Friday, June 29, 2012

What's a girl to do?

It's Friday, the beginning of a long weekend, it's payday - and the boss closed up shop 2 hours early!  This girl went shopping!

I went to two quilt shops looking for a black and white checkerboard-style print.

Two quilt shops later, I came home with this eclectic collection.
  • Decreasing polka-dots and multi-coloured plaid to audition as sashings for my Farmer's Wife quilt;
  • Navy with heart-shaped stripes as sashing for my Building Houses from Scraps wall-hanging;
  • A batik to add to my collection; some will be used in my Bali Wedding Ring quilt;
  • 2 London fat quarters to make a Union Jack pillow in honour of the Olympics;
  • Pink butterflies to cut 1 - 5" charm to use in an I-Spy quilt for Zoey;
  • The rest of the butterflies, the aqua scribble and the Word Play words to stash.
Is it any wonder I don't seem to get anything done around the house?

I had to make a promise to myself that I have to do some housework before I enter the sewing room, and each time I leave it.  The reward will be working with this fabric.  Does anybody else do this?

Now I'm off to clean my kitchen before I head to the sewing room!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 26

Not much progress in numbers this week, but lots of little bits done!  It feels good to get back to sewing again.

Used this Week:  .5 metres
Used year to Date: 46.5 metres
Added this Week: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 45.9 metres
Net Used for 2012: 0.6 metres

My only finish wasn't even sewing, just pressing and cutting!  I loved paper dolls as a child, but they had fallen out of fashion by the time my kids were old enough in the 1980's and I couldn't find them anywhere.  Now that I have grandbabies, I was thrilled a couple of years ago when I found "Aunt Lyndi's Paper Dolls" fabric panels.  I finally got around to ironing them to fusible pellon, and cutting them out for Alex to play with.  They should last longer than paper, and Zoey won't be able to tear them up. As per usual, I'm linking up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for the weekly stash reporting!

I'm still plugging away on my Thangles quilt as leaders and enders.  As I'm assembling the blocks, I'm finishing the HSTs, only about 16 of 200+ left.  Then I have to start on the cornerstones and sashing.  I wish I had thought of this trick before I had them all cut Fast and Easy Sashing with Cornerstones

I couldn't find my Farmer's Wife book, so bad me, I started another project.  I've been collecting batiks for this Judy Niemeyer quilt pattern for a couple of years now, and the strips have been sorted into colour groups, so I finally started.  This is a long-term project so I don't have a deadline for it.  

I probably should have started my Christmas sewing list instead.  While I was cleaning up my sewing room looking for that darn book, I filled my Christmas basket - I'll post more about that later!

Finally, I found my book (under just 2 magazines), and I made the yellow and blue Wrench (Block #111).  Here's all my blocks so far.

I started thinking about sashing, so I could attach them as I go.  I'd love to do a black and white checkboard with bright cornerstones, but in order for the scale to look okay it would have to be 1/2" squares finished.  I made a sample and although I love the look, it would take forever.  

So now I'm on the hunt for a black and white checkerboard fabric with 1/2" squares  - any hints?

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's on my design wall - June 18, 2012

I need to spend more time in my sewing room, and less time on the couch, so I'm joining Judy Laquidera's Monday design wall posts in the hopes that I will get something done over the summer.

On the left is my Thangles 3 project, which has been a leaders & enders project, but now is moving to the front of the line.  There will be a total of 24 blocks with 2" wide sashing.  I call it Thangles 3 because I have a total of 3 Thangles Block-of-the-month projects that I've done religiously for about the first 3 months, then put aside.  1 & 2 still have to be done!

On the right are the blocks I've done so far on my Just Takes 2 quilt.  I randomly do the blocks depending on my mood, sometimes I want more of a challenge, and sometimes I just want fast.  I'm not sure how many of the blocks I'll actually do, as I'm not married to the design layout that has been presented for the first quarter.  As long as I'm enjoying making blocks, I'll continue - once I get tired of it, I'll start playing with my own layout.

I had first started my Just Takes 2 quilt in aqua and white, but the overall effect was kind of blah (lack of contrast).  I had made the first six blocks in aqua so tonight I put them together and started quilting a pillow for my sofa.

But after a full day of work, a meeting with a client this evening and an hour in my sewing room, I know when it's time to quit and go to bed!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 25

Not much to report this week, only 1 metre of Jade eyelet I used to make a cute summer dress for the birthday girl (and of course, forgot to take a picture of). At least I'm back in the positive, even if it is only by 4".  I do have lots on the go, but working full-time since I got back and for the next month is really cutting into my play time.  I think I'm going to whip off a couple of simple tops that need to be done for Christmas, just to bump those numbers in the next couple of weeks.

Used this Week:  1 metres
Used year to Date: 46 metres
Added this Week: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 45.9 metres
Net Used for 2012: 0.1 metres

I can't believe Zoey turned one this week! She is standing by herself for a few seconds, at least as long as she doesn't realize it, then she plunks herself down. I expect she'll start walking in about a month to six weeks.  That will still be faster than her mother, who had crawled at the age of 5 months and liked it so much that she didn't walk until she was 18 months old.  I had never heard of a typical kid who celebrated a one-year anniversary of walking, but my kid did!  One thing about starting so late: she never had a wobbly stage nor fell down and was running within the week.

