Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIP: the one with UFOs galore

Lots of WIPs this week!


Quilt UberFest

A billion projects on the go, and I pick up an old UFO.

Full post is here where I talk about the blocks, where they’ve come from, and where they’re going.

TBD: 16x 12” nine-patch blocks

So far: 2 down

3:10 to Mendocino

Also known as the Yuma quilt by Gotham Quilts.

My Mendocino collection:

I think this is nearly every #mendocinomermaids print from the original release... I may be missing one or two...

The problem is that the Yuma pattern either requires the fabric to be cut on the bias to follow the print, or else to have the print at an angle. At this point, it’s looking like I might have to cut the fabric on the bias, which will make piecing it interesting, especially given the softness of the original Mendocino fabric.

Choices choices.

Honey Honey (Spring Garden?)

A WIP from long ago, but right now literally ‘in progress’ re: quilting.

And today is the longarm work at @sydmodsquad! #freemotionquilting #handiquilter #hq18

I was working on this on Sunday at the Sydney ModSQuad sew-in, and ran out of Aurifil for the top after using two 50yd spools. My attempt at using a comparable Gutermann failed the surface match test miserably, and had major threadnesting happening besides. So I had to take it off the frame and will have to go back and finish it later.

The story so far... #freemotionquilting I had to stop because I ran out of Aurifil! Fabric line is Honey Honey by Kate Spain. Doesn't have a name yet. Suggestions?

I’ve never done a partial quilt before – it’s always been done in a single sitting – or else left on the frame overnight (once).

The idea was to have relatively light quilting at the edges, and dense in the middle.

Detail of corners. #freemotionquilting

That’s a detail of the outer edges. I went with themes of ‘fields’, ‘forests’ and ‘sea’ from outer edge to centre of the quilt. If I had the courage and the skill, I’d love to quilt some crops in there – flowers, fruit, wheat/crops… Ambitious, much?

100 Days Projects

Trying this again with 4-patches made out of 5” scrap squares. I have plenty of scraps and they need doing. Plus, sewing 4-patches is nice and easy and something I can do a few of every night or couple of nights.

Do I suck at #freemotionquilting feathers, or do I REALLY suck at #freemotionquilting feathers? #saturdaynightcraftalong #100dayproject #day1

I think I may need to start with simpler designs, though – get the feel of the machine before trying the fancy stuff. Haven’t sewn together the yellow scrap square blocks; also need to cut more batting pieces out.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

Putting rosettes together and sewing them to the main quilt. It’s getting unwieldy…

The unpretty side of the #plainjanepassacaglia at SCQuilters... #passacagliaquilt

I feel like this is taking so much longer than I wanted it to. Then again, I only manage to do this while I commute; I don’t have all day or even time in front of the TV – I’m just too busy.


In the process of making eyes – five at a time. I’m going for a yellow-centre, white petals flower – kind of a daisy.

[pic to come]

Swarm By Sel

Finished the top.

Mini #swarmbysel! A rather belated 1st birthday gift!

Have a backing. Now I just need to decide how to quilt it. Straight line or FMQ or both? I have an idea for ‘both’, actually. Might go with that.

Other things

I'm not sure what else there is to say after that, other than WHEW, am I busy right now!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

UFO alert: QuiltUberFest blocks

About three years ago, a bunch of quilters put together original designs for quilt blocks, and called it the UberQuiltFest. The quilt-along was, quite frankly, a flop. The fabrics weren't well-chosen, it didn't catch the enthusiasm of the zeitgeist modern quilters of the time, and I'm maybe a handful of people finished it.

I made about four blocks, printed out another three, and eventually finished those. But then I had seven blocks (a really unwieldy number for a quilt) and nothing to do with them.

quilt uberfest: blocks 2

Fast forward three years. I found the blocks, had a bunch of fabrics out, and decided I'd go for one more block (eight is a good number; there are many things that can be done with eight blocks) and then see if it spoke to me.

I actually rather liked this block - it came together well, the seams set beautifully, and I fussy-cut some Mendocino for the centre.

A billion projects on the go, and I pick up an old UFO.

Once it was done, I laid them out.

I have eight blocks; I could divide the eight blocks up into two, and make two single quilts for kids. Sisters, perhaps, from a DV situation, or refugees. That would be my goal. I don't know how I'll get it quilted - that's something I may need to work out with someone local: perhaps one of the women at SCQuilters might agree to do it gratis? At any rate, it's a donation, intended for siblings, and I'd like to make more of them for other children and families seeking shelter from untenable situations.

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me water,
I was homeless and you gave me shelter.

