27 September 2012

...and don't let anyone tell you

..... that Batiks do not need to be washed!

I have had conversations with people at Fabric Shops - both humorous and deadly serious about the necessity to pre-wash Batiks.

I think this speaks for itself!

Had I thought sooner, I am quite sure that I could have easily dyed a couple of meters of fabric a lovely shade of pale pink while rinsing this one meter piece!

20 September 2012

Distractions and a UFO

I have a new laptop - it is bright and shiny and EMPTY.. so therefore void of personality. (A bit like this posting).  All my photos and programs are on my old laptop...which kind of sounds like it is about to self destruct every time I turn it on.  And the 'Tech gurus' of the household can't seem to decide on whether it is an issue with the fan (not so much of a problem) or the Hard drive (BIG problem).  So I am not looking forward to moving and sorting all the stuff that is hiding within the hard drive.... It is almost as bad as trying to sort out my sewing room!

and in the meantime.......

I recently posted about wanting to finish Heart's Desire, but I actually have two UFOs that I need to complete - they are quite different from each other and yet connected.  So a UFO challenge for my Janome Group this month is the ideal time to get stuck into the task.
As far as my second UFO is concerned - I started with an 11 x 11 block, square quilt top that I had tried to put together maybe two years ago and a box full of additional blocks that were made almost 3 years ago.  
It has been laid out on the lounge room floor for the past two weeks waiting for inspiration, as I had decided that I no longer wanted to finish it according to the pattern I was following.
That inspiration struck on Monday and so it is back to placing and sewing the remaining blocks together, tweaking it a bit and.......

I'll show off the result - Next week!

Post Script:
After much thought I have decided to tell the story behind the making of this quilt - It has it's own page (much easier to remove later) - Just click the tab titled "A Quilt with No Name".
Warning - You may need a Cuppa and some Tissues.

12 September 2012

A different WIP and a real Phd.

From time to time I break my own rules and post something about my family. Mainly it is about the kids as DH isn't terribly interesting, unless you are into Cryptic Crosswords.

DD who, on her own admission has 'been at school way too long", went off to Uni a couple of months ago looking rather nice. She told me "Oh they're taking some photos" and arrived home last night with this......

So what do you do when your daughter brings home a copy of the University Course guide for next year with her picture on the front cover?  ...and the inside too?

Take it to "Show and Tell" !!!

She is in her final stage of a Phd in Chemistry.  A WIP that has been delayed by the fact that she has also graduated in Law (with a particular interest in Intellectual Property Law and Patents) and has completed her Diploma of Legal Practice, and has been admitted as an Australian Lawyer.
And........ in her spare time she quilts a bit and looks after her ever expanding collection of Orchids.

So, Yep - Just a wee bit proud of her.

7 September 2012

I had a bright idea this morning......

I thought, seeing that I had a UFO challenge this month that I would pull out Hearts Desire and actually see how much more I had to do on it and whether it was ‘do-able’ to get it finished in a month.

So I laid it out on the carpet in the lounge room (away from The Quilters Cat – in training).  I stood back and admired how far I had gotten in just the last 2 days.  Then I placed the Flower heads (that I made while I was out of action last November with that broken ankle) into their positions on the remaining “Flowers for Me”- Block 4 b, c & d.

Enter Spike aka QC-IT... He normally decides that anything that is on the floor is his, but not this time.  This time he just sat on the edge of the mat and surveyed the blocks ..... as if he was trying to work out what was wrong.  Yeah OK there is no yellow or purple – but it was more than that.  He turned and left the quilt undisturbed and un-sat on.

And then I saw it --- 
“Why are all ....those small flower heads.... going ... the ... same ... way?????”
I have been SO careful not to make them all Left hand heads, that I managed to make them all RIGHT hand heads.  Oh drat! (I wonder if my OCD – DH will notice – Yep, he will).   BIG SIGH!

Determined not to let it bother me today, I decided that I had done enough to be able to sew a couple of the blocks together.  I picked up Love Entwined and its sashing border of little half circles in 2 shades of blue.  
Why don’t they fit?

You set them in very neatly into the 16 ½” and have forgotten the seam allowances!!  Oh well, it could have been worse – I could have fused them to the back fabric and machine appliqu├ęd them in place, 
............now - Where is the un-picker?

6 September 2012

Quilt Binding Trick....

I am not going to lay claim to this little trick, that I found on line this week - but I thought it was worth writing up - Just in case you haven't come across it before.  And a good tip is always worth passing on.

After cutting miles of binding for that quilt - in my case it was over 10 meters by the time I had sewn it all together - you are then facing the task of ironing it in half!
"There's a tool for that job now!" I hear you say.....Yes there is.  BUT this little trick is possibly quicker, takes up less room and is definitely cheaper!

First find a long pin - (actually I think I may have found a new use for my Hat pins). Then pin it into your Ironing Board so that you can just slip the edge of the roughly folded Binding underneath.

I found it was also a good idea to put an old  practice quilt sandwich on the board too.

Then pull the binding gently through the guide you have just made and when you have enough to press.... Just keep gently pulling the binding through the pin guide and under your iron.

You can now see why I have used the extra padding under the iron - just to keep my board from scorching, as you are moving the fabric - not the iron.

So there you have it 10 meters of binding all pressed in less than 10 minutes!