Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doors and Windows top is quilted, with organic cotton, and I think I'm going to try washing it before I bind it.I want it to shrink and look crinkly, but I don't want the binding wrinkly. So if the edge survives a dunking I'll know I can do it on future quilts. If not, I'll just trim any fraying bits off and make the border smaller.

The pieced backing in all it's motley glory. I do love the fact that this used up a pile of leftovers, and I'm busy piecing other backings together for the next lot of my tops. It's great hanging them up together all ready to go, and my shelves have empty spaces appearing, which is encouraging too.

I used a panto of Keryn's, Birdseye, at a small size, and I'm hoping this will add to the crinkly effect when it's washed. I really liked how this turned out on the front, not too girly so it's a good one for guy quilts.

I finally got the red sawtooth border on my Crossed Tulips, and then a wide cream to finish it off. I debated whether or not to put some applique in the border, but I wanted to keep the design really simple, and then add some gorgeous quilting to make it special. Not all applique quilts have to be complicated, in fact some of my favourite antique ones had this combination of a simple design with spectacular quilting.

I can't own them, so I just have to try and make some for myself.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I've been trying to finish some of my quilts in between the customer quilts as they're building up alarmingly. But the customers have to take precedence now so we can get all the Christmas deadlines finished.

This is another donation quilt, made with 16 patches from our group. It's rather pink, but someone will like it.

And here's the Doors and Windows on the frame. I love that moment when I start winding the top on, suddenly everything looks wonderful and I can hardly wait to get started.

I pieced the back for this, and funnily enough nearly all of the material came from other quilt backs.

When we trim our finished quilts, there's sometimes a strip of fabric leftover that's quite useable, depending on how big the backing was in the first place. I had a pile of these and decided to combine them to make this backing. It's quite a hit and miss affair, and I usually start by laying the top out on the bed and then piecing strips until the length is correct. Then I use that first strip to build on, squaring everything up to that, and the process goes quite quickly.

I do like to use the 10 1/2" squares too, and I added length here at top and bottom using already cut ones from the drawer. But some of these lengths were 14" wide, and I didn't see the sense in cutting them down and wasting the 4" when I could cover the ground quicker using big chunks of fabric.

I've finished this now and I'll post the photos soon, I really love the way these scrappy backings turn out.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

We're supposed to have some relief from the heat today, it's predicted to be 28 degrees, but I'll believe it when it's happened. It was quite unbearable in the workroom, so I thought I'd quilt at night, but the lights heated the air instead. I tried turning the overhead stand lights out, but found that the machine was then a magnet for all the bugs in the place, and after nearly stitching over a few and having flying ants shedding their wings all over the customer top I gave up and turned the big lights on and the machine light off. I couldn't see as well, but at least there was no night life quilted into the top.

I spent the weekend at home with the air-conditioner on, but it was quite bearable inside until about noon. I happily pottered in my sewing room and weeded out huge piles of fabric to cut into backing squares and 2 1/2" strips for a new project. As it is impossible for me to cut unironed fabric I had to heat the room up a bit until it was all pressed, but I was determined to see it gone.This isn't all of it, some went into other projects, but that is nearly 20 metres of fabric dealt with. It doesn't look much, but four of those large squares is a fat quarter of fabric, so it does mount up. I stripped up half metres of fabric to make bindings for donation quilts, 2 metres gone there, and the strips for the new project ate up lots of nibbled at fat quarters and trimmings from quilt backings. I would like to say that I have an empty shelf, a space in the cupboard, a gap in the drawer, even an empty container, but no. I can't even see where it all came from. And Jenni wonders why we didn't buy fabric at the show!

And now for something that I've been looking forward to for a while. Long time readers will remember the first Scrap Castle, and then it took nearly a year to make the second. Keryn told me she thought it looked a little loose, and that I hadn't packed it down hard enough. Determined not to be accused of that again I've been compressing the bin enthusiastically every time it gets full, and this weekend saw it jammed solid. There wasn't a bit of 'give' and the new pile of trimmings had to overflow and rest on the floor. Finally, the time had come.....

Ta Da!!! Scrap Castle the Third, and one of my best yet I feel. But can you believe it takes me a year to fill this bin up? I think that proves how little I throw away. I cut 1 1/4" strips for a tiny log cabin, so most of the scraps are less than that. If the pieces are bigger they have poly in them, have vleisofix on them, something spilt on them, or are otherwise unuseable. I waste Nothing! (Keryn sighs and rolls her eyes heavenward...)

Is it wrong to be so taken with this? Have I invented a new art form? Compressed Fabric Sculpture perhaps?

And before someone points out the large blue strip, I have one word to say to you.... Poly. Blechh.

In the interests of scientific research I decided to weigh my little creation.
Holy moly, three kilos! Now if you concede that a metre of fabric weighs roughly 125g, then allowing for wind speed and relative humidity, that works out to ..... 24 metres of scraps!! If I choose to collage them onto a wall, which I don't care to.

Art, science, sewing, I explore it all. I must be a renaissance quilter, what an enquiring mind I have- either that or the heat has got to me!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I sewed the borders on my Antique Blocks, and now I'm pulling fabric for the backing. The colour in this photo isn't very true to life, it's far too pink but you get the idea.I've now got a huge pile of tops and backings ready for quilting, I'm going to have to tackle some of them soon. I can't believe how many tops I seem to have finished lately, but there's still a lot more waiting.

It's been absolutely stinking hot, more the weather we get in the middle of summer than our over-warm spring. Hopefully it will cool down a bit before summer really hits, it's not nice quilting in this heat.

The other day we were sorting out some tubs full of old projects and deciding which ones would be worth finishing. We evidently took so long that Dolly thought she'd have a little nap on Keryn's feet. She is very much like a cat, she'll curl up anywhere and go to sleep, and preferably right in the middle of what you're doing. We had to just sit and chat for a while so as not to disturb her, she looked so comfy.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I've decided to call this quilt "Surprise Party", thanks for the idea, Pam.

It's been quilted and is in the binding pile at the moment, so it's on it's way to being finished.

The backing was made from a pile of fairly yucky fabrics, cut into 10 1/2" strips and 6 1/2" strips. I sewed them into looong lengths and cut them off as needed. It went together quickly and used up a lot of fabric, which is just what I wanted.

And remember my Leader-Ender that I refused to race ahead and finish? The centre is in one piece now, Hurrah! K eryn thinks it isn't big enough and it's not symmetrical either but that doesn't bother me.
I've loved this project, but I'm ready for a different leader-ender. I think that may only turn out to be a pieced border for this, but that's fine with me too. I'm drawing ideas out on graph paper and fiddling with measurements so that's keeping me interested and every step brings me closer to having this totally finished. It was a great pattern to sew and pressed beautifully, I love it when it goes together so neatly.

So many squares, and all of them cut individually, no strip piecing in this at all. Three lots of old dusty pinks gone from the stash and gallons of scraps, gosh it's a good feeling!


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