Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Walking to work

I am on a mission to lose weight. I have about 17kgs to try to shift.  Now this is partially for health reasons and partially for wanting to be attractive again.  If I can drop 17kgs I will be back down near what I was in high school which will be pretty cool :-)

So I started Lite'n'Easy three weeks ago and this week I started the excersize.  My muscles are hurting! I did a boxing fitness class with a co-worker yesterday and I ache all over.  I was waking myself up every two hours last night, trying to roll over because it moved my muscles. So at 6:30 this morning I was awake with the pain discomfort and I had a choice. Either continue to lie in bed for another half hour complaining that I hurt, or throw on some clothes and walk to work.  Now I never walk.  I am the laziest person alive. So this was a big thing for me to even consider.  But I did more than that. I did it! I grabbed my gym clothes, brushed my teeth and threw some random work clothes in a bag and headed off for my train.  I got off 2 stops early and then did a 45 minute walk along the river to work. 

It was such a lovely day, I took some photos as I walked to make you jealous.

By the time I got to work I was all stinky, but I had a quick shower and got my self all pretty and spent the day getting compliaments.  Nice way to start the day.

Now I'm still tired and sore but I think this was a winner. And a real turning point for me, in choosing to excersize without anyone asking me, encouraging me, forcing me... I just did it.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself :-)

Monday, 24 September 2012

First attempt at real live quilting

So the simple throw-it-together blanket I was making for a friend has turned into an extravagent quilting experiment.

I was planning on just throwing this together, and instead it has now become an epic quilting challenge, with me trying to use my machine to quilt this with annoying waves and drops of water and stupid fluffy clouds. I don't want to show you how awful it is but...

I had to unpick the clouds, because they were so bad. But they still need to be quilted! So I am HAND QUILTING! OMG. This was not in the plan.  This is going to be a blimin' picnic and play mat. Why am I hand quilting?????  Although it does look nice having these cartoon quilted clouds.  But that's not the point!

And the back!... Oh, such a disappointment.  I was trying to keep it simple. No fuss no muss.  But it's just boring.  I don't like it. It's a big blue nothingness.  I like the way the quilting shows on it, but I just wish it was more interesting.

To be honest, I am over this. I am halfway throught the clouds, and i think i'm maxed out on hand quilting.  It feels like a chore and i just want to enjoy my quilting.  I have a feeling this will languish on the couch waiting for me to finish it.

Monday, 17 September 2012

5 things to love today

The lovely Kat on Diary of a Flutter Kat made a post challenging us to think of 5 things we are thankful for, so on a completely un-quilt-related post, here goes...

1 - I am thankful for my lovely husband.  A man who is so good at being the grown up in my life: looking after me and leading our little family and providing for the two of us. A man who is the biggest little kid around who makes up the silliest of catchphrases and needs to be tucked in at night (he might not forgive me for sharing that).  He is both strong and snuggly. He is the person who lifts me up when I feel sad or scared, and catches me if I tumble. He puts up with my whinging but doesn't take my $&!%. I am so lucky to have him. And to have him home with me.  He has been doing a lot of travel and to get to spend time with him is my greatest joy. 

My Grumpy will always top my list of blessings.

2 - I am thankful for my health.  After a few months of stress relating to my health, I am so very grateful to know that I am heatlhy.  While I still need to lose weight to be counted as fit, and to be in a state ready for the rigours of IVF, I am on the path to do that, and I don't have this big scary awful hanging over my head.  That being said, I am also grateful to the Dr who was diligent enough to find the lump. I am grateful for the technology available to test it. I am blessed to have had access to hygienic facilities, so I know all the testing was done safely. I am grateful for the kind nurse who held my hand as I cried in fear. I am grateful for the speed with which the results were gotten to me. I am not so happy with the size of the bill, but I am grateful that I live in a world where where is my biggest problem.

3 - I am thankful for my great big sister.  Now as anyone who has know me for any length of time can tell you, my sister and I have not always gotten on.  At about this time last year, I left my job and was looking for something new.  N suggested I apply at her office.  I need hardly say I was cautious.  We have been the bitterest of foes over the years.  However I applied, got the job, and now get to go to work everyday at a place that I love and my big sister has turned into one of my closest friends.  I feel so lucky to have her around and the more I know her the more blessed I feel to have her in my life. She really is a wonderful person.  I wish I had known this about her sooner.

