Friday, December 31, 2010

Quilt goals for 2011

The Confused Quilter has shared her organisational bug and yet again blogged a great idea - to put down on paper (or on screen as the case may be) quilty goals for 2011.

In 2011 I want to:

Complete my RRCB quilt and have it on the bed
Make Melly and Me's Sleepover bag in a class run by the Drapers of Mt Macedon
Make baby gifts for two pregnant friends (and some who are TTC and will prolly be pregnant soon!!)
Start my Dear Jane
Start my Nearly Insane
Make Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Crossroads quilt
Learn handquilting

Finish all my UFO goals (see post below)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UFO Domination 2011

The Confused Quilter has started a flickr group and given me just what I need.

My UFO situation is fairly dire and we got a bill for DS's school fees for 2011 last week.  We're still picking up our jaws off the floor.  Let's just say they're a little more than we expected!

So...I'm guessing quilt classes and fabric shopping will be one of the first things to cut back on.

I'm going to do the odd class and I still need to finish collecting Sandi Henderson FQs for 2 specific quilt but other than that it's stash shopping and UFO finishing!

Click on pic below for more info

I'm not totally certain which UFOs will be targeted or how many.  If I'm not realistic, I'll get all disappointed and discouraged.

Here's what I have so far:
Handbag quilt - needs unquilting, requilting, binding and test washing

Aqua and Chocolate quilt - needs basting, quilting, binding and test washing

Lizzie Mae's Medallion quilt - finish centre applique, piece blocks and assemble top (not
 quilting this as yet) (pic is of original pattern)

Max's Dinosaurs - needs quilting finished, binding and test wash

Max's car quilt - applique blocks finished, assemble top, basting, binding, test washing.  I'm using this pattern by The Country Quilter
My fabrics are quite different.  I first saw this quilt in a magazine made up by Magic Patch Quilting which is where I bought the pattern and mine looks more like theirs.

Max's Monster Trucks Tote Bag - finish cutting fabric and make it! The pic below is the original pattern by Natalie Ross that I'm using.  It will obviously be made up of non-girly fabrics given the recipient!!
DaChintzy Code Mystery Quilt - finish piecing (not quilting at this stage) 

Pinwheel Sampler - finish remaining blocks by hand or machine and assemble quilt top (ideally quilt and bind but probably too ambitious!)

Aster Manor Sampler - finish remaining blocks by hand and assemble top (ideally quilt and bind but probably too ambitious!)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Step 5 (spoiler alert)

I finshed the piecing of this rather daunting step last weekend/earlier this week.  All that remained was to cut apart the squares (I used the 8 in one speed piecing method) and worst of all - pressing and trimming down 600 2" HSTs!!! (and some extra plain squares)

I used 2 types of green in place of Bonnie's constant red fabric.

Here are just a few units but I promise I've made them all!!

I pressed about 25% last night and hope to finish today...or I'll wait until I need them and press/trim as I go.

I've hardly done any sewing in almost a week.  We have been decluttering, reorganising and maximising  what little space we have (Thank you, Ikea).  For the first time in 2 years I'm (relatively) pain free and able to do things like spring cleaning etc.  It's a great feeling!

I'm so unfit as a result because for the longest time even walking was painful as each step would jar my wrist so it's exhausting but I hope to get my energy back soon!

So back to RRCB...I still have 30 string blocks to go along with trimming down the HSTs.  I'm still no closer to figuring out the layout which is one thing I especially love about this mystery.  It's really exciting!

I'm hoping to make the quilt a little longer so if I add more blocks I'll need more of each piece but not knowing how they will be used means I can't be sure how many extra to make.  Maybe I can simply add an extra border at the top and bottom??

I'm desperate to know so I can plan ahead!  Clue 6 comes out tonight and i can't wait!!  I know I'm going to love this quilt.  I already love the units and colours and fabrics and the scrappiness of it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December Friday Night Sew In Session II Results

Overall a very productive evening.  I planned to keep plodding on with my string blocks and maybe deviate to Step 5 of RRCB once it was auto published.

That is until I saw it.  Click the link if you dare but I don't want to talk about it!

I did cut the fabric for this step though:

I also made 10 more string blocks which now brings my total to 30.  I'm halfway - 30 more to go!

I would have liked to  pull an all-nighter but my wrists ached and if not for all the metal holding my left one together I'm sure it should have fallen off!

Also DH came home with my yummy Lay-By from Lorraine's Shop

Now I'm itching to snap up whatever she has left of her little bundles of Farmer's Market and Mezzanines fabric!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Step 4 (Spoiler Alert)

This was a nice easy step which has allowed most of us to catch up with Step 3.  Not me.  I still have only 20 finishes string blocks and another 5 half done.

