Saturday, September 15, 2012

...Moda Bakeshop Love it, Pin it, Win it Competition

Over the last year or so I have made several quilts for the Moda Bakeshop. I have got them all on a Pinterest board to make it easier for myself to find them.

I think this is the one I like best among them and I had a wonderful time making it on a summer holiday over Christmas and New Year nearly a year ago.

Star light, Star bright

And I visit it regularly looking for inspiration.

A Window to Summer
There is some great stuff on there.

A - Mazing Quilt

Moda has launched a competition which could win you some Moda Precuts currently available to make your favourite design.

Salt Air Diamonds
There is more information at the bottom of the post but basically you pin recipes you like and include the following three tags - #modabakeshop #modafabrics #lovepinwin

Kaleido Christmas

Make sure you pin your favourites directly from their own page in the Bakeshop!

Pinwheels on the Plain
Browse through the Moda Bake Shop recipes and choose your favorites. 

Pin and re-pin photos* of your favorite recipes on Pinterest with the tags #modabakeshop #modafabrics #lovepinwin. Be sure your pin is linked to the recipe itself, and not the MBS home page. You can enter as many times as you like, but the winning pin must have the three tags {#modabakeshop #modafabrics #lovepinwin}.

Six random winners will be chosen from the tagged photos. The grand prize is a set of the ingredients to make your favorite recipe (fabric will be from what is currently available). 

But that's not all! You can also write up a blog post explaining why you've chosen your favorite recipe and link it up below. Five winners will be chosen from the linky party to win current Moda pre-cuts.

The contest runs from September 14-22 (closes at midnight CST).

...Mt Hotham in August

I was born and lived for more than the first 20 years of my life in Western Australia. It really, very, very rarely snows there and never to the point that it is possible to ski or partake in other snow play activities. Interesting it has snowed twice that I am aware of in the broad area where I lived for the first 11 years of my life, once in November (well into spring, if not the beginning of summer in Australia) a few months after my family and I moved away and once, about 11 years later in about September when I happened to be back for a work training activity. I didn't see it on either occasion. And it well melted before 9am. So needless to say I haven't really lived or played in or around snow, ever. Sure, there was a September trip to New Zealand as a teenager with a 30 minute play in some icy snow on the top of a glacier but we weren't even there long enough to really need jackets.

N, on the other hand, was born and lived the first half of his life in a European country. His parents have a holiday house in the countryside inhabitable in winter, it is apparently hardly accessible and the pipes need to be cleared of water so the water doesn't freeze in them and cause cracking. He skied regularly since he was old enough to stand up on skis.

When he moved to Australia skiing was hardly as possible and I think he missed it. So when I moved to Sydney a trip to the Australian ski field was high on his list of things he wanted us to do. I was game. I mean, how hard could siding down the side of a hill be? Small children do it without the pole things.

Let me tell you this first trip was not an auspiciousness start to my snow sport experiences. 

We went for the day. Climbing on a bus with another friend at about 5:30am. As we wound our way south I was full of confidence. We collected our skis and boots and donned the rest of out gear and headed for the slopes. I should have realised there might be an issue when I couldn't seem to carry my skis effortlessly over my shoulders like everyone else seemed to be able to. 

N was chomping at the bit to make up for years of lost ski experience in the few hours we had. I gave me the fundamentals of 'go' and 'stop' and pointed me in the direction of the bunny slope.

What seemed like hours later he was back. I had fallen, stumbled and slid to the bottom of the slope and struggled my way to the top again by a rope pull that my hands kept sliding down. N decided I was ready for the green slope. I wasn't so sure.

In the first 15 minutes I fell more times that I can remember and travelled abut 20 meters. There was shouting, almost tears and very, very little skiing.

I took my skis off and walked to the bottom. Then there was new challenge. The way back to the top (and the train and the way home) was a T-Bar and I still couldn't stay up or another slope that I had no more chance of skiing down that the one I had just walked to the bottom of. I chose the T-Bar.

