Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 6

It has been a very cold weekend in central South Africa so cold that even our furriest cat couldn’t resist being covered with a blanket.
Knowing hubby has a golf game planned for Sunday I got up early Saturday morning, did the household chores, went shopping and then got into my quilting.

I decided to tackle the next round of this quilt which entailed satin stitch applique again….. I just cannot force myself to like this but occasionally it is needed to finish a quilt off. The stems of the flowers are chenille strips but not brushed or washed yet.   So I am this far and I still haven’t found a perfect spot for taking a good picture….. Basically trying every spot in the house now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Scrappy strips 11 – Completed

We’ve had a long weekend in South Africa with Friday being Youth Day, so granddaughter came to stay over and she always says or does something to make us laugh.  So Thursday granddad could sleep with her and then on Friday she chose me to sleep with her.  Now winning the contest is really not a happy occasion as she kicks you all night long but we do pretend.  Got into bed with her to wake up later and find that I was all alone.  Checked and saw the youngster fast asleep with granddad in the main bedroom and this was what apparently happened.

She must have gone to the toilet and saw granddad’s light still on, walked to him and proudly said:  “Okay grandma is asleep, you can go switch off her TV and light, I’m sleeping by you.”  Never thought I would grow old enough for my grandchildren to put me to bed!

I’ve been rather slow in getting the second quilt done; it was just as if I didn’t have my quilt mojo with me last week.  It is however finally done.  I still however need to find a spot in my house/garden where I can take proper photos.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scrappy strips 10

Our wine auction on Friday evening was wonderful with a 3 course meal and a young host making sure the wine on the table was ample.  Hubby bid on a golden oldie and we have no intention of letting these become any older.
I started quilting my first of the two quilts and got that done however with the cold weather, a heater, 2 sewing machines, a computer, an iron, TV and light table I overused the electricity for my sewing room, so I had to seriously rethink what I really needed to have on at the same time.

This is what the quilting on the fleece, used for the back, looks like.  The bad part about making two similar quilts is that I now have to repeat this process AGAIN!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Scrappy strips 9

To everyone in the north enjoying warmer weather, it is freezing cold in central South Africa and along the coast our cities are burning with people and animals losing lives and possessions.

With my two single bed tops done, my mind started wandering to another new project, in fact 2 new projects.  These too will be part of working through my stash and scraps to make it less.
The one will be done with foundation piecing and I take a block pattern to the office and copy a couple every day and I also try to sew a couple daily.

For the next one I will only be using strips.  Whenever done with the foundation piecing pattern and I have fabric left, I cut these into 2,5” strips ready to use when I start the other strip project.

First and foremost though is that I have to get my Scrappy Strips quilted and I think apart from attending a wine auction tonight, I should stay indoors and quilt!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Scrappy strips 8

I finally have enough strip sets to finish these two quilts and even though the strips are not sewn into place yet, I feel like the end is nearing.  I also realised that I will never be able to work on only one quilt at a time.  I get bored with the same pattern or colour scheme fairly easy and then I need to take a break from it and do something else.

So with this up against the wall and ready for when the next scrappy strip mood hits me, off to do something else…. eating with friends.
Found a fish soup recipe and seeing that friend Karin’s husband supplies us with fish, they would be the perfect guests to invite.  I made us a fish soup with orange and baked peel and a stuffed cheesy mushroom with prawns as a starter.  Karin supplied the ciabatta and good company.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt completed

There is just something about a Sunday that makes it extra special for me.  Whether I have people over for lunch or having an extremely quiet day like yesterday, it just feels like the only day for regrouping my thoughts, planning my week and just getting organised in general.  

To have a completed quilt along with this makes it even more special. This is my completed Dinosaur quilt for little grandson, Logan.  I am pleased with the outcome although my pictures aren’t that good.

