Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I said I wasn't going to play around...

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.  Mine was very calm as I've been sick so I've been spending a lot of time thinking of quilts...

I had decided, I should make a quit after a pattern, follow it to the dot and then be done with it. Could I do that? Nooo, of course not, I had to go playing around with the pieces on my wall and no I can't decide what I want. Any and all input is much appreciated =)

Do I want the original design? 

Do I want it with black corners?

Maybe I Want circles instead?

Or perhaps a table runner?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Log Cabin Poppy Wreath

So, last night I really stepped out of my normal comfort zone when it comes to fabric. I wanted a quick project so I started a traditional log cabin pattern for a table topper. The pattern comes from Mias Quiltbod.

The fabric is adorable, I love it but it's just not something I'd normally use. A special person came popping (no pun intended - honestly!) up in my head all the time I was sewing. A person that is pretty much like both the pattern and the fabric in combination. I don't think it's her style at all though, but she is lot's of fun and really bright and cheery like the fabric, while still traditional, like the log cabin... So if it turns out good, I think it might become a gift for this person despite it not being something I think she'd normally enjoy. Wow, this is a really weird thought process I realize but it's all how I felt last night when I couldn't sleep and stayed up and sewed instead.=)

So here's what's on my design wall right now, but I think I'm going to exchange the corner pieces for all black log cabins instead, to bring out the wreath. And I think I'm not going to make a border of the flowers but do something else instead... Sorry about the bad quality of the picture but it was pitch black outside when I took it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm so excited!!

*continues to sing* And I just can't hide it! =D

I can't believe I'm posting this, but I'm going to start on a project for something really awesome quilt wise soon! Something I've always wanted to be a part of and now I am. I still can't believe it. Will share more with you as soon as I can =)

*does a little silly dance of pure happiness*

Pinwheel Table Runner
So on to other, a bit less exciting things. Since I got some left over charms from making my 12 Days Of Christmas Rag Quilt, I made myself a little table runner. I was trying out a new way to make pinwheels that I've been wanting to test, it's SO quick! Will share the technique with you later I promise. =)

However, I didn't have any suitable sashing fabric so I used a pillow case, bad idea! It stretched more then a little and it came out a wonky due to that... But I like it anyway =)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Days Of Christmas Rag Quilt - Finished!

It's finally finished! It's been washed, tumble dried and it's finished! Not a single seam unraveled, no discolorations on the white squares from the red, no seams I'd missed to clip, nothing! I'm so happy! It's so cozy with the flannel backing and the flannel batting makes it the perfect weight but still so warm =) I love it!!

I'm currently making a little table topper with the leftovers, will show you as soon as I've done the binding.

12 Days Of Christmas - Rag Quilt

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seams are finally clipped!

After many, many hours of clipping, buying new scissors (which where not much better then the old ones), spending more hours clipping and clipping, every single seam is finally clipped! I swear to some kind of higher power that I will not make another rag quilt before I buy myself a high quality pair of spring loaded scissors. This was a nightmare and I've officially ruined the skin on my little finger and my ring finger... But the feeling when I was finally done was awesome =)

And speaking of scissors, oh how I miss high quality stuff like fiskars scissors easily available in a nearby store. The expensive stuff one finds here isn't high quality at all sadly..

Anyhow our washing machine has been broken for a week and yesterday the mechanic came and took it with him, so I have no washing machine and my laundry is piling higher and higher. That isn't so much of a concern, my biggest concern is that I can't wash my new quilt... And my friend and neighbor who normally lets me borrow his tumble dryer is away on a long holiday until after Christmas so I'm really at loss as to how I'm to be able to finish this quilt before Christmas... Went down to the laundromat a few streets away but they had no instructions on how to work their tumble dryer and no personnel to ask either and I don't want to risk ruining my quilt by running the wrong program in this industrial size dryer. So stay tuned for the continuation of the "tales of the rag quilt" =)

Not sure if you can see much of a difference from the last photo, but all seams are finally clipped here:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas decorations and how I love my handy fiance

My machine is finally working really nicely again thanks to a second tune up by my sweetie yesterday, he opened it up and removed the stopper for the tread tension weel so now I can decide exactly what tension I want without opening it up ^^

I spent some time last night making more apples and fine tuning my pattern, testing different leaves and such - the last two came out really nicely if I may say so myself =)

 My 12 days of Christmas apples:
 Christmas decorated

Now I have to get back to the nightmare that is cutting my rag quilt, the SECOND I get a chance to get high quality spring loaded scissors specifically for this purpose, I'm jumping on it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Christmas Rag Quilt is moving along again!