Zoey had a bit of a fever the day of her birthday party, but she was a little angel. This picture captures her demeanour beautifully, she is demure and dainty, and that pointer finger is very curious!  She touches everything with just her finger, very delicately.  Since starting day care three days a week last month, she is less shy and more outgoing, and loves playing with all the kids. It's especially nice for Alex, because it's the same day care he goes to, and he loves his little cousin so much - and I love it too, because it's right across the road from my home so I get to see my sweethearts when I get home from work or on my day off.

I finally got around to taking a picture of the fabric I bought in Italy.  It's a white and red toile in a traditional pattern.

I'm going to use it to make some pillow shams for my bed, and then feed the scraps into my Scrap-Users system, a la Bonnie Hunter.

I also found this picture on my camera - for more quilt inspiration!  I took this one in the bathroom in Munich airport - I love the colours and the layout, and see this as a fun quilt to do for one of the kidlets.

I might even try my hand at pattern-designing, if I have the time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What is old is new again - a commentary on differing opinions.

I have had the misfortune to run into a couple of "militant" quilters recently, who both disparaged the other's point of view.  I just don't get it.

One was a self-identified traditionalist, who felt that a quilt is only a quilt if it follows a "traditional" pattern and used "traditional" fabrics and had "no use" for "modern" quilts.  The other only did "modern" quilts, and felt that only "fuddy-duddies" would want to constrain themselves within "old-fashioned" designs and fabrics. They actually were starting to get quite disrespectful to each other in their discussion.

As a lover of all things quilty, I just don't get it.  Why can't we appreciate and admire all work, without trying to classify it?

By the way, is anything really traditional or modern?  Here are some pictures from my recent trip to Italy that I took to inspire me and I'll let you decide.  

Now, besides the fact that these are not quilts, but mosiacs, and some of the colours are faded, I could easily classify these designs into either category.  And they are anywhere from 500 to over 2000 years old, so really, what is traditional and what is modern?  

This last picture isn't quilty-related, but what does this 2300-year-old block of marble remind you of?

Doesn't it look like Lego?  Introduced as ultra-modern in the 60's, the building block toy appears to be inspired by Roman and Greek builders.  This block was found in Pompeii and shows how they built structures and "locked" the blocks.  To think they carved every one of those circles by hand. Makes ya think, doesn't it?  Can you imagine making a quilt today without a rotary cutter?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm baaaack (said in my best Sheldon imitation) and a Sunday Stash Report!

Wow, and are my arms ever tired!  Okay, that was a bad joke but after the flights (yes, more than one) from Italy I am bagged.  It started Thursday morning when we got to the airport in Rome, only to discover that for some unknown reason our flight had been changed without telling us, and it had left 2 hours earlier.  After much discussion and reasoning, Lufthansa got us rebooked so at least we were still able to get home on the same day (the initial discussion was to stay one more night and go home the next day - which might have worked if we hadn't already checked out of our hotel and paid 50 Euro to get to the airport).  It did mean flying to Munich four hours later, a 2 hour layover, then an 8 hour flight to Montreal for another 2 hour layover and then the 5 hour trip to Vancouver.  All in all, my travel day was well over 24 hours, so most of Friday was spent sleeping or being in a daze, but I did manage to work on Zoey's birthday dress.  Saturday was groceries, then I had my grandson overnight.  At 3 1/2, he missed me so much and I missed him too, so we had fun together!

It was an amazing trip.  I got to see so many places, but left so many untouched so I plan to go back someday.  Not knowing the language, it was hard to spot fabric stores but on one of my last days in Rome, we spotted one and then another right around the corner.  Cottons were pretty much limited to sheeting and baby designs, but I did pick up a piece of white and red toile that was 108" wide.

Used this Week:  0 metres
Used year to Date: 45 metres
Added this Week: 2 metres
Added Year to Date: 45.9 metres
Net Used for 2012: -0.9 metres

They were both massive, room after room of fabrics on shelves that went 15 feet high or more. They had a huge selection of Liberty of London, but at 43 Euro a metre, I passed!

One of the highlights of the trip was a semi-private tour of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, where we got to go in 1 hour before the crowds and had the whole place practically to ourselves (only about 50 people in a place where there are normally 3,000 every 1/2 hour. I was even able to take a few pictures, which normally aren't allowed. The Last Judgement by Michelangelo is everything I expected and more - it was stunning!

My pictures aren't as good as the postcards, but there is just something about having taken them yourself that says "I was there". 

The floor in the Sistine was covered in marble mosaics - everywhere I looked was more and more quilt inspirations (in fact, I found so much inspiration in Italy I'm going to have to have a separate post of just those) This is when I was really grateful for the lack of crowds.

All in all, a fabulous trip and I hope to do it again in the future, as I feel I just barely scraped the surface.