Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Still busy, busy.

I'm still here. Been pretty busy with all sorts of stuff, very little craftiness though. It's been a busy weekend. I've been shopping and bought more yarn to make more pretty baby clothes. Look what else I found. These roses were tucked into a bouquet with my favorite lilies. I had to have them.
On Saturday we went out for dinner with friends, that was lovely. Then on Sunday, we have barely recovered from the excesses of the night before when my house filled up with people expecting one of my roast dinners.
DD Kay had her boyfriend with her. Look what she did to her hair! She says it was meant to be blue! It did look kind of blue when the sunlight caught it.
Do you remember my cheeky niece Lala? She didn't want to have her picture taken, but Uncle Tony caught her.
After a busy weekend it was nice to relax and enjoy the public holiday yesterday. As well as a mountain of ironing I put a few more rows onto the ripple blanket.
It's about 30 inches long now and it's getting quite bulky and warm. I may put it away for a while and get on with some smaller knitted items, I'll reserve 'rippling Ros' until we get some cooler weather, then it will be wonderful to snuggle under there.
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The new camera has arrived. I'm hoping to have time today to get out all of mums animal fabrics and photo them for you. While we were at the festival in Birmingham she asked me if I would make an elephant quilt for her spare bedroom. Then she proceeded to buy just about every single animal panel we came across, and a huge bundle of meter cuts of animal prints! There is enough fabric here to make about 3 quilts. I'll have to add a few bits and find something to use as backing too. Oh! And she'd like them by Christmas please!
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Speaking of Christmas I'm in Chookyblues SSCS again. I don't have a partner yet, but I have been shopping for supplies and have a couple of ideas brewing, hopefully one of them will work. (Swap is now closed).
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Right, I'm outta here, I've loads to do.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Festival part two.

More yummyness from the festival of quilts. This was a small quilt in the European section. I love it and have some very similar fabric pieces thanks to Shirley. Now I have plans for at least one piece. :-)
Another European piece, log cabin fish, so bright and cheerful.
Mum was very taken with this one and demanded that I take a photo. It is pretty.
This wedding dress was almost hidden away among other pieces, I had to stick the camera in between it's neighbours in order to get this image. The front was pretty too, but it was this detail that really caught my eye and my heart.
A prize winning piece from a youngster. I don't know why, but any images of St Basil's always capture my attention. Maybe I was a Czarina in a past life! LOL
Another of the European pieces, some beautiful 3D roses.
This image really does no justice to the quilt. The colours were different, but for some reason there is a distinct yellow hue to this. I spent a while just looking here, up close and from this vantage point. All beautifully appliqued by hand, and look at all those tiny geese.
You know I'm a sucker for blue.
That blur belongs to my sisters shoulder! Practically the only time we saw them out of the airport! LOL
Another image taken just for mum! She's a sucker for wildlife.
That's it, that's all of my photos. I did take a few more, but for what ever reason they didn't turn out. Ali was asking why so many Kiwi quilts. Well lets face it NZ is a beautiful and inspiring part of the world, also the Kiwi people are so friendly and willing to give and swap their stash and to help out in any way they can, it's really no wonder there are lots of Kiwi inspired quilts out there. Looking at the details in the program it would seem that many local people have visited and shopped or made friends with people from NZ then been inspired to go on and make a quilt. If you remember I brought home 3 kits and lots of FQs. Hmmmm, that reminds me.........
Moving swiftly on, mum bought quite a bit of fabric at the festival, but she doesn't quilt. She took it home to play for a day or two and has now brought it to me along with instructions. I'll show pictures of that next time. Back to cell phone images though as I returned my brothers camera yesterday. Speaking of yesterday. I didn't get any quilting done. I managed to sort out a back and get Madeline's hat layered but not pinned or quilted. I had another job interview at short notice. I have to say, I wasn't impressed. Sigh......

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Festival of Quilts part one and Three finishes!