Andreas manged to put Emerald back together! Yay! Thank you sweetie! <3
And while the thread tension now is very off, it's sewing and at least the back of the fabric looks quite nice, stitch wise =)

So I managed to put together the last pieces of my rag quit and it's now fully sewn together! Now I just have to clip the seams, wash and tumble dry and it's DONE!

And no, no worries - it's not all wonky, I just rotated the picture so it would face the right way for you ^^

Friday, December 3, 2010

He's broken again...

Ok, so my poor little Emerald is broken again in case someone is wondering why nothing is happening over here. Andreas has been picking him apart and hopefully he'll be able to put Humpty together again since clearly the machine fixing guy here in Malta apparently didn't really know what he was doing...

On a happier note, my Aloe Vera is blooming for the very first time! It's always been growing like crazy, but it's never gone into bloom *is very happy*

Monday, November 29, 2010

Making Christmas apples

So, I spent my first advent making Christmas apples of the 12 days of Christmas fabric I have left from making the rag quilt. The quilt will soon be put together (if I can get my sewing machine to work again) and I can show you =)

In the mean time, my first apple, I've plans for a few  more. The picture was taken with my cellphone so the colors aren't the best, it's much less gray in person =)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have a "design wall"

Or maybe more correctly, I have a very temporary but oh so useful piece of batting pinned to my wall ;)

I figured it would solve the problem of getting cat hair on all my fabric pieces while I was arranging them, so I bend down to pick up the camera and voila, there's cat hair getting on my fabric anyway since I looked away ^^

So without further ado, my not so fancy design wall and Diana, who's very, very quick:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My new telephone needed a cover

I just got a new phone, a HTC Desire HD which is a really awesome phone. I can work from it and it really makes my life a lot easier. That and the fact that my old phone (and I'm talking ancient, inherited Sony Ericsson here *lol*)  gave up about two months back this was such a relief that my new one finally arrived! That and it's so much fun to finally be one of the cool kids with a smartphone =)

But since it's one huge phone I couldn't find any telephone covers that would fit it so I decided to make my own, very simple just two rectangles sewn together with a little thin batting and a hand sew on binding. I got to try my new, iron on, super thin batting from vlieseline, which was fun, I'm quite happy with it, perfect for small projects.

Front with phone in:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A beautiful gift

Since everything got turned upside down I completely forgot to post the pictures of a beautiful gift I received on the 26th of October. Yvonne is a super sweet woman I met on my 2009 summer quit retreat in Våmhus. She and her husband came to Malta and when we met up for coffee she gave me the best type of gift = Fabric! And not just any fabric, kitty fabric - which is the best type of fabric  ^^

All of these adorable fabrics where in the bundle, thank you so very much Yvonne! <3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trying to get back to some kind of normality...

So since life luckily tend to go on even when you think it's incredibly offensive of it to do so because you heart is falling apart - we're starting to settle into some kind of everyday life without Edward. But it's much less fun then it used to be to be at home.

So I've started to sew again and my 12 days of Christmas Rag Quilt is moving along nicely. I'm planning on posting a little Rag Quilt tutorial once I'm done as it's such a fun and easy to do project for everyone, no matter if your sewing machine isn't  "made for quilting" =)

I've sewn 84 of these little piles (which is half of the quilt) and yes, I want the flannel to be slightly bigger then the cotton square, it's not bad cutting on my part *lol*:
 Which has resulted in this somewhat bulky and messy looking thing which I know will be lovely once done. If anyone is wondering what the ugly plastic box is, it's a dehumidifier to save my fabric and machine from the most terribly enemy - Humidity!:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The house and our hearts are empty....

