Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Work In Progress

Boy Wednesday sure does come around quickly.

I have had a reasonably productive week this week working on my Express Your Love quilt with Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project, and trying to catch up on my Barristers Block Sew A Long blocks.  I managed to complete another 5 blocks taking it to 61 blocks to date. l  have got 6 blocks to go then I have to decide how I am going to put this together.  I have found a brown vintage fabric that I love so I am thinking of setting the blocks on point and sashing them with it.

These are the blocks I completed this week.

And this is all of the blocks so far.

On Saturday night I was in the mood for some mindless string piecing so I dug out all of my red strips and strings, some light interfacing (I couldn't cope with the mess and hassle of removing paper) and away I went.

I joined all of the strips end to end to come up with this.

Then trimmed them down to this.

I am going to make a quilt for my bed which will be predominately white with these panels across the width towards the bottom of the quilt.  I am updating my bedroom and the quilt will co-ordinate with the chairs I recently refurbished.

I salvaged these chairs from a curb side rubbish collection.  They were originally varnished brown and had filthy green velvet seats which had collapsed.  I don't know why but l saw some potential in them so quietly acquired them when no one was looking!  I stripped them down to nothing, sanded, painted, painted again. painted a third time, made a new base/seat and covered it with this awesome fabric find. I was going to stencil a design on the chair backs but I am in two minds.  I think I like the minimalist look they have now.  I absolutely love these chairs and they are now in my bedroom waiting for a co-ordinating quilt to keep them company.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.  Have a look and be inspired by everyone's wonderful projects.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Free Motion Friday

It's Free Motion Friday and finally l have something to share.

I spent the last few days catching up on Leah Day's Express Your Love Goddess Quilt project.

I am using this quit to concentrate on, practice and hopefully improve my free motion quilting.  I chose a white background and by the time it is finished I want it to be very densely quilted (or to paraphrase Leah I am going to 'quilt the snot out of it') with a different design in every section.  I envisage the finished product to be the same colour as Leah's spoonflower panel which I hope to achieve with thread play.

So I marked the top, sandwiched it, did the outline quilting and was very excited at how well it was all coming together.  I was even pleasantly surprised when I finished quilting the phrase.  I thought this was going to be quite difficult but I found it relatively simple.  I was in the groove and things were just clicking!

Sadly the next day my grove was gone.  I practiced my stitches for the 'earth' on a practice sandwich and they turned out really well but when it came to doing them on the real thing it was a different story.  Although it is not a large quilt I found maneuvering the bulk whilst trying to keep the stitching consistent was a real challenge.  I wobbled all over the place and as a result I am very unhappy with the echo quilting.

It is taking all of my willpower to stop myself from ripping those stitches out.  I have to remind the perfectionist in me that this is a learning tool and I will get better.  Who knows, by the end of the project my quilting will be so impressive no will notice the wonky ocean current!

I go back to work next week and my kids sporting activities start up again so mum's taxi will be busy.  As such I may not be able to keep up with the project but I will plod along and post my progress as I can.

Happy quilting everyone.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's Wednesday and re-organising my sewing space has been my work in progress this week.

I have a small dedicated sewing room (I cannot call it a studio) but it is my little haven away from the world and away from the testosterone running rampant in my house.  I have a wonderful husband and 2 gorgeous teenage boys (well at 15 and 18 they are men really) and a cheeky male dog that follows me everywhere so it is nice to have a 'girly' space to call my own.  I have rearranged it a few times but I think this will be the final layout as it seems to work the best in the small space I have available.

I can just fit in a couple of desks - one for my main machine which is used for quilting and the second for my very old Bernina which I use for piecing.  With a couple of bookshelves and a small cutting/ironing station my room is full but it is all that I need.

This is my very small stash.  I have folded any yardage and it is on the top shelves on the right. Fat quarters are sorted by colour and are stored in the top 12 tubs on the left.  Anything smaller has been cut up into usable sizes such as 2.5" squares etc.  They are in the labeled tubs on the left. Strips and strings are in the tubs on the floor.

