Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Christmas in July is coming, ready or not.......

Another weekend of fun is coming up very soon, and Friday will see the arrival of a group for Christmas in July. I seem to be going around in circles a bit this week, with a few unexpected things happening, but hopefully it will all come together in time.

A few decorations have come out of storage......(and I think I shall stick to quilting, and not decorating!)

The gifts are all wrapped and waiting under the tree, (although they might find their way into a bag for Santa to hand out).

This is more in my line, and a large pot of soup is bubbling on the stove. I have been shopping, and the pork and turkey are in the fridge waiting to be roasted.

The tea and coffee station has been filled.

 And the fruit have filled my very special bowl that Michele made and gifted to me earlier this year.

 And while all this was happening, Max has dutifully quilted this large friendship star quilt today.

Tomorrow I will finish the preparations and last minute cleaning, with a bit of cooking, and maybe even another quilt??

The weather is dry, although cold, and there is a good supply of wood for the heater, to keep us all warm and toasty inside sewing. There is no set project for this weekend, just a work on your own things, and I know a couple that will just enjoy the company and the chatter.

In the next couple of days I will be making some alterations, and additions to the scheduled retreat page, so stay tuned for that. I will post when I have done that.

Blessings, From Jude

Monday, 26 June 2017

Antelope Canyon options......

As promised here is a photo of Val's quilt, Antelope Canyon, made in scrap fabrics.                   Doesn't it look great? 

And here is my quilt, the same pattern, but with the Garden Delights range of fabrics, and still with the circle in the centre.

Here is a picture of the same quilt, made with the Texture Graphics range of fabrics, but this time you have 4 half circles at the edges. 

I have the Texture Graphics fabrics coming soon, so will be making this up too. And then I am keen to try this again, in another colour range, with a slightly different layout, so stay tuned. The mind is thinking about lots of possibilities. It is a very clever use of fabrics.

I will be selling packs of the Texture Graphics fabrics, cut into strips, and also the Garden Delights range, both with the patterns. If you are interested in either of these, contact me for more details.
A range of fabrics works well as you can see from Val's quilt above.

Time to get back to some book work, I have an appointment with the accountant tomorrow, to help work out some big decisions. Life is certainly never dull or boring around here.

Blessings, From Jude

Thursday, 22 June 2017

My Midweek distraction report

While I am sitting at the computer and eating a late lunch, I shall report on my day yesterday. I was rather "done" by the time I finished, but it felt so good to sit and sew for the day. While I really love the machine quilting, I also enjoy the quilt making process too. And I realise I have missed time like this. So I have had my "creative" fix for now, but hopefully will fit more in sometime. As our group has an exhibition on in October, I am keen to make a dent in my PHD pile. So why, you may ask am I starting something new? I saw this range of fabrics some time ago on Michele Hill's blog, and then when the fabric rep was here recently I saw a pattern using these fabrics, so ordered them all.  The pattern was also made up in other colours, which I am keen to explore also. 

This pattern is Antelope Canyon by Laurie Shifrin Designs, and this is the version made with the Garden Delights fabric range. (I like the pattern made with the Texture Graphics range also, which are blacks through to grey and taupe. There are other coloured versions being made by members of our group, so will have more to show soon. Val came yesterday to sort her fabrics and start cutting strips, which I will show you further down, and this mornings report is that she is busy cutting into lengths and start sewing.

This is the Garden Delights range from "In The Beginning fabrics" and is 2 jelly rolls. 

I was fortunate that this design had been made with these fabrics, and I had good diagrams of what fabric to use where. The other girls don't have that and need to choose fabrics of their own, which makes the process slower.

I started this about 5pm on Tuesday afternoon when I had turned Max off for the day. It was an impulsive decision to take the next day off. I cut until 10.30 that night, and this is my 2 1/2" strips cut into lengths, and marked with their numbers. (They do recommend plastic bags labelled, but I was not going anywhere with my fabrics, and intended to sew them quick, so laid them out on a cutting mat.)

I was back in the studio by 7am Wednesday morning, after having done the washing and tidied the kitchen, and lit the fire. (But the bed was unmade, and the floor not swept!)

