Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas sewing and planning 2014

Do you like the new 2014 look for my blog?

I tend to change it every year, for a fresh look each time. This year I have tried to make it less busy.
So did you all have a lovely Christmas? Mine was crazy, full of food and family with us hosting 33 people for tea on Christmas Day, 12 of them under the age of 10.

So now the dust has settled time to get organised for my 2014 sewing projects, this year as always I plan to focus on some BOM's and have already begun working on some.
Christmas Eve saw me doing some Christmas stitchery.

These bells are part of a red work Christmas design that I started in 2012, the pattern is by teddlywinks.

I have managed to get one more row done in the row along cotton reels.  I am aiming for the houses next as they sit above the cotton reels, I like to join the rows on as I do them so the quilt grows 'row by row".

I have also completed May of the year of blooms BOM, and am now about to start June ( it's drawn up ready to go). I liked doing this one as my birthday is in May.

And last Friday ( sewing with friends) I put the borders on my first Floral sampler wall hanging.

Tonight I started quilting this, and chose an "invisible" thread for the backing thread as I have backed it is cream homespun. I have done about half of one block, but my eyes tire. It's not easy quilting with black thread on black fabric under artificial light.

I have gone around the ditch of the design and then shadow quilted it several times, and then filled in the large space with small stipple.

It took awhile to get the tension right, as you can see on the reverse.

I have promised myself that no new quilts until one UFO is complete, and I have two new BOM's starting in January so that's going to be real self control. 

As well as this, I bought this lovely stack of fabric at the quilt fair, and have a design in mine with the creamy solid. The light does not do it justice, but it's like a bowl of raspberries and chocolate yummy.

May 2014 be fabulous for you
And your fabric stash grows,
your UFO pile shrinks
and your bobbins never run out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all

Wishing all of my wonderful friends in blog land a very special Christmas with your loved ones.

Here is a little glimpse of my Chrissy decorations...
First the entry hall...

The Christmas tree....I went for less tinsel this year.

The Sweets table.....
I am lunching at my nieces house with my sister and brother I law, then in the afternoon its come to our place, every year we have an "open house" from 4pm where friends and family all drop in with a plate to share (and a bottle of Christmas cheer). This is when I will get to see my 7 gorgeous Grandies, and see those parcels under the tree torn apart.

There is a present or two under the tree with my name on it, but I have been a good girl and have not been snooping or shaking.

So, whomever you are spending the day, from my little home to yours, love and blessings I hope your day is magical.  Quilted hugs, Sue x

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Frozen penguins and rowing along.

The mercury hit 43 degrees or so in Adelaide today, so I thought I would share with you something cool, Yep, its my frozen penguins quilt all done.

I actually finished this a few days ago but this is the first chance I have had to blog about it.  I know you have all seen it growing, so I wont bore you, just one quick pic of the finished product so I can tick of my OPAM list a finish for December.

I have also been busy rowing along and last night finished my baskets row, I am having so much fun making this quilt, and plan to do a few more using just some of the designs, eg, I would love to make just a crispy fresh apple one, and maybe find some apple print for the border.

One more working day for me, then its off for a week 'bliss" I am looking forward to spending Christmas day with my family and especially my 7 grandies, they are all getting so excited.  Children certainly do bring the magic back into Christmas.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Sunday sewing

It is certainly the busy time of the year, starting with my work Christmas party Thursday evening. Then we took mum and dad out for dinner as a pre Christmas treat as they will be on a cruise over Christmas, and last night it was a lovey catch up dinner with so friends at the windy point restaurant. One of Adelaide's best views perched high in the amount lofty ranges with an amazing sunset view.
So today was pretty much the first chance I for to do any sewing this week. First I did my 6 inch block swap done so I could go on with my projects.
Then I did block 3 of my new First Ladies BOM which was actually two blocks.
Here is how things are looking so far....

Block one was the large centre block
Block two was the four corner stars and block three was the two with blue backgrounds that I stitched today. All of the smaller blocks measure 9 inches

This is what the completed quilt will look like
I have never made a quilt in reproduction fabrics,which is why this quilt appealed to me.

Now I am settling in for the night to finally stitch the binding on the penguin quilt, 
so I will have a December finish.
Have a lovely week

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My week in stitches

This weekend has been spent celebrating so not a lot of stitching going on, my grandson Mitchell turns four on 13th December and his mummy was 30 on Friday so on Saturday we had a joint birthday party for them. I forgot my camera, so sorry no pics.
I did however manage to get the penguin quilt quilted, so just the binding to go. All over stipple, shadow quilting around the snowflakes and penguins, and I tried a more longer quilting on the snow, as I had seen this method used on quilts for sky and grass, I like now it looks, I used a soft grey thread to match the grey dots which is the more dominating colour.

