Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is the second top I finished last weekend. These blocks come from my manic Square in Square piecing days, when I made hundreds and hundreds of these little units. I've sewed them into 4 different sets of blocks, each enough for a queensize bed- did I get a bit carried away? Jury is still out on that one, because I'm still cutting scraps for them and piecing the 3 1/2" units as leader-enders. I have a drawer full and I'm nowhere near using them up but strangely enough it doesn't bother me.
Still, it's nice to cross this top off the list, based yet again on an old ebay quilt.
The setting fabric and border are a bit modern, but that's what looked good. Sometimes I think I'm going to reproduce an old quilt exactly and I just can't do it. This one had grey blue setting blocks and I realised that it just ended up looking Filthy, not old. So I switched to green, and while it's not the quilt I loved, it's alright.

I'll quilt something nice in those setting blocks, the stitching will show up well.

We had rain on the weekend, and when Matt came in from Bomans Park he had these photos.This is a causeway across the creek, and it was flowing pretty well after the storm.

In the 70's I can remember this concrete slab being torn away and washed downstream in a wild storm that also took out a huge bridge further down. The forces of nature are awe inspiring- this is only a tiny creek, but the noise of the water rushing down was amazing. (Matt took videos as well. What a good little reporter he is.)
The water was the colour of milk coffee, lots of soil being washed down unfortuneately.

Finally there was a rainbow,

a last flash of light,

and the clouds rumbled away into the sunset ....

and just think, I didn't have to get wet or cold to be able to see it. Nor do you, we'll leave all that up to Matt and the dogs!


I finished two tops on the weekend, so I did get some of my own sewing done. It felt good to get the borders on this one, and I've got the backing fabric ready to piece. I have to wait to get customer quilts done before I can quilt it- why won't someone pay me to quilt my own tops? I guess it doesn't work like that....

Even though this was so long in the making, years and years, I love how the right fabrics all came together. Sometimes I think it pays to wait, I didn't have much fabric choice when I originally started this one.

This is a customer quilt, intended as a baby gift. Boy or girl- who knows, but either would love this vibrant happy quilt.

And the amazing thing is it's all made out of the much maligned sheeting I referred to in an earlier post. It just shows that design can overcome humble materials, and make something beautiful anyway.

The panto is one called Chinese Crescents and looks nice and swirly, like some of those snake's tails!
We used a variegated thread called Rainbow Swirls, perfect for all the bright colours.Those numbers, by the way, are stick on felt- what a clever idea.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Brother and Sil have gone back to Perth, and the house has returned to the old order of sewing and computer stuff. While they were here my brother did a course in Rocking Horse carving. Can you remember Harry the Horse from last year's posts?
This time he invented Neville the Nag (I've got to try and stop these dreadful names being attatched to such gorgeous creations!), who now lives in the front hall. Every child's dream- oh I would have loved to have him when I was young. Doug says he has built in a secret "Rockometer" and claims that there have been 14 'unauthorised rocks' recorded. I told him that I will admit to nothing without video footage.

I had a visit from Rob and Elisa and Curtis on the weekend and I thought a picture of Dog and Horse touching noses would be cute. Curtis for some reason took a set against Neville, especially when he rocked in greeting. Poor Curtis stood in the doorway planted in horror and then barked hysterically until the horse stopped moving. Nothing could allay his deep distrust of this thing, even though we cajoled and called and wheedled, trying to get my photo. He decided that we could touch it if we were stupid enough, but he was just going to pretend it didn't exist.
Not making eye contact....
la la la....
There.Is. No. Rocking .Horse. I suppose he does look a bit scary from the front. But that other photo I wanted of Curtis ON the rocking horse? Probably won't happen now.

Finished this customer quilt earlier this week, it has hearts made of cut up doileys on it, and was quite a challenge on the longarm. I lived in dread of the machine travelling across and catching on the lace, which was quite thick and raised. I was glad to get this done and delivered without any mishaps.
We had to quilt it quite sparingly because of having to avoid the lace, strangely enough it's easier to quilt more densely than trying to balance out the different areas.

Didn't I used to piece quilts? Where's MY quilting gone? Seems to be the cry of all who turn professional, no time for their own stuff. I'll have to have this weekend for Me ME ME!!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Many years ago on Mothers Day Matthew went to visit a friend. Soon he was back and asked "Can I have $15 and I'll buy you a great Mother's Day present!!Pleease!!" Well, us mothers can see the flaw in that proposal, but I was intrigued and it was nice that he thought of me, even if I did have to foot the bill. So back to the friend's place he went with the money, and struggled home later with this machine, which incidentally weighs nearly 40 lb. Portable it's not.

