My vacuum cleaner stopped working a few weeks ago. I just picked it up from the repair shop. They found a blockage ... a large blockage ... this sodding great long piece of wooden dowel was lodged in the handle. (The knife is in the photo for a size comparison).
I am 99.9% sure it was the cleaner and not the kids who did it. A while ago I had to pull a full-sized cotton bandanna out of the vacuum cleaner bag, which I was sure the cleaner had sucked up. I'd fire them right now if I didn't have house guests for the next 3 weeks. We are certainly going to have a serious discussion about what gets sucked up.
I've finished the Setting Blocks for Ruby's star quilt. Here a preview of how the stars will look with the setting blocks. The position of the stars will change. I'll decide where they go once I receive the remaining blocks from the Virtually Bequilted bee, and have made a couple of stars myself.
I was wondering if anyone would be interested in doing a Christmas Themed swap? It would be a bit like playing Secret Santa.
- Each participant would be assigned a person, and they would then make a mini-quilt for their person. The mini quilt would probably be a wall-hanging or table runner (or we could make mug rugs if the majority wanted).
- You would customise the mini-quilt to your partner's taste (partners will have to give clues as to what they would like, and preferably make a mosaic in Flickr to show some similar items that they like).
- The quilt will be using your own material and supplies.
- As you are making the quilt, you will be required to put up a few 'sneak peaks' in Flickr. (Your partner won't know that they will be receiving a quilt from you, so they will be able to admire the various 'sneak peaks' and speculate about which they may receive).
- It would have to be posted on or before a specified shipping date (probably around 7th December... so you will only have about 5 or 6 weeks to make your item). The shipping date will be strict ... as everyone will want to receive their 'present' and have enough time to enjoy it before Christmas.
If you are interested, please leave a comment. Also state which type of quilt you'd like the swap to involve ... ie mini quilt for wall hanging, or table runner, or mug rug. Only stick your hand up if you have enough time to produce and ship something. I know lots of us still have blocks to complete for VBQ so it may not be feasible to run the swap right now! If enough people are interested I'll organise something! PS a Mug Ruby is like an oversized coaster. Large enough to have a mug and a biscuit sitting on it.
A while ago I managed to snap this photo of my niece while we were at the zoo. She is running towards me and literally has both of her feet off the ground. It was a fluke shot as I was still raising the camera up and randomly pointed it towards her and pushed the button.
I need to make 12 setting blocks. They are to the same dimensions as Amanda Jean's. Here is a mock-up. I still need to sew the components together.
And finally, here is the block that Rosemary sent to me for the Virtually BeQuilted bee. The block will be incorporated in Ruby's quilt. Apologies to Rosemary as I received the block a long time time ago and kept forgetting to photograph it and blog it.
If you'd like to look at some other Create Spaces, pop over to Kootoyoo
This block goes by the name of "Mosaic No 18", "Old Pointsettia Block", and "Spinning Stars". The design dates back to 1898. (I found the design in Jinny Beyers' "Quilters Album of Blocks &Borders").
Alisa wanted us to use colour and patterns to create 3D illusions.Unfortunately the block isn't as 3D as I thought it would be. (I even went to the extent of photographing the fabrics and pasting them into the block design in Photoshop before I started the block). Despite the 3D not being as obvious as I hoped, I really love how the block has turned out.
Construction of the block had a few dramas. I'd cut out every thing and had begun sewing before I realised I had cut all of my squares for the HST .5" too big. Eeeek!!! However, after I had calmed down I worked out it was a realtively easy to fix to trim everything down to size. Not sure if the trimming helped my points ... but the block has the best points I've ever achieved.
For the Virtually BeQuilted bee. Anna asked us to create 4 blocks based on Noongar (Australian Aboriginal) seasons. A difficult brief! In my mind I was going to have to applique each block. The difficult question was, what to put on the blocks? The information that I read on Noongar seasons discussed the which flowers were in bloom during each season, and there was also some mention of animals.
I sketched the applique images based on photos of flowers and animals that I found on Flickr. I then used raw-edge applique to attach the images to the blocks.
Fe had been assigned the month of 'August', so I am a couple of weeks late sending her block to her. She supplied us with the following two lovely fabrics:
She set a theme of Adventure ie trying something you haven't tried before re design/construction - not colour - as we were to stick to the palette of her fabrics. She was also happy to receive square blocks of various sizes (between 10" and 15" square).
