Friday, August 30, 2013

August Finish

For Sew It's Finished, OPAM and Aunt Marti - This is my August finished project.
It is not a long standing UFO - for a change.

I had been wanting to do one of Leanne Beasley's quilt patterns for a while but I was able to get my hands on the pattern for this one - Journey of a Quilter.
In August 2011 I was able to do a big shop hop in Sydney when I went down for a visit and found a lovely collection of 30cm pieces of William Morris fabrics.  Then in another shop I saw some Threadworx threads in the perfect colours   and in yet another shop I picked up quite a few creams and beiges.

As soon as I got back I started tracing and stitching.

Now its done.  I had it quilted.  I love it. It will go on the only wall left in my Sewing room  (when I can get "someone" to put the necessary bits up on the wall).

and how true is this ....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FNSI - A bit of that & a bit of this

It was 

I sewed some of the binding on this quilt as I watched...slept through... Better Homes & Gardens on TV.

 Then I added one border to Best Friends.

Then I did a bit of work on this block:

It's from the Homespun BOM - "My Town".  I have 2 blocks partially done and want to finish 2 more to make into a small wall hanging.  I have a thing for houses/buildings

And of course no FNSI is complete without a special drink (Mochaccino this time) and a little bite to eat - thanks Wendy B for hosting and thanks for the recipe - you can find it here.  It was truly scrumptious - I substituted a Dark Bubbly Chocolate for the Aero Mint.  Yummo.

You can pop over to Wendy's blog to see all the other participants (56 in all)
and see what they got up to.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Retreat 2013 Round up

We had a ball.... I sewed from Friday afternoon til Tuesday afternoon...late into the night....The food was wonderful - both at the pub and at the retreat.  The weather was great - though getting warm.
Sad to say - we didn't get flooded in - or trapped in any other way - though most of us probably had enough projects to keep us going for another week.

Here's a bit of what we did.

This is the first video I have made or loaded - so sorry about the superfluous "Olympus" text!

This is the cot quilt that I quilted and bound on retreat.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Retreat 2013 - Day 5

Tuesday - beautiful weather again.

Just 5 industrious sewers left, making the most of our last hours.

I contemplated doing the borders for "Best Friends" and decided not to, so I put this teacup block together.  This is to send to Sara Fielke who is collecting blocks to make a quilt.  I have no idea how I stumbled on a request from her for people to make blocks, so if you know - please let me know - it was from someone's blog......

Miss High Achiever finished off 10 of her 23 projects - pretty good going considering she had an off day on Sunday.

The board looked pretty good at the end:
I have collected all the tickets from the left hand side (and the left-overs from previous years) and hold onto them until next year.  We will do a roll call on Friday afternoon 2014 to see who finished what left-overs.

Our collection of finished projects  looked like this:  (The larger quilts that were up to "pinned" stage and some that were quilted are not here)

All booked in for "same time, same place" next year...hoping for some more "wintery" weather next year...but maybe it's a bit early to start the countdown.  Luckily, I still have 5 days left until I go back to work, so there will be more sewing happening here.
I have this collection of threads...two people I know collect "Orts" so I raided a few bins whilst we were sewing.  Don't worry Debbie - there is a lot of colour under all that white.

 All in all, a fabulous time away - Great accommodation  great food, great company, a few "memorable" moments which will distinguish this year from others.
Thanks to everyone for making it a great weekend - and especially to Erica for photographing everything and sharing her photos.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Retreat 2013 - Day 4

Monday - still bright and sunny!!  and warm...T shirts and thongs next year....

A few people left today after lunch...sad to see some go... - including our resident photographer...hopefully I can produce a slide show or movie of our time here.

Today I worked on "Best Friends".  This was a BOM that bestie and I started...for some reason...forgotten 2009...I had finished all the blocks and some of the joining squares, but now it's a top - maybe borders tomorrow.

It needs a good iron...

The board:

We have achieved a lot and still have a good half day to go...

Retreat 2013 - Day 3


I sewed until  12 midnight last night.
Another lovely sunny day,  music on, machines humming, a bit of chatting, lovely food . . . 

I put together my Stitcher's Garden...I might still add borders  but for retreat I only planned to get it to top stage.

I also started work on putting together a top from a BOM I started in 2009 called Best Friends.

Tally to date:Bag for plastic bags  (on the right)

Cot Quilt

Stitchers Garden top - as above.....
Still 2 days to go!!!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Retreat 2013 - Day 2

Saturday dawned bright & sunny.  Apart from "having to" eat, we have been pretty much heads down tail up sewing sewing sewing.

We took a short break to have a happy snap.

During the day - apart from working on our projects, some of us spent a bit of time putting a fractured picture together.

We (my patchwork group) have been talking about doing a fractured picture for a long time, but we finally knuckled down in April and started work on this:

5 of us were doing 2 sections each.  This is the result.

On the "Projects" list - by 8pm - Miss High Achiever has completed 4 projects. (4/23)

Other projects that have been completed include these: (taken early in the day)
(Hard to see, Marti - but Susie's Magic Binding is getting a good workout this weekend - 1
 in the photo but 3 lots so far!)

And the board is looking like this:

The sectioned off area (above the wine bottle) are projects left from previous years - the oldest is 2010)

I have purple tags (surprise surprise!!)   And I have done 3.

