Sunday 27 May 2007

Weekend progress

Happy day! I'm making progress on my SBS! I have stitched all the blocks had cut and placed on the table next to Bernie, pluss I have hand pieced the New York Beauty block (F5 - bottom row, second from the left).

Starting at the top left:
"The Friendship quilt" (K2) is originally a foundation paper piecing pattern. I'm not too fond of FPP, so I measured the pieces and cut them to size. I think it worked out well. The "Sawtooth Star" (J1) I have had half way ready for several months - but for some reason the pieces didn't fit together and I had more or less given up on it. Know what was wrong??? I had cut the centre square nearly an inch too small *lol* The "Blazing Star" (F9) was a night mare (not to discuorage anyone who wants to try) - I think I ripped all the seams at least once - I kept lining up the pieces wrong. But it's done - YEY!!! The "Providence" (M6) went together smoothly :o)

"Mexican Star" (I5) was also a block that just fell into place, even though the pieces are very different from what I'm used to. The same goes for "Dove in the Window" (H4). The "Tennessee" (A6) was one of the blocks I had really been dreading. The pattern calls for FPP of the stripes for the eight chevrons before the block is sewn together using Y-seams. I ended up sewing a long strip set, and cutting the chevrons from it, avoiding that paper ever came near my block. I did do some frog stitching, but I'm pleased with how well it really came together. The "Jack in the Pulpit" (E6) was also a FPP pattern, but like the K2 I measured the pieces instead.

That the "Crow's Foot" (B6) came together as smoothly as it did, is thanks to Rose. She did all the calculations and sent them to me; thank you! The F5 is also a block I had been dreading for some time, but surpise, surprise: It came together much better than I had feared. Like I said, I hand pieced it, and everything came together in just under two hours (which I think is pretty good for me!). The "Lady of the Lake" (C5) and "Wedding ring" (C2) are other FPP patterns measured and pieced regularely. The C5 is a little "wobbley", but I'm really pleased with the C2.

I will now take a short break from the SBS (if I can, that is *lol*) and see if I can't finish my swap blocks before the summer is really taking over my life and the deadline for sending them gets too close. But knowing I only have 26 blocks to go will keep my spirits up and hopefully make me work faster on other projects so that I can go back to finishing it sooooon! This is so much fun!

Take care!
Sincerely, Anne

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Even more SBS blocks

Anyone think I had forgotten this is a quilting blog? I wouldn't blame you, seeing what I have been posting about over the last days. So I thought I'd let you know I'm still working on my SBS; yes, some might be tired of hearing about this, but the blocks are so much fun to do, and I love to see the pile of blocks grow in the basket. Anyway, a quick picture of the latest blocks:

A big thank you to Rose for letting me in on her calculations on a couple of blocks (Cross and Crown in the picture and Crow's Foot, which I have cut but not pieced yet), sparing me the struggle of foundation paper piecing (I only do that when I absolutely have to). I have also cut the pieces for 10 more, laying next to Bernie awaiting me having a few minutes or a couple of hours to be pieced.

Now I'm going to go to bed. Have a good night (if you are in my part of the world) or a good day (if you are somewhere on the other side).

Sincerely, Anne

Tuesday 22 May 2007

7 things about me

My sweet Tassie friend, Rose, have tagged me to tell 7 random things about myself. This is not the easiest task – try it and you will find that it’s not as easy as it looks. And I fear some of you might say I’m weird after reading some of this – but here it goes…:

  1. I love the smell of autumn. I think it’s something about the crisp and clear air after a rain shower and smell of slightly rotting leaves that brings back a memory of sitting on the back of my mother’s bicycle on the way to kindergarten as a small child – feeling of safety and happiness.
  2. I love crime and mysteries ­– not in real life, but in books and on telly – and especially the classic kind like Agatha Christie (I think I have read all her books) and John Dickson Carr (I have read most of his books as well - love The Hollow Man), but also P.D. James and Minette Walters. And David Suchet is the best Hercule Poirot ever!
  3. I don’t have a driver’s license – I have many times thought I’d get one, but haven’t gotten around to it (yet…)
  4. I have my own flat in a big yellow house in what is one of the busiest intersections in the city. And joy: there is a sushi restaurant with take away on the ground floor – wonderful for a quick meal when cooking for one isn’t too appealing – and I love sushi.
  5. I have really short and broad feet – which makes nearly impossible to buy comfortable shoes – perhaps why I have spent a major part of my life bare feet :o)
  6. I read on the toilet. I have a stack of comic books and quilting magazines in the bathroom to read whenever…
  7. My quilting companions over the past months have been Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash – I think maybe the neighbours are a bit sick of hearing the same tunes over and over accompanied by the buzzing of my sewing machine.

Well this was a mix match of little things about me… I have no idea who to tag next, seeing so many of the bloggers I read already have been tagged for this. But if you haven’t been tagged already and you read this, please consider yourself tagged!

Have a great day!
Sincerely, Anne

Monday 21 May 2007

Back on the diet

Anyone notice the fabric diet badge is back in my side bar? Well, I have decided I need to do some stashbusting before I can allow myself to buy any more fabric (not counting the BOM I have signed up for, of course :o)). My last impulsive purchases ended up in a drawer in the living room, seeing as both the closet and the chest of drawers I keep my stash in are full. So I have plenty to pull for future projects.

As a sort of "farewell" to the buying, I thought I'd post this rather amusing list I recieved from a lady on the nordic fabric swap group; 71 Reasons to Buy Fabric!!! Anyone not on a fabric diet - feel free to indulge yourselves *lol*

1. It insulates the closet where it is kept.
2. It helps keep the economy going. It is our patriotic duty to support cotton farmers, textile mills, and quilt shops.
3. It is less expensive and more fun than psychiatric care.
4. "Oh, it's not for me! I'm buying it for a friend!"
5. My cat/dog needs a fresh, new pile of fabric to sleep on and roll around on at least once a week.
6. Because it's on sale.
7. Okay, it wasn't on sale, but by the time it was, all the good stuff would be gone.
8. A sudden increase in the boll weevil population might wipe out the cotton crop for the next ten years.
9. I'm participating in a contest ”the one who dies with the most fabric wins".
10. It keeps without refrigeration, and you don't have to cook it to enjoy it. Also, you never have to feed it, change it, wipe its nose, or walk it.
11. I need extra weight in the trunk of my car for traction on snowy, icy roads. This is important, even in Florida and Southern California, as you never know when the weather will change.
12. Because I'm worth it.
13. It's non-fattening. Registered dietitians have confirmed that a fat quarter has 100% fewer calories than a hot fudge sundae.
14. I am working on building a complete collection.
15. Like dust, it's good for protecting previously empty spaces in the house, like the ironing board, the laundry hamper, the dining room table....
16. It's a medical test to see if your husband is still alive. If he is, a fabric purchase will make him start fussing about more fabric in the house.
17. When the Big Earthquake comes, all the quilt shops might be swallowed into the ground and never seen again.
18. Because it's there.
19. It's prettier than salt and peppershakers.
20. It won't break.
21. A strong interest in fabric purchases will leave you no time to spend in the pool hall or out stealing hubcaps.
22. It's much cheaper to cover the floor with fabric than new carpeting, and you can change the look more often.
23. The devil made me do it.
24. Stress from dealing with the Fabric Control Officer (my husband) made me do it.
25. It's the only remotely artistic thing I have ever done.
26. If all else fails, you can use it for cleaning rags.
27. I'm might set up my own fabric shop and I'll need a starter inventory.
28. To keep the bed from falling down - we all know that most Quilters store part of their fabric under the bed.
29. To save a beautiful fabric design for posterity.They might stop making it, and it would be lost to the world forever.
30. Neighborhood children might need just the right color for a scavenger hunt.
31. I need something new for show and tell party games.
32. My friend has more variety than I do, and I have to keep up with her.
33. Because I can't live without it.
34. It fights the empty nest syndrome - my youngest child is getting married, so I have another empty room to fill with fabric.
35. Because, this fabric just talks to me and calls my name.
36. It comes in whatever size or quantity you want.
37. It's important to invest in cotton futures.
38. I'm too old to have sex. (this was suggested by a Quilters husband.)
39. I have new shelves for fabric storage, and if I don't fill them up, they won't look right.
40. They get angry when you steal it.
41. It will go with some I bought last year.
42. It's so pretty, and I'll use it some day.
43. I want my daughter to have a proper inheritance.
44. Well-known medical fact: prevents washing machine withdrawal symptoms on light laundry days.
45. Keeps the people who make cardboard inserts in bolts of fabric employed, thus supporting the national economy in yet another way.
46. Assists the little birdies with their nests when scraps, threads, and little whispies are allowed to blow in the wind.
47. Opens up new opportunities for curators and quilt show judges to ply their skills.
48. Ophthalmologists recommend quilting to support the sagging eyeglasses industry.
49. Without fabric I would have nothing to do with my rotary cutter and my mat and my sewing machine and my iron and my thread and my needles and my quilting books . . . . (and my time).
50. I'm setting a good example for my children.
51. There's just one more piece I need, and I'll know it when I see it.
52. Buy it now, before your husband retires and goes with you on all your shopping expeditions.
53. Someone else has cornered the market on hog bellies.
54. It does not promote tooth decay.
55. Nobody told me not to.
56. It's raining (sleeting, snowing, hailing, thundering, sun's too hot?).
57. It's not immoral, illegal, or fattening.
58. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul, and makes me feel good.
59. Buy it quick, before all the good stuff is gone.
60. Surgeon General says: "Ten yards a day keeps the blues away."
61. Step 32 of Master Plan to drive husband crazy.
62. Everybody else does it.
63. "Oh, what a feeling!"
64. A yard a day is all the quilt shops of America ask.
65. If you don't buy it now, you may never see it again.
66. If I don't buy it, my husband won't have anything to complain about.
67. It was awful! I was trapped in the quilt shop, and the only way out was to buy my way out!
68. Unless my fabric stash is reasonably impressive, people might think my family is destitute, and my children would be embarrassed.
69. A large fabric stash is the sign of a creative mind.
70. I owe myself a reward for that half-pound I lost last month.
71. "Because I don't have it yet!"

