Friday 29 January 2016

Happy dancing ...

... is going on over here at QuiltTimes Mansion. I've been practising quilting with rulers as you know from my previous posts, and this is my latest effort.
When I bought the special foot, it came with one ruler, but the company had also put together a "sampler" package which I treated myself to. While I was waiting for them to arrive I spent hours watching videos on their site and also found one or two others on YouTube so once I had all these goodies in my hands I couldn't wait to have a go. After a couple of days of just trying things, I felt ready to really push my luck, so, I made up a quilt sandwich about 18" square and this is what I came up with. It may not be perfect, but I'm happy. 

Not bad considering I've only had the foot and rulers for 7 days.  

(Mind you, when I proudly showed it to Mr Fixit, he looked at it and said, hmm, it's OK but what's it going to be? After I counted to 10 I explained the "practice, practice, practice" idea to him.)

Now I'm off to sew some poor little orphan blocks together so I can get quilting on them.

Sunday 24 January 2016

I've been playing....

... and having lots of fun with my new quilting rulers.

Here are my first efforts. I know they're far from perfect, but considering I have only had them for 5 days, I am very happy.

I was trying curved cross hatching here cos I love the effect. This was really my first try at doing anything with a purpose, and I know the photo is slightly out of focus, and my spacing between lines leaves much to be desired, but I still love the effect.

This is my effort at using an arc shape to fill a border. I have learned that I need to "draw" in the boundaries before I start otherwise I am not very good at judging the distance.

and yesterday I got really ambitious.

All in all, I'm learning a lot during my playtime, and who knows, maybe one day I'll feel brave enough to actually do this on a real quilt.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

it's playtime ...

Look what Father Christmas has just delivered:
There's a special quilting foot and all these rulers so I can have a go at quilting with rulers on my domestic machine. I've been watching videos and am now excited to get started and see if I can do this.

By the way, I've also decided to join the 21st century, and am now on Instagram. I can be found by just typing in the name QuiltSue, I think. This is thanks to Helen, who gave an impromptu tutorial to a few of us while we were on the retreat last weekend.

Monday 18 January 2016

and I'm back ...

... from my quilt retreat with members of the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group.

I had a fabulous weekend with 15 friends, lots of chatter, laughter, eating and, of course, sewing. Not that much sleeping went on though and on Saturday night some of the die-hards were still hard at work (chatting anyway) at about 1am I gather.

Scrappy and I arrived early so we had time for lunch on Friday although we couldn't get into the sewing room until about 4.30. So we ordered a sandwich each and a plate of chips (french fries) to share and the portions were large enough that we really only needed one sandwich between us. Still, we managed to eat it all. Other people started arriving and soon we were able to get into the sewing room.

We had a lovely big room with plenty of natural light, room for a table with coffee and tea making facilities and a large "treat" table. That table, I can tell you, was the ruin of any diets for the weekend. What's more, it was magic. As fast as we all ate, it never got empty.

There was a great goody bag for each person with gifts like magazines, fabrics, threads, vouchers and all sorts of lovely things.

 We were able to sew, eat, chat, repeat, as often as we wanted and I managed to make a quilt top (no photo for some reason) and sort of master machine applique with my new machine. I have never had a machine with a button-hole stitch before, so I had fun playing around using that and trying out different threads. This was the beginning of a quilt, until I realised that I did not have enough of the right fabrics, so they will become a table topper I think, and I will make the quilt from different fabrics.

I then moved on to a different applique project and am making slow progress with it and having fun.

We also had a raffle and a quiz, and, on Sunday a little fresh air was called for, but don't worry, we had a good reason for abandoning our sewing machines, as you can see. A fire alarm went off and we all had to evacuate while the firemen came and extinguished the fire (which I was told was in the kitchen, but we still got our meals served up so I'm not sure). We also had snow, but not enough for us all to have been snowed in. (What a hardship that would have been, snowed in while staying at a hotel for a quilt retreat.)

All in all, a great weekend thanks to L & H (the organisers) and everyone else who was there and now I'm looking forward to the next one.

Sunday 10 January 2016

Hello ....

.... is it safe to come out now? I have been hiding away over New Year as I really did not want to do the traditional review of 2015/planning ahead for 2016 thing. 2015 was not a good one health wise for either my husband or my father, and who knows what this year will bring to them? Neither of them are suffering with things that will get better unfortunately. I have not really done any sewing since October when my father became seriously ill and I have spent a lot of my time caring for him. This meant that I have been beyond tired and not had the energy to do much when I had free time. However, things are improving. Dad's improved to the point of getting up every day and although he is very weak, he is a little more independent. Starting last week, I have had some help with him and he now has a carer coming in twice a day which gives me some free time and I am starting to recover.

Next weekend I am off on a 3 day quilting retreat with members of the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group. I am really looking forward to it, and have started gathering up my projects and making plans. I have gifts ready for my mystery gift swap, treats ready for the treat table and am good to go. The great thing about this retreat is that it is only about 15 miles away, so I can get home easily if I need to.

As part of my "getting ready" I decided I needed some zippy bags to organise things into, so I ordered some from Amazon. They came in a pack of 5 A2 size and were delivered this morning. below you can see the box they came in on the left, and the actual bags on the right. Slightly over-packaged maybe?

Also I am going to "try" and make a scrappy quilt while I am there, and worked out how many scrappy strips I would need, so I could cut them ahead of time. Well, I am so insecure about this scrappy lark, that I have actually cut enough strips to make three quilts!
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