Next up will be the actual applique, which should go pretty quickly.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Next up will be the actual applique, which should go pretty quickly.
These are the best fish and chips in South Australia, I'm sure! OUr happiness was complete when we discovered a new coffee place had opened up on the shorefront, and the coffee was very nice. Bliss.
We walked a lot further than we normally do, and at the end of the beach found a lot of shells, and many of these bleached crab shells. They are so weird; if I was inventing a cartoon monster, I wouldn't have to look far for inspiration.
They don't look happy....
Saturday, April 12, 2014
We're about to set off for the beach, where the dogs will run wildly through the sand and seaweed, and we'll enjoy fish and chips for lunch. It's a beautiful day, and much as I would love to get some sewing done, I'll appreciate a day with family more.
I made haste to prepare the first border strip, so that when I come home I'll be able to start work on the applique straight away. I've never done an applique border, so I'm being ultra careful, and what I learn on this first strip will help the others go more smoothly. I've prepared a length of bias for the vine; Mereth taught me this method of folding a strip into thirds and tacking it together.
I drew lines 3" apart on the wrong side of the background strip, then tacked along those lines so I can see them from the right side. This may be caution overkill, but I don't want any lines visible on the front. I might do away with this on future strips, but I'm just experimenting so far.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Another hard week at work, and still more stuff to do on the weekend. I'm so glad we will have time off over Easter, what a luxury that will be. All the more important to make sure that I'm up-to-date on all my various jobs, so that I can lounge about like a lady of leisure. Or sew like a crazy quilt lady, one or the other.
There has been no time to make much progress on anything quilt related; however, odd minutes here and there are better than nothing. I've searched out a fabric that will work for the borders, then ironed it and cut the four strips I need.
I went through my UFOs and discovered a tin full of rosettes made from vintage fabric.
Why do I never press my hexagon projects? I always end up with a whole quilt top full of contrary seam allowances, it takes the gloss off finishing something if I have to spend 5 or 6 hours persuading hundreds of tiny seams to go where I want them. So my new rule is, every time I turn the iron on I have to press a rosette.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
In between other chores today I've been trying out different ideas for the border of the applique quilt. I want to make a small vine border, and then use some pink fabric as the outer border. I made a mockup in EQ7, which also let me calculate yardage amounts;
I'm doing this little border mainly because I have two other UFOs that need applique borders, and I want to have a practice with something simple before I tackle anything more complex. I'm getting very impatient to see this finished, because I will be able to take two things off the UFO list, and I will finally have an applique quilt top to my credit.
Arrgghh! Now I like the leaves the way I had them the first time!! Good thing I have plenty of time to decide which way to place them, I have to get all the vines appliqued first. It will be quite a while before I start on the leaves.
Saturday, April 05, 2014
I was up bright and early this morning, ready to start sewing the blocks together. It all went without a hitch, but took several hours as I was being very careful. It would be catastrophic to scorch a block, or make a slip with the rotary cutter at this late stage.
Marti Michell templates,
One of my most favourite ever quilt books is A People and Their Quilts by John Rice Irwin. If I could only ever have one quilt book, this would be it. The quilts are beautiful, the stories are wonderful history, and the photos excellent. No patterns, but I don't need patterns.
I knew I would love A People And Their Quilts when I read these words on the first page;
At the time I bought this book, very few people I knew quilted, and they regarded it as an amusing hobby. I thought it was a way of life. I felt an instant connection to Ethel Hall when I read her words, and I knew Mereth and I weren't alone in loving quilting so much. The whole book is an affirmation that quilting is so much more than just cutting up fabric and sewing it back together.
Friday, April 04, 2014
What a week, it was just work from sun-up to sun-down. But I finished the taxes, including this years info, and seeing as my accountant is making me do it monthly from now on, I shouldn't get so behind in future. Fingers crossed that I manage to stay on top of it now.
I wish I could just leap into the sewing again, but I"m a bit knackered after all that effort, plus the garden has to be tended now, before the colder weather arrives. It's beautiful weather now, cool at night and very pleasantly warm in the daytime; it's such a blessing after the stinker of a summer we had. I've got to go through the garden and get rid of the things that didn't make it; it's heartbreaking to rip out rose skeletons, and empty out the pots with the dead bodies of some of my favourite plants. Oh well, seedlings will be in the shops soon, and I don't think my self-control will be up to the job of limiting the purchases of replacement plants. Mereth and I always excuse it by telling ourselves that we don't smoke or drink, don't have manicures or even haircuts, (though after the last haircut I gave Mereth, she's been a bit wary of trusting me with the scissors again. It's never a good thing to say 'Ooops!' while cutting someone's hair....) We never buy new clothes, preferring to visit the op-shops; if our gardens are our major vice, as least it's a healthy one.
I've sewn a few more blue and brown blocks, but I've been too tired and distracted to focus on them; my sewing time has been devoted to getting the sunflower blocks finished, so I can get this project into one piece. I decided to reverse applique the background onto the block, and made a template out of freezer paper. The centre was cut out allowing a genereous quarter inch seam; I wanted it to cover all the darker fabric beneath once it was appliqued in place.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
My accounting software refused to function, I need a new lisence number, and I will have to wait till Monday to ring and get that. I took that as a sign that I should be working in the garden, and sewing, instead. So now my veggie seedlings are planted, and I've made more progress on the Snowflake quilt.
The applique blocks had met with a mishap somewhere along the way, and there was a strange mark on one corner of two of them. I thought I would just soak that area of those two blocks, and if the marks didn't come out, then I would build the quilt anyway, and embroider something over the stains at the end. Didn't quite go to plan though. I must have marked one of the blocks with a blue washout pen, and the block went blue wherever the water touched it. The other block went blue too. Panic stations!!! I filled up a tub with clean water and let the blocks sit overnight, changing the water before I went to bed. This morning both blocks were lovely and white again, but I then had to wash all of the others, as I couldn't remember if I'd used the blue pen on them. Oh well, they probably needed a rinse after sitting there all those years.
I love taking a crumpled block like this,
This morning I have to finish the last applique block, (I'm only using 9, can't afford the time to do more) and then I'll have to rinse that too, and I'll be done with the applique part. Except for the centre of this block,
which will only take a few minutes. I still have all the templates I used for these patterns, just shows you can never throw anything away.
I've cut the blocks and the setting triangles for the Sunflowers, and picked fabrics for the centres,
I'll have about 20 sunflowers leftover, but I'll put them together into another quilt, as I originally planned. I stopped working on them because I couldn't find the fabric I wanted for the backgrounds, but I've found something that will work in the stash, so it will be fun to get started on that. Only took me 15 years.