Saturday, 23 July 2011

Better week

Do you remember I lost my earring last weekend.  Well I was relieved to find it on the floor near where I was working on my dollshouse (this is after scrutinising the lawn around the apple tree for 10 minutes, in case it fell out while I was picking up windfalls...)  Never did find the missing double-ended bodkin.

[break]  You won't believe this.  While I was downloading my pictures from the camera just before I started  blogging, the doorbell rang.  It was a kid visiting next door, and his dad, who had thrown a ball over our garden wall.  I politely went and retrieved it for them (which means finding shoes, finding the key to unlock the back door etc.).  Not ten minutes later, as I am typing the above paragraph, the doorbell rings again.  Same kid.  I gritted my teeth and said fairly calmly that I was working, and I would rather he would be more careful.  His grandmother (who is our actual neighbour) suddenly pops us at his elbow, and I explain that I am doing some work and she says they've got a big family group visiting.  Then I say politely to the kid that I will get it this time, but that will be the last time tonight.  Then our neighbour, who has always been perfectly pleasant, suddenly glares at me and says "I'll remember that next time I get a parcel" and stomps off.  To add insult to the incident, I couldn't even find the da**ed ball which turned out to be stuck in the most inaccessible part of our border and I got a bit scratched retrieving it.  So I don't know what that's all about - apparently I may order too many things online for her liking?  Although I wouldn't say she's been inundated with parcels, maybe one every two months.  Neighbours...  She was a bit funny when we had our security lights installed (which is on that side of the house) after the burglary, even though she has a light on her side of the gap which is on every night all night.  Our gardens are fairly small by the way, not exactly ball game ideal.

Anyhooo...  This week has been a nice mix of quilting, knitting and dollshousing, and things have been going well at work.  Today I had my quilting club, and tomorrow is my local knitting group, so it's a nice crafty weekend.

Commuter knitting this week has continued to be the Cookie A Sunshine Sock and I'm almost ready to start the heel flap.  TV knitting has been the Berrocco eyelet jumper and the Drops cabled yoke.  Both of these are going fairly well now that I am used to the charts, and I can actually knit on them while watching TV.  The big breakthrough with the cables was the belated realisation that the cables are snaking over and under each other, which makes it a lot quicker to know which way to cross the cable so I don't have to keep looking at the symbol key.  My tension isn't perfect (I tend towards loose knitting) but I am hoping that blocking will smooth out the cables a bit more.

On the quilting front, my new tracks arrived and I fitted them, then I loaded a practice sandwich to practice a Baptist Fan pantograph.  This is much harder as you have to quilt smooth parallel curves.  The carriage is steering much more smoothly without the cracks and breaks in the old tracks, but I am still finding it difficult.  I practiced several rows, and you can see they are fairly wonky.  I also drew the design over and over while on a not very interesting course at work, to build muscle memory.

Now I have loaded a real quilt, which is a vintage spiderweb top that I bought in America and added borders to.  The baptist fan pattern will look more traditional on this vintage top.  I am trying really hard to achieve smooth parallel curves.  Some of the fans aren't bad, others are not great, but overall the effect isn't too bad so far.  I'm a bit afraid of ruining the top, but on the other hand it's not accomplishing anything hanging on the back of the door for five years as an unfinished quilt.  I'm using Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 wadding for this one so that it will shrink up a bit when I wash it.

At Quilting Club, the first phase of our UFO challenge has drawn to an end.  It seems to be working and is motivating most people.  I have completed about 80% of block 16 of my 25-block applique quilt and will keep plugging away on this block even though  we have now moved on to Project Number Four on the list.

My Project Number Four was supposed to be my Kaffe Fassett Stars Over England  quilt, but I actually got this to top stage this week in preparation for quilting it on the frame.

So instead I am going to tackle a Patchwork Knapsack, copying one that I fell in love with on another camper at Knit Camp last summer.  She very kindly let me take photos (that's her in the photo, sitting down holding the bag), and told me it was adapted from a pattern by Susan Briscoe.  So I bought the book but didn't do anything for a year.  Today I worked out the measurements that I am going to change on the pattern to make the bag wider at the sides, and how I will adapt the front pocket and the patchwork to be more like the one I saw at Knit Camp.  I even have an American Jane layer cake (by Moda) of fabrics similar to the one's that she used.

Then I pieced together a panel of Square Dance blocks for the front and side pockets, and some strip panels to be the back/front and sides.

Making the Square Dance blocks was fun, I can imagine making a full size quilt that way.  I feel slightly guilty though because I suspect the instructions I found on the web may be breaking copyright on an author's book somewhere, and I don't like supporting that kind of behaviour.

That's about it for this week.  Still feeling a bit unsettled about the run-in out of the blue with the neighbour.  I wonder if she has been brooding on our 'crimes' for a long time without actually saying anything before.  For that matter, I wonder what our crimes are?  Bringing down the neighbourhood by getting burgled perhaps?  Some people have too much time on their hands...


Marthaamay O_o said...

Do you have to manually move the quilting arm?

Daisy said...

How do you wash the quilts? Do they fit in the washing machine or is it altogether more complicated?! Your neighbour does sound odd... Maybe she was having a stressful time with that many people visiting and took it out on you?

Sue said...

Love, love, love the Kaffe quilt! Can't wait to see it quilted. You are so brave to do a baptist fan. That has got to be one of the hardest patterns to do freehand like you are doing. Every little waver shows. I love that quilt top you're doing it on. I really can't believe how much you get done. You really are an inspiration. :-)

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