Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scatterday S - almost cheating

While I realise that without even trying my sister Charmaine would easily fill all of the required categories this week I think that people would think I had staged the whole category selection thing if I merely posted a photo of her with strawberry ice cream around her mouth and an empty spoon in her hand and as she never sews any empty box would depict her empty stash.
However in the true spirit of this week's letter I have instead included photos and story from a recent retreat I attended.

Last Saturday and Sunday I arrived early at Cobargo for a sewing extravaganza
But alas when I peered into the shed that was to be our studio it was empty.
I worried that I was in the wrong location. With many a fine stitcher soon to descend where were we to stitch. Luckily it turned out that I was looking in the wrong shed but I need an empty so the photo has remained. 
Snippets - Enter With Care - Joy Holmes
Day 1 was a relaxing day of hand stitching while day 2 was machine work. I had actually taken a fantastic photo to use here but am unable to find it so have had to resort to this harried stitcher. Unfortunately one student had trouble with her machine and did indeed resemble this lady fair.
Many colours were used even strawberry, both light and dark for Joy's block. And after a fine desert of strawberries and ice cream everyone agreed that this project would not make a dint on anyone's stash.

Scatterday A

hmmm I wonder what they meant by this week's categories
# house
# bird
# junk
# art from/for/in your sewing room

One's mind can really do a lot with those words and you have until 13th April to find your photos and words..see you then.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New BOM

C30 - I Remember

Well starting on Tuesday I am starting a new BOM series based on blocks from my Raconteur - The Storyteller's Collection Quilt. I don't know how well it will go but am hoping that enough people show an interest in it that I can get more photos of completed blocks and collections. I just love to see what people can do with my blocks and how different they all turn out when made in other colours or fabric ranges.

Carol Le Maitre is a person of my thinking and has made her blocks in such a variety of colours. Margaret McC has just started this weekend and I can't wait to see what it looks like in civil war fabrics as that is her present love, while Rhonda usually picks such soft and elegant fabrics (Shabby Chic I think is what it is called - but don't hold me to it) so they again will be totally different. 
I meet up with Margaret and Rhonda about once every two or three months and can't wait for the next meeting. If we all m
anage to get there, not as easy as one thinks, then in three weeks I should have some photos of their blocks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost Caught Up



C13 Log Cabin Baskets
C12 Turnaround
C12 Hidden Extras

I would love to say that I have caught up with posting all of the blocks that Carol has emailed me but alas she sews quicker than I edit and upload.
Mind you everyone is fortunate that she is so far ahead as she also edits my patterns for errors. We assume I had been getting stuck into the wine when I wrote the numbers for Log Cabin Baskets as they were all over the place. Thankfully now that has been corrected.
This is also Carol's second attempt at Hidden Extras. Rather than wasting time, like I did, using the same fabric for both the little and the long star points she used two colours so that they could actually be seen.
Doesn't Turnaround  look great with her fabric choice.

Almost Caught Up



C13 Log Cabin Baskets
C12 Turnaround
C12 Hidden Extras

I would love to say that I have caught up with posting all of the blocks that Carol has emailed me but alas she sews quicker than I edit and upload.
Mind you everyone is fortunate that she is so far ahead as she also edits my patterns for errors. We assume I had been getting stuck into the wine when I wrote the numbers for Log Cabin Baskets as they were all over the place. Thankfully now that has been corrected.
This is also Carol's second attempt at Hidden Extras. Rather than wasting time, like I did, using the same fabric for both the little and the long star points she used two colours so that they could actually be seen.
Doesn't Turnaround  look great with her fabric choice.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Youthful Fun

C10 Fiesta
C12 Relay for Life

C11 Winter Sun
These three blocks were named for events around my youngest son. 
He loves parties and the Winter Sun, particularly now as he lives in Norway and sees so little of it.
He has also always been a willing participant of many fundraisers. While at uni he joined with a group of friends in the Relay for Life. This was his first fundraiser where he discovered that there could be fun in the event rather than just slogging it out to get money for whatever charity.
He related with pride how one night he and nine of his friends managed to come second last in a trivia night...because they had bought nine of the last ten answers. He loved the Fiesta afterwards.

