Wednesday 28 February 2007

When does a WIP become a UFO?

As I was making a list for my side bar of WIPs and UFOs I need to finish (at least sometime this year), I started to wonder when a WIP goes from being a WIP to become a UFO. The “Blue & multicoloured trial and error” is what I would call a UFO – I pieced the top in 1999, and have done nothing with it - except take it out, look at it and put it back in a drawer - since then. The Cathedral window on the other hand has to be a WIP – I started it this fall, brought it to the summer house as a project to work on while I was there, and then I left it there when we closed for the winter, but I intend to work on it when we reopen for summer. Some of the others on the list are also definitively WIPs, but then there is the Pansy Park. This beautiful pattern was a BOM in 2002 (I think it was). I made one block – it came out about ½” to small, I got bored with ripping the seams and just didn’t feel like working on it any more. Meaning I have 11 packs of fabric for the blocks untouched, a finishing kit (including borders and backing) and one wrong size block that all have been lying there for five years. In what category do I place this project??? Any thoughts out there?

Uppdate after I have checked the mysterious drawer who contains most started projects (no matter what category) - the BOM was from the summer 2002 to the summer 2003 - does that make my lack of making it any better? And Nancy, I'm sorry, but the ebay category is not an option... I still want to make it. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or nex week, but someday... I hope...

Saturday 24 February 2007

More SBS blocks and more shopping

Okay, so I am a naughty girl. I found this yummy bundle of Serendipity Brushed Woven at Fat Quarter Quilters, and it was marked down, so the decision to buy them wasn't very hard to make. I think they will make it into a snugly quilt for the sofa at my family’s summer house. When I’ll make it? Well, that depends on how much time I get between other projects... Anyway, they arrived today, I conquered the snow and wind and went down to the post office to pick them up. When I got back home I just sat down stroking them - they are so soft!

While I was at it, I also bought a charm pack to go with my collection of charm packs. I think I have enough now for a fair size quilt and hope I can start making something out of them before long. I have been thinking more and more about making hour glass blocks – I really like the blocks Patti at Quilting is my passion is working on, and I think I want to make something in that direction.

I have managed to make some more blocks for my SBS this week as well. It is a mix of machine piecing, hand piecing and hand appliqué. I'm rather pleased with how they turned out. But I feel I'm sort of loosing my patience with this project. That is not the best way of expressing how I feel, but I can't find some other way of saying it, but what do I mean by that? Although I love the journey/learning process it is to make a quilt like this, I want it to move along a bit faster:-) But I guess that's up to me..? I think it's just the thing that I'm half way at making my blocks, and I wish I could make more at the same time, speed it up a bit. Okay, now I'm rambling...

Today I have been cutting paper foundations for a few more blocks, and I hope I will be able to cut the fabric later tonight. So once again my living room floor is covered in quilting gadgets:-) (the FQ books (they are great, by the way) are lying there scince I recieved my brushed wovens - I just had to see if I could find a pattern to use - and I think I found one in 11 Laps From Fats!)

Sunday 18 February 2007

Baby quilt and cushions for the kitchen chairs

Today I decided I would get some work done on the baby quilt I have promised I would finish for my BF (I mentioned this in january). The quilt is for the baby of one of her friend, who is expecting in March. My BF pieced the centre of the top in October (I think it was). This top was the first thing she had sewn since ninth grade – which means in about 14 years. And I think she did a great job!

The centre is made up of a charm pack from Marcus Brothers – their Charleston II line. It is a rather grown up fabric, not your typical choice for a baby, but seeing as no one knows whether it is a boy or a girl, a historical theme seemed like a good idea. My job has been to ad a border – that I did today, and I have laid out the sandwich – I’m hoping to baste it and start quilting it sometime next week. There is still some time to go before the baby is born… but the quilt has to be sent to my BF who is living in London, she has to sign the label and gift wrap it and get it to Scotland, were the coming baby’s parents are living.

While I was looking for some batting for the baby quilt, I found some inner cushions (can you say that in English?) I bought about a year ago – thinking I was going to be very creative about the covers for them. In a moment of “I have got to get these out of my closet” I went through a pile of left over fabrics I have received from my aunts and my friend’s aunt when they have been sewing curtains and such like, and started cutting 17” squares to make simple covers. I didn’t have enough of any one fabric to make four similar cushions, so instead I made four completely different ones.

