Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Postage stamp quilt

Over at NNC we have talked about 'Postage Stamp' quilts made of jelly rolls lately... Ever since I saw a 'Postage Stamp' quilt for the very first time, I have wanted to make one - at least one! If you read my previous post, you may remember I finished a quilt top using yellow, brown, green and white/ecru fabrics. I have some leftover fabrics from that quilt and a couple of days ago I decided to make a 'Postage Stamp' quilt using the same fabrics/colors, where yellow is the background color. (I was supposed to sandwich, pin and quilt the two quilt tops... always sidetracked!)  
I've gone totally hooked on it and I've been sewing the entire day for the last two days! If it hadn't been for hubby making dinner - we had starved to death - lol!
I took a break in the middle of the day today, thought I was going to do some gardening... How wrong I was; it started raining after half an hour! :( I had no choice than to go back to the sewing machine to finish the blocks! Good for me! :)) I've pieced 15 blocks of each, but I believe I need a few more... I have a layout in my head - it's going to be interesting to see if it turns out like that - :))! Don't know if I'll be able to sew more tonight or if I go just lazy...

Any of you remember this block? Once again thanks for all the comments and suggestions how to finish the center square! I thought of doing the poinsettia applique, but.... OK! Next time! :) I'm not sure I am happy with the way it ended up, but we can't be happy with all the projects we make - or...??
I'm not sure what it will end up as... the idea is a pillow case, but that idea may change... :)    

I have a pattern for a similar block, but haven't decided on fabrics or the centre square... If both blocks end up pillow cases, perhaps I'm using the same fabric for #2 too... Have yet to decide on that...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quilt tops done

A couple of weeks ago I pulled out all my Christmas/winter fabrics from the shelf and thought I was going to start at least one Christmas project. Then I fell ill and didn't do any sewing for one week. When I felt for sewing again, the spirit I had for Christmas projects had vanished... and the Christmas/winter fabrics are back in the shelf again! :) It wasn't the right time.....
I have a couple of projects 'on hold'; I haven't decided how to proceed... While trying to figure that out, I pulled out a couple of quilt tops from the shelf - and I even managed finishing them both!

Finally, the polar bear quilt top is done! I didn't have any pattern for it and I didn't plan it before I started. I like to do it like that, I think doing it that way is more a challenge to me than planning it in advance. The quilt could have been better if planned, but I love it the way it turned out! It is sort of a scrappy quilt, because I have used different colors - dark brown and indigo - on the lattice (is it called lattice?) and there are two different ecru fabrics. I think I started working on this one last year, so it isn't that old - really! :) It's meant to be a bedspread.

My sun- and earth quilt top! :) I started piecing the blocks back in February/March this year, too young to be called a UFO! At that time I couldn't decide on the layout and size... 
Here I have used only scraps; yellow, brown and yellow. The light (whitish) background  fabrics are 4-5 different fabrics, but that doesn't really matter and it isn't that visible either.
After all it is a scrappy quilt! :))

Now the 'dreadful' work has to be done; sandwiching! I have to look for backing, don't know if I have anything suitable.... (I know I'm fooling myself! lol).  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Easter UFO done - and more stash

I'm finally up kicking again! :)
As if not the flu was enough - and waste of time not feeling well - I caught that darn gastroenteritis bug! :( Waste of time again, not able to sew one stitch in almost one week! But now I'm much better and hope it continues to the even more better! I want to sew! :))
Well, this post is a little bit overdue... I finished an Easter wall hanging UFO before I got ill again and I'm really happy I can remove another project from my UFO-list! :)
I can't remember when I started working one it... (I have to do something with the 'labels'...), but I believe it is 3 years ago... The reason why I never got around finishing it, is I didn't come up with any solution for the border. I had only added the 'egg' border around the panel (hen) and got stuck there... (Sorry for that terrible pink background! Had to hang it on the cloth line to get a proper photo!)

I had enough fabric for a table topper too! :)
It was supposed to be a runner, but....... something mysterious happened halfway! :))
I have FMQ them both, and the more I do FMQ - the more I love it!  

