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.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

January UFO Project and Design Wall

This month I started my year by organising myself and working on my crumb blocks in blue. I have been making crumb blocks in different colours over the last couple of years but I've decided that this year I will try and get them into a quilt or two.  I started the month with two blue blocks and finished with 14 blocks, set into black wonky borders.

To do that I added 3" black borders to my 8.5" blocks.
Then I put my ruler on top of the block and tilted it until I worked out what size square I could cut out, in this case it was 12".
I cut the bottom and right side, turned the block and squared the block up at 12" and there you have it, a wonky crumb block.
I did half tilting one way and half the other way.  Before I show you all of them together I need to share my new design wall I whipped up this afternoon. I took a cardboard roll I had from some curtain fabric and taped some cotton wadding to it. Tapped a couple of nails into the top of the pelmet over the sliding doors to my sewing room, popped the roll behind them and.....ta da....a design wall! Easy to remove and roll up if I need to as well.
Here it is with all my blocks on it and no dog plonked into the middle of them as always seems to happen if I lay them out on the floor.
So that's my January UFO done and if you want to join in the UFO along you can find the information here at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks. You need to scroll to the bottom of the post for all the details!

I'm hoping to do more of these blocks in different colours each month this year, and I'm following along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 at So Scrappy as far as which colour I choose each month.  I did have loads more scraps in blue than any other colour so I'm glad I got that one out of the way first!

Thanks for reading my blog today!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Fabric Aplenty!

This week a parcel of fabric arrived for me from equilter.com in the USA. I have been restraining myself I thought with fabric buying but I just couldn't go past their big clearance sale. Even with postage and the exchange rate at the moment you can't do better than around $5 per yard when we pay $20+ per metre in Australia.

I am wanting to make a black, white, yellow and perhaps grey quilt for my nephew and his fiance and so have been pulling together some fabrics when I see ones I like. After this parcel arrived on Friday I decided I would have a look at all the fabric I have purchased since we moved as I haven't washed any of it yet and I think I'm fooling myself if I think I'm showing restraint!

These first ones were a random few fabrics I picked up at Wrapped in Fabrics closing sale just because something about each one called my name. The one on the left is hard to see but is a gold print. I already have a fat quarter of the second one but in a chocolate brown and the last two just appeal to me.
This one also came from Wrapped in Fabric. Unfortunately it was all they had left and so is only 25cm I think but it was so cute I had to have it!
My next online shopping spree was at Craft Depot. The three fabrics on the left I thought were interesting and the one on the right I thought might work in the quilt for my nephew. I'm not so sure about that now that I've seen it but I love it all the same.
These were also from Craft Depot and will work well in the quilt I think.
Then came my equilter.com purchases. Another nice group of fabrics. I thought the geometrics would appeal to Ashley as he is an engineer and the fleur-de-lis is reminiscent of the Scouts symbol and Ashley was a Scout. What luck it happened to be in black and gold!
The black on the left in the photo above looks like a plain solid black but actually has the loveliest pattern which was hard to photograph so I zoomed right in and used the flash to make it show up. Doesn't do the fabric justice but at least you can see the pattern now. Beginning to wish I had bought a lot more of it now.
Lastly I bought two yards of this one because I just love it. Its apparently a Christmas fabric but doesn't look it.  Not sure what I'll do with it but I'm sure I'll find it the right project.
So that's it for my buying this year unless I need something specific. I want to go to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival later this year so am saving my pennies to do all the classes I want to do.

Thanks for visiting,

Friday, 22 January 2016

Feel like I'm getting somewhere!

I feel like this month has been a productive one.

My black and white placemats are now pieced and I think I will take them away with me on my sewing weekend in March to quilt.
 Then I got stuck into my January project - crumb blocks using up my blue scraps.
I have managed to reduce them to at least a third of what I had, with mostly small pieces remaining. Even Marilyn in the background looks pretty please about that!
I already had two blocks before I started. Now I have lots more!

So 14 altogether now. I have started adding black borders to them and I'll share a photo when they're all finished so you can see where I'm going with them.

Its been really hot here in Adelaide lately but more humid than we usually get, which I don't like. I found the time to wash my sons' quilts and dry them before I store them away until winter.
I also finally got around to putting up some fabric circles that I've been wanting to do ever since we moved. I had this idea when we lived at the old house but had nowhere to do it so always had it in the back of my mind for when I did have a sewing room.  After we moved I found an op shop which had these embroidery hoops which all up cost me around $4. Nice mix of sizes too. Had a dig around for some favourite fabrics and voila!
Now I can admire the fabrics whenever I'm in the sewing room or dining room as you can see them from there too.

We've had some new arrivals in the garden over summer. I didn't know these were there, I just thought some of the other plants had died at the end of winter. Turns out they were these lovelies. First up are the buds which open into these lovely pink blooms. Then I'm guessing the leaves will pop up again. They are belladonna lillies.

