Athens time

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Diddi's lighthouse, right way up!

Originally uploaded by rafael's mum
This is a test.... I am trying out whether I can blog directly from flickr...

Wish me luck!

Mail in (Yay!!) and out...

This weekend I have been very busy trying to get half way to catching up on all my commitments...

Bee blocks were first;

The block for Sarah's quilt to go to Belgium. Sarah wanted to me a quilt with a Mondrian inspiration. This is the resulting block. It looks easy doesn't it... but getting those 1/4" seam allowances EXACT is not as easy as it looks! but I got the black lines at exactly 0.5 inch... phew...

Diddi sent us fabrics for a lighthouse block. This being the Beachy Head lighthouse on the South of England near Eastbourne, just off the famous white cliffs.

You must excuse me the picture being not rotated. I am STILL struggling majorly with Picasa... I cannot load pics out of picasa... I move them in and they stay in.... So I have kept them ALL on the memory card to be able to load them here, which is now full.... all 4GB of it... So I will have to load into Picasa and erase the card to be able to take more....

However, I thought that loading onto blogger straight from the memory card should be possible. And it is... but... when viewing, it seems to be set to view in Picasa. Now in my old programme, if I rotated the picture and moved on to the next, it would save the new setting... In Picasa the picture turns, but as soon as you leave... it flips back.. and if you load it onto blogger... it is still wrong....

I am pleased all the photos are now in one place (Picasa) but not being able to get them out or rotate them is going to be a major headache... How will I get them printed, put on blogger, put on flickr?? And how am I going to manage to rotate so it will stay.... I have a far way to go with this and feeling pretty desperate about it (but that might be the dyslexia...)

In the meantime... I will upload them from the SD card even if they are the wrong way and if I ever learn how to do it, I will go back and repair... but it could be a while! So you have to bear with me... Best to upload them rather than just put into Picasa and have them stuck there!
This is the back of the lighthouse block (sorry... crane the neck again....), I thought it look quite jolly!

On the incoming mail I got two lovely surprises!

First one in the door was an envelope from Corrie at QuiltTaffy;

I was one of the first commenters on her post on going to market (loovely photos of all the fruit and the market) and so she shared some goodies. My present was a Quilt Taffy beer mat (isn't it sweet?) and some mini japanese cards... They are mini mini and sooo sweet! Thanks Corrie!

Then I got a lovely parcel from my Canadian friend Karen;

A lovely book, a self made spiral (it's really fantastic... sooo much work in that!) and all wrapped in fabric too (the best wrapping there is!!)

Thank you so much Karen, really looking forward to reading the book. I have plans for your lovely spiral too!

All in all a very fruitfull and productive weekend sewing wise... Now on with some bed-building for our youngest after a trip to Ikea before the next sewing batch I promised to go out!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Most interesting craftroom - My Winners Parcel arrived !!!

LOOK!! What came in the post!!

The sewing package worth Aus$100 that I won in the competition where you had to submit a photo of your craftroom and friends could vote for which one they liked best!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who voted for me again. I was overwhelmed with how many people did and how many nice comments I got. Thank you all so much!!

And A BIG Thank you too to the Oz Material Girls who put the competition on and put such a wonderful package together! You can find them on their website, their blog or pattern shop and they have a lot of lovelies on their site so it is well worth a visit! So when you have had a look at the fantastic package they sent me... run along and pay them a vist as well.

Many people have asked what I received, and we all (including me....) had to wait for a bit, whilst the postal services here decided they could not find the very cleary and correctly written address and informed the Material Girls we did not exist!! Luckily, once they received the parcel back, they posted it again immediately (Thanks so much Louise, you have been great) and this time it arrived ! Phew.....

So without further ado.... TA DAAAAAA........

This is the whole fabulous package!! It's lovely and the individual bits are all gathered and matched with great care. I will talk you through them..

Firstly there is this amazing craft organiser;

You can put litte 'stuff' in the individual compartment which have see through plastic at the front so you can easily find what you need. This is fantastic!! When going to sewing morning, I now just chuck a handful of everything in a box.. of course for it all to get tangled and mixed immediately and only for me to realize after a good rummage that I have forgotten something like the seam ripper! I can now make my own little mini kit to take and travel in style! How good is that??? I'd never seen any before but LOVE it!!

Here is the photo of how you could use it, you can see ... what a marvellous invention! (good colour for it too!)

Then there was this cute wristlet pattern. It came with some lovely fabric in the above colours. I haven't read the pattern in detail yet but I know there is plenty of fabric to make it and can you just see that wristlet in these fabrics? I can!! Just PERFECT for it!!

In the back there you can just see the shimmery white of some Vilene. I had to ask how to use it as I had never seen this sort of Vilene before. It isn't just ordinary Vilene, but superduper Vilene... I emailed the Oz Material Girls and immediately got the explanation back (great girls there in Oz..). The Vilene is called H630 (for those who like the details) and it has a coated adhesive site. You put this on the wrong side of the fabric, cover with a damp cloth and press each section approximately for 15 seconds, setting the iron at wool/cotton and use a pressing action. I can't wait to try that out, it looks brill and there is enough I think for both projects!