The pattern called for some 1 1/2" strips, so I needed to cut the jelly roll strips down. They instructed to cut off 1/2" and then cut 1 1/2" and discard the remainder, and I did that for the first one. You can see one in the next photo. I know I am not going to run out of fabric any time soon, but I could not just throw those bits away!!??

I discovered that the serrated edges did not count in the 2 1/2" of the strip, so I carefully cut them off, cut my 1 1/2" strip and then a 1" and then the trimmed the serrations on the other side, and felt much better. Now don't ask me what I am going to do with all those 1" leftover bits, but I felt like it was a waste to have 2 smaller pieces???

 And it's not really a good idea to wear black when you are doing that task!

Now I had a neat little pile of 1 1/2" and 1" strips.

 And these all needed to be cut to exact lengths with numbers as well. There were MM's and PP's and Y's and EE's etc, so you had to be careful to mind your P's and Q's!!

And then there was the background, which is cream. I cut this from a bolt, so did not have to use the jelly roll pieces. And then they needed to be cut into lengths, and labelled.

Then it was time to clean the fluff from my machine (which was not much as it doesn't get much sewing time), put in a new needle and wind some bobbins. By this time it was 9.50am and I started reading the instructions for block assembly.

It did take a little bit of working out, but once you started, it all made sense. The centres of my first 4 blocks. There are only 4 blocks in this quilt.

 And this is where I was by 1pm.

Val had arrived as I started sewing about 10am, and she had tubs of fabrics from which to choose. Then it was over to the ironing table to press. You can see her colours are a lot more vibrant.

She chose a background and proceeded to cut her 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips, and then into lengths and labelled. As she was going home, these were all placed into labelled bags.

Further progress.

I must be getting somewhere, as all my strips now fitted into this space on one cutting mat.

I had to join my coloureds to the background of the relevant numbers as in the instructions. When I was joining my CC's and BB's, I had one background spare, which meant I was short of a coloured piece. I searched everywhere, and went to the leftover bits, to see if I could find another piece, even if I had to join ends, but to no avail. So I thought don't stress, I will just put another piece in! Not long after, and thankfully before I needed to use it, I found the lost piece, on the floor under the table!

More progress, taken about 7pm. (I know the times of these, because my phone tells me what time the photo was taken!!)

By 10.20 I had 3 blocks finished, and the other still had 3 rows to be stitched. Can I finish it, or not?? I was so close, but thought I might had a cuppa and a snack, it would keep me going.

3 rows to go on the last block.

And here is the time when I had done the last block and sewn them all together and was done! And I will add here, that those bobbins that I wound earlier, lasted until all 4 blocks were made, and I ran out while I was sewing the blocks together!

Not sure why, but these little pieces were left on the table still? 

And I am finding those sticky labels, all over the place today, even in the kitchen.

This is what's left from 2 jelly rolls.

And this is what I made on my "midweek distraction". 

Probably not a bad result, and I am pleased with it. I will say again, that it cut a lot of time by being able to look at the picture for colour placement. And I don't pin, (except when I was sewing the 4 blocks together). I did not press until I had sewn about 2 or 3 borders on each block, so that made things much faster. It was important to have your 1/4" seam accurate, as all the lengths had been cut, so if they did not fit, you knew. After my first centre, I got that right, and did not sew a "scant" seam as instructed. And it is pretty flat, and all 4 blocks fitted together well.

All in all, I really enjoyed my day, it was as good as therapy. Thank you all for your lovely comments easing my guilt in taking a day off. I just have to hope that my quilter will be able to fit this into her schedule "sometime". And I am thinking about another one in different colours, etc.

Back to Max, who is being very patient, and thanks for listening.

Blessings, From Jude

I am done......

and I mean that in more than one way! This is the time that I turned my machine off tonight. I am done, meaning I have finished my day off, I have sewn those pretty fabrics into a quilt today, and I am done, and ready for a good sleep. 

This is the little pile of leftovers from the pile I showed in the last post. Probably enough there for another quilt, but not yet!

I will be back soon with a full report of my day, after I have caught up on some sleep.

Good night,

Blessings, From Jude

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Mid week distraction

This pretty bundle of fabrics arrived on my doorstep on Monday morning, and I have been waiting for these since they were ordered a couple of months ago. And I have just the pattern I want to use them in, so what better time than now to start.
 I know I have another custom quilt on Max, and the beds are not all remade from last weekend, and I have not finished my other PHD's, but......

