Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Update After So Long!

Oh I have been a bad little blogger. Its been so long but things have been somewhat hectic here over the last few months.

First I had to pull back from everything to try to finish a charity challenge quilt for the Australian Machine Quilt Festival. Its the first time I've done something like that and I found it an interesting experience. It did teach me that I need time to think about my quilts at each stage so that I am happy with the final result. Fortunately the right idea for the quilting popped into my head in time and I got it finished and submitted. I will share a photo once they announce the results.

Around the same time my boss of 16 years told me that he was going to close our city office and work closer to his home in the southern suburbs. I wasn't really too surprised given that he will be 70 this year but it is a major change for me. I was only working 3 days a week but now I'm going to go back to working full time so that my other half can retire to rest his worn out knees and shoulders. He will be taking over all the domestic chores while I go back to work so that's a win for me!

Of course this has meant that I have been flat out putting in applications all over the place at the same time as trying to make sure I have all the loose ends tied up at work so the boss can run things himself from here on in. Anyway, something had to give so unfortunately it was the quilting and moreso the blogging.

The good news is that I have found a job (ended up getting 3 offers in one week!) and I start in two weeks, just after my son's 21st (something else I've been working on).  I'm now on two weeks holiday - yay!

So, what have I been up to? Mostly catching up on Splendid Sampler blocks really. I got a bit behind - about 16 or so blocks and have been slowly catching up. I am enjoying doing these blocks and seeing what pops up each week. Still catching up on the embroidered ones though. They seem to take so long compared to the pieced ones!

Here are my blocks so far in no particular order:
plus a couple more I finished after I took this photo. The one on the left took the longest of all of them so far. Lots of embroidery but I do love it. I have a few more with the embroidery to do and a couple of applique blocks to print out once I sort my printer out but I'm pretty well on track.
I'm thinking of using the same background fabric to sash them together with some silvery/grey fabric but haven't quite nailed the layout yet. I'd rather wait until I have them all together before I commit to a layout/border design.

I managed to finish a long outstanding UFO just in time for the end of the month. This quilt is one I made from blocks I received as part of Quilting Block Swaps Australia some time ago.

I added coloured borders to each block as I wanted something really colourful and laid them out on point. I don't think you can see it in these photos but the lower edge has the corners left off as I originally designed it to hang over a single bed, somewhat like a bedspread. Only flaw in that plan is that now we have no single beds in the house anymore! Not a real problem though as this is laid out on our queen bed and fits pretty well! Now that we have two retrievers I am discovering that my love of using black fabric is not such a great idea as everything in this place comes with a sprinkling of golden fur!

I quilted the blocks alternating between a spiral design:
 and a sort of flower design:
As it was on point I added some black corners and wedges at the top and sides and quilted a half star shape to match the blocks and then a wavy design similar to the design I used in the borders.

Overall I am very happy with it!

We have a 21st to get organised this week but I hope to do some quilting on my And Sew On quilt that I have had sandwiched waiting for some time now and get it up on my sewing room wall.
Hopefully I can find the time to pop in and blog now and again!


Monday, 28 March 2016

Wrap Up on UFOs for March

My UFO project for March was to finish my scrappy star quilt top. I had made 12 blocks and had another 8 cut out ready to put together. I managed to get those done on my sewing weekend away but then I decided I needed to keep this quilt for myself and in that case it needed to be larger. So I added another 5 blocks which sounds so simple but they are quite time consuming to put together.

Anyway I got them done and put the top together.
It was too big for my design wall so I laid it out on the bed. You can see its a little small so now I've decided it would benefit from a border but before that the control freak in me can't leave those stars and diamonds around the edge unfinished before a border. So now I need to make quarter-blocks all the way around and then add the border I have in mind. That's too much to finish this month so once again this poor quilt ends up back in my UFO pile. I think I'll need to build up some more scraps, particularly in the low volume category before I get stuck into it again though. Oh well, it will be worth it in the end. I do love this one!  So my UFO is done but not done!

