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I’m Helene.
helene@25reasons.net

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Curious Nature Quilt for Moshe - finished!

Please note – this post is very heavily image-loaded, I just couldn’t stop clicking my camera button! And then I couldn’t bring myself to leave any of these pictures out, so forgive me, I’m just a little besotted with this one!

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt

Moshe’s Curious Nature Quilt

It’s only taken me a whole year to sew on the binding, and I’ve done it in a just couple of evenings, plus a last session today while my darling grandson slept. Can’t quite believe that it’s really done!

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 02

I love how the fabrics work so well together

I really REALLY REALLY love it!!!!! And I adore the beautiful quilting Vicki Jenkin did!!! She’s so amazing. Her longarm quilting is beautifully executed, and she was so wonderful to work with.

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 03

How good does the quilting look!

She worked with me to get a clear understanding of the look I was going for, and then came back to me with ideas, before we both settled on one design that she’d drawn freehand. Thank you so much Vicki, I think it’s stunning!

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 04

love the circles! they’re like big bubbles, make me happy when I look at them

I actually fell hard in love with the design the second it came out. David Butler, husband of the renowned Amy Butler, under the name Parson Gray, released not only his first stunning range of masculine-targeted fabrics, but a free download quilt pattern that yes, I followed to the proverbial T.

OK I’m going to shut up now, and you can just relax and enjoy. I hope you like it as much as I do. Can’t wait to finally be able to present it to Moshe tonight!

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 05

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 07

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 08

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 09

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 09

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 10

Moshe's Curious Nature Quilt - 11

Hope you liked that. Now I’m off to finish the next quilting project that’s been “in progress” for almost 2 years now. How time flies!

x Helene

Finally, lycra!

Och, I’ll be so happy when this wretched flu is done! I’m so over it! Today is Day 16, and I still have a scratchy voice and revolting cough, and I’m still so tired. I’d decided that I really should make the effort yesterday afternoon to go to my brother-in-law’s 60th birthday party, but after the simple enough task of showering, washing and blow-drying my hair, getting dressed (and then again because I didn’t like what I’d first chosen), then skin care, flossing and brushing teeth, makeup, getting myself over there, then saying hello to everyone and pushing them back as they dove in for the kiss and hug, and explaining why with as few words as I could get away with, I was exhausted. I lasted just over 1/2 hour, then Moshe had to drive me home. Probably should have just stayed home, but I thought I’d be OK for a little bit. Anyway, it’s enough already. Go away, nasties!

So last night I’m sitting on the couch with my darling, watching more episodes of White Collar, with my iPad open as I casually scrolled through the latest blog posts on Feedly, and there it was! A post from Tessuti showing off their latest addition to their swimwear fabric range.

Tessuti's blog post

how cool is that fabric!

Now, last time I’d seen one of their gorgeous swimwear fabrics that I really, really, wanted to sew myself up a Bombshell Swimsuit, it was the fabric that the gorgeous Sophie from Cirque Du Bebe used for her version. Now of course, in my usual fashion, I deliberated waaaaaaaay too long about whether to buy this fabric or not, and yes, I missed out. I was really bummed, but I told myself it was all for the best. Why do we actually say things like that? No idea. In any case, I’m sure Tessuti will restock, or at the very least, will get something else in. AND THEY DID! Well, not restock the beach fabric, but they did get a whole heap of other very gorgeous alternatives! So, off I went, and here’s what I bought. Yeah, not one, but three pieces of fabric. I figured that although I may not make up three swimsuits, I certainly might use the fabric for a pair of leggings, or a tank top, or a little summer dress. So, woohoo! plenty of options!

Now, on another matter, last Saturday, while Moshe was off with his friends at the footy in Adelaide, I spent a little time on the quilt I’m making for him. My eyes nearly jumped out of my head when I read the date on the last post I wrote about this quilt – September 30th 2012!!! Yep, it’s pretty much a year since I touched it! I first posted about this great idea I’d had back in February 2012, when I decided to make the Parson Gray Curious Nature quilt for Moshe’s birthday last year. I bought the fabric, cut out the pieces (although not without a few cutting disasters that led to more fabric purchases!), and sewed up the quilt top, just in time to present it to Moshe on his birthday. Next, I sandwiched it and pinned it and then spent ages trying to figure out how to quilt it in a way that would really do justice to the magnificent fabrics and the stunning quilt design.

is it just me, or do quilting pins look so pretty when the light catches them like this?

is it just me, or do quilting pins look so pretty when the light catches them like this?

