Monday, February 28, 2011

Tomato Soup in the Stash.... (and other finishes)

...made a finish!!!
You may wonder what on earth I'm talking about?! Yes, I do talk about tomato soup, but not the liquid stuff we eat!  Remember my previous post, where I talked about binding for the "Hello Betty" quilt? I went through my stash looking for something brown, because I had "decided" the binding had to be brown.. Don't ask me why I had that fixed idea, because it had not turned out OK in the end! Well, going through the Moda Marbles I have,  what caught my eye was one called "burnt orange" and another one; "tomato soup", I compared those two colors to the "orange/red" in the quilt. "Tomato Soup" was the one that matched and fortunate I had enough of it for the binding. It looks fresher with this color on the binding, I think it had looked a bit dull using dark brown.
(Eh! The palm leaf turned out on focus, not the quilt! Photographer's mistake!)

I love the "tomato soup" binding!

I haven't made many quilts with light colors, but I must say I love this one (even if I didn't like the colors when I got the fabric) - it looks so fresh and happy!
I think it was Sue who asked me where I'm going to use it... I answered her most probably on the couch in the lower ground floor, but while doing this post I'm also thinking of using it for picnics. Not that we do a lot of picnics, but... just an idea! :)

Thanks to all of you for your comments on how to quilt the squares! I do appreciate your opinions! Thought it over for some days, I decided to keep alternative 1. It had been too much to unpick - I wasn't really in the mood for that - and I'm happy with it the way it turned out!
For this quilt I have used 1 layer cake, 1 jelly roll and 24" (60cm) for the binding. It was the first layer cake and jelly roll I bought (November 2009) - it was on sale; 50% off. For backing I have used two old bedsheets (added together). They were still usable, too good quality to be thrown away. It turned out to be a very cheap quilt - and I love it! :)
My first UFO-finish 2011 and first OPAM 2011 too!

Do you make mug rugs? Do you find it addictive?
I have been making some mug rugs over the last weeks, and finally yesterday four of them are done! I have left to hand stitch the binding on another four mug rugs, but have to buy thread for that. And yes; it is very addictive!!! They are small and easy to make.

I've fussy cut some cup fabrics I had and for these mug rugs I used one fat quarter (pink floral) and a little bit of Moda Marbles (powder pink) for the rest.
The two small mug rugs measure 7.5" x 10" (19.5 x 26cm).
The bigger mug rugs measure 8.5" x 10" (21.5 x 26cm).


Ah! Finally my BBQC project is revealed!
An Advent table topper! I received the "ugly" fabric from Sharon. At first I thought; GOSH - what do I make out of those fabrics?! I have always wanted to make an Advent table topper, using purple, but as purple is a bit outside my comfort zone I don't have much purple in my stash. And here it was, right in front of me - thanks to Sharon!

I discovered a block in a quilting magazine I wanted to try, and I really love how it turned out!

I have used all the fabric I received - the piece left is 8" x 21" . (20 x 53cm) I thought I needed it for the binding, so I didn't dare using it for the backing. I'm not good at all when it comes to mathematics, so how to calculate how much I need for this and that... well, forget about it! :)) If I had known I didn't need it, of course I had used it for the backing!
What was left after finishing the top, is what you can see here - used for the backing. From my stash I have used small strips of purple, which was the only suitable fabric I had for matching the "ugly" fabrics.

I loved doing the backing too - a little bit of art - lol!
Take a look here for other BBQC entries.

Do you ever notice the beauty of clouds? Take a look here to find out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nina is back - I'm quilting, but.... a few questions

Last Saturday "Nina" returned home, after more than 2 months on service!
The service-guy managed to break one of the supports (?) on the stitch plate and had to get a new one from Switzerland. That's why it took more time than necessary!
I'm happy "Nina" is finally at home! I've been quilting ever since Sunday! :) The BBQC project - a table topper - is almost done, I have left to hand stitch the binding.

Over the last couple of days I'm quilting the "Hello Betty" quilt, but....
I'm not sure I am satisfied with the look of these small squares.
This is how I quilted all of them, but then I wasn't sure I liked it, so.....

(alternative 1)

I unpicked 4-5 of the squares, to make them look like this...
Now the question is; should I unpick all to make them as alternative 2 (have not dared to count how many!) or should I keep alternative 1?
Perhaps alternative #1 isn't that bad after all?

(alternative 2)

The triangles - after quilting - measure approx 3,5" x 6,5" - is that too big a piece not to be quilted, or should I quilt something in each triangle?
Please let me have your opinion!

When all the quilting is done I have left to do the binding. The dilemma is fabric for the binding; I don't have anything left of the fabrics used. I used one layer cake and one jelly roll for this quilt. I'll have to dive into my stash to see what I can find! :) No new buys just for the binding! :)

Yesterday I made "Norwegian School Bread - take a look here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mug Rugs / Hand quilting

I don't have much to tell today - I think... :)
I had wanted to do some gardening over the weekend, but Saturday it was raining cats and dogs. Some areas got as much as 180mm / 7 inch of rain and some houses flooded. It is the rainy- and cyclone season - we should not forget that! Rain is still needed to fill up the reservoirs.  We did quite a lot in the garden yesterday, you can read about it here.

