Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lean, mean quilting machine - part 1.

Edited to add: For some bizarre reason Part 2 has ended up below Part 1 so if you want to read the 2nd gripping installment please scroll down!!

Ok, I'm definitely not lean, or mean, but judging by my productivity this weekend i am certainly a machine!
It helped that i didn't have many plans but i also framed myself. On Friday I wrote myself what i thought was a fairly unrealistic list and then just got on with it!

Blogger wasn’t playing ball on Sunday. I typed a huge long post and then lost half of it....ggrrrr. So, I’ll tell you about my weekend exploits in 2 instalments but it won’t be like TV as there won’t be a cliff-hanger!

My list:

Finish orange/teal log cabin quilt top - DONE!

This was my first improv quilt and m pretty pleased with it.

Make backing for it - DONE!

Finish hand pieced hexagon pinwheel quilt top - DONE!

I am so thrilled with this. I hand piece on the train to and from work - much to the other passengers amusement. They probably all call me the freaky patchwork lady and they all avoid sitting with me like the plague. A colleague catches the train part of the way and sits with me so thankfully that's one person that doesn't seem to embarrassed to be seen with me!

It's made of about 280 pinwheels so that's about 1700 pieces.

This was the last half pinwheel i put in and Curly Boy suggested that i put something special in there just like the Golden Spike in the Transcontinental Railroad. So, what better opportunity to use some of the gorgeous fabric i got from Joybucket with the DQS7 quilt she sent me.

Make backing for it - DONE!

Make spiderweb blocks for Katy - DONE!

This wasn't it! I did a few more things but I'll show you them another day when I've broken off what I'm doing at the moment long enough to write Part 2 - again!

I'm a lean, mean, quilting machine - Part 2.

Ok, I'm finally back with part 2 of my weekend exploits!!
The rest of the stuff on my list that i got finished was:

1st ever quilt re-bound - DONE!

When i dug this out a couple of months ago i thought I'd be horrified by is as i have come a long long way since then. The pattern for this came out of the first quilting book i ever bought when i was still naive enough to think i could pick one of the most complicated quilts in the book and pull it off! Luckily i did just about manage to pull the quilt off but not the binding - it was horrific!!

I finally got round to rebinding it and i adore it. It is made with woven sage green check and 2 layers of batting and sooooo soft.

Get Sue Spargo quilt ready to go to the long arm quilter - DONE!!

This has only been sat waiting for the last few bits doing for oh, maybe 2 years?It's made from wool blankets that I spent 2 or 3 weekend dyeing in a pan on the stove after seeing this tutorial.

Make backing - DONE!

Last but not least i made binding for my grandmothers Flower Garden quilt. Remember this?

This has been waiting a few months for me to finish it off. I love this quilt and am amazed that my love of it didn't motivate me sooner, but guess that's probably because i have the attention span of a gnat and had already moved into something newer and shinier!

The binding was a pig to make. I made continuous bias binding which confused me no end and it felt like I'd sewed, unpicked, sewed it a thousand time before i got all the lines to match up properly.

Just have to sew it around all the hex shapes around the edge. If you hear a really loud scream then you know it's me losing the will to live!!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Perking up nicely.

Well, i think my mojo is starting to come back – yay!
A weekend filled with lovely things was just the ticket i think.

It started out on Friday night with my best friend who I’ve known...ooohh....erm...about 19 years? We met at University and were friends more of less from the start.

She came over so we could look through the photos we had taken at the photography studio a few weeks ago (a treat from her for my birthday!).
The photos are just what i wanted them to be and i think think captured the essence us 'us'. I treasure her and get something from her that i don’t get from anyone else, something i can’t put into words.
Here we are in all our finery (i'm the very blonde one!)

It’s THE big birthday for us both in 2 years time and we are going to make a pop video. We’re thinking rock chicks with stripy tights, loads of black eyeliner with a ton of attitude. I think there is going to be a fair few of us as everyone we’ve mentioned it to so far is really up for it. Can’t wait!

Saturday involved a bit of fabric shopping, and wander around Salts Mill and nap on the sofa to recover from the full bottle of wine and 3am bedtime.

And Sunday i cranked this out. Once i got going there was no stopping me and it’s now done and in the ‘to quilt’ pile.

