Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Get 'em while they're young....


Happy New Year everyone!

We have been enjoying renovation hell here at England Street, so I don't have much to report from the sewing room.  Over the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas we replaced our laundry, kitchen and the floors in our hallways and main living area.  I will post some before and after photos once they have been entirely finished (just for you Kris!)  At the moment we still need to replace some lighting, put the skirting boards back on and paint.  Then phase 1 will be over and we will be girding the loins for phase 2 in March.  

On a different note, I thought I'd share what my daughter has been up to.  I was indoctrinated at an early age into the world of craft and have carried on the tradition with Scarlett.  The beauty of the Pfaff is that you don't need to use a foot control, so we just dialed the sewing speed down to low and the littlest crafter was able to control everything with her pointy little finger.



 So without further ado, I give you Scarlett's first creation - a four-patch doll's quilt, pinned, pressed and quilted by me but sewn by her.


I decided to attempt some free hand quilting on Mum's longarm - I'm not much of a quilter I tell you!  I hadn't really touched the machine for 5 years and to say that I'm a bit rusty would be a gross understatement.  I pulled some pretty serious concentration faces while doing this and I'm fairly sure that my tongue was hanging out for most of the 20 minutes it took!



Now it just needs to be bound and it will be ready for a dolly to snuggle under.  Talk soon.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WIP - On A Whim

Ok, let's blow the dust off this blog!  It's been nearly a month since I posted anything and really, despite my big talk about finishing off projects by November 20th, not much has been acheived here in the sewing room.

We are about to start major renovations Chez Stanyer and so the last month has seen me and my boy wonder side kick (son, not husband) trawl every tile supplier in Adelaide trying to find the perfect splashback tile for our new kitchen.  Really I blame Pinterest and Houzz for my obsessive search - they have set the bar very high and as most of the pictures of kitchens I have fallen in love with are from America, I can't find exactly what I want here in Australia.  But I am happy to report that my First World problem has been solved and everything is in place for the chaos of home renovations to begin from mid-December (Christmas is a great time to schedule renos, right?).  Ethan has been a little trouper visiting kitchen showrooms, Harvey Norman, plumbing suppliers, floor showrooms and curtain makers.  A more organised mother would have packed toys to keep him amused on our quest but instead I gave him paint chips and laminate samples to play with and we had a deal that he had free reign in the kitchen showrooms. We probably weren't too popular there but really, if your doors can't handle a toddler opening and shutting them repeatedly then is your work up to scratch?

The kids and I went to our shack with my dad a couple of weeks ago and I finished the blocks for my On A Whim quilt there while Ethan was napping and Scarlett was fishing with her Poppy -  can that girl wield a pink rod!


Back to On A Whim, I really like this quilt, I think it looks gorgeous and the pattern was great.  But if I were to make it again, I would do it one block at a time and really enjoy the fruits of my labour.  With this quilt I went all Henry Ford and chain-pieced like a maniac, and production lining those squares in a square and then trimming them all back was so boring!

Over the last few days I transformed the blocks into a quilt top.  Here it is dangling from my clothesline, the quilt is a whopper, even with my clothesline wound up to the super tall setting and spun around to the slopey side of the yard it was still dangling on the grass.


The light wasn't the best this afternoon when I took these photos, but we'll just pretend that the dappled light is arty.  I am going to piece a backing from some left overs and make a nice label because this quilt is for someone very special but shhhh, it's a surprise.  Here are some close ups of my favourite blocks. 


Now that this is done and all the house decisions have been made I feel like a weight has been lifted and I can't wait to get stuck into some Christmas craft because, good gravy, I love Christmas!


On a side note, today the kids and I spent the afternoon swimming at my dad's.  Now I have curly hair and chlorine isn't a friend to the curls.  When I was photographing the quilt this evening I noticed that my shadow was casting a freaky silhouette on the quilt and when I got inside I looked in the mirror and saw that I had mascara streaked all over my face.


 And I kind of looked like a blonde version of the old Liz Lemon here.  It wasn't pretty.

