Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Design wall Monday

I'm in Vanuatu this week for work - but I took these photos on my phone literally while I was walking out the door! I'd packed the camera, and it was at the bottom of my case...

Anyway, when I was at quilters a couple of weeks ago there was a black and white picture in a magazine that caught my eye. So I took a photo of it on my phone (I thought ripping out the picture from someone else's magazine wouldn't go down too well...). It's pretty straightforward, puss in the corner blocks with half-square triangles.
I decided to do it in the pink/purple/green combination that caught my eye when I was sewing random scraps a few weeks ago. So I've done most of the puss in the corner blocks and I will then do the half square triangles and see how it looks! The colour placement is entirely random.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Border done for baby quilt

This one is now off the design wall (floor), quilted and bound and safely handed over to the mother-to-be! Who is 35 weeks but looks very well and healthy. She doesn't know whether it's a boy or girl and refuses to listen to her workmate who insists she has 100% success rate with gender prediction. Hmmmm....

Thank you for your comments on my previous post when I was auditioning borders. I went with the orange in the end - but only on a small inner border and in the binding. It was too heavy all together and too dark, but with the lighter print I think it looks better! All the better for a baby to dribble on, that is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Design floor Monday

And what exciting bit of something is on my floor today!!! Pink and green and pink again strips ... anyone else got the same thing? I'm doing Bonnie's mystery quilt. I've never done a mystery quilt before so I'm hoping my enthusiasm and focus will be enough to carry me through.

I think these strip sets can best be described as "pinkish" and "greenish". Bonnie did say scrappy...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One from the archives

I have finally gotten round to trawling back through the photos on the computer and picking out the ones of my quilts. All our photos - mostly of the kids, they're so cute when they're babies ... not any more - are just plonked in the date folders. So I had a happy trip down memory lane and found a lot of quilts I had forgotten about making! I gave most of them away, but I think some of them are still lurking downstairs.

Today's feature from the archives is ... this planets quilt which I gave to a little boy for his third birthday. You can still get away with quilts at that age - any older and they're cross for not getting an actual toy. But at three they're still only focussed on the cakes and chips.

This quilt was made with some of my very earliest hand dyed fabric - I think I put it with a black print because I was worried about the dye running. I rinsed obsessively back then though! Most of the current ones would be more problematic. I know the kiddy has used the quilt, so I'm assuming it's been washed - and no shrieks of horror about a ruined load of washing, so it was probably fine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

New pretty fabric

Seven lovely yards arrived from Aunt Bea's today. I have an image of Aunt Bea - wise, grey-haired, slicing off fabric and popping it in an envelope just for me. And the fabric always comes with a Hershey bar!!! My children, good Aussie kids that they are, have no idea what a Hershey bar is. They prod it suspiciously ... then figure it out and wham! all gone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Even more babies

And to round off the baby trifecta here is a very simple little quilt I finished on the weekend and gave to a woman at work today - she's having a boy she told me today! How exciting, boys are lovely. I didn't know when I made it though, so gender-neutral as usual.

It's from a packet of charm squares I found in the cupboard and a few ring-ins. I'm not sure why, it was a very small packet of charm squares with only twelve in them. I can't remember using any of them, but I must have ... or, more likely, I bought it because it was really cheap, and that's why. Regardless, it was the perfect size and colours for my quilt! So karma wins again.

And Hancocks have free shipping again, bless them, and the Australian dollar is at parity with the USD!!!! At the risk of sounding obsessed by money and / or offensively frugal, I'm getting the fabric to my door for less than $AUD 5 per yard, compared to $25 / metre minimum in the shops!!! Wow, is all I can say, wow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design wall ... floor

I've really been enjoying looking at all the contributions to design wall Monday over on Judy's blog so I thought I would join in for once! I don't actually have a design wall though, I tend to lay blocks out on the floor to look at. I like it because I can see them reversed in the mirrored fronts of the cupboards, and it's like looking at them from a distance. On the downside, I tend to wheel over them in my sewing chair. Very bad for a block, being caught up in the casters of a wheeled deskchair.

So, this rainy Monday, we have some basic blocks on the design wall (floor) for yet another baby quilt! The ladies of my acquaintance are popping them out at the moment, so I'm making cot quilts galore. And no-one seems to want to tell me what gender they are (or they don't know themselves) so it's all either green or yellow, or blue with flowers, or something bright and multi-coloured.

I'm auditioning fabrics for the border at the moment. I don't actually like either of the ones in the photo - too dark and heavy I think - so I will pull out some more lighter fabrics and see if any of them work.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doodling on fabric

Monday and Tuesday this week I spent in an organisation management get together - perfectly civilised and even slightly interesting - but requiring me to maintain focus for hours at a time. Not a strength for me. I find that if I just sit I wander off - so I'm much better to take notes; or, if there's nothing really to write down, to doodle. So I doodled little squares and patterns, and plenty of them.

They look much better from a distance - close up you can see the lack of finish.

I liked them so much I thought I'd try them on fabric - so I got a permanent marker and ruled a 12.5" square (because that's the size of my square ruler). The fabric tends to bunch so I attached them to a baking tray with masking tape and did my doodling. One is on white fabric and one is actually a pale pink.

I like them! They're not difficult or timeconsuming - one takes about fifteen minutes - and the edges are a bit rough, but the overall effect is very interesting. I shall do some more and see how they go in some kind of quilt. I don't know yet how you would quilt them. I may have to do some experimenting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back to basics

It's back to something nice and straightforward with this baby quilt. It's for a friend's baby who I was meant to go and visit this morning, but I have a cold, and there's nothing like spreading your germs through a bunch of little kids to make you popular. So I'll have to see them another time ... no point in going if you can't blow on the baby's tummy.

I enjoyed making this and not having to worry whether it was fulfilling my artistic urges! (I have them, honestly). The blue floral is very pretty, and more of a aqua blue than shows in the photos. I machine quilted it with freehand flowers in the middle of the stars and a basic squiggle on the outer border.

I'm slowly handquilting my way through the liberated chinese coins - I've decided to do freehand baptist fans in the borders which I do love, but it's going to take quite a long time, given the size of the quilt. Oh well, that's what television is for.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

String block things

I reckon the fun part is sewing the strips together. Having to decide what to do with them is a royal pain in the arse. They look so pretty all together, and so miserable in a block! Anyway I made an ohio star, which is a bit wonky (obviously) with an orange star. No particular reason for the orange - other than there was about a yard and a half of it and it was on the top of the pile.

I also made a spider web block - not foundation pieced - just adding the bundle of strips to the triangle and trimming it down to size ... made sense at the time. I would like to do it again with a more co-ordinated bunch of strips and make one of those pretty spiderweb quilts you see floating around on the web at the moment. The web effect is a bit lost with these random triangle points ... and I change the pattern so the star would be the primary impact - you can see the seam allowance in the left hand one would hit at the star point rather than make a floating background of orange.

I don't know why I'm torturing myself with possibilities now, I have to go to work and can't sew until tomorrow. Yesterday was a 16 hour day (I get paid for 5) so I'm going in half an hour late today! Yeah, what a way to stick it to the man.