Again I used most of what I have in my stash.  I only bought the flannel and the dinosaur print.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 4

I had my first appointment at 10 am on Saturday morning visiting a French market held locally.  This gave me enough time to ready myself, run through the house to tidy, start the laundry and I got a little quilting done too.
Then to the another side of town for a brunch at a local art gallery/restaurant and they even exhibited a quilt from someone I know but being an art gallery I was not allowed to take any photos.  Stuffed to the brim I tackled my third appointment...… sale shopping for fleece at an annual fabric (non- quilting) vendor.  The service was poor but the prices good and I use these as backing for kids- or winters’ quilts for either extra softness and/or heat.  I think I did well.
Had a little of what was left of the late afternoon and rest of the evening to quilt and I now know why won’t ever ONLY make rag quilts.  All went by so quickly until I got to snip the seam allowances.  What a job and I ended up with a blister where the scissors repeatedly pressed down on my finger
Laid the quilt down on the table and tried to double-check that I’ve clipped all the seams.  After a while staring at these at night, you do not really see anything anymore.
Then dearest Dinosaur rag quilt went right to the washing machine.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 3

I had a lovely Friday afternoon; lunch with my daughter at a local cake & coffee shop with the weird name of Koekela.  There were several vendors set up but apart from a bib for grandson and a bottle of pure honey, we didn’t buy anything else.  The food was however amazing and I so enjoyed my salmon and avocado sandwich with fresh pineapple, apple and mandarin in the salad.
Back to quilting after lunch and this must have been the fastest I’ve ever cut and quilted 70 blocks.  I now wonder why I ever made any other quilt instead of a rag quilt.
Then the joining according to my EQ layout stated and I used a ¾” seam allowance to join the blocks.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 2

The next step was to cut my flannel in 9½” square blocks too and sometimes I amaze myself.  When I went shopping for flannel in our dearest city, with very little to offer, I bought 3 meters, not knowing how big my blocks would be or how big the quilt I plan to make would be and low and behold it turned out just enough for 70 blocks with a teeny weeny bit to throw away.

With this done, it was time to start cutting my top fabric in the amounts of each colour I would need. These then got layered with the backing and flannel
Then pinning the sides followed
Using my trusted laser light I stitched edge to edge to form an X (or giant cross) in each block through all 3 layers.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Owl – Yellow dots added

I had to babysit the grand terrors yesterday evening while their mom went to a pole dancing class.  This is the first time after having broken my jaw that they were allowed to come visit, simply because they tend to get excited and jump into one’s face.  They did however behave rather well last night

With them chewing on whatever they could find and lovely tennis from Roland Garros on TV, I sat down and hand stitched the tiny yellow circles (some look more like hexagons thought) to the Owl.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 1

I usually leave the office early on Tuesdays as our dogs are locked outside since 06:30 to allow my once-a-week cleaning crew to enter the house and do their magic.  The space the dogs are kept during this time is not the biggest and I always feel terribly sorry for them and then come home earlier to allow them in.

This Tuesday was no different and with no cleaning to do, a frozen dinner ready to use, only a tiny bit of laundry and very little errands I had plenty of time on my hands BUT (the usual) I just didn’t feel like doing any of my current WIP’s and needless to say, it lead to me starting yet another project!

I found this lovely Dinosaur fabric at our local Pfaff quilt shop and realised I haven’t done as much quilting for our grandson than I have for the granddaughter – she does however have a 4 year head start on him.  So even though I’ve never made a rag quilt, I decided to try my hand to this.  After watching several You Tube videos, reading tutorials on the internet and a couple of blogs describing their process, I did a layout in EQ, ready for action whenever I was and then Tuesday turned out to be the day.
I had to cut 70 x 9½” squares from my black for backing and with that depleting all the plainish black I had in my stash.  Major shopping to follow soon?!
Most posts suggest cutting through all 3 layers at the same time but because I used fabric with different widths, I chose to cut each layer separately and then line these up again.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Block 29 – Bev

MIL turned 86 yesterday and I had her, the kids and the grandchildren over but unlike the Sunday lunches I imagine in other houses, ours is hectic and extremely noisy.  Sometimes I wonder if MIL sees an invite from us as a pleasure or punishment.

Granddaughter already came to us on Saturday and slept over.  So we did not have a neat and tidy house to welcome the visitors into.  Luckily they are all family.

Before long granddaughter had everyone colouring with her, then some dancing on the bar counter, followed by a game of “duck-duck-goose” (I think??) around the dining room table.  Grandson has started to eat and enjoyed his pumpkin and is such a friendly little soul.

