Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lucky!

Guess what!

I was going through my left over genome quilt fabric last night to see what I could use to make a name badge and I found four more sets of squares that had ended up in the wrong place!! Now I have enough for exactly the right number of HSTs. I also went to Clegs and seriously stocked up on pins. If I don't have enough now I'm going to scream!!


Also, in response to the comments on yesterdays post, no I'm not leaving them all facing the same direction, I just laid them out like that as I thought it would be easier for the gradient. My next job will be to go through them changing their orientation to match the sequence I've chosen. The final design will look something like this:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just a few short...

After finishing off the last of my HSTs (governed by how many white squares I had) I started laying out the HSTs for the genome quilt layout. Starting with the navy blue fabrics in the top left hand corner down to the green fabrics in the bottom right. Annoyingly I'm 8 HSTs short; I had four white squares too few! Frustrating!!!


After laying them out I swapped them around a bit until I was vaguely happy and started pinning them to the sheet I'd laid them out on. Sadly while our living room has just enough space to lay out all the squares it doesn't really allow for actually using the room. Since it would be a bit inconsiderate on my housemates to leave it like that while I sew the top together (because who knows how long that will be!) I had to turn my "design floor" into a "design wall".

I started pinning the squares to a flat sheet and discovered my second shortfall of the day (and one I really should have seen coming)... pinning over 1200 HSTs to a sheet requires, you guessed it, over 1200 pins! Of which I only ended up having about half as many as I needed.

The sheet is now on the wall and about half of the squares are attached (the rest neatly laid out on my cutting board, seen in the bottom of the above photo). I'll be stopping off in Clegs on the way home from my skating lesson tomorrow to buy 600 or so more pins!

Lesson of the day: make sure you have enough of everything you need, otherwise it's mighty frustrating!

Friday, June 25, 2010

MMQG Name Badge Swap

The Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) is developing fantastically. We've now had two meetings and have loads of stuff in the planning stages.


One of the things that I've been organising for the MMQG is a name badge swap. Sign ups close tomorrow afternoon, so if you're a member of the MMQG and would like to join in it's your last chance! Head on over and sign up ASAP.

Also to MMQG members - remember that our next meeting has been moved to Sunday the 11th of July (NOT Saturday anymore).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting there...

It's starting to look like a real coat!

Please excuse the pins, they're holding on the shoulder pads, I need to learn how to sew them in!

Only lining and buttons (which I still need to buy) to go. (yes, only...!?)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Amazing Timing!

I recently bought tickets to go back to the UK in August and September, and look what my Gran just told me about: http://www.twistedthread.com/ And guess where I was planning on being that weekend? Birmingham! I'm SO going! Especially after missing the Australasian Quilt Convention because I was in Perth.

I've taken a quick look through the classes and there's so many I'd love to do (most of which are probably sold out). Assuming they were all still available and money was no object, which classes/lectures/workshops would you go to? (lists are here and here)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Pretty Much) as Good as New.

On Monday I went on a little trip to Clegs to purchase some sewing machine oil. You'll be pleased to hear that after a thorough cleaning and a few drops of oil in (hopefully) the right spots, my machine is up and running again and sounding nice and smooth!


Sadly no progress to report other than that as I've been busy with other things, but I hope to have finished all the HSTs at least by the end of next weekend.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Giveaway Results!

Thanks to everyone that entered my giveaway. As of last night there were 12 entries and random.org assisted me in choosing the winner:


Congratulations Andi, the bag will be yours!!

In other news, the second meeting of the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild was yesterday and was great fun! I worked on more HST for the genome quilt. My HST count is now 1,010! Incase you wanted to know, this is what 1,010 HSTs look like:


I think I'm going to make the quilt queen sized, which is approximately 2.1m square, which would require 1,296 HST in total, so HST count = 1,010/1,296

Sadly I can't make any more for now, as my sewing machine is in need of some TLC. Hopefully oiling it will help, otherwise I'll have to take it in for a service.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flashback Friday #6: Raggy Dolls

Many many moons ago I made these two raggy dolls. Inspired by some that Jo at Cowslip Workshops had made, I used her pattern to make my own.


The girl came first, and then the boy so that she had a companion.


She has flaming red hair and brown button eyes and a cute mouth and nose drawn on for me by Jo. I made her a very simple dress with long sleeves and a long pleated skirt, and also a pair of long yellow bloomers with lace hems (neither of which with a pattern, but directly 'draped' onto the doll).

I didn't quite stuff her neck enough so her head is a little floppy.


He has brown hair and green button eyes, and as yet no mouth or nose. I made him a (very rustic) suit, again with no pattern. A yellow shirt, complete with collar, cuffs and buttons, a red jacket (lined with pale blue lining), and blue trousers (with red pockets on the bum!). None of the garments are very professionally finished (or in some cases finished at all, the "hems" are still just folded), but I'm very proud of what I created with no experience of garment sewing.

Lastly, don't forget to enter my giveaway, you have until the end of Sunday (Melbourne time) to comment!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blogaversary Giveaway.

Today is my One Year Blogaversary. One year ago today I started my humble little blog with my first post. To celebrate an entire year of blogging I have decided to host my first ever giveaway.

