Friday 29 October 2010

An Art Gallery, and more shopping!!!

We popped into the local art gallery where Step Mum has some painting exhibited, it was great to see her name outside headlining the exhibition

She mostly works in abstracts

but does some people too

After that we went to Jo-Ann's where I picked up some more fabrics

And I have been sewing too - I'm starting on the sky to go with the Christmas Log Cabin Candles quilt - so far I have hand sewn 1.5 inch dark blue squares into a strip 6 meters long , and have about another meter's worth of squares to go. These will be followed by about the same amount of medium blue squares, until hopefully there is enough to complete the sky ... then I need to do the same again in white for the snow on the ground. Will it be finished by this Christmas???

Wednesday 27 October 2010

lots of shopping :-)

We went to the Mall today - and shopped and shopped and shopped :-)

From top left:
  • 4 muted fabrics for a rail fence quilt, and the yellow in the same range. I didn't choose the brown at first, but the yellow didn't blend too well, so i added the brown, and will use the yellow as the border
  • pack of 5 spotted fabrics
  • two packs of 5 Fat Quarters - usually each FQ is a couple of pounds - but each pack was $7!!!
  • lots of cream and neutral textures for Hilary's tactile quilt
  • More fancy buttons - I must start using them!!!
  • And in the middle - fabric flowers that I've been searching for since Festival of Quilts. Jackie if you are reading this I will send you some :-)

And for Lizzy - $60: red zippy hoodie, turquoise long sleeved hoodie T shirt and grey t-shirt - hope they are ok!

Oh and we went in the new mini, with the top down!!!

Sunday 24 October 2010

Blocks for Another Christmas Quilt

How's this for multi-crafting - under the guise of testing my stroppy big embroidery machine ... I have created an embroidery design that makes quick scrappy applique Christmas tree blocks

And they are really quick as , with careful fabric placement, I don't need to do any trimming until I have finished the tree
(I know it looks messy, but wait for the next photo...)

- so with two hoops I can be stitching one and trimming another, or I might gather a whole load and trim them in front of the TV.

I love the style of the trees, and it is using up all the leftovers from the fabrics that were swapped for BQL badges but not needed for the Christmas Candle blocks

Saturday 23 October 2010

Life on Fast Forward!!!

Somehow my life seems to be whizzing away, and I'm not getting stuff done! The last 10 days have seen me actually drop 10 hours work, but as those hours were 7:15am to 9:15am I'm not managing to be productive in the extra hours - just asleep ... which is lovely, but gets nothing achieved!

About all I have finished is two postcards for the nephew and niece in Australia. These went in the post on Thursday, and I think I'm safe in posting the finished cards as (as far as I know) their dad (my brother) doesn't read this blog

And without doing any work, I have sold an embroidery design on ETSY, so another $1:50 into the pension fund :-)

However my list of excuses is longer than my list of achievements!

  • R's quilt has been put to one side as yet again his life has been messed around - his Dad's borough cant find a school for him, so dad is moving back here to keep R in the current school, but the foster family cant keep him, so he's boarding at school weekdays and at Dad's weekends for now
  • The big embroidery machine packed up during an order of fleeces, so I'm behind with those (although husband has got it working again, so I am trying it on my stuff rather than customer's stuff)
  • I am hand sewing 1.5 inch squares of dark blue for sky on the Christmas tree quilt, but that is a long job and not very exciting to post
  • Sophie's seat covers have had to wait and she's on holiday - and I'm such a duh that I don't remember whether I used black or grey thread, so I need to check with her ... Double Duh - if I bothered to look at my own blog I would see the photo that I posted, and would know that I used black!
  • The customer that wanted an I Spy quilt hasn't come back to me with sized or info, so that will have to wait

Luckily my November list isn't too long, so I can finish October's and get on with Christmas!

Tuesday 12 October 2010

My favourite Quilt (for Amy's Quilt Festival)

I started blogging in order to join in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival last May, but I was too late, so this time I am going to be organised and early! Thank you so much for arranging this Amy - I love looking at other people's quilts and blogs, and hope that people enjoy looking at mine

The quilt I want to bring to the festival is this one ...

that I made for my Great Aunt's 90th birthday earlier this year - It is the family's summer house in Oslo harbour as seen from the sea. This yellow cottage and the two red cabins are a familiar landmark to anyone leaving Oslo by boat.