With everyone gone and the house turning extremely quiet I had time to finish this little block.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Block 28 – Mary Ellen

Another one finished in the month of May and enough reason to go celebrate with quilt friend Sonja.
We went to dinner yesterday evening and I had fresh oysters for the first time in my life.  It was amazing but apparently I misbehaved after one too many drinks. I can’t recall anything bad but Karin had to come rescue me, so I guess the crap Sonja tells me must be true.
Anyway….. a good thing Karin came as my car wouldn’t start and it turns out that the battery needs to be replaced.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Scrappy strips 7

After our previous through night quilting session I took no less than 2 naps to get recharged and then sat myself behind the machine with amazing ATP tennis on the TV.  I got seriously stuck into my Scrappy Strips again – think I had enough of applique for a while.

I plan to make 2 single bed quilts from these 14” blocks- 5 across and 6 down.  Having used two different kind of white fabrics I pinned these against the wall and alternated the whites, so that I would have the same amount of different whites in each of the quilts.

Now this may not seem like much but what you don’t see is that there is another block behind every block in this picture, thus ensuring that I will finish the tops simultaneously.
I have however run out of strip sets and need to start cutting again.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Block 27 – Victoria

If you can overlook the fact that I am more than 2 years behind on this “Katja Marek’s Quilt with me” project, I’ve made it halfway through this quilt along and I actually love the hand sewing, not constantly or every day but occasionally it is so good to do.
Then I had a lady selling medicinal Cannabis over at my house on Sunday afternoon, telling me all about the uses, the pro’s and the cons and hoping to speed up the healing process of both my frozen shoulder and jaw wound. Apparently it can make you feel bad for the first two weeks, driving out all the toxins in your body but then the healing should rapidly improve.  This is my Marijuana stash for the next two months.
She also gave me a recipe for bone building and prevention of osteoporosis and told me all about Oil pulling, something I am eager to start trying too.  The joys of being old…. Collecting recipes to heal you, how fun?!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Owl – A punch of purple

After treating ourselves to dining out (the men were on their own golfing mission) Karin and I had a rather messy all night quilting workout yesterday.  Messy because we both did applique and paper, thread and fabric snippets were all over the room.
We can however always, after these sessions, give back positive feedback as we both got so much done.  Not only did I finish the satin stitch around the beige fabric but added the purple teardrops and satin stitched around these too.  Karin’s constant encouragement of how nice it looked on a quilt, kept me going.
Karin worked on a quilt for a young female family member and got just as much done but kept to ironing applique shapes to the backgrounds and she didn’t do much actual stitching.  She did however get to experience why I am such a fan of Steam-a-seam Lite for use in applique
My next step now is to cover these circles with fabric and hand stitch it to the Owl bodice.  At least no more satin stitching at this stage.
I am actually dead tired but is expecting another quilting friend bringing me some chilli sauce and I better look respectable before she arrives.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A good day

Yesterday was not only our wedding anniversary but I also had an appointment with the surgeon and it seems everything was on track with my healing process.  So I was promoted from liquids to soft food (no chewing though) thus meaning hubby and I could go out to dinner!

So I had a lovely Kingklip with extra hot chili sauce and two soft veggies as my first meal in 4 weeks.  To some it might only seem like fish and veggies, to me it was a meal sent from heaven!
I’ve decided to take a break from my Scrappy Strips quilt and work on my Owl for a bit.  I am not at all looking forward to the satin stitching that has to be done.  I’ve never been a fan of satin stitching but I guess some you win, some you lose.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother’s Day weekend

The weather bureau didn’t lie this time, we had our very first rather cold weather this winter but I didn’t get as much sewing in as I planned.  My daughter warned me I had a date with her Sunday morning 9 am therefore I had to start making my Sunday lunch on Saturday already as I still have mother-in-law around to entertain.

Just as I got going with this my daughter arrived with our granddaughter (these two are inseparable as godmother and – daughter) who slept over by her house Friday evening and then it turned out the familiar story where the little one decided if she’s with us, she’s not going anywhere. So we had major colouring fun and very little quilting got done.

