Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quilting in progress

I've never quilted before, let alone attempted free-motion-quilting, so I've spent a number of evenings this week working it all out. Elizabeth from Oh Fransson! explains the process really well. Doodling with pencil and paper, BEFORE you attempt free-motion-quilting on your machine is very helpful.

Here is the quilt ready for my first 'live' go at quilting. I took a VERY big breath before I started ... and then I hear that awful noise of the bobbin thread getting tangled. Argh! I then had to spend 15 minutes unpicking.
After the unpicking I made reasonable progress. My stitching does overlap in some places, however I don't think it will be that noticible when the whole quilt is completed. (Fingers crossed).

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Birthday shirt

For my sisters birthday this year I wanted to do something unusual and give her a big surprise. I decided a unique t-shirt would be well received, so I sent her an email requesting a list of "things that make you happy and that you love". That email really had her wondering what I was up to!

Using the list that she supplied and I created a word cloud of her favorite things. I then printed the word cloud onto Epsom transfer paper and then ironed the transfer onto a white t-shirt.

I think she is fairly happy with her pressie, and she certainly was surprised.

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Happy birthday kiddo ... I hope you had a good day!
Edited to add:
1) When you print onto the transfer paper, you need to print a mirror image of the text. To print a mirror image you need to change your printer settings. For my printer there is a check box titled Mirror.
2) The transfer paper instructions recommended printing using the Fine 720 dpi setting. I found this reduced the size of the text too much and made the transfer too small. Instead I printed with the default print quality and the t-shirt turned out fine.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The inspiring Syko

I have just found Kajsa's blog and am completely blown away by her talent as a fabric artist. I hope you find her work as wonderful as I have.

She is currently creating an interactive project in which her blog readers suggest various motifs that they would like to see on Kajsa's fabric picture. Kajsa then draws one of the suggestions and incorporates that motif in her picture. What fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quilt front & back now complete

I've now finished piecing both the front and back of the Mod Sampler Quilt from the quilt-along. For my first quilt I'm really happy with the results. My quilt blocks went together well and the rows and columns of blocks are pretty straight. I'm not certain about my rainbow colour scheme. Sometimes I love it and other times I feel it is too bright and 'bitty'. Certainly the next quilt I do will involve fewer colours.

Having the rainbow colour scheme certainly simplified the choice of colours. Without the confines of a rainbow colour scheme I could see myself spending months trying to select colours that worked together. The rainbow colour scheme stopped me stalling and allowed me to actually start my first quilt.

I am now itching to quilt this thing. I'd love to do it on the weekend, but we have guests and it would be best not to rush into the quilting. I'll spend the next week or so practicing and then I'll dive in and stipple the quilt. Everything crossed that it will go smoothly!!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

quick recovery

Thankfully my concern about Robert's ankle was unfounded as he only has a tiny limp this morning and his mobility isn't affected. I am one relieved Mummy!


OK ... enough of the health posts. I promise some more sewing posts tomorrow!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

...and a sprained ankle

Robert's fractured arm is obviously feeling a lot better as he has started throwing himself about and generally enjoying life. He is getting frustrated sometimes, but is adapting well. Actually, he is doing so well that he now appears to have sprained his ankle. He was kicking a soccer ball around and then came in limping and complaining of a sore foot. (It just happens to be the ankle that he fractured when he was about 19months old). He can't really walk on it ... he gets about a metre and then asks to be carried. We are hoping that when he wakes up tomorrow morning he will be fully recovered. If not then I suppose we'll visit the doctor...

Dear next-door neighbour

Dear next door neighbour,

When you installed your spa right right next to our bedroom you were nice enough to visit us to let us know it was to be installed. You assured us that you would not disturb us with its use and that we were to contact you if there were ever any problems.

Since it was installed it has been installed it has disturbed us on numerous occasions. We have been tolerant and have let these occasions slip by. This morning, Sunday 19th April, your spa woke as at 5:15am. Yes, that's right. 5:15am. Perhaps tomorrow I could blower-vac some leaves by your bedroom window at a similar time. I am sure you would be delighted.

I did telephone your house this just before 6am this morning to request that the spa be turned off. You were not at home. I am not sure if it was your daughter or a house-sitter who answered the phone. I do appreciate that you weren't present when the spa was used. We would like you to discuss suitable spa operation times with the people who look after your house.

While I am talking to you about this matter I'd also like you to be aware that on other occasions we have been woken:

- at 3am by the noises of people having sex in your spa. The same thing occurred for 3 consecutive nights.

- at 2am by someone in the spa loudly singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music". He had a nice voice, granted. However it would have sounded a lot nicer at a different time of day.

