Friday Night Sew In…Red and Green Sampler

My plans for a Friday night of major preparation of some new projects, bit the dust early!

I’ve had 3 really early starts at work this week, and back to back meetings, so by Friday and a 7.00am start I was running on fumes.   Add to that a warmish, windy couple of days creating sinus problems, and a low grade headache that doesn’t want to go away, by the time I left for home last night I was a wreck.

So, instead of spending the night at the cutting mat and light box as planned, I curled up on the couch finishing off Season One of the X Files and did some work on a couple of blocks that I had back basted last year… these are for the Red and Green Sampler I started last year, you can see my other finished blocks on the Red and Green Sampler page. Each block is 10 inches finished.

I forgot how long some of these blocks take to needleturn, and as I haven’t done it for awhile, took me a while to get my groove thing happening, but I did manage to completely finish the one above, which is one of Di Ford’s blocks from the Morell Quilt pattern and I’m about half way around the papercut style block from Darlene C. Christopherson’s book – A Perfect Union – lots of curvy bits.

In between, I did a little bit of handpiecing on another of the Morell Quilt blocks, but not enough to really show for anything… need to prepare a few more of these blocks as it was nice to know I could just pick up the box and start stitching.

Plan was to get up today and make a start on the preparation weekend I planned, but the low grade headache kicked up a notch over night so I’ve spent most of the day curled up on the couch with the cats, flicking through magazines and dozing.   Have had a cool shower, and a bowl of spag bol and more painkillers and feeling semi-comatose so might try to get the 2nd block finished, as I wouldn’t trust myself with a rotary cut today!

Well, there’s always tomorrow!


Something….ummm…Red? South Seas Lace

Another finish for me this week, am on a roll!

This is a Debbie Draper design from The Gift of Stitching’s May 2009 issue.  Stitched using Threadworx Bleeding Hearts on white linen.

I started this as a Stitch Along with Claire and Sandra, but of course, I lagged behind, but was determined to catch up and get this finished.

Slight panic as I got closer to the finish line and I realised my strands of thread were rapidly diminishing… that’s ok – when I bought this thread at Quilters Bazaar last year and showed Mum she loved it so much she rang and ordered 3 skeins… but had forgotten that Lorraine had ordered them for her specially so she had them all from the same dyelot… and they looked completely different!!!

Then remembered that Jayne had also bought a skein elsewhere, and asked if she could bring it along when we had dinner this week… again – different.  Much more a burgundy red/plum colour that I had.

So, I was very frugal with my stitching, thinking of the best way to do each stitch to minimise thread use, stitching down to the last little scant inch on the needle.

Was close to the finish line last night when I should have been in bed, but knew I had to finish it and put myself out of my misery… was I going to run out of thread or not… NOT!    The photo below shows exactly how much thread I have left over.   Finished at about 1.00am this morning, so a very tired girl at work today.

If I’ve finished something, can I start something now?

I need to decide, considering how much of a recalcitrant SAL member I was, whether I want to join along with Claire and Sandra and lots of others in a SAL on Ink Circles Stitchers to stitch Ink Circles The Bramble and The Rose, which was published in June 2009 Gift of Stitching, which begins on 1 March.

I do love this design and would like to tackle it, and while I’m loving my Blackbird Stockings, the lots of thread colour changes can be annoying.   Except there’s no way you’d be able to memorise the pattern for this one!

Have been pondering doing this in a dark grey mottled Threadworx thread on a pale grey linen piece I have in stash (need to check if the linen is big enough) – not red I know, which is outside my comfort zone a little – but I think would look really dramatic with this design.   Hmmm…do I or don’t I?

Looking forward to tomorrow night’s Friday Sew in -recognise a few names on the list – Jan Q, Blessed, Fiona and Kate.

Still can’t decide what I want to work on – though I’ve got another early start tomorrow – up at 5.00am to be at a breakfast meeting by 7.00am – so will probably just pick up a UFO or several and try to make some progress.

Something borrowed… Dresden Plates

Taking some creative licence with the meaning of borrowed… for me, it’s working on someone else’s work as part of a swap, or working on a project started by someone else.

These blocks are more of the Parsonage Great Dresden Plate Exchange.

My block for Jules

Jules provided lovely Blackbird Design fabrics, mostly from the Peace on Earth range.

My block for Kylie

I don’t know which range Kylie provided, whereas initially I thought it a bit too pretty, I actually really liked making this block, expecially the dots.  Disappointed on my centre though…

Something New…the Secret that’s right under your nose quilt

My brother turns 50 on March 23, and on Christmas day after he made a crack to a family friend about the fact that he was still waiting for a quilt, though Mum had made 2 for my sister and I and one for each nephew, I asked Mum when we were alone if she wanted to make a quilt for him.   He lives in a self contained unit in the back of the family home – a bachelor, a computer nerd/geek, a solitary and quiet man, who loves movies and all things sci-fi and his family.

Conversation went like this:

Flossie (Mum): He’d never use it!  He never makes his bed!

Frou: Doesn’t matter – it’s the making of it that matters

Flossie:  There isn’t time!

Frou: If we picked a simple pieced pattern we’d have plenty of time

Flossie: I can’t afford fabric for a new quilt

Frou: We are over run with fabric!

Flossie: Yeah, but nothing suitable for a man

Frou: We have those 1/2 yard pieces of creams and indigos – they’d work (hoping she’d say no, as I really want to make something for me!).   And we’ve got all those solids we found when we sorted out our combined stash, there must be 100 different colours there.   We could do an Amish style quilt – I think I’ve got a big piece of black at home you could use.

Flossie:  How could I make it a surprise?

