Friday, March 30, 2007

It's not that I lack focus. Honestly. It's just that I can't seem to direct where that focus will go.

The checkerboard blocks are still not set together (who cares, they're not going anywhere without me) but I did get a tad distracted by Mary's finished quilt on this post.

These are not colours that I really use, but I somehow seem to have ended up with a lot of brightish blue and green scraps given to me by other people. So when I saw her gorgeous quilt I thought "That's what I'll do! I'll make one just like that!"

So out came the scraps and I started cutting, and cutting and cutting. First I was only going to make 12 blocks, then I had so much left over that I increased it to 20. and now there are still blue and green scraps and I keep finding more. When can you ever get rid of ALL of a certain kind of fabric? I don't know. But I can try to think of some sort of pieced backing, or keep making this bigger, or make two quilts. I'm determined to get rid of these things, and yet I don't seem to be coming to the end of them. Sigh.

I do adore turning a jumble of bits into these neat stacks though. This pattern is very simple and went together so quickly that I think I might make it in other colours too. Great for using up fabric in a hurry.

And I love looking at my bin and seeing all this tangle of snibbles and knowing that it represents the very end of heaps of bits and pieces that have been hanging around for ages, finally cut and bound for a project. Finis.

The blocks aren't sewn together yet, but that won't take long. I'm off to Adelaide to see my boys for their birthdays (23 and 25), so it will be next week before I get this in one piece. And then my focus can flicker off to yet another project, but I don't dare predict what that will be, I've been such a creature of impulse lately!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The top is nearly done, I've only got to add two long sashing pieces on the sides, so I'll have to make 14 more square in square units. There are 120 in the blocks, and 42 in the sashing, so that makes162 all together- phew!

It's a bit busy, but I really enjoyed making this. It went together so quickly, now if I can just get it quilted as well I'd feel like I'd accomplished something good.

Now, on to the checkerboard blocks that I was going to set before I got so obsessed.
Who's a gorgeous boy?


Friday, March 23, 2007

I sewed these checkerboard blocks on the sly, in between bouts on the chenille quilt.
I couldn't remember where I got the idea from, but realised later it was from a McCalls magazine, fairly recent. So easy and simple to do, I had to stop myself making more. I'm going to try to make a few smaller quilts but for some reason I always want to go bigger and bigger. I have quite enough large quilts and a lap size would be handy this winter.

I worked for two days in the fabric shop this week and took along my cut pieces for Square in Square units. I talked about them in this earlier post. I've cleaned up a lot of fiddly scraps by cutting these shapes (2 5/8' square and 2 3/8" triangles) but I'd been so industrious I had to put them in two drawers of my scrap storage. Time to whittle the stack down a tad.
In the two days I made 12o of the units and decided to set the maroon and green ones into these blocks. They are blindingly simple (once the squ in squ units are pieced) and I'm enjoying every stitch. I was going to make 20, but I had so many bits and I was having such a good time I've increased that to 30. I don't intend to have a border on the top, so I can afford to make a few extra blocks. And they end up 7 1/2", so they're prety small.

I've even picked out the sashing and setting so there's no agonising over this , just straight sewing. I feel like I'm flying ahead after struggling with the unweildy chenille.


Friday, March 16, 2007

The chenille quilt is finally done, quilted and bound, finished.I haven't vacuumed the mess off the floor and cleaned the machines out, but when I do I'll be glad to see the end of this project. My wrists and hands are hurting from the struggle and I'm looking forward to doing some normal sewing, and something for ME. I've missed my projects.

I pieced the back from some vintage material I had and didn't want, a pink dot and a stripe and a little bit of floral leftover from the front.

Mac has taken to the bathtub, he scrambles in himself, and waits for Matt to fill it up.He has a plastic chicken that he chases around in there, but I'm looking for a rubber duckie, I think that will be more appropriate. After drinking an inordinate amount of the bathwater...

he pulls the plug himself.

Matt has taught him to Sit, Lie Down, Stay and Shake Hands. Amazing what bribery will do,(usually a little bit of cheese)


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Son Matt has been staying with a friend who is the caretaker of a local park. It was an old homestead that was left to the public and it's a gorgeous place, with a winding creek and many splendid gum trees, and the ruins of the old stone buildings.