The other project i am referring to being the other pattern enclosed, the Kookaburra laugh! Again I found some fabric squares enclosed that would look great with this pattern and how nice to have a distinct Australian flavour to the parcel. Someone at the Oz Material Girls has really really been thinking this whole parcel through down to the tiniest detail!

Talking about tiny detail.... Aren't these button just the cutest? Look at those scissors and the tiny reels... so lovely....

Last but not least I found included the tiniest sewing caddy. It's called Sew & Go and has everything you need for sewing all in this tiny holdall... needles, measuringtape, threads, thimble, scissors, seam ripper... you name it .. it is in it! It's amazing how much stuff you can put in such a compact holder but it is ingenious. This little baby is not going to live in my sewing room but is going straight with us on holiday to the boat! It is just the right size as everything on the boat must be compact and at present I don't even have a complete sewing kit on there... (apart from the sailmakers kit of course... so the sails are ok, shirt buttons would be more of a problem!).

So THANK YOU Oz Material Girls and THANK YOU to all my friends who voted for me! It was such a fun competition and checking each day how I was doing and being amazed by all the lovely messages about my room was a joy in itself. Receiving such a lovely parcel topped it all off, so thanks for the parcel and for the care you have taken in putting it together.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The making of rainbow zebra....

I have been wondering why I am taking about 14 - 18 hours over my bee blocks....

I think I have found the answer...

Firstly I think a lot about it and then reject gazillions options... (This time is not included in the above estimation btw...). Then I start the design process..

I am not so good drawing from memory, so I look for pictures I can use.

I found a zebra I liked and traced it off the laptop, then put a grid around it.

and enlarged the zebra.

With some tracing paper I traced the outlines so I can overlay later, and coloured the outline of the zebra itself in transfer pen to be able to cut out the (light blue) basic zebra shape from the fabric.

I made little pattern pieces of each and every stripe (there are still four waiting to be converted into fabric on the right hand side on the back leg) and used bondaweb (after reversing the stripes of course) ironed to the back so I could iron them all on securely after being happy with the result. (I did some of the stripes more than once when I was not happy with the colours together).
Overlaying my traced copy to check the position of all the pattern bits.

All bits loose in their proper places...
and ironed on securely.

The outline embroidery being done,

and here the finished article, after machine securing each and every little stripe.

I think I can see why these things take me so long ! Dallas' house took me 14 hours too.. Similar sort of thing.. I first drew the house, then simplified it, then angled everything into something manageable for patchwork and made all the little templates for each piece. Some of those windows were so small that I could not possibly do this by machine, so whereas the zebra was part hand, part machine, the house was entirely by hand.

Marysia, whose son Wojtek this was for, wrote the following in flickr;

"Wojtek loves it! He is sitting next to me and screaming from happiness! Awesome!"

All I can say is that it made me very happy he likes it and I was able to create it for him!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A week has gone by....

Time flies, and especially when you have such a lot going on....

On the home side I have been doing quite a few very early morning drop offs at school to get youngest to the bus for tournaments etc... 4am for the alarm clock a tad early for me and so am just the teensie weensie bitsie tired (didn't want to exaggerate but multiply that by umpteen times :-)

Then I have been working very very hard on my mystery quilt. Not a mystery to me as I know what it looks like and also for whom it is!! A lady who so well deserves it but that is as much as I can say at the moment...

A friend also helped me to get all my photos in Picasa so I can start organising them into folders and make a system where I can actually find them when I need them! I am very grateful for that but.... I have discovered I can now not get them out and on the blog!

Oh me and technology.... There is a blogger button on the bar at the bottom. So I thought I'd select a photo and then click on the blogger icon... nothing happens... I cannot drag either and sending anywhere I did not manage .... So now I can get stuff INto picasa... but not OUT!!

So till I have figured that out ... no photos..... (or I have to leave eeeeeeverything on the SD card in the camera... which sort of defeats the object of organising them on the computer....mmmm)

I may be a while on that one......

Bee blocks next !

Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The sewing side of things..

Yes, I promised you a wee update (gosh Lynz... you are having more of an effect on me than I thought :-) !!

Since the op, I have been behind.. but I am catching up fast!

Things done;

The gnome in the house block for Susi

and the mushroom block for Susi's border.

For Dallas' block, she asked for an image of each bee members house or house in their street. This is the house opposite us...

and this is my best approximation of that house... not accurate, but the style is sort of there!

The last block that was delayed was this block for Mari. I found it very difficult to not make it wonky, and also to make it exactly 12 1/2" with the fabrics we had. I hope it is ok... I did my best.. it was a steep learning curve!

and of course my DQS8 doll quilt that took so long to make finally winged its way to Liliane in Luxemburg. It was hard to find someting she might like and I hope she did.

SO... although now caught up with everything I was late with... still not out of the fire..

A new beeblock for March has come in the post and I know the second March block is going to be delivered any moment....

I am making a little surprise miniquilt for someone and it is giving me some problems.. apart from of course taking much much longer than I thought (again!... these mini quilts take almost as long as a simple pieced normal sized quilt... no ... actually... longer!!) and I need to really hurry up with this...

