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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jo’s medallion mystery completed

We have the grandchildren over this weekend.  The young lady came yesterday afternoon and will most probably stay until Sunday after lunch when her parents plan to take her to our annual show and then leave the little man with us for the afternoon.

So while she and her granddad did some drawing and colouring I got to do the binding of this quilt.

With this done I printed the label, popped the quilt in the washing machine and got up early this morning to add the label.  Apart from the red and yellow, all the fabrics used were from my stash.
This is now big enough for a single bed and I guess the young lady will get it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hopefully fixed

I got released from hospital (again) last Thursday after 2 metal strips were attached to my jawline (side and bottom) to reinforce the old chap.  For two weeks after this my diet must consist of clear fluids only.  When asked to define this, the clever nurse said if you have the liquid in a glass you must be able to read your newspaper through it. So I said then it must be wine and water.  The doctor didn’t find this very funny and said no only drinks without milk in it.  Have your coffee black.  Now I would like to see this youngster read his newspaper through a mug of black coffee!

Although I don’t have much physical pain I am still occasionally dead tired and just feel like getting onto a bed and just be….. Not read, not watch TV or play a game on my phone.  Just be still.  I did however go back to the office on Friday as we neared the end of the month and some things simply could not be left undone.

Today I am enjoying yet another public holiday, quilting to my heart’s content while the interior decorator is doing the final touches in the entrance and I was not allowed to watch until finished.

This is the end result and I am so chuffed.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Not turning into a food blog

It is absolutely amazing when you can’t have food, how it simply becomes the one thing you constantly think about.  Planning most of my weekly meals ahead has almost become second nature but occasionally it can backfire.

This week I’ve decided to do the weekly menu of one of our bigger food retailers and guess what is on the menu tonight?  Smoked apricot and honey glazed snoek with “roosterkoek” (directly translated it would be grilled cake, but basically bread) with apricot jam.

There I was smoking the fish, smelling the flavours, spreading the jam and unable to eat a single thing.  So cup-a-soup, here I am again.

So this is what hubby got for dinner.

And then there’s mine….. at least I have “after dinner wine” – both served with straws!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ah snap!

Satisfied with all the quilting I got done this week I got to do other things.  Shopped with my youngest, planning my menu for the upcoming week, washing everything made of material in the TV room, seeing that hubby painted not only the new ceilings but the walls in this room too, went menu shopping and so much more.

Got home, made myself a cup of coffee, took a plate with salty-cracker biscuits to my computer and just planned to relax the rest of the day.  As I chewed on about cracker number 5 I heard this gunshot go off in my head and even not being clued up on anything medical, I just knew this jaw, is no more.

Went to hubby, then painting the entrance and said that I’m sorry to interrupt but I think we should go to hospital.  A strange stiffness immediately made it very difficult to talk without pain, even swallowing my own spit hurt.

Got to emergency, had an X-ray taken and yip, the jaw was fractured in a Z shape but the surgeon, I guess the only one we have in our city, only returns on Tuesday, after Easter.  So I was given my X-ray CD, asked if I needed more painkillers and told not to eat, laugh, yawn or talk until I get to see the doctor.

What a way to not only end Easter weekend but my sick leave too.  I guess a new round coming up soon!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Quilting fun

Setting my timer for 15 minute intervals I had so much fun quilting my Mystery quilt.  I looked at a single section that needed to be done, selected a pattern from my heaps of books and then set out doing small portions at a time.  Normally I would just want to get this done and meander all over the place.  I am rather pleased with the results.
I also got a nice pile of strips sets done ready to be cross-cut.
I must admit after this I was out for the count regarding quilting and I guess I enjoy it so much because it is just a hobby and as a rule I won’t be quilting from the morning to the evening.  Getting my hour (if that much) of quilting in a day is about what I need to keep me wanting to come back for more. After this intense week of everyday quilting, I am satisfied to the brim.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Back to back set-up

Being Easter Friday and a public holiday anyway I guess my sick leave has come to an abrupt stop. Poor hubby and his fitters however still needed to work today.  We are doing the flooring of an X-ray department of one of the private hospitals and the work can only be done over weekends or on public holidays.

