28 December 2011

Mystery Quilts

I guess the Mystery Quilt bug has bitten, as I have signed up to do another one at Just Takes 2!  I can't remember how I found it, presumably just jumping from blog to blog.  As one Orca Bay participant wrote, it's NOT knowing the final quilt that keeps the interest.

I do remember telling all my local quilting friends to look on-line at the amazing display of red and white quilts at the Armory last March, and really wished I could have seen it first-hand.  I'm so pleased with scrap look of my Orca Bay Mystery, that I think that will be how I will do this new mystery.  More detailed work, but over a year.  No, I'm not whining about Bonnie's weekly installments, especially as this is summer and Christmas time, meaning some time off work, and some time on sewing.... but I know I have a busy (work) year ahead.

Click on the red and white button on the left and consider joining in.

Have made 6 Ohio Star blocks, yay!  Only 52 to go!  The rest are in strips of three, so not too much to finish.  And I took to heart Bonnie's reluctance to pin when, if you are careful, you can butt up the seams and mostly they finish nicely.   And I am really pleased how flat these 6" blocks sit.  Please go and see what fun other quilters are having with this mystery at Bonnie's link-up.

21 December 2011

Catching up

After busy three weeks of housing my eldest child and her partner, they left at midnight on Sunday for his family home in The Netherlands.  This is going to be the quietest Christmas ever.  Without my Dad, my Mum in Brisbane visiting my sister and her family, one daughter in Sydney and one in Heemstede, this is the first time we are apart.  Thank goodness for Skype and cell (mobile) phones, just knowing one can contact them, without the expensive long-distance call charges of many years ago.

Orca Bay - parts 1 to 4 complete

I'm now on leave now for two weeks and having spent the last three evenings tidying up sewing room and catching up with Orca Bay (at least to part 4), I'm looking forward to doing part 5 tomorrow, especially as I now have the right ruler!

Please go and look at the progress being made by other quilters on this exciting mystery quilt on Quiltville's link up thingy.

14 December 2011

Orca Bay Part 4 progress

Some of the 77 finished triangles out 128 to be made

cutting squares from strips sewn together
 Managed to do 50 triangles on Sunday and 27 tonight, that's all the time available this week!  It's a slowish process, even when trying to take shortcuts by making fabric from strips.  But it's wonderful to see the progress by the other mystery-ians - please go to Bonnie's blog and see.

Happy sewing!

09 December 2011

Orca Bay Part 4!

As we are about 8 hours ahead of North Carolina, and not sure when Bonnie would post the next part, and being on leave for the day, I kept going to her site waiting with bated breath, will she or won't she use the reds! Eventually was making lunch and daughter casually mentions, it's the reds!  Well, better look at red scraps and strings, oh darn! hardly any; hmm,  daughter, says better get cutting Mam....

Starting pile of crumbs and strings
Didn't think was going to go very far, figuring out that will need at least double the fabric in the blue blocks.  Daughter has just finished piecing a quilt top and had used reds, kindly contributed all her leftovers, that sort of doubled the strings.

starting pile and daughters contribution
Cut, Mam, cut, she says... ok... and what fun!  The majority of my stash is made up of fat quarters, maybe slightly bigger.  All washed and obsessively folded the same way - I knew there would eventually be a reason for this!  I was able to selected from the red drawers, just unfold once, trim bits of ends along what would be the width and fold and return to drawers.  One or two ( really, when or why did I buy that!) ones got total chopped up.  Ended up doubling the pile.

Final pile of strings
In reading one of the blogs, the blogger mentioned the weight of her blue strings, so I thought that might be a good way of knowing how much more I might need if I use up this pile.  So out came the little used kitchen scale, and the pile weighs 774g.  Being able to travel sometimes and like to buy fabric at the destination, I know that about 7 metres of fabric weighs about 1kg.

Off to sew!  And just in time...

.... the postman delivered the rulers I'd ordered on-line from Fat Quarter Shop nine days ago, arrived intact - 2 sets, one for me and one for daughter.  They don't cost too much (7 for US$61.40, but it's worth buying more as the postage from USA to South Africa is steep (US$14).  And they had a discount coupon, so got 25% off price, but not postage!

08 December 2011

Orca Bay Progess

Yay!  Finished stitching all 224 blocks of Part 1, all nicely pressed, will spend tomorrow evening at quilt group trimming to size. I'm very happy with the way they sit flat. Have now progressed far enough that it WILL get finished!

06 December 2011

More Orca Bay

I've been trying very hard to only use scraps that have already been cut into usable sizes.  Orca Bay part 3 says make 350 half-square 2" sewn (1.5" finished) triangles...ok...  Started off by using 2'" squares, creating  one 2" block and one 1.25" extra block - that lasted until about 120 blocks.   Then used 2.5" squares, creating two 2" blocks - only about 60 of those.  Lastly used 3.5" squares, sewing around each side, and then cut diagonally in four, press, and trim up a little. (and I've lost count now...).

3.5" square cut on diagonals
I don't yet have the rulers that Bonnie is using, but soon!  Gosh, but I've struggled to get the photos where I wanted them, have now given up!

Please go back to Quiltville to see more!

2.5" square cut apart

3.5" square sewn on each side

All blue blocks done, about half of the rest, but lots of cutting and pressing ahead.

05 December 2011

Hot start to summer

Summer has arrived, it's hot and sticky, ugh.  New baby was spayed on Friday, feeling a bit sorry for herself but recovering nicely.  My sewing mate (aka my eldest child) is off to the UK in 3 weeks as her partner has a work contract there for 6/7 months (actually I'm green with envy, as they are going to be in my beloved Wales).  French classes over for the year, have signed up for the next course starting in January - the reading and listening slowly improving, but speaking leaves much to be desired.  With the holiday feeling, did sew up almost all of part 2 of Orca Bay (just 8 blocks to go), pulled out more fabric for parts 1 and 3...more pictures tomorrow!   For the blue string blocks, I am determined to use only strings and not cut from stash, might just make it!  Thanks to the advice from Candace to look at Polly's blog and from Solvi, I did use as many of my longer strings, making fabric and then cutting the blocks. but now down to crumbs, and back onto using the paper (which I had cut out 72 anyway!).

01 December 2011

Orca Bay part 2

Here are some of blocks of my start on part 2 of Orca Bay Mystery.  Was very pleased at the way they were turning out.  I did follow Bonnie's instructions this time, but not certain I like removing papers, so will try a few by just making fabric with scrap strings.
Part 2 blocks
Please go and look at all the other link-ups at Quiltville.

I have always been a compulsive reader, and to have found interesting quilt blogs to read is absolute heaven!   I suspect I am not the only one, but I don't always find the courage to leave a message!  Thank-you to all that take the time to write and share.