The Old Red Barn Co's "best most awesomest may we always be quilting friends" swap has just been announced and my partner is fairly new on the boards so not much to go on ... I will put my thinking cap on and hope to come up with something she likes!

These are just the ones that are now in a hurry and I musn't let myself get behind this month (and we are half way again allready....). If I just had all day to do them in I would be ok!

Won't bore you with the quilttops that are awaiting sandwiching, finishing off, quilting etc. Neither will I talk about several piles that are screaming to be cut (have got the fabrics now for Kaffe's icecream quilt and am dying to start on Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley I have recently got...),.... and I don't even want to THINK about the lovely bagpatterns I have for my echino fabrics... NO... most urgent first!

I am beginning to think I will have to shedule some sewing time this weekend... :-)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

I read in the paper....

That Robert Pattinson is going to be in the neighbourhood this week...

He is filming a new, apparently very sexy film in an old pump house, around 1 1/2 hrs drive from here...

Or so I read in the Local Paper.... (click on the right hand one, sunday east kent edition, then go 'next' to page 3. top right.)

The movie is out next year. I haven't seen any ads yet asking for extras.....

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Music - campaigning for a player change...

It's been a very busy week and I ought to do a post on what I have been doing... and I will! ... but before I get round to that (you know how it goes... shopping to be done, house to be cleaned...) I just wanted to share this thought with you as it occurred to me...

Music, as we all know, is a powerful thing. We associate it with periods in our lives. You know how couples have 'our song'? The one you danced to when you first fell in love? The ones you introduced each other to, the ones that played incessantly during that one particular holiday etc etc. Then years later they still have the ability to make you cry when you hear them (when you have broken up) or smile (in fond memory of that time).

I can even recall songs that were playing at significant moments in my life (as I can places... for e.g. I can remember the exact place where I was when being told a certain thing, but music is just that bit more powerful).

Since my player stopped working on the blog, I have changed it to Mixpod. And as one of my readers told me she did not like it coming on automatically, I changed it to come on only when clicked, so there is a choice..

Unfortunately, that does mean that I don't click it often myself... neither have I yet put all the music back on there I had on the old player.

When I did switch it on and listened, I got transported back immediately to last summer. I was really happy making the Old Red Barn Co first railfence quilt. It was a great time and just putting the player on reminded me of that.

It also reminded me on how I always would open an extra window and have Dana's player going. I loved what she had on there and really miss it now...

The type of player I used to have and Dana still has, has now fixed its problem it had and is playing ok again. That is... in the USA!!

Did you all know that that same player you can all hear and use and enjoy the songs from, cannot be heard outside the US? It has a line across it saying that due to copyright reasons we cannot hear the player...

I really miss being able to listen to Dana's player and that similar player type on a lot of other blogs.... It is so nice to get a fresh take on music and get ideas and artists you did not know before. All that gone in one go because everyone uses the same player...

Would you consider going to either mixpod or another player we can hear on this side of the ocean? I have been really brave but I really miss it.......

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

It's Here!! My Doll Quilt arrived!!

Oh, this morning was so exciting, I tell ya... The postman came and there was an envelope with return address Marianne Penner.... (Maripen Quiltmom) As I knew she wasn't sending me anything I knew off... I realized immediately it HAD to be my doll quilt and it was!!!

It was this lovely quilt with the birdie on the tree and the gorgeous girly fabrics on the back! (It arrived fine Marianne, no worries!)

Just look at the detail Marianne quilted in this! The legs are embroidered as is the centre of the eye and the fabrics are so cleverly chosen to make the eye pop out!

The back is lovely too with those gorgeous fabrics and fantastic label! In fact, I commented on this quilt on several occassions as I really loved it but never thought it would come to me! Lucky me!!!

The quilting detail is lovely too with swirls and leaves..

Although you see this better on the back of the quilt.

To top it all off it was lovingly wrapped in a lovely Heather Bailey FQ. One of my favourite lines (I made an entire quilt in Pop Garden and Bijoux) and can't get enough of this particular one!

Definitely one of the quilts on my wishlist and what a surprise! THANK YOU so much Marianne for all your hard work. You wrote: "Hope my partner loves it. It's a little hard for me to part with but I'm glad it is going to someone who I know will appreciate it!" and you are SO right! I appreciate all the hard work you put into it and the loving wonderful quilting and finish (even hanging sleeves included... now why did I not think of that?). I love the quilt and will find it a place of honour in my sewing room!

Monday, 1 March 2010

We have a Winner (actually two...)

I know you are all coming by to see who won!

So without further ado....

Number 9, belonging to DeeRoo.... Congratulations Dolores! As you are the first one drawn, you get the first choice. Please let me know whether you would like me to send you the blue fabric or the garden one.

And number 2. This is Jackie from Cantonvillage Quilts. Congratulations Jackie, please send me your address and as soon as I have heard from Dolores, I will send you the remaining prize.

Update: Dolores has chosen the garden fabric, so the blue FQ's will be winging their way to Jackie!