Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What I did at Symposium

Okay, I now have the photos I took at Symposium loaded onto the computer. I only took 64. I guess I am not a natural photographer 'cos after a while I stopped remembering to take them. Perhaps I'll get better at doing this. Anyway, below is the first part of my triptych which I did in my class with Jenny Bowker. I know it doesn't look like much for a 3 day class, but I didn't take the class with any great expectations of producing a masterpiece. And I took much longer to sew 14 background strips together than I would have at home because I had hired a Bernina. I have an Elna and the Bernina is different in just about every imaginable way. So at the moment it is a UFO, but I will finish it. I'm just rather busy right now catching up on what you have all been blogging!!

No picture?? For the first time I understand people's frustrations with blogger. I click on the "add and image" icon. The little hourglass starts going and then stops! I'll try logging out and starting anew post to see if that helps.

I think the posting window opened underneath the one I had opened and not on top, so I didn't notice, silly me. Here is the piccy:

The top is not fused down in this photo, but it is in reality now. Digital cameras are so useful. We tried various arrangements of the pieces: (but I liked my original idea best)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Friends Are Complaining!

I haven't posted for a few days and my friends are complaining!! Don't they know I have been suffering AN INJURY!?! No? They don't? Well, I'm not surprised 'cos it's only a little injury. I put my back out on the last day of Symposium when I was lifting my bag up. It has been quite sore up until today but now I am feeling back to my normal self - and I've got time to get on the 'puter.

I spent most of Monday at school getting stuff ready for the start of the year. Today I had the pleasure of the company of wee Georgia Rose, 6 weeks old, and her mother Amy. I 'gooed' while Amy sewed. And then Georgia Rose slept for 4 hours on my bed. What a treasure, I hope she sleeps tonight!!

I thought I would post some photos of the quilts we lent to Arthur Toye's to make a display in their shop during Symposium week:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Janice's Hoffman winning entry

This is a photo of Janice's winning entry for "Best Overall"quilt in the 2006 New Zealand Hoffman Challenge. The quality of the photo is not the best and Janice says she doesn't have any good photos of the finished quilt (What was Terry photographing at the time Janice?). I think she has some better closeup views. In 2005 Janice won the "Best Contemporary" section in the Hoffman Challenge, so the win this year (along with the Human Rights Challenge joint win) is really putting the icing on the cake! This is a really beautiful quilt and I am really proud of my quilting collaborator.

We won a prize!

Wow, I am back from Symposium on a big high. I got back yesterday afternoon but was way too tired to post. The quilt my friend Janice and I made for the inaugural Human Rights Challenge was one of two joint winners! The subject matter of domestic violence is not to everyone's taste and the quilt is not 'pretty' (photo below) but I am glad we made it. We got our photo in the local paper, so we are world famous in Wanganui! It is the first symposium challenge I have ever entered and the first quilting prize I have won! Janice also won 'Best Overall' in the Hoffman Challenge so we are feeling pretty good right now. I'll ask Janice if I can post a photo of her winning Hoffman quilt.

My 3 day Triptych class with Jenny Bowker was fantastic. I don't have a lot to show as 'product' but I learned heaps. The first day was a series of art-type exercises which for someone like me with absolutely no art training whatsoever was just great. Although we took along inspirational material the piece I am making came from one of the exercises we did. I figure I can make the other whenever I feel like it. I have a hair appointment so I haven't got time to post any pictures off my camera just now. It is going to take me ages to catch up on everyone else's posts, but I am missing keeping up with what everyone is doing. Catch you all later!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Okay, one more post before Symposium

I know I said I had done my last post before Symposium, but I had to do one more post. Look what my lovely friend Janice made me so I don't lose my scissors! Aren't I a lucky one? Thank you Janice, it is really neat!

I haven't seen it in the flesh yet. We are meeting at my house at 8 am tomorrow morning to drive over to Palmerston North. We are heading for the shops and then to the smaller exhibitions before doing the registration thing.

It's Off To Symposium We Go!

Only one more sleep and we head off to "quilt 'til we wilt" at Symposium. So no more posts for about a week, unless I can find a handy computer and internet access to use. Janice and I find out tomorrow if our entry into the Human Rights Challenge was successful or not. I promise I will try to not be too disappointed if we don't win (most likely scenario). Lorraine told me I had to take my glad rags along 'cos we are definitely going up on stage (according to her). I told her I don't do dressing up very well and anyway I wouldn't need them!!