Source

As usual, I'm linking up with Lee

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm going to head on over there now and check out what everyone else has been creating while I've been wrestling with paint charts.  Have a great week everyone,  hopefully I'll see you again in a few days.  Lemon out!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP - progress report...on a whim, butterfly quilt and the great texta disaster

Time to check in for a progress report.  The pace has been somewhat leisurely but progress has been made.  This week my mantra has been "just keep swimming"  a la Dory from Finding Nemo.

I have been working on my On A Whim blocks in Vintage Modern.  I constructed all of the components of the blocks in a chain piecing frenzy and just needed to square them up.  Even with a new blade in my rotary cutter, as I mentioned in last weeks post, it has been boring work.  So to break the monotony I decided to square up enough to allow me to complete two blocks at a time so it's been a little bit of slicing and a bit of sewing and that has been much more satisfying.


I have been pinning everything as I go in order to ease in the set in squares of the Rolling Star block because, not for love nor money could I get these babies square!  No matter what I did they were 5.5 on one side and 5.75 on the other.  Enter Clover pins and the magical potion that is Mary Ellen's Best Press and I made them bend to my iron will and here they are all straight and square and hanging on my clothes line looking pretty.


I also finished the binding on my Butterfly Quilt. 


You may remember that I pinned this beauty and shamelessly made one exactly the same with Mum's Accuquilt Go! Baby, because I loved it so much.  All I need now is for someone to have a baby girl....come on Alexis McKay - you can do it!



Mum quilted it for me using the Simplicity pantograph by Lorien Quilting.  This pattern is perfect for going over applique or stitcheries; it stitches out quickly and is unobtrusive.


I did a simple pieced backing, mainly because there wasn't quite enough width in a standard piece of Moda Bella Solid to go on the longarm.  Fortunately I had some Bliss by Bonnie and Camille left over from this quilt and it blended in beautifully with the colours in Marmalade.


There was a small drama with this quilt.....I had left in on my lounge suite where I was sitting binding it and this evil genius (don't be fooled by his angelic face)....


....took to it with a green texta!  

                                          

I stayed calm though and continued with the binding and this afternoon I hit it with the triple threat of Preen, Omo and Sard Wondersoap.  I am happy to report the texta is gone and the quilt is happily drying outside.

So, onward and upward....this week I hope to get more On A Whim blocks finished and to quilt the little tumbler top for Ethan's cushion (not that he deserves soft furnishings after the texta incident) and maybe get a border or two on a quilt.

As usual I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Click below to head over and see what everyone else has been up to.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Jewel Box Quilt

Well - this has caught me on the hop!  I had no idea that the Blogger's Quilt Festival was coming up until I saw an entry on another blog I follow.  For my entry, I decided to go with my Jewel Box Quilt which I finished in July.



It has no special story really, it's just a quilt I made when I set myself a challenge to see what I could make from a Jelly Roll and a Layer Cake.  In the end I came to realise that one Jelly Roll and one Layer cake go a long way!  I made this quilt, plus another that will be published in Homespun next year, a table runner for my daughter and then I gave the leftovers to a friend and she whipped up a quilt for her grand-daughter.  It felt like the neverending supply of Bliss fabric!

 


So, Stats.  I love stats.  
Size - 55" x 71"
Fabric -Bliss by Bonnie and Camille
Pattern - A traditional Jewel Box design.  I am currently writing a pattern for it which will be available for free download soon.
Quilting - As usual my amazing Mum quilted it for me using the Honeysuckle pantograph by Patricia Ritter - it is a very pretty pattern
Category - Professionally Quilted.  Throw Quilt.  Bed Quilt (twin size)

Here's a close up of the quilting.






Thanks for visiting.  You can check out all the amazing quilts in the Festival by clicking here to visit Amy's Creative Side.

Amy's Creative Side

Thanks to Amy for putting together this wonderful event and to all of the generous sponsors!  I am off to look at all of the quilty goodness from around the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP - 2012 Wrap it up!