Some weeks ago I got a sms from a friend; 'read your email! Urgent!' It was in the evening and I had just shut down the computer, so I sms'd back and asked what was up.
My friend's friend - an young! lady of 80+ years - had called him, because she had come across a closing-out sale in a quilt shop in the village where she lives! The shop was selling boxes of 10 kilos / 22 pounds with fabrics to a very good price - if he wanted to buy a box for me?! The lady was willing to buy the box for him the next day. I was almost standing in bed with my eyes wide open!!! 10 kilos / 22 pounds of fabric as advanced Christmas gift!!!! How could I refuse?! I felt sorry for the lady, because she had to go to the shop again the next day and was she able to get a box?! 
She did! The shop had one box left!!! :))

Earlier this week I got some of the fabrics! Just like Christmas! :)) It's awesome! I don't know what I had expected, but there are lots of square in different lines and colors, even some pieces of lovely, lovely batiks! You can see it to the right, under the green/red bunch of fabrics.

I can't turn my back to this guy! GRRRR! :((
I had to empty the box on the floor - the stash is still there - and he took the chance! Fortunate he was not dirty, but still........ This is something he is not allowed to do - and he knows it! But you know... temptation! temptation! :)


Thanks to all of you who has commented and given suggestions how to do the center piece on the block I'm working on! (See my previous post). I do appreciate your comments and suggestions so much! Since I have been sick, I haven't been able to consider any of your suggestions yet, but I hope working on that over the next week! Thank you! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pause for thought.... What to do?

Before you start working on a project, do you plan it in detail?
That is something I have never been able to do, because I know there will always be changes. This time I want to make some cushions, but I don't know if they will end up cushions - or something else! :)
I purchased EQ6 a couple of years ago and this year I upgraded to EQ7. The truth is I haven't played around with EQ6/7 as much as I thought I would... I think it is about sitting down and concentrate learning the program, because it is a lot to learn. Or am I just lazy?!
Well, over the last days I've been playing in the 'block librairy' and this is one of the blocks I've chosen for cushions. 
The size of the block is 18 inch / 45cm square. The square in the middle is 8 inch / 20cm and it is here I am stuck... The original plan was to applique the poinsettia, but I don't think it will fit together with the fabrics I have chosen...

The fabric I have used have pine cones, pine needles and leaves in the colors of beige, green and red. The yellow is different, some swirls.
I haven't added all the pieces together yet... Here's one of the corners...

I thought of using one square of the yellow fabric, but since the square is 8 inch / 20 cm, it will be too big and won't look nice at all.. After some sips of coffee, the idea now is to add a block in the block, but what kind of block? A log cabin, a house, a star....?
Please! Any ideas?

And yes, he had to! :)) Those pieces of fabric were the only ones on the cutting mat - and he had to put his feet on them! This is something he is not allowed to do, but you know... when I turn my back to him.... :)

I'm finally working on a 50th anniversary quilt (to be finished next year) and here is the first block...

I haven't planned this quilt in detail either. The quilt is going to be a gift to my dear childhood friend Johnny. We have known each other for almost 45 years (Gosh! Are we getting old?!) and my idea is to make blocks that resembles our childhood and adult life...

And if you want to try out some super yummy chocolate cookies, click here - you won't regret! :)) They just melt in your mouth!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bag, pillows and Granny Squares

How fit are you craft wise when having the flu? I caught that darn bug 1,5 weeks ago and still I'm not feeling well. Of course I'm up and kicking, but still on slow motion. I don't really feel for doing anything, but I can't just sit there doing nothing - that's not me! It's better to do something for so to take a long rest afterwards. Got a bottle of coughing mixture from the pharmacy, which really knocks me out... But I'm not going to blog about that flu bug...

