Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I can't begin to tell you what a horrible day it is here today. It's disgustingly hot and the thought of turning on the machine and quilting is ludicrous. No binding of the Double delight either, or I'd probably faint!

I watered the shadehouse early, then came in and spent a while preparing some applique, basting the shapes and marking the blocks. However the pencil I'm using is water soluble and the marks were disappearing so I had to give that up.

I tried to do some watercolours, but the paint dried almost instantly on the brush, so after fiddling for a while I had to abandon that too.
I pulled a kit of cut pieces out and made a few blocks, but everything was sticking to me in a most irritating fashion, so I stopped and went into the kitchen, where I made a cheesecake to have for tea tonight. I think it's too hot to have anything but a salad and a nice dessert, definitely no cooking!The online weather page for our district has updates from various centres; the town on the coast which is always cooler is 42.5 C (107 F) and the other nearest observation station is 45.1 C (113 F). We're in between the two towns, and I don't need to go outside with a thermometer to know it's HOT!!

It never ceases to amaze me that I can sit here in blogland reading about the northern winter, and see the most fantastic pictures of snow and ice, while sweltering in our absurd summer heat.
No doubt some of you are envying us our warm weather, but I've had enough already! And I have air conditioning which is a blessing, even though it's it's not coping so well at these temperatures. I'd be a nutcase without it but it's not making enough of a difference today sigh...


Monday, January 26, 2009

Today was Australia Day, and Keryn and I joined the breakfast festivities that were held in the town square, just a few steps from her house. It's so handy that she lives in the centre of everything! We took chairs and a cup of coffee in our travel mugs and once we'd set ourselves up we stood in line at the sausage sizzle. We had bacon and sausages and there were eggs and toast and champers and orange juice- what a breakfast! And no washing up afterwards.
We watched a friend receive his Citizen of the Year award, listened to a few speeches and saw the flag unfurled, then stood to sing the national anthem. The magpies carolled in the trees, a warm breeze gave a hint of the heat to come and I was grateful once again that we have such a lovely place to live in. Australians don't make a big deal about their patriotism, but it's there all the same and it was nice to share it with all our friends.

And of course there had to be cake, our famous Aussie lamingtons, and then home to a quiet day of sewing and watching the tennis or cricket. Good stuff.
And this is the last photo of the Double Delight, even though it's not bound I promise I won't show it again.
Keryn digitised her Double Plume panto, which is what Bonnie used on the original, and now I just have to make the binding and it's done. The backing was made from a precious fabric that was so old that I was quite devastated to use it, but as Keryn pointed out it was dull as ditchwater. Loved the print but it couldn't be used happily with any other fabric. A few strips bought it out to the right size and I was satisfied knowing that the whole quilt was made with scraps and pieces that I wanted to use up.
I did enjoy this, and love the effect of all those pieces, but now I have to get back to my own projects after that very entertaining sidetrack.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This customer quilt is done and waiting to be picked up, and it really irks me that the embroideries are puffy from not being quilted. The customer is looking forward to hand quilting around these by herself, but I don't like giving things back that don't look 'finished'. Keryn says I should just get over it, but I do want everything to look as good as I can make it when it leaves here.

Finally this top is finished, after who knows how many years.It joins the stack of tops waiting to be quilted, and those empty areas of shirting should provide some fun.
And Ta Da! The Double Delight mystery is finished. I had it almost sewn together a week ago and then I just couldn't face the last two long rows across the middle for some reason. I kept putting it off until I made myself sit down and do them- strange how we get hung up on certain steps.Although, come to think of it, this may have been why I temporarily abandoned it. Excuse my extremely stubby fingers, this looks more like a thumb but is my left index finger.
It has a partly healed cut, a blood blister, innumerable pinpricks from the applique needle, and the whitish area is a blister from a steam burn when I was ironing. When I was pinning those seams(every three inches, mind you!) the pins kept slipping into the cut, and making it bleed, and the air was pretty blue with not-so-muffled oaths. By gum it hurt. Perhaps my subconcious was just telling me to give it a rest while the poor finger healed.

When Rob was little he called all injuries "damages". I can still remember an accident prone week and his anguished wail of "How can a boy survive FOUR damages on one leg!" (He did.) I feel the same way about my poor finger- how can I survive all those damages? Well I obviously will, and the process goes quicker if I stop sticking sharp metal things in it.......


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Phew, the blocks are finally done. I'm going to try to get these all together this weekend, I love the top so far and I want to know what the borders are going to be. I just adore this colour scheme, and I've seen some lovely versions in blogland.Most people seem to have followed Bonnies colours exactly though- why not if they work so beautifully?
I have to put the binding on this quilt and the customer intends to hand quilt all the embroidered blocks herself. It should look absolutely gorgeous when she's finished.

I gave Macca this tug of war toy for Christmas, but everyone quickly tired of having their wrists dislocated and shoulders pulled out of their sockets by his enthusiastic wrestles. Matt hung it from a tree , and now Mac can entertain himself and onlookers without anyone being injured.
He chases this thing around until he's exhausted, leaping and swinging from it, and because it's rubber it bounces under his weight.
He's delighted with it, and when he's so out of breath he needs a rest, he just swings lazily around
with it gripped in his teeth. "Watcha doing, Macca?"
His eyes flick happily in my direction, but he won't let go. "Nothing" he grins, "Just hangin' around!"


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How does Bonnie do it? I've been sewing as much as I can, but there's no way I could keep up with all the steps. However, isn't it very convenient to have a nice sister to make the ninepatch blocks for me? And lest you think it's all one sided I'd like to point out that I did cut out most of her green Sister's Choice and made a few of those blocks for her. I'm a good sister too!!I'm really enjoying this block, but it's not a mystery anymore because I peeked at the remaining steps. I'm quite unrepentant and I love how it's set together, so that's only fueled my desire to see this in one piece.
And I have to say the wine really helped motivate us, we sewed until 3.30 in the morning!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

I decided after much argy-bargying back and forth that I would do Bonnies mystery. I've never been brave enough to attempt one before because I couldn't bear the thought of not knowing what it was going to look like. Would I like the fabrics in those placements, what if I'd rather the pink where the blue was... what if it would look better with brown instead of indigo? And the pressing, how would I know which way to press the seams? Yes, this is Contol Freakishness at it's most constraining.Much easier to abandon the whole idea rather than attempt the Unknown.

And then Bonnie started with the square in square units, which I'm inordinately fond of. I don't know why, but I just love this little unit and have made hundreds and hundreds of them from my scraps, just for the fun of it. How could I resist them? I had a pile of cheddar scraps that I wanted to use, a drawer of triangles already cut, and the indigo fabric ironed for another project. It seemed as if I was fated to start this project,and it's proving painless so far.
I'm round at Keryn's place at the moment having a delicous meal of curried homegrown vegies, and a bottle of nice wine. I have sneakily suggested that she make the pink nine patches (because she Loves them so..) while I do the brown and cheddar units from step two. It's mostly from scraps so far, so I feel quite virtuous, and if Keryn helps we might be able to keep up.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm enjoying being told what to do! Bonnie has taught me Obedience!


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