Sunday, December 31, 2006

I've Been Quilting!

This is the reverse side of a quilt I have been quilting over the last few days. Getting the quilting done is always the hardest part for me. Once I have the quilt layered I tend to lose interest. this one was doubly hard because I had done half the quilting and realised that I was going to have big puckers on the front. So I had to undo what I had done and start again. The quilting is all done. It has way more quilting than I have ever done on a quilt, so it's a pat on the back for me. Tomorrow I am going to put on the binding and it will be finished. Yeah! I'll post a piccy of the front when it is done. The quilt is one I designed for my quilt club for a Mystery Half-Nighter. Needless to say I had only got the top done by the time of the class. I will have it to' show and tell' at the first club meeting of the year in February. Good way to start the year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Crummiest Photo of a Quilting Miracle

I know this is the crummiest photo ever but it shows a quilting miracle! I had a couple of friends around yesterday for a sewing day (great way to spend boxing day - very relaxed after the hurly burly leading up to Christmas). Frances was quilting a piece she is making into a bag for her cutting mat and she managed to quilt right over the (non-opening) end of the safety pin, into the circle and back out it, without breaking the needle on her machine. If you look carefully on the butterfly fabric you can just see where the quilting line goes. If it was me I would have broken the needle and probably damaged the bobbin case as well. You should see what I did to a darning foot earlier this year. I wanted her to leave it on as an embellishment, but she wasn't having any of it. The pin has been removed (sob, sob). Now if only I could take better photos . . .

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not much Quilting...

... is getting done around here (but plenty of shopping has!) I have been away for a few days visiting family and of course I had to visit the fabric shops on the way. I got a lovely pack of brown, cinnamon, chocolate type fabrics from Grandmothers Garden. I will have to get onto making that coffee quilt I have a pattern for. Perhaps if I stop drinking the stuff so much I'll have more time. Last night I did some hand applique on a block from a quilt I started last year. I think I sewed around two petals of one flower. I usually only do hand sewing when there is something good on TV but I was shifting boxes of quilting magazines yesterday so it was all I could do to concentrate on the programme itself (well that's my excuse anyway). I've started watching the re-runs of Black Books - seriously funny if you have that kind of sense of humour. I didn't realise that there was a little prequel to the programme. Last night's was 'The Grapes of Wrath'. I'll be looking out for next week's.

Today I have been cleaning the oven, including pulling it out from the wall and cleaning behind. Thanks for the standing ovation :-) Next job is the fridge. There are all sorts of alien life forms lurking in there.

Today's photo is of a pavement mosaic in Tauranga. Do you think the artist is a quilter?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bargain of the Century! (NZ dollars)

I went shopping today and in Spotlight on the clearance table they had some Heat and Bond Vinyl on sale for $1.00 per metre. Helen thinks to herself, "thats quite cheap, I'll try some on a bag for my cutting mat for Symposium (the one I AM going to make in the next month)". So I bought 5 metres. Cost $5.oo - really cheap. After ringing up the sale, the sales lady tells me I have saved $144.75, it was originally $29.95 per metre! No wonder I have never bought it before. That's a 96.7% discount. I paid just 3.3% of the original price. I also got some Hydrostick. This is a product I have never seen but apparently you moisten it with a sponge to stick it on the back of your embroidery as a stabiliser. Machine embroidery I presume. What the heck, its worth it to try it out. 5 metres of this at $1.00 per metre and a saving of $84.95! (Original price $17.99 per metre!)I also got 5 metres of some fusible interfacing - the woven kind - also for $1.00 per metre. I don't know what the original price of this was because the sales lady couldn't find a bar code. But it is bound to be more than $1.00 per metre. After walking around for a bit I decided the rest of the vinyl was calling me "take me home', so I then got what was left on the roll. Another 13 metres, savings of $376.35!! A total savings of over $606.05 for an outlay of $28.00! Pick me up off the floor!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Making Mini sleeves

Sue over on asked how I made the mini-sleeves. Just like a big sleeve really. I cut the strips 2 inches wide if my memory serves me right (it was only a week ago - my brain must be on holiday). I turned under the short edges and stitched. Then I folded them in half and stitched down the long length. I didn't turn them inside out though. I pressed the seam open and I cut 3/4 inch (again, if my apparently rapidly-fading memory is working properly!) strips of vlisofix and fused them on the back of the strip along the pressed-open seam line. The sleeve was then fused to the quilt back. I then hand stitched the sleeves to the back of the quilt along the long edge, pulling it up a bit as I went so that some fullness would be created to accommodate the wooden strips. And I stitched the narrow ends as well so there would be only one opening to slide the wood into. Clear as mud?

