Sunday, August 26, 2012

A quilt top in an afternoon

Work MADE ME go home at noon on Friday because sections were moving around on our floor, and even though I personally wasn't moving I was in the middle of all the moving and for OHS reasons I wasn't allowed to be there.

Whatever. I am not one to look the gift horse in the mouth.

I saw it as the perfect opportunity to start the quilt I've been promising to the Mister's workmate since June last year. Her kid turned one the other week. I'm more than embarrassed. Admittedly in June last year when I made this promise I was still very, very sick and didn't quite have a grasp on reality. Also, I'm just plain lazy. I made lots of things in the time between then and now, but I just wasn't enthused about this project for some reason. But not any more.

Monique's quilt

It started out with a charm pack bought at the SCQuilters retreat in Townsville a couple of months ago.

Monique's quilt

On Friday after I got home, I start sketching the quilt I wanted to make.

Monique's quilt

I thanked my lucky stars I had a sandpaper board I'd made so many years ago. Very helpful for drawing lines on little squares of fabric.

Monique's quilt

I started sewing.

Monique's quilt

Then sewed some more.

Monique's quilt

And then I trimmed and pressed and moved over to the design wall.

Monique's quilt

I rearranged and rearranged and rearranged some more until I was happy with the combination. Then I sewed it all together, and by 8.30 that night, with lots of breaks and dinner and some TV watching in between, I had all the blocks sewn.

Monique's quilt

By 9.30 I had added borders (which admittedly I think are too big so I will trim them down 2 inches on each side), BUT GUYS!!  I had a quilt top!

Now for basting and quilting. I'm hoping to be able to give this to the Mister to give to his friend after we return from our holidays in mid September. But no pressure. This quilt will suit the kid till she's at least 10 years old.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day at the farm

Day at Shimmy's farm

Today some friends and I drove out of town for over an hour to spend the day at another friend's beautiful farm in the Monaro region.

Day at Shimmy's farm

There were sheep and lambs! Teeny baby lambs! And alpacas (not as cute as the lambs).

Day at Shimmy's farm

Day at Shimmy's farm

Day at Shimmy's farm

And sadly some poddy lambs (one died while we we there. Not one of these though). :(

Day at Shimmy's farm

The big wide Murrumbidgee ran at the bottom of the property. I could imagine swimming here on hot summer days (not so much while it's snow-fed though, like it is during winter)

Day at Shimmy's farm

I have long dreamed of one day owning a small property outside of town, where we can have a mahoosive vegie patch and pigs and ducks and chooks and did I mention pigs? We'd have a Rayburn cooker and bake all our own bread and make lots of lovely cheese with the milk from our cow. I mentioned a cow, didn't I?

But the reality is the farming life really isn't for me no matter how much I dream about it. My grandad and dad were farmers, admittedly in the centre of Brisbane in the days (not too long ago!) when they had farms in the centre of Brisbane. My husband grew up on a farm in the middle of whoop whoop and brought up pigs for pocket money. My brothers-in-law still farm. Farming is such hard work and for such little gain. Poddy lambs die in front of your eyes. Floods happen and you lose your entire flock including your prize ram, which is what happened to my brother-in-law last year. And there is no avoiding that I like the convenience to my local quilt shop and the corner supermarket and being able to pop up to my local coffee shop when I want to meet with friends.

Day at Shimmy's farm

But I will continue visiting my friend out in the country, sit on the verandah with her overlooking the Murrumbidgee, and keep dreaming anyway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I have a headache

And this is probably why. But it's rather a nice headache to have.

Lotta hexies - progress

That is one enormous clash of colours. A little too much for my work-addled brain to handle, but the lovely spare bed with the even lovelier twisted hexagons on it is the only bed with good enough lighting in the house that I can use as a horizontal design wall.

I lie - it's the only bed clear enough to use as a horizontal design wall.

I was trying to work out tonight how many hexagons I needed to make a full queen sized quilt. Just hexagons and diamonds - no borders.

Turns out it's not enough. So I've rejigged the design (not that I ever had a design) a little so all I have to do is sew an edge of hexagons to each side, a row of hexagons to the bottom, and add 10 rows of 3 to the top to make a bed topper. Then I'll add a border in a lighter grey to make it a full queen size. So I haven't got far to go - and I only started a little over two weeks ago.

Lotta hexies - progress

I'm loving this quilt so much.

Who knows? By the time the Paralympics are over, I may have an entire quilt top.

