Sunday, October 31, 2010

Colour combinations

I'm sewing together solid colour scraps and strings at the moment, mostly randomly. I like the way that sometimes the colours go together unexpectedly. I always think "I MUST remember that colour combo for a quilt" ... but I never do. Maybe now I've taken pictures of them it'll last longer?

Scraps to strings makes a godawful mess of the sewing room. I haven't seen floor for a few days, and I think when I do it will be covered in threads - my jeans look like I've been rolling around in a garment factory. Isn't this pink and purple and green great? What are my chances of getting the men of the house to agree to re-do the living room these colours .... zero. Definitely zero.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old embroidered things

For a while now I've had dibs on the old embroidered things lurking at the back of my Dad's linen closet. It's the usual assortment of things that don't exist any more - doilies, nightstand sets, teatray cloths ... and some that do like tablecloths and napkins. I've made Dad promise not to throw it out so it's all waiting there for me to come over and collect it! With empty suitcases and probably an excess baggage chit as well. I think there may have been a recent influx from when my aunt died ... I'm not sure. Dad is a bit of a hoarder.

So, some of it come over in an envelope with the six-year-old's birthday present last week, as a sneak preview! Dad was apologetic that he can't tell whether its recent machine-made or hundred-year-old embroidered by great grandma - but I can't tell the difference either! Some of it is clearly made by hand, and some is clearly post WWII synthetics, but other than that? It's a mystery. I'm having fun washing and folding regardless.

The blue background is maybe a dishcloth or teatowel - quite small anyway. The orange flowers are on a tablecloth! Pretty!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shiny things in circles

This is what my shiny scraps turned into. Lots of small circles, surrounded by lots of large circles. On different coloured fabrics - scraps again - without any particular plan. I like them! Although it's crudely appliqued, just with yellow topstitching around all the circles. But I think it makes it more colourful (although the real reason is that I had yellow thread in the machine and I couldn't be bothered changing it).

I finished the binding at quilters on Wednesday - in our new premises in an old primary school that's been turned into community multi-use. We have designated rooms in a building but the quilters' Wednesday day time meeting is in what used to be the old school hall. It's lovely - light and bright and everything is nice and new because all the kitchens and toilets have been redone for the re-use.

I don't like it when primary schools close - but Canberra's original vision was one primary school for every single suburb, and that just isn't feasible all the time. So, if they have to be closed, it's lovely that they're used as community facilities and not bulldozed and sold to developers. And who could be a nicer tenant than the Canberra Quilters? Apparently we share our floor with the University of the Third Age and the Heraldry Society. Sounds like fun ...

I finished the binding in time for show and tell - one of the ladies at my table said my quilt looked lovely from a distance! Yay for me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pretty shiny things

Being easily distracted, I'm veering away from the big projects I ought to be doing and onto something completely different. A friend that I worked with a few years ago had a belly dancing studio, which involved lots of gorgeous satiny things and shiny costumes and sequins and chiffon and all things wonderful and girly!

When she moved to Melbourne she left me a bag of offcuts which I've been taking out and patting every now and again - and on the weekend they were talking to me, so I took them out and made some circles. I love shiny. Pretty colours shiny. Glorious polyester of course, but that just makes it even shinier. Aaaaaah.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More bias strips

Although I wasn't too tickled with the previous experiment in bias strips, I thought it was worth another go. This time using colours that I actually liked, and putting a little bit of planning into it!

This is where we are - quite simple squares with criss-crossing.

I'm going to put at least one more border on it, to make it a bit more interesting. The possibilities are greater the more you think about them, with the strips. I have to keep going though - I made a small miscalculation about the amount of continuous bias binding you can make with a twenty inch square. I have about ten miles of this blue now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No sewing on the open road

Although it's not a road really, more of a sky, and not a very successful one. The week in Kiribati was good - but too hot and dusty to sew. I did see an amazing technique they work with gingham that I'm desperate to try when I get home - it's a smocking variation where the white or the colour are pinched out with stitches to form patterns. Very clever and very pretty.

Missed connections from Our Airline (which is the national airline of Nauru, and only has one plane, why do very small countries insist on having an airline?) meant last night in Fiji, and still no sewing. Home again today though, and looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Liberated chinese coins

I'm happily plugging away on the hand quilting for this quilt. It's not small - about 75 inches square I think - and it's going to take me a while! But that's OK. I sewed the chinese coin strips originally for some light entertainment (really because I couldn't think of anything else to sew, so sewed scraps), and then decided that it needed words around. I have no idea why, but I thought it did, so I added them in. Lots of fun.

I like the greens around the strips - it's mostly a light yellowy green which is very fresh - the photo above looks a bit greyer than it is in reality. I really chose it because it was the colour I had most of in the dyed shelf (I am completely out of blues) but it seems to work.

Work has prevented me going to the last day time quilters meeting because I was on a selection panel, and I have to travel next week so I'll miss the evening meeting, which is a bit of a curse. So my words reflect the selection process! Kind of.