I'm on holiday!

Yipee, work finished today so officially I have no excuse for not quilting. Except I am going shopping tomorrow, visiting friends on Saturday, and going to stay with my sister and then my mother from Sunday. But, hey, I'll get back to it. There's tonight, tomorrow night and Saturday night. I should be able to finish at least 3 projects, right?

I thought I would post a picture of how I got our Symposium entry to hang straight. It is an irregularly shaped quilt and was very sad with just the hanging sleeve.

So this is how I made it hang straight. A series of little mini sleeves across the back of the quilt and some 'half round' wooden trim, with the flat side towards the quilt. I tried dowel but I could see where the sticks were from the front of the quilt. Don't ask me why the supports slope down to the right. I don't know!!

Now it hangs like this:

Much better! For those of you who want to know more about this quilt you can find the full story over on http:/

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Quilt is posted and EQ6 has arrived!

It's a day of snail mail today. The quilt my friend Janice and I have been making for a challenge at our national Quilting Symposium in January got posted today. It's nice to be done with it and not feel guilty for getting on with something else. Then when I got home from work my EQ6 package was waiting in the mail box. Yipee. I don't have EQ5 so it will be a big learning curve for me.

My son thinks I should have bought 3 'puter games for the price of EQ6 - no way buddy! Then his suggestion was that I read the manual cover to cover before I install it. (Ha, I'm wise to that one - we compete for computer time - but I'm the boss!) Actually I'm a manual kind of person. You know "when all else fails, read the instructions", so I probably will give it more than a passing glance. It'll be my bed time reading for tonight.

This photo is of Janice and Terry's delphiniums. This is where the garden party was held. So pretty.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What's in the basket

Janice asked what was in the raffle basket I won today:

Box of Christmas crackers (made in Indonesia)
2 Christmas tree decorations (no known pedigree)
Box of Griffins sampler biscuits (a New Zealand icon - they came in a tin when I was a kid)
Arnotts cheeseboard crackers (product of Australia, but we won't hold it against them)
Dilmah English Breakfast tea (I drink coffee)
Captains Table water crackers (made in China!)
Earnest Adams traditional shortbread (made in NZ)
Earnest Adams rich fruit Christmas pudding (this one doesn't say where it is made. We'll fight with the Aussies for it)
Signature Range brandy fruit mince pies (back to the Aussies for this one)
Shultz (reminds me of the sergeant in Hogans Heros) pretzels
Lings orange and lemon slices fruit jelly lollies (back to China)
Signature Range honey roasted peanuts (obviously, these can't be NZ made - we don't grow them here. Says made in NZ from imported and local ingredients. Mostly imported I'd say)
Signature Range cashew nuts (yum - and see above))
Signature Range tortilla chips (same as the nuts)
Signature Range hot salsa (not too hot I hope. Same pedigree as the nuts)
Comvita active manuka honey (very healthy NZ product) US fancy grade (buy some and help our NZ economy)
Pasall Fruit Burst lollies (made in NZ - definitely not healthy)
Cotterill & Rouse tamarillo chutney (sounds delishimo - another NZ product - probably healthy)
Signature Range festive rich fruit cake (back to the Aussise on this one - 39% dried fruit so some of it must be healthy, musn't it?)
Santa Rosa smoked chicken (definitely NZ grown - like me, but I'm not smoked)
Havoc espresso ground coffee - now thats more like it. Specially roasted here in Wanganui (from imported beans, well obviously). I had just bought a packet of this coffee from the stall so now I have 2!!! (but not for long)
Nikau Point Hawkes Bay Chardonnay (now we are getting to the good stuff)
Montana Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon (both wines made in good old NZ)
No Chocolate (what? no chocolate? That's definitely the healthiest part of the basket)
and a packet of Deeko Christmas serviettes 'for entertaining' (It says so on the packet.) These are made from local and imported raw materials. Do they need cooking?

so that's a pretty good return for a $2 raffle ticket, don't cha think?

PS: I forgot to say that I didn't actually make the investment. My friend Lorraine bought the ticket for me 'cos I didn't have any cash. And I owe Frances for the coffee. So I think they had better share in the bounty. (They are already coming to Christmas dinner so they will get to share won't they?)


I have found out who made this Triple F Challenge. It was Helen A's. I'm not sure which fabric was the fat quarter she started with.

and YIPEE! I won a Christmas Basket Raffle today at the Cancer Society Fund-raising Garden Party. Not 2 minutes earlier I said to my friends that I'd just wait to take my basket of goodies home. then my name was called out. Frances thinks I'm tinny. Do you think I should buy a lotto ticket now? (Lorraine says yes!)

