Wednesday, August 31, 2011

241 Tote bag

This evening I have been busy making this adorable tote bag.  I have not made a lot of bags (this is my fourth), and I have to say it is the easiest bag I have ever made.

 The bag comes in two versions, the one I have made (easier option) with side pockets, and the alternate pattern with zip pockets.

I spotted the pattern on Angela from Fussy Cuts blog, she made both versions of the bag, check out her post on this here  and you can purchase the pattern from here 

I used saffron Craig fabric for the body of the bag, two prints, Elk landscape and geese bubbles as I think they compliment each other nicely.  It has two side  pockets and one internal pocket.  I have to purchase a little magnetic clasp for the bag so I have not stitched the closure up on the lining yet.  
This is the first tick off my white rabbit list, but I love it so much I am sure to make more than one, maybe I will try one with zips next.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

A few weeks ago I shared with you the sherry glasses that belonged to my Nanny. (Dads mum)

This week I am sharing a tea spoon that belonged to my Granny (mum's mum).  Granny passed away when I was about 15 and I had not seen her since we left England when I was 5.  So my memories of Granny are quite fuzzy.  I do remember that she loved to bake and always had a treat like jam tarts to eat when we came to visit.  I also remember she had an octagonal window in her entry passage with a vase of plastic daffodils in the window.  Isn't it funny the little things like that you remember.  Poppy grew tomatoes in a glass house in the back yard, and I can still remember the smell of that greenhouse, a cross between rotting compost and home grown tomatoes.  Granny and Pop lived in Stratford Upon Avon, which is where William Shakespeare came from. 

Granny loved to drink tea, and she gave my mum a brass tea spoon for her tea caddy.  The tea spoon is a souvenir from a holiday in Devonshire, a seaside spot where you could ride a donkey on the beach.

Several years ago mum gave me the tea spoon as a memento of Gran. Its made of brass and is quite heavy.  The detail on the donkey is quite good.  I still use the tea spoon in my tea caddy, and when I do it always reminds me of Gran and her jam tarts.

Hop on over to visit Melody and her friends here to see what other treasures are being shared this week

Monday, August 29, 2011

August almost over

Lets see, did I acheive all that I set out to do for August?  Pretty much.

I completed the top of the Its a Hoots charm square quilt,  here it is

All I need to do is pin, quilt and bind it so thats on the list for September

I completed (and gave) the Fiona Charm square quilt.
I completed block 8 of Henrietta's whiskers BOM

and I am up to date with the rest of the group in the FWQA so I can slow this down to 2 a week and concentrate on other tasks.

Here are the next few blocks

22. Corn and Beans

23. Country farm

24. Country path

25. Cups and saucers

26. Cut glass dish
I am not sure about corn and beans, I may remake that one, Cut glass dish was to date the most challenging block, getting all those little triangles to match up.  I am happy with the final result and there was not too  much unpicking thank goodness.

I honoured all of my swaps (being the co ordinator, it would be naughty of me not to), but alas, I did not get the Adelaide floral sampler block done.  There is still a few days left in August so lets see if I can tick that box too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesdays Treasures

This week is a simple love of mine - roosters.

I love all things country, which is probably why I love quilts so much, they put a country feel to a home.

I only have two roosters, one is a cast iron door stop that was given to me as a gift, the other is a blown glass rooser that I purchased at a market stall on a visit to Townsville, of all places.  Over time I will get more, but I dont want to get them for the sake of it.  They will have to have that certain something.

The first quilt I ever made was called Roostin roosters - read the journey of that quilt here

Want to play - hop on over to pay Melody a visit here and share your Tuesday treasures with us.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting my sewing Mojo back

As most of you (at this time of the year), I have been struck down with the flu.  I had planned to have the whole day Sunday to myself sewing, but instead found myself in bed feeling very miserable.

I managed to get through today ok, and snuck away from work an hour early and hip hip hooray, got some sewing done.

I am pleased to show of the next few FWQA blocks, but first here is a group shot of the first 21.

I am starting to think about what colour sashing to put between these, and am leaning towards a solid black with lime green cornerstones.  Any ideas appreciated

But for now here are the next few. I have photographed 17 again as this time the green came out more true to life, like a pistachio gelati.

17. Cats & Mice
 I made 18. twice, as I was not happy with the first one, I made the red diamonds in white with red and blue print, but it did not do the pattern justice as the centre needed to pop,

 I am much happier with the second one below.

18. Century of progress
19. Checkerboard

20. Churn dash
I need a few more vibrant blocks to compete with the purple one I made earlier, I had some of this Kaffe Fasset pink floral in my stash and love it in this block.

