Even more pretty colours

Progress report on the patchwork, which I spent today working on instead of all the other things I could/should be doing.

The point of no return – starting to sew the first seam (actually, the point of no return was really when I ironed the patches onto the backing stuff, but somehow starting sewing seems more final).
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(Oh, if you’re wondering why there’s sheets all over the table, that’s because our ironing board wasn’t big enough to iron the squares onto the backing. So I padded the dining room table with several layers of sheets so I could iron them there without damaging the table.)

The first couple of seams are sewn, and already you can see how much smaller the finished quilt is going to end up – those little seam allowances really eat into the squares!
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Halfway through the horizontal seams, and it’s shrinking fast!
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Finished sewing the horizontal seams.
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The seams have all been pressed flat, ready to sew the vertical seams.
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Well, as finished as I’m going to be for a while, anyway. There’s still quite a bit to do, but as I said above, I need to go shopping first. But I’m quite impressed with how it’s looking so far – this watercolour quilting system is a whole lot easier (and quicker!) than traditional patchwork. I think though that if I was going to do any more, I wouldn’t get a kit, I’d just buy some fabric scraps and cut out my own squares. For one thing, it’d be a lot cheaper, and for another, I could position the squares better on the fabric. The squares in the kit had all sorts of lovely little features (like butterflies sitting on flowers) that ended up sewn inside seams because they were too close to the edge of the fabric. If you were cutting out your own you could make sure things like that ended up right in the middle where you could see them – it would waste a lot more fabric, of course, but it would end up looking nicer.

In other news, I had a nice surprise today. I’d ordered some Bookcrossing supplies from the Supply Store a few weeks ago, but as it normally takes months for stuff to get here, I wasn’t expecting it to arrive in time for the convention, so was resigned to just making do with what I had. But it seems that the Supply Store changing their courier company has had the desired effect of improving delivery times, because in the mailbox this morning were my bookcrossing supplies! New labels, bookmarks, post-its, and release bags (none of which are absolutely necessary for releasing books, but which make the process a lot easier and more fun), plus their latest product, a big Ballycumber stamp. I might have to race down to a stationery shop in my lunch hour on Monday and buy myself a stamp pad so I can try it out…
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And another nice surprise, I got a catch this afternoon on a book that I released in August 2004. It’s still in Lumsden where I released it, but it sounds like it might have passed through a few hands in the intervening years.

And I released a book today too. I’m trying to get back in the habit of carrying a ready to be released book with me whereever I go, so that I can do spontaneous releases. So when I went up to the supermarket this morning to get some bits and pieces, I released The Enemy You Killed by Peter McFarlane on a bench outside. I’ve released a few books on that bench in the past, and not had a great catch rate, but it’s always worth another try.

Pretty Colours!

As predicted, the temptation of my new craft project got the better of me last night, and I decided to have a go at laying out the pieces on the grid. I thought it would probably take me several goes before I got it looking ok, but once I got the hang of seeing the overall shade of each square, instead of the details (I found squinting my eyes up so everything went blurry helped), it actually came together pretty quickly, and I soon had a layout I liked (sorry about the picture quality – I had to stand on a chair and hold the camera up as high as I could to get the whole thing in, so I couldn’t see what I was doing):

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As it was looking pretty good, I decided (after a few more tweaks here and there) to go ahead and iron the pieces to the backing (which is like normal iron-on interfacing material, but with a grid printed on it to make it easier to line up all the little squares). Here’s the ironed version (slightly better photo this time, because I took it this morning with the sun coming in the window, and didn’t bother trying to get a straight-on view):

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So today’s big plan is to sew all the seams (which will reduce the total size of the quilt by about a third, because the edges of each square will be folded into the seams). And then I’ll have to put it on hold for a few weeks probably, because (as always happens with kits) they don’t actually give you *everything* you need to complete the project, so I need to go to a craft shop and get a different kind of fusing web for the applique bits, plus find some fabric for the border and backing. And I doubt I’ll get time to do that today, tomorrow needs to be devoted to organising myself for the convention, next weekend I’ll be in Dunedin (yayy!!!)… maybe the weekend after that I’ll get the chance to go shopping…

Currently reading: Palm Prints by Fiona Kidman (yes, still – I keep getting distracted by more interesting books) and The Future Trap by Catherine Jinks