Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Giveaway

Not that kind of giveaway, sorry!

I've been trying to clean up this messy blog and I found this lovely quilt I haven't showed you yet!

Whilst finishing this quilt, we became aware that a family friend's daughter was very, very ill with Scarlet Fever.  She was the same age as my eldest daughter and it was terrifying, waiting to hear if she would be okay (and she very nearly wasn't!)  

You know when your mind is all over the place, sometimes it's best to just sew?  That's what happened with this quilt.   And giving it to this little girl was the obvious choice.


She's fine now.  A few scary weeks in hospital and she was back home.  But it reminded me once again how quickly it can all turn upside down.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, 26 August 2016

An old UFO on a cold day

I finally had a window of time to sew today, and it was lovely.  I had spent my morning at the school for their Book Week parade.  My youngest daughter was determined for a full twelve months to go as 'Joy' from the movie Inside Out, and against all my better judgement I decided to buy her costume this year (it was nearly impossible to make a blue wig - for those who don't know who Joy is, this is a picture of her):


Anyway, long story short - at the last minute, despite me spending big dollars on a costume, she changed her mind and went as a Hockeyroo (the Australian National Hockey Team).  $3 teeshirt from BigW and a hockey stick and she was done.

Neither of my girls won a prize - some kids had done a wonderful job and obviously have much more inventive parents than me.

So after that, and because I'd done all my housework earlier in the week, I was able to sew guilt free.

When I learned the fantastic new technique last weekend of turned edge applique, I knew there were lots of UFO's I'd started that would really benefit from it.  So I dug one out and here it is:



Ages ago I was infatuated with the Tentmakers Of Cairo and their amazing designs, and I had drawn up and started a small square in that vein.  In true typical Suzie style, it got too hard and I put it away.  I couldn't turn the shapes as neatly as I wanted to.  Knowing this new technique, I dug out the project and had a jolly good go at it today and I'm pleased to say it's now basted (glued) in place ready to be stitched.





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I'm not nearly the world's best machine appliquer, but I'm going to have a go on this project the way we were taught at the class, and hopefully practice will make perfect.

And so with fingers crossed and breath held, I may have a little time this weekend to have a stitch.  We shall see!

Hope you all have a quilty weekend!  Stay tuned to see if I get this finished!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

How I Spent My Weekend

We are lucky to have a pretty vibrant quilting group, and one of our ‘charters’ for want of a better word is to try and get top level tutors to come and teach us.  Our guild is really proactive in supplying grants to cover these tutors and it turns what would be an expensive exercise into something very achievable.

The biggest killer is paying someone’s travel costs.  We live in country SA, and Australia is a pretty big space.  So having someone travel from Sydney or Melbourne or the like can be cost prohibitive.

But sometimes we are lucky enough to have a very good tutor living in our own back yard, and that is the case with Rachel Denneny.  She’s an award winning quilter, and if you haven’t heard her name before, I’m sure you’ve seen her Houston winning quilt Royal Amethyst

Royal Amehyst

and it was Rachel who came to visit us this weekend.

We were making a design called Water Lilies, which is based on her Reflections class.  In a nutshell, we were taught the technique to make a quilt that had a main design reflected in the lower part.  This is Rachel’s quilt sample:

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which is turned edge appliqued onto the top and bottom which some extra twists in the bottom part to make it look all reflecty.  And I won’t share that technique with you because that would be wrong.  But it was clever.

And here are mine:

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And that’s as far as I got.  I didn’t end up using my background fabrics because I really didn’t like them in the end, so I have to have a shopping expedition to find more.  What a shame.

The big angels singing, beam of light shining on me moment that I spoke about last entry was the way Rachel does her turned edge applique.  She uses a wooden tool, and Stitch A Fuse, and again I won’t share it with you because it’s her technique, not mine – but I think it has changed my quilting world.  So many of my projects look terrible with the way I do my needleturn applique, because I can’t do it nicely.  My petals this workshop looked so amazing, I nearly cried.  I tell you, it’s a life changing quilting moment for me that occurred this weekend.

Rachel’s technique is one that seems to be out there in a similar vein everywhere on the net and it involves using a glue stick, stitch and fuse and a small turning tool – do a search and I’m sure you’ll find something similar.  It’s so amazing, I was thrilled to bits.

So that’s my incredibly long update.  I’ll leave you with some of Rachel’s amazing quilts – all the quilting is done on her domestic machine.  Fantastic.

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Monday, 15 August 2016

A Quilting Intermission

I do love quilting, but as I get a little older, the kids need me more sometimes and life gets busier (blah, blah, blah ... you all know the drill) I find I have really fallen into the crocheting thing big time.

I'm not sure why I love it so much.  It's a real pain that I am loving it now, eight years after we closed our wool shop.  That's not really sensible, is it?

I think it's because I am able to pick it up and put it down easily - I don't have to have my bits spread out all over like quilting, and I don't really need to concentrate when I'm doing it.  All good when my brain might be fried at the end of the day.

I still am very much quilting, but not so much after dinner like I used to in the olden days.  This is my sit in front of the television project.



