Monday, January 30, 2012

I am serious - not much sewing last week.

Well, I certainly got a few comments a week ago when I posted that I hadnt done much sewing, but looking back last week it is really the case. Its a sad fact that last week the only sewing time I got was a few hours on Sunday afternoon.

I used this time to set to work on my Once a season Swap gifts which has an autumn theme.  Putting my thinking cap on what did autumn mean to me.  As the weather cools you can start cooking and baking again so I decided on a kitchen set, and made a pot holder and kitchen towel set. 

My partners blog didnt give me any real hints on her favourites, it was a bit of everything, so I chose a cheery red with a bit of a French provincial feel.

My first attempt on the pot holder was a bit sad as I forgot to quilt it before I put the pockets on, and tried to cheat by sewing both sides of the binding on by machine. So now I have a badly made one in my kitchen and remade it for my partner.  I roasted a chook last night and used it to take the chook out of the oven and didnt burn my fingers, so doubling the wadding at the hand ends of the pot holder seemed to work a treat.

I have also been making a few of these bookmarks as tuck in gifts, I think they are cute, and a great way to use up selvidges.  I think I have enough selvidges to make 100 or more  :-)

And here is my pile of gifts for my OASS partner all ready to gift wrap.  I still need to purchase one or two more goodies to tuck in - maybe some sweets or chokkies.

The only other sewing was tonight I made my Feb 12 inch partner her block,  you can see it HERE  so see, not a huge sewing week. But I did get my February swap commitments well underway so the rest of the month I can dedicate to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Playing with paper

I have not had an overly productive sewing week, mainly because the weather has been so warm which really does not make you feel like being stuck in the sewing room when its so nice on the beach and daylight does not end till 8pm.

Tonight I decided to practice some more paper piecing.  And as I had recently changed my block choice in the 6 inch group to a sail boat , which is paper pieced I thought I would have a go to see how hard - or easy it would be.  Now remember, this is about the 4th or 5th block I have ever made with paper piecing

Now I have made it, I can see where I went wrong with the sky so will fix that on my next attempt.

Earlier this week I made two more of my jelly roll sampler blocks,  I really love making these, they come together so nicely.

Block 4- rolling stone

Block 5- Rolling Pinwheel
 Here are the first 5 all together on my design board, you can also see the first 2 little yachts that Billy made for me in the 6 inch swap with my little fellow joining them

I also managed to get a few more FWQA blocks made this week - next time I work on this quilt I think I will be ready to add in another row,

62. Old Windmill

63. Oak maple leaf

64. Peace and plenty

65. Peaceful Hours
I also had another (mini) finish this week, my blue bird of happiness pin cushion.  I made one in reds last year and had done the stitchery for the blue one at the same time but never put it together.  As part on my New Years resolution to complete some UFO's, even mini ones like this count.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PAY IT FORWARD- register now.

Its time to give out the love and pay it forward again.  Last year I was the recipient of Crafty Pugs PIF gift of a lovely Christmas table runner.

 I sent my PIF gifts far and wide.

One gift was sent to Florida USA,
one was sent to London England
 and one was sent to a recipient in Australia

I am playing again in 2012 and have put my name down with Teresa in Portugal to be her PIF recipient.

 Its very exciting as some time in the next 12 months Teresa must make and send me a surprise gift.  I dont know when I will receive this gift, or what it will be.  By registering with her means that I have to Pay it forward to three recipients. ( like a chain letter but a lot more fun).

So who wants to me my recipeints this year.

The first three to nominate will receive a hand made gift from me within 12 months from registration.
The timing of the gift will be a surprise, but I must do this within 12 months.

All you need to do is be one of the first people to comment on this post to be a recipient, but if you nominate then you must put a post on your blog to Pay It Forward.

There must be lots of pots of gold around today as look what DH and I spotted driving home from a quick bite to eat. 

If you look very closely you can spot there is a double rainbow.  The second one is to the left of the brighter rainbow.  I could not catch it in the photo, but the brighter rainbow also did a full arc over the sky.

Luck is in the air so let the fun begin....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What have I been doing today

Its a lovely sunny day today in Adelaide, not to hot, with a nice breeze so I have spent the morning in the garden.  DH and I live in a courtyard house with no lawn so gardening is no big chore.  Today's activities were all centred on the front yard.

I dead headed my three rose bushes.  I have standard seduction roses, they start out a vibrant pink and fade to a soft pink - very pretty.  In front of the standard roses is a box hedge which was a bit out of shape so I got the electric hedge trimmer and neatened (squared) that all up.  Behind them are some diosmas that were a bit unruly so they got a hair cut too.

I have a bay window at the front of the house and the garden in front of that is just a mass of everlasting daisies with clusters of  agopanthas here and there and they were all brown and dry and the agapanthas had long finished flowering so I trimmed them all back with the hedge trimmer.  Cut off the dead agapantha flowers and pulled away all the brown dead leaves.

Everything then got a good sweep and water.  I headed inside for a celebrationary cup of coffee and headed to the sewing room.

