30 October 2014

Bali Wedding Star - What next

"How is your beautiful Wedding Star Quilt coming along?"

That question sent me into a mild panic as I realised that time was slipping by and my DD's Wedding Anniversary was rapidly approaching.  

The Quilt was nowhere near finished!

First I had to find it!
Where did I put it?
Which box is it in??

Then work out where I was up to on the pattern. I knew I had been making good progress before I put it down (to do other more urgent things).  I was met with a box full of finished blocks, unfinished blocks and a whole heap of blocks that were pinned ready to sew.... 

A little bit of time to myself and the company of Cathy Miller singing "It ain't finished yet" gave me the motivation I needed to get working.

That box of unfinished blocks are now all done, pressed and the setting triangles cut.

And now the FUN starts - 
Putting it all together with nothing more than
 "Refer to illustration 6 page 21
to guide me!

I wonder if Cathy has anymore inspirational songs that will help me get this to the Quilter and back before November 22!

29 October 2014

Impossible Tasks - - -

Once again I find myself running out of time. To be honest - I tend to do my best work when I have an impossible deadline.
Today's impossible task is - finish THREE Quilts by the end of November! .... or is that four?

Quilt 1 - The 21st Birthday gift.
The birthday has come and gone and the next is fast approaching. The young lady it is being made for has now moved to work in the US - so I would very much like to get it to her before Winter sets in. Binding is on and I am half way around.  So, this one is on track.

Quilt 2 - The Wedding Gift.
Judy Niemeyer's Bali Wedding Star:
The promise of it being finished by DD's first Wedding Anniversary seemed so easily achievable at the start of the year.
This week saw it back on the machine and maybe I will do a separate post on where I am at with that.

Quilt 3 - The Distraction Quilt
Also from Quiltworx -
The Mariner's Compass.
Yes, that's right - a distraction quilt... for when I get tired/bored or just generally need a break from Quilt 2.  This one has come to a point where I have to make a decision on what fabrics I choose for the rings that bind the Compass points together.
It does not have a set completion date, other than a date with the Quilter!

If I can finish the top 3 by the end of November, I will be a very happy camper indeed. Quilts 2 & 3 need only the tops to be finished as they have been booked in for custom quilting.
I can then 'clear the decks' to concentrate on . . .

Quilt 4 - Another Wedding Quilt.
This one is for my DS#1 & DDIL, again promised for their first Wedding Anniversary - at the end of January.
I haven't actually started this one other than collecting fabric in their chosen colours and being given a concept (photo) of what they want.

But as it is going to involve a LOT of applique, I want to be able to dedicate the time to get this one right.

Can I do it?
I'll keep you posted!

20 October 2014

Mopping up a UFO

To ease myself back into quilting I thought I would pull out a UFO and see if I can just get it finished.
I don't like having UFOs yet from time to time I get one that no matter what I do,  I spend more time reverse sewing than going forward -
THIS quilt is ONE of THOSE!

It was started as a 21st Birthday gift for a very special young lady almost 3 years ago and I should have realised from the very start it was going to be a challenge.

Apparently, Spike decided that the fabric (with Oriental Goldfish design) was too good to use and did everything in his power to stop me making the quilt-
including trying to eat the pattern!

But despite many protestations from him - I persevered and the quilt finally was ready for quilting -
and unpicking -
and quilting
and ..
it just didn't want to get quilted.

It probably didn't help when I decided to quilt a Japanese Screen design over each feature block - which involved a lot of "sew, stop, pivot, sew".
(I really must learn to FMQ).

My Sashiko stitching leaves a lot to be desired yet the last one was definitely better than the first -

So, it is now on to doing the binding and a label.

Then, this very belated Birthday gift, can finally be wrapped up and given to the one it was always intended for.

(Sorry Spike - that is not you!)

Shortly after this post was written, The Young Lady this Quilt was intended for landed her Dream Job at Microsoft in Seattle and unfortunately never received her gift.  It is now being enjoyed by someone else!

15 October 2014

Everyone Loves a Challenge - Pt 3

A big cake needs big flowers, 
or lots of flowers or BOTH !
So I set to making lots of filler flowers and coloured them in a very 'Bridal' White Satin and lemon. There were also dainty Rose Buds in Antique Cream with a soft Pink Blush and the big show-stopper the Peony in Coral.

I then started to wire the flowers into a sweet spray for the Bottom tier.

And the 3rd tier has a Half Peony, a Bud and the supporting cast of Roses and filler flowers

More for the 2nd tier, this time with a full Peony

Finally the top tier with one Full Peony, one half bloom and a bud to spill over the edge of the cake

and just so the Bride & Groom have something nice to look at ...
a small extra spray of Roses peeking out the back.

All that was left to do now was carefully pack everything up -

Deliver it to the Wedding Reception Venue

And place it all together - 
adding some beautiful satin pearls at the base of each cake.

I think I can say that this challenge has been successfully completed !

Footnote - from the Mother of the Bride:
We ALL loved the cake. It got so many compliments on the night - so congratulations on a job well done. It looked amazing on the table surrounded by vases of fresh flowers of similar colours. It was lovely and certainly complimented a wonderful day.

10 October 2014

Everyone loves a Challenge - Pt 2

It has been almost a month since I received THE stand for the wedding cake I am making.  In that time I have auditioned many different sizes of cake - starting with the size the Bride originally asked for. And it was clear from the outset that a 10 inch cake on a 20 inch cake stand was NOT going to look good!

Having been given artistic licence - It was up to me to make it work.  Fortunately this cake was only for display, and the true cake that the guests will receive was being prepared 'behind the scenes'.  So I could begin work on it earlier.

I settled on a 4 tier cake starting with a 14 inch base, then 12, 10, and finally 8 inches on top.  A request for some surface embellishment, saw me piping hundreds of small dots in Royal Icing around the sides.

The issue of the cake stand still had to be addressed - as it has a 1 1/2 inch deep bowl, the cake still looked like something from Alice in Wonderland.  The solution was found - in my Dad's workshop!
A 20 inch clear perspex disc that had been just waiting for an opportunity to be useful - fitted perfectly on the rim of the stand, with a little help from some mounting tape.

Filling the bowl with dry Rose Petals now gave me the perfect base for the cake to sit on.

Now all I had to do was make enough Flowers to decorate the cake . . .