Thursday, July 12, 2018

Almost there ...

Oooooh, look at me go! I'm getting so close to finishing this quilt top, I feel like I can almost touch it! The last little skinny border was stitched in place on Tuesday evening, so here's where it's at now:

I haven't laid it out on the floor very well, and the light coming through the window in the sewing room has washed it out a lot, but I simply couldn't wait to share it with you all!

Basically, all that remains is the final border with pieced stars set on point. 56 stars are required, and I've made 13 of them so far - I need to get my skates on and get busy piecing! Chatter soon!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

One inch closer ...

My quilt top is one finished inch closer to complete with the addition of the latest border:

It was fiddly to apply, just like last time, but per Di Ford-Hall's suggestion, using a little starch made it easier to work with, and I made sure to pin super carefully. Sadly though, stitching time has been a little scarce this week - once I got the border done, the only thing I really had time for was cutting for the next pyramid border.

Now the pieces are all ready for me to spend some hours foundation piecing. It's really just the best way to get all those triangles looking absolutely perfect. There's always a little oops though - I think I cut a bunch more light triangles than I needed - I just kept going until I had none of that lovely French General fabric left, and I think there are at least 50 more than I need! I'm a bit sad to have run out of the light fabric - I've used it in a few quilts and just love the vintage look it has. There's sure to be more around somewhere, and when I find it, I'll be grabbing it with both hands!

In my last post I mentioned that I had a big tennis match ... well, I didn't want to go into too much detail in case I put a moxy on us, but my midweek tennis team and I were playing in the grand final. And I have the happy news that we managed to get a very hard fought and close win. It was 3 sets all, but we managed to get 2 extra games. The best finals are close ones and we were holding our breath until the last set was over. Happiness!

And the last bit of news for today - my lovely friend Keryn put a link in her comment on my last post regarding a possible fix for the comment issue on blogger lately. I tried what was suggested and I'm so happy to report that it has worked, and comments are being emailed to me once again so that I can respond to your notes. Thank you so much Keryn, and to my lovely readers, feel free to comment away! 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Are you weary of the borders yet?

Because there's more to come!

Here's where I'm up to as of this evening:

It's a lot of piecing let me tell you! But I think the cutting actually took longer than the piecing did. Luckily for me I have a Marti Michell template that was the perfect size for the little triangles - and that meant they have the little notched corners that make everything line up so nicely. The squares were cut with a regular ruler, but they were a funky size at 1 9/16". I got them all done though, and it'll be easier from this point on.

Here is one of the corners of the quilt top:

If you've made the quilt, or are working on it, or even if you have the book, you'll see that I didn't stick exactly to the instructions - at the ends of each border strip, there is a half square piece, and I chose not to do that. It makes little difference to the look of the quilt, but I just thought it was a neater finish. Next up is another skinny dark border like you see prior to the pieced border, and then another triangle/pyramid border. I have some pieces cut out ready for that one, but there will be a lot more cutting in my future.

Is anyone working on this project? I got a little carried away cutting for the border I just finished and made a whole bunch of pieces I don't need:



If you'd like them, just pop me an email and I'll be happy to send them to you.

A big thank you to the commenters on my last post, I always love to hear from you. And Hello to some 'new to me' visitors, Momto1 and Lisa Dziuban - great to hear from you too! Lisa mentioned that this is a great stash busting quilt, and that's true, it really is. Though I have so many scraps I never seem to see a reduction in them.

This week I have a top to quilt for a sweet friend, and also a big tennis match on Wednesday, but hopefully I'll have time to put the next skinny border on and then get the foundations made up for the triangle border. Chatter soon! xox

Update: Whoops, I almost forgot to mention ... I'm a little dorky and still dabbling with the Pokemon Go app while I'm out and about. They've just introduced friends to the game - is anyone else playing along and interested in being buddies? Pop me an email or a comment if you'd like! xox

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

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