Tuesday, January 31, 2012

...Scrap Quilting along

When Rachel announced her Scrap Attack quilt along I was wondering what to do with the scraps I had generated from my Star light, Star bright quilt. I was also wondering if it was the time to start using some of the EPP shapes I have collected over the last little while and take a portable hand sewing project with me to Perth.

Turns out the answer to both of these questions was an EPP star quilt! I'm using 2.5"hexagons for the negative space and the 'stars' are constructed with 2.5" jewels with a 1.25" hexagon in the centre.

I'm aiming for a good spread of colours and patterns across the quilt, each star has a warm or cool centre and the other forms the petals.

I have basted all the hexagons in both sizes and made some stars but got a bit stuck until today when I was able to get some more jewel shapes.

I've started getting the top together too. The plan is to take some time to each lunch at work this year and so to baste and sew a star or two at lunch each day and then add it to the top when I get home in the evening.

A plan at least!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

...let the destash commence

I know I said it would be up at five but I started clicking 'publish' as I was going to save needing to remember to come back and do it all later.

HandmadeRetro on Etsy
I'll be adding as I go and hope to have it finished by dinner time tonight. I hope you pop by and have a look - I hate to think of these things sitting around in the cupboard when someone else could be putting them to good use!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

...There is a sad but true fact

It might be the beginning of the year talking but I have spent a bit of time organizing lately. You may have notice a whole bunch of new photos on flickr from me today - some of these are more than two years old that I never got around to uploading!

It might also be that I haven't been sewing as much, just lately there is so much 'stuff' in the sewing room that getting in there and sewing is becoming a bit of a struggle.
The 'stuff' is mostly gorgeous, lovely fabric but it is bursting out of the cupboards and I can't see how I am ever going to get around to using a lot of it. There is a lot that I have a plan for and a lot that I bought just because I liked it, still do, but having it all there is weighing me down.
So I have made a difficult decision to stash-bust some of it in my etsy store - there are one or two things in there already but I will be adding the majority of it tomorrow, the new things will go live about 6pm Melbourne time tomorrow afternoon (Sunday). Mostly we are talking about fabric - charm packs, layer cakes, a FQ bundle or two and some of the Australian only DS Quilts Picnics and Fairgrounds and some other fat quarters. And some Matilda's Own templates with the hand seam marking holes. There might also be some other yardage and some scrap bundle but a lot of that depends how organized I can get with the sorting and photographing.

Hope you can stop by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

... truffle

so it turns out that the blog posts that I write in my head in the car on the way to places are much more plentiful than the ones that actually make it onto the blogger page. Turns out that when I get hoe I most often choose to sew rather than blog.

All that means that I have a lot of things completed over the last few weeks and that feeling is really good!. I really like making larger quilts, and complex designs with lots of pieces but that usually means that I have lots of half finished things because I need to take a break from the big projects all the time!

So lots of the finishes over the last week or so have been some smaller things that I have hand sewn on the couch in the evenings and during my lunch break on the slower January school holiday work days.

This little guy is the first of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Dessert of the Month projects. I held out as long as I could for this one and signed up probably a mere few hours (or minutes) before the end of the special starting price.

My reasoning went something like this - over days and weeks of repetition.
:You have enough to do.
::But you like cross stitch
:But you have so much to do you will not actually sew them
::But you can sew them in the small breaks at work (one of my 2012 plans is to take a break during the work day)
:But what will you do with them when (if) you sew them?

This is where is where it got me. Once I had an answer for that one there was no going back.

So this is the first of series of afternoon tea napkins. It is embroidered on hanky linen - I cross stitched on some 14ct aida that is designed to be pulled apart and taken off when the design is finished.

It isn't perfect - some of the stitches were pulled a little tight and it and messed with the linen weave - a long way from the best I have done (I was a mean cross stitcher in the day).

Can't wait for the next month!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blogger's Choice Bundle

I have been working on this on and off since Laura posted the competition. Sorting and choosing the fabrics from the computer screen was harder than I thought!

I've come up with this

It is not quite the aesthetic I was going for but I like it just the same, hopefully the judges do too!

