Pages

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Possible Irish Chain

Question for the floor

Is it completely trite if I decide to make an Irish Chain quilt while living in Ireland? Or is the type of thing that is just exactly as it is supposed to be? You know, the whole cliches are a cliche for a reason, type thing.

I've always liked the look of Irish Chain quilts, and had intended to make one someday, so maybe Ireland is calling to me telling me that this is the time I've been waiting for??

And working on the assumption that I get a machine here, then I'd need to be making something that uses simple construction and minimal fabrics (ie I can't create a stash here: I have to buy purely for the project I am working on at the time) the Irish Chain could be a winner.  I mean, I could probably get away with using a jelly roll and just buying the background (need to actually look up the pattern though... I'll get there, I'll get there!!)

And if I do this, I kind of want to go with green... but again... is that *too* Irish. Am I going to look ridiculous? Or is it only ridiculous if I try to quilt it with little shamrocks (OMG, how cute would that be!!! I totally want to do that now as well!!)

Ok. Let's back up.  I don't have a home yet, or a machine. Although I may have wandered through a couple of fabric shops in Dublin already and picked up some of those little things that one needs - a mat, a ruler, a rotary cutter, 2 and 1/2 metres of white fabric...

Ok, so at this point I should probably give up pretending I might not get a machine. I'm totally getting a machine. 6 months without proper sewing?? I don't think so.  I was willing, because it was necessary, but it's so not necessary.  As soon as I have an address I'll be ordering my machine.

Ok, well if I'm gonna buy the machine and make something, I think I've convinced myself into an Irish Chain... Unless you tell me not to, because it's lame. But seriously - should I go with green or should I maybe go sleek with grey, or I saw a really nice burgundy fabric that I could use, or there was a nice purple that I saw and earmarked for a future project (haven't even started number one and I'm ready for the next!!).

Ok, I need your thoughts!! What should I do????

E xx

Friday, 31 March 2017

Finish Along - 2017 Q1 - Closing List

So I said that I was going to try to have some finishes this quarter.  I wrote myself a list. Want to see how I did...


Originally I said that this quarter I would finish:
P 1 - Community trees
Totally got this done!! A quality Sew Day and a little help from my friends, meant this was been passed on to a long armer and my job was done. Another amazing Guild-mate took on the binding, and it was part of my Guild's display in the March Craft Live event in Brisbane. While it's not all my work, the answer is that it is a completely finished quilt at the end of the quarter.

Want to see the epicness :-D


It has officially been christened the Arboretum Quilt. Quilting by Nerida at Quilt Around the Clock and binding by Sandra.

P 2 - Secret Squirrel  
And I did it!! It's secret so I couldn't show you at the time, but I totally did! I've handed it on to a friend to quilt, so the pretty photos will come out soon (hopefully :-) ).

P 3 - Gigi's quilt 
Smashed this out!  Which was a total win because of how long I'd procrastinated it. Then whipped on the binding and have even gifted it to the little munchkin. Call this a solid completion.



4 - Trish's Hexies (
piecing top then decide on hand quilting or long arm)
Worked on this slowly and steadily over the first month. Even took it away with me. However, I didn't actually get it finished... I have 3 seams left to go, but I couldn't bring it to Europe with me, so it's at home waiting for me.  I might end up added another column and widening it, but currently the big question is how to quilt it.

P 5 - Big Pineapple
FINISHED!! I didn't do a proper blog post, because all I needed to do was bind it, but that is done now (pinky swear!!). I did put it on insta... Not that you can see it, but it's there :-) And I even gifted it. Not sure that it made sense to Jess, but it made sense to me, so I’m still happy with this.

6 - Pink Bubbles
... yeah. no. I didn't even really attempt this. I looked at it a couple of times, but went with other projects instead.

7 - Orange Blossoms
...No... No, no, no. I had all the orange pieces cut and ready but then when I started to turn them into blossoms I hated how much work they were and abandoned it... It's sitting waiting for me at home, and I'll think about how to actually make it the easy peezy quilt I had planned it to be in my mind.

8 - Blue patches
This was a throw on, just in case the mood stuck me, and it turns out it didn't! 


