Saturday, August 24, 2013

24 aug 13

I got waylaid by work, and not much extra sewing was achieved.  I seem to have regular periods of lots of work and not much time to myself, and then slower times when I can get into the sewing room and sew for hours at a time.  I'm still in the work phase unfortunately, there have only been scattered minutes for sewing lately.  I need a mental health day soon, just to work on all these projects.

This is my design wall today; the strips for the plaid backing on the left,

the latest Log Cabin blocks on the right; Wild Goose Chase below, and a stray block using the 1.25" strips.  The blue Log Cabin blocks are sitting on my table in a pile, all 80 of them.  I still haven't decided on size, or setting for that matter.  Looks like I've let myself be distracted yet again.

The multi-colour LC blocks I'm working on were started many years ago, to use up spare 1" HSTs from another project.  I worked out I need 80 blocks and I have 32, and plenty of strips cut, so I will just plod along on them.  There ae so many fascinating variations possible though, I have to fight hard not to get distracted yet again. 
This would be such a cute block; I can play with those ideas AFTER I've finished the 80 blocks I need.
I did make a block of concentric squares, just to see if it was fun.  It was, and the idea will go into the queue for later. 
It's not good for scraps, as you need specific amounts for each round; when I do get around to this block I would cut strips from yardage, not just scraps.

I've been looking through this book, and it's full of ideas for quilts using my 1.25" strips. 
I'm still cutting up bits and pieces, more than any one quilt would need, so all the ideas will help use up the stack.

 This is like a quarter Log Cabin, I love that it looks like hearts.
Another Log Cabin variation, and that border would use up a lot of fabric too.
If I ever get sick of Log Cabins I can branch out into Pineapple quilts,
or Spiderwebs.....

What I need to get done this weekend is to finish the binding on DD Seonaid's flannel quilt. 
I've done so many bindings on customer quilts lately, this got shoved to the back of the line.  It will be lovely to sit and stitch the binding down while I watch a movie; then it's only a matter of arranging a visit to Adelaide to I can deliver it.  I'm very glad to get the last of those chenille edges finished, there's purple fluff everywhere.

The panto is one of mine called Stitcherie, that I really like for modern quilts, nice and swirly and open.  The flannel quilted up beautifully, I hope it keeps her toasty warm for the rest of this winter.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

I woke up very early this morning, and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up at 5.30 and started sewing.  I added an extra round of logs to all these blocks, and decided that I definitely like them better this way.  Now I'll make enough of them for a single bed size quilt.

While I sewed I watched an episode of Dalziel and Pascoe, an 80s British police drama.  This little boy was very familiar; I was sure I recognised him, and when I checked the credits I was right. 
Check out the pictures at the bottom of the post to see who he grew up to be.

I might have gone a bit beserk on the 1.25" strips.  I will need a lot more, and I like a bit of variety, and it's just so easy to weed all the pieces out of the scrap drawers and send them through the Go Cutter. 
I may be gifting some of these to Mereth if I can't use them all up myself.
And of course, there are all the leftovers to deal with......

 The little boy was Matthew Lewis, and he played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies.
And then he grew up some more and now he looks like this;


Saturday, August 17, 2013

I must have known that I was going to be really busy, and that's why I did so much sewing while I could.  The last two weeks have kept me working on lots of varied projects; designing new quilting patterns, quilting and binding 4 customer quilts, fixing website stuff, judging the quilts and crochet at the Crystal Brook Show, and then arranging the exhibits afterwards, not to mention cleaning and cooking and family visits.  There hasn't been much spare time, and if there was the dogs demanded to be taken for walks.  Hopefully the next few weeks won't be quite as busy.

My sewing room is still terribly untidy, and not much has been put away after the last spate of quilts.  I'm still trying to get the backing for the plaid quilt in one piece; I have lots of spare triangles, and I'm using them as leader-enders, but I can't seem to get to the end of them.  (I might just put them in the bin and not tell anyone.)

