Sunday, 14 August 2022

Have you seen my sewjo?

It seems to be AWOL at the moment. I've done plenty of study and had some more papers marked which is good, but I don't seem to have much to show in the way of needle work. 
I picked up my cross stitch the other day and did a little more work on my brothers regiment badge, but forgot to take a photo. 
Something that did take up 3-4 hours was a work challenge. The welfare committee challenged us to talk to our residents and ask them what would be the light at the end of their tunnel, then to translate that in to a decoration that would fit on to their room doors.  
Hmm, it was on the tip of my tongue to ask if the welfare committee understand the meaning of the term 'end of life care'? But I kept my mouth tight shut until I sat and chatted with one lady. She misses her son, who lives a long way away. The light for her is a visit from him.
So I drew her a tunnel and after snapping this picture I added a photo of her boy, smiling at the end of the tunnel.
She is delighted with it and has thanked me many times. 
It's my weekend off work and you would think that I would find time to sew and although there has been time, very little has been done. In fact today, Sunday is the only day I have lifted a needle. I finished my August Churn Dash blocks. 
And also cut out the blues for Septembers blocks. 
I looked at my scrappy triangle blocks, the foundation papers are there, ready to begin sewing, but that didn't appeal. On Monday I had completed sewing the last of my Christmas ornaments, so I've put them in a safe place, I just hope I remember where that is in a few weeks time when I'm ready to mail the first ones out. LOL
I have my box of Lucy parts sat here by my chair, but have done nothing to them all week.
Hmmm
My sewjo is missing...
Have you seen it?

 

Monday, 8 August 2022

Quilted and Bound.

I didn't do a huge amount of anything over the weekend. Chooky called a meeting of the Chookshed Stitchers on Zoom, which I attended late as I had been out very late the night before, (celebrating not only my own birthday, but three others also. It was a big night). I didn't do any sewing, just chatted with everyone until it was time for work. Then when I got home, another session was in progress, so I joined in to chat again.
On Friday I had made time to pop in to town to look for a binding fabric for Edyta's Garden and found a lovely red check that seemed to be just right. I cut my strips and joined them on Sunday morning before Tony took me out for lunch. Once home, I set about closing it.
It was very frustrating to get about eighty percent of it done before I had to head off to work again. I was itching to get home and finish it, which I did, just in time for bed.
A very quick photo shoot before curling up under my blankets.
It's not beautiful, but it will keep some one warm. 
There has been lots of very cold, sleety rain yesterday and today, so I didn't think I would get an outdoor photo shoot done, but there was a brief window of sunshine and I ran out quickly.
First stop, my old rocking chair as I knew it would be dry, tucked in to it's corner.
Then I ventured up on to the front lawn where I was surprised to find that old man tree felt quite dry.
I quickly popped the quilt on to one of his branches and snapped some more pictures.
As you can see the clouds were gathering ready for the next wintery assault, so I quickly ran back in doors. Today is really not a good day for getting artistic out of doors. LOL  There is no more rain yet, but it is very overcast and I'm sure it will come.
After getting a quick picture of the binding, sorry I forgot to snap one before I cut it in to strips and sewed it on, I made myself a cuppa and sat down to write.
Now I'll need to have a look through my box and decide what to quilt next. I think they are mostly smaller pieces, and of course the Fairies, (Scroll down) but I'm still waiting for the light bulb moment on them. 



 

Thursday, 4 August 2022

An Early Birthday Gift.

Tony has commented more than once that I am working in my own shadow when I am at my cutting table, no matter if I have the ceiling light on or if I'm relying on daylight. There really isn't a better way to arrange my room to allow more light on to the table so I have just muddled along. Recently he bought himself a great light for his own work table in his play room and he thought it would work out just fine on my cutting table, so he purchased a second and gave it to me as an early birthday gift. (It's my birthday tomorrow on the fifth), but he gave me the lamp last week.
I have to say it is pretty good. It really doesn't take up much space.
It all works with the tap of a finger tip, I can dim or brighten it as desired, I can even set it on auto and it will decide how bright it needs to be!
You can see the difference it makes here as I prepare to construct some more Churn Dash blocks. I have such a lovely thoughtful husband. 
I have only made two blocks so far this month, hopefully I can get more done over the weekend I have all of the pieces cut, I just need to find time to put them together.
*
The fabric I ordered to bind Edyta's Garden is way too bright, so I'll have to go on a wee shopping spree and see if I can find something else. Maybe tomorrow, I'm off out for a birthday lunch with some colleagues, I'm sure they will indulge me and let me shop too. LOL
*
That's all my news. Have a happy weekend. 

Monday, 1 August 2022

The weekend that was.