The caretaker lives in a house on the grounds, and it's no wonder Matt's been spending so much time out there, being able to hike all over the hills and explore to his hearts content.

I was getting sick of not having the camera though, whenever I wanted to blog about something it was always with Matt. So I bit the bullet and allowed him to choose the camera he wanted (photography is his interest), and I could get to have the old one back. I'm perfectly happy with what it does, but Matt really wanted to take it further.

I don't think the camera has been off his shoulder since he got it, which is fortunate, because the other day he went outside (at the park) and something raced out from under the house. He immediately started taking photos, and this is what it was.....

This is a goanna, and it must have been at least 4' long. They have beautiful markings and wicked curved claws, which as you can see are perfect for climbing trees.Matt couldn't believe his luck, he has two videos of it making it's way to the top of this tree, which is a very large gum. I think you can see how high it was in this photo.

He wouldn't have had a hope with the old camera, and the zoom on this is amazing.The closeups were all taken from the same spot as the tree one, and the detail is incredible.

So he's one happy camper, and I can hardly wait to see what else he comes up with.

On the chenille front, the top is done, but I won't post a picture until the quilting's done, because it won't change all that much. Just let it be said that chenille is not my Friend, nor do I want to renew it's acquaintance. Not a nice sewing experience. But on that note, what is YOUR worst sewing experience?Mine is not the chenille, but a job I took on for my brother who is a Tech Teacher. He wanted 40 denim lab aprons for his school, and that was a nightmare, metres and metres of stuff like canvas, multiple layers and top stitching....Many Many broken needles and much cursing went into that little lot. Never again. Well Keryn, I can think of what your 'Never Again!!!' moment was, does anyone else have them?


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm making slow progress on this one.
The blocks are done and all trimmed - what a horrible job. Because the chenille is so thick you really have to press on the cutter to get through it and my wrists are complaining now. Grumble grumble!

I've started laying them out on my spare bed next to the sewing machine, and I'll begin sewing the rows together today. I wouldn't use my old Singer for this, and after seeing all the fluff that's collected on the Janome (not the 6500, that's too precious) I'm glad I made that decision.

Yes, I've got a few machines to choose from, but they're all horses for courses. One for piecing, one for quilting, one for general sewing, one to take to workshops, one for.....just because.
This is the latest horse in the stable, but it's not really mine.Keryn bought this on Ebay, and as the seller lived only 200k away she had them send it here instead. I'll look after it (oh, if I HAVE to!) until she can come and pick it up on one of her visits. At last, a Featherweight in the family. Coffee cup added for scale.
This is the machine I take to our patchwork meetings, a gorgeous little elna. Very light and easy to transport, and again bought off ebay.It's over 30 years old, but still sews like a dream and came with all it's attachments intact. Coffee cup added for scale.


Monday, March 05, 2007

This is an unusual sight!
I was visiting a friends house and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the car covered in quilts. But she explained that she was sick of the car getting so dusty, so she covered it up to keep it cleaner......

She maintains they are just old things, but I still felt it a bit of a sacrilege, especially considering the red dust here stains fabric and isn't easy to wash out. But they're her quilts so I suppose she can do what she wants with them.

On the chenille front yes, it's a PIG to work with! Accuracy is not something you can maintain because it all slides and shifts, and even the edge of the seam ends up all tufty and shaggy, so you can't sew a quarter inch seam allowance. I'm gritting my teeth and pushing the stuff through, but I won't be accepting any more of these projects! Too many bad words sewn into this one already. (Yes, I swear at my sewing if it won't behave)

Matt and Mac have gone to stay at a friends house and I haven't seen them much- I think I miss the dog more than the son-is that bad? I think Mac's supposed to grow about two inches taller and the book says he'll put on 4 more kilos, but he's only 4 months old so I think he'll be bigger than that. Every time I see him he's grown, and I always get a lovely welcome when he realises it's Mum visiting him. What time wasters puppies and babies are! I could watch them for hours.
The other night Mac was fast asleep when he heard the bag rustle as Matt gave Jessie a puppy treat. He stretched up and got one himself and then went straight back to sleep- he just didn't want to miss out.


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