Monday, October 6, 2014

Churn Dash

It's been a beautiful long weekend here. The weather has been perfect, not too hot, not too humid and lots of sunshine, and what did I do? I spent most of the weekend sewing.  You gotta do what you gotta do when your sewing mojo comes back. I did go out and enjoy the sunshine in between sewing stints.

I procrastinated for ages on what to do for the last border of the medallion quilt I have been working on since the beginning of the year. The orange peel blocks were finished and I don't think I showed a photo of them once they were added.
 My quilt holder upper isn't here so it's floor shots for now.

The original plan was for churn dash blocks. As usual, my unwillingness to commit kicked in and I spent ages trawling through books and the internet looking for alternate block ideas. I drove Shay insane, coming up with the perfect block then ditching the idea.  I even made a couple of churn dash blocks in the meantime to see whether they would work. Didn't think much of them at the time. Eventually it was just too hard, I needed to make 40 x 6inch blocks, and I already had 2 churn dash blocks, so I took the easy option and went with it.

40 blocks = 160 HST's that needed to be sewn, cut and trimmed. My Bloc Loc HST ruler came to the rescue, and if it wasn't for that ruler, I would have given up.

Twelve made, only 28 to go!

28 blocks finished.

I'm almost at the end now, I have 12 blocks left to sew.

These are the last 6, laid out on an old cutting board covered with batting,  I can take blocks to the sewing machine to sew, and not sew them in the wrong order. It's been very handy, my stuff up rate has been reduced considerably.

Meanwhile my trusty assistant found a nice place for a cat nap or two.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Aqua, red and orange

I ca't believe I have actually finished a quilt. It's not a big quilt, but it's a finish.  I wanted to make a quilt for the Mary Potter Hospice, after I saw that Shay had made a couple of quilts for this wonderful cause.

This quilt was originally intended to be a gift for someone, but after I had started sewing it together, I realised that it probably wasn't quite right for the intended recipient.  So the pieces languished in a box for over a year.  I wanted to make something quick for the hospice. As you all know I am the queen of procrastination,  and usually take years to finish anything, but I remembered I had the blocks half sewn and pulled them out.  These were cut from a layer cake and I can't remember for the life of me the name of the pattern, but it was a free one I found on the internet.  I can't remember the name of the fabric either, other than it was a Riley Blake line.
For the hospice, the quilt has to be no more than 48 inches square. As I already had these blocks cut and they were 9 inches finished, I went with a 45 inch square layout.

The excess blocks were used in the backing. The rest of the backing was from my stash too, which was an almost perfect match to the Riley Blake fabric.

 I wanted to have a scrappy binding, so I carefully unpicked the rest of the blocks that were left, and cut pieces for the binding strips. Unfortunately I didn't have enough, but I found a Bella solids jelly roll in aqua, hiding in the back of a drawer, which matched almost perfectly.

I quilted 1/4 inch either side of some of the seams, and also added some random lines to make sure it was quilted enough.  The hospice prefer the quilts to be lightly quilted so they stay soft.

Now I just need to wash and dry it so it's all nice and crinkly and send it on it's way.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Surprise! It's me again and it's not three months later or 2015.

We have another finish at Chez Sunshine. 

Speaking of sunshine, we have had THE most amazing weather here. We have had days and days of beautiful sunshine, although some of the days and a lot of the nights have been freezing cold.  Down to 3 or 4 deg C at night. That's cold, really cold.  It has been good for my sewing productivity though. Cold enough for me to be quite happy to hand quilt with a quilt on my lap. None of that horrible humid, sweaty OMG I'm going to die from heat exhaustion stuff happening here at this time of year. Yay.

I digress, I was talking about a finish. I've finally finished the Red Letter Day quilt top. Unfortunately it's not exactly an award winning photo, but I've realised that if I wait for the perfect light etc to take a photo, the photo never happens. Then the blog post never happens either. So for the rest of this year, you get to see photos, good or bad, and I. will. be. blogging, even if it kills me!

 All 9 blocks completed. Like I said, not a great photo, but you get the idea.  If you follow me on Instagram you know I had a bit of a problem with the lack of grey background fabric. Fortunately with a bit of creative unpicking and re sewing, I had enough to finish the middle block. It is supposed to be the reverse of the rest of the blocks but as usual, I had to do my own thing, so I played around with the fabric in the middle block, and came up with something  a little different. I just noticed the middle block looks like it has measles or chicken pox. Great!  At least it doesn't (I hope) look like that in real life.  I used a variety of fabrics from lots of different lines. Not one piece of fabric was bought for this quilt, it all came from my stash. 

I'm pretty happy with this quilt top even though it hasn't exactly turned out how it was in my mind. Don't you hate that! I always have these visions of amazing quilts, but when I start putting it together, it's often not quite as awesome as I thought it would be.