I fell off. Into a drift of snow there was not way I could climb out of with any dignity and I could'nt get back on the lift.

N went to get the ski patrol. The guy was lovely and helped me back on the T-Bar and I made it to the top - that still amazes me. N went to ski and I want for lunch. If there was a stiff drink option I would have taken it.

Clearly we would not be tackling runs together that day. I doubted we ever would. The day did get a little better - I had another go at the bunny run and could make my way down it without falling and at more than walking speed by the end of the afternoon.

I have not had the urge to strap on skis since then.

A year or two later we took a villa for a week at another ski resort with a couple of friends. I quilted and made the meals. I took some walks and went nowhere near a ski run. It was great.

This year when we went for the weekend I decided that it was time to get out in the snow again. I still wasn't keen on the idea of trying to slide down the side of a hill again so I hired some snow shoes. 

There is no falling and the views are great! 

I am thinking that in future years and trips I might try again with skis, but this time some cross country ones. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

...Tulip Cross Quilt

I saw a picture of a quilt on this post over a year ago and haven't been able to get it out of my mind, it is the one down the bottom of the post. I did consider buying it for a time but I really wanted to make it for myself.

So I searched online and in my two blocks books, Encyclopaedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and 5500 Quilt Block Designs. No luck.

After a few comment exchanges I got a better idea of how it was constructed. I spent another few night staring at the little picture and trying to work out where the seams were in the original and what formed the blocks.

In the end I got some graph paper, a pencil, a ruler and a compass and drew it out as a finished block. I was pretty happy with the first version and only made a few changes in scale. I cut out the drawn block, traced it onto template plastic and added seam allowance until I had a template set for the block.

And then I got sewing. It isn't an impossible block, but it does require some technical skill - a 'Y' seam and a curved seam.
I ended up deciding to make this quilt for the Quilter's Guild of New South Wales Under 35's Quilt Competition. This year the theme is "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

Complete with tulips, thanks.

Because to the size restrictions in the competition I stopped at 16 blocks - finishing at 95cm (or just over a yard) square but I would love to make a 6x6 layout version as a centre medallion. I think this would show off the crosses better and make the name make a little more sense.  

I posted it off today and will not see it again until sometime in December.

If you happen to be interested in seeing the show (and maybe sending me a picture of my little quilt hanging in the show) all the entries will be on display in the Newington College Gallery, Stanmore Road, Stanmore, Sydney from the 21-23 September from 10am - 4pm daily.

Monday, September 3, 2012

...paper pieced octagons

I can't remember if I have blogged about this quilt before so please forgive me if I am repeating myself.

Some time ago I decided that I would use exclusively Heather Ross prints (with a preference for Munki Munki, West Hill and other early or whimsical cotton base cloth collections) to paper piece a quilt of a size that is still to be determined.

I wanted to use 2" Octagon papers with 2" squares in the filling gaps. In addition to the HR prints I planned (and am using) scraps of various white and grey solids.

This is where I got a little stumped. I wanted to use some 'solid' octagons and piece some. I went looking for co-ordinating shapes, first from Patchwork with Busy Fingers where I got my first lot of papers from and then Paper Pieces where I got extras. Unlike for hexagons there seemed to be very few - in fact I used this and this shape from Busy Fingers and could find no more that would work without me cutting some shapes of my own.

So a few weeks ago I emailed Paper Pieces on on the strength of their reply took to a piece of paper with a ruler and a pencil.

These arrived in my mailbox one morning early last week, eight different pieced octagon options finishing with 2" sides and available to order from them should you also want to paper piece 2" octagons from smaller shapes.

I have sewed some together already
Variation 1
Variation 3
Variation 5
Variation 6
Variation 8
There is one more still just basted...
Variation 7
And a couple more cut at and waiting for some stitchable moments...
Variation 2
Variation 4