She chose the above fabrics because they reminded her of the Moorishaesthetic found in places like the Alhambra, and the wrought iron work of some of the room dividers. Her inspiration links made me think of Cathedral Window quilts .... and they certainly fit the 'adventure' category too!
Here is the block that I made. The coloured fabric of the windows is just under 2" square. The background fabric is constructed from 9 x 7" squares of fabric, which were folded multiple times before being stitched together and the windows being added.
Unfortunately the block ended up being undersize. I made an error somewhere in my calculations! However, after spending over 6 hours making the block I wasn't about to start again. I am hoping that Fe will be able to work with the size, either adding a border or turning it into a cushion to compliment the quilt / quillow that the makes.
I really like how it looks and despite swearing I was never going to make another Cathedral Window again, I have the *perfect* fabric for another...
Kate wanted us to make her some stars. She sent 4 precut fabric squares from a layer cake (I can't remember which range it was from). The fabric wasn't my style. I liked the individual fabrics, but not the four of them together. Consequently I struggled to come up with a star design incorporating the fabrics. Kate was happy for us to add small amounts of solid fabric from the palette ... however I knew she loved the fabric that had been sent and I really wanted to just use those fabrics.
I decided to make her a Maveric Star and I do like the final result.
Frances requested asked us to create something inspired by symmetry, tessellations, art nouveau and art deco, and kaleidoscope blocks. There were three fabrics that she provided, two greens and a print. The print was particularly striking with strong geometric lines.
I had some trouble finding a block design which would work with the fabrics. The first few I investigated required more of the print than I had. I ended up using "Unknown Star" from Jinny Beyer's website I 'cheated' a little as the design is the same as the block that Kate made for me.
The block required set-in-seams (or Y seams). First time I've tried to sew them and it is hard! My block puckered up once I'd done the Y seams. I clearly need to try some different methods of sewing Y seams and find something that works for me.
Jeff had to go away for work for about 6 weeks, so the kids and I had to find ways to cope by ourselves. The most difficult part was jamming all of the 'physical requirements' into the day. One-on-one homework and piano practice were probably the hardest tasks to stay on top of.
We explored some new things on weekends...
... such as walking underneath Mt Henry bridge...
... and playing on the 'beach' on the other side...
On the way back across the bridge Robert decided to have a race with an unsuspecting jogger. She looked down to find this little chap keeping up with her. She thought it was hilarious!
Continuing on with catching the blog up for the last 4 months of life...
Laura's beloved doll, Tiny Tim, gained a new pair of trousers, which I created by 'draping'. I'm amazed that they worked out so well! (Particularly as Laura 'helped' me for the entire process).
To create the trousers, I started with two rectangles, held one rectangle wrapped around the waist/leg on one side and worked out where the crotch should be. I then guessed the crotch curve and chopped that out of both rectangles. Next step was to sew the inseam of each rectangle up to the crotch curve. I then placed the two rectangles inside each other, matched the crotch curves and sewed the curve, thereby joining the rectangles together. Elastic was then added and voila, we had some trousers. I still need to make a matching top!
Ruby went from having lots of teeth to having a big gap. Initially she had 4 wobbly teeth. The front two were so wobbly that they moved when she breathed. Eating was rather difficult!!! The first tooth was knocked out at school while Ruby was doing the conga!
The second tooth fell out 2 days later ... it got stuck in a banana.
It has been a while, hasn't it? Since I blogged last, Robert has turned 5, Laura has turned 4, and many craft things have been made. Brace yourself for a number of 'catch-up posts'!
Robert turned 5 way back at the end of may. He had a dinosaur party, which was attended by a handful of pretty princesses:
The party featured a paper-mache dinosaur land, complete with exploding volcano. There were also dinosaur eggs (bath bombs made from citric acid and bicarbonate of soda ... they had a plastic dinosaur in the middle, which the kids 'hatched' when they put them in the bath that evening).
There was a yummy dinosaur cake....
... My husband said the cake looked like a rabbit. Frankly, I don't think rabbit when I see it ... and I don't think dinosaur either! It was a bit of a decorating disaster. (If you squint when you look at the cake ... think dinosaur head, not entire body ... marshmallows are the eyes, there is a horn to the right, and the red smarties are a dino smile).