More stuff

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Identifying breeds of dogs for the under-2s

Today was a normal day.  School run.  Jobs in the village - bank, dry cleaning, bakery.  Then, for a change, we took the scenic route home.

On the way we passed some people walking dogs.   First, we passed a lady accompanied by:
"Looh!" squeals the baby.  "Wu-woof!  'Ello Wu-woof!".

Lady smiles.  Baby waves.  Everyone happy.

Next, we pass a gentleman accompanied by:
"Looh!" shouts the baby.  "Wu-woof!  Woof!  Ba-bayyyye Wu-woof!"

Man smiles.  Baby giggles.  How chatty and perceptive my toddler is being today!

A couple of minutes later, a big man walks past, accompanied by something closely resembling the creature on the right:

"LOOH!" screams the baby.  "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRR!!!"

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lovely lovely post

This morning (well, lunchtime really - Royal Mail has lets its standards slip) there was a knock at my front door.  As a rule I am not known for my speediness, but when I heard that rat-a-tat, I ran downstairs as fast as my little legs would take me.

Because I knew this was coming:
...Kona solids for my Fracture mini quilt!  Charlotte has already posted the instructions for cutting the foundation papers here.  Superswot Kelly has already done hers.  Mine are ... on my list.

And also this arrived in the same parcel:
 ... yummy yummy Chicopee!

My only finish this week are my September Bumble Bee blocks.  These are modified Bento Box blocks for Moira at Kettleboiler, who asked for these blocks in fun boy fabrics for her just-turned-1 year old son:
Hmmmm the contrast doesn't show up well on this photo but in the flesh they are really quite funky!  I wish I had had some extra orange to do those 3rd corners with.  But I'm sure they will look at home with all of the other Bee ladies' blocks.

I have been plugging away at my daughter's Dolce quilt and have nearly all of the 36 blocks done so with another hour or so I should be able to get a picture of it all laid out very soon.

G x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Do you Pervalong?

Displacement Activity

This weekend I have been mostly thinking about colours.  More specifically, trying to choose colours for my own version of "Fracture", a striking solids-based quilt by Charlotte at Displacement Activity:
At the last LMQG meeting at Liberty's (which I still need to upload my pictures for), Kelly suggested that this quilt should be called "50 Shades of Grey".  Charlotte had already decided that it should be called "Fracture" (it is going to be entered into Quiltcon and so needs a name).  Kelly, not wishing to be dismissed out of hand, then submitted her backup choice of "50 Shades of Perv".  Charlotte, possibly not wishing to upset any of the older generation at Quiltcon, stuck to her guns.

Although the quilt is still "Fracture", when Charlotte decided to do a quilt-a-long of her new pattern, it naturally became the "Pervalong".  Do not fear, there is no unseemly activity involved in making this quilt.  It is just a regular quilt-a-long.  No funny business.

The basic idea behind the quilt is to have one colour going from strong to pale, then a transition colour (grey or natural), then a new colour going from pale to strong.  I had an idea in my head of how I would like mine to look, and came up with various options on the Robert Kaufman website which has all of the Kona colours on.  However, colours on computer screens are not the same as colours on colour cards, so many thanks to Charlotte for the numerous emails ping-ponging between us as to which colours might work with each other.

Here is my final colour scheme:
It is missing the darkest green because it's actually 10 colours we need, but you get the picture.

So, colours ordered (thank you Village Haberdashery!) and I will be on the edge of my seat waiting for the postman to bring me my lovely fabric very soon.

G x

Friday, 21 September 2012

How you know when your spouse does not share your love of quilting

On Wednesday I finished my Apple Crisp quilt top.  Yay!  I started it in January 2010, so it was one of those projects that went from being a lovely treat to a bit of a millstone around my neck.  I am not fond of borders, so when I sewed on the final 2 borders in under an hour, I felt a bit of a wally for always avoiding them.

It happens that Wednesday was a very bright day, so when I laid my quilt out on the spare bed to take a picture, it was bisected by a large trapezium of sunlight from the window which made it look silly.  By the time the sun went away, it was a bit too dark to photograph.  So I thought I would wait until the next bright-but-not-too-bright morning.