I left you on Friday, with this image.
I was full of optimism that I would have plenty of time to play over the weekend and that I would get the quilting completed on this project quite quickly. 
Boy was I wrong!
I had plenty of time and was busily quilting away and having fun. I stopped to have a chat with Chooky, because I can't quilt and chat at the same time, once the chat was over, I emptied another bobbin and then things went down hill fast.
No fair.
My top thread kept snapping every 2-3 inches of quilting. I was stopping and starting, burying threads and changing bobbins and re threading the top thread over and over and nothing seemed to help. I kept telling myself, one more try then walk away, but had a lot more tries. LOL
Tony appeared wondering what was going on, all the stopping and starting couldn't be a good thing.
He prescribed open heart surgery and took the machine off the frame.
There was some fluff in the bottom, but not lots.
There was some more fluff caught in the greasy underparts too.
Blogger, why did you turn my photo upside down?
After a good clean with a soft brush and the vacuum cleaner,
everything was reassembled and I tried again, within seconds the thread snapped.
AAARRGH!
But I persevered, and rethreaded again and again.
Eventually after open heart surgery and three hours of frustration all came good.
I don't know how or why, I certainly didn't change anything that I was doing, but the machine stopped snapping my thread and I was able to carry on quilting.
But it was now pretty late in the day and time to get ready to go and meet friends for dinner. 
I continued to quilt on Sunday morning without problems.
Until the bobbins ran out!
What a frustrating place for the bobbin to run out. LOL
I quickly wound just a small amount of thread on to another bobbin and finished that last little bit. 
I was able to take it off the frame before lunch.
Here is a look at the quilting, front and back. 
I ended up using two different colours of thread for the back, as I am using up leftovers from other projects but that's ok. 
All of the excitement was too much for Miss Belle, she had to take a nap.
Problem with that is, she was resting on the dust cover for the machine.
It would be nice to say I'll get the binding on today, but sadly I don't have the perfect fabric in my stash. I had to go shopping.
I know, shame.
I've ordered what I hope will be perfect, it should be here in a day or two.
What will I do to keep myself busy until it gets here?
I'm sure I'll find something. I managed to keep myself busy on Sunday afternoon with cutting fabrics for the next batch of Churn dash blocks and then I prepared some more Lucy papers and even sewed another border block in to the Lucy quilt top.
*
My working week is all messed up this week as I have swapped two of my shifts with a colleague. I must attend the funeral of a friends father today and then help that same friend celebrate her birthday, and my own, on Friday. And I need to get on with some study and make time to play.
*
I hope your weekend was as successful as mine, without the frustration.

 

Friday, 29 July 2022

A little quilting progress.

As I mentioned last time, I have started quilting Edyta's Garden, an EPP project from last year.
I'm using a meander Edge 2 edge pattern as it is a great exercise in eye hand coordination as I follow the lines with my little red light. 
I didn't go out and buy new thread for this one, opting to use what I have here. Choosing two previously used king Tut threads, one in a rainbow colour for the front and a slightly more muted tone in the back. *
And as it is the end of the month, a reminder of how my Churn Dash blocks are looking.
It's exciting seeing these blocks pop up all over blogland, with so many different colours, sizes and styles of Churn Dash blocks appearing. 
*
It's my weekend off, so hopefully I'll get plenty of time to sew or quilt.
I might give myself a head start on next months Churn Dash blocks and get them cut and ready to go.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

On the frame....

Yesterday the weather was awful.
I couldn't see through the kitchen windows and it was very soggy when I stepped out to drain the water out of the coconut bird feeder and pop another fat bomb in to it for them.
The view out of my quilting room was also wet, wet, wet.
Thank goodness I didn't need to go outside, once I had fed the birdies!
I decided I was going to have a day off from my studies and play all day. 
I spent some time deciding what I was going to prepare for quilting, then after making up a pieced batting from a large off cut and an end of bolt, I dug through my pile of backing pieces, finding a very cosy flannelette sheet that is just the right size.
I pulled out the quilting design books that were gifted too me.
I settled on a design from this book.
And after I had measured the size of the top, twice, I copied and printed enough pages to work one row of my chosen design. 
Yes, I can produce a rather good freehand meander of my own, but I thought it would be good practice at following the line with my little red light. 
I stuck them all together then after aligning them correctly I stuck them down to the table with some tacky stuff.
I had pressed the back and the top and managed to get the back partially pinned to the frame before Tony came home for his lunch.
After I had fed him I continued pinning and got all the layers pinned and ready to go.
I selected thread colours and wound bobbins then set about preparing everything ready to begin quilting today.
As I threw the dust cover back over the top of the machine, my eye caught sight of the label and I remembered a brief exchange I had with Anorina after seeing her beautiful labels.
So here you go Anorina, my Loulee labels.
Cheating I know compared to some of the beautiful hand made labels that appear on some quilts, but I'm happy with them.
I opted to stop there and sit down for a while before making a start on dinner. Being a dark and wet day it was also pretty cold, so a great day for sitting under my crochet. I was able to get the final round of granny clusters completed and even made a start on the edge before it was time to cook. I completed the edging before bedtime. 
I have added 17 rounds and a border all the way around the original blanket, which adds up to an extra 8 inches per side, so it is 16 inches wider and longer than it was.
Here is another look at the shell edge I added.
The original had no such edge, I just stopped and called it done. Which as it turns out was a good thing.
This morning the weather is dry, but overcast and cold.  I decided that I could have another day off my studies but that I should spend some time doing some chores before I could play.
Once playtime began, I went straight to my frame and spent the remainder of the morning there. I have emptied three bobbins and begun a fourth. Frustratingly I get almost two rows of quilting completed before a bobbin runs out. I have been very good though picking back to a seam in the top then burying my threads into the seam I picked back to. I'm so glad I taught myself how to do that, it's a habit I want to get in to as I really do not like the task of burying threads so doing them as I go takes the pain out of that part for me. 
I did get a few pictures of the quilting design, but I'll save those for another day.
I'm off to work in an hour, so just enough time for a cuppa and read a chapter of my book. 
I hope you're having better weather than me and that you're having fun. 

