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!!