Friday, 22 December 2017

Second half of 2017

It seems the second half of 2017 has just whizzed by and I've been very remiss in posting. I don't really know why and I have no excuses either. 

Well, let's see what I've been up to in the last few month. I went on my very first quilt retreat with a few friends from my former quilt group in Singapore. We went to Cullen, Scotland, you can read all about the location and venue here. We had a wonderful time and got spoiled with home cooked meals, had the use of a well appointed sewing room and the bed rooms were charming and very comfortable. I would go again at the drop of a hat, the problem is that they are usually booked out a year or more in advance. 

While I was there I worked on a quilt I started  almost 4 years ago in Singapore when I took a class with Kaffe Fassett (you can read about it here).  The original has a border made of  big half square triangles, but unfortunately I've run out of fabric - I had to recut a lot of the pieces. I don't think that introducing new fabrics at this stage would work. I do have enough scraps to make a border using the small half square triangles, but I'm not sure how that would look. Of course it doesn't have to be a pieced border or has to have a border at all. Must think about it a bit more.

I made made a start on another quilt I've been admiring on Pinterest. It's by Bonnie Sullivan which is called "Over and Down Under" and I tried to copy it. I used batiks I bought a few years ago in Bali and I quite like the result. Mine turned out slightly smaller than the original with 53 inches square. Perfect for a lap quilt.

These two tops will now join the big heap of other tops patiently waiting to be quilted. Well, I really have no more excuses not getting them done. I've always wanted one of those sit-down longarm quilting machines and done a lot of research, looked and tried different machines like the HQ Sweet 16, the Juki TL-2200 QVP as well as the Bernina Q20. In the end it was a matter of space.  However I tried it would have been a squeeze to put one of those machines in my sewing room.  In the end I decided to replace my Bernina 820 with a Bernina 750QE. As you might remember, I've been moaning about the 820 for a long time, especially when free motion quilting. I read all I could about the 770 QE online and talked to a couple of different Bernina agents and it seemed that I have the best of both worlds with this machine as it's a great for piecing as well as quilting. I decided to buy a cabinet which gives a flat and flush sewing area which will no doubt help with the FMQ.  I can also lower the machine completely into the table and close it, which is handy as sometimes my sewing room is used as a second guest room. So far I'm really happy with my new baby, although I haven't done a lot of free motion quilting yet. I'm still not sure what to do with my 820 as both Bernina agents weren't interested in a trade in, which goes to show how much they value these machines!!!

The second block for my Scandinavian Christmas is also finished. I'm now working on block three (out of four).  Maybe next Christmas the quilt will be finished or the Christmas after ;)!

I ordered the pattern and papers for a quilt called Ruby May by the talented Kellie Wulfsohn. I decided to have a little trial run and make a pillow first. I used fabrics from my stash and only had to buy the cotton yarn for the crocheted edge. I've not crocheted for years and was amazed how fast it came back - I guess it's like riding a bike, ha. 

We did a bit of travelling during the summer (Lake Como in Italy and a week in London) and I also spent a few days in Trier, Germany, where I met up with two other quilting friends who came from the Netherlands. We rented a house and quilted, crafted and of course laughed a lot together. We hope to do it again next year.

A few weeks ago I took a workshop to learn how to make an Advent wreath as well as a Christmas door decoration. I like the wreath but I'm not so sure about the decoration; a bit too modern for my taste!

Now Christmas is almost here and I've written the cards, made or bought and wrapped the gifts, decorated the house, made the cookies and stocked the fridge. The only thing missing is snow but according to the weather forecast it doesn't look likely.

I wish you all a Wonderful, Cozy and Merry Christmas and for 2018 happiness and hopefully lots of time for stitching.

Vreni x