They are all out now but its been so hot I don't think they'll last very long!

The garden doesn't look as good as it should as its been too hot to get out and pull weeds and everything gets a bit friend in Adelaide in the summer. Can't wait for autumn, I do love the cooler months, just wish they'd hurry up!

Thanks for visiting today,

Monday, 11 January 2016

Getting into the Swing of Things

Last year after we moved I really seemed to be at all sixes and sevens as far as quilting goes. I think I just had too many other things going on and that was the easiest thing to push to the side. Now that the business of Christmas is out of the way I feel like I can take the time to get my self back into some sort of rhythm.

Strange as it may seem the catalyst for the change seemed to be finally getting around to filing a whole pile of paperwork that had been waiting since we moved. My sewing room also partly serves as an office space and that's where the filing baskets and filing cabinet live. It had been niggling away at me as I hadn't felt as though I was properly organised since we moved and I felt a bit like I was blowing in the breeze. Now that I've filed all the paid bills etc I feel like I've got my system working again and I feel better for it. Clearly I like my space organised - not tidy just organised. I'm happiest when I know where things are and I think that hasn't really helped me over the last few months.

Seeing as this month's UFO was whatever I wanted it to be I chose to spend some more time emptying out my scrap basked and sorting it all out. That way I start the year with an empty basket on the cutting table too. Do you like my new scrap basket? I was using the smaller blue one in the background but it fills up too quickly! This was a basket we received as part of a Christmas hamper and I decided it was perfect for scraps.
For a while I've wanted to have some sort of leader/ender project now that I can leave everything out when I sew and while I was going through my scraps I found my project. I have lots of little triangular pieces which were cut offs from something so I've decided to pair them up and sew them into HST's to be used in some sort of project down the track.
I have also been watching a blog for a while called So Scrappy where Angela hosts a Rainbow Scrap Challenge each year. Each month she allocates a different colour and the idea is to make a scrappy block of your choosing using that month's colour. I've been making crumb blocks here and there over the last few years (I'm up to 14 I think) usually when I go on a sewing weekend so I thought that might also be a good project each month on top of my allocated UFO.

It is especially serendipitous as January's colour is blue and I happen to have the largest collection of blue scraps (its no coincidence that blue is also the only colour of fabric I have which has a whole drawer to itself but that's another story!).
For some reason have only made two blue crumb blocks so far so that is this month's project. If you're interested in knowing more about the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016 the information is here.
After all that I feel like I've got my plan for the year organised and that makes my heart happy! Now I think I'm finally ready to get some sewing done this month.

Another new addition to my sewing room was this lovely pale blue tin with a coppery print which had three tubes of hand cream in it -a rather large tin for that purpose but who am I to argue?
After tidying up my scraps I found one of my boxes was too full so I moved the 5" charms and 2.5" squares into the new tin. They snuggle up together quite nicely don't you think?
One other project I want to finish, or at least finish the flimsy part of is this set of black and white placemats. I only have three left to finish and it won't take long to do. I think then I'll make it a quilting project for my next sewing weekend in March.
I also managed to remember to take a photo of the blue set I finished while I was on holidays after Christmas. I really like these!
I couldn't resist sharing a couple of photos of Christmas Day at our house. Justin, our new golden retriever, thought Christmas was the best thing ever and had a ball helping unwrap presents and spreading the paper all over the family room.
I just love this photo of Justin and Livvie together on the day. Amazing the focussed attention you can get when you have a man holding a treat next to you!
Thanks for visiting, now its time to get sewing!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016 To Do List

Well its time to get myself organised for the year and perhaps also have a look at last year's list and see if I did actually accomplish anything last year!

So here we have my list from the beginning of the year:
  1,        Finish quilting of Rainbow Charm Quilt; and write pattern/tutorial for Rainbow Charm Quilt
  2.       Practice quilting feathers 
  3.       Christmas Presents for 2015:
  ·         Cube Bag
  ·         Placemats
  ·         Cushion using practice folded compass block
  4.       QBSA Star Quilt – needs corners finishing and quilting - Top finished and majority of quilting done.
  5.       Star Value scrap quilt – make more blocks (12 done so far)
  6.       Make more rainbow string blocks/quilt and make more Crumb Blocks Did some, need to get them out and count them!
  7.       Make donation quilts for Mary Potter Hospice – perhaps using layer cakes, scraps, orphan   blocks - One finished and two more tops ready to quilt
   8.       Make thread catcher bag for sewing machine using laminated fabric. - Done!
  9.       Make laptop bag
  10.   Make one or two cushions to match Kym’s Mariner’s Compass quilt for his birthday or Christmas.
  11.   Celestial Star – finish blocks
  12.   Make/design cushion using offcuts from Rainbow Charm Quilt - Done

