Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life has been busy lately, and I haven't been spending a lot lof time on the computer. Real life seems to get in the way.  I've had three trips to Adelaide in two weeks, and a lot of running around to various other towns, and that seemed to take up most of my spare time.

The trip to Adelaide on Saturday was to take my DD Seonaid to the airport, where she and a friend boarded a flight to Kuala Lumpa, to connect with a flight to Amsterdam! 

She and her mate will be travelling around Europe and Britain for the next two months, which is so exciting, but I will miss her so much.  I hope she finds time to blog along the way, it will be the best way to preserve the memories, and to keep her family and friends informed.  I'm jealous that she will be spending time in London; I would head straight for the Victoria & Albert Museum, but I guess she will have other priorities.  One day I will get there, I hope.

Of course, any trip to the airport has to include a stop at Ikea, right next door.  I've added considerably to my Ikea stash lately; the biggest purchase was the trestle table. 

I've been eyeing these off all over blogland, and decided that the time had come to invest in one of my own.  The trestles aren't cheap, but it's very easy to adjust the height for a cutting table.  I am experimenting with having it on a slight angle, and I think it's working well to reduce the stress on my hands.  There's room for a little chest of drawers underneath, and the platforms on the legs themselves provice more storage space.

I also picked up this clip-on lamp, like the one Bonny uses.  It adds  a powerful lot  of light to the side of the needle where it's needed most, but it's not in the way at all.  My biggest gripe is that they are $9.99 in America, and $29.99 here.  And they don't stock the lime green that I really wanted.

That lazy susan on the table is also from Ikea; it's very handy for trimming down little pieces, I use that almost every day. ($7.95, what's not to like?)

As far as sewing goes, I've put together the Doors & Windows blocks, all 120 of them, and now I"m trying to decide on borders.

I'd like to do clever pieced borders, but by the time I get the middle bit together I just want to go for finished, and get onto the next project.  These blocks were made from a mottley collection of black and dark green strips, so I'm quite surprised at how light the top looks.  I think it will have a light border as well, just so that the dark colours don't predominate.

I need to grasp the whole concept of Leader-enders, because once I had a few of these blocks together I just had to go flat-out at finishing them all.  I just can't seem to leave things to mount up steadily in the backgound, they shout to be the main project.  Oh well, another top nearly done is no bad thing.

My new leader-enders (don't laugh) are these pieces, stored in an Ikea Kassett box. 
They are green and cream versions of the block I did a while ago. 
I loved putting them together so much that I decided a green and cream version would whittle down the overflowing drawer of greens, and give me an easy project on the side.  I cut all the triangles for 27 blocks in about 20 minutes, with the Go cutter, how brilliant is that? 

Alas, it's time to go to work, so the rest can go into another post.  It would be nice not to wait two weeks between posts......


Friday, July 13, 2012

Time flies when you're working hard!  I seem to have dealt with most of my immediate deadlines, so I've earnt some time in the sewing room this weekend. 

Yesterday Mereth and I scored 4 each of these storage boxes, (from Kmart in the scrapbooking section) and I'm itching to get my projects sorted into them.  I know I can be super organised, if only I can find the correct storage containers. I want to spend a few hours just pulling out projects, cutting pieces needed, making decisions so that I can go ahead with them.  I'd like to make all the hard decisions now, so the next few months I can just sew, not sit there thinking about what I should be doing.

I never showed a picture of my cross-blocks quilt with the borders on; I really want to get this quilted soon, so it can go on my bed this winter.  I love the dark sashings,, it really frames the blocks.

I'm steadily sewing together the Doors and Windows blocks, and they are looking good. 
I've used up most of the scraps I cut up, so I may have to raid some other strip drawers.  I have lots of 4.5" strips, so I'll cut them into 2.5" slices and that will deal with them.  It's going to be fun replenishing the strip drawers, I've used nearly everything that is precut, so soon I will have to weed out anything in the stash that's under a fat eighth and cut it up.

Finally I made a decision on the sashing for the grey quilt.  I need to come up with a name for this, I don't even know what the block is called.  I went with a darker brown, everything else seemed too wishy-washy.  The measurements for the setting triangles are crazy, I'm still trying to get them perfect, but this is close enough for a start.  If all else fails I will paper piece them, but I'm sure I'll get used to cutting in sixteenths.  I need better eyesight is what I need!

And once I have the blocks together, there are those multiple pieced borders to tackle.  This quilt is certainly going to take some time, but it will be out of the ordinary.It's just the opposite of the Doors and Windows, but I think they are like an antidote to each other.  They balance each other in the long run.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

We are asked to do all sorts of things by our customers, not just quilting.

I spent a lot of time last week completing a doll's bassinet, which was interesting.  A lady made the green one for her daughter, and never found enough time to make one for her second daughter, so she asked if we could do it.  It's not something I would normally do, but I agreed to have a go.  We can't have two little girls fighting over one lonely bassinet.

The pattern is a Rosalie Quinlan one, but I haven't been able to find a link to it.Cute, isn't it?

There was no time for sewing this week, I was in designing mode in all my free time, plus there have been customer quilts on the Statler constantly.  I did take some time to put together a shelf unit for my paperwork and a new table for my office equipment, which is in my bedroom.  Alas, now it feels like I'm sleeping in my office, not working in my bedroom!  But everything is much neater and more organised.

I did manage to make my design wall larger, using the cardboard box from the shelf unit.  I just taped it in place between the two display boards, and covered it all with the polar fleece.
 It works well, and here is the finished picture of my scrap quilt. 
I know I said it was going to have a pieced border, but it absolutely refused to have anything but this material.  I will keep all the HSTs for another project.

All the talk about my sewing machines in the last post made me go look on Ebay again.  They should have a 'Ban Me' button you can click, so there are no more impulse purchases.....

A friend of ours has a Bernina 730, from the'60s, and she constantly works the poor thing.  She used it to sew metre high stacks of terry towelling bibs for an old folk's home, thick denim patches on her hubby's jeans, more than 40 applique numbers on the back of footy jerseys. Plus all her quilting and patchwork.  The 730 just did it all, without complaint, and it has lovely sleek retro lines to boot.  I think I fell in love with her machine the first time I saw it at our patchwork group, and I've wanted one of my own ever since.

I already have two of them, one from a school and one from Ebay.  The school one is so battered, lots of paint missing, and the motor blew up, so it's not functioning.  The other one needs some TLC to run properly, and it smells overpoweringly of old oil, like it's been stored in a garage.  Not nice.  So......., I succumbed to the temptation last week, and bought another one on Ebay.
  Don't you just love the onboard storage for cotton reels and bobbins and accessories.
 Cosmetically it's almost perfect, but the needle position lever is stuck. I will go on trying to find a fix for that, but it sews a beautiful straight stitch anyway, just too wide for a 1/4" seam.  Surely, out of the three I can build a perfect 730!

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