Plus I wanted to stay up to date with:
1 - the Penny Sampler
yeah. again with the no.  I was behind on month 1 while I waited for my fabric to arrive, and then was on the cruise, and didn't have time to squeeze out the blocks for month 2 before we left, and then month 3 came out after we'd left...  And now I'm going to be away for 6 month, so there is no way I'll catch up, but the new plan is just to do as much as i can when i get home, and hope that I can smash it out over a couple of weekends and maybe catch up before the year is finished... Unlikely, but I still have hope :-) 

P 2 - #SnailDay
So I totally kept up. Not gonna lie. I’m pretty impressed with myself. Although I haven't been sharing them on Insta because it feels weird to be doing that when I am not actually working on it... So while I am up to date, I don't really feel like I am. Again, this is now on ice, until we return from Ireland, as I didn't bring any of it with me.


P3 - Swoon-a-long
Huzzah!! This was a serious long shot. I had zero expectations of actually doing this!! And I did it!! I actually did it!! I'm so completely and absolutely stoked, you would not believe it!! I didn't post it before I left, because it was a bit hectic and last minute-y but I promise, promise, promise, this was totally a FAL win.



So all in all, not a bad run.  From the #2017FALQ1quinnyquilts
I managed to complete 4 out of 8 (plus kept up with 2 of my long term projects!) This is a total win for me and I'm very happy with myself at this point :-) I was planning to go for it in Q2 and try to turn this into a run of finishes - (would be great to end 2017 with a smaller WIP pile then when I started) but now I have no WIP's with me, so I'm a free bird for the next little while :-)

E xx

Monday, 27 March 2017

Exciting Feb/March for me!

Well, I did it again, and just disappeared from the blog (only for a couple of weeks this time, so no apologies) but I swear I had good reason.  If you follow me on insta, you'll already know all the good stuff currently happening, so this is probably less exciting for you, but this is also for my records, so sorry! you'll get the long form version of what's happening anyway :-)

Well in early Feb, I went off on holidays with my hubby and his family. We spent two weeks cruising from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea, which was gorgeous and confronting (the difference between just how much we have and the poverty was very sobering) and really great time with my bonus family.  Perhaps a little too much quality time, as we were pretty much stuck on a boat with no one but each other, but definitely was a worthwhile trip.


(And yes, I did make everyone wear a Hawaiian shirt for dinner one night. They all think I'm insane, but they love me so they did it, and it adds a bit of fun, so worthwhile investment I think)

And then when we got home for the cruise, we had just four days at home before we hoped on a plane and...


... started a whole new adventure!

Ashley and I have headed off to the other side of the world!!!!!

So far we've had 3 days in Singapore, and then 2 1/2 weeks in Amsterdam, and we arrived in our final destination, Dublin, just 3 days ago.

Singapore


Amsterdam
Ireland
We're in the process of trying to find an apartment here, and have our fingers crossed that something will come through today or tomorrow, so we can get ourselves settled.  The plan is to be here for about 6 months, so we're wanting a little home and community and all that.

And in typical Ashley style, we don't have a home yet, but he's already purchased a stereo system and has it set up in our hotel room. Boys, hey ;-)

The big draw back for me in coming over, is that I have left all my sewing at home, other than 1 little EPP project. And while I have been working on it (no photos yet, as it's in no fit state, given it's being bundled in and out of it's container every 2 days, and there's no time to try to lay it out all pretty) I am not sure how I'll go without any machine sewing for such a long time.

We are currently looking into buying a machine and then selling it at the end of the 6 months, which could be a reasonable expense, and Ashley's on board, except he doesn't realise that once I get a machine, I'll also need thread, and fabric, and a cutting mat, and, and, and... it just adds up. I would even need to buy a desk and chair!! My quick $150 machine, has become bigger than Ben Hur.  With that in mind, if anyone has any tips for local shops, that might do sew days, or let me mess about with their machines, please, please let me know!!

I'd best sign off for now.  I'll show you my EPP in the coming days, and let you know how the machine decision pans out :-)

E xx

Sunday, 12 February 2017

January Snails

I mentioned earlier this month that I was going to join in on the #snailday sew a long, and I have been industriously sewing to make sure I stay up to date.

The schedule is just one little snail each week, which is totally do-able!


And the snails are just so cute!!!

