Sunday, December 10, 2017

FMQ... Bring it on!

The medallion quilt is all basted and FMQ has started!  With a pre-Xmas deadline... this one will be a tight finish, as I'm not known for my quick quilting skills :o)

The backing fabric is a pretty wide back from Spotlight.  Even though I really like it, and it works terrifically with the front - I can't help but wonder if it is slightly creepy.

Although the Invisifil thread I've used on the centre white section broke ALL.  THE.  TIME.  I finally got this bit finished stitching at a seriously reduced speed.  So hard to get nice curves and even stitching going this slow.

Switching to another thread, I did a variety of fillers on the butterfly wings... spirals...


Sort of a greek key design...

And a stipple following a wiggly stem...

The grey border/sashing I have done a couple of FMQ wiggly lines.  I'm thinking about making this three lines, although you can hardly see it on the front, hence the back shot.

And the threads... a grey Wonderfil Invisifil 100wt in the sashing and a pretty pastel 40wt Gunold thread in the butterfly border.  The thread that keeps breaking is an off-white Invisifil on a cone.  The grey thread has been fine.  One of the mysteries of FMQ.

The first day of the school holidays is traditionally tree trimming day.  Nadia was in charge this time, although I heard Dylan giving his opinion along the way.  This year it is all about the tinsel and the lights... hardly any decorations.  Well... it does look pretty!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Slow Sewing

As I approach clothes sewing projects now, I feel like I have a lot more patience and respect for the preparation side of the project.  With space set aside where I don't have to rush to get things laid out, pinned and cut in a short period of time (to allow TV viewing or life in general) - I can take my time, really trying to achieve a good result, and knowing that I can continue tomorrow if needed.

So it's been a quiet week of laying out fabric, cutting out pattern pieces and slowly working my way through the early stages of my dress pattern - stay stitching and those other weird practices that I always ignored in the past.  For some reason my Bernette sewing machine has hated sewing the rayon fabric I am using... so much to my disgust, I had to resew several sections where the sewing gathered up and the tension was crappy.  Luckily, my Brother Innovis was much better behaved.  I did end up with this rather oddly shaped yoke section.

Pretty sure this is supposed to lay flat.

Resewing has meant that it does indeed sit flat - although there are still the odd funny bits, I'm calling this a win.

This has knocked my confidence a bit, and I'm not sure now whether I'm going to like the finished product.  I have remembered why I don't like sewing with Rayon - it is just a beast to handle.  At this stage, all I can do is continue and hope for the best.

In general sewing shed news, I finally decided to remove the frame from my enormous custom built work desk, and use this space as work space - instead of general junk holding space.  I think this is about 3m long.

I also added a few new fat quarters to my stash... thanks The Country Yard!

And I added some new Denyse Schmidt patterns to my collection after a Black Friday sale with Hawthorne Threads.  Best of all, they don't charge freight on their pattern purchases... and these are some patterns I've had on my wish list for a while.

I have struggled with getting the last border done for my Medallion quilt.  Losing the fabric, and then the fusible web meant it was all just too hard.  Yesterday I played with some fonts and poster printing...

And after finally tracking down the other supplies I needed, fused and laid out the letters.  This is a 5 1/2" cut strip.

I think this will work :o)  Bring on the blanket stitch next week, when it is hopefully not too hot!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sewing Time

Once I had carved out a little bit of usable space in my sewing shed, I was back into creating again, cutting and stitching.  The fact that I still want to reorganise the rest of the sewing space is a secondary consideration and will happen probably in the middle of Xmas.  As I want to get my Orphan block medallion quilt finished before Xmas... I figured this was top priority.

Working with a square design, I knew that at some point it would need borders top and bottom to make it a rectangular single bed size.  Now was that time!  I just needed to decide what size the blocks were going to be, and single out a block I wanted to add that complemented the design.  Easy peasy!

After much adding and dividing, ahming and ahing, I decided on a 13" block for the bottom border, which meant five blocks across.  Then it was just the easy matter of working out a block that finished at 13".  Did I mention easy peasy?

Rescaling the flower block from my Craftsy Dash to the Finish quilt worked out well.  And alternating with a Courthouse Steps block meant that I didn't need to join the triangles together at the block intersections.  That's called cunning design skills! 

