Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WIP Wednesday week 15 – Anzac Day

Anzac day today. A day to remember those who didn’t come home from any war that Australia has been involved in. A day to be thankful that I haven’t had to wave my husband or sons (not that I have any!) off to fight. A day to be thankful of what a wonderful country we live in and how those who fought for us to have what we have today. A day just to remember.

On a personal note, it was 5 years ago today that Daz was actually in Gallipoli. We meet in August 2000, were living together by December that year. In April 2001 he went away for a 7 week trip around Europe and the UK and Turkey, my only condition was that he had to be home for my birthday in late May, and he was! He went to Gallipoli with Matt, his youngest brother. He wore Grandad’s war medals over for the day, said later although he was deeply honoured to wear them and touched that Nan leant them to him, he was so scared he was going to loose them! Grandad served during WW2 in Papua New Guinea and Nan was in the Air Force based in Darwin.

And on the sewing front.... plodding along with the stippling on the blue crazy patch quilt. The tension is just perfect now, not too sure what it was but it looks good! Hopefully this time next week it will be all finished! Which leads me to my next project. I was hit the other day with an urge to sew a bag! Haven't sewed any bags except Grace's kindy bag earlier this year so not oo sure where the urge even came from! But this is what I am thinking of making. Am going to be strong though and not start it till this blue crazy patch quilt is finshed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Peg Mail!

Today I got peg mail! Well rather, Milly got peg mail!

The lovely Cass sent Grace some peg dolls the other week for her birthday. The other day in the car WW3 broke out cause Grace had a doll, and Milly wanted it, then Milly had it and Grace wanted it. Usual 2.5 and 4 year old sister antics really. Then today in the mail there was an envelope from Cass with another little bag and 3 peg dolls just for Milly! Awwwwww! Thanks Cass! And now for the plug, you can buy them here!

And news on the quilting front..... thanks Quilting Blogger Buddies that came to my rescue about my dodgy quilting and tension in the last post. I finished unpicking late last night and today, all things were lined up with the Quilting Gods, new needle, new bobbin, no dust in bobbin case, lucky pair of socks on and wolia! It worked, perfect, perfect, perfect! I'll post a pict in tomorow's WIP post. :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tension with my tension!

Up one week in sewing land and down with a crash the next!

Spent a fustrating day yesterday. Sandwiched this quilt on Friday night, all ready to sit down and quilt in on Sunday. Sunday comes, a nice lazy day at home with Daz and the girls, I can sit in peace and stipple away. Although due to usual antic of a household with a 2.5 and a 4 year old, there was interuptions, so I did this in about 5 sittings over the day, maybe that is my problem? Stiched in the ditch around the red centre boarder, small stipples around the heart, looking good! Larger stipples on the blue crazy strips, wander, wander, wander, swirly heart, wander, wander, swirly heart! All done at 8.30pm, turn it over and OMG! The tension in some area's is just horrid! I was flipping the quilt over as I sewed to check it every now and again, some times there was just one occassional heart where the lower thread hadn't locked in with the top thread so it all sort of pulled, but then one whole corner, every heart was like that! ERK! Loooks beautiful on the top. Showed Daz and his comment, "Yes, does look a bit weird" so now I am unpicking it all! Fun and games, feels like I wasted a whole day of sewing.

Just can't work out why though. Tension of the machine was the same the whole time, some area's are perfect and the others like the mess below. Just one of those sewing mysteries?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Starry Night Block Finished!

I have finished my 12 inch block challenge for Quilt Studio, complete with hanger on the back and a label! When I started sewing it I had no idea what I was going to do with the finished item but them half way through I decide I would make it into a wall hanging for a old and dear friend who is an artist herself and has painted lovely canvas's for both the girls. I think she would like it and appreciate it, she is a big lover of colour too.