Monday, 25 July 2022

Some Retail Therapy and a Lucy update.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the one with all of the inspirational pictures from the quilt show, the day was not just about looking at quilts, we also made time for some shopping. Our first stop on the way north, about an hour up the road as you know by now if you are a regular reader of mine, is Annies Country Quilt store. 
You can't really tell from this image, but there was still frost on the grass. We were quite early leaving Timaru, and arrived in Ashburton before the store usually opens, but some very thoughtful person had phoned them the day before to let them know we would be visiting and they opened the shop early especially for us. I'm sure they felt it was worth the effort as all of us purchased something.
I found a lovely green for the setting triangles in my churn dash quilt and some fat quarters that will find their way in to the scrappy triangles quilt.
While we were browsing I spied a Lucy Boston quilt squished in between two shelves of fabric bolts. 
I pulled some of it out a little so I could have a better look.
One of my travelling companions helped me out and I got some photos.
I was particularly interested in the quilting.
So simple, but incredibly effective.
The piecing was beautifully done with lots of beautifully executed fussy cutting.
Having stretched our legs and spent some money it was time to get back in to our little bus and head further North.
The next stop was at The Sewing Room in Darfield. (They don't have a website). If you remember Tony and I visited them in the new year. This was my recommendation and I'm happy to say I think we all spent some money in there too. LOL Especially as it took us a little way off course.
As you can see, I found two beautiful blues.
The top one is for my Lucy quilt, well it may be, I may not need it. 
Better to have it, just in case right?
The lower blue is border fabric for my Churn Dash quilt.
Once we were all done shopping in The Sewing Room we headed over the road and descended on the bakery for an early lunch. The coffee drinkers were hanging out for a fix too. 
Once we were all fed, watered and toileted we climbed back on to the bus to continue our journey to the big smoke. The Quilt exhibition we were all off to see was held in a school in Christchurch. I'm glad I wasn't driving, the traffic was awful.
If you wish to see some of the quilts in the exhibition, look back at my previous post for lots of lovely inspiration.
As it was only 2.30 when we came out of the exhibition we decided collectively that visiting another shop might be a good idea. Back in to the bus and a very short ride along a very busy road and we were at Fabric Vision. A new shop for me to visit, though others had been there before.
And they had a sale on! 
Once again I think just about everybody found something to purchase.
I found some 1000m reels of thread, a cute fat quarter and a blue on white that may possibly find it's way to becoming a border on my churn dash quilt.......maybe.
here is a closer look at it. 
Maybe I'll look in to getting more of the fabric I used for my Churn dash backgrounds. 
Aaaanywhoo!
After spending lots of money it was time to turn the bus to the South and head home. No stops for more shopping or coffee breaks just a two hour ride, tired and happy and a little poorer in our bank accounts, with bulging shopping bags.
I slept well that night.
*
Yesterday, Sunday, was all about Lucy. Chooky called a spur of the moment zoom session as she does. I was late arriving as I had been busy with laundry chores, but as soon as I sat down to join in I pulled out some Lucy blocks to work on. That was nice to sit and catch up with some of the other Chookshed Stitchers. 
Later in the day I set about pulling papers out of the completed areas, this about a quarter of what I removed.
Most of them will be reused in this project as I still have a long way to go having only just begun to add the borders.
The quilt holder upper was a little uncooperative and I had to feed him before he would help.
Here it is eventually, my progress as of last night.
There are a few completed border blocks waiting to be added and a whole bunch of papers waiting to receive their fabric coverings.
*
I have studied all morning and have another Q&A ready to submit for marking, just as soon as I add some evidence documents. So I think I deserve to relax for a while and maybe do some sewing or some crochet. So that is what I'm going to do. 


