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Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend....and fur-kid mum I love Quilting, stitching, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, blogging and making new friends...stop by and say hi!

Friday 12 December 2014

One month and one day to go!

My endeavours to keep blogging have been thwarted! I was on a roll there for a bit but two things are getting in the way.....the packing......which is in full swing and with only a month or so before the big move, I am starting to get a bit panicky and my mind is full of worries about everything...that is just the nature of ME.
fabrics are all packed away
 Secondly, this old computer is getting slower and more on the verge of dying each day. I have had to set a repair mode in place twice in the last month. I feel like Penny with that "check engine light" except mine is an orange light to say my battery is dead. Just can't afford that new computer just yet so gotta hang in there.

my house is full of boxes, boxes and more boxes
 Which means I have to resort to using my iPad for communicating.  I have not yet become proficient at using blogger on the iPad and commenting on other blogs is near impossible at times but I find that Facebook is much easier so that is where you will find me most of the time.  I would love for you to come over and say hi......just click on the Facebook icon on the side bar (you will have to head to the actual blogger page to do so)

Big Ava has been dismantled ready to go
And now back to the packing!


Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Challenge

Seems like everything has been a challenge this year but this was a challenge that I was definitely up for. Every year my group over at Apatchy Quilting has an end of year Christmas party and Kaye sets us a challenge for a bit of fun.  
This year the challenge theme was MUSIC......Mmmmm, I do like music but I didn't necessarily want to make a quilt with "sheet music" or "clefts" or any of that other "music" themed fabric.....I wanted to think outside of the box.  
If you knew my family, you would be suprised to know that I am actually not at all talented in the music department.  My mum was blessed with a beautiful Soprano voice and my dad played piano (by ear) for her so I decided to dedicate my quilt to the music they brought into my life that I would otherwise not have bothered with. Opera. Musicals. Piano.

An idea began to form that wanted to depict these three genres in my quilt.  One of the most famous operas is "Madame Butterfly" and I did them in technicolour to represent "Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat" (one of many musicals that mum and dad once took me to) and the border would be a piano key border.
 I adapted this pattern that some one else had posted about (sorry, I can't remember who that was now). It is called Hope Takes Flight and is a free pattern from Robert Kaufman. You can find it HERE.
All the piecing was easy to do and one day when I had the house all to myself, I was happily getting on with it and in my own little world when suddenly the unthinkable happened...........I sliced through the top section of my middle finger.....my own fault as I was cutting across the top of the ruler and the blade was blunt so I went backwards and forwards and not suprisingly, the cutter jumped the ruler and went in about half way down my nail. Here is the photo (2 days later) if you can bear to look.
Well, it was so painful and I raced back into the kitchen to grab some papertowel leaving a trail of blood everywhere but I knew I had to sit down as I was going to faint. I really didn't know what to do since after applying pressure for 20 minutes it still hadn't stopped bleeding and the tip of my finger didn't look a very healthy colour.  I decided I would drive myself up to the doctors surgery (only one L-hand and 3 R-hand turns) Wasn't easy while still trying to apply pressure to the wound but I got there. Had to wait 1hour and 45 minutes with my finger on ice to see if I needed stitches.  In the end it was decided the nail made stitches too difficult so it was taped together, bandaged and I was given a tetnus shot. That was a couple of months ago now and even though it has healed up lovely, it is still very tender.

Back to the quilt. For some reason, I did not take very many photos of the process initially - very unusual for me.....much too caught up in the creating, I think. but here is a photo of it all coming together.
Then everything came to a standstill as I was putting off the quilting part which  I was really not looking forward to ......what if I stuffed it up at this stage with only two more weeks before it was handed in.  I needn't have worried, with my new TOWA thread tension guage, everything went as smoothly as I could have wished although I had a bit of trouble rolling this one onto the frame.