I feel so much more in control with everything organised.  Now all  have to do is decorate the room with some quilts on the wall, new curtains etc.  Hopefully I will get that done in the coming months.

I did manage to do some sewing this week and attached the borders on my Easy Street (Bonnie Hunter mystery) quilt.  I love the pattern but definitely do not love my colour choices so I will get this quilted and donate it to charity.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday Linky Party.  I get so inspired looking at all of the wonderful things people from all over the world are working on.

Until next week.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week I have been trying to catch up on a few projects and I have had some success.

I finally completed the Hearts Wholecloth Quilt we did on the Free Motion Quilt Along way back in week 10 of the project.  I actually finished it at the time but never got around to binding it.  I did it today so another project completed.

It is square - not really sure about my photography skills!

For the majority of the week I have been working on Bonnie Hunters mystery quilt 'Easy Street'.  The problem with a mystery is not knowing the final layout so choosing colours can be a challenge.  I liked my colours when I initially grouped them together but the final outcome is not too successful.  It is so very orange!  If I knew the layout in advance I would put the yellow where the orange is, the brown where the yellow is and the orange would be where the brown is.
Here is a picture of the quilt laid out ready to be put together.

I made it a bit smaller to use as a wall hanging but I really do not like the colours so I am going to put a border on it, quilt it up and donate it to charity.

This week I hope to get some more blocks from Randy's Barrister's Block Sew Along completed.  I am a bit behind with about 12 block to go.  Here is my progress to date.

Have a great week everyone.


Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy New Year

It's a new year and this year I am not going to make any resolutions - I never manage to keep them and just wind up disappointed.  What I am going to do is continue to work towards achieving my quilting goals and let the chips fall where they may.

I am a sporadic quilter and blogger so my first goal is to move towards rectifying that. 

I really don't know how people out there manage to achieve so much each week.  I am flat out working, running kids here and there and keeping the house in good order (well somewhat order anyway).  When I do have time to myself it is usually spent reading about peoples quilting adventures on their blogs instead of working on my own quilts and blog!

I absolutely love Leah Days' Free Motion Quilting Project but found that I could never keep up with the week to week assignments and was left feeling somewhat inadequate.  I am going to persevere because I adore Leah's new project and really want to participate.  I may not be able to keep pace but I am not going to beat myself up about it.

I thought I would also join in her Free Motion Friday & UFO Sunday linky parties as a way of keeping in touch.   Even though I do not always link, I read all of the blogs every week and love seeing what everyone is up to.  

I am also keen to participate in Lee's WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. I like the idea of sharing works in progress (whatever stage they may be in).  This way I do not have to keep to a schedule - I can plod along at my own pace and share what I have done (if anything) whilst drooling over what all of the very clever people out in blogland are doing.

I just have to find a balance between all of this blogging (posting and reading) and working on my projects.

So onto my WIP's.

I finally finished a quilt I made for my sisters 50th birthday.  Mind you, her birthday was in March 2012! This top has been basted since February but I really wanted to fmq it myself and l was not confident enough to do it.  It hung in my sewing room waiting, waiting until finally last week I got sick of looking at it I so dove right in.

As this was my first attempt at free motion quilting (other than stippling) on a 'biggish' quilt I stuck with a relatively simple all over quilting design.  I do not know what it is called - I think I must have seen it somewhere and it stuck in my head.  I drew it out on paper for a day until I was satisfied I had it firmly lodged in my muscle memory.  Here is a picture of the quilting detail.

With the left over fabric I threw together a small quilt top.  There was no pattern or designing here. I literally sewed the fabric into strips of different lengths and then without any thought, rhyme or reason I randomly sewed the strips to 1" strips of black and this is the result.

I am not sure if I am going to leave this as is or put a border on it. I am leaning towards no border but I will ponder it for a bit longer.  I want to quilt it with concentric circles (maybe overlapping?) so it will probably sit for 12 months whilst I get the courage up to do them!

I have another 7 flimsy's waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.  I am also working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt "Easy Street" as well as trying to complete the blocks from Randy at Barristers Block sew along.  More on my progress with these next week.