21. Contrary wife
 So, in 22 days, I have made 21 blocks  - I think I almost caught up the the blog group and only have 90 more blocks to make.  Looking at the group as a collection I also think I need more purple, and some orange, I have no orange yet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fiona quilt finished

I am pleased to announce another finish. Its always a good feeling when the last stitch is stitched on a quilt no matter how big or how small.  A feeling of accomplishment.

In an earlier post I showed the top of the Fiona quilt (from 3 times the charm book), that I have made for Jo at work who is expecting a baby girl in October. I have now quilted it and tonight hand stitched the binding.

 Next week is Jo's last week at work and we have a surprise baby shower morning tea planned for her so I had to get cracking on this one.

The quilt is made primarily using a charm square pack and is a simple pattern of 9 patch blocks alternated with square in square blocks.  The fabric is Sumptuous by Robyn Randolph, plus a pretty blue sprig I had in my stash between the blocks.

Dont you agree that the best part about making a quilt is seeing the persons face when you give it to them. 

On a closing note I purchased a lovely bunch of roses last Saturday at Woolies, they had been discounted to clear from $10 to $8. (bargain). But, within 24 hours most of them had dropped their little heads, but one still stands tall and proud.  Why do roses do that, any ideas on how to make them last longer.  I trimmed their stalks before I put them in the vase, but not sure what else I can do.  I dont seem to have this trouble with other cut flowers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quilters are a special bunch

I have always found quilting ladies such giving people, we often slip little extras in with our block swaps, like a piece of fabric or ribbon.  And I would like to thank one such lady - new member Billy for her special gift.

Billy was my swap partner in the Christmas swap, and in my package she slipped in a package of Christmas charms, but I did not know this as the envelope had opened in transit and they had fallen out.  I commented on how sweet the little charms were that she had stitched on my block and she asked me if I had received the ones she had sent, which of course I did not. 

But look what arrived in the post today

My own replacement little package of charms.  Thank you so much Billy, a big quilted hugs to you xx
And a warm welcome to the 6 inch and 12 inch swap groups.

I have also been busy sewing more FWQA blocks this week and am up to block 17.  I am not sure where the group is up to, but I must be getting close to catching up.

I have redone block 14.  Butterfly at the Cross roads as I did not like the green I had used, plus it turned out a bit lopsided and not completely square.  I am much happier with the replacement block- below.

14. Butterfly at the Crossroads

15. Buzzards Roost

When I was posting this picture I noticed a mistake in block 16, so it looks like I have some unpicking to do.
The half square triangles should all lead out from the centre block so the two on the right side of the picture are wrong.  (GGrr). It looks like I just stitched that right hand side on back to front as the blue floral print also has the stems facing in, not out like all of the other three sides.  Funny how I only noticed this error now. 
16. Calico Puzzle
17. Cats & Mice
 Cats and mice is my favourite, it looks like a mint choc chip gelati, since I am doing the quilt in summery gelati colours its quite appropriate.

  What is your favourite gelati flavour. 


I am beginning to realise why this is called Tuesdays treasures,
The more I look the more I find
these items are simple, not valuable in the dollar sense  but mean the world to me

They are basic sherry glassess that belonged to my grand mother - or Nanny as I used to call her.
Nanny was quite a character and worked for many years as a cook on shearing stations in the north of South Australia.  Most of these places were quite remote in the Northern Flinders ranges and we never had the chance to visit them.  But one school holidays I can remember staying in the shearers quarters at a place called Booborowie, just north of the Clare Valley - a beautiful wine region of South Australia. 
 We had fun watching the shearers, rounding up sheep with the dog - my sister and I sitting in the back of the ute with mesh on our faces to keep out the red dust.

 Nanny gave me these sherry glasses just a few weeks before she passed away, and its the only thing I still have that belonged to her - so they are truly a treasure to me.

Melody hosts Tuesday treasures, take a look here to see who else is playing .

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A busy week

I have had a very busy sewing week - just the way I like it.

I have completed block 8 in the Henrietta's Whiskers free BOM.  I have not yet stitched the stems on the leaves but other than that its done.

And look what arrived in the post today

My lovely acorn backing fabric for the Henrietta's whiskers quilt from the Fat Quarter shop, as well as this bunch of delicious citrus coloured Fat Quarters that I purchased for my FWQA.  This is Sherri McConnell's bloggers choice bundle and the range is Summers House.  It reminds me of a big bowl of gelati - yum.

I could not hold out starting this quilt until they arrived, which is just as well as I have done the first 13 blocks.  My quilt is going to be primarily in these lovely summery colours with some pinks, and oranges, purples and reds thrown in.

