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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Still flying high

I still receive my daily Flylady e-mails to help me regularly declutter and maintain my house and when starting the next step of my Freestyle quilt, we’ve reached zone 2 in the Flylady programme which is the kitchen and in my case especially my appliance pantry.  Sounds glamorous but it used to be the pantry but got too warm in summer and now I simply keep all my kitchen appliances that I don’t use on a daily base and cleaning stuff in there.

So I made it fun.  Set my timer for 15 minutes and wiped down any and everything in the pantryand reorganised these.  When the alarm would go off, I’d stop there and then whether the rack was totally clean or not, take a quick break, go to the sewing room, set the timer again and start cutting my circle applique shapes for my quilt.

You’d be amazed at how much gets done this way.  More than once I did so well with a task that I truly believed I’d forgotten to set the timer but alas just as I was about to check, it would go off.

Now my pantry just have to hold so much stuff that it will never be picture perfect but at least I know it is clean and sorted and hopefully I will remember where I put what!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Quilting a duvet cover

Dear granddaughter received a duvet cover for Christmas and DIL asked me to bat and quilt this.  With my shoulder acting up, I only got around to it now and it was the worst fabric ever, very silk-like polyester.  When I quilt, I use a Topstitch 90 needle and I was worried that it would be too thick for the fabric but it worked like magic.

The problem was that the front and back was cut so skew that there was no way the two would lay flat on each other. So I knew I would have puckers.  I then simply decided to at least keep the front fairly pucker free and not break my neck about what happens on the back.

Being an under the sea theme I had to decide which quilt pattern I’d like to stitch out on it and at first thought of doing wavy lines but then I remembered these circles and they reminded me of bubbles, so I went with the circles.

The fabric also has a stretch to it which caused little bubbles in between the quilting lines but not much I could do about it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scrappy strips 1

I saw a picture of a scrap quilt somewhere online.  Unfortunately I must have been in a hurry as I only saved the picture and nothing more, so I am unable to give credit.  I have SO MANY scraps and truly too stingy to simply chuck these, so I have to make them work.  Now up and until now, I’ve never been a scrap quilter but my sewing room needed a deep cleanse and as Flylady says “you can’t organise clutter” but my fabric is NOT clutter, so I’ll have to organise these and the only way would be to make a scrappy quilt.  Easier said than done for I was at a total loss and had to e-mail blogging friend Chris for help, which she kindly gave.

So now the tedious strip cutting has started having to iron every single scrap before use (I simply stuff these in drawers according to colours and never fold them neatly).

I guess I’ll have to set my trusted timer and work 15 minutes at a time and before I know it, this too will be over.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Not that artistic after all

As usual I had a great weekend watching one TQS video after the other for free as a treat for International Quilt Day and again I was amazed by the creativity of all these quilters.  So much to do, so little time!

Well when I finally got my applique shape ironed onto the background I was not impressed at all.  I really do not have a moment’s creativity in me but heck I came this far, I had no intention of stopping here.  Winter is on its way to South Africa and I am quite convinced if all else fails, some needy person would appreciate a warm quilt and not give a damn how it looked (hopefully)!  Does this not look like some stick insect?

 I used a variegated King Tut thread to do a zig-zag stitch all around the edges of the applique shape.

And even after sewing it down, it did not look any better (and I wonder what made me think, it would?)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Jo’s Mystery Medallion Step 3

On Wednesday it was my turn to host friend Karin for this step and I prepared stuffed marrow bones on toast as a starter.  Coq au Vin Blanc as part of the main meal and Crème brûlée for dessert.  Oh I do love using French to describe a dish as the main was basically chicken cooked in white wine but it just seems so much more sophisticated in French. I must admit I screwed up the Crème brûlée at first but then Kairn realised what I did wrong and I could fix this.

We decided to only cut together as we chat, eat and drink way too much to do more.  Then we could each stitch on our own to complete this section of Jo’s Mystery Medallion.

Karin’s was already done by Thursday but I had to wait until today before I could continue with this.  So I decided to celebrate National Quilt Day on my own and I am not complaining.  Thinking on how I would have to pack up everything to attend a guild or group gathering in another place tires me.  At home I have everything I need in their place and I don’t waste time travelling.

