Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Before Christmas I managed to get my Yellow Orphans top quilted and I love how it turned out. The panto was one of Keryn's, Leaf Litter I think.

I used another UFO to make the backing, a set of twelve blocks that I started about 15 years ago. I had to surround them with large strips of fabric so they look a bit lost in the centre, but it's the back- who cares? I'm just glad they're out of the cupboard as well.

All the blocks were the same pattern, a sort of framed Shoofly, but the materials used made them look different. Somewhere along the way I just lost interest, but they've been put to good use now.

Now I have to get the binding finished, but it's already made and shouldn't take me long..

Matthew carved the cold meats on Christmas day, and you can imagine that any little scrap he dropped never even made it to the floor. The dogs had a wonderful dinner of all the leftover meat scraps and pan scrapings and the egg yolks from the pavlova- urggh. They loved it, but I preferred the salad and cheescake, thankyou.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

I've nearly finished my push to make backings for my completed tops, I've got one more started and after that's done I'm ready to do some block piecing. Making backings is quite addictive because it uses shedloads of material, and it feels so virtuous. Metres of stuff gone, for very little effort.

I wanted to make a 'nice' backing for my Antique blocks that I finished a while back,

and I needed an extra 5" to stretch the centre fabric.

I pulled out the drawer of spare units and found enough 3" square in square blocks to piece a strip, then added a 2" striped piece to the bottom. I surrounded it with wide strips of another material and the backing was done, very simple but just a bit different.

Love that centre fabric.

I've found having a dawer full of spare units is very useful when you want to improvise a backing or a test block, or experiment with a pieced border. I can lay these out and even if they're the wrong colour it's enough to see whether the idea will work or not.

And to all those dear souls who offered to send me their little dog-ears.......I have one thing to say to you.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Keryn and I have been completing the tops that have to be done by Christmas, and the end is in sight. These three runners were the last of six we did for a lady, and by the time we'd finished them it was the equivalent of two single bed quilts.

It was easiest to load three of them on one piece of backing fabric and do them all at once- I especially liked these tree ones. I don't know where the pattern comes from, but they look like fun.

I finished another top, made from a drawer of 2" strips that just will not go away. I'd already sewn a heap of four-patches and some rail blocks (I can't remember the date I posted about them, and I haven't sewn them together yet) and I decided to make a real effort to empty the drawer once and for all.

I made this top a while ago using a simple block pattern-
I started off planning the colours and then just threw everything in together. I was quite disappointed by how little it used up, so I started another one.

I'm calling this a Random Rail, or Crazy Maze, or something and even though I used up the leftover piano border strips in the backing, the drawer is STILL about a quarter full. What do I have to do to get rid of this particular bunch of strips? Admittedly the tops are only throw size, but I've got three of them and part of a backing from the pile, and now I'm despairing of ever seeing them all used up.. I'll put the drawer away until I can face it again, but I'm determined to show the empty container, one day.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keryn mentioned on her blog that she was saving the little trimmed off dog-ears for me and that I would tell you what I do with them. I'm not crazy enough to sew with them, but I found that even though I put them in the bin (mostly) they seemed to drift around, being tracked into other rooms, getting stuck to the fabric I was working with, even being sewn into seams if I wasn't paying attention. So I decided to put them all in one little bin to keep them together, and then throw them all away when it got full.

But then I thought, why not put them in a container and see how long it took to fill it up, and so I hunted around. I'd bought these bear jars a while ago- they originally contained Eta peanut butter, - and kept some buttons in them.

(I'm going to change the white ones, because the bear's features don't show up really well.) These two are Koala bears by the way, but everyone knows a koala is not a bear at all....

Keryn found a large bear jar in a second hand shop, and even though he's quite ugly I bought him, because they don't show up that often. I decided he'd be the Keeper of the Ears, and started putting the bits in there, but it's taking an awful long time.

He's not even half full yet, and I've been doing this for quite a while!

He's not a small bear, as shown by this 12" ruler, and Keryn is trying to contribute as much as she can to help out. I fully expect this to take a few years, but who's in a rush?

I have the next jar lined up, a granny bear, with spectacles, hair in a bun and knitting to boot. If only she'd been sewing it would be perfect.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

While Keryn has been snipping and sewing her tiny pieces for the Dear Jane, I've been ploughing through huge backing seams and miles of binding.
This morning I finished backing number three and made three bindings for already quilted tops, phew! I think I'd like some small jobs for the rest of the day. (I think of the theme from Jaws when I look at this photo, look at all the fins cruising through the folds...)

I'm still enjoying piecing the backings together, this one used strips from the front and other backing bits. The largest one was made from 10 1/2" squares because it was so easy to control the size of it.

Now these can be hung up and wait their turn to be put on the machine. Incidentally, I weighed all the backings, and with the three bindings I've used 14 metres of fabric. It's got to be good!


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