Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm cutting for so many projects I'm in danger of confusing myself, so I'm going to call it quits soon. I've got a nice pile of pieces cut out and I'm feeling the urge to finish a few tops before the end of the year. At the beginning of 2013 I finished about four old projects and  I thought I'd continue throughout  the year but I got derailed again. There's still time to work on something, but Keryn and I want to do Bonnie's mystery, which started today....another project!

I'm cutting for a set of Woven Geese blocks, I had so much fun with the last lot I wanted to make another. This will be a fairly soft, low contrast colour scheme, mainly in greens and tan.

I've only made a couple of test pieces  for this, a Jack In The Pulpit block. It will be very simple, two clours per block in reproductions. Cutting continues....

I'm going to make another 4-4 Time as the other one has been washed so much it's looking rather faded now. I've only cut the squares for the little four patches but that has used heaps of oddments that I was glad to find a purpose for. I'll probably use these as Leader-enders for a while and then think about cutting the rest of the block.
 Then there are my 16 patches, quite a pile of them in fact, but still not enough to start setting together. They are nice and mindless sewing, so when I've finished cutting the rest of the bits I'll be able to whip them up in a couple of evenings.
 And lastly there are always the triangles, I have a whole drawer full of triangular scraps that need to be cut down.

 Every now and then I pull a few handfuls out, trim them and use them as Leader-enders, so that I also have a container of finished HST to play with.
That's enough to keep me busy this weekend!


Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm still in a 'cutting' mood, and the fabric has been falling under the rotary cutter in a satisfactory way. I've got rid of quite a mound of scraps and odd pieces of stuff, and now I'm pressing yardage to continue the cutting spree. Part of me keeps telling me to stop, but really, when you're in the mood who wants to interrupt the flow? I've made a few test blocks so I've been doing a bit of sewing, but I want to build the 'kits' up before I settle down at the machine.

Keryn spoke about my 'rough cutting' here and I love doing that becasue I can accumulate a heap of the fabric I need for blocks without getting bogged down with the finer details.

 With this kit, a block that I called "Time Turner" I know that if I've got a scrap 6" by 7 1/2" I can get two of these units from it.

 So two dark pieces will make a block, along with some 2 1/2" cream strips. I'm using solid cream homespun here, so any bits leftover from other projects are cut into strips  and put in here.

This block is nice because it's a positive/negative one; you cut the same pieces of light and dark. That means I can layer a light and dark fabric and cut the whole block out at once.  There's a pile of pieces in this container, nearly enough for a whole quilt and that feels like a sweet tucked away to be enjoyed later.

I could cut these into their final sizes before I put them away, but at the moment I'm focused on Dealing with Fabric, and I can make so much more progress by not being so precise and nit-picky. I've ironed the stuff, rough cut my blocks and put the fabric away and I'm on to the next project. It's quite exhilarating finding a purpose for so much material.

Oh dear, the puppies are such time wasters. Every night they go outside for what I like to call "Scamper Time" and they are so funny to watch as they explore the yard. I have an enclosure that I can put them in so they don't wander too far, but Pippi's on High Alert for about ten minutes when they first go out. Got to make sure there's no danger for her younguns.
 Once she's satisfied that all's well she relaxes and has a play with them. She's so gentle, while they are pretty rough and tumble in return.
Aw, sitting up like a proper little dog....


Sunday, November 17, 2013

 Keryn and I have both been thinking that it's going to be a long hot summer and we need to prepare for the days spent locked inside with the air conditioning. (Oh air conditioning, how I do love thee!)
We're thinking of projects to kit up and old UFO's that we can cut the final parts for. We'll have these waiting for the hot weather so we can just start sewing without even having to iron a bit of fabric first.

I've been moving a bundle of maroon and green fabrics around, mostly scraps that didn't have a home, and I decided to use them for Bonnie's Nifty Thrifty pattern from Scraps and Shirttails.

