Sunday, May 30, 2010

D9P finished!

Hurray! Another UFO (#15 this year) finished!
It's not an old UFO, it's from the end of last year. I'd wanted to do a 'disappearing-9-patch' quilt for a long time, when I finally decided on it, here.

It took me some time to finish it, because I ran out of one of the fabrics and had to purchase more... When I was doing the borders (here), I ran out of the other fabric - had to purchase more, and when I had basted the binding, I didn't have matching thread - had to purchase that too - phew! :) Luckily the web shop in the US wasn't sold out for the fabric I needed!
For batting I've used polyester - only suitable batting available here - and very cozy flannel for the backing.
And finally - a couple of days ago - it's done! Done! Done! :))

I enjoyed making D9P-blocks and I'd love to do another one!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler & Farmer's Wife

I couldn't help it! After  finishing 14 UFO's within 4 months, I thought I deserved a little treat, didn't I?! :))
Earlier this year I discovered Ria's blog, and she is making Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I think it is so beautiful, and the fabric she's chosen are just gorgeous!

I have purchased fabrics from Moda/French General - the "Rural Jardin' collection, but have yet to decide on background fabric. I believe I'll choose either white tone-on-tone or cream tone-on-tone, but haven't decided on that yet.
I've thought of hand sewing, but that seems so scary because that is something I've never done before - but still want to try - to test my patience - lol! I don't even know what kind of stitches to do - lol!

Another book I've bought, is 'Farmer's Wife', which is a sampler quilt too.

I consider to use cream tone-on-tone for the background and using fabrics from my stash.
I have yet to decide which one goes first... Perhaps SBS - perhaps FW. This is going to be a project I'll be working on aside of other projects. I'm sure I'll go insane if I have only one of these to work on, especially if I chose sewing by hand - lol! So please don't expect me to finish any of them this year! :)) 

If there are others out there in the wonderful blogland working on - or have done - any of these quilts, I'd love to hear from you! I'd like to know your experiences, like how you made it (machine- or hand sewing), a special fabric collection or fabrics from your stash, background fabric etc...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010

Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is hosting Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010.
I didn't know much about it, until Natima over at Not Just Nat asked me if I'm going to participate.
For some days now, I've been thinking of which quilt means more to me than others. It hasn't been an easy choice, because all the quilts I make do mean something special to me.

Here's my choice....

This is the first bigger quilt I made. I think it was in 2005, when I started quilting (2004/2005)
My intention was to start quilting while I still lived in Norway, but all I managed to do was to buy a few books, cutting mat, ruler (in cm) and a rotary cutter. I've always loved sewing, so I already had some fabrics, but not much.
One day I got a parcel - from Bente (no blog) in Norway - containing 5 stunning autumn colored fat quarters!
I had done only a few smaller projects - more for practise - when I decided to make a door curtain. I started 'hunting' for suitable fabrics here, which wasn't that easy to find. There are tons of bolts, but not much suitable cotton. At the local textile market, I bought a few yards blue and red fabrics with dragonflies - beautiful.
I decided to use the autumn colored fat quarters, and together with some fabric I already had, made some 9-patch blocks. A newbie at that time, I don't think I knew the blocks  I was making are called 9-patch blocks - lol!
Being a newbie at that time, making errors here and there (not that many though!), I do love this quilt - the vibrant colors and the fact that I mastered such a 'big' quilt! :)
The quilt - door curtain - was made to be used. I hate too many doors in a house, and when we moved into our new home 3 years ago - this quilt is used as a 'door' between our bedroom and bathroom.
What I have learnt on the way is how important 1/4 inch seam allowance is and the advantage using inch-rulers instead of cm. Of course there are lots of other things I have learnt too, but this is the most important - to me. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Log Cabin blocks and Mystery Quilt

It has been a while since my last post about the log cabin block I made and didn't feel confident with. Since then, I have made approx 40 blocks. The first plan was to make a lap quilt for my dear friend Johnny's mother (in Norway). She's moving house soon, so I thought a lap quilt would be nice...

