Wednesday, 23 May 2007

How a scrappy quilt grows

Well, I have this shelf stacked with those wonderful sturdy boxes all packed to overflowing with scraps, anything bigger than 1 inch and smaller than a Fat Eighth. I wanted to start to use these up (BIG TIME DREAMER HERE!) and so I began to look for a super stash busting scrappy quilt idea. I found great tips at Quiltville, specifically, her "Fun With Bricks" and so began the Bag Ladies new project.
So we are cutting strips, sewing them together and cutting them into squares, then adding plain squares (which for me is a Reddish Tangerine print).

Then these are sewn all together in sets of 4....

To make these.

And I am literally doing a scrappy quilt. Any piece that I had which was at least 2" by 3 1/2" became a part of these blocks. It is fun to see how many different styles of fabrics I have used over the last 10 years. I am debating as to what to name this quilt..."Can you find yours?" or "Life is a carousel" or...?

Then these are sewn into larger blocks, just like this:

These still need to be assembled in such a way so that you can actually see some pattern. So watch this space!

By the way, those boxes must be magic because they are still as full as they were when I started. I wonder how many quilts I have squished together in there? Maybe that is where I should be storing my fabric allowance?

Thursday, 17 May 2007

May Flowers and Mothers Day

It was amazing today, when I arrived home from work, the lilacs were so beautiful. The sun lit up a slightly grey sky which was absolutely perfect to show the many shades of Lilac. It was however too windy to take a photo. Tomorrow it might be calmer but perhaps the light will not be quite so perfect.

This reminded me of photos of flowers that I did manage to take this month. Shortlived but much loved is my yellow magnolia. This year I have had the most blooms since it was planted (5 years ago and the most blooms I have seen previously count in as 4)

There are also flowers from "my boys"

and sweet miniature casts from "my girls" . Mother's Day Love.

I was able to hug only one of my kiddles on Mother's Day this year. She is working hard at being proxy for her sister and brother. The others are far flung. Telephone tag with the oldest and a quick satellite phone hug from the youngest. It was still easy to "feel the love".

I am still playing with the Post Cards. If you have looked through some of the past cards you may have guessed that I am making them as a larger piece, then cutting them into post card size sections. This month I wanted to play with some trimmings I had saved because they were super colours. As I strew the trimmings in front of me I could see a river flowing, a rainbow river actually. So that is what we have, After separating the card sections I embellished the river with glass beads that made me think of the little air bubbles floating up from the fish below. I hope the glass beads stay well attached in the care of the Post Office. I considered enclosing them in plastic but chose not to. I think part of the post card story is how well it wears its journey to you.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Adorn Magazine Alert

Cara's wedding stories .
One was of the cupcake picks.
She wanted Bride and Groom picks on top of 120 cupcakes instead of a wedding cake.
Eventually she found some online for about a dollar a dozen, which ended up costing really over $65 by the time they reached our door and they were awful. Ugly white plastic picks with a tan coloured blob for the faces a black blob of paint on the front of the groom and oh so scary. So I enlisted the help of my bag lady friends - my sewing circle- and we painted faces, hair, bouquets, shoes and the back of the grooms suit on each of 120 - 2 inch tall cupcake picks so that Cara would not be reduced to years. I found special paints and markers and we spent the night working at them. Of course there were some mistakes, like beards that grew on some, sideburns and the odd eye patch but all in all it was a presentable set.

Then another story shared was that of Cara's much beloved, twice recovered Snoopy Quilt. I made it for her when she was 3 weeks old - she was allergic to acrylic and could only have natural fabrics near her skin. Snoopy went absolutely everywhere with her, to Europe twice, any sleepovers and to college. Any friend who was sick was given the "magic blanket" and everyone always felt better. I used to tease her that I would have to make the skirt of her wedding dress with it. It was now covered in ladybug fabric but the original snoopy was still there inside.
So we are in 2006 (25 years later) and I am making her wedding gown. Cara comes to me with her quilt and asks me to put a piece of it inside her wedding dress.
So she unstitched the layers of fabric and the Quilting and we found a good piece (that had no gone completley threadbare) and I appliqued it into the skirt of her beautiful silk dress.
The Photographer noticed the Snoopy appliqued inside the skirt of the beautiful silk wedding gown and asked why? So she took pictures.

And why am I sharing this ?
Because Cara and Dave's wedding is one of 5 featured in the summer issue of Adorn magazine and these are some of the photos. The article is on the DIY Bride!!

So pick up an issue, check it out and you can say you know the rest of the story

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Quilt retreats are anything but restful

I would not want it any other way!

This past weekend 18 quilters from around the world (really- 2 from Australia, Canada and about 16 states) met up for a Jamboree

This was a planned event that definately earned "hostess with the mostest" awards for the planners.

We spent over 3 days hanging out together and sewing, chatting, shopping, eating, laughing, learning, playing games and being well spoiled by each other.

There was an amazing collection of gifties, fabric, chocolate, enough calories to fuel a month of quilting without stopping to eat and absolutely the very best of warmth and caring as we put real faces to the online signatures that were so familiar.

We had some swap package openings - I received a truly well appreciated Starbucks travel mug, filled with fabric, chocolate covered espresso beans and a sewing troll personally made made by one of the least Troll-like people I know.
Mini QP'ers and Troll friend

Our Mini-selves that came had a great time, sleeping on a pillow of Hershey's kisses

We were challenged to bring an ugly fabric, swapped out in musical chairs fashion with ripping of fabric at every stop , ending with a selection of multiple sized pieces of random ugly fabrics for us to put together in one project. Ugly is well and truly in the eye of the beholder!
This is my set...

So with a new pile of fabrics, treasures, memories and treats I am feeling completely indulged and more than a bit spoiled.

It almost made coming home to a flooded basement bearable (almost- there was lots of washing, sanitizing, garbage bags and 5 hours of plumbers to put my exhileration in balance)