Monday, September 29, 2014

Breakin' out the appliqué ...

Isn't it amazing how fast a weekend can fly by? Saturday was a lovely day, spent with the 'Not the Farmers Wife' stitching group. This time we were hosted by the lovely Loz, and a great time was had by all. I'm always so sketchy with a camera, but I'm sure you'll see pictures around blogland/Facebook from those who were clever enough to take pictures.

I did manage to get a fuzzy picture of Loz's delightful vintage quilts, aren't they stunning?

For the Pinterest aficionados among you, you may recognise the pink one there - it is famous on Pinterest, pinned from our dear friend Shay's blog. Some day there will be a pickle dish quilt in my future, I'm sure of it!

And then on Sunday, it was lunch and lounging at my parent's house. It was my Mum's birthday during the week, and though we visited on the actual day, it makes great sense to extend birthday celebrations as long as possible.

All this merriment meant that my stitching time has been limited, but you'll be pleased to know that I've gotten a few things done:

Kath's tree skirt is now quilted, so I just have to cut the opening, and bind it. Her hubby is visiting in the last weekend of the school holidays, so if I'm a really good girl, I will have it ready for him to take home. Fingers crossed!

And because I've been missing it, I've broken out the Di Ford mystery 'Montmellick' so I can catch up with everyone. Here's where I'm at:

Part five has come out in Quilt Mania, so once I've finished with the applique component from part three, I will put the next lot of background fabric in place and get busy with the applique melon shapes. If you're interested in seeing what the next round looks like, you can check out the Quilt Mania magazine website, or check out the Quilts - Di Ford on my Pinterest site. I just love pinning things on Pinterest - such great eye candy and inspiration.

Alrighty - I'm going to get busy working on some more applique while Camo is occupied, and later I'll find something we can do together. I do love school holidays!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New projects ...

This has been an incredibly busy week, and it's not quite over yet. Tomorrow however, I don't have so much on my schedule, so I'm going to kick back a little while Camo is at school. Next week brings the school holidays, so things will ramp up a bit in the social department, but at least we'll be able to sleep in at times :-)

After I finished the Omigosh! quilt top, I immediately got busy working on the next project on my list. I had promised my Paris loving friend Kath that I'd make her a tree skirt, and that I'd have it to her in time for this Christmas.

These are the fabrics I selected - actually, I chose them over a little while ...

I just love the Eiffel Tower fabric - it's super cute. I think it's a Lakehouse print, and sadly I really only just got enough for the project - I only have a small strip left.

And here's where I'm at with the tree skirt so far:

Just needs quilting, trimming and binding. This is a pattern I designed a while back, and is one of the most downloaded patterns on my Etsy store. If you feel like you'd like to make one, just click here.

Something else I've almost finished this week is a pair of socks I've been knitting for quite a while.

On the grey and white pair there, they'd been sitting at a point that always has me stymied. Each time I need to graft the toe, I have to check YouTube to remind myself how to do it. For some reason it just doesn't stick. I made myself get busy and finish that step and now I just have to weave in the ends. They're a gift for my sweet friend Vivienne. And because it's nice to have something on the needles at all times, I started a new pair immediately - I'm using some new-to-me sock yarn from the Bendigo Woollen Mills, and it's really lovely.

Last of all, at work today the lovely Victoria shared her show and tell, a project she has been hand piecing on all year:

Teeny tiny 3" LeMoyne star blocks. I'm just in love with them - the fabric choices are just delightful. Today we basted the quilt sandwich and Victoria is going to get busy hand quilting this gorgeous quilt.

Well, that's it from me for now - I really need an early night, so after I'm done making lunches, I'm hitting the sheets. Thank you all so much for your comments this week, they have all been just lovely. Chatter soon xox

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Omigosh! I still have scraps!

And I'm done! Just a little bit exhausted, but very much relieved to have this quilt top done before my self imposed deadline :-)

Today I attached all the borders after taking Camo to his tennis training. I had made up some of them last night - so I finished sewing the border strips together first. It's a little more wasteful with fabric, but I enjoy being able to mitre the corners all at once. And to make that easier, on the top and bottom borders, I press as innies, and then the side borders, I press them as outies - makes the seam intersections so neat.

And finally after wrestling with this HEAVY quilt top, and all its borders, it was completely done ... and it is HUGE! I can't lay it flat anywhere without moving furniture around.

When I laid it out, I noticed that I have indeed got two blocks with the same fabrics close to each other, but you can be sure I'm not going to change it now - it will have to be part of this quilt's charm. Love that I've taken a blurry picture once again - photography is not my particular skill it would seem :-)

Thank you for all the lovely messages and comments from the last couple of days - you're all so kind. Well, I need to clean up the sewing room and get myself cleaned up too - I am covered in threads! Chatter soon xox

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Flying (sewing machine) Needle :-)

I was determined to have the centre of this quilt top put together by bed time last night. And this girl with a deadline is nothing if not determined :-)

Originally I was going to just sew the rows together as I picked them up - but thinking on it decided it would be way too easy to have the shoo fly blocks with the same fabrics too close together. So I laid them out on the lounge floor to arrange them as best I could. I'm not too stressy about similar colours together, but definitely not happy with the exact same fabrics. Loving it so far!

The most time consuming part of this process was pressing each row carefully, and then pinning super carefully - but both utterly worth it. I really wanted my seam intersections as good as they could possibly be:

I'm really happy with the results of those labours. There aren't too many seams I'd be bothered to undo and stitch again. Don't forget friends, those small squares are 1/2" finished. The largest squares are 1.5" finished. Crazy!