 

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Canterbury Patchwork and Quilters Exhibition.

This past week has been mostly about my studies. I have made time for a little sewing, but nowhere near as much as I hoped. This stage of my studies will be more time consuming, though I am trying to make sure I reward myself with some fun stuff too.
Yesterday was some of that fun stuff. 
The local guild hired a mini bus and eight of us headed off to Christchurch for the day in order to visit the Canterbury Patchwork and Quilters Guild Winter Stars Exhibition. It was a fun day out.
The exhibition consisted of almost 200 quilts, don't worry I didn't take pictures of all of them.
As well as quilts made by local Cantabrians there was also two collections of challenge quilts.
LINES, Members were given the opportunity to create a quilt on the theme of LINES. Any form of quilt design or style could be used. And BROWN, the 2022 colour challenge was to create a 12x12 square quilt which is predominantly brown in colour. Both of these challenges were set by the national quilters guild Aotearoa Quilters. 
So here you go, my photos in no particular order. 
I loved this piece, it has those tiny LED lights poking through the fabric, which really doesn't show up here. 


This blue one really stood out for me.
I might have to make something like this. 
Oh look, more blue. LOL
And it received a judges award. Just goes to show you don't have to make fancy complicated designs, sometimes simple is best.
This collaborative quilt was stunning in person, I really fell in love with it.

Not the best picture I'm afraid, but I had to get an image of the chooks, for Chooky!
The fabrics used for the chooks is very pretty. 
This was not the only Lucy Boston quilt I saw yesterday, but more about that another time.

More brown. These dragonflies and dandelions caught me eye. The dragonflies were painted/printed on to the fabric, I think there is some gold paint under the dandelions too, but it was hard to say with all the golden threads she had used to create/quilt them.
You can see some of the quilting in the lower image too. 
This hexie quilt in the brown challenge caught my eye too
Where the hexies intersect, the designer/maker has sewn on tiny beads.
This next piece was the only one in the lines exhibition that caught my eye.
Having recently studied two papers about dementia and also working with people who have dementia I could see exactly what the designer is saying here.
I just might have to make something similar.
You should all know by now just how much I love poppies.

It's difficult to see in this image, but those words are hand sewn beautifully .
I tried and tried to get a better photo. They are beautiful sentiments, surrounded by that border of tiny squares. (Live, Love, Laugh, Sing, Dance, Dream, Play, Give and Smile).
The quilting is delightful too.

Good things are worth waiting for.
These guys caught my eye. They all look like they are half asleep.

While I was admiring Paddington's Party someone stopped beside me and we had a chat about it.
We agreed that it is a very clever way to make a tiny piece of fabric go a long way.
You know how sometimes you have a piece of character fabric left, not really enough to do anything with? Maybe it will go in to a scrapper or an eye spy one day?  This lady made a whole quilt out of her small piece.

This next piece was mind boggling. It was tucked away in a corner all on it's own. The only entrant in it's class.
So of course it won the blue ribbon.
Those hexies are tiny all 918 of them!!!
I wonder how many people did miss out on seeing it hidden away as it was?
Of course there were lots of scrappy quilts
This one caught my eye, so bright and colourful.

During the bus ride up to Christchurch we had been chatting on the bus about how to use/preserve our collections of doyleys etc so it was interesting to see some in use. There were only three of this style of quilt in the exhibition.
This one in particular caught me eye, the doyleys had been sewn on to an old table cloth, the border has antique items on it too, such as hair brushes and mirrors. I liked the fact that it was all tatted and crochet doyleys, there were a couple of embroidered napkins and here and there I could see embroidered motifs on the tablecloth, but they were all in a soft beige/neutral colour. 
I need to come up with a plan for my own threads from the past.
And my final favourite of the day, Totems for the rainbow.
All those tiny pieces of coloured fabric.
I very much enjoyed my walk around the exhibition, seeing so many lovely quilts, gaining ideas and inspiration and discussing them with other members of the group and one or two strangers also. There were people leaving as we arrived, and more arriving as we left, the numbers inside were just right, not too crowded. 
There was only a small area available for vendors, there were three tucked in to the small space yesterday and I found out somehow that each vendor was only allowed to be there for one day, so that others could have a turn too. No I didn't purchase anything from them.
But I did shop. We didn't go all that way just to look at quilts, we made two stops on the way up and another after seeing the exhibition.
More about that another time, along with more about that other Lucy quilt that I mentioned seeing.