Saturday, 28 May 2011

1930s quilt - update

The 1930s reproduction fabric quilt I'm making for my great aunt for her 90th is progressing, which is just as well as the deadline is 17 June.  (That would be 19 days from now!)

The quilt top is now pieced and appliqued, with ric rac added for authenticity.  Initially I just sewed rows of squares but got frustrated with the less than perfect corner joins as I put rows together.

That's when I discovered 2.5" Quilter's Easel foundation piecing sheets. Genius!  It really makes it easy to get those perfect points and is as simple as cut, place, press, sew. Okay, maybe it took a few hours (days) between 'place' and 'press' when I had the floor covered in order to work out no single fabric was repeated too close to itself, but isn't that half the fun of quilting? LOL.

This week I'll be batting and backing and machine quilting. I've decided to make it in up in two quilt-as-you-go sections to reduce bulk while I free motion quilt, and will then be attempting to create a flawless join. Wish me luck!  Will post more photos soon.

Cat of nine tales quilt

Just to show I have finished at least one quilt in my's the quilt I made for my sister for her 40th.

I chose a combination of white with silvery grey-blue fabrics for the machine-pieced background and each cat is individually hand appliqued and embroidered.

I cannot claim credit for the glorious machine quilting - Jeanie, you are a star. As a result, the back of this quilt is as beautiful as the front with different free motion quilting in each of the 9 windows. This one below even has a ball of string quilted into it for the resident cat to play with. Just perfect!

I really enjoyed making this quilt, and it was great to be able to give something made with so much love to my big sis.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Post-earthquake post

It's now been 8 months since the big 7.1 magnitude quake hit Christchurch on Sept 4, and almost 3 months since the killer 6.3 quake in February.

People who don't live here must think we are all crazy for still sticking around. According to the Christchurch Earthquake Map website there have been over 7300 aftershocks since September, and over 2300 since the February one. And counting. That's a lot of shakes.

The centre of our city is still on lock down, for the most part, with horror stories of the smell and the massive rat infestation now circulating alongside the pictures of the damage. People working to make safe the area report all those restaurants and cafes eerily abandoned since February have plates of food moulding away on tables and in powerless refrigerators. That's what's feeding the cat-sized rats. (Yuk!)

Had you asked me even a year ago if I'd stick around a place so shaky, I'd have laughed in your face and looked at you like you needed your head read. Are you nuts?! Of course not!  But I never saw Christchurch as a shaky place before September. Nobody did. Town plans identified areas prone to liquefaction but there seemed to be a greater concern about the risk of flood damage if the Waimakariri river changed course or broke its banks.

Now, if I still lived in Wellington, that would be different.  When I lived in Wellington all those years ago, I remember being petrified of earthquakes. There is a pervasive expectation that the next 'big one' will someday hit Wellington, sitting on a fault line and all, but not Christchurch. The Garden City is different. It's flat.  It never seemed to shake before September.  And while everything has now changed, still we don't leave.

I've thought about this a lot and I think it's because the new 'normal' is that this is still home, just shakier. Living here, you still tense up when it shakes. Is this another big one? How big is it going to be? These questions flash through your mind, every time. The constant shakes aren't pleasant, but they don't scare me. Not knowing if somewhere in the city there has been more damage or another fatality leaves a sour taste in your mouth, and you quickly get to the radio, or the laptop to check Geonet, to find out. Then, you just get on with things.

Indeed, and I know this sounds illogical, the constancy of the shaking is almost easier to deal with than having them come out of the blue.

So we stay; fully expecting the unexpected, planning for the worst, hoping for the best.

A visit to the dentist

A few days ago I found a loose filling and while the thought of going to the dentist did not thrill me, I knew it was inevitable.

The good news is that whilst it wasn't pleasant, it was over pretty quickly. The filling was cracked and a piece was missing. Turned out there was a bit of a sinkhole beneath it so out it came. A brand new filling is now settling in its place. My mouth is crazy numb, and half my tongue too, which is a unique feeling, but kudos to St Albans Dental Centre for being such professionals.

Oh, I should add that I was a bit late for my appointment as I got confused between the veterinary clinic and the dental centre. In my mind, the dentist was where the clinic was. Fortunately, the sight of all those cats and dogs gave it away and I promptly drove out of that carpark and on to the right one!