Thursday, 30 August 2007

Stash building.

New Fabric.
Yay! My fabric arrived yesterday, and also my software. So, my fabric is washed, it dried overnight and today I pressed it before cutting strips to make my sashing. I've also made some more rail fence blocks as I had yet another change of plan! (I'm a woman, I'm allowed to change my mind!)
Quilt Design Wizard.
Yesterday while I waited for my fabric to dry I played with the Quilt design sofware, it was fun and quite simple to use, I'll play around a little more to get the feel of it before I actually go ahead and use it properly.
Stash Building.
These few days waiting for my purchases to arrive have not been totally wasted, I did manage to put about 20 stitches into my cross stitch! LOL I've also been shopping, (Bad clicky finger!) I hit the sales department in a couple of online stores and have a few pieces of fabric headed my way. Also I've seen a beautiful quilt in one of the books I recently purchased, Hunney and I both like it and I really want to make it in the same colours, but as the chances of finding the exact same fabric are slim to zero, I've surfed all over the net in hope of finding something similar, I now have assorted charm packs from various collections headed my way. The plan being to use the charms to help us, (Yes Hunneys input is important here) to decide on which fabrics I'm going to use to make the quilt. I forgot to mention, it's a king size quilt for our bed, so I have to get it right first time.
I'll scan the page and post a pic on a day when I'm not trying to post a blog, eat my lunch, and ger ready for work!
I'll post pics of the fabrics as they arrive too. I like pictures. :-)

Monday, 27 August 2007

Quilt Design Wizard.

Janet was asking which software package I had purchased. It's called Quilt Design Wizard. I know there are other probably better packages to be had, but I figured I'd start off with something simple, and cheap! Just to see how I go.
I had a good poke about at the site before I let my clicky finger loose.

It's a public holiday here in GB so no mail today, that means no fabric or software. I'll just have to content myself with cross stitch again.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Catching up on Other blogs.

No quilting to report!
The fabrics I was awaiting were a little disappointing. :-(
The pieces I ordered for the back will do OK, but the piece I had hoped to use for sashing the top is an absolute no no. I've been on the phone to the shop and had a chat with the lovely lady, she was a great help and I have more fabric on the way, hopefully it will be here quickly.
I could make a start on the back, but I'm reluctant, I'd much rather finish the top first.
I have to say I wouldn't have come to this problem if we had a decent quilty shop here in town. There are one or two on the island, but being a non driver I find them difficult to access, much easier for me to shop online. Cheaper too, I'd spend a fortune if we had a shop in town. LOL

I've spent the last few days browsing quilty sites and shops. I've treated myself to some quilt software. 'Quilt Wizard'. I've also been reading up a few blogs, some going right back to their beginnings. There are some very prolific quilters out there, and even more very beautiful quilts.

One blog I did make a special effort to look at today was Sharon B. Typical, I finally get the time to go have a proper look only to find she has moved. LOL Go and check out her new site and blog, there is loads of wonderful info and she has a wonderful way with words which just makes you feel so welcome and comfortable while you look around.

Two blogs I visit regularly are Camilles place and Dear Jane Journey, both owned by Julia. She is one of my inspirations, I was reading her blog Camilles place for a long time before i tried either quilting or blogging for myself. Julia has a new project in the offing, I'm intrigued to see what she will do.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. It is a wonderful story and I thought very inspiring and a great ego boost to any mum who has ever been classed as 'just a mum' or 'just a housewife' or worse still a 'non worker'!! Slowly but surely we will convince bureaucracy that we play an essential role in society and as such deserve more credit than we get.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Motherhood.

No quilt or cross stitch news to blog today, but I just had to share this email my sister sent to me.

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the Motor Registration office, was asked by the counter clerk to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the counter clerk, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?" "Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a Mum." "We don't list 'Mum' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," Said the clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare office. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!

And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mum." Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?" I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants." And as for Honourary Aunts, what more can I say?

Please send this to another Mum, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know. May your troubles be less, Your blessings be more, And nothing but happiness come through your door.


So my fellow research assistants, have a great day.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

A change of Plan.

Back to work, well I have to pay for this new habit somehow! When I went in yesterday morning it felt like I hadn't been away. I'm still tired and there are one or two colleagues I really don't want to see nor do I want to work with them. On the other hand it was good to see the clients again and to feel needed and appreciated, I was working with a colleague whom I was pleased to see and whose company I do enjoy, and the shift went by very quickly with lots of laughter.


On a happier and quiltier note, you may remember I said I was going to make some 4 square blocks, well, I changed my mind, deciding instead to stick to the strip effect/theme begun by the log cabin blocks. So I've now made a bundle of these rail fence blocks.



