Sunday, December 30, 2012

Checkered chickens completed.

Its so lovely having the week of between Christmas and New Years off.  I have been able to do lots of my favourite things, like cooking, walking on the beach and of course sewing.

Yesterday afternoon DH and I settled in to watch a DVD and I stitched the binding on the chickens quilt whilst watching it.  We then went out last night to watch a band play that we used to watch in the 80's.  DH went to school with the lead singer and drummer, and they reformed for one show only.

It was a lot of fun and they played songs that I had not heard in 20 years.  Most of the crowd were old school friends and the news of the band playing was from word of mouth and good ole facebook.

Anyhow, back to the chicken quilt, here it is, simple as last shown with the small red gingham check for the binding and backed in a check fabric to tie in with the front of the quilt.  I quilted it in all over stipple, but not over the chooks.  Then I stitched around each of the chooks. 

Now onto my next UFO - a baby quilt for DD#3 who is expecting a little boy in Feb who will be Grand baby #7 for us. (Grand son #5)

This quilt  needs the borders done, and then pinned and quilted. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Getting stuck into it.

In the aftermath of Christmas I enjoyed a day relaxing.  My house desperately needs a vacuum after having about 30+ people through the day before,  but that can wait.

So what have I done?

Firstly I have allocated the January block swap partners, and changed the look of the blog - new year new background.  Check it out HERE.

Then I tidied up my own blog, I realised that I had old buttons from swap groups long gone, and my Completed 2012 page was only up to July, so I painstakingly brought that up to date.

I have also changed the background.

Then I set to work on my block obligations. Firstly made my two six inch baskets for Mary, then made two 12 inch blocks for my January partners Dawnelle and Tanya.

Then drum roll please........  I made my cushion for my cushion swap.  Here it is, but I am not going to tell you who it is for until she lets me know that it has arrived.

Now I have four quilt tops to turn into quilts.  I doubt I will get through them all, but I will make a start on that now.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cooking

Not much sewing (actually none) has happened in the last couple of days as I have been chained to my kitchen

We are hosting the family on Christmas night ( Christmas lunch is at my DD # 3's house - Nicole), but I have all of the rest of the family for tea, something we have done now for about 12 years.

Tea is a simple affair of nibbles and bring a plate to share fare,  I am sharing lots of plates,
The menu is ...
Home made sausage rolls
 And onion tarts, I have also made some little pastry cases to fill with pesto and a cherry tomato but I will fill them before serving so they don't get soggy.
Tomorrow I have to make Thai chicken balls and a rice salad .
There is also a turkey roll that I will precook and serve cold on a bed of crisp lettuce with mixed greens and cranberry salad.  I also have a large ham on the bone to slice.

The sweets are..

For the littlies.
Ginger bread men - of course

and Chocolate dipped shortbread

 For the big kids there is...
Chocolate licorice slice and hazelnut slice (with shortbread base and white choc topping - yum)

As well as chocolate drizzled shortbread trees.  Sheree also made some Apricot balls, but I forgot to photograph them.
I have the base of a jelly slice chilling in the fridge which is the last of the sweet treats.  Fresh fruit is a plenty   There will be some lovely fresh Berenberg Strawberries, we are so lucky in South Australia to have the Berenberg farm here, their world famous jams are served on Qantas flights and in many major hotels all around the world, and we can go there and pick our own strawberries.

I also have some lovely Christmas cherries, and juicy fresh watermelon.

It was 41 degrees Celsius in Adelaide today  - to hot to even step out side for a minute, and with the oven on all day its lucky for us that we have air conditioning.  I should have just popped the shortbread outside and baked it there lol.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Checkered Chickens

I have been motoring my way through the blocks and tonight I sashed them all together.  Thank you for all your feedback, I a pleased that I decided to sash them.

Take a look ....

I guess now looking at it, the chickens stand out better on the check than they do on the chicken print, so if I were going to do another I would have all check backgrounds.  You also cant tell, but the chicken coop is a chicken wire print, and there are little chickens on the fabric in the doorway.

Now the next bit of advise from my design team please. 

Do I need another border ?  I was thinking of one maybe 4 inches in the red and white gingham check that I have used on the chickens crowns.  DH - my chief designer says no, he likes it like it is.

So while I settle down to do the stitchery on the banner (it says chicken coop), I will wait to see what you all think.  I think I will be backing this in a check fabric too.

I made it to spotlight today and picked up a few meters of batting, so now I can get all my flimsy's put together and quilted over my Christmas break.  I think I have about 4 to do.   EEEKK.  

And as you may have guessed, I have named the quilt checkered chickens.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Are you chicken?

For about two years now I have been saving chook fabric.

My first ever quilt was called roosting roosters, and I made this in country fabrics and checks, and it still sits on the sofa in my living room.

Some time after making this I thought about making a chook quilt in chook fabric, and thats when my quest to save as many chook fabrics as I could began.

Finally the quilt has begun.  Here are the first two blocks ( I have not sewn on the button eyes yet), but you can see how cute this will be,

As you can see, the blocks will either be check with a chicken in chicken pattern or a check chook on a chicken fabric, (try saying that fast)

Below is a close up of the yellow one, this cute chook print was a Birthday gift from the lovely Cheryll, of Gone stitchin.  The green check is left over from my first quilt.

