Welcome

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.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Star Blocks are Finally Sashed!

I started some star blocks earlier in the year to practice my piecing skills and try something new.  I started off doing the Solstice Stars tutorials from Fresh Lemons (see button on the left) and then did some of the star blocks on Fiona's Summer Sampler Series as well.  I rounded these out with a couple I found on Quilter's Cache and my star blocks were done!

As this was an impromptu project which I was making for myself I then put it aside (as you do!) while I got on with a few other things but this week I decided its time had come.  I decided to use blue sashing but added cornerstones in red for something different.  So here it is:


I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  Now I just need to find the time to quilt it!

With that in mind though I decided to head to Spotlight to have a look for some backing fabric in their sale.  Well first I went into the Adelaide city store yesterday and came out with backing fabric for two other projects and a couple of others just because. Then today I decided to try the Clovercrest store and somehow I ended up with quite a bit more fabric but at least I did get some fabric to back this quilt!  These are my goodies:

I don't know what it was about the fabric in the centre (above) but it had to come home with me and the one on the left doesn't show its true colours, its a combination of blue and purple.  The one on the right is the one I bought for backing.

These are the others I bought as well. We won't even mention the fact that I ordered some fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics last week which should be arriving any day!  That's it, no more shopping for fabric for me (I hope!).

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Blues abound!

I've been a bit slack of late but have been meaning to share a project I started collecting fabrics for last year after finding a blue fabric I had to have and then finding the right project.  I wanted a hand stitched project for me to do in front of the TV at night when I can't work on my sewing machine (given that it lives in the hallway outside all the bedrooms night sewing is not an option in this house!).  My goal was a quilt for me as I have made a few for other people but still don't have anything I can use!

I found a pattern called Cathedral Ceiling by Leesa Chandler in one of my old Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazines and then set about collecting some co-ordinating fabrics, all in blues as I would like this quilt to go on our bed and our room is blue.

Anyhoo, I started making the little dresden plates in the blues and before long I had quite a few.  I realised I hadn't taken a photo of this project so here are the plates I have so far:


If I make the quilt the same size as the pattern I will need 144 plates but I might drop the size a little to 121 as I think it might be too large.  I already have just over 60 so I'm half way there on the blue units.  I plan to use more of the blue patterned fabric (the one in the centre of the photo with a touch of red in it) as that is the fabric I originally found.  I also really love the fabric at the bottom left and will probably use as much of that as I have too!

These pieces will be put together with a contrast fabric which I'm thinking might be something like this:
I have some squares of this fabric which was in a bag of fabric that someone gave me but I'm not sure I would have enough as I also need to make suffolk puffs for the centre of each block as well. I don't even want to think about that part yet!  Anyway, that's where I'm up to with that one.

Speaking of blues, I'm taking part in a Rainbow Charm Swap at Quilting Club Australia (a group on Facebook) and no surprise there that I chose blue for my contribution!  These are the fabrics I used for mine:
 and here they are all sliced and diced  (on a blue cutting board of course)!
I posted them today so now I just have to wait until everyone else has theirs in and then I get a lovely rainbow filled parcel in the post! Yay!  Not sure what I'll do with them yet but I've got plenty to go on with while I ponder that problem in the back of my mind.

I finished my star quilt top today but no photo yet so I'll post about that in a day or two once I've got some eye candy to show you! I'm really happy with it, can't wait to show it off!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, 18 June 2012

A Bit of What I've Been Up to!

Well I'm in the middle of a busy week involving lots of different family things but I did manage to get a little bit done so thought I'd share where I'm at.

I've made some progress on my native flower wallhanging but I don't want to give too much away in case Kymberley stumbles across my post! I've done the backing which is all appliqued. After this photo I went on to free motion leaves and flowers etc on most of the coloured squares.

You might remember my photo of flowers I was fussy cutting, well I managed to come up with an arrangement I was happy with and fused them together on some baking paper so at least they were one big piece:


Then I cut some sheer fabrics into some leaf shapes to go behind the flowers and stitched them down. I have since fused these flowers onto the background and have started the long process of highlighting all the flowers with free motion. No more sharing on this project though until I've sent it to Kymberley for Christmas so it will be quite a wait!

