Tuesday, 26 July 2016

2016 Mid Year Review

I didn’t create a list at the beginning of the year but setting a few goals mid-way through seems like a good idea, plus it’s a bandwagon so I might as well jump on. In case you haven’t seen it, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl  is holding a link up that’s open until July 31st.

·         BLOGGING
At the beginning of the year, I had some airy fairy ideas about doing more blogging. Having done only one post for the whole of 2015 this was never going to be difficult. If you’d told me I’d be writing a post like this at the start of the year I would have scoffed, thinking not even my Mum would be interested in that, but, on the other side of the 2016 New Quilters Blog Hop, I now have friends in the on-line community who might actually be interested and share similar goals.
My goal for the rest of the year is to keep up a routine of regular posting.

I had this down for 2017 so it wouldn’t have appeared on my list at the beginning of the year but I’ll be revealing my first ever self-designed mini quilt soon. Yes, I am going to make an attempt at pattern writing.

I love quilt designs made with curves and I always feel hamstrung by my lack of experience in sewing any curves other than appliqued ones. I did a few practice drunkards path blocks at the beginning of the year, which I was relatively impressed with, and since then nothing. I have an upcoming project that I would like to make using the 6 minute circle technique and so I need to practice that technique as well. Links to an HGTV tutorial seem to go nowhere these days but there is a tutorial for a project on the Modern Quilt Guild website here. Maybe I could make that… Plus Abigail at Cut and Alter posted a Brave Quilter Challenge for herself way back in May to use her Quick Curve Ruler, which reminded me – I have that ruler too, and a pattern… I think to get back on track with this I need to add a few quilt projects using curves to my to-do list *looks at long list of projects and mumbles something about shuffling things around*.

Have I told you I have a stash that you and I could both share and not get through in the next 5 years? It is my goal (as it has been for the past few years) to only use fabric from my stash. Last year I bought a mountain of fabric that filled any blank hole in my colour and pattern world, this year I’ve (so far) been very restrained.
I’ve bought some solids (this is where my current gap is) –
Ø  Kona Highlight (unfortunately this didn’t make an appearance in my LQS till well after the challenges had finished, never mind I will be using it soonish),
Ø  Kona Pomegranate because raspberry pink is my favourite colour and I wanted it,
Ø  and two shades of solid, a yellow orange and peach that were sitting next to each other on the shelf when I went to my LQS to pick up my sewing machine after I dropped a screw inside it when I was cleaning it. They looked so nice. This year I’ve had a thing about coral pinks and peach… and teal, but I haven’t bought any of that… yet.

·         DE-FLAB
I lost a fair bit of weight in the second half of last year and I was able to zip my pants up again, then Christmas came and I decided to let loose a bit. I was still letting loose when Australia Day rolled around at the end of January. Then they announced there would be job losses at work and I turned to my old friend chocolate for comfort. All that has passed now and it is time to take back control. I spent a day and a half in the garden last week, tackling the pruning and reduced the chocolate intake at the same time and the scales now say things are slowly moving in the right direction.

·         YARN DE-STASH
I’ve started a project this year to make a blanket for charity that will use a significant amount of my scrap yarn stash. I’m somewhere between a third and half-way through this at the moment.

This has been a constant goal for the last few years and so seems unlikely to be achieved. At the moment I need to find more time for gardening. What I really need to do is change this goal around to be satisfied with the level of productivity I can achieve with the amount of time I have.

·         CHILL
It’s been a stressful time of late and I get a bit anxious about taking on new things and the future in general. Future problems that I foresee can only be solved in the future, not now.  I need to achieve a Zen like state of focusing on the moment and remember to breathe.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Facets Plus QAL Fabric Pull

Have you seen the Facets Plus QAL being run by Amanda at This Mom Quilts? I’m joining in for this one and it will be my first ever Quilt Along!!! So excited!

This is my fabric pull for this quilt. 

I have a pile of ½ yard charcoal prints that I collected last year for a project that somehow seemed to get pushed back and back every time something new came along. The design I had in mind wasn’t a million miles away from Amanda’s and so it was a simple matter of bringing the quilt back up to the top of the list. That’s great! Because this is a quilt I actually NEED. It will be going on the king single sized bed in my spare room, so I will be adapting it (is this allowed in a QAL? I think so…) to make it longer and wider by adding borders.

The facet plus blocks will be a mix of these solids (and one hand dye). Amanda’s design gives a little more creative head room than the standard plus block allowing a few more colours and combinations.

Thankfully Amanda’s giving us a realistic time frame to get this put together, so if you haven’t quite made up your mind there’s still plenty of time… cutting instructions came out on Monday and the fabric requirements are here.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Let's Bee Sewcial at Sew Fresh Quilts.

My Quilt InfatuationSew Fresh Quilts

Monday, 18 July 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop

Hello, and welcome to my corner of the Quilt Blogiverse. I’m Sue and I live in Perth,
Western Australia. I work full-time auditing surveys of new strata plans and I’m trained in Cartography (map making), so yes, I am a maths geek.