This morning I remembered that I still needed to take a picture of the quilt with its borders, and bounded upstairs with my camera.  Only to be met with this:
My husband's suit trousers, carelessly tossed over my lovely new quilt like a sack of spuds.  The Philistine!

In retaliation, I carelessly tossed the trousers onto the chest of drawers so that I could take a photo of the quilt unadorned by discarded clothing.  Unfortunately I forgot to straighten it out first, so on the bottom left you may spy the rumple left by my husband's pants:
This quilt is too big to photograph in one piece - or rather my arms are too short to hold the camera high enough - but you get the picture.  The fussy cut outer border that I had been so worried about actually worked out well.  I just needed to add a couple of inches to each end of 2 of the sides, and then it all lined up.

In other news, I finally finished my August Bumble Bee blocks!  They are Japanese Cross and Plus blocks and they go together surprisingly quickly.  The centre plus in each block is an Oakshott cotton - the rich colours in Oakshotts are really quite striking, especially when you see them against other fabrics.
These blocks are winging their way to Sue (or have wung their way, if Royal Mail can actually deliver First Class post on the timetable they are supposed to).  I am looking forward to seeing Sue's finished quilt - I don't think she has a blog so I will look out for it on the Bee group.

G x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tula Pink again

Hello peeps

Why not hop over to the London Modern Quilting Guild blog - I have done a slightly longer recap of the Tula Pink evening in Knightsbridge with some more pictures from some of the other LMQG members.

Additionally the Village Haberdashery blog has an insightful interview with Tula on this post.

I have been (belatedly) busy with my August Bee blocks today - I will take some photos tomorrow to share.

G x

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cog & Wheel Pattern

I love the new Chicopee fabric line ... mmm oh so lovely ...

... but before I impulsively buy more fabric, I always make sure I have a project in mind.  If I don't have a project for it, I usually try to suppress my fabric-buying tendencies.  However, whilst on Denyse Schmidt's fabulous website, what should I see but this:

The perfect pattern for Chicopee .... oh!  LOVE IT.  Not even the curved piecing can dissuade me.

Then I looked around for the pattern on t'internet.  I couldn't find it anywhere in the UK for love nor money.  So then I started looking at US sites.

One US site declared that it could happily ship this pattern to me and that the shipping charge would only be a trifling $37.  THIRTY SEVEN DOLLARS?  Not including the pattern.  I think not.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, and to spare you the extended melodrama of me huffing and puffing at my computer screen, I decided the most cost effective seller was in fact Denyse herself with only $5 shipping charge.  So I am going to order this baby today and hope that my husband decides that £12 on his credit card bill isn't worth grumbling about.

Now I'm off to get some borders onto my Apple Crisp now before the morning is completely gone.  I have spent most of this morning so far chasing up party invitations for daughter #1, mainly because of party bag filler (aka tat) purchasing.  Most party bag tat comes in sets of 6, and with 18 confirmed partygoers, this is highly convenient.  However I am still waiting for 2 non-replies which, if they end up being affirmative, could completely stuff up my party bag plan.
Photo courtesy of Little Treasures Party Bags

I'm sure I didn't spend 17 years in education to worry about this kind of nonsense.

G x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

WIP Wednesday for once!

I very rarely get around to posting my WIP on a Wednesday, but today (more by chance than design) I am doing just that.

I only chose 3 items for my Q3 Finish-a-Long because I thought that sounded achievable.  I have already done #2 on my list - the Union Jack pillow - and I have been focusing most of my attention on #1 - my Apple Crisp quilt in French General fabric:

I am pleased to have got the quilt top all sewn up and pressed, so now I just need to add the borders.  Borders are definitely not my favourite part of quilt-making, but they are all cut and ready to pin so I should just get on and do it.

I have done a couple of hours on my Q3FAL item #3, namely my elder daughter's Dolce quilt, but still some way to go on this.  No new photo of this sadly, as it is all pinned and looks a bit too WIP-y even for WIP Wednesday.