Step 4 saw us pairing a neutral strip with a green one (or aqua in my case) and  cutting 4 x 2 patch units along with an extra 4 matching aqua squares.  This step could be done scrappy but I followed Bonnie's lead.

We needed 30 of these sets.  I chose 15 of the slightly more subdued neutral and cut 2 strips of each to try to tone down the wildness of some of the string blocks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

November Quilt Block Swap

I know I'm late posting this.  the end of year stuff with a Big School Boy still has be a bit unnerved!

My November Block Swap partner was Robyn and she requested Sarah's Choice block in pink, pale green and crimson.  Here is the photo she took since I forgot to take one before I sent the block off!

In real life, the background fabric is less red - more of a very very dark pink.
In return Robyn sent me my first yellow Baby Bunting block!  Click on the block swap tab above to see the other blocks I have received.
Apologies for the dodgy photo!  The block itself is wonderful!

Robyn is a beginner quilter but I'm sure you'll all agree she did an amazing job on this block!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December FNSI Results for Session 1

I definitely didn't do as much as I thought but I did get 5 more string blocks made:
That brings me to 20/60! Still a long way to go!

Here is a pic of all the finished tissue holders for Max's teachers.  he gave them out on thursday which was his last day of school.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Step 3 (Spoiler Alert)

I wasn't sure how I felt when I first saw this step.

It's not that I don't like string pieced blocks - I love them and have been saving strings to make a string quilt - one day.

I just didn't feel ready YET and here was Bonnie wanting us to make 60 of the things using foundation paper and everything!

Given we were told the blocks had to be 8.5 inches I thought I could just cut squares from all my background fabrics...or as a compromise make 4 patches or 16 patches or hourglass units or something else less fiddly.

I only needed a few minutes to come to my senses (along with a good slap upside the head).

WHAT exactly was the problem?  (aside from needed to cut strips from yardage).  I decided given how flat out I am with projects NEEDING to be finished it would really justify taking time out to make this mystery if I had my first attempt at string piecing - with paper at that!  And who better than with Bonnie?'s how I lost my string virginity:
First step...stripping!

Kindly mixed up by the quilt inspector

Foundation paper aka Yellow Pages Circa 2008

Who knew scrapbooking and cardmaking tools would come in handy for quilting too?

Adding strips one at a time...
A bit messy looking but one block done!!
The finished products trimmed to size!  
LoveLoveLove them - even tho they're supposed to be neutrals but Bonnie said to be adventurous with fabric and I was!

Now I find myself completely hooked!  It's so satisfying - much more so than normal piecing.  maybe because you get to see each block coming together whereas in usual piecing you stitch 2 bits of fabric together and get...2 bits.  Then you rinse and repeat a great many times before it resembles a block.

Today I discovered I can completed 5 block in 2 hours or so if I chain piece them.

That brings me to a total of 15.  Only 45 more to go!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Teachers' Tissue Holders

I finally made one up using "boy" fabric - the fabric intended for the one male teacher.  I know it's a little weird giving something like this to a man but I have limited time and these things are soooo quick to knock up.

I made it a little bigger than the pattern since the tissue pack I intend it for ("Kleenex" To Go 60 Pack) was a bit squished and it was a half used packet anyway.  I cut my fabric 6 1/2" x 10".

DH will get the initial prototype.  It's lovely fabric from Japan with a great feel and texture.  I completely love it!

Here is the finished product - 1 down, 9 to go *lol*



In Use
I think I'll put a new packet of tissues in each one so they get the idea...that and because it looks a little weird just giving the empty sleeve.

Max has been working very hard writing his thank-you notes too!

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Step 2 (spoiler alert)

Well better late than never but I finished Part 2 last night - right after I read Part 3 and nearly died but more of that later.

Here are all my cute HSTs:
 I'm using purple instead of Bonnie's brown and I have a few extra so I still need to sort out which ones I'll use.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Friday Night Sew In - 2 Dates!!

It's on again and this month there are TWO FNSIs to help everyone get organised before the end of the year.  Click on the pic below to sign up! 

The first FNSI is on 10 Dec and the second a week after on the 17th.  I'm going to try to do both...and do a warm up tonight!  I'm not sure what I'll work on for the FNSIs but this weekend the free-motion foot has to come off the machine so I can get those gifts for teachers done.  

The dino quilt will have to wait a little longer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hissy Fit...

Warning...pointless verbage ahead!

