"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update on January block

I was jumping the gun as usual when I posted a pic of my unfinished block last night.  But I've been working on it today and am very happy with how it's looking.  One of the advantages of CQ for me is that I don't get bored with it.  I can work on other kinds of embroidery for a while, and may get bored with it because I know how it is going to look at the end.  Or sometimes I just tire of working on the same thing for weeks/months on end.  But with CQ it is an ongoing surprise - it evolves right before your eyes!  For instance, when I took that photo last night, I'd pulled out from my stash a few beads, sequins and buttons, but today when I knuckled down to the task, I remembered lace, braid, and ric rac, and within half an hour my work table was covered with everything in purple to choose from for embellishing the block!
 So here is where I am up to.  This picture shows the true colours, as I used the scanner instead of the camera.  The block overlaps the sides of the scanner by an inch each side, so the photo is a bit narrow, but you're not missing anything.
Unless I get any more light bulb ideas, tomorrow I will finish the extra feather stitching in dark purple, sew some buttons near the pink ric rac, and add beads or something else to the wide pale pink lace band.

First block for the CQJP 2012.

When I signed up for this challenge, I decided to use my collection of ties as the basis for the blocks. I will select a new colour range for each month out of the ties, and embellish them with whatever I have in my stash. Because the ties themselves are such beautiful fabrics and colours, I won't be over-doing the embellishing, as I don't want to cover up the fabrics too much. The seams will be covered by various embroidered stitches in the usual way, then I will add beads, sequins, and buttons where I think they will fit in. I may use plain (non patterned) fabric for the centre of each block, and sew something on it to make a statement for the whole block, such as an unusual brooch, ear ring, or anything else that matches the colour scheme. So here is my January block. The seams have been done, and I've picked out beads, sequins and buttons from my stash to sew on in the next few days.
Unfortunately, my camera does not like purple for some reason, and rarely gives a true impression of any shades of purple that I photograph. So you will have to take my word for it that these colours are actually vibrant shades of purples and mauves.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Have I got many tablecloths?

Yep. Quite a few....hundred.. I took this pile (32 cloths) of some of my favourites to the Boronia Probus Club last week, to give a talk about them to about 40 ladies (mostly 60 plus age group). They just loved my cloths, and enjoyed my enthusiastic talk about why I collect them, and why they should care for their own family linens.

This is the cupboard before I'd put that pile back in there. It was hard to find space, even though there were no more put back in than came out the week before!
Remember those leaves I messed up last week? I found a way to use them - here are two, appliqued on to an old cotton tote bag, which I was going to throw out, but I'll probably use it now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Annie, this is for you!

Thank you to everyone who has left compliments on here regarding my Rainbow kittens and Memories wall hanging.  Annie wanted to know the story behind the picture of Ken and I, done up to look like it was taken 100 years ago.  It was taken 33 years ago actually, just before we got married.  We were visiting the Sovereign Hill outdoor museum in Ballarat (you have heaps of these museums in the USA!), and decided to have our photo taken by their photographer, who has a range of costumes that you can try on for your photo.  It came out so well we kidded people that it was our wedding photo!  I thought it was a good one to include on my memory quilt because it fits in with the era of the other genuinely old photos.

Messing around and messed up!

At Skill Builder Samplers, Leila has moved on to teaching how to do curves when patchworking. When I was learning Patchwork from a local tutor, I managed to complete a Drunkards Path block. With Jude's help, it was successful, but I haven't made anything with curves since then (apart from applique). But I figured it is like riding a bike - once you've done it, you don't forget. HA! Right. So why did my sample of curves using Leila's tutorial turn out like this??
EEEEK!! I was so careful tracing and cutting those templates. I don't think I'll do curves any more... Maybe I was just having a bad night. These leaves are the second project from my library book, and I stuffed them up too. I traced the templates and cut out the leaf shape, but that wasn't right. It was supposed to be done another way, which would ensure the fabric prints all lined up the same way instead of in different directions like mine!  The two on the right hand side are the correct alignment, which was just a fluke considering what I'd done.  But once I re-read the instructions, I realised, so next time I do them (I think they would look great using Japanese print fabric), it will look much better.  Still, these leaves are rather nice, don't you think?  Especially on the black background.

