Monday, January 30, 2012

The Mental Side of UFO's and Other Stuff

Finished is Better Than Perfect.

I've been telling myself this since my first project in 1996. And I have finished quite a number of projects. But I still have more than two dozen on a list, not to mention the ones I forgot about and aren't on the list. So while this is easy to say, it's not so easy to put in to practise. Does this mean a relaxation of standards? I don't think so. But it may mean a more realistic approach according to my skills and abilities.

A Mistake is a Design Opportunity.

I came across this concept in a book called black & white and pieced all over by Kay M. Capps Cross. It isn't always possible to re-do blocks, so she tells us to think about it differently and gives great suggestions on specific 'fixes'. This leads me to my next point...

Make it Work.

Karen used this expression in her recent post. Evidently a person named Tim Gunn uses it on a show called Project Runway. This show really puts people under pressure to create to a short deadline. Sould I do as Karen suggests and imagine Tim Gunn stopping by and telling me to Make it Work!! Karen's post also highlights my next point...

Does it Really need a Border?

I like simple framing borders, but for some reason I seem to procrastinate putting them on. I think a pieced border would make it even worse. Self-analysis of why I seem to self-destruct my project's progress reveals that I am putting off the basting and quilting. So essentially I'm lazy? Probably. Who knew quilting was so physical? I need to adopt a new attitude or make a lot of money to have someone else do these things for me. I think a good professional quilter is so worth it. Did you know that some of the professional quilters in my area have closed their books to new clients? They simply have enough work with their existing clients. So I am not alone, but I obviously don't have the disposable income they do. So I need to get in shape and get it done, and see point number one.

Is it Possible to Have too Much Fabric?

I want to say no, but I think the answer for me is yes. My fabric is in large plastic boxes (about 30) and is mostly sorted according to colour and style. But the boxes are stacked on top of each other so it means a lot of heavy lifting and shifting in a small space. When I pull fabrics for a project, the process has to be repeated to put them away, which I don't always do because it is so physical. (That lazy thing again.) So then I have messy piles around or shoeboxes shoved on shelves etc. I supppose I could spend hundreds of dollars on industrial shelves to put the boxes on, but that disposable income is a tricky business.

A Quilt is not a Quilt until it's Cat Approved.

On a lighter note, I was visiting Pam at Mama Spark's World. She's come home to find her cat sitting on her just-finished quilt. What is it about cats and quilts? Or dogs and quilts for that matter. It's one of life's mysteries.

So we say it all the time - must finish the UFO's, or the WIP's, or the PIP's. (A rose by any other name etc.) Maybe this year I will make some progress. There is a lot of helpful information on the web about getting motivated, getting organised, having a strategy.

In the end, I think I need to

Just Do It!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eli's Quilt

Edit: I've entered this quilt in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival.
Be sure and pop over and check out all the wonderful entries!
In November I was asked to make a baby quilt in Dr Seuss fabrics. My time was limited as the baby was due in January. I managed to get the quilt to the basted stage before we took off for Albany.

Baby Eli arrived on January 6 and is a lovely, healthy boy.

I managed simple straight-line quilting and finished the binding last night. I washed it this morning and it will be delivered this afternoon.
The baby is not yet a month old so according to
Quilters' Standard Time, I'm right on schedule...

The quilt is approximately 40 inches by 49 inches.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A New Blog - Pieces of Pye

I want to introduce you to my friend Sheila who has recently started a blog. Sheila is an extraordinary award-winning quilter and is an accredited teacher and accredited judge. She is also the current convenor of QuiltWest, which is the West Australian Quilters' Association's annual exhibition. Here is her Best of Show quilt from 2009.

You should know that this is all hand appliqued and that she quilted this herself on her domestic sewing machine. There are more of her wonderful quilts on her website.

Stop by and say hi!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Australia Day!

Today we celebrate Australia and what it means to be Australian.

Many people will become Australians today.

People from all over the world.

They came for work, love, refuge.

People like me.

I love my adopted country.

Whatever your plans for today, enjoy and be safe.

PS The heatwave continues... 41C today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heat Wave

Perth is set for a heat wave this week.

Seven plus days of 39C plus temps.

Stay in the shade.

Drink plenty of water.

Don't handle fabric with sweaty hands.

Stay off the computer.

See you next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year & Wonky House #1

To all my Asian friends, Happy Year of the Dragon to you!

