Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Even more random than last time

What to start with?

So much has been going on which has almost nothing to do with patchwork or sewing.  However I did manage to get the last two circles of this one cut and sewn. 

 This is the layout I've decided on... let me know if the placement annoys you, like, is it OK to have those three red segments in the bottom row... however having that dark grey square set off centre is non-negotiable.  Just saying.

Then I went to the chemist on a totally unrelated mission and found a lady doing free nail painting... this has had a bit of a chance to wear off, but you get the gist of it... and I fell for the sales pitch and added a few things to Nadia's Xmas present haul.  Well, I think it will be a "for sharing" sort of present.

Nadia managed to step on a nail on Sunday - a huge nail.  She has a very nice hole in the bottom of her foot which is full of pus.  But on the good side she's on antibiotics and pain killers and is getting bored with being at home, because she's not sick in the slightest - and I think that pus is clearing up.  If we can manage to get her walking instead of hopping, she can go to school tomorrow.  At this stage, that is a big IF.  She is pretty stubborn.

While yesterday disappeared in a haze of appointments... today is beautiful outside, and reminded me about the material and pattern I bought for Nadia a while back (when it was still cold and horrible).  After about an hour of cutting and sewing, I have a finished reversible top!

I have enough of the paisley fabric to cut the front skirt bit of the skort, and we've decided on a solid peacock colour for the rest of the shorts.  But after this burst of activity - I'm happy to put that onto hold until the weekend.

On the home front, we finally (after 3 years of it being on the To Do list) started painting our house.

Original colour

New colour - chosen to match our existing coloursteel sheds (not just because we wanted boring cream!)

Oh well, washing is calling out to me...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A bit of random this and that

It was a quiet weekend on the quilting front.  Dylan had been invited to a friends birthday activities, and we decided to give the birthday boy a quilt of Dylan's that he was no longer enamored with.  I'm not really sure whether this is the done thing or not - but it was freshly washed, and in the spirit of recycling - and my hope that it could be loved by another small body, we wrapped it up and hoped for the best.  It seemed to be accepted by both the child and the mother, so hopefully all was OK.  What is your opinion?

Anyway, before it got wrapped up, I thought I had best take some photos for posterity - as this was finished well before I got into this blogging business.  This quilt started when my kids were allowed to choose one fat quarter at various quilting shops as a way of sneaking a bit more browsing time for me... after all, they had to choose the best fat quarter.  It could take quite some time.  I did manage to purchase an awful lot of fabric in that time! 

As time went on, it appeared that Dylan's choices all had a bit of a repeating theme - although they struggled to fit into a particular pattern, design or colour combination.  This just goes to show - you can make a quilt out of anything!

Courthouse steps blocks with a few random plain squares to highlight the fabrics

Quilting on the log cabins - a wiggly spiralling line through the logs forming the spine for a "big bump/little bump" echo back to the beginning.  Easier to do than to explain!

The feature fabrics had a regular spiral quilted as the spine, then the same echo.

The backing - a cheap and cheery NZ print - kiwi, tuatara, pukekos etc

The centre of the log cabins featured fussy cut farm machinery at work, cut from a panel

While I was at it, I also took a few photos of the Log Cabin Stars quilt that has resided on the bed all year so far, and I still love.

And Nadia has been busy with the stitching kit she won at The Country Yard.  She chose her embroidery threads herself - pink, purple and royal blue... and is practicing her back stitch.  I marked dots to indicate the position of the stitches and she's doing a great job.  Luckily there are not too many letters!

Other than that - I've been hand sewing the binding on the Bulls Eye Quilt and it is looking grand.  I've also completed another couple of circles on the Denyse Schmidt circle quilt... so only two more circles to go and it will be ready to sash... progress!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bulls eye - double disappearing 9 patch quilt

OK the quilting is finished.  Stolen moments throughout the week have been spent going around and around, desperately trying to maintain "the curve" (more successful in some areas than others) - but it's DONE.  A total of 41 charm squares on the front.

This was the starting point for the quilting.  A handy bowl formed the initial circle shape.  Although the placement appears random from the front...

