Tuesday, 8 October 2013

That will teach me! (maybe...)

Late last night I wrote a post and it vanished without trace!!! That should teach me about late night blogging, shouldn't it? See, the tv programme is rubbish at the moment and DH goes off to night shifts at just after 9pm - what's a gal to do?
Well, I'll try to remember what it was I had been talking to you about. Firstly what do you say to this?
 My organised random layout of the starburst blocks - I can see there are too many yellowy greens centre left so I will change this :) (I'm just a bit particular, I know!) As laid out I will set them with about 4 1/2 - 5" wide sashing which will give me plenty of negative space. Another grey border around it all, brocken up with a pieced strip of the prints and voila another quilt top. I will need a) more Kona Solid Steel (I guess), b) batting and c) backing! If I can find another solid that goes well with the prints, I might piece the backing with a vertical row of blocks off centre.
The pattern came from Lee Heinrich from freshly pieced:
At that time it was a free download, but I believe she has since turned it into a full pattern paid version. It is a very forgiving block, just the centre seams to match. Lee uses paper piecing, I just made myself some templates: 
 They look a bit worse for wear now lol. This is one pattern I would do again, possibly even with paper piecing for accuracy, look at the secondary pattern you can get: 
 Maybe have a star burst all in the same print, change size etc. etc. I can see plenty of options.

I also managed to get something arty started. For a long time I have had this image in my mind of the small mountain Gugel. My parents' house is at the edge of the residential area on the Gugel, so I have plenty of times walked, biked or driven up and down that hill. I haven't been able to find a suitable picture online, but here is an image of the chapel on the slope of the hill: 
 Google Earth is not much more helpful, really:
Well, as long as it exists in my head! Here I have started out putting a background together, trying to show rolling hills, with the road in the middle:
 It's still a bit dark at the moment. Once that is done, I will have to add a lot more detail, the freshly ploughed fields, trees in blossom the chapel sits to the left of the road, partly covered by trees... I'm thinking of applique, maybe some silk chiffon overlaid, definitely thread painting...

Since our trip to Germany I have been struck by similarities between Frankonian traditions and Maori tikanga: The reference to awa, the river, in Frankonia the river Main which has been a major transport route, and maunga, the mountain, in Frankonia probably the best known mountain is the Walberla. Family and relationships have played a big part in Frankonian life as they do in Maoridom, when you used to meet someone, you were often asked about who you belonged to (you were expected to say who your father or your grandfather is), which house you came out of (houses can have their own names, and occupant families of these have varied over the centuries), and what your nickname was (which often was inherited from your father and / or your grandfather. My family has only been in that town for 37 years, relative newcomers still, and in their residential area houses did not get given a house name, and while my late dad was well known, I don't think he got a nickname either - though still today some people will say "she is Dieter's daughter".
So following on from this I think my Germany inspired piece(s - if i ever get that far!) will go by the theme of 'Whakapapa', translated as geneology or ancestral ties. It goes with one of my personal and professional themes this year of "who am I" and "what makes us who we are". I have blooged a bit about this at thebelbird.wordpress.com if you are interested.

Well, tomorrow I'm off to Hamilton for ULearn13, New Zealand's largest e-learning conference. Lots of great workshops to attend, catch up with friends, colleagues, tweachers (teachers on twitter) and on Friday it's time for my workshop of Connecting with your learners - wish me luck!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Me again...

 Tokyo Subway Map Quilts, blocks 13&14 (September) completed:
Suz and I decided we will stick with the colours we have already cut and tackle blocks 19 & 23 for October, that leaves 24 and 25 before we have to cut dark green, our last colour. It's great to see how we are making progress, just 8 more blocks!!!
I've been thinking about using black batting to avoid the white coming through my background fabric. Has anyone tried this before, pros, cons? Can I even get black batting in NZ, and at a reasonable price?? US postage cost is making ordering batting from the States quite costly now.