At least I think they are rail fence, or a variation of, I've looked all over and can find nothing like these! I know I didn't invent something new, so unless someone corrects me I'll stick with the rail fence theory. These are just a few of them awaiting their last press before being trimmed and tidied.


I've had a play on the floor, (it passes as my design wall, if I stand on a chair I get a pretty good overall view!) and so far I'm settled on 4 log cabin stars, with a cross of these rail fence blocks running between them, a matching sash and border, then maybe a second or third border, I'll see how it feels once I have the first one on. On that note I am once again awaiting the arrival of some fabric, I wish there was a good quilty or even general sewing shop nearby! There are two stitchy crafty shops in town, neither of whom sell fabrics! The closest shop which does sell fabric has only a tiny selection as she is also stocking countless other stitchy crafts.
Shop local only works if the local shops will stock or provide what we want.

Have a good day all.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Another day out and some new blocks.

Hunney and I went out again yesterday. We took the Electric tram from our home town Ramsey along the coast to Laxey. It was a lovely sunny day so we sat in the open car. While in Laxey we walked around in the glen


before heading for the beach where we bought lunch to take away and eat in the open air. We both enjoyed a lovely day.



I've also been busy making up blocks with the fabrics I recieved the other day. I've made pink and green log cabins.


I have a few more green cabins to make before I go on to make some sixteen patch blocks in the same fabrics.


I'm not sure where this is going, I'm sort of making it up as I go again. I do however have a bag of off cuts which I plan to use to make another scrappy style binding, I really do like the look of the one I put on my Loulee's Plates quilt.

The weather is abysmal today, it's pouring down, so I don't think we'll be doing much beyond the necessary grocery shopping. That means more time to sew! I will also spend some time looking through two new books, ''Quick and Easy Quilts'' and ''The Encyclopedia of Quilting and Patchwork Techniques''. I've had a quick look through both of them 2-3 times, but want to sit and look properly.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Treasure and a day out.

Hunney and I are off work this week. We have no trip away planned, but we did agree to a coulpe of days out. Today was one of those, we had a look around the shops in a nearby town then had lunch before spending the afternoon in the Manx Museum. We both enjoyed that as it's been some time since we went. Part of the exhibit is constantly changing. On this visit there is a huge exhibition celebrating 100 years of the world famous TT races.


Of course just before we left the house this morning, the postie called. Look what she had for me! I got to have a quick play then I was whisked off. Time now to have a proper look and start planning. I see some very pretty and girly log cabins in my near future.



The beautiful bright pinks in the 'scrap bundle' are this months 'Beginners club' offerings, along with instructions for making up 4, 9, 12 or 16 patch blocks, so I think thats what I'll do with them.

I'll have to make the most of my time tonight as tomorrow and Thursday I have a training course. My manager gave me time off but the training co-ordinator didn't think I would mind two days of training in the middle! Well, I don't think she'll do that again, I told her exactly what I think of that!

I'm off to play.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Another Quick Project.

Today I quickly put together these two cushions, they are to scatter on the bed when I'm using my plate quilt. Although I used the same fabrics I decided on the fan pattern rather than more plates. I'm not sure if that was the right decision, hopefully it will look OK.



Thats me all out of fabric at the moment, I don't yet have a stash as I'm still new to this. So I'll have to get on with some cross stitching tomorrow morning. I plan to have lunch with one of my sisters and who knows what will be happening in the afternoon.

Have a good day.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Charming

I spent a very pleasant afternoon with my daughter today, between us we cut and pieced this pretty little crib sized quilt. I really like the scrappy effect.



We used up the packs of charms I had recieved free with some other fabric. I have named this one 'Lou and Kays Merry Go Round. As Kay was so much help I figured she deserved to have her name on there.

I'll gift it to the next friend, colleague or family member to have a child.

Hope your day was as good as mine.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Checking In

I thought I should check in and let you know whats going on. I've been busy knitting, I can't show it off though cause it's for prezzies, and I know the recipient looks in here occasionally!

I've been doing a little tidying up in my crafty stash and found some charm packs I recieved free with something, I think I have a plan for those.



I also talked Hunney round and treated myself to this lovely little fat quarter set and a monthly club, it's a beginners club, each month I get a small pattern and instructions and enough 16ths and scraps to make up a small project, which I think is a great way for me to become familiar with lots of new patterns and techniques. I should get my first instalment next week.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

All finished.

I have to post twice again today, as there are so many pictures.



