28 January 2009

Google Reader for Blogs

Because I like reading blogs, I decided to subscribe to my favourite once using Google Reader. I can see all new posts at a glance and also don't have to worry about updating the links on my blog all that often.

But I also find that I comment a lot less these days ... how about you?

Now if I could merge Flickr and Google beyond the Google widget, things'd be perfect!

25 January 2009

Pre-assembled Pinboard

My girls produce a lot of "art" that never seems to find a proper home around the house. But none of the pin boards available were nice enough.

So I took a large RIBBA frame from IKEA, some insulating board like the one I used on my Jan-inspired design-wall and fabric from my stash.

I will have to take the whole thing apart again to apply spray-on fabric adhesive and then re-assemble it with the help of my hubby who will get to hang it. But: so far so good!

My Holiday Project

I've decided on my holiday project - as mentioned earlier. It's a heavily Asian-inspired Bassetti GranFoulard panel that I will turn into a lap quilt for my godmother. I'll take it on our week-long skiing holiday next month, where I will nit ski but quilt and read - so technically not a skiing holiday at all.

She'll turn 75 in April 2011 (yes, I'm ahead of schedule for once) and lived in Japan in the 1960ies. Her son was the first westerner ever born in the town where they lived. Last year, she spent seven weeks at my parents', nursing my mum back to health after a very serious fall. Thankfully, my mum is without lasting damage after a fall that usually kills 30% of her peers and leaves the majority of the survivours with substantial handicaps.

The project: I will trim off the blue border and use that for binding. After sandwiching, I will hand-quilt to bring out some design-aspects of the top. I might even attach one side of the binding before we leave so that I can finish the whole thing. That'd be awesome.

22 January 2009

Planning ...

With our skiing holiday looming and lots of ideas for projects in my head, I begin to feel the urge to plan. There is little chance of me hand-piecing anything anytime soon. Also I'd like to try my hand at stippling and have earmarked the red and green disappearing nine-patch for that.

So I'm thinking I will take one of my Bassetti panels and hand quilt that in preparation for my Godmother's 75th birthday in 2011, ahem.

19 January 2009

My Pledge for 2009

I will not buy any fabric this year!

My stash is over-flowing with material for projects and I have plenty for several quilts. Also, I'm hoping this will keep me from wasting time on cruising fabric shops and battling the Urge to Purchase.

I might even find enough for a give-away ... we shall see!

Posted are the latest two instalments for my stash, both purchased in late 2008.

14 January 2009

Sampler progress

I am so pleased with how this is turning out!

When I signed up for my quilting class in 2002 I was told to purchase fabric, preferrably cotton, one solid, one larger pattern, one smaller pattern. I knew I wanted to make something for my girl, who was three months old at the time. So I chose yellow, red and blue - they will always say "childhood" to me. Also I had all these ideas of how I was never going to cave to the pinkness of having a daughter. She has blue eyes and blues, reds and greens look lovely on her ...

For years since, I have doubted my choice in colour but not any more. With Amanda Jean's binding tutorial and the light blue bias binding plus the reduced size ... it's working really well. And reminding me of when I first started quilting and parenting. And of living where I loved living, in Manchester in the Northwest of England. My girls will have a little slice of my nostalgia to play with and I am excited about that because one day they will understand the symbolism. Already they are very appreciative of the things I make for them.

What's more, I noticed how much work I had poured into the top that laid neglected for five years or more. It was all done using paper piecing and all the corners line up perfectly.

So off to do a last clean-up of the day and onto adding the binding to the second play quilt.

Christmas all packed up

Now that it's all packed up and on its way to the attic crawl space, I realise it looks like nothing much at all. I've not bought a lot of decorations the past few years simply because I like what I have ... only now - in January - I have acquired two wreaths for next time: one from Landmark.co.uk and one from the coffee shop that shall not be named.

13 January 2009

9 January 2009

Amanda Jean's Tutorial rocks!

I printed off Amanda Jean's binding tutorial and sort of tried it out last night. Somehow I got the idea that I could just wing the first half, but no: not only was my strip not wide enough, also the ends weren't the right angle. You live, you learn!

But it worked out super-well and I am loving the result. This weekend I will hand-stitch the binding and then finish quilting next week. Yes, I know, that's backwards! But I don't want to drag around my machine and need something to do while away from home.

7 January 2009

First sampler quilt with "border" added

I'm making decent progress with this project, propelled forward by the prospect of a weekend in the Black Forrest, where I will need diversion. And hand-stitching the binding will do just that: relax and divert me :-)

Before I get to that point though, I will have to quilt (perimeter stitching) and make the bias binding. Then I will have to closely follow Amanda Jean's continuous binding tutorial, pack and leave ...

6 January 2009

What happened to my work area?

Looks like the New Year's cleaning bug has not been active in the basement yet ... I've been purging wardrobes and book shelves as well as selling off electronics. The New Year does that to me: I go on a cleaning craze.

My sewing table will look better in about 30 minutes and then I'll whip out the ironing board to make some progress on those doll quilts.

4 January 2009

First project of the New Year: the sampler

Initially, I had planned to turn this into a double-sided quilt for my daughter to play with in her doll corner. My husband thought that'd be a waste ... why not make two, one per girl. So this is what I'm doing.

They will be bordered in yellow, about 1,5 cm wide, and then bound in that light blue gingham I used in the blocks. Quilting will be minimal and done by machine.

Anything to get the job done - after six years.