Monday, August 30, 2010

I think size does matter!

There is a certain amount of envy and awe in my bones when I read Red Pepper Quilt's blog. Everything seems to match, fit exactly and is stitched evenly.
On the weekend I attempted to machine quilt a cot quilt. Usually I make big quilts and they always cause me grief with pinched stitches where the lines meet.
Here is what I discovered on the weekend.
If you pull down on the quilt as you stitch it, the fabric stretches enough to stop the folding over at crossroads. I have always tried to spread the fabric horizontally. Now I hang on to the the part that has just gone under the needle at the back, and the bit that is feeding in through the front. The quilt is stretched vertically (in the same direction as the stitching).
Next I decided not to quilt in the ditch as according to the guru at Red Pepper - it's harder.
Lastly, I think the fact that the quilt was only little also made a huge difference. I didn't have to carry all the weight of the fabric, roll it up to fit through the machine or concentrate for so long.
So small it better when we are talking about quilting!
I stitched everything in one direction first

And then I went the other way.
It's still not perfect but no pinched fabric makes me so happy.

I am on holiday from school at the moment so I spent 5 hours whipping up another quilt with my friend Rivka. We made 25 X 9" blocks out of some of her scrap fabrics. Her friend is paying me to make the quilt and Rivka is supplying the fabric. Silly me, gave her back the blocks without taking photos but they will have to come back for the sashings etc. I just have to wait for them to choose colours.
I did get to read, go out for coffee and have a walk in the sunshine too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maybe I am Slightly Obsessive

I think I have this obsessive personality. If I get an idea and I receive even the slightest positive feedback I just go nuts and make lots of whatever it is. This week it was pot mitts. Admittedly I had already made a few but when I took those few to school it was suggested I make some more. It was full steam ahead and some have happily been sold to new homes. Boy I hope they really do work. They are filled with 2 layers of wadding and some insulated wadding. I am nearly over the mania as they are really annoying to stuff but I will have to make some more for the market I am doing in November. They are really great for getting rid of some of your scrap fabric.
Here they are. It was hard to part with a few - I do get attached. I have to get used to selling stuff because I need to justify (only to myself) the growing stack of quilts, toys and fabric in my house. Its everywhere.

I have been playing with Flickr and can't work out how to get a mosaic of photos onto my blog. I worked out how to make the mosaic but it was all blurred in the blog. I need to play some more but if anyone can help, please send me a message.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

5 hours all to my self!

I know that the winter weather is the best for sewing but I am so tired of it. Melbourne weather isn't that bad and we have had some glimpses of sunshine so I shouldn't complain. I just need a week of warmth, legs free of tights, fresh air flowing through the house and the heater turned off.
I took a day off work this week because I had a cold and hadn't slept the night before. I felt so guilty. It is only my third day off in 4 years but still I felt so bad. I planned the day and set it up for the emergency teacher so that the students didn't miss out.
I could not wait for everyone to leave the house. My eldest was leaving for Sydney so my husband, who was giving him a lift to the airport, lingered until 11 am to finally leave the house. I practically pushed them out the door!
Yes I was sick, but not that sick that I couldn't make the most of my time. The kitchen floor was washed and 2 cot quilts and the baby blanket were basted. The baby blanket had baby's name added and binding put on ( I hate doing the satin binding but this one went on pretty well ), 9 more pot mitts were almost put together, a few videos of Jane Austin were watched whilst hand quilting, dinner was cooked and a load of washing was done.

I felt so good, which was just as well as the next day was an all day excursion with 44 x 8 year olds at CERES. We had a wonderful day fishing for bugs, feeding chooks, learning about water conservation, Aboriginal heritage and walking along Merri Creek listening to the bellbirds. Thankfully the rain held off and it was a sunny 15 degrees. Phew, it was a huge day and with barely a break to go to the loo, I was glad for the previous day off.
The kids were so funny and terrified of the chickens. Some were brave enough to hand feed and jumped as they were pecked. Consequently lots of the feed ended up on the ground. City Kids!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Pot Mitts and Baby Quilts

A couple of friends came over yesterday for a visit. One is travelling overseas and one was looking for presents to send away. I sold a softie and they ordered 3 pot mitts as gifts. I still had some koala fabric left so I made these.

Bon Voyage!

Earlier on in the day I put the border on 2 cot quilts that look like this .........

And today I put the blue cot quilt together. It still needs a border.

Hopefully, tonight I will have time to do some stitching in front of the TV. Although I have the sniffles, it has been a lovely 2 days of sewing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pot Mitts and Sales

Friday was the big Amitie Sale and the poor staff had been on their toes for hours by the time I got there after work. I had 16 people coming for dinner but the sale had to happen first so I scooted out of school the minute I farewelled my last little one into the arms of her Mum.
I was on a mission to purchase some inexpensive backing fabric for a couple of quilts I am making for sale.
I was in luck with the perfect colours at 50% off to make bindings, borders and backs.
Dinner was pretty good too but that's another story.
Saturday was a big day out with visitors from overseas. We walked for hours. Brunswick Street, the city, Southbank, and more city. It was fun. 
I just got home in time to watch the Pies beat the Cats. (That's Australian for my football team beat the other guys!)
Today was for sewing.
Some unfinished business was finished.
Lots of potholders, somewhat chunky, are ready to go to market. I still have about 8 more to do. At this stage I am thinking in small quantities as I don't want to have as many potholders as I have toys all over my house!

Don't ask me how I put this set up. I have seen sets on other blogs but this was made in a most unorthodox way. Anyway some of the pot mitts are here. 
Hubby's shirt quilt is almost done too but photos will come later.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

With a Little Help

When I finished the Castle Peeps quilt I needed to find a binding. I really wanted to use fabric from my stash rather than look for something new. No matter what I tried the binding just didn't quite work. I know that I buy lots of my fabric from overseas because it is so much cheaper but you just can't predict what the fabric will be like until it arrives. I took my near finished quilt to Amitie , my local patchwork store and showed Judy, who works there, my quilt. ( See Judy's blog  A Very Fine House ) Within seconds Judy had selected the shot cotton fabric that was perfect for the job. So although I am guilty of saving dollars when I buy some of my fabric, I still really rely on the advice and expertise of the people that work in local patchwork stores and I do spend money in those stores too.
So this blog is to say thanks Judy for your help and I'm looking forward to Amitie's sale this Friday!