- at around 3am by loud music whilst the spa was being used. The music was so loud that you could not hear your telephone.

- numerous other times when you have had a party and the spa has prevented us from falling asleep.

From my research today it appears that spas and pool pumps should only be used from 7am (9am on Sundays) to 10pm. After that, if the noise can be heard inside my house then the noise is considered to be excessive.

Please give these factors consideration.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilt progress & Robert's progress

I took Robert to the hospital earlier today to have his arm checked. They xrayed it and once again couldn't find a fracture. The doctor prodded and poked the poor boy and made him flinch considerably. Verdict is that it is a minor fracture and they will continue treating it as a fracture. Robert is to continue wearing his sling for 3 weeks. (He will be a very smelly boy by the end of it!) We are then to return to the hospital, the sling will be removed and he should be all healed up.
On the quilting front, progress is being made daily.

All blocks for the quilt front are in place. Just need to trim the horizontal sashing, sew four more strips of sashing to form a rectangle around the quilt, and then the quilt top will be complete. The white sashing is a bit start, I have been thinking that perhaps I should have used cream or light grey. Oh well ... I'm certainly not going to unpick it all now!!!
Feeling like I'm on the home straight ... but then I still have to quilt the thing ... uh oh! I'd better make up some 'quilt sandwiches' so that I can teach myself Free Motion Quilting.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sashing in progress

About half way through sewing the sashing. I am really happy with how the quilt is turning out. Things are lining up nicely. Let's hope it continues that way!!
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Another broken bone...

It is 99% certain that Robert has a Supracondylar Fracture of the Humerus ... ie a fractured elbow.

Fantastic. Can I scream now?

We were having a dinner party. Robert attempted to jump over someones legs, but tripped instead. Much screaming followed. The screaming continued for the 20 minute trip to the children's hospital. He was triaged as a priority and jumped the queue. Codeine and Neurofen followed. There was also talk of morphine, but that (thankfully) wasn't required. No fracture could be seen on the xray, but all other symptoms were present so the hospital is assuming that he has a fracture. Apparently the location of this fracture can make it hard to see in an xray. He is immobilised in a "Collar and Cuff" sling, which places the hand up near the neck. We aren't allowed to remove the sling (it is cable-tied on). We have to go back to the hospital in a week to have it reviewed. No idea now long it will take to heal. Fingers crossed that they have it all wrong and it is a bad sprain. I really hope so, but I don't like our chances.

It is his left arm and he is right handed. Whew.

No idea how I'm going to entertain the kids for the holidays now. Bob won't be able to trampoline & bike ride. Normally he spends a lot of time doing those things. We can strap him into his carseat but I'm not that happy with how safe he would be, given one hand is under the straps. I guess we'll use the car if we have to, but avoid it where we can. I'll have to cancel the week of swimming lessons, which was meant to start on the 20th.

Poor little lad.

We've done this before. He fractured his ankle when he was about 18 months. I had a 2.5 year-old and also a 3 month old at home. We dealt with the situation then and we'll deal with it now. This time has to be easier. I think we'll explore a lot of places on the bus and the train.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Budding artist

First face drawing
Originally uploaded by feebeez.
Sharing a proud mummy moment with you ... Here is a picture of the first face drawn by my 2.5-year-old. It reminds me of The Scream.

Mod Sampler Quilt-Along

Mod Sampler Quilt-Along
Originally uploaded by feebeez.

All blocks are now complete for the Mod Sampler Quilt-Along from Oh Fransson! . In the above photo I've laid them out on the bed per Oh Fransson's suggestion. I do think I'll tweak the block layout a bit and have a blue block in each column.

Next step is to sew sashing around the blocks. I'll be using white.

Overall I'm fairly happy with how this is turning out. It is pretty loud. Sue to rushing, I had trouble with the '4-stripe' blocks. Initially I sewed them together quickly as I knew how simple they were to do .... however I ended up using a seam allowance slightly larger than 1/4" and the blocks were too small. I decided to do the 'right thing' and unpick all 6 blocks and redo them. Second time around I messed them up again. For some reason the side of the blocks not impacted on by seam allowances was too small and I had to resort to Freezer Paper to make them larger. I am concerned that I've relied on the Freezer Paper too much and that there is insufficient fabric left in the seam. This is hard to explain ... I'll have to add a photo to illustrate.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Raffle winnings

I'm a little stunned ... My 3.5 year-old just won an Ipod Nano 8GB in an Easter raffle. Sure beats winning chocolate!

I know I haven't updated in a while. I've been busy quilting ... and painting the house. Photos and a decent update will come tomorrow.
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