Thursday, 30 October 2008

Quilt inspiration... I promise!!

I planned to post more photos of The French Collection quilt progress today... but Tuesday I rang a radio station and won 2 tickets to see Kenny Rogers at the Palais Theatre last night. As I couldn't go twice, and did not need 2 tickets, my DH and I went together.

We walked around St Kilda and dined al fresco at a cafe.

It had been such a beautiful day, and the evening was also lovely. The air was warm, but not hot, and there were no mosquitos yet.

We walked around, admired the cake shops in Acland Street, found 2 really interesting places to eat "Mr Vegetarian Pizza Man" (or something like that - he also made gluten-free and yeast-free varieties) and "Lentil As Anything" - yummy vegetarian curry dishes.

Kenny Rogers was doing his 50th anniversary tour. He introduced his wife, showed us photos of his 4 year old twin sons (!!!!!). He is obviously in his 70s. He sang for an hour and 15 minutes, couldn't quite reach the high notes anymore, and had to sit down for some songs. He was in good shape, but he really moved like an old man, I guess he is. Kenny really talked to us in the audience, and made jokes, told stories. He really is a professional showman.

Ooh, yes, I saw this building, and thought it would be good inspiration for the Art Nouveau wedding quilt I want to make for early January. I like the shape of the windows and doors

I don't know anyone who has made an Art Nouveau quilt before - apart from William Morris-type quilts. I am going to enjoy designing and making the quilt. (But first, The French Collection!!).

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The walrus said...

"The time has come."

I have dug out my machine again.. can you tell??? (It was a little bit buried, or should I say, the pathway to the machine was under siege).

I know these blocks are The French Collection, but that's enough collecting. I want my quilt! Actually, with all the hand-made buttons, it is going to be a wallhanging.

Wouldn't you know it? I got them out and one block needs a little bit of stitching. Ergh! I thought I was finished the stitching. It won't take long, but it did hinder my progress.

First, I taped on some template plastic to centre the stitchery before cutting out the block. I used the rotary cutter to cut 1/4 inch out from the plastic, so I didn't wreck my blade and it didn't matter if my plastic wasn't perfectly straight.

Then, borders around each block. Doesn't the butchers look a little empty without the buttons???

Then, piecing the centre blocks into rows.

Joining the rows together. It's a little tricky to go farther until I have completed the last centre block.

Stay tuned! I am keen to get this quilt together so I can work on the applique.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

38 nine-patches

Yessssss! The first installment of piecing instructions for the Mystery Quilt magically appeared online last Saturday.

I am intrigued! I've made this weeks's task of 38 nine-patch blocks, but I have absolutely NO IDEA what will happen next! It's exciting!

38 blocks. How does that work? 19 rows of 2. No..... er... 6 x 5 = 30 plus 8 leftovers.... or, 17 x 2 with 4 for the corners... OOH!! I love the mental exercise of a mystery quilt!! And, the feeling of "oh well, let's see how it turns out". (Actually, if you think you know, please don't let on. I love a good surprise!)

In the end, it's all good, wholesome stashbusting isn't it??

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Another start...

I finally started the free Noah's Ark stitchery BOM by Lynette Anderson. There is a link in my list of UFOs.
Actually, I started before I bought all the thread colours, so the blocks don't look their best yet. I haven't finished any blocks completely.

The stitchery blocks are so tiny. For example, the dove picture is only 2.5 inches square. I was thinking about enlarging the designs on the photocopier, but then the quilt won't be a mini. And I like mini-quilts.
These photos aren't terribly wonderful. There will be better ones later, but this is my quilting diary, and this is what I have been doing.
8 designs of 12 have been released, so we all have to wait 4 months to finish the little quilt. What a good excuse for another UFO!!!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Am I wrong?

A bounty of beautiful quilts. 27 stacked on my couch. I have another 3 on the bed, and one more at the end of the bed. Oh, and another 3 very large ones being photographed. That is 34 quilts for me at home. Er... it sounds bad doesn't it?

I love fabric, textures, prints, colours. I love to experiment with pattern, colour and fabric. I have so many FUFOs (Future UFOs) that I just want to start!!

This is a quilt I made 8 years ago. I loved it, and used it. Now, I have "outgrown" it. I haven't used it on my bed for about 4 or 5 years. Thank goodness I actually made it into a finished item before I outgrew it. (Does that happen to you?).

I want to give this quilt to my Aunt at Christmas time. We don't normally exchange gifts, and it's not a "special" birthday or anything like that. I know she will like it, use it, and it will suit her house and her tastes.
Am I wrong to give her a "loved" quilt?

There is no way I would have given it to her 8 years agon when I just made it. The fiscal costs would be all too uppermost in my mind. Now, I feel I have had "value" from the quilt. I enjoyed making it, touching it, using it. I am ready to give it away.