It all makes a lot more sense from the back.  And there is the 42nd charm square!

I am not a natural walking foot user - I'm not sure where my problem stems from, whether it's a basting issue, or just a ME issue.  But I used all my quilting pins that I own - even more than I used in the cat quilt which is quite a bit bigger... and there were still a few areas where the top shifted throughout the process.  The good thing about the circles is that you don't need to cross over existing quilting lines - so no puckers or weirdo bits - I just kept flattening out the surrounding area and pushing out the excess quilt top to the sides.  It still looks square and straight - so I consider that  success.  Binding will be finished at the next available moment and this can go on the FINISHED pile.  Whew!

The next quilt top waiting to be quilted is my Made In Cherry quilt.  It has been sitting waiting for quilting inspiration that has been sadly lacking.  Reading through Leanne's blog about quilting her second Made In Cherry quilt - and quite liking her quilting by the way - I am determined that this shall be the next victim.  Although I carted the top all the way through the Festival of Quilts merchants area looking for wide backing - I didn't find any - it wasn't until well after I was home I realized that Stitchworks probably had samples of their wide backs.  Anyhow, this afternoon I had a good old search through my stash and I think these florals will work OK - they have a sort of vintage feel to them which suits the front.  I just need to work out how they will all go together to make the right size.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wow, Wow, Wow and What I've been up to...

The Auckland Festival of Quilts has been held this weekend, and I was lucky enough on Friday to attend this with Monika.  The Auckland Guild do a wonderful job of showcasing their talents, and put on a wonderful display.  I was mostly interested in details of quilts... often not taking a photo of the whole, rather a closeup detail of something that caught my eye... here are some of those things...

There was some amazing machine quilting:

Also some very interesting embellishment:

More quilting:

Lots of colour:

I just liked these:

I had to take a photo of this as it was a Mystery Block of the month through Grandmothers Garden in 2006 - I did the same BOM but in a "vintage blue" colour range - although we use it, I have never finished either the quilting or binding... nice to see that someone else did!

Amazing details...

... on a beautiful quilt.

Monika volunteered to be the 20c piece in this photo - the quilt was huge... and I just had to show that other people make big quilts too!

Once we'd walked around the exhibition... we spent a bit of time walking around the merchants.  Barely in the door I found this thread from Wonderfil which is a variegated light neutral - sort of whitey, creamy, grey-ey...

A little bundle of fat eights that took my fancy...

Some fun buttons that have absolutely no purpose but you never know when you might need a button like this!

And after much angsting a collection of 5 fat quarters, buy four (get one free) - I could have bought 100 but was very good :-)

Our evening was spent attending the opening of The Big Quilt Show in Northcote.  This is on at Northart until the 23rd November.  It was great to see quilts in a different setting - very calm and controlled - not necessarily what you find at a quilt show!

Monika's entry is on the right...

I've just got a thing for understated chevrons at the moment...

and straight line quilting...

This was quite stunning... and very expensive!!

This was made out of some very interesting materials... some feedsack, and some areas had been distressed, burnt, stamped etc.

There's mine next door:

And a bit of a shot over the top of the heads...

Needless to say we got home Friday night well and truly exhausted and no sewing was accomplished on Saturday as a result of it.  However, Sunday has been a bit better day, so I headed to my shed this morning and started piecing the backing for my bulls eye (double disappearing nine patch) quilt.  The front had used 41 of the charm squares, so I was determined to use the last charm square on the back.  Funnily enough, the fabrics I had bought with the idea of using them on the back - I didn't actually use!  Well, apart from the grey solid which I tend to just buy every time I go to Spotlight because I use it so much.  The other things came out of my stash (the blue was also on the front) - and the DS floral (even though it's my favourite and I didn't want to use it) helped to make it all cohesive and make sense.

Basting... cotton batting, pins... patience...

And the start of the design... concentric circles, walking foot... so far so good.  This quilt top has sat for quite some time waiting for the quilting design "to come to me". 

I'm determined to get this finished while I am still enthusiastic about it.  It shall be done!