I don't talk about my faith much, which perhaps is a problem. Western Christianity focuses on comfort and blessing and being happy and contented, as though that's what we were made for. And we weren't. Christians are called to serve God, not just in the church but outside of it, to be the hands and heart of God among those who don't care for Him and maybe don't want to. That's a hard calling to follow and I've been challenged a lot to think about what it means in the last year.

For a pair of sisters I think. (Not my sisters though.)

This is one of the things that I'm going to start doing - and not just thinking about doing. It'll be slow - I have a lot of things on my plate - but it's something I can do and which I hope will make a difference in the lives of the families these quilts go to.

The plan for these two quilts is to fill the other blocks with nine-patches in various fabrics - mostly purples, with a few other colours to give it pop. Make two 3x4-block quilts (I've laid them out as 4x4 in the photo, I know), which means making another 16 blocks from 4.5" squares.

If I do one a night, that's done in three weeks. And that will be one more UFO out of my hair, which is an all-around YAY.

It occurs to me that I could do much the same thing with another set of blocks I have which are no longer speaking to me. I think I've had those ones since 2012, too.


Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Q4 goals

1. Quilt the Snowflake quilt

Yeah, this sucker:
WIP Wednesday: sprint for the show

2. Make 2 summer dresses out of the Liberty fabric I bought in the UK

Use this pattern:
Butterick 6404 classic

3. Make 1 summer dress out of the C+S voile I have

...probably just a slip dress, no zipper, nothing. Comfy and casual.

4. Piece 'I Bet Fibonacci Never Had To Do Quilt Math'

New project in C+S, very secret. Will hopefully be for next year's Sydney Quilt Show

5. Piece the Meadow Quilt

Started started started, gotta finish it. Lizzy said that once you've done the 'eyes', you'll finish the quilt. So I suppose this project could be called "The Eyes Have It"?!? (*cue groans at dadjoke*)

My #meadowquilt block at the #sydneymeadowquilt class today!

6. Piece Yuma QAL in HR Mendocino

7. Finish Scrappy Log Cabin

WIP Wednesday: scraps, charms, and cats.

8. Do 100 Days Of FMQ project

100 Days, starting the 2nd October. That'll take me through to the New Year, right? How about a 10x10 of 9.5" square blocks with FMQ on them? See if I can make it work?

Putting my goals up at Fiber of All Sorts' October 2015: A Lovely Year Of Finishes Masterpost.

2015 - Q3 Finishes!

1. Get all my AHBC Birthday Swaps Done - DONE

The #hourbasket is really easy. Really really easy...  #saturdaynightcraftalong

JeniB's drawstring bag, in Angela Walters' fabric....

2. Quilt two quilts - NOPE

Didn't even manage one.

3. Finish Domestic Bliss Quilt Top - DONE

Quilt for my mother's Soroptimists chapter to raffle off. Quilt stats: 76" square, fabric is Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott, pattern is Swell by Camille Roskelley.

4. Those Damned Curtains for the front room - NOPE


Still on the list, though. I am thinking of either a Halloween Pumpkin for the front curtains for Halloween or possibly a Sugar-Skull for Day of the Dead.

5. summer dresses - PARTLY

SHIELD dress

I think I need to be specific about how many and what dresses precisely next time.

6. Costume for Dragon*Con Atlanta - NOPE

Could have made this a lot easier for myself by buying. But no. Next time, gadget!

many quilt. so swarm. pretty.

This is not quite my WIP Wednesday (it's Friday for starters). I didn't get my WIP Wednesday done because it's been a really busy week on all fronts!

Not Like The Folks Next Door (#sewmystashmini)

Quilting is done!

"Not Like The Folks Next Door" needs binding, but nearly done! #sewmystashminiquiltswap #stashsewerteammegan

[insert standard rundown about how it doesn't feel good enough]

I tried a few new things; some worked, some didn't. There was some unpicking necessary. Mostly, I feel like I need to make more minis (Make More Minis = 3M or TripleM) to practise my quilting on. I've said this before, haven't I? I was doing the 100Days of FMQ at one point, and then...didn't end up completing it. I really should keep going with that...

Swarm By Sel (the mini version)

Mini #swarmbysel! A rather belated 1st birthday gift!

Not sure I like the hexagons clumped together, but it's certainly a pretty pattern!

(I really suck at pattern making. Really.)


I pretty much spent the last week madly sewing hexies to get my load finished.

Getting there - slow and steady! #hexiedownunder

Sprinting to the #hexiedownunder finish line. Sincerely, I couldn't do *just* sewing as my recreational activity. Much as I love it, I need a variety of activities to be satisfied....

Finished! Just in time, too!