Jimmy just can't help himself....bless.

I’m feeling marginally more perky this week so far!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

There seems to be a few people in blogland losing their mojo at the moment and it appears to have hit me too. Maybe it’s the time of year?

Rather than type a really long lack-lustre (and potentially whiny) blog post, i think I’ll just show you a few pics of what I’ve been up to if that’s ok?

I made these for a swap on Flickr:

And these for Becca in the Bee Addicted 3 Bee:

There is one thing that has significantly lifted my spirits this week, and it's this:

It came from Susan for the Doll Quilt Swap 7. I actually waved my arms around and did a dance when i opened it as i couldn’t believe it was for ME!
The little bits and pieces at the bottom are lovely extra goodies that she sent. Fabric that she designed and had printed at Spoonflower, and some postcards of pictures of the dollies she makes. It was all packaged up really beautifully but I was SO keen to open it that i didn’t stop to take a photo. Thank you, thank you Susan!!

Oh, the other highlight is that I ordered 2 packets of flower head pins, and a couple of books as I figured that the best way of lifting me out of my funk was a bit of retail therapy!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Nearly there...

I have spent the last few weeks ‘sorting out’. It’s not like me being all motivated for housework etc but I’ve had a bug up my bum about it since i decided i wanted the Quilting frame, so I have been a women on a mission for the last 3 weeks.
There’s nothing like the promise of a bit of new kit to get me motivated to have a sewing room clear-out. I could pretend that it was well overdue and that i was doing it in favour of my poor straining joists, but everyone would see straight though me.

My sewing room is fairly compact at about 10ft square and as the Freestyle Quilting Frame i have ordered is 7 ½ ft long i need to clear a whole wall for it – which seemed like a fairly impossible task!

Last weekend we took the last car load to the charity shop and hired a carpet cleaner so as a result i could hardly move at the start of this week. I must have used muscles that I don’t use for anything else, although given that i don’t actually do any exercise apart from getting up from my sewing chair to the ironing board i shouldn’t be surprised! In theory my bingo wings should be all toned now. In theory!

I've just about run out of steam now. I still have my yarn to sort through and a couple of baskets and bags of odds and ends (as you can tell from the pic below!!) but I’m nearly there. The wall with the dresser is where the quilting frame will go when it arrives!

My sewing table has now been moved under the eaves and lighting has been installed by my sweetie so i can actually see to sew. Imagine that!

I just need to get some more pretty things on the wall now but i already feel really inspired by new space. So, i'm back from being shorn at the hairdressers and i'm planning on not leaving the house for the rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Yet another banner change!

You like my new banner?

Curly Boy took the picture of the bee block i made last week and did some magic jiggery-pokery in photo shop!

I wanted to make a full quilt of tiny houses anyway but I seriousley love the rainbow colours with the roof on each one being all of the same fabric. Hhhmm....that's got me thinking...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Squeezing some crafting in.

I have been busy with a major sort out – which I’ll tell you about another day - so that hasn’t left as much time for sewing and ‘niceness’ as i would have liked but i have got some odds and ends finished.

I made the next block for the Around the World quilting Bee. Dionne’s starter block was a house block so after been blown away with the little tiny house at the Festival of Quilts i was really itching to do a teeny teeny one.

This was good fun to make and i suspect that if anyone has seen just how much i stared and smiled at this block once it was done they’d think I’d lost the plot!

I have finished up the doll quilt for the DQS7

I quilted it really simply as i didn’t want to detract from the little strips of fabric. I am really rather proud of this and the hope that it will be loved by the recipient makes it much easier to part with.

This ‘quiltie’ is for the Butterfly Project at the Houston Holocaust Museum. if anyone else fancies making a Butterfly or two you can read more about it here.
The brief was to make a 2 dimensional butterfly no bigger than 8” x 10” and for me a mini quilt was the obvious choice. This was a really bittersweet project for me but I am honoured that this will represent just one of the children who lost their lives in the Holocaust and never got to fulfil their potential.

Last but certainly not least we had a visit from my niece and great-niece for breakfast and some of Curly Boys amazing french toast. It's always a joy when they come. My Mum raided my stash for some fabrics to make her a dress and they had saved it as a surprise for when they came. How cute does she look in it?