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.

Monday, 29 September 2014

End of Month UFO Update

Eeek! Its the end of September already?! I'm really not sure where that month went, I'm sure I missed some of it. Well my UFO project this month was to finish my Mariner's Compass quilt which I started last month (and need to have finished by mid November) and while I've made quite a bit of progress its not quite a flimsy yet (although I might still just get it finished in time).
All was going well until I came to the setting triangles, which I cut to the instructions included in the ruler set. That's when I discovered that the instructions weren't quite right and I needed a second 29" square of fabric to cut into four. Needless to say I didn't have enough!  So back to Spotlight to get some more, fingers crossed it was still there. Happily they still had some so I bought the remaining 2.2 metres on the roll to allow for binding and perhaps to use on a cushion or two.
I also bought some plain navy blue wideback for backing and merrily threw both it and the other fabric into the machine to wash (I know, I know you can see what's going to happen can't you!) along with 4 colour catchers. When I went to take it out, disaster! The poor colour catchers were completely filled with navy blue and so the rest of the dye went into the sand colour fabric. Aaaagh!

I re-washed the sandy coloured fabric with colour catchers multiple times and while it improved, it really didn't come right enough to use with what I had. I also re-washed the navy trying to set the colour but after 4 rinses the colour was still coming out - not suitable for a quilt. I contacted Spotlight by email (it was a Sunday evening by this time) and had a response the next day. Irene at the Adelaide store was delightful and not only replaced the fabric with a more expensive alternative backing (this time in a light colour - I'm not being caught twice!) but also the other fabric which had been affected by the dye.

So after a wasted week I managed to get my remaining setting squares cut and got the blocks sewn into rows at least. I was not really helped by my dog being determined to plonk down on them the minute they hit the ground! The quilt is so big the lounge room floor is the only place I can put it but even then its not a great fit. I just wanted to make sure I had the blocks all pointing in the right direction as the background fabric has directional lines on it.
I'm not even thinking about how I'm going to quilt this monster. Hopefully I can get it to go through my little old Janome - I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

I thought I would share a photo of the back of one of the blocks to show how relatively easy they are to put together compared to a more traditionally pieced mariner's star.  Its all lovely straight lines, nothing too hard in that!
Technically the Mariner's Compass was my August UFO project and September should have been to continue making some crumb blocks from my small scraps. Well thanks to not having fabric to go on with my MC quilt I did actually get a few of those done as well!

My little collection of these 8.5 inch blocks is growing slowly.

I plan to border them with another colour, probably black, before I put them together into a quilt.  I love them because they are made from all my pieces which are too small for anything else so they are free to make (other than a bit of time and thread)! I'm nothing if not frugal!

I managed to get the Mariner's Compass flimsy all together at last on the 1st of the month but I figure its probably still 30th September somewhere in world so I think it counts as a finish for September!
Here it is laid over my queen size water bed. Its a big quilt! (I'm actually standing on a cupboard to take this shot!)

My dog was somewhat frustrated that she couldn't sit on it  - see her in the top corner in this shot?! No fair Mum!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Update on Sewing Retreat (Better Late Than Never!)

I thought I'd better post an update on my sewing weekend away which was a couple of weekends ago. Haven't seemed to be able to find the time to sit and blog since then!

We were blessed with spectacular spring sunshine, although it was a little nippy the first night.

We stayed in the house above with the two big picture windows-  it was terrible sewing with such an awful view to look at all day!

My bestie, Kerry and I normally arrive after work on a Friday so not normally until around 7.00pm but this time we both had the day off so were able to leisurely drive up and stop for a lovely lunch at a bakery in Port Wakefield for a cornish pasty and a honey stick, yum! Then it was on the road and off to Wallaroo, arriving around 2.00pm just after the other car load of ladies. By 2.30pm we were all moved in set up and sewing - bliss!

After watching from the sidelines for a couple of years my Kerry has finally been drawn over to the dark side and wanted to try quilting (she has already conquered the tricky 'stash building' skill - so much so I nearly staged an intervention!) and so wanted to make a patchwork bag to put all her sewing tools in. So we started with some basic patchwork skills by joining the squares for the side of her bag. She's a natural, perfect joins first try!(Of course she had an awesome teacher, ahem!)

My first project was to quilt my 'freebie' quilt so I got stuck in and got cracking, only stopping for dinner on the verandah looking at this gorgeous sunset and then back to work!
I had it finished by early afternoon the next day.
 I went for one of my favourite designs, a looping leafy vine, alternating between the outer squares and inner squares.
 Here it is viewed from the back:

After an early start (6.30am - some of our girls are early risers and one up, all up!) by lunchtime I was looking forward to our home made pasties (courtesy of Doreen)and a glass of merlot, yep life is tough allright!

A bit more work and Kerry and I rewarded ourselves with a walk along the beach to get some sunshine. Unfortunately the tide was out but we saw some birdlife and lots of happy dogs going for walks.

Kerry finished her very first quilted project, ta da!

