Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
As you can see I have been testing the whole table set up with some foundation piecing and it is a dream now.
As for quilt progress there is good news ( yes I can move the long arm back two days) and bad ( my friend who is sending the much needed green fabric can only do so on her return from Wimbledon and so will post exactly 5 days before that new quilting date.) At university I was a swotty work-all-year student so I never needed to pull last minute all nighters but perhaps someone less nerdy could remind me what those legal amphetamine like tablets everyone else used are called!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Of course, health and safety and general efficiency do require that you do have little micro-breaks from the tasks at hand. So far today these have been nicely catered for by
* A blog comment emailed to me
* the snail mail arriving with some leaflets about Festival Of Quilts tucked in between work related envolopes
* an email newsletter from the Fat Quarter Shop
* a courier arriving with parcels of samples of 20 different waddings to to try.
* a phone call to the self-employed long arm quilter ( who obviously has a better definition of work than I do as she was in Sainsbury's at the time!) to say that I can probably push back the date with her to use her machine back by two days to Monday 9th July which (a) suits as I will go past(ish) her place on the way to a hotel in York for work the next day anyway and (b) Gives me two whole more weekend days to finish the quilt! Yeah! ( Caveat; she said probably - she needs to get her grocieries home and check. Fingers crossed.)
So now, (at 3.30 ish here ) I am going to chuck a suit in a case and nip over to Leeds ( via the post office) for a job tomorrow, hopefully missing the rush hour. En Route at around Bradford I am going to nip to the Borders on the retail park for Zen tea and a read of the US quilting mags and then, after an expenses paid meal (during which I will read this book ( because it lies flat on the table!!) will hole up with quilting podcasts (there is nothing on TV!) and sew more leaves and petals on..... oh come on, three quarters of a work day was not bad going!!
Mum asked my husband recently whether quilting was a hobby or an obsession. Its both - and I'm proud of it!!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Designed by me and made by my wonderful Dad it is even better that I thought because entirely by co-incidence one of the 'pouches' at the side is the exact size of a Clover mini-iron cover. Plus, again entirely by co-incidence, the boxes from Ikea that didn't fit the shelves when I put the doors on, fit perfectly, two side by side inside the box. It now gives me an erogonomic cutting height.
The whole thing lifts off the table and slides underneath for when I want to use the whole table top.
Now I have so much storage I need to go and buy some more notions/fabric!. Fortunately my Friend Lesley has volunteed to give up three days to go to Festival of Quilts to assist me do just that in August. Meanwhile June Calander in NYC kindly popped an Amerian quilt catalogue in her swap package to me today -its from Keepsake Quilting and has some very pretty things in it.....!!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Actually they are not really'before' so much as 'just after starting'. There used to be teetering piles of stuff on the low bookcase and the chairs were around the dining room table. The piles of stuff on the chair in the 'library' and on the table were usually worse! You can see a tote bag one the floor which is what I used to carry projects down from upstairs and then they would pile up downstairs all over the floor. I used to have plastic boxes or bags stacked up at the side of the low case and a bag hanging from a chair with bobbin cases, machine feet etc in. Like this one taken on an earlier day in fact.
And here are the two cabinets and the nice tidy room with closeups of how the cabinets are currently arranged. The content arrangements may well change especially as more drawers are arriving which I will probably use for things I always need on hand... like seam unrippers and chocolate.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I am glad that my trauma provided Helen with a good laugh, that Erica is able to use me as a guinea pig and that Purple Missus is saving money on magazines at my expense. I am glad that English rose and Susan D thought me worthy of a comment too. I think that is a record number for one post and clearly the way to garner maximum reader feedback is to drive myself witless before posting. I can test that theory because we did more Ikea DIY tonight.
The first task was to attach the glass doors to the book cases to make them cabinets. First step - put the brackets on the bookcase. I screwed them in upside down. Unscrew. Rescrew. Put hinges on door. Got that right. Door on bookcase. Fine. Put CD shelf insert into cabinet. Ooops. Now it won't fit in because of the door slightly obstructing the shelf edges. Door must come off. Unscrew. Re screw.
Only one of two doors are on the frame at this point but whilst Dennis made up the hinges on the other door I thought I'd put a couple of boxes on the shelf to make it look homely and to remind myself why I was bothering to do all this. You know, the see through boxes I went and got extra of because they were so cheap. The ones I know fit on the shelf because I went all the way back through the Ikea showroom to check.... they fit on the shelf - but not with the door on. Turns out they jut out by just few enough millimetres to be imperceptible on an open shelf but enough to push the door out. This is becuase whilst the dimension of the case is, as advertised 28 cm, deep the depth of the shelf is actually 26cm.