With our cats being overly annoying – I guess due to the rainy weather outside – I had a hard time quilting in peace.  So I set up my quilting station back to back.  On the large table I had the mystery quilt under the Pfaff grand quilter and on the desk I had my sewing machine and my strips in need of being sewn together.

If one of the cats preferred the quilt, I’d do the strips and if one decided to test out how it would be to sleep on the strips, I could quilt but I had to bring in a soft fleece to prevent both from choosing both fabric lots.
I set my trusty timer on my cellular phone and would free-motion for 15 minutes do 15 minutes kitchen duty, sew strips for 15 minutes, change seasonal clothes in my cupboard and this way a lot got done.

I think this picture sums up my cat situation perfectly!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Still enjoying my sick leave

The builders didn’t finish the ceilings yesterday and has kindly decided to speed up their Easter weekend and will only be returning on Tuesday, next week.  Now for most people that would mean living in a messy house over the Easter weekend but luckily for me, my dear husbands’ OCD won’t allow this.  He already pulled off protective plastic tarps yesterday evening, mopped the floors, moved some furniture back and has every intention of finishing the rest himself.
I then decided to satisfy my own OCD and gathered my trusty household appliances to swish and swipe the rest of the house and while doing this I noticed my poor Mystery quilt top patiently awaiting its turn to be quilted on one of the guest bedroom beds.  I’ve almost forgotten about this.

So once I had the house in a fairly respectable fashion, I cleared the sewing room table, backed and batted this and once the black cat gets the urge to pee I can start quilting.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sick leave 2

Hubby left town at 5:30 this morning on a business trip and all I had to do for the rest of the day was to open up for the builders and to cook him dinner.  I only made dinner for him as I am still unable to properly open my mouth so I am left to slurp soup and rather mushy scrambled eggs.

I continued to cut my strips and I think I now have a nice pile to keep me busy for a while.
Then I did the binding on my Freestyle quilt to have this one done too.  Not a masterpiece of an artwork but a decent sized quilt and apart from the batting and backing, not a single fabric purchase made.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sick leave

My procedure (removal of a cyst, 3 teeth which never came to the surface and bone transplant from the lower jaw to the upper jaw for a future crown) took place on Monday but they don’t play with these things lately.  I was wheeled into theatre at 17:00 and back home, even after we stopped at the pharmacy for my prescription, at 19:00.

The only thing I truly feared was pain.  I’ve been in just so much pain since December with my frozen shoulder that I didn’t know how much more I would be able to handle.  But, touch wood; apart from being terribly swollen I do not have any pain whatsoever.

So today I seriously cut strips.  I’ve been looking at scrappy quilts on the internet and blogger friend Chris and I fear we might not live long enough to make all of these.  This however made me realise you can never have too many pre-cut strips on hand.

We have a builder replacing ceilings in the front of the house – part due to water damage and part as renewed decorating – so I did little cleaning knowing the ceiling dust will be all over the place for the next couple of days.

The latter part of the day and evening I turned to my Owl Wall Hanging which I blogged about over here to try to make some progress. I got to add the body background and the beak.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A good day

Our newest grandchild got christened today and ah…. these family days are becoming o so special.  I was up bright and early finalising the lunch and then we all set off to the church for the big event.  Needless to say the little man made it ever so special to decide this was boring enough to take a poop and granddaughter had a ball sitting on her oupa’s lap ensuring her the right to misbehave and talk as loud as possible.
After church we returned home to enjoy our lunch and the pretty cake.  Granddaughter is still not ready to go home and will spend the rest of the afternoon with us.

I am having a massive dinner tonight; made up of the leftovers as after a small breakfast before 7am tomorrow I may not eat anything until the operation in the afternoon and with my jaw being operated on who knows when I’ll ever be able to eat a proper meal again.

I am however so geared up with quilt projects to do should I be up to it being off from work, so hoping not to have too much pain; I am kind of looking forward to these days off.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Scrappy strips 4

On Friday I woke up just before 4 am with the lovely sound of rain outside and decided this was too good to continue sleeping, so out of bed I got. Started cooking food for the dogs, ironed the laundry and then got stuck in my green scrap drawer to cut strips for my scrappy strip quilt.
I was also done with quilting my Freestyle quilt so I continued to cut strips for the binding.  I am having a cyst removed from my jaw on Monday and will be at home (swollen and blue, they say) until after Easter weekend, so I better get myself something to do when not in too much pain.