This little bag for my new Chromebook has been in use for a couple of weeks, but yesterday I finally added the binding:

 A leftover piece from the lapquilt I had made for oldest DS' school auction, backed with a leftover piece of good quality polar fleece, fmq feathers all over it. A little bit of crafty creativity in my day job :)

While I am still looking for inspiration for a new piece (which needs to give instant gratification I have now decided), I have picked up my 'Fireworks' quilt again:

Following Ms. Lottie's navel gazing today over at The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady I am wondering where my creativity is heading... My head is full of art quilting ideas, but finding time for it... Today I managed to oil the wooden outdoor furniture, pull out loads of (wo)manhigh weeds from the vegie garden, set up the badminton and tennins sets and get the younger boys into playing frisbee for 1/2h. There's 4 loads of washing waiting to be folded, the floors are crying out for vacuuming and washing, I will have to go hunt for the duster that's how long I haven't used it and as for the windows - do you reckon they are ok while light still comes in?! I have been trying to talk DH into getting a cleaner again, but then so far I am jobless after 31 Dec (plenty of time to clean then, aye?). Well, back to work tomorrow, so I better get some of the firework blocks pieced tonight!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

I lost my mind...

...somewhere, and picked up an AWFUL cold instead! It's no fun, especially now that the weather has fined up! So while I would love to show you some fancy no project, it's just some more mindless piecing:
See what I meant about the seam allowances in my last post? To the left block 13 completely pieced, to the right block 14 with the first lot of string piecing done. Of course I know how much the 1/4" sesm allowance is, but every now and then it still surprises me! I'll try to get block 14 done tomorrow, and then I better find out from Suz what's on for October :)

I promised you some pics of my German fabric purchases; remember that I had a hard time finding material and I never found any 'German' themed ones at all? These came from Ikea, not necessarily patchwork fabrics but they will work:
Just 3m of cream and 1m of cream with black handwriting. At Ikea you had to cut your own fabric. this was then weighed by the attendant and the machine spat out that little sticky. The prices were incredibly cheap (1€ approx. NZ$1.60, and with my SiL's family card they took another € off per metre!). I had two more pieces but they have come to live with Suz and with our housesitter Donna.

I also bought some curtain material to replace the cute but outdated Dino blinds in the boys' bedrooms :) One (two!) of the when I get (a) 'round to it' projects!

I really liked these fabrics though they are nothing like my 'normal' colour palette. However, I have since realised that they are polycottons, so I am not quite sure yet what I will do with them.
I also got something very special, my MiL gave me some Damask for duvet covers from her hope chest. I need to make a start on these :)
Last but not least Suz gave me this for my bday last month: 
All about music - I love it! Will have to save it for something special!

In between coughing and sniffing I haven't achieved much today, I tied up some of the piles in my sewing room and mended a few shorts etc. but nothing that would be obvious to anyone but me. I think I need to start some little creative project - middle DS' Great Barrier Reef quilt? A Germany inspired piece? Make a start on the next AQC Challenge (I better check dates)? I have a nice pile of pinks, but inspiration hasn't struck yet.
Then there are these grey/black/white/reds (not 100% sure about the ones on the left). Hmmm...
Lastly a saddish photo: My Mended Heart didn't sell so was returned to me (that's not the sad part yet!). This is what it now looks like: 
Can you see the hole in the right half of the heart? It must have happened in the mail, as the envelope has the same hole through and through:
I still haven't done anything about it, I don't think there is anything that can be done. However, I will email the organiser to please return quilts in bubble wrap envelopes in the future to better protect them.
I hope you have a productive weekend! Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Seam Allowance Shrinkage

It's amazing sometimes how much material you can loose in the seams. Compare this picture of blocks 13&14 (set out) to the picture of blocks 21&22 (pieced) from yesterday:

Slowly but surely the blocks are accumulating....
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Another Month Bites the Dust

Well, I've caught up a bit on my Tokyo Subway Map Quilt, blocks 21 and 22 (for August) are finished!

On to September next - Suz gave me a bag of pinks last month, I better check on her blog what the September blocks were :) Somehow this quilt has been whispering to me "quilt every colour in a different fmq pattern"...
If my cold lets off tomorrow, I might get around to posting pics of the fabrics I bought in Germany back in July.
Happy Sewing!