Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm really looking forward to doing a bit of sewing for myself soon. I've been grabbing a few minutes here and there and have made some progress, but I've promised myself a whole day as a reward. The deadlines quilts are over and I can potter in my room without feeling guilty.
I managed to put the borders on this old top from the early nineties. The fabrics are a great sample of what was available at the time because they're made from bundles of squares that were left over from a fabric club Keryn's friend used to run. She gave them to Keryn who naturally passed them on to me. I hand pieced all of this and had a great time seeing what went together. I delighted in the variety of fabrics that were in the stacks of squares, and having only a small amount of each made it challenging.

I found some old fabrics from that era to make the borders, so they're in keeping with the centre, and it has joined the pile of our own tops that we've been too busy to quilt. Soon, my pretties!Here is the last customer quilt, a pretty fairy concoction in pastel colours. It was fun to work on this and I guess I went a little overboard, but I just couldn't seem to stop.

I've got no idea who designed this but the customer did a lovely job of the applique and her grand-daughter is waiting impatiently for it.

Fairies galore around here.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

There are two shows coming up in October, and we had quite a few tops that have to be quilted before then. I wanted them all done by the middle of September so that the owners would have enough time to bind them, so this weekend is it! I have one to get off the frame today and another small one to go on tomorrow and that deadline is over. I must say it's quite nervewracking having this hanging over me, I hate the thought that these customers are waiting on me before they can put the finishing touches to their quilts. We've got some more tops after this, but they are ones that have no deadline and we can take however long we like to finish them, which is much less stressful.

And of course these last two are custom work on applique, which isn't as quick as I'd like, but it's what the tops need. So my weekend will be taken care of, but I've promised myself a day off next week to spend in my own sewing room. I feel like I haven't been in there for ages, and I don't have any accomplishments to show you. Sigh.

A while ago Keryn and I went on a little jaunt to a second hand shop for a rummage, and I spied a dusty case tucked under a table. It turned out to be an old Singer 201P, just like the one our mum sewed on, and which is now Keryn's piecing machine. I've been wanting another old machine because the 185 I do my piecing on is set in a small table and it's a bit cramped when I want to put tops together or add borders. So I grabbed this and asked how much, trying to act a bit casual, and the seller said quickly "Give me $20 and it's yours", as if he could hardly wait to get rid of it!
No sooner said than done, and this old girl came home and had a cleaning and oiling and runs like a dream. It's always a bit of a gamble when you buy an old machine. I check to see if the wheel turns over in the shop, but you can't tell whether a machine will do a nice stitch until you plug it in and sew on it, and most of the places where we find them don't have the facilities to test them. So when they come home and run perfectly it's always a great feeling.
Quite a few don't, but they're good for spares, and I like to think we're rescuing them from the scrap metal merchant, which is where a lot end up. I've even heard them described as 'good boat anchors' because they're so heavy. NOOOOO!

I've named this one Hannah, after our Great Grandmother who was a seamstress, and she has already put together at least four tops and borders beautifully. I do love having a backup, in case anything goes wrong with my dear little 185, but she's still humming along too, when I get the time to sew.

And I got spare bobbins and extra needles, which never go astray.Here's another customer top, not one destinesd for the shows, just for someone's grand-daughter, and she'll surely love these bright colours.And the fairies....


Sunday, September 07, 2008

The customer quilts are coming off the machine at a good pace but there are always more on the shelves waiting, which is good. This is one of the latest ones, and was a pleasure to work on. The material was absolutely gorgeous, and it was pieced perfectly too, which meant there were no problems at all as we quilted. Keryn kept threatening to kidnap the finished product, it was so pretty.

Roses and more roses.....
The customer chose a panto of Keryn's called Damask Rose and it was meant for this quilt, it finished it off beautifully.
What a pity I didn't straighten out the bottom of it, where it was caught on the step stool; I assure you it was perfectly flat and straight. I don't know who it was destined for, but anyone would be glad to own this one.I've been sewing some blocks I had kitted up ages ago. I used some reproductions a friend had given me and they were very precious at the time. I kept putting off sewing these, because I liked the idea of having them all cut out ready and waiting, and if I finished them then I wouldn't have my 'kit' any more. Finally last week I gave myself a 'Listen, you idiot..." speech, in which I pointed out that if I finished all of these then I would have permission to cut out a whole heap of different blocks for a new kit-duh!

I made 18 of them and they'll be set on point eventually. I haven't decided what my new 'kit' will be, too many ideas to choose from, but I'll have fun looking through my pictures of old quilts in the meantime.
Spring has sprung and Keryn wandered around outside taking some photos today. I don't know what this pink flower is, some sort of bulb. The flowers last for weeks and I love the delicate colours.


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