Monday, April 26, 2010

Mary made me laugh with the pictures of her work space after she'd ransacked it. As Keryn said, I love to tidy my sewing areas and keep things fairly organised, but just lately we've been so busy that it's been a choice of tidy OR sew, and I needed to see some progress on a few projects. I've been cutting out extra pieces for about four quilts, and have trays stacked on top of trays on top of boxes. Not my usual style at all.
It came to a head this weekend when I pulled out a stack of tops that needed borders and had a huge audition session.
I had fabric piled everywhere, and tops, and sets of blocks that I thought might make interesting borders in themselves. It was very liberating just reefing out different prints and trying them on all the tops, even if it wasn't what I had in mind in the first place. In this way I made final decisions on three tops, and got lots of ideas for the others. One in particular is quite different from my original concept, but I'm really excited to finish it now.
So this week I'll be cutting up fabric and sewing borders and Tidying until everything is back to the way I like it. And hopefully there will be three (or four) new completed tops in the pile.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The 4-patch 4-patch has a border now and I'm piecing the backing from some bits and pieces. I think there are a few bright pieces here that don't belong, but I was hoping to use up all of these 1 3/4" strips.
I roughly sorted them out into lengths and sewed pairs together, then cross-cut them into 4 1/2" segments and it went pretty quickly. Much to my disappointment there's still about a third of them left. Is it possible to use up every last skerrick, or will there always be bits left over?

The closest I ever came was this little crib quilt, made from the pastel swatches from a quilt shop. I used all but one of the coloured squares, and used up all the white on white pieces from donated scraps that I'd accumulated. I never buy either of these types of fabric, so I was really chuffed to get almost all of it removed from the scrap stash in one fell swoop. I quilted this two years ago, and I'm ashamed to say it's still not bound.

And remember I bought a little telly for the sewing room? Keryn came in the other day and said"Oh that's really great, I'm so glad the TV is being used......."
What?!! It's a multi- function model!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Rolling Stone top is in one piece and looking as pallid and washed out as I was hoping. I really wanted the vintage look of the original quilt and I think I've succeeded.
I'm trying to make a backing for it and had a pile of fabrics picked out that I thought would fit in with the sort of 'frugal farm quilt' feel of the top. I was actually really looking forward to using these fabrics and getting rid of them but when I laid them out on the bed it just looked wrong. I think some of them will be useable, but for the most part the top just went "Nuh uh, I don't like That!"

The problem is that most of the shirtings in the top are a crisp white, and the backing fabrics are cream based, so it's just looking dirty at the moment. I'll see if I can find something that doesn't appear to be filthy and then get this top quilted, I really want it on my bed soon. And I'm not sick of the block yet, it was an absolute joy to construct.

This customer quilt was huuge and it took 5 years to piece, using the English paper piecing method. When it was given to us it was wadded up in a plastic bag, without it's borders and it's owner had almost given up hope of ever finishing it.
All the cream seams needed trimming because the fabric was very thin and all of the fabric was polyester except for the floral. I had to add the borders and press it very carefully, but finally it was ready to go on the frame.

I think it turned out beautifully, and the owner was pleased to have it done after all these years. When I said that she could go home and put it on her bed she ruefully explained that she'd changed her colour scheme and now it wouldn't go with anything else! So she's going to gift it to someone in the family.

It's nice to be a part of finishing tops like this; it was too nice to be languishing in a cupboard all these years.


Saturday, April 03, 2010

I've nearly finished the extra ten Rolling Stone blocks, so I should be able to start setting them this weekend.

And I've been working on the pieced border for the Irish Waves but came to the conclusion that I have to add another row of blocks.

I originally declared it finished at this stage, even though it wasn't symmetrical. Another row would have made it square, and for some reason I don't like square quilts. This is all very well until you try to add a pieced border, and then suddenly the corners don't match and the pattern goes haywire and the planets reel off course. It just wasn't going to work.

So to make the border easy, I'm adding another row to the top. A lot of extra piecing for an 'easy' solution, but it's gone quite quickly. I've been sewing two or three pairs as Leader-Enders instead of just one, and it does mount up that way.
I'm also tackling the basket of triangle scraps. This is a tiny little container and yet there are hundreds of scraps awaiting trimming, mostly from bindings that I've made over the years. If it's vaguely triangular, the scrap gets put in here, and it was overflowing. All of those pieces on the mat are 2 3/8", so there's a whole heap more square in square blocks to be made. Just lately I've branched out and started sewing flying gees units too, just for a bit of a change, but it will take me a while to make a dent in this lot.

And here's a photo of Macca on a dead tree in the creek bed. He doesn't have much fear of heights and usually launches himself off these obstacles in a terrifying manner. Fortuneately Staffies seem to be very tough and he hasn't hurt himself yet.


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