Okay. Hexies basted! Now just to sew them together! #hexiedownunder #saturdaynightsewing

And I believe that's the #hexiedownunder complete! Whew! Now to pack and post...

Finished them off, sent them out. Hope the recips like them. It's always a bit of a Russian Roulette in what you receive. And I don't think I'll do it again - not because of what I received, but because I am a horrendous lazy ass, and I think it would be best if I didn't do things (ie. swaps) where other people are adversely affected by my laziness. Oh, I got everything out - my sense of responsibility is highly developed - but doing things right up to the deadline, while acceptable for, say, a quilt swap, is not so great when you've got many many gifts to give out to many many people.

So, no more swaps like this. Individual swaps, maybe - one to one. Much more doable.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

And now that I'm done with the #hexiedownunder, it's time to get going on the #plainjanepassacaglia

And we're back at the #plainjanepassacaglia again! #wipwednesday

I think I'm going to do some more sewing together this weekend at SCQuilters group.

Meadow Class with Lizzy House

And thus dawned the day with the Meadow Class, in which many of my fellow Sydney ModSQuadders were present:

Meadow Quilt Course with Lizzy House at at Hobbysew: @pennypoppleton, @sharingthegoodstuff and me! #sydneymeadowquilt #meadowquilt #lizzyhousedownunder

(That's me in the bottom of the photo. No, I don't have a selfie stick.)

We learned how to make the blocks:

My #meadowquilt block at the #sydneymeadowquilt class today!

And the importance of design!

(I may be a little bit of a design rebel. I've decided I'm not going to lay my flowers out in the 4x5 pattern, but in another pattern instead...)

I may be a little bit of a design rebel...  #meadowquilt #sydneymeadowquilt

Still need to work out which backgrounds to keep coloured and which should be background...

Lizzy herself was wonderful - very sweet and very droll. Her comedic timing in teaching was wonderful, and the day was just a whole lot of fun with really awesome women, and a great deal of jokes. (Angie of GnomeAngel was there, and she made ALL THE COMMENTS with delightful timing.) All in all, it was a good day, and if you ever have the opportunity to do the class - if Lizzy brings it to your city or your town or whatever - I recommend it highly.

Other things

A delivery of Tula Pink's Eden came in the mail and I laid it out for photography.

#tulapink's Eden from @polkadotteafabrics - #happymail that arrived Friday afternoon but want an until this morning!

And then the cat happened.

What happens the instant you leave fabric unattended. #cats #catsofinstagram #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal

Look at that expression!

Anyway, this weekend is two sewing meets - SCQuilters on Saturday at the BlueGum, and the Sydney Mod SQuad (Sydney Modern Sewists and Quilters) on Sunday at Hobbysew Top Ryde. I'm going to #plainjanepassacaglia on Saturday, and probably Meadow on Sunday, because it will be easiest then, I think...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WIP Wednesday: the one with hexies

I spent about half the weekend out in my garden, getting things done. Planting trees and prepping beds and working out what to do about the major major slug problem I have. Ugh, slugs.

On the other hand: BEES!

Hello mister bee! I'm so glad you like my borage! Please, come again later this season when I shall have many blossoms wanting pollination... #gardenofsel #garden



Sewing my fingers off to get these done in time. Once again, last minute saves the day.

So I'm sewing these things everywhere:

Sprinting to the #hexiedownunder finish line. Sincerely, I couldn't do *just* sewing as my recreational activity. Much as I love it, I need a variety of activities to be satisfied....

Not doing much, just hexies! #hexiedownunder #saturdaynightcraftalong

And I do mean everywhere:

There's a cat sleeping on my legs while I #hexiedownunder... #catsofinstagram #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal

But, boy, am I getting tired of last-minute! And this is why I'm not going to sign up for Round 2. I might just slowly keep sewing a couple of flowers a month and eventually, when I'm old and grey and not actually a granny, I'll have enought for a a grandmother's flower garden quilt. Except I'll still have to sew it all together and...oh dear...

Sewing on the long commute home from Liverpool. #hexiedownunder

Not Like The Folks Next Door (sewyourstash mini)

No movement.

mini swarm by Sel

I still had blocks left over after making Not Like The Folks Next Door, so I've managed to use all of them (nearly all of them) in another mini.

Had enough pieces left over for a mini-#swarmbysel

It's more of a lap quilt, really. Or maybe a baby quilt. A baby quilt could work; I owe at least one!

Righty-o: looks like this is destined for the kid who I haven't yet given a gift to.

Honestly, my friends are having babies faster than I can gift things. STAHP! STAHP NAO!