I enter instant problem solving mode. There are three options I tell a frightend looking Dennis. I put the screwdriver I am brandishing down and he relaxes just a little bit.
1. We change the usage of the shelves so I don't put projects on them. Decision: I am buggered if I am going through all this to not have a cabinet I can use the way I planned.
2. We forget the doors and take them back for a refund. We have two unopened they will exchange but we lose 30% off the two we opened. That will cost us £21.60. Plus I then have open cabinets which I didn't want becuase that sodding book tells you to keep dust off your thread. (Or maybe that was Bob the ThreadGuy on The Quilt Show, but anyway.) Plus that means going back to Ikea. I am never ever doing that. Ever.
3. We buy new boxes and use the others eleswhere. I tell him that, actually, thinking about it, it could be quite handy because I can transfer my scraps from bags to boxes and colour code them. He looks at me like I might have been planning that all along.I find a catalogue for an office suppliers who I know do same day delivery to my house. I even have a 25% off coupon. They have boxes which are 5mm less than the shelf depth. Bingo. They cost more than the big ones of course. Eight will be £38.40. Dennis frowns. I point out though, that we save £21.60 by not going back to Ikea. Plus petrol. Plus the swedish cake we will no doubt need to revive us after the trauma of going to Ikea again. So no extra cost at all then. Dennis is beginning to comprehend the answer to his own question which I so neatly avoided last night, namely : "How come 2 Billy bookcases at £55 cost you £483?"
We opt for number three but decide not to put the other doors on until I have all my boxes and amd sure where I want all my adjustable shelves. So we carry on with the building. I make a whole bookcase all by myself with no mistakes. I am Woman.
I move onto the height extension. I screw the top shelf on back to front and tack the back into place. I realise what I have done. I realise that it was exactly the same mistake as I made yesterday. I do not swear ( unlike yesterday ) because I have put Soweto Gospel Choir on the CD and it is hard to cuss whilst singing along to 'Oh Happy Day, When Jesus washed my sins away'. I do untack, unscrew and rescrew. There are tack holes in the trim of the right side. Oh well, it is way high up high and the holes are very small and my life is fast running out. I bung it up as it is.
Now both cabinets need to be screwed to the wall. Ikea instructions say to 'use whatever is appropriate for your wall'. I ask the wall what it deems appropriate. It is not speaking to me. Apparently it prefers to listen to Motorhead and is sulking. I ring Dad. Dad is out. Work ceases for the evening. I have a nasty feeling that tomorrow might involve rawl plugs and power tools.
God help us.
Finaly let me assure Annica who left her comment from Sweden that, no I don't hate all Swedes. Only those who write Ikea instructions. I'm not keen on Sven Goran Eriksson either becuase even I know that going to the European Cup without an effective striker was a fool decision and I like football about as much as I like Ikea. Other that than no I don't hate Swedes. Apart from Abba and Bijorn Borg, I am not sure I know any to hate... and that last comment, should certainly, even if my trauma is not enough tonight, gather me a number of irate comments from Scandinavia!
PS. Dennis reminds me that I also know Raoul Wallenberg and a quick google search tells me I also knew Britt Ekland, Greta Garbo, Ingmar Bergman, Han Blix, Dag Hammarskjold, Alfred Nobel, Anna Lindh, Stefan Edberg, Henning Mankel and Ulrika Jonsson although to be honest apart from the last one I would have been hard pressed to pick which Scandinavian country they were from!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
This is not a major hardship becuase I travel just off peak soI can afford first class and so get waited on hand and foot whilst I spread out over four seats. However, the trains are now fast swaying trains whch equates to travel sickness to me if I use my laptop so I am limited in the type of work I can do aboard. My usual practice is to do some work reading about as afar as Nuneaton to assuage the guilt then sew with a quilting podcast on. On the way home I sew ( spreading sharp notions and needles over the table discourages anyone from sitting with me if the train is busier than usual!) and then when food is served I read a nice book. ( Swaying trains, food and cream quilt material do not go well together).
On the last trip home on Tuesday I read this book which I highly recommend if you like colourful quilts photographed in beautiful settings and/or foundation piecing. Details are here
Yesterday I suggested Dennis look at the photos. Obedently he did so for about 15 seconds then threw it back saying "41 and 48" referring to the page numbers of the patterns he instinctively liked.
Joy! He picked one I liked too ..... which requires 125 different fat quarters! Now even my stash does not come close to that so I am taking it as spousal suport for shopping! I'm not saying I am actually going to make the quilt but just in case......
Karen K Stone Quilts
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I need to know Erica, did you work continuously on that for 10 years or leave it aside for big bits of time? I assume you made other stuff along side it? And was it still liked at the end of the project? And what does it look like and where is it now? Erica, please post on your blog and I will link to it from mine! ( Meanwhile you can see her first quilt on todays post.)
Other people reading - why not post on your blog a picture of your most complicated and time consuming project to date and comment here with a link.
But it made me think. If I was just finishing a quilt I started 10 years ago, what would I have been doing when I started it? I would have been 26, still a solicitor ( as opposed to Barrister now) but apart from that , much the same. Still in the same house, with same man. No big differences. Is that good becuase I had a happy life that I have maintained or does that make me a very boring person in need of dramatic change and variation. ( No, not you Dennis, you - my man- stay as a constant!)
What do you think? Am I a boring person who needs to run off to live with the tribes in Irian Jaya? Or shall I stay at home with my needles and pension fund?
Monday, June 11, 2007
This will be the center piece when a lot of green bias binding and hand appliqued jacobean flowers get on there ,rather than the few pinned on so far (Hopefully to some extent at least, on the two return train journeys I have to London this week.)
Thanks to Dennis for holding it up!
The center is bordered by these foundation pieced blocks ( four of which still need to be made)
alternated with these flower blocks.
There is then an outer border with similar scalloped edges.
To finish it I am going to learn how to long arm quilt on it at the beginning of July.
I started it in January but, whilst it qualifies as slow because so much of it is by hand ( it took a long evening just to sew that bias trim on the curved border edge! - nothing in it is difficult though) I can't say that it has taken six months becuase I have put it aside for so long and done other things. It would be interesting to keep a little notebook with each quilt to note when it was worked on, where and for how long.... but what are the chances of keeping that up?!
Oh and here is Caleb's Quit all ready to go in the post on my way to London. I did a different free motion pattern on each piece of sashing. Thanks again to Dennis for driving an hour each way to the quilt shop and waiting in there for half an hour just so I could get some backing. (And some stash. And some thread. And some free chocolate)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Me? Well the whole word needs to know I am ill. And now look - I have a blog at my disposal to make sure that very thing happens!
My noes is running faster than Ben Johnson on speed. And I am not far behind getting to the bathroom. My throat is as sore (in the American usage of the word) as a British primeminister told recently by Mandela that he will be remembered as Bush's foreign minister and I have the kind of earache that I imagine Hilary gave Bill.
I AM NOT WELL!!!!!
Plus I made it to the post office - cum - convenience store but couldn't face the three extra yards to the chemist so I bought 'Spa Soft Tissues' which are about as soft as Rambo. Anyone need a sleigh pulling tonight?
Monday, June 04, 2007
Quilt inspiration pieces ( known to the locals as carpets) are everywhere.as are scarf stalls. Wanna be a Toureg anyone?!
Escaping the frenetic traffic of Marrakech for Kasbah Ellouze was well worth it. This is the view from our bedroom window.
On holiday you learn something everyday. On Thursday I learned two things (a) riding a camel hurts. it was only when I got a massage in the Sofitel back at Marrakech on Saturday that my inner thighs stopped aching (b) there is not a lot of point getting your Berber guide to take the photo of you on said camel.
I prefer rental Toyotas but following the directions the french owners of Kasbah Ellouze gave us to get to Chez Talout for lunch we did start to wonder if we had offended them. It was not exactly a pictureseque road. In fact it was not a road. who would guess that just a few hundred metres ahead of that photo, hidden in a dip was a house with this view on the otherside of it. An oasis. Very biblical. (But with great tagines)
I have returned with a sore throat though - combination I think of desert dust from Ouazarate and airport airconditioning. No matter. Dennis has offered to buy me a quilt book for doing all the driving over the precipitous Tizi n Ticka pass which everyone but me seems to think is dangerous - I loved it. (There are no photos though as I was busy negotitaing hairpins and blind bends with crazy taxi drivers overtaking and Dennis was busy clinging to the car door handle and commenting on every time a piece of crash barrier was missing!) So, because I don't have to return to work until tomorrow afternoon, I am going to curl up this morning with existing books knowing that there is another to come. Aren't I lucky to get presents just for enjoying myself on holiday?!