In between other projects I've been making some bags for the hospital where my sister-in-law Kerrie works as a nurse.  A couple of weeks back I made a pile of small bags for the cardiac unit however I forgot to snap a photo before I sent them in to the hospital. Currently I'm working on some bags to hold drainage bags. A friend donated some fabric so they will be all sorts of different patterns but at the moment I've been seeing spots:


A while back I posted a photo of some table runners I was working on for gifts for a birthday in June and seeing as the dinner is next week I thought I really should get them finished! I decided to leave the extra applique that was in the original pattern off as I didn't think it worked with my fabric choices. I apologise for the standard of the photos, one of the fabrics has a gold sheen to it and didn't the camera flash find that. Its been too wet to take photos outside so this is the best I can do!


Hopefully the recipients like them!

One of the family things on the weekend was my mother-in-law, Betty's 80th birthday get together at a restaurant on the banks of the Murray River at Murray Bridge. The food was great, the view was lovely and she seemed to enjoy the day. Coincidentally my father-in-law also has his birthday on the same day as Mum but his 80th was last year so this time Mum was the star of the moment!  My husband's birthday is the day after theirs, just for more birthday cramming!

So Happy 80th Birthday Mum!


Well that's it for now. Thanks for reading my ramblings!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Quilting Block Swap Australia & Fabricworm Giveaway

Quilting Block Swap Australia blog is having a giveaway sponsored by Fabricworm.  For more info on how to enter, head over to Quilting Block Swap Australia blog here!

A short but sweet post but in the middle of a chaotic family week. Hope to post something more down the track!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Goodies in the Mail!

Yesterday was a great day for mail in my house, some nice squishy envelopes and a my Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine arrived.

A little over a week ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway by Fiona at Finding Fifth and yesterday it arrived in the mail.

Its a cute little mini quilt (or mug rug) kit in lovely rainbow polka dot fabrics.  Thanks Fiona, looking forward to getting stuck into that down the track. (Must not start any new projects until others are done though!)

Must be my lucky month as then on Monday I was the 70th liker on Quilting at Get Stitched Facebook page and scored a free fat quarter. Who couldn't use another fat quarter?  It arrived yesterday as well!

Its a very pretty purple and I think it will fit into my Craftsy BOM blocks colour scheme.  Thanks so much Karyn!

Its fine but very cold in Adelaide today so after warming up with a bit of vaccuuming, floor washing and clothes washing I decided to fiddle about with a project I want to send to Canada for my step-daughter for Christmas. Knowing my lack of speed at completing projects I wanted to get onto this one soon so there is less pressure closer to Christmas.

Its a wallhanging similar to the one I made last year at a workshop using fabric from the Under the Australian Sun range by Leesa Chandler. If you would like to see my original wallhanging, have a look here.  Only difficulty was that by the time Kymberley told me she'd like one so she could have something Aussie on the wall in Canada, I couldn't get any more of the fabric could I?!  I waited for the second series to come out but its not as bright and bold as the first one.  I did buy some though and between that and some scraps I had left of the first series I'm hoping it will turn out okay. So after some application of fusible web, I'm now at the fussy cutting stage.  Here is what I've cut out so far:


This is not in any way arranged, this is simply a collection of flowers I hope to make look like a cohesive bunch further down the track!  Actually the flowers look better in this photo than they do in real life! The banksias tend to look a bit too gold but I'm hoping with a large amount of machine stitching in red I can make them stand out more. Now off to prepare the backing and keep cutting out those flowers!

Its a long weekend here in Adelaide for the Queen's Birthday so with an extra day hopefully I can get a bit more done on this one if my other half doesn't try and cramp my style too much!

Have a great weekend, long or standard!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Block Swap - June

In June I was partnered with the lovely Sue B, the esteemed organiser of our Block Swap. Sue asked for any block in grey, yellow, black and white.  Now grey is not a colour I've used much of and I wasn't too hopeful when I dug into my stash until I found some fabric I bought way back when I first started quilting as it was on sale and I just loved it.

Its quite a dark grey though so I hope its okay! I have to say I love the way it looks when mixed with the yellow, black and white. My nephew loves yellow and black so I think this may end up being made up into a quilt for him at some stage now!

