Thursday, 24 July 2014

Some Christmas Show And Tell

I’ve been diligently photographing my stash of quilts ‘for posterity’ (more for me than for any great historical reference).  This is a very oldie-but-a-goodie.

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It was designed by someone I can’t remember – that’s how long ago it was made.  It was done as a shop sample, and I think he’s lovely.

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I have a bag full of Christmas things that I rarely use each Christmas time.  I should either start using them or move them on.  I’m in serious danger of drowning under the weight of quilt tops and hangings.

All my family are back at work, and back at school and after a few days, I can breathe a little easier that the house is in some sort of order.  I can honestly say the kids played in every room of the house these past school holidays, and with every toy they possess.  It’s taken me three days to get it back from the chaos!

Hope you’re quilting up a storm,

Suzie

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Faceted Jewels–Thirties Style

I have a finish to show you.

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About a thousand years ago, I started a Faceted Jewels quilt.  I’d always loved the design.

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It’s finally, finally a top now.  I don’t want to begin adding up the amount of pieces in the thing.  But there are many.

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It’s not that big really – it finishes about 78” square.

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It really was a bugger of a thing, excuse my French.  It was all going along swimmingly, and I cut all the pieces out. The fancy triangles, (I don’t know their proper name, but it’s the ones on the four centres of the block) I cut them out using my brand new Accuquilt cutter.

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Well, I cut the whole lot out.  Thousands (or so it seemed) of little pieces.  However, when I went to sew them, they didn’t sew up right.  Every single one was smaller than it should have been.  I put the thing away in disgust, knowing I should probably recut them.  But all that fabric – I just didn’t know what to do about the whole mess.

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When I needed a project for our all day Sewing Day just gone, I pulled this quilt out.  I’d decided just to finish it as best I could, matching seams or no matching seams, and call it done.  So I sewed all day Saturday, lots of Sunday and some of Monday.  And I can finally call it done. 

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And it’s not half bad, when you look at it this way. 

I have this dilemma all the time.  I try my hardest to get the technique perfect, and early into the design I find it’s actually harder than I thought, or my skills are not good enough to pull it off yet, and I put the design away in anger.  But that doesn’t achieve anything, really.  I’m pleased with myself that I finished this one off, and whilst it won’t win any quilting prizes, it’s not actually that bad!

Which is not to say I don’t think I should try my hardest – I do really want to be a better quilter.  But this one will be quilted up and its bright cheery colours will make me happy, and that’s really all that should matter.  I’d love to be the sort of quilter who wins prizes, who aims at the start of the quilt to win prizes.  But I don’t have the stamina for that, at least right now.  I just enjoy the process, and if I can get gradually better each quilt I make, then that’s a positive thing.

That’s my thought for the day.  Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell.

Happy Quilting!

Suzie

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Smokey Mountain Stars–my version

I am knee deep in the middle of the school holidays, and my computer time is being curtailed by small children (who are better at the computer than I am!).  Add to that a head cold which we always, always seem to get in the first week of the holidays – well, that’s why the posts have been thin on the ground.

But I’ve been sewing up a storm, what with an all day sewing day our guild held last week (sheer, pure bliss!), plus forgiving children who seem to want to play with each other all day long (is there nothing better than the sound of happy kids playing?).  I’ve got more photos of what I’ve been up to that I want to show you, but until then I thought I’d share another of the Bonnie Hunter quilts I’ve made.

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Dark, clotted cream and musky pink have always been some of my favourite quilting colours.  My favourite by far, which explains why I have such a lot of them on hand.  Although I never seem to have enough creams in the background box.

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I’ve always loved this Bonnie Hunter quilt – it’s called Smokey Mountain Stars and you can click on the name to take you directly there.  It’s surprisingly easy to make, and I whizzed this one up quite quickly.

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It’s only small though, and this day I don’t know why I made the darn thing so little.  It’s not like I lack for fabric.  I think I aimed for a bed topper, and it does look lovely on the bed, but it would look so much nicer BIGGER.  Of course, it’s one of the few I’ve actually had quilted (thanks Mum!) so I can’t make it bigger now.   C’est la vie. 

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I love it to pieces.  Adore it.  It remains up there with my favourite colour/design choice.  You know when you make a quilt and sometimes it’s in your head how it will look, and you end up making something that just doesn’t cut it?  But sometimes when it works, it really, really works?  This is one of those quilts.  Love it, love it, love it.

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Easy peasy pattern to make.  Did I tell you I want to make all the quilts on Bonnie’s page?  I’m not sure that I will, but I think I may give it a good shot. 

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It’s been quilted with a big overall love heart pantograph that works really well.