The cottage is much loved by my Great Aunt and the rest of the family. This was my first landscape quilt, and my first real attempt at free motion quilting, I loved making it, partly for the memories it brought back, partly for the joy of creating and partly for how much I knew she would appreciate it. 10 months on, mum and I still get random phonecalls to tell us what another friend said when they saw it, or that she has noticed some new detail!

An Uncle asked if I would be able to make him one for his 70th, but I think he will have to wait for his 90th!

Details in detail:

The sea wall, the tulips, the sea and the sand with free motion
quilting (FMQ)

The cabins and the cottage were done my machine embroidery:
designed from a photograph they were added to the quilt after
all the detail had been finished - a bit nerve wracking hoping
nothing would go wrong!

The flag was made on my embroidery machine as a free standing lace design (stitched onto water soluble stabiliser). it was stitched down along some side only so it could 'flap'. (It is missing from the photo of the whole quilt, no idea why!)

Friday 8 October 2010

Denim Weave

I have seen a fair number of examples of denim weaving in blogland: Spirit cloth and Beates fabric Art amongst others, and wanted to have a go.

At the same time I was wondering what to offer my class at the library for the 3rd lesson, as I wanted to have at least a work-in-progress to take next week.

Then Niki gave me a pair of past-it jeans for my collection and I knew what I wanted to do. My library class is restricted in that I cant ask the students to take their sewing machines, but I really wanted to teach them simple patchwork ... so we are going to weave a patchwork instead!!!

My plan is that those who cant machine stitch theirs at home can use buttons to hold the strips (the weft and the warp?) together. Once the outer lines are firmly joined (by hand, machine or buttons) other squares can be joined ("quilted") randomly just to keep it in shape. Too many holes for a baby's quilt, but fun for a teenager I think!

I'm leaning towards red buttons for mine - I LOVE denim and red together. One of my girls had a denim dress with red hearts when they were little, and it seems the perfect combination.

(I used it before on Jess's 18th birthday quilt)

The downside of this idea is the the dust created by ripping the jeans into appx 2 inch strips - probably should have done this in the garden in the summer!

Thursday 7 October 2010

two more Robins!!!

I love a day off - I can get so much achieved without having to rush back to school!!!

Lisa has come home for the weekend, so I've been to to Terminal 5 to pick her up, and I did stop sewing to have a chat with her, but she's gone out now, so I did a bit of tidying in the sewing room - and I came across two orphan blocks ... one from Henry's tessellated quilt,

and one from Lisa's pink Skinny Insert quilt. Waste not, want not... so I have started two additional Robins using the orphans as the starting blocks

Day off = Sewing Day!!!

I did nearly three hours work at Breakfast club this morning (invoices & accounts after the kids had gone) but now I'm free until tomorrow morning - yippee!!!

I got stage 4 done on the Stay At Home Robin I'm doing with Kate (click here to see others', and the instructions)

and I've nearly finished a felt castle for India. Can you recognise which castle it's meant to be?

Once it has some windows on the castle walls, and a flag pole to support the flag, it can go in the post to Australia. She might be old enough to appreciate it!

I'm going to make a blue car felt postcard for Marley, but he's just a likely to eat it as appreciate it!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Where did that week go?

Well, what with work, a day visit to Portsmouth, a three day visit to Florence, and all the normal washing and stuff I haven't managed much sewing in the last week.

On the plus side, I got paid for Myles's quilt, had a fab girly weekend in Florence, and a great day with mum in Portsmouth - so all's good in my world!

I received my first Pink Swap postcard today and got mine ready to go in the letter box on the way back to work. Aren't Pauline's flowers

I also picked up a glass dish in a charity shop in Windsor, and thought it might look nice with buttons in it. Well at 5am this morning (I couldn't sleep as I was worried I'd miss the alarm and be late for work) I sorted all the buttons into colours and found more glass dishes to put them into. Don't they look great. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but "enjoy looking" is a good place to start!

In Florence I started seeing letters in ironwork, stone, and other architectural stuff - and forgot to photograph friends or places we went, but got lots of letters ... not sure where this is going, but a novel way to look at a city!