Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Beast has arrived

Oh Boy - it is finally here!!!!  Went and collected my new machine (Bernina 820)this morning - how scary is that. Well a lot in my case. The man who sold it to me was so incredibly patient and showed me so many things that my head is swimming.
Apologies for the awful picture but it was so heavy that I had to leave it in the hall. Thought I would wait for helpful son to arrive home from work and he could help cart it up the stairs to my sewing room.  Just when you actually need a good strong young man, he calls and says he is out to dinner - HELP. Suddenly realised that I could unpack it all in the hall and take it up bit by bit to my room. And now it is set up
Well it works but I am going to be really anal and spend the evening reading the manual and probably watching the DVD before I tackle actual sewing. I also bought the big sewing table which will make a difference. The 1/4" patchwork foot was also included which was a bonus as we thought we would have to buy it as an extra.

If you could see the grin on my face, you would be happy for me.

Hope you are having a good sewing day as well.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Small blocks

Have spent a happy day doing the 16 small blocks for the Beth Ferrier quilt.
Sorry about the  wonky photograph.  I am finally catching up a bit and only have the pears and lots more holly leaves to do.

Also managed to put together the centre of the quilt

Even though I say it myself I am quite impressed by how it has turned out. I am not entirely sure that it is the correct size - might be about 1/2" out but luckily there has to be a plain background border round it so I will be able to adjust that to get the correct size.  Result I think!

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Beth Ferrier weekend

Finally I have got back to the Beth Ferrier quilt. I decided that I really had to make the central feathered star as I am several months behind on this block of the month project. I was going really well and then read the instructions that I ought to applique some flowers on before putting the whole star together - so I got to work.

that is the star background in bits and here is the qpplique

Thankfully there were only eight flowers to do. I hope to be able to sew them to the background today or tomorrow and finish the star. My machine is going off for a service when I collect "The beast" on Wednesday and I am terrified that I will never be able to sew again!!

On a design note, my son gave me (with a little prompting I admit) a wonderful book on colour for my birthday.

I can't claim that I discovered this on my own. On reading Sarah Fiekle's blog she said that Kaffe Fassett had been praising this book when he was touring Australia earlier in the year.  It does have the most marvellous photographs and you can skip over the bits about flower arranging.

Must away to do some work before I get down to the sewing. Thankfully the Tour of France is not finished so that will free up a bit more time for quilting.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Last corner block

I have finally finished the last corner block of the Roseville quilt
Now only the large borders to go - but I am going to put it on one side for a while as I catch up on the Beth Ferrier quilt. I have not done any of this for ages and need to hurry up with some of the monthly instalments.

I now have a delivery date for my new machine which at the moment I am calling "the Beast" as it all looks very scary. So next Wednesday is D-day and I will let you know how it all goes. I will spend some time this weekend making up sample blocks and quilt sandwiches so that I have lots of things to practice on as soon as I get it out of the box. I am really looking forward to the stitch regulator and hopefully will be able to improve my machine quilting enormously (there is certainly room for it!!).

I have got one of my quilting groups coming round this afternoon which will be stimulating - we tend not to sew but are great at giving advice on quilt layouts and quilting ideas and generally encouraging each other. They will be heartily relieved that I have practically nothing new to show them!! Happy quilting.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Another block finished

Here is another of the corner blocks of the Kim McLean Roseville quilt.
The method of creating the circles with craftmaking punches has proved a great success and is much easier and more accurate than trying to trace circles - not something I am good at!
I am going to have to pluck up the courage to spritzer the blocks with water to soften the washable interface soon as the blocks are far too unforgiving when it comes to hand quilting. I reckon that if I wet them and then lay them flat to dray before ironing them, the fabric will all soften and make the quilt top more pliable. Although I have put the middle nine blocks together, I think I am going to start with just one block - not too much to have to redo in case it all goes wrong. I will let you know how I get on.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Further inspiration

Here are a few more photos of Ile de Re - there must be some inspiration for a quilt among this lot I think.
All these different reds just do it for me.

and then  there is the vegetables

My brain is whirling and I am pondering on an abstract block design incorporating these colours. Once again it will have to go onto the "to do" list but I will keep mulling over the idea.

Now I must go and finish all the narcissi flowers for the Beth Ferrier quilt - they are driving me mad as there are so many of them but hopefully they will all be glued by the end of the day.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Back at last

Sorry I have not been posting for a while but work was really hectic and then I have been on holiday.  We had a marvellous week on the Ile de Re in France - lots of wonderful food and plenty of drink. Sadly the weather was not brilliant all the time but it was a fantastic break.
Here are a few photos which I am going to use for inspiration
View out of bedroom window - I really like the straight lines of the tiles - perhaps a quilting pattern?

Just love the colour of the flowers

I really love the dark red of the geraniums - never seen that colour before.
Lunch by a small harbour was a real bonus.
Hollyhocks grow everywhere - out of every crack in the road - they look so marvellous against the white walls of the houses.  They have a distinct design style on the island as all the shutters and doors have to be painted in subtle shades of blue, green and grey. You would not believe the different shades of grey you can get - you sure would want to have the paint franchise for the island!!

Lots of cottages in the town were down little alleyways with doors opening straight onto the streets - practically no cars around as the centre of the town is pedestrian only and so is very quiet - everyone travels on foot or by bicycle.

I did take some gluing and sticking to do but somehow did not manage to do very much. I will have to get my act together now that I am back.

Tomorrow more pictures - this time of markets!

Happy sewing