I have now finished the borders on Ziva's carousel quilt.  All that's left is the quilting and then beading on the horses.  They have beading on their saddle's and bridles, and of course I need to give them eyes.  Here is a pic of how the borders look, and when I have finished it off I will show you a photo with the beading.

I have to purchase some batting before I can get stuck into the quilting, but not sure if I do the beading before or after I quilt it.  Any ideas on that please ( I am thinking after), but not certain what would be the best method.

Now to head back into the sewing room to blanket stitch block 9 in the Adelaide floral sampler. After this I think I may make another one or two FWQA blocks or one more Jelly roll sampler block.  So much to do, any only so many hours in the day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I love cricket

Because it gives me non interrupted time in my sewing room.

Its Thursday and look what I have accomplished so far this week..... The first three blocks in my Jelly roll sampler quilt.

Block 1. Tulip

Block 2 Rocky road

Block 3 star choice

Before you start making this quilt, or any quilt with a jelly roll its a good idea to sort your colours first.  Here are my 12 bags of strips ready and selected to make each of the blocks that make up the quilt.

I am so pleased at how nicely the points have turned out.

I have also managed to make the next two two blocks in my FWQA.
............Here they are

Block 60. Noon& light
Block 61. Northern lights
And last but not least, keeping true to my white rabbit list I have made a start on the final block in the Adelaide floral sampler cutting out and fusing the applique ready for stitching on block 9 (the final block). 

Once I have appliqued this centre piece on I have to put the scrolls on 7 of the blocks, so that will be on the February list.  I have signed up for a new BOM called Pond house, but I have asked the LPS to hold off sending me this till March as I really have to be a good girl and finish of this BOM before I start another one.  I find when I have a deadline / commitment I actually am a good girl and get it all done.

Here is a sneaky peek of what pond house looks like

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Showing off the village

My nephew's wife Mel emailed me the photo of the Little redwork village on Kai's bed (my great neice).

I love how well it looks in her room, and it goes perfect with the bunting that Mel made for her.
I know that this quilt will become a treasured heirloom for her to love for many years to come.  After all thats why we make them - for people to love.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I am allowed to change my mind

As they say, its a Woman's prerogative to change her mind. 

I had signed up for the Oh my stars quilt along, and last night spent the evening making the first three stars.

I was planning to do the whole quilt in blue and white and use up my stash in this colour way, but as I sewed these stars my heart was really not in it. 

Thinking about it today, I guess its because I have just finished Bold stars - which was 12 and 6 inch sawtooth stars, and one of my recently finished was little red work village, again sawtooth stars.  So I have pulled the plug on this quilt a long, so to speak.

Instead I am going to start my first Jelly roll sampler quilt using the delicious Butter Scotch and Rose

Just look at all of the delicious colours in this Jelly roll,
 Beautiful caramels, pretty soft green and blues, and lip smacking raspberries with some chocolate in there for good measure.  Sounds like an ice cream sundae.  I will be making the pattern depicted on the inside cover of the book (pic above).

Today in the mail was a first for me.

From the lovely thoughtful Leona or Leona's quilting adventures
Leona was a member of QBSA for some time, and is still a follower of the group, as we are of her blog.
Inside she was kind enough to include some charm squares in soft lemon and lime.

Leona is having a fabulous give away to celebrate having 900 followers.
so pop on over and pay her a visit.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another finish - BOLD STARS

I have completed another quilt top that I have decided to send off what is personally a very worthy cause.

Aussie Hero Quilts that you can read about HERE

Its a group of ladies that are sending quilts and laundry bags off to the Troops serving in Afghanistan.  As you know my son Jarrod is serving in the Military, and thank fully his trip overseas to Afghanistan was cancelled about a month before he was due to go (much to the relief of his family).

You can read about the contributors of this quilt on the QBSA blog.

I have also been practising my night and day star with the templates that Leena kindly send me,  but I am sad to say, I still ended up with a very sorry looking star.  Each half was ok, but they didn't match up together. I made at least 6 quarters just to get this far, and some of them with the colours the wrong way around.

Looking at it, the points are certainly better and its getting there, so I need to practise some more, as they say, Practise makes perfect. 
 I am self taught at paper piecing, but always end up with a lot of wastage, is this normal?
I also made a softie this week, to tuck away into my gift stash.  Last year I made three of these little owls, 2 Christmas ones and one in pink and blue and gave them all away as gifts.  This one is a green hoot, isn't he cute. I used some ribbon for his hair rather than wool.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I cant get by without a little help from my friends

I love blogging and running my quilting groups.  Its introduced me to a world full of new friends that I otherwise would never have met.  I received some lovely Christmas cards and thoughtful gifts.  I have been helped out with blog buttons or general quilting questions.  It is so rewarding.

Here is one of my furry friends, Josephine taking a nap on my sewing table, she seemed quite intrigued watching the needle bob up and down.

