Sadly, unlike my shark friends in the clip above (from one of my all-time favourite stupid movies), the frikin' "laser" beams won't actually be attached to my head (I would think it could be rather handy on a crowded bus?) but aimed at my eyes, one eye in fact. Early tomorrow morning I'm scheduled for laser eye surgery to (hopefully) obviate my dependence on reading glasses.
I'm freaking out just a little bit.
Not knowing how long I may be out of action, I've hit the afterburners with the hexagon border and now have three sides completed and the required number of diamonds (12) and half diamonds (24) made up for the fourth. Still a few background hexxies to make up which join the elements all together.
My aim is to have the borders completed and attached to the quilt body before my first class of the year at Material Obsession in the first week of February. We all need unreasonable self-imposed deadlines don't we?
Do you read Micheles's blog? I am in awe of her progress on her Mary Brown Quilt. Michele has tempted me by her mention of a Baltimore Quilt offered as a BOM through Quakertown quilts. My Tuesday quilting buddy kindly asked me "ARE YOU MAD??????????" To which I could quite flippantly and yet honestly reply...
And to sign off, here's another photo taken today of one of our resident baby Tawny Frogmouths. Isn't he cute?
I've said it before and sadly, it seems I'm not learning. Machine piecing and me are NOT friends. I wanted this post to be something like "old dogs CAN learn new tricks" but no...seems this old dog is not mastering new tricks yet.
My online friendship group task this month was a simple, rotary cut, machine pieced block consisting of 16 HST. Lovely block, clever use of values. I really like it.
Tara provided us with 16 squares of fabric, which were then sorted into light/dark pairs. Having never sewed a HST before (you know it - I'm a machine piecing novice) I am proud to report a successfully marked diagonal line and just to be extra sure also marked the 1/4" sewing line because of my lack of trust in the 1/4" machine foot, or rather, my operation of said foot.
With laptop set up alongside Elvis to a tutorial on HST we set off...
Sew and rotary cut squares into HST - check
Press open and trim up to 4 1/2" squares - check
Lay out into required pattern - check (nice isn't it before I get to it)
Sew into four strips - check (amazingly)
Sew three long seams - nup
Horrible horrible. Pressing the seams logically to reduce bulk whilst also being mindful to press away from the light side proved troublesome. Sewing across very bulky seams also proved very troublesome and some of the intersections turned out horrendous. As a hand piecer I sew through intersections as opposed to over them so there's never the issue of bulk. This perfectionist is ashamed to post a picture of one of the initial outcome but I did take the process pledge (dammit)...
The unpicker was wielded to undo the offending intersections (by now I'm thinking about hand sewing these seams, I'm positive they would be more accurate)
Anyway, after a fair bit of unprintables issuing from my mouth and the unpicker heating up from overuse the block was completed - it's not great...more practice required fur shur.
Christmas and New Year celebrations are over and new year revolutions have been made - I'm no exception and have vowed to do the usual (get fitter, lose some kilos and drink less - you know the drill), but nothing quilting related. Although I've noticed some brave bloggers who've made public quilting vows, it never works for me (I'm too ADD when it comes to quilting.)
Sydney hosted the usual fireworks extravaganza on NYE, but we were 3 hours away from the madness on a quiet South Coast beach. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season, however and wherever you chose to spend it.
In family news, the EF household was delighted with an early Christmas gift on December 15 when Miss EF received her HSC results - they were everything she had strived for and more than we dared to hope. She has received early offers from two Universities (one here in Sydney and one in Queensland). Needless to say we are a little bit proud of our gorgeous girl.
She remains unfazed. Here she is pinching some Christmas ham (as I carve off-shot). She has now transferred her energies to studying how to make cocktails...notice the many, many post-it notes on the new book...gee thanks Santa.
My holidays have come to an end, but some progress has been made on the mad birds' border. Two sides are now complete...just have to figure out how to attend to 60 degree hexagons meeting at 90 degree corners, but I'm sure something will come to mind. One day I might calculate just how many of these 5/8" hexxies are in this quilt, but not yet.
Just noticed a mistake, aaargh...interesting that I hadn't seen it before the photo...easily fixed though.
We were delighted to be visited by a family of six Tawny Frogmouths over the holidays. Tawnys are large nocturnal Australian birds often mistaken for owls. Although they hunt at night they are almost entirely insectivorous - and rarely eat frogs, I guess their name derives from their wide beak.
These appear to be 2 chicks, their parents and 2 other siblings were on different branches of our Peppercorn tree - an uncommonly large family! I love it that we still have the pleasure of many birds in our garden although we're only 15 minutes from Sydney CBD.
Looks like the babies haven't learned how to impersonate a branch yet - a classic Tawny Frogmouth camouflage move.
I'm off to cover more hexxies - until next time....happy sewing.
Quilting and antique quilts, travel, family, gardens, hiking, scuba diving, skiing and champagne are the many guiding stars fighting for attention in my life. I love hand piecing, hand applique, English Paper Piecing and hand quilting. I collect antique quilts and much of my work is based around reproducing or interpreting old quilts. Thanks for visiting. I love reading your messages and do my best to reply to everyone.