Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

This post could probably be called - Should have..........

A month or so ago I had the opportunity to buy reserved seating tickets for the Australia v New Zealand rugby match that was on in Brisbane last night. I had brilliant seats lined up, 7 rows from the front and near the try line. Instead of buying a ticket for me, I organised tickets for friends. They had a fabulous night, said the seats were in a fabulous position, and the game was excellent.
I stayed home and wished I had bought a ticket, sigh.

During the week I was invited today to a BBQ lunch on the Gold Coast. The weather forecast was for crappy weather so I declined and stayed home.
The weather was beautiful today.

Despite my really bad judgement calls, I made the most of today, and stayed in my pj's until way after lunch time and finished a couple of crafty things. So as I stayed in my pj's I'm hosting Pyjama Party Sunday. I don't know why, as I wouldn't exactly say it was a party around here today, more like a pity fest. See above ⬆ and below.

Firstly the block for Kat. Kat asked for a scrappy log cabin and bright colours. I'm pretty sure I got the bright colours, but oh dear I  really have a hard time with scrappy. This took me ages to make, because I kept on changing my mind on the colours/fabrics. This will probably be the first and last time you ever see a scrappy block from me. I kind of enjoyed making it, because it was interesting to see how far I could go out of my comfort zone, BUT, I will never make a scrappy quilt for me.
I've finished it a bit bigger than the 15 inches Kat asked for so that it can be cut down to size.

I also finished the Tiggly Winks quilt top. It almost ended up an art installation. When sewing the last three panels together I managed to sew the first one where the third one should have been. I was mildly pissed off, but persevered and started to use my trusty seam ripper, after a few choice swear words echoed around the house.  I was resigned to undoing it and sewing it back in the right order, then I realised I had started undoing the wrong seam.  It did get tossed on the floor at that stage, but I didn't quite get around to setting it on fire. After swearing A LOT more and walking off to take a break, common sense prevailed and I sat down and unpicked the correct seam and then sewed it all together in the correct order.

Don't look too closely at it, there are a couple of seams that leave a lot to be desired. I'm not pointing them out, because it annoys me enough and I took this pic from far enough away you can't really see them. It's not very good lighting, the colours are a bit off, and I just whacked it onto the design wall without flattening it out, as I wanted to quickly try and take a pic before I went out.
Despite the not so relaxing finish on this, I kind of sort of don't mind it now.

Now for the fun bit of my weekend.  Because I didn't go to the Gold Coast today, I was able to go out for late afternoon drinks with a girlfriend who I haven't seen for weeks.  We had a lovely relaxing time and a drink or maybe two.
Hastings St, Noosa Heads
It was quite busy on Hastings St (even though it doesn't look it from the photo) the sun was out, it's still winter and the temperature was about 22 C (72F) at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. So despite the pity fest earlier, I had a very nice end to the weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

You may have seen this before, but I just love this. Very clever!

For other favourites this week, pop on over to Quilting In My Pyjamas and check them out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Help!!!!! WIP Wednesday

Another completely different week this week, and quite a bit of progress.  Firstly my math is not very good and last week I completely forgot about McFlurry when doing my stats. So I'm going to have to adjust the figures. Who am I kidding, I'm just going to ignore it and try and remember to put it in this week.

I have a question to ask. I bit the bullet this week and went back to working on Tiggly Winks.  I was NOT looking forward to doing the raw edge applique on my Pfaff, and my reservations were well founded.  I have two different feet for FMQ and both of them are, frankly, crap.  The one that would be the best because I can see where I'm going just played up from the second I started. The other foot is the original foot and is thick plastic that makes it very difficult to see what you are doing. Consequently I have to turn the fabric all the time so that I can see where I'm going. Something that you are not supposed to do when FMQing. It doesn't matter whether I'm doing raw edge applique or free motion quilting it still has the same problems.

Does anybody have any experience with FMQing on a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0?

If so, do you have any tips to make FMQ easier?