But today the friend that I want to talk about is Leena. 
As you would know I am participating in the FWQA and got really stuck on one block " night and day"  I made and remade this block so many times and here is the best I could come up with.  Its OK, you can laugh ( I did.).

HHm, lets see , it looks ok, sort of, a bit wonky, unless you view it side on

And see that it looks like a little hill or a bra cup- maybe I should go into the quilted bikini top business.

 Here is my other attempt, not good
I was running out of patience, I was frustrated I was going to have to not include this stunning block in my quilt so what did I do?

..................................................................I phoned a friend (or emailed her at least). 

I recall seeing this block on the 12 inch blog made to perfection  - as all of her blocks are, so I asked a huge favour.  Would she help me out and make me a block for my FWQA.

  And WOW
Look what arrived in the post today

Leena did comment in a note with the block that she did find this quite a challenge in the 6 inch size, (phew so its not just me)  and sent me some precut templates for paper piecing, and some black and yellow fabric to try it out on and practice.

I certainly will try it paper pieced.  I have been making all of my FWQA blocks with the templates provided in the book, but this one floored me.

Here are the two blocks other FWQA blocks that I have made this week

57. Morning

58. Mothers dream
Looking back, I didn't realise until I took the photos that I favoured yellow this week.

I have also pulled out my stash of blue and white fat quarters to make the Oh My Stars quilt.  As I am not going to start this until I get one more finish done ( keeping true to my New years resolution) So when I do start it I will be playing a little bit of catch up.

Here is a selection of some of my favourites, I think I will need to purchase one or two or a darker royal blue so its not all pale - stay tuned to see them turn into stars.

I also went white fabric shopping today for the white as I needed 4 meters for this quilt (seems like a lot but thats what the pattern called for).

I don't  tend to purchase a lot of fabric in Spotlight, but do find their tone on tone whites quite good, and they cost half the price of the LQS, I also purchase by batting from them when they have a sale and buy a bundle of it at a time.

So thats me up to date, what have you been doing this week?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2 finishes in 2 days, and then some.

I Love long weekends, and I had an extra long one as I had Friday off, and today was a public holiday so guess what I have been doing.  Sewing, sewing and more sewing.

But not all of my long weekend was spent sewing.

- I did also go to a New years eve dinner dance at the Stamford Grand at Glenelg,

- Have fish and chips at Brighton beach with my SIL Margaret and BIL Gilbert, nephew Daniel and his wife Mel and their darling 3 year old Kai,  watching the sun set (this is 2km from where I live).  We had to sit under umbrellas as it was soooo hot in the sun, it was still 37 degrees at 6pm last night., (that's 100 in Fahrenheit).
Brighton beach and Brighton jetty
- See Tom Cruise in Mission impossible, love the realism of those movies. he he. 
- have breakfast at a cafe in Henley Square (Stella's)  looking out over the ocean.

Henley Square at Henley Beach

On the sewing front I have so far had 2 big finishes. 

1. Little Red work Village. 
Stitched the binding on, and labelled.  I forgot to take a photo of it when it was finished and I have given it to my darling great niece Kai as both her and her mum Mel loved it.  Mel has promised to email me a picture of it on her bed when they get home to the Gold coast from their Christmas visit to Adelaide.

2. Oodles of poodles

I managed to get all of the quilting on this one done today, and have just finished stitching the binding in place.

I quilted it around each poodle shape and did an all over curved quilting around each poodle to make them pop. Here it is under my machine half way through the quilting process.  I find I need to take regular breaks as my arms and shoulders get quite stiff when I am free motion quilting. 

I think I may keep this one for myself, I love this range of fabrics, (Martinique) and this colour palette is one of my favourites. - Unless someone I love sees it and loves it too.   This was made with a layer cake, and all I have to purchase was some fabric for the sashing and binding.  I chose a complimentary egg shell blue from Will & grace as the shop had sold out of this range (well it has been sitting in my stash for well over 2 years).

I have also finished off a few little sewing projects that have been sitting in the WIP basket.
1. I made two of these little needle cases to use as gifts this year.

 2.  A pin cushion from some diamonds that I had cut out.  I have no idea what I originally planned to use these in, but they were hand stitched together and there was two of them, so I joined them, stuffed it and added a cute heart button and viola - another little gift.

I made my 12 inch block for my partner Teresa - so that's off to Portugal for her tomorrow - see it here
and I had 2 attempts at a FWQA block - when a friend came to the rescue.  Stay tuned for a giggle when I post about that one.  (I giggle when ever I look at the block I made).

I have signed up for a new quilt along here  I plan to make mine in blue and white as I have quite a stash of blue and white fabric that I have been saving for a project.  I will then only have to purchase the white, as I don't have enough of the same white in my stash for this project.
 But before I can start I have to do one more finish. - thats my promise to myself :)

Sadly, its back to work tomorrow, I guess work pays for quilting fabric (and food) so cant avoid that I am afraid.  At least it has cooled down, we finally have turned the air conditioning off and have opened up all of the windows to let in the breeze.

Now to go and make a nice cup of tea.