Saturday, December 26, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

After spending the whole public holiday on Wednesday packing all my kitchen stuff into the new kitchen cupboards and having a go at ironing in my new space on Thursday, I decided to put a pause on this ‘good wife’ act and spend some time in my sewing room as I really wanted to finish the hexagon barstool covers to match the black, white and silver of the kitchen. Hubby offered to buy new chairs for the kitchen (in a brushed steel look) but even so, these little barstools always come in handy whenever I have a group of quilters over, so I might as well do something quilting-related with the covers.

Daughter-in-law who often claims she cannot cut, cannot iron and cannot sew (rather dumb for a teacher??) was proven wrong as she simply had to help – in exchange for wine…. there has to be a pay-off with this little one and did very well cutting, ironing and sewing. Just wondering whether I am creating another quilting addict?

These weren’t made in the tradition English paper piecing method, merely cut out, ironed to an interfacing backing and then sewn over the edges with a metallic thread using a zigzag stitch. Finally finished I got the 2 men in my life to staple these on Christmas Eve!!

Completed: 24 December 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My N-R-M-T days

As a rule I am a very organized, very tidy and list driven person but as I get older I’ve noticed that I occasionally have these “no-rules-multi-tasking” days and I am enjoying these all the more. Where, on ordinary days, I would get up, get dressed and work my way through my list not allowing myself to wander off even in thought, my N-R-M-T days are so totally different and I am afraid I have to admit to my ‘o-so-organized’ self that I actually get more done on these days!!

I don’t GET up, I WAKE up nicely, dress in the most basic, skipping the hairdo and make-up part and step one is taking my coffee and retreating to my sewing room where I decide what I WANT to do today instead of what I HAVE to and I would start, sorting fabric, looking for  or working on patterns, adjusting tension on my machine or whatever comes to mind and when nothing comes to mind………… I will take a walk (in the house) start the washing machine, make the beds, do the dishes and believe me, while doing these HAVE TO’S so much comes to mind and I would stop there and then going back to what I want to do.
Late afternoon when I really need to take a shower I am amazed at what I have accomplished not following a single rule or working from a list. I would either have started, finished or at least got an idea for a new quilting project, the house would be tidy, bedding replaced, mattresses vacuumed, insect repellent sprayed at the doorways, laundry and ironing done………. much more than I would have done on a regular day.

Unfortunately old habits die hard and after taking a shower, doing my hair and make-up, the sewing room (in a very messy state by now) would be cleaned immaculately, ready for my next ‘list’ day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shirts for dad

Another BOM pattern by Iessie Steenberg that I started working on in February this year and managed to complete before the year ends. 

Amidst slow progress on the renovations to the kitchen with dust and dirt most everywhere I am seriously trying to finish my sampler quilt with PowerPoint slideshow instructions for the 2010 beginners.

Quilt completed:  10 December 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Freemotion Sampler

Marie, local PFAFF dealer and quilt group leader, asked me to suggest a project for the group to work on in 2010.  This was just after I discovered a lovely freemotion quilting blog and have been playing with some of the patterns for a couple of weeks, so the obvious choice was to suggest a Freemotion Sampler, reversible and done 'quilt-as-you-go.'  So no less than 3 techniques in one quilt (or then 2 if you take in mind that it can be reversed).

The group Golden Threads (directly translated from the Afrikaans, Goue Drade) had their final get together at a local restaurant where my completed quilt was shown.

Everyone in the group is rather eager (I hope!!) to try their hand at Freemotion quilting and our target date or deadline before being fined a course fee is beginning May 2010. 

Even while having wonderful cake and drinks we managed to work through a Freezer Paper (now available at PFAFF, Bloemfontein) tutorial and we rediscovered English Paper piecing done with Freezer Paper and everyone went home with enough paper to complete a small Christmas decoration.  Looking forward to the new year with this group!

