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Archive for June, 2008

My new job runs in three week cycles – 2 weeks busy and one week frantic. I’m beginning to see that my blogging is following an inverse relation to it. The only down side of my new job is that during the frantic week I don’t want to look at a computer after my shifts are over.

Anyway, I have been working away at a few things and have some finishes to show.

I jumped on the Fetching bandwagon from Knitty:

It’s knitted with the Malbrigo yarn I won in Beth’s giveaway. Thank you Beth, the yarn is fabulous. I’m wearing them at the moment. My internet weather gadget told me it was 3 degrees C (21F) in Cape Town this morning, when I started work. We are always a few degrees colder because we are up high. So the gloves come in very handy. Kerin,  there will be a pair for you on the needles soon. I’ve just got a few other things to knock over first. I made them a bit longer in the hand and added a second set of cables at the fingers.

I also finished the red baby cardigan for charity that I’ve been working on forever. It needs blocking before photographing though.

Saturday was knitting for charity day and so I cast on this little had Saturday night and had it finished by Sunday.

It’s a bit short, but it should fit a premmie. It’s being modelled by my doll. There’s no way it’d fit Gorgeous Girl’s head. this is my third item for 25 things for charity. I need to get a move on if I’m going to make my goal. I fell short last year, and don’t want to fall short again.

I also finished some socks for my Mum this weekend – actually the knitting was finished on Friday, but I didn’t graft the toe until Sunday afternoon.

They match perfectly. Now I just have to worry about getting them to Australia. My MIL has offered to post them from the Dubai airport on her way to China. I’m considering that, because I would hate for them to be stolen by the South African post office.

Kerin has been tempting me all year by sending me stickers and all sorts of other very cool things for scrapbooking. I bought an album last week and finally dragged it all out on Sunday and created some pages. Kerin, what do  you think?

They are just simple. The whole cutesy thing isn’t really me. I bought a small album because I was nervous about filling all the space on a big page. I know that the next album I buy will be a big one. Yes, the bug has bitten. One of my jobs for today is to go through the photos on the computer and select the ones I want to print off for the album.

I’m taking my beloved sewing machine in for a service today. Hopefully I won’t be without it for too long. It is well and truly overdue for a service and it isn’t stitching too well at the moment. I’m a bit nervous because Janome is a relatively unknown brand here. Mine is the only one I’ve seen. But surely cleaning and oiling can’t be too different? It’s not a computerised one or anything. Wish me luck.

Well, that’s about it from me. I’m off to have a look at what everyone else has been up to in the last few days. Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

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Far too long ago Rebecca tagged me for the Front door – Back door meme. I had to wait for two things: a clear day, and time to take the pictures.

So without further ado:

Here is my back door:

This is the door we use all the time. It’s a half-and-half door, like you’d see in a stable. But we’ve never used it that way.

If I stand in my doorway and look straight ahead this is my view

The next door neighbours house. However, if I turn just a little my view  changes to this:

I can see all the way to the water.

On to the front door. We have used the front door once – just after Gorgeous Girl was born some colleagues popped in to say hi and knocked on the front door. Everyone else knows to come to the back.

Once the rain stops, I’ll be scrubbing the moss off the steps.

This is the view from the front door looking straight ahead:

and if I turn slightly to the side I can see the olive grove.

In case you’re wondering we do live on quite a steep slope.

Finally, one last picture of what’s growing in our garden. Which is in the front yard.

Gooseberries that need weeding.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my little part of the world.

In crafting news I’m working on:

1. A pair of socks for mum – nearly done

2. A pair of Fetching gloves for me

3. A new quilt for Araminta

4. An advent calendar for Christmas

5. A cardigan for charity which I really need to finish this weekend,

6. A knitted dress for Araminta.

Pictures to come.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ruth

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Saw this today and just had to share.

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Thank you all for your nice words about my latest finish. I will get back to all of you personally, but it’s going to take me a few days.

Now that the quilt is out of the way, it’s time to return to my regular schedule of projects. You know the one where I work on a different project each day of the week. I have decided though to try and work on Gorgeous Girl’s quilt for at least an hour every day as well.

I never heard back from the store that sold me the kit, but my friend Kerin had a great idea so here’s the fix.

Blanket stitched onto some stronger fabric.

and the view from the back. It worked really well.

You know those challenges that go around where they ask you to show your pincushion? Well I never played. This is why:

Soon after I started quilting I realised I desperately needed a pincushion. So I whipped this one up out of a scrap of fabric. It’s under-stuffed, and Gorgeous Man complained that every time he picked it up he got spiked. Anyway, I now have a new one, which I’m proud to show you.

When Gorgeous Girl was born, Tracey sent a lovely parcel of things, including this fellow. She posted him flat so that customs wouldn’t know we were smuggling chickens. Well I finally got some polyfill and stuffed him. He’s great! Thanks Tracey.

I have a confession to make: I’m scared of chickens and so I work with him facing away from me. That way I don’t feel so bad about sticking needles in his back…:)

There is also new hair. I got sick of the two tone look as the red grew out and so opted for a 6 week rinse. It’s a little darker than I expected… My first time with dark hair.

There has also been reading:

2008 Booklist

23. Flash House by Aimee Liu

Gorgeous Girl is not having a good day, so I have to go now – talk to you later.

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The African Animal Quilt is finally finished.

