Friday, 24 June 2016

Five Things Friday #1

FTF pink jpg

Amanda at Gypsy Moon Quilts opened up her Friday theme of Five Things to be happy about last week. This week I’m joining up as well.

The shire government in my area is running an Instagram contest with cash prizes at the moment (photos with the most likes win – not a hint or anything but instagram love is always gratefully received), so I’ve been out and about snapping photos. Here’s a select few.

Afternoon sun through the vine leaves. It’s just ticked over into winter here; I love the backlit autumn leaves.

There’s a railway history in this area, in fact the suburb I work in was named for the Midland Railway company not vice versa as you may imagine. Back in the ‘90s the railway workshops closed down and since then there’s been a project on to redevelop the area. As a nod to this history there are a number of these metal figures dotted around that represent the workers.

And there’s also a very vibrant organised youth centre that obviously contain some talented graffiti artists because there’s a big number of these graffiti walls in town. This one sits on the back of the parcel sorting depot.

I needed a laugh by the end of last week and this provided it. The automatic door at work malfunctioned and so a post it note was left on it…

And someone obliged J

Friday, 17 June 2016

How to Hang a Quilt on an Outdoor Wall

Ever wondered how to hang a quilt on an outdoor wall? Then wonder no more, have I got the tip for you! This is what I use

It’s heavy duty stick on Velcro that I bought from my local Bunnings store* (our local hardware warehouse) for an odd job round the house (try down the back near the nails and screws). I’d tried several different tapes without success but I was wary of this; would it stick too strongly I wondered? Anyway, I gave it a test with a mini quilt… and it worked!

Time for the next test, would it hold a larger quilt? This one is 45 by 62 inches and I tested it on the wall of my house. If it will stick to this wall it will stick to anything, the bricks are very rough and gritty in a kind of rustic faux-handmade way. And it worked! There were only 3 squarish pieces of Velcro used along the top and that’s all! Happy dance!!!! 

I feel confident that you could hang even larger quilts using this stuff if you use enough of it and I intend to try it out. In the interests of faster test results though, if you do try it on a larger quilt let me know if it was successful. I’ll be glad to update and add any extra information you can provide.

The absolute best thing for the shy quilt photographer is that you can prep before you head out to your perfect photo spot. And it’s re-usable. Mostly. I did have some trouble getting the release sheet off the sticky stuff on some the second time round. For” trouble” read “couldn’t get it off at all”.

A couple of extra bits in the bottom corners will save you from the dreaded wind factor.

That’s the end of my tips and I look forward to hearing any you can add. Happy snapping!

*I have a feeling I may have seen something like it at Spotlight, the giant haberdashery, fabric, Manchester all–round craft supplies warehouse here in Australia. You could try somewhere like that too.

·         Will it take off paint?
I haven’t had any trouble with it on the walls I’ve used, I haven’t been very game in my experimentation though. I’ve thought it through in terms of the strength of the bond the paint would have with the surface. For example, brick, because it is porous, will have a stronger bond with the paint than metal. I’m not game to try it on painted metal unless it has been industrially coated nor on my painted plaster internal walls. If you’re unsure it would be worth trying it in an inconspicuous area.

·         Does it leave a residue?
The reason I have this product in my house in the first place is that it’s used to attach pelmets to the tops of my venetian blinds (professional installation not dodgy diy ;-) ). One pelmet gets knocked a fair bit and the Velcro needs replacing every 4 years or so. It leaves a residue on the metal surface after this length of time but over short periods there’s no problem.

·         Does it damage the fabric?
Not at all. I was a bit worried that it might but there was no sign of any roughing up or anything.

·         Is this the right stuff?

Packaging varies around the world. Amanda from This Mom Quilts has kindly let me use her photo of what it looks like in the North American market.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Plus: A Pincushion

I noticed recently that my pins were getting blunt and you know what happens then – you put it back in the pin container and pick up a new sharper one. And then the next pin you pick up is that same pesky blunt one you picked up before. So blunt pins – is there a way to sharpen them? Off to ask Google.

There are pincushions about that are filled with metal filings that will sharpen your pins and I found a tutorial to make a pin sharpening pincushion using steel wool. Problem was I couldn’t find any steel wool without soap. The next best option seemed to be to use crushed walnut shells as a filling. Internet wisdom is that you can buy this at pet shops but no pet shop near here had any and seemed surprised to be asked. Back to Google and a search on-line settling on Aussie BBQ Smoke. I’m now the proud owner of a 1kg bag of crushed walnut shells!

