Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 7

Finished this today. I think I am over it. Must have been all that unpicking!

I like the colours though, pretty soft pinks, refreshing to be working with pink again! Thinking of adding a simple 3 inch border and then maybe some triangle blocks around the outside? Its a quickie quilt for a friends daughter who isn't well at the moment but with all the unpicking and the search for 2 more squares has made it not so quick. Still, hope she likes it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sandwiching a Quilt - Mum's Way!

This photo of my Mum just cracks me up! She was in the middle of saying "What? Don't you dare take my photo Helen!" and it was too classic a Jules expression to take another one! LOL

Went up to Mum's yesterday to sandwich this quilt. Mum has been quilting for the last 20 years or so, she knows a thing or two more about quilting than I do. And yesterday was an eye opener as I don't sandwich my quilts like she does!

The Jules Way:
1. Tape backing fabric to table. Spray adhesive backing.
2. Lay wadding on top, smooth out. Spray wadding!
3. Lay quilt top on top, smooth out.
4. Leave for 24 hours before pinning layers together.

The Helen Way:
1. Lay backing fabric on lounge room floor!
2. Get Daz to hold wadding up outside, spray adhesive it, go inside, lay it on backing. Smooth it out to best of ones abilities!
3. Get Daz to hold up quilt top outside, spray adhesive it, go back inside, lay on wadding. Smooth it out, PIN!

Would be interested to read how any other quilters out there do their sandwiching!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cutting half an inch off.....

What a fun weekend I have had! Inbetween working on Saturday, having friends for tea Saturday night, attending a combined 4 year old twin boys and 6 year old little girl's birthday party on Sunday, getting two new goldfish to replace the one that died in the week (RIP Finding Nemo!), Milly on the verge of getting the hang of toilet training, Grace having a blood nose on Sunday night and this oppressive humid heat Perth seems to be having at the moment, inbetween all that I decided I would cut half an inch off all these blocks! Hey why not??!

After spending the last few days looking at this quilt and fretting that I just need 2 more 4 inch squares of that butterfly material, I thought bugger it, I'm just going to unpick it all, cut half an inch off each square making it 3.5 inches! I had enough scrap left over from making this dress to cut 2 blocks so I wouldn't be missing any then! So here we are, blunting the rotary cutter again!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary!

3 years ago today I married my husband. I still love saying that, my husband. Seems so grown up! It was a lovely day, a morning wedding at 11am followed by lunch in a marquee at 12.30. All over by 4pm when Daz and I left in a Model T Ford for a night in a fancy hotel. *sigh* it was just lovely. We had Grace named as part of the wedding ceremony and Miss Milly was conceived either the night of the wedding or very shortly after on our weeks honeymoon down in Esperance! Well, Grace was napping twice a day at that age, so what else where we to do?! LOL

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Work In Progress - Week 6

Well I missed last weeks WIP post due to Valentines Day. So seems like there is a huge jump in progress from 20 blocks of blue to the above! I didn't have any suitable red fabric for the boarder so have gone for yellow! It has little white random dots outlined in black scattered around, so that ties in nicely with the black frame. I'm going to cut the boarder stripes down to 2.5 inches after I have quilted it and do black binding. I am going to get Mum on Monday to help me with the sandwiching of it all, I want it nice and flat this time!
I read recently in one of my quilting mags about a new product that I'm keen to try out but do you think I can find where I read about it? Its like a pattern on paper that you stick on top of the quilt top and then you follow the design for it and then when done you rip the paper off and there's the design. All I have found in my net searching is this here. Don't know if thats the same thing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Milly's Retro Top - Tweeked Pattern

Well here’s the top I was talking about making in my last post. I ended up using the bodice from a New Look pattern as I have made that dress three times! The last time being here. I took 2 inches off the bottom of the bodice and then just cut about a metre in length and gathered it. Not totally happy with it, the front is too wide across Milly's neck line. She is such a petite poppet. Look at that pose, its like she is poised to strut down some Milan catwalk, the way she gazes in the camera! Anyway, back to the sewing..... The next one I will take in on the width, should sit a bit better.

Scored this fabric at an op shop too. $2 for a length about 2 metres long. I think someone had made a table cloth from it, it was hemmed by hand. It is soft and falls nicely but must be old as I noticed a run on the side after I had finished sewing and also it has pulled a hole slightly where I sewed to gather it. It will be okay for around the house and the kindy run.

On another topic. Happy 100th post to me! Who would have thought when I started here I would end up 100 posts later here! Bring on the next 100 posts!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Pink Butterfly dress with that Ruffle!

