Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Missing in action

Not really missing but I have been crazy busy and spent the weekend on a quilt retreat with my stitching group plus I've had Dh home recuperating from an operation, nothing serious folks.

Here's a little report on what I got up to at the retreat. I didn't know what I'd feel like doing so I took  a few projects so I could decide when I got there. I did want to play with a couple of things and I got to do just that.

You might recognise this fabulous bag as a free tutorial from Pink Penguin. I made this one for a family member and now I'm just going to have to make one for myself. You can't stop at just one. The drawstring pouch is attached to the tote which makes the bag very roomy inside.
I got a request from one of my grandchildren for a soft and cuddly quilt that had to have animals, specifically zebras. Now I hear that's changed to giraffes. Just as well this one will cover all bases.
I'm using this Don't Look Now pattern , the Animal Alphabet. I'm not sure how soft it'll be using fusible web and machine applique but that might not get noticed.
Of course all the details will be added with the machine later including eyes, feelers and other important parts.
I did have some problems concentrating on reverse animals so I have to make another alligator facing the other direction.
 I'm pretty sure somebody is going to ask what a vulture is but as I said, I'm covering all my bases.
I won another giveaway, this time from Kelly at Pinkadot Quilts. I love this book for some ideas it's giving me for some bag embellishing. It looks like more time is needed to play. Thanks Kelly, I love that it's signed by the author, Cheryl Lynch too.
I didn't want to make this post too long so I'll be back soon with the other thing I got to play with at retreat.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Loaves and stitches

Thanks to all of you who helped me make a decision regarding which backing to go on my Coxcomb and Currants quilt. It really helped me make up my mind. This is the Windham bird toile that I thought would be good but after thinking about shadowing and other things, I decided it would be better saved for another quilt.
I had trouble getting a suitably off white wide back but ended up with this Moda Muslin in warm white. It's a 200 thread count, a bit of a higher thread count than what I'd prefer for hand quilting but it'll do.
As you can see I have basted the quilt and started some hand quilting. You might have to click the photo to see it better.
This won't be done in a hurry, I'm quilting 1/4 inch straight lines in the background. I have to pace myself since after a few evenings of quilting, I was waking in the night with tingling, numb hands. It's being done in the hoop so there's a lot of wrangling happening when going around the circles.
What else has been going on, well I've had some lovely mail from Sarah over at Kit-Bik Quilts. I won her  awesome giveaway of  lots of yummy fabrics including Liberty lawn scraps, taupe Japanese fabrics and Denyse Schmidt's. Thanks Sarah!!
Skip the rest of the post if you want, it's all about my bread making. Ive been baking a whole heap of bread, mostly sourdough and the starter is going so well that I decided to rename bubbles. What a prissy name anyway. He shall now be called Chuck after Chuck Norris cause he's just as strong.
I've turned into a major bread head and I've started to experiment a bit more. This one is spelt and quinoa flakes. Makes me feel healthy just saying it. The ancient grains are making a big comeback, have you noticed?
I make up my own formulas and recipes now and love this fig and walnut loaf with a bit of honey, wholemeal flour and cinnamon. It's delicious with cheese.
I made two different Tuscan schiaccatas with some dried yeast yesterday.
Buffalo mozzarella, basil and sweet cherry tomatoes. I like it better than pizza.
The seedless grape with raw sugar and olive oil, otherwise known as schiacciata con l'uva.
thanks for visiting, till next time, Janet

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd love some advice

I finished stuffing all the trapunto on my Coxcomb and currants quilt and spent several evenings carefully trimming the muslin off the back. I couldn't be happier, it's turning out just how I imagined in my mind. Excuse the photo, it had to go on the washing line but you'll get the idea.

I've been mulling over how to proceed for the last week. My dilemma is the backing and I have ordered a red bird toile. Who knows if that's coming, I've had no communication with the online shop to tell me they have enough or if it's been shipped.
Of course it's going to be hand quilted and I want to quilt inside the applique with red and green threads. I thought that if I used a solid off white wide back, it might look ugly with those threads on the back but then again, it would show up the trapunto.
If I use a patterned backing, it wouldn't show up the trapunto. I haven't seen enough antique applique red and green quilts to know what they did in those times but you might.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are. What would you do if this was your quilt?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday stash

It looks like I've been buying up a storm to make up for a few months of not being tempted. I don't normally go for sewing themed fabrics but I just had to get a metre each of these retro prints. I can see all sorts of uses for these.Click on the pics to see them larger.
I've been on the look out for some cheap vintage embroidered cloths and found these for a few dollars each as that's all I'm prepared to spend on them.
I'm always on the look out for good greens and these ones are a good mix.
I'll put these ones in the box with my other fabrics for the Vine quilt. The reds with a black overprint have been hard for me to get my hands on.
The next four packs of fabric are from a shopping trip to Quiltsmith a couple of weeks ago.  I've got the pattern for Sue Garman's Friends of Baltimore quilt and I'm resisting a start as I must keep on with a couple of other projects first. I'm being very disciplined, how unlike me. Shopping for extra fabrics is allowed and when I give in to temptation, I'll have what I need.
Click on the photos to see what the packs are.