Anyway then came picking the block.  I came across this one on Quilter's Cache. Its called Blackford's Beauty. As I hadn't made it before I decided to make a block for my own swap quilt in black, red and white and practice it before making Sue's block.  Here is my block:


And here's the one I made for Sue B!


I'm always amazed at how much of a difference the choice of fabrics makes to the finished result!

Sue has emailed me since I started this post and let me know she does like it, phew!

Today in the mail I received Sue's block. And not only a block which is lovely but also some handy swatches of fabric and a cute little bookmark made using selvedges. What a lovely surprise!


A closeup of the bookmark. It has the black and red fabric on the back.

I love reading so it will be put to good use! Thanks so much Sue!

Another Block Swap done and dusted, bring on the next one!

Thanks for reading my blog today,

Monday, 4 June 2012

Craftsy Blocks Update - June

I've managed to get cracking on the Craftsy Block of the Month this weekend, due to some unexpected chilly weather which didn't leave much scope for other outdoorsy type projects - great sewing weather though!

I must say I like this month's blocks a lot more than May's blocks.  I don't think the random style did much for me!  I really wasn't happy with my end results as one ended with a very narrow border which was going to be a pain when joining the batting and the other just seemed too dark.  I ended up cutting the blocks back a bit and reworking them.

This is what they looked like when I first finished them:

Here is the first one after I re-did the outer borders:


And the second one:

I'm much happier with them now. What do you think?

Anyway onto this month's blocks.  First my version of the Greek Cross:
and my Octagon block:

Finally, here are all the blocks I've got so far:
Some I love, some I don't but I think they're all going to work together. Just hope I've got enough of all the fabrics to get through to the end. I might have to buy one or two other co-ordinating fabrics just to be on the safe side!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Another Completed Project

I finally finished the last of the handstitching on the binding on a quilt I made originally as a way to try the Tube Quilt (a great Youtube tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Co - see it here). It really was extremely easy to make and I will definitely make another one. If you need a top finished in an afternoon this is the one for you!

I decided to give the finished quilt to my friend's Mum Zelma, who was diagnosed with lung cancer about the same time.  She is currently having chemo and doing okay but I was still keen to get this one finished. (I apologise for the quality of the photo, it was not a good day for photograph today! Managed to snap these shots just before it rained again!)

     
I'm not really all that keen on the apricot but at the time I restricted myself to any fabrics I could find at the Spotlight clearance sale that went together. I do like the pink and coffee coloured patterned one though. Initially  I put it together with just the blocks but when I came to look at quilting it I decided it needed to be a little larger. I didn't have any pink heart fabric left (as I had made a pieced backing for it already) so I combined what I had left of the other two.  Then of course I had to make the backing larger!

I hadn't thought about what I would put around it as binding but luckily I managed to get more of the pink and coffee patterned fabric down the track so I bought more and bound it with that.

I used it as an opportunity to try some different quilting patterns as I don't usually make quilts with repeating blocks. I found a nice floral motif and using tearaway stabliser I free motioned around those, mostly on the lines! Then I filled the other blocks with a combination of hearts and loops.



 

I think the best way to improve my free motion at present would be to improve my sewing table. I need to get my sewing machine into a flat bed position but if I do that I can't get my legs under my sewing table! Sometimes being tall is a hassle!  I did tell the people at the Horn cabinet display at the Quilt Show a couple of years ago and they tried to tell me I was using the wrong stool. I soon gave them a demo on their stool and showed them it was the length of my legs, not the height of the stool that gave me the problem! (I might point out here I'm not ridiculously tall - only 5'10".)  When I spoke to the lady presiding over the Horn booth this year about something else she told me she understood they were coming out with a height adjustable one soon so perhaps someone was actually listening!  I would prop mine up on something but I need to be able to open and close it as I sew in the hallway and have to close it all up at the end of the day!

I'm thinking some sort of temporary insert might do the trick. I've seen some great things done with polystyrene sheeting and a plastic tablecloth so I might give it a whirl!  Has anyone else tried making one of these?

Oh, lastly a quick shot of the label:

Well, now to give the quilt to my friend to give to her Mum. Hope she likes it!