Saturday, June 16, 2018

Border progress ...

Hi everyone, thank you all for stopping by and commenting on my last post. Seems the comments thing still isn't working which is a little irritating. On the last post I left a comment of my own, and subscribed to replies which meant that I did receive an email that I'd received a comment, but there was no address provided for me to respond to. I may be able to reply if I still have your address on file from a past communication, but other than that, who knows? Is anyone else having the same issues?

Anyway, let's get on to the quilting ... I can't remember if at the time of the last post I had all of the first triangle border in place, but that's definitely complete now. And the subsequent skinny border is in place too. It is only an inch cut, so half an inch finished. I've also pieced the next top and bottom borders which are made up of small squares and triangles, and I've stitched one to the body of the quilt. So much cutting and piecing!

I have a bunch more cutting still to do before I can make up the borders for the sides, but once they're done I feel like this quilt is really moving toward the finish line!

After this pieced border, it's pretty much a mirror image of the borders I've done already, a skinny dark border, another triangle border, a marginally less skinny border, and then I move to the final pieced border made up of star blocks.

My lovely friend Lizzy will baste the quilt for me when I'm done, and then I can get busy hand quilting once again. I'm really looking forward to it!

A big thank you to Shasta Matova, Phyllis, Janet, Karen, Wendy and Jocelyn for commenting on my last post, I'll pop you an email if I can. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, June 08, 2018

Slow stitching ... but as fast as I possibly can!

This past week I've been piecing the triangle borders I shared with you in the last post, and I'm thrilled that yesterday I finally finished them - so many little pieces!! I've trimmed and removed the foundation from one of the borders and just a few minutes ago I stitched it in place:

It fitted just perfectly, no easing required, so I'm confident that everything is going to be great with the next few borders going forward. The finish line for this quilt top is inching closer!

There are a few more fabric oldies amongst the triangles - the pale green one near the centre is from the Smithsonian collection, and I want to say it's probably from the late 90's. And from a similar era the fifth triangle from the right is from the Oakland Museum collection sent to me by my lovely friend Linda. It's always fun to see such cuties pop up in my scraps - I used those in my Dear Jane way back when - and to think I was still such a beginner quilter I had no idea what I was taking on!

Next, I wanted to share a couple of gift quilts I put together - I know they've reached their destinations safely, so I won't be ruining any surprises. Some beautiful ladies shared fabric from their stash with me, and I really wanted to repay their kindness:

The blocks were from one of Barbara Brackman's block of the month quilts a while back, and though I didn't continue making all the blocks, I really liked the ones I'd made and saved them for something special. Combined with some favourite border prints and stripes, I think they came out as quite pretty table toppers.

And last of all - in the last post I mentioned that Blogger seemed to be having a problem emailing comments at the moment. It seems like it's a common issue, and though information is hard to come by, I've read that they're working on a fix. I don't know if that's correct or not, but I really hope it is, as I enjoy interacting with you all, and answering questions when needed. Please continue to drop me notes, as I feel like this will simply turn up fixed one day - but perhaps if you have a particular question just email me. And to that end, Sandra asked me recently about tutorials for drawing on Corel draw - I'm sure you can google some. But if you send me your email address, I'm happy to send you the one I did already.

That's it for me tonight - I'm going to settle in and watch the French Open tennis men's semi finals. It's going to be an exciting (and long) night! xox

Friday, June 01, 2018

Piecing process ...

Fridays are generally a day where I have some time to myself, so I finished up some cutting and began to make busy foundation piecing the next borders for the Phebe project:

Piecing this way always looks kind of jiggly wobbly until it's trimmed at the end, but at least I can be sure all these points are going to be perfect when they're stitched to foundations.

Each row has 62 coloured triangles and a similar number of them in background fabric, and I'm piecing the four borders in tandem so I can keep the fabric placement consistent. This means I have a whole bunch of tiny pieces to play with over the next few days - looking forward to attaching these borders to the main body of the quilt will keep me motivated, otherwise it's pretty mindless piecing.