After work I managed to sew the binding strip to the right side of the quilt and then had the grand-kids over for the evening while mom and dad took a well-deserved break.

Got up early again this morning and tackled my blue scrap drawer but after cutting for more than an hour I haven’t even made a dent in this drawer opposed to my red drawer that has nothing in it.
Then quilting productivity stopped as I went to the salon to “wash that grey right out of my hair”, shopped for backing and batting for the mystery quilt, went for coffee with the quilter who kindly took over the books I didn’t want any more and started prepping Sunday lunch.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Scrappy strips 3

I was brought down to basic level rather hard.  Thinking I am making a scrappy quilt and there wouldn’t be much to it…… big, no HUGE mistake.  Some time ago, I decided quilting was my hobby and I’m not doing this to win any awards or be noticed by anyone, as long as I can find a bed for a quilt, I’d be quite satisfied.  This however comes with its drawbacks and I slacked on accurate cutting and piecing and it really didn’t bother me too much until now.

My strips were supposed to be cut 2” wide and then the plain (white) strips in between should be 14” long and I thought I did it well enough but not perfect and it just didn’t work.  So after unpicking a whole block, re-measuring and re-stitching, I remembered one of my DH’s favourite sayings “if you do it right the first time, you won’t have to do it more than once”.  Darn….. I hate clever people but I guess I have taken note!

So finally I have my first block measuring an exact 14” x 14” done.  Hoping to do at least one block a day (wishful thinking) I should be able to finish this soon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Softening the stick insect

I really needed to do something to soften the look of the centre piece that stood out like a sore eye and decided to try branchlike beige strips curving in different directions.  I think I should not have made the ends of the centre piece straight lines but had these curvy or even pointy.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Free Books

This post is meant specifically for local (as in Bloemfontein, not South Africa) quilters.

In my attempts to clean and organise my sewing room, I am getting rid of a couple of craft and quilt books and I would give these free to the first Bloemfontein quilter who…

a) Leaves a comment on this post and
b) Will fetch these from me within 7 days of this post. 

Otherwise these would kindly be donated to the library or the Book Exchange Shop.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Circles added

With all my applique circles cut, I sewed these to my Freestyle quilt.  Almost like free motion quilting having to move the huge background of the quilt through the machine while sewing these on but it got done.  Hopefully it is looking slightly more interesting now.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Scrappy strips 2

While working through my scrap drawers I was kindly reminded why I needed to continue deep cleaning my sewing room.  Sharing the room with 2 cats I always have to leave the window open and hardly ever can I start working before having to dust or wipe my table tops.  My machines are also always covered with dust covers.  Here is an example of the dust that gathered which I saw when I pulled out the drawer storing my black scraps.  Now these drawers are inside a closed cupboard, so one can only imagine how much dust the open areas collect.

So yesterday after work, I got stuck into it.  Not much into removing drawers, pulling the racks out and wiping everything down with a wet rag.  Done and dusted as they say….. the cleaning, not the cutting of strips though!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jo’s Mystery Medallion – The final 2 clues

We got both the last two clues on one day and for this gathering it was Karin’s turn to host us.  Sadly again, we started off cutting energetically but once we started eating, cutters and fabric were all forgotten and did Karin splash out with her meal!

Pre starter shooters, cold prawn starter, fillet with crusted veggies as part of the main, black forest chocolate cake for desert, followed by more sour shooters and finally chocolate to enjoy at bedtime. Just look at all of this!

So we were left once again to work on our own and get up to date with our final steps.  I however needed to see our grandchildren over the weekend and I knew my progress wouldn’t be too fast.

Had all the kids and grandchildren over on Friday evening but they had early morning appointments, so our little princess didn’t stay for the weekend and I could get sewing.

This mystery would have ended in a perfect square but I have no place or need for a square, so I decided to change it somewhat.  The instructions had a 4 patch round followed by a 6 inch border and 4 pinwheel cornerstones.  I opted for a smaller border first followed by the larger border and the pinwheel corners just on the top and bottom to make the quilt longer to at least fit granddaughter’s single bed.  These were my changes.

The fastest bed-sized flimsy I’ve ever done. Now just to bat and back.

Before packing this project up I even remembered to cut strips for my Scrappy strips project.  Getting the hang of it, I hope.