Sunday, September 25, 2011

More scraps

I must be feeling better - the work team is off to Tonga tomorrow and I'm jealous! For the last few months the thought of hopping in a plane to somewhere hot has made me shudder, but I'm beginning to think that I might be able to cope with it again some day soon! Bring it on. But in the meantime, I'm in the sewing room and strangely drawn to the scraps bins ... not stopping at just the 16-patches. In a fit of something unknown I trimmed out a pile of 2" strips from the teeny tiny scraps bin then went looking for something to do with them.

Not that I had to look very far; just over to Bonnie and see what magical things she suggests for 2" scraps. I didn't want to do anything too fancy so went with this block below, Pineapple Blossom. I like the setting she shows with 2" squares and sashing, so will put it together like that when I get them done ... assuming enthusiasm still lasts. But it's a lovely block to put together and looks far more complex than it is.

I like the yellow, it gives it a bit of zing. This is one of my hand-dyes. I think this shows another Bonnie influence - cheddar! Or at least she calls it cheddar. It's a bit like the colour mushroom, I've never actually seen a mushroom that colour. Or peach, come to think of it. In the interests of science (I say that quite a lot, considering how unscientific I am) I took a photo of both the fabric, and some actual cheddar. Quite different.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stripey quilt finished!

All done and quilted and bound - although I skimped a bit on the quilting! This one is headed for a boy's bed (in fact it's there already) so I didn't do very dense quilting. In my experience it makes them a bit stiff and not snuggly enough. Maybe I'm using the wrong batting? I stitched in the ditch of most of the borders, and that will just have to hold it together as best it can.

I washed and dried it too, so it's looking loved and lived-in already. I have a stack of stripey blocks left over - perhaps a baby quilt? For a particularly groovy baby? Here's a slightly more straight-on shot. My Dad is staying at the moment, and he says it looks dainty and light with the dot borders. That's probably better than eyeball-burning, which was how it looked without the dot.

Number two son had to write a character description of someone at school - he chose Grandad (my Dad) - and described him as a "tall eager person". Isn't that classic? (He also did one of his father which said "My Dad spends a lot of time in his room making model airplanes. The rest of the time he plays on his iphone". Father of the Year Award? Maybe not.)

In the interests of science I machine sewed the binding ... experimentation and all that. I don't mind the look of it but the corners are very very bodgy. When I hand sew the front corners are lovely and I don't care what goes on at the back; and after doing that for twenty years when I try and reverse the process (i.e. sewing the binding to the back then folding it over to the front) I end up with beautiful corners on the back and a dog's breakfast on the front. I had to put a few stitches in one of the corners by hand to keep it from unravelling ... which I didn't see in ANY of the on-line machine binding tutorials. Shall I persevere with it to the point where it becomes adequate? Who can say.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design floor Monday

I'm laying things out on the "design floor" again ... this is the result of me having slightly pointless fun with scraps again - 16 patch blocks for no apparent reason. I think this was triggered because I was having to jam the scraps bin back into the bookcase, and rather than keep shoving I thought it would be more useful to get sewing!

I sewed until I got bored, and there are 49 blocks, which works out rather nicely if I do a 7 x 7 setting. I must finish off a few tops first though, before I get distracted again. Laying them out was fun; putting the same fabrics next to each other so they blend in a little bit, in a scrappy way. Still plenty of blocks to try and place.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Still painting

I've had it with the watercolour book - it wanted to move on to landscapes, and composition, and framing. The next exercise in burnt umber was this depressing, and slightly creepy, scene.

I really don't want to paint pictures ... which of course begs the question what on earth do I want to do with my nice blank white paper? I thought about it for a bit but really, deep down, I want to be Alisa Burke. Except for being eight months pregnant, that would suck, but the whole painting with watercolours and design and printmaking and fabric decorating thing. So I started by shamelessly copying her cupcakes.

Then moved into a dahlia of my own design.

I can't get over a nagging feeling that doing the delineation and much of the shading with a black pen is somehow cheating, but I like the look, so bugger it. I'm going to copy her hibiscus next ... Number two son took on the challenge of the umber landscape though. Genius.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bye bye birdie

My demented bird from the wool felt cushion was driving me mad - no matter how you squinted, the beak just looked wrong. So I unpicked my birdie and threw it away (could be a country song, right there) and kept doing flowers over the spot.

Should get in a bit more stitching as the rugby world cup goes along. I'm halfway through the radiotherapy now and I'm starting to go pink and burnt - I told the twelve-year-old Registrar today that I was beginning to burn and she peered at it and said "mmm, mild redness" ... mild! my bollocks. And feeling tired too - I left work early this afternoon and came home and slept for two hours. So now I feel groggy, tired and mildly red. Humph.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've started putting all my stripey blocks together. I did trim the dog ears in the end - it was getting too wild and woolly even for me - and now I'm sewing them together medallion-style. I was originally going to use a stripe for the borders between the blocks but it was so busy it made my eyes bleed. Wildly headache-inducing, which is not what you want for a quilt. Then I tried some solids, but it looked a bit boring. So I have ended up with a black and white dot - patterned but not too much so, and hopefully a nice relief from the mismatched stripes.

I'm at home with a snotty-nosed child today; he kept coughing pathetically (and did look like a bag of shit to be honest) so he's been lying in the sun reading all day. And instead of going into work I'm paying the bills and getting the paperwork under control. I think I'd rather be at work ... at least there I get to spend someone else's money.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kiwi heritage

I've been channelling my New Zealand upbringing in a big way this weekend - mostly by watching four rugby games in the last 48 hours (and there's another one tonight). All good games too - except for the Wallabies first half against Italy - and there's another six weeks before the Rugby World Cup ends!!! So much fun ... I don't watch much sport on television normally but this has completely sucked me in ALREADY.

We've paid for the extra sports channels from Foxtel specially for this and it's already been worth the money. Watch my butt spread over the sofa (although I might get the wool felt cushion cover finished, which would be great, because it has been taking far too long already and I'm getting bored with it).

The other Kiwi-ness I've been displaying was some serious baking. Here's the orange cake (after cutting, but it was no oil painting before cutting - how does the mixture get under the lining paper? Messy).

Chocolate brownie (couldn't get it before cutting either, but that was because it was too delicious to wait).

And scones. They were even ...wait for it ... Jo Seagar's Country Scones. They practically leapt off the plate saying "go the Allblucks, eh".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not helping at all

Is that a giant seal pup asleep on the sewing table? It's fat and it's furry. It would probably make quite a nice coat for the cooler months.

It can sleep through a sewing machine racketing in its ear, and through having stripey squares being dragged over its furry butt. It's a miracle of nature.

Who can I go and help next?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Could've, should've

I'm sewing my stripey blocks together, and it struck me that I could have colour-coordinated my fabrics, and not just used everything in the room that was remotely striped.

I could have lined up my stripes.

And not just let them fall wherever they wanted.

I could have trimmed my dog ears too.