Sunday, 25 November 2007

chooseday challenge - part 2

Okay, here 'tis. I've made a few adjustments since I took the photo, so it hangs a bit straighter now. The pieces are connected by safety pins and silver chain at the moment, but that may change if/when I think of something else. Making this was so much fun, and has also given me a few ideas for some more pieces in the future.

Sorry some of the photos are a bit on the dark side. It's not that dark in real life!

chooseday challenge done - part 1

When I first thought about connections, I thought of people being connected to each other. Then, in that rambling way the mind has of jumping from subject to subject, I started to think about ways in which things are connected. First thought was needle and thread (obvious to a quilter lol), then hammer and nails, screws and nuts and bolts. That was when I got the idea to go shopping at the hardware shop. What an eye opener! It was full of wonderful quilt embellishment stuff, and I came home with 5 or 6 little packets of treasure. I got a couple of sizes of washers, hexagonal nuts, split pins and something Murray calls waffle nails.

Next step was to start making my quilt. I gathered some black, white and grey fabrics and cut strips from each one, 2" or 3" wide. Then trimmed them again so they were uneven. I ended up with siz of these wonky blocks. Six? That's not quite what I had in mind when I started, but I decided to run with it anyway.

Next step was to add a bit of colour. I had a heap of bias left over from a celtic table runner I made for my sister last Christmas so I stitched a bit of that on each block.

I quilted each block, but forgot to take a photo of that step. Then I added the beads and embroidery and found all sorts of ways to stitch on the stuff from the hardware shop. I left all the knots from doing that stitching on the back of the quilt sandwich, because I was going to put another back on the six little quilts. I did that using the pillowcase method. I cut the new back into two pieces and stitched them together leaving a gap of about 5-6" to turn the quilt through. In the photo, the gap between the pins is left unstitched. I made the join between the two pieces near the top of the little quilt so that I could cover some of them with a hanging sleeve.

Then I put the little quilt on top, right sides together, and stitched all the way around the quilt. Next, trim the edges of the back level with the quilt and cut a bit off the corners to get rid of some of the bulk.

Turn the quilt through the gap you left in the back. Carefully press the edges, then handstitch the gap closed. This is what you get! A little quilt with no binding. there are probably other ways to do this, but this is the method I use.

Part 2 will have photos of the finished piece.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

yahoo group wins over blog ring

With the trouble we've been having with the blog ring, I've decided to create a yahoo group for the Choose-day challenge instead. The people I've talked to have never had a problem being a member of a group. I've set it so that attachments are not allowed. That way no viruses can be passed on. I'll set up a folder each month to post our photos, so there will be just one central place that we can see them.

The link to join is

I invite anyone reading this to join the group, and join the fun!

By the way, did you know how much great embellishment stuff is available at your local hardware store? When you really look, it's like a treasure trove of art quilt stuff LOL.

Monday, 19 November 2007


to those who are having trouble joining the blog ring. I know it's worked well for some of you, but I can't figure out why it's not working for others. The help section for Ringsurf seems to go around in circles, with quite a few dead links. Now I'm wondering if it would be easier to set up a group on Yahoo. At least then we would have one central place we could all post photos.

I let you all know as soon as I decide. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, 16 November 2007

new blog ring created

...or at least I hope so. I've just been trying to create a blog ring for the Choose-day Challenge, and the link is on the side-bar on the right hand side of this page. It takes me a while to figure things out sometimes, so I'm not sure if I did it right or not. Would someone like to try joining and tell me if it works?

I'm working on my challenge today and it seems to want to go in a different direction to the one I originally had planned. I really want to post some photos, but I will restrain myself until it's finished. How is everyone else going? Looking forward to photos at the end of the month.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

it's quilted

Yay, I've finished this quilt. I coined a new phrase - 'stream of consciousness' quilting. I just quilted whatever came into my head, so there are about 5000 different things on this quilt LOL. It was fun to do. The back is plain white even though it doesn't look like it in the photo. The thread is a brightish pink variegated by YLI, which was very nice to quilt with.

The only problem is the flowers don't work on the quilt with so much quilting on it. Now I'll have to make aother quilt so I can use the flowers. Oh well...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

thank you!

A big thank you to all who have responded about the choose-day challenge! So far, participants from Australia, United States, England and South Africa. How wonderful is that? I'm chuffed.
I have thought of and rejected 2 different ideas so far. Now fleshing out the third idea which I think will be 'the one' LOL.

I've done a bit more work on the quilt using tea dyed and procion dyed fabrics. As I said, just a very simple top. Now trying to work out how to do some 3D flowers to add to it. I think the flowers need some beads to brighten them up a bit, don't you? Playing around with this gives me a chance to let my mind roam and let the ideas for the 'connection' challenge to percolate a bit more in the background.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

more stuff on choose-day challenge

Just responding to a few questions. If I forget one, please let me know.