I love gardening, walking, swimming, moonlight, animals, time with friends, time alone, and birdsong. And sewing.  I also knit and fancy myself as a bit of a diy-er. I’m never happy unless I have a project to think about and I just love planning. I am the queen of the to-do list. My favourite TV shows are murder mysteries, my favourite movie (currently, they change frequently) is Rango and my favourite books are Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Painted House by John Grisham.

I think I started quilting because I have always had a love for fabric and, basically, I needed something to make with it. The quilts hanging in the LQS were beautiful and learning new skills appealed as well. My first couple of quilts were applique projects I found in quilt magazines and they went together simply enough to make me believe that I could conquer this skill mountain (the naïve confidence of the beginner!). I’ve learnt my quilting skills through books, magazines, videos and now on-line classes. I love on-line quilting classes for the ability to learn from the quilting experts we would normally never see here in Australia.

I’ve been quilting for around 15 years but there was a span of a few years where I didn’t  actually sew any quilts but worked on home dec projects and did a bit of garment sewing. During this time I kept my hand in by buying fabric (buying fabric is part of quilting don’t you think?) and sorting it into piles for future projects. None of them ever saw the light of day and by the time I was ready to get back into it I had an overwhelming fabric stash. While I was having a break, the modern quilt movement was born and I found the quilts attracted me a lot more than traditional ones and large-scale blocks and negative space were appealing for my limited sewing time.

I started quilt blogging because I wanted to be part of the on-line quilting community and (I don’t want to start an argument here) blogs appeal to me more than Instagram. My first post was an entry into the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year challenge run by Adrienne at On the Windy Side and Anne from Play Crafts. My goal is to one day publish unique and original quilt patterns that go viral in the quilting community (never set small goals ;-) ) but until then it remains a place where I can show and tell and be part of it all.

My favourite quilt is definitely this up-sized version of Lyn from Lily’s Quilts Double Fat Jack tutorial. It has everything I look for – gorgeous fabric, simple large block(s) that are fast to put together and it turned out – hooray!

My BLOGGING TIP is that you should follow your own blog, that way if there are any problems with your feed you won’t be relying on your readers to come looking for you months later and let you know.

My QUILTING (and second blogging) TIP is compare apples with apples. There are a lot of blogs out there with masses of followers showing beautifully made quilts with a well-developed individual style. You’re wondering how you’re ever going to get to that same place. My exercise for you is to go to your favourite blogs and look for an archive in the sidebar. If they have one showing you can then find their first post. Go to it and read it. Look! They started out in just the same place as you are now. Feel better? Great, my job is done. (I've done this myself, I only found one that this didn’t work for – if you go there you’ll know who I mean. If you press me for initials I’ll tell you.)

Quilt-alongs, bees, swaps, fabric and colour challenges, link-ups, round robins, real-time sew alongs on instagram  -   my QUESTIONS for you are what sort of on-line quilt challenges do you like to participate in? and what would you like to see or see more of?

It’s hard to believe we’ve made it to the final week of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop and we are packing our bags to leave and returning to our normal lives. We have become as close as strangers thrown together into a Facebook group could be as we struggled to make sense of blogging tech issues. So long and keep in touch *sob*. I’d like to give a big thankyou to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for running the whole shebang. It’s been a great experience and I’ve enjoyed it immensely!

Here’s to the future for all of us!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Five Things Friday #2

This week I’m linking up with Amanda at Gypsy Moon Quilts for Five Things Friday again.

FTF pink jpg

When I sit down to lunch and take  a break from housework on Sundays there’s been an art show on TV over the last few weeks. They’ve been featuring Australian artists and some of them are photographers. This is where my ears prick up and I start paying attention to see if there are any ideas I can steal experiment with. One idea that featured heavily was the use of mirrors and shiny backdrops. I thought I’d give it a go and so – ta-da! here are my first tries.

The thread spools turned out well

And I liked the way the pins were reflected, along with the underside of these scissors. Finding the right reflection as the “background” is a bit tricky. You have to shift angles to see what works best – corner of room, airconditioning vent… The window and blinds were the winners

Not everything turned out that well. This is my attempt at using two mirrors to create a never-ending expanse of apples. I think that maybe you’re supposed to use three mirrors for this to work properly… It was tricky for me not to appear in the shot with my housework clothes and Sunday hair-do and it took a fair bit of ducking behind things and leaning at odd angles to keep myself out of it.

I’ve been reading blogs where people have been saying they’re retiring to their sewing spaces to escape the heat in the northern hemisphere. For all you guys sweltering away here’s some wintry photos to help you feel a little cooler. These ibis flock to the local wetland area in wet weather and we had a few foggy mornings recently. I love fog. I also absolutely love the cooler months of the year and I think I could find five things to be happy about right there.

And I spotted this shadow of a bare tree against a wall. It’s great when it’s cool enough to sit in the sun and enjoy it.

Sending you all cool thoughts (in a good way).