Sunday, February 25, 2007

No wonder there is no sewing going on around here!

It has been a beautiful weekend of hot sun and relaxed afternoon sleeps, interspersed with cooking Roast Lamb for Saturday Night Dinner, Sunday Lunch at the lake cafe, grocery shopping and about 10 loads of washing! So you think that's why there is no sewing going on around here? Ha! Have a look at this photo of my sewing area:

You need to look very carefully. See the office chair I use for sewing? See the white foot pedal under the table by the chair? That is where I sew with my Elna. The foot pedal is in the right place. But where, I hear you asking, is the Elna? Now look at the top right hand corner. Can you see where my Elna is? It moved! The cords unplugged themselves and the Elna moved!! How dare it, the cheeky thing. The cords and the Elna are not making the connection. I can't reach my Elna from my sewing chair and if I could, it wouldn't go, - no connection, no power! Not only that, the space where my Elna should be is cluttered up with 'just a few' stray objects. See the chair and long table in the left of the picture? That is my cutting area. The green cutting mat can hardly be seen. In fact, every available horizontal surface has clutter. Have a look from this angle:

See how bad it is. The only thing on my design wall is an ironed blouse which my cleaner did last Wednesday for me. It hadn't even migrated to the wardrobe. No wonder there is no sewing going on around here!

Anyway, I have had a little (emphasis on little)
tidy up. I moved the machine back to its rightful place and connected it up - everything else looks just as bad! And some sewing did get done today. Frances, in collaboration with Janice is designing a block of the month for any of our club members who want to do a sampler at our Stitch'n'Baste morning techniques training session. Frances also asked if we could make an extra block to go toward a community quilt as that is our focus as a club for the next couple of months. So I decided tonight I would at least make a couple of blocks:

The top block is what it should look like, and the name of the block is 'Crockett's Cabin'.

Oops, the bottom block is supposed to look like the same arrangement as the top block.
Oh, dear!

Have I "designed" an original block, do you think? Or do I need to do some reverse sewing?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Go visit Pam Holland's Blog and see the Tentmakers of Cairo

I've just been watching some video that Pam Holland has taken at the Australian quilt convention which is on in Melbourne this weekend. It is the next best thing to being there.

Pam has uploaded some video onto her blog, of the section of the show that Jenny Bowker has organised. Two men from Cairo are demonstrating how they do their applique tent linings (I think that what the tentmakers originally made but please correct me if I am wrong. Tents to me are those canvas square things with poles from my childhood that were put up at gala days for the afternoon tea tent - but that is another story), although these are smaller pieces aimed at the tourist market I think.

There are several videos to watch but the best two for seeing some of these applique pieces and the applique process are called movie ACQ5.mv4 and ACQ movie6. The applique pieces are rough cut (not an exact shape!) and then held on the surface of the quilt/wall hanging. Then the edges are turned under and stitched with what looks to me like a mattress needle - really big! Just amazing to watch and I recommend you go visit and watch too.

These wall hangings remind me of a little piece I purchased in the north of Thailand when I visited a few years ago. I must dig it out and take a piccy of it. At least you will have something to look at since my quilting has dried up! Actually I did do a little bit of stitching tonight while watching Antiques Roadshow. I did the last flower on a block of a BOM by Beth Ferrier called Simple Pleasures. I'll get the camera out tomorrow.

Here is the addy for Pam Holland's blog. I'm not sure if it will automatically come up as a link. I haven't learned how to do that yet. But I put it in the link section of the post as well, just in case. (Janice? Is this how I do it? Where are you when I need you????? - asleep of course, at this time of night, which is what I should be doing.)

Janice has explained to the little chain link button and how to use it. I think I've got it right now - thanks Janice

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Postcard from America

This postcard arrived today all the way from America. It was made at my request by my internet friend, Lynne, in return for me sending her a pattern for the quilt I designed last year for the Triple F challenge for my local quilt club. Pretty cool eh? It is satin-stitched all around the edges - I'm impressed!

I have visions of getting postcard from all over the world in exchange for patterns I have designed. Since I have only designed a couple that are in pattern form I think it will be a while (like decades) before my vision is realised don't you think??

PS: I forgot to say that the postcard is dated 14 Feb and today is 20 Feb, so it took less than a week to get here. That is pretty good.

Monday, February 19, 2007

First visit to a quilt shop.

My friend Frances' new grand daughter had her first visit to a quilt shop with us last Saturday. It was Amy's first day fabric shopping in Palmerston North since Georgia Rose was born and the wee girl slept through the whole experience! Never mind, we will get her trained up eventually.

As you know it was my 50th birthday last Monday. We went out to dinner on Saturday night to celebrate and Janice made this lovely cake for me. One candle for every 10 years. The cake was apple and cranberry and was very delicious. I can't remember the last time someone made a birthday cake for me and it was a lovely surprise - Thank you Janice. Quilting is taking a back seat very much at the moment. The weather is too hot and when I get home from work all I feel like doing is reading my book. Although I did write my President's piece for our next club newsletter last night and we have a meeting tomorrow night to form a committee for our next biennial exhibition in 2008. So I guess that kind of counts for quilting, doesn't it??

(I've just taken the exclamation mark off the title of this post. I have used one in the last 3 posts, way ott!!!!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Half Century!

I hit the half century birthday on Monday and it is the only half century I am likely to score! I got these delicious quilting pressies from my friends and the chocolate is from he, of Honey Bunch fame, who surprised me by buying the chocolate, wrapping it and making a card without me knowing. A small present, but big in meaning for me as it is the first time he has done this on his own. Who says teenagers are self centred? (Well, not all the time anyway.)

The fabric is from a newish quilting shop in Masterton called Quilter's Lane. Their stickers are very stylish. I haven't been there but after seeing these lovely pieces I plan to go there next holidays. The ruler is an Omnigrip 6" by 24" and the tin at the bottom is Tin Box Sampler by Moda with "A Day in the Country fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts.

Not much quilting has been done around here since school started (make that NONE!) but I plan to get started on cleaning up my sewing area and gathering together some blocks I have for our club's up-coming community quilts sewing day in March. I also have heaps of strips and I'm thinking of making some string blocks as well.

PS. A friend asked me if I felt depressed at turning 50 and I don't! (It seems some do) But I remember I did when the big three-oh came around. I thought I would never get an opportunity to have a baby and I got quite down about that. But I did eventually get that opportunity and he, of Honey Bunch fame, is the result. I've got the chocolate to prove it!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

EQ6 is installed!

Finally I have EQ6 installed and I have worked my way through the first lesson and watched the 'Getting Started' videos. So far, so easy. But I can see that I will be spending even more time on the 'puter and even less time at the machine! Aargh, there is no hope!!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

My new computer area is ready!

Finally, my new computer desk and chair is set up with my computer, so I can compute any time I want! I have yet to install EQ6. I will probably do it tomorrow night, since today has been a busy day. This is what it looks like at the end of my kitchen bench:

He, of Honey Bunch fame, is offering to install EQ6 tonight, but I think I am too tired. He will install it in a flash and I won't have any idea of how he did it! Since my kid is smarter than me how come I can't inherit his hair? (Blonde, thick and wavy instead of brown, fine and straight as a die)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I didn't make this quilt top but . .

. . . I did quilt it. I got this quilt from a quilting shop in NZ called Grandmother's Garden about 3 years ago in their birthday sale. I think it must have been rejected class sample because it came already pin basted with the binding sewn on and a tiny wee bit of hand quilting. It has been sitting around my place for a while, so I decided to take it with me to Symposium to quilt during my UFO class.

I had the use of the Bernina stitch regulator. I marked the feather wreaths with a stencil and a blue washout pen and then free-motioned them. Not bad for my first feather wreaths. The colour in the second photo is closer to real life.

So another one bites the dust and my total of quilts "finished" this year is up to 3.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Thanks and web rings

Thank you to all you kind people who loved the piece from my Symposium class - and not one of you mentioned I had the spelling of Symposium wrong in the title (it's fixed now). Aren't you a polite, well mannered lot? The piece is quite small, about 11" by 16". I haven't got to working anything more on the second part. At the moment it is just a rectangle of fabric quilted with a rainbow thread in horizontal and vertical lines, which I will then embellish, but I want to undo the quilting and do it again so it shows up more. (Some of my friends will remind me that I have a talent for undoing quilting.) I probably won't resume work on it until next week. The third part is just an idea in my mind. But I am determined that it will not be another UFO.

You may have noticed the SC Quilters logo that has appeared on the side of my blog. I have joined the Southern Cross Quilters web ring, which has been recently set up for members of the said yahoo group. I'd really like to be a part of the Quilt Mavericks ring because yours are the first blogs I read when I started this whole bloggy, digital penpal thingy - and I love your styles of quilting. So I guess I had better get there and ask if I can join. I promise I won't be broken hearted, downcast and sulky if you refuse. Honest!