Friday, June 29, 2007

BOL Progress...... not looking good

*sigh* This Blanket of Love Quilt is certainly a challenge for me this week! Firstly Joy thankfully saved me from making a quilt that was 60 inches as opposed to 60 cms! Phew! Thanks Joy! :) And now, just then I realized I have run out of the fat quarter that was supplied to be the main colour in the design. The strips hanging next to it here are nowhere near enough needed. Opps!! I'm not too worried as the other week up at Mum's when I was searching through her stash to look for some fabric to match the red, I found a 10 x 40 cm strip of the exact same red. So am hoping if she had that little bit, she may have some more? And if not, well I'm prepared for a fabric shop crawl till I find some.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WIP Wednesday Week 24 - Swirly quilting

Week 24?? Wow, someone told me the other day only 6 months till Christmas Day! On the other hand, only two terms to go of this stupid half days of kindy set up Grace is in. Mumble, mumble, such a PITA!

Anyway, deep breaths Helen, quilting, whats been happening in quilting land this week? Swirls, swirls and lots of swirls! I decided that for the boarder of Elliott's quilt I would do lots of S shaped swirls, free motion, all different sizes. That in itself only took a few days but the fun part of tying all the threads! Well! That has taken just as long as the whole quilt. Now I don't know if I do it the crazy way or the proper way, it is the long way but if any one has a better way, please let me know! Here is the Helen way:

After all swirls have been quilted, snip the thread so you have anywhere from 3 cms upwards of thread left. Using a hand held needle, push the thread through the quilt so its on the back with its matching thread. So you have a mess of threads which looks like the above picture. Then knot then, and again using the hand held needle, sew them into the wadding horizontally to hide them, snip off any remaining bits that aren't in the wadding, aim to have at least 2 cms in there so they don't pop back out. And this has to be done at the start and finish of every swirl. I have about 50 to 70 swirls on each boarder, am about half way around.....

So every night this week has been sitting on the couch doing this, relaxing and at times theraputic! I only have myself to blame as I could have choosen a simplier pattern, even one big swirl, but I thought this would look good. Its my most adventurous quilting yet so I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Back of a raggedy edge quilt

Have had a request to see the back of a raggedy edge quilt, so here we go! Hope I'm not confusing things but above is a close up of a quilt I made for Grace a few years back, raggedy edge style. I did it different to the style of Milly's in that the backing fabric was the same print as the top fabric. Make sense? All random 6.5 inch blocks. I made the photo a touch darker so the cross of sewing can be seen, thats our next step.

And here's a shot of the front. See the edges all raggedy and frayed? Nice and snuggly! Think I'll start the sewing bit on Friday, give everyone a chance to get ready. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sew Along - Raggedy Edges Quilt.

A few girls I have meet online have expressed an interest in making a raggedy edge quilt. So thought I'd do a little tutorial on how to make one. They are sooooo easy peasy! The one above was made by my very talented sister, Andy for Milly when she was born back in November 2004 from Jan Mullen prints she won from a competition with a quilting mag. I was very envious of that win! So, follow the link to her blog and she has written out all the instructions, and I have the pretty pitcures. I'm going to sew along too, add an extra row on the top.

So below I have cut out 6 squares of top fabric, all different designs in this case. 6 squares of wadding and 6 squares of backing fabric. Your wadding is to be an inch smaller than your fabric. So in this instance I have 6.5 inches square of fabric, and 5.5 inches square for the wadding.

So once its all cut, place your backing fabric print side down onto the table and put a piece of wadding in the centre.

Then on your top peice of fabric, with an erasable marker or some chalk, draw a diagonal line across the centre each way so a cross can be seen using a ruler. Place it on top of your square of backing and wadding.

Pin either side of one of the diagonal lines, try to keep the pieces flat. Do this to all your squares as we'll sew them all at the same time.

Okay, we'll give you a day or so to organize all that then its time to get sewing!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blankets of Love

In the June edition of Down Under Quilts that I picked up a new weeks ago, there was a challenge to make a baby quilt for the Blankets of Love programme. Such a lovely idea, I have been blessed with two happy and healthy girls, I can only imagine the heartache at loosing a newborn, so I signed myself up.

So part of the challenge was you sent away for a FQ which has to be used enough to be recognized as the main colour. I recieved a red fossil fern print. Not usually a fan of fossil fern stuff. It has to be an original design so thanks to that little quilting journal AJ sent me for my birthday, I came up with this little sketch.

The quilt has to be only 60 cms square and most importantly, it has to arrive in Sydney by August the 3rd. So I have 5 weeks to get cracking! I have piled those pesky log cabin blocks back up in a neat stack till I work out which layout I like the best. Torn between pinwheels and the very first one.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 23. More Log Cabins

Well once again I can't post a pict or any news about this weeks WIP as its for the latest EB Sewing Girls swap.... Nearly finished, well in time to make the due date of the 29th! Yahh! One to cross off my list when its posted.