Our best friend, our baby, our amazing kitty Edward (GIC S*Räserråttans Gustav, NFO) went to heaven on Monday and we've been completely destroyed here at home. I can't with words describe how much he meant to us, what an important part of our lives he was and how it feels like someone cut out a piece of our hearts that day.

I thought he didn't seem his usual active self on Friday morning so I immediately checked his mucous membranes and they did seem a hint of yellow. I panicked and we called the vet and went there in the afternoon. Sadly our worst fears where realized and he had gotten back the liver infection he had suffered from two years back which he only barely made it through after a year of fighting. This time his liver however was to scarred to even have a chance to take care of the infection. On Monday, only three days after we first discovered he was ill we had to make the most difficult decision of our lives and let him go as he didn't fight at all this time.

We however got two extra years with him from his unwillingness to give up last time and we're so grateful for that. He was so special, he loved his life, his family, every other living creature on the planet and he's in his days made friends with everything from other cats, to dogs, our friends and so on. I've never met a more grateful cat, if we bought him anything from a cat tree to a blanket or a toy he'd love it, he'd sleep in it, play with it and really cherish it in a way I've never seen a cat do. He was no ordinary cat and will always be remembered by us and others who's lives he's touched, the judges on all the cat shows he's been to and won by his gigantic size, amazing temperament, and gentle soul and by the fantastic kittens he got with beautiful S*Wildwood's Repris: http://www.sannafjallet.se/k_kull.htm

You'll live forever in our hearts lilla plogen and one day we'll meet again! <3

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I finally got my fabric from the US!

My faked document worked great with a new customs officer despite the one from last time trying to mess things up for me, I couldn't believe his nerve when he walked in and tried to unclear my cleared items... Luckily neither could the other officer so some interesting, not very nice sounding Maltese conversation took place while the nice officer waved at me to sneak out with my things *lol*

So yesterday I finally got to bring home my fabric from fatquartershop.com! Work has been more then a little crazy lately through and I wouldn't have had much time to sew anyway until now to be honest.

It was the most amazing feeling to open up the package and actually get to take it out, see the fabrics I'd dreamed of for so long after seeing them around the net! It was amazing! It is so much fun to have so many different fabrics that match so nicely, and not to mention how fantastically fun it is to not have to spend so much cutting! My left hand always hurt when I cut so this is so great.

My box of pure happy:

As you can see, there's a couple of jelly rolls (how I ever will be able to make myself unroll them I don't know, gosh they're so pretty tied up!) and a little non Christmas yardage hiding in there too, what will become of that I'll tell you later ^^ Now I have to get back to my Christmas project, more on that tomorrow, but I can tell you I just had to start straight away:

If you wonder why my cords to the sewing machine is covered in froggy flannel, it's because Diana chews cords so I have to cover them up XD

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Emerald is back and how I hate Maltese customs!

Yesterday I got to pick up my dear little Emerald! He's working again... Most of the time ;)

I've finally finished my Christmas table runner, it turned out very nice I think, I really like it now. Had I made it today through I would have put all the kitties facing the same direction.

Christmas Kitty Table Runner with Hearts

I asked my fiance to take pictures for me, went to powder my nose and when I get back this sight meet me, my pretty table runner used as a kitty blanket at and armrest at the same time *lol*
Closeup of one of the adorable Christmas kitties

On another note my long awaited fabric from fatquartershop.com arrived! BTW, costumer service there is AMAZING! I was a terrible costumer, ordered to little and had to add to my order last minute, lived in a country where normal shipping methods didn't work and they just kept being so friendly and helpful, will order from there again for sure! The thing is through on the subject of the fabric, I've seen it, but I haven't got it...

How's this you ask? Well Malta is an annoying, backwards little country is the answer! :(
I get to the customs office with my notice they left me, my ID card and my wallet, should be enough right?