I am so excited I am going off for an afternoon zzzzz so I have heaps of energy for tomorrow.

Catch you all later!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Constructing the pencil case

teodo said... your pencil case is very very nice.
But is difficult to do it?

Here is my reply:

The zipper pencil case was easy to make. I used 10 zips for one pencil case. I put 2 zips next to each other. One zip opening at the top, the other zip opening at the bottom. I used a 3 step zigzag stitch (width 5.0, length 0.3 on my Elna machine). I slightly overlapped the edges of the zips and stitched them together. I did 5 pairs like this and then stitched the 5 pairs together. Then I sewed the circles on the 2 ends, making sure one of the zips was open a little bit so I could turn it inside out. The circles were cut out of some pre-quilted fabric with a diameter of 10 cm.

Amazingly, the cloth part of the zips were not all the exact same length as you can see in the picture:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Another Pencil Case

I finished Janice's pencil case. I'm thinking I like it better than mine now!

Techno Literacy

Helen Conway visited my blog and left a comment on my post 'Great Blog Read'. I had lamented that I couldn't quilt and be on the computer at the same time. She said, "Try voice recognition technology!" Now that's a great idea. I'm going to mention it to my quilt buddy who is a 'puter whizz. She'll have it up and running in not time at all, won't you Janice!(vbg)

I am of the age when I can remember getting our first TV and it started transmission at 5 pm. We were the first house in our street to get one (this did NOT mean we were the richest!) . People (read 'men') from the neighbourhood visited when the rugby was on. We had an old chesterfield couch with big arms and back and there would be 3 on the couch seat, 2 perching on the top of the back of the couch, one on each arm and 2 on the floor in the front, between the legs of the 3 on the couch. It was like a mini-grandstand! I resented them taking OUR seats 'cos we had to sit on the floor, well out of the way. Getting my own wristwatch at age 13 and a transistor radio, that I could play in my bedroom, at age 15 was a really big deal! Now I'm blogging in cyberland and communicating with people on the other side of the world. Of course I still know next to nothing about computers and am always showing my ignorance by asking dumb questions. But hey, I'm having FUN.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Small Things

Instead of tidying my house and packing my bags for Symposium I have been making a pin brooch to put my quilting pins on and a pencil case. The pencil case is made out of zippers. Accol idea I saw the idea on someone's site last year. I can't remember where it was, so my apologies for not attributing the design source. I got these zips from a discount shop. 20 for $2, really cheap. I used 10 so I have enough left for another one. The ends are made form off-cuts of the cutting mat bag I made. Nothing like a deadline to get me going. i have been meaning to make a cutting bag and the pencil case for ages. I also got some green zips as well and I have nearly finished making another one for my friend Janice. a neat pencil case for $1 plus some thread and time.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Great Blog Read

I've just found a new-to-me blog:
It's a great read and fab photos. I love the posts about Japanese quilts. One day I will learn about using sidebars on my blog, and links and all that stuff, but I have to go now. I have already been on the computer for over an hour. Can't quilt and compute at the same time! (unfortunately, if someone knows of a way please let me know, I'd get twice as much done).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shopping up a Storm

We went shopping today. We knew that one of our favourite fabric shops, Arthur Toye's, would be putting out some new fabric for Symposium shoppers. We thought they would put them out next Thursday or Friday, but a little birdie told us that they had started to put it out already and that it would all be out by the end of yesterday. Could we wait until next week? Could we heck!!

Off we went this morning to be tempted by 8oo bolts of new fabric, 8oo! We could hardly believe it. We got to the shop half an hour before opening time (I forgot they opened later on Saturdays). Frances and Lorraine go off to have coffee. Now you have to understand that I am a coffee devotee. I would normally go straight off with them, but I thought I would take a peek in the window first so I would know where to head first. I think I was almost drooling and definitely swooning at the thought of stroking so many new fabrics. My coffee hardly hit the sides and I was back out at the shop, still before opening time. I was concentrating so hard on what was in the window that Lorraine had to tell me the shop was open and we could go in. So much for being first inside the door!