We went to Port Louis (the capital) last Friday and I bought bag feet for the market bag I was working on. I struggled with the bag bottom, because I wanted it a bit stiff. The combination of 'bag-newbie' and 'not-getting-what-you-need' require your brain to work on high speed; how to solve the problem?!
The pattern required a piece of template plastic for the bottom, but still I thought that was not good enough... I set my brain into top gear and came up with the idea to glue Peltex/Pellon 71F to the template plastic. The pattern says 'glue template plastic to bag bottom using a glue gun'.... So I thought I was clever when I glued the F71 to each side of the template plastic - using the glue gun!

WRONG! Even if I put heavy things on it; mortar (made of stone!), heavy pans and pots etc the night over, no way it glued the layers together!!!
So I thought; next solution is shoe glue! Same procedure - same result! :(((( Do you believe I was happy?!

Then I decided to put it on hold, wait until the trip to Port Louis,  buy bag legs - as the last solution! In the meantime - while waiting for the bag legs - I came up with another solution; sew the 3 layers - peltex, template plastic and peltex - together, using the sewing machine - it did work! No idea why I didn't think of that before I tried all that darn glueing?!
It worked! Here's the market bag.

The closure on each side. I had wanted some more fancy, decorative buttons, but you know... I should not say it again.... :)

... and finally; the bottom and the legs! :)

I had to use black, plastic rectangular rings for the handles - only rings of that size available here...
The bag is quite big; 14,5 x 26,5 x 53 cm / 5,5 x 10,5 x 20 inch.
The pattern is from Australian Homespun, and I LOL  when I read the pattern heading; ''s so oversized that your partner won't be aware of how many purchases you've bought home!' :))
I'm not sure what kind of fabric I've used, it is definitely not 100% cotton. It is quite stiff and thick, and not very easy to sew through thick layers. Even if I used size 14 and 16 sewing machine needles, it kind of slipped on the weaving and made some of the seams uneven... If you take a closer look at the last photo - bottom - you'll see what I mean...  Not very happy about that, but I'm not sure it was possible to do it different... Quite some struggles putting this bag together - PHEW! But,  I've learnt a little bit more on bag-making! :)

Well, that was the bag.... What do you do about all the tiny pieces of scraps after squaring blocks, pieces that are too small to be kept for scrap quilts, thread ends etc? I bet all of you throw it all in the bin, don't you?!
I don't! I have been collecting all this bits over the last four years. No, I'm not insane! I have collected it in mind for pillow filling, to be used for making big pillows for the couch (?) in the dining room.

Over a period of four years I had collected 4-5 big plastic bags - 14 kilos/30 pound! with scraps etc. that took up space on the floor in the studio/ex-sewing room.

I shouldn't write this, but it had collected a lot of dust. My advice is; if you are allergic or asthmatic, don't do this, I believe it will cause some problems to you!

Stuffing the pillow inserts. I had just enough to make four inserts, measuring 60 x 60 x 10cm / approx 21 inch square + 4 inch.

Here they are; the four pillow inserts. I've already bought fabric and zippers for the pillow cases, but don't know when I'll start working on it...

Some of you might recall I have mentioned my crocheted granny squares... I bought 100% wool yarn during my visit to Norway last year. Crocheting has never been 'my thing', I've only done one pair of pot holders... Oh, now I remember; I crocheted a turquoise sweater in my teens...! Loved it to pieces - literally! :) Except from those projects, I can't recall I have done other crocheting projects...

What is better than to snuggle up on the couch, wrapped in a quilt, drinking hot cocoa and crocheting granny squares when not feeling fit for doing anything else?! :)

I didn't know I miss working with wool yarn that much... I did a lot of knitting when I lived in Norway, using wool as well as cotton yarn...  
I have enough yarn - mix of wool and acrylic - I think it is, for a pair of socks. Yes, I'm wearing wool socks these 'winter' months. :) I have a knitting UFO as well; a pair of wrist warmers/fingerless gloves... I'm going to wear them during the 'winter' months too, because I'm always so cold on my wrists. 
Don't know when they will be finished... :)
I've finished an Easter table topper and have left to do a small piece of the binding on the Easter wall hanging UFO, but that will be another post...