Monday, 28 January 2008

Eye Spy a car... a truck... a plane... a train!

Finally, I have pieced together the main part of Austy's quilt. I'm not so pleased with it as I measured wrong and made lots of mistakes when I made the blocks, this being my second ever quilt when I started on it (I just started and finished a few other quilts while this was underway because once I started this I realised how difficult it was for a beginner like me). Some of the blocks had seams pressed open (the rest didn't as I changed my methods as I learnt along the way), and the strippy blocks came out at 8.75" square, while the picture blocks varied between 8.25 and 8.5". Of course the finished block was meant to be 8.5" for ALL blocks so that once in the quilt they would all be 8". However, that wasn't to be so I needed top spend hours trimming and squaring up my blocks. This meant that some seam allowances were left very scant, and all the strippy blocks ended up with a mich thinner outer strip than the rest of the strips. Another problem was that I cut everything into the shapes they are in the block... I should have kept my triangles squares and cut them into triangles AFTER I seamed them. As a result, many blocks were off square and after all that trimming, making nice block joins was near impossible. I think about 2 in 5 block joins are near acceptable in my standards, the rest are ATTROCIOUS!!! But, we need to make mistakes to learn don't we? Someone could have told me how to do it all but I wouldn't have understood why. Now I know better, AND I understand why, so my future quilts will be much better. I'm just a bit sad that poor Austy gets two learning quilts (his baby quilt was my first quilt), so I am now thinking up a third quilt for him that will be much more worthy of hanging onto through the years.

What I am getting to is that this has been a very daunting project for me. My design was much more complicated than I thought it would be (although I'd probably be fine with it if I attempted it again now) and the size alone scared the bejeezes out of me. So getting this far has been somewhat of a challenge. Austy is dutifully impressed though (aren't two year olds the greatest when it comes to "Mummy Made-em's" appreciation?!) so now his excitement at seeing his quilt this near completion, is the push to make me finish. I am wondering whether or not to add a border. What do you think - 2" scrappy squares in left over blues and car/truck/plane/train fabrics with a tiny bit of red? It will make it slightly larger than a standard single bed quilt. Then I will bind it with navy????

Austy is sitting here pulling out these leftover fabrics and placing them on the quilt top saying "Mummy sewed a quilt for Austin! I love it, I love it! I really really do" Makes it all worth while.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Patchy pleasures

Things have been rather hectic, stressful and crazy here as you can imagine. Here we are trying to keep a house picture perfect whilst both working full time with a mischievous little scalliwag (who seriously makes up for it with cuteness!) thinking up plans to undo all our efforts. Okay, not really, he's just being a 2 year old. Nevertheless, it's exhausting.

So, after Monday's mid-day open, we realised we didn't have an open for another week and decided that we can relax a little (but not too much or else we'll struggle to get it ready again for the next open), so after Austy is in bed, the dishwasher is on, the washing is hung and all is well I have been avoiding TV, trying not to linger on the net, and hitting the sewing machine, letting my stresses disperse through stitchy goodness! I am rather limited on fabrics as I am ona fabric buying ban and most of my stuff is packed and in storage, but thankfully I just had a birthday.

As you can see, some of my birthday swap fats have become very handy. I am enjoying every stitch and look forward to this time of the evening. As a matter of fact, got to run, there's a sewing machine out on the desk calling my name!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Happy birthday to me!

I haven't been doing much crafting lately, as I have been spending almost every waking moment that I'm not at work, here working on getting this place ready for sale. It won't be long now, our first open is on Sunday. Our house is starting to sparkle.

So you can imagine what I was doing as my first 30yr old wrinkle appeared on Sunday morning. Yep, you guessed it! Scrubbing windows and window frames, moving furniture, vaccuming the ceilings (yes, that's right - those 8 legged pets just had to go!), you name it. And that was AFTER staying up till 1:30am packing all my sewing stuff up to go into storage (sob). I did convince DH to let me keep one crate of quilt fabrics as I cleaned out my wardrobe to make room for it, and of course my new machines had to stay (but again only because I had made that extra space in the wardrobe!) Not the ideal way to spend one's 30th, however I will be making up for it next Sunday. While strangers wander through critiquing our home, I will be sipping a glass of champas, kicking back with the girls for a fancy Sunday brunch!