Youthful Fun

C10 Fiesta
C12 Relay for Life

C11 Winter Sun
These three blocks were named for events around my youngest son. 
He loves parties and the Winter Sun, particularly now as he lives in Norway and sees so little of it.
He has also always been a willing participant of many fundraisers. While at uni he joined with a group of friends in the Relay for Life. This was his first fundraiser where he discovered that there could be fun in the event rather than just slogging it out to get money for whatever charity.
He related with pride how one night he and nine of his friends managed to come second last in a trivia night...because they had bought nine of the last ten answers. He loved the Fiesta afterwards.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Childhood Memories

C15 Bond Street
C13 Spinning Spokes
C15 Goldilocks
 There are many of my memories within the blocks of Raconteur, the nights of Monopoly and cheers when I held the  Bond Street card in my hand - it was my good luck charm. As a child I fought to win like every other child. Now I dislike the game and that same aspect. For every winner there are more losers and I won't play. Thankfully our children have discovered many other games which aren't quite as cut throatgh cut throat is still their favourites.
Do you remember....
.... the Xmas you received yoru first bike and the Spinning Spokes and those plastic ribbons attached to the handlebars?
..... the story books and characters like Goldilocks and the moral of all of those stories. I am sure they were written with the sole purpose of drumming values into children.
.... the games of hide and seek..Searching for that last kid who always had the perfect spot?
.... and best of all that great big tractor tube, the Childish Tube, which was always found beside every swimming hole? Wouldn't be allowed these days ..OH&S or some other government regulation.

C9 Childish Tube
C9 Rabbits in the Light
C15 Searching
Another memory which would be common to many country kids would be the rabbit hunting and those poor Rabbits in the Lights. A revolting sport according to one of my city friends when told of it later. As a child I simply considered it to be food. Different times. Different circumstances.





Childhood Memories

C15 Bond Street
C13 Spinning Spokes
C15 Goldilocks
 There are many of my memories within the blocks of Raconteur, the nights of Monopoly and cheers when I held the  Bond Street card in my hand - it was my good luck charm. As a child I fought to win like every other child. Now I dislike the game and that same aspect. For every winner there are more losers and I won't play. Thankfully our children have discovered many other games which aren't quite as cut throatgh cut throat is still their favourites.
Do you remember....
.... the Xmas you received yoru first bike and the Spinning Spokes and those plastic ribbons attached to the handlebars?
..... the story books and characters like Goldilocks and the moral of all of those stories. I am sure they were written with the sole purpose of drumming values into children.
.... the games of hide and seek..Searching for that last kid who always had the perfect spot?
.... and best of all that great big tractor tube, the Childish Tube, which was always found beside every swimming hole? Wouldn't be allowed these days ..OH&S or some other government regulation.

C9 Childish Tube
C9 Rabbits in the Light
C15 Searching
Another memory which would be common to many country kids would be the rabbit hunting and those poor Rabbits in the Lights. A revolting sport according to one of my city friends when told of it later. As a child I simply considered it to be food. Different times. Different circumstances.





Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nature Rules

C10 Salmon Run

Salmon Run was made when Paul and I were on a cruise through Alaska. One of Paul's hobbies is researching holidays which are good value and one year he managed to pick up an amazing special on a land and boat package through Alaska. It was the most breathtaking place I have ever been. 
We saw brown bears, close enough to touch had we been stupid/game enough, squirrels, otters, puffins and many others including salmon. Although most of the animals were in the wild the salmon weren't as we went there in April/May but we did walk beside one of the rivers where they 'run' in the springtime.
C12 Sparrow's Flight

Our son's live overseas and we are very lucky to be able to have free accomodation whenever we can stand to make the 20-30 hour flight.
One year we went to England where one son was living and it was there that I finally understood the concept I had always grown up believing..'birds fly south for the winter'. Isn't it terrible of our education that we grew up with all of these 'facts' which weren't changed to suit our location. As so many of our books were published, or at least written in the northern hemisphere we simply learnt and believed these facts. There I saw many sparrows and stopped to think that yes the English birds would fly south, to warmth for the winter. I never understood why our birds would fly to Antartica for winter... a child's thoughts and memories.
C4 Summer's Day
We can all guess when I made Summer's Day. Although Carol had prewashed her fabrics the red still ran here. I had the same problem with a number of my blocks, but it was my fault for being lazy and not prewashing..why does one only learn after the fact...and then repeat the error at a later date.

