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Thanks and WIP

Thanks everyone for your support on my lack of desire to blog.  I feel very weary lately.

This weekend I had 4 days without leaving the property and I accomplished quite a bit. Here is a sampling:

Prepared about 30 pieces of fabric shabori-style for my next Indigo Dye day next Saturday.  A combination of folding, twisting, and stitching.  I believe I’ve used every piece of white/beige fabric that I have.  Next step is to raid the closets for anything light coloured and hit the op shops.

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Finished another 5 hexagons (Debby – I’ll be doing a detailed blog post soon about what I’ve learned and supplies I use so hang tight!).  The blocks are from the book The New Hexagon by Katja Marek and the layout is from the booklet Glorious Hexagon.  I also did about 20 blocks (based upon a quilt by Brigit Giblin and instructions from Emily Herrick’s The Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge from February) plus setting triangles to audition for borders on this quilt.

Several needle cases made from my first indigo dyeing session.  I also added rust to them and quilted in machine sashiko style per Jacquie Gering’s lesson from The Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge for March.

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I used a bit of my indigo-dyed fabric to mend two knee holes in my jeans.  I can’t remember the last time I actually wore out the knees of jeans.  These were ‘bought’ holes.  Some may think I’m too old to wear this style but I really don’t care what people think.  🙂    (I can assure you that you won’t see me wearing sparkly shoes or purple hats any time in the near future.)

Quilted 3 smallish improv pieces.  All three were in response to challenges on the Sherri Lynn Wood FB site.

Last week I bound a giving quilt.  The small group that I belong to is making quilts for a new resident facility.

Oh, and I did some more embroidery on my Voluptuous Woman quilt (there were quite a few hours of Rugby and Surfing competitions this weekend).  I’m still stuck on the naked lady image – but I haven’t given up yet.

 

Eppiflex

One of our local quilt shops, The Quilting Patch in Nowra, NSW  has introduced a new English Paper Piecing (EPP) product called Eppiflex into the quilt market!

My hope is that she is wildly successful in this new venture!  I always like to give support to new business ideas and especially those ideas that come from women.  The bonus is that she is an incredibly nice and generous woman.

So, what is Eppiflex?  It is a flexible & reusable replacement for the papers used for EPP.   To me, it has a lightweight plastic ‘feel’ to it.  It has a hole in the middle for those people that use pins to baste and it has slots where you would typically fold your paper pieces.

This is the blurb from Danni’s website:

Our Eppiflex templates are

  • laser cut for precision – for more accurate piecing.
  • cut with a patented design which enables them to bend when you need them to.
  • strong and durable – reuse again and again
  • Transparent for fussy cutting and precise positioning.
  • heat resistant, so great for our “starch now, sew later” technique. 
  • hard at their edges – no more sewn in card. Templates remove easily without stressing the seams.
  • whip stitch or ladder stitch friendly!

This is what the 1 & 1/4″ diamond looks like:

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You can either thread baste these little templates or use a method that Danni calls “starch now, sew later” .  I tried both methods.

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I enjoyed using the thread baste technique.  It was a piece of cake and I’m typically a glue baster with papers.  The starch method didn’t work quite as well for me.  The templates slipped out while I was sewing.  However, thinking back on my technique, I didn’t use that little bit of glue that is suggested  so I probably should go back and try it again.

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The nicest thing about these templates is how reusable they are.  I decided to use the 1 & 1/4″ diamond template and make little building blocks (3 diamonds per block).  I used a light, medium and dark fabric – keeping the medium fabric the same on all the blocks.

Here is a picture of several of the building blocks sewn together.

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At this point, all the Eppiflex templates are still in the piece, but I could remove all the centre templates, reuse them to make more blocks and then attach those to the outside.  Since my piece is scrappy, this makes it easy to use.

The only drawback I found, if you want to call it that, is that if you want to wait until all your blocks are completed before laying them out and sewing them together, you would need a lot of the templates and that could get more expensive than paper pieces/templates.

One of the main benefits for me was that when stitching my pieces together, I didn’t ‘grab’ the paper.  My needle just seemed to slide past the edge of the Eppiflex smoothly.

The flexibility of the product is a huge bonus in my estimation.  They just feel better and lighter in my hand to the heavier paper pieces.  My hands take a beating in so many of the things I do that it is worth it to me to have products that make my enjoyment and ease of use factor higher.

Cost?  There are various prices – depending upon size of template and package size.  A packet of 50 1 & 1/2″ 45 or 60 degree diamonds is $15; 200 of the 36 degree 1 & 1/4″ diamonds is listed at $20.  But keep in mind that they are reusable.  And, Danni and her main squeeze will cut any size you need.

My thought is that when I get ready to start on my Lucy of the Crosses quilt, since that only requires 2 shapes, I will be buying these.  And, if I decide to do a scrappy hexagon piece like my friend Susan made (all beige fabrics, stunning in its simplicity), this product will be perfect.