I had also earmarked a couple of hand sewing projects to plug away at in the evenings.  I haven't worked on my hexagons for a while, but with the Autumn Term starting I started to feel the pressure to put some hours into my younger daughter's Christmas stocking:
As you can see, he doesn't have a head yet!  He will soon.  It took me a long time to get to this point because I had to re-do the stocking sleeve at the top.  In the kit, the name is on the back of a candy cane and so not immediately visible.  However, I wanted the name to be at the top to be in line my other daughter's stocking:
Anything to avoid a sibling squabble!

I am hoping to get some serious sewing done this week, as I have been a bit behind recently.  Unfortunately, I had to use this twice at the weekend:
as a result of both girls being sick on separate occasions.  And on separate carpets.  This cleaning product is one that I had used a grand total of zero times before I had children, but that I have used countless times since having them.  And it really does work.

Right - back to my borders!  Or maybe a cup of tea first .....

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Back to school

We are back to school and I am a happy camper!  My eldest daughter enjoys being busy so she is well-suited to school, and never happier than today when she has lost her first tooth and can proudly show everyone the gap.  I am relieved as this wobbly tooth had been hanging on for well over a month which meant daily lamentations of just when the Tooth Fairy would come and visit.  

The only thing I have to decide now is how much the Tooth Fairy leaves these days.  I remember getting a 20p for one of my teeth because the 20p was a new coin with a funny shape and so it had a novelty factor.  One of my friends said she left £2 for her daugher, but 10-fold inflation over 30 years seems a but much to me.

Today I have precisely 4 hours until I have to pick up the baby from nursery so I am going to keep this short and sweet and just post a picture of what I will be working on today:
The LMQG challenge for September is to finish a WIP.  This French General Apple Crisp WIP feels like it has been on my list for my whole life, and a couple of weeks ago I finished the last blocks - all 63 of them - so now I am ready to sew them together.  They are currently on the spare bed and my arms are not long enough to hold the camera high enough to fit them all on, but you get the picture.

I also need to work on my August Bee blocks (given that it is September, so I am late ... argh!) which are these scrappy Japanese plus & cross blocks - you can find the tutorial here at BadSkirt:
We have been given some lovely Oakshott cotton for the central cross, and then the rest is scrappy.

So, time to sew!

G x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tula Pink came to town

Hello, hello.  Sorry for the blog pause - we have been away for the week at the end of the Summer Holidays.  It was only to Center Parcs which, to those who have not had the privilege of emptying their wallets there, is basically a very expensive Butlins with lots of cycling up hills.  It is not restful but it does keep the children entertained most of the time, so it is a fair trade off.  For example, they did a bit of pottery painting:

Before we went away, I had a lovely evening out in swanky Knightsbridge where Tula Pink herself had come to see the LMQG in a pub.  The first part of the evening was a traditional pub meal, albeit with untraditional entertainment - the bar staff had inadvertently left Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies on the telly which threatened to put many people off their Fish & Chips.  I don't have a gratuitous picture of what they were showing as I don't want to be responsible for anyone needing therapy.

After dinner, the evening did not disappoint as Ms Pink was in fine fettle and entertained us all admirably.  I don't think you would ever be bored with Tula in the room.  Here she is just starting her talk:
You can tell Tula is cool before she even opens her mouth.  Her glasses are way cooler than mine, for starters.

Tula began by explaining how she designs, which is a very interesting process, not only from a technical point of view but also the way that she develops the images with a story in mind.  To demonstrate this, Tula brought along one design from starting sketch through to finished fabric - totally fascinating.  She also brought as many quilts as she could stuff into a suitcase, including this beauty from her new Hallowe'en line Nightshade:

Now from this wide shot it might look all pretty and pink / magenta / turquoise but check out the close up with skulls & crossbones, lightning bolts, all set off with spooky spider web quilting - genius:

And it gets better - check out the back!  Tula gets her quilt backings individually made on Spoonflower so her signature quilt is guaranteed to be unique. This backing is a blown-up version of one of the 3 witches featured in the Nightshade fabric / storyline:

Tula also brought along her original Space Dust quilt, which was even more stunning in the flesh:

Again, the quilting is imaginative and complementary - close up you can see 2 rocket jets coming out of the bottom of the meteor to propel it through space.  Another gratuitous close up:

It really was an honour to have Tula as our special guest.  I think we all agreed that it was an evening to remember.  Thanks Tula!

G x