Thursday, August 31, 2006

End of hyper-productivity

In about an hour, DH should be arriving home with "Grandma Lucy" (as the kids call her), so I probably won't get much if any sewing done until next Thursday or so - she leaves on Tuesday - the kids and I are taking her up to the train, having lunch, and popping over to the Natural History Museum for a few hours. Wednesday is back to school and I have to hang out for an hour or so in the morning to sort out the school uniform shop (one of my many hats - or half a hat in this case, as there are two of us), then grocery shopping. Maybe if I'm lucky, Alex will play with playdough or something for an hour on Wednesday afternoon! Anyway, I managed to delegate much of the housework today to the girls for extra pocket money, which meant I had time to get a few things done between doing the bits they can't do or can't reach and supervision. So this is the larger of the two quilt tops made from the PP2 block swap on about. You're right - it looks a lot like the smaller one, only a bit larger. But that's ok, it's still a nice top. Probably will work up to single bed size, so it may end up as a gift for a DD. Probably DD2 as I'm thinking that some black and white Scottie dog blocks I won in a block lotto would really suit DD1, who loves dogs. And although DD2 loved the discharge top I finished yesterday, I also really love that one, so I'm not sure I'll be generous enough to gift it...

I also made up a top from some blocks I did a while ago and really didn't like. After joining them up, I decided I still really don't like them (part of the problem is that some of them were made up the wrong way around, but not enough to really do anything interesting with). Anyway, I've decided to offer it up to someone doing charity quilts - it would make a nice lap quilt for someone in hospice or a nursing home, etc. But at least it can leave my stack of projects waiting to be worked on. Sometimes, that's what's most important.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Honourably discharged...

As the machine already had black & grey thread in it, I decided to go ahead and work on stuff that basically, didn't have white backgrounds today. So I have finished joining up some blocks that were made from small squares exchanged with my dyeing list for a discharge swap (which I had bordered in black). I loved all the little squares I received and really wanted to show them off, so decided they had to be a quilt. Details of some of the blocks here and here. I think it wants a border, though - something discharged, of course! This means I will have to discharge some more fabric before I can border it though. Gosh, what a shame .

I also put the borders on a quilt from another block swap - this on on quiltshoppe forum at Delphi - with an autumnal theme (as you might guess). I had thought I hadn't finished joining the blocks, so it was a nice surprise to pull this one out of its basket and find the centre of the top (to the edge of the green) done, and just the orange and autumnal borders to add. I don't have backing for it at the moment, so it will probably wait until next year, after I go to Farnham Maltings (a big fabric sale nearish to where I live, where I usually buy most of my backings) in January. Unless I find something I like in the US, of course, which is possible, though I'd rather buy lots of 1-3 metre pieces than several 5-7 metre ones...

I wonder how long I will be able to go on posting daily? It's only a matter of time until I just don't get to sew - like probably Friday, as my MIL arrives for a long weekend tomorrow evening. If I'm lucky I'll be able to sew a little tomorrow in amidst the housecleaning.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

4 down, 6 to go...

Only spent an hour today working between one thing and another, but did manage to do two blocks for a bookcase block swap on about. I now have 4 done, out of 10 I need to finish by mid October - not too bad. This is one - the other is similar, but different "book" fabrics and the elements together in a different order.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Oldie but goodie...

Today's sewing (I've been doing a lot lately to compensate in advance for the long weekend when my mother-in-law will be here, and I will get very little done) was very satisfactory. I cut out all the rest of the pieces for the Christmas blocks for that swap, and I put together some more of the blocks from the Penny Pincher 2 swap on (the purple jewel-box blocks). I plan to make 2 quilts from these - one for a baby/play quilt using 24 blocks and one normal sized quilt using the other 48 I have. I swapped 40 blocks, and made nearly as many for myself - they were nice blocks to make, and really made a good dent in my stash of 3 inch squares.

I also finished sewing together the string squares for the quilt I am making Cathi for a housewarming. Because all the blocks are foundation pieced (on fabric) it's already quite heavy, and I'm thinking I will simply back it with fleece, etc, rather than batting and backing. Which means I need to go shopping for fleece or something like that - what a hardship! But it looks nice, and she'll enjoy it, being a huge fan of scrappy quilts. And it will be a nice lap quilt, as it will be very warm.

