Duh!

April 11, 2019

Having cleared my longarm storage I have access to a sofa. This is a somewhat novel experience. Normally it has bolts of wadding on as my longarm is in what used to be a sitting room. The sofa is what one might call mature, it is certainly old enough to drink and vote shall we say :) It isn’t as plump as it might once have been so I figured it could really do with some cushions. I like texture so thought some furry ones would be good and started hunting online. Of course the problem with that is you can’t feel it online and I am very picky. Then it dawned on me. I have some pillow blanks and I have fabric I like. Turns out most of my cushion blanks are round but never mind it will work just fine.

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Here are 2 of the 3 cushions I made. They have zips, not that I am sure I would want to wash the fur, but you never know. The quilt under the cat was fondly named ‘dog bed’ and is one of the quilts bound this holiday. It isn’t exciting but the cat loves it, far more than she likes the sofa. I guess I aught to rename it but she has also claimed the woven quilt I made so I may call that one ‘cat bed’. Hmm, given the pattern maybe it should be cat’s cradle. I will have to think on that.  As well as the cushions I made a bit more progress with the quilt on the frame and tested out a new dinner recipe. I think I will call that a productive day.

 

 

Finally some quilting

April 10, 2019

Having mostly finished the cleaning I could get back to the quilt on the frame. I think I posted a picture of this one before, but here is another peek anyway.

 

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This dense quilting has a lot of ruler work which is hard on my hands, so I can either work on this or clean but not both on the same day. I am deeply unimpressed by this aging thing. Still at least I can still quilt and I am really loving how this quilt is coming along. I wish photos could capture texture better because this one has heaps of it. I have been adding a secondary pattern with the quilting. Up close I have no idea if it is working. I suspect I won’t know for sure until I get it hung in a show. That will probably be next year but we will see. I have downloaded and printed some entry forms before the end of the holiday I need to get them filled in and sent off.

More binding

April 9, 2019

Post Tringcon clean up was needed. Somehow it always happens our bins are full when Tringcon happens meaning a trip to the tip. The gear has to go back to my unit, and we also had a house to view. A lovely big Regency house, which seems to have some movement issues I can’t live with. Sad but we will find something eventually.

I got a bit further with my Easter clearing and believe it or not found 2 more quilts to bind. No I didn’t know I had so many waiting. I am pleased I hadn’t put the rest of my binding away as it was suitable and just enough for one of the two quilts. Looks like I will have a large storage bag full to go back to the unit by the end of the holiday. Thinking I might haul them into class for show and tell before storing them, assuming I can lift the bag of course :) At this rate that is by no means certain.

Tringcon

April 7, 2019

Yesterday was the third Tringcon we have presided over. Tringcon is a board game convention. People sit about and play games all day. Nope not the traditional family fare of Monopoly and Cludo. Mostly games to do with managing resources, time and workers. Yup that does sound a bit like a day job but honestly it is fun.

The hardest part is probably the pre-event shopping. I am not a shopping fan ever and trying to make sure we have food and drink for up to 60 people is heavy work. Of course it mostly needs unloading from the car, into the house and fridge, then back to the car again early in the morning. It is so worthwhile though. This event is in a lovey hall and has a very nice atmosphere. Admittedly the afternoon tea buffet helps too but the gaming part is great too.

After setting up we settled down to some games. I played Patchwork (yup really) a quick fun 2 player game themed on patchwork. It is very neatly engineered and its easy to learn. Good warm up of cool down game. We then moved on to Infiltration. This a described as a game of corporate larceny set in a dystopian future. The rules were not the clearest, they weren’t terrible but left us with a lot of questions. After one play through it made much more sense and we enjoyed the second run through a lot. The idea is you break into a corporation and try to steal data then escape before security catch you. I suspect in most games a lot of players will lose to the game. I will be playing it some more to test that theory.

After food we played Energy Empire. I am unconvinced of this one. I guess I should give it a second try. Part of the reason I was unconvinced turned out to be us playing it wrongly. Glad I wasn’t the one who read those rules :)

All in all it seemed to be a very successful event. The numbers of attendees is going up again and the event seem to have a secure future for now. It was easier to get things set up this time because we now know what we were doing. Still very tiring but actually just attending always was so I am not sure running it changed much there.

Three more quilts bound

April 6, 2019

Took a little longer than I hoped but 3 more quilts are bound and ready to go back to storage. Well that isn’t quite true, one is currently having a wash. It had sat so long it really needed it. I had titled It “dog bed”, it was an experimental piece, pieced on the longarm. It served the purpose but it’s not what you would call a show quilt. It is apparently an excellent cat bed, so I will hang on to it and sling it on a sofa for the cat.

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This one is large and is going back to storage. It is a sample for one of my patterns that is designed for big prints. Getting it put of the house will free up space. Along with it will be Speed 1. I am kinda thinking I might need to make a Speed 1.5. A bigger quilt based on speed 1. Of course the more I think about it the more chance there is it will mutate so far that it ends up as speed 6 or 7, dang I need to check how many Speeds there are.

 

Not managed any more clearing today, been viewing houses which takes an absurd amount of time and energy. Still progress is being made so I can’t be too upset. Meanwhile dinner seems to have exploded and maybe, just maybe the worst will wipe off the bottom of the oven if I get to it while it’s warm.

