Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Big night out

 No progress photos of my quilting today.  I missed a couple of days in my one hour a day challenge, however I've been doing more than 1 hour most days so I'm sure the time has evened out.

I'm really loving quilting without a frame, so much easier to handle a large quilt this way.

Last week I took Harry to visit Jill his Groomer this was his before photo.  I gave him a valium beforehand but it didn't seem to make any difference.  He was very distressed, he cried and carried on and we decided to leave the clipping and try another day. 
So here is his after photo, he had a bath and he smells lovely and he had the hair around his face clipped back a bit but he's still a shaggy boy.  He even looks fluffier than before cause Jill did manage to get a comb through him.

Just hope we can get him clipped before the weather gets too warm cause he really doesn't like the heat.
On Monday Jack turned 18 years old.  I'm still having trouble working out where all those years went.  It has flown by so quickly and his last year of seconday school is quickly coming to a close.  We had a family night out to celebrate Jack's birthday.  We went to a restaurant on Southbank in the city called The Meat and Wine Company.  

As you can see we had a few cocktails to celebrate, they were really good. 
This was my steak with mushroom sauce and extremely delicious chips.  It was a really lovely meal and everyone enjoyed theirs.
I don't often go into the city especially at night but when I do I love to admire how beautiful it is.  Unfortunately my photos that I took of the buildings and the yarra didn't turn out very well.  I did manage to get this fabulous photo of one of the Mali's that are on display around the city.

 I think they were all decorated to celebrate a special anniversary at the zoo.  I'm just not sure of all the details.  Mali is a baby elephant born at the Melbourne zoo a couple of years ago, she stole everyone's hearts she was so cute.  There were huge queues of people for weeks when she first went on display.  There is 50 Mali and they were decorated by 50 different Artists and put on display all around the city.  They were to be auctioned off, wouldn't they be fun in the garden?

We saw a few around southbank but I liked this one best it is so bright and happy

I must tell you I grumped and groaned about going into the city but it really was a great night out.  I was pushed well out of my comfort zone which probably needs to happen more often.

With Jack on holidays I might manage to get some more stitching done this week.

Bye for now.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hand quilting challenge update

I'm enjoying the hand quilting challenge that Bonnie Hunter  started.  It has been a week and we are supposed to show our progress.  My blogging skills are still a bit dodgy so I will do my best to link to Bonnies post, just can't guarantee I'll get it right.
 As I explained in my last post the back of my quilt got stained in an unfortunate incident during a teenagers sleepover.  You can see above the size of the stain, it is quite large.
 I decided that before I did any more quilting I needed to fix the stained backing.  Luckily I hadn't quilted that area so I'm hoping it will look ok when it's all done. 

I used four different fabrics for the backing, this piece is used on one edge of the quilt.  Luckily I still had the fabric and I'm pretty sure it's not going to look out of place.  I decided to cut away the stained fabric then applique the patch over the hole.  It took about 2 hours but it still counts as handwork and if I hadn't joined this challenge it might never have got done.

Its not easy to get a good photo of the quilting, I've done more straight lines and some more of the motifs.

I have decided to have a go at quilting without a hoop.  I watched an episode of The Quilt show online that demonstrated the technique.  My quilt was already basted fairly closely so it should work out okay.  I've found it much easier than using a hoop and I don't think you can see any difference with my stitches.  It sure helps when quilting such a big quilt. 

I think my total hours so far has been 12 which includes tonight.  I'm very happy that I'm making progress, thanks Bonnie!


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Hand quilting challenge

 I've just been reading Bonnie Hunter's post on doing an hour of handwork during September to coincide with it being Sewing month.  Bonnie has challenged her readers to join her in working on an old project you might have hanging around.

This quilt has been waiting many years to be finished, I've had it sitting in my bedroom all winter waiting for me to do some more hand quilting on it.  As I've missed winter and we've moved onto spring maybe I better get a move on.

I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it, bought the book and knew straight away that I had to make it.  The book is called Pink Lemonade and Other Delights by Linda Johnson and this quilt on the cover was called Pink Lemonade.  At the time I'd made special quilts that I hand quilted for my Mums 60th Birthday and my Brother In Laws wedding present.  I decided that as I was 38 I could start a special quilt for my own 40th birthday.  I felt 2 years was a  reasonable amount of time to finish it.  Hahaha.  I think I'd started the quilting by the time I turned 40 and now as I edge towards 50 it is definitely time to try finish it.

There have been quite a few obstacles along the way and I think I've learnt some very valuable lessons as well.  One important lesson is don't leave anything you're working on folded up in the corner of the lounge room when your teenage daughter has a sleepover with 10 of her closest friends.  I discovered after the sleepover that someone had spilt coca cola on the back of my quilt!!  It was such a dilema I wasn't sure what to do, it was partly quilted but the stained part was only basted.  The fabric wasn't prewashed or the cotton batting either.  I decided  to leave it in the too hard basket and now that its well and truly set I'm going to cut stained piece of backing off and applique a new piece on.  Luckily stain didn't get to the front of the quilt.
 My other important lesson was don't mark quilting lines on quilts late at night.  I was trying to mark lines for cross hatching in middle applique block, never realised before I started how tricky that could be.  I came close to ruining the centre block because I was using pencil and realised my lines were going to be crooked.  I was determined it wouldn't beat me but after 2am is not a good time to be doing it!!
 This is such a large quilt 87 3/4" x 87 3/4" that I found it very challenging to quilt by hand.  Don't think I want to make quilts this big again.  It seems to be a pet magnet too, they all want to sit on it when I work on it.
I still love it though so I would really love to get it finished.  I found the hour glass blocks were a bit tedious to quilt, I'm looking forward to getting to the borders and doing them.  More cross hatching though, does anyone have a fool proof way of marking cross hatching??

Maybe by the end of September I'll be well on the way to finishing!!

Happy Stitching


Monday, 3 September 2012

Fathers Day visit with Mum and Dad

It was Fathers Day here yesterday, I decided to make a card for my Dad myself.  I'm sick of the same old silly joke cards I'm sure he's sick of them too.

I had a photo of myself as a baby which I photocopied onto some card.  I then cropped it and used a decorative punch for the corners before sticking it onto a card I made up from some card stock that I already had.  I used my alphabet stamps to write the message.
It was fun to make and turned out well.  I think I might go back to making more of my cards it's so much more satisfying than buying one.  Dad liked it too.
Mum cooked a really lovely lunch as usual.  Roast pork with honeyed pears, roast pumpkin and potatoes, green beans and sauteed zucchini.  It was really good.  I took Harry over for the visit, he was very well behaved.

The sampler below is Mum's latest finish.  Isn't it fabulous?

We weren't sure which way was up but it looks good any way you look at it.

The sampler above which is called The Token was made by Mum a year or so ago.  Mum and Dad's wedding date and initials are embroidered on it, I really love it and I kidnapped it when they were on holidays a couple of years ago and it has been on my wall since then.  I will be very sad to see it go when Mum decides to reclaim it.  It's so beautifully stitched and such a lot of work.

After lunch Mum and I worked on our crochet projects for a while then it was time to go home.   It's always nice when we get to do some stitching together.

Happy stitching