Tonight relaxing watching a movie I managed to finished the April stitchery on a year of blooms BOM.

Here are the first four

Now to do one row in the row along, then back to some quilting in the floral sampler wall hangings.
Have a great week everyone. quilted hugs, Sue

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

All pinned and some help please.

The penguins have eyes, and the quilt is pinned ready to be quilted. So guess what I will be doing over the next few days.

So where to next....

I have been giving my UFO's a lot of thought, and will be planning an attack on them as we move into 2014.

Here is the first cab of the rank. Michelle Hills Adelaide floral sampler, done as a BOM in 2011. I don't really know why this is a UFO, all of the appliqué is done, I have the border fabric ready to go how hard can it be to just finish it.

But you know what, I don think I like the idea of a black quilt. I don't do black. Also, looking at the original the quilting details is very detailed and I want to give this justice, so here is my idea.

There are 9 blocks in total, so I could make three wall hangings. With the size I could easily manoeuvre them on my domestic machine and do some nice detailed quilting. Or make two, with three matching cushions.

What do you think? Is this a waste - should I make the quilt? I would love to know what you think.


Monday, December 2, 2013

On my design wall

We'll I have been a good girl, penguins have eyes and the skinny red border is done, so just a blue border to go and I can quilt it.

Both my Christmas and 12 inch block swap blocks done so as a treat to myself I did another row in the row along row. Three rows down and here is what they look like on my design wall.

Oh no, see the red work teddies, I started that project in November last year so I better get stitching on that. And sprung, yep only a corner of the love heart jelly roll done oops, another UFO that is being very patient with me.

So where to from here as we move into 2014?

Naughty me. Three new BOM's for 2014. We'll technically two as First Ladies started in September this year. And still some outstanding UFO's from prior to 2013 to get priority in 2014, The big ones being the farmers wife quilt, I did not make a single block this year for that quilt,('I have fallen out of love with it.) and my Michelle Hill floral sampler - all I have it do is add on the borders on and quilt it. And yes, there is the vintage modern mystery quilt that I finished as a BOM in June still to be quilted.

I have my UFO pile in my side bar in date order, hoping that this will inspire me to chip away at the older ones first.

Before I go, here is my birthday princess, who turned two last week, in this photo she is singing along with us .........

happy birthday to Ziva, happy birthday to you.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snowflake penguins

I am one step further on my snowflake penguin quilt. This is my adaption of a project I spied in the October homespun magazine. ( note to self, time to renew the subscription).

I had fun putting the penguins together, and now I have added the star blocks above them. I decided on a 9 block lay out quite different to the original, but look can you see my sparkly snowflakes.

This is some pretty Christmas fabric, fused into visolfex and cut out with my go baby and simply raw edge appliquéd on. Please forgive my shadow, this is the trouble taking photos at night,

Still need to give these little chap eyes, and unsure if I will embroider them on or use little buttons.

Now for the borders, thinking a skinny red peeper, then a wider navy to frame it and set it off. But before I do the borders, I am working in another row in my new row along quilt, this row is the cocoa cups, fabric cut and tomorrow nights task is the stitching,

Before I go, I want to share with you this lovely message from Quilt designer Leanne Beasley that I found on Facebook.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rainbow strings- the journey of a scrappy quilt

This is a BIG finish for me, as its been on my UFO pile for over two years.

I started this quilts journey in May 2011 when I began sewing coloured strips together.  Later these were cut into 8 inch blocks on the diagonal.  When building the blocks I started with a scrappy triangle, the kind that is cut off when making flying geese blocks, goodness knows I have a huge stack of them too. ( I cant seem to throw any little scrap away).

Part way through the block construction I started randomly adding in some selvidges, just to add a bit of whimsical interest.  I love the names of some of the fabric ranges, and the little prints can be so cute.  ( yep, I save them too).

As the quilt evolved I joined the 8 inch squares into blocks of 4 to create a diamond effect.  As my strip scrap pile grew every so often I would make a batch of blocks, then one day I realised I had more than enough to put them together in a quilt.

I decided to quilt this in a circle effect, but its actually a spiral, starting from the centre of where four different coloured blocks join and I just went round and round until I got to the edges.  the circles are reasonably even on the outer edges as you can see in the photo below, but in the centre of the spirals they start out much closer together, like a spring.