I have used five different fabrics, and combined them differently for each cushion – one of the fabrics I’m not to fond of, so that will be the ones going on the down side:-) Now they are placed on my kitchen chairs, they look sort of nice and I suppose they are better to sit on than wood, and best of all I have a bit more space in my closet:-)

Saturday 17 February 2007

Will I soon be broke? + more SBS blocks

It has been a few days since I last posted anything on my blog. There are several reasons for that; two of them being a lot of things going on at work and Welsh Open in snooker on TV late at night. The semi finals are tonight, and the finals are tomorrow - I have no idea why I have gotten so hung up on the game seeing as I have never played it. Can it have something to do with quilter's mentality of presition and geometry?

For those out there on the fabric diet, please skip this part! Because in your eyes I have been a naughty girl, and I have started to ask myself the question whether I'd rather buy fabric than food, and I'm not quilte sure about the answer (this was a rather untastful joke, but it has a small ring of truth to it (unfortunately:-))). This yardage arrived earlier this week.

Except for the beige/cream with purple flowers, which will be used as backing for a sampler I'm working on (I'll post a picture of it one of these days), I have no plans for it. But who knows...? And today I recieved 20 FQs of Jennifer Chiaverini's Circle of Quilter's collection for Red Rooster. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these either, but I just had to have them– they are so pretty!

I have managed to stitch a bit this week as well, all though not been as productive as I would have liked. I have made five new blocks for my SBS.

The Grandmother's fan and the Dresden plate are the first blocks I have hand pieced in my life, not counting a few smaller projects using English paper piecing. I made a thin pencil line around the templates and stitched just outside the line, leaving a scant 1/4" seam allowance (this is called American hand piecing???) - it worked wonderfully, so I have cut a couple of other blocks to make this way as well. I have suffered more or less from a phobia of curved seams and appliqué, and in the SBS there are plenty of both. So I have decided to try and tackle my fears and just go ahead and make the ones I dread the most:-) We’ll se how it goes…

Sunday 11 February 2007

Mobile holder and progress on my SBS

Well I did manage to make a mobile holder for my friend’s birthday. For those who know the pattern – I have made a couple of small changes: it is suppose to close with a magnetic lock, but when I went to buy some in December no one had any. So I bought Velcro instead, and have found it to work really well, so I have used that for the ones I have made since, as well. The pattern calls for a thread decorating - i have qulited it, without using embroidery thread in the quilting. I also changed my mind about the purple fabric – I used the dark rather than the light, and I think the result is rather ok. I also made a matching key chain, simply by cutting a circle of each fabric and inserting it into the plastic holder (so it is black and silver on the other side).

I think she was pleased. I also made a key chain with white fabric decorated using a rubber stamp for her sister, but the flash on the camera reflects in the white, so I don’t have a picture.

I also managed to work a bit on my Sylvia’s bridal sampler quilt this week end. The SBS is a sampler quilt with 140 6” blocks, designed by Jennifer Chiaverini. I started mine in August, and have had this as a sort of “in between all other projects”-project - taking the opportunity to learn a lot of patterns along the journy of pecing the top. Jennifer Chiaverini recently started a block of the week challenge, an opportunity to make some progress on the quilt! This week the block was the K3: Churn Dash. I knew I had started piecing my Churn Dash in December when I was at my parent’s house for Christmas, but had put it aside because I had forgotten to cut the centre piece. But when I dug it up to finish it for the challenge, I found that I had cut pieces for five more blocks, put them in the same plastic bag as the Churn Dash, and forgotten all about it (I have no idea what I was thinking!!! - it might have somethin to do with the fact that I cut twenty-something blocks in December, and speed pieced them over a few days...). So of course I had to piece them!

These are my blocks 40-45, which means I have 95 to go!!!

Wednesday 7 February 2007

Shopping spree, but blocks done

I started the morning of with sort of a sleep in – except that I wasn’t sleeping, I was ironing. I finished stitching the siggie blocks last night, but it got to late to iron them, so I did that after breakfast. My plan for the start of today was to stop by the craft shop – opens at 10.00, and if anyone wonders I have sort of flexible work hours – and buy a textile pen in green. Seeing as I’m doing my blocks in green I thought it would be nice to sign them with a green pen. The problem as always was to leave the shop buying only what I had in mind going in. So sort of preventing myself from picking up anything other than the pen I strolled right past the shopping baskets at the entrance. Well you can see for yourself what I brought with me to the counter, all bundled up in my arms…:

Can I say to my defense: I know exactly what I’m going to do with it? …at least most of it… The fabric with the butterflies was so pretty I just had to have a piece, and the silver stars, I’m sure I’ll think of something! And I have plans for everything else.