I have boring things to do today and I don't wanna (paperwork and being put on hold on the phone for hours at a time etc)

(Hubster, if you happen to be spying on my blog again, this would be a good post for you to read...)

I'd much rather eat the Raspberry Cream Pie I made yesterday or do something crafty...or both!  But probably not at the same time.

Or I could sleep...or read craft magazines...or check out more recipes on Pioneer Woman's blog.  The diet will definitely have to wait.  (at least until the abovementioned pie is eaten!)

Being home alone all day isn't good for me.  DH could at least have the decency to buy me a couple more cats. hmmm...

OK hissy fit over (must be all that artificial goodness in the oreos and instant pudding that went into the pie).  Off I go to deal with the Mount Vesuvius of paperwork before it erupts...and then work on the pie...afterall it's better I ingest all the processed food than my kidlet who's still growing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nemesis update

I just got back from my check up with the surgeon.

All going as well as can be expected.  I'm still sore and he warned me to expect it (like I don't know the drill by now!!) since the scar tissue inside and out is still settling down and my body is getting used to yet another new joint.  Usual spiel - no heavy lifting, straining, football (??!!) etc.

I'm having terrible trouble with both carpal tunnel and ulnar nerves but there is no way I'm willing to have anymore surgery...for a really long time...unless it's IVF related.

He said given the improvement he's "fairly sure" it's not an infection...ummmm...I thought we established that 2 months ago???  I know what he means and unfortunately pathology can be wrong so only time will tell which doesn't help when you want a clear cut definitive answer but time isn't the worst thing.

We need a good 3 months to get healthy (which means less booze for hubby and less weight for me), vitamins and supplements for both of us, acupuncture for me and police checks for both of us (lovely, right??!).  Oh yeah and money. 

Sooo I'm cautiously optimistic that come march 2011 or thereabouts, my doctor can start trying to knock me up.

I bumped into a friend I haven't seen in ages and she's due with her 3rd in march 2011 so there's something in the water (and visions of really cute baby quilts waiting to be made!)

On the crafty front, I've been plodding on with quilting Max's dinosaur quilt.  It's taking FOREVER!

I'm avoiding doing the Mystery Quilt clues until I get this quilt finished otherwise it'll never get done and I'm dying to get a move on with the 2 mysteries.

I'm also 1 flower and 2 leaves away from finishing the centre applique of Lizzy mae's Medallion.  Woohoo!  Final class for that is next week.  I'm LOVING all the fabrics and can't wait to put it together but gotta finish these dinosaurs first!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Half Square Triangle Tutorial

This little tutorial is for other ladies not using the EZ Angle ruler for making half Square Triangles in Step 2 of Bonnie's Roll Roll Cotton Boll Mystery.

Bonnie wants the units to finish at 3" - this means they'll measure 3" in the finished block so they will need to be 3.5" raw edge to raw edge.

Bonnie made hers in sets of 4 so I speed pieced mine in 4s using the standard formula for making HSTs.  This meant cutting rectangles measuring 3 7/8" x 7 3/4" and a very scant seam allowance.

BUT I feel the seam allowance is a little too scant so I suggest you cut your rectangles 4" x 8"

Next mark your rectangles on the wrong side of your fabric as I've done below - at the 4" mark and then lines extending to the top diagonals.  These will be your CUTTING lines.

Next, pair your pink and brown (or whatever colours you're using) rectangles, right sides together and sew a scant 1/4" seam along either side of the diagonal lines as shown below.

Cut along the ruled lines and you get 4 HSTs

The HSTs should measure 3.5" raw edge to raw edge.  If they're a little large, trim them down slightly.  They should not be too small.  If they are then your seam allowance is too big.

Please email me through my profile or leave a comment if you have any problems.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Step 1 (Spoiler Alert)

Late friday afternoon I kept checking Bonnie's blog  for the first clue which she promised would auto publish and there it was!

Much smaller and simpler than I thought and not too typical of Bonnie's usual clues I'm led to believe according to the comments on Quiltville Chat!

Here it is - 172 of these little units made up of 2" strips.

While slicing up the pink strips I kept thinking about all the other pinks I have but didn't use in this quilt.  Oh dear - I think I'm a bit obsessed with pink!  I do plan on using them for a monochromatic scrap quilt one day.  I have the very pattern in mind and everything.

I'm eager to see more of this mystery since step 1 doesn't give anything away!  If these were to be 9 patches, she would have had us do the blue/pink/blue strip as well...or would she?  But if the clues were so small we'd never finish a queen sized quilt in 6-7 clues which are Bonnie's usual style.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Basted

Or trying to!  I added the borders onto Maxie's Dinosaur quilt on the weekend.

