Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dresden progress

On our weekend away I was on a mission - sew as many dresdens as I could onto backing squares and work out how long it was going to take me to see some results!

I went away with 24 wheels sewn, leaving 18 left of the 42 to sew together. Friday night, even though it was a STINKY hotter than the face of the sun 47.6 degrees, bedrooms were claimed, bags unpacked, sewing machines were set up, champagne was uncorked, cheese platters were put out and we all sat down to get some stitchin' done!

One nicely pressed wheel... one down 41 to go...
I gave up at 11.30 with my eyes hanging out of my head leaving 7 to be done which I knocked over first thing Saturday morning.

So so pretty and so so happy they were all done!
Realising the next stage was going to need thread I didn't have with me one of the lovely ladies, Sally, very kindly took me into town. Coming away with 3 reels of cotton (I was being optimistic at getting some sewing done) we headed back to camp.

I didn't like the assembly instructions in the book so I closed it once I had my backing fabric measurements and did it my way... the book said to applique the wheel on then hand sew the centre circle on once you have put freezer paper on the middle and finger pressed the seam allowance in, blah blah. Then once stitched cut the back of the fabric behind the circle to remove the freezer paper... um, not going to happen on my watch! I don't like the idea of cutting the fabric and leaving it flapping, although I am sure it wouldn't but still... So I proceeded after a brief discussion with the room and the consensus was not to cut and did it my way and I am pretty happy with the results!

And done

Even the back is pretty!

I have all 42 but we think 7 across and 6 down is going to make this too big and too heavy so we might just do a 6x6 instead, meaning I have 7 wheeels too many! Oh well, I am sure I will find something to make them into :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Retreat - Monestary in Stroud

The Rainbow group I am in on Facebook if just full to bursting with lovely ladies and Molli. There has been chat and talk about a weekend away which I wanted to go to, not to have a weekend to myself but to meet some of the girls I have interacted with the past 12 months and thank them for all their hard work.

The weekend was put up, Stef's roster was checked, no clashes, I was IN! Then we got a new roster, there was a clash, I was out... I was rather miffed and upset then I had a thought, as yet another version of the roster replaced the previous one due to some peope swapping shifts, if some people were swapping then what was stopping me asking Stef to swap? I worked out who and what weekend would work best for us (and the swappee - helped that I remembered his wife's birthday was near the weekend that would work best - win win!). Shift swap arranged and I was back IN, happy dances all round!

Head retreat organiser Helen, arranged for us to stay at a Monestary in Stroud which her sister in law had stayed at previously through a yoga retreat and it was perfect. Almost half way between Sydney and Armidale (where the Rainbow Queen and her helpers live their normal lives) we were all travelling similar distances. The Monestary was just divine. Brick floors, a kitchen to die for (size and layout not the actual kitchen!!), it was basic, rustic, charming and so simple it made me realise just how little you need to be happy! There was a large warning on the table about a snake we nicknamed Monty (python) and with the temperatures hitting 47 degrees the day we arrived we were all a little anxious that Monty would make an appearance!

Here is the Monestary...

The Hall looking towards the chapel/sleeping quarters

The hallway towards the sleeping quarters just past the chapel
The Chapel Door
The 'library'/drawing room - some amazing books on the shelves. This room is apparently really nice in winter with the fire going. I wonder if the next retreat will be in winter....
My room... A bed (wire frame and a wee bit noisy!), a bedside table, desk and chair and wardrobe.

Looking towards the front entrance

Some of the gals... this was the room we sewed in...

The 'pantry' amazing! all the crockery and glassware was in here. It was awesome!

Cooker and our new potholders we left as a 'donation'. The front one has a rainbow snake on it 'our mascot' Monty...

Island in the middle and 2 more gals!

Love the bench tops and the pot shelf above.

The drawer handles were fabulous, just branches.

Not far from the kitchen we came across this 'drying rack'... apparently this is the summers offenders... there are 3 so far...

Pretty but scary...

There was 9 of us on the retreat (and when Sally posts a pic I will borrow it and add it in here too) and it worked well. Thermi (my Thermomix) came with us. Thermi was the easiest way to be able to make something I could safely eat (self catering is so boring!) in a quantity that could be shared and it and still have plenty of time for sewing. There was another GF girl on the trip so we had a feast.

Of course, the object of the weekend was to sew... and sew I did (more on the main sewing project in another post). Being this was a rainbow weekend I thought I would have something ready to take to do something I had seen a link to a tutorial courtesy of Sally ( here is the tutorial) and decided this WOF swap would become suitably stripped and flipped. I whipped this up in about half an hour (ironing the seams took another 30 minutes...) and was totally blown away by the brightness and appeal of all the colours together, it's just lovely...

 Then I stripped and flipped and boarded it. WOW. So simple, yet... Sensational. Love love love!

Now to pop into CA Boyle and pick up a back for it, decide how to quilt it... I could give it a go and stitch in the ditch, I could try stippling or I could send it to Ellie-Mae... hmm...

Stats for the weekend away from the group...
Bottles of champagne/wine consumed - 3 bottles
Bourbon consumed - 1 bottle
Coke/diet coke/coke zero consumed - about 15 ltrs!
Kilo's of cheese eaten - about 5!!!
Cracker and chip packets emptied - loads
Lollipops consumed - 20
Chocolate consumed - loads!

And my own...
Injuries - 1 - me & a rotary cutter, rotary cutter won
Broken needles - 1 - again me, can't sew pins
Quilt tops done - 1
Dresden Wheels completed - the last of my 42 finished - 17...
Dresden Wheels on backing squares - 7
Reels of cotton sewn - 3 - 2x 800m and 1x 1000m