This is a lovely block to construct and very simple to cut, but I didn't really want to set it the same way as the book shows.
 So I fiddled around with graph paper and decided to set them with a negatively coloured block, same design but with the darks and light reversed.
I've worked out the pressing so the seams nest, and it should be easy to sew them all together, in fact I'm finding it hard not to just sit down and finish them all in one go. I've been putting the cut pieces in ziplock bags and now I have a nice little cache of them ready to squirrel away.
The puppies have blossomed into proper little dogs instead of furry blobs, and Sari is still my favourite. I can't have two dogs, can I......?


Saturday, November 09, 2013

 This week I got a phone call from my friend Sharon Porter to say "We Won!!" And I couldn't have been happier, because her work is magnificent, and thoroughly deserving of recognition. I keep thinking I'm  'just the quilter', but it was a joint effort and my stitches do enhance her beautiful applique. It's so hard for me to accept praise for some reason, so I should just shut up and be happy!

 Her quilt was entered in the Applique section (Two Person) of the South Australian Quilters' Guild show which is on now.  Disappointingly I can't get down to see it hanging, but a friend sent this photo, with the pronouncement "Awesome!" 

The design is by Michelle Hill, and as I stitched  I continually admired how beautifully balanced and flowing the shapes were. It was so interesting to work on; even though it was rather difficult to stitch around all those in and outs I was never bored! And I would rather be ditchstitching them than machine appliqueing them as Sharon had to do....

This is not a big quilt, for all the amazing applique swirling around, and when Sharon showed me the top I had no idea what to do. The background spaces are quite tiny and there was no room for fancy flowing feathers and fills. I decided that nothing should take away from the focal point, the applique, and I also didn't want to hammer the background flat as a tack.
 I spent a week carefully ditch stitching every single shape and vine, and burying dozens of thread ends by hand, which gave me breathing space while I worked out what to do. There's something terrifying about taking the first stitch on this blank canvas, worrying that you're going to ruin all that beautiful work and wondering whether what you've decided to quilt will actually look the way you want it to.

I started with the centre and quickly realised I had even less roon to manouvre than I'd thought, so ideas were simplified even further and I settled on the final plan. I filled in each little section at a time, rolling the quilt back and forth as there were four or eight or sixteen repeats. I can't work across the quilt without forgetting the pattern of movements in each section, so I did it like a colouring book, one little bit at a time. This also gave me time to think about the next bit I was going to tackle- if something worked well I tried to repeat it in other places.
 I loved these little pomegranate shapes, such fun to do.
Sometimes I wish I could draw it all out beforehand and just follow the lines, but I seem to get some of my best ideas as I'm quilting, allowing my mind to solve the problems just before I get to them. A bit nerve wracking, but it usually works out well.

I'm glad Sharon trusted me enough to quilt this, and I'm glad that she entered it in the show as I never seem to get around to things like that. You never know, I might just develop a taste for competition! But the main thing for me is knowing that between us we accomplished something beautiful, and when she hangs it in her home she can enjoy it every single day and think "I made that!"  It's a real tribute to her skill....


Friday, November 08, 2013

 I've been  trying to get good photos of the puppies, but it's impossible. They're still too little, not standing up yet and too squirmy at the wrong time. These three didn't turn out too bad, but two puppies, Titch and Tansy were just blurry brown blobs. I shall try again later!

This is Sari, one of the girls and she's a dear little thing. I love her markings, I'm a sucker for a white face.

This is Bear, who is almost black except for a few brindle stripes. He has a lovely personality, and is one of my favourites.

But everyone loves Dozer, a chunky solid bruiser of a puppy with a gorgeous face and an endearing gentle nature. Titch and Tansy are much more active and have already had a few play fights, and a couple of tantrums when Pippi's not quick enough with the food. Dozer's main activities are sleeping, feeding and yawning, followed by more sleeping. I'd love to see what sort of dog he grows into, but I don't think I can keep him, rats.

And I've got some exciting news to reveal shortly, stay tuned....


About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP