Saturday, September 20, 2014

Flying (sewing machine) Needle :-)

I was determined to have the centre of this quilt top put together by bed time last night. And this girl with a deadline is nothing if not determined :-)

Originally I was going to just sew the rows together as I picked them up - but thinking on it decided it would be way too easy to have the shoo fly blocks with the same fabrics too close together. So I laid them out on the lounge floor to arrange them as best I could. I'm not too stressy about similar colours together, but definitely not happy with the exact same fabrics. Loving it so far!

The most time consuming part of this process was pressing each row carefully, and then pinning super carefully - but both utterly worth it. I really wanted my seam intersections as good as they could possibly be:

I'm really happy with the results of those labours. There aren't too many seams I'd be bothered to undo and stitch again. Don't forget friends, those small squares are 1/2" finished. The largest squares are 1.5" finished. Crazy!

Because I had school drop off/pick up and my own tennis training on the schedule yesterday, sewing time was not uninterrupted, but happily I finished sewing all the rows together just before midnight, what a relief! Here is the finished top (minus borders) draped over the ironing board.

And on top there, those are the fabrics I'm considering using as the borders. I'm not certain yet, but they're front-runners. The next step though is to press the top really well so I can measure for the borders. Pressing will be a tough job, as this quilt is HEAVY!

Yesterday I weighed the top without its borders, and the weight of all the pieces was 1992 grams. So that's almost 2 kgs of fabric. I've just weighed a metre of fabric from my stash, and it weighed 170 grams, so by my calculations I have sewed 11.7 metres (approx 13 yards) of scraps into this project so far. Amazing! Of course some of that will be the weight of thread used for piecing - and I know I've used at least four of the large Gutermann spools so far, but if we were to round down to 11.5 metres, I think that would safely account for thread.

Anyway, today I am going to take care of some chores that have been ignored for a little while, and then get busy again in the sewing room. Wish  me luck friends :-) xox

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Speed piecin' ...

Well, I have surprised myself - I AM a piecing machine!! On Tuesday night at around 11.30pm, I finished the last 20 blocks for my Omigosh! quilt!!

I was just thrilled, and so on Wednesday, I did something I've never done before ... I took one of my sewing machines to quilt group!!

My sweet baby featherweight left the house for the first time in a little while :-) Silly me though, I forgot to pack my quarter inch foot as it was firmly attached to my white featherweight. Oops! Richard and Sue to the rescue though, they had some masking tape I could press into service as a seam guide and I managed to do a pretty decent job with my piecing.

These were the first seams I sewed. I was thrilled when my points were neat, and I've been stitching up a storm ever since.

When I got home of course, I swapped over to Big Bernie, and to be honest, I'm finding it much easier going. I paired all the blocks up, then I sewed them into groups of six blocks, and now I'm putting the entire rows together.

Here's where I'm at right now:

Isn't it coming along? I can't wait until the top is together, then I'll get busy with those border fabrics. Believe it or not, I haven't even looked at my yardage to make any decisions, I'll make myself wait.

Well, I better get back to the sewing machine, there's still lots to do! xox

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blocky ...

Whoa ... I have blocks all over the place here ... seriously! See my cutting table, there are 341 of them just laying around ...

Twenty to go and I can start putting this baby together. I don't mind confessing that though I love piecing them (and I'm whispering this) I'm kinda sick of the sight of them ...

But I'm not out of love with it yet, and I predict that by the end of this week, most of this top will be put together and I'll be deciding on border treatments. I genuinely haven't even thought about the borders a little - I hope I have something suitable living in my stash!

One decision I have made is the backing fabric ... I kind of like it too:

DH took one look and said "Beige, really? You're a creature of habit hon!". Well, I hate to contradict him ... but I thought this one was utterly different for me ... after all, it may be beige, but it's NOT a reproduction print ... what ever is he thinking?? Of course you know I'm kidding around, but it genuinely isn't a repro print, so that is progress right? :-)

Because my days have been so busy, it is taking me a while to wind down in the evenings. I often read on the iPad and sometimes cruise blogs etc. I found a funny link somewhere about a "Kitchen Reno" and thought I'd share it with you, it's really cute - do read it. And one of the lines in the intro really resonated with me:

"If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we'd be happy with more?" -- Unknown

Something this shoe, clothes and fabric lovin' girl needs to think about next time I'm giving the 'ole credit card a work out!

Chatter soon! xox

Friday, September 05, 2014

Getting sooooo close ...

I sewed like a mad thing today, I really wanted to make up the last of the Shoo Fly blocks for my Omigosh! quilt ...

There you see the little four patch units before I got the last triangles in place. So much chain piecing!

Today I've been using a lot of scraps from my Turning Four-T quilt - I've been rummaging thru all sorts of scraps to find bits and pieces to use. See the fabric in the triangles above? It's a conversational print I picked up some time (I think on one of my USA trips). Usually they're things like chickens, kittens ... other cute critters. But this print, I have no idea what it's supposed to be. Looks like body piercing jewellery to me ... what do you think?? And if that's what it is, why is it on an 1800's reproduction fabric?? Questions ... queries ... posers ...

And here's where I'm at with the blocks now - all the Shoo Fly blocks done - and only 80 nine patch blocks left to make. I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks with some blocks to put together.

See if you can guess what I'll be doing this weekend?? :-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Chained to the (sewing) machine ...

I really wish I had some amazing eye candy, or some exciting news to report for you. But the fact is this ... every spare moment I have is spent at the sewing machine right now. Here's what I've put together since Friday:

There are 50 blocks there, and I hope to get another 20 put together by the end of today. And that will mean that all of the shoo-fly blocks are made, I'll just need to concentrate on the nine patch blocks.

In total I've made 261 blocks now, so I have exactly 100 left to make. And then the top to put together, but that's another story. I'm excited at how the quilt is coming together, and it just baffles me that I don't seem to have made much of a dent in my scraps. That tells me that I have way too much fabric ... seriously!

In still quilting related, but not actual quilting news - something that is being cooked up at the moment is my USA trip next year, Linda and I have begun planning in earnest. I'm so looking forward to it, and though I don't have too many details just yet, we are definitely going to be visiting Graceland! Way too exciting!!

Last of all, I had a sweet email from Aunt Bea. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to you directly Bea - your email address isn't enabled - but to answer your question regarding where I purchased the Omigosh! quilt pattern, here is a link: Sue Garman is just delightful, and her patterns are just wonderful. Hope this helps.

Alrighty, I'm heading back to the sewing machine, I'll check in with you all soon I hope! xox

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Still Piecing ...

Wow, I have no idea where the last two weeks have gone? I know I've spent time in the sewing room, because my Omigosh! block count is now 140 ...

They're really such fun, and I'm finding so many scraps from quilts past that I'd entirely forgotten about. I still have 221 to make - and once they're done, then will be the fun of putting the top together.

Yesterday I received a fun parcel in the mail from my sweet friend Linda in the USA. I shared with you recently that she's been working on the Omigosh! quilt also, and she managed to finish her top - what an achievement! And what a darling friend, she sent me all the leftovers that she'd cut out. Such a treat! Linda has an amazing stash, and we share a great love of repro fabrics.

I pieced ten blocks today, and I've already started using the fabrics Linda shared with me. I can't wait to put some more together.

And last of all, just a fun quick pic ... I had tossed some quilts on the lounge to refold and was distracted for some reason ... and when I finally came back to them, something small had taken up residence ...

It has been cold here, so I can understand her wanting to find somewhere warm ... but not my favourite quilts kitty ... it's time to move on!

Chatter soon :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Orphan Blocks

I had a busy weekend in the sewing room, and almost unexpectedly, in the kitchen too. But first up, the stitching:

These orphan blocks had been calling me to make something from them for a couple of years. I had downloaded one of the Moda Howard Marcus brochures a while back and made some blocks, but because I had also made the quilt for work just before starting my own blocks, I lost interest fast. So, another small table runner was born:

Though it looks greyish in the picture, the setting triangles are a nice match for the green in the predominantly red fabric. It was one of the lovely fabrics that my sweet friend Donna gave me. I'm sure I already told you the story of the paper bag filled with fabric when I visited with her. I didn't recognise it as mine amongst my luggage and put it with Linda's luggage. I was so confused when it appeared back with my things again, and this happened a couple of times before Donna revealed it was a gift for me :-)

And a little close up of the simple quilting:

I used the same green on the reverse of the project, and then thought afterward that I could have pieced it from my scraps. Oh well, it looks super anyway.

And on my machine right now:

I'm quilting on a beautiful project for a sweet friend of mine. We used to work together, and I miss seeing her every week, she's just adorable. I hope to have this finished in the next couple of days, I hope she likes it.

Now for the kitchen: Yesterday was my Dad's birthday, and when my Mum and I talked about the family dinner, I promised I'd bring the cake. I messaged Dad to find out what his favourite cake is, and does he like pavlova, he responsed with 'I love it!'

Now I've never had any pavlova success before, I've made meringues, and topped lemon meringue pies, but they're small and hard to get wrong - I felt like I better make a practice run before the big day. So I started cruising Pinterest ... (have I mentioned my addiction to Pinterest?) ... and I found this recipe. On Saturday we had a friend for dinner, so I practiced in the afternoon, and came up with this:

Now, I only used the recipe for the meringue, I didn't bother with the same fillings they used. As you see, there are strawberries, whipped cream and raspberry coulis. And ohhh my goodness, it was delicious! There were only four of us at dinner, and we demolished the whole darned thing!

For Dad's big day, there was no way that pavlova was going to be big enough - a 4 egg white recipe. Ultimately, I sized up the recipe to use 10 egg whites, and it was the perfect size. Those of you in touch with me on Facebook will have seen this already, but just for fun, behold Dad's pavlova:

It was huge, and absolutely delicious. That's my Masons Vista charger you see under the pavlova, which is 14" across, and you can barely see it. I also managed to do a better job making the sides neater as I piped the meringue in place first rather than just plopping it in a heap on the tray and hoping for the best. Can you tell I'm thrilled that it worked? With my temperamental oven, I was sure that it would burn, but happy days it's just fine. I can see more of these in our future! xox

Friday, July 25, 2014

A quick table runner ...

Not so long ago I shared that I'd found some log cabin blocks in my sewing room. I'd forgotten all about them, but I knew they needed to become something, and soon! Over the past couple of days, I finally made it happen. Here is the result:

Such a super easy pattern, and really wonderful for scrap busting. I know I have some other blocks I'll give the same treatment soon.

And a dark picture with shadows so you can see how it looked while I was quilting:

Easy in the ditch quilting for the logs (which are half inch finished), a sort of squashy flower in the plain squares, and a half flower in the setting triangles.

And because I'm still enjoying working with scraps (and happy to use scraps that won't work in the Omigosh! project), I raided my 2.5" scrap box to piece the back. Wow, there is some age on some of those pieces there. That yellow check on the right is probably twenty years old. For real!

I know you're all curious about how my talk went with the Gawler Quilters on Monday night. Well, it was really fun, and not at all intimidating. I wasn't nervous at all, right up until I actually stood up, but I don't think any nerves showed at all. I took the ladies through my quilting journey, sharing my first quilt, and a selection of my quilts right up to now. Everyone laughed at all the right moments, and no one fell asleep, so I'm thinking I can call it a success. And the sweet ladies of the group presented me with a lovely pot-plant as a thank you.

Isn't it pretty? I know it will look lovely out on the verandah. And a big hello to the ladies from the Gawler Quilters who are readers of my blog, it was lovely to meet you!

I'm going to do a little more work in the sewing room tonight, and then call it a night. It has a super busy week and I'm really feeling weary. Camo has a bye for tennis tomorrow, so I can even sleep in if I want, what bliss!!


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