May this coming year bring you peace and prosperity.

As I work for a Chinese couple, I have a bonus day off today, so much sewing progress coming up!

I joined Jane's Wonky House Block Swap.

Here are the fabrics I settled on.

This is my master sketch. I drafted it at 13 inches and it will be trimmed after piecing.

I copied the master sketch by hand on art paper, which is slightly thicker than typing paper. I then covered it in clear contact and cut it apart. I noted seam allowances on the perimeter and straight-of-grain guidelines. Labelled each piece.

I ironed and starched all my fabrics, then ironed together several fabrics so I could cut them at the same time. (This dramatically reduced any slipping during cutting.)

Here you can see the white template on top of the white background fabric with the seam allowance added on two sides. What was I thinking? White on white is hard to see.

So here it is again. I found this yellow ruler that I got from Jan Mullen to be perfect for this job. I have three fabrics layered here. The template is paper side down and it does have a slight friction on the fabric to reduce sliding.

I first lined up the straight of grain...

Then cut my fabrics, adding the seam allowance in the process.

Cutting the fabrics was pretty straight-forward and completed in a couple of hours. I tidied each stack away here in my project box as I went.

I put together my first block in no time. It came together beautifully. I will do the rest with chain piecing.

Here is the first block. The door and windows will be raw-edge appliqued with machine stitching.

Please have a look at the Flickr group set up for this swap. These houses are amazing!

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quilt Inspiration

I found this fabulous blog and wanted to share it with you. It's called Quilt Inspiration, and it showcases fabulous quilts. They've just wrapped up a couple of weeks of "Winter Quilts". They link back to original websites for purchase but they also have free patterns. It is definitely worth a look, especially if you have the blahs.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner,, you might want to whip up a little quilt. QI has some lovely free patterns here and here. This is an example.

Keep the Heart Truth Growing free wall hanging and pillow pattern by Jane Spolar for Janome.

I'm making wonky houses for Jane's swap and don't have a lot to show for it just yet. Turns out I'm not the free spirit I thought I was and it's taking a little longer. I've abandoned my first sketch and simplified the design to make the project achieveable in the time allowed. You can see the Flickr pool here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Birthday Gift

I met my quilty friends at our guild day on Tuesday. One of our lovely ladies, Carole (no blog) made this charming heart pincushion for my birthday, which was a couple of weeks ago.

Her embroidery is perfection and she used a vintage lace made by a member of her family.

There is no denying that handmade gifts are the best.

Thank you Carole! I love it!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Albany WA Holiday

One of the highlights of our trip this year was seeing the Endeavour sail through Ataturk Channel and in to Princess Royal Harbour. The Endeavour is an exact replica of Captain Cook's ship when he first sailed to Australia around 1770.

We also made a visit to the Albany Wind Farm. These windmills are certainly impressive. The town of Albany is nestled on the shore of the harbour. You can see it in the distance in the upper right photo.

We also walked to the Point King Lighthouse. This is a solid structure with massively thick walls. The original wooden lintels are still in place. Lighthouse keepers and their families lived here, some had up to eight children! Imagine this tiny four room cottage on the edge of the sea with babies running around. The lighthouse tower is now gone, to be replaced by an electronic beacon further up the hill. But it is not entirely empty. Did you see the black lizard? These little beauties are found everywhere and love sunning themselves on the footpath. They quietly slip away when you walk by, only to return shortly.

On one of our days we slipped across to Bremer Bay on the south coast. This is a quiet fishing and recreation village. We went specifically to visit the Wellstead Museum. Only a little taste of what's to be found there.

So another holiday under our belt and a new year begun. Back in to the work routine and now to devote my attention to my various commitments, quilty and otherwise. I hope to be able to catch up with some of your news soon. Thanks for visiting! And if you've made it this far, I'm quietly going to have a small giveaway for comments on this post only. Shhh. Only for us. Giveaway closed.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Postage Stamp Quilt Challenge

Mary over at The Curious Quilter is hosting the Postage Stamp Quilt 2012 Charm Swap & Challenge. Mary has planned out a fun year of monthly posts, swaps, giveaways, and a simple (year-long) challenge - all dealing with postage stamp quilts (hence the name). Start sorting those scraps and keep on eye on Mary's blog for details.

PS I'm still on my break. This is a scheduled post - lol.

Mumsyblossom's World