Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6" block swap - oh my

I have just checked the number of participants for this swap.  There are 60 of us!!!!!!

And the sign up doesn't close for a few days yet.

Yikes!!  I will be busy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

6" Block Swap and a finish

The other day I signed up for a 6 inch friendship block swap.  And today I just bought 27 fq's of fabric to make the blocks with.

I quite possibly could have gotten away with not buying the fabric, but the guidelines that came out yesterday for the swap said I had to use reproduction fabrics.  I don't have anything like that, so buying some was really my only option.  I just hope that the other 43 participants don't have the same range of fabric as I do.

So that's 44, I think, blocks to be made.  Luckily the pattern is quite simple.  I had seen the quilt we are trying to emulate on the small quilt talk photo pages and had worked out how to make the block without buying the book it comes from.  I have seen the book sell for around $30 and I don't want to spend that much on a book just to make 1 block from it.  Then 1 of the group members posted about getting an e-version of the book cheap.  So I looked into that and went "what the heck", so I bought it too.  This is turning out to be an expensive quilt.  I still need to get a cream homespun for the centre of the block and a pen I can write on the centre block with.  And I also have to reimburse the coordinator the cost of the postage, which I have no idea how much that is going to be.  So this will probably cost me around $200 just to make and get my blocks.  When you take into account that this is the sort of quilt that, once I get it together, I will send off to be quilted professionally it will have cost me $400-500 in total.  OUCH!

So why do this in the first place?

I enjoy making stuff.  I seem to have this inner urge to be creative on some level.  Housework just does not do it for me.  I can sweep and vacuum and wash till the cows come home and I get no satisfaction what so ever form it.  I know that in a few hours, or tomorrow, the place is going to look exactly the same.  When you have 3 dogs that are allowed inside and 2 of them shed hair constantly (huskies) and you have laminate flooring in the living areas you have constantly dirty floors.  When out on their walk last night the biggest stood in some freshly laid dirt and sunk past his ankle.  The dirt was wet so he came home with a large and filthy paw.  Hubby did not wash it for him.  I would have but this dog is a real sook when it comes to water.  It wasn't worth the trouble he would give me.

Every day I have to make something.  Whether it is a costume for the girls or those they teach, a quilt block or two for me, a laundry bag to send off overseas, I have to make something.  So soon it will be 44 blocks for a swap.  The sign up hasn't closed yet so there could even be some more join now that the guidelines have been posted.  They are mostly from USA, 3 are from Australia (including me), 1 from Canada and 1 from Denmark.  There was 1 lady from England thinking about joining in too.  44 6" blocks make for a nicely sized quilt.  If participant numbers stayed at 44, I could use 42 to make a 6 x 7 layout, thus making a 36" x 42" quilt without any borders.  I would have 2 leftovers that could go on the back.  Or I could make a few more of my own in the colours that I used to make it up to 48 or 49.  But that is way down the track yet.  I have until the start of September to get them made and in the post to where they have to go.  10 weeks - I better get a move on.

Moving on to my finish - the jumper I started a few weeks ago got all sewn up last night.  Here it is.

I bought way too much yarn.  The pattern stated I would need 14 balls.  I did not use the specified yarn.  So I compared the length of each and the yarn I wanted to use had just over double per ball so I bought 7 balls.  Ended up using only 4 and a bit.  I got the whole front and part of the back from the one ball!  The yarn is an acrylic/wool/mohair mix.  Nice and soft and I think it will be warm to boot.  Just what I need these days.  The weather has been really cold lately.  Yes I know it is winter but 1 or 2 degree mornings and not getting over 14 degrees during the day even when sunny is a bit ridiculous, even for Melbourne.  I hope it fits.

I also finally got round to finishing off the flimsy for my Thoughts in Thread quilt (pattern by Val Laird).  I really like it.  I think I will contact Angel Quilts and see if Vera can quilt it for me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Small Quilt Swap sent and received

My parcel has arrived, so I can now show you what I sent to my swap partner, Anna.

First up is her quilt.  I made it from stash fabrics, including some vintage fabrics I have been given.  there are 41 different fabrics in the top!!

It really was a pain in the arse to make.  All those bias edges, I should have paper pieced it.  Oh well, live and learn.

This is the back...

A lovely softly coloured piece (bought new) showing typical australian animals.  Anna lives in Wisconsin USA so the Aussie animals were perfect for her, I thought.

A close up of the label that I hand embroidered.  It was done freehand too that's why it's rather wonky.

And lastly the fabrics I sent to her and a mug rug.  the fabrics were all purchased new.  The green in them is a gorgeous turquiose that is so popluar right now - at least in the interior design world.

She said she liked the quilt - I hope she did.  She also said she was going to use the mug rug and the fabric in a mini Australia lesson to the 3 yo children she teaches. I may ask her how many children that is and then send over a clip Koala with flag for them all.  They aren't all that expensive to buy.  Postage is a bit dear though.

I have a parcel from her too.  She sent the quilt.....

and some fabrics, 3 patterns, a porcelain doll that she made in the 70's (I don't think she knew I had a doll house), 2 flags and a tourist brochure for her town in Wisconsin.

The doll is really sweet and means my children and the baby now have a mother (in the doll house).

One  of the patterns was her hand drawn one for the quilt she made me.  I may have a tinker with it to see if I can get bottom half of the quilt (see the pic above) to repeat.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Small Quilt Talk Swap

Yay it is finished and in the post.  I had to unwrap the parcel I am sending my swap partner as I had forgotten to take some pics.  I will load these when she receives it.  I don't want to spoil any surprises.

I have quilted the swap quilt very simply.  The pattern I used has lots of bias edges and it is seamed together.  I think this pattern should really be paper pieced.  It would stop a lot of the stretching that seaming created.  I was going to hand quilt around each of the patterned shapes, thus outlining them, but once it was all together it was rather ripple-y so I just quilted across the connecting diamonds and around the inner edge of the border.

I think it turned out ok and I hope my swap partner is not disappointed with it.  I have also sent her some extras in the package.

Now to decide if I want to make on for myself.  I have done this in the past with other swaps I have participated in.  It makes for a nice record of what I have made and gets me past the 'I really like this and can't bear to part with it' feeling.

Here's a pic of 1 wall in my craft cave.  It looks a bit different now in that the tubs have labels and there's not as much stuff sitting if front of them.  But it is still not as neat and tidy as I see in other peoples craft room photos.

Oh and there are some drawer tot he right of the shelves.....