Otherwise I could have it valued and sell it... maybe I should have it valued anyway and give it with a valuation certificate.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mystery update

The online mystery quilt started 2 weeks ago. Each Saturday for 6 weeks we will receive instructions to complete during the week.

Week 1 was the fabric requirements (only 1 week to choose the fabrics! eek!). Week 2 was last Saturday - the cutting instructions. I have done all the cutting except for the borders. I think one really needs to see what the middle will look like before sorting out the borders.

I am thinking of giving this quilt (when it's finished) to our friends' daighter Daisy. She is about 4. This will be a single bed quilt.

I have no idea what the pattern will be so far... but if it works well, I might hunt through my stash to make a quilt for her brother who is about 2. They didn't get any quilts as babies. :(

I must try and keep up with the baby quilts, and if they are big enough, the quilts will last them, and I won't feel I should make them another one!! I know some quilters make one baby quilt per family. They are more expensive in money and time than most other baby gifts.

It feels good to be using up my stash!!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Spring rabbits at the letterbox

Congratulations to my dear friend Andrea - who won second prize in the Kilmore Kwilters blue and white quilt challenge (despite the fact she is living in Germany).

I have stitched the 3rd raffle block. That will do, there is no point making 5 blocks to enter the draw when you only win 5. You might as well as keep them!! LOL!!

As promised, here is a photo of the Spring rabbits in their current home. A quilt this size could easily be changed with the seasons. I might make one for Christmas next (see how we go of course!).

Last night I couldn't find the other 2 Mammy pictures I know I photocopied to make them the same size as the others.... so I traced off the Noah's Ark stitchery blocks. They are sooo tiny!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Raffle blocks

I have stitched 2 raffle blocks for my local group's Christmas draw. What are they? I am glad you asked!

This year the guidelines are to stitch 2 strands in DMC 319 on a 6.5 inch block of a specified background fabric - any design to do with Christmas. One can enter as many blocks as they like. For every block entered, the person receives a raffle ticket in the draw. The blocks are divided into piles of about 5 or 6 depending on how many blocks are submitted. Then, at our Christmas breakup the raffle is drawn in the hope of winning a pile of blocks.

I won some in 2006. Just this year I turned them into the Christmas redwork doorhanging. They were on varied backgrounds of white on white.

I also won some another year, probably 2005. It was applique onto a green background (everyone provided their own backgrounds). I made a swag. (I'll have to insert a picture here later, my DH is asleep and I will wake him up looking for it.)

Last year I was too busy getting ready for my wedding to make any blocks. (I hardly even sent Christmas cards, which is terrible, but I will make up for it this year). It was ecru stitchery on a specified red background.

I have traced off one more raffle block. Isn't it good to get a few things done early??? Goodness knows I leave enough to the last minute!!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Soothing your soul

I have now finished 4 out of 6 Mammy stitcheries. Yay me!

I have been really busy now the bowls season has started and my shoulder hurts or my legs hurt from the bending as my muscles adapt to movements they have avoided for 6 months. Why doesn't it bother the older bowlers? They didn't stop bowling! Weekday bowls runs in various places at commutable distances, and some of the dears just came back from 3 months caravanning in Queensland where it's warm even in Winter. Whereas I have a day job, no bowls for me during the week.

As I was saying, even though I have been really busy, it is important to me to do some stitching. It really does sooth my soul. I need to sew to feel calm and quiet, especially a bit of "mindless" stitchery. What soothes your soul?

Here are some more of the blocks made by my friends to celebrate my wedding earlier this year.

It's lucky I posted them really, Rosie said it reminded her she still has one for me stuck on her pinboard!!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

I do, I do, I did.

I am still stitching away at the Mammy pictures. Progress on stitcheries are a bit slower - it's not that interesting to see only 5 more stitches (or a little more than that) added to a picture.

With the view to inspire me to turn them into a quilt, I have photographed some of the blocks made for me by my friends in my quilting group to celebrate my marriage in January this year.

Sandra secretly organised the blocks for me which she says was pretty tough, as I was always jolly well at the group gatherings!! I think she waited for me to go to the loo. *giggle*

Sandra asked everyone to use pretty colours with a wedding theme, to be different to the quilts I usually make.

Some of my dear friends really made a special effort. The blocks are beautiful.

There are 18 blocks. I think it would be nice to incorporate some applique with them. Any ideas would be gratefully accepted.

I will post more pictures of blocks later.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Too much blabbing and too much buying

For someone who is trying to use up their fabrics, I don't seem to have been very good when it comes to buying more fabric.

I haven't gone out of my way to buy more, it just happens!! And, I am certainly buying less than I used to. I have NO EXCUSE to buy whatever for the sake of it.

