Friday, 30 December 2011

Krimbo Limbo

Christmas has gone and New Year is almost here.  Too much food, too much drink and too much laying about watching TV.  I did manage to work in a few days of creativity.  But when my usual routine is disrupted, it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things.

I am really eager to get back to the Orca Bay Mystery.  Need to do some serious catching-up!!  Those pesky 3/4" red strips are taking their toll on my piecing time.

But as I did have a project I needed to complete first, I thought I best get that sorted and out of the way.

Here is a photo of the completed quilt top destined for the 2012 HOKH Maidstone Quilt Show raffle.  Each year there are three quilts donated for the raffle prizes.

My friends, Claudia Taylor and Linda Prance, are busy working on the other two quilts which will complete the prizes.  Claudia won Visitor's Choice at the 2011 HOKH Maidstone Quilt Show and kindly took up the challenge to produce one of the prizes for next year.

Linda is our resident celebration cake maker from Cake Mountain.  Check out her website!  The cakes are DE-LI-CIOUS!!  Take it from me.

She is making a very colourful child's quilt which will be third prize.  I am going to be quilting it for her.

So now I just have to get my quilt top on the longarm and weave my magic to make it sparkle.  I may wait until I get my January patterns from Anne Bright.  I just love what she comes up with every month.

Happy New Year to All!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Orca Bay Part 5, but the weather outside is horrid!

With the excitement of Orca Bay Part 5 behind me, I thought I could spend the day cutting and sewing.

Now we have triangles to sew onto the HST units from part 3.  That's OK because I have the Accuquilt die to cut them with.  700 wing triangles isn't really that many!?!?

So I start out with the 2 1/2" strips laid on the die like so!

Then these babies are made.

They are then sewn onto these.

And as if by magic, the results are these!

How cool is that?  But let's not forget that I have to sew 700 pieces onto 350 units first!!!

Oh well, I will carry on.  Meanwhile back at the ranch, the red strips from part 4 are still being churned out at a slow but steady pace.

I played around with some of the components so far and this lovely star came out.

But I'm not really sure where the part 1 blocks are going to go.  Anyone have a clue?

So this is as far as I got today.  The weather is horrible and grey and wet and I really want to sit by the fire and do some hand-piecing while watching some telly.

Let's hope tomorrow is at least dry.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas Party at Castle Wall

Today is the Christmas Party at my quilt group, Castle Wall.  We already had our meal a fortnight ago which was absolutely wonderful!  Though it did lack a real Christmas feel because we had it so early, we couldn't fault the meal or the service.  The restaurant was Wealden Hall in Larkfield, Kent.  A beautiful period building with a real medieval feel.

We are having a raffle and a 'fat quarter game'.  Each of us has to bring a 'desirable' fat quarter.  Each table has a series of cards to turn over with a command written on.  For instance, a card could say, "swap places with the person wearing red" or "everyone move three places to the right", etc.  The fat quarter stays on the table in the original place and the people move round the table until all the cards have been used.  You then get to keep the fat quarter in front of you!

We did a different game last year whereby a person could take the fat quarter they liked from someone else and then that person would do the same to another person.  That game got quite heated because in the end there was always a particular fabric that several people were fighting over, meaning the rest of us just had to sit and wait or get stuck with the fabric we had.

Just don't come between a quilter and her fabric!

I chose to take "Jane's Magic Forest" by Jane Sassaman of Free Spirit.  I just love the bold design.  I used it to back the playmat pictured on my profile picture.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Orca Bay Part 4, Little Progress!

Who's idea was it to cut 3/4" strips???  Well, it will be fantastic when I eventually get them done.

Here is the progress so far.

I managed to finish quilting both the customer quilts I had to do.  I must give lessons on how to do borders!  Why do people, who don't really know what to do when it comes to borders, always choose to do piano key borders???  Their borders end up almost twice the length of their quilt and us longarmers have to somehow "quilt it in"! LOL!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Orca Bay Part 4! Yipee Red!

Part 4 of Orca Bay is out and my favourite things are in it.  Red, strips & starch.

Unfortunately, life got in the way this weekend.  I have two customer quilts to quilt and I helped my daughter-in-law with some crafty things she wanted to do for my granddaughter's first birthday and also for Christmas.

Also, as you can see from the two blocks I did manage to sew, I have chosen to use 3/4" strips for this part.  I love the way these narrow strips allow bits of colour to pop out of the reds.  The suggestion of red is dominant and the snippets of other colours inject life into the block.

