Thursday, 31 January 2013

No longer a 'No Reply' blogger

Thank you so much to several people who spent quite a bit of time assisting me with some issues I was having with my blog. Their help, combined with Chookyblue's helpful 'How bits', has enabled me to resolve these.

I didn't realise I was a 'no reply' blogger. So, I apologise to anyone who has tried to leave a comment and has had trouble doing so. And....I no longer have word verification either.

So many helpful, friendly people in our blogging world.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Border 2 finally finished

I have finally finished the second border (except for a few hexagon flowers that need to be appliquéd down the sides). The fourth side went on easily, thank goodness. The top and bottom are sitting flat except for a big bumps in the middle. I think I will remove the background fabric pieces on the top and bottom and redo the templates then sew them back in. This will hopefully fix it without undoing the whole border.

 But not just yet.....

I have to say I'm really disappointed to that the second border is causing problems. So...time for a break. 

Think I'll get a few WISPS out for OPAM. I'm so excited to join my first blogging group.

This is one of them.

This is a Lizzie Kate Pattern from their flip series. There are twelve words in total and each word has a little brass charm to be stitched on after the cross stitching is complete.

I hope to have it hanging on my wall this Christmas. I love stitching with Weeks Dye Works and Sampler threads. The names they give to each skein to describe the colour instead of boring numbers like DMC is so cute. Names like'Louisiana Hot Sauce' and 'Old Red Paint' sound SO much more interesting.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

I love it when the pieces fit.

Now I thought I would see how those bumpy borders would look once they have been pressed.

Well, they are flatter and look much better. I will still need to do lots of quilting to smooth it all out. I decided that if I have to undo it, I might as well make it a big job. 

So yesterday I completed the third side of the border and it fitted beautifully!! Phew!!!

So, I'm going to continue with fingers crossed. If it all goes pear shaped, I'm going to follow Susan's advice and just throw it to the back of the cupboard in disgust...then maybe I'll start a new project to make myself feel better.

Maybe I I'll start something out of the new book or new fabric I just bought from here.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Two down, two to go

I have been toiling away at border no. 2 on my Violet quilt. I have had a few mishaps.

Looks like I need to make some adjustments to the corner piece (top left). 

And ....

Looks like I will need to do a fair bit of 'easing in' as I stitch the second border on.

Now I have eased the second border on. Two sides down and two to go. These side borders are really bumpy and don't lie flat. Obviously due to the fact that the border I have attached was wider than the first border. I checked the measurements and the first border is the correct size. So, now I have a few questions.

Do I go on? 

Am I going to have problems fitting the rest of the borders on? 

Will lots of quilting smooth out the bumps?

Should I undo everything and adjust the paper pieces for the background fabric to make it all fit better? I am a bit disappointed because I carefully checked each template that I made against the one in the pattern.

What do you think?

The next border is the same as the first, so easily adjusted to fit. The fourth border is quite wide and is made up of about four rows of 2" hexagons filled in with diamonds. Then two more borders after that. I would love your advice before I proceed any further.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Charlie the well trained dog.

Meet Charlie, our 12 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

This is how Charlie spends about 80% of his time. When Charlie is not sleeping (and snoring loudly) he accompanies me when gardening, on trips to the letter box and checks the back yard for the neighbour's cat when I hang out the washing.

Charlie has never really mastered fetch. However he has learnt a much more important trick. Charlie NEVER walks on fabric placed on the floor. So the last few days I have had my stars laid out around my medallion to see if I am happy with the placement, Charlie never walks over them, rolls on them or lets a paw anywhere near them. A much more important skill to learn than fetch...don't you agree?

I have now joined the stars with a diamond. I have four border pieces that are now portable and no chance of mixing up the placement. Now to fill in the gaps with more background fabric.

Here are some shots of the lightning storm we experienced last night after a very hot day. Same storm, but look at the difference in the colour of the sky.
Charlie used to be so frightened during these storms, he would sit literally right under or on top of your feet. Now he is becoming so deaf with old age that he doesn't hear the low rumblings of thunder and lightning any more and he sleeps right through the storm.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Jungle Bungle Bibs

I know a few lovely ladies who are expecting and the babies are due mid February. I thought the holidays would be a good time to make a few gifts. As I don't know the sex of the babies, I'm will have to cover both possible outcomes.