So in the meantime, I have discovered this amazing site, Craftster, I'm hooked! Has the byline of Loves to Make Stuff, Hates Potpourri! Yep, thats me! The Quilting section is just WOW! I posted a thread up asking for opinions on my log cabin blocks as I am just so undecided on which layout! 5 pages of opinions later..... I'll have to make a sub tally! But they gave me some more ideas of layouts. So I have just laid all the blocks out on Grace's bed and had a play with some more possibilities!

I like this one the best! See the pinwheel pattern? And I am fond of pinwheels at the moment!

Strippey one. Hmmm.....

One purple diamond and two purple half tiangles...

One red diamond and two red half tiangles...

This is the first log cabin quilt I have made and I am a bit gobsmacked with all the possibilities!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Should I go into cardmaking???!

Recieved news last night that Jo, my GF from my Mothers Group had a baby girl yesterday morning, awwwwwww! (Thanks Meredith for the call, that will teach me not to keep the mobile charged up!) I just knew it was going to be a girl, so happy for her. Girls are just so much fun, you can never have enough pink in your life!

So hopefully Meredith and I are going into the hospital tonight to have a little cuddle and of course you can't visit in hospital without presents! I'm making her a quilt but that will be months away, so I popped into work this morning and got a little something from Royal Doultan, one of those keepsake feeding bowls and a matching spoon. Then when the girls were having lunch today I whipped up these two cards, how cute are they? (The blue one on the right is for baby Elliott, may as well make one while I had the stuff out!) I think I may give up quilting and get into card making, they were so much fun to make. Admittedly it was all from a kit, I just had to assemble it how I liked and I have two more cards and bits and bobs left over for next time.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Today's List and a Sneek Peek

Here's a sneek peek of the dress up swap I'm in with some of the girls on EB. I'm sewing two of everything, one for the swap and one for Milly. Looking good!

I have had this list sitting on the bench in my sewing space for a few weeks, and have only crossed one thing off it, # 2. In no particular order of importance, but I'm planning on finishing #7 first then tackling #3 and then #6! If I write it here on the www, it might actually happen!

1. Elliots quilt. This is the pinwheel one, still a WIP!

2. Scappy Log Cabin swap. To be posted by the 15th! Posted on the 12th! Enjoy Jess!

3. Blanket of Love Challenge. This has to arrive in Sydney by the 4th of August. Haven't started it yet. Have my fabric and a sketch of what I plan to do....

4. Grace's Log Cabin quilt. Blocks all sewn, sitting in a nice pile in the sewing room.

5. Jo's baby's quilt. She's due on Thursday, haven't started at all! She said I can wait till she's had bub till I start, so I know to go pink or blue.

6. 12 x 12 inch challenge. With the Quilt Studio girls, due at the end of July. Again I know what I'm doing, haven't started.

7. EB Dress Up Swap. Another WIP. Getting there.......

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Work In Progress Wednesday – Week 22. Coffee Cup Quilting

No, I am not resting my coffee on the quilt! Would never do that! I’m using the bottom of the mug as a template circle for some swirly quilting. It was just the right size. I have done about 10 so far. Adds some interest. Slowly, slowly although I would like to finish it before the poor baby turns 1!

Am a bit jaded today as found out last night that BIL's wedding in Sydney has been called off. They are still planning to get married, just not in Sydney and not in October which means we won't be going over. Bummer!!!! Was so looking foward to meeting some of the sewing girls from EB. Maybe we'll have to convince Daz there is a sewing conference on and I am required to give a talk on rotary cutters!

Bugger! Poo! Bum! Wee!!! I want to go to Sydney!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quilting the Pinwheels.

A few weeks ago I posted on the boards of SCQuilters asking for recommendations of a Long Arm Quilter to quilt this quilt. I had about 10 replies, mostly encouraging me to give it a go myself! One of the replies was from Gillian from Designer Quilts which is only a few suburbs away from where I am. She said she is actually buying a long arm quilter and then going to start hiring it out so you can go to her studio and use it quilting yourself! Which I think is a fantastic idea and can't wait till she has it up and running. I mean look at the photo! Here I am stuffing this quilt through my little machine's window. I'm just stitching in the ditch on the diagonal for the pinwheels and I must admit it is a bit boring quilting wise. So am thinking of doing a little circle swirl in the squares of the pinwheel that aren't quilted, does that make any sense??!

Getting off topic now... Here's a meme I picked up off Nicole Bridges blog. Just for a bit of fun.

