Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WIP Wednesday - Week 4 - The start of 4SDQS#5, Monochromatic Challenge.

Before Christmas I signed up for the Four Season Quilt Swap #5 (Known as 4SDQS#5 from now on!). I like swaps organized by Margaret, she runs a good, well organized swap. It is a Monochromatic Challenge and challenge is the right word! My colour is red and the season is obviously summer. I can use a bit of black and white, I was hoping to avoid the usual summer cliche images, like sunsets, suns, pointy triangles etc and have come up with something which still says summer, I hope....

I was thinking of one of my improv flowers but it just wasn't working so then I thought a Jan Mullen inspired rose/poppy. Sort of poppies in the red dirt...... We'll see. I'm only working on one of these instead of 2008's habit of two.

Katy is hosting an International Stash Busting Giveaway Day next Wednesday the 4th. Check out a blog for a list of people playing. I'll have a bag of goodies up for grabs. You'll have to pop back next week for a chance to win. See you then! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

May you not get sunburnt.
May you witness a fireworks display.
May you eat a peice of meat that has been BBQ'ed.
May you truelly appreciated and celebrate what a lucky country we live in.

Happy Australia Day!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sewing Bee Sunday!

Daz had to work today so with him out the house, Ad decided to drive the 73kms up and Mum decided to drive the 15 kms down and we had a girls only sewing day! Set up the pool in the backyard, the girls alternated between splashing in it and then coming inside and watching Wall-e. Meanwhile the grown ups sewed and sewed and sewed!

I finished all the machine sewing needed on Grace's Rainbow Log Cabin. Binding is added, I did 3 more "tram track" lines of quilting around the very edge. Easier said than done, that took ages! And then zig zagged the binding. Mum and Ad looked at me strange when they saw this. I have been doing it for awhile and thought it was the normal thing to do. It makes the edge crisper when you are sewing the binding down, you can feel the actual edge better. Does this sound weird? Am I the only zig zagger before binding person out there? I'm sure I picked it up as a tip off the internet somewhere...... works for me!

Then because the afternoon was still young I dragged out these Dissappearing 9 Patch blocks I last worked on back here, September 2007. I sewed them into rows of 3 and then 4 rows together and then popped on a 5.5 inch Lakehouse white on white spot border and wolah, quilt top for a baby girl! 2009 is shaping up for year of girlfriends having babies or have already had them. A few spare quilt tops hanging around wouldn't hurt. I don't know if its cause the blocks are old but I feel a bit ho hum about this so far. I thought the white would add some zest to it but hmmmmm, don't think so, not yet. I'll have to let the quilting bring it to life.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Project Improv!

Over the last week I've seen the blog button for Project Improv on a few favourite blogs and wondered hmmmm, what's this about? At first I thought it was a little private quilting bee that I tend to see out in flickr/blogland with all the groovy/cool quilting bloggers and always get into late to join. But then realized I can still play on this one, so I signed up. Yahh!

The "rules" are basically to make one improvisational piece. I can do that! And to make one "log cabinish" block for charity, I can do that too. I'm working on the binding of Grace's Rainbow Log Cabin at the moment, I'm going to miss it when it's gone from my WIP list, so this could cure me for awhile. I've always liked the idea of wonky houses, but never got around to it. So thinking out aloud before I get anywhere near sewing it, I'm thinking for my project of wonky improvised houses, maybe a wall hanging, a welcome to our home hanging?

I made the top two star blocks a few days ago, playing around for fun. They are quite small, 2 to 3 inches. Playing around in Photoshop earlier I copied and paste them together to make a little mini quilt, if only it was that easy to whip up a quilt!

Okay, back to my red binding. Grace has her fingers drumming on the sewing table!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WIP Wednesday - Week 3 - Stippling a Rainbow.

This is what I have been doing for the last 2 days, shoving a huge quilt through my machine! I'm doing a medium meandering stipple and must say I am pleased with how it has come out so far. I think using a new needle and 100% cotton does wonders. Just so smooth and flowing, no tension issues, no catching, dream stippling! I've done 4 rows of straight stitch in the ditch along the black border. Grace is excitied. She stands by the machine and asks "Have you finished my quilt yet?" I'd say by this time next week the answer to that will be yes!

Monday, January 19, 2009

AJ's Mystery Quilt Finished!

Over the weekend I finished the binding on the Mystery Quilt that AJ designed and I started sewing back here in February. My first finished project of 2009 off the list. It is all washed and folded ready to go to it's new home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WIP Wednesday - Week 2 - Free Piecing Flowers and Windmills.

I know, its Thursday! What can I say? Blame it on the heat! For those of you that have popped in to see the Rainbow Log Cabin all stippled and finished, I'll have to admit, its ready to go, all folded up, new needle ready to put in the machine..... But it is too hot! The weather is interferring with the quilting! I read somewhere on a blog or in a magazine ages ago about lady who sews just quilt tops in summer and then piles then up to do all the quilting and binding in winter. Makes sense here at the moment. Cause what am I doing? Binding! The last two sides of the Mystery Quilt to go then all done.

So I have been amusing myself with playing with idea's for a few swaps coming up. I wanted to do a free form flower. No pattern, sew, slice, sew, slice. I came up with the above. Looks more like a railway crossing sign! Or a windmill Grace said, never ask a 5 year old!

So I sliced it in half again and came up with this. I think it needs one more petal above the stem. I like it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sandwiching a Rainbow.