I hope you can help, I really like the Pfaff for everything else, I don't have any other problems with it, but it is rather ironic that a specifically designed quilting machine is crap at FMQ straight out of the box.  I've been looking at Leah Day's blog and think I might try a couple of things that she does when quilting.
Firstly change the needle plate.  Second, try and cut the original foot so it is U shaped instead of square so I can see where I'm going. I'm also going to try a super slider and leave the feed dogs up and not change the settings to FMQ. Has anybody tried any of these ideas, if so, were they any better?

Now on to my progress for the week.

Tiggly Winks

I finally pulled Tiggly Winks out of the bag it was hiding in, and put it up on the design wall.
The raw edge applique is finished. I forgot to do the binding strips for the stems so I  have to embroider these instead. I was going to start on the embroidery last night, but I decided to trapunto the applique. Is that a sentence in English?  - Trapunto the applique. -  Anyway, it took me ages to cut away all the batting. I was constantly freaking out that I was going to cut the background fabric by mistake. Amazingly I finished it without cutting the fabric at all, miracles do happen!!!!
I also started the sashing and finished the first column on the left.
I'm not feeling the love for this. I wanted to use up a couple of charm packs I had, Martinique and Oasis. I'm going to finish it and if my parents don't like it (I was thinking of giving it to them as I previously made two quilts in Martinique for them) I'll give it away. I probably should just stuff it in a box and forget about it, I might still do that!

Another couple of starflowers have been paper pieced and I've started joining them together. Unlike Tiggly Winks, I love this, it's a pleasure to sew in the evenings and I love how each fabric looks so different cut up and pieced back together. The starflowers  are just over 9 inches across.

I broke down and started a new quilt this week, you can see the design and the process here. In a nutshell, I won a Baby Go Cutter and used it to cut the HST's, a dream!!
Fabrics for HST quilt.
Fabrics pulled for this project, more have been added.
I wanted a really scrappy look and didn't want the stars to stand out too much while using a limited palette, so I'm not worrying about the value of the HST's, I'm more concerned with the overall effect of the colours and prints. The only constants are the four light HST's in the centre of the star and the off white points of each star. I started with Hometown by Sweetwater and went through my stash to find some co-ordinating prints, most of which I have no idea of what they are as I don't have the selvage and  some I've had for ages or they came in scrap packs. The blocks are 16 inches, for some strange reason I kept on thinking they were 12 inches. Math is obviously not my strong point at the moment.
Three blocks so far.

In the mail this week, another BOM. I'm crazy but, what the heck, I love love love this and I just couldn't say no to joining in. You can never have enough circles to piece, lol.  I told you I was crazy.
Beautiful, gorgeous, luscious fabric to use for the first block. Love the colours. I haven't started this yet so I'm not adding it to my stats, yet, I'm just drooling over the fabric instead.

The statistics this week:

Worked On This Week
English Paper Piecing -  two more starflowers and sewed some together
Tiggly Winks - finished the applique and started the sashing
New HST Project - (It doesn't have a name yet) cut the HST's and pieced three blocks

Sitting On The Sidelines
McFlurry backing needs to be made
Floral Bouquet need to finish top
Plume Quilt - at the long arm quilters
Circle Game BOM hmmmmm
Mystery Quilt - trying to decide which star to use on the next 7 blocks - I AM NOT GOING TO PAPER PIECE THEM!!!!

Waiting Patiently For Me To Show Some Interest
Jacobean Flower - quilting
Don't Look Now cushion - quilting

Weeks Statistics
New Projects - 1
Completed - 0
Worked On - 3
Put To The Side This Week - 5
Hyperventilating Over - 1 (Circle Game BOM)
Ignoring - 2

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for another WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I couldn't help myself

I started something new. I know you are all so surprised!

Awhile ago I won a Go Baby from Anorina at Samelia's Mum. I've been wanting to use it but didn't want to start anything new until I finished a couple of WIP's. That's why I've been madly trying to finish those quilts in the last couple of weeks. I was originally going to make something with circles in it, but as I've already made a couple of quilts with circles and curved pieces this year, I thought I'd give HST's a go. I thought of doing something arty but then decided to try something more traditional instead. Yesterday I started playing around with Quilt Pro. I found the Ohio Star #3 block, which is all HST's and came up with this. 

Playing with Quilt Pro
This is the design I settled on. There are a couple of mistakes in this copy and I've tweeked it a little since then but it will give you the general idea of the pattern. I had to take a screen shot to get this pic into here so it's  a bit weird around the borders.