So I haven't really talked about how I made it. Leah asked if it was from a pattern, nope it wasn't! I found an image on Van Gogh's Starry Night painting on the web, copy and pasted it into Photoshop where I made it actual size, so I cut some of the sides off a bit as its a rectangle painting. Then I put some fancy filter programmes through Photoshop, to make the image kinda posterized, I wanted it to be broken down into solid areas of colour. That done, I printed it out, then using that as a guide, cut scraps of fabric out, vliesofixed the back and sort of fiddled with the layout till it looked okay. Ironed it all in place and then it was just time to go crazy with the actual quilting part! I just used a normal sewing foot, just lots of turning the fabric around. I did the blue swirl first, then some red and yellow then a bit more blue and then the green. There is 4 different shades of blue cotton and I think 5 in the red/orange/yellow range. The zig zags where fun as I have a button that goes up and down to change the width of the zig zag without stopping sewing, so I could go from a zigzag that was about 8 mm in width all the way down to a straight line.

So its all done, I can get stuck back into this quilt now. I really enjoyed sewing it, glad to be part of a challenge that stretches one's comfort zone!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 14

Wednesday again? Already???! I'm still working on my Starry block but I'm not going to post a pict as I'm close to finishing it. I have done all the machine embellishing, sandwiched it last night and am now doing a bit of hand quilting around some of the shapes, and then hopefully tonight will get to sew the binding on. Took it to my Mothers Group today so I could sit at the table and sew and chat. None of the girls are crafty unfortunately but they ohh'ed and ahh'ed it.

Well its not a proper post unless there is a picture of something..... So I decided to take a photo of the thing that started my sewing journey! It was May 2003, Grace was not even two months old and I went with my Mum to the big annual quilt show held here in Perth. Mum has quilted and done patchwork since I can remember, she's always dragging me along to something crafty. And I have been to heaps of craft fairs from my Feral Ceramic days. So I'm at this fair with a newborn, feeling a bit bored as I haven't a crafty outlet to do, when we come across the Hot Possum stand and I buy this pattern to make for Grace's door. Since then I have also done the same pattern for a Cate, Sophie, Ruby and of course a Matilda! I cringe now looking at it, my blanket stitching is so tight and tiny! Colour choice so pastel! Binding so erk! I actually did the binding for this in 4 seperate sections till Mum showed me there was an easier way. I wouldn't say my sewing skills are fantastic, but I have definately improved since this first effort!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Feet are not pincushions

Drama in our house on Saturday. Grace trod on one of my sewing needles! I was at work and so missed all the action. Apparantly she was running from the lounge room to her bedroom (despite me always telling them not to run in the house but hey, Mum wasn’t there, Dad’s rules!) and she trod on a sewing needle that was somehow embedded into the carpet. Firstly I am puzzled how it even got there as I am (usually) so careful with my needles and their whereabouts. And also, I had only just vacumned the night before!

Anyway, she HOWLED the house down Daz said, it happened while he was there in the lounge too, on the phone to his folks, when she trode on it and screamed, he just hung up! His Dad heard the screams and apparantly they got in the car and came over straight away to see what had happened! It was a 2 inch needle, Daz said the impact of her running bent the needle 90 degrees and it went into her sole over half way. He had to pull it out, she was screaming (low pain treshold like her Mum!) and it took a Wiggles band aid and a 30 minute long cudle from Daz for her to calm down. When I rung on my lounge break as I usually do, just for a chat and check up, she was all talk about stepping on the "prickle".

And sewing news, well here is a close up, work in progress shot of my Starry Night block. Its all I have been working on over the weekend. I'd say I did about 5 hours on this on Sunday and today, and still a few more hours to go. Getting there. I go from thinking erk, this is dodgy work Helen to hmmmm, quite arty farty aren't we?! LOL

Friday, April 13, 2007

Starry Night Square - before!

I signed up for the Quilt Studio's 12 x 12 challenge and I am behind! I'm supposed to post the finished square on their blog here ummmmmm, yesterday! So this is where I am at! All the bits have been cut out and vizofixed into place, just now need to sit down at the machine and start quilting it!

The stars remind me a bit of fried eggs!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Work In Progress Wednesday - Week 13

We have been over in Rottnest for the last 4 days for a little Easter break which was lovely. No computer, internet or sewing machine though! You just kind of get used to it and then its time to come home! Just have to share two favourite shots.... Its just so beautiful over there.

Did manage to do some hand sewing in the evenings though. Don't like sitting there watching telly with idle hands. This is for my best friends bub, Hugo. Based on a Hot Possum pattern. Not going to give it to him till Christmas, thought I'd get in early. I don't know if you can tell from the pict, the dark blue stars have a silver star print on them. Thought I'd try and get a silver DMC thread to blanket stitch around these to give it a little pizazze! And I have yet to put googley eye's on the ailen too!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kitchen Swap Revealled!