Good luck Danni!  Like I said, I hope you are wildly successful with this product.

 

AHIQ link-up

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I’ve become a less consistent blogger.  Sometimes I think about not blogging but I guess I’ll just keep plugging along and blogging when I feel like it.

Today I’m doing my AHIQ (Ad Hock Improv Quilt) link-up  (Edit:  I just realised that I’m a week early.  Last month I was late.  Go figure!).  Just a drive-through post of what I’ve been working on.  Some improv and one quite traditional (who knew?).

Voluptuous Woman/Body positivity:  Background is dyed/painted/stenciled/written onto a embroidered linen tablecloth that my friend A gave me.  Voluptuous woman drawing was made by her dear daughter (thanks B!).  I’ve made a pattern using techniques learned from the book Pictorial Art Quilt by Leni Levenson Weiner.  I’m using beige crumb piecing for the body base and then using 3-5 toned fabrics for shading.  I don’t have the shading pieces quite right yet – still searching.  Next step is to trace this pattern onto freezer paper.

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The second improv I’m working on is a challenge by Sherri Lynn Wood’s FB group called 2017Score2.  Our parameters were:

LIMIT 1: Pull orphan blocks, never pieced blocks, or a pieced top (or all 3!) that you just never loved enough to finish. Chop it up, slash it, separate it, reconfigure it, overdye it, etc…manipulate it in any way you like to form the foundation of your new piece.

LIMIT 2: Use any of the fabrics from your scrap bin to develop out the rest of your design. 
Any prints you use should ONLY come from your scraps.

LIMIT 3: You have the option to purchase TWO SOLIDS specifically for this project to help balance it/fill it out. THIS IS NOT REQUIRED — your scrap stash might have plenty of multiple solids to work with — just remember: if its in your scrap bin, then its fair game!
(Solids can be new yardage, thrifted garments, fabric you bartered for…whatever your own definition of “purchase” is!)

LIMIT 4: Utilize contrast “grouting” to join the more randomly shaped, or unevenly sized sections.

 

I’m using some Japanese taupe crumb blocks and slicing/grouting with red and charcoal.  Trying to keep it to my 18×20″ size range.  So far, I like where I’m going with it.  Hope to have more time this weekend to dig into it.

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And here is the traditional work I’ve been doing:  Hexagons.  From The New Hexagon book and Glorious Hexagon booklet.  About 50 done.  50-60 to go.  Nuts, right?  😉  Surprisingly, I am really enjoying doing these.  They are the perfect project for travel.  Perfect for sitting in front of TV.  Perfect for sitting in the front room gazing out the window at the cows munching in the paddock.  I’m even considering starting another EPP (English Paper Piecing) project when this one is finished – perhaps Lucy and the Crosses?

A local quilt shop has come up with a new EPP product that I will be doing a blog post on soon.  I’ve been playing with her product this week and think it’s really slick.  Stay tuned for details!

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My Entered Quilts

Here are the quilts I entered into the local show.  Yes.  Nine of them.  NINE!  Trust me – I’ve received a bit of flack about this.  I’m not sure if the comments were meant to be snarky?  Were the people who made the comments jealous?  Thoughtless?  Or, am I simply being overly sensitive?  Who knows and frankly – I’m beyond caring.

If there was a non-judged category in the show – that is where I would enter my quilts as I prefer not to be judged but there isn’t.  So, that leaves me in a bit of a quandary.  Do I enter into the judged categories or do I not enter ANY quilts in the local show?  I have the opinion that a person should support their community when they can.  If no one enters quilts – there won’t be a quilt show.

I make quilts.  I make A LOT of quilts.  Frankly – I could easily have entered twice as many quilts as I did simply because quilting is my THING.  I breathe. I meditate.  I do yoga.  I drink wine.  And, I quilt.  I quilt A LOT.  I wake up at night thinking of quilting.  I don’t garden.  I only clean when I have to.  I don’t have a family that needs attention.  I don’t watch much TV.  My eyes burn when I read.  My phone rarely rings.  The internet bores me.

Did I mention that I quilt?

Ok – rant over.

I am so grateful for those people – both online and in real life – that DO support me and encourage me.  I have some lovely friends who genuinely congratulated me on my wins!  And, Mr. W supports me in my quilting (and LIFE) endeavours completely.  What more could a woman ask for?  Nothing more as far as I’m concerned.  Huge thank you and hugs to my support team!  You know who you are.

I received 2 first place finishes, 1 second place finish and 2 commendable awards.  I was also awarded Most Successful Exhibitor and received a beautiful silk scarf from a local artisan.

Sue Spargo-inspired Wool Applique – 2nd prize

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Sushi – 1st Prize

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Bubbles – 1st prize

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Grey Improv – commendable (3rd)

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Fried Eggs – nothin’

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Orange Improv – nothin’

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Hundred Waters – nothin’

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January Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge – nothin’

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Under the bridge (This is my most favourite one!!!) – commendable

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