My other ongoing UFO is to use my crumb scraps up and this month's lucky colour is purple (so much better than brown which was last month's colour!). I managed to get six more blocks out of my scraps to add to the two I already had so I ended up with a total of 8 wonky blocks to add to my collection.
I have mostly also been able to keep up with my Splendid Sampler blocks although I do have a couple which still need hand finishing with embroidery. These are my latest ones.

Block 11 - Crocheted Thoughts 1
This is my version of this block using some pieces I had that my Mum made and I have kept. The outer circle is some tatting and the centre is a medallion which is a spare one from a crocheted doiley that she never finished.
I am also making another block with the suggested motif but I haven't quite finished that one yet.

Block 12 - Checkerboard
A nice easy one this one and I made it without even printing out the pattern!
I also have Pat Sloan's bonus flower pot block waiting for hand stitching. I look forward to sharing that one, its a cutie!

I still have to print out the Easter bonus block and Sunday's block as my printer is playing up.  I will have to wait until I get to work tomorrow to print those out. Shhh, don't tell my boss!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Splendid Sampler Update

While I have been keeping up with my Splendid Sampler blocks, I haven't been as good keeping up with the blogging about them so here are my last few blocks.

Block 8 - Friends Around The Square:

After all the hand sewing of Block 7 I was so happy to see a pieced block that I made two!
 Block 9 - Local Quilt Shop:

Initially I wasn't overly keen on this block as the right hand side made the shape of a H and I just felt like the windows were in the wrong place.  In the end I made it with the same pieces but placed my fabric so my window was in the centre. I found (after much searching!) a little sewing machine charm which I will put in the window once the quilt is all together. Just the right size! I had been going to embroider my blog name on the shop but found the perfect piece of printed fabric and used that instead. I like the striped roof, it reminds me of a corrugated iron roof. In the end I quite like the block after all!
Block 10 - Iowa

This was another block which I felt might need to be made twice. On looking back through my blocks I felt I needed more variety in my colours and as there are some larger pieces in this block I chose some of the larger scale prints in my layer cake. I think they work quite well.

So there we are, all caught up. I have been busy working on another project or two this week so will get back to these blocks afterwards. Block 11 has quite a bit of hand stitching so I will do that slowly during the week and there are couple of bonus blocks too.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Sewing Weekend 2016

Once again our happy group of ladies made their way to Wallaroo for a relaxing weekend away sewing to our heart's content!

The weather was cooler at Wallaroo than back in Adelaide so we picked the right place to be!  The seagulls are always happy to see us too.
While I had a lovely weekend I didn't really feel that I achieved as much as I usually do. I was working on my UFO project for March which is to finish making this scrappy quilt. I had enough pieces cut out for 8 more blocks and it took me over 24 hours to make them! It didn't help that I kept sewing the first one together in the wrong order, again and again! I didn't want to put the top together until I had put them all up on my design wall and here they are.
I really like these blocks and I want to keep this quilt but the only problem is I would like it to be larger so now I need to cut up more bits and pieces. Hopefully another five blocks should be large enough. I really do wish I had chosen to make a larger block in the first place but I did want to get the maximum effect from the blocks.

I had taken some bag patterns and fabric but found it difficult to cut up the fabric using the smaller cutting mats available so decided in the end (after pfaffing around trying to fussy cut some pieces) that it would be easier to do it at home. 

Back in 2014 I won a kit for a spool wallhanging and I hadn't got around to making it but now that I have a dedicated sewing room I thought I really should get on to it.  
The instructions were a little convoluted and I felt they could have worded the cutting instructions more simply but the end result is quite cute. I didn't get it sandwiched but while it waits its turn it iss currently adorning my sewing room wall on my small design board.
So the sum total of my weekend achievements:
We did of course enjoy some tasty treats out on the balcony for meals - okay I know this photo looks like we only had a liquid lunch but I promise we did eat too!
Before we left we all laid out all our work. Clearly everyone else achieved a lot more than I did! (That's a bean bag Gaye is holding up by the way!).
We'll be back again in September and I hope to do better then.

