Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Papercut Shadows

So, the world ended for me on Saturday - My sewing machine broke.  And my back up sewing machine has a faulty foot pedal. So no sewing this week. Which is kind of a good thing. I've been organising my to do list and writing the patterns for the next patterns to go up on Etsy (hopefully in the next 3 weeks if I get my machine back quick).

I have been following a fantastic romanian quilter by the name of Geta Grama for a while now. She does fantastic shadow trapunto work and handbags.  Last year I was delighted to learn that she put out a book for her shadow trapunto technique and bought my copy as soon as it came out!

Shadow Trapunto Quilts, Geta Grama
For an experienced quilter, her technique is remarkably easy to do and gives such spectacular results! Rather than jump straight in to one of her big projects I decided to make one of my own designs on a smaller scale to practice. I made a paper-cut snowflake and used that for my design.

This is the second one I did:

A bit more complicated and looks gorgeous.

This now has a happy home with S in Auckland.

I love the book, nice and clear instructions, great photography and some stunning quilts to try. It is was first time in a long long time that I was interested in making someone else's design as is. I usually can't bring myself to do more than the general idea of the pattern and adapt to fit my own style. But these are so lovely. I think the next time I'll still do my own design but...I'll also add one of her original designs to the to do list too!

In the meantime I'll just pore over the book a few more times

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The wheels grind slowly

What feels like a long time ago now, I joined my Quilters Guild. I wanted to reach out to my own "kind" and learn from peers.  But I also wanted to find a way to use my skills to help others and I know the guild is very active in charity work.

I looked around at the work they did and saw the big group of ladies that work on quilts for the neo-natal ward of the hospital, and the ones that make quilts for Women's refuge and they are awesome causes, but are already well staffed.

One that wasn't and was crying out for more volunteers was the dedicated group of ladies that work in the local women's prison teaching the ladies there how to quilt.

Well after a long time waiting for the volunteer co-ordinators to sort the paperwork out, I finally did my induction course on the weekend. As soon as my ID is done, I can start helping.

Going through the metal detectors was no different from catching a flight, but walking through the "sally port" where one gate slams behind you and you wait for the next to open in front of you takes the cake as one of the most surreal experiences in my life.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Progress Report for June

Progress report for May

Wow May was a busy month, but I didn't get nearly as much sewing as I would have liked done.

Finishes (2)
Libby's blanket.  Finished, bound and given to a happy little girl for her birthday.  Even better, her mum loves it too.

Happy 2nd birthday little lady

Greek Candy Pops.  3 cushions completed, and (available individually or as a set) for sale on
Hehehe Mum's couch is famous!

WIPs (5)
Greek Candy Pops Throw. Unstitching to be done. I got careless with the last panel of the throw quilt and now have some seams to unpick and re-do as that panel ended up nearly an inch bigger along the side than the other panels (DOH).  I also had a lovely volunteer sew the final cushion for me and I have just received it back.  Unfortunately one row of the pattern of that one has been stitched wrong so I need to do a quick fix up for that too.  Having a wee break from piles of tiny squares though. On the plus side, I have the instructions for the throw written, just waiting on me to quilt the dratted thing and get the last few photos.

QAYG lap quilt with my stitchy Saturday ladies (no name yet). 4 blocks completed, 12 blocks pieced, remainder waiting on yet more binding. This is fun! But man does it chew through the binding.  I have to keep stopping and making more.  I'm really glad that it is a bright scrappy coloured quilt so I can just throw in another colour and keep going.  If you cut your curves carefully it pieces back together really well.  I had been experimenting with a random layout, but I think that with the riot of colours it needs the quietness of a more orderly layout.  What do you think?
Or more orderly?

Table dreams. No progress this month. This is still up on my hallway wall to walk past every day.  I will get back to this one soon.

Colour me Dotty.  No progress this month. I have cut one of the squares, but the template I was given by one of the ladies has some of the curves a bit uneven.  I need to remake it before I do any more cutting.

2013 Guild challenge. No progress this month. Have to make more bias for the outside edge.  Really really sick of making bias at the moment!

New Projects and ideas (1.5)

I am going to make my first attempt and fulfilling a long-held ambition - entering an American quilt show/competition.  Of course I'm not going by half measures.  The American Quilting Society is having a "modern quilting" section of it's Des Moines quilt week.  Steamy Dreams appears to fit the entry criteria so I'm going to submit it for consideration.  No guarantee that it will even be accepted for the competition and even less likelyhood it will win anything, but I'm going to give it a go.

Not quite new project, but I'm finally going on my prison teacher induction course this weekend!  I'll finally be able to join my guild's group that teaches quilting at the local women's prison.