It's not an easy feat sandwiching a quilt with a very excited 6YO playing hopscotch on the pieced quilt backing!

Eventually he found the camera...
...and took about 20 self portraits.

and then he got into the basting supplies.

I only found this out when I heard an "AWESOME!!!" coming from his direction.  He informed me that the "sticky tape" can rip your hair out...
Can you see the freshly waxed spots??  I must try duct tape next time my legs need doing...

Finally the CBeebies website to the rescue where he played games while I finished basting.

After many tea/coffee/diet coke/chocolate breaks (there are advantages to having a dodgy wrist) the ordeal was over!!! Basting is by far the most painful part of quilting! BLECH!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ideas please!!!

I went along to Max's final violin lesson for the year and realised it's time to start thinking about thank-you gifts for all his teachers!

I'd like to make something but they need to be fairly small, easy and QUICK!  Last year Maxie decorated candles and several of his teachers are the same this year so it has to be something different.

His violin teacher admired my bag (I made it using the Winsome Baby pattern) so maybe a bag for her with musical fabric??

He has 2 classroom teachers and then the specialist teachers:

French, art and IT (same teacher for both), music teacher and then his violin teacher...oh and a male teacher for PE...library teacher as well.  Am I forgetting anyone?  The 2 childcare workers at after school care.

These aren't christmas presents - just a little thank you gift.  The teachers at his school are wonderful and very accomodating.

Moda Bakeshop has some cute things - tiny bags made out of charm squares to put some yummy treats in maybe? 

What about tissue holders?

I'd love to find some teacher-y fabric or fabric that goes with their subjects.

Ideas PLEASE!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roll Roll Cotton Boll Fabrics

Well I think I can say that I have all the fabric I need for Bonnie's Mystery!

She said a wide variety of neutrals was needed so I had to go through my stash again and pick out almost anything with a white or cream background.

Bonnie's example on her blog had a very varied mix of fabrics. 

Bonnie's other colours are pink (which I'm also using)

Green (I'm using Aqua)

Brown (I'm using purple)

And a constant red fabric (I'm using 2 greens instead).

9 days to go!!  I better make some room in my sewing corner!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lizzy Mae's Medallion Month 3

I had the class at Quilter's Bazaar yesterday.

The great thing about this quilt is that it doesn't have to be assembled as you go so missing month 2 hasn't made any difference.

I have my fabric pack and some extra instructions from Lorraine.

Month 3 was supposed to happen last month and month 4 is in 2 weeks so it's a very busy month classwise!

We made the double X block which came together much more quickly and easily than I first thought due to Lorraine's piecing and cutting shortcuts!

Due to my still fairly fragile wrist I only made one and a bit blocks in class but I'm psyched to get cracking with them.

I can't believe how small they are!  They will be 5" finished so a bit bigger than Dear Jane and a bit smaller than Nearly Insane!  It's good practice for whenever I get around to these quilts I guess!

I'm getting that slightly overwhelmed feeling.  I want to work on Lizzy Mae, I have one Mystery quilt in progress and another to start shortly yet I have 2 quilts tops that REALLY need basting and quilting!!!!

Changing feet on the machine and lugging it to class every few weeks really interrupts my mojo.

I think I'll indulge in my craving for speed piecing at the moment and try to get Lizzy Mae done asap.  I may leave off doing a few clues of the DaChintzy Code and do them all in one go.

Not sure about Bonnie's Mystery.

I'd like to have one quilt basted and quilting underway by the end of the month.  I wonder if it will happen?

I haven't done any sewing today.  I did lots of cutting and pinning last night but the sewing machine is still rolling around in the boot of the car and I have a thumping headache.

On a more positive note, I'm pretty sure I've collected all my fabrics for Bonnie's Roll Roll Cotton Boll Mystery Quilt!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finished for REAL!

I have two finishes to report...and I mean they're really finished - binding and all!

The first is the table mat/topper.

The class was on saturday at Quilter's Bazaar and Lorraine taught us how to make bias binding and how to use the Easy Scallop tool by Darlene Zimmerman.

I'm not thrilled with the colour of the binding but I didn't want to buy anything for this quilt.  I knew it was all to me made either with my arm in plaster or shortly after it came off (I got it off 2 days before the class) so I didn't want to waste good fabric by sewing plastered.

The other thing is the french braid table runner.  I finished hand sewing the binding last night.  Woohoo!

I have Lizzy Mae Class #3 tomorrow and #4 later in the month and 2 quilts which REALLY need to be finished before the weather gets too hot so I need to get cracking.

In other news...the lovely Mezzanines Fabric for my Sleepover bag arrived today!