Sunday, August 28, 2011

A week in review (with pictures)

Hey guys, camera battery all recharged so be prepared...

First off, the BEANIE:

I have now finished reknitting it in a different scale - will need to sew it up and see whether it actually fits or not.  All in all - looks like a beanie.  Well done, Suzanne.

Next, the Buggy Barn/The Country Yard workshop stars.  I have twelve stars all in different pairings of light and dark.  Still need to be trimmed to size, but apparently need to wait until the alternate wonky courthouse steps have been sewn, just in case there is a discrepancy.

These delightful wee blocks are the result of Charlottes postive/negative tutorial held at our local patchwork guild on Tuesday.  Although she had a selection of scrummy blocks she had designed (check out some of her quilts on her blog: the slightly mad quilt lady at blogspot dot com), I decided to whip out my own little variation of a heart.  With a bit of careful snipping, like magic - you get two blocks.

I also picked up my new row for the round robin.  This month I can't complain about the theme because I chose it: Flora and Fauna.  If anything, the theme is so big it's hard to narrow it down to one 40" x 8" row.  So there is a basket block from "Gathered from the garden" by Cindy Lammon, a ladybug and bird applique from "I Care with Quilts" by Debbie Mumm, a honey bee block (which is a block I have always liked and will one day do a whole quilt with), and a bird house block to fill in the gap.

 And last but not least, a new collection of fabrics - drool, drool, well, to be honest, a jelly roll I've had for ages, with a new backing fabric I bought to go with it that I hope will turn into a baby quilt.  More about that later - but if you want a hint, check out the quilt along with

Now, I have a heinous splinter to deal with so better get going...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So much to do, so little time

It has been a busy week and weekend and I'll do my best to catch you all up.  Hubby had a birthday over the weekend, so I went shopping on Friday to get a present and bought some wool - as you do.  Now, where is my beanie book??  Wouldn't you know it, the gauge of wool I bought isn't in any of the patterns in the book - so what do I do?? - start making up a pattern.  Now, do I have any experience in this?  No!  Do I expect it to really work out?  Yes!  To cut a long story short, ended up with a beanie with a very pointy top, that would fit the giant on Jack & the Beanstalk.  So beanie version two has now been started.

On Saturday I attended a workshop at The Country Yard doing a Buggy Barn pattern called Courthouse Stars (I think).  Day one was focusing on the star part - day two in September will focus on the wonky courthouse steps blocks.  Had an enjoyable time and looking forward to the rest of the workshop.  Buggy Barn patterns are a form of stack and wack from fat quarters, and it depends on how you sort your fabrics before you cut, how it will all turn out.  Great fun.

Today has been Patchwork Guild meeting day - and we had a mini workshop on positive/negative applique design hosted by The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady.  Not rocket science - but a cool technique and very enjoyable.  It was interesting to see how the different fabrics affect (or is that effect??) the design.

I have photos to show - but need to wait until the battery is charged on my camera to download.

Is that really all I have to share... it seems so much more exhausting :(

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Back continues

After my small break from the Log cabin stars quilt back over the weekend, I have returned once more... with a bit more progress.  Improv piecing takes such a long time!  Which is really weird because you don't really measure anything, and it's not all that important where different fabrics get placed... which is the bit that usually takes ages - but there you go, it is a slow way of doing things.  I have completed enough blocks with colour inserts, just need to build up the white rounds to make them something like the same size.

I am going to keep the fabric on the right hand side in one long run, then have the pieced squares separating a narrower strip of the pink daisy fabric (on the LH side below) to make up my 90" width. 

Even though I bought both of these fabrics to use as the backing for the quilt (the pink one is on the front of the quilt too), I wasn't really sure how they would meld together to form the backing - after all, they don't really go together - and I did wonder about this in the shop before I bought them... but got them anyway.  If there had been enough of the fabric on the RH side to just do a single fabric back, I would have - but fate meant that there was only so much.  Bring on the creative flair - well, I might still be waiting for that to turn up, but progress all the same.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend progress

I have been being good and I have spent the bulk of my crafting time doing my blocks for the back of my log cabin stars quilt.  Honest!  But a bit of forward planning was required to ensure that I had my row finished for my guild's row by row round robin as I will be otherwise occupied next weekend.  More about that a bit later on... so I have finished my reuseable bag:

Inside my bag at the moment is a collection of fat quarters that I have put together to turn into a stack and slash type of quilt that I'm going to do next weekend as part of a workshop run by The Country Yard.  Should be good :)
I've had this jelly roll for ages and have finally decided to turn it into cushions
for the lounge.  The FQers were chosen to blend - to make a throw for the sofa.  Mostly Japanese
Taupes, they were destined for another quilt, but that's the way it goes isn't it.
This was the inspiration row for the round robin.  Would you believe it is made from just two fabrics?  The yellow, orange, pink, blue and purple are all a sort of blendy blendy fabric.  Just lovely.  And hasn't Sheryl done a good job?

