Sunday, 21 February 2010

Making rugs not quilts.

I'm having a mini break from quilting for this week, as I've been quite busy, but I had the urge to work on my rag rug. I'd torn a huge pile of strips a year or so ago to make baskets by winding them round narrow string and zig zagging them together, but couldn't find the right diameter cording. I still kept the strips in a box wondering what to do with them. I decided a rug by the cooker that could be flung in the wash every week would be a solution to both scrap pile and the light coloured floor showing every speck of dust.

Last Sunday while I was watching the Six Nations, I plaited what felt like miles of strips, weaving in new strips as the old ones ran out. Today I stitched them together and plaited some more. Managed to snap 2 needles by going too fast oveer thicker parts of the plait, but nothing serious. I've also used up a whole pile of not nice quality thread, and a big pile of scraps.

Today was Mike's first race of the season, a 10 miler. He did it in 1:16, which is a few minutes outside his PB, but he seemed happy enough with it. I was taking photos at the side of the track near the end, and of the dozen or so I took, I got 3 of people with both feet in the air, including this one of Mike.

I went to have my pre op checks this week as well, all OK for the 17th. Hope to be in hospital for 3-4 days (surgeon says 4-5!) I've booked my last 4 days leave for the 4 days before I go in so I've got plenty of time to clean, cook and pack. I just have to keep my fingers crossed the neck dissection is the last op I need to face, as the whole thing has dragged on for over 2 years now and it's beginning to piss me right off!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

More badness, but progressing

AGM's with 2 traders aren't the best places to be if you're trying to stash bust are they? I did quite well though, only coming away with 6 FQs and a piece just under half a yard.

My pictoral block of the month quilt is finally finished off properly, with all the ends darned in. Not done a label yet though.

I'm currently working on my Round Robin. I bought the thread for it at Step by Step, and had a practice with some that's identical, using a scrap sandwich. The d%^&*d sewing machine just didn't want to play, kept chewing up the thread, snapping it and skipping stitches. I was very calm (niece visiting from Manchester so no bad language) and pulled everything to pieces, brushed and change. OK this time I read the manual, changed which way the thread came off the bobbin, and changed the needle. No change. Evenutally I changed the type of needle, from a quilting to a microtex. This time it seems to have solved the problem. Still getting occasional snaps, but nowhere near as bad.

The top photo here shows my first few attempts, where the snaps and snags are obvious. The second photo shows how it's going now I've swapped needles. The big skipped bit is from the "before" sample.

I started work on my real piece, reduced my tension and off I went. Very slow progress as it's a quilt pattern I've not tried before. I'm happy with how it's looking so far though and I love the way the green-brown progressions in the thread are standing out against the colours of the quilt. Think this could be a piece for the show in July.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Not getting any better :-(

Worry not, it's quilting not thyca.

So I was browsing on ebay, and found some yummy looking threads. What's a girl to do when there's the chance of threads? So I bid, and won, and on Saturday I got a lovely surprise in the post:

These are the single colours.

And the variegated ones.

Can't wait till I can use them, just need to decide what I'm using them in.

How fabby do they all look in the bobbins box?

Then just for fun, it was my works Christmas night out last weekend...yes you read that right, Christmas! Anyway, I finally found the perfect accessory for my outfit:

It's temporary, but never say never....

Monday, 1 February 2010

I've been bad!

So much for only buying more fabric if it was for a specific project, and trying to downsize my stash! This weekend, I went to Step by Step up in South Molton, and came home with this haul:

From left to right, we have 2 metres of purple mottled fabric with gold highlights, a metre each of cream (perfect for backgrounds), a light grey/taupe with small Japanese motifs and a light orange with circular motifs. I also got some variegated green to brown thread Yaaayyy!! King Tut, as I was advised by so many people. I picked up some purple variegated as well which I'll use for the one block wonder, and the amazing gold rayon you can see. How cool is that?? I'll use it for hyperquilting, but can see it overpowering a piece unless I use it sparingly.

The book was written by the two ladies who own and run the shop and has 10 Japanese inspired projects in it. When I was at the South West Quilters' Christmas talk, I bought a charm pack with the idea of making a bag out of it, but then couldn't find a suitable pattern. There's a perfect one in this book, so I'm going to try that out soon.

Apart from the trip to the quilt shop, I stayed overnight in a fab little farmhouse barn conversion. Mike and I realised both the children were sleeping at friend's houses, so we could actually take a day out for ourselves. It was idyllic, very peaceful and relaxing, just what we both needed I think.

We went down to the local pub on the Saturday evening (note to self: don't go for weekend away while on January Pledge). The walk back to the barn was hilarious, very icy and moonlit, so no need for the rechargeable torches that were provided, we were giggling all the way up the mile long walk between the village and the farm.

Once we were up on the Sunday morning, Mike went to scrape the ice off the car...40 minutes later after breakfast there was 2 inches of snow on it! We left quite quickly after that as we didn't want to get snowed in!

Hopefully this week I'll be able to finalise the design for my Round Robin quilt, it's the group AGM next week and I'd like to take it along to show and tell. Once again last minute Lulu.