And finally, I dug into my pile of older items and pulled out a top centre which needed some borders adding to it - I've had the fabric to do this for ages, just never got around to it. The centre blocks for this quilt are so old, I couldn't even begin to date the quilt - years. The blocks are ok, although I notice they aren't quite as precise as I would expect from myself today - guess our standards change over time! I don't know why I never got around to putting the borders on - just one of those things, I guess. Anyway, today I decided I wanted something a little different, so dug it out of the pile and put them on. I have the backing for this quilt, too - of course, it needs to be seamed together, but I didn't do that today - wouldn't want to do TOO much!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Itty bitty teeny weeny...pieces to cut

Spent some time this morning cutting out units for more of the Christmas blocks I made a sample of yesterday. I only need about 14 for the swap, but I think I'd like to make 20, so if I cut that many, I'm more likely to get them sewn together... There are quite a few pieces to the block, though it's not that hard to put together. But I'm getting tired of cutting 1.5 inch squares.

I also finally finished putting together some double four patch blocks I had from another swap - this quilt will eventually be used for longarm quilting practice and then be donated to Project Linus. I have a fabric planned for the border, maybe with a thin, plain border first.

Another swap generated a large number of purple based jewel-box type blocks, which I've begun putting together - they are only put together in pairs at the moment (just typed "in paris" - I wish!) but here's a photo of 4 of them together - great secondary effect.

And last but not least, I've put together a bunch of string square blocks into fours for a lap quilt housewarming present for my friend Cathi in Ireland, who is (hopefully) moving on Tuesday. She was supposed to move Friday, but well... As I said to her, if her moving date keeps getting put off, the quilt might be done by the time she moves. It wasn't a great consolation, frankly.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Black and white challenge

So, that's finished now. I put the black binding on and sewed down the hanging sleeve while watching telly tonight (reality TV night - the Maria programme, X-factor and then the Maria results - we don't really like Meliz, so that was ok...). Now I just have to post it off to Jennie, who is collecting the groups' quilts so that they can all hang together at Hever in September. One project down, a million to go - but then I'm not the kind of quilter who will ever have everything finished, as I'd just start something else in the meantime!

And yes, I know I shouldn't take photos at night inside, but if I waited until tomorrow, it might not get done, so it's better now than never...

Let the blog begin...

It's all my friend Cathi's fault - she recently started a quilting blog, and although I've been resisting due to not having enough time in the day, I finally decided it was a good idea - for one thing, it's a way for me to keep track of how much time I am spending on various quilting related things, just for my own information. Whether many others will read it or not, doesn't really matter...but then again, perhaps it's an easy answer to the question "so what have you been working on lately".

So, what have I been working on lately? Yesterday, I did a block for the September Block Lotto on - I can't share a photo of that, because it's still in the sneak peek stage and not public yet, but I really liked the block and made some more today. When it becomes public, I'll put the pics up. A block lotto is when you make a number of blocks (usually limited to 5 or 6) and send them in to a central hostess - at the end of the month, she draws lots for the blocks, based on how many blocks you sent in. Depending on the total number of blocks received and precisely how the lottery is run (different people use different methods) you might win all or some of the blocks. Sophie, the hostess for the About lottos, keeps a blog of her own about her swaps and lottos.

Yesterday I also put a binding on a quilt for a black and white challenge I am doing with my virtual quilt group. This is a group I've been with for a long time - some of you may remember the house/building quilt I originally made from the blocks I received from our first swap. We've done other swaps and challenges each year - usually alternating a swap then a challenge - I think this is our 5th. There weren't a lot of rules to this one - we had to use black and white in the quilt - can't remember if we said a minimum percentage - and the quilt had to be within a certain diameter range, only so they'd be easy to hang together at Hever Quilt Show in September. I still need to sew the binding down (it's just black) but I think the quilt looks fun.

Today, in addition to making another block for the block lotto, I also made my first (test) block for a Christmas swap I am doing with Scrap Quilting Forum on Delphi Forums. I have hosted a number of swaps there, but this one isn't one I'm hosting. We are all making the same block, in different Christmas prints - I haven't got a Christmas quilt, so I thought this would be fun.