We will not discuss the amount of cursing or tears that it took to get the binding on. I screwed up the join and had to unpick a number of times *sigh*

So without further fanfare here is the quilt that has occupied me for the last year and a half (in my defense I did have a baby in the middle of it, and it is entirely hand quilted).

and here’s Gorgeous Girl giving it a road test.

The colours are truer in the second picture.

The pattern is from the book Quilt Africa, but I made mine square and it’s not a wall hanging.

Tomorrow I start with the Snake in the Grass kit. I have had no response at all from the store regarding the poorly cut panels. They were very slow with email when I purchased the kit, I don’t think they check it all that often. So I’m giving them until next week, and then I will name names as a warning to all of you.

My clever friend Kerin suggested machine appliqueing the short panel onto backing fabric and then using that. I think it will probably be the best solution if I can’t find the panels locally. I’m sure I saw a quilt with similar panels at a guild meeting a few months ago so I’m kind of hopeful.

If you would like to see more of my guild’s quilts you can go to our website (which I designed and maintain – it’s still a work in progress). This month’s quilts are on the gallery page.

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Still stitching away

I’m still stitching down the binding on the quilt. Nearly there though. I’ve got the evening shift three times this week, and that eats into sewing time, and it’s hard to find time a large chunk of time during the day, what with Gorgeous Girl and all.

Some of you have asked for an update on the quilting guild situation. For the May meeting we laid out the hall in a different way, and that made the sound much better. There was also another baby there, so that took some of the heat off Gorgeous Girl. :) We still received some ‘looks’ when she was vocal, but mostly it was positive.

This month (the June meeting) I left Gorgeous Girl at home with Gorgeous Man – he was busy marking exams and so could watch her this time since he wasn’t teaching. I’ll be leaving her with Gorgeous Man for the July meetings as well.

I took pictures for the Guild website (I haven’t modified it yet, but will share the link when I have) and thought I’d show a few of the pictures here. It has nothing to do with the fact that my quilt isn’t finished. ;)

This one was fabulous (and was made by one of my good friends). It’s huge and in real life the colours are much richer and deeper.

I love a good quilt story: This quilt was made 40 years ago…

and this quilt was made this year from the left overs. Can you believe how much the first quilt has faded.

I attended a ‘Back to Basics’ workshop on Monday. I learned how to do the fancy binding attaching (which I’ll be putting into practice shortly), we also tried English Paper Piecing – which I really enjoyed, but don’t think I have the patience to draw and cut out all of the bits of paper – though it’s tempting. Mind you at my rate of quilt completions I’ll need to live to 160 in order to finish all of the quilts I want to make. Perhaps a small paper-pieced quilt…

We also looked at foundation piecing (that’s also on the list) and hand quilting. The hand quilting was interesting. I’ve been very discouraged about my hand quilting because I’ve been struggling to get the stitches even on both sides and small. When I hand quilted on the sample they had prepared, my stitches were even on both sides and tiny, I’ve realised that the problem is with the batting I was using rather than me. So there’ll be more hand quilting, but not for a while. I need some quick finishes.

We were also shown Japanese fabric folding, but I can’t quite get that to work and will need to ask for more help with that.

I still haven’t heard back from the quilt store that sent me the dodgy panels. I’ll email them again tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by…

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Hi. I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the planet. I got the flu and spent a few days huddled up on the couch (to quote Gorgeous Man) as a ‘disease ridden bundle of misery’. I even took a day off work, which is very unusual for me.

Then work got really busy  – I had to go into Cape Town twice this week (there was car knitting) and my week somehow disappeared.

I’m putting the binding on the African Quilt. It’s going to be finished by Monday and pictures will come when it is ‘finished finished’.

Just before Mum came over in January, I bought a kit online from a store in Australia and had it posted to her so that she could act as courier. Because I’m a one project at a time girl it has been safely stored until this week when I pulled it out in anticipation of my quilting finish.

Below is my email to the store:

Hi,

Last year I purchased a ‘Snake in the Grass’ kit and had it sent to my mother so that she could courier it to South Africa for me. When it arrived I checked that all the fabric was there, and then placed it back in the envelope and stored it until I had time to work on it.

Last night I pulled out the fabrics and had a closer look. There are a few problems: One of the animal panels has been cut so scantily that there is no way I can cut it out and have a 1/4 inch seam. This means that the seam will eat into the actual picture. Please see the attached photographs.



It’s mainly the block in the top left hand corner that I am concerned about. Do you have any suggestions for fixing this. I think that a scant 1/8 seam (which is what I would have to do) will not stand up to the rigours of washing that this quilt is likely to sustain.

Secondly, the backing fabric has a large patch of sun damage on it. The faded area is larger than the envelope in which the fabric was sent and stored, so I know that this did not occur while the fabric was in my possession. Unfortunately this doesn’t show up very well in photos, I’ve attached a photo which shows the faded lines.

Please email me so that we can work out a solution for this. I really would like to begin this quilt as soon as possible because I love the design and it’s perfect for my daughter’s room.

Ruth

I’ll let you know how I go, and if I don’t get a satisfactory response I will name names.

There has been reading:

2008 Book List

22. Death of a Red Heroine – Qiu Xiaolong

A murder/mystery set in Shanghai in the early 1990s. Very well written and interesting. I enjoyed this a lot.

Ok, I’m off to finish attaching the binding to my quilt so that I can snuggle down and hand stitch it to the back.

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

PSA: Check your spam queue from time to time. I just found a whole bunch of comments from one of my regular readers who for some inexplicable reason had been marked as spam.

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