Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ready to play

It has been a great quilting day! I met up with a group of other quilters from my guild and we spent a happy day chatting, stitching and laughing. I decided that I couldn't be bothered bringing my sewing machine along, as I had to go by bus, so I sat up until late last night stitching through paper to make half square triangles for the Project Spectrum challenge. That done, meant I could spend the day trimming the squares and peeling off all the paper while chatting away, so I didn't realize that all the boring bits were gradually being done.
It is great getting together to see what everybody else is doing - such an inspiration! One of the girls is working on a Quilt University project that included a lovely finish - the binding was stitched on from the back and sewn down from the front with a tiny bead added for each stitch - such a lovely effect! I must try that sometime...
The day passed quickly and before I realized it all my squares were ready, so a few hours of sleep and I'm ready to play! I can't wait to see if it works out the way it does in my mind. I love the lime fabrics in the mix and think they really "lift" the reds and pinks to make them even better.
Now for some beauty sleep (as if that will work... :-D)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And here's the bag!

My Chelsea Tote is finally done! A few design opportunities along the way, but here it is. I have a serious flaw: I can't seem to leave a turquoise fabric alone in the quilt store - a piece of it has to come home with me. The result is a box full of them and I managed to find 18 different ones that went well together for this bag. But the thing is you can't see any inroads in my stash, so I have to think big if I'm ever to reduce that stash :-)
However, it was the bag I wanted to show off, it has a shoulder strap with a zipper in it so it can also be used as a backpack. With two ways of closing it is probably the most versatile bag I have made so far. And if I ever get bored when I'm out and about with my new bag, the lining provides interesting reading material!
I am well into my next project, the table runner with curvy hearts. A bit of hand basting now and it will be ready for quilting. My Project Spectrum runner is next in line. As I mentioned, my stash had a serious lack of red fabric, so today a little shopping expedition was called for. My new red fabrics are now washed and hung to dry, so tomorrow I will be ready to go! I don't know if it's just the weather - all the snow and slippery pavements we've had to struggle with lately has got me down a bit - all the signs of spring were there, and the next minute the world was white again- duh! Things haven't been too great at work lately either, so today I decided it's time for a little r&r and I have decided to take a day off on Friday. Lovely! A whole day to do what I like, I felt the stress slip of my shoulders and my spine straighten just thinking about it. Just one more day at work now and then a loooong weekend to look forward to - lovely!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Seeing red, but not enough...

I have started a new project today! No, the bag is not finished yet, but the last bits and pieces will be done by hand. Because of the mistakes I made I had to make some adjustments: I have added binding to the seams on the inside. I could have left the edges as they were and just zigzaged to stop them from fraying, but I have one bag where I did that and I'm forever turning it inside out to shake out all the fluff, fiber and gunky bits that seem to gather in the bottom. Hate that! So, binding it is. Only drawback is it has to be stitched down by hand. I also have to add binding to the upper edge, but it's coming together the way it should, so a bit of hand stitching in front of the box tonight and it should be done.
I have gathered my reds and pinks for Project Spectrum, but haven't started cutting them yet. I'm worried I might not have enough reds, but that's just an excuse for a serious Stash Enhancement eXpedition, isn't it? ;-) I've never thought of myself as a "pink person", but funnily I have plenty of lovely bright pinks. I don't know about those reds, but come to think of it I made two kids' quilts with lots of reds in the borders before Christmas, so that's where they went!
In the meantime I've started on a new table runner with curvy hearts. Some of the reds are going into that as well, so there you go - I do need more red fabric! So far it doesn't look like much, just some squares, some of which are folded into triangles, but some time in the company of my sewing maching might make this more interesting... And it is painfully obvious from the picture that my cutting table needs a good tidy - piles of fabric from recent projects must be put away to make room for more - now why didn't I do that along the way?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Design opportunity

"There are no mistakes, only design opportunities" to quote British quilter Dorothy Stapleton. I finished stitching my turquoise strips together, got my wonderful lining fabric out of hiding, spray glued my quilt sandwich and quilted the whole piece with some great variegated thread only to realise that I was supposed to quilt only the top fabric and batting, and leave the lining to stitch the inner pockets on, before I sew the quilted piece and the lining together. Sigh! This is why I usually don't use patterns. No way am I taking the quilting stitches out, and a new separate lining is no option. I wont hide the great "Drama Queen" fabric from Michael Miller designs, so new solutions are called for. I will try to stitch the outer pockets on through all the layers and the inner pocket will be stitched on by hand through lining and batting so the seam doesn't show on the outside. I will have to add binding strips along the edges, but I think I might make it work. And it will be my very own version of something that started out as a standard pattern. Who cares! I think I might prefer the bag this way actually - no loose floppy lining and a much firmer bag will be the result. I think. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I've signed up

It's official - I have signed up! Lolly's idea is sooo inspiring, and after seeing some images of red and pink fabrics here and there on the web I decided that I want to play too! I have decided on my first project - a table runner made from triangles (I'm keeping it simple), and I start pulling fabrics from my stash tomorrow in between quilting and stitching sessions on my new bag. I can't wait!