Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cutting corners

The theme for this year's guild calendar is "cutting corners" - the challenge is a small quilt, maximum 50 cm each side and square. The theme made me think of someone haring madly round bends, so this is the quiltlet so far.

Still have to do the quilting on most of it, but I think it's captured what I was aiming for!! Not very serious (or very well-made to be honest) but so far I like it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When your brain has gone

After a feral week at work (event management, not my cup of tea AT ALL) I couldn't face any of the ongoing projects. So what do you do when your brain has left the building? Sew together the tiny bits in your scrap basket. Some big, some small, some straight, some not. Music playing, window open, and a happy few hours thinking of nothing more important than whether there was enough water in the iron.

I have no idea what I'll use these for. They are all different sizes and shapes and some are more interesting than others. Together there is probably enough for a queen-size quilt, so I could just put together with some solid sashing to tie them in? I will report on progress.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nothing exciting being quilted today

Although I did go to the daytime meeting this morning, which was very enjoyable. I stitched down the binding for the blue quilt, which was useful, but not exactly exciting stuff to report here.

Other than that we went down the beach again last weekend which was delightful. Here's a shot of middle-aged spread - better with my t-shirt ON than OFF, trust me.

And for no reason at all - a blue tongued lizard! In the driveway!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blue triangles done!!!

OK, nearly done, except for hand stitching the binding down. I've finished the hand quilting and put the binding on - and I'm saving the final binding stitches for the day time guild meeting next week. I think it will be a good straightforward sewing task while I smile nicely at the other ladies!!!

One without the flash, to show the quilting a bit more. It's quilted in large stitch using stranded embroidery cotton. This quilt is clearly inspired by Gwen Marston's Mexican Hat Dance - it's the same block but done in blues rather than brights, and with a random blocky border. The joy of the book (Abstract Quilts in Solid Colours ) is you just have to take your best pitch on how to make it. After much staring I decided just to take four squares, make three random cuts at about the same point and sew them back together to different ones of the four. Make perfect sense? Anyway, after a bit of headscratching it worked for me. I didn't like it though until I'd put the borders on ... funny how that turns out.

Today Dad and I went to the exhibition at the gallery - my sister and I went last month when she was over; so it was a chance for me to re-visit my favourites without feeling I had to study each picture learnedly. I do like to at least seem as if I'm thinking about each one, even though some definitely do not speak to me on any level. So I can look like I'm thinking "Interesting use of perspective and opposing colours to show depth" when I'm actually thinking "You call that a masterpiece? It looks like you just don't know how to draw, I wouldn't give you a dollar for it". Yep.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Slightly more successful

This batch of dyeing turned out a bit better!! Blue-blacks and one purple ... it looks a bit out of place. The way I dye is by making up the dye mixtures a cup or two at a time, but I only use about three tablespoons per square metre of fabric. So I keep the left over dye mixture in the fridge and pull it out when I need it.

And I always think "I'll pull out the black and the blue and the red and the other red, and use those" but end up doing all my fabric with the black and the blue because there are just so many cool colours in the world!! Anyway, with this one I think I decided to throw a bit of red in the sixth one, and so we have a rogue purple.

And here's a happier picture to finish on ... electrician installing a shiny new oven. It's so clean, I hate to use it (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Purple drunkard's path

I've put the purple drunkard's path blocks together ... it looks quite random but took a bit of thought and re-arrangement. I tried to have a couple of runs of colour off each block - that is, going in two directions with the same purple to give some different shapes.

I like the yellow jags too - it's the same as the blue one I'm just about to finish; in fact it's from the same bit of cloth. A yellow with orange blotches. I haven't decided about the border for this yet - it's about 60" square so it probably only needs quite a narrow border. I suspect I'll do something simple and purple rather than pieced, but there's no rush! Once again I want to handquilt it, and it's in the growing queue (behind the medallion and the little pink pig ... ). At least the days are starting to get a bit more cool and autumnal, and I'll feel a lot more like sitting in front of the tv with a great blanket on my lap.

And why did I take the photos in the small awkward spot (I cropped out the toys and piles of washing)? Because my oven is sitting in the big space of the lounge room. My old, sad, dead, not working oven. This is not good, not good at all.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A bit more normal

This is what I'm working on at the moment - the final border for my big medallion quilt. I think this is the one I'll put in the guild show this year so I'm trying to make sure that the seams meet where they're supposed to and the borders aren't wavy. Not things I usually bother with, so it's a bit more timeconsuming than normal.

So far I think it's all worth it! The central medallion is a reasonably traditional vase of flowers, with various borders. It's not startling but I think when it all comes together it'll be quite pretty? Who knows. My main aim, after the slightly disheartening experience of showing the wobbly quilt last year, is to have something that I'm happy with, but which is not too challenging for the viewing public :). As ever I'm inspired by Gwen Marston - this time her take on classic medallion quilts, particularly using a variety of fabrics. When the borders sit together it should look quite rich and intricate, but at the same time it's a very simple arrangement.

And I plan to hand quilt it, if the eternal blue quilt ever gets done! Up to the borders on that one now, so shouldn't be too long.