Other things

So, I have finally made an effective cat trap:

A wonderfully effective cat trap! #catsofinstagram #cats #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal  #massdrop

Perhaps not quite as effective as I might like, since it takes a while to persuade her to stay in the box and not walk all over my projects...

Still, Massdrop was terribly clever to make boxes just large enough for the one of my cats who likes boxes to fit in! *grins*

Lizzy House - Meadow Quilt Class

This Saturday I'm doing a course with Lizzy House - the Meadow quilt class in Sydney! And looking forward to it quite a bit. Except that I really need to choose my fabrics and my background and my neutrals, and I think there might be a requirement for freezer paper and ARGH SO BUSY WHEN WHAT HOW TIME UGH NOOOOO...


What's your progress this week?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednsday: the one where I'm back!

So I have travelled long and hard in the last four weeks.

I bought a little fabric, received a bunch of happymail, and amd generally happy to be home again!

Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

Yes, that is Liberty. I bought quite a bit to make summer shirts/things. We'll see how many of them I get through!

And, as always, there are plenty of things to be done now that we're facing the backend of the year.

Not least of which are the sewmystashmini and the hexiedownunder swaps!



So, having been overseas, I completely missed the check-in points, although I did let the Swap Mamas know when I realised they were doing roll calls and I hadn't even started! I think they were okay with it - I didn't hear back, but I'm going to assume that it was all done and good.

In the meantime, I'm going to use the leftover pieces from my Swarm quilt, so not only stash but unused pieces! This does limit me by colour palette, but I don't think my recip will mind.

First time using the sewing machine since I got back! Oh, Mako, how I've missed you!
Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

And all lined up:
Configuration 1
Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

Configuration 2
Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

At this point, I'm going with configuration 2 and calling it "Not Like The Folks Next Door", because the name tickles me. (The number of quilts that have been named because the idea tickled me? A great many.)


I don't have pics of my hexies, mostly because I've run out of hexie papers and have to acquire more! But I got about 4 sets of flowers done while travelling - not as many as I wanted (considering there are 18 sets in total) but better than nothing. It's going to be a rather busy two weeks of hexie sewing, alas!


I didn't end up wearing either the SHIELD dress, or my 1920s evening gown. We were busy or too tired, or my roomie was intent on making her suit absolutely perfect and we didn't get out...

These are my roomies, BTW - Hawkeye and the Black Widow from Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Yes, she made both outfits, and they are true to the movie - including the glowing blue lines on the Black Widow's costume.

Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

And yes, they're still cross that the movie married Clint Barton off, and tried to pair Natasha up with Bruce Banner.

If I'd had time to study the dress (and if I'd had time), I'd have dressed up as Maria Hill from Avengers: Age of Ultron - one of her outfits in the scenes where she's talking with Cap? Oh yes! And, of course, it was only once I was at the convention that I realised I could have gone for a red dress, a leather jacket, and a gold necklace like in this pic:

Yes, I could do it next time, but I'm pretty sure nobody will even remember who Maria Hill is by the next time I get to a convention. (I bet if you've seen the Marvel movies and/or Agents of SHIELD, you don't even remember who Maria Hill is right now. See what I mean?)

Anyway, this was my costume for wandering the DragonCon halls at night:

Fabric WIP Wednesday travels

Sorry about the photo colour, I gave the camera to Hawkeye!Roomie and he didn't know to adjust the white balance.

Other things

It's going to be pretty busy going on from here - I have a bunch of goals to hit by the end of the year. Not least of which is getting some FMQ practise on various quilts that need quilting.

There's also the Lizzie House Meadow quilt class on the 29th September, which will be pretty exciting along with my Sydney Mod Squad ladies!

What have you been doing the last few weeks? I'm going to have an awful feedly backlog!

Monday, September 14, 2015

We're Home!

After a month gadding about the globe, I'm finally home again. Lovely as it is to travel, it's equally lovely to be home. (Except for the bit where I have to go into work. That's not so great.

I have fabric (some Liberty, some Vietnamese silk) and many plans!

Things to be finished by the end of this month (time-urgent)

1. sewmystashmini

2. hexiedownunder

Things that are scheduled for doing (classes, QALs, etc.)

3. Meadow quilt class by Lizzie House (26th September at Hobbysew)

Things on the plate for doing

4. C+S Charm Swap finish-along using Treasure Boxes by Tracey Jay Quilts

5. Heather Ross "Imagine Greater" quilt using the Yuma pattern (link goes to Gotham Quilts' quilt-along).

6. Parental cushions (probably for Christmas TBH).

7. Summer dresses and tops with my Liberty fabrics.

Amidst all this, I have to start planting out my garden for summer. It's going to be a busy few weeks, I think...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

quilting while travelling

I haven't been posting to WIP Wednesday due to travelling. So far, Vietnam and the UK, with the transfer over to America on Wednesday.