My mitres need a little work! I got myself more than a little confused and ended up having a few trial runs. I bought buttons to put on where the blocks meet, fearing that they would not be very tidy. I surprised myself, but used the buttons anyway, they look very pretty. They were a pain to put on, is there an easy way to get to the middle of a quilt this size?
Anyway, here it is showing off it's bottom on DDs bed. I think the binding is really effective, I like it very much.




I didn't quite get the random effect I wanted with the heart blocks, I think I'm half way there.
On the whole, as a first attempt at anything bigger than a patchwork/quilted cushion front, I'm rather pleased with myself.


Hunney loves it too, he is amazed at how quickly I managed to get it made. He says I can't do another one just yet, LOL we can't afford for me to be making one a month! So, I have my cross stitch and some knitting yarns, I'll just have to get busy with those! But I will be visiting quilting again, very soon. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

You wanna stay with me and see what I do next?



All finished.

On Tuesday. I cut the left over fabric into strips, which I sewed together, similar to the string blocks I've seen more experienced quilters doing.

After more cutting and sewing I got the iron out and made myself a long scrappy strip to bind with.



I like the effect I ended up with, it's really pretty.

Monday, 6 August 2007

A Quilt of two halves!

Well, it's coming along! Here's the first half, completed except for the removal of stray threads. I'd also like to press it again before I attach the other half and then bind it.



Here's the other half, waiting for me to slip stitch two seams in the back. I'll press both halves before stitching them together. I should get it done this evening. I'm off work again tomorrow, so I may get it finished.




As you'll see, no sashing, I decided against that on this first one. There will be no border either, I will be binding it though. I'm planning to make a 'scrappy' style binding with the fabric left over from the plates and the print on the back.

I see that it's usual practice to put a label on ones works. That means I have to think of a name for my quilt.

Dresden Plate.
Plates with Love.
Hearts and Flowers.
Blue China.
China hearts.
Loulee's Plates.

Help!
What am I gonna call it?

I have a sore finger, I had to go find my thimble, it's a lot of years since my fingers had to do that kind of work, you would think years of cross stitching would toughen my fingers, but the weave of aida and evenweaves means that the needle passes through much easier I guess.

Time to go pin the other half.

Have a good day.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Still enjoying myself.

My sister Moya came to see me yesterday, she brought my Birthday prezzies with her. This lovely handmade bag is reversable. I love the bugs on it, there are Moths, bees and dragonflies, very pretty.

She also brought me these two pillow cases which she made herself. She bought the pieces for Sue, but placed them all and hand appliqued them. I love them.


And last but not least, while she was here, she had a play on the new machine, here's the message she asked it to write for me, just before she left.


I've been busy again and all the plates are appliqued in place on their blocks and I've begun to quilt them. I can't believe how quickly this is coming together.

Have a good day all.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Been playing.

I've been busy with my new machine all day. I'm over half way through getting the plates appliqued. Here's one I made earlier.



Here's me, Hunney bought me a quilting table accessory for the machine, my boys attached it for me this evening. They also pestered to have a go at the machine, which I allowed of course, under strict supervision!



I'll be doing more tomorrow! :-)

Birthday comes early.

Hunney gave me my gift early, it's not actually my birthday until Sunday, but he brought my gift home from work where it has been hiding, and as there is nowhere really to hide things here I got it early. No, I couldn't have looked at a wrapped gift until Sunday morning, I'm useless at things like that. ( Christmas was and still is such a torment for me! ) It would have been all the more frustrating as I knew what I was getting.

Now you want to know what I've got? Looky here! I played for a while last night, before and after Hunney took me out for dinner. Hunney sat with me and helped me to figure out some of the functions. It's so much nicer than my old machine, smooth and quiet, and it does what I ask of it. Hunney also bought some feet that were not included in the package and a quilting table to add onto it.

So, last night I started to satin stitch my plates onto their blocks. Yippie! My DD wanted to be in on the fun of the new machine too, she asked if there was anything she could do to help, so I set her the task of cutting out the centres of the plates, one of which I have sewn on as she wanted to see what it would look like. All I have to do now is put everything together.

I'm already dreaming about my next project!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Quilt update

As promised, pictures of where my quilt is up to.

This first block will be one of the 'in betweens' and is backed with pretty blue rosebuds.



Here is one of my plates, it's not been appliqued yet! I can't get my poor old dinosaur of a sewing machine to do anything but a standard length straight stitch, and I want to satin stitch the edges of the plates, so I guess I'm waiting until Hunny brings my new machine home. Looks like I need to do some more ironing anyway! I never noticed that crease when I took the pic!



Tomorrow before work I'll be stitching up some more of the heart blocks.

Have a good day.