Thursday, July 29, 2010

Craft Show Round Up

I thought when I finished work I'd have more time to update here more regularly.  Doesn't seem to be the case.  Although I have had things on nearly every day since finishing.

The first of which was last Thursday going to the Craft and Quilt Fair.   I managed to stay within my budget, sort of ;)  I had a shopping list of supplies I needed for current projects but still hoped to pick up something a bit new and/or exciting.

I picked up a few essentials such as applique fusible web, embroidery stabiliser, bag wadding, needles for embroidery, applique and quilting, then I got some fun things.  I've been wanting to do another latch hook for ages (did one once as a kid), but could never justify the price of the kits when I didn't really have a purpose in mind.  Thanks to baby-on-the-way, I decided I could make a colourful rug for the nursery.  Don't need a rug as there is plush carpet, but anything to add colour to the room is great.  And the plus was that this came out of 'baby budget' and not out of 'craft show budget' ;)

The other fun thing I got was my obligatory quilting pattern (I seem to end up buying a quilt pattern at every show I go to).  I had decided that for my pregnant music teacher friend I wanted to make a quilted wall hanging for the nursery as a gift for when the baby was born.  I saw a pattern from Joan's Own Creations and just couldn't resist.  It's not particularly a baby pattern but I'm going to make it out of more child friendly colours and then it will also last long beyond them being a baby.
Instead of using gold for the brass instruments I'm going to do things like metallic purple.  I might even make the piano keys multi-coloured!  Who knows, I haven't thought that hard about it yet.  Got too many other things to finish first.  The baby is due in November, but I've got until Christmas to make it really because I'll be going up to Sydney then, so don't see the point in paying for postage just to get it there 6 weeks earlier.

I also bought some books on quilting to help me with my current projects.  Good basic details in the books, concentrating on techniques rather than just giving you quilting patterns etc.
I've started doing some hand quilting on my elephant quilt, but discovered that I need a lot more practice!  I also might need to attend a class to get someone to help me with the rocking stitch method as I can't seem to do that.  I gave up in the end and am just doing stab stitch.

And just because I took a photo of it, here is the bag wadding in action!  It's great because it keeps the bag standing up-right on it's own.  That's my fern bag making some progress (until I rearranged the sewing room and haven't got everything set up again yet).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time for something new?

I almost feel justified in starting a new project!

Many of my work-in-progress projects are completed or on hold till I get more supplies.

The knitted poncho is finished.  I actually finished it a few weeks ago but I never seemed to get around to getting the photos off the camera.

 The fringe was still a bit crinkly when I took the photo as the wool had just come out of the ball, but it has relaxed a bit now and looks better.  It sits nicely over my big tummy and will be useful for when I can't wear my jumpers any more and want to look a little bit nicer.

I've done the straight machine quilting on the baby elephants.  I now want to do some hand quilting in patterns and around the elephants but I'm not sure what thread to use.  Will be looking for advice and inspiration next week at the Craft and Quilt fair.  There is also a book on hand quilting I'd like to buy before I dive straight into it.

I've just done quilting around each white square and then in between each block.  You can't see it in the photo but I think I really need to practice my machine quilting!  I also need to experiment a bit with thread.  But every quilt I do is a learning experience and I'm sure I'll just perfect the art as I get sick of making them ;)

The quilt top for the coffee quilt is complete.  Now I have to get some wadding for it.  Will also be looking out for this at the craft fair but I suspect I'll be at Spotlight later to get it.  Can't do much for a week or two anyway because I'll need a weekend to lay it out on the floor and baste it with help from hubby, and we don't have a free weekend for a couple of weeks.

As you can see, I even took progress photos as I was going along.  It's just posting them that's the problem.

Despite all the care I took, I obviously still need to work on matching my seams when joining blocks.  I thought I was doing so well but when it was finished I could see all the errors.  Oh, well.  You wont notice them once it's spent a week being used on the couch!

I'm rather pleased with the finish look so far.  It's the first time that I've actually bought the specific fabric that was used in the design (namely the border print in this instance).  It really does give it quite a distinct finish, rather than just a quilt with a common colour theme.   I should remember this next time I'm trying to be frugal with my fabric costs.  Sometimes it is just worth it to spend the money and get something nice than worry about the cost.

And the little lion cross stitch is basically finished, but I wont be doing anything about framing it till I've done the rest of the animals.  I want to frame them all together.  Not sure how long that will take me to do because I've sort of lost interest now.  Maybe when we get the nursery set up properly I'll see the need for more decoration! (and just realised I forgot to take a photo of that one)

I've just sorted through my unfinished projects box and have two more things I can work on for now.  There is the fern bag that I started oh so long ago.

There is also a knitted monkey which I started a year or two ago.
I think this will become my loungeroom project until I get the hand quilting on the elephants sorted.  The poncho has proved to me that having knitting in the loungeroom while we're watching TV is a really good way to get through it quickly!

I'm finishing up work next week so hopefully then I'll be able to update more frequently, and also do more things, like actually participate in the Montly Design Challenge!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quilt Aid

Following a link from Cinderberry Stitches, I found out about Quilt Aid 2010.  I'd been thinking about it for a while but couldn't really justify the minimum $300 for a quilt which I didn't have a purpose for yet and while I still have two quilts on the go.  I really wanted to get involved though.

Finally the other day I decided to just buy a few blocks, and get some extra fabric and make a smaller quilt.  I think it will either end up as a baby quilt or a wall hanging.

So the four blocks I have chosen so far are:

by Liz Stanway, available through Quilter's Bazaar

by Helen Stubbings, available through The Quilted Crow

by Lynette Anderson, available through The Patchwork Angel

by Natalie Ross, available through In Stitches of Williamstown

I feel kind of bad that I didn't end up choosing Natalie Lymer's block (from Cinderberry Stitches) since that is where I first found out about it.  It is a lovely block and would be lots of fun to do with all that stitching, but in the end I only picked four and it didn't quite fit with the others I'd chosen.

Who knows, I may go back later and buy a few more blocks after all!

I'm giving myself till basically the end of the year to finish it.  The program runs till then so I figure that's not leaving it too long.  It will be really fun to be a part of something that other people are also doing, and see what other peole do with the same starting blocks!

I'm looking forward to creating the blocks, with all that embroidery!  Something that I can do while sitting on the couch and waiting for baby to bake (at least for the next two months)!

And all in the name of a charity that struck a chord with me at the moment!


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