Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nose to the grindstone

or more precisely to the Sweet 16 and the sewing machine.  There are 18 days until it is quilt drop-off day, I'm more or less on schedule to finish my quilts.  The binding is on both the challenge and the miniature quilts, just have to handstitch the back part down which shouldn't take too long.  The hanging sleeve is on the hexie quilt, I tried out the tutorial here and it worked well, I can't see any stitches on the front side, I'll definitely do this technique again.  The red and white quilt is coming along, most of the blocks have some quilting completed, I'm planning on doing the borders soon, then the binding, and then back to finish off the quilting.

This star was really puffy before quilting, and I had no idea how to quilt it and was sitting there pondering when it came to me, it worked out really well, taming the puffiness quite nicely and best of all I only had the starting and ending threads to tie off and bury.

 This is the centre of another star, I'm still thinking about the rest of the quilting on this one.  I should get some inspiration from the AMQF this weekend as there will be plenty of quilts on show there.

 This is the compass star and I've just quilted the red points so far, still waiting for more inspiration to strike with this one as well.  This weekend will be a busy one as I am going along to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival, I'm taking a couple of classes, catching up with friends and possibly investing in a couple of rulers or fabric or thread (maybe all three).  It is also daylight saving (clocks forward one hour) and I find it hard to adjust to the change the first couple of weeks, one good thing is that there will be more daylight for quilting.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Slipping back into slackness ...

shirt from workshop

I do have an excuse, I am busy quilting the red and white quilt, although in between I have found time to attend a shirt making workshop and finish the quilting on the Diamond challenge quilt.

shirt I made the day after the workshop

I also started another shirt as I wanted to reinforce what I learnt from the workshop, we have homework for the next workshop, which I am yet to do, but as it doesn't involve sewing it won't take me too long.

I think the quilting is coming along quite well, this is the top quarter of the quilt which is nearly complete, I'm intending to do a bit of quilting in some of the red fabric as well, but as I don't want to be fussed with changing threads all the time, that will wait until the white quilting is complete and worst case scenario is that most of the quilt will be quilted should I run out of time.  My priority for the moment is to keep going with the quilting, although next weekend is the Australian Machine Quilting Festival and I have booked into a couple of workshops, so I'm treating that as a bit of R & R.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Same old, same old

Nothing exciting happened today, I continued on with the labels and have stitched them on two of the quilts, just one left and then that is another task I can tick off.  I will leave the number labels until after I've finished all the quilting as I want to remove them after the show.  I made a start on trimming these leftover HST's which are from the two blocks I made for the Mystery Sampler quilt, I've been thinking about having a couple of tubs or boxes for spare parts and orphan blocks, at present most of them are scattered through my scrap boxes.

We're still eating the galette, it was quite large and I can report that even cold it is still yummy to eat.

Achieved - wrote labels and sewed labels on quilts.
                  trimmed HST's
                  oiled my Bernina
Gardening - none, I totally forgot about this.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

I made a Butternut Squash and caramelised onion galette for our lunch today, we had it with Broccoli Slaw (again), there was almost complete silence from the Mister (although I did hear a couple of yums)  as he ate, and if you know the Mister you will know that silence is rare :)

The recipe calls for Fontina cheese, but this was not available (out of season I think) so I substituted a  Raclette cheese instead, although I think Gruyere would also have worked.  After eating the galette I also think that Feta could be quite nice and provide a nice contrast with the sweetness of the butternut and caramelised onions.

On the sewing front I made a hanging sleeve for one of the quilts, although I have yet to attach it, I'm thinking of trying out this tutorial for sewing it on by machine instead of hand stitching it on.  I'm going to attach the hanging sleeve for the red and white quilt when I put the binding on so I have set aside a piece of fabric for that.  I also made a start on the many labels which are required for the quilts for the show.

 I also made the second block from Amanda's Mystery Quilt Sampler, I was a bit slapdash and didn't really look at the directions properly so my block is a mirror image and my piecing isn't as accurate as it should be, never mind, finished is better than perfect as they say.

Achieved - 1 block for Mystery Quilt Sampler
                   mundane labels and hanging sleeves for quilt show quilts
gardening - 30 minutes - cutting back succulents

Monday, 15 September 2014

A bit more stitching ....

The 14 day challenge is now over, but I am going to continue to keep up with an hour a day of stitching of some type of another.  I haven't been doing much machine stitching lately and I found that I needed to refresh my memory by referring to the manual when I was using my Bernina yesterday.

Amanda at Sea Breeze Quilts is running a 6 month long Mystery Sampler Quilt called Chocolate Marshmallow, the blocks are 12" finished and each month Amanda will post instructions for two blocks.  Instructions for the first two blocks were released today.  I've decided to follow along and make the blocks,  Block 1 is finished and I quite enjoyed the process, like Amanda I'm using fabrics from my stash, I have a reasonable amount of the grey spot type fabric so that might get used for continuity purposes.

I cut out more blocks for the BGTATW, the quilt top is starting to get a bit larger now, and it seems to take forever to do one side, thank goodness for footy games :)  these blocks all need to be marked with their seam allowance, (wonder if I can talk the Mister into doing it for me)  otherwise it is an easy task to do while watching tv.

 I'll probably add another blue after the red spot, blue is one colour that I have a lot of in my stash.