I survived...

...the teenager's 16th birthday party. Actually he was 16 over a month ago but he announced to me, without any prior discussion, that he would have his party after his exams were finished. Way go go, son. Mature decision plus proud mum. Every year I say that this will be his last party and the response is "yeah, yeah". So how old do they have to be before you can really 'no more'? He always has sleep-overs and I don't really have to do anything except supervising the removal of all the lounge furniture, rustling up some extra bedding and mattresses to go on the floor, buy some pizzas and coke and nibbles. The problem is he moves the computer into the lounge so they can play computer games which means I am computer-less for 24 hours. I HAVE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS!!

Here are some more of the Triple F challenges. The first one's fat quarter fabric I think, from memory, is the yellow with what look like little black spots fabric. I'm sorry I couldn't remember who this belonged to. I love the bright colours.

The second one is Heather's. Her fat quarter fabric was the multi-pattern one which is in the corners of the top left block. This fabric was an Aussie print and Heather was very pleased because she acquired some more (in a swap or something similar, I think) and was crowing that she definitely wouldn't run out of it to put in each month's blocks! Of course I already knew that a fat quarter would be plenty :-)

This last picture is of Janice's entry which didn't make it into club on the day because she was unable to attend. It was supposed to arrive via someone else in time for the judging but, sadly, the communication wires didn't work in harmony. Janice has really taken the challenge apart and made it her own. Can you recognise all the challenge blocks?

Seeing this quilt top makes me feel like my creation has 'gone forth and multiplied'. This whole exercise has been a lot of fun, and very rewarding for me. It is way cool to see what everyone has done with their fabric and pattern. I chuckled at the puzzled looks when they said "I don't know what this little block is for". I smiled when they said "I have no idea how it is supposed to go together". Frances reminded me the other day that she hadn't even realised the the third month's block was a different size to the first two months! (What was that about reading the instructions through before commencing the project?)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Triple F Challenge...

...was judged last Saturday at club. I decided to make it a viewer's choice so that I didn't have to make the decision. Two people got equal votes and isn't it terrible because I think I have a photo of only one of them. One of the photos I took was so blurry I deleted it. And I don't think I got around to taking photos of all of them. So my apologies to Rae who was co-winner with Frances. Here are some photos that I did take:

This one was in Christmas colours. The fat quarter fabric was the one in the points of the Ohio Star block (top, left). I like the yellowy-gold colour.

The fat quarter fabric for the next one was the goldy brown colour, also in the points of the the Ohio Star. Please excuse the piece of calico hanging down in the top right hand corner of the photo. It is not a boo-boo by the quilter!

This next one is one of the two winning ones. Frances used some UFO blocks she had and put them with the Triple F blocls. She is hand quilting it. I love the result. Can you pick the Triple F blocks? I'm sorry I can't show you the other winning one. I'll have to put on my detective hat and find out which quilt was Rae's.

I love the pastel colours of this one. I don't remember what the fat quarter fabric was to start with. A very different effect.

And here is another completely different effect. A couple of the blocks were put together differently as well.

I feel very proud of my quilting buddies. It is very rewarding seeing something I have designed being made up. Some of these ladies were really working out of their comfort zone.

Time bye byes...

Monday, December 4, 2006

No Luck with photos this week

It's been a busy week but I did get 14 postcards made. On Saturday it was the last meeting of the year for my local quilt club. I gave away 11 of them to the committee members, as thank you's for all the work they have done. I took a photo of some of them but I didn't realise my son (he of Honey Bunch fame) had changed the settings on the camera. So I lost that photo. (One day I'm going to get really good at technology, one day!) So I took a photo of the 3 I have left but the post window seems to have lost its photo button. It looks different and I don't know where to find the attachment to get a photo in with this post. One of those great quilting mysteries, I guess!

It was also the judging of the Triple F Challenge at club, and 11 of the original 36 ladies had something to be judged. I thought that was a pretty good return. Some are still working on theirs. One was doing block 2 on Saturday (she shall remain nameless). I have some photos of those as well but...

Hey, I just figured it out. I went to the known issues page and whadayaknow? Some people were experiencing icons disappearing from the post window. Solution: clear the cache. Enter he, of Honey Bunch fame, to help me with this and lo ... after clearing the cache and refreshing the page I have my icons back. So here goes...

How about that!

I forgot to say that I got the design for the postcard from a quilt in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, American Patchwork and Quilting. It is on the cover. Neat quilt.