I have been looking at/buying fabric, and doing some quilting - I just haven't really taken photos of it.

Vietnam has some lovely, extremely cheap silks. This was in a shop near the Tan Dinh markets - patterned silks:


They were 500000 VND/m which comes to about 22 USD/m according to my exchange rate calcs. Which is pretty cheap for silk, even before you argue the price down in bargaining.

I bought some ao dai silk from another shop - a formal one, where there's no bargaining. The ao dai is a traditional Vietnamese gown worn by men and women, although these days it's mostly just the women and for formal occasions like weddings/functions/events.

hanging silks hanging silks

The fabrics are printed, patterned silks, and are designed with the ao dai in mind. There are also silk brocades:

brocade silks

I bought two fabrics, same design, different colours. I'm going to make slip dresses out of them, hopefully suitable for parties and summer days out!

sunflower silk

Of course, no travelling is complete without a little handwork that needs doing! I brought my #plainjanepassacaglia of course, in little bags, and a quilt that's a gift for one of my hosts, which still needed binding. The quilt took up a quarter of my luggage space, so I decided to send it on to the West Coast USA by mail, so I wouldn't have to lug it the long way around.

Which meant I had to finish the binding!

USA Hurray. Bound and finished. Going to mail it to the west coast rather than drag it to UK.

And the back:
Fabric and cats

So it's off to it's new home in the US. Hopefully it reaches there before I do! :)

Anyway, I'm working on my #plainjanepassacaglia, when my stepmum and her sister start asking me what I'm doing. Then they pull out the sewing kit and start helping me!

the family that sews together...

They did all the pentagons I brought along with me for the trip. ALL OF THEM. Seriously, I couldn't stop them. They kept on asking "More? You have more? We do them!" *shakes head* At least I don't have a bajillion pentagons to sew, though...

On my way out of Vietnam, I was in the taxi when I spotted sewing machines, including an industrial JUKI which I was too slow to pull out my camera to take a pic of! But I did get its Brother:

Last shot of Vietnam: that's a Brother industrial sewing machine! Alas for I missed getting a shot of the juki - I was in a taxi on the way to the station...

And that was Vietnam. I wish I'd gone back and bought the patterned silk, but it should be there the next time I visit my Dad, and I have too much fabric as it is. (Yes, yes, I do...)

24 hours or so after leaving Vietnam, I arrive in London. 10am. I'm exhausted, I feel disgusting after 24 hours in transit. I check into my homestay, get a wash, and then go out into London. Because I knew if I didn't, I'd lie down and fall asleep and never get my body into the time zone.

So out I went on a mission: find Liberty of London. And I did!

London Saturday afternoon

Fabric and cats

I had lunch, bought some Liberty Tana lawn, then wandered around Soho for a bit before going back to the homestay and pretty much falling asleep with a six-hour nap. Got up, had dinner, went back to bed and slept through until morning (okay, so 5am, but my body has been doing about 5 hours for the last month so this is not unusual).

Sunday was wandering with a non-quilty friend, but Monday I was back on the trail, hunting up the quirky little fabric stores in Soho:

The Cloth Shop is - as it is says - a fabric shop that also sells buttons and trimmings:

Fabric things

And some closeups of the trimmings:
Fabric things Fabric things

The Silk Society has a lovely array of formal and wedding fabrics - this seems to be the thing with this area: a lot of old, tucked-in-the-corner type shops that are the remnant of what used to be a much larger garment district in London, but has since been taken over with a lot of pubs, foodie shops, and a few clothing chains.

But their array of silks is LOVELY.

the Silk Society

A shop whose name I don't remember - I ducked in and out of plenty of these on Saturday afternoon, took photos, but never remembered the shop.

bolts of silk

more silk

It kind of matches my nailpolish!
matching nails

Amidst all this I have been doing some handsewing - some of it on the London Underground, which makes people stare: I gather they're not used to people pulling out handsewing and basting paper pieces together! Ironic, considering it's English Paper Piecing!

I don't have any photos of the #plainjanepassacaglia yet, but I'm getting some of my hexie flowers done. More now means less later!
Fabric things

Today (Tuesday) I'm going to head out into the city to do more touristy things - mostly markets, I think. I doubt there'll be much by way of fabrics there!

And then tomorrow I'm off to Chicago!

I'm debating whether I should even try walking into quilt shops while in the US; on one hand - cheap fabric! On the other....I have a really large stash and it's not getting any smaller! Tough choices.