This is how my sewing table looks like these days! I know I have blocks enough for one lap quilt, but while I was sewing, I decided to use all the 'Cider Mill Road' fabrics I have. That means it will be blocks enough for two lap quilts - one for me too! :)

To those of you who said I shouldn't unpick the first block; I did unpick it! We didn't become friends! :) After sewing quite some blocks, I'm becoming more confident in how to make the blocks. The photo above shows how I do it now; decide on fabric, then cut the strips and sew. It makes it much easier this way.

I wasn't friend with the blocks on the top right corner on this photo, so after I took the photo I unpicked and rearranged the last two strips.
I've ran out of 3-4 fabrics already and had to replace them with other fabrics from 'Art to Heart'. I'm not sure how many more blocks there will be when I've used most of the fabrics... It should be enough for two lap quilts and perhaps a table runner too... :)
I wonder how easy - or how difficult it will be adding the blocks together, so that they make a pattern....

Do you remember this? The Star Burst Mystery Quilt by Susan-Claire over at Gourmet Quilter.
Part 3 was published May 1st. Here they are; 12 star blocks. They are the same as part 1, but smaller.

Now I'll have to wait until June 1st for part 4...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Going South...

The Southern hemisphere is approaching "winter". Well, it can't be compared to real winter with snow and all that, but the days are cooler and shorter.
Coming from a country where winter means snow and below zero degrees, I can't help it but smile when Mauritians wear leather jackets when the temperature shows +20-25C (68-77F). Living here for 7 years now, I know how nasty and chilli rainy & humid days are during the Mauritian "winter"... I'll talk more about chilly days later on... Now over to what we did yesterday...
Cooler days mean I've started living again - not only excisting, which is how I feel it during the hot & humid summer. To start living again, mean walks! Not that we are crazy about walking, we just like to get away and out in the nature at times.
Yesterday was our first, long trip out - we took the bus to Le Morne and walked it up to Baie du Cap - the Southern part of the island - a distance of approx 12 km/8 miles.

Le Morne public beach - deserted on a Monday morning.

Le Morne Brabant - since 2008 on Unesco's World Heritage List.
The cliffs are said to be unscaleable, but, in the early 19th century, escaped slaves managed to hide out on top. The story says that the slaves, ignorant of the fact that slavery had been abolished, panicked when they saw a troop of soldiers making their way up the cliff one day. Believing they were to be recaptured, the slaves flung themselves from the cliff tops. Thus the name; Le Morne - the 'mournful' one...

When I first visited in 1998, there were not more than a few hotels at Le Morne peninsula. During the last few years, 'star' hotels have popped up along the beautiful beaches. Some years ago there were possible to walk along the coastline (beaches) from the public beach to the main road near Le Morne village. Sadly - those days are gone! I say 'sadly', because even if I know tourism is needed for the country, the very sad part of it is that the island is shrinking for the locals - due to tourism/hotels that take up beautiful, earlier untouched nature!
Since we know this area by taking walks here several times (not since 3 years ago), we were a bit worried we were not allowed to cross over to the village. We asked some locals, who explained the road we had to take - but not along the beach - not allowed! :(
The above photo shows plants outside one of the 'star' hotels.

Erosion - a problem here...
'Fortunate' - to our joy, part of the peninsula's coast line is still untouched. From where the last hotel is built, we took the path going to the village. The old forest - lots of old trees - on both side of the path, but erosion has taken over here too.

Le Morne Brabant seen from the fishing village Le Morne.

Small 'tabagie' at Le Morne village, selling fried bread, fried aubergines, sweet pancakes, gateau banan etc.

La Prairie - resting under a huge tree. Difficult to realize there's nothing - except the sea - between here and the Antartic!
The white 'foam' in the distance, is waves hitting the reef. You can hear the rumble from the reefs, where we sat.

La Prairie.

Amazing colors; the sea, sand and sky.... and the reef.

