Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilting and Other Bits and Pieces

Well after my success in finishing the chocolate and aqua quilt top on saturday I was on a roll!  Sunday afternoon I basted my table topper using spray baste and DH's help.

Spray baste is OK - I definitely wouldn't use it for anything larger.  It still migrates somewhat while quilting and as a consequence I have a few bulgy areas and I re-basted the borders once I had finished all the ditch stitching.

I love quilting - it's my favourite part of the whole process (well maybe a close second to fabric shopping!).  I think part of the reason is because I'm so close to having a finished quilt to enjoy but mainly it's because I love the feel of the 3 layers in my hands and I really love seeing the extra dimension quilting gives.  It's like icing on a cake I think.  I LOVE icing and a cake is never complete without it.

The ditch stitching (which only occasionally ends up in the ditch thanks to my big fat plaster) and straight line quilting came together quickly - to the point where on Monday I was able to start free-motion quilting the flowers in the wide border.

My ditch stitching looks fabulous in comparison :-/ but it's just a class sample and it's not a gift or anything so I'm not stressing about it and that in itself adds to my enjoyment of the process.  It's not too bad considering I'm in plaster so I am proud of it anyway.

By Tuesday morning my arms ached and I started to think of the lovely toned muscles I'd be getting (bye bye tuckshop arms!!) but poor DS came down with the flu so no quilting yesterday.

He's much better today but still home from school so I doubt I'll get to quilt today either.

My scallop class isn't until 6 Nov so I should get it finished in time.  I'm dreading all the bias binding I'll need to make and sew for this topper.  It's about 46" square which is a bit bigger than I intended.  I wont have enough red for the binding which is a shame but I'll have had a dig through my stash and find something big enough.   No buying for this topper!

Lorraine rang on Monday to postpone Lizzy Mae #3.  Just as well since DS was sick.  It'll be put off for 2 weeks so it'll be on 9 Nov.  What a busy month for quilt classes!

The best bit is my plaster comes off on 4th Nov so I'll be able to sew better.  The only down side to all this is that I haven't been into her shop since before my surgery and I have some shopping to do and gifts to buy which DH isn't able to do for me.  He has been doing a bit of shopping-by-proxy and performed quite well but there are some things I just have to do myself.

No sign of my fabric order from Hawthorne Threads so I'm starting to get a little concerned.  Hurry up already - I want to fondle my fabric!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chocolate and Aqua Top Finished!

I can't believe it!  I finished it today after picking up where I left off yesterday.

I was dismayed to learn that the last thing I did on this quilt was attempt to rectify an error.  I decided at the time to minimise unpicking, I'd unpick the smallest amount possible and deal with a Y Seam later.

I had a "What was I thinking??" moment and VERY briefly entertained the thought of unpicking the rest of the block but decided the Y seam was the lesser of two evils.
It's HUGE!  I have no idea how I'm going to quilt this monster!  DS and I both had to stand on chairs to hold it up while DH took the photo.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award and a finish

Tarniya generously nominated me and a few other girls from Quilt Block Swaps for this lovely award.

Thank you, Tarniya!  I suppose I am versatile - I moan about the nemesis at least as much as I post about quilting! ;-P

I'd like to nominate Crafty Pug.  She has lots of interesting posts on her blog both crafty and otherwise and she is a very versatile crafter also.  She makes all kinds of things and they're all beautiful...not to mention all the beautiful things she makes for others.  She's a very generous little Pug.

I'll have to email her to make sure she sees this.

I also wanted to share my top for the table mat.  I call it a mat rather than a runner because we have a square dining table so square or round mats look better than long runners.

In the time it took me to fetch the camera the Quality Control Department paid a little visit and his ample bottom is visible in the bottom left corner!

I still need to piece the backing, baste and quilt this before my class on 6 Nov.  The best thing is that it was all made from stash.  I wont even need to buy batting!  Yay!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DaChintzy Code Mystery Clues 3 and 4 (spoiler alert)

On Monday night I was so keen to get on with the mystery that I marked up all my squares for Clue 3.

Clue 3 consisted of 2 steps - making HSTs with the fabric 4 paired with fabrics 2 and 3.

When I woke up this morning I felt so sore and swollen.  The plaster is rubbing against a particularly irritating spot and I'm all out of strong painkillers.  At least DH got me more Diet Coke so I forced myself to proceed, knowing I'd feel better once I got my fingers moving and I did.

Clue 3, steps 4A and 4B:

Since sewing them together was so quick i proceeded directly onto Clue 4. 

This involved pairing up the 2 units above and doing the same thing as before to make little hourglass units. I tried to keep the seam allowance as scant as possible but I have grave concerns for the health of this quilt.  My units are not even close to square and the seam allowances wander somewhat.

