Friday, 31 August 2007

Some distance from my sewing machine

Hi! Thanks to all you have commented on my 100 day challenge! I am presently in London at the Royal Geographic Society-Institute of British Geographers annual international conference. This sounds very grand, but geographers are a scruffy bunch on the whole! However, they have very nice computers with free internet access here in the basement. I gave my presentation on transport governance to 17 bored intellectuals at 9.30 this morning. My mind went blank and I couldn't remember what I was saying as I said it.

However, my friends in the audience said I was fine, and that I appeared to be completely confident (HA!). Still, probably not saying anything of any interest to transport geographers as I didn't mention buses once.

Since I last posted, I have finished the Chinese wallhanging, except for the label. A photo will be posted as soon as we have restored our broadband connection (AOL blame BT, BT blame AOL). We are both in the information game, so this is very traumatic. On WIP Wednesday, I was trying to finish a baby quilt for one of my cousins, who lives here in London, but I realise that the attempt was futile, and that it was better to finish it properly than to rush it. I'm coming again in November to another conference anyway.

What else have I finished? NOTHING! However, I haven't started anything new either, so that's good isn't it? What shall I reward myself with? Well, I'm just around the corner from the V&A, so I think I might go feast my eyes...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

UFO 100 day challenge update

Hi to everyone who is holding their breath to see if I can reduce my UFO pile! Well, I started last week, and I have finished 2 (nearly 3) UFOs. I am putting in pictures for you, as there is no point having a blog about a visual medium with nothing to see! What we really want is the pictures anyway!

The green one is a baby quilt, which I started in 1997. All it needed was the binding, which I had half cut. I finally searched out more of the green/black spotted fabric from my hoard and finished off one evening last week. Not bad. I nearly like it now. Sadly it has no destination for the timebeing.

The little Japanese bag was made from a kit I purchased at the spring quilt show in Edinburgh earlier this year, from the lovely people at Euro-Japan Links. The kimono silks are just lovely to work with. I finished this one on Sunday. Several evening events have come and gone since I started this in March!

Finally, I am working on finishing a Chinese wedding wallhanging for a couple who married nearly 2 years ago! Oh well, I usually promise wedding quilts for the second anniversay, which is cotton, although quite a bit of this quilt is red silk. The reason this one has taken so long, is that I made the quilt up (using a pattern from Kitty Pippen's book Quilting with Japanese Fabrics), but couldn't settle on a quilting pattern for the central octagons. As you can see I have found something appropriate, and couched gold cord on with red thread. The top pattern is a stylised chinese character for double happiness, a traditional lucky symbol for weddings. In fact the wedding in question had this particular style distributed in red foil around the tables, and that is where I got it from. I had to change the size though. The bottom symbol is an eternal (love) symbol, which I got from a book on symbols. It is often used in China. I have rounded the corners off to make it look good with the top pattern. I also had to resize it. Aren't photocopiers wonderful!

Monday, 13 August 2007

100 day challenge

Well, having counted the UFOs (including WIPs and PhDs...) over the weekend, and having felt thoroughly miserable on Sunday, I have picked myself up, dusted off the rotary cutter, and started cutting 2" strips from various oddments of fabric that don't seem very inspiring. This act was recommended by Karol-Ann, and I was galvanised by receiving a small red plastic bin with a lid. I thought the toy cars it was filled with needed to be replaced with fabric!

Also, I have finished a ten year old UFO (one of the PhDs), that had languished minus a binding. It's done, it only took an hour, probably less. Only a baby quilt though, and a small one at that...

Also, have now got a memory card for the camera, but I haven't had time to insert it into the camera (too busy blogging, and enjoying Lynda's and Jane's blogs today). Well, you will have to WAIT! I promise that I'll get round to some serious snapping and uploading in the next week (ish).

Anyway, what does the title of this post mean? Well, I am going to see how many UFOs (WIPs and PhDs) I can finish in 100 days. Points will be deducted for new projects started (unless I finish them of course!). My fellow quilt bloggesses can be my official monitors! So, 100 days finishes on Tuesday 20th November (please correct me if I am wrong).