But no promises, and no pressure. I'll leave the racing to the athletes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Since the last time we spoke

Hexagon appliques for the baby of a fello hexagon addict

This happened.

Lotta Hexies - end of day 14 of the Olympics competition

This happened.

Twisted Hexagons at the Canberra Quilters Exhibition

This happened (and I can't believe I didn't get a better photo of it at the Canberra Quilters
 exhibition. I hope one of my friends did).

Twisted Hexagons at the Canberra Quilters Exhibition

This happy face happened.

Twisted Hexagons at the Canberra Quilters Exhibition

Because this happened.

Yep - it was a good weekend.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I love quilting

I really, really do. It's what I think of when I wake up in the morning. During my lunch break. On my way home from work. I can't wait to get dinner cooked, and then my night is my own to stitch away.


It can be a lonely business though - you can lock yourself away in your sewing room for hours at a time and forget you have a family until your husband kindly makes you a cup of tea.

It's probably why I love English paper piecing so much. I allows me to be creative and de-stress, with company. Before I started hand piecing seven years ago, I did a lot of redwork and hand quilting. I love redwork. I once redworked from the bottom to the top of the US West Coast and back again (I probably should dig that quilt out and finish it).

Wall o'Rasant

Today I found myself at a bit of a loose end. The plans I'd made for the afternoon had been cancelled and the weather was too feral for gardening, so we decided to drive to the south side to my favourite quilt shop. I didn't really need too much - just some thread and maybe a background for a baby quilt I'm in the process of planning.

Monique's quilt - design wall

I love my design wall. This is the quilt I'm planning. I'm using charm squares I bought in Townsville and adding a little sparkle with some white fabric. I think it's going to look pretty specky when it's finished. Probably should get onto that - I promised the quilt a year ago and the baby is almost one ...

The perfect background for my Hexy MF

At the quilt shop the unthinkable happened - I came across the perfect background for my Hexy MF quilt. I wasn't looking for a background yet - I though I might sew the flowers together first and then take the whole kit and kaboodle out shopping. I didn't have my quilt with me, only photos so I was taking a chance. But I knew it would be perfect, even if it was purple (and we all know I don't do purple).

Well, it's a dusty aubergine. Which is still purple in my book.

The Olympics Lotta Jansdotter hexagon quilt ambles along. Here's where I was during the men's 100m sprint heats last night.

End of Day 8 of Olympics

I have no idea where this quilt it going, but it might be two big strips like this with some grey horizontal strips in between and on the top and bottom. I don't know. I know I don't have enough of that grey fabric and there is none left at the store, but the quilt store owner took a swatch today and is going to talk to the rep in a couple of weeks. My chances aren't good though - it's not a consistent solid like Kona or Moda Bella. But that was so nice of her to offer.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Lotta Hexies Olympic Challenge - day 5

So a lot has happened since I last reported at the end of day 2 of the Olympics coverage.

Day 3 hexing at a friend's house

On Monday I was supposed to go to one of my choirs, but everyone was busy so I went to my friend's house (who hosts the choir normally) and I hexed while her and her daughter and the two labradors watched the 'lympics on the telly. We drank tea. There were Monte Carlo biscuits. There may have been some questionable humour. At one stage I christened the equestrian commentator "Lucinda Toffee" and then we all impersonated her glorious clipped British accent. There was a little too much laughter, and yet by the end of day 3 of the telecast I had this.

At the end of day 3 of the Olympics

Because no one believes just how huge these hexagons are until they see them for themselves, here's a photo with my large piano-player hands for scale.

At the end of day 3 of the Olympics

On day 4 I missed a lot of the coverage, and therefore the opportunity to hex, because we were busy researching and booking a holiday on the internet. Yeah. It was tough but I soldiered on.

End of day 4

Day 5 of the telecast started as soon as I got home and turned on the TV. I got a bit of sewing done, cooked dinner, then had to leave for my other choir for a few hours. Later, sometime during watching mad buggers in canoes fight against the forces of a massive stormwater drain, I'd achieved this.

End of day 5

It's time to sew those strips together. I've sewn the first two, but it's a lot of work and I've been putting it off. Perhaps over the next couple of nights I'll get that done.

So how's everyone enjoying the Olympics so far? Personally I'm loving having a few teams to barrack for * - covers all the cheering bases!

*Australia, Holland (I'm half Dutch), Afghanistan (just because), Bhutan (long story), Ireland (I like their national anthem) and any other small country that has more officials than competitors in their team.