Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I do my sewing on a Janome 6500; before that I used a Janome 7000. I love both these machines, and they have been wonderful to sew on, but they do have a fault. They just eat the points of triangles, and I could never sew single triangles together accurately enough for my liking. When I bought the 6500 I noticed that it had a straight stitch footplate as an add-on, and earlier this year I lashed out and bought one. It has made a huge difference in performance; no more edges of material jammed down into the bobbin area, very few missed stitches on start-up. I leave it on my machine all the time, and put a piece of tape over the stitch width button to remind me not to use it while I have that footplate on. I also use the 1/2" piecing foot, and I'm really pleased with how well my blocks go together these days.

My favourite gadget just lately is this extendable magnet, that I use for picking up pins from the floor. I have back problems, so anything that can save me having to crawl around on the floor is good news. This is so strong it sticks to the nails in the floor, and sweeps up any loose pins like magic. I love hardware stores, which is where I got this.

Our weather is perfect for quilt washing, so I have been doing one or two quilts a day, getting our everyday quilts ready to pack away for the summer. I do love the smell of clean quilts that have been hanging on the line all day.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Life got in the way of blogging just lately, and it's still pretty hectic but I will try and post a little more regularly.

Someone asked for sizes for the blocks that I'm cutting. The small triangles are cut from 2" strips with and Easy Angle ruler, which I love. If you wanted to cut the triangles without that tool the strip would be 2 3/8", and you would cut 2 3/8" squares and slice them diagonally to give the triangles needed.

You need 4 dark triangles and 12 light ones. Make 4 light/dark pieced squares.
Join 2 triangles to each square to make these units.The squares are cut 3 1/2", and the pieced units joined to them.
The large triangles are a 7" square cut diagonally. This is a fraction oversized, but they generally fit exactly, and if they are a touch large the whole block can be trimmed down. I fold the triangle in half and match the halfway point with the point of the middle square.
All in all it's a quick block to piece, and as I will be setting them with alternate plain squares it shouldn't take too long to make this quilt. That is if I can get near my machine in all the upheaval of getting this house ready to go on the market. I wish for a television crew to come through the doorway and do it all for me.....


Friday, November 03, 2006

The block I'm working on doesn't seem to have a name that I can find right now. The book helpfully calls it Pieced Blockwork quilt. Not very specific, or catchy. However, I think of it as an anvil variation, so maybe Double Anvil? Who knows. I rather think I've seen it before, but with 90% of my books and magazines in deep storage I can't really find out. And I've been stumbling around in EQ4 for so long that I'm about to order EQ5 and get with the 21st Century in quilting software. Then I can painlessly upgrade to version 6 when the time comes.

Been busy, but not with sewing related activities. I'm about to go and get building supplies so we can crack on this weekend and go ahead and finish my room. My DH hates the phrase 'I'm gunna go ahead and....' which all the DIY shows on payTV use constantly. I can push his buttons by saying, as he's about to measure something, 'Why don't you go ahead and measure that..' I can only do it just so many times though, I have to choose my moment. 'Crack On' seems to be the British equivalent, whereas the Americans and Canadians 'Go Ahead'.

I made this little banner yesterday, in about an hour. There are several words I want to do and just have hanging around, to keep me focussed. At the moment it sems very important to me to restore order to my life; my poor house has been in upheaval all year, and I need to set it to rights again. It's literally thrown together, and it would have been quicker if I hadn't twice made the word 'Orber'. I think I have late-onset dyslexia. I have at least 5 other words to make, and I want to attach them to each other with jewellery fixings so that I can rearrange them and separate them for washing. I will be making them from my hand-dyes, and some of them are still a bit loose in the excess dye department.

Well, best be off like a frog in a sock (and that's pure Aussie..)


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I have been busy with other things besides sewing lately, and I'm needing a fix. Might be able to do a few seams tonight, but what I really need is a couple of hours. It's so therapeutic, I should be able to make it a priority.

I still have only 3 projects kitted, so I want to do a few more before the summer, which is just a month away. I love one-patch quilts, so I think I will do an equilateral triangle, a tumbler and maybe a half hexagon. I can cut all those from stacked strips so it will be quick, and then it's just a matter of arranging the pieces and sewing it all together. I like that sort of quilt.

I'm in the process of kitting this quilt, which is from the Glorious American Quilts book. I suddenly became enamoured of this picture, when I realised I had heaps of striking striped fabric like the quilt, and I could use them all in this. I'm loving the look of the block I made to test the cutting measurements. It's 9" finished, and I will need 32 of them to do the size quilt I want. Easy!

Meredith and I have had a sad few days, as the sale of Mum's house was finalised yesterday, and the new owners have taken possession. It was a big thing to give up the key to that house; I will never forget the peculiar sound of the front door lock when someone let themselves in. And now we'll never again have the right to let ourselves in there. Neither of us thought that we would be upset, but we are. Mum owned that house for 44 years, and even when we grew up and moved away it was always home.

But it's time for the old house to have a new life and a new family; we are glad that it will be lived in and looked after and loved.

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