Thursday, 21 June 2012

A chance encounter

A pile of scraps from the new cutting machine
at work gives me more pictures
for the pattern archive

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tagged in a post

Number three attacked with the tagging gun!  (Did I say I love my tagging gun???)  This one is about 110 x 110 inches, too big to fit in the centre of the tables and still stick to the edges of the table.

Unorthodox method, I folded 2 sides under and stuck, now I'm ready to move it to the other side and continue.  Only way to do it.

This flimsy was English paper pieced from recycled fabrics and family clothing. There are some polycottons in here and it's sewn together with cream thread-I started it over 15 years ago when the boys were small and I had no money, even for matching thread!  I was very pleased to see an antique quilt at the Victoria and Albert Museum last year that was hand pieced in natural coloured cotton from scraps, it made me feel better about some of the stitching being visible!

I chose wool wadding for this as I will sew round each hexie, when it is washed and the wool shrinks by 4% they will all puff up.  Not sure when I will start this, or even finish.  Its already very grubby and covered in cat hair as its been sitting around for so long!  I'm going to wash it before I bind it, so when I put the binding on it will be smooth, not wavy. Hopefully.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Long awaited sequel

I read the other five books in this series years ago.  This, the sixth and final episode, was published last year, I found it in a charity shop in Seaford last week.

I think my reading tastes have moved on!!  It's well researched and detailed, but completely lacks plot!  I'm at 300 of 800 pages so far and only sticking with it out of sheer doggedness! Nothing much is happening apart from descriptions of cave paintings.

It has been a while since I picked up a book and was gripped by page 3.  The next one will have to be carefully chosen from Mount TBR (to be read).

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Uncanny Knack

Evening work this week-sewing up the prepared piles  of hexagons for rainbow hexie. It's satisfying doing it this way: they grow quickly-this is just one evenings worth whilst I watched recorded episodes of  Lie To Me.  Love Tim Roth. 

The black blob is the cat, by the way. Never photographs well. Even when she is looking directly at the camera, it's with the evil eye. On the warmest days, she has to perch on something fluffy. And most often white.   I have given up turfing her off the blankie, if she's there all the time at least the black fur deposits are contained and she's not contaminating my quilts!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Ice Cream Sunday

My second layering of the week-I stayed late every night to do these in the conference room.  I work for a sign company: one of our manufacturing units makes vitreous enamel signage, like the maps you see on the underground, that's the assemblage of samples behind.

Three tables pushed together was the perfect size, so much easier than groveling around on the floor at home.  I'd give my boss a hug for letting me use the room but it would frighten him!! I have secured the use for the next week at least, I have four more to layer. 

The effect I was trying to achieve with colour on this single isn't really visible: I took all the blocks from my stash to make it, so it was really quick to create as there was no cutting. If you think you can see what I have done with the colour, please comment! I think the effect would have been apparent if the blocks had been smaller.  I'm going to machine quilt this, quite heavily, this will bring out the effect (hopefully). The backing is scrummy, so that side will be OK!  I like the fact that it looks like clam shell patchwork. This was another sale bargain at five pounds per metre, I have about 15 metres altogether, every time I logged onto the website to it was still in the sale so I bought more! 

I like quirky backing fabrics with lots of colour to hide dubious hand quilting-I bought 6 metres of this one last week from a new site I have found, real bargain fabrics from top ranges-I wish they were closer so I could visit the shop!  If you live in the UK and have hoarding issues, look at the site (not helping, am I??!)

Kiss in the Corner

This is a long overdue gift. Shhh...........This design is one I stole from my Greenestede Quilters group project.  I needed something quick to sew up as I knew I wouldn't have much time. It is a twisted nine patch. 

Chain piecing the 6" cut squares........

........into a nine patch, then cutting into four.  Twist them and sew up again. I laid the pieces out on a bed as it was the biggest space I had. I have not really used enough browns, it was a tricky job to make sure that the same browns were not too close together- the creams and blues are not so important in the overall effect.  I am surprised how 'busy' it looked at this stage.
This isn't my usual scrappy style, but my son advised me the colours to use as its for a gift and I had to raid the stash for what was there. My usual technique is throw EVERY colour in but I do have a preference for 'earthy' colours, so I was quite happy working on this.  I have enough patches left over for half of another quilt. 