I’ve been invited to celebrate a friend from university’s 30th birthday on Sunday, and I was thinking of using the black fabric with the silver swirls and the lightest of the two purples to make her a holder/case/mini bag/”mobile-house” for her mobile phone. In the Christmas extra of the member’s magazine of the Norwegian Quilter’s association there was this really great pattern by AnnAKa, and it is a lot of fun to make – I made 12 of them as Christmas gifts, and then why not make one as a birthday gift to someone who didn't get one at Christmas. And I was thinking of making sort of a collage of the same two fabrics and use in one of the key chain frames, maybe also a small purse of some sort as a whole set – I'll have to figure out a small thing to make her twin sister as well, seeing as we are all going out together on Sunday. Wow, I hope I get a lot of free time untill then!

The white and the dark purple need to be washed, and then I’m planning to try to hand piece some Quilted Diamonds. I bought Linda Franz’ books a couple of weeks ago and have been flipping through them, and watching the DVD that came with QD2, and I feel my fingers itching to have a go. Jeanne from Luv2stitch told me she thinks I’ll enjoy making them – she has pictures in her webshots of some really beautiful diamonds she has made. I do enjoy English paper piecing – and Linda Franz’ technique looks more comfortable – no stiff paper between my fingers – just soft, soft fabric. Sigh..!!! Jeanne, to answer your question: I have seen the InkLingo on Linda Franz’ web site, but unfortunately the product is no good for me at the moment, as I don’t have a printer, ink jet or other. But one day, perhaps...
The pens and the rubber stamps will be used to decorate my siggie blocks – some time tomorrow evening. I have trimmed them tonight, and they look like this:

But now I feel like turning in...

Monday 5 February 2007

Far between creams

Tonight I was planning to sew a bit more on my siggie blocks. I had found a rather large piece of cream fabric in my stash that looked perfect for doing thes blocks, and started cutting the strips for the siggies. And what do you know: after the 36th piece there was no more fabric to cut from - and I needed 40!

So I have spent a good half hour bustling through my stash - it's incredible how much fabric you can have, and not find anything you need when you need it. There was al sorts of beiges, and light tans, and whites, and parchment, and greys. I even found a few bits of cream, but they all has print on them in yellow, blue and red - not exactly what I needed. But at the bottom of a drawer it showed up: a piece of cream fabric that was about 10"x25"! Puh!!! Four people in the swap are getting blocks that look a little bit different - but who those people will be - only Cynthia will know:-)

I have stitched a few triangles to the one side of most of the strips, and I'm hoping to finish the stitching tomorrow so I can sign Wednesday and Thursday, and have the blocks ready to mail Cynthia by the weekend. That's the plan, anyway...

Sunday 4 February 2007

Weekend accomplishments

The star-barn-raising-quilt is finished! I added the 2 ¼” double binding strip by machine yesterday,

and finished stitching it to the back of the quilt about an hour and a half ago. I still haven’t made a label for it (those of you who read Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts novels – and/or her pattern books – have learned: always document your quilts! – which I’m trying to keep up as best as I can), but I will be doing that as a last finishing touch sometime next week, I think… I still have to come up with a name for it, as well - any good ideas out there in Blogland?

Finishing the binding of the quilt took a bit more time than I thought, so unfortunately my siggie swap blocks are not quite done yet. I managed to piece together the 80 triangles that goes on each side of the cream strip, but that is as far as I got.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take some time by the sewing machine after work in the days to come:-) After all it’s not THAT many seams:-)

Thursday 1 February 2007

Camera working

Just a quick stop at the computer, letting anyone who have found my blog know I have got my camera working. I'm posting a picture of the star-barn-raising quilt (still no binding though). I pieced the top at a class at the LQS (dere norske der ute kjenner sikkert til Lappemakeriet på Bærums Verk!). The class was taught by Norwegian quilter Helle Løvenskiold, and it was really enjoyable and fun. She was teaching the crazy tecnique developed by the ladies at Buggy Barn - I'd really like to have another go at the tecnique some time:-)

I must admit I have not done the beautiful quilting myself! The quilt is rather large (about a queen size bed) and my shoulders would not survive the weight - at least not at the sewing machine. But thanks to Anne Marit at Gla'Lappen here in Oslo, it will be finnished as soon as I stich that binding on.... Hopefully I'll post a picture of the finnished quilt some time soon!

And I hope I'll have some examples of my siggie blocks to show some time during this week end:-)