Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Work on Wednesday 19th Sept

Have had busy days off, but NOT in my sewing room.
Last week my DH finally convinced me it was time to part with some of my "treasures" from over the years.
Went through the cupboards and brought back to daylight items I have had for years and never see or use.
So my first venture on to Trade Me, and I didn't realise how time consuming it is.
Spent enough time spent answering questions, but they all closed on Sunday night, so my planned 3 days of sewing Esther's blocks turned into emails, packaging, and trips to the post shop!!!!
However all sold and we have extra funds for the house and for some FABRIC SHOPPING FOR ME!!!

So what have I achieved in my Sewing Room.

Esther  gave me a real problem this month, I love both the blocks but which to go where.

For the first time I have worked backwards ( for me) and made my hibiscus flowers first, before deciding my background fabric.

When we lived in Rarotanga we had the most beautiful mixed hibiscus hedges, withan enormous yellow/orange Hibiscus so decided to fussy cut each petal to try and get the yellow centre and deeper petal edges of that flower.
These have the vein and stamen stitching done and are padded ready to go on my background, which this morning was still undecided.
I really wanted to add this colour to my white striped background blocks as most are in varying pinks and blues, but when I sat the flowers on the fabric along with my leaves - it didn't work.
But on my Lavender Background - WOW

It was one last trip to the post shop this morning, and now my leaves are sewn on and first flower is in place. Once I link to Esther's Blog will decide what thread to stitch the flowers with.

Hope you are all enjoying your Wednesday and Esther's beautiful blocks.
Cheers, Jenny

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Work on Wednesday 12th Sept

My 10 days of holiday has rushed by and I am back to work on Friday.
Finished stripping wallpaper and have managed to get some weeds out of the garden on the few fine days we have had. Was a very wet July and August but seeing all the spring signs now.
Have not spent much time sewing - think I am saving myself for after the 15th!! but have completed another 2 kaleidoscope blocks and have the first two rows stitched together.

I laid all my bocks and centers out and decided which was going where so knew which order I needed to complete them in. What a happy surprise I got with the 2 rows completed.
The pattern I had looked at had used the inner cream triangle fabric for the outer borders, which did define the star points much better but was quite strong. I love the floral block that has appeared for me, and I am not a floral person.

Thankyou to those who have commented on my Mermaid Trilogy, they are still I think my favorites of everything I have done.
These next two photo's are my other applique's with People.

My Flamenco / Calypso Dancer is a free download leadlight panel that my DH found and showed  me which I just had to make, it now also hangs in our hallway.
Guess what, the mettalic fabric in her shawl is leftover from Dusk the Merman.
The vibrant green background leftovers made many of my leaves in Heart's Desire and the  border fabric all my heart flpwers.
Don't ever throw anything out!!
The background fabric I ironed onto 1/4 inch pellon batting so she is appliqued directly to the batting.
When I added the backing fabric the only quilting I did was to stitch around her and in the ditch around the borders, it didn't seem to need any more.

And for a totally different look.

This years Christmas present for Mum - Just hope she likes it.
It is one of the hundreds of embroidery transfers she gave me.
My DH has just finished mounting it over an art board so it will be easier to hang and size didn't increase with border and binding, as her room is not that large.
It is 24" x 16" and was batted and backed before mounting, again only edge stitching and applique detailing.
Background is a thermal backed drape fabric with a lovely texture and sheen, and for this was a good dense weight to work on as the leaves are all machine stitched from a basic programme stitch also all the branches from the trunk are machine stitched.

Have had a haircut this morning ready to go back to work, bought a new blade for my cutter, and some  Steam a Seam ready for Esther's new blocks on the 15th.

Enjoy your Wednesday

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Work on Wednesday 5th Sept

So far a  varied week for me, we are so quiet at work that I was asked to use us some of my rather large amount of leave so have been off work since last Fri and don't go back until 14th, yes the day before Esther's new blocks come out!!!
What have I been doing, stripping wallpaper in our kitchen dining room for a couple of days.

This is the original 70's nicotine stained wallpaper from when we moved in, and the only bit that didn't get painted over immediately, we ran out of paint and thought oh well it's all coming off one day!!!

Under that wallpaper I found the original almost dayglo yellow paint. The photo makes it look almost livable but it really is closer to the colour of the brush and pan on the table, and it hits you when you walk in. Just hope this WIP won't take to long!!!

