May 30, 2012

The not so Quick - Quick Quilt....

Today I learned a lot of lessons about how not to make a strip quilt.
I learned that you really need to make sure your strips are all the same length and that it is not such a simple thing to "square it up later" - especially when the whole quilt decides to slide sideways....
That was the first time I unpicked it....

Then... You really DO NOT want to see this when you throw your finished quilt on the ironing board!
Yep, not only had I sewn the strips on upside down, I had also sewn them in reverse order, so not a simple matter of unpicking ONE seam, no - they all had to be undone and replaced in the correct sequence....

I should probably mention that, adding to the frustration, while sewing one of these seams my needle fell out of the machine.........TWICE.


So eventually it was finished and now all I need to do is try and get it quilted without any more dramas!

This one will be added to the growing pile of Laundry Bags that my Non-quilter friend is making, and sent to one of our Troops overseas.  Just hope he likes tractors!

May 24, 2012

What did I do before Quilting ?.....

I made toys!
Well, actually they were
 "Hand crafted Companions".
Not really intended to be played with - but they did pass the Toddler Test for durability as they all had to be vetted by my (then) 5 yr old.  Who gave them a kiss on the nose before going off to their new homes.

These little guys are just some of the more popular toys that I made from commercial patterns for Friends and Family...well mainly the people My DH worked for, who wanted something hand made for a special gift - or just wanted something that could not be bought in the shops.
There were Bears, made from bathmats, before Fur fabric (let alone the beautiful German Mohair that you can get now) was available.
And Rabbits, and Dogs, Pigs in Pokes, and Pandas, Baby Seals & Penguins,
and Elves - a LOT of Elves - or were they Pixies?

Then there was THE Cat!
Cat came into existence when a colleague of my DH gave him a photo and asked .. Can Wendy make this?
I had a pattern for a sitting Cat and some beautiful 'mink' fur in a chocolate brown... So.. Why not give it a go?
That photo sat on my work bench during Cat's construction and when he was finished - he went to work...
The Colleague was so impressed her reaction was "That IS my Cat... BUT he would tear it to shreds!"
Cat wasn't adopted, I learnt to take deposits, and he stayed on DH's filing cabinet for that long he became part of the office!  People (and rather important ones at that) would come in and find themselves stroking Cat while they were talking to DH.  Eventually Cat was adopted and I was rather sad to finally say goodbye.   He certainly was the Purrfect Pet!

May 19, 2012

What do you say ?

My Mum popped in the other day....
"I was doing some cleaning up and I thought you might like this - -
It was your Grand Mother's ..."

So - What DID I say??
"Oh MY Goodness...."

We lost my Nan to cancer almost 30 years ago and holding that little packet of needles, still as sharp as the day they were bought brought back a flood of memories.
She must have been the tidiest sewer in the entire world!  I never once saw fabric or thread or evidence of any kind to indicate that she sewed.  But I knew she did - she had 2 machines (one a treadle) and one day - when I was very little Nan & Pop arrived at home with the back of their little van packed with dresses.  Pop had rigged up a rod - so they could hang during transport.  I was allowed to choose 2 for my birthday.  To this day I have no idea where the others went or who they were for.
I feel somewhat privileged to have these needles - Will I use them?  You Bet-ya I will!  Nan would not have it any other way.

May 16, 2012

I really have been spoilt this week

Sunday was Mother's Day and whereas my 3 are not usually known for co-operating with each other they seem to have coordinated my Mother's day gifts rather well.
Apparently they had no idea what each other had chosen until they got home from their shopping.  To make things even more intriguing --2 of my gifts actually came from the same shop!   Well, maybe that bit may have been orchestrated.
Either way  I have a gorgeous Glass Teapot to show off the lovely Tea Balls which open up in the hot water into an awesome flower that spins inside the bowl of the Pot while it infuses.  And then a sweet Tea Cup and Saucer to set off the theme.

And.. today was our 31st Wedding Anniversary.
My wonderful DH presented me with this beautiful shawl pin from his new "Favourite" Shop.

It is based on a Spiral Shaped Bronze Age Armband c. 1500 BC and sits rather comfortably on my red Pashmina.

May 10, 2012

Two Projects One Solution . . . .

It is always good to be able to work 2 specific needs into the one project.  I like to do this as much as possible and this week was no exception.

My DS#2 needed a Costume for his movie shoot and I needed a contribution to an Embellishment Challenge for my Janome Group.....

Simple!   Remember This?
It was the Jacket that I made last year for another event.. which coincidently I was able to use for the Decorative Stitch Challenge.

I hadn't done any more to it once it came home so thought a little Embellishment would give it a new life or more to the point ..a new Role to Play!


Adding a bit of braid to the lapels and some pre-purchased Military style Motifs did the trick, turning the same jacket from Futuristic Cyborg to Time Travelling Aeronaught.



Everyone was delighted with the transformation.

May 5, 2012

Never a dull moment....

...especially when you have 1400 watts of Movie lights all going at once.
This weekend my front sitting room has been transformed into a movie set for DS#2's university project.

The whole family plus a few extras have been roped in to help out.  DS#1 found that his experience in lighting and sound at High School and Uni qualified him to operate the Boom microphone.
Some pointers on the correct way to hold a Fencing Foil...
Framing up the shot 
                                while friends Josh and Chantel go over their lines.

And of course, there is more talking than doing... so it is all back tomorrow to finish the shoot.

May 2, 2012

A Handy Hint......

I came a cross this little hint recently, so I thought I'd pass it on.
Using a piece of drawer liner mat on either side of your machine foot makes a very good grip for guiding your quilt.  
It leaves your hands free to pick up the scissors - or the phone...

Like my 'hand model'?

I saw these at "Typo" a while ago and bought one for my DS#2.
For all those times when he said he could do with an 'extra hand'.

Yesterday I managed to pick up the matching Right Hand.
So, I suppose I can now say I have an extra pair of hands around the place!

Happy sewing all...  Cheers Wendy.