Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dog in a House and A Sampler Begins

The past week has been filled with Ph.D. writing, lecturing, some crafting and my 26th birthday celebrations.  I'm pleased to announce that there were some spare hours for quilting and crafting in amidst the other duties and joys.

My first finished mug rug I've named 'Dog in a House'.  There were oodles of firsts involved with this project: fussy cutting, free-hand cutting without a ruler, designing a block, free-motion quilting and doing a binding not just on right-angle cornered squares.  I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out in the end:

It was a little present for my Mum to have in her office whilst she works from home.  I started from the dalmatian (a childhood love of 101 Dalmatians) helped and then allowed the block to build up from there. Hurrah a titchy project all finished.  I'm hoping to squeeze in some time to make another little one for my Grandma's 85th birthday this weekend.

In other news, I attended the intermediate quilting and patchwork class at my LQS (The Workshop) just over a week ago, as a birthday present to myself.  It seemed ideal: a Sunday spent quilting with a few others and the loverly teacher. In the class we tackled 3 new (to us) blocks [bow-tie, half-square triangles and a sawtooth star], basic applique, free motion quilting, echo quilting and how to the quilt as you go method where you finish a block and attach them.  Here are my results:

The completed sampler block.

This shows off the quilting. I'm most pleased with the flower top-right, as it was done in one continuous motion and my first of the class!

The first block.  The bow-tie block.  Fun and easier than I thought it would be!

My first attempt at half square triangles.  The points were close but not perfect, though I did realise the peril of having used a directional fabric pattern when it came to putting them together.

My 1st attempt at applique using fusible webbing and then doing outline/echo quilting.  Not bad for a first go, though I think I'd use a tighter zig-zag stitch around the heart itself next time.

My sawtooth star.  I'm quite chuffed with this little fellow.  Since I was the only one in the class, who wanted to do this block (the others did log-cabins), I taught myself.  Not bad beside the missed points on the top and bottom middle triangles.  I want to use triangles more often.  I also like how I quilted around the little birds to highlight them.
This sampler is going to be turned into a full-sampler over a period of time but I think it will be a long time.  I'm going to tackle a different 10" block each time to learn new skills, practice different block layouts and use my tests/ experiments to become an object I love.  Perhaps it will be for my bedroom.

This birthday thanks to my crafting party (more about that soon) turned into a wonderful one.  It helped, as I'd been finding the thought of this one tough because it's the first one I've had after my Dad died last May (15th, 2010). Crafts (quilting and knitting in particular) have offered me solace at times when the world felt too difficult. It has taught me to be kind to myself and others.  I look forward to having the energy to do a UK based charity bee soon (post-May I'm thinking).  

Oh there will be a small giveaway happening soon to celebrate my first 1,000 blog hits...


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