Because I had school drop off/pick up and my own tennis training on the schedule yesterday, sewing time was not uninterrupted, but happily I finished sewing all the rows together just before midnight, what a relief! Here is the finished top (minus borders) draped over the ironing board.

And on top there, those are the fabrics I'm considering using as the borders. I'm not certain yet, but they're front-runners. The next step though is to press the top really well so I can measure for the borders. Pressing will be a tough job, as this quilt is HEAVY!

Yesterday I weighed the top without its borders, and the weight of all the pieces was 1992 grams. So that's almost 2 kgs of fabric. I've just weighed a metre of fabric from my stash, and it weighed 170 grams, so by my calculations I have sewed 11.7 metres (approx 13 yards) of scraps into this project so far. Amazing! Of course some of that will be the weight of thread used for piecing - and I know I've used at least four of the large Gutermann spools so far, but if we were to round down to 11.5 metres, I think that would safely account for thread.

Anyway, today I am going to take care of some chores that have been ignored for a little while, and then get busy again in the sewing room. Wish  me luck friends :-) xox

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Speed piecin' ...

Well, I have surprised myself - I AM a piecing machine!! On Tuesday night at around 11.30pm, I finished the last 20 blocks for my Omigosh! quilt!!

I was just thrilled, and so on Wednesday, I did something I've never done before ... I took one of my sewing machines to quilt group!!

My sweet baby featherweight left the house for the first time in a little while :-) Silly me though, I forgot to pack my quarter inch foot as it was firmly attached to my white featherweight. Oops! Richard and Sue to the rescue though, they had some masking tape I could press into service as a seam guide and I managed to do a pretty decent job with my piecing.

These were the first seams I sewed. I was thrilled when my points were neat, and I've been stitching up a storm ever since.

When I got home of course, I swapped over to Big Bernie, and to be honest, I'm finding it much easier going. I paired all the blocks up, then I sewed them into groups of six blocks, and now I'm putting the entire rows together.

Here's where I'm at right now:

Isn't it coming along? I can't wait until the top is together, then I'll get busy with those border fabrics. Believe it or not, I haven't even looked at my yardage to make any decisions, I'll make myself wait.

Well, I better get back to the sewing machine, there's still lots to do! xox

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blocky ...

Whoa ... I have blocks all over the place here ... seriously! See my cutting table, there are 341 of them just laying around ...

Twenty to go and I can start putting this baby together. I don't mind confessing that though I love piecing them (and I'm whispering this) I'm kinda sick of the sight of them ...

But I'm not out of love with it yet, and I predict that by the end of this week, most of this top will be put together and I'll be deciding on border treatments. I genuinely haven't even thought about the borders a little - I hope I have something suitable living in my stash!

One decision I have made is the backing fabric ... I kind of like it too:

DH took one look and said "Beige, really? You're a creature of habit hon!". Well, I hate to contradict him ... but I thought this one was utterly different for me ... after all, it may be beige, but it's NOT a reproduction print ... what ever is he thinking?? Of course you know I'm kidding around, but it genuinely isn't a repro print, so that is progress right? :-)

Because my days have been so busy, it is taking me a while to wind down in the evenings. I often read on the iPad and sometimes cruise blogs etc. I found a funny link somewhere about a "Kitchen Reno" and thought I'd share it with you, it's really cute - do read it. And one of the lines in the intro really resonated with me:

"If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we'd be happy with more?" -- Unknown

Something this shoe, clothes and fabric lovin' girl needs to think about next time I'm giving the 'ole credit card a work out!

Chatter soon! xox

Friday, September 05, 2014

Getting sooooo close ...

I sewed like a mad thing today, I really wanted to make up the last of the Shoo Fly blocks for my Omigosh! quilt ...

There you see the little four patch units before I got the last triangles in place. So much chain piecing!

Today I've been using a lot of scraps from my Turning Four-T quilt - I've been rummaging thru all sorts of scraps to find bits and pieces to use. See the fabric in the triangles above? It's a conversational print I picked up some time (I think on one of my USA trips). Usually they're things like chickens, kittens ... other cute critters. But this print, I have no idea what it's supposed to be. Looks like body piercing jewellery to me ... what do you think?? And if that's what it is, why is it on an 1800's reproduction fabric?? Questions ... queries ... posers ...

And here's where I'm at with the blocks now - all the Shoo Fly blocks done - and only 80 nine patch blocks left to make. I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks with some blocks to put together.

See if you can guess what I'll be doing this weekend?? :-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Chained to the (sewing) machine ...

I really wish I had some amazing eye candy, or some exciting news to report for you. But the fact is this ... every spare moment I have is spent at the sewing machine right now. Here's what I've put together since Friday:

There are 50 blocks there, and I hope to get another 20 put together by the end of today. And that will mean that all of the shoo-fly blocks are made, I'll just need to concentrate on the nine patch blocks.

In total I've made 261 blocks now, so I have exactly 100 left to make. And then the top to put together, but that's another story. I'm excited at how the quilt is coming together, and it just baffles me that I don't seem to have made much of a dent in my scraps. That tells me that I have way too much fabric ... seriously!

In still quilting related, but not actual quilting news - something that is being cooked up at the moment is my USA trip next year, Linda and I have begun planning in earnest. I'm so looking forward to it, and though I don't have too many details just yet, we are definitely going to be visiting Graceland! Way too exciting!!

Last of all, I had a sweet email from Aunt Bea. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to you directly Bea - your email address isn't enabled - but to answer your question regarding where I purchased the Omigosh! quilt pattern, here is a link: Sue Garman is just delightful, and her patterns are just wonderful. Hope this helps.

Alrighty, I'm heading back to the sewing machine, I'll check in with you all soon I hope! xox


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