Maybe just blocks?

Friday, February 23, 2007

I had a lot of fun last night fiddling with layouts for the snuggle quilts and after discarding some fabric from each pile I came up with this:

and this:
I particularly love the warmer colours and am looking forward to stitching this together. I think I'll just leave them as they are and not do the 4-patch blocks for this project. I should have enough fabric for backing and binding in my stash so the only think I will need to buy is thread - how good is that?!

I bought these fabrics as a bundle from Keepsake Quilting and I wasn't sure what to do with it once it arrived in the mail. In retrospect I think the squares were just too big for me to imagine the possbilities, as soon as I cut them into smaller pieces and started playing with them I could see it starting to work. Quilter's eyes, like sea legs must take some time to develop.

New projects

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yes, I know I haven't finished my current project yet but my machine still isn't working so I started cutting out pieces for my next projects. Both my sisters in law are expecting babies in June and I want to make a small quilt for each bub. I like the look of those quilts that are plain square blocks separated by 4-patch blocks. I can't find any photos of what I'm thinking of even though I know I've seen them in the past. Here is a beautiful red and blue 9-patch that will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

I'm going to make one using cool toned fabrics and the other using warm toned fabrics with a black and cream fabric that I used in J's castle quilt to set off the colour.

I was chatting with G today about the flying geese quilt that she is patiently waiting for me to start for her and we found this photo that she loves. I am looking forward to going fabric shopping with her, she's such a darling little thing. I love the greens and yellows in this picture but I know we'll be coming home with plenty of pinks and purples. 6 1/2 year olds know what they like :-)

So, still no working machine but lot's of pretty pictures. I don't know the provenance of any of the photos I have put here if you know where they're from please let me know and I'll give credit where it's due.

Things I love

Thursday, February 15, 2007

All our little ones are tucked up in the one bedroom and I love walking past their door and seeing all the names lined up one after the other. Althought there are down sides to having them all in together. e.g. It's not always easy to get them to fall asleep at night. Lately we've been finding G and J sitting together on the floor between the bunk and the cot looking at books or J half way up the ladder to the top bunk where he no doubt hopes to harrass his already sleeping sister well after we've tucked them in for the night. And with the recent hot weather and 3 little bodies all breathing in a relatively small space it's been getting pretty stuffy in there!

G and J have shared a room since he was about 3mths old so they're old hands at it but moving them into a bunk has added a new dimension. They are definitely the 'big kids' now and J is loving every minute of it.

Walk just a little further down the hall and you see this:

G didn't want anyone to feel left out ;-)

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Whether you are celebrating notions of romantic love in traditional valentine's day fashion or celebrating the power of activism by marking V-Day, a cause I wholeheartedly support, I hope your day is special.

The universe is against me

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My sewing machine is broken.

'What? Isn't it brand new,' I hear you cry.
'Well, yes, indeed it is. Thank you for pointing that out.' I reply.

I don't know exactly what is wrong with it but the bobbin housing shudders all over the place when I start the motor. It's a big problem because I haven't even figured out how to take the cover off yet to get in there and see what's going on. I put it away when we were getting ready for C's baptism and I haven't set it up again yet. I'm going to need the instruction manual, a glass of asti and a lot of good luck. Hopefully I'll have it up and running again before the end of the week because I am very close to having the quilt top finished and then I can get on with the hand quilting.

I'm also losing confidence in the pattern. Will it look all retro and tidy when it's finished or will it just look bland? I saw a beautiful doona cover at from Sheridan on the weekend and loved it. (The Sheridan website seems to be down otherwise I would add the link.) It has a big block of patterned fabric, and the narrower widths of accent colours and patterns that I'd been thinking about doing when I first started this project. But then I got sucked into the idea of liberated sqaures and now I am a collapsing under the weight of indecision.

Do I follow my mother's advice - first thoughts are best thoughts - and stick with what I've started or do I use what I've already got as a strip in a big-scale pieced quilt top?

Everything old is new again

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Agatha arrived on Feb 1st in Boston, MA weighing a very slight 6lbs 4oz and measuring 18 inches long. I should convert that into metric because I don't actually have any concept of what that is short of knowing that it's slightly less than my G weighed at birth and roughly the same length. She was born by emergency c-section because her heart rate was dropping with each contraction and my sister's blood pressure was high. Isn't she perfect?

They chose the name Agatha very early into the pregnancy and it's a wonderful stately old name. Those older names have been making a comeback in recent years, the Kylies and Amandas of my youth have been replaced by Emmas and Amelias. I grew up rarely meeting anyone else with my name (Amelia) and over the past few years I have had to get used to hearing it screamed out at playgrounds and in shopping centres. I still turn around everytime I hear it but I am bound to adjust soon because there are 2 Amelias in G's class, can you believe it? And there are 3 Graces - so much for our thoughts that it was a name that was feminine, easy to spell and not too run of the mill. We wouldn't change it though, it's a beautiful name and clearly we weren't the only people who thought so.

So, I now have 2 nieces, Agatha and Lily and 2 daughters, Grace and Charlotte. It's like roll call at the local retirement village, don't you think? I love the connotations of these names; femininity, grace, steadfastness, tea in nice china cups, etc. I imagine them all to be practical, capable girls. Heroines straight out of any Oxford Classics title.

We'd like to have another baby, I feel like there is one more little soul out there waiting to join our family and for some reason I think it will be a girl. I'd like to name her Willa after one of my favourite authors, Willa Cather. I wanted to give Charlotte this name but I couldn't talk Mr Duyvken around. Willa was always second on his list of girl's names with Ava and Charlotte vying for top position and I was never definite enough about it being THE name. Next time around I will take a much firmer stance ;-)

Taking photos on wet windy days

Thursday, February 01, 2007

is not easy! How do you photograph something this big effectively anyway? I have a lot to learn about photography as you can tell just by looking at this but it does show what I am up to. What it doesn't show is the colours. And that's a pity because the design isn't much to enjoy just on it's own. The centres of the block are dark brown, medium blue, navy, light blue, purple and dark green.

This will be the top half of the quilt and I am pretty pleased with how it's coming together. That block with the big blue centre looks a little out of place but I have another block with similar scale planned for the bottom half so that should balance it out. I still have a lot to learn about how to square up blocks but I have enjoyed working on something that is so decontructed. It's looking like it will come together as a reasonably straight-edged single bed quilt in the end (insert huge sigh of relief here) and it looks like it won't take too long to complete either (insert sound of me patting myself on the back here). We'll save the high five's until I've actually finished the project but it's looking good so far!

There is one small thing that I am completely over-reacting about, in fact, writing about it is making me feel tense, LOL. The tension on my machine looks like it needs just a tiny bit of tweaking. This is where I have come undone every other time I have used a machine and I am very nervous about fiddling with my beautiful new pfaff and screwing something up. I think a trip to Craft Depot is in my immediate future. When I bought the machine in early Jan they said I could bring it in anytime for a lesson and I think the time has come. It's just a basic machine so I know it's not going be a difficult operation but I'd much rather watch someone who knows what they are doing than try to figure out myself.

My sister was being induced this morning so I'm waiting for news and I haven't been able to concentrate on anything else all day. Who knew I'd be so excited about one of my sister's having her first baby? I have a niece and a nephew from my husband's side of the family but this is the first from my side and I am very excited about it. I so wish I was in Boston so I could meet baby straight away and be there so share this time with my sister. She's got wonderful in-laws over there and a great group of friends so I know she'll be getting all the praise and appreciation every new mother deserves. I'll just have to gear up for some major postage costs over the next couple of weeks. Those Bonds wondersuits and Sprout brand clothes from Myer are hard to resist!

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