I found this at Savers in Mill Park today along with a lot of other non-linen goodies.  This little cloth is done in cross stitch.  I love lady bugs!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Messing around...

There are many other things I could/should be working on, such as finishing the Memories mini quilt, finishing some more UFOs, and making the next two blocks in Leila's Skill Builder Samplers class, but...I borrowed a stack of books from the Eltham Library a few weeks ago, and they are all due back next week. I've already renewed some of them twice, and I can't do it again so I had a close look at them to see if there was any projects I want to do before returning the books. One of the books is this one "Whip Up Mini Quilts" which I was tempted to order from Amazon, but I decided there are only three projects I REALLY wanted to do, and it wouldn't be worth buying the book for myself,  so I'm doing them this weekend.
The first one I've done (just has to have backing and binding to finish it off) is this neat little mat.  It is so easy, just cutting oblong pieces and fitting them together to make a 'frame' for a picture of some sort.
In the book they have used a photograph printed on cotton, but I fussy-cut a teacup from some patchwork fabric for mine, and added some lace. I might make some more of these for friends if they ask - using their photos. Make a nice gift!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Memories quilted wall hanging.

I've been flat out like a lizard drinking on this one. I wanted to finish it for our wedding anniversary (today) as a surprise for Ken, but I was still working on it tonight, and haven't done the backing and hand quilting. But the most part, it is finished, and I was able to show Ken just as our anniversary was drawing to a close. This pic is a bit washed out, as I laid the quilt on the floor to photograph it, and between fluro. light and the flash, it looks a bit insipid. Anyway, I'm pleased with the final result, as I've been wanting to make one ever since I cut the pattern out of a magazine a few years ago.  It took ages to find the fabric printed with the woodgrain, but I finally found some on good old eBay. 
The photos are of Ken and me on the top row, his great aunt Emily, and my Mum and her mother on the second row, and my great-grandmother on the third row.
The beautiful lace around the picture on the top row, and at the foot of the third row, are from one of my generous bloggy friends in the USA.   The rest are damaged doilies that I've cut up, and patchwork fabric scraps.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Another Skill Builder block completed.

This is the last applique technique Leila discussed on her Skill Builder blog. I've always admired the Baltimore-style quilts, but have no ambition to make one, so it was satisfying to make just one simple block along those lines.
I am now working on another memory mini quilt - for me, not a gift for anyone this time. I've had this in the WIP basket for the past year, and after the success of the table mat I did for SIL, it has spurred me on to get going with the original project.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Rainbow Kittens wall hanging finished.

Anyone would think I was trying to set some kind of record - two projects finished in two days! No, it is just coincidence. I had done a lot of work on both of these before New Year's Day, and as it has been so hot here in the first two days of the year, it is much more comfortable to stay inside with the air conditioners going, and concentrate on some stitching.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Skill Builder sampler block, needleturn applique.

My first finish for the New Year is this block for the Skill Builder sampler. Leila posted links on her blog to a number of You Tube videos, demonstrating different techniques for applique, other than fusing fabric pieces on to a background fabric, then stitching around the edges. It was interesting to have a go at them all, but I think I'll stick to fusible webbing! I couldn't find the required freezer paper in any supermarket around here, but finally got a piece at Darn Cheap Fabrics in Heidelberg. The salesgirl told me they imported a roll of it from the USA and sell it here by the metre. I paid $1.10 for a metre. If I ever need a lot of it, I'll ask one of my kind bloggy friends in the USA if they would like to swap a roll of their freezer paper for a box of Tim Tams! Any takers??