The big kids got me a very handy toiletry travelling bag and my youngest spoiled me with bathroom goodies and took me for an amazing foot massage.  What a way to start the day.
With all the kids and mother-in-law at our house later, we enjoyed lunch and I even tried my luck at having some salad and dessert, seeing that I couldn’t really anything else.  However it seems my stomach wasn’t quite up to this much solids and I had cramps most of the afternoon.  Already lost 6 kg in total and tomorrow will only be week 4.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Scrappy strips 6

I’ve deep cleaned my whole house since the beginning of this year and I still keep my house divided into 5 zones therefore I get to go back to a zone every 5 weeks.  This week I am back in the kitchen and with trusty timer set for 15 minutes, I wipe out a drawer, rack or cupboard at a time.  In other words I am maintaining my cleaning programme.  In between the 15 minutes for every task in the kitchen I take a quick break to type a post like this, take a couple of sips of wine, read my mail or just take a break on Google, then the timer would be set again but this time it will be to quilt.

When I had my sewing room cleaned for the first time, this is what it looked like in the evenings when everything was packed away and I thought I’d keep it this way.  Well yeah…. That must have been before I started my scrappy strips quilt.
When I cut strips to sew into strip sets I need to pack these out to see that I don’t use the same colour/strip/set too many times, so everything is laid out onto every flat space possible and it is all but tidy. 
 We were promised a cold weekend due to the first snowfall in Lesotho so I guess I’ll just keep cutting strips then!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 5

The string piecing I did in the previous post on this quilt, lead to this round.  When I realised I had to make 28 identical blocks, I almost gave up but once I tackled it one strip, one diagonal stitching line and one cut at a time it got done.

I however realised that I will, in future, pay serious attention to my cutting and piecing.  None of my corners lined up and it sucked.  I think I am so eager to simply finish a quilt that I don’t pay enough attention to the finer detail, including the direction the seams are supposed to be pressed. This is not a very nice realisation after you’ve been quilting this long!!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Scrappy strips 5

Slowly but surely I am making progress with this one too.  Karin invited us for dinner last night – obviously they had the best smelling rib, while I still only had soup (week 3) and then we quilted right through the night.

I guess I am still not up to scratch yet or maybe because I am still taking pills but I had to take a nap during the night but go up and continued quilting and finished 10 more blocks of this quilt.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 4

For this round I had to cut and make tons (224 exactly) half square triangles and even though I haven’t done these in ages, the math, cutting and sewing just worked out fine.  I think a higher force is guiding me into getting something done with these panels.

So I spent almost a day strip cutting, string piecing and re-cutting triangles.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 3

I’ve had the border fabric used in this section forever and a day and it simply was just never good enough for any of my previous projects and not big enough to use as a backing but here it seems to work well.  Initially I thought about doing applique on this border but with this fabric it would have been too much.

I then simply stitched the 4 printed pictures which came as part of the panel to the borders, to make it go all the way around.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 2

Not good news from the doctor today, back on antibiotics and 2 further weeks of clear fluids but enough about ailments.

I can’t even remember when last I made a nine patch block so these were particularly cute to me not that they’re any different from any other 9 patch; I guess they just brought back good memories from my days as a beginner quilter.

This is then the first round around the centre panel and I need this to be a single bed quilt.  I still have so much more to do.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 1

I have a drawer filled with panels for babies or young children and I hardly ever look at these until I now cleaned the sewing room and decided I must turn these into quilts. This however meant I will have to work through my Electric Quilt manual for the umpteenth time, as I can never remember how to do what when.  I think the fact that I only use this about once every 3 years adds to my memory loss.

I did however take one panel out (without looking at the others for then I wouldn’t be able to make up my mind) and pinned it to a design wall for it to be a constant reminder of what I plan.
What a surprise it was when I opened the manual and things simply started falling in place and it only took me a couple of hours to have a layout and basic plan for this panel.  It seems the Thiamine prescribed after the tick bite fever (to help my memory as it attacked my organs including my brain) helps more than I ever imagined!

So this is what my initial EQ design looked like.  I was simply too lazy to draw all the finer detail but I knew what had to be done and the colour of the fabric won’t necessarily be the same.