Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Lorax is finished

I finished the Lorax quilt, machine bound it, tended to the stray thread ends and washed and dried it. I have just handed it over to middle DS' teacher for their fundraising for the ski trip, but not before taking a couple of pictures:
From the front...
...and the back
It is a lovely autumn day today, but while DH has been pottering around outside before he went off to work, I just stayed inside and nursed my cold (sniff sniff). I am still working on my first of ten class sets of school reports (sigh), I hope that once I have ironed out the teething problems with the layout, the other sets will go much faster... Well, I better get back to it so have time to play on the weekend!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Handprinted Fabric Swap

Blogosphere is a horrible wonderful place, I get sidetracked left right and centre! Leslie is hosting a Handprinted Fabric Swap, and I just couldn't resit to sign up!!! Not that I know what I let myself in for, my first ever swap, the ATC Swap, is still running and I haven't even started yet!!!! Well, DH has just agreed to do kids' swimming on Saturday so I will have space to make an awfulsome mess on Saturday morning!

It's probably the Gluehwein making me all enthusiastic but I just hope it's a cure for my awful cold that's keeping me from going to work again tomorrow. Well, if I get my reports written tomorrow, I'll have the weekend off to play....

I've finished  the Lorax quilt and will post a photograph tomorrow after I have washed it to minimise the germ spread before I drop it off at school (this will hopefully also get the cat hair off, our white cat Crystal is just testing it out as we speak :-))

Happy sewing!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Rona's post has inspired me to link up to Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival :-)

The quilt I am most proud of lately is my Quadruple Disappearing Nine Patch:
I had started out as a play with a Double Disappearing Nine Patch as seen on A Few Scraps, and challenged by my oldest DS I developed it into a Triple and then a Quadruple D9.
In addition I learnt how to quilt Diane Gaudinsky's Echo Feathers and experimented with the scale of background stippling as see on the Free Motion Quilting Project.

For the first time I quilted a Super King Size Quilt as QAYG - this made dealing with such a beast WAY easier! The method I used came from Mari at The Quilting Edge!

Not only did I end up with a quilt I truly love, to me it also symbolises all the teaching and learning out there in the blogosphere! I truly believe that in our modern, connected world, learning can happen anywhere, anytime and by anyone.

Now I'm off to check out all those awesome quilts at the festival...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Reverse Sewing

That expression still makes me smile but not the actually doing of it! Today I did miles and miles of reverse sewing, taking out as many stitches as you can do with one bobbin of cotton thread...
Yesterday I bought a bright green polar fleece to back The Lorax Quilt with, and in a strike of genius (or so I thought) I put it on my John Flynn Quilting Frame - thought I would cut out the basting that way (always one for the quick fix...). I set up my new smaller portable sewing table DH had made me for the retreat and happily stippled pretty much all over the quilt. I had quickly checked the look from the back, seemed fine, but when I had to take the quilt out of the machine to change the bobbin, I realised there were more tension problems than I could stand, so my 30 min happy stippling took 90 min of unhappy ripping... Well, it could have been worse I suppose...

Hmm, doesn't look too bad on the photo, wasn't like that in reality unfortunately...

I have now spray basted it (see, still looking for a quick fix!) and I will just fmq it without quilting frame :-) Hopefully with a satisfactory result this time!

Last week I sew a neat pattern in the Kiwiquilts Newsletter for the Caddy Pad (Iron Tote and Ironing Pad in one) from the Sister's Common Thread. It arrived in the mail, and yesterday I put it together:

I am not sure how often I would be taking my iron anywhere to be honest, but I think I might use it as ironing pad close to my sewing machine (once I have moved all the stuff that's there already...). However, I think with a few alterations it would make a neat handbag, so watch this space...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Busy busy

Despite my rather frustrated post from two weeks ago I have been busy busy - at work (that anyway...), at home (loads of washing done and with help of middle DS and some bribery = a new Lego Minifigure washed half of the windows from the outside), and sewing :-)
Last weekend was our Club's Retreat, and I got heaps done:
  • Finished my place mats for family overseas 
Excuse the bad quality, but I didn't want to wait until morning to take a pic :-)

I had screen printed them in summer, batting is polyester, backing green with little leaves. Using my walking foot (that needs oiling squeak squeak!) I just stitched parallel and perpendicular lines. I tried to get some kind of Ikea look but the Calico I used is rather coarse, hence some of the lines look a bit wobbly (moving by a thread width is quite a deal here). I hope the recipients will like and use them :-)
Evidence of window washing bribery at top left!
  • Made a reusable shopping tote that folds into a little pouch (above)
  • Pieced the backing and crosshatch quilted my second of four pastel tessellation pieces that will one day go on my bed
  • Made a reverse applique heart for our Guild's heart quilt (didn't take a picture)
  • Using the Stratavarious Leftovers I made a new cushion cover and played with some ideas for the pile of pre-cut strips I found in that box:

[Blogger is really mucking me around with photos today - grrrrr I hate it when they turn up at a completely different place and then you can't move them! And in the load pics window your already uploaded pics are invisible, and above placement is called centre?!?!?!]
Since coming home I have been sewing up some of my classes wallhangings - they turned out quite nice after all:

This week I received the name of my secret ATC Swap partner - I better get cracking with that soon!

But this weekend I couldn't resist piecing my The Lorax top! I yet have to buy some nice polar fleece for the back, and once finished I will give it to my younger boys' school for fundraising. It was a fat quarter pack from Craftsy, at approx NZ$50 for 9 fqs and the panel incl. shipping it was a great bargain and my boys like it (we'll have to get some raffle tickets to win it ;-))
The panel blocks were rectangular, some 1 1/2" strips of Truffler trunks and a bit of chopping top and bottom brought them to 10" square. After consulting with Suz I alternated them with pieced blocks. Add a narrow border and a pieced border with fuzzy cut corner stones - voila, top that just needs quilting and binding!
Have you noted my pastel strips have disappeared from the design wall? Finally in place as back of the pastel tessellation :-)

Mickey thought behind my sewing machine was the best place for a nap - while I was sewing!!!

Well, dinner will soon be ready so I better go! Happy Mother's Day to you all!