Monday, January 20, 2014
Llama Mania (of the sewing and real life varieties)
In September 2012, Jon and I spent 10 days traveling around Peru. We landed in Lima and then travelled to Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking as Peru is known for having 28 of the 32 different microclimates in the world.
We were enamored by all of the artisans we saw. Weavings, hand knits, hooked rugs and dyes were available for sale.
Of course, we loved seeing an abundance of sheep, alpaca and llamas. We quickly learned that photo ops like these were one of the top tourist traps.
We spent two days exploring Machu Picchu and attempting to overcome our fear of heights with lots of hiking mountain climbing (it didn't really work!). The actual site of Machu Picchu is surrounding by the Andes Mountains and makes it feel really intimate.
We pretty much spent our second day stalking the llamas on the site. They are so cute!
Lauren, from the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, wowed us all with her intricate llama paper piecing at our November meeting. There was a loud gasp from all the members as she held it up during show and tell. I had never really heard of or understood paper piecing before, but her project gave me the impetus to learn!
The pattern is Leonard the Llama from Sew What Sherlock. I set up my sewing table with my light box, glue pen, add-a-quarter ruler and iron and ironing board and got to work. It was overwhelming at first, but once I focused on a small piece at a time, it came together during a day off from work.
I free motion quilted around the llama and turned this into an envelope pillow case for our newly acquired down pillow forms from Ikea. I backed it with this llama fabric from Laurie Wisbrun. In addition to the llama, I made a contrasting pillow with some new Botanics fabric quilted in a random grid pattern. It's nice to have some fun new pillows that remind us of our trip to Peru!