Friday, April 29, 2011

Why do I blog?

I've been reading a few posts on blogging, trying to make money from craft and design, the pros and cons of advertising and charging for tutorials. There have been some wonderfully honest and thought-provoking reads out there (looking at you and it's made me think - why do I blog? And this is what I came up with.
  • For me. So I don't forget what I've done. I know this is the universal cry of people who have NO readers - but it's true for me. Without a record I forget my quilts, especially the quick ones that I do for presents.
And, equally importantly, what are not my reasons for blogging?
  • I will never make money out of this. I have a well-paid government job that I enjoy. Even if quilting could bring in an equivalent amount of dosh (and it couldn't) I like going into an office and using my non-creative-brain-side and my qualifications.
  • I'm not contributing a single waft of inspiration to the crafting community. Everything I do has been done by someone else already - and I don't have techniques or tutorials that would add anything to the world.
So there you go. For now, the blogging world and me are in a happy balance of mutual low expectations.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Owls in a wonky nest

My husband's cousin and his wife are expecting their third child in the middle of the year, so I'm getting started on a baby quilt. I don't know if it's a boy or a girl so I thought I would go with universally acceptable orange ... well, it's universally acceptable to me - I love orange, and yellow, especially for little ones. I went with liberated log cabins - easy and cheerful.

It will be nine squares (they finish at 13 1/2") plus a border, so about 50 inches finished. The real inspiration was this excellent owl fabric - in both orange and grey. I think maybe it was Halloween fabric? Or possibly not. If I cared, I would google and tell you. But I don't.

The next photo probably shows the colours better without the flash. Some of the blocks are perhaps a little too liberated to lie perfectly flat ... I'm hoping it will quilt out! A vain hope, but after a few baby barfs and washes it will all be lovely and crumpled anyway.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Buying me some background

I didn't have nearly enough pale neutrals for the background of my hexagons, so I bought some more. Just the usual six-yard collection from - that's the amount they can fit in a priority envelope.

Amazingly, the Aussie dollar is worth more than the US dollar at the moment, so the madness of $5 or $6 a yard fabric from the US is made even more irresistible. The local quilt shop here is still stocking it all at $24/metre for basic prints, and more for designers or anything new.

I'm going to enjoy this pale creamy goodness I think.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hexagons again

I'm happily hexagonning away at the moment. I'm glad I started with something quite small though - I think there are about 400 hexagons in my plan and I've done around 150. Which makes me feel comfortable with it. If I had planned to do a 10 000 hexagon monster I would probably be throwing it all in the bottom of the Cupboard of Doom about now. I'll post a photo of the bottom of the cupboard one day, it's a sad little pile of failures.

Red, then gold, then blue. There'll be one other main fabric in the quilt, plus neutral backgrounds, but I haven't picked it yet. I think probably another warmish gold or maybe brown, or perhaps red. Plenty on the shelves to choose from.

Because I'm not feeling well, I'm spending a lot more time reading about quilts than doing them! I haven't sat at my machine for weeks, although I probably could. Reading blogs is fun, although like everything, if you do too much of it, it starts to all look the same. The very few genuinely creative people stand out a mile.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orange peel progress

These are never going to win an award for quilt photography, but at least they show progress. I've pinned up the orange peel and have started hand quilting it. I'm going with simple outline in matching thread.

It could take a long time because it's competing with the hexies for handsewing time. But there's a bigger problem - I may have made terrible mistake with the backing fabric. I thought it was 100% cotton but it has a funny slippery feel when you sew it - like it's dragging on the needle. You know some fabrics are light and happy and welcome being sewn? This is the opposite of that. I seem to have bought a Grumpy Check.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I had nothing to do with this

A dear friend in Brisbane sent graffiti t-shirts for the boys to do, as a craft project while I'm not well. Son number two is fond of all forms of art and craft loved the whole concept, as expected. Less expectedly, he took a while to think about what he wanted to write. He even google imaged "caution signs". Then he took the t-shirt and the markers off for a while and did his shirt, all by himself.

Isn't he clever? Although I think the true genius is on the back. I am not sure if this means I need to have a chat about religion or if my hard-line atheism is working as intended.

He wore it to a six-year-old birthday party this afternoon. I forgot to ask if there were any comments.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trying something new

Here is a hurdle that I haven't wanted to leap over in twenty years quilting ... paper piecing! I have never really liked the end results of hexagon piecing because I associate it with traditional quilts in pastels. But, of course, you can do whatever you want with them!!! And when I saw Bonnie's no fuss method over on, I thought I would give them a go.

Of course I do it the even-bodgier way. I just very roughly cut the hexagon shape (bigger than the template provided, I like a good solid overlap),then fold it over with my fingers and tack into place, then sew it to another one as per Bonnie's excellent instructions. I'm not sure how well they're going to hold together but looking good so far!

Isn't this pretty? This is for the next set of flowers, around a red centre.

The hexagon drafting was quite a hit in the house, both kids wanting graph paper to make pretty patterns with. And I quite liked it too! According to this plan the finished item will only be about three feet across, which isn't good for anything, but I figured it was better to start with something small. So I don't get horrified and give up.