 Achieved - cut blocks for the next four rounds of BGTATW
                 made 1 block for the Mystery Sampler
Gardening - worked for 45 minutes today, my coffins are all mulched and ready for planting.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Stitching - Day 14

The weather was beautiful today, blue skies and warm temperatures which made it very pleasant as the Mister and I worked together for our 30 minutes a day in the garden challenge.  We were out there quite early (about 0730am) and there were plenty of birds in the trees enjoying the start to the day.  I spotted these baby magpies in the tree out the back, and it was sheer luck that I snapped a photo as one of the parents was feeding one of them.

They certainly made a racket with their constant calls to be fed.

 I did a fair bit of stitching today, sewing up the project pictured above, finishing off Round 10 of TATW quilt, and auditioning fabrics for the next round, I had better think about the next couple of rounds as well, because the red spot must be included in round 14, 15 or 16 and I don't want too much of a clash with colours.

Achieved - finished Round 10 of TATW
               auditioned fabrics for Round 11,
               stitched a project
Non-stitching - 30 minutes in the garden.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Stitching - Day 13

I managed a fair bit of stitching today, hemmed up a pair of trousers , it only took me 9 months to get around to doing them, then finished putting things to rights in my work room.  I've come to the conclusion that I work better when everything is relatively tidy, I feel more calm and in control of things.

The Mister and I worked for about an hour in the garden this morning, I decided to finish up for the day once I dug into an ant's nest, they can move quite fast and I didn't fancy them crawling up my legs. I'm going to try and work in the garden for 30 minutes a day for the next 14 days, which should help tidy the place up a bit.

For lunch we ate  Broccoli Slaw from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, this is recipe is a keeper, what a fantastic way to eat broccoli, the Mister and I could eat this a couple of times a week without getting tired of it.

Day 13

Achieved - hemmed a pair of trousers
                   finished marking the cut blocks for Museum Medallion (I need to cut more 1/4 circles)
                   stitched 12 blocks on TATW quilt

Friday, 12 September 2014

Stitching - Day 11/12

Your home is not a museum, library or recycling plant,
don't put it down, put it AWAY.

 I 'm officially a day behind with my blog postings,  but never mind.  The Sweet 16 was dropped off for the update this morning, on the way home we stopped at Officeworks so I could buy this red filing cabinet.  I have been coveting it for some time now after I saw it on Instagram. I have bits and pieced tucked away in various places in my work room and by having this I'm hoping that I can consolidate it all in one place.

While I was doing this I discovered that I had 4 tape measures (I only ever use one of them), boxes of pins that I don't use and quite a few packets of sewing machine needles, which will get used.  Instead of making little labels for each drawer, I'm just going to have numbers in each holder and a list on the side of the cabinet with the contents for each drawer.

The drawers take an A4 size piece of paper  with about 2 and a 1/2" to spare, they are not too deep,
and you can remove the complete drawer easily, however there are no safety stoppers on the drawers.

Day  11/12

Achieved - more quilting on the Challenge quilt, I will probably finish the quilting on the Bernina
                  4 blocks on TATW quilt

not stitching - organising the red filing cabinet
                    still reading Midnight Crossroad
                   Watched Silk
                   Made Miso Tahini dressing to dress a Snowpea and Chinese Cabbage Salad (it was yum)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Stitching - Day 10

Forging on with the quilting of the quilts I have entered in our Festival of Quilts, I've completed the quilting on the miniature quilt, (I may add more to it but it is essentially finished)  and then started on the quilting for my challenge quilt (Diamond is the theme for the challenge).  There is no quilting plan for this one, I'm really just using it as quilting practise, I'm hoping this will be finished tomorrow, which will leave me with the red and white quilt to finish.  I'm sending my Sweet 16 off to have a software update installed on Friday, I will be without it for approximately a week, so it was quite important for me to finish the quilting on the smaller quilts, otherwise I would be in a mad panic by the end of the month.

Some more organising - a while ago I bought a couple of these sewing boxes from Spotlight, this one has most of the things I need when I do applique, the other one has all my hand stitching requirements.  The applique one I can just grab and go, as it has part of a project in it permanently (a tree from a Sue Spargo wall hanging) and I'm in no hurry to finish it just yet.

I have to remember to put a project in the hand stitching kit before I take it anywhere, (either the TATW quilt or some Museum Medalliong blocks) the closed box fits nicely in my green basket which I bought back in June.

Day 10

Achieved - finished quilting on miniature quilt, worked on Challenge quilt,
                 no hand stitching today,

Not stitching - Started reading Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
                       continue watching True Detective (I need to stay awake for this)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Stitching - Day 9

Unrelated to my stitching but also on Day 9 is my sourdough starter (the Mister has named it Hans, son of Herman).  I've been using the tutorial on which is an excellent resource for anyone interested in making naturally risen bread.  A few years ago I had a sourdough starter which I kept going for quite some time, but it started smelling of over-ripe pears, I tried to resuscitate it back to a better smelling starter but gave up in the end, so now I'm starting over.  All going well I should be making some sourdough bread in a week or so.

This is "Hans" after he
 has been refreshed for the day,
he will double in size.

This is "Hans" later in the day,
he has subsided a bit.
He hasn't been quite so active today
due to the lower temperatures we
are currently experiencing.

feather border on miniature quilt

Day 9 

Achieved - two borders quilted of my miniature quilt
                more hand quilting on the tiny quilt
                added some more blocks to the BGTATW quilt, one side completed

Not stitching - almost finished The Enemy (should knock it off tonight) 
                      started watching True Detective on dvd