Since I was stuck inside due to bad weather on Saturday, I did six mug rugs. I had some scraps left from the table topper and pillowcase I made earlier this week, so instead of storing it away I used it on two mug rugs. I forgot to take a photo of the pillowcase, but it looks almost the same as the table topper, and it has the right size! :))

Lots of fun making mug rugs! I remembered I had some tea cup prints and didn't know what to use it for. Some of the tea cups ended up in mug rugs - I made four - here are two of them. They are all ready basted and ready to be quilted. Still no news about "Nina" - I'll have to call again today! :(

Yesterday morning, before we decided working in the garden, I was going to take my very first step into hand quilting. I have decided to start with the table topper, which isn't that big, it won't be overwhelming and not to hot on my lap.
I got so discouraged when I discovered I can't use the hoop I bought local! :((
This hoop - 12 inch - is not meant for quilting, something I didn't notice when I bought it! The lock has no adjustment, so it is impossible to put anything thicker than one layer of fabric into it. Thinking of it, I'm not surprised, it is meant for embroidering, since Mauritius is not a "quilting-country"!

I'll have to look for a hoop from abroad. If any of you know where I can get it, please let me know.  It has to be a web shop that ships internationally. I tried the web shops I usually buy fabrics from, but none of them sell hoops - as I could see.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Progress and mistake over the last days

We are in the heat of summer! Or rainy- and cyclone season - as it is called too.
I don't like this time of the year; too hot and too humid. We are in the +30's / 86-87F, with humidity between 70-95%! Way too much for me! I suffer this kind of weather condition, but what to do?! I'm feeling isolated, because it is too uncomfortable to go out.
I shouldn't whine too much about the weather, it could have been worse!

On the brigther side, I have done quite a lot since my previous post.
Do you remember I had cut batiks for a pillow cover? Well, err.... it didn't turn out a pillow cover, because my brain didn't function properly when I printed the pattern! The cover needs to be 18 inch (45 cm) square, so when I typed the size, I typed 19 inch - guess why??? Because I worked in INCH, but my brain was programmed on CM!!! I thought changing it from 18 to 19 inch was the same as adding 1 cm on each side, but definitely it is not!!! 1 inch is 2,54 cm, which does a huge difference on a 45 cm pillow case! DUH! Instead for the supposed to be pillow case, I turned it into a table mat, by adding the border. Now it measures 21.5 INCH! :)

I've been basting like a mad man too, and the TG-quilt is ready to be quilted.

...and the "Hello Betty" quilt too.

What I have left to baste now, is the "Jiffy" quilt. It is smaller than these too, so shouldn't take that long time. I'm really, really happy for being able to baste those huge quilts over the last few days, but when will they be quilted - well, that's another question! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sandwich, pin, baste and a couple of new projects

Yes, that is what I have been doing this week!
While I worked on the baby quilt, I saw an interesting quilt block in a magazine that I just had to try out!

I decided to give brown, green and yellow a chance. Those are colors I have not worked with before (not much) - a bit outside my comfort zone - one can say. I thought brown and green would make it look a bit dull, that is why I chose yellow to brighten it up. Each block has eight different fabrics - a great way using from my stash! When I saw the bag with green fabrics (I usually sort on colors), I didn't know I love green that much - but guess I do - LOL! I have as much greens as I have blues! :)
I have made 20 blocks, which should be enough for a good sized quilt - plus the borders around it.

I got obsessed by those blocks - LOL - but after making twenty I really needed to do something else!
I continued piecing the baby quilt, sandwiched, pinned and basted too.

I'm not a big fan of pastels, but as a baby quilt I think it is very cute!

After the baby quilt was done, I attacked one of my UFO's; the pinwheel quilt!
This is something I hate to do; the backing and batting! Fortunate we have a big dining table - 2.10 meters long - that is a blessing when working on big quilts.

I use masking tape to fasten the backing on each side, or else it is almost impossible not to pucker!

Here we go! :)
You may smile, but yes, I do use a lot of pins! :)) I have tried pinning a couple of quilts - without basting - before quilting (sewing machine), but it has always ended up too much puckering and I hate spending time unpicking! I prefer to take my time pinning and basting, instead of risk re-doing part of the quilting due to puckering!
Those photos was taken yesterday - today the basting of this quilt is done! :)

Here's the next quilt to be done; the TG - quilt.
I already have the backing, but it is not wide enough so I'll have to "cut and paste"  to make it fit - LOL!
My aim is to start working on it tomorrow.

One of the pillows badly needs a new cover. I forgot to take a photo of the pillow cover... My mom made the cover approx 20 years ago! It had a beautiful lace around it, but it is gone some months ago!
I have a lot of batiks, so I thought why not use batiks for the cover?! I have already cut the required pieces, so now it is just to get going! :)

It was raining in the beginning of the week, so where is it better to be than next to "mommy's" sewing area! :)

I've been baking today too, and how that turned out...
click here!