Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Red and white quilt

I've been making a concerted effort recently to get my digital photos properly sorted. Although most people would probably consider them already in pretty good order, it's one thing I'm really fussy about. I go through and weed out all but the best, then I edit them as necessary. I rename them all, sort them into the right folders, and make sure they're backed-up - preferably twice and in different locations ( I keep a second external hard-drive at my parents' house, though I don't update it quite as often as I should).

At the same time, I've caught up on photographing a few quilts, so I have some ready to share -although a few  must wait until they're published. Today's quilt is made from simple equilateral triangles, and is called Dziękuję - which means 'thank you' in Polish.

I quilted it using the all-over swirls which I like so much at the moment. I was a bit unsure about an all-over design with such stark contrast to the fabrics, but the red BottomLine is fine enough that it doesn't look out of place on the lighter fabrics, and of course it blends well on the red. I especially like the way the quilting shows on the plain ombre border.

It measures close to 50 x 60in - a nice size for a lap quilt, and joins a large pile of quilts waiting to be given as gifts (I just need to make one more, then can take them to their intended recipients).

Monday, 29 April 2013

From the stash

The new quilt I'm working on requires 67 different fabrics. I managed to get 60 from my stash, which I thought was pretty good going. I filled all but one of the gaps at one of my LQSs this afternoon, and the only one I still need is a feature print for the main border, but I can't find anything close to what I used in my EQ7 design. So I've decided to piece the rest, them play around with some options for the border later on.

I started the piecing tonight, but there's a way to go before it starts looking like anything.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

My new long-arm...

...only cost $40.

Sadly, it's only a long-arm stapler! But it did make collating the recent new print-runs of my patterns much easier. (The tree pattern is A4 sheets folded in half and (now) stapled at the fold, which a normal stapler just can't reach.)

Both Winter Harvest (above) and the Beach Scene (below) quilt patterns are now back in stock in my Etsy store.

Etsy has also introduced a simpler method of delivering digital patterns. After purchasing the PDF version of my Beach Scene the buyer will receive an email from Etsy, advising them their files are ready to download instantly, with a link to where the file is stored with Etsy. However, their system cannot yet manage this for the package deal, so those purchasing both the digital and hard copy together will still receive the files directly emailed from me.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Beach with borders

I finally got myself into gear and finished the beach quilt top. It's pretty big (66 x 81in) so for the quick photo I draped it over one of the sofas and onto the freshly-cleaned floor.

I really like the way the border turned out. I'll sandwich and start quilting tomorrow. I usually bind my beach quilts in a bright stripe, but I think this one might be better with plain navy - or I do have a white, navy and mid-blue diagonal stripe which I'll audition as well once the quilting is done.

A week on from her accident, and Eleanor's recovering nicely; we have a follow-up appointment tomorrow just to be sure.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Not quilty

Our school holidays started early and in dramatic fashion. James and Eleanor's school had a student-free day on Friday before the official 2-week break starts, but our quiet day didn't go as planned. I'd hoped to do some quilting.

At 11.30 Eleanor had a silly accident tumbling over the arm of the sofa and bumping her mouth on the coffee table. It was quickly obvious she'd knocked one of her top teeth loose, and by 12.45 we were at the children's dentist, with the surgeon who'd removed James' teeth after a similar (but more dramtic) incident at almost exactly the same age. It turned out, she'd badly loosened her centre-left top tooth, and the one next to it, and they didn't want to wait to deal with it. They also decided that since, also like James, as her front 2 adult teeth are coming through at the bottom and the baby teeth weren't at all wobbly (they obviously share genes for long roots) they may as well take them out at the same, to make room for the adult teeth. This takes copying one's older brother to a whole new level!

So by 2.45 we were at the SurgiCentre and not long after I took her through to the operating theatre and held her in my arms as they administered the gas, then went and read for a while. She was out within half an hour, and the dentist came along with the teeth in a pouch for the tooth fairy to tell me it had all gone well. She even got to keep her little teddy by her side from start to finish. Not long later she started to stir, and spent the next hour or so snuggling on my lap on a very comfy recliner and having a few licks of an ice block while I was plied with food and drink when the nurses realised I'd somehow not had a chance to eat all day!

By about 8pm she was quite cheery and managed some home-made custard before going to bed and sleeping all night (though I did wake her when I went to bed and top her up with some panadol). She was a bit quieter than usual most of Saturday, but is pretty much back to her usual self.

(less than 10 hours after the accident; giggling at her new toy whispering in her ear)

I'm sad to see the last of her cute mouthful of little baby teeth, but very thankful at the same time that they were only baby teeth. She'll be gappy at the top for a while to come, but we expect no ongoing issues, and the new bottom teeth should fill the space there quite quickly.  While it obviously wasn't a nice (or cheap!) way to spend the day, especially for Eleanor, it was remarkably easy, all things considered. Once again, I can't speak highly enough of the dental staff, surgeon and SurgiCentre staff fro the way they handled everything. To be home, fully treated, so soon after the accident is wonderful. I'm also grateful to my parents, who looked after James at such short notice (and even took him to an appointment I'd expected he'd have to miss) since I couldn't get hold of Simon at work until minutes before the surgery.

(The 'before' photos were taken during their Easter egg hunt - as an aside, you can see James' gum was damaged in his accident, leaving more of his upper left centre tooth showing, but with no ongoing trouble)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Another beach

Sorry, I didn't mean to vanish for a few weeks! I've been plodding along, quilting a bit and procrastinating a lot (especially when it comes to blogging!) I've started on a commissioned beach scene.

This one will be single bed size, but to avoid losing half  the scene off the foot and sides of the bed, we decided to make the scene as the centre, and I'm doing some coordinating water piecing for the 3-sided border.

I made a good start on this at  Easter; I took the equivalent of seven full shopping bags worth of fabric with me - I need plenty to choose from as I piece these. As it turned out, I only got the reef/water section done (shown above with all the fabrics cut and pinned in place, but none sewn), so could have left the stacks of sand and sky fabrics at home - but I chose not to mention that to Simon!

In the last week I've pieced the sky and beach. I've added quite a few fabrics to my beach scene stash recently (I'm always on the look-out) and this time have added a kite to the sky. I've got some hot air balloons on the way now, too, so might incorporate one of those into the next one. I still find the beach the hardest to choose the fabrics for. Although it gets easier and I'm more confident in my choices, I do still occasionally look back on something after it's cut and pinned into position on the foundation and realise it contrasts too much with a neighbouring piece and needs replacing.