Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My old coffee table . . .

. . . is now my new ironing board! Last year I went on a quilt retreat to Karen Bird's at Kimbolton and was very impressed by her very large chest freezer being put to good use as a large ironing surface. Way better than my normal ironing board, an old Suzy brand which is great for clothes but fabric has a tendency to slide off the pointy end. I hardly ever iron clothes. I subscribe to the 'if it needs ironing don't buy it' philosophy of clothing purchases. I'd rather be quilting!

I thought you might like to see how I made my new 'ironing centre". First I pinched a chest of drawers from my spare room. I had these drawers for my clothes when I was a kid, so that makes them 'almost antique'. Funny how they look quite modern even though they are over 40 years old.

The drawers have proved to be a very useful storage space for reels of thread and rolls of fusible webbing, baking paper, lunch paper for tracing, Glad Press 'n' Seal which is now available in New Zealand supermarkets. (when is the freezer paper arriving?)

The old coffee table minus its legs, which were broken from teenage boys standing on the table(!!), sits on the top. I haven't fixed it in place yet so leaning heavily on one end will result in a bit of a surprise.
I covered it first with a layer of thermaldrape lining
Then 2 layers of wool flannel. This is the type that used to be used for babies overnaps. I bought some when 'he of honey bunch fame' was little and never got around to making them. I did use cloth nappies with cloth liners though and I had a few pairs of hand knitted 'bunnies", as the overnaps were called, given to me which I used. So it didn't really matter that I never got around to sewing overnaps using the wool flannel. Much better to use it for padding on the ironing surface :-)
Then a cover of cotton decorator fabric. This is an old Laura Ashley fabric.
The iron cord sits nicely into a holder that came with a second hand ironing board I bought a few years ago so I would have a second iron and board. It holds the cord out of the way and when I unplus I don't have to drop any cords on the fl00r. Saves all that 'using your back like a crane' bending down when plugging and unplugging
Not quite as large as the 'big boards' from USA, but pretty useful all the same.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Show is Over

Yes, our biennial exhibition has come and gone. It has taken me a week and a half to catch up on my sleep. We had a great time capped off with a dinner to celebrate our 20th birthday. Guest Speaker Barbara Bilyard kept us very well entertained during the evening. We were thrilled that 3 of our 4 founding members, Cathy Owen, Thelma Dawes and Trish Souness were able to attend. Our fourth, Pat Britten, has not been enjoying good health and was unable to make the journey south.

Highlight of the weekend for me was selling two of my quilts. The first piece is a top I purchased a few years ago from Grandmother's Garden. Some of you will recognise the pattern. I finally got around to basting and quilting it and, finally(!), binding it. Someone really liked it.

The second quilt I sold is one I designed for our club's mystery half nighter. Well, the background was the mystery half nighter design. After I had done this version I decided it was a bit ho hum and needed more so I appliqued the flowers and leaves. Then I mucked up the quilting and had to unpick it after I got about three quarters of it quilted and start again. Needless to say I didn't finish it in time for the class, but I did finish another version in different colours without the applique. This is not such a great photo of the quilt that sold but you get the picture?

I also won a Judge's Merit for Steamy Summer Sunrise (which I see by my photo title I originally named Steaming Summer.) Oh how I do forget things.

This piece sat around for ages needing a hanging sleeve and label. I needed a way to make sure the top bits didn't flop over. I ended up hand sewing sewing some really stiff vilene which had been fused onto a piece of the backing fabric, cut to shape, onto the back of the quilt then I added the hanging sleeve.