These are all things that I define at the design stage, when I make the first design and test colours. 

Technically speaking the background is pieced while bats, leaves, flowers and branches are machine applique.

The quilting motif follows the marbling in the center panel. On the edges the quilt is in leaves motif. It isn't very dense because this is a quilt that must to be used, not an artistic panel, and should remain as soft as possible. It will wrap the baby in a cuddly hug, now that it's in the bed as well as later when he will grow up and will look the cartoons cuddling on the couch .

This is one of my favourite baby quilts and I say thanks to who challenged me to make it :) 


Dyed fabrics

This is the result of yesterday dyeing day.
These are exactly the sampler of the techniques I'll show at the demo I'll do at Bergamo Creattiva on March 3rd ^_^


A quilt with a Mediterranean twist

by Orkaloca February 4 bed quilt * creazioni * custom made

One day I received a request, something "outside the box": not the usual pink or blue baby quilt but a quilt with a Mediterranean flavor, which could remind the forests, and with the initials of the child it was for.
Stimulated by the challenge I started to design.

A baby quilt must be:

- Very resistant to use and abuse. This is why I use techniques like piecing and applique with fusible web.
- Thin and lightweight but warm.
- Soft, so it can't have too much quilting.

With that in mind I did this project, using colors that recall the Mediterranean. I have used leaves shapes in applique, they are leaves from Italian plants. 

After the project I started to sew the quilt. Near each applique leaf I've hand-embroidered the name of the plant it belongs to.

I've echo-quilted the leaves...

... while a grid quilt the pieced blocks.

Finally on the border there are leaves and curls.

Here it is, finished and ready for its new home. 



by Orkaloca November 13 creazioni * quilter life * tutorial * tutorial

Perfection is in the details, even those invisible.
When you end the top, the back is normally full of frayings. When the work is finished they remain inside the quilt, but I don't like to know that they are there.
Therefore I clean the back of the top, cutting fringes, and loose threads.
This is especially important if there is proximity of very clear and very dark fabrics.
In a quilt there is so much work visible, and even more invisible.


A vest for competitions

by Orkaloca May 25 creazioni * wearable

Nala is my SpecialDog, with her I've done so many things, training tricks, expos and now, since march, we're competing in Rally-O, that's a kind of dog sport.
Usually competitors are from training schools and they have their uniform. I don't attend a training school so I decided to make our own uniform, the TEAM NALA uniform! 

And it seems that it is a lucky vest, here we are at the yesterday trial... we won the second prize! 


I started from a photo, and I've designed the pattern of nala's head, to reproduce it in applique. 

Then I've made a colour value study and then I looked for the right fabrics in my stash. Right value is most important than right colour. 

Found the fabrics I've made the patches with fusible web and composed the full head on a sheet of baking paper.


After having done the letters I've fused all on the back of the vest and I've started the long work of sewing all. 
I have done a thread work so to looks like the fur and here is the result: 

Small light points in the eyes and on the wet nose are really important to give life to the dog.

People think it's painted or printed, then when they found how it's done they are all OHHHHH XD 

And I've already had the commission for the next one :) 


A special ring

by Orkaloca April 2 art * creazioni * ispirazioni

Nala, my bernese mountain dog, is a special dog, not only she knows how to win the hearts of everyone, but she also knows how to relate with the world and with other dogs.
She is one of those dogs that, seeing two dogs in a fight, even if it is only for play, she gets in the way and knows how to calm them down.
In the following video you can see her while implementing precisely this behavior, dividing two puppies that exaggerate in the game, on her opinion.


Have you heard those GROURRR? Those are typical, she uses them only in these situations. This is her special way to say "calm dooown".

But how this relates with a ring? Well a month ago, at the craft fair Creattiva Bergamo I had the chance to put my hands on a technique that I wanted to try since a while: wax modeling for lost wax casting.

This is a technique of metallurgy / goldsmith. You make a wax model of the object / jewel you want to do, then you include the model in fireclay and heating the block the wax melts and drips away leaving the space inside the block of clay. Then the fused metal is poured in the clay mould to form the object.

Well, knowing that I could model a jewel I decided to go with the idea of doing something dedicated to Nala.

From the video above I extracted the audio of her characteristic GROURRR and I made the waveform with a program:

This is the GROURRR sound wave, a unique feature of Nala.

I started to play with this waveform, experimenting, drawing artistic renderings.

I made it with curls, spikes, flat, round, at the end the version I liked more was asymmetrical, consisting of a curl and drops.

During the fair, at the stand of Al'kemia Lab, I was able to develop a wax prototype of my ring, carving and shaping the wax according to the shape that I had taken from the GROURRR of Nala.

Then the model has been taken to the lab and the steel fusion has been performed. And yesterday the ring arrived!

And what to say ... as Nala it is wonderful and special!


Holy precuts

by Orkaloca March 26 bed quilt * creazioni

When I start a new creation I like to think deeply about it, to plan, make sketches... I spend lot of time in the designing phase. 

But this time I've had a request for a baby quilt "for yesterday", and having so little time I wasn't able to plan the quilt nor to go and shop for fabrics. The only thing I had to do was to open the fabric cabinet in the hope of having something useful. 
And here I've started to thank for that time I bought a charm pack just because I liked the colours and because "you never know..." 

Batiks are always wonderful and if the colours are well combined the result is granted. So I've just sewn the precuts with a sashing and I've added a fast quilting. And here it is, a quilt made in record time.

It's not totally my style but I'me happy with the colours. sometimes you have to make compromises. 


Table quilt

by Orkaloca March 25 creazioni * custom made

The "marine compass" style is the new black, it goes well with everything... and if you have a request for a table quilt but you don't know the furnishing style, this is quite a safe choice. 

But of course I've made it my own way, with some swirls and curvy pieces ^_*


Art baby quilt

by Orkaloca March 24 bed quilt * creazioni

Some time ago I've had a request for a custom baby quilt "wonderful but your own style"

So I've designed a curvy colorful quilt, just as I like it :) 

I've made the design sketch and then I've made the full size design. Of course it had to be CatApproved!
Then I've cut the main sections and worked on them sewing the applique pieces. After this I've assembled the sections and quilted it all in freemotion. 
Finally I just have had to convince my husband to serve as quilt hanging... please note how happy he is XD

And so here it is, my baby quilt a little bit out of the box :)


Tutorial: wrist warmers

by Orkaloca March 24 creazioni * tutorial * tutorial

This is a tutorial I've made a couple of months ago but still unpublished. 
May be the wrist warmers will be useful to deal with the last time of this long winter :)