Here are the next 3 blocks.

12. Broken Sugar bowl

13. Buckwheat

14. Butterfly at the Crossroads
I am not happy with block 14 as its a bit off with the shape, and I am not sure I like the green, so I may redo this one.  (using some of the new fabric instead).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesdays treasures

Hubby and I love to travel, and we always pick up some trinket or another from another country, so I have decided to share one of these with you each month.

This month its from Thailand, where we have had the pleasure to visit on three occasions.  Both of these statues were purchased on our first trip to Phuket (followers of my blog would know I was there again last June), but this is from the trip to celebrate Hubby's 50th.

It does not show up well on the photograph, but the flute player is very gilded, and both statues are quite heavy cast metal of some type. The old man carrying the pails has so much detail on his face.

Why not share in the fun and show us your treasures, pop over to here and visit the lovely Melody to see who else is playing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lucky me, look what I got today

A few months a go, the hubby and I were at a dinner party at a friends house, and I was talking about my quilting. The friend told me she had a sewing table in the shed that she never used and would I be interested in it. 

I never gave it a second thought and Kara rang me today to say they were clearing out the garage and did I want to take a look at the sewing table.  So I popped on over, and to my delight it was not a Horn sewing table, but a Horn cutting table - exactly what I needed.

Here it is ( I fitted a corner table underneath for some extra shelving

And here is how it fits in with my other sewing table

And while I am showing you around my room, here is the other side of the room

I did also manage to get a little bit of sewing done this weekend.  I was reading up other quilters comments on the FWQA site, and a lot were talking about accuracy, block sizes etc.  Giving this some thought I decided to be harder on myself and more critical of the blocks I was making.  I firstly measured them all again (to check) and then I re- did a couple that were not quite right.

Here is the new bowtie (the red and green one). I think it looks much better it is than my original version.  The yellow square in the first one (made from quarter square triangles, was  not quite square, which then threw the whole block out a bit.  I love the bird fabric, but the block was lacking something.

I also re- did Block 9 "Box".

The new version is the one with the Fussy cut centre piece.
I also matched up the seams better .  I also decided to use a slightly different shade of blue as it matched the blue on the red cross better.

I am also planning to un pick and re do part of block 8 Bouquet, as I am not happy how the brown dot vase looks, I like the rest of this block, so its only a partial re do.  Quite a few ladies in the group commented on struggling to get this one the correct size, but mine is correct- just lucky I guess.

Today, I also tackled block 11, Broken Dishes.

I ended up making  this block twice as I was not happy with my first one.  In my second attempt I also used a different colour combo as the green was a bit to insipid. 

Its not perfect, but I can live with it.  Most of the points match and it measures 6 and a half inches, so I am happy.  Thats 11 down 100 to go !

Block 11- Broken Dishes
Finally this week, I did a little bit of stitchery. This cute pin cushion featured in Homespun magazine a couple of months ago, and I thought it was sweet.  I have also finished the stitchery for one in blue, but ran out of stuffing so that one is not finished yet.  The front features a blue bird (that I made red on this version "grin") and the reverse says. Happiness.  I am not sure if I will keep these or give them away as gifts.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time to take a break - 10 FWQA blocks done

Whew, its been a mammoth week of making these adorable Farmers wives quiltalong blocks.

Here are the next 4

7 - Birds in the air

8 - Bouquet

9. Box

10. Bowtie

Here are the first 10 together, in the quilt they are placed on point like I have laid them out below, and they have sashing between them.  I have not decided on what colour I will use for the sashing, I think this will come to me as more blocks are made.  Of course I will also play around with them so they are all sewn together in a pleasing manner with an even distribution of colour.
So, 10 down and 101 more to go.  The group FWQA can be found here if you are thinking of joining in the fun.  There are 700 quilters from all over the world that have caught the bug.  You can see all of their lovely blocks on flickr.  I have now joined flickr and my name is of course quilted hugs (grin). I have also uploaded pics of all of the quilts I have made onto this site.

So, its time to take a break (from FWQA) for now, as look at the next two blocks I have to make

 EEKK .... Lots of little pieces.  I did find the birds in the air block the hardest so far, as that was lots of little triangles, but these ALL little triangles and squares.  Accurate cutting and accurate seams are called for.  The finished blocks are only 6 inches, so you can imagine how small these triangles are.

I think that I need to get back onto my other projects and come back to these in a week or so when I am nice and fresh.

Before I go, I have to show you a picture of Robbie, this is one spoilt rotten dog. I popped into my bedroom and he was snuggled up between the pillows looking very pleased with himself.