Yesterday I completed these 'boy' bibs in fabric called Bungle Jungle with a pattern called Charming Bibs I bought from Red Raspberry Quilts.

 This one is made following the instructions. It has wadding inside and quilted with homespun on the back.

This one  is backed with white towelling and  also quilted. I finished the edge with bias binding. By the time I finished sewing the binding down, it looked like it had been snowing on my lounge. (I forgot what a mess towelling can make when you cut it.)

It was a good opportunity to practice a bit of free hand quilting with the BSR on my Bernina. Had a lesson a couple of years ago, but just couldn't remember how to set up the machine. It was a matter of 'when all else fails, read the instruction... again.. and again .. and again until I finally worked it out.

Next job...make some pretty girly ones.

In the meantime, I am plodding away at border two for my Violet quilt. All of the pieces are ready to to sew together.

I'm hoping that it will fit easily onto the first border without too much trouble.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Legacy from Violet finally grows!

My oldest UFO is an English paper pieced quilt I started back in 2005. I found it in Australian Quilter's Companion magazine and it is called A Legacy from Violet. It was designed by Judy Barlow using her great grandmother Violet's templates.
I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and deliberated for months as to whether I should take up the challenge.

A visit to the Darling Harbour Quilt show helped me make up my mind as I got to see the quilt in all its glory and knew I needed to give it a try. My friend Julie was also keen and so we joined a reproduction fat quarter fabric club to start our collection of fabric and ordered a heap of paper templates required to do the job.

Now.....neither of us had attempted ANY paper piecing projects...ever. But we didn't let that stop us from choosing a quilt that would measure
93"x 96.5"

Yes...that is inches, not centimetres. The quilt has a beautiful centre medallion appliquéd (no we hadn't appliquéd anything either other than with vlisofix and blanket stitch). But let's not let little details (like or lack of skills or experience) get in the way of the enthusiasm you feel when you start a new project.

We have given ourselves a generous time line. When Judy made the quilt, she completed the patchwork in 8 months and hand quilting in 3 months. We decided, given our limited experience we should allow 8 years to patchwork and 3 years to quilt. So, we have until our 50th birthday to complete this project. How old are we now you ask? Well...that would just be a rude question.

 I have spent time making many stars and many more hexagon flowers as well as the medallion. Last Saturday my friend Kylie Country Wishes and our friend Caron came over for a sewing day and I sat and made templates for border number 2 while we escaped the heat in the air-conditioning. A tedious but necessary task to make some progress.

Today it grew!!!
I sewed the first border and here it is!!

I can't believe that It is finally becoming a quilt. I have almost all of the pieces in the next border ready to stitch together. It has been a great project to do while cheering the Australian's on during the tennis. 

I tried SO hard to match the border print but to no avail. Seriously, I was challenged enough just getting the border on working out how to mitre the corners. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Pippy's PJ's

My brother and his wife have a beautiful little girl. Last year I made a doll for her and she took a liking to it and called her Pippy (sorry, don't have a photo).

I bought the pattern on a visit to Blueberries on the Central Coast and made a very bright sun dress for Pippy with a red felt cardigan to match. Pippy has red hair and blue eyes, just like my niece.

Yesterday I completed a two pairs  of pyjamas and a soft pink dressing gown for Pippy to wear when the weather gets colder. (It will get colder....eventually).
I also have a little silver suitcase for Pippy's clothes to be packed into for when she goes on holidays.
It is Tilly's second birthday next month, so I need to hurry if I want to finish the shorts and t-shirt for this hot summer weather we are experiencing.

Working On My New Year's Resolution

I don't usually make NY resolutions, but this year I decided  that I will.
 For 2013 I WILL sew more. 
Now that I am going to sew more, I will actually have something to blog about.
 (First job, create a blog....tick)

So here is my first project completed for 2013. A purse I made from a kit my friend Julie bought for me at Girls Day In the Country. I couldn't attend and she gave it to me as a consolation for my non-attendance. Thanks Jules.
So here it is complete...I love working with felt.
Hmmmm....I wonder what I will keep in it?