Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I had a quilting marathon and then a long holiday

I've been away having a grand old time in New Zealand with family and the time just whizzed by and now I have tons of catching up to do. I even prepared a couple of posts to publish while I was away but that never happened.
Thanks to the friends who emailed me to check that I was ok, I appreciate the kind thoughts of my blogging friends. My apologies to anyone waiting for panel nine of the vine quilt, I'll get to it soon, I promise.

I rushed the quilting on the Animal Alphabet quilt before leaving so I could gift it to the birthday girl and I managed that bar the binding which was done over there. Here's some progress shots from before the trip.
 
I spray basted two battings (wool) to the top to stitch around the applique first. After that was done, the bottom batting was trimmed away. In future, I'd not spray baste the bottom batt as it pulled away badly during trimming. I had to baste another batt to make up for the mess, I used a Quilters  Dream  Orient that I had in the cupboard.
After quilting through all the layers,washing the quilt and blocking it, I tried out these laser levels and my big square rulers to square it up and mark the edges for trimming. It worked a treat and I'll be doing this on every quilt from now on. It pays to have a couple of large trestle tables to do it on if you can't crawl around the floor.
Here's the back of the quilt. I didn't have enough of the animal fabric so I framed it with a plain white and I actually like it better I think as it shows off some of the quilting on the borders plus it makes the quilt reversible. 
I took the wrong camera battery with me so these are the only photos I have of the finished quilt which I took on the i pad.

I had no sewing prepped to take away with me, I haven't done any since I got back either. I did play around with wool and knitting needles though. I hope I get my quilting mojo back soon.
 
I was busy while away, I spent two weeks with family and caught with my Mum who as some of you know has Alzheimer's and is in a home. We took her out for a Yum Cha lunch and a look around the shops. I think she enjoyed it and the little ones did too. I can see the deterioration in Mum which saddens me immensely, she was quiet and subdued, no doubt due to the drugs she's on. She's not the Mum I knew.

I then bought the two youngest girls back to Australia for two weeks holiday. Afer that, I took them back home and stayed for another seventeen days. I sure do miss them all and would seriously consider moving there but the timing isn't right yet.
Here's one of my favourite photos taken at Darling harbour. The conversation between Sophie and her Dah was very deep and meaningful about the poor quality of the chocolate icing on the donut. Chocolate appreciation runs in the family you know.
Ella and Sophie. 
Now that I'm back from my break, I hope to catch up with you soon.
Janet 

49 comments:

Oops-Lah said...

How lovely to see you are back in blog land. So glad you had a good break with family (and also from quilting, sometimes that's necessary too). I love your alphabet quilt. No doubt the birthday girl was trilled. What a fantastic idea to use those laser levels to square up the quilt. I'm very sorry about your mum; must have been so sad for you to see. As you know, my mum was also diagnosed with dementia earlier in the year, so I have an idea of what you are dealing with.

Kate said...

Welcome home Janet!! The animal quilt has turned out beautifully; your machine quilting is great too...bet it was well received.

Patchwork and Play said...

So sorry to hear about your dear Mum...remember the happy times... The animal quilt is amazing! What a treat for the birthday girl!

Darlene said...

I've missed you and all your inspiration but I'm so glad you had a wonderful holiday with your family. Beautiful little ones.

Raewyn said...

Nice to see you back - glad you had a great holiday and I'm sure your mojo will return soon. The abc quilt is absolutely beautiful!! I'm sure the birthday girl absolutely loved it - I like the idea of how the backing turned out, with a border to showcase your quilting.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

What a special alphabet quilt!

be*mused jan said...

So happy to see your post pop up in the feed tonight, Janet. You were missed, but it sounds like you had some lovely time with your family.
Your animal quilt is darling.

Nat Palaskas said...

Welcome back Janet. I did missed your post popping up on my side bar. Glad you had a lovely time in the good old country NZ. I just love that alphabet quilt. It's beautiful, the lucky little girl would have been thrilled - Hugs
Nat

Christine said...

There you are, I am so glad you have had a wonderful time, oh I love the quilt and I am sure it will be loved.

Sorry to read about your Mum, must be hard to leave.

