Tuesday, 17 February 2009

a couple of fun projects

I'm onto the second groups of 24 QAYG blocks. The fabric I used for the backing is driving me crazy coz it's not sliding across the sewing machine easily - I have to fight with the d--n stuff! Aaaargh!! So to distract myself I thought I'd put up a few more photos here.

The 'tribal dancer' quilt started out as a piece of calico that I used as mop-up cloth when I was palying with some acrylic paint. I mopped up paint drips and cleaned the paint brushes on it. It didn't look too bad when I'd finished so I added some more paint and stamped it with rubber stamps, but then I didn't know what to do with it so it sat on a shelf for a couple of months. I liked the tribal dancer stamp so I enlarged the design and use if for the applique motif in the centre. It's quilted to death but the quilting was the most fun part!

I like to see the backs of quilts as much as the front (well, that's if the backing fabric isn't too busy) so here's the back.

Some of my medication comes in these white boxes, so I get a new one every couple of months. A quilt magazine will fit neatly in them so they're a useful size. I've given heaps of them away but still have 8-9 in the studio. I decided to try out some paint on one of them to see how it looked. Oen problem was that the pharmacist had written my name in black pen, which the paint didn't cover. My sister Rose and Mum were visiting at the time, and Rose suggested putting some flowers or something on to cover up the writing, so I did.

Mum asked if she could have one of the boxes to put some stuff in so I gave her this one. If I'd kept it I would have done a few more layers of paint or similar to it, but I have plenty more to play with yet.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

bushfire quilts part 1

I've made some progress with the quilt-as-you-go scrap blocks. This is the pile of strips thatI cut on Friday. I cut 6 layers of fabric at a time which made the process much quicker. I had a lot of check fabrics in the stash from 10-12 years ago so I made use of them here.

I cut twenty four 13" squares of backing fabric and batting. I'll cut the finished blocks down to 12.5" when I've finished them.

Here's the blocks as at 9.30pm Sunday night. I just have to fill in the corners. They're certainly not pretty but they are colourful. Tomorrow I'll have to scrounge up some more backing fabric to cut out another 24 or so squares.

I've actually enjoyed stitching these. It's so mindless! This week I had been planning to start quilting a quilt for the state exhibition in July but there's plenty of time for that. These blocks will take precedence for a while.

On the 25th we fly over to Melbourne for the Australasian Quilt Convention. We've been to the convention the last 2 years but this is the first time I'm doing a class. It's a 2 day class with Jane Sassaman called Abstracting From Nature. I'm looking forward to it, but a bit worried at the same time. Not about the class itself, but about how I'll cope with having to focus on something for 2 days. We're taking the wheelchair over with us and Murray will push me round in that while we look at the quilt show and the vendor's stalls so I can save energy for the class. Whatever parts of the brain that deal with speaking and language have been affected by MS, and I find being around people where I have to concentrate on words and participate in discussion or conversation is exhausting. Not just mentally but physically to the point where my balance is affected and I start to stumble, my left arm shakes more than usual and my speech starts to slur. I'll warn the tutor before the class starts in case she thinks I've got vodka in my water bottle LOL. The venue isn't air conditioned either, but I'm taking an electric fan and an extension cord with me. Only 10 more sleeps before we go.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

quilts for Australian bushfire survivors

The quilt group that I am a member of here in Devonport have decided to make some quilts for survivors of the bushfires in Victoria. We are making quilt-as-you-go blocks that will be joined to make single and queen size quilts.

I went through my stash on Thursday and found a stack of fabrics to use. I want to concentrate on quilts for teenage boys and men. There will be heaps of quilts made for girls and little kids but boys and men seem to miss out. My Mum came over yesterday afternoon and ironed all the fabric for me then I started cutting strips to do string piecing. After a couple of hours I had to stop and have a nap LOL. (The fatigue associated with having MS is a real bugga sometimes.) Poor Mum kept ironing till all the fabric was done. After tea I went back out to the studio and started sewing the blocks. I had 24 squares of batting and backing fabric cut so I'm piecing them all in a big production line. I got quite a bit done today and should be able to finish those 24 blocks tomorrow. I took a couple of photos today but won't post them here till tomorrow as it is just after 11pm now.

Just a thought if anyone outside of Australia wants to help. A couple of wonderful quilters have offered to send fabric which is very much appreciated. If anyone is interested, you could contact our local quilt shop and order a gift voucher instead of paying postage to post fabric over. If you email Selina, the owner, she will be able to tell you how to go about it. Her website has a contact email address http://www.picturepatchwork.com.au/ also phone and fax number. If you do want to do that, please make the voucher out to Devonport Patchwork and Quilters, not to me.

Thanks to those who have already offered to help. Goodnight for now - I'm off to bed.