Aren't they just the cutest??! It felt like Christmas this morning, as today was the day we were allowed to open our EB Sewing Buddies Kitchen Swap. I recieved a lovely bundle of goodies from the lovely Cass! She really did spoil myself and the girls. Grace got some peg dolls pictured above for her birthday next week, which she carried around for the rest of the day in her apron pocket!

And look at these! A pot holder for me, I love this print! And a placemat each for the girls. The monkey print is so cute and I must find out from Cass, the plastic surface, is that like an iron on? I remember once you girls saying it came fromSpotlight, same stuff? Fantastic idea as Milly is always spilling her Cheerio's in the morning!

And lastly some fabric! What is an EB swap without some fabric?! All beautiful prints, my favourite is the black one. Stunning!

And below are some picts of whatt I sewed for Andrea. Just a little runner, something bright and colourful. I enclosed some patchwork mags in her parcel too, to get her inspired!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 12

I am finding these Work In Progress Wednesday posts a bit scarey at the moment as they seem to be just zooming past so fast! Its April already? Surely not??! I was preparing this post last night when Daz suprized me with a plate of antipasta nibblies and a bottle of champers for tea. Apparantly it has just hit the poor man that yes, Gracie Lou will be on the ABC! We heard today that the songs should start in June. Surreal, absolutely surreal, and exciting too.

Anyway, that was the resson this post didn't appear yesterday. Sorry for putting a hump in your week AJ! :) So here's where I am up too. What a mess! Its looking a bit all over the place at the moment. I was planning to do the second red border 6 inches from the first. Well I haven't planned that too well as on two sides I need 3 rows to do that, on the other sides I will need 4 rows. Does that make sense?

And now looking at it all I am thinking of making it more rectangular, more cot size than square. So that will mean more rows on the top and bottom and then maybe four more slash and wack blocks for the outside. Which really means, time to get sewing Helen!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Easter Hat Parade

Today was the Easter Hat Parade at Grace's kindy. *sigh* I'm loving all these kindy things! She's been coming home all week with Easter craft stuff, harboiled eggs painted with wax crayons, dipped in dye, egg shaped paintings and my favourite a rabbit face on a stick made from a paper plate and some cotton wool and pipe cleaners for whiskers!
This morning was the hat/bonnet parade. I constructed this from an ice cream container and lots of glue! On the top were some little fluffy chickens, daisies sticking out the side and every thing covered by feathers! Kind of a Davy Crocket, Russian inspired number?

Monday, April 02, 2007

The heart block building.

So I started with the heart. Looking back now I'm not sure how I did it! Sort of took one scrap, sewed it, ironed it, slashed a bit off then matched up another scrap to form a shape.

Then I added some blue strips of other scraps sewn together to form the first border. I have cropped the photo here but below when I sewed on the second round of strips I left it untrimmed for the photo, just for some visual contrast! I think just one more border of strips and then it will be ready to join with all the square blocks. I did have 3 blocks left over so I unpicked them and used them for the strips too.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Saturday Night Sewing!

Had a night of sewing last night, as you do on a Saturday! The football season started this weekend, I have 26 weeks of Daz watching 7 games every weekend! He is a passionate Freo Dockers member and goes to the game every second week when they play here in Perth. So all that means, uninterupted sewing time!

So last night I finally finished the above quilt top. Finally! And of course I am out of wadding so had to fold it back up after I took this photo and pop it on the WIP shelf in the sewing room. Have to buy some wadding sometime this week. I'm thinking of binding it with one of the flower prints I got from my last Spotlight trip.

And so with that project up to the quilting stage I could turn my attention to the above construction that has been hanging on the felt wall above my machine for a few weeks. Its a combination of the swap blocks from AJ and the ones that I kept. You can't tell in the photo, but the red strip was thin white swirls through the pattern. I was thinking of crazy patch strips to make up the centre square, then a bold border of red and then these blocks to make the outside border. But then looking at it last night I thought, how about a crazy patch red love heart block right in the middle? In matching red??? So that is the plan!