1.   Piccadilly Dark Aqua Button Flowers
2.  Treasures and Tidbits Marigold Starbursts and Florals
3.  Riley Blake Designs Daisy Solid
4.   Knock Knock Green Diamond
5.   Bella Solids Grass
6.   Yard Sale Sky Basketweave
7.   Tuxedo Collection Gray Ta Dots
8.   Remix Tangerine Scatter Dots 
9.   Farm Fresh Yellow Plaid
10. Kona Peacock
11. Flora Leaf Flower Lattice
12. Hometown Mist City Streets
13. Folk Heart Blue Gingham
14. I Heart Blue Oval Geo 
15. Sunny Happy Skies Yellow

Monday, January 9, 2012

...star light, star bright

It is back to work for me today. And after a trip home that started very early on Sunday morning (or very late on Saturday night depending on if you had been to be yet and I'm pretty sure a lot of the hip young things hadn't made it home yet when my alarm went off) it is a bit of a thud back down to reality. As I was unpacking my swimmers last night they still had that summer only small of salt, sand and sunscreen and I had to wash them, and the sea, away with a sigh.

But, this little reflection is not so much to have a whine or to feel sorry for myself but to illustrate a nice coincidence. I’m so excited to have another quilt up on the Moda Bakeshop today, it works out really nicely because I started in in the last week before we left and here it is posted on the day I arrive back at work. Truly a summer project.

Please pop on over and have a peek!

Not that I don’t enjoy making all of the quilts I make but I have found this one to be particularly enjoyable.
You see it went something like this.
-> Fabric arrived. End of the year fast approaching, and with it the need for the team I was managing it to find a new office and move, as well as all the normal end of tasks, drama and busy-ness at work and at home but the fabric washed and cut, in a couple of hours over a couple of evenings. Quilt top pieced in about the same time frame. It is a little smaller than the quilts I usually make (to fit our bed) and it sits waiting for some embroidery for the backing and basting.
->The design for the backing embroidery was sketched out as I was running out the door in the morning for work. I great move, as I found myself with a few odd minutes in the car between meetings and I was able to sew some of it, simple backstitch is so compliant and satisfying in that way.
->The backing was finished soon after and the basting completed the night before we left for our Christmas trip to Perth to visit our families. I received strange looks from N when packing the basted quilt and various sewing accoutrements into my (never lightly packed) suitcase. The second to final balls of perle cotton needed for quilting arrived as we left…just. I did have to conduct a mad dash to collect it.
Stressful as all this was at the time it is part of the story that makes this quilt. And lead to many peaceful hours quilting it, sitting with my sister after surgery watching terrible pay TV (why do people pay for such horrible programming?) in the morning light waiting for others to wake (I’m an early riser at the best of times and in a time zone removed from my own I wake at ridiculous hours!), on beaches in the northern suburbs of Perth, sitting in the car but not (by veto of friends and boyfriend alike) waiting to ring in the new year.
The back of the binding was sewn down on two separate beaches on Rottnest and on the ferry on the way home. There is probably some sand and grit sewn in there too. A little bit of WA summer to stay with it for good.
It is going to be hard to let this one go, but, despite not having a plan for it when I started I have begun to think of it belonging to another. And so it shall be.
Plus, I am plotting a four star version for our bed…

Sunday, January 1, 2012

...a good place to quilt?

I think so, a binding was almost finished but the water called.

...have batting, batting - must quilt

In the not so distant past, but much nearer to the time a was beginning to make a lot of quilts I was in a quilt store and heard another of the customers mention that she and another quilting friend had a made a pact that they would only start new quilts at the beginning of the year and use the six months after July to finish everything they had started from January to June. At the time I naively couldn't see a reason for a pact like that. Why start so many things before you have finished some?

I have lost count of the number of quilts that I have started this year. Some of them are well and truly still towards the beginning of the piecing stage, for some I have almost completed the top and their are others, and not a small group, that are just waiting for the quilting and the binding.

I like to quilt my own quilts, either by machine or hand. And for the size of the quilts that I often choose to make that means moving a lot of furniture to get it basted and a lot of heavy lifting and turning to get it though my modest sized machine or many hours bent over the quilting frame.

All this, and the relative ease that cutting and beginning to piece a new quilt top, means that I seem to have ended up with quite a pile waiting to quilt.

So I am not saying that I will not start anything new before these are finished because that I just a recipe for failure but I will say that by April I will have quilted all these. It isn't the entire list of all the ones waiting to be quilted, just the ones I will quilt by machine. Summer in Australia is NOT a time for hand quilting a large project!

Wish me luck!

Cogsmo Cog + Wheel Quilt

Single Boy/Rings of Saturn

Same But Different Twin Quilts
 BSPDU Circle Quilt
 Six Minute Circle Sample Quilt