My not very helpful helper-rather annoying when she wants to play with the border and crumb catcher strips I'm cutting..........when she's not furring up the backing fabric that's just ironed and warm and seems like a nice sleeping spot.

 This is the only fabric I had for the backing that toned with the front-hope they're fond of cows!
I started this post some time ago-this week I borrowed the conference room at work, put the tables together, stuck the backing down and off I went with my new microstitch-it's AMAZING!!! I used about 1200 tags in this double.  I have more time than I thought to quilt this now, so I am going to do it by hand.  This will be my first attempt at large format hand quilting.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sunday tipples

Scrummy 5 pounds per metre backing fabric. All the colours will camouflage dubious hand quilting!

Potential quilting pattern for one of my hexie projects.  I think I need a random pattern rather than quilting inside the seams of the shapes-lines of quilting across the seams will stabilise the hand sewing and take strain off the thousands of lines of hand sewing.

Pattern study

I did a walk round at work for 20 minutes with my camera looking for inspirational patterns.  I work in a sign manufacturing company.  Unedited pictures of what I found-they will join my pattern archive for future reference.  Forgive the dubious quality of some of the pictures, the lighting isn't good!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hexagon Jubilee

I have an amazing ability to ignore boring domesticity, honed over many years and do my own thing. Being single helps, no pressure!  I sat up until past 1am the last two nights watching films and sewing in hexie papers.  I have a push to get the 'six-sets' sewn up as I want to finish piecing DFG by Christmas, so I can layer and sew over the holiday. Second tin full, third on the way.

Not sure I will make it as I have to cut and paper tack all the stone 'paths' yet, then do a single row border of leaves/bushes round the edge.  All 440 inches of it!

Two hours late last night was spent cutting hexie papers from printouts-I use old A4 envelopes saved for me at work with three extra sheets inside so each shape cut yields five hexagons. Envelopes provide the right thickness, not too difficult to sew through when tacking and resilient enough to be re-used about 4 times.  I recon I cut around 1500, still not enough for what I have to do.   I have lots of 1/2'' diamonds printed out too-I don't need these yet, enough was enough, my arm was starting to cramp after 2 hours cutting card!  As the diamonds are so small I will try doing them on the cutting mat with the rotary cutter.

I spent an hour selecting the appropriate centres yesterday for all the sets to be assembled: it was strangely relaxing. The majority of the centres are to be yellow or black and some have opposite accents on the colour wheel.

Looking at what I have, I can announce

A variation on 28, made with all the browns and creams that won't fit into any other brightly coloured project I have on the go. Another row round each flower, brown surrounded by cream, cream by brown and everything on a navy ground.

When I went to bed it's only because I thought I should, I read until nearly 2am. I am half way though  The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville. It's fluff: I appreciate that the idea of this prize is to award women novelists who write accessible works but I can't yet see why it won the Orange Prize. The characters are quite well drawn, but surely a good writer shouldn't have to continually use italics to get their point across: it is annoying!   I thought you used punctuation to create emphasis. It even goes so far as to omit speech marks. Horror!  It promises to have something about quilting in it, much to my delight, so I will stick with it.

The last book I attempted was By The River Piedra I Sat Down  and Wept. I hear such praise for this author but the twin themes of religion and lurve were too much for this old cynic. It will be off to the Bookcrossing shelf at Starbuck's Horsham on my next visit.   If you live in West Sussex, there are four shelves of FREE books here, at the top of the stairs.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

When the morning gathers a rainbow........

The sun has been shining, so I took the big box of random hexies to work every day, sat outside at lunchtime on the step 'meiditated' away.  It really did the trick, much better than reading for a lunch break de-stress: sadly only for half an hour a day!  I end up with some odd shapes as I stitch, there are several on the go at once to stop me getting bored.

In the evenings I finished the red corner squaring section for DFG and took the tacking out to rescue and recycle the papers.  Not my favourite job! 

Yesterday when I came home there was a racket going on in my weeping birch tree-some blue tits have fledged, they must have been nesting in the hedge that is attacking pedestrians!  I was going to cut it this weekend but I can't possibly do that now as these little fluff balls with be frightened off-they are about the size of a small hens egg.