Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cubes...

Are slowly multiplying after I decided to hand appliqué the circles. The most recent six (with solid dark diamond) were done on the plane and I'm not 100% happy with the curve of the circles but I'm not redoing them! This is what the project looks like to date - 18 blocks down, about another 24 to go:
Please excuse the quality, it's hard to photograph when you are short and the room is really small! Here they are laid out on Mstr(almost)15's double bed, I think 42 blocks would make a nice double size quilt. As you can see I have included some solids into the Malka Dubrowsky collection as several of you had suggested. I tried to find a selection of neutral fabrics for the circles but it remains very busy, so I'm thinking I'll put a similar weight cream around it as a border once all the blocks are joined rather than following the pattern with half blocks etc.
The rest of my sewing has been sorely neglected, work has been very busy with a week in Darwin, a trip to Sydney and 5 more nights away over the next fortnight. I even skipped the last sew-in as I had just gotten home but I plan to go to the next one.
Suz and I have settled on our feature fabric and will sort out details of our trans-Tasman block swap soon.

Hope life is treating you well! Happy Sewing!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Stitching the weekend away....

It's been a few weeks between posts, but I have kept myself busy:
  • Giant Chevron: After I quilted all the inner, I started with the coloured parts of the quilt, adding very organic matchstick quilting to the black and the red - maybe chopstick quilting would be a better term for it as my lines are 1/8 - 3/8'' apart? (I will have to take a photograph to add here). For the blue and the yellow parts I've been thinking about Judi Madsen inspired quilting, parallel lines to fill in with different designs. I attempted to fmq my straight lines and fill the spaces in as I went along, but I was not happy with the result, so for the second blue side I used the walking foot and then went back to fill the spaces after - much happier with this look! While it is time consuming, at this stage in my quilting journey I might just stick to this method otherwise the result will forever annoy me.
  • I have also worked on my Metro Rings (aka Double Wedding Ring made easier), I forgot to count how many blocks I was up to last night but I managed to cover most of the top of my California King Size bed and I have run out of the white homespun - but realistically I think I'm about half way. I am a little worried about the weight (or lack thereof) for that homespun, but I hope if I put a decent weight batting under it and a good quality backing, it will work. Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations recently posted how she is making a Double Wedding Ring Quilt for her upcoming wedding, so I think I will set myself a goal of having this quilt done and dusted by our 20th wedding anniversary in December :)
    I need to get smarter about taking photographs; our house is rather dark, and with the sun going down so early in QLD I forever show you these poorly lit photographs - sorry!
    Suzanne, nothing has changed, I have already worked out that if I do enough blocks (possibly intersperse these pieced block with the odd 'blank' one), I just need to add borders on three sides to make it fit my bed ;) While I see the rings in this pattern, all three of my sons told me they saw flowers - love a quilt with secondary patterns :)
  • Then on Saturday, I went to the Opal essence class by Lorena Uriarte. She was a very cool person to work with, full of helpful tips and advice. While together we discovered an issue with the templates, Lorena did her very best to remedy this straight away. This is a selection of the blocks we completed in class:
    Obviously we were all taking pictures at the same time lol. Can you spot my block? One quilter from the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild used different measurements that's why her block on the left is a bit bigger than the others.
    Lorena covered lots in her class - about colour values (everyone went off to get the red plastic thingies or used the greyscale function on their phones), about rules and breaking the rules, y seams, about applique by hand and piecing circles. I had been really worried about fabric choices, ended up buying some black, white and red charms for the circles but didn't use them lol. The Malka Dubrowsky fabrics seem to work fine for the tumbling blocks (though being fqs I need to be a bit careful about how I cut them as I get a fair bit of wastage), and while I started out with the Seville City map fqs for the circles, I have since added a collection of fabrics to that.
    My rug in the lounge doubling as a design wall - sort of...

    The colour value part of the workshop has been very interesting.
    Originally I had started out wanting to machine piece the circles - it worked ok for the large circle (I think that was bottom right), but I had a lot more trouble with the medium one and did not even attempt the small circle. After talking with some of the other ladies I have decided that this might be a good travel project so I should hand applique the circles. Last night I did two more and I think I could get used to this! Unlike my usual MO I have not sussed out yet what finished size this quilt will have and where it will go; I have been thinking with the geometric shapes this could be something for Mstr (almost) 15's double bed and while he was showing no particular interest, he wasn't totally against it either, so we'll see what happens...
So there are three projects on the go which is great, and while I find it annoying not to have my own sewing space, having all my stuff in the lounge has made me organise it better and tidy up after use, and I feel I'm a bit more part of what is going on than when I hide in my sewing room. In the long run, though, I would like my own space again.

A couple of Sundays ago I finally made it to the Sew Day of the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild. They are a lovely bunch of people, all women when I visited ranging from early thirties to retirement age I would guess. They were very welcoming, people were working on all sorts of projects, modern and not so modern. I loved the company, I have signed up and will go back next month (if my family lets me lol). This little footstool especially appealed to me:
This quilter made this Minecraft cake footstool as a birthday present for her daughter - very cool!
Our life has been very busy lately, DH started work 2 weeks ago, so that means I get the boys ready in the mornings now. Mst15 has gotten extra chores like walking home from school without ditching his younger brothers, looking after them until the parents get home while avoiding physical violence lol Soon he will have to add 'getting all 3 ready and to school in time' to that list as I am traveling a lot over the next few weeks. In return he gets small monetary rewards towards the new computer he wants to build himself (don't ask...). He's been to the big Career Expo last week and has an idea what he wants to do when he is finished with school at the end of 2017 (guess what... it will involve computers...). As we are just in the process of inquiring about braces for all three boys, we better start playing lotto to afford all of this... We are also starting to think about the next place to move to, our lease will expire in September, so we are starting to check out the rentals to see what is becoming available. However, we are really enjoying the opportunities we have around us here - here are some photos of the boys rock climbing at the high school last month:
Mstr10
Mstr12

I will be talking Minecraft over the next couple of days at EduTECH - hope you get some sewing done while I do that! Happy Sewing!