Friday 4 March 2011

Room for two in the cupboard

It was so much fun having mum up with me for the week!  Someone to "ooh" and "aah" at lovely fabric with, someone to trawl through patterns with, someone to get excited about scraps with!  Right away I gave mum my scrap box and she got stuck in to a lovely tutorial from Oh Fransson using mostly my off cuts from my Single Girl Quilt.  It was going to be a tea cosy, one for mum and one for me.

However once Auntie saw it she managed to snaffle it somehow...  Fair dues, she went right out and bought a picture frame for it, and I think you'll agree, it does look a bit more "work of art" than "tea cosy"!

Mum and I picked a bundle of fabric I got in the January Sales, and we went for, wait for it, my first all me not copied off t' internet or bought pattern...

Its pretty basic, just a quarter of a log cabin, and each one is rotated so they dont all face the same way.  Oh how I dream of having some quilting software for PC..  I do find the colour and overall visualisation very difficult.  You get some pretty amazing looking programs out there that not only let you design your own blocks and quilt but also have thousands of images of real fabrics as well as colour basics.  And, AND they eliminate the dreaded MATHS...  Its the one and only aspect of quilting I absolutely loathe.  Working out finished sizes, cut sizes, how much fabric needed...  Hate it.  And quilting software does it all for you...  I did consider saving up for it, but then I realised it would involve saving up for a new laptop too as this one barely lets me edit photos never mind anything else..  Oh well, another dream to add to the "if I won the lottery" list.

Ellie Cat "stop watching me, its new fabric, I've gotta sit on it"!

Eventually we got all the fabric cut.  Took so much longer than usual as this pattern involved "fussy cutting" for the large squares.  I've seen it and admired it on so many quilters blogs, and you can always see a bit of fabric and think "no! I cant chop randomly into that, its beautiful!"  so I was keen to try fussy cutting to take advantage of some of the gorgeous images in this bundle (Tina Givens Opal Owl Orange..).
Poo.  Not a fan of actually doing fussy cutting...  Note for self - Fabric pencils, great "brush off " markers.  But if you're stressed and press too hard you cant even get the marks out with Vanish and a toothbrush never mind a quick wash...

Got pieces all cut and had fun laying out.

Int it cosy!
It was a squeeze but we did it, we managed to get two machines and two projects on the go at the same time, little table hinges took a bit of a shaking but it survived!  I got my blocks sewn up, and mum had another go at getting a tea cosy done.

One finished tea cosy!

One finished quilt top!

I think in hindsight this fabric might have been a little wasted on this pattern.  The designs had too big a scale pattern and get so lost on this pattern with narrow sized pieces.  Still, there are the fussy cut squares so its not 100% hidden.  I'll do close up pics when I get the quilt finished.  Mum helped me get it basted before she left so its ready to quilt when I'm ready to sit at the machine!

Mum also gave me a hand getting another quilt top cut out and ready to go.  The cutting out can really knacker me, cant really cut sitting down and I get tired twice as quickly standing so it usually takes me a few goes at it. 

Oh it was so good to have company again.  This probably sounds daft but its just so nice having someone there when I wake up, someone to remove the plate / cup of tea from my lap when I doze off, someone to remind me its dinner time, someone to remind me I was actually doing something two minutes ago, someone to remind me the soups still on the hob...  We really did have a great time.  So much sewing, Andy Griffiths every night, Phantom of the Opera (Gerard Butler can sing, believe it or not), Blithe Spirit (Rex Harrison, Margaret Rutherford, ghosts and lots of one liners)  Scrabble, Oscars Night (I got mum in pyjamas slobbing out infront of the telly til dawn!) with someone to nudge me every time I dozed off (normally every year I doze off and miss all the best bits) We even got a teeny bit teary watching Colin Firth make his acceptance speech...  And we had lots of laughs, and yay! I only wobbled like a weeble (I didnt fall over!).

Anyway, as soon as my hip starts working again and my face stops attempting spontaneous combustion I've got loads to be getting on with.  Actually, I am so completely addicted to the feel good factor of joining little bits of fabric that I've taken my Single Girl pieces to bed with me so I can at least join them with a hand basting stitch when I'm awake.  I'm getting so behind with the Single Girl Quilt-along.  Was meant to be piecing the rings to the background solids this week, and I've still not got my rings done...  Doh, you'd think given that my brain is so keen on just switching off whenever it feels like it all the bloody time it would at least have the courtesy to slow down the ideas and planning and daydreaming a bit too, you know, even things out just a little...  but no.  When your brain and your body leave you no choice but to take everything slowly, should you accept it and SLOW DOWN?  God knows I'm sure that would help me a great deal, cut down on the frustraitions etc, but would I still be me or be twice as boring?!


  1. My computer is going weird so if this is the second time I've said this I'm sorry!

    Glad you had a lovely time with your mum! Don't stop having ideas, just use a notebook or inspiration board to keep up with yourself!

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I've just discovered your blog and am really impressed with all your quilting! You seem really productive, even despite everything you have going on in your life. I like you self drafted quilt a lot.


  3. mimi - thanks, it was a great week :-) I do try to have a board to keep track of things but it usually ends up overflowing cos I cant keep up!
    Law - Lovely to hear from you, and thank you very much for the compliments, so kind of you to say.

  4. You feeling any better? How's your hip? What you working on at the moment?

  5. Feelin much better, back to normal temperatures anyway! Hip will be fine, takes a week or 3 for the injection to do its stuff. I'm trying to catch up with the single girl, but sewing curves is tough! Or should I say, sewing curves is great fun but my finished blocks wont lie flat and are totally squ-iffy.. Seam ripper is getting a whole lotta action!

  6. Thanks for your comments on my blog. I'm a little envious of your quilts and your quilting with your mum. I can't wait to have a quilting sleepover with my mum. Keep up the good work honey.

  7. I love your quilt!!!! I'm working on my own not-from-a-pattern-all-mine quilt currently, it's exciting but I'm worried it's going to look weird.

    And Auntie was right, that block looks fantastic hung up!! (And my daughter WANTS Ellie-cat....)

  8. Thanks! Ellie-cat is rather awesome ;-) And yeah, mums block is so cool, I think she was a little disappointed not to get to keep it herself! But at least it went straight up on a wall.
    Doing a quilt not from pattern is scary, I too always think its going to look kinda weird. Cant say I completely trust my own judgements! It is so much more fun though, isnt it?

  9. Hi Sarah, so great to meet you :)
    I've just read through your blog and I admire your quilts and other projects.
    Please hug Ellie Cat from me - she's such a beauty and so full of character.