I had some Hometown fat quarters and found some other fabrics in my stash, and cut lots and lots of HST's and it only took me about 40 mins to cut the strips of fabric and put them through the Go Baby. It would have taken less time if I was a little more organised, but boy, it is soooo much quicker than rotary cutting. The best thing is that the corners are already cut off so I don't have to do that once I've sewn them together. From memory, there are roughly 430 triangles.
                                     First block
The first block, 11 more to go. I'm hoping this will look fabulous on the sofa with my red/off white/black cushions. 

Last night I sewed together another starflower. I'm not in love with the centre of this one, but once they are all together in the quilt I think it will be fine.

I'm not sure whether I'll keep doing Pyjama Party Sunday. I've been thinking about stopping it the last few weeks. Will let you know if I decide to keep it going.

Thank you so much to all the new faces, waving and saying "Hi", welcome aboard and hope you enjoy the ride!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Time for FTF again and linking to Shay at Quilting In My Pyjamas.

This week it's something that has made my life easier, unfortunately not a teenager who has decided that it's ok to do housework. Now that would be a favourite of the century.

No, it's a Sewline Fabric Glue Pen.

Photo taken from here.

I use it instead of hand basting my fabric on to my hexies. It's sooooo much quicker and easier. I run the glue stick along the fabric, fold it over and press onto the template and that's it. I use reusable card templates, as opposed to home made paper templates.  I'm not sure whether it would work so well on paper as it would probably tear when you try to remove the template after sewing the hexies together. You can buy refills for the pen and they last quite a long time, I can't tell you how long as I'm still using the first one!

I use Sue Daly's English Paper Piecing Shapes from here.

Starflower number 6
I glue the fabric onto the shape, hand sew the shapes together, so there's still lots of relaxing hand sewing, just none of the basting beforehand, Then I take out the paper piece once it's surrounded by other pieces and use it again, and probably again.
EPP  Star flowers

It's great for any shape English paper piecing.
Rural Jardin hexies

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Finish - WIP Wednesday

I can't believe I've finished two quilts in two weeks. It's unheard of at Chez Sunshine.  Thanks to Lee at Freshly Pieced it's the linking up to WIP Wednesday that is giving me the momentum to finally finish these.

Quilt Finished

This is the quilt from the French Roses pattern. I changed it a little and rather than having borders I made extra blocks.  There are two off white squares on the back as the original plan was to make the blocks with the off white as the background and the pink floral was to be the backing, but after making two blocks one of the girls at Patchwork Angel and I decided to use the pink floral as the bakground and use the off white as the backing. Unfortunately the off white as backing shows up any imperfections in the positioning of the batting, so the blue floral was plan C. I left the original two in the quilt as a reminder of my change of plans because I was too lazy to use the seam ripper. I'm so glad I didn't use the off white as I love the way this has turned out. It really has that shabby feel to it and the lovely aged quality of the raw edge flowers is enhanced by the old fashioned feel of the fabric.

An extra flower hand sewn to the back.
Back of French Roses
The other off white block just off to the left of the photo is going to be used as the label.

Close up of one of the flower blocks.

A few loose threads need to be trimmed, this is only the first wash and tumble dry.

Flower Sugar 2 with some Tanya Whelan which is also used as the backing fabric and binding. Bias binding used for the sashing.
I'm still trying to think of a name for this quilt.

Two more starflower blocks

I really really love how the Soul Blossoms fabric is working in these.

The statistics this week:

Worked On This Week
French Roses - finished
English Paper Piecing
Plume quilt - backing finished (no photo)

Sitting On The Sidelines
Circle Game BOM
Mystery Quilt

Waiting Patiently For Me To Show Some Interest
Same as the last few weeks (How long is it before they are officially UFO's?)
Jacobean Flower - quilting
Monochromatic Block

Weeks Statistics
New Projects - 0
Completed - 1  yipppeeeeeeee again
Worked On - 3
Hyperventilating Over -  0 (Notice no hyperventilating this week)
Put to the Side This Week - 3
Ignoring - still the same 4

I really really really want to start something new, but I can't make a decision. I've never had that problem before, it feels a bit strange.
Thank you Lee at  Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

Where has this year gone, I can't believe we are already half way through August. I swear the years are going faster and faster.

