Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Auckland Modern Quilt Guild

Now, if I was clever, I'd add a link, but since I'm not - you'll have to hit the link on my blogroll.  If you are the slightest bit interested in Online Classes - Craftsy classes in particular, pop over and have a read of my finely crafted article on the subject...  tThose of you who know me, will know I have an opinion on most subjects...

Monday, August 20, 2012

I've had an itch...

... to just do some plain old sewing.  Not FMQ.  Not binding.  Not blanket stitch.  Not battling with matching multiple seams.  Just sewing.  Do you ever get that urge?  I was almost tempted to start something new and straight and basic... but managed to restrain myself and pull out something old but untouched for quite some time.

For those of you who are not necessarily familiar with my over the top WIP list, this started life as a layer cake and a pattern for a handbag block. 

Two squares layered and slashed sorta kinda symetrically, then a simple case of sewing it back together, and adding a rectange top for the background.  No matching.

I decided early on to turn the handbags into vases - with some idea of the flowers being quite naive in their design - you couldn't get much more naive than these flowers. But I kinda like it.

I haven't ironed them on yet - do you think they need leaves?

In Swoon news... block 6?? is cut and partially pieced.  From baby star...

To big as mother.  These blocks finish at 24".  Well, it will once it's all sewn together that is.

In studio news... I've almost finished moving in.  This is the view from what was the tilta door end.  I have Janet (the quilting frame)  and the stash cupboard on the left, design wall, book storage, sewing table, cutting zone/freezer on the right.  One day we'll get around to stopping and painting the gib.

And the view looking back from the other side.  The ironing board changes position depending on what I'm doing - but on the whole, it's working really well.  Now that I've got a heater, I don't need to wear a woolie beanie any more.  I got hubby to chop the legs down on our old wooden dining table - it's now the ideal height for sewing at, and I've plenty of space to spread a large quilt out to FMQ.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aren't quilters great people and any more ideas and my head could quite possibly explode

Firstly, an extra special exciting package arrived yesterday.  No Ms Lottie, not the one from Hancocks, but a special package from a special online friend.  Now, if you pay any attention to my blogroll, you will have read about Suz at Patchwork n Play who lives in Australia.  She very kindly offered to send me her Echo scraps once she'd finished piecing her lovely Echo quilt.  What!  I know!  All I asked was what she intended to do with her scraps (mostly because Echo fabric has been turning up in so many beautiful projects across blogland that she must have had another project up her sleeve) and - next thing, she's offering to send them to me! 

So thank you very much Mrs PnP... delighted to add these to my own scraps, with the intention of making something that looks a bit like this:

Now, I've just borrowed this photo from Cille who blogs at Live Love Quilt (who also appears in my blogroll and she's from Denmark) who made this quilt from a pattern on the Moda Bake Shop website.  I think it's fab, and will really suit all my little bits of Echo.  Isn't it going to be a real United Nations sort of thing?

Have you ever come across Sweetwater's Hometown fabric range?  It's not that new... and has become a bit difficult to find the entire range.  Anyway, I finally found someone semi-local (well, from Australia actually, but that's closer than the US) who had a Layer cake in stock.

Seems I also had some yardage that matches, plus some lovely grey crosshatch
So decisions, decisions on what to do with it.  I wanted something that would highlight the fabrics... so not too many small pieces, and something a bit different...

So now I'm also thinking, something round and maybe appliqued on (although these particular blocks are totally pieced, eek, inset circles).

In case you're wondering, this quilt is from this book, which I really like!

And my flower box outside my studio window is really coming along... won't be long and my bulbs will be flowering.

In other news, I signed up for a quiltalong... mental I know... doing this groovey quilt... no really... The Groove Quilt.

Totally Groovy Quilt Along Giveaway!
Photo borrowed from pileofabric.com
Pattern purchased, trying to work out if you can do it in some sort of scrappy way as I have these orange fat quarters which sort of read as solids??? But to choose the other colours... deep thoughts for another day.

And that's pretty much me for today... well, I did see two monarch butterflies in an intimate moment... have you ever seen butterflies doin' it before?  One didn't appear to be enjoying it, could have been thinking of the queen, although it appeared to be dead... may have to google life cycles of such things... have you been up to anything interesting?

Monday, August 6, 2012

There's nothing like some pictures

The fabric stash cupboard - by some miracle of photography it seems much smaller than real life.  All these little piles have some meaning... not always obvious at first sight.

The plastic container on the seventh shelf down contains my favourite... fat quarters.  Almost a shops worth... almost!

These containers originally held the fat quarters, but they were never big enough to fit... and I had to open all of them to find anything... which of course, I never did.  Much better holding scraps.

My mum bought me this cool little thread storage unit.

And this container has got quilt tops awaiting basting and quilting... it's full to the top.

This set of shelves has WIP's in the boxes through the top section, and a weird assortment of crafts from my previous life (ie before quilting took over) in the containers along the bottom.

Check out my huge big cutting mat.  Thank you Spotlight for having a half price sale!

My books...

FMQ tip number two: if you don't like gloves... or don't own any - try using some of the grippy shelf liners cut to the right size for your hands.  Quilt the area you are working on, then lift and place into the next area.  I find it great for reducing strain on my thumb area.  And look what I've finished quilting below!!  You know I only went into the sleepout to get some mince out of the freezer!

And my next budget tip: can't afford those expensive mats to stop your foot slipping?  Try a piece of yoga mat cut to size.  I find it tends to slip a bit on carpet - but works like magic on the chair mat.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

You spin me round round baby right round

It's been a funny few weeks. Rain. OMG - sick and tired of it. Yesterday - it was actually sunny! Yay! Did as much washing as my machine could handle... hoping that today would also be fine so I could make a dent in the mad mess my laundry was in, but you guessed it - more RAIN today. With the dryer whirring away in the background, we decided to tackle some of those jobs that just need to be done every now and then. Like cleaning the oven. Getting rid of the recycling. Carrying out more stuff into my sewing studio. Getting spare books ready to take to the op shop. Starting to sort my scraps into bigger, more buttier containers. Reorganising my bedroom. Carrying out more stuff into my sewing studio. Reorganising the stuff that's been carried out into my sewing studio. Shuffling things around in Nadia's room (now that it's not totally cluttered by my sewing stuff) and trying to work out the best placement of the leftover furniture and cleaning her windows. You get the picture? I'm a bit shattered to be honest.  Although there is still more to do, it can wait for another day.  The real challenge is to find enough storage space - I've been relocating my fabric for a good week or so now, and have almost all of it in one place now.  It's great to open the doors on my fabric stash and see it in its entirety.  Well, great but also a bit scary - it looks so much bigger!  I've also been organising my WIP's and tops to be basted and quilted.  The less said the better.  I have some small projects/orphan blocks that I really should just do something with and donate as basinette quilts... instead of having them sit around for another three years.  That can wait for another day too.

Anyway, on the sewing front - I've finished the blanket stitch on Block 6??? of Bluebirds and Berries BOM, and the spiral quilting on "Log Cabins At The Beach" continues... (hence the name of the post).

Hope you have all had a productive weekend.