Thursday, 11 April 2013

Guest post from Susan aka Canadian Abroad + Giveaway!

**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**

First off, a huge thank you to Lucy and Nat for asking me to do the guest post for the first Le Challenge month. I think they came up with a brilliant idea starting this blog, though the fact that they both have young babies stymies me to when and how they even have the time to feed themselves let alone be so actively involved in their crafts and blogs still. I am sure I didn't string together a legible sentence for the first three years of my children's lives! 

Geometry - the study of points, lines, shapes, solids, etc.  

In my mind quilting is geometry. You take shapes and make them fit together, from the simplest design using squares or triangles...



... to more complicated shapes like lozenges, diamonds and hexagons (or half hexagons too).



As long as you have the angles correct so that joining pieces of fabric can be sewn together to form a flat surface the possibilities are endless.



When the patterns get complicated paper piecing is usually involved. Whether you like freezer paper piecing, foundation paper piecing or English paper piecing doesn't matter. Utilising the techniques involved in these methods of piecing allows you to increase the possibilities in your quilting designs. I have used English paper piecing (epp) as a means to demonstrate how simple geography can lead to interesting blocks. The best tools to start out with are pencil and paper. If you have graph paper all the better. A ruler helps too. Below you see two simple blocks I drew out. The block on the left was inspired when I saw a drawing for the Pythagorean theorem whilst preparing for this guest post. What I love about it is that I can already see further possibilities based on this design, taking it to another level for me. The design on the right was just me doodling and seeing what I could come up with. 



I shall not go into how to English paper piece. There are plenty of good tutorials online if you would like to learn more, or feel free to ask questions. I will help to the best of my ability. Suffice to say, I took those drawings above, cut them up into their individual shapes and sewed them together again. The resulting blocks were quick to make and good fun.



Inspiration for quilt design is found everywhere. Look around you as you go about your everyday life and you will see geometric design in wall tiles, floor tiles, wood floors and modern art. The more you look, the more you discover, and the more you will find that the world provides a constant stream of inspiration. Take a camera with you, or use your phone if you have one with a built in camera, and take photos when  you see interesting design. Open your mind to how colour and fabric design can completely change a simple design into something amazing.


All photos taken from Google images.

Geometry - points, lines, shapes and angles. You couldn't quilt without them, could you? As shown above I made two small epp blocks using geometric shapes. Having made the blocks I thought it was best that I turn them into something useful. So using the wide mouthed pouch method of inserting a zip (tutorial here and it is an excellent one) I made two pouches.



I am giving away both pouches to one winner. As a bonus, I will cut a bunch of paper hexies of various sizes and put them in one of the pouches for the winner. You have two chances to win. 

**GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**
  • First up, just leave a comment on this Le Challenge post. Any comment will do, or you could tell everyone else who reads this post where you find inspiration for the craft of your choice. 
  • For a second chance to win, leave a separate comment letting Nat and Lucy know that you are a Le Challenge follower and the method which you use to follow - GFC, Bloglovin', etc.

Lucy and Nat will choose a winner randomly on the 15th of April at approximately noon British time. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for the first Le Challenge. I love that this can involve all sorts of mediums besides quilting. Don't forget to link up your geometrically inspired project.

113 comments:

  1. Brilliant post - I love how you spell out that quilting is geometry, because I am sure I constantly overcomplicate the whole thing!

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  2. Lovely post! I had similar thoughts whilst planning my Le Challenge project - surely anything I make (quilt) will be geometric?? And in the end I settled for good old rectangles :) I had lots of fun playing about with hexagons, triangles and diamonds while trying to decide though!

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  3. Ah you've made it all sound so easy... :-P

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  4. I looked up geometric shapes when I was planning, and yep, seems like anything goes! A HA good idea to EPP it - dead simple.

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  5. I am a follower ( I hope I'm meant to leave that comment here!)

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  6. Geometry was the only bit of math I was good at in school. I'm so glad as it does help me a lot with my EPP. Love your little pouches, I might just make a couple with some orphan blocks.
    Thank you for this lovely giveaway!

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  7. I follow the blog with feedly :-)

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  8. This is a totally brilliant post and thank you so much for leading me to the Zip Tutorial. I tried a long time ago, couldn't do it and haven't tried again since. But I will now thanks to you.

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  9. I follow this blog via Email so I never ever miss a posting. Thanks Nat and Lucy for a superb blog.

