Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy is hosting the Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival and lots of the blogs I read have entered - so I thought I will try, too :-)
This is one of my favourites I have completed over the last few months - the portarait of my middle DS who recently turned 10!
I vaguely followed a technique I saw in Quiltings Arts several years ago - turning a photograph into greyscale on the computer and then layering different shades of one colour, fusing them as you go. The fabric is silk chiffon I have hand painted. I used mystifuse to fuse the layers together, raw edge appliqued around the the different pieces and free-motion stitched clouds in the background. This is the third of three similar portraits I made, one for each of my sons, and it represents his character as he is a very cuddly, gentle child who likes to daydream :-) - and orange is his favourite colour! Size is 14"x11". I am entering it under Wall Hanging and Art Quilt.Here you can see my original post.

Apart from this, I have been busy on a secret project, it involves a pattern "There's a Square in There" by Kate Conklin and these fabrics:
Suz and I will come to the big smoke aka Auckland on Friday so I hope I will pick up more of a cream I have just not quite enough and fabrics for the back which is also pieced. I have been thinking about the quilting Kate recommends, tossing it up with Judi's Feather Swirls what do you think?

I had so many lovely comments to my last post and not gotten around to replying yet - apologies, I will do that very very soon - I really appreciate you visiting and commenting!

Happy sewing!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Two finishes and some learning

I take a lot of my photos with my cellphone which has reasonable quality (it's the lack of skill of the photographer that's the issue!). Tonight I couldn't find my cable to connect it to the laptop to download the pics for the blog so I learnt to 'bluetooth' them from the phone to the laptop - very cool :-)

Lovely Suz gave my recent birthday boy some lovely material so last Saturday I made him a new and bigger backpack:
quilting inspired by the Craftsy Class with Angela Walter

from the front, with two pockets

The luxury version - with divider and pockets inside

and from the back!
DS is VERY happy!!!!! DH was equally happy when after about 6 hours the backpack was finished lol

My blog followers or those of you that visit every now and then might know that I am also on the "Sew It's Finished" blog - a lovely group of quilters trying to get through their pre-2012 UFOs. I am very proud through how much I have gotten, it's a great feeling to get these 'cold cases' resolved! The biggest incentive for me is the BOM Wendy and Dawn, who run the blog, design and then send out to everyone who has finished at least one piece in that month. I have managed to complete 16 pieces to the end of September, some small ones but also two very big quilts, and after I received my latest BOMs, I just had to get sth. else finished - which is getting quite hard now, because I have finished more than I thought I would ever achieve!
Size is approx 12"x18"

some of the details

King Tut thread on the flames was a nightmare, kept on breaking - I will stick to Aurifil for future purchases, but at the moment I am using up what I have

and details again :-)
What else is going on? Today I received a lovely parcel wrapped up by Raewyn from The Country Yard with some gorgeous cream and lots of fqs for a secret project. They had done a marvellous job trying to match them to an online picture of my feature fabric. These additions to my secret project have allowed me to match some more my existing stash with it, so I can make a start on it....

This weekend is a long weekend for us here in New Zealand, Monday is Labour Day, and while the boys' swimming starts up again tomorrow at the inconveniently late time of 11 and 11:30 respectively, at least I get to sleep in :-) DH works Saturday and Sunday but we'll all be able to have time together on Monday. What are you up to this weekend? I should be cleaning, weeding and putting potatoes in the garden, but I can hear my sewing room calling already...

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Surely my head is going to explode!!!

It's been a busy old time around here, my first school holidays in a long time I have to work through (deserves me right for leaving my teaching job you might say!). Juggling the boys between DH's shifts and my working half-days plus Oma babysitting them for a day while trying to keeping the oldest boy's BSL (blood sugar level) under control - they always go crazy when he is not at school. Add in a 4 day trip to Hamilton (only 380 odd km one way - on NZ roads this takes me 5h) and yesterday my middle DS turned 10:
The Birthday Boy

Henry the Hedgehog (icecream cake for breakfast...)

His slightly crazy 12y old brother (well, what can you expect with this mother lol)

His still 7y old younger brother with birthdayboy's cat Tigger
10y old boys can be so complicated!!! You wouldn't believe the dramas we went through in organising his 'party': In our house you get a birthday party with games and things up to age 9, and you are allowed to invite as many children as your age, e.g. @ age 7 you invite 7 friends, @ age 8 you invite 8 friends - you get the drift. From age 10 you get to invite a few (no. is negotiable) and get to do sth. special, e.g. go to the movies and McD which is bday boy's chice for this time. He wants to see Diary of a Whimpy Kid Dog Days which only runs at Whangarei at the moment (about 90km south). Ok, we can do this. Then his best friend rings up, he will have a movie night / sleepover as an early celebration for his 11th birthday, on the same Friday afternoon. Now bday boy sees no other solution than having these two events clash and therefore neither of them taking place (more or less). He has eventually accepted my solution of going to the movies int he morning (with best friend) but while he wants to give said friend the present, he can't see himself going to the movie/sleep over (yet). Mother is slightly exhausted - and there I always thought boys were easy?!?!

Sewing therefore has been a bit neglected (and DH has pointed out repeatedly that the veggie garden needed work) but I have had another play around with those Quiltlet Cards:
I didn't like the look of that zigzag around the edges, so I took it out again

Looks better with binding, but would look even better with tighter binding!

With card attached - the card was very light, will have to find sth. better for this
I used Leah's FMQ from last week for this quiltlet, I think this is a good way to get the practice in and try out different designs with a purpose. I followed Helen's advice about using fusible and lighter weight card (except my card was very light). There is a lot of potential, but I will keep on working on this!

Last but not least: My QD9 To the Power of Four has been accepted into The Big Quilt Show at Northart Gallery in Auckland!!! Surely my head is going to grow so big that it will explode (if it hasn't yet from all the other stuff that's going on lol)!!! And even better, Suz's half log cabin at the Beach has been accepted also, so I see a trip to Auckland coming up early November to conincide with Auckland Festival of Quilts (formerly calico Christmas). Hopefully Rona from Layer upon Layer won't be (wo)manning the eftpos machine all day long so we can have a catch up!

I have a lot of ideas what I want to start next, but I  leave you with some pics of what I have back up on my design wall, would love to have this finished as a Christmas present for a teacher colleague:

Disappearing four patches (D4P) - just another 80 or so to go...
Happy Sewing!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Checking in

from Hamilton where the two younger boys and I have had a lovely few days wih friends. We will be heading back early this afternoon, it's a good 5h drive but most importantly I want to miss Auckland rush hour traffic (not very nice...).
I have been drooling over some of the blog posts of the last few days, especially the fish wall hanging Rhianon, the nifty stitcher, has just finished quilting - head on over and have a look, it's on my blog roll. Helen has given me some great advice on how to make my quiltlet cards more successful - I can't wait to give that another shot (never mind that I need to go to work tomorrow...) In the meantime though I leave you with pics of the fabric balls Carla and I have been making. Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Quiltlet Greeting Cards

I visited Catherine Parkinson's blog the other day, she is a very clever and creative person! On this post she talks about making quiltlets from leftovers. As I had just finished Pastellation this was an ideal chance to use up scraps and spend some more time with my long suffering DH who is sick of my hiding behind my sewing machine for hours on end while still doing some sewing :-)

For a trial I made three simple quiltlets and mounted these on cardstock tonight. It was a fair bit of trial and error, but there is potential - what do you think?

Points to consider: Size; binding - on the quiltlet only (jandals) or around the quilt and the card (feather), how to mount to the card (in all cases I stitched them on the card at some point.