Wishing all a wonderful day, whether buying fabric or busting stash!
Sincerely, Anne

Thursday 17 May 2007

My celebration of Costitution Day

Starting the morning with a quick post of this being the National Day of Norway, I thought I'd post some pictures of my celebration. Some of you have asked what it is we celebrate. In short I can say that in the beginning of the 19th Century Norway was under the Danish crown. Denmark had been on Napoleon's side in the European wars, and subsequently was a part of the loosing team. It was decided that as a penance for being on the wrong side, they would have to abstain Norway to Sweden (who was on the winning side). In the spring months the Norwegians started the planning of a constitution – a constitution officially signed 17. May 1814 at Eidsvoll, and giving the Norwegians a bit of freedom in the upcoming union (that lasted until 1905). And the signing of the constitution is what we are celebrating every year on this date.

My celebration started with meeting up with the children’s parade in central Oslo.

All in all 111 schools in the city participate in the parade, and they walk through the central part of the city, passing by the parliament where they are greeted by the parliament president, and then they walk to the castle where they greet the royal family.

I walked through the grounds of the medieval castle/fortress – where I ran into a group of “russ”, graduating high school students (I hope May Britt’s daughter isn't among these) – they looked like they had had a rough night.

I went down to The Town Hall and my friends met up with me at the pier...

...and we took the ferry out to the museum. This picture is the view from the ferry back to the city. The two towers are The Town Hall.

Unfortunately we missed some of the arrangements at the museum, but we still got to enjoy the atmosphere.

At two o’clock we went to service at the medieval stave church which is a part of the museum. The church was built c. 1200 at Gol and moved to the museum late in the 19th century. The service was lovely, with psalms and the national anthem, and a choir singing a medieval chant.