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  10. Yep I see epp possibilites EVERYWHERE!!
    Nice post and nice pouches Susan!

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  11. ps. I am following and taking part in the Le challenge.

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  12. Yes, once you start you see geometry in everything. I love working out the maths to make the shapes fit. Thanks for the link to the pouch tutorial. I will check it out

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  13. Wonderful post. Some of the best designs come from simple geometry. Surprising how many combinations you can come up with from one design. Your bags are so cute.

    rpsandbag(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. I follow Le Challenge by email.

    rpsandbag(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. What a great post Susan! I was really inspired by the stained glass windows at Gloucester Catherdral last time i went, they were truly stunning. Your pouches are gorgeous - I love that tutorial :)

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  16. I follow with blog lovin x

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  17. Wonderful post Susan! Since I started quilting, I am seeing geometric inspiration everywhere I go too.

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  18. And I follow Le Challenge on GFC as well as Bloglovin'.

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  19. Superb missus, when did you get so smart?

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  20. I love geometric designs. I am making something for this month, but I only wish I had more time to make something really cool!

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  21. I've been wondering if I should enter the quilt I am mailing off this week, and I think you convinced me :) Fastest quilt I have ever made, yay for quilt tricks and...the beauty of geometry.

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  22. I already follow this blog on google reader. I know, I know...I don't want to link my facebook to bloglovin, and it is fighting me. So I am still out of date LOL.

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  23. I follow by email. lyn.robyn.smith@gmail.com

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  24. I enjoyed reading this very informative post.
    lyn.robyn.smith@gmail.com

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  25. I am a follopwer via Bloglovin/

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  26. I find inspiration everywhere. At blogs, in magazines, Pinterest and in things I see in stores

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  27. Sooo many beautiful examples Susan. Great post! :)

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  28. I follow via email. Loving Le Challenge! :)

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  29. I hated maths at school but quilting makes it fun.

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  30. I find inspiration all over the place my problem is translating into something.

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  31. I follow with google reader and bloglovin'

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  32. Cute zip pouches! I find too much inspiration. I suffer from inspiration overload. I wish I had more time and better skills to create the things my mind comes up with.
    AmandaK@whatthebobbin

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  34. I am not sure where I find inspiration. I think it is mostly from reading blogs and looking at fabric and dreaming

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  35. I think the question is where I don't get inspiration? I love vintage quilts, and I love how modern quilts push the boundaries.

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  36. Following with GFC on blogger dashboard.

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  37. I am following the Le Challenge

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  38. You are so right that Quilting is geometry. When the challenge came out I racked my brians trying to think of what to make and google imaged til I just couldn't google image anymore. My problem was EVERYTHING looked liek a quilt. I thought I was just a crazy quilt lady!!! But I'm not. Geometry is angles and symetry and that is an ENORMOUS part of this quilty world :-)
    Thanks for letting me know I'm not insane... Just a quilter :-)
    E xx

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  39. I never considered that quilting is geometry ... perhaps that's why I'm not very good at it - I was much better with algebra. :D
    Always enjoy your posts, Susan.

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  40. Great blocks!! I take most of my crafting inspiration from Pinterest if we are being honest ;)

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  41. I am following with Bloglovin :)

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  42. Thank you Susan for a very informative post and such a generous giveaway. Most of the time I find inspiratation outside. Most of the things I make are utilitarian these day but are perfect to fit in here. Thanks again!

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  43. I follow through GFC and also have them emailed through feedburner. I think this blog will be great fun and inspiring seeing what everone else makes

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  44. great job, you can teach Geometric quilty math at FQ Retreat.

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  45. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed your post Susan and your blocks are gorgeous. I have been epp for a little while now and love it, except when I come up short on the fabric and need to rip it out ;)
    Thank you for pointing the way to this new to me blog and for the chance :)

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  46. I love that you drew both blocks then have sewn them for a give away - very clever.
    Most my quilting inspiration comes from looking at the quilts of others - blogs and flickr - there's so much to love and then adapt to your own fabric choices, sizes and variations.

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  47. Loved reading this -- I felt like you totally captured my design process with those google shots, albeit in a much more articulate and organized fashion ;) Inspiration really is everywhere!

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  48. And I follow via bloglovin' !

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  49. The pouches are great and your paper piecing is amazing. I'm definitely going to learn how. I love that you see quilt blocks everywhere.

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  50. A great post - I think I need to get myself some graph paper!

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  51. I follow this blog by email!

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  52. The pouches look great and I love the simple geometry you chose!

