Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just a wee bit more

It has been good to get just a little bit more done on most of my projects.

I recently read the following lines in a M/M romance novel, and they really hit my "oh yeah" censors...
"We all must make peace with the intersection of our dreams and reality."  From Tight Knit by Annabeth Albert (about a knitting designer and a barista...)

Anyway, I did mention a bit of progress...

 We have a new Starburst Cross block:

This is a hand dye, or a made to look like a hand dye, in a terrific chartreuse shade.  Do not have any idea where it came from, perhaps someone gave it to me???  But it is exactly the perfect match for this printed fabric.

And we have another VQR block:

And Monikas.  We both liked this block because it was easy to sew, but in hindsight, awkward to piece together into a quilt.  It looks clonky joined together, but equally weird imagining sashing.  So a good option for a sampler quilt I think.

My new fabrics are slowly migrating into the sewing cave, and I finally laid out my new Bonnie & Camille fabrics with their corresponding project.  I had been a bit hesitant with these as in my mind they were a lot muddier than the existing fabrics... but I'm sure the picture shows that they will blend in with the other fabrics just fine, even though they are completely different ranges.

I have even done some more FMQ on the Constellation quilt - which hasn't been worked on since Term Two holidays!  So yeah, my dreams and reality are getting a bit closer :o)

Monday, October 17, 2016

A BLIP in the programming

Well, I didn't think it was possible to have a worse school holidays than the previous Term One and Term Two holidays earlier this year.  In fact, Term Three holidays sucked, big time.

First up I got sick.  Real sick.  Lie in bed for days on end sick.  It was really just a coughing sort of flu, high temperature, no appetite and pretty queasy.  But it just went on and on... and I discovered, that if you stopped breathing, you could stop coughing... but of course, you could only do that for so long :o)

Sick enough that staring at this quilt close up made me feel queasy.  All those dots, and speckles and swirls... Now that is real sick.

After the first week, I started to feel a bit better.  We planned a trip to visit Charlotte and her stitch and chat evening - so that hubby and kids could go night fishing while I was otherwise occupied.  I packed an easy project so that it would be mostly a social visit, with a bit of hand stitching to keep occupied.  We started the trip, and called into a nearby supermarket on the way, to buy bait... but when we tried to  re-start our vehicle, it wouldn't go.  Even jump starting it didn't work.  So we waited for over an hour for a tow truck, then made the 45min journey back home.  It was a pretty sucky night, and meant that I didn't have a car for the rest of the holidays.

Then it was back to work last week... and that was the usual week of settling in, and getting back into the rhythm of work and school life.  The first Friday of term four is traditionally Greats and Grands Day at Nadia's primary school.  This year Poppa John (my father) was invited, and he came up for the day and stayed with us over the weekend.  It was a great opportunity to catch up, and he enjoyed spending the time learning about Nadia's school progress.  With pretty much 60 years between them, there is a lot of difference between his schooling and hers.

OK, any sewing being done?  Not here, but Monika did manage to get her version of this block finished.

The different fabric placement makes quite a difference.  In fact, I really have to look and double-check the units to make sure that it is the same.

Term Four goals... I would like to get the rest of the quilting done on my Constellation quilt and maybe even get the binding on, and get a few more of the VQR blocks out of the way.  Also, make some more progress on the Starburst quilt, and get a few more Sugar Club blocks jumbo sized.  Really, just continue with progress made already this year.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Spot the difference

Day One of the Term Three Holidays...
Weather: Raining
Health: Everybody sick in some way or another.

Although progress has been a bit hit and miss... photographic evidence does help.
Spot the difference in these photos:

Just like those old Pantene adds, it might not happen overnight... but it will happen!  The jumbo-sized blocks are growing.

And spot the difference with these ones...

This is called last minute disco dressing up for an underwater theme... thank heavens for left over face paint...

We have a new quilt on the bed: Star Crossed.

This was a quilt I designed for a magazine submission, so was top secret for quite some time.  Then I had a friend who quite liked it, so I was hesitant to use it incase it was going to be sold.  When that fell through, it disappeared into the pile of finished projects.  What do I love most about this quilt?  Probably that because of the variety of backgrounds used it catches the light... sort of looking like it is permanently placed under a tree with the sun filtering through the leaves... Was this planned?  No, just a happy coincidence and unlikely to be repeated successfully.  Also, this quilt was made entirely from stash.  I am both proud and somewhat embarrassed by this.  Did this BUST the stash?... NO it would appear not :o(  Do they ever?

The quilting was simple... stipple and spirals with a hint of hand quilting around the stars.

A moment of weakness and a Moda sale meant a new package arrived in my post box.  These were the stash builders... a variety of mostly monotone prints...

Some Bonnie and Camille florals to add to the mix in the Sugar Block Club BOM triangle production line...

And a few just because...
Do I have goals for these holidays?  I've been thinking about it, and haven't quite decided whether I am ready for goals yet.  Maybe, I'll let you know.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Catch Up

What a week it has been.  Nadia and my husband went on their snow trip last week - so it was just me and Dylan (and the dog) kicking around home by ourselves.  Just another dynamic to get used to... a different split of chores and trying to make the time special for us as well.  And then there was the washing once they got back... well, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but still...

I managed to get some sewing done, and some designing... so it was good all around.