With so much negative space, I decided to use a variety of fmq designs. I started with some clamshells which I have not done before
then I did pebbles for a bit
and finished off with some flowers which I have not done before either.
For the white bits inbetween the butterflies, I did some backwards/forwards lines.....can you see them? Excuse the threads that I still have to sew in (because I like doing it that way)
I even impressed myself by this fabulous fmq-ing!! I think I might stick with those clamshells for awhile and perhaps the flowers too.

After doing some straight lines in the piano key border, I attached the binding (using my BRAND NEW  BERNINA!) added a label and ta-da.....my challenge quilt was ready in plenty of time.
I stole the picture below from Kaye's blog and if you want to see the other participants and read about the winner, please do so HERE. While there, make sure you scroll to the end.....you don't want to miss Kaye's creation......she is one very talented lady!

Without further ado.......Madame Butterfly meets Liberace

I think there may be an issue with my commenting system. Chookie says her comment disappeared and I am not getting notification for comments so for now I have opened the comments up to everyone and switched the word varification on......sorry, I know this is a pain in the neck but I just want to see if it makes a difference. Unless anyone has any advice for me.

Monday 1 December 2014

A Busy Little Bee.....Is Me!

Wow, It is a hive of activity around here.  There are boxes packed, ready to be packed, ready to be sealed and so many more that need to be constructed, ready for packing. My house looks like a disaster zone.  There are piles of things organised for packing, bags of no longer wanted stuff for St. Vinnies or the Salvo's, bags of rubbish for the tip ....... my mind is going crazy in the chaos!  I need a break so how about I tell you about what other more enjoyable activities went on here during the month of November.

I had quite a full month of sewing during November starting with a Bargello that I did as a class. I have always wanted to make a Bargello but always thought it too complicated but this one was made with one fabric. I am sure you have seen this fabric before, especially if you read my September NewFO post,

 They had run out of it at my local but I happened to be at another Quilt shop and saw it there even though I wasn't looking for it in particular.  When I had bought it, I called up my local and put my name down for the Bargello class. 

The first part of the class was to sew the fabric "closed" along the long edge and then the cutting began.

This is the cutting diagram.  It looks awfully complicated but I soon got the hang of it and made sure I marked it as I cut the various strips.  Lots of concentration needed here.

It was also very important to number the rows as they were cut. This would be very helpful later on when the sewing began.

This is where I got up to in the class.  Kim showed me the best way sew the strips together into units and the best way to press the seams. It is starting to look really good isn't it?

When I got home, I just couldn't leave it alone so spent the rest of the afternoon in the sewing room sewing all those strips together.

I have to tell you, this was the most fun I have ever had sewing a quilt together.  It was like a jigsaw puzzle and at it grew, it just became more beautiful.  I have finised it to flimsy stage but it is packed away now and I will not get back to it until after the move.   Watch this space!

The other project I started in November was this twist and turn log cabin. This was a project I did with my Sewing Sisters.

I made a design error with this one as I initially thought I would start with the white in the middle and work out to the darker tones but during the class, with all the talk about starting with dark in the middle, I lost track of my own thoughts and ended up with a stark white square in the middle.  I think I could stitch a snowflake there (in blue) and it could not be so detracting but Claudia says I should wait until I have finished and if I use white borders inbetween, it might look completely different. While I am at it, let me show you my other Sewing Sister's work.

From L to R: Marilyn, Zita and Lorraine.  We all had the grey as a common thread but were told to use different colours for the second colour combination.  Interesting that Marilyn and Lorraine went Autumn tones and Zita went the cooler tones same as me. Lorraine and Zita have not only finished these table runners but have both made second ones too.  Equally stunning.

I am linking in to Cat Patches - November NewFO Challenge. Barbara says this is the second last link party EVER, and I am so sad about that but let's face it, I now have a whole lot of UFO's to finish for 2015!

I also promised to tell you about my Challenge Quilt....or did I? Anyway, here is a preview.

 Now,  it is another busy day. Callie has to go to the vet this morning as she has an allergic reaction (probably a green ant bite) and looks more like a Sharpei than a Labrador. Here is a photo from last time this happened.

....and lets face it, those boxes are not going to pack themselves!

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