As much as I prefer hand-quilting over machine-quilting – I like the softer hand it gives, as well as the fact that I can say I’ve made the entire quilt myself - I decided to send it out to be quilted by the amazingly talented and very lovely Vicki Jenkin of Vicki Jenkin Quilting. She’s a professional long-arm quilter, and her work is seriously outstanding. I’m really thrilled with how it came out. By early November, I had the quilt back, and all there was to do was trim the edges, cut the binding strips, and pin and sew it on. However, this quilt sat in my sewing pile for several long months, hah, actually a whole year, until last Saturday, when I pulled it out and got it to this stage:

Binding pinned, ready to sew on

Binding pinned, ready to sew on

So now I’ve been tossing up whether to wait till I can get out of the house and down to a shop to pick up a walking foot for my new machine before sewing on the binding, but I just did a test on a scrap bit of quilted fabric, and my machine seems to handle it all beautifully, adjusting the tension perfectly as I sew. So, I’ll sew on the binding sometime in the next day or so, then hand-stitch it down on the other side, and it’ll be done. Finally. Then I’ll show you some decent images of this quilt. My computer is throwing a hissy fit and I’m actually not sure if it’ll recover one more time, or if it will be the end for it.

x Helene

Let the quilting begin!

So, back in March, do you remember I got all pumped about the Parson Gray Curious Nature fabrics?

quilt pattern pieces downloaded & cut out

quilt pattern pieces downloaded & cut out

And that I bought heaps of it for all kinds of sewing projects including skirts, shirts, scarves, etc, including the quilt pattern featured on Parson Gray’s website?

two pieces of the quilt "pie" done

two pieces of the quilt “pie” done

Well, I did finish the quilt top in time to give it to Moshe for his birthday on 25th March, but then it’s sat in an ever-upwardly-growing pile.

finished quilt top

finished quilt top

So, yesterday, I checked my calendar, and yep, Sunday was all clear! Apart from cleaning out the fridge (which I’ve been postponing for a bit too long for comfort), and one load of laundry (easy peasy), oh, yes, and watching the last three episodes of the final season of Weeds, my whole day was free! Yippee!

I got Moshe to help me rearrange the lounge room furniture, and drap out the two long trestle tables from the laundry, and I sewed up the back for the quilt, pressed it nicely, laid it out over the two trestle tables, got the batting Moshe had just raced out to buy from yippee-they’re-open-on-Sundays Patchwork on Central Park, and Moshe’s quilt is now - finally! - pinned and ready for me to hand-quilt it.

all pinned

all pinned

Let the quilting begin!

is it just me, or do quilting pins look so pretty when the light catches them like this?

is it just me, or do quilting pins look so pretty when the light catches them like this?

Now to decide whether to change thread colour as I’m quilting in concentric circles through the fabric changes. What do you think, yay, or nay?

OK so I changed my mind

But I think you’ll agree with me. It all happened when I pulled out the pattern to read up on what other bits and pieces I needed, ie. apart from fabric. And there it was, in plain black and white:

YOU WILL NEED
80cm x 115cm medium weight, woven fabric

You see what I mean? The Parson Gray fabric I’d settled on yesterday for my new bag, while gorgeous, wasn’t medium weight, was it. And so, the search started all over again. I began to rethink my decision about my beautiful Ink & Spindle fabrics, and the other, yes – medium weight fabrics I’d bought. They’re divine. I love them. I really shouldn’t shy away from using them, even for this project. Even though my bag will be travelling hard some of the time. I’ll just have to be really careful while I’m overseas, and make sure to keep my new bag safe.

So, there I am, pulling out my gorgeous organic medium weight fabrics, and …I found it! The perfect, I mean perfect combination! Check it out…

ysg-wns-01

My new bag has a name now, too... Winter Nest Satchel. Like it?

It’s Ink & Spindle‘s gorgeous, discontinued Lace Fans in Dark Red on Tamarillo, with Kristen Doran’s Winter Nest Panel for the flap. How divine! Agree?

Now I can’t wait to get started! Must pop into Nikki Mallalieu’s to pick up some hardware.

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