And this one is a row by row of every colour I have in my wool basket.  It's a monster and I'm really enjoying doing it, and it's so soft and warm to snuggle under.  I don't know how to do the arty farty crochet photos yet, so apologies for that!

On quilty news, I have just been on a two day class with a tutor who taught me how to applique in a way that I have never been shown before, and I think my quilting world has been changed forever!  But more on that tomorrow.



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Moving on down the UFO list

I mentioned a few days ago that I have been ticking off slowly (oh, ever so slowly) the UFO's on the Started list.  (I also have a kits purchased but not started list, but that's a whole other story).

This is one I made so long ago, it was as part of a Gloria Loughman class.  I kid you not when I say I put that sucker in a bag to go home that day, and it hasn't seen daylight since them till yesterday morning when I pressed it and took a very washed out photo.

I lost the flow - I am not an arty quilter and I'm scared silly of the next step.  But scary quilts still need to be worked on and so I am committing myself to finish this jolly thing sometime soon.  Hopefully.  Fingers crossed.  

We'll see.

I'm really pleased with how it looks for this step but the next step is the arty farty one and THAT is the super scary one.




I took these photos late last night with the Iphone.  I won't be doing that again.  I can do okay photos in good light with the Iphone, and I can take okay photos in dark light with a camera, but bad light and Iphone camera?  Not good At All.

I had a lovely extended sewing day at our quilting group today and managed to put a good dent in my Pioneer Braid quilt.  With luck I might photo it tomorrow and post.  Two posts in a week?  Such excitements!

Have a lovely day.

Suzie

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lucy Boston Block Three

Hi Lovely Readers

I’ve been plodding away at my Lucy Boston quilt and I have another block to show you!

Lucy Boston Block Three

The other two are quite pink/blue so I knew I had to totally change it up, so this is my Christmas block!

Did you have a great weekend?  Mine was wet and rainy and fabulous! 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Some quick show and tell

I do love getting emails from people out there who take the time to read my blog.  One email I received overnight was from Carol (hi Carol!) asking if I’d ever done a Double Wedding Ring from Aunt Grace fabrics.

Of course I have.  I have 3039049658 flimsies in the cupboard, why wouldn’t there be a double wedding ring?  And you know me and thirties prints!

I realised when I was thinking about this quilt that I had no photos of all of it.  It’s probably THE quilt I’m most proud of, the one that I would rescue if the house was on fire, and yet there would be no photographic proof of it if something did happen.

So I’ve fixed that problem.

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IMG_8295Bear in mind it’s been folded in a cupboard for years and years, and I didn’t press it yet.  But I think it comes up fairly well.  It needs a really good press, I think.  But I don’t have time for that today.

I always surprise myself when I dig out the old quilts.  I did a really good job on this one.  And then I start thinking about the quilts I make now, and I don’t think I am getting better.  You’re supposed to get better as you get older, but I feel my skills are worse now than they have ever been.  I’m trying to sort that out in my head – trying to work out what it is that is making me be a crappier quilter technically now than I was before.  I think it’s the same old thing I’ve mentioned before – I start too many things and I rush them when I do it.  I need to slow down and enjoy the moment, the process rather than race through them when I have a minute here or there spare to sew.

Something I need to work at,  I think.

Anyway.  I’ll take a better photo later on, but for now, at least there’s proof I made the thing!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Finishing the flimsies

Hi lovely readers.

I’ve been sorting through the photo files on my laptop and found a flimsy that I hadn’t showed you.

You know how one thing leads to another?  I had a clean out of my UFO’s, trying to sort the ‘already started’ from the ‘Kits ready to go but not yet begun’.  I figure if I get all the ‘already started’ things finished, I could always sell the ‘Kits ready to go but not yet begun’ on Ebay or something if the need arose. 

By the way, have you seen this meme?

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So….back to the story.

While I was sorting my UFO’s into two piles, I came across a stack of two inch squares.  Some had been pieced into pairs – perhaps I was doing leaders and enders?  I don’t know, I can’t recall.  So right there and then, I stitched those suckers into groups of five, and before I knew it, I had another flimsy!

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I would have thrown those bits out, but instead I have now got another flimsy.  And I don’t mind it at all.  It’ll be on the pile of ‘quilts to be donated’ or something, but I that’s okay.  It might brighten someone’s day.

How’s your day been?  Bright and scrappy? 

Talk soon!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bright Shiny Stars–A Flimsy!

Hello lovely readers.

I had the glorious luxury on Tuesday of spending the whole day at our quilting group, and I managed to put a great big full stop at the end of this quilt:

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I came home and yesterday, while the kids were playing minecraft all day happily playing outside in the fresh air all day, I managed to finish it!

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Oh my points don’t line up too well there.

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Do you want to see a big picture?

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Not big enough?  Have I teased you enough?

Here you go.

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I’m very pleased with it, and the little person who will end up with the quilt is also very pleased with it.  You can’t ask for more than that.

Now I have to wait for my long arm quilter to return from her jaunting around the planet so she can stitch it for me.

The weather is marginally (bee’s whisker) warmer today, and the children are at their grandparent’s house, and the housework is done enough (it’s never totally done) so I will slip away back into my sewing room and push on with it.

I hope your day is going well!