A follow up from last weekends dramas. BP's car was found on Monday night. It is now at the insurance assessors and due to be mechanically tested tomorrow (I think) and then we have to go and check the car for any signs of damage that will need to be repaired. So far the only things that are still missing are cash from her wallet, two silver rings that were in her bag and the car and house key. I've had the locks changed on the house just in case. We are still waiting to hear what was found in her car, I presume her GPS and iPod were stolen, we should know the list of contents found in her car tomorrow. Meanwhile we have a hire vehicle organised by the insurance company.  

This weekend has been a very lazy weekend, and lots of time was spent in my pyjamas, possibly too much time.  I've been working on the French Roses quilt and I'm up to here.

I'm hoping for a finish in the next couple of days. That will mean two finishes this month, woo hoo.

Playing with this today and will show you in the next post what I am hoping to do with it.

There's been a little progress on the Mystery Quilt I've cut out most of the pieces for the block I need to finish to catch up.

BP has been playing around with the off cuts of the Plume quilt top and decided she would like to make a small quilt with them. I'm not holding my breath as I was all excited yesterday when she asked if she could sew them. I pulled out the  Janome but then we realised that some of the blocks weren't the same size. I cut them down to size for her as she hates using the rotary cutter and when I came back she had lost interest.

Not a very exciting post this week, and not much to show for the weekends work even though I have been quite busy.  As it's Sunday it's time to join in

whether you are in your PJ's or not, please come and join in the celebration of lazy sewing weekends.
Thank you so much for linking up each week. If you haven't linked before and you would like to link up grab the code for the button from the side bar on the right, and then link below with the Mr Linky widget. Terri thank you for linking last week, unfortunately your link didn't work,  I don't have your blog or email address and unfortunately couldn't get in contact with you. 

Don't forget,  pyjamas are optional.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

I'm a little late this week but better late than never and it's still Friday somewhere in the world.

Tim Tams

My favourite chocolate biscuit, in the whole wide world.

The original Tim Tam is composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.
According to Arnott's, around 35 million packs are sold each year: nearly 400 million biscuits, an average of approximately 1.7 packs per Australian. (from Wikipedia)

These days we have many varieties including, White Chocolate, Crush Honeycomb, Black Forest, Dark Chocolate, Double Coat, Chewy Caramel, Dark Chocolate Rum and Raisin, Classic Dark, and  Dark Chocolate Mint. I personally prefer the original.

Of course I can't post about Tim Tams without mentioning the world famous Tim Tam Slam, presented beautifully by Natalie Imbruglia below.

It doesn't have to be with tea, you could use coffee, hot chocolate and of course any form of alcohol, if you've had enough drinks before hand!!!!!!!  Not that I would know from personal experience.

What is your Tim Tam preference?

Linking up as always with Mrs P at Quilting In My Pyjamas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Although the actual number of hours spent sewing or working on projects wasn't very high this week, I concentrated on trying to finish something......anything. So I have a finish, finally, happy dance. The happy dance is for finishing this quilt, the happy dance is not for the actual quilt. I've decided I don't like it,
don't you hate that.

I started it because I loved the fabrics and the colours. I had an idea of where I wanted to go with the design, and  around eight or nine months later, nyuh, it's just not doing it for me. I'd give it away except that the quilting stitches tension is rubbish in places.  I might put it away in the cupboard for a few months and if it still doesn't make my heart sing I'll give it away.
So here it is, I couldn't even get nice photos either. I was trying for some arty ones and they just didn't happen.

Spice Boxes

The back

Next on my to do list was to finish the Christmas quilt top. It now has a name "McFlurry".  Kat from  Diary of a Flutter.Kat came up with the perfect name, the actual pattern is Flurry, because it was designed for the fabric line Flurry but I used 12 Days of Christmas instead, and my last name starts with Mc.  Pssst, I think Kat really named it McFlurry after the McDonalds McFlurry but it suits me just fine.

It needs a good press, again.

Finally, I completed the plaits for the fillers in the Mystery Quilt and sewed these blocks together.