I feel excitied at my NY's challenges and so today I took the girls up the hill to the folks house, so Mum could help me sandwich the Rainbow Log Cabin. It needed two trestle tables pushed together under their patio. The nozzle of my brand new spray adhesive got clogged after only a minute of using it...... grrrrrrr...... and I used every single pin I owned! I'm going to Stitch in the ditch around the black inner border and then stipple, stipple, stipple!

Grace was playing around with my camera and took this shot after we had finished. I'm stoked it is done, can start tonight now. Yahhhh!

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 Quilt Review

That time of the year again, time to review a year of quilting in the land of Helen! While loading all these photos up to blogger I realized I have done a LOT of doll quilt swaps for 2008, more than I thought. And I realized I really do have a habit of making two of them, one for me, one for my swappee.

February started off with this cot quilt for Baby Thomas down in Tasmania.

Also in February, I finished Ad's Birthday quilt. Still chuffed that I sewed the label on during the drive to her house!

April saw the start of the Dolls Quilt Swap, this one being for the 4 Seasons Swap. Spring! I kept this one for me!

And this one I sent away to my partner. Don't think she liked it though....

Elliott's Hanger was finished in May. Not really a quilt, but thought I'd include it.

Cherise's Quilt was also finished in May. Hard to believe she is nearly one!

Back to the Doll Quilt Swapping in May. This one for Flickr Dolls Quilt Swap #3. I kept this one.

And sent this one to Tanaya who loved it thank goodness!

May also saw Baby L's quilt arrive to its new home in Sydney. Still have this pattern ear marked for a quilt for Milly's bed. Add it to the list Helen!

In June I joined the 6 - 12" Mini Quilt Swap group on flickr. This was the first one I made but I fell in love with it.

I sent this one instead. Don't think my swap partner liked it either as she never kept her end of the bargain and sent a mini back...... The joys of swapping hey?

Another name hanger, in June for Caitlin.

I finished stippling and the binding on this D9P in June too.

July saw an EB Quilters Swap of Table Runners. I sent this off to the lovely Leah.

July saw my 2nd year Bloggiversary and I gave away this mini quilt to JMBMommy.

Back to the 4 Season's Swap in July. A Summer Sunset for Emma.

July mini quilt swap was with the Lovely Lisa. Her posts at the moment are making me drool, all that snow when we are on our 12th day of the temp getting to over 32 degree's celsius. That's 89.6 degree's fahrenheit for my USA readers! In a universal language, bloody hot!

August saw me a bit fustrated with all these quilts being mailed out the house. So I made Bricks and Mortar for our couch.

Flickr #4 Dolls Quilt Swap in August saw me make these two beauties. My favourite of the year I think. The Terrific Tine over in Copenhagen, Denmark recieved the above quilt.

And keeping up with tradation, I kept this one for me.

September saw Lily's beautiful boy born. I sewed her a little buzzing bumble bee to celebrate his arrival.

Back to the 6 - 12" Mini Swap in September with some snail trails for Kay.

Bestest Blogging Buddy AJ's had a birthday in October and so started my obsession with the swirly block. I did her one.....

And then did a Rainbow Swirl one.....

And also this one which I ended up keeping for my growing dolls quilt on the wall collection.

And finally for the EB Quilters Doll Quilt Swap #2 in September, I sent this one to Mands.

November saw the Flickr Dolls Quilt Swap #5. I sent off this one...

And kept this one!

So 18 mini quilts and dolls quilts! 18! Wonder how many 2009 will produce?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

WIP Wednesday - Week 1 - Welcome to 2009!

What a start to the year, I am already a day late with the first WIP Wednesday post for 2009. But I have the best excuse, we have just returned home from 9 days here.

Such a magical part of the world. Our days were spent at the beach, building sandcastles, admiring the boats in the bay, picking out which one we would like if we had the money.

We also rode everywhere. That is really the only way to get around the island, that or on foot! See the zooming blobs of white in the photo? That is the girls, riding away in the distance. Grace is cautious, she applies the breaks when needed, doesn't go too fast. Matilda on the other hand, gets on and starts peddling, weaving her way through people and other bikes, going fast. And of course she can't hear me over the clatter of her training wheels calling out " Millllllllly! STOP!"

We also ate way too much of food that one shouldn't eat too much of...... I became a lunch time sandwich maker, I had a production line going! 12 sandwiches on average a day, phew! Being the only one in the family not officially working over there, I'll quietly mutter into my keyboard here if looking after the girls for 13 hours a day straight isn't a job, I don't know what is, anyway, I was on lunch duty! Ham, cheese, spanish onion, lettuce and mayo in my speciality! The girls are easy and just have promite!

And amungst all that I still managed to do some sewing! I took over the Squid Eye and hand quilted during the quieter parts of the day. I realized that when I would go into our room and sit for 10 minutes by the window doing some stitches, if I was at home here on the mainland, that is the time that I would normally pop on the computer. So much more productive doing sewing instead! I have run out of silver thread, totally finished the middle 9 blocks and done a stitch nearly in the ditch on the 2 one inch borders outside that. Started on the smaller blocks, done two so far. Getting there......

Which leads me to New Year's Resolutions for 2009! I want to finish some projects started in 2008. Grace's Log Cabin quilt is still sitting up folded ready to quilt from back in March. I have some lovely rainbow verigated cotton to use, don't know to meander stipple it, or stitch in the ditch around each log cabin strip. That actually scares me, to be honest, all that turning.... stippling may be the safe option although it is a huge 127 cms by 209 cms. Hopefully by her birthday in April I'll be done.....

And I really need to finish this. 50 x 9 inch blocks of this Jan Mullen crazy daisiez. For our bed. 2009, year of finishing big projects, bring it on!