Saturday, February 23, 2013

I think I need a bigger design wall..

...I had blocks trailing on the floor for this quilt...
I'd forgotten about these blocks that I started 2 years ago. How bad is that!? I found them at the bottom of my stash cupboard under a mass of fabric. I once described myself as a kangaroo on a pogo stick when it comes to jumping from project to project, I guess this one just got lost in the hops. 

I felt so bad about neglecting the blocks I figured the only way to make it up to them was to make them up...

Luckily I'd kept some of the fabrics with them because I decided to make another 40 blocks. A few new fabrics got thrown in too. The finished top is fit for a queen at 90x90 inches. I took these photos late at night so the colours look duller than in real life. One day it'll get a nice outdoorsy, natural light photo shoot.

Usually when I sew my quilts a name will come to me, but I still I haven't thought of a name for this one. 
Any suggestions are very welcome!

The reason I was rummaging through the bottom shelf of my stash cupboard was I've been going through and washing my fabrics. I used to prewash when I started quilting but somewhere along the line I stopped. I guess I was impatient, waiting for fabric to wash takes up valuable sewing time. And I know lots of people who don't. So what's changed my mind? I recently read a great blog post about why we should wash before sewing here at Piece of Cake blog.
 I'm not so fussed about shrinkage because I quite like the crinkly look, but what I don't like is the idea of all the chemicals used on fabrics, insecticides and sizings. The other reason that persuaded me was that fabric without the smooth sizing and finishes will hold together better when piecing.  Interesting... 
I should add whether to wash or not is a personal choice, like so many things with quilting, there's lots of ways to do things and it just a matter of picking what suits you.
 Anyway my plan is to wash a load very few days and soon my stash will be soft, clean and hopefully safe from colours running. I don't put them in the dryer, because I don't have one, so they just air dry.
 It's fun bundling up washing loads by colour, as I type a load of purples are dancing in the suds.
 It's been a good stock take. Discovering fabrics I'd forgotten about, pairing them up with newer fabrics. Realising I do actually have quite a lot of fabric, ahem... there's always room for more though...
Ironing is the best part, seeing a favourite fabric all fresh, flat, and nicely folded. I've been using the time to catch up on old podcasts of Alex Andersns Quilt Connection and Pat Sloan on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio podcasts.

One more bit of show and tell... This was Valentine's in Daisyland. I gave Gbf a pair of pink flamingos for the garden and he bought us ukeleles so we could play music together. It's hard to tell from the photo but my ukelele is pink and sparkly. It doesn't get much better than that! Rock and Roll!!! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

 Roses are beautiful but they eventually wilt, Chocolates are yummy but I gobble them up in no time, I'll always treasure cards with special messages, but my latest love is.... 

 Valentines hankies!

All those pretty hearts, cupids, ribbons and lace make them so romantic. 

Since Medieval times, knights in shining armour have carried their loved ones fabric token in tournaments or into battle. 
Hankies are a handy size to carry from far away places. making them a popular gift from sailors to their loved ones. How wonderful it would have been to receive a square of embroidered silk from an exotic far away land. . 
Marie Antoinette was such a trend setter. She apparently thought the square was the most elegant shape for a hankie and so it was decreed by her husband King Louis XVI of France, that all hankerchiefs should be square.

Squares may be elegant but one of the things I enjoy about Valentines Hankies is their creative shapes.

In Victorian times women used hankies to flirt. If a woman lightly swiped her hanky across her cheek she was signalling "I love you".  We've all seen movies where heroines drop their pretty lace hankies to attract the handsome star.  

I haven't been collecting very long and I've probably won't become a serious collector but it's lovely to have a few of these sweet hankies around. Besides the quilter side of me has been thinking... 

...and flirting with my design wall

Maybe I should have have a date with my sewing machine?

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fabulous Gifts!

A little while ago a parcel arrived on my doorstop.. 

My friend, the wonderful Melissa P had packed a bundle full of gorgeous goodies...

A beautiful hand stitched flower...

gracing the top of a box...

with a surprise inside!!!

Pretty thread,  the colour of white fluffy clouds in a blue sky.

But wait , there's more...


for Really awesome!! That has to be the best R ever stitched!  I love those perfect cross stitches.. 

Hello happy pom pom corners! and that yummy Kaffe fabric just makes me smile!!

100 billion thank yous to Melissa P for such fabulous, special gifts !! :)

Talking of Kaffe Fasset fabric... It just so happens that Melissa P has posted her latest quilt Fruit Smoothie and has a free downloadable pattern so you can make one too, AND she's having a Giveaway of some very yummy Kaffe Fasset fabrics...  Pop over to her blog 100 Billion Stars to be part of the fun! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's been happening...

Here's an update of what's been happening in my sewing room ...

I've mostly been spending my sewing time hand quilting my Dollop of Cream quilt. I really want to get it finished before being distracted by other projects and you know how easily I can get distracted!

I've sewed little crosses to fill in some areas of the quilt. It adds some variety to all the normal straight stitches.

One day I needed a splash of colour so I had a go at making yo yo's.  They're so quick and fun to make. I like the idea of making a chain of them to hang up somewhere. 

My dresdens are still lurking on the design wall...

I haven't done any more with them except decide not to add the triangle borders. They just looked wrong, out of balance with the rest of the quilt.

I'm now thinking it would be fun to applique, or piece some teapots and cups with some words. I'll make a decision when I finish quilting the cream quilt.  I owe it to those cute, little ,smiley pots and pans to get the borders right.

My Scrappy Trips quilt top ended up 84 x 96 inches. I'm going to leave it for Tanya the longarm quilter to do her magic with it. I have a few quilts waiting for hand quilting and I'd rather spend my quilting time working on those than struggle with a huge quilt and a domestic machine. I love the way Scrappy Trips looks on the bed, so bright and colourful! 

So that's about it on the sewing front at the moment. Hopefully I'll have a finished cream quilt to show you soon! 


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