Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I really dropped the blogging ball, I think this is the longest break I've had.  Blame my mad schedule of work and travel and family time; my 'free' time seems to have vanished just lately.

I've been sewing in odd moments, but nothing is finished.  I'm working on four projects, and I just need a few days to get them done and dusted; that might not happen until the Christmas break.

Things are very busy at the Post Office, as we deliver shedloads of Christmas shopping; when we finally give up this job it will be such a relief to look forward to Christmas again, instead of dreading it.  Still, only 5 more Mondays to get through (Mondays are a nightmare, with a veritable mountain of parcels).
I snapped and started cutting up the blue and red prints, as I knew I would.

 Sisters Choice sampler blocks
I'm doing three lots of blocks, and whittling the pile of fabrics down to almost nothing. I'm sure this is a good thing, even if I feel a bit of mild panic at their disappearance.
 Don't know the name of this block, I just drew it to use up this set of fabrics. It's probably got a name, but I haven't gone and looked to see if it already exists.  That centre octagon shows off the light, large print fabrics, and those big corner triangles are the perfect place for the darker fabrics. (That block with the red cross is going to be a separate quilt, I like it so much.) 
 My Sisters NinePatch now has blue setting squares instead of yellow, and I like it a lot.  It's been a good leader-ender project for over a year, I'll miss making those blocks which is why I'm doing blue and shirting ones now.  I don't have enough energy to do anything clever as a leader-ender.

I'll be going to Adelaide this weekend, to help my DD shift house; they have a new 5 bedroom home, and I will have my own room there!  Lots of visits are planned; Seonaid and Hayden bought me a ticket on the Nanna Train, boarding next May.

I've been very philosophical about waiting for grandchildren, unlike a friend; her daughter told her if she didn't stop asking she'd get none!  I know that life is never the same once the Grandies arrive, so I've been enjoying my insular lifestyle for the past few years.  When my grandchild is here I'll want to go visit, and help any way I can; I won't just be thinking of myself anymore.  It's exciting and I'm looking forward to it!


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

I was up at 5am this morning, so I did a little bit of cutting and planning.  I'm aiming for 56 of these blocks, and I need another 11.  (Don't think that my maths is up the creek, I found a heap more after I'd taken the photo.)

This fabric is so lovely, it's going to really bring the quilt to life.  I love big prints like this, but I rarely buy them; I'm glad I was daring and bought yards of it when it was released.
 I didn't want to turn the sewing machine before I went to work, so I amused myself by pairing up the blue and red fabrics with the red shirtings.  It's only a matter or time before I cut out the first block, and then I will have to list it on my WIP spreadsheet.  It's the only thing stopping me.
I might just make a sampler, it would let me choose different blocks to showcase the larger prints, and it would stop me being bored with the same thing over and over.  I have these ideas, and then they turn into an awful lot of work and I wonder why I bothered.  Good thing I'm going to have to wait a little while before I start anything.  I'll have more time tackle this sensibly.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I haven't been able to sew a stitch since I finished the last little top; there's been so many things to do that I can't afford even 15 minutes.  Our long weekend was entirely taken up with computer work and visiting family, and I was so tired when I got home each night I just went to bed.  I'm thinking that Great-Aunties can get just as tired as Nannas when it comes to running after little people.
I haven't seen Max since he was 18 months old; Mereth has visited him a lot more, so he knew she was Nanna.  But Logan kept talking about OtherNanna, and Max wouldn't have that.  'No', he kept saying, 'only ONE Nanna'.
When I arrived at the playground Logan was triumphant; 'See!! Two Nannas!'  Max thought about that for 10 minutes, then went to his mum and demanded 'I want two Dads'.  He had a meltdown when told he was only going to have one daddy; I'm sure it was reasonable to his nearly 3 year old logic.  If there could be two Nannas there could also be two Daddys.  So funny.
In the interests of my sanity I'm going to iron some fabric tonight, so I can cut it out tomorrow, and maybe sew it later on this week.  I'm going to finish the blocks on the design wall first, and then I will start planning a quilt to use up two lots of fabric that I have far too much of in the stash.
When I organised the blue drawers I realised that there were heaps of blues that had red prints, and that I always passed over them when choosing blues.  So I pulled them all out, and they are going to have a project of their own.

I've also got a lot of shirtings with red prints,
so I want to combine the two and make a quilt that uses up a heap of them.
This fabric is ancient; I'm thinking it was printed in the '80s, though I bought it after it had sat in the quilt shop for a few years.  It's always been precious, but now I look at it and think it's too bright for my taste.  It's precious because I've had it so long, and had so many plans for it, but I think I could actually bear to cut it up now.
This paisley is lovely, I need to make sure that I choose a block pattern that will show off those big swirls.  I'm thinking this is rather elderly too.
Got to love those shirtings, but I've got to use them too.
How much sewing have I done this year?
I found these behind the machine while I was tidying up, and there were another two in the drawer.  Mereth and I usually add these empties to a large jar in the workroom, just to remind us of how much we've achieved.  2000yds of Masterpiece cotton, 1300m of Aurifil cotton, and six 600m spools of Rasant polycotton.  That's a lot of thread, and a lot of seams.