4 - I am thankful for the beautiful sunshine.  It has been the most magnificent couple of days here in Brissy.  The sun is shining.  Birds are singing.  It is warm and the air smells clean.  It is a delight to be alive in this weather.
I sat out in the sunshine over the weekend to eat my breakfast and it was such a pleasure.  I'm a little disappointed to have to be inside all day today, but there is a little hint of a plan to go walking in my lunch break :-). If I do, I'll try to take a photo or two to make you really jealous!

5 - I am thankful for this hot cup of tea.  Now I know this might sound silly and trivial. But honestly, is there anything as nice as a good cuppa??? I'll admit it would be better if it were in my fancy fabulous cup, but it's sweet and hot and delicious, so I won't complain. I will remember that there are people ll over the world who would beg for a little fresh water, a drop of milk and who have never experienced the joy that is sugar!!!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

More fabric purchases

So another epic trip through Spotlight. I went to buy some baking fabric. I knew exactly what I wanted. It was supposed to be simple and on the cheap side. That plan lasted all the way until I got to the fabric... :-(

I have just bought enough fabric to make about 6 quilts. And I bought. 6 metres of wadding. And I got a couple of charm packs. And I bought a pack of hexagons.

I'm an addict. I need help. I need to not be allowed in shops without supervision.

And now that the recrimination is over, wanna see what I got????

First, I got a couple of metres of blue minky. This will back my owl quilt. Yes I know I bought baking for this quilt last week, but it was not the right colour, so I'll save that and use it for something else.

A friend has asked me to make a little baby play mat type blanket, do I bought a premade panel and am just going to throw it together. As she described her need as something to have picnics on, I am not going to go crazy with wasting fabrics I love or time I could be spending on a more awesome project. My only concession to it being an interesting blankie, is that I am thinking of appliqué ing the baby's name on the back. Not definite, but I like the idea and it would be a good blanket to practice on. We'll see how we go.

I bought this cool cat in the hat fabric. So I am gong to make 2 quilts based around this panel. Why two? Because I wanted to do a nice classy one because this panel is actually really lovely. But most kids would prefer something with a bit more chaos. So I'm just going to do both!

And I grabbed this fabulous checked fabric which I knew I wanted after seeing it last week. It was only $8 a metre so it was a bargain. And I got some coordinating fabrics...

All in all, a good haul. But not part of the plan. And now I'm excited by my new stuff, I want to put all the ones I'm half way through aside so I can play. Must practice discipline and finish a project. Any project will do!

Talk again soon!

E xx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The beginning of bluey

So I have began another quilt.

I don't know why I do this! I go from no projects to 4 or 5 at once!  This one should be a quick easy one.  I think it is going to be a cot size quilt for a little neighbour who is yet to arrive...  He's due in 10 weeks, so I might have a chance of finishing it.  It's going to be very simple.  Just stripes.  I am toying with the idea of chopping the stirpes and making it two sections of stripes seperated by some blocks...

These are the stripes all sewn together.  Only took me about two hours to do all the cutting and sewing to get to this point.
I'm thinking slice through the middle and having two 50cm x 100cm pieces and then doing 2 or 3 square inside a square across the middle

I don't know why or how this moved, but it should be back in August... :-/ should stop trying to edit them to make them better, but I can't help it! Oh well, at least you're seeing the process! E

Lashings of Positivity

So I bought a swath of yellow and grey fabric the other day (see here). It was all inspired by this quilt

that I saw on ssparowsinflight. I was in love with the colours and the style. I wanted this quilt. So I was pottering around Spotlight and found these little packs of yellow and grey. It was like it was meant to be! I bought three.

When I got home I started cutting. Out off all I bought, this was calling to me. So I ignored all the other odd jobs and half finished quilts strewn about my living room and just soaked myself in all these lovely fabrics. Oh the joy!

It wasn't until I was at this point

that I realised I was off pattern.

I had thought the original was random widths, but it wasn't. I had forgotten the alternate long strips. I had cut up a whole pack (and while I still had two more I was hoping to do something equally fabulous... not that I know what that will be yet) and so didn't have any extra fabric for this and certainly not one colour in the amount I would need. I had thought the pattern was three, maybe four strips of random size strips. No, it's far more structured than that. So I didn't have enough material and I had fuguked up the design and now I had to work out how to make it work.