The prize will be a fabric bag much like this one and this one, made out of this fantastically fun sewing/garment themed fabric:


To enter just leave a comment on this post before the end of Sunday 13th June (Melbourne Time). Everyone's welcome wherever in the world you are, but please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you win (either through your profile or with an email address in your comment).

Good Luck!

Edit: This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Full Steam Ahead...

Monday night is normally my 'stay home and sew and watch trashy TV (ie Desperate Housewives)" night, so that's exactly what I did - more work on my Hikaru. The jacket now has the peplum & pockets:


and a zip:


Slow but steady progress, mostly because I've been reading and re-reading each step of the instructions about 5 or 6 times before setting stitch to fabric. Partly because they're not the clearest, and partly because I really don't want to have to unpick anything on this fabric!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can you spot my mistake?

Yesterday I finally started stitching my Hikaru jacket. After checking my stitch settings on some scraps of the fabric, and deliberating for far too long over topstitching options (thread colour, distance from seam etc etc), I bit the bullet and began.

Back seams... front seams... and then I got to the shoulder seams and they didn't match up... cue lots of looking at fabric pieces, pattern pieces and my muslin. It took me far too long to realise what I'd done wrong. Below is a picture of my jacket back piece... can you see what I did wrong?


I stitched the centre back pieces together the wrong way around! Faced with unpicking that much topstiching I was about to stop for the night, so instead checked if I had enough fabric to cut out new back pieces, which I did, and I made sure that I did it the right way around this time. Much better:


So now I have the front and back sewn up and together at the shoulder and side seams and the shoulder tabs basted in place on the shoulder:

Hopefully I won't make any more stupid mistakes as I don't have enough fabric left to cut out any more pieces and they don't have this fabric left at the store.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flashback Friday #5: Australia Photo Album Cover

I spent my gap year between High School and Uni in Perth - a pretty ideal situation really; I got the excitement of a year in Australia, but the comfort of still living at "home" with my parents. I spent April of that year on the East coast, in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. This is a photo album cover that I made for the photos that were taken on that trip:

Australia Photo Album, (I think) completed in 2003.

The front cover was pieced with strips of different blues for the 'sea' with the Australian states machine appliqu├ęd on top. It was then stitched to a plain back with pockets added to slip over the hard cover of the album.


It was stitched together at my Grans house using her stash, hence the superb range of fabrics at my disposal!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How many is too many?

a.k.a: The Dilemma of a Quilting Addict...

I have discovered a huge problem in my (relatively) new found addiction to quilting... what is a patchwork/quilting addict supposed to do with all the quilts she (or he) ends up making?

It's been a little over a year since I re-discovered my passion for patchwork and quilting and am already running out of excuses for making quilts...

When I started I only made things at my Grans house when I visited her in the holidays. As I had limited time to make things, accumulating completed (and uncompleted, but that's a topic for another post entirely) projects wasn't an issue.

In the last year I have made three full sized quilts, two baby quilts, two quilted advent calendars and a wall hanging, as well as work being under way for another two quilts (my genome one and the denim picnic blanket that's been sat on the back of a chair for far too long waiting for a back).

There are so many ideas for quilts running through my brain, and even some fabric waiting to be used, but how can I justify making more without 'reasons' to make them?

The excuse I've used for making the genome quilt is that I don't really like the one I made for my bed so it will replace that, which is fair enough, but what then? What other excuses or reasons can I come up with to carry on? Or infact, do I really need one?

I really enjoy the process of making quilts. I enjoy the designing, the fabric selection, the cutting, the piecing, the quilting, and even sewing down the binding. There are no steps in the progress that I (so far) dread doing or don't enjoy. Some parts I find more enjoyable than others, and the different stages give me enjoyment in different ways. I like exercising my creativity when choosing the design of my quilt, selecting fabrics and choosing a quilting design. I find cutting, and (some kinds of) piecing, very relaxing and therapeutic. I enjoy the quilting as it is (currently) the task that is the biggest challenge for me and is therefore a skill I want to practice and hopefully someday master.

Yet despite all of this and the simple fact that it's a pastime that I enjoy I have this nagging voice at the back of my head that keeps asking me "but where is this quilt you're planning going to go???"

So, to those of you out there reading this who quilt; what's your take on this issue? How many is too many? What do you do with the quilts you finish?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More fabric shopping...

This weekend I made a trip to GJs discount fabrics with my friend Kelly. I'd never been there before so was excited to visit somewhere new that I'd heard so much about.

From outside I would never have thought to go in there looking for quilting fabric, as it's on the top floor (of three half floors), with only dress fabrics visible through the windows on the ground floor.

Their range was extensive, with some absolutely gorgeous fabrics! If I was 'shopping for the stash' I could easily spend far far more than I can afford in there. Thankfully, shopping for a particular project allowed me to buy some fabric without being tempted to break the bank.


I bought these four dark fabrics, two plain blues of different shades, and then two prints to bulk out the greener end of the spectrum of colours. They had a good selection of plain cottons at some of the most reasonable prices I've seen in the various stores I've visited.


I also got these three whites, one with a swirly pattern in white, and then two bigger cuts of two slightly different plain whites; one a crisp white and one slightly cream.


Kelly didn't buy anything, but does make some of the cutest most awesome softies I've ever seen, one of which is the one shown above. She promises me that she's going to start a blog soon!
(Kelly, If it's not alright to post your picture, please tell me and I'll take it down)

Current Completed HST Count: 476
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