I didn't take as many pictures at the festival this year, but I've still split them into two showings.
There were several which noted not only the Great war, but also more recent conflicts.
Sadly the full size image of this red one was blurred, there was silvery writing printed onto the fabric, the poem 'In Flanders Fields'.
My brother said his camera wouldn't work on quilts. He did approve of these two though.
There were also quite a few quilts depicting a place very close to my own heart. I didn't need my program to know that this one is all about New Zealand.
The quilt creations section was amazing. Look at this chest/shrine entitled 'Love Conquers All'.
And a cake stand! They looked good enough to eat. There's Jenny's elbow too, with her Brother Bag.
And look at Dirty Bertie the Pangolin. The Judges comments said that they all wanted to take him home. Of course he won a prize. As always I was drawn to the scrappy style of quilts. This one caught my eye. It is quilted with concentric circles.
And this Paisley beauty gave me an idea, I know someone who loves paisley.
More tugging at my heart strings, this symbol depicts friendship to Kiwis. All of the fabrics were kiwiana.
This lil' guy is amazing, I love him. The photo really doesn't do it justice, all those greens and those big eyes peeping out of the water.
Needless to say, he won a prize. Second I think.
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I do have a few more images from the festival, I'll show those tomorrow.
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As I planned, I spread out the shirty layers after lunch yesterday and realised I had made a miscalculation! The batting I had pieced together was just too small. I had measured the short edge of the quilt twice! Doh! So I got on with something else instead, well three somethings actually. First up, the piece I did last! I actually finished it while we were on Skype with Lee and the girls in NZ at about 10.30 last night! It's a Schnibble pattern (Not out of my new book) Called Madeline. The fabric is the Lumiere de Noel charm packs I bought at the festival.
I think I'm going to call it Madeline's Hat. The very centre piece of fabric is a Toille with the image of a woman's hat on it! Today I'll layer and finish it. I was hoping it would be a little redder and more christmassey.
In the afternoon I started and completed two of these little quilts. The other one has this background fabric for the star and the star fabric..............
They were very quick to make, four lines of quilting and bound while I watched a back episode of Stargate. See, they were done and in place before 4pm! One for each side of the bed. The fabrics I used were some of those curtain samples Mum acquired for me. I knew I'd find uses for some of it.
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I'm off to do the grocery shopping, then I can play. :-)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Exhausted.

Yesterday was a very long day, I got home exhausted, not long before 10pm. It was a 17 hour day, but lots of fun. I had a lie in this morning and didn't get up until 08.30.
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Seeing as how I uploaded my photos in the wrong order, you get to see this first. On Wednesday I added the borders to the shirty quilt, well I added that plain blue one, then put on the first piece of the darker outer border and promptly pulled it right off! Ugh, it was not right.
I'll quilt and bind this one with just that blue border. I also pieced the back using the backs of the shirts and seeing as they were cut, I made up the slight shortfall with the strips I cut for the second border. Hmm, no picture of that. I'll sort one out. I also pieced together two large pieces of batting. Today I plan to layer and quilt this piece. I didn't correct the mistake I spotted after the final seam was sewn. It stays, I'm NOT fixing it. This is a scrappy quilt, not an exercise in excellence.
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Yesterday was wonderful, I didn't quite get that same sensory overload I had last year, well I knew what to expect this time. LOL I travelled over with my Mum and two of my sisters, not that we saw them! They wandered off on their own. Mum and I met up with Jenny, who had arrived on a coach. Hmm, no picture of Jenny either, well I did get her arm on something! LOL
It was lovely to meet up with her and look around together. I took quite a few pictures which I'll share another time. I was pretty good on the shopping front. Two patterns....
A book and some fabric precuts. Yes, thats the Fig Tree Quilts Breakfast at Tiffanys. Yum, yum. You know I love that stuff.
Mum bought a whole bunch of African inspired fabrics and several African animal panels. She doesn't sew! Guess who gets to play with those? Oh! And she would like 'them' finished by Christmas! Of my sisters, one was smuggling her bag into the house, the other was very good and only bought a few items.
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I'm going to go and stroke my fabrics some more, then just maybe after lunch I'll be able to spread shirty out and start pinning.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Oh! Bu&&ar!

I spent a lot of time yesterday sewing away on my shirty stars, and at times it seemed that I spent almost as much time unsewing it to fix mistakes. So this one stays! I only spotted it as I laid out the finished piece, and I can't be bothered picking the seams to fix it! I can't believe I missed it when I was pressing the seams!
One more seam to go here.
It's currently hanging on the airer awaiting a border. Joe and I planned two, the first made out of yet more shirts. I have some plain blue shirts to chop up today and if I get that done, I have a piece of darker patterned blue fabric that I hope will look good as an outer border. While I was dreaming about how best to quilt this one I got to dreaming about owning one of these, so I sent a linky to Santa.........
He didn't say no.
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In less than 24 hours I'll be at the Festival of Quilts! :-)
Mother is picking me up at 5am. :-(
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Playtime.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A Little progress.