All of the chooks have their crowns in red check, and their heads are either in brown check or green check. 
The pattern does not have the blocks sashed, but I am not sure about that, I tend to like sashing between my blocks, what do you think of that?  I would be interested to know.

The centre block will feature a chicken coop,

This will be a project for me over my Christmas holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cushion swap update

Rolling Star, made by Sue Belleli 2010
Here is the list of the 16 ladies taking part in the 2013 cushion swap -
 stand by to see some amazing creations.
Anna Banks
Maria Wilson
Maria Goodwin
Fiona Robinson
Terry Fisher
Alison Zanchetta
Jeneta Masson
Carmen Johnson
Geri Olsen
Robyn Roberts
Jan Sage
Julieanne Keeler
Pat Converse
Lorraine Parkes
Christine O'Donnell
and me
(Sue Belleli)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cushion swap - last call

Hello ladies,

We have 14 registrations for the 2013 cushion swap so if you have been toying with the idea of joining in you need to get in touch with me pretty soon to join in on the fun.

I will be closing off registrations on Friday and emailing partners on the following weekend.  You will have 6 weeks to make and send your cushion so oodles of time over the Christmas period. 

Simply pop a comment on this post or send me an email, If you are not a member of QBSA I will need an email to get your postal details etc.

I have 11 days of holidays over the Christmas break, so lots of fun times to be had in my sewing room while I relax.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mystery BOM progress

Turning on my lap top, and ping, into my inbox popped the next invoice for the Fat quarter shops mystery BOM, where does the month go?

This was a reminder to me to get cracking on block 6, before block 7 arrived in my letterbox, so that's what I have been doing today.

(I did also plant some red and white petunias ready for Christmas).

But block 6 meant the end of row two, so this meant I had to make flying geese borders and join it all on.

Here is how it all looks - lovely.

Next year I am redecorating my bedroom, we are getting plantation shutters in white for the Bay window and  I am repainting my chocolate feature wall to a lovely sky blue. How perfect will this quilt look when its all done.  I am now at the half way mark on the blocks.

I still have the next striped border to do before I can add on blocks 7, 8 and 9, but that can wait till another day as completing them is still three months away

Now back to the sewing room to work on another project as I feel this one is pretty much up to date. 

Did you also notice my blog header had changed, I owed it to candy necklace to feature there as it is my first ever quilt sold.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My first Etsy sale

OMG, Imagine my surprise when I arrived home from work tonight, logged on to my email to catch up on the goss and saw that I had sold a quilt on Etsy.

The quilt that was sold is this one....

I really enjoyed making this quilt and am thinking of making a version in yellows and oranges.  Its on my endless to do list.  The purchaser is in New York so it has a way to travel but first they would like me to put a hanging sleeve on it for them to display on their wall.  Imagine that, one of my quilts will be hanging on someones wall in New York.

Very exciting,

Well that's all for me, this week I have been catching up on my block swap commitment's and have also finished the flimsy top for my new (yet to be born) grand baby.  I still have the borders to add on, but need to purchase some more batting to complete that one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Look what my hubby found

Now my DH is not one for bringing home rubbish, or others cast of items, but look what he spotted out on the side of  the street for hard rubbish collection.

Now it needs a good clean up, and the varnish on the oak case is flaking off but I am pretty happy with the find.  I have a couple of weeks off over Christmas so I plan to give this a good clean and maybe I will plug it in and see if it works. 

I saw that it had some serial numbers on it, so I was curious of its age, and found a website that lists all of the production dates based on serial numbers.  My new (old machine) has two numbers one on the base of the machine (you can see it in the top photo- in brass I can date this one to 1941. and that it was made in Scotland. 

Interestingly the serial number on the motor dates it to 1945 and says that it was made in Australia, but reading up on this the website explains that production stopped over the war years, so many machines have two stamps on them, one for when production started and one for when it was completed.  My guess is that the motor was added later, as the war would have made it possible to motorise what may have been a treadle machine in its initial design.

My other lucky find this week was on eBay, I am a bit of a nut for old buttons, button tins and cotton reels, and managed to win the bid on this.

Inside were lots of goodies, old buttons on cards, old glass buttons and metal buttons as well as a few accessories.  I am in heaven.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Registrations open for the 2013 cushion swap.

What fun we had last time, and what amazing cushions were created.
  Want to join in the fun in 2013?
Simply email me to
or leave a comment on this post to join in. 

The details you need to leave me are:

Your name
If you are not a member of QBSA please email me, so I can contact you.
What room you would like a cushion for and
what colours you would like it made in.

Sue Belleli
blue and brown

I will be closing registrations by December 15th and sending out your partners shortly after this. 

You will have until 30th January 2013 to make and send your cushion to your partner which is 6 weeks.  It is over the Festive season so please think carefully about whether you will have the time to commit to making your partner a cushion.

