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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for Virtually BeQuilted

My Inspiration!

The Virtual Quilting Bee is getting closer to the end! I’m nearly the last to send my fabric!sept2010

I finally had it all packaged up in preparation for sending out, when after sealing all the envelopes, I realised I hadn’t actually included any information about why I chose it:-)

I used to do bellydancing. During that time, I fell in love with the Moorish aesthetic found in places like the Alhambra, and the wrought iron work of some of the room dividers (I was also teaching metalwork at the time… so the work involved was really obvious!), and henna.

The two fabrics remind me of those images. The brown one particularly calls to mind henna designs, as well as Alhambran arches. The floral is reminiscent of some of the room dividers (sadly, I can’t find any images of the ones that particularly struck me!)

(Not that you need feel obliged to use this information! But given I was attracted to them for a particular reason, I did want to share:-) )

2009, the year that was

In spite of the evidence of my blog, it’s actually been a pretty productive year! But it was rather one of those ‘if you’re doing, there’s no time to be writing about it’ years.

I had (as has been the case the last couple of years) resolved to make more music and play more games. Although we sang a little less than we have been (basically in the last couple of months, although, I’m getting better again now), we did do occasional ‘Music Nights’, and I did a lot more recorder with Puggle (and Bilby:-) ) Thanks to Swancon, and their fabulous Gaming Stream, I played a lot more games than usual—sadly, I didn’t really maintain the momentum for the rest of the year…

I hadn’t ‘signed on’ for the Handmade Holidays challenge, but I did kind of decide to attempt it. I did pretty well when it came to kids presents! (I think) I basically made all bar 2—which were both a couple of days after Swancon. Certainly that was the case for other people’s children. I made some stuff for ours, but I’m not making books yet, and lego is still beyond me:-)

I didn’t do so well on regular blogging (obviously:-( ) But I am still thinking about it, so I anticipate returning:-) I took more photos, and managed to upload a number—haven’t managed our usual family photo calendar yet, but I hope to very shortly (it’s a great way to actually use some of the photos:-) )

Aside from the handmade presents, most of my crafting this year has been patchworking. B and M’s wedding quilt got me enthused enough to start a Virtual Quilting Bee. We’re in our fifth month now, although I’m still finishing block 3:-(

All up, it’s been a pretty reasonable year:-) It is of course a constant learning curve with the kids, just as soon as you think you have a handle on where they are, they go and change… but mostly it’s been good:-)

October Block

Redbraids' Block
I had other ideas, but finally decided that the front runner was a particular one I’ve had my eye on. I delayed starting it though, because at the size it would end up, it would either be really plain, or excessively fiddly. Then, other people started posting theirs, and there was a definite theme:-) (Unsurprisingly, there were a couple with Japanese motifs… given the inspiration information referenced ‘The Wave’:-) ) I went searching, but still hadn’t found anything else, so I went and bought the third material I’d need for my design.

Then inspiration struck:-) I decided to do a Zen Rock Garden:-) Half an hour to find some specific images to set me going, and I had it plotted out and cut out. It took very little time to appliqé the rocks on (and oh my goodness! How much easier appliqué is when you use Vliesofix!) and probably an evening to blanket stitch the edges of the rocks.

Then, I just had the ‘rake’ lines to embroider.
Redbraids' Block

In my original searching I’d discovered Sashiko embroidery. I thought this would be a good idea for the rake lines. I think I was right… but it did take a while! I finally finished the block a week into November!


And here’s a sneak peek:-)
b's teaser
(More once B has seen it:-) )

Virtual Quilting Bee

We finally began Virtually BeQuilted at the beginning of this month. The fabric arrived the day after posting, and I got to work:-) (My mum was the first to send her fabric, so I’d had a sneak peek, and had already chosen my design:-) )
I blithely cut it all out—only to find I was a little short of one of the fabrics:-( My design was mostly green, and with all the seam allowances necessary, it just wasn’t going to make it:-( Fortunately, I was able to aquire sufficient extra, but that held me up a bit, because I hadn’t considered the possibility when cutting, and some key pieces were left uncut until a couple of days ago.
Geese block for mum

I had seen the circling geese pattern some where on Patchy Work of Mini Grey‘s blog, thanks to a pointer from Feebeez (or at least, I think that’s where I found it). The version I saw only had eight birds though, so I was all set to draft up my own pattern, when Redbraids posted a link to this collection. The very first image was a picture of exactly what I had planned to draft—and a link to the pattern! A few minutes fiddling with the printer to get the size just right, and I was set. I printed four copies (one for each quarter of the block), and one more just for the record… Oh, how glad am I that I printed that extra copy!
I had originally planned to use English Paper Piecing… but realised I was avoiding basting the pieces (narrow seam allowances, and points far away from each other meant I really was going to need to iron them). I finally decided to revert to Foundation Piecing. So I retraced my steps, to print out extra patterns to use for the sewing. I thougt it would take me the first couple of minutes of this month’s Craft Sunday, and then I could start sewing…
I have no idea what the problem was, but nothing I tried would allow me to get anything like the same size block! Printing it at 94% of the original was a couple of centimetres too large, at 93% it was a couple of centimetres too small… even scanning my correctly sized copy and printing that didn’t work, even when I adjusted the print size of that as well:-( In the end, I reverted to tracing my correct copy! At that point, I was able to get half of it done by the end of the afternoon. Another small block in the evening, and all the sewing was done. I was rather dreading trying to remove all the paper, as I’d seen comments that it could be difficult, but I’d followed the instruction to use a very short stitch, and it pulled off really easily. A touch of ironing, and it was ready:-)

Bonus Block for Mum
And just because I could, (and I rather liked the look of the wonky trees here) and I had some material left (the green in this is all that was left from my original green! I cut about five very narrow pieces for the geese from the extra that I got). A Bonus Block, a Wonky-ish Tree:-) It’s not the right measurement, but I don’t know that it’ll be used for the tablecloth… (although, if I’d been a bit more thoughtful about cutting the white bits for the tree, I probably could have made it the correct size!)

I couldn’t wait to post it, so we dropped it off at dinner last night:-)

And Another!

Bonus block teaser for mum
Just because I can:-)

A Teaser for Mum!

teaser mumI’ve finally (almost… just need to remove the paper, and iron) finished my block for the Virtual Quilt this month. I thought I’d let you have a peek as I get ready to post it:-)