2012 is skidding at an alarming speed towards its close, and although I am pretty keen to get cracking on some Christmas craft, I have had a stern talk to myself about finishing off some projects before I begin any new ones.  Had this talk with yourself before?  So here I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for a Wednesday WIP confessional.  The following projects (plus many more, I'm afraid to say) are lurking in this cupboard.....



And I am giving myself until the 20th of November to finish them off and then I will be able to enjoy my festive season guilt free.  So I am declaring my hand people and by the aforementioned date I will have finished......

Putting the borders on this quilt-top.  The photo just shows it laid out in blocks, but I have sewn it together now and have managed, through the power of Google, to track down and purchase some border fabric for it.


Making my On A Whim quilt top.  I have pieced all of the components of the blocks and am in the process of squaring them up which I am finding totally tedious.  I have completed two blocks- this one, and other that I have misplaced - things aren't looking good for that deadline!  Fortunately, I have enough fabric to whip up another block if it doesn't turn up.  


 


Putting the borders on my Dad's Carpenter's Star quilt.  You can see the quilt here.


I would also like to finish my Crystal star quilt that I have designed using a layer cake in Petite Odile by French General.  (This list is starting to seem a bit ambitious)


The list also includes finishing up Scarlett's string quilt.....


This little one has been quilted and I am currently stitching the binding down, so I may even have a wee finish by Friday.


And last but not least is this little tumbling block that I am going to quilt with some straight lines and turn into a cushion for my son's room.


Cover me.  I'm going in!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Summer in the Park - Free Jelly Roll Pattern

Well, it seems like it's been a long time between drinks but really it's only been a fortnight.  Not a very exciting fortnight either - all I have been doing it is cleaning out cupboards and ruthlessly culling the contents of my house.  But that aside, I have managed to achieve a finish and I have written another free pattern for you - I finally finished stitching the binding on my Summer in the Park quilt which I have renamed Summer at the Beach.


I put the last stitches in the binding on Wednesday night and Thursday after kindy we trotted down to Semaphore to photograph the quilt hanging over the jetty (this was really an elaborate ruse for me to get my hands on an ice-cream from my favourite ice-cream parlour on Semaphore Road - but that's just between us).


Here it is hanging over Semaphore jetty with the Palais in the background.  I really loved making this quilt - you just sew strips together like a demon and and then with some clever cutting you make blocks and in no time you have a quilt top sewn together!

This quilt was inspired by the Summer in the Park video tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. But as with Briar Rose I didn't want to just start sewing and not know how much fabric I would need or how big a quilt I would get out of one jelly roll, so I have written a pattern for it.  The pattern is again fully supported by CAD diagrams and detailed instructions and you can download it from Google Docs by clicking here or by clicking on the photograph on the right hand side bar.



Mum quilted it for me using the Bountiful Feathers pantograph by Lorien Quilting.  It really suited the feather or wave print in the Salt Air fabrics.


Thanks again to everyone at the Missouri Star Quilt Company for endorsing my pattern.  It is very generous and I really appreciate your support.  You can view the original you tube video here.....



You can also visit the Missouri Star website by clicking  here.

I'm linking up with Quilt Story, Finish it up Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and Show off Friday

Have a fabulous week everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

AMQF - eye candy

Well, last weekend was AMQF and I really can't tell you when I have been so busy.  Luckily for me all of that out-of-control business was offset by the fact that I spent two nights at the Intercontinental in Adelaide with two of my favourite peeps... here they are, my cousins, Sarah and Ben. 


Ben Kempster was the MC for the weekend and he did an absolutely outstanding job!  He was also the auctioneer for the Alzheimer's Benefit charity quilt and he had those punters eating out of his hands and throwing their cash around willy nilly.  We raised nearly four grand for Alzheimer's SA.

As happens when you are busy, you forget to take photos of everything.  But don't worry - I didn't forget the good stuff.  Here is some eye candy from the quilt show.... enjoy.




















And they were just a handful of my favourites. 

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