Friday 30 March 2012

Mission Impossible?

I can't believe my last post was 16th February. I won't bore you with the tales of illness, injury, madness and mayhem that have plagued this house over the past month and a half. I'm just going to jump right in. I haven't done any sewing at home since I last posted and I'm going to try and make up for that this evening.

Here's a question... What's the fastest time you've ever made a quilt in?

Kim at The Fat Quarters has been collecting quilts for a charity all week.
Tiny Lives is a local charity, based in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, that raises funds for all sorts of things to help premature and special needs babies in the area. From research into new medical techniques to helping families with travel costs to and from the hospital, they provide an invaluable service in the North East area.

Kim has been trying to collect as many incubator sized quilts as possible for Tiny Lives and I really want to help out but, due to the aforementioned illness, injury, madness and mayhem, it just hasn't been possible until now.

Here comes the crunch. The deadline is tomorrow and it's now 9.45pm. The quilts only need to be 16" x 20" so I don't think I'm entirely insane. Maybe just a little.

I've pulled out every bright and fun piece of fabric I could find and I'm going to dive in. Wish me luck!

Thursday 16 February 2012

WIP Wednesday No. 15

Finishes this week
Mum's quilt is all finished. See more details here.

Progress this week
So far, so good when it comes to sticking to the list. I've chosen to finish the Pear Tree Quilt next because I really want to get it sent over to New York to help out somebody in need.

I cut out all the fabrics on Sunday:

Then I played around with the squares to get a good balance on Monday night:

I started piecing on Tuesday but then had to rip it all out because nothing was lining up. When I tried again this evening I had the same problem and after a quick tantrum discovered that all my squares are 8 3/8" instead of 8 1/2"!

No idea how that happened but after a bit of bodging I managed to get 2 rows pieced together:

I think it will be really cute when it's done.

Still to go

  1. Strawberry patch
  2. Wedding ring
  3. Echino baby quilt
  4. Vintage quilt
  5. Block of the month
  6. Hex-a-long
  7. Bear Paw

Why not pop over to Freshly pieced to see what everyone else is up to this Wednesday. 

Tuesday 14 February 2012

First finish of the year

Can you believe I actually forgot some things off that humongous list last week?!? The first is a quick and easy project. My boss (from Woolaballoo) bought these lovely echino fabrics when she was at a show in October and asked me to make a baby quilt.

Thankfully, the baby isn't due until July so I have a little time. Plus there's no piecing; she would just like the print on the front, the blue on the back and a green binding. Should be super quick.

The second FIB (forgotten in a bag) project is my solid jelly bear paws. It had completely slipped my mind even though its progress is over there on the right and it quite clearly has not been quilted. 

On to happier news.... I have a finish!!! The Melrose quilt for mum has been bound in a diagonal stripe. I quilted it on the long-arm at work with a leaf pattern to match the fabrics.

The back is a grey version of the main print on the front and I think it may be my favourite print of the lot. 

It is now in place on the sofa and has been claimed by the incredibly lazy Tiger as a new favourite basking spot.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

WIP Wednesday No. 14

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of unfinished projects lying around the house? It's hard to write a blog when you feel like you're making absolutely no progress.

I had limited myself by saying that I'm not allowed to start a new project until I've finished all the ones in progress but there are so many there that I'm still making very little inroads. The new vow is that I will pick one project and work on it until it is complete. No mixing it up, no taking a break and doing something else, just a concerted effort to finish up this pile of WIPs.

I'm going to bring the projects out of the closet so I can see exactly what there is to do:

Mum's Sofa Quilt

This quilt has been finished, quilted on the Gammill, trimmed and waiting to be bound for weeks. Time to pull my finger out and get it done!

Strawberry Patch Quilt

I started quilting this quilt in August! August! It won't take much to get it finished and I can't wait to see it done. Hopefully it will be done before next summer!

Pear Tree Quilt

My Pear Tree fabrics by Thomas Knauer arrived and they are absolutely gorgeous! Although this isn't, technically, a WIP because it isn't yet started, it is high on the list of priorities. To enter the competition you had to promise to make a quilt for the charity Bumble Beans Basics.

I quickly drew up this design with a woven foreground. I didn't want to distract from the fabrics and some of them are quite large prints so I thought this would showcase them well. I'd like to get it done by the end of March so it's high on the list.

Block of the Month

The only odd-one-out on the list is my Block of the Month project. I won't be doing all of these at once but I will make sure to get them done at the beginning of every month.

Wedding Ring Quilt

Another quilt with a deadline. I received my save the date card (well, it was actually a save the date Facebook message - they're on a budget) so it needs to be done by August. At the moment I have 8 curves pieced. That's not good progress.

Hex-a-long Quilt

Eeek. I'm not sure my willpower will last out this long. If I get all the other projects done I might allow myself to do this in tandem with other things. I may get sewing machine withdrawal symptoms if I can only hand piece for months on end.

Vinatge Quilt Restoration

This is a silk heirloom quilt handed over by a friend of my mum's. There are patches where her naughty husband left a biro with the lid off. When the ink was cleaned off, the colour came out the silk so I've been commissioned to appliqué something on the top to hide the bleached patches.

And finally....

Here's the pile of pre-cuts I have to make pretty things out of. I'm not allowed to touch them until everything above is done. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is!

Phew! That's a long list and it doesn't even include all the many knitted items I've started since I started at Woolaballoo. At least I can work on those at work. Hopefully I can post soon with some real progress.

Monday 9 January 2012

Mum's home!

Sewing has been put on the back-burner for a couple of days because we've moved mum home from the hospital. Queue hectic tidying of house and desperate stuffing of projects into bags so that the place looks fit to live in.

It's lovely to have her home but there's going to be a period of adjustment so we'll see how much I can get done.

Over at the forum the girls were wondering about doing a Block of the Month. After seeing the beautiful quilts made using the Skill Builder Sampler last year, I started thinking about skills that I'd like to learn or practice. There are so many techniques that I've always wanted to try so I came up with a sampler of my own.

If you'd like to join in we'll be helping each other out over at the MSQC forum. It's free to sign up and the ladies are lovely.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Iron Quilter finished just in time

I haven't been well recently so this is a little delayed. I managed to finish a quilt for the Iron Quilter competition. It isn't what I hoped to make but that's what I get for leaving things to the last minute.

I only used 5 of the 9 blocks because I ran out of time to piece together the final 4. I have all the subsections made up, so I'm thinking I'll make some matching cushions. 

I alternated the pieced bocks with some plain white-on-white blocks, quilted a motif in the centre of each one and echo quilted the Missouri stars. I think I managed to escape the 80s Laura Ashley look a little bit.

The finalists will be announced on the Missouri Star Quilt Company's blog sometime in the next couple of days. So fingers crossed...

With that complete my mind has turned back to tea cosies. I'm thinking squirrels!