Here's a close up of the centre block, with some AMH Innocent Crush.
Not my finest sewing skills, but I'm pretty happy with how it's come together.  Don't hold your breath for a complete finish on this one any time soon, as I have a lot of WIP's that I really want to finish first, including the one below.  Gee, hand quilting takes a looooong time, so I'm very slowly quilting Starflowers.

The hand quilting thread is a variegated perle 12 cotton. I love the subtle colours and they work really well with the colours in the blocks. I'm slowly perfecting, ha ha, or at least improving, my stitch length and the ability to quilt in a straight line. Who knew that could be so difficult on such a short distance.

A lot of socialising and enjoying the Noosa weather has been on the agenda too.

This steak was as good as it looks, from Little Humid, Noosaville

We spent a couple of hours at Hasting St in Noosa last week and had lunch in the Sheraton bar. I love the decor in this bar. Even though it was cold enough to be wearing boots, and a cardigan, it was nice to soak up the tropical ambience.

BP and I went to Lake Weyba in the late afternoon last week, just before sunset. How beautiful is this view?  I sometimes take this piece of paradise for granted, I need to get out and about more.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

181 days left of 2014

Yes, I'm still alive.

Yes, I have been sewing, not a lot, but at least I'm back in my sewing room a couple of times a week.

Yes, I have been away.....again!

My last post was in April, it seems like years ago.

So here's what I've been up to since my last blog post.

Lots of photos, not too many words.

Went to Melbourne with my best buddy Shay for the AQC, look, blue sky and sunshine, seriously awesome.

It's winter here now, look, blue sky and sunshine, as always in paradise.

Flew to another paradise.

Fiji for BP's 21st birthday.

It involved cocktails as always.

Beautiful views and weather.

Sunsets over the water.

I even caught up on some appliqué, although I still have lots more to do.

Back at home, and it's been cold enough to hand quilt.

Karma had a haircut.

I attempted paper pieced arcs for a pickle dish quilt, loving these. Definitely want to make lots of them.

I finished the Dresden quilt top. A four patch border, now I need to make the back.

I started playing with this block.

Made quite a few.

I've even quilted it, now just need to find the time and the motivation to do the binding.

All this sewing and not one finish!

Finally I was lucky enough to go to both Camille's trunk show and Red Letter Day class in Brisbane last month. A really fantastic experience.

Camille's trunk show

Holly, who accompanied Camille for the Red Letter Day classes and trunk shows.


One of my Red Letter Day blocks.
Hoping I can manage at least one more post before the end of the year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More hexies and another block finished.

 Another finish for 2014. Originally this was going to be a big quilt, a large wall hanging, but after sewing this many 1 inch hexagons and becoming very very bored with it, it's now more the size of a large table runner.   You will find this a recurring theme with me, I don't enjoy making big quilts especially one that is very repetitive. I have a very short attention span.

The fabric and pattern is very busy, so I decided on minimal quilting. I divided the quilt into four sectors and each area is quilted in a different colour thread. I used 50wt Aurifil thread in #1147  #2479  #5002 and #5005.

 For the binding I used a Kaffe fabric which I'm really happy with as it seems to blend into each of the different colours around the quilt.

The backing

I incorporated a couple of corner hanging sleeves into the back so I can hang it on the wall.

Quilt stats
1 inch hexies
Variety of fabrics from my stash including Kaffe, AMH, Amy Butler, Sketch and more.
Binding Kaffe Roman Glass

Another Circle Game block has been finished. 

I haven't pressed it properly yet, as somebody (cough cough) may have used a Frixxion pen when tracing some of the pieces. Frixxion marks  of course disappear when you iron them. Until this is sewn into the outer ring there is no way I'm pressing it with an iron.  It has been finger pressed in the mean time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cocktail Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...anyday

A little bit late coming to the party this week, but as I was under the weather on Wednesday night, Shay and I decided Thursday night was a good as any to enjoy a cocktail.

This week it was my pick. Moose Milk. I was introduced to this 13 years ago, I remember exactly when, because I was hooked instantly. It tasted soooooooo good. Shay was very very skeptical at first as the name didn't make her salivate and she asked me where the heck was she going to find Moose Milk in Australia. At least I think we'd have a better chance of finding that than finding some of the very strange ingredients in some of the cocktails from the good old U S of A.

There are 1001 recipes out there for this, basically it's ice cream mixed with three equal parts of any alcohol you see fit to put into it.  It's another alcoholic drink that I think works well with rum. It's strange because I didn't think I really liked rum, especially rum and coke, that's just nasty, but I've taken a liking to a few rum based drinks including this one and a Mojito.

The base recipe for this week's cocktail can be found here.  I opted to change out the Bailey's with Butterscotch Schnapps, as I don't see the point in putting a cream based drink into loads of ice-cream.  Some recipes say to add eggs, why?,  IMHO that is just plain outright weird.  

Another recipe with no quantities, so I opted for 30mls (1oz) of each and eyeballed the ice cream. Added all the ingredients into the blender together and voila a fabulous cocktail. 

This one is well and truly a 5 out of 5.   You can find Shay's take on this cocktail here.