Clue 4, Step 5:

I spose it's not bad considering how plastered I am. :-P

I must say I love how it's all coming together so far!  This quilt will be a charity quilt but it'll be hard to give it up.  I've wanted a lovely pink girly lap quilt to snuggle up with for a while and been on the lookout for the perfect pattern or fabric.  Lucky for me (and the recipient of this charity quilt!!), my Block Swap friends have taken care of my "ME" quilt so provided this one doesn't look too sloppy it'll go to a good home.

I have a few tops for charity waiting to be quilted but I'm not sure when this will happen.  It will depend on what happens after my plaster comes off.

Clue 5 comes out in about a week.  That's probably a good thing since I need to finish off my table mat and bind my french braid runner and work more on Lizzy Mae!

The DaChintzy Code Mystery Clue 2 (spoiler alert)

Yesterday I worked on Clue 2.   I really don't know what I expected when starting this quilt but certainly not these clues!

I never expected the pieces to come together in the way that they have been and haven't the feintest idea how they will all come together but I do like the way fabrics 2 and 3 are looking with fabric 4.

Clue 2 had two steps which involved thin strips, big triangles and bias edges!  I was more than a little nervous to tackle it and was all out of Diet Coke so I had to tackle it stone cold "sober".

Step 2, Clue 2

Step 3, Clue 2

Only 2 more clues til I've caugh up to everyone else.  I'm not sure how many clues there are in total but they come out fortnightly.  Clue #5 is due late october I think.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The DaChintzy Code Mystery Clue 1 (spoiler alert)

I've spent the weekend cutting up the pieces according to the instructions and finally on Sunday night I opened the first clue and completed it!

I was so pleased that I was able to machine piece that I wanted to do some more!

It was only a small step and simple enough although fiddly to do in plaster.  I was eager to get on with the mystery and catch up to the other girls who are onto Clue 4.

Step 1 involved stitching a small square onto the corner of a larger one.  As usual (in the true hoarding quilting spirit I like to save as much fabric as possible) when I make units like these I stitch a second line 1/2" from the first and chop between them getting bonus HSTs.
These ones are teeny tiny ones!  I stitched them together into very wonky pinwheels.  They have a cute charm about about them because of the severity of misplaced points, uneven seam allowances etc.

The pinwheel blocks are about 2" raw edge to raw edge and that's after using a 1/8" seam allowance!!  SO fiddly to handle but I couldn't bear throwing them away.

I hope to get onto Clue 2 later today!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October FNSI Results

I actually got something done!  It took way longer than I thought and the quality of my cutting and piecing it terrble but considering my plaster I'm happy enough with it.


The finished centre of the table mat 

I still have 2 borders to add and then it will be used for my scalloped edges class next month.  I need to sandwich it and quilt it before the class though!  Now that'll be scary!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lizzy Mae Progress

I've been slowly plodding on with the centre of Lizzy Mae's Medallion.

I missed class #2 which was on the inner and outer flying geese borders.  I'll arrange a time with Lorraine to make it up.

Class #3 is in a few weeks.  This one will be on one of the pieced rows.  That's why It's critical that I attempt machine piecing before then!

Anyway here is a pic of Lizzy.  The RHS is finished except for the stems which haven't been stitched down.  The middle only has a small amount of the top flower left and of course the stems haven't been stitched down. (click to make it bigger)

I tried to finish that flower last night but I simply couldn't.  I just couldn't get my fingers to move right.  I think they got a bit swollen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not quite as planned...

Last night I didn't end up going to Gisborne Quilters.  My left underarm is really sore.  I have no idea why!  The anaesthetist did mention something about arm block anaesthetics having temporary or permanent complications.  Maybe it's to do with that but after 3 weeks?  Anyway I'll give it a few days.  It's just annoying more than anything.

Then this morning I got an email from Hawthorne Threads saying the fabric I thought I just managed to get enough of is VERY short.  I had to change my order a little but no big deal.  I got a few extra pieces just to be SURE I can get the fabrics to all play together nicely ;-P

I highly recommend Hawthorne Threads.  Wonderful friendly service and great prices too compared to other online stores.  I can't wait til my fabics arrive!!

I have also decided to participate in Bonnie Hunter's newest Mystery Quilt!  Her mysteries lend themselves to stashbusting and scrappiness which I need if I'm going to avoid buying more fabric.

It needs 4 colours and a neutral/background.  I've picked the background which is white with some basic daisy print in various colours.  I'll pick the 4 colours from this print and use it to tie them all together.  I'll work out to be semi-scrappy in that the background will be the same but the rest scrappy.

She will post fabric requirements and yardages on 1 November so my only concern is that I have enough of my background fabric.  There is a good chance I wont and it will mean I have to change my fabric choices.

