Monday, June 30, 2008

As promised here are mug shots of my quiltathon sewing.
I have a green lounge, and I've been wanting some quilts to put on the back of the chairs. If I make another one it will have to use 'nice' geens from my stash, because I've used all the old icky ones in this. Happy Keryn?
The Lady of the Lake was my 'freedom' quilt, started when Matt was a baby. When he was a year old I used to put him in Childcare once a week, just so that I'd have some time to myself. I rode my pushbike everywhere, with a babyseat on the back for Matt,and I'd drop the older boys at school, then pedal over the river at Victor Harbour to the centre. After I'd said goodbye to him, I'd jump back on my bike and ride furiously home, happy as a lark because I knew I was going to sew all day until 3.30. I started this top and a Greek Cross, and I always associate them with that sense of freedom I had on my 'day off'.I had lots of leftover triangles from the top, and I sewed them into pinwheels, then into blocks of nine, and there they stalled. Wanting to use some of my orphans, as Keryn did a while ago, I decided to piece all these bits together for the back. Some stars, some trial blocks that never went any further, and some four patches that were kicking around. It's not a thing of beauty, and the seams will add some thickness but it will do.

And this monster, which looks a bit pale, but it's just my photography; it's much more colourful in real life. I'm sooo glad to finish this, and I have the backing fabric ready to piece too. Lots of fabric busted there, this is queensize. And this is a customer quilt, talk about bright! It's such fun to work on tops that use colour combinations so different to my tastes. I get the enjoyment of the fabric without the hard work of piecing it together.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oh dear, I think I've sewed myself out this weekend!
I decided that I'd do Judy's Quiltathon, and Stashbusters were having a retreat too. I thought these were clear signs I was to grab some sewing time for me, ere I did more customer quilts.
So I've been making my old Singers hum, one piecing and one putting borders on. (No, not both at the same time, I'm not THAT clever!)

I'm going to show you glimpses of what I did, because it's 7 pm now and I've got no light to take photos. Plus I figure I can get a couple of blog posts about this weekend's work if I'm lucky.
First I put the borders on the scrappy sq in sq top I started recently. Lots of yukky greens gone, and a nice sized lap rug for the lounge.
Then I put the borders on this Lady of The Lake, which is only about 19 years old. Ahem, better late than never...And underneath it you can see part of the pieced backing I made from orphan blocks and leftovers, so I virtually completed a whole new top with all these little bits.
I was in a border kind of mood because I also got this top finished, after lots of debating and agonising about what it wanted. I didn't care in the end, I just wanted the pleasure of crossing it off my list.And then I made this little mini with leftover centres from the red and green Sq in Sq. I decided these were too dark to show up against the greens I was using, so these blocks were set together and bordered with cheddar. I may add more piecing to this, I'm just enjoying the look of it at the moment and revelling in the fact it took less than hour to make. It's quite cute and the indigo was one of our bargains at Spotlight. Now I'm wishing that we'd bought metres of it, it seems to play well with lots of other blocks I tried on it. Well, I have to go to Adelaide to pick Keryn up this week, so.......some more might have to come home with us.
And this is a pile of Leader ender HST that resulted from all my sewing.I intend to iron them tonight, because I don't think I can face another stitch!


Friday, June 27, 2008

This is what my sewing table looked like this morning as I sat and sipped my first cup of coffee for the day. What a haul, there's over 50 metres of material here, and I'm going to fold it all up neatly in a minute and gloat some more.

Yesterday I had to drive Keryn to the airport, as she's running away to Sydney to do a course on the new Statler software. Or something. I let her do all the brainwork and I provide the hands-on stuff, which seems to be working quite well in this partnership.

Spotlight had a big sale so we went to a store on the way and were most unimpressed with their staff service. I shall not bitch on the blog, but we left there furious, dragging a bag of fabric that had only taken us about half an hour to have cut, and after someone else pushed in front of us, without a number...Oh sorry, I wasn't going to complain, was I?

After a cup of coffee at Ikea- so handy to the airport and sooo cheap! I dropped Keryn off and then proceeded to two other Spotlights, being the mug that I am. Cheap fabric will make me endure much for it's own sake, so I put up with more overworked staff, rudeness and messy shelves so that I could get get some bargains. And just to make me feel virtuous, it wasn't all for us, two backing lengths were for customer quilts, so I was passing the savings on to them.

I then drove to Gawler to get some wool for Keryn that she'd almost run out of, (wot a good sister), and picked up a few fat quarters. These are reproductions and I know Keryn will be lusting after the blues when she sees this photo. I felt like I was being a Personal Shopper, I had a list of things to buy for others and it was nice to add them to the stash in the car.

I do love unpacking at the end of a trip, I feel like Ma and Pa carrying parcels in from the wagon (Little House on The Prairie), but I was so tired last night I couldn't do anything else but pile it in my room and go to bed which was the warmest spot in the house.

And today I'd better get back to workroom and get the machine stitching, I want to make a dent in the pile of customer tops that are waiting.....