But it's in beautiful condition, and must have been very expensive when it was new. It has three levels for the feed dogs, a lovely 'Zig Zag' stitch and has an extra single hole throat plate which makes it piece very nicely.
The motor is so quiet you can barely hear it, and altogether sewing on my "Princess" is thoroughly enjoyable. And Matt was right, it made a great Mother's Day present!
I can't show some of the sayings on the birthday quilt because they have personal information and one of them includes an address, but here are two more I loved.
There must be a story behind that one....and our Mum used to say this all the time, whenever something astonished or exasperated her beyond the usual. And I did love the "Good Lord You Can Hoard" one that Keryn showed on her blog. Yep, that would be on my 80th birthday quilt too!


Friday, May 09, 2008

What a week, I'm looking forward to a couple of days off soon! We've been terribly busy with deadlines for quilting and on Sunday night and all Monday I had a migraine, which put me behind on everything. I still feel that I've been cheated of a day, what a waste of time being sick is. Grrr.

On Saturday our patchwork girls went to Pt Augusta, about 100k away, to visit with the local patchwork group. We were terribly envious of their beautiful clubrooms, provided by the local council and renovated by their members. What a lovely home for the group, plenty of light and space, a little kitchen and even storage for their display stands and bits and pieces. Very nice.

The log cabin quilt is one of our member's work, the talented Bev, (on the left) and though Keryn has begged for the scraps of all these lovely browns, she's keeping every bit for her own scrap collection.I can't remember the name of the lady who made this rail fence, but the colours are absolutely wonderful.This is a lovely quilt-as-you-go flower, made by Melva on the left. She's a wonderful dyer and at 84 I think she's a marvel. She still talks confidently of 'when I get old' and obviously that time isn't here yet. I don't think I'll be marbelling 2 1/2 metre lengths of fabric when I'm that age. Good on her!
We had a great day, and then on Sunday we went back for a family barbque, and to deliver a customer quilt, another huge candlewick one. Probably too much excitement for one weekend, hence the migraine.
As soon as I was well enough I had to get stuck into this quilt, which was a gift for a lovely lady who was tuning 80. The embroidered sayings kept me entertained and the quilting went quickly, then I bound it and hand-stitiched it down. Ready with only half a day to spare! This quilt was made in a week, and has wonderful stories attached to it- the embroideries came from all over the state, flying through the post, being sent through bank bags to make it in time, even one being driven hundreds of miles here so that it could be included. I joked that they were passing the torch on to me, and I hoped I wouldn't stumble and fall at the last. And then I got sick and lost a day! I was so worried that I'd spoil everyone else's efforts, but it was fine in the end. Phew! Quilting for others is a huge responsibility and full of stress, I'm finding! This is my favourite saying, what fun they must have had presenting this.
I wonder what my family would embroider on MY 80 th birthday quilt, hmmm.....


Thursday, May 01, 2008

I've been desperately trying to get this top in one piece, in between my other sewing. (That would be the sewing for Customers). I can't believe how much stitching was in this pieced sashing, it seemed to go on for ever. (Andrea from Welsh Quilter is going to do a pieced Flying Geese sashing, be warned my dear!)

Then this morning as I thought I was on the last seam I discovered I needed a whole outside section and had to piece that before I could call it quits. The blocks went together so quickly, and I've probably spent more sewing time actually putting it together. But finally the main section is done and I just have to put borders on it and add it to the pile. And cross it off my list of old UFO's, that will be the best part!
It was our patchwork group meeting on Monday, and a lady was giving away stuff she no longer wanted. Amongst the pile was this old quilted bonnet, made by her Aunt Mary Clarke.
It's a very simple pattern, a straight seam up the back and the corner turned down over it, like the little tuck you put to give fullness in bags. There are ties sewn inside and out, and the brim is padded and quilted in a crosshatch pattern. I just adore bonnets, especially the ones that were made to lie flat so that you could iron them after washing. They are usually so simple, yet they look wonderful.
I'm always reminded of Laura and Mary in the Little House on The Prarie * books, and how Laura hated to keep her bonnet on.This article was such an essential of female attire and so many variations exist; I'd love to collect them but they don't come up much here. I have a few patterns and one day I'd like to make them, and who knows, I might even wear them in the garden!!
Here, modelled by the lovely Keryn, is Aunt Mary Clarke's Dutch bonnet, not the most flattering of head gear, but it would certainly stop you getting sunburnt.
*(Oh, and sorry if this offends anyone, but I can't stand the tv series of LHOTP. The books are one of the pivotal reading events of my life, and Keryn's. Loved them to bits as children, and still read them every few years, just to say hello)


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