Completed:  1 December 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tragedy strikes

After only having had my NEW quilt on my bed for one week, I popped it in the washing machine (delicate setting, as I do all my other quilts) and all the vertical machine stitching came undone.  After wondering and considering most everything that could cause this, I realized that I recently organized my threads and remembered finding a bobbin in the thread box with slightly glimmering thread.  Still wondered where and what I used this for.  Now I realize I put it there for a reason............ it was wash-away thread and when I re-organized the threads I must have moved it to the bobbin holder.  In future I will definitely label the bobbin..... what a bad way to learn a lesson!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Renovating the kitchen

The first day ............ the builders came today and this is what's left of my kitchen.  The house is a huge dusty old mess but luckily no cooking can be done, so I am quite content to retreat to my sewing room.

Screwed up my freemotion foot of my Pfaff Grand Quilter but I've already ordered a new one and worked on a Row BOM cutting and adding the sashings as this will be done 'quilt as you go'.

Hubby went to Bultfontein, a nearby little town, stopped at the quilt shop there and came home with a very welcome 'goodie' bag for me..... anything from rulers, fabric kits, applique paper, thimbles, markers and the cutest little carry-all bag.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hylettha's Daisy Chain

I think there's a reason why 'binding' and 'bed' both start with B's as I often find myself doing the back of my binding (by hand as it should be done!!!) in bed.  Started last night but didn't get to finish so the final couple of stitches were done today amidst cleaning, washing, ironing and listening to the most welcome summer rain falling outside.

Fellow quilter, Hylettha van der Merwe went to Australia with her daughter and brought me back a 4" charm pack and ever since I saw this picture of the Daisy Chain quilt in the book "Making Scrap Quilts to use it up", I just knew that one day I'll make this and upon receiving the charm pack, I did !!

Started in February 2009 and big enough to cover my 2.2 m diameter round bed.

Completed:  12 October 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hexagon Stars

Finished the last couple of binding stitches this morning in bed.  This quilt is from the book "Magic Stack 'n Whack Quilts" by Bethany S. Reynolds and I was so fortunate to have the author as teacher via the internet.  This quilt was done in a record time as I cut the first fabric on the 18th of September, so less than a month until completion and I love the colors!!

Furthermore a new "quilt helper" has moved in on Thursday, 9 October in the form of another ginger male cat, now called Sushi, still very skinny but already quite at home in the Pringle zoo.

Kentucky, the baby cockatile is growing up fast and have a couple of feathers already.  Still just eating and sleeping most of his days.

Hexagon Starts completed:  11 October 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

Quilt helper???

I often read about quilters referring to their cats as their 'helpers', I am sorry to have to disagree.  Trying to freemotion quilt whilst having to move this huge body around is no fun at all!!

This is Socks, who simply walked into our house as a skinny streetcat in February 2009 and refused to go.  My daughter often says the cat did not run away from his previous owners, they asked him to leave!

Done the final quilting of this Kaleidoscope quilt and now only for the binding.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A change is as good as a holiday............

Changing the format of my entries somewhat to not only have quilt news but a little of my life in general.  I often forget when I started a quilt but I at least try to do a little quilting (or reading about quilts) daily and posting everyday activities would obviously mean talking about my current projects which would give me a timeline of when and how long I've been working on a quilt.
Having changes in more than one way in that my kitchen is being redone.  Huge old mess at this stage and apart from writing this I am not allowed to do any fun things today until the house is clean and I've made a plan with the contents of the pantry - I have no idea where I will be putting everything but it has to be emptied.
Had a wonderful quilting weekend though.  Started adding borders to my Hexagon Stars Kaleidoscope quilt which I started on Friday 18 September.  A fast and beautiful quilt.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seminole piecing

Brushed up on some old skills by spending a whole week cutting and sewing seminole strips in different widths and cutting at different angles to see what the outcome would be, once stitched.

Had fun creating a couple of smaller projects for a change.

All completed during the week of 12 to 18 September 2009.

Spring is in the air

Entered a new phase and sticking my neck out to start designing quilts. Have been doing this for a couple of years but just never found the time to make these and do the worst part...... typing the instructions but decided to stick it out with at least one design and this is the result.
This quilt is 90" x 90" and was finished in just over one month using the 'quilt as you go' technique.
Completed: Early September 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Spring Fever

Worked 3 full years to complete this quilt but all the freezer paper applique was done by hand and in the end worth every minute spent on it. Made it for my blonde and even though the sashing fabric was a spur of the moment buy, it worked beautifully with this quilt.

Designed by teacher Iessie Steenberg.

Completed: 6 December 2008