Do you see that pinky coloured fabric third from the right up there? My goodness that one has some age on it. It's from the Sarah Johnson collection and I'm guessing it's close to 20 years old - amazing how these oldies turn up in my stash! I remember it was a huge purchase for me at the time - I got a skinny quarter of the whole collection from a local quilt store. Being a fairly new quilter at that time I thought it was really extravagant, but it's much more common now to participate in that kind of stash building. Having said that, I'm pretty sure I have enough fabric to last until the end of time, but it doesn't seem to stop me from adding to it!!

In other news, Blogger seems to have made a recent change which coincided with my last post - and it meant that none of the comments my readers made were emailed to me. So disappointing, because I do like to respond to all messages if I can. Please pop me a note on this post if you can, I'd like to see if it has been rectified or if it's an ongoing problem. Thank you so much, and chatter soon! xox

Friday, May 25, 2018

Time keeps rolling, and so very fast!

Heavens, it seems like I've barely had any time in the sewing room since I checked in with you, but I kind of have - just not in a newsworthy (or share-worthy) way. I don't quilt much for others anymore, but I agreed to finish up projects for two of my lovely ladies that come to classes - I also finished up two secret squirrel projects that I will share with you later on, and I've been teaching a sweet friend who recently retired to quilt. This has all meant that my Phebe project got put on the back-burner for a bit, but these past few days have spared me some time to pick it up again.

The next little border print was fun to cut out, and I've started stitching it in place - it's 3/4" finished, so a little fiddly:

It looks kind of wonky in the picture, but trust me when I tell you that it's all lovely and straight, but the edge is kind of flapping up in the air unevenly. It'll look super when the next round is attached - but that will be a while as it's a border of about a bazillion triangles with a 1" base! I see lots of foundation piecing in my future.

And because I was up close and personal with my blocks while I was pinning the border in place I found this bit of a boo-boo:

Whoops! There's a problem with that green pointed star for sure! I can't believe this one slipped through the cracks - when I look at the back of it I realise I had unpicked it a few times too - a few of my early blocks had seam intersections that didn't thrill me, so I redid them, and I think this may have been one of them. Anyway, I've fixed it now - I hope I haven't let any more slide thru!

I don't have anything more to share in the way of stitching ... but I have continued to practice baking. I loved making pastry so much that I decided to make an apple pie for the Mother's Day dinner I hosted for close family. I've been gathering fondant/pastry cutters and having fun with them, so here's my pie pre and post baking:

Since I've learned that pastry is not nearly as difficult as first thought, I've also made two lemon tarts over the last couple of weeks, and I see more in my future. Let me tell you that Weight Watchering is very challenging when there are tasty baked goods hanging around.

Before I sign off, I wanted to say Hi and thank you so much to Andy who commented recently. I wasn't able to reply to you directly as your email address didn't come to me, but I appreciated your kind words very much. And I feel the same about every comment I receive, it's lovely that you all stop by and share your thoughts. But now I'm heading back into the sewing room, and I'll check in with you all very soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Star border ... done!

Early this week I got the last of the stars in place on this section of the Phebe quilt top. I'm thrilled with how it's looking at the moment.

I don't mind confessing that after I put the first section in place I wasn't sure if it was all accurate - sometimes a heavily pieced border can make the next addition look a little full - but as each next side was added I realised it was all going to be just fine. I have more anxious moments ahead of me though, as the next rounds are all heavily pieced too.

I haven't been able to start on these next borders just yet though. I just have a couple of other doodads I've wanted to work on for a while, and I'm almost finished - at the moment I can't share, but I promise I'll show you in due course.

It makes me giggle without fail when lovely people commenting tease me about having time management superpowers - I promise this isn't the case - the past two weeks were school holidays, so I had more time than usual on my hands - there was no school drop off/pick up run, the endless sporting activities for Camo and I were at a halt ... and the stars were already made from September/October last year and sitting waiting for me to put them to use. So really, not nearly amazing at all!

What I haven't done is keep up with all my emails - and I plan to do that tomorrow morning as it's getting late here now, so I'll catch up with you all really soon! xox

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stars aplenty!