The first photo is fabrics that we got for Janice who couldn't come with us today. I hope she likes them. My favourite is the tree fabric. Janice, if you don't want it, it's mine!
The second photo is Frances' fabrics. The 3 smaller pieces of batik on the left were from a different shop. Frances is very good at picking lights. She got a lot of pastels today.The third photo is Lorraine's choices. That's 4 different colourways of the stripe there in the middle. Dusty pink, red, dark green and light pink. My pick is the yellow (7 from the right). It is a lovely clear yellow in real life (and I didn't get any!!)
This photo is my rather 'small' lot! My pick is all of them (well obviously, doh) But I especially like the gold print on the bottom right. It is a Debbie Mumm fabric, but not one I've seen before.
The last photo is fabric we got on behalf of our local quilt club for use in community quilts. We think they will make great borders.

A made a windmill block!

There is no particular reason to be so excited about making this block, except to say that I started it after I made the previous post last night. I drew it up myself (an original design - wahoo!) and it is for the block draw at Symposium. So I will probably never see it again after next week. Here it is recorded for posterity!! (Well, electronic posterity anyway). I hope whoever wins it will like it. I have to go now. Frances is breathing down my neck itching to leave for a fabric shopping session!!

I could get used to this...

It is still holidays and a week until Symposium starts. My son is still away and I am still being lazy. Scrambled eggs for tea. No washing today, an afternoon zzzzz... gee, I could get real used to this!

These are more of Terry and Janice's delphiniums, taken before Christmas, in the greenhouse (I hope that is the correct term!) It has been raining today and the sky in the photo is cheery.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bright Bag

Sheesh, this is BRIGHT!

I need a cutting mat bag for my class in a big hurry, since Symposium starts next week. So I cheated and pulled out some batik fabric I got at Spotlight a couple of years ago. I just layered it up and quilted it around the flowers and colour splodges. Good quilting practice, even if it did take me until 3 in the morning! I love the holidays, I can sleep whenever I want to. I love working at night (when I don't have to go to the workhouse the next day). It is quiet and the phone doesn't ring and I get totally absorbed. I used the same fabric to make the handles and bind it. I think it will do the trick.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Well Doh!!

You know, I am very good at learning by reading instructions. So I must find the instruction book to the camera - and READ it!! I have just found out why my last pictures were blurred. It's 'cos the setting on the camera wasn't right. When I pushed the button to auto-focus I got a flashing green dot. I didn't know what it meant. I was taking some more photos this morning and got blurry photos again. I thought "my hands aren't that shaky, I had only one glass of wine last night, why can't I take a clear piccy?" So I decided to play with the camera and found the button that resets everything to default. Hey presto, now when I push the button down to auto-focus I get a green dot which doesn't flash and a much clearer picture. Well ... um ... aah ... doh!! I'm going to find that camera book right after I finish this post.

I spent all of yesterday sorting and refolding my fat quarter stash so I could select some to take to Symposium which is next week (next week? omgg!) The first photos is the 6 trays of fat (and skinny) quarters I have, not including the ones for Symposium. There are about 700 stuffed in there. that's about 180 metres of fabric.! At and average price of $25 per metre thats about - no don't go there Helen. It doesn't include the rest of my stash which is much bigger.I feel ill, I need therapy!!!!

So here are the fabrics I have selected for Symposium. Just a mere 75 or so - oh hang on, that wasn't included in the total from above. It just gets worse, I'm planning on buying more fabric next week from the merchants. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Another crummy photo

I found the camera cord. It wasn't eaten after all. This is the photo I had taken of the stack and whack quilt I finished the other day. I couldn't check how the image would look on the 'puter 'cos I didn't have the camera cord. Now I have the camera cord the image is blah and I no longer have the quilt . It is on loan to a fabric shop in Palmerston North, with some others of mine and a couple of my friends, to display during Symposium.

This is the same photo rotated. Which way do you think the quilt should hang? I can't decide which looks better.