Deciding to sew the Mosaic block for our VQR block swap was an interesting choice.  I find this style of block somewhat frustrating, regardless of how you sew the units, they never really fit together nicely, and resist pressing, regardless of how you try to press them.  Resewing some key intersections (every single frigging time) meant that it turned out OK in the long run (don't look too closely at those seams), but I won't be rushing to make a whole quilt out of this block.

 Monika finished up her version of this block... I do green...

Monika does yellow...

And through a random series of link clicks... I came upon this pattern and thought Eureka!  So I have a plan for a plan, for when the other plan is finished...

A free pattern from Bonnie Hunter
 When I made this pretty block from the Sugar Club BOM, I thought it would be a great block to repeat... and add sashing and cornerstones to make a churndash style secondary pattern...

A bit of a play with EQ7 and I have the starting idea for a new little girls quilt.  Funnily enough Dylan saw it and asked if he could have it in Halloween colours, and I could just imagine it in citrine greens with grey (sort of bright but quite modern and masculine at the same time)... he wasn't at all put of by the flowerlike block centres... it is probably all that "eye of the beholder" stuff.

Excuse the photo of the pre-folded piece of paper!

I'm still sewing triangles like they are going out of fashion, although not appearing to make any progress, and cutting more Starburst Cross blocks. I cleaned the fuzz out of my preferred piecing sewing machine... boy, it has been a while since I did that!  One good thing about my Brother is that you can clean all that stuff without having to unscrew the presser plate (is that the right name??) to get inside the drop bobbin, so I give it a whizz around every time I change the bobbin.  My Bernette is a bit more fiddley, so the cleaning is stretched out until it starts to make weird noises or the stitches come out a bit weird.  Naughty, naughty.  Do you have a machine cleaning regime?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Importance of Correct Nostril Placement

A bit of background history... every two years my kids primary school have a week long trip to the snow for the year 5 and year 6 students... this involves a whole heap of fundraising throughout the whole school.  This year it is Nadia's turn for the snow trip (which starts on Monday), and hence fundraising activities have taken over our lives where we have been able to assist.

Baking seems to be a year long activity... and baking for the big inter-school cross country running event meant double the planning.  Monday afternoon was spent baking the cookies, and then Tuesday was spent decorating them.  I had done these before, so I knew that they would sell the decorated cookies for $1 each... we made about 40, so well worth the effort.

We had piggies...

And cows...

Four boxes of the danged things...

Needless to report, they all got sold!

Sewing during the week was a bit of a washout... so Saturday has been my playing around day.

I cut another Starburst Cross quilt block.  It's funny that I almost never have yellow in my stash.  So I specially bought a few yellows a while back, just in case.  This was one of those yellows and it is just perfect.

So far the 4.5" units are pieced, but not joined to each other.

And the detail of the print.  Yum.

A handful of seams and I have my second finished Sugar Club Block jumbo sized.

I love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

... working on the chain... gang!

While it has not quite been a hive of activity, the sewing cave has been productive.

My Sugar Block Club BOM project is ticking along... so far one block is complete, one block has one final side needing its triangles applied, another block needs its first triangle border added, and another block is about halfway through it's borders being applied. Then there is the pile of blocks and triangles that are still awaitng something being done to them :o)

I finished sewing block nine... not my favourite, as it has turned out a bit big.. points will be cut off to make it the right size.

The Starburst Cross quilt is quietly gaining momentum.  This block has a bit of a quieter feel.

The star fabric is part of the range, while the pale teal is a stash addition.  Yummo!  I am officially in love with this text/post fabric.

And OK, I love these fabrics too.

This floral just reminds me of a 1950's housedress... not that I've ever actually seen a housedress, 1950's or otherwise.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

And so on...

Somehow starting a new project has helped unleash the floodgates of my patchwork creativity.  It's funny, because I was hesitant to start a completely new project in case I didn't maintain any interest in it... when in fact, a new project has helped spark progress in other existing projects.  Go figure.

So new project progress... I've cut a few new sets of stars, and got a few units pieced.  In my original block I pressed the corner triangle sections towards the triangle.  This resulted in units that didn't butt together - but instead once sewn, they merged and somehow crossed over.  Perhaps seeing the units before sewing would help illustrate what I obviously can't verbalise:

Sewn together, the units intersect and if you hit that magic 1/4" sweet spot, the two pieces match perfectly.  This seemed to be working fine, and I had sewn a second block before I realised that the problem would be with joining the blocks together - where the grey triangles met, and both were pressed in the same direction.

Two options here - either press half the blocks with the triangle seams away from the triangle, or press those seams open.  Option number two was the choice of the day.

And the view from the back with the open seams... looks very streamlined.  I haven't finished this trial block yet, but from the seams sewn so far, there are 5 perfect out of 6.  One was a bit dodgy, but permissible.

Also on the agenda has been my  Amy Gibson Sugar Club block BOM.  I have been busyish sewing triangles to add to the setting/sashing, but haven't sewn any of the actual blocks in ages.  Time to remedy that - after all, with my new setting idea I only needed 9 blocks so that was two more than what I had.

I really like this block :o)  I could imagine it made with charm squares as the centres, and then something a bit modern in the corners - maybe a mix of greys, so that when you set it with sashing and corner stones, you'd end up with a churn dash design happening as a secondary pattern.  Oh yeah, I can picture it now.  Luckily I don't seem to have any suitable charm packs waiting for new adventures...

I've done something screwy and have a bit of bowing in a couple of seams.  Oops... hopefully being sewn together will help it to behave.