This past week I've enjoyed spending time with my Bernina. While I was working on all that lovely applique all I could do was wipe the dust off my sewing machine periodically. I've made up for it though, and here's where I'm up to:

Just the rows at the top of the quilt to go now, and it's onto the next steps. Please don't think I've made all those stars since I checked in with you last, all the stars were already made and patiently waiting for me to pick them up again.

The centre of the quilt just glows next to all the scraps doesn't it? Seeing all this come together has helped me to make another decision - there is a thousand pyramid style border coming up soon, and though I was going to make that scrappy too, I think I'll use the same cream fabric I used in the applique for that. Probably another choice I'll make on the fly when I see how it looks. And I'm entirely thrilled that my lovely quilting friends were able to help me out with the Civil War Dressing Gowns fabric for the sashing strips, I can't imagine anything looking better - it's just how I saw it in my mind's eye. You can see it better in these next two pictures:

There are some fun fussy cut squares throughout the quilt top, and where I could I've tried to keep any stripes running in the same direction. One of my favourite things about working with scraps is remembering the other quilts they've been in and also remembering how the fabrics came to me. Some from lovely friends and from shops on my travels - or from lovely local shops - all fun memories.

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get the rest of the stars in place, and then I can start thinking about the next stages of the quilt. Happy days!

From my last post I had some messages I wasn't able to reply to - so a big hello to Holly Field, Co Coya, Alejesnat and Guusje. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving comments, they're always appreciated.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Speedy Sawtooth Border ...

As predicted in my last post, I thought things would move much faster with the Phebe project once the applique was done. So far, that's exactly what's happening. Less than 48 hours after the last applique stitch went in, I had drawn up the foundation papers and stitched the sawtooth borders. Then trimmed them all to size and removed the papers, and finally stitched them in place. Loving it!!

Doesn't it all frame the applique so nicely? It has been great to spend some quality time with my sewing machine after so much hand work. And I'm excited to get busy with the next frame of stars - hopefully I'll get one side done tomorrow.

In other news, this week I had a little retail therapy after not having purchased fabric in a while. The thing is that I just haven't needed anything as I'm largely working with scraps in this project - and let's face it, even if you don't count scraps, I still have a lot to work with already! Anyway, I found a backing fabric that I felt would work for Phebe, so needed to grab it.

I'm a lazy girl and don't much like joining fabrics for backs in projects I know I'll hand quilt ... I liked this one, so it had to be mine.

And these ones appealed to me too. For no reason other than they look like something I may use one day :-)

Last of all for this post, I just wanted to share the cake/cupcakes that I made for Amy's engagement party. I didn't know for sure that I'd be able to make the 'naked cake' that she wanted for the top tier, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. Pinterest to the rescue with helpful links to tutorials. What did we ever do before the internets??

There were 100 cupcakes, half decorated with a swirl, and half with flowers. Bless those wonderful flower piping tips! Her theme was gold/pink/black and I managed to get all the colours in.

The two pictures on the left in the collage are the finished cupcakes - top right are most of the flower cakes prior to piping the leaves on, and bottom right is how it looked at the venue. I'm so happy I managed to get it all done, and I have a year to think about how the wedding cake will work!

It's getting late here now, I'll dash and get some zzz's so I have a bunch of energy for piecing tomorrow. Chatter soon! xox

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Phebe's applique complete!

I'm so thrilled, last night I finished the applique on my Phebe project, and I'm super happy with how it's looking.

I do have a couple of things I'll get back to - the first is to give the people their faces, and the second is to put a basket or some flowers into the lady's hand. I haven't decided which I'd like, but I'll know what I want to add when I see it.

Some of my favourite things are the small flowers, I had such fun fussy cutting pretty fabrics for the petals and the centres:

The next steps for the quilt are to add another sawtooth border, and then I'll be able to put all the lovely scrappy stars in place. The quilt will grow quickly from this point I think!

Before I sign off, I had some comments I wasn't able to reply to directly, so a big hello to Diane Smith, Lynn S and Deb. I also had a question from Terry regarding how I went about the sawtooth border. I did foundation piece the border, and drew the pattern up on the computer so I could print it out and know it would be accurate. I use Corel Draw, but I'm sure there are many programs that would do the same thing. Hope this helps!

I have some emails to catch up on, so I'll sign off here and check back in with you soon xox


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