We use our own definition of "Complete" - it might mean it's truly complete and ready to hang or wrap or...
OR it could mean - only the hand sewing of the binding to do
OR it could mean - just the top completed 

It's whatever it was that we each planned to do on each project.

Still days to go .....better get back to it!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Retreat 2013 - Day 1

(Sorry this is a long post)

This is the 7th year my patchwork group have gone away as a group - just us - for a retreat. We usually start sewing Friday after lunch - this year some got a head start! We stop about the same time on the following Tuesday - although not everyone gets to stay that long - and combined with Wednesday being a public holiday for Brisbane - and I don't work Thursdays, it seems only sensible that I take Friday as leave.  So when I get back - I just keep sewing . .  . until Sunday night. So that's almost 10 days of sewing!!!!    Yippee!!!

I am not a big photographer and I haven't in the past kept notes about what I did when sometimes its hard to work out when I started a project.  I am getting better and my blog does make some of that easier.  So - expect details.  - ie lots of words and lots of pictures this time.

Friday  pre lunch - setting up:

Friday lunch - certainly the "quaintest"  pub I have ever been to.  But the food is great.

and a huge plate of crumbed lamb cutlets

Friday 2pm
We have arrived - our first job - is to write each project we hope to work on / finish to whatever stage we plan - on post-its.  Each person has a different picture on their post its and they are placed on the left hand side of the white board.
Some people bring oodles of small projects...[You will read about Miss High Achiever in the following posts - you will see all the pink post its...].  Some concentrate on larger ones so only have a few tickets.  There is no prize - it's just a game.
(If you know anything about Agile Software Development - someone created a brilliant idea of creating a storyboard where each item that has to be completed in a sprint (ie a portion of the time allowed to finish the big project) had a ticket with an avatar on it.   Well DUH Mr  Agile - we have that covered without the text book instructions and fancy names..  And funnily - there is no prize when we follow this Agile process at work either...-...sorry - just having a little dig here.)

So here is the Starting Point:
Here we are working hard:

And by "lights out" - which is whenever the last person gives up - tonight this was taken at 11.45pm -  this is where we are at:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bobbin Work

A few asked about bobbin work....... I am no expert - I did this in a class where I was working on a quilt designed to teach us things about our machines & various techniques.  (like circular sewing and using a fringe foot)

The idea is to allow you to use decorative threads that wouldn't normally go through the tension discs or the needle of your machine.

So, to do my block as pictured - I appliqued the flower shape as normal using vliesofix .  I then sewed around it with thread on top that matched the colour of the flower shape and a bobbin in a colour that that showed up well on the underside.  My block has pellon attached so I just used yellow on top and a black in the bobbin.

Then you wind a bobbin with the thread you want to use.  Mine was a thread designed for an overlocker and is a Madiera Decora No 6  (it wasn't cheap - but you could pick any thick thread (even a perle cotton or some wool or maybe a ribbon - never tried that one though). 

I originally tried a black decorative thread but because you still see the yellow fabric through the decorative stitching - the multi coloured yellow worked better.
I was able to wind my bobbin on my machine - but you can wind by hand if you want to.

Put the bobbin in the bobbin case as normal - but not in the thread guide - just leave it loose.

Do the normal pulling up of the bobbin thread.

On the top pick a coloured thread that matches the fabric you are sewing onto and the thread you are using.  I chose an orange one.

Now you turn your block upside down so that you see the black stitching.  Pick a decorative stitch and sew along the line.  Remember to leave a length of the decorative thread so you can sew it in later - I didn't try a lock stitch - I really don't think that would work too well.

The stitch you choose is a matter of trial & error - I ended up using just a basic zig zag - fairly close.

In this picture you can see a decorative stitch and the zig zag.

and this is the right side.

But as with anything new - trial a few things on straight lines first to get the hang of it.
Hopefully you end up with something that looks like this:

And now you want to know about the pink & green in that picture above . . . . 
I just used one of the stitches that looks like some leaves in  a line in green and then over the top I sewed what is supposed to be a roundish shape in pink  - when I did that bit my machine stitch balance was way out so I got elongated shapes, but you get the idea.  Very simple and can be very effective.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

FNWF results

I was lucky to be able to spend a lot of the afternoon and night time sewing (apart from a  little nanna nap!)

During the afternoon I worked on  preparing a block I need to have ready by next Wednesday night.  This is part of it - but I can't really show anymore at this stage.

It looks like an exercise in using up some fact I emptied a few partially full bobbins...but it does have a purpose.  But you will have to wait.  And it did take quite a while to sew.

At night - I finished off these two blocks:

 and I made this binding ready for a cot panel  (it's 2 strips joined together - I'll be using Susie's Magic Binding again.)

All of these are in preparation for my retreat.....coming soon..... (6 sleeps)

Still so much to do.......a few late nights coming up I think. 

Have you ever tried bobbin work?? - here is a close up of a flower from one of those blocks.

Thanks for the company everyone!

Friday, August 2, 2013


An exciting day here - DD#2 is off on a 4 week trip to the USA West Coast.

That justified taking a day's leave to take her to the airport, so now it's into the sewing.

Luckily it's also a FNWF 

pop over here if you'd like to join in too...

and there are  . . . .
                                                                                                                             til I am on retreat .....

It's all happy stuff today!!!