I didn't get the chance to take any photos from Baie du Cap - my camera died - batteries. The batteries are old and don't last long nowdays.
Baie du Cap is another small fishing village. (I googled for some photos, but didn't find any...) We were quite exhausted when we reached the bus stand in Baie du Cap, so it was good having a seat in the bus - if the seats had been more comfortable! We ended up in the school rush over, the bus was packed and the trip took 2 hours! In spite of that, we got some rest before another 1 km walk to reach home.

It was a great walk, even if we feel the 'aftermath' today - lol!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One of those days.....

Yesterday was one of those days when almost everything went wrong...
I started the morning with a very bad headache, so perhaps I shouldn't have touched the rotary cutter or sewing machine at all...
I mentioned in my previous post I want to make a lap quilt for a lady in Norway. I decided to use fabric from the Cider Mill Road collection - Art to Heart.
Some years ago I bought Marti Mitchell's book; "Log Cabin ABC", so nothing was supposed to go wrong - I thought! Marti always cut strips of fabric on the lengthwise grain for log cabin blocks, providing extra stability when sewing and pressing...
Piece of cake - I thought - and forgot about doing that when I started cutting! All the strips I cut are on crosswise grain... That is how it started....

Happily I cut the strips; blues, yellows and pinks/dark red. I was so engrossed in the idea of using blues on one side and yellow/pink on the other side, so I completely forgot the "rule" of light and dark colors...
The first block didn't turn out OK, because of one fabric (color) that didn't fit in where I placed it. Unpick! :(
Above is the second block... Blues on one side and yellow/pink/red and the last strip brown on the other side. This is not how I meant it to be...
Should I remove the dark red and brown strips? I don't have any other light color (pink) I can replace the dark with...
Dear friends and readers out there - your opinion/suggestion is much appreciated!


Today I've been busy with house work, and I even managed to re-do the kitchen curtains.
To be on the safe side - after yesterday's experience - I didn't touch the log cabin strips! Instead I added the last border to the Split Hourglass quilt. I followed Zarina and Karen's suggestions to make a scrappy border and this is how it turned out.

I've used the same reds, blues and green to make the scrappy border.
Didn't it turn out great? I think so! :))
Thanks for the suggestions - Zarina and Karen!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Split Hourglass quilt & other WIP's

I'm tired of UFO's!!!
After finishing 14 - almost 15 - UFO's since January 1st, I got the urge to do something new. Inspired by Nat and Ria (scroll down) 'Klosjes quilts', I decided to do a 'Split Hourglass" quilt. (Thanks for your inspiration, ladies!) The pattern is from an Australian magazine I received from my dear penfriend Jocelyn (no blog) in New Zealand. I have wanted to do this quilt ever since I received the magazine, but there has always been other projects.

I have used scraps. Such a quilt is perfect for using up scraps. I had to buy the very light blue tone-on-tone background fabric though.


The last border and binding are supposed to be dark blue, but that color doesn't suit my quilt. I intend to use a medium blue. I have so many different blues, but 'of course' I don't have enough! I need a little bit more than 1 yard, all blues I have is less than that.  At the moment I hate searching for fabric at the net - terrible slow internet connection - so instead I'm going to see if there is a blue I already have that will be fine, and I'll check if it is still available.
Ragna (no blog) in Norway - if you are reading this post - I'm sure you recognize many of the fabrics! :)) (I received a lot of fabrics from Ragna a few years ago).
OMGosh! I googled 'klosjes', and I'm surprised how popular these blocks are! Take a look at Julia and Karen's blogs... 


Last year I promised my dear friend Johnny to make a Christmas Tree skirt...


I fished out the fabrics yesterday evening. When I had read the instruction, Birre-Liten decided HE needs attention - not the fabrics! :)) He was a bit angry, because DH was late in feeding him his favorite food; boiled sheep liver!

Birre-Liten got tired of waiting, and I cut part of what is needed for the tree skirt.

I made the star for the center piece this morning. There's a lot of applique and many small pieces to fit together on the remaining blocks.
This is a pattern from 'Art to Heart'; Star of wonder.

My friend Johnny's mum is moving house within a couple of months.
I'm going to make her a lap quilt, using fabrics from the 'Cider Mill Road' collection by Nancy Halvorsen - Art to Heart.