Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Elation and Heartbreak

I catered my niece's 21st birthday party last week and it was a big hit.  Everything went off without a hitch and a great night was had by all.  Ms S loved the quilt I made her so that was the icing on the cake. After a big night I caught her laying on the couch wrapped up in her quilt so I snapped a quick picture.

I finished a quilt that has been 4 years in the making.  Blue Ridge Beauty is a Bonnie Hunter pattern and this quilt was my leader and ender project for 3 years.  I love this pattern and I am really happy with the finished quilt.

The quilt top has been finished for over a year but I wasn't sure how to quilt it.  Once I decided on an orange peel design it was all systems go and after about 10 days of free motion (far from perfect) quilting it was finally complete.

I was so eager to get this onto my bed that I threw it in the washing machine forgetting to add Colour Catchers and yep, you guessed it, the navy blues ran and bled throughout the quilt.  I was so angry at myself for messing up so bad.  To compound the problem, I didn't notice the runs until after I had put the quilt through the dryer which effectively set the stains.  Now, although the colours ran it wasn't diabolical - it just meant that some of the neutrals had a blue tinge to them. Disappointing yes, but not the end of the world.

So why couldn't I just leave it at that?  For reasons I still do not know and cannot explain, I decided to soak the quilt in a stain removal solution to remove some of the colour runs.  BIG MISTAKE...all I managed to achieve was an even worse colour run that has pretty much ruined the quilt.

This was the problem after the initial wash.

Slight colour runs and discoloration to some of the neutral fabrics.
And this is what happened after I soaked the quilt.

What was I thinking???    I guess the only consolation is that the worst of the runs are on the back of the quilt meaning I can still use it on my bed and hide this mess.

The funny thing is that I do actually pre wash all of my fabric.  I blogged about my decision to pre wash here after my last minor colour run fiasco.  It's just that this quilt was pieced before the transition and in my eagerness I simply didn't think before I put it in the machine.  A heartbreakingly hard lesson learned.

But I am determined to finish this post on a positive note.  I made a cushion for my girlfriend who has just moved into a new home and she absolutely loved it.  In fact, she texts me everyday reminding me just how much she loves it.  So despite said colour run heartbreak, I am going out on a high. Elation.

Until next time.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Its A Wrap

I am happy to say that I finished my nieces 21st quilt ahead of schedule.

Actually it's not really complete.  I have one more thing to do - a label.  I haven't settled on a name for the quilt so I will continue to ponder for a few days and make the label when I have settled on a name.

I settled on a large scale meander for the quilting.  That and the binding (by hand) have consumed most of my week.

In between though I put my MSBHQAL top together ready for basting.

I had some trouble with the bias edges of the blocks stretching (lesson learned) so there is a bit a waving.  I hope that I can quilt this out.

And I also managed to complete a paper pieced star block for the Queen Bee of an online Bee Group I am in.

I may have to rethink this block.   The Queen wanted pretty spring colours so these might be a bit too bright for the brief.  I will probably make another one and use this as a backup.

And finally I made a make up bag and a brush roll for another niece.

So, there it is - another productive week for me.  Sadly there will be no time for any sewing in the coming week as I am catering my niece's 21st birthday party.  I will be consumed with planning and preparation for the big event.  Thankfully it is not a huge party but 75 mouths to feed and keep happy is a little daunting.

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Kicking Goals Against The Breeze

My husband has a favourite saying "kicking goals against the breeze without a footy" which translates to mean you can do no wrong or that everything is going better than well which aptly sums up my week.

I managed to complete everything on my list which for me is a rarity so it was a great feeling.

I pieced my niece's 21st quilt top, did the backing, sandwiched and basted it ready for quilting.

I'm not loving the back but I am not changing it either.  I made a sandwich from left over fabric and batting to try a few different quilting designs.  After a bit of play I decided to go with good old stipple quilting.  I think it will complement the quilt and it is pretty quick to do.  So this week is quilting week which then gives me a week to put the binding on before it is gifted.

I also completed some 9 patch variation blocks for Aussie Quilts With Love.  You can read more about this charity HERE.

I managed to complete my Broken Herringbone Blocks for the MSBHQAL  I am up to date with this project but I am undecided on the colours.  I think it needs a bit of brightening up so I may remove the dark or light grey block and replace it with another green block
Once finished I plan to gift this to a co-worker who is expecting her second baby in a few months.

And lastly I finished my practice block for an online paper pieced Star Bee I am in.  I have to make 2 different blocks in the Queen's chosen colour way by the end of October so this will be my next priority.

All in all a productive week. They don't come my way too often so I am basking in my efforts.  But only for a day, got to get the yet to be named 21st quilt finished before I can breath a sigh of relief. And then I absolutely have to catch up on the very neglected household and gardening chores.

Till next time.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Yet Another New Project

I have fallen behind on my MSBHQAL blocks because I got sidetracked with yet another new project.

Here are my Broken Herringbone Blocks to date.

I want to make 12 blocks so I have another 5 to go.  Purple, light teal and dark blue fabrics are all cut out and ready to go so they will not take long.  That leaves 2 blocks to prepare.  I plan to do a magenta/mulberry coloured block but I do not know what the last block colour should be.  Maybe lavender or something in darker shades of green.  Any suggestions?

What has sidetracked me is a quilt I am making for my niece who turned 21 last month.  She is having a big party in 3 weeks so I haven't got long to get this done.

Ms S is not a fan of pretty girly colours so I have chosen the following fabrics:
(Forgot to take a photo of the fabrics before I started cutting).

This pile turned into this:

Which turned into this:

Which turned into this:

I have 36 x 12.5" blocks and I have run out of fabric so I am trying to decide on layout using what I have. Option 1 is to lay the blocks 6 x 6 which will give me a 72" square quilt.  Option 2 is to lay them out  5 x 7 which will give me a 60" x 84" quilt.

I think either of these sizes will make an adequate lap quilt. I didn't really want to put a border on the quilt but if I want it to be larger I may have to. The decision needs to be made quickly because I plan on putting the quilt top together this week so that I have 2 weeks to quilt it (quilting is always the longest part of the process for me).

We are expecting lovely weather this weekend so if I can just keep myself away from my garden (which is soooo overdue for some attention) I will stay on track.

Watch this space.