Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cracking on!

cracking [ˈkrækɪŋ]
1. (prenominal) Informal fast; vigorous (esp in the phrase a cracking pace)
get cracking Informal to start doing something quickly or do something with increased speed
adv & adj
Brit informal first-class; excellent a cracking good match

Since we got back from holiday I've been cracking on with my 9 patch.  Here's my first block.

And my second!

I'm learning some valuable lessons already.  Now I know it's personal preference to wash your fabric before you use it, in my case it's not an option.  Since I've raided Brioni's stash for my coloured fabric and she always washes it first I really should have washed my background fabric first. I was too antsy to get started you see.  I'm finding that it stretches at a different rate and expands more when ironed.  This makes lining up my points a bit tricky.  

The next one I learned was while watching telly last night.  Bri was trimming her blocks and she asked me if I was doing the same.  "Ummmmm, no.  Why?" I responded.  It seems it makes it much easier to sew them together if they're all the same size and square.  Obvious I know but it just didn't cross my mind.  I'd been measuring them and then sewing them by eye to make up any differences.  Bodging it according to Brioni!  This is what I have so far:

I think it's coming along pretty well so far.  I'm really pleased the colour gradation is working like I planned it!  

Before I head back to the sewing machine, which I'm getting along with quite well thank you very much, I'm going to add a little Photoshop goodie I was playing with.  It may be a future quilt, or maybe not!  Do you recognise what it is?  Extra marks for specific designations!

Sunday, 24 June 2012


hol·i·day (hl-d)
1. A day free from work that one may spend at leisure, especially a day on which custom or the law dictates a halting of general business activity to commemorate or celebrate a particular event.
2. A religious feast day; a holy day.
3. Chiefly British A vacation. Often used in the phrase on holiday.
intr.v. holi·dayedholi·day·ingholi·days 

We've just got back from holiday.  We had a wonderful week in Northumberland.  It was especially exciting as it was our first time away with our little boy who's 3 in September.  We were a bit worried about him becoming unsettled sleeping in a strange house but he loved it!  He really enjoys playing in the sand so we couldn't wait to get him to the beach.  Near Bamburgh the beach is separated from the road by big sand dunes so he couldn't see it at first.  His face lit up in shock when we finally crested the dune and he saw this:

The beaches up there are amazing!  Wide open stretches of sand as far as you can see with hardly anybody on it.  I've been all over the world but this is my favourite place on earth.  The boy had a lovely time playing.

Now that we're back I have something to worry about.  Right before we left I signed up for the Brit Quilt Swap 3 over on Flickr.  Silly me.  I haven't even made my FIRST quilt yet!  I am slightly nervous but not too bad.  I have a pretty good design sense, it's just the sewing part that is a concern.  I'm always one to just jump right in though so hopefully this will light a fire under my bum!  Here's my inspiration mosaic that I put on Flickr for the person who will make for me:

If you want to see who made these lovely things just click on the picture.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


rain·bow   (rnb)
a. An arc of spectral colors, usually identified as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, that appears in the sky opposite the sun as a result of the refractive dispersion of sunlight in drops of rain or mist.
b. A similar arc or band, as one produced by a prism or by iridescence.
c. A graded display of colors.
2. An illusory hope: chasing the rainbow of overnight success.
3. A diverse assortment or collection.

Whew!  Stage one is complete.  I've been busy cutting up my coloured fabric for my 9 patch today. 

It's been pretty enjoyable for the most part.  I've had the telly on catching up on a bunch of sci-fi on my Sky+ box.  You can't go wrong with some Babylon 5, Voyager, and Falling Skies.  Can't wait for the second season of that on July the 3rd!  The plus side is that I wasn't distracted enough to slice off a finger.  I think the results so far are pretty pleasing!

All I need to do now is head down to my local fabric store, The Skep, and get some backing fabric.  I'm still pretty sure I'll go for black, but may change my mind when I see what they have.  Until then, keep reachin' for that rainbow!  ;)

Monday, 11 June 2012


raid  (rd)
1. A surprise attack by a small armed force.
2. A sudden forcible entry into a place by police: a raid on a gambling den.
3. An entrance into another's territory for the purpose of seizing goods or valuables.

I have performed a raid on Brioni's stash.  The bulk of it came out of her scrap bin, but some of the colour transitions needed to come from (gasp!) big pieces.  

As I'm new to this game I have no idea who made, designed, or produced these fabrics.  They may be common or very rare and special.  All I care about is that I have a pretty good colour transition from one end to the other.  The only thing stopping me now is the approval of the Stash Boss.  She also needs to give me her spare cutting matt, roller cutter, and ruler.  Oh, AND show me how to use them without trimming my nails in the process.  Sure, I use power tools when I'm at work but that roller cutter looks sharp!  The last thing I need to do before I get started is to trot down to my local fabric shop and get some backing fabric in black.

The other thing I baggied are these:

Bri was going through a stack of fabric she acquired and she wasn't too keen on these so I snapped them up.  They'll make a good start to my own stash!  I had to look at the selvedge to find out what they are.  They're called "Dreaming in French Collection" but I have no clue where they're from.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


stash (stsh) Slang
tr.v. stashedstash·ingstash·es
To hide or store away in a secret place.
n.  1. A secret place where something is hidden or stored.
     2. Something that has been hidden or stored.

The something in this case is fabric.

It's not MY fabric though.  It's been stashed by Flossyblossy.  Fortunately since she is at work all day I can sneak up and snip bits off and hopefully she'll never notice.  

Why is this good?  Most first time quilters are probably a bit unsure about fabric and don't know what to choose or what is even available.  They'll also have a limited budget.  I have the advantage of raiding the stash of an experienced quilter!  Yea!  

So, now that I am about to start choosing fabric for my 9 patch I'm a bit spoilt for choice!

Oh, and did I mention scraps?  Bags and bags and bags of them?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


I need to start off by saying that I am a huge science fiction geek.  I put some of it down to my being born during the Apollo 9 mission and the bulk of it to my mum being a massive science fiction fan too.  I was weened on the original Star Trek series.  This means that 90% of what I read and watch is science fiction. I'm no fan boy though.  I can't see the logic (giggle) in going to conventions, getting autographs, or immersing myself in the minute details of a made up universe.

Today I saw Prometheus.   I usually don't go to see movies because I'm mostly disappointed.  Today was no different.  The movie WAS visually stunning, especially in 3D.  This scene:

looked stunning.  The whole approach to 3D in this film was very well done.  It was used to create space and environments with very little of the "things flying at you" elements.  

The story was pretty dire however.  The characters weren't engaging, the plot was derivative and predictable, and the ending was just silly.  

Worst of all, it cost me £9.60.  £9.60?!  Ouch.  It was £6.60 for the early showing, plus £2 for 3D and £1 for the glasses which I could keep.  When I rate movies I don't give them stars, I say how much I would have been happy spending to see it.  This was a £5 movie, no more.