On our way home the weather changed dramatically and we ran into a big thunderstorm and belting rain when we were almost home after watching the lightning all the way back. This photo was actually taken before it got really bad, we could hardly see where we were going at one point.
While it looked cold it was very humid and a week later it still is. Very un-Adelaide weather and it can leave anytime it likes. I love the rain but I don't like the humidity and neither does my hair!


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Splendid Sampler Blocks 6 & 7

A little behind with these two but going away for a sewing weekend does interfere with blogging time - in a good way of course!  More to come on that in the next post.

Two very different blocks this time around. One all pieced and one all embroidered.

Block 6 is Focal Point and I decided to try and work some more fabrics in from my layer cake, in this case the button fabric. I also wanted the 'ring' in the block to be quite strong and I think the orange works.

Block 7 is Snug as a Bug - such a cute block! I decided to embroider my 'quilt' rather than use fabric as some others have done, although I did think about it. It was a bit of fun thinking up different patterns for the green blocks.  In the end I'm quite happy with it, although perhaps the teddy might have been better in a stronger colour as the pink tends to disappear into the background a bit.  I also decided to add a little love heart between the kisses in the border and also some french knots around each corner to give it a bit of a kick against my background fabric.
Here are all my blocks together:
There is a challenge on at the moment to finish the first seven blocks and share a photo on the blog so I took out one of the Simple Simon blocks (as I made two) and will enter this photo.
Next block is cut out and ready to sew: Block 8 'Friends Around the Square' - I'm also making two of those!

Sewing weekend wrap up next.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Splendid Sampler - Blocks 4 and 5

Block 4 involved quite a bit of applique and I chose to do more needle turn applique as this is the method I have the least experience with.  Consequently this block took me longer than usual, particularly as the pieces for the flowers are very small. The photo is not as clear as it could be but you get the idea!
I initially used a different green for the stems but wasn't really happy that colour so I decided to 'wrap' the stems with a darker colour and I quite like the end result.  You can see the different colours in this photo, the original on the left and the darker green on the right. I'm much happier with it now.
 and without the flash!

So on to Block 5! I was glad to see some piecing after all that close up stitching. My eyesight was not loving it as I haven't quite found the right spot for my magnifying light in our new home. I need to get another power board so I can do handsewing more easily in our family room.

I liked the look of this block so much I decided to make two in different colour combinations. I felt my blocks so far are quite white so I went for some colour with these two.
The first one uses one of my favourite fabrics from my layer cake and I included a smidgen of my white background fabric for the dividing strip.
The second one uses some colours that I haven't used much yet but there are plenty of them in the layer cake so I thought this was a good block to give them a run! My silver and white fabric is still in there though as I plan on using it in every block to tie everything together. Time will tell if that plan was a good one.
So up to date again. These were so easy I whipped them up after work tonight in no time.

I'm off this weekend for my six monthly sewing weekend with the girls. This time Doreen isn't able to come but my mum in law Betty is coming along and I'm sure she'll have a great time with us. The family is slowly taking over as out of 7 of us we now have 4 of us who are related!

As usual we will be off to Wallaroo staying at a beach house at North Beach with this awful view from my machine:
Oh the suffering!  See you next week.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

UFO for March (I know its not March yet!)

As I finished my UFO's for February Marti shared the lucky number for March early with me and its 5.

My No. 5 project is to make more Star Value blocks.
This has been an ongoing project for several years now as they are fairly time consuming and I have no specific end date in mind for this quilt. These are the ones I have already, twelve in total.
I'm not sure how many I have cut up ready to put together but I think its another four blocks. I'm thinking it still might need to be larger so will have to wait and see if I need to cut some more pieces for more blocks.

A little update also. You might remember a while back I mentioned I was going to use some triangular scraps up by joining them together as a leader/ender project. Well they're all done. I took some time this week to press them and trim them and now I have a variety of sizes but mostly 1.75" and 1 5/8" HSTs.
Cute little things. Not sure what I'm going to use them for but they're more use this way than in bits!

So now the search for a new leader/ender project. I want to use up my 2" squares so I'm thinking I'll make some 9 patches and see where that takes me!  My little box is full to the brim:
I've squished them into this smaller container that fits next to my machine.
It will be interesting to see how long these take to whip together!