Sunday, April 25, 2010

This years' BOM

Started on a BOM designed by Iessie Steenberg earlier this year and a group of us go to her house to get and work on our new block every month. With the heaps of hand appliqué on this I fell way behind, so for the last week or so and especially this weekend I worked extra hard to try to get up to date before our next meeting on Wednesday and I did it!!

However I am done with QAYG – this technique just does not work for me. I mean really, take a 12½inch block and seriously quilt it – it definitely no longer is 12½” and then try to accurately stitch the next (still unquilted) block to it. Even worse when you quilt in rows as I did – before quilting the width of the sewn strip would measure 47 inches but once quilted it only measured 44,5 inches and then I had to join the next row (3 x 12” blocks + 2 sashing strips of 5,5” each = 47) to that. Simply impossible and one cannot cut the new strip shorter without losing corners in the block and I couldn’t afford even more shrinkage on an already shortened strip.

Nope in future I’d much rather struggle with a double, queen or King size quilt under my machine as the effort into trying to match uneven lengths of strips is about just as bad. So 6 of the one or a half dozen of the other, same difference.

The Bloemfontein annual show

On Friday, I treated myself to a whole day at our annual show where most any- & everything is sold, displayed or advertised. The main reason for going every year is obviously to take a look at all the quilts entered and exhibited and it is a pity that I had to take the photos through glass for it surely does take away some of the appeal these beautiful quilts have. Must admit I found the show in general much better this year with them having moved all the “made in China” items to one corner allowing one to omit these totally and spend more time at the really interesting stuff. Got excited about a cool juice extractor which I could afford but whether I actually will extract juice for the sake of a healthy drink, I honestly don’t know. A rather affordable vibrating exercise machine too crossed my path but the chances of me extracting juice are somewhat bigger than me exercising, so a NO to that as well and finally the special show price of the PFAFF Grand Quilter made my head spin for awhile but then I already have one.

Friend Karin joined me later and when I wondered out loud where I would put yet another sewing machine, she kindly offered that I could put it in her house. Nice friend this one which obviously caused the giggle of the day when we went into the Bird Hall and she got rather upset because ‘they’ (not sure who they are) stuck press-stick to the poor chickens ears. Psst Karin…… I think they are born that way………. but I enjoy you anyway.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The committee......?

My dear friend Currin (Karin)……….. I’m sure once I start telling ALL the stories about this little one, more people will understand why I am so totally exhausted after spending time with her. Okay, so the latest…. In South Africa every quilting guild hosts a quilt festival every 2 years and our guild must host the 2013 festival (I might not even be alive no more but try telling that to Currin!!). Main organizer sorted, she requested volunteers to help and trust busy, busy Currin to politely phone me to say – now listen to this brainwashing… - “let’s volunteer to be the Goodie Bag committee. If we volunteer now, we can at least do what we like and won’t be stuck with a job nobody wants.” (and anyone else WANTED to take on the huge responsibility of filling 1000 Goodie Bags with at least 15 or more interesting items without sponsors, I don’t think so….. BUT Currin does!!). So meet the Goodie Bag Committee, Currin and I.

Still early days but one of the ideas is to have Tutorial kits in these bags. A typed instruction page with whatever else (fabric, Vilene, paper, etc) needed to complete the craft project and the first sample I had to make was a fabric bowl. Never made one before but I thought it came out rather nicely. So anyone out there with with good (CHEAP) ideas, feel free to make suggestions.

Quilting a sponge

Hubby bought me a lovely A1-sized light table and even though it arrived here with the glass top broken…. fragile doesn’t mean much in Africa – I was still very excited but the excitement soon subsided when I realized I had no space big enough for it in my sewing room. Sad, very sad to have to move my latest toy to the garage. However wanting to protect it from the rest of the family passing it when entering the house from the garage and using it as an open table to ‘dump’ whatever they’re too lazy to bring inside, I bought a sheet of ¼ inch thick sponge to cover it. The sponge however looked awful to say the least and I decided to experiment and made a sponge whole-cloth! Sponge has a will of its own and when it pressed against the wall behind my sewing machine I had to really battle to keep it moving forward and once released to stitch in another direction, it would move as if paid to do so but alas not impossible. I even think it shows off a pattern so much nicer. Now even if I don’t have my light table close to me most of the day, I know it is neatly protected.

Oversized hexagons - still continuing

The final step in the hexagons with freezer paper would then simply be to whipstitch these together and even though my giggle-quilting-buddy, Karin (or Currin as I lovingly call her) organized another ‘quilt-thru-the night’ session for a couple of us at her house I am still not done. Really worked through the night but once back home and having caught up on lost sleep, I saw that I skipped stitching only ONE stupid side of only ONE stupid hexagon and I had to unpick the whole row. I am however stitching these most any- and everywhere, so hopefully before the end of this year I can have a new quilt for my own bed.

March block - Design challenge

As shown in a previous post I went on a PFAFF sew-away to a coastal town, Yzerfontein, in the beginning of March and we were spoilt rotten with the most amazing seafood by our hosts.

So having a crayfish (I see Google has it as Crawfish) crawling all over my sewing machine seemed rather appropriate for this month’s highlight.

February Block - Design challenge

My choice for the appliqué on this block was a ‘no-brainer’ as my first group of beginner quilters for the year, started with their classes in February, so needless to say during this month I’ve been even more pre-occupied with my favourite hobby.

I did however NOT make a miniature version of the real quilt instead took a photo and used iron-on transfer paper to get the picture to fabric. I thought the idea to have the quilt on a washing line was rather neat but had to laugh when one of the group members, who participate in this challenge, asked me if I ONLY did washing during February!!