Miriam said...

Welcome back Janet!!
Great to hear you have had a wonderful time with family.
Sorry to hear about your Mum.

The alphabet quilt is stunning!!! It will be treasured for years! Love the butterfly wings!

I hope your quilting mojo returns soon. :)

Heather said...

Welcome back, you were missed. Love the quilting on your animal quilt and the backing is perfect!

taylorsoutback said...

The Alphabet quilt is absolutely adorable and such a happy mix of critters and colors!

Clever you - using those laser levels in quilting...hmmm...perhaps a Christmas gift for my husband and then I could "borrow" them from time to time!

Welcome back and the news of your Mum is sad to learn...we are in the beginning stages of a similar journey with my Mom and I miss the years of togetherness all ready.

Taryn said...

You have perfected the swirly quilting. Your alphabet quilt is adorable. When you get back to blogging I would love to learn more about the laser levels for squaring up a quilt. I am sorry about your mother. How bittersweet it must be seeing your darling grandchildren combined with watching your mother fade away.

Dar said...

Janet, Glad to see you back online again. Your alphabet quilt is darling. Loved the bright colors and like the fact that it's reversible. Glad you had a good visit with family.

Kaaren said...

Your alphabet quilt is remarkable, Janet. Another winner to be sure.

You've been missed my friend. Sounds like you had a great vacation with your family. I'm sure that your mojo will return before you know it and it'll be "life as usual" before long.

Hugs.

Julia said...

Good to have you home safe Janet.
Love the quilt and the quilting..

I am travelling that journey with my DH...I know how hard it is..
Julia ♥

Shirley said...

Hi Janet, Glad to see you back and posting. Sorry to hear about the deterioration in your Mum's condition. I know how hard it is. The mojo will return and will be even better for having had a little holiday of its own. Looks like you had some quality time with your family. The quilt is divine and the idea for levelling the edges ingenious. Definitely will have to borrow that one. Lots of love.x

Marit said...

No better way to take a little break from quilting, than to spend time with your loved ones. Your alphabet quilt is so playful and pretty with fantastic quilting. What a beautiful gift! I love your way of squaring it up. Thank you for sharing Janet!
; )

Rachaeldaisy said...

How funny, I was just thinking today about emailing you. It sounds like you've had lots of quality family time. Its wonderful to see your super fun quilt. Its interesting to see you used those lasers for squaring up, you always come up with great tips!

sewyouquilt2 said...

sorry about your mom. that is tough watching someone that is not the person you know. I love your idea with the laser levels! and that alphabet quilt is absolutely gorgeous! fabulous job!

Jessica said...

The quilt looks amazing! And the laser levels are a brilliant idea!
I am glad you had a good break and caught up with your family! Welcome back!

Stephanie said...

Coincidentally I was just thinking of you recently. So glad you are well, refreshed, and back to share your incredible work with us. That is the most darling quilt ever. I hope the joy of being with your grandchildren helps balance the sadness of watching your mom decline.

Silvana said...

An amazing quilt! :)

*karendianne. said...

So happy to see you. Glad to know you had time for yourself with your family and grandchildren. The hope of the future in front of yours eyes to soothe the spirit my friend. So sorry about the pain of losing Mom this way.

The alphabet quilt... too cute and divine if I may say so.

Smiling your way. Hugs, *karendianne.

Thimbleanna said...

Yipee! You're back! It sounds like you've had some wonderful family time. Your Animal Alphabet is fabulous -- what a lot of work! Sorry to hear about your Mum -- it's so very sad. My Mom is just starting down the same path and already I feel like it's not the same Mom. I hate watching parents grow old -- it's just so heartbreaking!

jill said...

So glad to have you back in the saddle and so sorry to hear about your Mom. Mine has not walked since last December - so I know the difficulties.

Love the alphabet quilt. What is the fabric on the back? Any chance I could find some now you think? JILL

Sandra said...

Welcome back! I definitely missed your blog, but I am happy you were off having fun with your family. This alphabet quilt is spectacular. Your talent is just incredible. Using lasers to square up is a fascinating idea. I hope you will have time to blog more about how that works.

Marjorie said...