I did get some beautiful parcels in the mail last week though (and a few stragglers still coming this week). I joined in on the EB quilters birthday FQ swap where we each send each other a FQ to hopefully match their preferences for their birthday. I asked for blues/teals (for me) and anything boyish (for Austy) noting my tendancy to squeel with delight over cute tiny prints! I must admit I am a bit difficult because I'm not your standard pretty, floral, girly girl and much prefer cute prints over pretty, but I think I did well. Here's the loot:

I managed to score a few extras too, a couple of generous girls threw in a second FQ, Emma threw in a pack of gorgeous tiny bug buttons to adorn a quilt with (or maybe even a scrapbook), Lily threw in a quilting mag to inspire me and Cass surprised me the most with an ingenious shopping bag that folds into it's own pocket so I can keep it in my handbag for unexpected purchases. Perfect! Thanks again to my quilty friends! I thanked you all individually in our EB thread so you can see who gave me what there, but here are a few closeups of my faves:

That's my littlest finger up there! You can see how tiny they are.

I have done a little crafting amongst the cleaning:

An acrylic painting to cover the safe door in Austy's jungle room (he is getting a cars and trucks room at the new house so I didn't want to spend too much just to sell the house). Austy now has a set of 5 acrylic paints - Red, blue, yellow, white and black, and leftover brushes from the painting. So other than the five paint colours and three brushes, the painting just cost $5.50 - a large canvas at Spotlight!

Still going on my lacework although I've had to put it down for nearly two weeks as I need more than 10 mins to sit and do a bit. I like to try and get a whole repeat done so I don't get lost, learned through experience of having to frog quite a bit from missing out one row in a couple of repeats.

A day of scrapbooking (excuse the photos - you can't use the flash with photos on the page as it just flies right back at you, and my light was rapidly dwindling tonight but I knew I needed to blog them now or fear I'd never get it done.) I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but here are a couple of my faves.

And a little embroidered train that I did all by myself after my lesson on my new embroidery machine although I'm not showing because I think I need some practise - my fabric puckered a little because I didn't have it tight enough in the hoop - maybe when it's on a pair of shorts as an embroidered pocket I'll get some courage up.

Of course my embroidery machine was really my birthday present since the sewing machine was for Christmas. But I got the surprise of my life when Austy brought me my card (singing Happy Birthday... aaaww), I opened it, and Foo Fighters tickets dropped out of the envelope!!!! Woooooo hoooo! We're off to see the Foos in April! I've seen them before but I don't think I'd ever have enough! We'll get warmed up for it at the Big Day Out, not long to wait now.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Happy New Year!!

Okay, so I'm a few days late but things have been a little busy over here. I was thinking of doing a 2007 wrap up post like many of my other bloggy friends but when I went to start I looked at my 2007 completed list in the side bar and suddenly realised that I nearly made it to 40!!! If only I had finished binding the baby quilt I'm currently working on.

Oh well, I have decided there's no way I can add 39 photos to one post so the 2007 completed list might have to stay, and I'll just add a new one for 2008. There's no way I can do that many projects this year with 40hrs a week at work, an extra subject to complete my Masters by the end of the year, a 2yr old and a house to move into but I'll do my best to get a few projects completed this year.

I do want to try more quilts this year and have heard some exciting news that several of my friends are expecting babies so there's no better time to expand my quilting knowledge! I also want to finish a few knitted WIPs and make some cute little baby knits as they have always been my favourite thing to knit. Plus I have the new machines to explore so there will be some stitchy projects this year too.

Wishing all my readers a happy new year for 2008. We can't wait to move into our new place, so already we feel it will be a great year for us!