Posted a blog on Sunday about my first ever applique project,  Mermaid Trilogy.
Then I made Steve his favourite Muffins.

Double Chocolate and Raspberry
they are so yummy

Steve has been renovating a bathroom for a friend and guess who got called to help strip wallpaper, followed by grouting tiles. So much for my holiday so far, but I have found time to unearth some blocks I had been making before my sewing room shift, and now hope to do more work on them.

I have been fascinated for ages with the wonderful effects in Kaleidoscope Quilt patterns and after plenty of reading on the web decided to have a play, using once again Mum's fabrics as this really is a practice exercise which will probably end up as a charity quilt.

These are the 4 Kaleidoscope centres I still have to turn into blocks
I was amazed how much material it took to match up 8 identical fabric layers to cut the centers from.
More amazing are the pattern's you don't see until the segments are stitched together.

I found an Avalon Bloom quilt design and drew up similar blocks that worked for my finished centers.
Here are the 5 completed blocks.

As you have probably guessed the floral border fabric is the one my kaleidoscopes were cut from, and why I had difficulty matching the pattern repeat, it looked like it had a repeat across the width as well but it didn't!! I now know why so many of the fabrics used for these blocks are a border stripe that repeats across the fabric.
The one I want to use eventually is Shimmer Butterflies border stripe by Timeless Treasures, and Hooray I have just found it released in NZ.

The only other thing for today is that I keep trying to comment on Esther's Blog and although the comment form comes up and I can fill it out, including the letters and numbers, the form won't scroll down further or enlarge for me to find the post button. Is this my internet explorer or some other hiccup?

Anyway, enjoy your Wednesday everyone

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Where did my love of Applique start

Hi Everyone, it's Sunday and I have stripped wallpaper for 2 days and need time out from it.
What better way to relax than write a blog.
Steve used to do leadlighting and several years ago was give a book called Sea Fairies by Jillian Sawyer.
He never found the time to make any of the designs, but I fell in love with all the Mermaids.
Steve tried to teach me leadlighting but it was not for me, glass breaks where it wants to when you cut it - fabric doesn't!!!
After we came back to NZ and I discovered quilting, this book kept speaking to me, especially 3 of the designs. I made one other applique - a Dahlia cushion cover- then said to Steve - I want to make the Mermaids!!!
My Mermaid Trilogy has hung in the hallway of 2 houses since, and it always will.

I really didn't know what I was doing then, and yet when I look at them now I still think, how did I do that!!!
It was the start of using what ever fabric would give me the look I wanted. The lower bodies of the mermaids are a synthetic fabric that looks like fish scales in pink, lavender and gold, Dusk's body is a dark muticolour  that suits him well. Batiks which I also love I also found then. Fussy cutting I knew nothing about, but used it for hair and other things.

The Titles and Poetry with each, are the words of Jillian Sawyer.


We make a great team, you and I Cess
I’d never betray you, I’d never confess.
They’ll never know, they think you’re so tough.
You’re just a big softie and its all a huge bluff.


Together we have traveled for many a year, from sea to shining sea.
And of all the wonders we have seen, the scrapes that we’ve been through.
            Nothing has meant as much to me as the friendship I share with you.


We’ve never seen your like before, or know from whence you come.
You speak to us of wondrous places and the deeds that  you have done.
Now you have to go, that leaves us filled with sorrow.
But you have made a promise, so happily we say.
Goodbye until tomorrow.

the Trilogy finished at Dargaville Quilters show 2010
 in the order they now hang on our wall.

This Trilogy is very special to me as when I came back from Raro, I was suffering from serious depression.
My Protector, My Companion and Our Future were a huge part of my recovery process - and I now realise why these 3 were so important to me, they are all my DH in his many different guises.
Thank you my darling, for being there when I needed you!!!!

For those of you who are interested in my water background fabric it is a sheer Aqua /gold organza that I twisted and tied, boiled and then dryed while it was twisted. 
Then I cut and placed my sheer backgrounds allowing for plenty of folds and water movement and stitched it to a blue/green mottled base water fabric, that had been pressed onto 1/4 " fusible Pellon Batting. 
I then placed my applique on top and machine stitched, them down, adding stitching to thold he fabric folds of the water with metallic thread.
The backing fabric I added when doing the borders, and did no extra quilting in the body of the hangings.
Hopefully they will never need washimg!!!
Cheers for Sunday, Jenny