I was hoping for a single bed size quilt, and i don't know how, but i think i got a fat quarter pack to spread that far. There were going to be 6" strips of colour alternating with 6" strips of black. Black, yellow, black, yellow, black, yellow, black. That's 42" wide. That would have done a single bed. Right? (I confess I am still trying to work out what sizes I need to make these darn blankets.) So that was what I did.

I really liked it. It was a little plain, but simple and clean and you could see all the lovely fabrics and get a feel for the yellow-ness it was going to be. I liked it.

So now I was thinking - quilting. I want to try free motion quilting. I don't even know if I can do this on a normal machine or if I need a fancy long arm quilting machine. I'll be doing it, so hopefully I know before I get to that point. Anyway, so I was thinking of quilting and I wanted to do something interesting. I was contemplating adding buttons to the material, give it another dimension. Then the thought came to me! I needed to add the alternating stripes. "How?" I hear you ask. I've already said there's not enough fabric! Well I figure I've already not followed the pattern I might as well elaborate and go the same same but different (this is an annoying phrase my husband picked up in Vietnam and I now catch myself saying it at the oddest times. Anyway...). I figured the premise of the pattern is that the alternating panels need to be different texturally (as in patchwork versus whole cloth) so what if I did patchwork strips vs patchwork squares?

Sounded good in theory. I figured I'd make some squares. Worst case they didn't work, I'd have the start of the next quilt.

So out came a bit of black I had in my stash (is it still counted as stash if I had it purchased and earmarked for another quilt? I don't think I want it on that quilt anyway... ), and another yellow pack and away I cut. Now i haven't really made squares before. I'm only just learning log cabins in my class now and I haven't gotten very far yet. So I started with a 3" square of black. I thought a solid centre would be nice. I'm not sure what my thought process was but I think I figured that it would tie in the border/sashing and it was neutral so if I didn't want it in this quilt it would work in another one. I cut 2 1/2" strips out of my colours and away I went.

(I'm sure there's an easier way to do this, but I'm having one of those weeks and I just don't have the energy to find out what it is or how to do it.)

And after a couple of hours (yes I know I take forever, but I ironed and everything!) I had some little squares ready to go. I squared them off at 6 1/2". Frankly this was a complete fluke as I had planned to do a second colour wrapping around, but the size is just too right not to keep as is. And I'm glad now because I don't think the second colour would have worked as week as it did in my head.

I obviously still need more squares, but I have only done 3 colours out of my pack so I have lots left to keep going. And now I think I should end up with a double bed quilt. Or two singles if I decide I don't love it after all. I think it's 64" wide. Or maybe 78... Is that a double bed? Can I confess, I've been working out if it's big enough by laying it across my bed. That's how I know it's long enough. *hangs head in shame. I'm sure someone somewhere has guidelines on these things. Perhaps tomorrow is the day to google and find out what the rules are :-)

Now as part of my process pledge, here are the fabulous drawings I made last night to help me finalise my design plan.

I apologise for my lack of art skills, but I did what I can. I'm a quilter not a painter. A is a simple straight lines single quilt. Ill use the squares either as another single or as part of another quilt. Still an option but unlikely. B is what I have laid out on the floor at the moment. I like it, but I don't know if I love it. It's kind of my safe choice. And C is my slightly risky choice because I'll have to cut one of my strips and once that's done, there's no coming back. It's currently my favourite though. It also adds a little bit more width. Only 6" but every bit helps to make it a double/queen. I think that gets if to 78".

I have more stories about this quilt, but it's getting a bit late (it's already tomorrow!) so you'll just have to wait.

Till next time my friends!
E xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Works in progress

Hi hi! Have so many projects in the go this week, I don't even know where to start!

First up is my owls. The top's all done, but I've decided I don't like the colour of the fabric I bought for backing so I have to do some more fabric shopping... It's a hard life.

I have finished the patchwork of my little pink kit quilt, so it's ready for stage two. I am trying to decide if I want to add wadding or not. It is double sided minky so it will be pretty warm without it. My biggest concern on going without is all the seams inside might make it feel lumpy and less snuggly. And will it affect the way I quilt I think I'm doing standard in the ditch quilting, so not very exciting, but I guess I'm just nervous about doing something I've never tried before.