In the last month or so, I have bought various novelty fabrics (trains, world maps, paper dolls, pigs). Maybe that's where the "gap" in my stash was.... or maybe I find it hard to go past a bargain.

In any case, here is all the fabric I need for the mystery quilt, right out of my stash.

We get cutting instructions this Saturday, then some piecing instructions each week for a couple of weeks.

Anyway, what I have been blabbing on about (all the extra fabric) includes this fabric I bought a few months ago - probably just pre-blog.

My intention was to make funky aprons from the fabric. Perhaps I still will, I'm just not in a hurry anymore. Hey! They could be for Christmas! Maybe my sister can have one.... Hmm... Lucky I am writing it here, I've got a brain like a sieve and might forget before then.

Back to the fabric, there are 8 prints on each bolt. I bought a metre of each, so there are 8 skinny 1/8s of each print on the bolt. Perhaps I will piece stripes, or use these as trims on the aprons.

P.S. I am stitching the 4th Mammy block. Go me!!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Updates on UFOs and FUFOs

FUFOs - that's Future Unfinished Objects. I made it up!! I have been stitching the last few days, I just haven't shown you, and my mind has been whirling with ideas for new projects (aren't I terrible?).

First an update on the Mammy stitcheries.

Looking cute huh? Remember the green pen will wash out.

Sandra has been Spring cleaning like crazy and she gave me a stack of her DH's ties to add to my collection. Some of them are still in the bag they came in!

There are a number of wool ties (her husband worked on the Wool Board for many years, and I guess they were frequently given as gifts). I thought I might use them with some of the Tweed Jackets belonging to my late father-in-law. I know my DH would love to see them come to some sort of good use - they are too small for DH.

I am going to do some wool applique. Isn't that a good excuse to go opp-shopping? LOL! I don't need any excuse!

Now: for more future project thinking... Last night we were invited to a very good friend's 30th birthday. It is only in 2 weeks. Her dearly beloved was Best Man at our wedding. I want to make her a present. Maybe a bag? Definitely something home made (she doesn't do any crafts, but would love anything). It needs to be modern with clean lines, nothing too frilly or arty. I need to have a look around. I don't want to make a quilt, even a small one, because I will make them a wedding quilt in the next year or two. I really need to put my thinking cap on....

Monday, 13 October 2008

PIGging out on a mystery quilt

I am taking part in a week by week online mystery quilt. This is my 4th mystery quilt, perhaps I should post photos of the other ones sometime. Good idea Me!! Of course, you have seen one I finished this year.

So, last Saturday we received the fabric requirements for the different sized quilts. I am not sure what size to do yet, it depends on the fabrics I use. It is supposed to be good for I Spy type fabrics, so I dug out a couple of PIGs (Projects in Grocery Sacks).

Ok, it could be the Easter bunnies in a single bed size with a couple of other fabrics.


it could be the African prints in a lap size depending on what I can twiddle around.

It all depends on whether the "feature" or "most patterned" fabric is meant to be light, dark or whatever. I hope to find out today.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

One in, and one out.

We went on a looong bus trip to 4 quilt shops yesterday. The bus left at 7:30am and returned 5:45pm. Plus 20 minutes drive to the "bus stop" and on the way home. 40 ladies enjoyed a lovely day out. The weather was just delightful (top of 26C), which made traffic easier, and we lunched outside. I enjoyed a glass of wine....

We went to shops ranging between 1.5 and 2 hours from home - places where some of us wouldn't drive to especially, but might stop if passing through.

Ok, here's the damage (really not too bad at all):

shop 1: Paper dolly fabrics.

The large dolls can have a stiff interfacing ironed onto the back, then cut out.

The clothes can have felt ironed onto the back and the tabs removed. This way the clothes grab onto the bodies a bit.

I bought the multi print for a bag to keep some of the dolls or their clothes in.

Here's a question for you: Should I make dolls (to do what with???) or should I use the doll fabric in a quilt where the girls can still be dressed up with the clothes.

shop 2: pins

shop 3: I was very good, I just drooled.

shop 4: magnets and labels

The flying duck fridge magnets remind me of the decorative pieces that hang on the walls. I have always liked them (Mum hates them).

There are a lot of labels - you can see only half of them.
So cute.... too bad I already put a label onto the baby quilt I just finished!
the bus:

And here is a job I finished on the bus. Binding on! Quilt finished (except for the full name of my cousin's baby), I need confirmation of the middle name.

I also finished the spring rabbits, but I want to show it to you when it's on the wall. I will ask DH where I can put a hook when he is home from work.

So, a PIG comes in (paper dolls) and a UFO goes out (Dick and Jane baby quilt). Quite a successful day, really. VBG.