I was starting to have second thoughts on the background fabric, but now these are sewn together I really really like it.
I still have one block that has some paper piecing in it from a couple of weeks ago and now I have to make another 7, yes that's right, 7 star blocks for the latest instalment. Sheila is a hard taskmaster, lucky for her, she lives over the other side of the world.

The statistics this week:

Worked On This Week
Spice Boxes - finished
McFlurry - finished the top
Mystery Quilt 

Sitting On The Sidelines
Floral Bouquet Quilt
French Roses
English Paper Piecing
Circle Game BOM

Waiting Patiently For Me To Show Some Interest
Same as the last few weeks (How long is it before they are officially UFO's?)
Plume quilt - backing
Jacobean Flower - quilting
Monochromatic Block

Weeks Statistics
New Projects - 0
Completed - 1  yipppeeeeeeee
Worked On - 3
Hyperventilating Over -  only 4 this week (5 last week)
Ignoring - still the same 4

I think I deserve a gold medal for not starting any new projects over the last few weeks. I think that's the longest ever I have been disciplined enough not to start anything. I'm not sure I can last much longer.
I'm linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Blogger is playing hard to get again, it won't load any HTML codes so I haven't been able to link my photos directly to Flickr or load Lee's WIP Wednesday button, grrrr.  Oh well, at least I was able to get around most of it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pyjama (not much of a party) Sunday

I had such grand plans for the weekend.  A quiet weekend spent relaxing at home, sewing. Sigh, unfortunately the universe didn't see it quite that way.
In a nutshell, I didn't find very much time at all to sew.

Last night, I had the house to myself so was planning lots of craftiness, but started feeling a little unwell, so kept it to a minimum and finished the last few inches/centimetres of the binding on Spice Boxes, so yay, yippee, yahoo, finally a finish. I haven't taken a photo yet as I need a quilt holder upperer, so I promise pics tomorrow.
I'm a bit flat today as have had the "wonderful" experience of how shitty some of humanity can be, nothing life threatening, unless I get my hands on the person who ruined BP's day, then they might feel their life threatened, but it was enough to throw a spanner in the works.  It involved an impromptu drive to Brisbane and back and some help from lovely friends in Brisbane.

BP was in Brisbane with friends when someone broke into the house where she was staying and stole her handbag. Her car keys were in her handbag so they then stole her car.  That meant driving 140 kms (almost 90 miles) one way, to go and get her and then bring her home.  Fortunately our friends in Brisbane don't live too far away from where she was staying, so they went over to keep her company and offer support when she filed the police report.  BP is fine just shaken that someone could do that.  The good news is the police have rung to say that her bag was found, minus the small amount of cash, car keys, and two rings.  Our lovely family friends have now gone to the police station to pick the bag up for BP, yay. Fortunately all her I.D. was still intact so we don't have to race around getting a new drivers licence, medicare card, etc. I was so not looking forward to that.  We only have to organize new bank debit cards which I cancelled this morning as soon as I found out about the theft. The bad news, the car is still missing, but we have full insurance so everything is covered including the things that were in her car like her GPS and iPod. I spent half the afternoon on the phone to the insurance company to lodge the claim.  All in all not a particularly nice day and definitely no party, oh well, that's life, sometimes it throws you a curve ball. I'm determined to do PJ PS as I'm not going to let it throw me completely.

So all I have to show for my weekend is

Mystery Quilt block

Mystery Quilt block

two more blocks for the mystery quilt.

Mystery quilt

Strips cut ready for the plaited blocks in the Mystery Quilt.

Flurry Quilt
Finishing on a lighter note, I finished the Flurry Quilt top on Thursday, happy dance!!!!!!!  
This photo is rubbish, I wasn't even going to post it as the quilt needs pressing and it was taken this evening in not very good lighting, but I wanted to show that I have actually completed it and I needed to finish this post on a positive note.  I'm not sure why I'm always surprised at the size of things I make from patterns. I read the dimensions of the pattern but it doesn't seem to sink in exactly how big it will be. This is way bigger than I thought, 

waaaaay bigger.  

I promise to post better photos during the week.

Remember to link up below if you'd like.

I hope everyone (including me) has a very happy week.