This is me outside the church in my “bunad” (national costume).

From the museum we walked down towards the King’s farm – neighbour to the museum – and in the field we held our pick-nick with loads of goodies! I was so full that I had trouble breathing at one point *lol*

Ending my picture show with an idyllic shot of the walk we had back to the buss home…

Hope everyone have had as good a day as me!
Sincerely, Anne

Gratulerer med dagen, Norge! Hurra for 17. mai!!!

Happy Birthday, Norway! Today is Norway's Constitution day, and I'll be going to celebrate with my friends at The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. I'll dress up in my national costume, go down to the centre of Oslo, and then we'll take the boat over to the museum area. There we'll watch the children's parade, folkdance and then we'll have a pick-nick. I think we will have a lot of fun!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!!

Thursday 10 May 2007

A few more SBS blocks

It has been wonderful to have my BF and her boyfriend to visit. They came on Friday afternoon and left yesterday morning. We have had a great time!

After they left yesterday, I got in a few hours work, and then I started to cut a few more blocks for my SBS. I like to cut several blocks at a time, and keep the pieces by the sewing machine so that I can piece a little as I have the time on my hands. And I figured that these pieces would last me for quite a while...

Well, after cutting six blocks I found my knees hurting from crawling on the floor - the only place I have enough room for my cutting mat and rulers is on the livingroom floor - I desided to piece a block. There is probably no secret that these blocks are addictive? By eleven o'clock last night I had pieced all the blocks I had cut.

So now I have to cut some more :o) I'm going to a seminar tomorrow and will be away untill Sunday or the beginning of next week (depends on the wheather - if it's nice I'll go down to the summer house a couple of days), so I will be bringing my tumbling blocks with me, but probably won't be able to do very much. That's life :o)

Wishing everyone a wonderful quilting weekend!
Sincerely, Anne

Thursday 3 May 2007

Bag - finished

How long is it since Christmas? What will you think of me if I tell you I finished my BF’s Christmas present tonight? Well, it’s true…

I had planned to make her a bag and a mobile phone holder for Christmas, I had made a bag for myself and another friend, and she said “I want one of those as well”, so I thought I’d better make her one. And I was making mobile phone holders for a lot of people – all different. But when it was time to send the presents to England, it was only the mobile phone holders I had made for her and her boyfriend was finished. So I wrote her a note on the card saying I would send the remainder of her gift just over New Year. Guess what; she and her boyfriend is coming tomorrow to visit for the weekend :o) Have I been sewing this evening? Yes! And now it’s done! And I hope she will be pleased with it.

There is a blue stripe parallel with the purple one, but you can’t see it when the lid is closed. This is my version of Norwegian designer AnnAKa’s bag “Gladveska” (The happy bag); if you check out the link you can see my alterations. Sorry, but I don’t have a pic of the mobile phone holders, but I posted one I made for another friend in February. For my BF I made it with the blue and purple focus fabrics I have used in the bag, and for her boyfriend I used the same blue and another blue, and embelished them both using embroydery thread.

Well, it is time for bed, it has been a good evening of sewing for me! And I hope it has been a good evening for you to!
Sincerely, Anne

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Extended weekend - not much quilting

I have spent the past few days at the family summer house - about 2 hours driving from where I live. We have opened the place for the summer, and basically relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I did bring some sewing with me; I managed to stitch a little bit, but not as much as I would have liked (just lying in the sun took too much time *lol*).

Well, what I can show is one more SBS block - Gentleman's Fancy, which is hand pieced seeing as I haven't brought a sewing down there for the summer yet; and the centres for two more blue and white swap blocks (Tumbling Blocks) - I have also basted the paper to most of the remaining pieces for the last four Tumbling Blocks blocks I'll be making (in the plasitic bag). So all in all not much, but not all that bad...

I hope all of you - my blogging friends - have had a great weekend and a good 1. May!
Sincerely, Anne