29 May 2014

A finish... well almost again

Well my beginners sample is all quilted I will try and get the binding done on the weekend.  I used bamboo wadding and a voile on the back and it has a lovely drape and is soft even with all the machine quilting so it will be a combination I will use again if it washes up ok.

Now all that needs to be done is write up the notes for my students.  I think that will take me a while but at least I have nearly 2 months to get them right now and I may even take the opportunity to make another sample.

Had a bit of a disaster with the appliqué quilt, cut 2 borders the wrong size but I managed to get my hands on just enough fabric to cut 2 new side borders so all is well.  Would have hated to have to design appliqué to cover a seam.  Apart from stitching down some stems the quilt has come to a stand still at the moment while the beginner sampler is finished.  It will be back on schedule next week though.

22 May 2014

Progress and News

Its been taking me a little while to decide what border to do on this medallion quilt.  I have played around in EQ7 quite a bit ... still need lots of practice on how to get the appliqué shapes to do what I want them to do.  I  ended up going to pen and paper for the next large border but I can manipulate pieced blocks quite well.  The 2 side borders are all complete now but it is too dark to take a photo so you will have to just be happy with this one where I was playing with colour placement.  The corners stones will a different block.

I introduced a new print fabric into the border and part of the text has Squids actual name on it which seems to jump out at me in every block.  She was pretty chuffed that her name was in fabric as we never find it in those named mugs, room names or pens.

In other news, Patchwork by Sea has booked me to teach a Beginners Class, Raw Edge Applique and Needle Turn Applique next term.  I have a bit of work to do over the next month but I am really looking forward to teaching again.  With any luck this quilt will be finished by the time the needle turn class comes around and I will have some more show and tell to show my students.

12 May 2014

What a difference 12 month make

I just looked back at blogger and this time last year we were having our new kitchen put it.  Well it has been well used since then and life is so much easier with a properly  working oven and hotplate.

Was also thinking about how less stressed we all are these days.Last year I felt like we were all wound up so tight  ready to explode at a moments notice.  The kids have settled back into school, work is ok and is just chugging along and a reasonable pace, and Squids back issues have settled and she is back playing good tennis again.

Maestro is enjoying school and what a difference a new school and a teacher with a completely different attitude to her students make.  We had parent teacher interviews the other week and she accepts his quirky personality, he is getting on with most of the kids in his class and she is happy with his commitment to work.  I couple of the traits that upset the teacher last year she says are no big deal and just part of his personality.   He is amazed at how many friends he has now .. last year he was always worried that he only had a couple of friend.  At least I don't have to force him to go to school anymore.

I have a couple of projects bubbling away.  The centre block of the medallion quilt is all done.  The next border will be pieced and then I will have another appliqué border which I nutted out on the way home today.  I have managed to get some more script fabric which isn't the same as the one used in the background but has a similar background colour and will mean I can do a wider appliqué border.

There is also another quilt I am working the blocks are all done, though I may unpick a couple,  I am hoping to have it all together this week and I am also working on some embroidery.

05 May 2014

I was only 19

Most kids of the 80's would remember this Red Gum Song.  Did you know that the song has been turned into a Children's picture book.  John Schumann works in the building where I work, and to thank me for collecting his mail when he is away he gave me a signed copy of the book.   

John first told me about it I was a bit unsure of why they would do it.  He told me that he had been approached by a children's education book publisher to do it.  He told me that he suggested that they illustrate it as if a grandfather was telling his grandchild the story of his time in Vietnam and the idea really works.  He let me read one of first copies off the press and asked me what I thought.  

The song always gets me and the book was no different I found a lump rising in my throat.  I remember my mum telling me after hearing the song for the first time that she hated being at home during the day during the Vietnam war.   We lived next to Centennial Park Cemetery and the gun salute when they buried the soldiers would really get to her being a young mum and the thoughts of the grieving mothers and all those boys being marched off to war and never to come home.

01 May 2014

Some weeks just fly by

Can't believe that the kids have been back at school nearly a week, well it isn't a week because they had a pupil free day on Monday.  But we are back in the swing of footy practice, tennis practice and the games all start up this weekend.

I had a lovely free day today, so met with my mate Helen at Patchwork by Sea which has recently moved and this is their gala opening week.  The new shop is lovely and bright with loads of room and lots and lots of fabric to play with.   They have a great stock  of different threads for both machine stitching and hand embroidery.   The best thing about the move is there is easy parking at the rear of the store which was sadly lacking at their old location where you had to contend with all the ladies of leisure doing lunch on Jetty Road.    I am sure they will have great success in this new spot and it is very visible from Brighton Road.

And what have I been working on ... last week it was Xmas stuff... but I wasn't very happy with the end result so there is going to be a bit of unpicking and restitching... One of the main thing I wasn't happy with was my needle turn on the project so I decided I obviously needed some practice.  EQ7 to the rescue, I created a nice block that I was happy with, pulled some fabric traced the templates and started stitching... and I found that my needle turn was fine by the time I had finished the first shape.

I think the problem was I changed my technique.  I always use a freezer paper template and for the Xmas project I decided to draw a line and I just couldn't get the nice crisp fold that I like.  So back to my usual technique and it is up to my standard again.  I also experimented with bottom line for a couple of the flowers but have reverted back to silk thread which I like the feel of better.

Here is a sneak peek.  I've decided to unpick the flower on the left as it is extending pass the border of the block. Needle turn appliqué is actually the only unpicking I don't mind. as the pieces are all nice and folded and they are super quick to stitch back in place.  That's what I'll be doing tonight.

 I have no fixed ideas about how this project will end up only that it will be a quilt with this as a centre medallion... as DH has banned me from making any more cushions.  He's given up banning me from making quilts.

I also have spied great inspiration for some embroidery projects for down the track and have squirrelled them away, but for now I am happy with my needle turn.