Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Should Have Known

Were you wondering what happened to all those 3" hourglass blocks I made?  Probably not.  By the time I made over 400 I got bored.

When I came back to them,  I decided to put them together and get some idea of what the quilt might look like.


Because I discovered something that you, no doubt, already knew.  The point at the corners of each block is very bulky.  Eight seams meet there.   Of course I should have known better and made sure that the seams butted together correctly or "nestled".  Needless to say, I wasn't enjoying putting them together.  More than 400 blocks.

Too many to undo and fix.

So the new plan is to incorporate them into another quilt top.  One day.

Still quilting for my deadline.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Questions only, no answers.

When Barbara Brackman first started her weekly block downloads I was encouraged to join in by Janet.   She powered on.  So too did Kate.  I got distracted when I had thirteen blocks under my belt.
Other things called, until the book was published.  Armed with a copy of the book I started again

But I decided to do the quilterie setting.  So instead of approximately 52 blocks, there was an extra 52 courthouse steps blocks and setting triangles.

The top is now basted and on the end of an ever increasing list of quilts to be hand quilted.  I have only hand quilted one sampler - my very first quilt and I thought it would be fun to quilt each individual block differently.  I am not sure how I will do the courthouse steps blocks.  Suggestions welcomed.

Being an Australian, I deleted some of the more overtly American blocks.  That sounds ridiculous considering it is a Civil War sampler but I would imagine that non-Australian quilters would do the same making a pattern that involves emus, kangaroos and other identifiably Australian  motifs.  Is that right? or have I got it completely wrong? 

I avoid fabrics with the American flag, too.  But then I wouldn't use fabric with an Australian flag either.

I caught this little vignette in Hyde Park. 

The dog could actually walk in the shoes but I asked its owner to hold it up so I could get a better shot of it.   I don't know whether to think how lucky it is or call the RSPCA.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Afternoon's Play

For some reason I hand quilt only at night in front of the television.  So even though I have an almost impossible deadline mentioned in my previous post,  I still can't force myself to sit down and work on the border quilting during the day.  Beside, it has been unseasonably hot and sitting under a quilt during the heat seems like madness.

So that is how I found myself pulling out a very old project.  It started with the left overs from this quilt. 

The fabric is for the most part from the "Charisma" range designed by Chez Moi for Moda. It's so old I can't remember when it was released.  Possibly 2006.

The blocks are 14" square.  I made a couple of them in early 2010 trying to construct blocks from  jelly rolls.  Even though I had yardage, I cut strips 2.5" wide.  

I still had the sashing fabric, a white on white pattern and before I knew it, there were 6 blocks, then 12.

My "Charisma" stash doesn't seem to grow any smaller.  There will be enough to make an interesting border and a reasonable sized quilt.

Only after putting this post together and previewing it did I realize that I put the middle row, bottom blocks together in the wrong places.  It won't take much to rectify that.  Just a couple of seams and a free afternoon.

 I'll leave you with a funny sign I came across this afternoon.

I hope it made you smile too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Very Important Date

Not one to do things in a methodical structured fashion, I find myself frantically hand quilting to a deadline.

November 30th, 2014 to be precise.

On a quilt that I've been making since 2004 (possibly).  It's been so long in gestation that I've forgotten when it was conceived.  Only two more borders,  81" and 92".  That's 173" X 6.5" more to go!!

You may not be able to see the pattern easily on the picture above.  That is very likely because you cannot see the pattern very easily on the quilt either.  In my earlier quilting days, I was unaware that the complex patterned fabric I chose for the border would obscure the quilting pattern.

It's a double baptist fan pattern.  Not a single, a DOUBLE.  That may explain why it has taken so long to finish the quilt.  But the other, correct reason is that knowing that the very intense quilting wouldn't really be seen produced a quandary.  After having quilted one border the dilemma was:  

do I undo the quilting and start again with a simpler, more expedient pattern?
do I just keep going to the bitter end? 

After much hand wringing and just ten years you can see what I decided.  After all that work, I just couldn't undo it, so now I find myself on a deadline.  Which is where you came in.  More later.  Right now,  I'm back to quilting.                                                          

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rip Van Winkle

Well, that was a good break.

No, I haven't packed up my quilting gear and gone home.  I'm still playing.    Here is my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery quilt "Celtic Solstice".  Not yet quilted.

 I know I'm not the only one who has gone AWOL.  While I was away I kept an eye on blogworld;  I just didn't feel like socialising much.  But now I do and I hope you'll forgive the long absence and come back and visit me.

Most of my quilting time has been taken up finishing old projects:

My 3" tumbler quilt.  I used my domestic sewing machine to quilt it myself.  Nothing too ambitious, just outline quilting.

The back of my quilt is interesting.  I had a few left over tumblers so I thought I'd use them up instead of just throwing them into a shoebox along with some other orphan blocks.

Lining them up with the tumblers on the front of the quilt proved beyond me.  But I still like the back.

And of course, there have been some starts too.  The quilt below is for my cousin's first grandson, Finlay.  I'll be visiting family in Yorkshire and Northumberland soon.

I am still financially supporting the fabric manufacturers and the shops.  And a few publishing houses as well. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Finishing Off

Classes are always good fun.  I've never been to a class that I haven't learnt something.  Usually I learn a lot and every so often I get highly motivated too.

A class on Wednesday with Gwen Marston at Quiltsmith gave me all of the above in bucketloads. 

I've never come away from a one day workshop with a completed project, until now.

It measures a tiny 12" x 13" but it is backed and bound.  Finished.  Done.  Complete.

Gwen is a lovely teacher; very approachable and generous.  She has amazing energy and it was my priviledge to be a part of her class and later attend a lecture.  For anyone considering a class with her I can highly recommend it.

On another finishing note, I also completed my chartreuse jumper started last winter.  It's been colder than usual, (or am I older than I was last winter?) so I am looking forward to wearing it.  Seems like I am still loving chartreuse.  I didn't realise until now that the quilt and the jumper are both the same colour.    Right now a little doll is wearing it.

 Maybe she should actually be under my Gwen Marston quilt...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Sometime ago I ran a class on Big Stitches.  We embellished a fat quarter with multiple colours of big stitches.  When I found a forgotten bag of white bobbles, it seemed that the sample was destined for cushion-hood.

Not very practical considering its white background; well, at least not in my house.  I have pulled it out again because I am running another class next month at Quiltsmith.

My machine is at the fixers.  Just having a spring clean.  Odd, considering it's well and truly winter at my place.  However, what to do when there is no pedal to put to the metal.  Well, I have been hand piecing and trying to finish off some knitting.

I've also been working overtime with my rotary cutter.   The stash is tumbling out floorwards and it's calling for attention.  Even though I don't use jelly rolls generally, I have been cutting 2.5" strips, 2" strips and even 1.5" strips.  I've also been cutting 4.5" squares to turn them into 3" finished hourglass blocks.

I am bagging 100 at a time.  So far only one lonely bag.  I was inspired by Kathie who had her quilt on the front cover of an American quilting magazine (again!!).  Only 600+ blocks required.

It's easy to spend time sewing at the moment.  The weather has been good for ducks.