Now that I have looked at the blurry photo for a while I have decided that a blurry image is good for seeing the rotational effect of each block. I'm not sure if I love this quilt or not. I swapped the fabric with someone else because they liked my fabric better and I didn't particularly like what I had. Still, it was fun making it. When I get it back I will take another photo to show the quilting. I have decided I need to put heaps more quilting into my quilts. Now I have my trusty old Singer set up with a good darning foot I am finding this easier to achieve. marking is a real pain though. What do others do? Totally freehand? Mark the whole quilt? What do you use to mark? Let me know your secrets.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Upside of UFO's

I've discovered the upside of having so many UFO's, especially ones which are at the quilting stage (which is usually where I get stuck). I have finished my third one for 2007 and it is only Jan 5!! What a great feeling, but it's too easy really. It feels a bit like cheating. You know the kind you did in Maths exams when you looked at your neighbour to see where she was up to and accidentally saw an answer. It is a 'stack and whack' that I started over 2 years ago. I can't post a picture at the moment 'cto see if she could do it.os I can't find the camera cord to plug into the computer. I had it only yesterday. Who has eaten it??

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sum buddy luvs me!!

I have subscribed to bloglines and have subscribed to a whole lot of blogs I read. I thought I would check out if anyone subscribes to me. Guess what? I have 4 subscribers! Thank you people - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Shopping and Squishies

I went to visit a friend in New Plymouth today and of course we had to go look at the fabric shops. I am now poorer (again!). I don't know what happened to my resolution to save some spending money for Symposium. It must have taken flight somewhere and is rattling off to never-never land.

A nice surprise awaited me when I got home. A squishy parcel from Aussie with some lovely floral Moda fabric in it. I love Moda fabric. Lucky me!

I'm off to pat my fabric now. Sad I know, but, hey, someone's gotta do it.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Another one bites the dust.

This is the other quilt I made for the mystery half-nighter. When the quilting on the yellow one went haywire I realised it was going to take forever to get it unpicked. So I made this one. It is exactly the same pattern as the yellow on, but without the applique. It was sitting around waiting for me to decide what I was going to quilt in the zig zag part. I had already quilted a cable in the blue parts and I had the binding sewn on as well, so it's a bit of a cheat. There wasn't much to do to get it finished. Funny how some things need only a little work to be finished but I leave them sitting around gathering protective dust coatings.

I decided to do spirals since I had been doing lots on the yellow quilt. This closeup photo is heaps better quality because my son was around to show me how to put the camera into super closeup mode. I wish I had known how to do that when Frances quilted her safety pin onto her bag. I would have take a much better photo of a quilting miracle!!

So that is quilt number 2 finished for 2007.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I finished it!

The edges are a bit wavy (oops, I must measure my borders properly instead of guesstimating, the quilt police will be out hunting for me) and the photo is pretty crappy but it is finished! Yiippeeeee. First quilt completed in 2007. What a great start to the year. I have to wash it to get the blue marker pen and the spray starch out of it completely so I'll give the borders a good press and beat them into shape. I have heavily quilted this quilt, the most I have ever done. The thread ends are not that great but hey, it's not a competition piece.

The colours in the photos are not that great either. The bottom half of the third photo is a wee bit more realistic as to colour. The first two are washed out and too pale. Here is a close up of the quilting.
I used rayon thread top and bottom, with a topstitch needle, and free-motioned it on my old Singer 201 (1963 model I think). It sews like a dream and at 100 miles an hour and is inset into its own table. It also has a lot more room under the arm than my modern Elna 6005.

I was having trouble with the darning foot I was using. I had broken the first one I got from my friendly sewing machine mechanic and this was the second one which I hadn't really tried out 'cos I wasn't getting around to doing any quilting (I can offer no excuse in my defence other than the usual "too busy"). Not enough space underneath it to go over the seams without catching. My friendly sewing machine mechanic (who is semi-retired) came around yesterday - New Year's Day - public holiday!, along with his wife, with some other feet to try. Now I have a better one. His wife did say to me that they were telling others who rang he would be back at work on Wednesday ( I think she had a smile on her face). But for me they made a house call. Isn't that great!! Actually they are friends and she went home with my box of Quilting Arts magazines to take away on holiday with her, so I think she was pretty happy with the deal. Seems like a fair trade, don'tcha think?

I wish I had been blogging when I broke the first darning foot. It was quite something to see. the needle disappeared and when I looked at the broken foot the needle was embedded into the plastic guide part in 3 pieces! I wish I had taken a photo of it before I threw it away.