Saturday, March 19, 2011

Going round in circles

Dresden attempt #1 by Petitselefants
Dresden attempt #1 a photo by Petitselefants on Flickr.

I've said it before. I don't need another project. But how could I resist Lily's Quilts Dresden Quilt-along?

I've gone for a selection of French General fabrics - from the Rouenneries, Rural Jardin and Lumiere de Noel collections, mainly because my stash is practically bottomless and there's plenty to choose from without compromising on future quilt options with those fabrics. I'm just going for the one block version rather than six. If I'm just dipping my toe in the water, let's not go overboard!

Here's Lynne's gorgeous Sherbet Pips version. (Image from Flickr).

Fancy a Quilt-A-Long?

There are already lots of amazing versions popping up in the Flickr Group, including a very sweet mini version (using a charm pack) by Agnieszka.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Work in progress - my creative space

Contents: Lots of 6 inch squares of linen, combined with squares of some of my favourite fabrics.

Method: Sew them all together, stand back and smile. Fold up and put in the cupboard for two months. Ponder quilting options, in between other quilting projects. Decide to hand quilt. Hurrah!

Expected date of completion: Not a clue. But I like to have hand sewing projects at the ready, and with Lilly Pilly nearly complete (at least the hand sewing part), I needed another one.

More beautiful things over here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Put a bird on it!

My arm is gradually feeling better and I've seized the moment to catch up on some machine time. Here's what I've been doing this weekend.

1. Working on my doll quilt. I'm still at the quilting stage. As I may have mentioned once or twice before, although I do love my swirly quilting, it takes an inordinate amount of time. Anyway, we are getting there! I estimate it is about 75 per cent done. This will be hard to part with! I hope my partner likes it as much as I do!
2. Working on some bee blocks for the 3x6 sampler bee. This is where you're grouped with 6 other crazy girls, you choose a block style and then make it in their choice of colours. So six colour ways of the same block. You theoretically have three months to complete your blocks and send them off (and in turn receive six different style blocks in your own choice of colours). This time round I've chosen a wonky star block. (I say theoretically, because it seems some people take the three month thing as a lower limit.... This may or may not include me.)

This is block #3 (the other two I made some time ago, before my arm went kaputt). Very happy with this one!

And this is block #4.... Hmmmm. I'm not sure about this one, as you can see I kind of over-exaggerated the wonk on one of the star points! Not really on purpose, but just not really thinking about what the result would be. On the one hand, I really like it. On the other hand, I don't know if the intended recipient will like this level of wonkiness. It's not for everybody.

Anyway, I would really love to know what you think!

**Please leave a comment and let me know if you like the extra-wonkity star block, or if I should pick it undone and try again!!**

3. Finally - OK this one doesn't involve the machine, but I have to report on it, because I've reached the milestone of having all the leaves in situ. Did you notice how I dropped in a little Latin there? Granted, the leaves are not all sewn down, but nearly all of them are - well, there are 32 leaves left to sew. At the current rate of sewing these should all be knocked over by next weekend.

If you look closely you might also notice that my tree has grown a flock of birds. Who are at the moment still wingless. Not to mentioned legless. I had to put these in at this stage to facilitate accurate placing in situ of the final set of leaves. In contrast to the leaves, the birds are not hand sewn, but raw-edge machine appliqued (along with the trunk and branches). This stage happens after all the leaves are done. So - soon!! And then more swirly quilting!! Hooray! I might even run a little competition to estimate how many hours the quilting will take.

And, finally finally, just had to share with you this video I found about how things are so much better when you put a bird on them. I couldn't agree more!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Checking in

A work-in-progress post!

Yes, it's been ages since I last blogged, life has been busy! I can't believe it's already halfway through Term 1. Halfway!! The year will be over before we know it.

There hasn't been an awful lot happening on the sewing front, mainly because of Mr Tennis Elbow who has well and truly outstayed his welcome. (Not that he was welcome in the first place). It has been a long road. Six weeks. But I'm nearly there. Sewing maching activity has reduced to practically zero (I had a quick 15 minute burst last weekend just to test the waters, and happily survived without a repeat of my last attempt).

On the upside - handsewing has been going gangbusters. I didn't believe Kellie when she said that Lilly Pilly was a quick project. I thought, mmm sure, that will sit around in my cupboard for at least 5 years before it gets finished. But - au contraire - the tree is growing very nicely! Of approximately 130 leaves I have sewn down 92. Yes that's right - 92 leaves!! Mainly at night in front of the TV. Not every night, but on the nights when I get it out of the - ahem - project cupboard - I usually get about 6 to 8 leaves sewn.

Added to the sewing part is the preparation part, which is, shall we say, a little tedious and not as much fun as the sewing part (tracing, cutting out, ironing onto fabric, cutting out again, trimming, gluing the edges, setting out the leaves on the tree, gluing, pinning). I won't try and estimate how much time that takes. But nobody says you have to prepare 130 leaves at once. If you break it up, do a bunch at a time - easy peasy!

The progress should actually be one that looks a bit more advanced than this. But I am having such an unenjoyable time trying to upload photos to Flickr at the moment that I just can't be faffed with another one, this will have to do. I'm sure you get the picture by now!

So, there it is - nearly done. The quilting though.... that will be a gargantuan effort. Let's discuss that some other time!

More works in progress at Lee's.