Did you know that Perth is the third windiest capital city in the world? So says Life on Perth anyway. And wind means dust, especially in summer, so a pincushion needs to be washable. I decided to make a pincushion insert, just like a normal everyday cushion insert with a couple of interchangeable covers. I made two covers from the scraps of the Bravery Plus quilt, using an envelope back to keep it simple. And do they sharpen pins? So far so good. J

Linking with Scraptastic Tuesday

Scraptastic Tuesday

Saturday, 11 June 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

I was excited when Yvonne, Stephanie and Cheryl announced they were going to be hosting the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop this year and I signed up after a very short amount of thinking time. Luckily, this year they have dropped their usual blogging requirements and I was able to make it through to be a part of the group.

So far, we have been busily working away behind the scenes, getting to know each other through facebook and helping each other with tech issues, doing a pile of housework-y things like adding follow buttons and pages and forming smaller groups to critique each other’s blogs.

My critique group was made up of four others and I highly recommend heading over there for a visit if you get a chance: Sharon is at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs; Melva at Melva Loves Scraps; Jennifer at RV Quilting and Tish at Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

The critique was hard work, and a little on the nerve wracking side I must admit, but well worthwhile. Only someone who doesn’t know you will spot that you haven’t included your name in your About Me page J.

The next phase of our experience starts next week when the first round of blog hops start. I am in Cheryl’s hive and we are Miss-bee-Hivin’. Here are my fellow hive members who are taking on the first round
Miranda @ I Have Purple Hair

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Triangles in the Wild

It’s a finish! The Marsala Triangles quilt top I originally made for the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year challenge has joined the pile of useful quilts. To tell the truth, I finished it a while ago but I wasn’t sure whether the workmanship on the quilting was up to scratch.

Actually, I am sure – it’s not, so there aren’t any revealing close-ups, just close enough so you can see I tried an interesting idea of doing wonky spirals inside the triangular shapes.

Once in the middle, I wasn’t really sure how to get out so sort of followed the line back and then attempted to follow the ditch on to the next section. That’s pretty much where I came unstuck and it turned into a “dog-bed quilt”. No matter, it is still a soft, warm and cuddly quilt and, if I don’t put my glasses on when I look at it, I’m proud of it and I love it.

And the photo setting? A graffiti wall behind the local Auto-tune franchise and part of a carpark for the church. It has a theme of cars with flame-spitting exhaust pipes and the like and is one of several graffiti walls near home. How lucky is that?

I’m linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.

My Quilt Infatuation

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bravery Plus

“Bran thought about it, ‘Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?'
'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.”

George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones

I think my current favourite design is the Swiss cross – simple, effective, versatile and on trend in interior dec circles in a Scandi – Mid Century Modern crossover kind of way. I must make at least one otherwise my life won’t be complete! A-a-a-nd here it is in the very graphic black and white colour scheme.

I aspire to taking the perfect quilt photo and to that end I avidly read all of Debbie’s (at A Quilter’s Table) photoshoot posts. In her latest instalment she wrote

It's a curious thing - as I've shared these over the last few months, I've been surprised how many comments I've gotten from readers being fearful to take their quilt out 'in public' for photoshoots such as those in today's post. With the possible exception of the one taken in the Swiss alps, it seems to me these photos might have been taken in 'everyday' settings - even perhaps locations stumbled upon while the quilt-maker was out and about. I know when hubby and I go out for a photoshoot, sometimes we have a destination, but just as often we drive around looking for an interesting setting. And honestly, rarely do we spend much time in one spot. We often stroll nonchalantly to our target area, snap a few times, and off we go. Most people ignore us, and if they do pay us any mind, they are only complimentary - and maybe a little envious. So really, it's not scary at all!

Challenge accepted! Actually, I’d been scouting photo spots in a lunchtime walk radius of work for months and I was ready-ish to take the plunge. So with heart pounding and hands sweating, neck swiveling to check for approaching members of the public... wait, what’s supposed to be my attitude here? Defiantly proud? No-o-o, too far off my true feelings about this quilt (I’m happy with it and I absolutely love it but I know where the faults are). I know, BRAVE. I can manage that for a short 5-minute photo snapping session...  and then scurry away quickly to recover from the adrenaline rush.

The rest of the photos were taken in the relaxed setting of home and I’ve attempted a bit of styling with a potted lavender that I haven’t got around to planting yet.
Hope you find the courage for your own challenges, no matter how major or minor they may be in the grand scheme of life.

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, Creative Wednesday at Faith and Fabric and Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Fort Worth Fabric StudioMy Quilt Infatuation