Well I finished this dress last week, but only managed to get Miss Grace to pose for photo's on the weekend! I don't think these picts to the fabric any true justice though, its such a lovely pink with soft muted pastel butterflies and dragonflies. All that hassle I had with the ruffle and it looks quite cute. I'm really happy with the bodice, the pattern said for the straps to go down the back over the shoulder blades and to be sewn to the back of the dress. But I thought that would look "messy" over the shirring there, so made the straps shorter and rounded them off to turn it into a halter neck. I'd like to take that bodice and do a gathered shorter length to make some tops. Something to work on.

This is the third dress I have made and thought, wow, this is good enough to sell. Then the Gemini comes out in me and one side says "Go on Hel, give it a try." And the other goes "but you are so busy sewing other stuff." And then the other goes "Well how many dresses can your girls have??" And, and, and, and...... I just don't know!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Post Just for Cass!

Was chatting to the girls online the other day, asking them what is the best fabric to make Ingrid's famous Easy Pants from. And I asked Cass if the material she sent me ages back was the drill that she suggested. And she said she couldn't remember the swatch she sent and requested a post with a picture of it please!

So Cass, here you go! A post just for you! See that brown flowery bit hanging on the top right corner of my noticeboard, it's that! So is it drill???! LOL

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day.

Well, now the lovely Natalie has recieved her Valentines Day pressie from our EB sewing buddy swap, I can post some pictures of it in the making.

This was fun to make, as Natalie has the same favourite colours as me, pink and purple, so I wasn't going out of my comfort zone! Sewing the heart was an excellent way to use up some of my scraps too. It was a walk down memory lane too, thinking I used this print in so and so's quilt, and this print for such and such a project.

I sewed all random scraps together first. Then traced the heart outline so when I stipple quilted it I would know where to stop close to the edge. Then I sewed the heart shape onto the square that would be the front of the cushion cover. I did intend for the back to be an envelope style so the insert could come out when it needed a wash but I didn't have enough material! Usual Helen trick of committing to a material before checking she has enough!

So then it was just a matter of sewing the two squares together and then the fun part of clipping all the edges to make them raggedy.

Valentines Day is brushed with some sadness in our house as it is the anniversary of my Grandad's passing away. It was 2 years ago today that Mum called early in the morning, just after 5am it was to tell us the news. I always hate it when the phone rings late at night now, as its never good news at that hour. It was sad but also a relief too as Grandad had been in so much pain the last 3 years of his life, always seemed to be holding on for the next family event. He held on for my sister's last child being born in September 2002, then Grace in April 2003. Our wedding in February 2004 was so important to him, we didn't think he was going to make it through Christmas 2003, he was so frail but in true Grandad spirit he fought on. I still remember the last time I saw him. I took Milly to a parenting info seminar on what to do with babies under the age of 6 months, she was 3 months old and I hadn't a clue really what I was doing despite her being my second child. It was in the next suburb from where Nan and Grandad live, so I popped in afterwards with Milly for a cup of tea. Grandad was sitting on a bench outside their unit with his cap on, chatting to a neighbour. I parked the car and walked over carrying Milly, his face just lit up at the unexpected visit and the pride in his voice as he introduced his neighbour to his eldest grandaughter and youngest great grandaughter. We then went in for a cup of tea. I am a coffee drinker except for when I visited them, I was a tea drinker then! Luckily had my cameera in my bag that day and took some shots of Milly on Grandad's lap. That was 2 weeks exactly before he died. I spoke at his funeral, was scared sh*tless at the thought till I stood on the little platform. I stood with all the Grandkids, 6 of us there are, but one was in England and couldn't come back at such short notice. We had all written down our favourite memory of him and I read them out. I'm so glad I did that, I think Grandad would have been proud.

Here is my favourite photo of him and I. I'm 9 months old according to Nan's writing on the back of the print. Sums him up pretty well, standing in front of his beloved shed, beer in one hand, first grandchild in the other and a big life is good grin. We think of you lots Grandad! Wish you were still here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

20 Blue Blocks

Well, after being so excitied at finishing my first crazy strip block, I sat down, well rather stood up as I sew standing up at a bench! I just kept on going till I finished all 20 blocks needed! It was fantastic, haven't been so inpired to just sew for ages. Supposed it helped that the girls were in bed asleep for the night and Daz was watching the cricket on TV, so no interuptions! Next thing I know its 5 past 11pm!

So now I have to trim them down to 5.5 inches and sew them all together. I'm thinking a thin less than 1 inch border to frame it and then a big border of yellow? Or hot red??

AJ - Love your idea of the swap! We will do this definately!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A blue quilt???

Well I was in quilting limbo land. Waiting for some material for this quilt and needing to find a large chunk of time so I can lay all these squares on the floor to arrange them in rows for this quilt and my overlocker needs rethreading so I can finish off this dress. So what does a girl do? Start a new project! And its going to be a blue quilt! Blue is a colour I hardly get to use, this is going to be fun!

Have had these two patterns ear marked for awhile, so am going to combine the two designs or just leave them open on the ironing board to look at every now and again for a bit of inspiration. The one with the yellow boarder is called Banana Lounge! WT??!

