Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring

It has started to rain outside, which sort of justifies not going to stitch and bitch, but sitting at home and stitching instead.

I am managing to have a quiet weekend with some creativity thrown in. Last Friday I went to the VIP night at Hobbysew, and saw some really yummy fabric. Usually when I go to patchwork shops I try not to touch the fabric, because once you touch fabric you like you have to take it home with you. I've been on a quilt related no-spending spree for a while, and was doing pretty well. I tried to avoid patchwork shops, I compared it to being an alcoholic in a pub, I was addicted to fabric/fibre/colour and couldn't have any.

I was being a well behaved addict until I saw the Moda Sunshine Range by April Cornell. The fabric that jumped out at me was this lovely piece of paisley.

I have decided that maybe I don't have the aversion to paisley that I thought I had - or maybe there are nicer paisleys around these days. This will be my third quilt with paisleys. And maybe even the first paisley quilt that I finish. One is sitting ready for the quilter when I iron the backing, and the other is yet to be cut up Chocolat, another Moda fabric.

The range I fell in love with was only $13.95 a metre, and the green fabrics were discounted for the VIP night (Christmas in July). Here are the fabrics that I am using, all cut into strips and matched into pairs. I went to Calico Patch to get a couple of fabrics that are in it, they had a couple of diffferent fabrics in the range to the ones at Hobbysew. I like to spread myself around the shops, it means I get great choice because all the shops in Canberra have differences in the fabric they stock, and the shops all get some of my business.

The strips of fabric hanging on the clothes airer are the reason I didn't get to Stitch n Bitch at Dickson on Monday night, I spent the evening admiring the fabric and rearranging the the pairs into more suitable partnerships. I couldn't tear myself away! It is a pity that once again I am missing SNB (this time in Civic), but I am really pleased that I am inspired to do some patchwork. Since I moved into my place in May last year I have had fabrics and rotary cutting gear all ready to start a quilt, only to put it away again a few days later untouched. I have my groove back!

Here is the pattern that I am using, but I am not doing the prairie points. Not enough hours in my day to waste on those. I saw this quilt made up in Hobbysew, and it looked great. The green at the very front is the inner border, and the blue paisley is outside border and binding. I also managed to pick up a nice green backing that was discounted.
Here are some of the strips ready to get a rectangle chopped off one end before sewing into their pairs.

The rectangles that go on the outside of the blocks ready for squaring off. I love my bright yellow rulers, they are great for accuracy. The colour is not so great though, I am definitely not a fan of yellow. This quilt only has yellow in it because it needs some.

The strips pinned ready for sewing. I don't know where the rest of the pins are, probably pinning another UFO. I used all the pins in the tin to pin my pairs together. Now all I need to do is get the sewing machine out of the cabinet and set it up to sew. Then more pressing, cutting, sewing etc till the blocks are done. Pity that my sewing room is in the middle of the house with no windows. Only a skylight that is letting in no light due to the overcast day.

After I have done some sewing, it is time to make chillie con carne before Private Practice comes on. That will give me some meals in the freezer besides soup. Having a freezer full of dinners is great for late shifts at work, after 10 hour shifts or other days when I couldn't be bothered cooking. If I can drag myself away from the computer I can have some blocks ready to show the girls at Wendy's tomorrow. But first, COFFEE - I have only had one today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

As the days go by

Once again time has gone on by. I have had a busy time lately. One of my work colleagues is friends with a girl I went to school with. She told me that Rachel's daughter needed a new liver and that there was a walk being held to promote organ donation. My Mum and I went and did the Bridge to Bridge walk on a beautiful Winter's day. There were speeches by people from Girls Grammar (Rachel's school), and by Jon Stanhope the Chief Minister. He raised the possibility of an opt out method for donating organs. When you consider the fact that a fair few people die waiting for organs like hearts, kidneys etc, I think opting out is a good option. Especially when you consider that there are people who would donate who just couldn't be bothered getting on the organ donor register. I think that part of the problem with the low donor rates, is that people are on the register, but their families stop it from happening because they can't face the idea of their loved ones having their organs removed. You can't take your organs with you, but you can help others - so make sure you are on the register. I should add, I was told last week that Cordelia got her liver, I hope she recovers well and can enjoy life out of hospital.

While we were walking around the lake, I took photos with my new digital camera. Here are a few samples that I took by just aiming in the general direction. They actually turned out pretty well. Here are some of the people walking ahead of us, and on the left is Floriade 08 in the making.

The pics above and below have used no skill to take, just aim in the general direction and take the shot. No editing to crop the shots as you can see, but I do like the way you can see the reflections in the water and all the clouds. I would like at some point to be able to play with my camera and know what I am doing with settings and editing etc.

I have been working on scarves lately, here is a UFO that I finished a couple of weeks ago, it uses Wendy Double Knitting yarn. I had been knitting it last year but decided that I needed the needles for another project (my wrap vest that has to be reknitted after the second armhole).

Next time I am doing a rib scarf, I will cast off in pattern. You can tell that i didn't do it this time.

I also finished a Mistake Rib Scarf that I made for one of my neighbours. It is an achievement to take out the rubbish and bring back the empty bins before Pedro gets to them. He is a great neighbour, so I was pleased that the scarf suits him. He told me that he has been wearing it inside on cold nights, great to know that handmade gifts are appreciated. I used my knitpicks options for this scarf, I love them so much, the cable is a lot more flexible than my addis. I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals for this scarf.

I will try to post tomorrow with an update of what I have been doing this week. But first, I have to get the sewing machine out - I don't think I have used it since I bought my place, in December 2006! I took the new iron out of the box for the first time the other day, it came home nearly a year ago. You can tell I never iron. That is one of the best things about being a theatre can go to work in your daggy clothes and put on even daggier scrubs, no ironing needed. If I ever had a career change I would need to do regular ironing, and buy new clothes. We often talk at work about all the positives of theatre nursing, the wardrobe is one of the positives, as is not having to worry too much about your hair and what you will wear that day.