Just the top applique border to complete now, and I'll be onto quilting.

On the clothes sewing side of things, I have finally found some fabric that I want to make up into some of the patterns I have bought over the last few months.

I bought this Sew House Seven Tea House Dress pattern after seeing it made up in a floral fabric.  It was really pretty and summery... so the picture on the front, and in fact the line drawing were a little bit of a surprise on closer examination.

Spotlight had some great sales on, and after locating this rayon fabric, I decided to take the plunge and hope for the best.  

I don't mind the tiled pattern printing exercise... although it does seem overwhelming at times.

After ironing almost 5m of fabric... I was finally ready to lay it out.  Of course, I still seem to have a whole heap of fabric left.  This fabric measured at 135cm wide... so I went with the requirements for the 112cm layout just in case.  I need to straighten, pin and cut but that can wait for another day.

I also bought some Tencel fabric for these Burnside Bib overalls also from Sew House Seven.

This lovely Olive Tencel has a lovely drape, and I am a sucker for overalls.  Just have to hope that they look somewhat like the pattern.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Oh hello...

Yes I'm still here!  We have had visitors for the last ten days... and my sewing shed and adjoining spare room (which is the quilt layout and basting zone) have had people living in them!  With my sewing machines pushed into a corner and my fabric unavailable, I've been busy reading and staying in touch on Instagram.

Some of you follow David on Facebook, and you'll know all about the daily adventures, while me and the kids have been at work and school.  Here we have just about everyone, the photographer was Amanda, a good friend who also came to stay.  But mostly our family just grew with some Australian based imports, and we all had a great time.

So this is my hubby and his kids and grandchild.

With his two eldest boys... Jesse and Josh

With Josh, daughter in law Steph and grand daughter... Leni

And just with a very cute little grand daughter... who grew four new teeth and was a bit grizzly but still managed to be the centre of everyone's attention (and boy she knew it!)

Although it was sad to see everyone head home, it has meant I can get back to my regular scheduled programming.   With my design wall completely free, I have put up my completed blocks so far for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt.  Excuse the odd angle.  Measuring 52 x 82 finished, it is a long skinny quilt.  I am planning to add something to the sides to make it a bit wider.

There are 6 blocks left to fill in the gaps.  I repeat SIX blocks!  The pattern was in a Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr Modern Quilt calendar for 2017 - Katsura.

I did not manage to get any of the pink blocks sewn for Octobers colour of the month.  November is either a "dark" month - or alternatively make the colour blocks you need to make your design work, with the idea of putting the blocks together in December.  I think this is a really sensible way to end up the challenge, because it is often when you lay things out and assess, that you realise you need a certain thing to make it all work.  I think I will make some pink blocks (which will balance out the pink in the multicoloured blocks), and maybe some with black and white prints.

I also desperately need to catch up with my Bernina Triangle quilt Viper... have lost track of where I'm supposed to be, and what I've got done.  This will be weekend project number 1.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

In which nothing was really achieved at all

This has been a somewhat crappy week.  Just feeling a little under the weather - nothing serious, a bit of a cold, and a general sense of exhaustion and lackluster-ness (totally a word) combined with an end of week deadline at work that drove up stress levels.

We have been (attempting to be) in full on Spring Cleaning mode as the weekend rapidly approaches when we have visitors arriving.  Of course, it has been quite a while since the last spring clean, if there has even ever been one.  We have a small house and masses of accumulated junk.  I have got sick and tired of saying "you need to clean your bedrooms" to the kids... but we are all slowly getting there.  I have a list and it is getting down to the last minute items now, so definitely progress and the end is in sight.

Our sleep-out which is normally set up to utilize the floor-space for quilt layouts and basting has a sofa-bed in the corner in the least obnoxious place.  With visitors staying for more than a couple of days, I have reorganized the space to make it somewhat appealing, and even pulled the curtains and blinds... and cleaned the windows!

This was after the major furniture had been moved around... view from the bathroom end... this is actually a decent sized room.

And looking in from my sewing shed side...

And all set up with the bed made and with a quilt (the sofa-bed is a pain in the neck to make up).  We just need a portable cot now and this will be all ready for the weekend.