Saturday, October 03, 2015

It's a long weekend here in South Australia, and the weather has decided to be uncomfortably hot all of a sudden. I was in the garden at first light, doing chores before it got too hot, and now I'm staying inside where it's nice and cool.  Not sewing alas, but working on the computer.  I did get a heap of work done yesterday, so I deserve a treat like 15 minutes in the sewing room, or half an hour spinning.  Too much fiddling with different software just addles my brain.  We have family arriving for a visit later today, I won't get much done after that.

I have to decide what I'll work on next, probably the 4Patch-9Patch blocks that I started some time last year.

 They are a lovely block to sew, and I have heaps of pieces cut out.
I just need a little break from the red nine patches, I can't face sewing the rest of them together just yet.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I did get four tops finished in September, so the tally for this year so far is 12 projects finished to the quilting stage.  I'm going to have to tackle a lot of computer work in the next month, and there won't be a lot of sewing time so I'm glad I got so much done.  It helped that I had my dates wrong when I decided to try and finish this little top; I thought it was the 30th when I started sewing the blocks together, but it was actually the 29th. So it was easy to get them all done because I had 24 more hours than I thought.  It's not often I get a gift of an extra day....

This was going to be Bonnie's Sisters Nine Patch, from her Leaders and Enders book, but I only had this much of the yellow fabric.  I still have 160 nine-patches that I've been sewing for the last year; I can't believe I started them in August last year, but I blogged about it so I know it's right.  They will become a full size quilt like Bonnie's and this is going to be a little Christmas quilt.
This little red and white print is so cute, I'm glad Mereth suggested it for the setting triangles; it makes the quilt feel playful and happy, and that's a good thing for a Christmas quilt.
I'm never going to get anywhere with my UFO list.  These blocks were listed as #20, Sisters Nine-patch.  I had to add it to the list as #21, Christmas Nine-patch, so I could cross it off.  I still have 20 items on the UFO list,  but at least I'm not going backwards.


Monday, September 28, 2015

I had a satisfying weekend at the sewing machine, finishing three tops on Sunday.  It was a bit of a marathon, but I badly wanted to see progress before the end of the month. 

The Scrappy Trips turned out way bigger than I expected, 84" square.  I don't know why that surprised me; I knew the blocks were 72"square, and I was adding 6"of borders all round so of course it was going to be that big. 

It was still a shock to realise that it wasn't going to fit on the design wall, and I had to take it down to the workroom to photograph.  I just can't seem to get the colours right when I take a picture of this, the blues and greens are so bright in reality; I wish I had the time to figure out the right camera settings. And I did use my Precious fabric for the outer border, and it didn't hurt a bit!
The Scrappy Bargello is a nice size, around 70 x 80", and I really like how it turned out.  I love the colour combinations, so even though it was a bit of a pain to plan I can see me making another of these someday.
I couldn't get  a nice photo of the cheddar and blue quilt, as the camera battery died.  Must have been all that searching through the menus to find where to adjust the white-balance.  I know I've seen it somewhere.....
So there are a few detail shots, but no picture of the whole quilt.

But trust me, it's a completed top.

I had this mad idea that I wanted to finish 4 quilts in September, and there are only a few hours left.  I've got a tiny quilt top to put together, I'll have a go and see if I get it in one piecebefore midnight.  I'm up for a challenge.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

I'm still keeping track of the amount of fabric I buy, and how much I use.  I'm not No-Buy, so the fabric tally is just because it's interesting to see how my buying habits have changed over the years.  As for the amount used, it's an indicator of how much sewing I get done. 

I've been working on three things lately, inching all of them closer to completion, so there is going to be a big addition to the Fabric Used column soon.

I'm glad that I don't have fierce 'Rules' about what I can and cannot buy.  There was a cheddar fabric that I impulsively bought recently, the rest of the bolt in fact; I love the blocks which use it, such a pretty play of colours together. 
And the sashing fabric is so perfect that I want to go back and get the rest of the bolt as well.  I could have scrounged up fabrics from the stash that would be OK, but I'm so much happier buying what I need to make the quilt exactly what I intended it to be.

I'll look for the perfect border in my stash, but if I don't fancy anything then I'll be off to the patchwork shop on a mission.  My fabric costs so much less than acrylic nails, designer shoes and handbags, expensive hair-dos or fashion outfits.  I'm a low maintenance kind of person, and that's how I want to be, but I don't compromise in the sewing room.  I have really high standards there!

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