Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trek the Trail 2010

An intrepid group of explorers set off into the Magic Forest. Who knew what manner of plant and beast we would encounter?

We noticed these amazing seed pods. We wondered what incredible tree this would be...

Perhaps something like this two-leafed hakea... yes, two types of leaves grow on the same bush.
This beastie was quietly waiting and wondering what those two-legged creatures taste like. We didn't stick around to let him find out.

Our journey in the Magic Forest continued...

The sunshine yellow of this plant caught our eye, but we approached cautiously. The Golden Wattle has been known to attack the unsuspecting - causing severe sneezing and watery eyes.

The landscape changed as granite boulders forced themselves out of the earth.

We chanced upon a melobasis priccosa beetle sunning itself in the warm spring air.

And the rare spider web tree which forms a symbiotic relationship with the wooly spider. The wooly spiders were shy and not to be seen.

After a while we came across a watering hole. We knew exotic native animals were sure to be close by.

We were not disappointed. These native creatures were thought to be extinct. How exciting that we spotted them!

The photographer dared to approach...

This rare Flame Dragon was in a fierce mood, and we took this photo with a zoom lense...

The landscape was littered with strange, rocky outcrops...

In the still of the day we heard a faint noise and discovered this herd of rare albino blobs. Being nocturnal creatures, we knew how privileged we were to spot them.

Blobs are gentle, friendly creatures and we went in for a closer look. They seemed to be telling us to watch out for the danger ahead...

When we saw this nest, we knew there was danger and proceeded cautiously...

There were hatchlings...

and more hatchlings...

sunning themselves... we knew Mum must be close by...

and there she was... we tip-toed past and made no moves towards her babies...

Oh how can we get out of this dangerous Magic Forest?

The Sentinel said there was only one way...

Through the Mountain...

One young explorer looks back... but there is only going forward...

The gentle Grass Trees signaled the end of the journey was near.
The community celebrated the safe return of the explorers of the Magic Forest.
So what did you do on the weekend?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Crazy Curves Workshop

This is the workshop I attended on Saturday. It was held at the Parkerville Baptist Church and the money raised goes to their nominated charities. This time, money went to Pakistan for flood relief and a women's charity in Cambodia. The ladies I sat with were very nice and we had a lovely time sewing and chatting.

Here is a look at the curves I was trying to sew. I tried out my CurveMaster sewing foot. I had to have help to fit it to my machine, but it seemed to go on all right once a part of the machine was unscrewed and removed (gasp). I had a lot of trouble with some of these curves - the ones that changed direction half way along. We are meant to sew these without pinning but bringing the two edges together to gently touch the edge guide on the sewing foot was like trying to tame two unruly children sitting in the back seat while you're driving. No one was happy.

This is my curve master foot. You can see I had to remove the boot that holds the presser feet in order to fit the adaptor shank. The verdict is still out on whether this is a good gadget or just a good idea at the time. I've only seen it demonstrated with drunkard's path blocks which is a nice smooth curve - not one that changes direction. I suspect it is user error on my part and that I just need more practice, although a little more guidance would be good but there's nothing on the net. (Feel free to share with me if you can find something besides a drunkard's path demonstrated.)

The pattern was a curved 'stack and whack'. The instructor had pre-selected colour schemes and had the kits ready for us, although we did the actually cutting of the curves. I learned how to do that at least - it was a little nerve wracking. The curves were not cut free-hand but you kind of slide a small square ruler along the cutting line keeping pace with the rotary cutter - which needs a new blade as you must go through all the layers in your stack (6 layers plus the freezer paper). They need to be exact as you shuffle the pieces around to re-sew them together.

So here is what I've gotten done so far. This is two stacks i.e. 12 fabric squares equals twelve blocks. I've had a go at pressing them but they just won't sit nicely and there are puckers and I'm going to take my time and clips some seams and see what I can do with them. After I get all 24 blocks done I will trim them back to the largest square I can (probably 8.5" or 9").

This will come along to the retreat with me on the 30th of September for a good play and the ladies there will not be as shocked as my family if I start swearing under my breath...

Please share with me if you have a curve master foot and how you've found it...

It's the day job this week with a guild meeting on Tuesday. We have our first committee meeting for the 2011 exhibition and our theme is "magical medallions".

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...

I've cleaned and oiled my machine and put in a new needle in preparation for a workshop tomorrow on curved piecing. Or course I had to do a little sewing to make sure it was all running smoothly... scrappy Christmas squares. Not sure yet. I'll let you know when I do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Football and Quilting




The Curious Quilter has written a great post on Football and Quilting. Check it out here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Housekeeping...

There comes a time in every woman's life when she just has to scrub the kitchen floor. Damp mopping can only take you so far. But while she waits for the floor to dry...........

There's a lovely morning tea of pumpkins scones and home-made mocha coffee (i.e. hot chocolate with a teaspoon of coffee thrown in).
And of course the latest catalogues from Keepsake Quilting
(must not buy fabric, must not buy fabric.......)

Although a little of this might be coming her way...


Potholder update: I've decided to un-sew the simple quilting on the other three potholders and add a layer of cotton batting to go with the one with the mylar... this is now officially a 'too-hard basket' project so will come with me to the next retreat in a couple of weeks' time (woo-hoo!). Amazing how a glass of wine with friends while sewing makes these little projects tolerable!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Potholder Progress

I decided to sew the binding to the back of the potholder and then turn it to the front and machine stitch. I've heard of this but have not tried it. I had to keep telling myself that finished is better than perfect.
Here it is all sewn on ready for turning. I pinned it well and did opposite sides.


I sewed close to the edge.
This is how the corner looks from the back.
And the corner from the front.
Here is the finished potholder. One side has a little flaw and it won't sit flat.
While putting on the binding this way makes it a little rough around the edges, it was super quick and this is not an heirloom but meant to be used and thrown in the washing machine with the kitchen towels. I think with a little practice I can neaten up some of the stitching and pin a bit better. I have three other potholders ready for the binding so when time permits I will use this method and see how I go. I used one layer of insulbrite which is meant to be ok, but if you make an oven mitt the package says to also use a layer of cotton batting in addition to the insulbrite. Have any of you used insulbrite before? It's a batting with a layer of mylar in the middle.
.
Edit: Of course I've just checked their website and they recommend a layer of cotton batting for potholders as well. Oh well, a few of mine will only have the insulbrite. Guess I'll be keeping those ones for me... lol.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pot Holders

Remember the oranges and lemons fabrics I showed you a while back? I'm using some of it to make potholders. I made hourglass blocks because they are just too easy... layered them with insul-brite and then simple quilting...
I'm trimming them up before I add the binding. I'm going to try something different with the binding... I'll take photos and let you know how it turns out...
This is the just-too-yummy backing fabric...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nine Patch Progress

It's early morning and I'm the only awake...

Did you know that eating chocolate

Endorphins make you feel Happy.
And Happy women don't kill their husbands.

They just don't...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nine Patch Progress

ready for chain piecing...

Maukie - the virtual cat

Mumsyblossom's World