Friday, 29 March 2013

You know quilting is out of control when ...

you buy a cabinet especially to store them in.

Here is my new/old oak cabinet. The photo is awful, but that will mean that the "after" photo will look even better, just like in those diet commercials where they make the people hunch over and wear too-tight clothes, so they look fantastic 6 weeks later. I used to hate oak furniture, but I have come around to it in recent years, although just as everyone seems to be as well, which means the prices are going up. Typical.

I bought this off Trade Me and ended up getting a moving company to bring it down from Wellsford. It was all a bit tricky moving something so big with Princess and baby in tow. The moving man was lovely and it got here quickly. The nice man from the restoration company is coming around to get it on Wednesday. He is going to strip it back and make it look as good as new. I like lighter coloured oak, so I won't get it re-stained, but left a more natural colour.

It will then go in the entrance way, stacked with lovely quilts I have yet to make.

The cupboards at the side are going to be great for storing our super special Wedgwood dinnerset, which I bought off amazon ages ago and haven't yet used. At least it will now be somewhere accessible, which makes it more likely to come out. It is moments like these when I realise I have turned into my mother, with best china and all.

On the quilt making front, I bought some storage containers for my fabric yesterday, to tidy up. I discovered that I have 6 layer cakes, a jelly roll, a charm pack, 2 x 12 litre bins of yardage and one bin of scraps. That is in addition to the two quilt tops and one puffy quilt WIP I have on the go. I know this isn't much compared to you people that have been quilting for many long years, but to put it in perspective, I have only finished 3 quilts. I must have enough fabric for 30 more. Sheesh. Definitely out of control!!

Just as well I have a cabinet now, eh!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Proudly announcing...

The commencement of free motion quilting. I read Elizabeth Hartman's excellent tutorial and then got started. It's fair to say that some of it is a lot better than other bits. And there is no way a larger quilt is going to fit in my iddy biddy machine.

Surprisingly hard work too! But you knew that!

I'm quite chuffed. I know I'll look back later and think it's rubbish. But for now I'm as proud as a new mum.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

And baby makes three (quilt tops, that is)

Phew, it's getting tricky to finish anything these days. Having the wee man in the house is like having a breach in the time/space continuum. Things that should take half an hour can take all day!

But I have managed to finish up this baby quilt top for him. It has changed in to a 5x5 block quilt after deciding that 4x6 was a strange long skinny shape. I held an urgent quilt summit with my BQF (best quilty friend) and she convinced me this size was better than 4x5, even though that would fit on his cot. She assured me that bigger is always better, no matter what our male friends may have to say on the topic. So I had to make one more block, but I had just enough left in the jelly roll. It is 60" x 60", so although it will be a bit big for his cot, it will be a good snuggle size and a throw once he moves in to a single bed.

My blocks don't match up perfectly, but they're not too bad. No doubt my quilting will be so awful that it will distract everyone from any mismatched seams. It is much better than it would have been if I had tried this before getting my 1/4" foot though.

So now I have three quilt tops to baste and quilt. I am going to do this one first for practice, before moving on to the bigger quilts.

In other quilting news, I have just bought a lovely old oak cabinet for storing quilts in. So it's off to Wellsford tomorrow to pick it up, then off to the furniture restorer. What a motivation to make more quilts. It has glass doors, so they an be stacked inside, but not get dusty. Yay.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Simply Woven Monster Bash baby quilt

So I've started another little project in order to avoid quilting the two quilt tops I now have sitting waiting for me.

It is a baby quilt for the wee man, using a Monster Bash jelly roll which arrived on my doorstep about a month ago. The pattern is Simply Woven from Moda Bake Shop (the link is on my resources page), although I am only making a half size (4x6 blocks). I am not sure this is the best pattern for the fabric (a spiderweb quilt probably would be better) but my hubby liked it and I am inclined to paralysis if I don't just choose something and get on with it.

Can I say how much I love precuts? I love precuts. They seem to be so quick to put together, although maybe it's the simple patterns rather than the fabric? I think this pattern is great, but I would pick something that needs seams ironed open again, wouldn't I! The one thing is that it is terrifying cutting into the blocks, because if you get it wrong ... eeeek.

I am chain piecing the blocks, rather than doing them one at a time, which the pattern suggests. I think it is muuuuch faster. And there is something therapeutic about chain piecing, in my opinion. Although I couldn't help finishing one block, just to see what it looks like. The background solid is called sand, and is very boring, but I decided white just looked wrong with the other fabrics. It might be a bit bland when I'm done, but at least it will hide the dirt, which I am sure is important with boys.

The plan is to use this quilt to practice stippling. Double eeeeek. I have a sand coloured cotton all ready to go.

At the moment, the top is about half done. Each block has 6 strips inserted, and I have 3 finished. And there is an orange DS fabric waiting to be the backing. So I will only need to pick a binding, but that crisis can wait for another day.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Done and done

Finally. The Henry Fish top is all done. On reflection, I think the border should have been a more solid look fabric, but given that it will be tucked in around the bed, it won't be a big deal. The finished size is approximately 80" by 90", to fit mum's king single bed. Again,my photo is less than fantastic.

What have I learned? Ironing seams open is painful beyond belief, but gives lovely flat blocks. Double check your white when buying more, to make sure the colour matches. It is worthwhile trimming your blocks properly before sewing them together. Having a baby seriously impacts on sewing time!

On to basting and quilting. I really don't know how to quilt this and am tossing up sending it off for quilting. We shall see. I think that a cot quilt for the wee man will be a good interim project and will give me a chance to practice FMQ. I have only straight line quilted so far, so it will be a big step.

I have also made this awesome hummingbird cake this week. Yum yum. It is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook which my sister in law sent over from London for Christmas a few years ago. This is the first recipe I have used and now I wonder why I waited so long. It is delicious. Obviously it would look better sitting on our lovely cake platter, but my care factor is pretty low at the moment! Sleep deprivation makes one very pragmatic.

The wee man is just great. Thank you for your lovely messages. He is so chilled out and cuddly. Having said that, he decided he wanted to hang out with me last night, all night. It has been a very long time since I spent all night awake in bed with a young man. It turns out I'd rather sleep, even if he is very cute.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Friday finishes

Well I have been AWOL for a while, and unfortunately it hasn't been because I finished Henry Fish. Nup. That wee treasure is sitting on the back of a chair waiting for some final sashing. This has not been helped at all by a sashing crisis. It turns out the white sashing I put around the outside is a different white. I should have noticed, really, but I blame the preggy brain. I then put on half the blue borders and am now agonising over whether I should rip it all off and do it properly with some matching white fabric (it is a creamy white, not a bright white, but both colours are called white on the roll AND it is the same brand - dramatic sigh).

In the meantime, I finished something else. The wee man is cooked and out. He arrived with a hiss and a roar in the small hours of Sunday morning. We came home Tuesday. Of course we are both delighted with him, and my hubby keeps sneaking off for cuddles and man time. This is the last photo my hubby took when he snuck in to check everything was fine.