I also decided on a scrappy binding joining some strips together end to end.  So in reality this has been a very inexpensive quilt to make with it being purely from my scrap basket. I

I still have an overflowing strip scrap tub, and quite a number of part or full quilt blocks to begin version too, I am thinking that my next one will be in just one colour range or possibly a group of colours such as autumn tonings, greens, reds and oranges.  Lets see shall we.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rows and circles.

My first row is complete in my row along quilt, I just am so excited about how cute the finished quilt will be.

So as promised to myself, I am finishing a UFO before I start the next row.

As you can see I am In The process of quilting my string quilt, with circles. It's a big job, and to be honest I am not really enjoying it - but not much left to do.  I am not even sure what I am going to do with the completed quilt as it was not made with any one in mind, just to use up some scraps.

I started this quilt in May 2011 so it's one of my oldest U F O's. Well time to get the white gloves on and see if in can get the quilting on this finished today.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Post card swap

I played along with many others in Sheila's Christmas postcard swap and my partner was Jeanneke from the Netherlands. Both of our postcards have safely arrived at each other's homes so I can share them with you.
Here is the one that I made and sent to Jeanneke.

And here is the one that I received, along with a most unusual circular Dutch Christmas card. Thank you Jeanneke, its so sweet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Apples ......In a row

I am naughty,

My UFO pole grows but when a new book arrives in the post it's so hard to resist.

I first saw this row along quilt months ago, on Lori's blog bee in my bonnet, but it was almost over. I contacted Lori she did tell me that she was putting it all in a pattern, which of course became this book. So as soon as I saw it, I orderd my copy.

And yesterday it arrived, such delicious eye candy I just could not resist, so I sorted my stash into colours and decided to do one row, ( just one row) and then it's back on finishing some UFO's

So first up I made the apples, how cute are these. All I need to do now is join them into a row.

Then I will finish one UFO , then do one more row, that's fair isn't it?


Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Christmas pageant and Quilt show

What a busy weekend I have had, yesterday it was up early and off to the Christmas pageant with my daughter in law Katherine and grand children Leo and Ziva.  Two very excited little ones joined in with 300,000 others to welcome Santa to town.  Leo was even more excited when he got to sit on a police motor cycle.

Last night DH and I went out to dinner and then a movie with some friends.  We saw Captain Phillips, which was starring Tom Hanks.  I thoroughly enjoyed this true story of a container ship being pirated by Somalian fishermen.  Tom Hanks was as always brilliant.

Today it was off to the quilt fair with bloggy friend Sue from Mother patchwork.  Sue and I had never met before but have been talking about catching up for months.  It was so nice to put a face to a name and enjoy the show together.  I also ran into a few other Quilters guild members and friends, Sheila, Pip and Wendy.

I took quite a lot of photos of quilting for inspiration as I am trying to branch out with my FMQ.  I  don't believe I am permitted to show the photos, so I better not.  What I can show you however is the stash that I purchased.  A seven pack of rotary blades, sewing machine oil in a drip free dispenser,  titanium machine needles and a lovely fat quarter stack of Astor Manor.

I have not got any sewing to show you, as its all been block swap obligations this week,  but am excited that Homespun have purchased a second design from me that I have also started work on so not allowed to share it.  Not sure yet when this one will be published so stay tuned for that.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New projects

My treat to myself for getting a few UFO's done and dusted was to start some new projects, but hey, why just stop at one.

First up is this cute little penguin quilt that was in last months Homespun magazine, as soon as I saw this I knew I had to make it, or at least my version. For quite some time I have had a stack of bunny hill blue fat quarters with no project to use them on..... Until now that is. I have also used up a bit of vintage modern left over from a previous projects as I wanted a bit of red in the quilt to cheer it up.

I plan to play with my go baby, as I have a snow flake die, and put snowflakes in the void above these little critters, I still also need to give them eyes. Then above the red stripe wil be the stars that are on the original design. I am going to make this only with fabrics in my stash so I will only have one penguin panel, as I only had enough of the pale blue print for one.

My next new project started with a query on my Etsy shop, to make a dachshund quilt similar to the poodle one I had for sale on there. I thought it would be a fun quilt to make anyway and a good excuse to use the scrumptious new Bonnie and Camille layer cake.

And here is my planned colour layout, with my pretty blue thongs and blue nail polish for good measure.

Ironically, the day this lady asked if I could make her a dachshund quilt, I sold the poodle one on Etsy, how funny is that.

I can't show you my other mini project yet, as it's a surprise Christmas postcard for a swap,
Well, I better get cutting out dachshunds..
Stay tuned, and have a lovely week, quilted hugs, Sue x