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  53. Brill tute S! You sure know your stuff! Jxo

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  54. Simples! Or that's how you make it seem! I'm beginning paper piecing and the angles get me every time...

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  55. Excellent post Susan, you are so right, inspiration is all around, you just have to look.x

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  56. I see inspiration EVERYWHERE here with the tile designs and I need to open my eyes more. This is a great post Susan and your pouches are stunning - I feel inspired to go doodle right now!

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  57. I love seeing inspiration in the Victorian tiles and even on manhole covers - geometry is everwhere :) Love your pouches!!

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  58. I follow Le Challenge through my dashboard.

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  59. Yay I follow Le Challenge thru GFC. I follow by Bloglovin for good measure too!!!!

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  60. Very cute pouches. I bet I don't win them ;-)

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  61. I follow Le Challenge using Bloglovin'

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  62. I agree that quilting is geometry - but it's fun geometry! Inspiration is all around you and sometimes I've seen it in the pattern on someone's carpet or curtains, and I've even seen a pattern idea on a kleenex box!

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  63. This is my first visit to Le Challenge. I plan to follow it.

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  64. Great pouches Susan!
    You make everything sound very easy!!

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  65. I find most of my inspiration from surfing the internet. These pouches are awesome. Not sure if it's open to anyone, but this little south Alabama lady would love to win them!

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  66. Le Challenge is Le Bomb! And besides, I absolutely adore Lucy and Nat so I'd do pretty much anything they ask... xoxo Becca

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  67. Honestly, until now I just consistently clicked over here to peek every time it was mentioned on either Nat or Lucy's blog and I get those blogs sent to my email daily. HOWEVER, I just officially started following via Google and I use both Bloglovin' and Feedly because depending what device I am on (iPad, iPhone, Desktop) I have different modes of reading... Damn, I have had too much caffeine today!

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  68. I just love the block based on Pythagoreas' Theory. Love how the square is slightly 'off'. So cool. I am in the middle of a big EPP hexie project - more would be great!

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  69. I follow Le Challenge with Feedly

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  70. I find inspiration all over the place, but especially from bloggers.

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  71. I have just signed up to follow via google friend connect and right now I am reading blogs with Feedly.

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  72. Excellent post Susan - not that we would expect anything else!!!

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  73. I find inspiration everywhere each time I really open my eyes and my mind and otherwise the Victoria & Albert museum, London is a great place to visit!

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  74. What Leanne said on the following thing!

    And Susan great job!

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  75. Wonderful pouches, they look roomy enough to hold lots of stuff.

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  76. I follow you. You come right to my inbox.

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  77. Great post and fabulous giveaway Susan. I have been working on my le challenge project

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  78. Not sure how I follow, although I do. I follow blogs through google friend connect, and they just appear, but not through reader!

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  79. I love the geometric designs and also doodle a lot. I get ideas from blogs and then adapt them to suit. jennylarking@gmail.com

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  80. I am now following LC via Bloglovin'. Looks like fun and one day perhaps ...... jennylarking@gmail.com

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  81. Lovely pouches, I too see quilt designs in tiled floors or stained glass windows and always have my phone with me to snap a pic on the move :o)

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  82. I like to sew, and I find inspiration in magazines and blogs. Thanks!

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  83. I am a new follower with GFC.

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  84. What an excellent idea. I've not done any epp for a number of years, but I've been inspired. I'm a new follower of this blog. J xx

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  85. I have truly fallen in love with all of the pouches I have seen. I'd love to win those beautiful creations!

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  86. I find so much inspiration from floors: tile, wood, stone, rugs, etc. When on vacation, I often bring home photos of the floors of places we've been.

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  87. I am a new follower through Bloglovin.

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  88. I love inspiration from nature and the world around me.

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  89. I'm still following using google reader.

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  90. What great pouches, lovely fabrics.

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  91. Nat, I'm now following using google friend! Can't wait to see what wonderful creations everyone comes up with, it is so inspiring to see what other people do with an idea or word as a starting point.

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  92. Lovely pouches! It's nice to see what other quilters are doing with various fabrics. Such inspiration.

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  93. I never thought of doing epp using my own drawings, what a great idea! I love your blocks :)

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  94. I'm following in google reader :)

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  95. Great post S, made you sound quite clever! Fab blocks and pouches.

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  96. Great post- lots of inspiration, I wish I wasn't at work today, sigh!
    Folowing via Bloglovin'

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