Friday, December 31, 2010

A Belated Merry Christmas.

Well, a little late, but never mind.  Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.
We celebrated this year by beating a retreat to a local beach and spending a week there. 
Many fantastic quilt books found their way down our chimney with Santa, and the odd bit of fabric too.  All in all a lovely day.
 I managed to find some time to continue stitching on my Joseph's Coat blocks.  They're coming along slowly but surely.

 I had to leave my sewing on Bonnie K Hunter's latest mystery Roll Roll Cotton Boll when we went away.  I felt quite itchy to keep stitching on this quilt.  Couldn't quite talk DH into letting me take my sewing machine with us on holidays.  Probably couldn't have fit it in the car anyway. 
So I've finished Step 1 ,2 and 4.
 I'm part way through Step 3 with string piecing 60 blocks.  Time consuming is all I can say, but an easy step.
And a little of Step 5 have been stitched. 
I still have no idea what this quilt will look like when finished. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finally home for a Friday Night Sew In  with Heidi from Hand Made By Heidi.  I love the idea of sewing with people from all over the world, and this was a double world-wide sew-in.  Friday Night and stitching on a Bonnie mystery.   Yaa Hooooo.!
Onwards with Step 2 of the mystery quilt with Bonnie K Hunter.  I finished cutting and stitching triangles together last night.  So big tick to Step 2.
 I bypassed Step 3.  It entails stitching 60 8 1/2" string pieced blocks.  I just need to get my head around that prospect, and the need to cut 60 foundations as well as all the strips.  I don't keep strings of fabric in "stock".  So onto Step 4.  I've cut 30 strips of green, 30 of  neutrals, and 120 green squares to match the green strips.  The green and neutral strips need to be sewn together.  Who knows what is happening to the squares!
 Whilst stripping my neutrals for Step 4, I decided that it would be a fantastic idea to also cut for Step 3 strips and Step 5 (which appeared last night).    So, here is a start at strings and strips for the foundation pieced string blocks.  I just cut a mixture of 1", 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" strips.
 This is my pile of 2" strips for Step 5.  This step entails piecing  600  , yes 600 2" triangles from neutrals and a constant red fabric.  Must start to strip my red today.  I found it interesting to take a fat quarter of fabric, and strip it until it was gone.  I did start by cutting some and setting some aside for "later".  Then I thought - why later?  Just Use it all up!  After all, I can always buy more if the unthinkable should happen and I run out!!  So each piece was stripped for Step 3, 4 and 5 until it was gone.  I have to say it was actually very satisfying.
 So, for many pieces this is all that was left.  These bits make it to the compost bin.  No waste- how cool is that?
Speaking very quietly here, but I've started to save my selvages.  I know, another tub of bits.  They're so enticing though.  Oh, stop me now!  Please.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Everyone is busy at this time of year, but thankfully, the busyness around here is slowing down.
DD's have finished school for the year and their after-school activities have finished.  I've started my yearly clean of the house, (I actually do clean throughout the year, but this is a pre-Christmas big tidy up! LOL ).    I like to pull out furniture, dust and mop, and de-clutter now whilst the  weather is decent and my windows are all open.  The school uniforms are washed and put away, and relaxation can begin.
 The dining room table is cleared of clutter, and the Santas are in residence.  Feels more like Christmas already.  I love getting out the decorations and my Nativity, brightens the house up.
 I've traced out some more pattern pieces for the Princess Feather border.  The preparation takes a fair amount of time, and I need lots of space to work out my fabrics, so this can't be done when DH is home. Horrific thought that he should see just how much Kaffe Fassett fabric I seem to have accumulated!
This quilt just keeps chugging along slowly.  This is Joseph's Coat , a quilt along with Kellie Wulfson that has been going for over 12 months now.  I have found it to be a great take-along project as I have several blocks prepped and ready to stitch.  Great for found time at appointments.  There are 49 blocks in this quilt, I've done about 35 I think.  Into the home stretch now.
 I've also managed to stitch another few Dear Jane blocks in the last few days.  Need to keep up with those or I'll be sewing it in my eighties!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just for something a little different to throw into the piecing mix at the moment- we have a mystery!  I had to wait until purchasing some pink before I started in on Step 1 of Bonnie K Hunters latest mystery.  Roll Roll Cotton Boll started 3 Fridays ago, but I didn't start until last Thursday.  I must say that the first step was very quick and easy.  Simple strip piecing and cross cutting.
 Step 2 is partly done.  I've cut out the fabrics into paired rectangles, they just need cutting with my Easy Angle ruler into matching triangles.
 Found this piece of green fabric in the bottom  of the green tub.  It's actually from my original wall hanging that started me on this great quilting journey back in about 1989.  It's been cut up now and is in this quilt!
 As an aside, here is a pic of something I said I'd never do.  Save selvages.  Oh no, I'm being drawn down into the vortex captain.  I tried to throw them out, really I did.  But the pull was too strong.  Of course, I haven't actually made them into anything yet.  I'm not totally caught up in it yet!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After last weeks effort at getting somewhere with the Princess Feather border, I got a little over applique!  Shocking, I know. In reality, I need to spread out all the fabrics and my pattern and choose the colours for the next bit of stitching.  I always end up with pattern, background and fabrics everywhere in my kitchen and dining room.  I do really need to spread out to get a good idea of what I need to use.  (that's my story anyway!) However, to keep my fingers in shape, I decided I really needed to get a wriggle on with some more Dear Jane blocks.  I've been sadly neglecting them lately.  It didn't help that my Dear Jane support group was meeting yesterday and I didn't have any finished blocks to show since last months meeting.
So, during the last week I've finished these little beauties.  Well, the little pink one is only half finished, but nearly!  : c )  We don't meet again until the end of January, so I might put in a huge effort  over the holidays and get lots done to show at the next class.  Or not!
 Of course, then I needed to get some pinks for the next round.
I'm also going to start the latest Bonnie K Hunter  mystery- Roll Roll Cotton Boll.  I'm going to use Bonnie's colours, so went looking in my tubs for pinks, greens and browns.  I've got heaps of greens (some dating back more than 10 years)  and browns, but little in the way of pinks.  So what was I to do but go shopping whilst at my support group at Quilters Bazaar in Gisborne.  Even better, they were having a 25 % off sale!!!  So I helped them out a bit with some purchases.  May have to go back tomorrow as I need some yardage for borders etc., and they had some lovely fabrics that would be perfect.
These are only fat 1/8s, fat 1/4s and a few 25 cm pieces.  I love the checks.  Oh, and I have a thing for dark brown fabric with a dash of pink in it.