Nooo, that's not enough! After the customs officer opened the packet, he looks very confused, looks at me and ask:
"What is this for?"
I answer "Quilts"
The officer replies "So curtains?"
I reply figuring this man isn't the sharpest pencil in the box, "No quilts, bedding".
I get back an "Aha" which clearly states he still has no idea what I'm talking about...

He then asks where my "eBbay receipt" for "the stuff" is, and I reply "I didn't get an eBay Receipt as it's not bought from eBay". He looks confused and then says that I have to have an "eBay receipt or Paypal receipt" to be able to collect my package. So I reply I can't get either of that as I paid with a card directly on the site and the site is not eBay. He's now getting really aggravated with me and says I have to call "the eBay" and get them to send me  another receipt so they know the value of the "the stuff" (no matter that it says on the label  what the value is) or my package will be sent back...

So here I am now, trying desperately to fake an "eBay receipt" that the not too clever customs officer will accept and I can get my fabric. Just another day in Malta... At lest I have my Emerald back =)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Still no sewingmachine

Ok, so I'm slowly going crazy, not a word form the sewing machine guy, any day now I'll go over there and take a hostage to be returned when I get my machine, I kid you not.

In the meantime I thought I'd show you some really teeny tiny vanity cases I made a while back. They're about 7 cm long, one is a standard half circle shape and the other is more box like. The photos don't really do them justice though, they're adorable ^^ The half circle one is always in my purse carrying my spare contacts,  medication, earplugs etc. The other one was made as part of a gift to some very dear friends. A very handy size or all that small stuff that otherwise would get lost in the depths of my purse. They're lined with adorable cat fabric too, I don't know why I didn't take a picture of that back when I made them, but now I don't want to, it's not as white anymore =D

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sometimes living in Malta isn't very fun...

There's one, ONE person on the island that repairs sewing machines, and when we finally got there when he felt like being in the store (took 3 tries) he told me he couldn't fix anything electrical should that be the problem and that "I was lucky to have such an amazing quality machine". No offense little Emerald but you and I both know you really aren't THAT high quality even though I love you.

He would give Emerald some TLC and see if he could fix the issue with the thread tension. No promises made through.
I naturally asked, "How much will this cost me"?
He replied "Not very much".
* facepalm*
So I ask again, "How much will this cost"?
And he replies he can't really tell as he doesn't know what's wrong...

I tell him I at least want an approx price or I can't really leave the machine with him and he finally says that it'll cost about €40. "About €40", no telling for sure. I sighed and told him I can't pay much more then that as it would be more economical for me to buy a new machine if it gets more expensive, the guy just shrugs and walks away! Customer service, not his strong suit that's for sure...

He also said it'd be done in the beginning of next week, hopefully, no promises there either. So I'm more then a little upset at this point as I'll be without a sewing machine for so long, and not knowing if it will be repaired or not. :( All in all, I've not been a very happy quilter lately.

Since I don't have anything else fun to share with you today I thought I could show you my trusty quilting helpers, Edward and Diana, here at work with my Crazy Rainforest quilt:

Edward says he knows he's not allowed on this particular table, but what if he only walks on the very edge?

Diana is very happy with the layout and has decided to lie on it so I can't change it around again. =)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Christmas runner progress

I've not had much time for anything today so I figured I show you a picture from when I was re-quilting the table runner, I'm hoping to finish the binding today so maybe we'll have another progress post later. Before it was just quilted with a few straight lines across, now I've quilted it to try to empathize the adorable kitties and the hearts, I think I managed ok =)

I'm also contemplating some hand applique and how best to do it, also one of my "left since the summer" projects. So I'm doing some youtube watching to learn some new techniques, any tips and tricks you might have is much appreciated.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wiggly table runner

So since I'm currently just able to do hand stitching my progress hasn't exactly been of lightning speed lately so I thought I'd show you something that I almost finished this summer but that's been in my pile of "whenever I should feel like hand stitching pile" waiting for it's binding to be hand sew on the backside. It got a border just a few days ago and I thought I'd show it to you since I still haven't finished the binding of my Christmas runner that I talked about a few posts back... Embarrassing I know, but I really hate sewing by hand.

