My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Friday, August 31, 2012

Calling all Jesters....

Jesters with small heads, Jesters with big heads, those with skinny heads or fat heads... I have the hat for you!!!
Those of you doing the SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge will know what I am talking about...
This month's tutorial/challenge was by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. She discussed and guided us through the Jesters Hat quilting design she has come up with and used recently.
Jesters Hats; August Challenge.
I must admit I approached it with a bit of trepidation after reading on other blogs of some of the difficulties people were having with it. I was sure I wouldn't cope with changing direction all the time (for each side of the hat) but in the end it was linking from one hat to another that gave me the most trouble.
I did practise on paper a lot, and finally decided I needed to do a sweeping curve from the end of one hat to the start of the next, and that got me into a nice quilting rhythm.
Hats for any sized Jester head!!

I was interested to read the post by Wendy on her blog today (after I had done my piece) regarding
a) getting stuck in a spot with nowhere to go.... I backtracked when that happened but didn't think of actually finishing off and re-starting in a new spot (duh!!)
and b) the size of motifs... I do notice that I am often micro-quilting with my motifs so want to try and get them a bit bigger for a different effect.
Anyway, I've completed August's challenge piece and I enjoyed it a lot; maybe it 's the fun name but I found this fun to sew - once I got a handle on it! A big thank you to SewCalGal for organising and hosting this challenge, and also to Wendy for this month's tutorial.

And there's been more quilting going on in my cave too, I finally got organised and finished my mini Friendship Sampler hosted by Joanne of Thread Head in May. I just had quilting to do on it so I am happy that it is now done.

Had fun with feathers in the borders - very free-flow!!
I followed Joanne's idea of using 4" squares folded into triangles stitched to the
corners on the back, to form hangers for dowelling.
Joanne is running another quilt along which looks like it will be fun, too. She has given several different versions of the intended quilt on her blog (I love the zig-zag setting) so pop over there and check it out. She is a lovely lady who likes to help and is always very generous with her instructions. It starts Sept 18th.

And in case you are wondering what has happened to Dad's fruity quilt - here (below) is Nigel looking after it. Now that I have the two above items above out of the way, my head is clear for starting the quilting. Once I realised I wouldn't have it done in time to post for Fathers Day, I relaxed a little.
Nigel's content with looking after my quilts for me!
So it's nearly the weekend every-one - hope you have a nice one,
Happy creating, 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some houses and a tour

Having mostly moved back into my sewing cave, I thought it time I took you on a tour—
This is my new sewing desk. I LOVE it. My Bernina sits in a little cavity, just like in my Sew-Ezi table. I made sure the desk was nice and deep for handling big projects and also that I had some decent cupboards underneath. 
Yes, that was a new little house sitting under the sewing machine. Thank you Maria for this little window decoration.
At the end of the desk is my little computer space. I made this as small as was feasible so that I had more sewing room. It works well so far but I will tweak it a bit so that I have little cubbyholes under the monitor and printer.
Oh look that was another house block hanging on the computer screen.
On one wall I have put Nanny's old sewing cabinet. This is what I used to sew on before I got my  Sew-Ezi table. I have my old Janome set up at the moment but the flap folds up and the machine slides into the cupboard on top if I don't want to sew with two machines at once. Just to the right is the butterfly-type table I used to use as my cutting table. Every time I grizzled to myself about how small and wobbly it was I reminded myself that it used to be Mum and Dad's kitchen table when they were first married!
And the Janome is looking after another block... thank you Annette for the lovely lady in the window.
This isn't a very good photo sorry as it is too sunny outside but this is another huge change in my cave. This desk used to be my computer desk but I decided I would rather have it for cutting, etc, instead. The MOML heightened it for me and it is perfect for cutting. I can also use it for preparing my tops for quilting too. Nana made me the cane baskets a long time ago which I treasure hugely. Oh and there is my ironing board too, nice and handy to my sewing machine.
A change in purpose.
And here is the house on my cutting mat. 
Fun to make some houses again - it's been a while.
I am very happy with how it has turned out and it is so nice to have all my bits around me again. I still haven't cluttered up the walls with quilts and 'stuff' but it wont take long, I'm sure.
[EDIT - to answer Suz' question re stash and scraps. They are in plastic bins and drawers under the cutting bench - still a bit messy to photograph!!]
So now it is time to get back to my fruity quilt for Dad--I'm up to the appliqué stage -- moving along nicely.
Thanks for touring with me, happy creating, everyone,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bright and busy on Friday Night

Friday Night Sew In snuck up and took me by surprise this month but I happily took advantage of the excuse to sew.
And it's a new project too :-) (How many new projects does Raewyn have - please don't ask!)
After an hour's sewing on FNSI
I am a fan of Kim Diehl's books and have a few in my collection - however I never thought that the first of her projects I would do would be a radical swerve from the original! So instead of country and homey this latest quilt is bright and busy!
I suddenly had inspiration for the quilt I have been wanting to make for Dad recently. Some of you will know he is a real Fruit and Nut man and I have been collecting the odd fruit and nut fabric as I have seen it. I know he likes bright colours but because of his failing eyesight I wanted to make something pretty simple.
So in walks Kim Diehl's latest book, Simple Charm, and the lapquilt Snow in Summer is perfect.
Snow in Summer, from Simple Charm by Kim Diehl.
Here it is in Dad's fabrics, so far, (after a bit more sewing on Friday night and a little on Saturday) —
Roughly laid out in no particular order.
Close up of some of the fabrics. I only chose fruits that Dad grows.
I came to a stall after running out of fruit fabric but I will have that sorted soon - I would like to have it finished by Fathers' Day on September 2nd so I need to remain focussed.
Many thanks to Bobbi and Heidi for hosting FNSI; it is lovely to have an excuse to sew (actually the MOML would probably suggest I don't need one!).
Happy sewing and happy weekend everyone,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Tuesday Treasure

It's a while since I've taken part in Tuesday Treasures (hosted by the lovely Melody over at The House on the Side of the Hill). I realised today though that I hadn't shown one of the bears made by my YD.
Bandabear was made from acrylic fur and is all hand sewn. He is full of personality - here you see him playing with the dog....
"Hey Oscar-Riley wake up.... do you want to play?"
"Hey, leave me be....I don't want to sleep...!"
YD is away studying again now - but she did take her bearmaking things with her so I hope she gets a chance to have another sew. It's so lovely seeing her creating.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And so she sewed....

It was the weekend; my sewing room was nearly back to normal and calving was settled down into a routine. (The mad rush is over, we're into a time-consuming routine now) so what was happening at Raewyn's house...?
.....The washing machine was whirring away.....
And Raewyn completed the next two Temecula Quilt Co blocks.
.....The dishwasher was humming away.....
And Raewyn made good progress on her Mini Friendship Sampler run
by Joanne (Threadhead)  in May. I hadn't done the applique which is
done by Invisible Machine Applique. I started the quilting too but
need more quilting threads.
 .....The MOML was vacumming (grin)....
And Raewyn completed her next Hop To It block (an Edyta Sitar pattern).
I am doing these by hand needleturn applique so they are taking me a while!
 ....The crockpot bubbled away....
And Raewyn completed month 5 of the SewCalGal fmq challenge.
The tutorial by Leah Day was for Douple Stipling - this is the version
using straight lines called Railway Tracks.
.....And Raewyn was as happy as a pig in mud - a very satisfying weekend :-).
Hope you all had as fruitful a weekend,