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Quilt sins

Well, what would the seven deadly sins of quilting be? I don't know, but in the interests of feeling in control of my hobby (not to mention my life), I have continued to tidy and sort my quilt belongings, as I move into my eldests bedroom, which with his permission is now shared, so I can sew when he is away at school/with his Dad.

In sorting out the fabric, and refolding, stroking, etc., I am inevitably turning up those UFOs. Well, I have UFOs (UnFinished Objects), which are orphan blocks, and other bits of sewing started but not finished, usually with no idea what they could turn into. I also have WIPs (Works in Progress) - these are cut out or with sewing begun, where I know what I am making. I also have PhDs (Projects Half Done) (I also am doing a real PhD, maybe that should be the subject of another blog - no time, no time), these are where the tops are largely completed or the quilting is in progress. Sadly there are few finished quilts - I think I have 4 in use as bed quilts or wallhangings, plus 5 cushions. One or two quilts are languishing in cupboards. That's it.

But that's OK I hear you say! Well, it isn't, because I have been counting the UFOs, WIPs and PhDs. There were 41 UFOs, 40 PhDs and 29 WIPs. When I stopped counting. Those maths genuises will spot that this makes more than 100 projects started and not finished. This is not counting dressmaking and other crafty endeavours. Is this some kind of record?

I would like to show you some pictures of this extravagant collection. To this end I bought a digital camera two days ago, but the dopes in the shop failed to tell me that I needed to buy a memory card seperately. DH is away this weekend, and I could have played with it to my hearts content without having to own up to expenditure. But I can't get back to the shops to buy a memory card! What I did do was take my 3 yr old on the bus (great excitement for the poor car-strapped mite), and up and down a lot of escalators. He has inherited his father's distaste for actually buying anything, but that didn't stop me buying clothes (Buy One Get One Free) in H&M on the grounds that yes I did like the dresses, but I liked the fact that they are plaid cotton and come in two different colourways even more! In my own defence, I wore one for the rest of the day. Is it work out yet, can I make something out of it?

Sad aren't I?

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Granny's throw and cushions

Well, have sneaked onto Jay's computer, so I can upload a photo...

There are two more cushions to finish, but Granny already has her first instalment! I made this quilt in a Take 6 (FQs) workshop at the Seattle Quilt Company shop in Aberdeen, probably my most favourite fabric shopping haunt, because it is so friendly! I took 6 FQs, and the wide border fabric, but changed two of the "plains", bought 2 (I think) new florals, the pale blue background and the dark blue inner border. The backing is a purple fabric I bought in a sale.
So for my stash diet, it wasn't that successful, as less than half the fabrics used were already in my collection. However, the cushion backs (2 at least) have come from my collection: leftover Laura Ashley lightweight curtain fabric in blue/cream large scale plaid. If I had paid attention when I was cutting it, I would have got all four backs from it, but only realised too late, so have only enough for three. I have used it for two, and will have to scour the bags, boxes and drawers for something else for the other two, that will tone!

Monday, 6 August 2007

Stash progress...

Well, on my trip to my parents in Hampshire, for the Lang Gang Picnic, I bought NO fabric. However, I did visit a charity shop and picked up a red and white skirt for patchwork reasons. On my return home, I bought no fabric, except I went to another charity shop, and bought another skirt, tiered this time, with 5 different fabrics, 4 pink and 1 blue! Guess why...

Sadly, I can't post any pictures of these choice items, as my computer isn't speaking to Jay's, although it is SUPPOSED to.

I haven't made anything either, but I did buy 2 cushion pads (and 4 dress patterns, but that is another addiction, for a different blog), so now I have no excuse but to finish the remaining two cushions for the set for Granny.

I have also found a simplified version of a double happiness character, so I can finally finish my Chinese wedding hanging that I made for friends (German/Chinese) who married nearly 2 years ago! I shall have to tantalise you about those too...