I made a little progress yesterday, but stopped to go out for a walk as it was so hot, standing over the iron was no fun at all.
I'll get on and do more today though it doesn't feel any cooler.
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I had my phone in my pocket and thought I'd let you have a peep along the way. I went into the nature reserve again, remember the one which used to be a landfill site, with the river along side?
I took a round trip and on the way back I walked along the old railway lines.
Can you tell that's what it used to be? LOL I think I have mentioned that part of that walk also passes through some old allotments, well I saw an apple tree laden with fruit, plum trees, cherry trees and gooseberry bushes, the birds were having a feeding frenzy. My poor cell phone didn't manage to capture any decent pictures of any of that. :-(
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Speaking of pictures, my big brother has loaned me his camera to take along to Birmingham for the Quilt Festival on Thursday. I heart my big bruv!
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Time to go and sew.

Monday, 16 August 2010

A whole week off!

My week of annual leave has finally arrived, boy am I ready for it. It would be nice to say I'll get to spend some time with this young man, but he's running out on me.
He spent the first two weeks of school hols at camp, another week with his dad and now that I finally have time off, he's going sailing with his Grandad! By the time they get back, I'll be back at work. Oh well I hope he enjoys himself.
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With Joe away I'll have no excuses, I'll have to make some quilty progress, and here's a good place to start. This morning, before the boy cleared off he helped me to lay out all these blocks, here they are ready to be stitched together. Joe even helped me deciding on borders before he went.
This is not the best of photos, it looks all washed out. It really is more colourful than this, but we're still relying on my cell phone for pictures. After I get a little lunch I'll be making a start on putting all these pieces together. (For those who missed it, I'm using one of Bonnie's free patterns. Smokey Mountain Stars.)
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The job interview on Saturday was both good and bad. I was short listed to the last 4, not bad considering it is a total change of direction for me. But, the hours and pay are much shorter than we are used to. I don't think I'll be accepting, if they offer. Hey-ho, still looking.
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I'm going to eat and play.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Progress.

As suggested I got stuck into the shirty project yesterday. I finished off these pieces.
Made and finished some of these.
And some of these.
I have a little trimming to do, then next week I'll be able to assemble the top!
As I got carried away and cut too many 5'' squares I used the extras to make these..
I haven't decided if I'll use them in the back or as a little side project. Either way I'll need to chop up some more bits of shirt.
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While watching a movie last night I knitted another two full ripples on my blanket, I won't bore you with that, suffice to say it looks very similar to yesterdays picture!
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Right at the last minute, just before the office closed, the perfect job for me popped on to the job centre website, so today I'm impatiently waiting for a response to my request for more details etc. Hopefully an email will arrive soon. I have a late shift today, so have the morning to compose the perfect covering letter and tweak my CV once again.
All those with contorted phalanges, keep 'em crossed just a little longer please.
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I'm off to make a cuppa while I wait.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Rippling again.

This may seem familiar! I've set off on another version of the ripple blanket. The yarn is a wool blend. :-( But at least it's not making me itch. It took just over a week for the Itches to stop. So, this new version has just two colours. It's very soft and lovely to knit with.
I'm enjoying my knitting again. :-) I have 400 grams each of the two yarns and plan to plod along with the rippling rows until, well, just until. LOL I'll decide it's long enough when I decide.
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I didn't do any more to the shirts quilt, except name it! 'Get Shirty' . Well what did you expect? It's my day off today, and I'll need something to keep me busy until the job centre update their site, that usually starts happening in the early afternoon, so I have all morning to do some sewing.
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Thanks to those of you who asked about the job hunt, yes it's ongoing. I have an interview on Saturday, which is a bit of a surprise. I filled in an online application just for the practice to be honest as the role is like nothing I have any experience in. I must have said something good though! I wonder if I'll get any more surprises? I've done a few applications like that, just to practice tweaking my CV and filling in forms. Interview practice will be a good thing too.
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Play time.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Remember when?

Do you remember the pin cushion swap I took part in? Well my partner and I swapped so quickly that we agreed to go around again. Looky what I got this time.
Pretty blues. There is also a scissor keep and some pretty scissors. It fits just nice on the arm of the sofa.
Here below you see the caddy I made for Mandy. I popped some extra buttons in there too.
That's about it for today. I've been job hunting and I found a little time for knitting, so maybe there will be a new knitting update tomorrow.