So this all means that it is going to take me twice as long as everyone else to get the blocks sewn.  See you later!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Quilting another string quilt

Today I have been quilting a string quilt belonging to a member of a quilt group I belong to.  The solid blocks were uninteresting and made the rest of the quilt look a bit drab.  So I spiced it up with Aurifil variegated thread.  I think it adds sparkle and interest.

I had to avoid the intersections because of the bulky seams.  They wouldn't go under my hopping foot, so I am having to place the pattern as best I can.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hand Pieced Hexy Project 2008-2012

My oh my!  I haven't seen it laid out this way before.  I have done drawings, but the real thing is so much better.  This project was started in 2008 from a range of Moda fabrics.  I just loved the autumnal colours so much that I wanted to use them for my take-along, hand piecing.  As these things go, it has been sitting around for long periods of time, until I feel like doing some hand work.

 Suddenly, you think that somehow this hexagon shape needs to become a square shape and how is that going to work!  Drawing after drawing to get the placement of the corners where they needed to be, got me to this point.  Wished I had taken photos of the first layout I had!  I completely forgot where I intended to place the fabrics in the first place.  So this morning at 3:30am, I threw it on the floor and had a play with what I had and this is the result.  I am happy with the placement and will strive to get all the pieces in place, so I can work on the borders.

I would like to get this finished in 2012, but who knows.  I started it in the year of my mother's illness and passing.  It will be a reminder of those times, but also of the future.  My first grandchild was born last year.  That's why a quilt is so important.  It marks the milestones in life and gets us through it.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Double Disappearing Nine Patch

Middle-of-the-night surfing brought me to this tutorial.  I have produced several quilts with the disappearing nine patch pattern.  In fact, that has to be my most used pattern to date.  So I was interested when I came across this.  How cool is this?!  Wonder if you nine-patched it again??  I just love secondary designs.  Must put this on my to-do list.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Orca Bay Part Three Finished!!

I have to say my collection of parts for the Orca Bay Mystery is beginning to look really black and neutral with a dash of blue!  Come on the reds!  I had loads of fun trying out the different ways one could produce accurate and quick HST blocks.  I must say that cutting them with the Accuquilt and speed piecing them produced the best results in the shortest time.  I did try Inklingo and I purchased some other block sets as well.  They will be used in future projects.  I just didn't like the fact that the fabric had to be cut paper size, then ironed on to freezer paper and then fed through the printer.  That process involved my printer and computer which are located in the house, when I do my sewing in my cottage at the bottom of the garden!  Also I am not a "stitch-on-the-line" sort of person.  I love the 1/4" guide on my machine.  I know exactly where I am and can merrily chain piece without a care in the world, knowing my blocks will be accurately pieced.  But that is just my opinion and the way I prefer to work.  We all have our own preferences. 

The blue blocks look like jewels in a sea of black & white
The whole set of parts

Would you believe that all three parts would fit in this container?  Well they do and there's room for the red blocks too.

I thought this was supposed to use up your scraps!  I seem to have made more scraps to add to my collection.

Could this be a possible setting for the blocks?
I could see the red blocks sitting in the corners in an Irish chain fashion.  But I think that would be too simple.

Roll on Friday's clue.

This is a project I am working on in between Orca Bay.  It is a scrappy strip quilt I have been working on for a few months.  Just sewing blocks together whenever I had the time.  It is the second quilt I have made using this style.  This is only one quarter of the quilt.  I have deliberately left the large plain areas to showcase my longarm quilting.  With so many lovely quilting patterns to choose from, I will enjoy selecting what to put where.  There will be a stop border between the quilt and the geese.  Not sure what colour to use.  Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

Who's afraid of circles??

OMG!  This morning while I was waiting to dry, I surfed the net and found this tutorial.  I don't know about you, but I hate circles!  Just check this out.  You will never hate circles again.  Sometimes the easiest way is always the hardest to see.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Orca Bay Part Three WooHoo!!

How lucky am I?!  Part Three requires 2" unfinished HST units in black and neutral.  I so happen to have the AccuQuilt die for cutting that very triangle.

Cutting out the triangles was so fast and easy.  I layered eight or nine strips of fabric over the die and cut out six HSTs per layer of fabric.  350 units?  No probs!!  I'll have these cut in no time.  The other wonderful thing about the AccuQuilt is that the triangles have all the ears already cut off, so there is no need to trim after piecing.  Chain piecing in front of the TV will make this step a dream.