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So there it is, one of my favourite quilts.  See that border fabric?  I’ve got so much more of it stashed away.  I could make another one just like it.  Only bigger.

Hope your quilting has been productive!

Suzie

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Little Monsters ... Again

About a year ago, I showed you this:


which was my Little Monster quilt, bound and finished and hanging on the wall.

I had a few left over because I just couldn't get the maths working correctly - none of my measurements would make them fit.


This guy was left over


As was this guy (or is she a girl? I don't know?).


And this one too.

The bad news is that they are still not going to be used up, because the maths that failed me way back then continues to fail me this time. I will however, use them on the back of my current quilt.

But this guy:


And this guy:


And this guy:


are all going to find a new home in my latest Monster Quilt, made solely to use up old blocks.  I've made more work for myself because to use up three spare monster blocs, I've made about ten more.










They are ever so slightly addictive and I find myself scouring the internet, looking for monster pictures I can use.

I don't know how many I need for a new quilt (why bother with insignificant details??) but I'm loving the little guys I've done already.

No pattern to share with you, just random images from wrapping paper, cards and the internet.    Hopefully I'll get a chance to iron some more on tonight after the rug rats go to bed, and I'll show you tomorrow.  I did spend ages artfully cropping all the background from these pictures but somehow from the Ipod to the Laptop, they changed back.  Too bad....better things to do than worry about that!

Hope you like them, till tomorrow

Suzie

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Show And Tell

I’m embarrassed to show some of these.  Some of these things I did a very long time ago when I was much, much younger.

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Back in the day little artsy-folksy wall hangers were all the rage.  Nowadays, I don’t know what to do with the whole bag of these small wallhangings. 

Still, we should remember the old stuff – shows how far we’ve come as quilters.  Wonder how far I’ve come?

Till tomorrow,

Suzie

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Some Eye Candy

In lieu of nothing to show you yet, I have some more eye candy for you.

This is one of the quilts Mum has quilted on her long arm.  The lady who made the quilt found a piece of wrapping paper, of all things, and adapted it to be machine appliqued.  Isn’t it stunning?

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I’m always asked where I find my designs from, and the answers can be pretty obscure.  A lot of my applique designs are found on cheap and nasty wrapping paper, birthday cards, kid’s colouring in books – anywhere that a picture can be adapted to an applique design.

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Mum’s done a marvellous job on the quilting. 

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The back is as intricate as the front.  Very clever.

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She keeps on telling me I need to learn how to use the long arm.  I keep telling her why should I, when she does such an excellent job.

Till tomorrow,

Suzie

Friday, 20 June 2014

Autumn Leaves

Another day of not much sewing.  I miss it.  I am struggling to do some of the very boring jobs in my sewing room.  Jobs like sewing buttons onto a cardigan –one which has been finished for too long and remains unworn because I haven’t got round to it. 

When I did get around to it, it took five minutes.  Procrastination is my biggest problem at the moment.  Just DO IT!!

So here’s some more show and tell as I photograph, record, and stitch on labels.

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This was published in an Australian magazine many years ago for a project.  I was thrilled to bits to be asked, and I remain very proud of myself that I can call myself ‘Published Quiltmaker’.  One day, when I am designing again instead of finishing half started things, I might be lucky enough to be published again!

Happy quilting,

Suzie

Thursday, 19 June 2014

2nd May 2014

So my laptop died over the weekend.  No real drama – just by sheer fluke I did a complete copy of all my files the day before.  Sometimes, life works out.

But I’m now on my newish laptop, the pristine clean one that the children will never (supposedly) gain access to, and of course it’s now the family laptop.

So in all the ‘Oh My God We Have No Technology’ dramas here, coupled with the complete PITA that is logging back into everything you own (Picase, Flickr, Blogger etc) and forgetting every single one of their passwords, I’ve not been sewing.

So here’s some show and tell instead.  I think I’ve shown you this before, but this is a quilt I recently did a label for and so I show you again:

 

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This is a ‘Shop’ wallhanging.  Done as a shop sample from a pattern by the Chook Shed ladies.  He is is very cute, as is Rudy.

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The Chook Shed ladies really knew how to make simple, cute designs that seemed to walk out of our store on their own two legs.  Always big sellers.  Things are different now – the country look is out of fashion and you are hard pressed to find this sort of fabric lately but I still think there’s a place for designers like the Chook Shed in quilting.

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Winter has hit with a vengeance here in South Australia.  But, as always, there is no rain. 

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Please think good thought for rain.  My tanks are emptying.

Maybe tomorrow will be a sewing day.  We shall cross our fingers.

Happy Quilting!

Suzie