Saturday, January 30, 2010

A good use for swimming lessons.....

Each summer holidays we have attended a 1 week swimming intensive run by the venue where we have lessons during the year.  It's only 5 x 1/2 hour, plus this year we went for 2 x 1 1/2 hour sessions.  Well, guess how many hexagons you can baste and then sew in that time?  Answer- LOTS.  I can't believe how many little hexagons I cut, basted and sewed in the time.  I did make sure that I actually looked at the children every now and then! 
I need to finish 12 diamond shapes made up of 25 3/4" hexagons, then sash them with more hexagons.
So far so good- over half way.
I'm slowly learning about fussy cutting as I go.  Just need to remember which way the little hexagons will sit around the central one.  I'm very happy with the progress so far.

Look what came in the post yesterday.
Some lovely presents for myself that were waiting when I got home from a day spent with my eldest DD.
I finally found somewhere that sold the Floriani fusible interfacing, and better than mailorder alone- it was on special!  Punch with judy has been having a sale of different products every day of January and had a 25% off day.  I managed to be quite conservative with my purchases, and only got the fusible, a Clover needle felter and some lead for my marking pencil.
 I also had a little browse around the site of  Quilt Fabric Delights  and found some lovely fat 1/4's on sale.  Last year, Sarah ran a Pincushion of the Month Club. (Have a look at this years Bagalicious Club- Oh my.) They were absolutely gorgeous, and came as a kit with pattern, fabrics and threads needed to finish them.   I also purchased a couple of left over pincushion kits that were too adorable to leave .  My DD2 has already had a good look at them and announce which ones she would like to make.  Each pattern has 4-5 different pincushions to make.  I think that may be tomorrows activity. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another lovely book...

I just love a good quilting book.  Not an instructional book (although they are high on the wish list) but a book full of photos and information.  I don't mind if they're antique or contemporary, but I love looking at finished quilts in high quality photos.
I recently found this book.

Fascinating insight into how the museum was founded and set up.  But best of all, great photos of quilts.

The colours are a little washed out in these photos,  but the originals are lovely.
The first quilt is from Pennsylvania c 1825.  All the compass points are sharp and line up beautifully
The second one is from Oregon c 1925.  According to the book, it's a variation on the Tree of Life pattern called Cherry Trees, and was popular around the turn of the century.
These two quilts are among many favourites.
I can ask for little more than a hot bubble bath and a good book.  (After a good sewing session, that is!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Too far for a weekend????

I borrowed 3 Kaffe Fassett books from the library last week, but didn't get to read the last- "V and A Quilts" before I left for Wodonga.

I finished looking through the fabulous book last night and thought I'd have a look at  the actual Victoria and Albert Museum site.  OMG. Luckily I was sitting down as the site opened.  There is an exhibition of  Quilts there from late March to early July -"Quilts 1700- 2010".  Have a look at the site.  I googled some of the old quilts to get a bit more info on them.
Oh bestill my beating heart.
DH and the family were thinking of going away for Easter- do you think this would be OK?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Back....

Well, it's been a long time between drinks here!
Last Wednesday I left for Summer School in Wodonga, and returned last night.  What a great 5 days away.
GF Ms A and myself trekked up the highway in a leisurely fashion last Wednesday.  We were hoping to get to the trunk show on Wednesday night, but spent a little too much time helping the local economy on the way!
I quite like making little purses, but have a lot of trouble finding 4 " zips.  I found a little treasure trove in a small haberdashery shop in Seymour.  I felt like I'd stepped back into my childhood- fabric, wool, thread, dress fabrics, bits and bobs everywhere.  Loved poking around.

Thursday and Friday found us in class with a lovely teacher from Sydney- Karen Cunningham.  We stitched away madly on hexagons for the 2 days in class.

The finished quilt is similar to a medallion, it will have a large hexagon centre, with various pieced and striped fabric borders to surround it.
Oh, and several excursions to local shops to help the economy.  These pieces are mostly fat 1/8's.