I have studied the pattern, and carefully worked out the cutting instructions, and it is one that needs concentration. I have been cutting since 5pm, and not half way there yet. But tomorrow is another day, and I am being joined by another friend who is going to make one too. Her fabrics will be quite different to mine.
I feel a bit sorry for those who need to finish one project before they start another. Look at all the quilts they don't get investigate. (I suppose they at least have finished things, but one day I hope to as well). I am excited to get into this, and will come back with progress shots later.
I know it's not the weekend tomorrow, but I am declaring it a day off from work for me. I could get used to this. Imagine a sewing day, and reading a book, all in the same week!!?

Better get to bed, so that I can get to work play in the morning. Hope I don't sleep in. 😉

Blessings, From Jude

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday night again.......

Time for another post and it seems there are a few quilt pics not shown yet, so better catch up on those. I have had a quiet weekend, and have managed to get my end of financial year bookwork up to date. Getting to the middle of June is an amazing achievement for me, who is usually running months behind. I did glimpse the sun outside through the window, after the early morning fog had disappeared, but I have stayed inside all weekend, except for when I went to church this morning. (The weeds in the garden will wait for another time!)

This is Jennifer's quilt, and I quilted it allover with a pattern called "A Tisket A Tasket".

Helen made this Bonnie Hunter Boxy Stars quilt, using an assortment of purple scraps, and it was quilted allover with  Plush,

This is made by Marion, and quilted with simple custom quilting. A block pattern on each block, and a sash and border pattern finished it off.

This was made by Cheryl's friend and features stitched house blocks. It was simply custom quilted.

Mary made this quilt for a friend, features appliqued poppies in 2 corners. and was custom quilted .

This is another hand pieced hexagon quilt, made by Cheryl, and quilted allover with Kaitlin's Elegant edge to edge pattern.

And it has been another week for miracles, or "fix up" jobs. I found an unstitched seam on this quilt when I was pressing it before I loaded it. Whoops, I did not see this other one, and I am glad I was standing right at the machine, when this happened. Poor Max was stuck and could not go anywhere, but was still stitching! It was not easy to undo the stitching around the fabric entangled in the foot, as I was worried about the quilt back tearing.

And this is what it looked like after I managed to untangle things. 😞 Thankfully no tear on the backing!

As the quilt was half quilted, I did not want to take it off the machine. So I unpicked the damaged square, and was very thankful that it was a scrap quilt. I found a piece that would blend in with the other fabrics, pinned it in place, and hand stitched it into position.

I am not great at hand sewing, and I had to work "back to front" sewing it on the machine, so I won't show a closeup of my stitching.  But here it is requilted.

And this is the finished quilt on the bed for a photo. As I said I was relieved it was a scrap quilt, and I did not have to take the quilt off and wait for another piece of fabric. I did phone the quilt owner and explained what had happened, and have marked the spot with a safety pin. 

Saturday afternoon I decided that I had done enough in the office, and it was nice and warm in the lounge with the fire going. I found a book, and settled in the recliner. I had started this book some time ago, and not got back to it. When I start a book, I like to read it to the end,( if it is a good one.) By 11pm I had finished, and so were my eyes. Needless to say, it was a late start to the day this morning.

This book, Heart of the Country, was written by Tricia Stringer, who is a South Australian author. I enjoyed her story of 3 South Australian families who settled in the north of our state in 1800's. The conditions they faced, and lived in, brought home to me how primitive things were for them, and how fortunate we are now.

My car had new tyres put on it on Friday, and I think I might notice a difference when I drive it next. I am not real mechanically minded, and have to confess that I don't check my car in between it's trips to the garage. Not good I know. My dad always used to check my tyres for me, but he is not up to that job anymore. Apparently my back tyres were rather "worn", so maybe I should get them checked more frequently, as I do a lot of trips up the highway and back.

This afternoon, I have been working on pattern instructions, with the possibility of marketing some. Bit more work needed on that yet, changing them from a mystery quilt, to add in the fabric requirements and cutting instructions. Tomorrow it is back to Max and some more quilts this week. It is only 2 weeks until another group come for Christmas in July, which is being held early in July this year.

That's about all the newsfromjude for tonight. Be back soon.

Blessings, From Jude