So I have rumaged through my blue stash and here is the first block done. I've tinted out where it would be cut back to a 5.5 inch block. I love doing this style of crazy patch, no matching up of 1/4th inch seams, Just ohhh, that looks nice against this one, lets put that there and oh! Thats a pretty print, lets put that one there! I'm thinking 4 blocks across and 5 down, a rectangle cot sized quilt. I'm actaully quite excitied about this one.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Work In Progress - Week 5 - Battle of the Ruffle

Not much WIP to report for today, too hot to sew! Have had the third day of 38! Maybe that was to account for todays battle of the ruffle!

I admit I am feeling resentful of this dress. I cut it out, then decided I'd cut out 4 inch blocks to make a quilt, see WIP week 3. Only to start sewing the quilt top and realizing I need more of the fabric! Searching desperately on the net for some. Fingers crossed a lady in New Zealand can score me some, we'll see, thats another story.

So we had Mothers Group this morning and I took along my 1.5 metre long strip of fabric to turn inside out while I sipped my coffee and chatted to the girls. And also unpicked the first attempt I had sewn the night before and not pinned it straight. So the above pict is it all pinned ready to sew. The thin line of pink thread on the green will be unpicked, thats the ruffling thread. Hope all this is worth it and Grace actually likes the dress!

Other news, I had a Bad Mother of the Year Moment, the TV fell on Grace's hand cause I was too busy sitting on the computer! Felt terrible.... Happened on Monday, Grace was off to kindy, first proper morning session 8.40 to 11.30. Milly and I rushed around with swimming lesson, haircut for her and food shopping in that time. It was all rush, rush, rush. Home again, Milly to bed. Grace was just hyped about kindy, I just needed some space to sit and be quiet. Our TV blew up Sunday night, well the tube went, so I took it out of the cabinet and put it on the couch. The thing is so heavy thats the only place I could have dumped it. Set up the spare little telly, popped in a Cinderella DVD for Grace to watch. Told her not to touch the other TV on the couch, it was leaning foward a bit as it was so heavy, its one of those big chunky 68 cm square things. Then I go into the study to hop on the net, sitting on the computer when I should be being a Mum, a Mum that actually supervises her child! When I hear this crash from the lounge room and then Grace just screams. I run to the lounge, one of those slow motion runs it seemed like, I knew the TV had fallen, visions of her underneath the thing. She was standing next to it luckily, screaming and clutching her hand. I still can't work out if it just fell and she was there or she touched it and made it fall. Anyway, her hand was bruised, nothing broken or poking out of the skin, she can squeeze with it and use it like normal this morning. Took me 30 minutes to get her to stop sobbing, I was crying with her by the end of it. I felt terrible. I am such a slacker of a mum, I spent way to much time here in the study on EB. It made me log off and shut down immediately. I should have been there. *sigh*

What a long post!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The latest 6 blocks

Here’s the last 6 blocks which I finished yesterday, takes the tally to 48. Yahh! Am leaning towards the bottom design more, but Jill made an interesting point about quilt hogs in bed, Daz does hog the blankets so maybe the other design is the way to go? I am going to do the middle bit as that is the same in each and then decide.

Now colours for the blocks framing boarder. I’m thinking yellow, Daz isn’t so enthaustic but can’t come up with a suggestion so I think its yellow. Add a bit of zing! The square blocks though in each corner….. purple or red? They’ll only be 1 inch square. When I lay all this out on our bed to see how the yellow would look, I noticed that 3 blocks just don’t look right. Two have the wrong shade of green, a pale blue/green (the one full one bottom right hand corner in below's photo) and a green plaid print. Erk! What was I thinking? So have pulled these three out and will make another three blocks to replace them. Maybe by then I will have decided on the corner colour.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Couldn't sleep last night.

Couldn't sleep last night, so did these pattern designs on the computer for my daizee quilt. Am undecided... Ignore the colours totally. The second one would sit nicely on top of our bed, where as the top one would hang down the sides a bit. I'd have to find a nice fabric for the border, oh any excuse to shop for more fabric!

Think I'll go a tape measure and see what would look better size wise on our bed. Any thoughts or opinions from anyone out there in cyber blog land welcome! AJ? Ad? Jill?? :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Grace's first day at Kindy

Well here we are, all ready for our first day at kindy! No uniform for our kindy and all her other shorts were in the wash, so she had to wear white! Not a fan of children wearing white personally, shows the dirt! LOL

So, new bag, new haircut and off we went! She was absolutely fine too, she had made a friend before she even went into the class room, the little girl with the bag hook next to her's, struck up a conversation about pink shoes. I got a bit teary when it was time to go, I mean I am excitied she is starting school, its just well, she still seems so little. Back again next Monday!