Frou: You’re going to be at my place for 10 days after New Year, I’ll help you – I’ll cut, press – you sew – piece of cake!

Flossie:  I’ll think about it.

A week later, she’d found a pattern in a magazine, sorted a huge bag of solids, and rang the Quilt shop to ask what date they’d need the quilt by in order for us to have it quilted by early March to get it finished in time, and I was asked next time I came to bring my piece of black so she could see if she’d have enough (when we measured it, my biggish piece of black fabric turned out to be 15 metres, but sshhh that’s another story).

That done – while at my place she went to work… having precut her strips, she started piecing the blocks.   Took the started quilt home and worked on them while she watched the Australian Open.   Her comment: “He doesn’t like the tennis, so will stay out in his room most of the time, and even if he does come in, he won’t even notice what I’m doing!”.

And so, Mum worked on his blocks right under his nose, until it got to sashing and making up the rows.   Then she worked on the quilt on Thursday nights when he was at his Poker Club, sewing the last seam of the backing just as he arrived home a fortnight ago.

We planned a weekend at my place on the guise of going to a quilt show and a movie, so she could press the quilt and organise to drop it off to be quilted.   This photo, taken with the quilt spread out on my bed was the first time Mum got to see the whole top, as she’d spent most of her time scrunching it up and making it look inconsequently.

Just waiting for the call to say it’s finished being quilted, hopefully before the Labour Day Long Weekend, and another overnight stay at my place “because we’re going to the Ballarat Quilt Show” and we can sew the binding down.

Something old….Butterfly Baskets

Woo hoo!

I finished, I finished… well, technically, not really but I have finished stitching these little beauties.

I wrote about these on my very first blog post here and said I hoped to be finished soon, ha ha!   That was September 2008 and last night I put the last stitch in the last butterfly.

This pattern is a Brandywine  Designs Pattern that I made mucho bigger as you do…

About 7 years ago, I bought several metres of a white on white fabric and this pattern.   Cut out as many 7 inch blocks as the meterage allowed for, haven’t counted them, but well over 100.   And then started the process of tracing a basket and butterfly out of a different 1930s fabric in my stash.   And then randomly put baskets and butterflies together.

Baskets and butterfly quilts and 1930s fabrics are 3 of my favourite things, so imagine how much fun it was to combine them all.

It’s been a PUPD project ever since (Pick Up Put Down) and one that worked well for the soon to be patented “Quilting Technique for those with Short Attention Spans but Slight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.

WHAT?   Not familiar with this tested under extreme conditions, guaranteed never to fail technique.

It’s simple – I threaded up a dozen or so needles with black thread and attached them to a dozen or so blocks.   Then worked one thread length, ended off, threaded up another needle and put the block aside and picked up another one.    Sounds really labourious but heah it works for me – the satisfaction of having 12 blocks finished almost at once.

Worked particularly for me while catching the tram to and from work, as I didn’t need to fiddle with scissors or threading needles.   Just stitch a block, end it off, fold it up and thread needle through it, pop it in a little bag and pick up the next block.

A variation on this theme, is having multiple technique projects on the go, with at least one – “I want to get it finished, but I find it really boring project.   A needle, a length of thread, work, end off, rethread and put aside.    Alternate between needleturn applique, buttonhole applique, embroidery, cross-stitch and handpiecing.   Haven’t managed to combine knitting or crochet into the mix but I’m sure it could be done!

Anyway’s!    Back to baskets…. did I tell you they were finished?

Next steps to trim the blocks to a standard size and then randomly put them together.   Not going to sash them, may not even put a border on – though did think about making the outer baskets face outwards….hmmmm what do you think?

Come back tomorrow… Posts on Something new, something borrowed etc. to come

Friday Night Sew-In

This Friday (19 Feb) Heidi at Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi at Crafty Vegas Mom are organising a Friday Night Sew-In and I am so in!

I had already flagged with family and friends that I was having a weekend of stitching this coming weekend.    Have been managing to continue my stitching every day regime, and finishing a few things, will post more on those later, but need to have a couple of days of preparation for the next big wave of activity.

SO – plan is to do some preparation work each night this week, with the lightbox and rotary cutter and as I have a very early start at work Friday morning (7.00am) hopefully will be home by 5.00pm to kick back and get started with needle and thread.

Have Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of the X Files to keep me company!

If you want to join along, go to the link here.

Christmas Design SAL – January 2010

Well the staycation is over, back to work today…

The last few weeks of my holidays were spent doing some stitching on my Blackbird Design Stockings for Yoyo’s Christmas Design SAL for January, and I finished another two.

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care - Auld Lang Syne, Stitches and Spice Celtic 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread - Onyx and Cherry Bark

Blackbird Designs, Love is in the Air - Sweetheart Sampler, Stitches and Spice Celtic 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread - Cherry Bark

While I’m really loving this little stockings, I realise the stockings aren’t actually Christmas themed… so am also hoping to progress some Christmas designed cross-stitch UFO’s starting with my Patchwork Santa which is currently at this stage, and has been since 2008.

Patchwork Santa

The other main priority for January was my blocks for Aunty Pitty Pat’s Holly Jolly Christmas Swap.   As I joined up in three of the swaps, I made 72 twelve inch blocks – 36 appliqued blocks and 36 nine patches, all posted off last week.

Holly Jolly Christmas Ornaments

Holly Jolly Santa's Hats

Holly Jolly Plum Puddings

Having got these out of the way, I spent the last few days watching Series 3 and 4 of Numb3rs while working on a very, very old UFO or PAASS (Projects at a Stand Still)… will post some photo’s later.