How do you join the challenge? It's a very informal challenge. There are no lists of participants, or application process. If you decide you would like to do the challenge, just go right ahead. At this stage there are a few friendly folks who have said they would like to join the fun, and it seems most have blogs so they can post photos at the end of the month.

How did I come up with a list of words? Some are from other challenge groups, some are from drawing challenges, some are words that have some meaning for me, some are words that I just like the sound of LOL. Some might prove difficult to interpret, and some will be much more straightforward. Some will be really easy. So far there are about 130 words in the 'choose-day box' and I've thought of quite a few more since.

Am I aware of the fast friday fabric challenge group? Yes, and some of the work produced is amazing! The problem I have (and this is purely a personal thing) is just having a week to produce a quilt. You may have read in my blog that I have multiple sclerosis. In my case, it affects information processing and problem solving. This meant that I had only just thought of an idea when the week allowed was almost over. I never had time to finish anything. So having almost a month instead of a week will take the pressure off.

Now a question for you guys. If quite a few people want to join in, would it be better to start a formal group (like a yahoo group)? Or maybe a blog where everyone can post their photos (like the fffc group). I'd like to hear what you think about this. Thanks for any comments.

Now I'm off to work on my 'connection' quilt. I'm actually planning on doing some hand quilting on it, which I haven't done since I took a machine quilting class in February 2000.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

First Choose-day Challenge

Okay, I reached my hand into the magic 'First Choose-day box' and drew out the word connection. What can I do with that? A telephone connection? Connection between two people? Making a connection between two ideas? Hmm, all kinds of possibilities with this one.

The guidelines are very loose. Small format, any technique, finished by the end of the month...and that's about it.

I'm excited about this challenge idea. Anyone want to join me? If so, please leave a comment so that I know you're out there.

Monday, 5 November 2007

1st Choose-day challenge

I've been thinking of ways to stretch myself quilt-wise. I like making quilts based on traditional patterns, but I also like making quilts of a more contemporary nature. Lately I seem to be going through a bit of a creative block. I'm having trouble coming up with any ideas at all.

Now I've decided to 'think small'! Since journal quilts are becoming more popular, and their size is much more forgiving than a larger format, I'm going to make some. The size is roughly the same as an A4 piece of paper (7.5" x 11") which sounds quite achievable. You might choose to do 8" squares, or 6" square or 10" x 15" or whatever you feel like at the time. There might be some months when you can't make one at all. That's okay! There's really no pressure - that's not the point of the challenge at all. I still want it to be fun.

So.....I am publicly committing to making (or trying to) one each month. To make it interesting, I've made up a long list of topics which will be written on slips of paper, put in a box and one will be drawn out on the first Tuesday (Choose-day) of each month.

I would love it if anyone else wants to join in. You can use any technique you like. A photo of my little quilt will be posted here at the end of the month. I'd love to hear what you think of this idea.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

more on dyeing (that's with an 'e')

I signed up for a tea dyeing class through Quilt University, and it's been very interesting. The teas I have tried so far have been :
Twinings Earl Grey - nice pale tan
Dilmah extra strength - very strong tan, nice
Twinings Blackcurrant - light tan, later read that it's only blackcurrant 'flavoured'
Lipton Orange - lovely pale pink
Twinings Raspberry and Peach - deeper pink
Twinings Pure Peppermint - pale cream
Twinings Lemon and Ginger - not much change
Lipton Cinnamon and Apple - pale tan

I used white homespun fabric. When I rinsed them in water and vinegar, a lot of the colour disappeared, but they are still quite use-able (is that a word?).

They were only smallish pieces, so I rummaged around in my plastic tubs of dyed fabrics and found these. They have all been hanging around for a few years waiting to be used, so now's the time!

The biggest square I could get out of the tea dyed pieces was 8" so I cut *8 squares out of all of them and just made some half square triangle blocks. I had originally planned to do something a bit more involved, but got a bit discouraged after rinsing out most of the colour.

They turned out to be very 'spring' looking - quite pretty. Maybe I'll add some flowers or something to play up the light spring feel a bit. Haven't got that far yet.

well that didn't work...

I have been doing some tea dyeing with all kinds of ordinary tea and fruit tea. I kept all the foil sochets that the fruit teas come in coz they are really bright beautiful colours. I thought being foil I would be able to stitch them in with fabric. They stitched very well BUT when I pressed the first one, it shrivelled up. Damn. Who knew they had a lining of plastic inside the foil? It looked just like thick foil. I only tried with the lovely green ones that the peppermint teabags came in. So I ironed all the remaining green sachets to shrivel them too. Don't know what I'll do with them yet. Maybe when I find them again in a couple of years I'll just throw them out LOL.