Nature Rules

C10 Salmon Run

Salmon Run was made when Paul and I were on a cruise through Alaska. One of Paul's hobbies is researching holidays which are good value and one year he managed to pick up an amazing special on a land and boat package through Alaska. It was the most breathtaking place I have ever been. 
We saw brown bears, close enough to touch had we been stupid/game enough, squirrels, otters, puffins and many others including salmon. Although most of the animals were in the wild the salmon weren't as we went there in April/May but we did walk beside one of the rivers where they 'run' in the springtime.
C12 Sparrow's Flight

Our son's live overseas and we are very lucky to be able to have free accomodation whenever we can stand to make the 20-30 hour flight.
One year we went to England where one son was living and it was there that I finally understood the concept I had always grown up believing..'birds fly south for the winter'. Isn't it terrible of our education that we grew up with all of these 'facts' which weren't changed to suit our location. As so many of our books were published, or at least written in the northern hemisphere we simply learnt and believed these facts. There I saw many sparrows and stopped to think that yes the English birds would fly south, to warmth for the winter. I never understood why our birds would fly to Antartica for winter... a child's thoughts and memories.
C4 Summer's Day
We can all guess when I made Summer's Day. Although Carol had prewashed her fabrics the red still ran here. I had the same problem with a number of my blocks, but it was my fault for being lazy and not prewashing..why does one only learn after the fact...and then repeat the error at a later date.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mistakes Corrected

C10 Sweet September

Carol has finished another two blocks...I have found a soul mate...someone who must never stop for food or to do horrid chores... how else could she finish so many blocks so quickly. 
In truth once the fabric is cut Raconteur is a lovely project which can be used to fill in a few minutes here and there. 
There are quick and easy blocks such as Hidden Extras as well as other more time intensive ones like Sweet September.
Sweet September is a simplified version of Rhonda Loves Spots in Collection 22. I liked the idea of the star in the middle floating here and tried to develop it further in Rhonda Loves Spots. Failed miserably in that aspect but it is still a pretty block.
C12 Hidden Extra
Hidden Extras gets its name from the fact that in the original quilt the six star arms are made of two pieces each. I had chosen the wrong fabric for some of the pieces but wasn't home at the time so couldn't recut the fabric. As I had run out of other sewing I figured I may as well make it up anyhow.
Raconteur took me an average of 30 hours per collection...error like this one contributed to that time:) I am sure Carol will finish her quilt a lot quicker than I did.

Mistakes Corrected

C10 Sweet September

Carol has finished another two blocks...I have found a soul mate...someone who must never stop for food or to do horrid chores... how else could she finish so many blocks so quickly. 
In truth once the fabric is cut Raconteur is a lovely project which can be used to fill in a few minutes here and there. 
There are quick and easy blocks such as Hidden Extras as well as other more time intensive ones like Sweet September.
Sweet September is a simplified version of Rhonda Loves Spots in Collection 22. I liked the idea of the star in the middle floating here and tried to develop it further in Rhonda Loves Spots. Failed miserably in that aspect but it is still a pretty block.
C12 Hidden Extra
Hidden Extras gets its name from the fact that in the original quilt the six star arms are made of two pieces each. I had chosen the wrong fabric for some of the pieces but wasn't home at the time so couldn't recut the fabric. As I had run out of other sewing I figured I may as well make it up anyhow.
Raconteur took me an average of 30 hours per collection...error like this one contributed to that time:) I am sure Carol will finish her quilt a lot quicker than I did.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Funny Coincidence

C10 Rainbow Writing
What a difference fabric design makes. In the original quilt this block was made with a rainbow coloured stripe. 
In my day job I teach hearing impaired children who are placed in a regular school.  Most of my time teaching has been with older children, upper primary through to year 12 but  this child was only 5 and so I was spending some time in the kinder working out how things ran and what the child was like.
Well one of the activities that the children did was Rainbow Writing. In this activity the children traced their names first in one colour and then over the top of that in another colour and then a third colour and so on. 
Being a secondary teacher I thought this was a real time waster and of little benefit, but it looked pretty. BTW I have since learnt that it is a great activity to help the littlies improve their pencil skills besides looking pretty and most chldren don't find it as boring as colouring in...we can all learn something.
An amazing co-incidence is that Carol's fabrics look just like one of the buildings at the school.

