Friday, 28 March 2008

Red and White and Butterflies All Over

This quilt has reached its destination where the new owner's mother is reluctant to let her daughter sit on or sleep under it.
Red and White and Butterflies All Over was designed using a selection of red and white prints Ellie sent me, along with her wishlist of reds, white and a few others on eQuilter. The butterflies are my favourite, but I loved working with such a crisp palette.
It took a while to come up with a workable design, and in the end I made several adjustments to the borders to get suitable dimensions for a single bed without compromising her preferred central layout.
The quilting was a rather drawn-out process, with innumerable thread tails to finish off (I even lost count!) and a lot of quilt bulk to manipulate through the throat of the machine (I am longing for a long-arm quilting machine!). But I am in love with the fan effect the quilting created, and am glad I tried something a bit different from the plain in-the-ditch quilting I would have done only a year ago. I've got a few new books on the actual quilting part of the process, and they have me inspired - but taking baby-steps! I still believe it's the piecing that makes the quilt, not the quilting (especially at my level), but the quilting can certainly add a lot.

And with some of the remaining fabric, I made a couple of matching piped cushion covers.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

A Century

Happy 100 blog posts to me!
To celebrate, here's my latest quilt. I made it over the Easter long weekend, and it's finished apart from a name and a label (which I will do once I get a photo of the baby it's for).
I enjoyed working on a small quilt after 2 single-bed quilts; they are just so much faster and easier to handle through the machine. The leaves are foundation-pieced, with hand appliqued stems. I'm really happy with my applique work, but my hands suffered. There wasn't that much of it, but the left hand which holds it in place as I sew was in agony by the time I was done. This quilt again features free-motion stippling. I find it easy enough - when my machine is cooperating, but a source of endless frustration when the bottom thread keeps loosening or breaking. It's usually all fine with the first bobbin; then I swap to a new one and everything falls to pieces.
I spent a while doodling with paper and pencil to come up with something a little more interesting than a plain stipple, but failed miserably. I should have taken my books - I'll look at them now, for next time!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Post - outgoing for a change!

The snowflake is winging its way to a (hopefully cooler) Perth, for Helen to weave her magic on it - after she pops it in the freezer!

And tonight (this morning!) I finished another project which I hope to photograph tomorrow morning (pending cooperative children!) and maybe even get in the mail tomorrow afternoon. It's called Red and White and Butterflies All Over, and you'll be seeing it soon.

And in wonderful news, Adelaide's record-breaking heatwave is finally ending. After 15 days of 35 or over (mostly well over!) and smashing the Australian state capital heatwave record, we are anticipating a delightful 29 tomorrow. Bliss!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

A bad start

Today's return to work started in dramatic fashin. Let's just say I had a 5 minute battle to open my front door, and another 15 minute battle to get it shut, let alone locked. James and Eleanor sat on the front porch beautifully while I ranted and raved. Upon returning to the door this evening, there was a large box of Valori Wells fabric waiting for me - much better.

Combined with this recent selection:
Stash = 728m

And because my return to work coincides with Eleanor turning 8 months (and she still hasn't quite cracked 7kg!) here is the latest photo. They're getting harder now she moves so much!

This is ridiculous

Yesterday Adelaide's maximum temperature reached 36C. Ok, that's hot, but so what? It's March. Autumn. (You hear???) And with yesterday we're experiencing the longest heatwave here since records began back in 18-something (and that's not just for March, but for any time of the year). And we're getting excited because NEXT Wednesday it's 'only' meant to be 31C. A cool change (ha!) after a full week at 38 or 39. I'm over it!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Red hot

Working wiht a lot of red fabric recently has renforced something I have noticed for a long time. Red quilting fabric goes noticeably darker when hot (i.e. when being pressed). I don't notice it with any other colour, but the red does it without fail. Anyone know why? Or have any similar quilting conundrums?

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Inspired or Disillusioned?

I've spent this evening reading a blog I've just discovered. Her work is incredible. I'm not sure if I'm inspired to be more pernickety with my work and strive for such fabulous results, or should give up! No, I'd never give up, and admittedly I'm probably producing more quilts; but I'd swap a few of mine for one of hers! I think I should get back to doing more innovative quilts than the blocks designed in EQ I've been doing recently. They're faster but ultimately not as satisfying as those where I mull over the design in my head for ages, then play with sketches, then work out how I'm going to put it all together. So before you open the link - think about what you're looking for!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Stars in Her Eyes

Leia has received the quilt she commissioned for her daughter, so here it is:

I'm pretty happy with it, and more importantly, she is, too!

Eleanor overload

It's ages since I posted an update on Eleanor, so here is some of the backlog of photos!

She still looks as though she'll start crawling properly any day - as she has for the last month! But she's certainly getting faster wiuth her commando style. This morning I was changing James' nappy, and she followed us all the way from the far corner of the lounge through the living areas, down the hall and into James' bedroom at the end.

Her second tooth appeared a few weeks ago, and I finally got a photo of them today. Of course the only one showing the teeth wasn't quite in focus! I think the top pair are moving now, too.
Her first solids. "What are you trying to do to me???"
Trying to escape!
Eleanor and I:
At Marion pool in her swimsuit:
This can't be my child! She was having a wonderful time!
At Kensington Pool, and starting to go a bit blonde!
Reading; her favourite is the soft teddy's tummy:
Skye and Eleanor!
Peek-a-boo! I love this outfit:
James loves to tow his trailer, and asked for a special load:
Among the stash!
Trying to make friends with Shadow:
Sitting! She sat for over half an hour, while I took photos of a quilt, then her:
The ladybird she got for Christmas; still a bit big!
Quatro Lego:
Those teeth:

Monday, 3 March 2008

Look! Crab!!!

James was very concerned last night about something on his bedroom floor. Busy at the time, I asked what it was. "It's crab!" came the response! Upon arrival in his room, we gingerly walked across the rug to find...... the remainder of the apple peel he'd been eating the other day while I was cooking up a batch of fruit for Eleanor. He's caught and seen cooked crabs several times at Port Hughes, and red apple peel, curled and dried, does look remarkably like crabs' legs!!!

And here is a large and relatively recent selection of photos of James:
Not sure what he was trying to achieve here:
Marion Pool:
Threading grapes on a feather at Kensington Pool:
Playing with Eleanor:
Reading to Eleanor:
Up on my feet - he later let go with his hands, too!
Helping Andrew watering on a hot day (he wasn't in the sun long):
The right sport; Andrew would be proud:
He wouldn't have a nap, and wouldn't, and wouldn't...
The current obsession - pegs!
With most of his soft toys in his tunnel: