Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Chester County Criswell Quilt

 I have finished my second block of this Block of the Month just in time for the release of the third block. I chose to make it in the same colour-way as the original with the green in the centre piece but others are making it with the green as the leaves. It wasn't a difficult block to stitch and once the prep work was done it only took a couple of hours. I don't trim my blocks until I am ready to piece them together so they look slightly different in size.
I do hope some of you are stitching this quilt too as Sharon from Two Bit Patches has offered it as a Block of the Month (pattern only) and it will be offered over 3 years. The first block is free and the remainder will cost $2.50 to be sent the pattern via email. I paid for a year's worth and it only cost me $22. It's not too late to start and will make a lovely appliqued quilt.
 It has been passed down to Sharon through her family and she is very generously giving information about the makers of the blocks as well as drafting the patterns for us.
She has a separate blog for the quilt and it's well worth a look at the blog to get more information.
 I've shown both my blocks above and I think it would be lovely to have more people join in with the journey and share our progress. Come on a few hours and a few dollars a month is a good investment don't you think? Let me know if you are going to join in and I'll cheer you on as well.
I'm working nights again for the next few days so will check back when I'm awake.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Finish and a Change of Pace

 I have finished the evening gown and it looks much better than in the photo. It was fully lined and the bodice is boned so a bit fiddly and I'm glad it's done. She will look lovely when it is pressed, and she has the right shoes, bra and jewellery.
  I have also been working away at the hexagon quilt and have now got a sore spot on my fingers from pushing the thin needle through all the fabric layers. So it's now time for a change of pace and some applique which will hopefully use a different part of the fingers when stitching.
I've prepped the pieces for the second Chester Criswell County Quilt and will get it done in the next day or so as the third block is due out very soon.
  I'm back on night shift again tomorrow too so I hope everyone behaves and we have some quiet nights for a change.
See you tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just Focus

 It's amazing what you can achieve as far as finishes when you focus all your attention on just one project. Or at least focus mainly on one. I really want to get this hexagon quilt finished so I can work on my new hand work projects and so I have been steadily working on finishing off all the hexagon shapes I had already started. I have completed stitching all the cream hexagons and now I'm just adding another row of full sized hexagon shapes and then the half and quarter pieces.
 I haven't been able to focus just on my hand stitching though as I have started the evening dress for DD and have made the lining today and plan to adjust the pattern and then tackle the main part of the dress tomorrow. It is emerald green satin and I'm adjusting the size to be tightly fitted over the bodice and not as full in the skirt but still full enough to "flow" when dancing. It will be good to be back to quilting where one size will fit most!
 More to come. I may even have more finished hexagons to show.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Second Day of Classes

 On Sunday I took a day class with Chris Serong and we had a choice of making the Joseph's Coat with Buttons pattern or a hand pieced Pickle Dish. They are both hand pieced and I find this type of stitching is very relaxing, especially if I spend a lot of time at the sewing machine or computer. Chris is a lovely tutor and does very precise piecing and also plays special importance with pressing the blocks. I always pick up lots of tips when taking a class and this is the second one I've taken with Chris and would also highly recommend her classes. She only teaches each pattern for a short time and then retires the pattern to teach something new. She has won awards for her quilts and when you see them you can understand why as they are beautifully constructed.
  I finished piecing a complete circle as well as some part circles so this will be my next carry-along project, I just need to be careful with all the bias edges. I'm using  white background and my collection of 1930s fabrics. It's about time as the year of 1997 is stamped on the selvedge of some of them. It was easy to just grab the tub of fabrics and put them in the car and just pull from the tub as I worked.
 And lastly you can see my finished blocks from the Saturday class with Lessa Siegele. Are they bright enough do you think? LOL
I spent last evening working on my hexagons as the end is in sight, or at least it is unless I decide to make it longer. I'll share photos of progress later. Have a great day of stitching everyone. I'm off to buy fabric to make youngest DD another evening dress but I hope to stitch tonight.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Quilting Weekend

 I had a lovely weekend of quilting classes thanks to my Melbourne Quilt Guild, AQA. I took a class with Lessa Siegele, based on 60 degree triangles, and called 3D Boxes. It was a very enjoyable class and the very strong geometric shapes will certainly appeal as a masculine quilt. Lessa was a lovely tutor and very generous with her time and knowledge. She has also written a pattern for baby blocks and includes a template to make the construction easier. I purchased the pattern as I have more baby quilts to make for babies due early next year. I made 9 blocks instead of the 5 as shown for a wall hanging, and will probably use them to make a larger quilt to donate. I didn't realize that I didn't take a photo of all my finished blocks so will take one to show tomorrow.
 I have also been busy working on my hexagon quilt as I want to get it done. I have started another hand piecing project in my class yesterday and will post details about that one tomorrow as well as my hexagon progress.
 It was a lovely weekend and fun to catch up with friends as well as making new ones. The committee did a very professional job with the organization and I can certainly recommend the weekend of classes which are held very second year.
 I hope you all enjoyed a weekend break too.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, September 21, 2012

Filling in the Gaps

 I've been focusing on getting this WIP finished this week despite more working hours than usual. It's gorwing and I'm going to work on it over the weekend when time permits. I'm off to do a 2 day symposium of classes with AQA this weekend and will post photos later. Who knows I may even get this top almost done. I have to decide whether or not to add 2 more rows of shapes before it's finished and then add borders.
Have a great weekend everyone. I'm happy to take a break from paid work.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Time

 I've only had today off paid work so I decided to have a quiet day of stitching. I need to get some of my WIPs (works in progress) finished as I have some more I want to start lol! I started these two quilt tops by using my 2.5 inch squares that have been building in number. The top quilt is made using hexagons and grouping the fabric by colour and shade. I calculated that I only need another 9 hexagon sections to finish the top and then use half and third hexagon shapes to form the border, so a finish is very achievable in the near future if I focus. I made some more hexagon pieces and will show a photo of progress soon.
The second top is also being made from my collection of 2.5 inch squares but these are fabrics which don't read as any particular colour. I think this will be a lap or cot sized quilt so I need to work on this one for some time until I have pieced enough stars. This will make a good carry along project for my next few trips and quilt meetings.
  I'm happy that I've decided to finish off some of my WIPs and get some of the shelves cleared ready for more new beginnings. I haven't abandoned my applique either but I didn't have any prep work done so decided to work on the paper pieced shapes instead.
Is anyone else working on some finishes too?
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Celebrations

 It's a busy couple of weeks with work and travels for family celebrations so not as much stitching at the moment but as my brother said any time spent with family is well worth it. I met my beautiful great niece for the first time and her parents loved her quilt and sent a lovely photo of her using it. The Dad said his American grandmother was a quilter and he has some of her quilts and loves them so he was very happy to have a quilt for his new daughter.
  It was also a birthday celebration for one of my brothers and then we had a 21st celebration for one of my lovely nieces. Now I'm busy with work again but at least this two weeks is mainly daylight work so not quite as tiring. I have a day off tomorrow so hope to get some stitching done then. I hope you are all having a restful weekend.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Horses, Leaves and Vines

 Not as much sewing was done as I would have liked but night shift and sleeping cut into my time. I'm working on two more blocks for the Civil War Bride quilt and stitching roses and vines on the first border for my Baltimore Album quilt. I need to finish sewing the blocks together and then getting another border ready to stitch. I'm making progress and that's the main thing.
 I'm too tired to operate heavy machinery today and back to work again tomorrow so quietly stitching is just what I need to do today.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Second Baby Ready to Deliver

 I know that the rest of the week will be spent in recovery mode while I readjust to daylight again so I really wanted to get both baby quilts finished and ready to deliver on Friday.I had started a quilt in pastel pink and lemon and then found out that the parents love bright colours and the new Mum loves blue, even for girls. The animal fabric in alternate blocks matches the curtains that she's made and as I only had half a metre that governed the pattern/design. Now that it's done I can see that her name would have shown up better if I'd placed the bright yellow block where the "E" is situated and I have 2 elephant's faces which could have been separated, but I think finished is better than perfect so I'm happy with it. I used a bright farm-yard print on the back and hopefully the new parents will like it- I know the baby will enjoy the bright prints.
 I also finished off another QAYG quilt and pieced a top together using string pieced blocks which were donated without batting.
I'm off to bed now and try to sleep before I start work.
Hugs, Jan Mac

After the Bride Comes the Babies

 I have two baby quilts to make and I'm hoping to get them done by the end of the week as we have a family celebration and I'll be seeing the newest members to the family then. I attended a Quilt In locally yesterday and spent some time stitching vines and twigs on my Baltimore and Civil War Bride blocks and then last night I finished off a crocheted blanket to donate. Today I've finished off the first baby quilt and cut out fabric for the second as well as finishing off another QAYG quilt.
  I have night shifts again for the next few nights so I hope to get some more prep work done for the applique projects and maybe some more stitching in between work hours but in the meantime I need to get another baby quilt done.
 I'll check back soon and hope to have another finish to share.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review and Mail Call

 Just a quick post about what's happening here and please excuse the photos. In April, I took a class with Philippa Naylor, an award winning quilter from the UK, at AQC this year and then I bought her book - Quilting in the Limelight. I really enjoyed her class on Trapunto and also her talk at the cocktail party. She started as a fashion designer and has developed her quilt designing and domestic machine quilting to such a degree that she has won many prizes and teaches classes in trapunto and precision piecing to name a couple.
 I am really happy with her book as it chronicles her progress as a quilter as well as talking about her life in Saudi and now the UK.
 I can really recommend her as a teacher as well as recommend her book. Her quilts are fabulous and she takes you through the entire design process which I found to be very interesting. The book has excellent photos (unlike these here lol) and she takes you through all the steps including applying bindings and piped edging to the quilt.

 I also received another lovely postal bag stuffed full with more QAYG blocks as well as fabric for binding. Lisa Cooke and Sue Bayre (Vic) have made these beautiful blocks and now that I have my new heavy duty machine it is going to be so easy to sew these together into a quilt.
 More to show soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spending Time with the Bride

 I've made good progress on the needle turn applique for my Civil War Bride quilt. The quilt is heavily decorated with appliqued flowers and many, many leaves and I'm using a pattern by Corliss of Threadbear. It's based on a quilt from the mid 1800s and I was lucky enough to see it when I was in New York in 2010. I've finished two blocks this week and my progress was so much faster as I took some time to prepare the applique pieces by tracing them on freezer paper and cutting them out.
 I've started another block today and would love to finish the top by the end of the year as well as stitching the 4 borders for my Baltimore Album quilt. That's ambitious but do-able if I focus. I'm still stitching the Baltimore top together and will show photos then.
 Thanks for stopping by and I plan to post more photos of progress very soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mail Call

Today I spent time stitching on my Civil War Bride blocks after getting the household done and I should have another block finished tomorrow so I'm pleased with my progress.
  There was a lovely box in the mailbox today and it contained all these lovely beanies and scarves sent by S. Clissold from NSW. Our spring weather is finally here for a few days but the nights are still cold and these items will be very welcomed by the needy who receive them.
  Many thanks for your donations.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting Acquainted

 Today was very productive as I spent time getting better acquainted with my new work-horse and easily finished off another QAYG quilt. Everything is operated using a foot pedal and you can't lift the presser foot by hand so I'm getting used to the new action but I'm very impressed with how easily it glides over the thickness of all the batting.
  Then I took some time for me and finished off another Civil War Bride block which makes 5 of 20 finished. I've also been prepping more blocks to stitch so I really want to get this one finished ASAP as there are more quilts percolating in my brain at the moment. I have also brought out my Baltimore Album quilt and I'm piecing the sashing strips and joining the blocks so should have more to show soon. I know that I should hand quilt this one but I plan to machine quilt it as I want it finished this century and I still have a 1930s quilt which I'm hand quilting.
  I hope to have more to show tomorrow and even DH is impressed with the Baltimore blocks. I plan to finish it and enter it in the Vic Quilters exhibition next year as I have been quilting since 1978 and have never entered a major show. Hopefully it will be good enough to be accepted for display.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Don't Look Now!

I should be sleeping after more night shifts but have been browsing through more applique patterns for inspiration. Actually I don't need inspiration but I just LOVE appliqued quilts and Baltimore Album quilts in particular. I also love the papercut blocks designed by Elly Sienkiewicz and I know I was thinking of making a quilt with some of these blocks but using bright batik fabrics. I was cleaning up my sewing room (again!) and found this block which I can't remember starting (oh dear!). It was only half finished so I finished the stitching and am tempted to make more.
Don't look now but I think I may have started another project! I must have been tired when I stitched one side of this block as one of the smaller hearts is closer to one of the larger hearts than it should be. I'm not sure whether or not I'll repair it or leave it so I'll decide when I have more blocks to compare. In the meantime I've been finishing off another crocheted blanket as well as prepping lots of applique blocks for my Civil War Bride quilt and the borders of my Baltimore Album quilt.
 I'd better get back to sleep now and try not to dream about more projects!
Hugs and Happy Father's Day., Jan Mac