As before this will be a secret squirrel swap so the person that you make the cushion for, will not be the same person that is making a cushion for you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A jolly fellow

A friends of mine purchased this panel of jolly Ol' Santa and asked me to make her a wall hanging from it.  Now I am always up for a challenge and enjoyed playing around with the quilting lines on this.  Its like dot to dot on a sewing machine.

After the quilting was complete, I trimmed the batting and simply folded the top fabric over the edges to form a hem.  At the top I simply made a tube for slipping in a hanging rod. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ta Dah ! Owl quilt is complete

Finally I have completed the Owl quilt, after hand stitching the binding on last night.

I am really happy with how it has turned out, and cant wait to give it to Rosemary who is gifting this to her Grand daughter for Christmas.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sewing slippers

I received an order for a pair of my slippers from the market stall at my friends Gills house.

Caitlin ordered them in an egg shell blue, and I used this fabric that I had in my stash which is by Will&Grace - so pretty.  I made the rosettes from a french general fat quarter and topped it with pearl buttons from my vintage button collection.

Now onto making my Christmas quilting block swap block.  Have a good week everyone.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Last night DH and I went to Adelaide central markets.  There was a time when we used to go here once a fortnight on a Friday night to get our fresh fruit and veggies as well as an array of other treats.

As you ride down the escalator from the parking area you can smell a myriad of aromas such a cheeses, coffee, roasted nuts and fruit.  Walking past one of the fish mongers, they call out to customers to come in and buy their catch of the day.

After shopping we often used to visit near by China town for a delicious Asian meal but tonight we were shopping with friends and going back to their house to cook up the goodies.

I didn't have my camera on me, but took a couple of pics on my phone.  There are countless fruit and veg stores selling farm fresh produce,  I just love the colours.  Nectarines and mangoes are in season so in the shopping cart they went.  Along with tender young asparagus, baby spinach and lovely divine scented Thai basil.

This is one of my favourite stores and I cant help but buy a bag of lemon sherbets.  DH has a soft spot for chocolate coated aniseed rings.

And a visit to the markets would not be complete without one or two cheeses.  We decided on a soft blue from King Island near Tasmania as well as some imported Parmesan.  There were also a couple of tubs of olives, and some chili salami going into the cart.
We have some other friends coming over for drinks and nibbles tonight so I can share some of these lovely treats with them too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Owl quilt - part 5

I hope you are not getting sick of seeing this grow. 

On the weekend I added the borders and pinned the quilt together (my least favourite job), and last night I began the quilting process in the centre border and Uh OH.  I ran out of white quilting cotton.  I always have a spare reel on hand, but must have used it without realising I had.  Nevermind, a visit to the Bernina dealer today ( buy 5 and get one free) and three rolls of white, one of black, one of taupe and one in yellow and I can get on with the job later tonight. (I topped up my stash of quilting cottons)

So, last night, this was as far as I could go. Its hard to photograph with the quilting showing up, so I took a pic of the back of the quilt as the quilting shows up better..  I also forgot to take a photo of the front with the borders on, so you will have to wait till the quilting is completed to see that - it looks lovely, even if I do say so myself.

Here is block 5 on the Fat quarter shops mystery BOM.  Forgive the photo, it was pinned on my design board and a bit crooked.  I had to get cracking and get this block done as block 6 is due in the mail any day soon.

This was probably the most complicated block so far, but with careful cutting and piecing it all fits together nicely.  Trouble is, this one measures about 1/2 inch too big, so depending on how it looks when I stitch it in, I may have to remake this one again or try and trim it down some how.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

To market - To market

To buy a fat quilt.

One of my besties, Gill held a market style fundraiser for a friend that is raising money for Cancer research for the Flinders Medical centre in South Australia. 

The fundraiser was a market, and I was invited to be a stall holder and selling my quilts.  The market was held in Gills house, and 50 or so ladies were invited to shop.  I have never had a market stall before so this was a first for me, and this is how it looked.

I didnt sell any quilts BUT I did get two orders for custom made items,  One for a pair of slippers as the lady was a size larger than the biggest pair I had, and the other for  ...... drum roll..  
...  Yes, another Owl quilt. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Owl quilt - part 4 and Dutch treats

The owls are now all lined up around the centre panels and stitched in place, now its time to add on the borders and then the quilting begins.

I also had a lovely surprise in my letterbox today from the very geneours Ank who is a member of my quilting swap group.  She is visiting her son in Adelaide, and he lives a street away from me.  How very thoughtful of her to bring me some pretty Dutch fabric.

Here is a panel with the sweetest little dutch children on it.

And this lovely fabric with windmills, clogs and tulips,  How lucky am I.
The owls are now all lined up around the centre panels and stitched in place, now its time to add on the borders and then the quilting begins.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 cushion swap

All of the cushions have been made and sent to their recipients, with 16 ladies participating in the swap we saw some incredible work.

I have had a play around with Picasa tonight and created the collage of the gorgeous work that we all did.  However, apologies to Teresa, as for some reason Picasa would not pick up your picture, so I will pop it under the collage.

In a few weeks time I will be opening up registrations for the 2013 cushion swap, so if you are interested in participating watch this space.