Our other sewists were all working on different projects, we had Kerrie (my sister in law) and Pauline with embroidery machines and both were working on blocks for an embroidered quilt. Isn't this a spectacular block?!
 This will be going on a block too:

Sue and Doreen were making quilt blocks; Sue was making disappearing 9 patches:
 and Doreen was making these which I think from memory were for her 'surfboard' quilt:
Gay (my other sister in law!) was performing 'surgery' on some large stuffed toys and putting in a zipper compartment to hold a blanket. She was making them for her grandkids. There was a lion, a dog and a unicorn. Here is the blanket ready to fold in:
Here it is nearly in:

and here they are in the 'recovery ward' wishing they could play outside on the beach!

Once I had my quilt quilted, I moved on to putting the frames around my mariner's compass blocks, here they are all laid out afterwards:

I even had time to whip up a quick block from my green 'crumbs' which was my fallback project if I finished everything I had with me.
Amazing how much you get done when you sew until midnight and then get up again at 6.30am both days!
Kerry was doing well and here is her first go at a 'proper' quilt block:
She's really hooked now, there is no escape!

We had a wonderful time, wonderful company and food and lots and lots of sewing and laughs. Looking forward to the next one in March 2015 now!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My Freebie Quilt Finished Awaiting Quilting

A little while back I mentioned receiving a paper bag from the teller in the bank. Unfortunately it wasn't a sample bag of cash but some unfinished blocks made from a jelly roll. Jenny isn't very adventurous with quilting and got put off when her blocks weren't turning out exactly the right size and lost interest in the project. I tried to convince her to simply square everything up as she went but turns out that's not her thing!

So lucky me I ended up with lots of lovely fabric bits.  By the time I got them together I was a couple of blocks short to make a quilt the size I wanted as there was one fabric I didn't want to use and the leftovers weren't quite big enough to use.

Luckily for me the lovely Pip offered me some leftover pieces she had from the same designer which co-ordinated beautifully with what I had already and I was able to make enough blocks to end up with a square lap size quilt.

My quilting assistant Livvie of course was assisting me with the correct placement of the blocks!

The finished quilt top:

Then came the hunt for a backing fabric. I had one of those wonderful moments in finding just the right fabric which turned out to be on clearance and saved me plenty! I love it when everything falls into place like that. Its a lovely mix of raspberry and caramel, hmmm sounds tasty doesn't it?

I'm going to give this quilt to my sister in law who is turning 50 late this month so I need to get it quilted! Luckily I'm off to a sewing retreat this weekend and I have got it pinned and ready to get stuck into when I get there.

A big thank you to Pip for her generosity in giving me her fabric to allow me to finish this one. If ever I can help you out Pip you know I will! And of course a big thank you to Jenny at the bank for gifting me the original fabric. I have shown her a photo of my progress and she's glad that I have finished the quilt off. I'm glad the fabric didn't go to waste!

Thanks for visiting today,

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Mariner's Compass Quilt Progress

Well my Mariner's Compass quilt was my August project but is now also my September UFO project! Luckily my UFO project (No. 5 this month) is only to make some 'crumb' blocks from my tiny scrappy bits and they are not urgent at all.

I have made some progress already as I had some blocks cut out ready to sew at the end of last month so I look like I've really been working hard!  I now have all my block centres done ready to frame up.

I've already shown you this one, I have four of these:

I've also done four of these. I tried the split points on these.
The background fabric on the ones above is a map of the world and the lighter fabric in the split star is London themed. I'm making this quilt for my brother and he likes to travel, his daughter is currently living in London and he loves the sea and sailing. I'm trying to get the feeling of the seaside in these blocks. I thought the dark blue fabric reminded me of the ocean.

These next four are similar but two have the dark blue blades and two have chocolate brown, with each block having a different contrasting set of points. The first has wavy lines which feel nautical to me.

This one has fabric with passport stamps on it:

Here it is in close up, isn't it great?!

This one's contrast fabric reminded me of seaweed.

The last one has the weathered wood I used in the first blocks I made. I'm trying to tie the blues and browns in the quilt together. I really love the blue fabric in the centre of each of these blocks, looks like ocean waves to me and reminds me of a photo my auntie had on her wall when I was young. I know my brother loved that photo too so I hope he'll see the connection.

The background fabric on these blocks reminds me of some of the seaweed we get at the beach some times, which kind of looks like little elongated berries.  The fabric these are resting on will be used to frame all the blocks to make them square, it reminds me of wet sand.

And now for my centrepiece extraordinaire! Ta da!

I threw in the extra points on this one as it will be right in the centre of the quilt. Its not quite perfectly matched in the centre as I had two sets of two matching pieces and instead of sewing them opposite each other as I intended, I ended up with them next to each other. Sigh! I just can't bring myself to unpick them and redo it so I'm hoping he won't notice if I don't point it out!

This fabric was one of my original inspirations for this quilt but I don't have enough to make four more blocks using it. I do have another set of background wedges in the map fabric cut out so I might just make another blocks using the feature fabric and make a cushion for him for Christmas perhaps.

Its a little hard to picture without the blocks being framed up but I'm planning a layout similar to this.

I didn't quite have enough room on the bed to lay it out properly!

This weekend I'm off to Wallaroo for a sewing weekend and once I have quilted another project I hope to get the frames on all these blocks at the same time as teaching my bestie how to quilt. Hmmm we'll see how that goes!

Thanks for visiting today,