Sunday, January 30, 2011

2 1/2" squares

For some time now, when I have a few spare moments between projects, I've been cutting my smaller scraps into 2 1/2" squares. I've had this vague notion that I'll make a scrappy 9-patch quilt at some stage.

My current project - photos soon - is at the quilting stage, but it's been too hot to quilt this weekend. So Friday night I pulled out a random selection of Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazines, opened one to a random page and thought "this is my next project". It's a triple Celtic Knot, so far more challenging than anything I've done before, and I'm sticking with the pictured colours of red, green, black & cream. (It's from Vol 19 No 3 if you're interested.) And strangely enough, it needs 2 1/2" squares....lots and lots and lots of them. If it works, I intend to gift it to my aunt for Christmas.

So with the air conditioning whirring away, I've been catching up on TV and chopping my scraps into 2 1/2" squares. I never really enjoy the cutting stage....always eager to move on to the piecing stage but it is a necessary evil. In this case, one that will be repeated over 2000 times.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The King's Speech (& other Movie Reviews)

Kath asked what I thought of The King's Speech, and my response got rather wordy, so I thought I'd give it a post of its own.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and thought everyone was brilliant really.....couldn't really single any one performance out. Geoffrey Rush was just fabulous, especially when playing an amateur thespian, and Helena Bonham Carter....who knew? She was perfect as the Queen Mother (as I will always think of her). I loved that Princess Margaret was fantastic little Karen in Outnumbered (and Princess Elizabeth looked vaguely familiar too). Guy Pearce...lordy, no hint of an Aussie accent there - a long, LONG way from Ramsay Street! Winston Churchill made me laugh....isn't he Peter Pettigrew from the Harry Potter movies??? Those jowls were fabulous. But Colin hard would that role have been? Seriously, he did a fabulous job. Made me sad to think what kind of upbringing he had.....I've never had much interest in the Royal Family but this made me want to find out more.

Other movies we've seen these holidays? Tangled was a surprise - Miss R & I went to see this on Monday and both thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit put off by how many under-10's were there, but it really would appeal to all age groups. There were a few very funny lines and the songs were good. It reminded me of  The Little Mermaid actually, in its tone (and THAT is a movie I've seen thousands of times!!) and I reckon this is another movie I'd be happy to watch again.

We all went to see Gulliver's Travels (or Gulliver's Travellers, as Miss R kept calling it) and I was expecting cr*p, but it wasn't actually that bad. You would have to be a Jack Black fan though - I loved him in School of Rock - as he plays the same type in all his movies.

Looks like we've missed Narnia though - no longer playing at Wallis (my cinema of choice) and I refuse to see anything at Marion since they introduced seat numbers on the tickets. Sorry, but *I* like to choose where I sit, not the computer. I had no interest in seeing Burlesque except Cher was on the Graham Norton show the other day and it made me re-think my position. Miss R is off to a friend's for 2 nights next week, so Mr G and I might go see something after work.....good grief, I can't remember the last movie we saw together, just the 2 of us!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Finished Creation

My first commisioned piece, in fact. Made for a workmate who has a new baby grand-daughter. I used this pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew and it was a breeze to make.

Look at that gorgeous blue sky!! Ignore the pegs on the line! LOL

A couple of blocks I particularly liked...

I'm also particularly happy with the free motion quilting. It was heaps of fun to do, but lordy, lordy, I hadn't realised just how much thread it uses!! The Bernina was well worth the money spent just for that (although I am still feeling some guilt over the cost of the new machine. Mum came through with a cheque for Xmas, but still, we could have bought a new couch for that money.)

I machine stitched the binding as usual, but had to go back over it in a few spots where it hadn't caught on the back. I cut this binding at 2.25" rather than 2.5" as I only j-u-s-t had enough but it meant there wasn't as much binding to 'play' with at the back. Overall though, I think it looks neater so I think I'll use the narrower binding again in the future.

Once again, the backing was from Ikea, pieced in the middle to make it wide enough.

Now I just have to work out what to charge her. I used a few scrap fabrics for the front, but with the fabric I did purchase + wadding + thread, it's around $100 already. I just don't feel I can justify charging for my time when I get so much enjoyment from the creating side. Still mulling that one over.

And now I'm starting on a project from this fantastic quilter and her book "The Practical Guide to Patchwork".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today I'm going to tackle the study! Wish me Luck!

Over the last few weeks, whenever the house has to be tidied, everything that didn't have a "home" was dumped in the study. This is the view from the doorway - I'm lucky I can even get inside!! (Look very carefully and you'll see a doggie in the entourage goes everywhere with me.)

So today I'm going to tidy this mess up. The box in the foreground holds the Janome which will be listed on eBay. There's another box back there that has some clothes Miss R has outgrown that I'll also list. Other stuff has been held on to for a garage sale but I'm debating whether it will just get carted off to Salvos instead. And I know there's a box of Tupperware in there somewhere and it might just be time to get ruthless with that too - if it doesn't fit in the kitchen, then it doesn't fit into my life! LOL

We have too much stuff - sometimes I'm appalled by how much stuff we have! I *was* intending to go to Ikea today but then I'll only be tempted to buy more.....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Good Weekend

What a good weekend! Started on Friday night with friends over for a BBQ - good friends, good conversation, good wine.....should definitely do it more often!!

Yesterday afternoon we went to "High Tea" at the Lakes Hotel for a 70th birthday. Lovely little sandwiches and scones, although nothing on the menu that suited fussy Miss R; after much persuasion she reluctantly ate half of chicken sandwich. Never mind, we stuffed ourselves.

Then this afternoon (after a lovely sleep in) I went to the movies, on my own, to see "The King's Speech". Thoroughly enjoyable and lovely to have some 'me' time.

On holidays again for the next week before back to work properly. Nothing planned except Miss R wants to see "Tangled" and I hope to finish the baby quilt for my workmate. Already thinking about my next project and hope to start cutting it out tonight; I just can't decide between 2 different projects from The Practical Guide to Patchwork. Ah, decisions, decisions!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Free Motion Quilting

Here's my first proper attempt at free motion quilting. I've attempted it before on my Janome but was never happy with it; just couldn't get the tension right. I bought the Bernina for the BSR in the hope that even *I* could manage free motion quilting with it, and I can!! My perfectionist streak can see major flaws with it but I'm ignoring that.....and I'm sure I'll improve with practice.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We went into the city to see the fireworks. Went with 2 other families and had planned to see the 9.00 fireworks and be home by midnight as Mr G had to work today. Unfortunately we were so busy chatting at B's house that we completely missed catching the tram in time, decided we'd just stay there and watch the fireworks on TV but the girls were so disappointed about not going anywhere that we ended up going in for the midnight fireworks after all. Crowd wasn't as horrendous as I imagined it would be and all in all, it was a lovely evening. (Thankfully it didn't get as hot as they had anticipated!!)

Here's a glimpse of the quilt I've been working on...

And here's the one I made for my sister for Christmas.

The front....and the back. The back is Ikea fabric. I love using their fabrics on the back and must venture in to stock up and see if they have anything new.

Hope your 2011 is everything you want it to be.