Sunday, July 22, 2007

My 'I Wish I Had A Dog' Quilt

Every year, a group of us do the kambrachallenge with the privilege of picking next years' theme rotating among the members of the challenge group.

For the 2007 kambrachallenge we had to make something using at least some of each of these fabrics. They are delightful aren't they? We have Michelle to thank for choosing these beauties. And she seemed like such a nice girl ...

Now, these fabrics are pretty much my idea of patchwork hell and if I were the kind of person who ever described a group of fabrics as being 'butt ugly' these fabrics would be at the top of the list. But I'm not that kind of person, so I won't.

Over the past 12 months, I was hard pressed to come up with something, anything, that wouldn't make me vomit or want to commit a felony just to get out of the challenge this year. Maybe serving 10 to 20 in a federal penal facility would have gotten me off the hook.

It named itself, this quilt, because if I had a dog, it would now have a new dog blanket.
Next year's challenge theme is 'This is Your Life'. I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Piecer I Am Not

I've spent the past week home trying to recover from a sore throat/chest cold. I found it too difficult to do any hand sewing when I had to stop and blow my nose every couple of minutes. So I decided to start piecing the challenge quilt from my local quilt group, Mosman Night Owls, for our meeting next week.

I knew what I wanted to do, sort of, and first had to unpick some squares I'd starting sewing together for another project but decided not to use. Unpicking isn't much fun, but it had to be done. I sewed the blue 4-patches and liked it so far.

Next, I wanted to put the blue 4-patches in alternating squares of bright orange and muddy orange, another 4-patch. I cut some strips and started sewing it all together and cut some more strips and sewed some more together. More of a vague idea that a real plan.

Then I realised I had mixed things up from the design wall to the sewing machine and got the bright/muddy orange squares mixed up. Check out the 3rd row ... the orange strip at the top of that row should have matched up with the rest of the block, bright with bright, muddy with muddy.

Heavy sigh ... more unpicking. Except that I unpicked the wrong stitching and had to unpick some more. By now, this had stopped being fun.

Now, this is looking better.

Just don't ask me how much more had to be unpicked and re-sewn to get to here. I now remembered why Real Piecers lay out the entire project before they start sewing (or at least read the directions). But that would take all the excitement out of it.

I liked it but it needed something. I had a couple of squares left over from a luscious turquoise hand dyed fabric I used up in another project. Was it worth sacrificing that project to get more turquoise squares?Nope, not for this.

Or for this. But maybe for something like this?

Like the idea behind this but don't think that the turquoise is the right colour, no matter how much I like it.

Stay tuned to see what this one ends up looking like.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Totally Out of Hand!

What was supposed to be Tinkerbell flitting from here to there is starting to look like Aladdin and his magic carpet ride.

I am loving the beading and hope you are too, Nic, but I'm afraid that it's thrown my design totally out of whack. Not sure how I'll get the map motif back into it, but what the heck. Time to throw caution to the wind, hold on tight and see where this one ends up ... Wish me luck!

A couple of things I've learned ... when you bead Timtex to death, it actually gets thinner and softer ... I like Silamide thread for beading, better than Nymo ... and now I know why Real Beaders use big beads to do this seed bead thing around. I'll remember that for next time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time for an Intervention!

It started off innocently enough. I agreed to do a book page swap with some friends. Lots of things happened and I missed the delivery date by a long way.

The theme for this page was 'Pathway and Passages'. I started with a contour map of Mt Warning, split across two facing pages.

I trimmed it up and mounted it on two pieces of Timtex and stitched the edges in a variegated thread.

Then, it was time ... Let the beading begin! My original plan was to bead a path from one high point to another on the map then bead some of the contour lines, you know, something simple. It was just the beginning of the slippery slope ...

It reminded me of the scene in Peter Pan where Tinkerbell flew across the screen. I didn't like the bugle beads ... too light for what I wanted. So I took them out and replace them with dark blue rock chips.

And added some more beads. And more ...

And now it's gotten totally out of hand. I've decided to add more seed beads to fill in the pathway.

When will it stop? When will it look like it's enough beading? Is it possible to be too thin, too rich or have too much beading?

It is so time for an intervention ...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Every year, I throw myself a birthday party at a local 5-star hotel near Circular Quay that has the best-est ever Sunday lunch buffet -- lots of very fresh and yummy seafood (prawns/shrimp, two kinds of crab, oysters), sushi, salads, roasts & veg, breads and desserts. I rarely make it past the seafood and dessert but have seen the rest of it on other people's plates.

I book a table for 12 (my shout) and only invite the friends that I want to have lunch with that year. The group changes from year to year depending on, well, random chance mostly. And it's 'Girls Only', much to the disappointment of husbands and partners whose claims of sexual discrimination fall on deaf ears. Because some of my friends have mobility problems, they can't stick us in the back in the corner ... we get a big table smack dab in the middle of the room, usually right next to the seafood part of the buffet. Cuts down on wasted travel time.

The odd bottle of champers which just to adds to the festive atmosphere and ... how shall I say it ... removes any hope of reserve or restraint from a very strong and enthusiastic group of women who start off the afternoon looking all mature and responsible. Imagine the looks we get from the patrons of this rather posh restaurant when the conversation really gets going! You can hear the laughter and conviviality from outside the restaurant in the lift lobby. Probably further.

Now, I actually look forward to my birthday every year. Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

8 Totally Random Things

Helen has tagged me and if I spend any time at all thinking about this it will be intellectualised to death and never happen. So, hang on, here we go ...
  1. I am much happier being divorced than I ever was being married.
  2. I am an absolute tragic when it comes to rugby and cricket which is even worse when you consider that I am a woman from America. If I were Canadian, it would at least make a bit of sense.
  3. Being a parent is the hardest, scariest and most thankless job I've ever undertaken.
  4. I can be incredibly brave and absolutely fearless about things that aren't personal, like saying and doing things that make other people gasp, but as soon as it becomes something personal, the walls go up.
  5. Playing with textile things is what keeps me from going completely insane. And most of what I make or do no one else ever sees. Too personal.
  6. There is no way that I would be able to make it though this life of mine without the unquestioning support and understanding of my friends. Made all the more amazing when you consider that I hardly ever actually see them. But they are there nonetheless.
  7. No one can treat you like your family. No one else would dare.
  8. I have more backbone and bigger cajones that most of the men I work with. And, most of the time, have absolutely no idea what I'm doing or how it will turn out. But I do it with such confidence that everyone believes me and supports my ideas. And it seems to work out.
Well, this took about 3 minutes to do. And I'm going to post it now before I have a chance to edit it into vanilla.

Here Comes the Sun