 There are 1 1/4" strips everywhere, so I dug out the old Log Cabin blocks and I'll add another round of strips to each block to make it bigger.  That should use up a lot of smaller scraps, and then I'll decide how many more of these blocks to make, if any. 
The cross blocks are ones I made two years ago, and I'm still waiting for inspiration to strike, as far as setting them together goes.  They will probably go back in the box, because nothing has occurred to me yet.

Yesterday, in a small window of time between other jobs, I pulled out the Bloc Loc ruler that I purchased a while ago and made some Flying Geese to see if it worked. 
 It was fun to use, and the little units turned out exactly the right size, which was a relief.
Of course, I then had to made a block with the units I'd made, so after a bit of planning in EQ7, and scrabbling through the scrap drawers, I came up with this Wild Goose Chase block.
 I've been wanting to make a pink and brown quilt for ages, and this will fit the bill nicely.  42 of these should keep me busy for a while.

There's really no explanation for this then.
Except that I've been planning to make a blue and brown quilt for years and years, and I thought I could just make one or two in this colourway every now and then.
You can even use the Bloc Loc ruler to trim up the corner units in this block, that's pretty neat.
I can't decide whether to make the blue or the pink blocks first, or both at the same time, or.... Maybe I should go clean up the sewing room while I think about it.  There's not going to be much sewing time in the next few days either, I have lots of other things to finalise, so I should have come up with a decision by the time I get back to them.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

My gadgeteering continues unchecked; I don't have to have new fabric from every range, but I do tend to succumb to things that I think might make quilting a bit easier.  Soon after I discovered how much fun the Log Cabin blocks were I decided I would always have a Log Cabin project on the go.  THere are so many variations, like Courthouse Steps, it would take a long time for me to exhaust all the possibilities.  I love the 3/4" finished strips, but cutting them is time consuming, so I purchased a die for the Go cutter. 

It cuts 7 1.25" strips at a time, and with up to 6 layers that means 42 strips in a single pass.  I immediately cut up handfuls of scraps, and it was so much fun,
I had to restrain myself from sending a couple of FQs through too. 
 I'm very happy with it; I got mine from an Australian stockist here but she doesn't have another one listed just yet. 

I've also bought a few speciality rulers too, for when I can drag myself away from the Log Cabin blocks.  I want to make a Flying Geese quilt, but wasn't looking forward to keeping all those units the same size.  These little Bloc Loc trimming guides should make things easy, but I haven't had time to try them yet.  I can usually keep my Geese around about the same size, but I like the idea of rescuing the bodgy ones by trimming them down to size. 

I bought this ruler on a whim, it's to cut different sizes of triangles-in-a-square.
 I haven't had a chance to use this either, but I have a feeling that it will be used to cut a dogtooth border very soon.  I like these units, but I've never had any luck getting mine to stay the right size.  Hopefully this will do the trick.

The Log Cabin blocks are up to 70 completed, and I'm going to make another 10, lay them out on the design wall and see if it should be one quilt or two.  I have had so much fun with them, I really don't want to stop; it will only take an extra 16 blocks to make the two single bed quilts, and I could do that in a weekend.  Decisions, decisions......
I have no idea what my next major project will be, I'm being drawn towards my pink and brown fabrics, but the blues are clamouring for attention too.  Not to mention all the old UFOs that should be tackled.  We are having a family get-together this weekend, so I don't imagine I will get any sewing done at all, which gives me lots of time to think about it and make an informed, rational decision.  Or maybe go off on a tangent and start something unexpected; who knows.

I have four bindings to do before the weekend, 3 on customer quilts and one for my daughter.  That's not going to leave much spare time; I won't ever be bored, there's just too much to do.

Last weekend we went to Telowie beach, and it was the first time we've been there just after high tide.  There was still no water, but the sand was really soggy, and there were puddles quite close to the parking area. There was also a small channel flowing strongly, right at the entrance to the beach; for some inexplicable reason these two teenagers tried to drive their car across it. 

What amazes me is that someone always shows up who is willing to help.  A man in a 4wheel drive pulled them out backwards with a rope, while John and another guy pushed to get those front wheels unstuck.  It would have been easier if the girl driver had realised sooner that she had the hand brake on...sheesh!

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