Funny Coincidence

C10 Rainbow Writing
What a difference fabric design makes. In the original quilt this block was made with a rainbow coloured stripe. 
In my day job I teach hearing impaired children who are placed in a regular school.  Most of my time teaching has been with older children, upper primary through to year 12 but  this child was only 5 and so I was spending some time in the kinder working out how things ran and what the child was like.
Well one of the activities that the children did was Rainbow Writing. In this activity the children traced their names first in one colour and then over the top of that in another colour and then a third colour and so on. 
Being a secondary teacher I thought this was a real time waster and of little benefit, but it looked pretty. BTW I have since learnt that it is a great activity to help the littlies improve their pencil skills besides looking pretty and most chldren don't find it as boring as colouring in...we can all learn something.
An amazing co-incidence is that Carol's fabrics look just like one of the buildings at the school.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fear of Curves

Cool Cat in the Outback
C13 Maypole

Carol this week started out thinking that this was not a week for curves. She looked at Maypole and decided that it was not the time to try  those corner circles and so she made Cool Cat in the Outback. If you look closely at these two blocks you will see a lot of similarity. Cool Cat is simply missing three circles. After a bit of deliberation she decided that no circle was going to beat her and so she EPP'd the background, foundation pieced the circles, cut them out and then gathered them over 200gsm paper, ironed them and then appliqued them on top...not scarey at all she said.....apart from the EPP it was similar to how I made them. I still can't understand why people enjoy EPP rather than regualr piecing but Carol appears to be having great fun with this method. Patchwork is such a wonderufl hobby where everyone can indulge their delight.


C9 Portrait Pain
Another block which originally caused Carol some pain was Portrait Pain but as may be seen from her block it oculdn't have been all that painful. Carol tried foundation piecing this one but found the curves just didn't suit it so she then returned to her favourite method of EPP again:)

Fear of Curves

Cool Cat in the Outback
C13 Maypole

Carol this week started out thinking that this was not a week for curves. She looked at Maypole and decided that it was not the time to try  those corner circles and so she made Cool Cat in the Outback. If you look closely at these two blocks you will see a lot of similarity. Cool Cat is simply missing three circles. After a bit of deliberation she decided that no circle was going to beat her and so she EPP'd the background, foundation pieced the circles, cut them out and then gathered them over 200gsm paper, ironed them and then appliqued them on top...not scarey at all she said.....apart from the EPP it was similar to how I made them. I still can't understand why people enjoy EPP rather than regualr piecing but Carol appears to be having great fun with this method. Patchwork is such a wonderufl hobby where everyone can indulge their delight.


C9 Portrait Pain
Another block which originally caused Carol some pain was Portrait Pain but as may be seen from her block it oculdn't have been all that painful. Carol tried foundation piecing this one but found the curves just didn't suit it so she then returned to her favourite method of EPP again:)

Midnight Escapades

C11 Mandola at Midnight
So what do you do at midnight? No I'm not obsessed with quilting and designing quilts and yes I do read widely... it's just that one day a few years ago I had received the latest copy of QNM and in it was an article explaining the process for designing mandolas. Well of course I couldn't resist and so I jumped out of bed and went to the computer and set to immediately designing my own mandola. And in a totally impartial manner I was able to go to bed assured that my design would be perfect for sewing the next day.
Well next day brought a few challenges as I discovered that what looked perfect and easy when magnified to 800% was perhaps not so perfect nor easy at 100%. Those little triangles in the middle were added at the last minute to assist in flattening the centre. Not a bad block for someone having lots of tiny scraps. This block only has 142 pieces. From memory there is one block which has more pieces. Oh in case you didn't know the side length of the hexagon is 2in.
Any idea what time I was designing?