In other news, I printed off the second foundation page for the Viper Quilt (Zen Chic's Bernina Triangle Sewalong) month 4 and sewed up the blocks during my unenthusiastic week.  Sorry, the pen is there to hold down a corner that wanted to curl. Aren't they perfect?

But, when I laid them next to the other blocks, they were a bit small - hmm, not so perfect.  Somehow I managed to print the foundations a different size to the first lot.

Super unimpressed with my sewing achievement, I ended up printing more foundation pages the right size, and have achieved nothing else.

In some happy news, I have had a few packages arrive in the mail. 

Well, thanks to IG I somehow mysteriously found and started following Mathew from Mr Domestic.  Mysteriously because he does both EPP and Fussy Cutting - both are techniques that I will never ever do, but he is so funny and crazy and I love him nonetheless... anyway, he was promoting some bundles he'd curated from Stash Fabrics and the rest is history.  I have learnt not to order fabric at 6am... also to not comment at 6am because what little filter I have disappears at that time of the morning.  I apologize in advance :o)

So several weeks later I had the following arrive...

Hmm, need to work on my fat quarter circle making skills...

A bit better. This bundle really includes some out there fabrics that I would never in a million years choose - but somehow I like it all together.  While I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it, I am enjoying the challenge of it all.

And the second bundle... this is a little bit more me.

One of my favourite prints.

With a few of the other dreamy blues that came in the bundle.

And then I ordered another lot of sale fabric, which arrived yesterday.  Some classic Denyse Schmidt, orange Metro Rings, a great owl print, and some black RK Essex yarn dyed linen for possible clothing sewing related activities.

The owls... too cute.

And talking about possible sewing related purchases, I also ordered this fabric from Pink Castle Fabrics - Soulful Floral Universe in Plum - 3yards...

and 4yds of RK Essex yarn dyed linen in Indigo.

I have ideas about these... but all will have to wait until that sewing space it back to normal.

Perhaps linking up with Molli Sparkles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Design Inspiration

I have been "being persistent" with my medallion quilt construction, using the Midnight at the Oasis pattern as my design inspiration, and feel like I am finally making progress again.  Applique borders can feel like they go on forever!  And I was really happy when I got to the end of that stage.

This is how things are looking at the moment.

Once these borders shown are complete it will measure 70" square

And this is my design inspiration.

Some people may struggle to see how the two relate, as the centre medallion is completely different, as is the next border, and I haven't really used any of the quilts measurements.  Then the applique border is similar, then I've missed a border, and made a concession also on the next border... like... is any of it the same???

I have loosely used the "idea" of the original design... starting with an orphan block as my centre, and used elements of the design that I've liked, and left out those elements I've not been so keen on.  I knew I didn't want to use the same "melon peel" design as first pieced/applique border (even though I really like it), as I felt it clashed with the shape of the applique pieces in my centre, but I liked the idea of a small pieced block, and decided to go with the butterflies instead.  This gave plenty of opportunity to add lots of colours (the centre panel only had 5 fabrics plus background), which have then been repeated in the applique, and the checkerboard borders - and looks like it is all meant to be.  I've used the sashing repeats per the original, although I have included a small coloured border in a couple of sections where I felt it needed an extra pop of colour, and also to help with sizing issues.

As the quilt has gotten larger, I decided to keep things as simple as possible, so am working on a two row checkerboard section next... (using the idea of the three row checkerboard which is in the fourth border in the original - but with a bit less fuss and definitely less matching)!  You can see how the black and white sketch fabric helps to highlight each border, and also gives a nice resting place from all the fun colours.

So what's going to come next?  Well, I am definitely not going to do this log cabin style block... that's just too much fiddley piecing as this stage of the game, and I do hope to get this finished before Xmas.  As I need to make this quilt single bed size - so turn it into a rectangle, I am going to add a pieced border top and bottom only.  The details still need to evolve.

Moving onto other news... after a bit of tidying and reorganising, my Triangle quilt has become the "Viper Quilt".

And I've got two of the Month Four blocks completed... (need to print off another foundation pattern to make the second set of blocks)...

 ... and progress so far.

And after a new shoe purchase, I contemplate at what age one should cease wearing glittery shoes?

Definitely glittery!