As for little bluey. It's almost time for buns to be born so I have to get a wiggle on and get this quilt finished! I have to say, I'm not in love with this quilt. I think all the colours and textures are great and perfect and I'm happy with the random width pieces, that's all good. I just find it a bit boring. I'm thinking that if this is really what B wants I might try to learn to applique and do the babies name on the bottom. I've never appliqued anything before, but I'm hoping it will give the quilt that second element I think it desperately needs.

Also I don't love the black border. I am finding it a bit too dark and depressing, particularly for a baby quilt. Again more shopping needed! Unless this applique idea works and makes the black look elegant or something... Not sure. Not sure.

And then I have this...

I don't want to show you all yet. I'll save that for later in the week. But I am loving this. Love the mix of colours, I am still prevaricating on design, but I think I'll get there within the week. I'll save the story for another day though!

So that's my WIP for the week. And I have genuinely worked on each of these this week! That's a record for me. I've chosen to leave off the WIP I haven't touched in a little while, as they're less work-in-progress and more sit-in-a-corner-with-no-progress.
Maybe next week!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Process pledging

I have been seeing the process pledge on just about every blog I go to, and I like to talk about the process. It's what makes it fun for me.  So without further ado:

I, Erin (aka the lazy quilter), pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

The premise behind this is:
  • Do you have any new sketches to show?
  • Is this design inspired by a past quilt or someone else's quilt you saw (link, please)?
  • Does the color palette come from somewhere specific?
  • Are you trying to evoke a specific feeling?
  • Is this quilt intended for a specific person?  How did that inform your choices?
  • Are you following a pattern, emulating a block you saw somewhere, using a liberated process, or totally winging it?
  • What are you hating about this quilt at this stage?  What do you love?
  • Did you push yourself to try something new?
  • In working on the quilt, are you getting ideas about what you might want to try next?  What?  Did you sketch it?

And what's exciting to know is there are over 800 blogs out there on the interwebs that are porcess-ing along.  I think this is pretty epic.  I bet Rossie is pretty pleased with the idea that something she started back in 2010 is a) still going and b) going gang busters!!

Will you process pledge too?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Oops I purchased again....

Damn Spotlight and their insane piles of fabric! I did not need fabric. I walked away with $400 worth of fabric!!! I bought some yellow and black packs, having been inspired by a super cute quilt I saw on made me want to rush out and go yellow. So the yellow and black was kind of planned purchasing.

And right next to it was some fabulous news print! I adore letters on fabric, and i didn't have any some it was a totally worthwhile purchase.

Christmas has come out already so I bought some Santa themed fabric and some stars and Christmas fat quarters and I how to make a Christmas quilt. Maybe a little strange, but I love Christmas, so to have a blankie just for that time of year will actually suit me perfectly. And if it lives in the roof with the tree for the rest of the year, so be it!

I grabbed some minky for the back of my owls, which means it needs to get basted and then it's ready to quilt.

I bought a metre of light pink minky to back the minky kit quilt that I'm 90% of the way through sewing. I have two seams left and then I can quilt it. I am tempted not to include a wadding as it will be double sided minky which I'm thinking will already be pretty warm. I also bought some satin ribbon to bind it. I admit this is my lazy cheating way to bind. Ribbon is already cut and guaranteed to be the right width without any possibility I will have miss measured. I also love the satin texture as an edge. I think it's a nice textural thing to add to a blankie.

I bought some lovely printed satin that I think will make a stunning skirt and I'm going to cut a half metre to make a wall hanging in my study. This may or may not work. I'll let you know! It was only $10 a metre so it's a bargain. I was tempted to buy an extra metre just so I could have spare.

I bought a couple of metres of a beautiful gauze-y material. I'll need to have a lining under this but I can see it as a gorgeous skirt or dress. It will have to be soft and floaty and feminine.

To help me make things with these lovely dress fabrics (no way can I see either of these going into quilts) I obviously had to buy some patterns! So I got a couple

And then as I was lining up the have everything cut up and pay for it and noticed some lovely sewing books...

They are full of knowledge and challenges so I am hoping to throw myself in and make some of these things. I'm worried they're a little beyond my abilities but I'll give it a go anyway!

I'm sure I must have bought more, because I don't know how this added up to $400. It was a good couple of hours of shopping and I'm hoping to spend the night sewing up a storm!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Has anyone got stories to tell about crazy shopping sprees?

<3 E xx