I am also in the process of deep cleaning my sewing room starting from the ceiling with a wet cloth and working my way down, inside every cupboard, rack and drawer.  So I alternate my timer for 15 minutes cleaning and then 15 minutes sewing.

This is the result after step 3

Friday, March 17, 2017

Block 26 – Linda

Finally…. With my frozen shoulder behaving extremely well (it still freezer up at night when I’m asleep) I get to continue with my Katja Marek’s Quilt with me EPP project.

This is the 26th block of 52, so I guess I’m halfway there. Yeah!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How lucky can one get?

Just before the weekend I saw an internet post where a quilter shared the built-in laser in her sewing machine.  Not long after that another quilter showed how she used a laser tool bought from a hardware store to stick to her machine.

The laser light comes in handy when you need to sew from corner to corner with HST or joining a binding, you then don’t have to draw lines on your fabric.

Now Karin and I, still doing our mystery, had to draw umpteenth of lines when we did our flying geese round on the quilt.

So I showed the pic to DH and by golly, he came home last night with a little laser tool, made a metal clip that simply hangs off the top of my sewing machine and then the magnet at the back of the laser adheres to this metal clip.

Can’t wait to do my next flying geese or join a binding.  I think this is so cool.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jo’s Mystery Medallion Step 2

Wednesday was Karin’s turn to host us working together and her husband’s fresh caught fish on the coals set the mood for a good night but we never got to finish our clue before we headed home.

I guess if we drank less wine and took fewer pictures we could have finished it!

We then both had to work on our own and today I finished my flying geese round.  This mystery is riddled with mistakes and quite a few people are really angry with the clues not being correct, so Karin and I just decided that we will not print or download our clues when it comes out on Mondays but wait to see how many other participants complain and how many times the clue will be revised before we start with it.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Freestyle quilt continued

The next step in completing this quilt was to use a piece of unprinted newspaper to roughly pin out the centre of the quilt where I wanted the big applique piece to be.  Having used 10” blocks made it easy and my paper had to be cut 30” x 60”.

 I then drew an abstract shape freehand as this needn’t be perfect.

This was then cut out and laid on the top again to see whether I was satisfied.  Now in all honesty even if I wasn’t 100% satisfied (which I luckily was) I would not have gone through this whole process again.

 Then came the tricky part; tracing the shape onto applique paper.  Fortunately I didn’t have to bother about reverse image but the applique paper was not quite wide enough and again, refusing to just go out and buy more, I opted to join the paper and make do with what I have. Having a cat as a helper is also no fun at all. (In hindsight…… never join applique paper, it turns into one big mess with the one paper stuck to the other ripping the gluey part off your fabric, lesson well learnt!)

 Okay with that done I wanted to show the piece of fabric that lead to my decision to start using my stash.  This print must have been in my cupboard for 5 or more years and I just figured it was time to use it.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Jo’s Medallion Mystery

Karin came over last night for an all-nighter and we started with a brand new Mystery as shared on the Facebook group Just UsQuilters.  This really didn’t take us long and we both did the centres of the Medallion.
My centre

Karin's centre
Then we still had the rest of the night ahead of us so we worked on projects that really needed our attention, in my case…..another NEW project. Karin worked on an amazingly beautiful batik scrappy hearts quilt.
I really need to get rid of fabric that has been in my cupboards for ages without ever being used.  The problem is that I don’t even notice these fabrics anymore and will easily go out and buy new ones just to realise that I already have something that could have worked.  So another resolution I have, is to start making scrappy quilts as my “scrap” drawers are simply overflowing.  One of my motivators is Chris from the blog Sewing Junkie.  She seems to be able to turn the tiniest of scrappy piece of fabric into an amazing quilt.

For this new quilt I cut 90 x 10½” blocks to use as a background planning to make something freestyle – if there ever is such a term in quilting but somewhat of my own idea using the fabric that I have.

I almost got to finish the quilt top before Karin called it a night at 4 am and headed home to dive into her own bed and I too took a quick nap and after waking up, finished the last 3 rows to at least have the background top done.