Instructions: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following…They MUST be real places, names, things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Helen
Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Hooley Dooleys!
4 letter word: Hope
NameVehicle: Hyundai
TV Show:Hey Hey Its Saturday
City: Hobart
Boy Name:Harry
Girl Name: Helga
Alcoholic drink:Harvey Wallbanger
Occupation: Hairdresser
Flower: Hibiscus
Something you wear: Hat
Celebrity: Halle Berry
Something found in a kitchen: Hot plate
Cartoon Character: Homer Simpson
Something You Shout: HELP!!!
A Country: Holland
A Song Title: Happy Birthday
An Artist (painter, photographer, etc): Henri Matisse
A Reason to stay home from Work or School: Headache
Something you’d see at a Zoo: Hippotumus
A Snack: Hot Dog
A Character in a Book: Harry Potter
Something Icky: Hairball
A Six-letter Word: Happen
Something Breakable: Heart
Non-Alcoholic Drink: Hot Chocolate
Something you Whisper: Hello.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our morning with The Men of the Tree's.

We had an action packed weekend. Firstly on Friday night Daz and I went to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). All 37 plays in 97 minutes. Including Hamlet done backwards and in fast foward mode! Very funny stuff. My dearest sister had the girls for the evening over at her place, 5 children aged 2, 4, 4, 6 and 7! When we rung during interval at 9ish they were all still awake having fun. We picked them up at 11 and took them back home.

Saturday, usual 9 to 5 shift for me. Daz took the girls to their dancing class and then food shopping. Had then both asleep by 7, their usual time and then we just relaxed on the couch.

Sunday, today, was the annual planting day at Whiteman Park for the Men of The Tree's Children's Forrest. This is such a lovely project, the second year we have gone, so much fun and you leave feeling warm and good too. When Grace was named at our wedding in 2004, one of our dear friends brought her a tile in the forrest. Thought it was such a fantastic gift. So we now have gotten Milly one too and I am starting to work my way through my neice and nephews now. The tiles are all put up in this little hut in the bush there, we had fun today finding the girls tiles. Milly refused to stand in front of hers for a snap. She is becoming so stubborn around the camera this child!

We maybe planted 50 tree's between the 4 of us? Daz may have done more, he had a bigger shovel! Milly just enjoyed filling up her bucket with mulch that actually made the path through the bush and water that was supposed to go on the tree once planted. This lady below in green was a fairy who had fairy glitter to sprinkle over the trees to help them grow big and strong. See Milly in the background behind Grace just digging?

So as a result we had a lovely busy family weekend, but have done no sewing!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Milly's latest twirly skirt

Finished this skirt for little Milly Moo a few days ago. I had the bits cut out ages ago but lacked the oomph to sew them together (blame it on the log cabins!) Thats one thing I love about sewing clothes for the girls, can finish a project in a day as opposed to quilts taking weeks. I thought I'd be a bit different and sew the second tier with the overlocked edges on the outside as I have seen a few kids skirts in the shops done this winter. So I did that and it just looked horrible, very tacky! So I unpicked it all and sewed it overlocked edges in and it looked better.

As usual though I battled to get a picture of her standing still wearing it, here she is climbing over the edge of Grace's bed trying to get away from me and the camera!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

WIP Wednesday Week 21 - Log Cabin Layouts

Well I finished late yesterday afternoon all my log cabin blocks. Here they are spread out on Grace's bed. Now is the hard part of choosing which layout! I am really amazed how much impact the centre diamond of the top two stands out. Grace loves them, she wanted to get under them and lie down, I had to tell her, not till they are sewn together.

So which one do you like best??

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Happiness is a New Rotary Blade

*sigh* This time last week I was recovering from the "killer of a Craft Fair". This Sunday, well I have changed my rotary cutters blade! Wohooo!!! It glides through the fabric now, very smooth and nice. I am still working on the log cabin blocks with a zing! I have even used some of the fabric brought last week, in the block below I have used the blue and the orange. I found this range was from Moda, called Spring Fling by Me and My Sister Designs. Amazing the info one can find on the selvage!

Am finding though I am curving in a bit on the corners, see if I can iron that into place? Thats what I get for sewing without pins I suppose.....

On another note, I signed up last week for a scrappy scrap swap at Melly and Me. And this weekend I found out who my swap partner was, Jess who has a blog here. Looking foward to swapping with you Jess!

Friday, June 01, 2007

My pledge for June

I have to write this on the www, so it will seem more real and hopefully I'll stick to it!

In June I will try to not buy any more fabric or clothes for the girls. I have more than enough material in this house and the girls have heaps of clothes for winter. Wadding does not count as fabric though! We are off to Sydney for a family wedding in late October and it really is time to start pulling in the purse strings a bit in preparation. I have to work on the need/want aspect in my shopping! Saying that though, my iron has just died this morning so I'll have to go buy one of those today.... Suppose thats what I get for leaving it on all the time.

Things are getting a bit messy in the sewing room/space/bench/nook. I have two log cabin blocks totally finished, the one on the bench just has the last row to go. I was doing block #2 and #3 as you go, like sew a row, then get out all my strips and see what colour tone would work next. Then if there was nothing there, I'd rummage in my stash. And then I'd just plonk it all on the bench! Should really put it away Helen......