I have finally succumbed to the technique of fussy cutting.  Oh my, it makes such a difference to the look of the individual hexagons and the entire block.
I bought a fabulous little window template to help placement of my hexie papers.

Saturday and Sunday found us on a new project.  A quilt with an applique centre, surrounded by pieced blocks and then a border stripe ,based on a very old quilt in a museum in England.

Lots of bias was made and bits and pieces cut and pieced for the blocks.
Somehow I constructed less in this class, but chatted with the lovely ladies on the table more.  Quilters will certainly travel for really great classes and fantastic teachers.  There were several ladies from W.A. , a couple from Towoomba QLD, several from Geelong and Melbourne not to mention the extended surrounding countryside.
All in all, four fantastic days spent eating, drinking and sewing.  the perfect existence.
Oh, did I mention we've already booked our accomodation for next year! LOL.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A busy Day....

Well, the last few days haven't been entirely productive, but I made up for it today.
I'm working my way through Bonnie K. Hunter's Carolina Christmas mystery quilt.  The actual mystery is over, but I'm dragging my heels with the steps.  I'm up to step 4.
Millions of triangles....
from this...

to this.  All sewn together, all 208 pairs of them.  Which only leaves cutting apart and pressing of  them.  I may be here all day!
I am attending Summer School at Patchwork on Stonleigh this week and although I have been collecting fabric for quite some time, I realised that I had no background.  Not sure how that happened.  First thought was to visit quilt shop, but they are both closed until Monday.  Hmmm, what to do?  Remembered my tub of neutrally fabrics.  The pieces I need aren't large- only one 2m piece and one 2.5m piece, and what do you know I found 2 pieces that will fit the bill.  Lucky for me I have a stash, (which is just what I impressed upon DH ).
I'm doing 2 quilts at summer school, here are my requirements so far:

I'm going with a DF Ms A and we're really looking forward to it.  All hand stitching, gentle conversation and good food- what more can you ask for?  Oh, and air conditioning!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Two to start with.

Ok, first UFO to finish will be my applique Whig Rose.
Well, I stood looking at the tub which my 2nd oldest UFO lives in for quite some time.  After all, it is about 9 feet off the ground.  (I live in metric, but some things are just imperial.  Like the ceiling heights in my house, and all quilting measurements. LOL)
Finally I got the courage and the ladder to get the tub down and look at a quilt I started in february 2002!!!
It's a Whig Rose block,  repeated 4 times.  I took a class back then more for company than the need for the pattern.  Unfortunately, the class ended with the 4 central blocks.  The borders were "whatever you want".  I think most people put 4 plain borders around and it was finished.  I really wanted to applique a vine.  Applique is no problem, but designing my own pattern is.  So, it has sat in the box for 8 years, brought out a couple of times as the mood struck to work on the borders.  I've kind of designed them with help from      Elly Sienkiewicz and her applique books.  This is where I'm at currently.  I have 4 borders at the same stage, but only photographed 2.

And my centre.
The second project is a quilt I made just last year for my DD1.  A little busy for me, but she likes it.

This quilt just needs the quilting done to finish it.
So, that's 2 projects to keep me out of trouble.  And they're only a start, as they say in the classics, " there's lots more where they came from."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year.

Oh no.  2nd of January already and no Happy New Year from me to you.  Where is the time going?  I know I'm working some days, but that's no excuse for no acknowledgment.  OK over it now.
I'm checking out Punch with Judy 's site everyday over January for their Birthday celebration specials.  Go on over, you never know what you'll find out you need if you don't!  Every day a different special.
Have you also noticed the new button in the sidebar?  I'm trying for 10 projects finished in 2010.  Mind you finished can be a very fluid term.  I found this challenge over at Flourishing Palms, Linda's lovely blog.  It won't be hard for me to find 10 projects, finishing is another thing entirely.
Will get the camera out tomorrow for some pics of project candidates.