Todo list just keeps growing

April 4, 2019

More progress on sorting out my longarming space, but that means more quilts to bind more scraps to cut down and a design wall to finish making. The latter I did manage to do, admittedly partly to use up a spare piece of wadding. Seemed easier than finding another home for the wadding as it is tooo big to throw away but too small for most quilts.

 

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Sorry I can’t get far enough back to photograph the whole design wall. I had been looking at portable design walls and to be honest none get stellar reviews. Then one of the comments gave me an idea, why not just make my own. A few plumbing supplies and a little cutting, its pretty easy really. When I have a permanat base I will glue the joints. For now they are push fit with a little masking tape for extra security. Over the frame I have a piece of cotton wadding stretched. I stitched it to have pockets at each short edge. It is very lightweight and I can easily move it about.

 

The piece on it is something I found while cleaning and it used up a binding offcut I had. I am not sure yet what I will do with this, thinking I might keep it as it is so narrow and thus easy to find space to hang. Four of the quilts waiting for binding are now trimmed ready to go, and I have made 30m of binding today that will work on 3 of them. I am hoping there may be enough left after that for one quilt that I have in my queue, but to be honest I think I will be out of luck. It is a lot easier to bulk produce binding it is also very very boring.

As predicted

April 3, 2019

The starting to do list did indeed shrink, but in the process of cleaning in the long arm room I found more jobs to do. I have several quilts waiting for bindings. When I make piped bindings I always make a generous amount. I hate wondering if I have enough for then last side, and I am sure I fit it tighter the more worried I am. As a tight binding will distort a quilt I feel it’s better to make surplus. However that leaves me with lots of offcuts of binding. So 2 of those are now on class samples. They may not be the colours I would have chosen but they work and will stop the edges fraying which in samples is the main requirement. I do still have 3 more quilts to bind added to my to do list, um no make that 4 quilts.

Random piecing

April 2, 2019

There are a lot of times in patchwork when we want a random distribution of our fabrics throughout the quilt. It is something a lot of my students say they find very hard. This is how I do it when I have a lot of pieces.

 

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I have precut a lot of these pieces to make a one block quilt. They are all odd bits of batik I had no plan at all to how many of each or even what colours. I split my big stack of pieces into 9 piles, yup I know there are 6 in the picture. These are my 6 main draw piles. I am working on 9 rows at once, each was started by picking 2 fabrics from the 6 top ones. Once the 9 pairs were made I added a third to the first pair I stitched. the only rule I have is I can only take a top piece, no searching through the stacks. Usually that works fine, but evey so often the stacks may get similar and be the same as both ends of th next row I need to add to. If that happens I use the 3 emergency stacks. So far I have 9 rows each with 15 pieces and I think they are all pretty random. It isn’t perfect randomisation. This way does mean I never get the same fabric next to itself. It’s close enough to random to lool the part.

 

For those who are really challenged by random the best solution I have found is to put all the pieces into a container you can’t see into and pick blindly. Then you may set the rule that if it is the same as the one you need to stitch to you put it to one side and draw again. Just don’t forget to put the set aside one back in the container as soon as you draw one that is different.

 

Good luck with random, it can look amazing.

Simple block, simple problem

March 30, 2019

Some time ago I decided I wanted to make this quilt. Well OK the original is not quite the same proportions but close enough. I followed the idea but with bigger starting rectangles of the background. I started making blocks several years ago while I was doing a lot of traveling and thought it was time I finished the project and cleared the box for something else.

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I showed you one of the blocks a couple of posts back. I noticed the first few blocks I had made were not very good. So I started again, thinking I must have been tired or rushed or something, but my new blocks were still not right. They were better, much better, but not my usual standard. I figured what the heck, I wasn’t going to show it so who cares. I will finish it, use it and not worry. When I started putting the blocks together I finally found the issue. The precut jelly roll strips are not accurate. They vary by at least 3/8th of an inch. With 3 widths of that in each direction in each block there was no way I could get the blocks right. some of the joins between blocks are way off but thats just how it had to be at this point. These were cut by a reputable company, so in future I think I will have to measure every strip from every roll.

 

What do you do in the holidays?

March 29, 2019

Today is the first day of my Easter break, so what do I get up to? I start planning what I think I might be able to get done while I am not teaching. For me this is prime work time, less travel less human interaction I can really get on with things at home.

This time my focus is very much on tasks about the house. We want to move and that means I need to get stuff sorted and get rid of what I can. I also need to get som work done, both customer and my own show quilts. So my starting list, well here is the first stack I thought of

  • Clear the cutting table
  • Clear the sewing table
  • Service back up machine and get it set up
  • Finish borders on woven quilt
  • Finish show quilt that is on the frame
  • Finish sorting and clearing the storage in the longarm room
  • Quilt 2 customer quilts
  • Clean teaching gear and prepare for next term
  • Start cataloging and maybe packing paperback books
  • Finish binding on show quilt
  • Quilt 2 of my quilts

I strongly suspect as I complete stuff more jobs will add themselves to the list. Will I complete everything before classses restart? Not a chance, but I can make progress. Today I have done the first 4 on the list. This should mean some of the other items become a bit quicker to do. It also gives me a space to work on pieceing while I am cleaning out the longarm room. In between these jobs I will also be looking for houses, viewing them and trying to catch up with some house work. Wish me luck.