Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Tidying up and LE

Hi Everyone,

Didn't post last week as was too busy and both Wed and Thurs just came and went in a flash.
Not that I was busy stitching my LE although I did sew my zigzags down on the Wednesday then I kept looking at my new storage unit and suddenly I was in tidy up my sewing room mode.
Well - it has been a while, or maybe a couple of years since it was all in order. Actually I think we moved everything in when the room was built and I have just worked with it ever since.
I really enjoyed my week, first it was my fat quarters sorting into colours or types, my Ginny Beyer all staying together and the same with my overlays and Batiks. now my unit looks like this.

Not all my fatquarters made it here, only the ones I know I will use on a regular basis the rest are neatly arranged on the shelves under my work table where everything was crammed before.
My favourite quilting books found a new home in the bottom of the unit, yes I have been through all my books and magazines as well. I don't have a proper home for magazines so now they are all sorted and on the floor under my ironing bench where I can at least reach them.
The large pile at the front are the ones that will be donated to my quilting group..

Then I started on my scraps, I didn't realise how many I had and in so many different places, drawers and bags from different projects and some that had been given to me by friends. I found a treasure in one bag from a friend that I had never really looked through, mainly because they were all country fabrics which is not really me.

Twelve completed blocks and as I looked through the bag I realised that all the rest of the scraps were the cut strips and squares for about twenty more blocks.

I spent a very pleasant couple of hours pressing everything then found myself starting to mix and match for the blocks, that had not been my plan so finally it was all packed away in it's own bag and I carried on with my clean up.

 From this

To this
The bins on the right now hold all my fabric scraps, sorted into colours and types and all pressed,  bagged and labeled, wonder how long they will stay this way?
I also found a few forgotten quilting "treasures" from years gone by, now pinned to my spare pinboards - the ones Steve hasn't fixed to the walls yet!!

A floral bouquet from when I was mastering machine applique
Esther's Easter Bunny mini Quilt
I practiced thread painting on the pohutakawa flowers behind the fantail.
Carol Doak foundation pieced christmas star, was going to be a runner center.
 and then this block.

The central block of Esther's Heart's Desire BOM from 2011
Heart's Desire was the first pattern of Esther's that I made after joining her Yahoo group.

Still a quilt top only this became a memorial quilt for me as I started it the day of the devastating Christchurch Earthquake. Center block changed to replicate the cathedral windows, surrounded by hearts for those killed and the brave who rescued many and a vine of hearts that bind the city together.

I also found the  photoframe Mum had given us as a wedding present 16 years ago. Silver plate I think not solid silver and our years in the islands with salt air had not been kind to it. Sentimentally I couldn't throw it out even though DH said he thought it was past resurrection. Suddenly thought of a link Esther had shared of using Aluminium foil and baking Soda to clean silver, Would it work? it couldn't make it any worse so was worth a try. Didn't take a before photo but this is the after.

It still has blemishes on the central bars but compared to what it was, it is beautiful
It's now back on the bookcase and just gleams, Thanks so much Esther for sharing that link.
Last Friday it was time for LE again and the border just flew together. Friday the top swags Sat the second swags, Sun the first half of the bows and lower elements then Monday morn it was finished.
Esther's measurements are so accurate, it went together perfectly.

Not the best photo but the only place I could find was in the lounge.
Where we  extended the lounge there is a stepdown in the ceiling height which gave me something to pin to about a metre in from the ranchslider. I am so happy with how it looks, I had had concerns aboutusing the gold for the swags but seeing it now they look great and the fact I had to find a different fabric for the middle border works as well.
Tuesday I added  the first of  the plain borders, my thought was how good are my zigzags.

Zig zags are pretty good and my first mitres are also.
Have decided to use my mauve and purple fabrics for the inner and out border
A tip for those about to add borders is to use your walking foot as there is applique is under your foot on nearly all the borders. Another thing I find works well is to only trim the edge of the border I am adding to the quarter inch seam allowance, the other/bottom layer I draw a pencil line where you would normally cut. Means that instead of having to keep both raw edges perfectly aligned while stitching you only have to align the borders raw edge to the pencil line which I find much easier, once stitched and happy with it trim off the excess fabric.
For my mitres I always use the method Esther has in her tutorials as they come out perfectly.

Last week I bought my borders and backing fabric. Speciically wanted a cream wide backing but the only one I liked, not enough fabric. They did have the most gorgeous white with a white floral spray overprint which I thought would be a good second choice. Got it home and it was Soooo white it glistened and oh so wrong for LE. I am not the sort of person who takes fabric back, after all I had chosen it and Iwould have only had to wait a few days for more cream to arrive. What to do.
LE is from long ago and the old fashioned way of dying fabric was tea or coffee. a bit of googling and I chose coffee. Crossed my fingers and prayed. No before photo but this is the result.

I wasn't sure what would happen to the floral design, love that it has stayed white and the coffee has turned the background a beautiful warm beige which is perfect for LE
This is now nicer than the other fabric.

Finally a huge thankyou to everyone for the wonderful comments on the FB page about my LE.
I feel privledged to have had the opportunity to make her and to reach this stage is something I wondered if  would ever happen. Thank you so much Esther for the incredible journey you are taking everyone on. 
For those interested in my journey with LE my blog posts between July 2013 and late 2014 are my diary style record of LE.

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone.
Cheers Jenny


  1. Your LE is beautiful. Lots of work and you did such a great job! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. WOW Jenny you have been soooo busy Im tired just reading all you have been doing the last two weeks. How lovely to see your beautiful Hearts desire again such a beautiful beautiful design and yours is extra special. Your LE is an incredible achievement and so so beautiful. love the coffee dye you did how lovely the flora flowers look against the soft beige. Sorry you put the blocks away I loved them so hope you pull them out and finish that quilt it may not be you but boy it will look stunning when you make those blocks up. so so very different from the appliqué we usually do LOL. Hugs Glenda

  3. PS thanks for sharing and the tips on the borders. Your silver frame looks lovely and so do the photos LOL. Hugs Glenda PSS your LE is so incredible.

  4. Thanks for the tips on the border but I already trimmed mine but will be very careful when stitching it up as the hand applique zig zags are quite bulky I think because of seam allowance. I will make it work LOL. I will add the tiny border then the larger an the tiny one again as shown on pattern I really need the yellow and aqua to finish it off. Hugs Yours if just amazing

  5. OMG - beautiful! I can't believe that you did so much work on your LE and so much sorting out and tidying too! Wonderful to both!

  6. Jenny, your LE is Fantastic!!! Thanks for the advice. Can you post a how to on Coffee dying or post the Google site? Your fabric is lovely ginabeth