So here's my wiggly table runner, made at Mia's quilting retreat this summer. It was so much fun to make and really quick too. I quilted it in the ditch using invisible thread, that however is not something I want to do again soon, tricky!

In it's rightful place on our coffee table,  it needs an ironing I know

Stretched out in it's full glory

And here's the back; as I've learned that not everything has to be perfect I thought I'd share it with you. I didn't really have enough background fabric so I added two sections from the front and the binding is really stretched at places to cover up the selvage which would have been visible in places otherwise *lol*

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A little sad today :(

My sewing machine is about to give up I think...
He's been having issues with thread tension for quite some time but he's always bounced back and while never giving exactly perfect seams he's never failed me completely. He is a Husqvarna Emerald 116 wich I got on my 19th (I think?) birthday so he has a few years in his luggage. The move to Malta from Sweden wasn't exactly in his best interest either and I can tell that the humidity is really tough on him. The last few days however he's been giving up and I can't get him to bounce back. I'll be taking him to the center of the island on Monday to see if the man with the Husquarna boutique there can help us. :(
I'm feeling all crippled, not being able to sew....

Fight little Emerald, fight!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crazy Rainforest Pillow

So, the result of the work with my batik scraps from the last post was a matching pillow for my Crazy Rainforest Quilt  =)

Front, couldn't really quilt it like the quilt as that was done on my mothers machine, but I tried ^^

Back (didn't bother quilting this side):

 In it's place on the spare bed:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cleaning out my (fabric) closet ;)

So I've been cleaning for the arrival of my new fabric! I spent some wonderful hours folding, looking, patting and dreaming. In the end my little "stash" (can you call it that when it's this small?) looks so nice, it went from this:

To these neat little piles, sorted according to size. Above it I've hanged bags with the small scraps.

Edward found the process both boring and tiring but supported me the entire time by occupying the ironing board =)

 I was very happy to find some scraps from my Crazy Rainforest quilt, and decided to start on a little project. What it is, I'll tell you later.

The days greatest surprise was that I found this ADORABLE fabric I had no idea I had! My mother bought me some cat fabrics on a quit show and they where so neatly rolled up I'm embarrassed to say I haven't really unrolled them until now. And out came this gem, and as it turns out I have a full 110cm of it! I just have to build a quilt around this fabric!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A little box for my threads

I made this little box a while back from fabrics I got from my mother on my birthday, it's so me, I love sewing and I love cats and the soft colors, it's just perfect!

At this point in time it's holding my few quilting threads which fit in there precisely ^^

While I'm waiting for my new fabric I'm redoing the quilting on a table runner I did a few years back, it's made from adorable fabrics and I spent ages making the points of the squares match up to the best of my ability back then so it's actually quite pretty. I however totally ruined it when it came to doing the batting and backing and the quilting as I had no clue how to do any of that and I just sort of winged it - and ended up with a bubbly mess of a thing. I've therefor not used it but now I really felt I should save the thing and I ripped it up and I'm now "re-quilting" it. And it's already looking so much better, looking forward to showing it to the world once it's done.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

I've now moved my old blog into this new flashy one that more reflects what my blogging will be about as my interests have switched a bit since I first started. "Not Only Quilts" will mainly revolve around quilting, but there will be room for some of my other interests too such as the Sami Jewelery, my beloved cats, and some other bits and pieces from my life and hobbies.

The header is a photo of my enormous Norwegian Forest Cat boy Edward cuddling up on my Crazy Rainforest quilt in our spare bedroom. He loves quilts and he loves rolling around on my fabric pieces, batting at strips and just generally being "helpful" when I sew.

I thought I'd show you his very own little convergence quilt which I made for him a couple of years ago at my very first quilt retreat. He loves it and it's been washed many, many times =)

So most welcome and I hope you'll enjoy this blog just as much as I do =)