Laser levels! Brilliant. Adding them to the Christmas list as we speak.

Lori said...

Great to hear from you. It sounds like an amazing holiday!! I'm sure the quilt was loved immensely! It turned out really great!

Robin said...

Welcome back! It sounds like you had a wonderful time away from blogland. Thanks so much for sharing your finished quilt-- it turned out so beautifully!!! I have one of her other patterns-- it may need to move to the top of the pile as a next project. The laser levels are such a great idea too.

Mary said...

I missed you. What a fun summer you're having! Quilting mojo comes and goes. As long as you're enjoying what you do, all's good.

Teresa said...

Your A-B-C quilt is fantastic...did you design it?? Most Alphabet quilt look too baby-ish. At 52, I am attracted to this quilt!! Your machine quilting is so nice, even and complimentary to all the appliqued animals and letters.

Glad you had a good holiday! You were missed! I lost my Mom earlier this year and she had Alzheimers as well as other medical issues. She had not been herself for years...I think she was just enough herself to be miserable. I'm glad you had a nice long visit.

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Sharon said...

Welcome home. I certainly hope you have printed all your alphabet pieces and are writing a pattern for this quilt. It is super cute and I know it would sell!

SewWhatsNew said...

Welcome back to the blogland. Your quilt is very pretty. Did you quilt it on your Bernina? Sorry to hear about your Mother.I am away from my family also, so I feel your pain. I am thinking about some NZ meat pie. Better go dig that recipe. LOL.

Doris said...

Oh, Janet, I have this pattern... seeing your's makes me really want to get at it! I also have the Worry People pattern, which to do first?!

I can understand the deep meaningful discussion... been there. ;-)

Salley said...

Ha Ha . Laser Levels! You are a minefield of useful info Janet. Thanks!
Fabulous quilting too.

Susan said...

Welcome back!!!

I never would have thought to use laser levels to square a quilt! Great idea!!!

The quilt turned out just beautiful too!

Ellie-Mae said...

Laser levels = double cheeseburger genius award.

Mimi said...

What a treat to see your quilt! I love it. The backing is absolutely adorable, too. Perfect fabric for your quilt Glad you got to spend a lot of time with family. Alzheimers....I have lost two very important people in my life to that horrid disease. It is sad all the way around it. Enjoy your time with her and just hold on to your great memories of her. Thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

Hi Janet! So glad you're back and had a good visit :0) Your animal quilt is absolutely incredible!! The puff of the trapunto is wonderful. And the quilting is amazing!!
I'm not longing for panel #9 yet - lol. But, I'm very close to finishing panel #5 and loving every minute of it :0)

Barb said...

welcome back. Looks like you had a lovely Holiday!
love the laser idea!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Welcome back! The alphabet quilt is amazing and I love your laser levels - what a clever idea!

Dixie said...

So happy to see you back, and glad you had a nice, long visit with your family. The animal quilt is adorable and lucky for the recipient! Looking forward to your future posts! Dixie

Marie said...

Welcome back, Janet, and it's so good to hear that you have been enjoying the company of those you love. Your quilt is exquisite and perfection - I'll bet that the birthday girl now finds reasons to go to bed. Don't worry about your quilting mojo - it will come back when you are ready.

Lina said...

WELOME BACK Janet!!! Love your alphabet quilt and the backing. Glad you had a wonderful time with your family! So sorry to hear about your Mum.

Linda said...

Kellie's Alphabet Quilt pattern is wonderful isn't it? You made yours beautifully, and the quilting is divine.

Thanks for the laser square-up tip too! I just might have to invest in a couple of those.

And I loved the picture of Sophie and Dah. I've been at that exact spot in Darling Harbour!

Annemart Berendse said...

Love the laser idea!!! How do you know for sure you're measuring square corners? You quilt looks great.

Sarah said...

Welcome back Janet! Glad to hear you're ok. You are usually so prolific, so I was beginning to wonder... Anyway, sounds like you had a brilliant trip away. Fantastic! The alphabet quilt is AMAZING!!! Wow! I trust the recipient appreciated it. xx

KaHolly said...

The alphabet quilt is absolutely stunning. Just "WOW"!