Meanwhile I really should start my DaChintzy Mystery.  I haven't been peeking at the clues posted on so I should get up-to-date in no time. I haven't been brave enough to try machine piecing with my plaster yet but tomorrow is FNSI and I plan to try then! :-O

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Retail Therapy

 I was feeling all miserable and decided it was time to submit the order that's been in the shopping basket at:

I've been a little nervous about it since the range is an old one and has just come in from re-ordering.

I'm so relived I did because I could only get 1.25 yards of a particular fabric that I wanted 1.5 yards of.  Thankfully I only needed 1.25 but it scared me anyway!

I'm ordering fabric from Patty Young's Mezzanine range to make up my Melly and Me Sleepover bag when I do the class early next year.

I'm feeling marginally better. It's been a sucky day.  Just when I think I have a hold on all the stuff that's going on, something came up and set me off again.  This must be why fertility clinics hire counsellors!

Anyway I'm going to Gisborne Quilters again tonight (for the second week in a row) and that will help take my mind off things.  I've been working on Lizzy Mae and she is really coming along!  Maybe I'll post a pic tomorrow depending on tonight's efforts!

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Friday Night Sew In

FNSI is coming up again this friday!

I didn't want to commit until I was certain I'd be able to do something especially after my disappointing FNSI last month but I think it was understandable given I had just a few days to prepare for a hospital admission!

I'll be doing one of two things. If I'm able to machine piece, I'll be piecing a large block for the centre of a table mat which will be the class sample for my scallop edging class in early November.

If not I'll continue with either Lizzy Mae or my Aster Manor sampler.

Click on the pick to join in the fun!

10 Years!

Yesterday we went to GoonaWarra Vineyard for one of their Sunday lunches to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary.  It was really on the 7th October but we almost always go to lunch at GoonaWarra on the closest Sunday because that's where we had our wedding reception!

It was such a beautiful wedding!  I wish I could post some pics but DH hasn't yet got them out of the old computer.  Here are the pics from lunch anyway! (click to make them bigger)

The food is delicious and it's such a lovely venue for a wedding. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Quilted Hugs in Action

I thought it fitting that the lovely ladies responsible for my beautiful quilt see it in action so I put Master Max's photographic skills to good use.  He's into making stop-motion lego movies now so a few stills of his old mum shouldn't be a problem.

I hate having my photo taken but here it is:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quilted Hugs

I've always suspected quilters to be incredibly warm, caring and generous people.

There are many charities which donate quilts to people who need a bit of cheering up and whenever someone requests blocks for a quilt they're making for a loved one in need, they often get enough to make multiple quilts.

Little did I know my Block Swap friends were conspiring to make ME a quilt!  It's the most thoughtful and caring gesture anyone has ever done for me and I've never had a quilt before!  It's the most beautiful wonderful gorgeous quilt I have ever seen.

The love and thought and talent that went into this quilt is amazing!  I've been blubbering all morning when ever I think of it!

It's called Quilted Hugs and most definitely feels like one!

I feel so loved and so undeserving to have such incredible friends.  Thank you so much to each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

The culprits are:

Crafty Pug

You sneaky things!  You've very good at keeping a surprise under wraps!  I was so confused when the postie handed me this enormous parcel!

I was sure it was one of DH's ebay purchases so my confusion increased when I saw my name on the front.

It was followed by a moment of panic - have I mastered the talent of buying fabric in my sleep?  Did I buy stuff online in my drug induced stupor upon coming home from hospital?

The sender was Crafty Pug. Of course!  Silly me!  It's a swap block!  But...I'm not swapping in October...and why is it so BIG?

I opened it and my heart skipped a few beats, I eventually remembered to breathe.  Inside...was the biggest, pinkest hug anyone has ever given me!

There were also some lovely cards inside.  I feel very blessed.  Here are the piccies.  Click to get a close up!

And just to make it all the more special, today DH and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another block done!

I finally finished the Rose and Tulip block for my Aster Manor Sampler.  It felt like I've been workin on it forever.

It's supposed to have a heart between each tulip but I didn't position them well enough so I decided to leave them out.

Today I'm frantically browsing Stampin Up! galleries for some inspiration for an anniversary card for DH.  I only have today to do it.  The pressure!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Very Crafty Weekend

On Friday DS had a friend from school over to play.  They decorated my plaster and I made stove top pizzas and apple cakes for lunch.

On Saturday I baked one of DH's favourites - orange and poppyseed cake.

On Sunday I was finally brave enough to pick up a needle and thread!  Despite the plaster it was still fairly painful but necessary to get rid of the swelling in my fingers.
I worked on my Aster Manor Sampler.  I completed the almost finished Rolling Stone block and made the Bow Tie block (also called Old Maid's Puzzle) from start to finish.

I'm all out of template plastic so I can't do anymore pieced blocks.  I'll have to work on some of the applique blocks which already have all the shapes cut out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pure Bliss

The weather is lovely and warm, windows open letting in the sweet spring air and i'm watching Jane Austen films and hand sewing while the boys are busy outside.

What could be better?