Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thank you for the memories....

As part of R's year 9 curriculum, she is to coordinate and participate in 8 to 10 hours of community service. After a few wild ideas on her part I suggested that she might like to spend her time back at her old day care centre. She checked with the teacher who agreed it was a worthwhile commitment. She set up her placement, recruiting three other of her classmates who were still searching for somewhere to go. Year 9 girls don't do solo, they do things in packs! Needless to say, did they luck in or what!
The first visit to the centre was an introductory session that included a tour and a meet and greet with the carers in the various rooms. Many of the carers are still at the centre and came out to meet R and remind her that they used to change her nappy and tell to her she hadn't changed a bit! Talk about 'rock-star' treatment.
Over the past 4 Fridays after school, each of the girls has spent 2 hours at the centre, rotating themselves around to the various rooms to get a taste of what the centre offers. They've loved it and I've loved hearing the stories once I pick them up to take them home. All agree that it's been a blast and not like hard work at all. For R it's been a trip down memory lane to a place that she spent her first 5 years of life once I returned to work. She is amazed at how much smaller it is than she remembered! (Of're 10 years bigger!)As a thank you for accommodating the girls, I've made 4 little dolly quilts for each to give the centre. Each one is made completely of scraps and that includes the batting which I cobbled together from wider strips trimmed from the sides of quilts. It never ceases to amaze me how the smallest piece of fabric can turn into a quilt. The quilts have also given me many opportunities to try out some new techniques. This little exercise has exposed me to slab piecing, wavy line quilting using a wide zig zag (gotta love that!) and my Achilles heel....machine binding! Trying out and practicing on small quilts is not only has my scrap bag had a bit of a dent put into it, I've become a bit of a fan of machine binding. I'm ready to give it a go on the next big quilt.The girls will finish up next week and are all talking about returning for work experience next year! Good for them!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Granny....

The Granny Square quilt that Clare and I have been making for our friend is finished. It's just lovely ...even if I say so myself!
We shared the block making and it's surprising what you can find in your scrap bin to turn into a Granny block. Together we brought a bunch of random and donated bits of fabric (thank you Kay and Michelle) that stitched together into an eclectic colour mix to create nothing short of a wonderful quilt top and backing.
We had a splendid time sorting and balancing colour choices. It sure is a fun task playing with someone else's 2 1/2" pre cut squares! So much so, the girls and I have already spent another evening throwing fabric scraps into the centre of the table to cut into 2 1/2" squares for us to divvy up next time we meet. This is a great way to move around some fabric that we've pulled and used just one too many times! So stay tuned for a bit more of the Granny Power!Clare stitched this top and I quilted and bound it. The binding is a quite wide stripe of red and the palest of pinks that I've had in the cupboard for a while now. The red works with the front (we both do red...a lot!) and the pink works with the back....(which I do...a lot!) I love it....we love it, I'm sure J will love it too!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Meet Miss Polly....

...Actually, it's more like Miss Poly....Poly short for Polyester!
I saw these fabrics at our local 'super-sized' fabric/craft/habby store and fell in love with the designs and colours. Clare and I dubbed them the 'Cath Kidston knock-offs' and we both thought that we'd like to work with them. We agreed to go halves in some 1/2 metres to give ourselves a set of fat quarters.I was in the neighbourhood of the newest superstore during the recent school holidays and whizzed in to pick up a bunch. I was more concerned with grabbing a big enough bundle of rolled fabrics and lining up to be served quickly and dashing out again in the amount of time I had available.
That afternoon my Spotlight catalogue arrived in the mail and after a bit of speed reading to determine what bits I was keeping and what was going straight into the bin, I turned a page to find that what I'd just purchased was a 'poly-cotton'. O.M.G! I had committed a fabric purchase sin. I have a cupboard full of beautiful cottons and I've purchased poly-cotton and didn't even notice it beyond thinking it was a bit stiff....which I assumed was sizing and this would wash out.
I cut the fabrics up and confessed my blunder to Clare. She didn't mind. And, truth be told, I was torn. I hated the fact that these fabrics were synthetic....but I still loved the prints and colours.
We both decided to soldier on and each added some cotton sateen's to the mix.I cut my bunch up into 5" squares and set them on point to create a lap sized quilt for my mum.
After a bit of calculation I worked out how big to make the triangles to set into the corners. These are in white we have a mixed marriage!Cutting and piecing was fact, I think the stiffness helped to keep things straight. But I did notice my needle blunted very quickly.
I've stippled the quilt and whilst I was very concerned about's quilted quite well both front and back.The binding is scrappy and uses pretty much the last of the 'knock-off' poly's.....I didn't want them hanging around!
Having said all that, and even with this total fabric dilemma I'm suffering, I think it's probably a good thing to have fabric that's a little more robust for a lap quilt that will endure everyday use by an older person. Time will least it's pretty to look at!