Sunday, June 22, 2008

I've had a lazy Sunday at home again, just what I needed. We got six new customer quilts last week, so I've got my work lined up, and I needed some sewing room time for ME.
I worked out the setting requirements for the scrappy Sq in Sq's, just a simple sashing that will use up some more 80's green. (Don't roll your eyes Keryn, it will all be gone soon...) I do have EQ6 on my computer, but still love the graph paper and pencil approach, and the slow working out over coffee. It's just a little ritual of mine when I'm ready to set blocks together, gets me in the right frame of mind, so to speak.
These blocks are set together and pressed, but the light is too bad to take a photo now. I'll do that tomorrow, when it might have borders on as well- if I get busy tonight.

And Keryn and I have been working on an applique project together, this is my block. I love applique and I'm really enjoying this, although I discovered I need stronger magnifying glasses for such fine work. I'll get some more of this done tonight too.

And here's how Macca likes to spend his nights in this cold weather, wrapped up in front of the telly. Can't say I blame him!


Monday, June 16, 2008

On the weekend I had a visit from Rob, Elisa and Curtis. They couldn't stay long, but Curtis kept us entertained as usual.

Honestly, what can you do with a dog that looks like this when he runs? It's hard to take him seriously!He's got some good ear action happening there.
Because he's half Brittany Spaniel he will 'point' when he's interested in something and he looks terribly cute when he does it. He wouldn't repeat it for the camera, so Elisa decided to help a bit....
Hmm, not entirely natural behaviour ....
He's a handsome lovable goof, and you can be sure of a laugh whenever he's around. It was good to see the kids too.
I was thinking about a pieced border for the top in the previous post, perhaps the red and cream square in squares in the centre of the block. I have a drawer full of these that I've pieced as leader-enders, and they help when I want to try out ideas like this.
I'm not quite sure how it happened; it was Sunday morning, the machine was waiting, the scrap drawers were full, heck I don't know, but suddenly I had 30 of them whizzing under the needle, adding rounds of triangles. I just love Square in Square blocks and this was so much fun, not planning anything, just grabbing the next triangle and sewing it on.
Every time I went to make another cup of coffee I felt guilty that I wasn't doing the sewing I'd planned that day, but I was having too much fun to stop. One good thing about having all these scraps cut into sizes is that it's all just waiting. But that can be bad too, because it's it's just too easy to get sidetracked.
So now I've got thirty of these blocks and some more to finish, the scrap drawers close a little easier (but not much!) and I can get back to thinking about the border for the top, and these blocks, which were the project that I wanted to tackle yesterday. Sometimes you just gotta go where the mood takes you, right?


Saturday, June 14, 2008

This week I decided to set these blocks together, as the next old UFO to be tackled. I made them years ago, when we lived on the farm, and I pieced them all by hand. I used to get a lot of hand work done in front of the telly at night- perhaps I should put my knitting down and go back to it.

I had a collection of precious bits, the tag ends of fat quarters and favourite fabrics so I used them up in this. I could only cut enough for one block from each fabric, and it was like my farewell to them. Now that I've got a huge stash of gorgeous reproductions some of my choices in this top seem ordinairy, but I loved them at the time. And some I still adore, like these.

I hung it in the doorway to take a photo, here's the other side shown against the light. I do love the stained glass effect, but it would be too annoying to leave it hanging there for long. Pity, it's pretty.

Can you see that in one block I had to piece the fabric to cut all the triangles out? It really was precious. Now, what about borders?


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Talk about boring sewing- look at what I've been doing. Mending three pairs of old jeans for Matt and taking up the hems of three pairs of pants for me. I was so sick of tripping over the basket of mending that I finally gave in and just did it. Six pairs of pants put back into circulation- why doesn't that give me a greater feeling of accomplishment I wonder? And no, I was forbidden to neaten up the hems of his jeans, so they have to stay raggedy, just the way he likes them.

I spent some time this morning cutting more pieces for my red and yellow blocks.I didn't think I'd done much on this, but I have 17 blocks finished and I cut out 12 more and packaged them up. I'm trying to do 42, but I may get sick of them so I'm not committing myself.
Yesterday I spent a wonderful amount of time going through my sewing room, tidying fabric, stacking it away, and going through old projects that I unearthed from cupboards. In a tin I found this Rosette that I was working on many years ago, from vintage fabrics. I hadn't forgotten it, but I thought I'd only done one or two. Imagine my surprise when the tin was full of completed rosettes, 24 altogether. I'd even started sewing the white hexagons around some of them. It really is pretty, and I decided to try and work on this at night, before I start my knitting. I do love hand piecing and it goes surprisingly quickly when you have everything cut out and waiting.
I'd run out of print hexagons, so one of my tasks this week will be to cut out a heap and stock the tin again. I love my pretty Whitman's tins, but strangely the boys and I didn't like the actual chocolates and it took ages to get rid of them. I only wanted the tins anyway..
Another of Matt's photos, showing the creek running and some of the gorgeous gumtrees at Bowmans Park.


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