Originally I had planned to make all green shells, but I started with a little practice scrap and really liked it... and then I grabbed another piece from my scrap jars, and really liked that.. and now I know that this will not be a perfectly curated, colour story type quilt, but a mish mash of colours and textures and whatever I happen to lay my hands on. But the consistent body and background, makes me think this will still work really well.



The part of my brain that screams logic at me, says I can't have a snail shell with flowers on it, because snails don't have motif's - I need pattern not pictures, but this print called out to me and I'm letting that be my guide.


The other guide is what do I have in scrap that will fit. Or if not "scrap" what have a cut a strip of that I can spare a piece from.  I'm terrible with the way I use my fabrics. I like to make a cut WOF and then use what I need. Anything left from the strip goes into scrap. So on the one hand, there's wastage, but on the other, not really becasue I totally use my scrap containers all the time. And I prefer this to having big pieces of fabric with weird little corners cut out everywhere, which is way more efficient, but... Just doesn't work for me.  We all have our little *things* and that is just the way I am.



The beige-y background is from deep stash - no idea what it is or where I got it from.

The grey body fabric is a Kona solid that I bought for another project, and hadn't gotten around to using yet, so I stole it for this :-) The original project changed directions after my fabric purchasing so it was just going to waste I swear!! I think it's charcoal, but it might be iron... I really need to start labeling the solids as they come in.

Anyway.



That's my little snails so far! And if you want to follow along in real time, then my insta is the place to be. Or just insta in general with the #snailday and #gardensnailquilt. There are some amazing snails being made (not mine - other people's are super cute - yellows and blues and technicolour goodness. Makes me wish I wasn't so bland and boring, but own who you are, I say!!) but just check them out for funsies :-)

E xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Community Quilting - A Forest

One of the cool things about being in a guild is getting to do things that you wouldn't normally in the name of charity.  My Guild (the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild) coordinates an internal quilt bee, where a particular block is set and then whoever wants to will make those blocks and ta da!! A quilt... Ok, well there's slightly more to it than that, but it's not really the point of the story..


So A couple of months ago, I took a turn at setting the block.  I love the tree quilts that the Portland Modern Quilt Guild do and figured that our girls love a bit of improv goodness so I'd turn them loose.

I asked for 10.5" squares with any green/brown/cream/white and showed them my inspiration photo, and made a couple as examples...

In fact, I took to my sewing room with vigor and grabbed all my green scraps to make a squillion little trees.  The crumb piecing is actually super fun and very addictive.  I made so many green blobs, I don't know what to do with them! The hardest part for me was a) having a selection of browns so all my trunks aren't the same - I don't have a whole lot of brown scraps so I needed to cut from my yardage, but this feels so wasteful when all I really need is a 3 " square and b) using all my low volume.  I love low volume. I hoard it. And I know it's just white(ish) fabric, and there will always be more, but it's just so darn hard to start cutting it.  It feels like I'm wasting it. #lifeofahoarder




But no matter how many I made it's rally the ladies in my amazing Guild who made this an epic quilt. They let their imaginations fly and the resulting blocks are just wonderful.

My absolute favourite is this little tiny orchard!! It's so cute!!!!


One of the ladies stretched the edges of her block size to make this gorgeous Savannah tree (which I absolutely love, btw) but it did mean that I needed to adjust my layout to allow the extra width on this block...


In some ways I think that that was actually a really good thing for this quilt, becasue it means there's no gird in the piecing at all. None of the rows line up with any other, and I made some skinny little trees to fit in gaps, and bulk up other blocks.


I also used more low volume in places to space the blocks out. This is particularly noticeable in the top left where a little boab tree needed more space to really shine. If I'd stuck with the exact blocks I reckon this little guy would have ended up a wee bit crowded.


Now that they're all together, I have handed it over to one of the lovely talented ladies at BrisMQG who will do some fantabulous long arming all over it (thank you Miss Nerida!), then someone might offer to bind it (if I'm really lucky) and it will be donated to it's new home - The Salvation Army Crisis Accommodation Service.

I love this quilt. And I'm so grateful to Wombat Quilts for the inspiration, and the BMQG for diving in to this project, that was outside of some peoples comfort zone (improv is not for everybody). I love that our Guild prioritises this kind of activity and being part of our community. Quilts are all about love and caring, and spreading that around, can only ever be considered a good thing.

E xx