This month our theme was "Home is where the heart is".  I had heaps of ideas, then yesterday when I went hunting for fabric found a pattern (that I've also had for ages, and was actually going to use those Japanese Taupes for it - so is that fate or what?) with the applique hearts/flower blocks and thought PERFECT.  The background of these blocks are log cabin - so that is the home part, then the central block has a heart behind the flower.  The alternating block is a "Chimneys and Cornerstones" block - which seems a good reference to the home also.  So good all round.  I think it looks lovely as well and woohoo, it is finished.  So all packaged back into it's bag and ready for our next meeting.

Back to the Log Cabin stars quilt next week.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Log Cabin Stars To Be Continued...

I know what my problem is.  I haven't really got "into the groove" as far as my crafting goes.  In the house we rented, I had a great big room all to myself.  I didn't have to share it and it didn't matter how messy it was.  I just gravitated towards whatever part of each project appealed to me at the time, and left yesterdays unfinished project wherever it lay - which was usually on the ground.  I no longer has this extravagance.

I have also realised that as far as my keeping the kitchen bench clear goes - the trick is to empty the dishwasher before you need it.  That way, when you do want to clear the bench, it just disappears in a few minutes. I don't need to be religious about doing this at night before going to bed, I can do it just as easily in the morning - as long as the dishwasher is empty.

I think in a deep and meaningful way these two points are closely related and that I need to analyse my needs and how my brain works, and work out a system to make things - craft things - flow better.

So, anyway, on to bigger and better things... sewing.  Woohoo, finally got something, hmm, well was going to write done, but in reality it is not finished, more a work in progress - but this is going to get done, and nothing is going to get started in the meantime.  This shall be finished!

The Design Wall - first thing this morning

All my left over bits from the Log Cabin Stars quilt
Putting all those pieces to good use - what do you know, a pieced
backing is starting to take shape!

A close up of one of the blocks - just a improv log cabin
but very satisfying.
So I have almost used up all my little bits and now just need to work out how it is all going to go together.  I have two different fabrics that I bought to go on the back of this quilt - although they don't really go together, so hopefully the pieced section will help to tie them in as one cohesive unit.  I have found the process of using these left over bits slightly disturbing.  I have also realised a truth about the method of how I quilt and why my stash is so random.  In reality, my real stash (ie the one that I use) is the left over bits from other quilts.  The things I buy to add to "the stash in my drawer" are pieces that are rarely used.  Isn't that weird?  So if I use the left over bits on my quilt back - what am I going to use for those little bits and pieces that I regularly go through my scraps for?  I think this is going to need some sort of deep analysis also.

And I just thought I'd post a picture of a little quilt (16" square at the moment) which is a sample of the practice blocks I have been doing with my teachers group - now that we've included the technique of fusible applique.  I had already decided that the practice units we created would be put together for newborn bassinette quilts at our local maternity hospital - so this is something like how they will turn out.  We will also practice our quilting skills when we get to that stage.  So if there happens to be a midwife who works at the local maternity hospital (come on - you know who you are) perhaps you could comment on exactly how big this quilt need to grow to be a good size?

My brain is starting to smoke - time for a break...

Saturday, August 6, 2011


It feels like an age since my last report - unfortunately not much going on in the crafting world at the moment.  I survived the last week of the school holidays, and have suffered through the grumps and groans of the first week back at school.  OK school hols are only two weeks - but getting back into the routine of school and work has been a bit exhausting for all involved.  Me included.  So Saturday morning so far has been grocery shopping... unloading grocery shopping... put on load of washing and load into dishwasher... hang washing... and that's about it.  Various screaming and threats issued throughout the proceedings.

For all the hoardes of foreign readers who are gagging to know what "tutu" means - it is a Maori word (quite possibly slang but not sure) which is often used to describe those children who pull things apart to find out how they work, or are just plain mischievious, but as far as I'm concerned means having a bit of a play with something.  So if you are one of those foreign readers, please leave me a comment saying where you are from... just because I'm curious to see whether you actually exist or not?