Other Projects I’d Like to Make
  13.   Ironing travel bag/ironing pad (on sewing weekend – with Kerry). - Done
  14.   Quilt the Rainbow Broken Herringbone quilt top.
  15.   Use orphan blocks/bits and pieces in pizza box and make into quilts/cushions
  16.   Leah Day designs – snip and save thumbnails and print for inspirations when quilting.
  17.   Try making a ‘One Fabric Quilt’
  18.   Make quilt using orange and blue panel and fabric, perhaps to donate
  19.   Use layer cakes (4)
  20.   Handbag from Patterns Won
  21.   Finish watching Craftsy Workshops
  22.   Quilt Sewing Themed Wallhanging - Its sandwiched at least
  23.   Finish Castle Ceiling quilt top
  24.   Make spool wallhanging won in 2014
  25.   Peter Rabbit Quilt (not urgent – one day project)
  26.   I Spy Quilt (not urgent – one day project)

So I guess in the end not a bad achievement considering we moved house in the middle of the year!

Now for 2016 To Do List:

  Numbered and Packaged Projects for 52 Quilts UFO Along
1.       Make Christmas gifts – hotpads, pot holders etc.
2.       Make a couple of cushions to match Kym’s Mariner’s Compass quilt for his birthday or Christmas
3.       Make cushions using test blocks – kookaburra, folded compass block and rainbow quilt block
4.       QBSA Star Quilt –finish quilting and bind.
5.       Star Value scrap quilt – make more blocks
6.       Quilt Sewing Themed Wallhanging
7.       Sandwich and quilt donation quilts for Mary Potter Hospice
8.       Sandwich and quilt Rainbow Herringbone quilt.
9.       Make laptop bag and sewing machine cover.
10.   Celestial Star – finish blocks
11.   Make more rainbow string blocks/quilt and make more Crumb Blocks and use in a quilt. Perhaps join in scrap challenge and do some each month, perhaps use as leader/ender project at same time?

Other Projects I’d Like to Make
12.   Use orphan blocks/bits and pieces in pizza box and make into quilts/cushions
13.   Leah Day designs – snip and save thumbnails and print for inspirations when quilting.
14.   Try making a ‘One Fabric Quilt’
15.   Make quilt using orange and blue panel and fabric, perhaps to donate
16.   Use layer cakes (4)
17.   Handbag from Patterns Won
18.   Finish watching Craftsy Workshops
19.   Make new bag for work.
20.   Finish Castle Ceiling quilt top
21.   Make spool wallhanging won in 2014
22.   Peter Rabbit Quilt (not urgent – one day project)
23.   I Spy Quilt (not urgent – one day project)
24.   Make Arcadia quilt kits (won from Marti 2015)
25.   Make Valentine quilt kit (won from Marti 2015)

This year the UFO along at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog is only for 10 projects but I left No. 11 in there as an extra project to do if I need to.

So there it is and I still seem to have just as many projects as I started last year with. Its kind of like Groundhog Day! (I apologise for the weird formatting, for some reason its gone a bit wacko on this post.)
Thanks for dropping by,

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome 2016 - Lets Hope I Achieve More This Year!

Wishing everyone a prosperous 2016 in whatever you do!

I haven't had a chance to update my blog for a while. I did actually manage to finish one Christmas gift in time for Christmas and gave these placemats to my niece Vanessa who has recently returned after 6 years living in the UK. When she eventually moves out into her own place she'll have something new for the table.
Unfortunately you can't really see the quilting on these but I did spirals in the white areas.

Since then I have finished the blue/green set of placemats too but I haven't yet taken a photo of them so you'll just have to trust me on that one! I'll be putting them away to gift for Christmas in 2106.

Just before Christmas I had a lovely surprise in the post. A while back I won a prize as a part of the UFO along at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog and so when this box arrived I assumed it was the prize for that but it turns out it had three times the goodies! Turns out I also won a prize when Marti had a competition for her blogiversary and then she also included a gift for letting her use my Rainbow Lattice tutorial for her A Quilt Block a Day Facebook group quiltalong. Such a generous soul!

 Inside the box was this lovely Arcadia layer cake, yardage and pattern:
 These pretty charm squares, some yardage and a pretty Valentine's Day pattern:
 Marti also sent this lovely zip pouch she had made, so cute!  Love Marti's label too.

Last but not least a cute quilt badge and a handy tool - a sewing machine seam guide. I have one which has a spot for scant 1/4 inch seams but this one has four different sizes as well as being marked with inches along the side, another handy feature.
How lucky was I? Now I just need to get on and finish some of my UFOs before I start anything new - famous last words I'm sure but I need to get my UFOs sorted out and numbered ready for the UFO along again this year. If you're interested in joining in, check out Marti's blog. There will be a post on 1st January showing off the last finishes for last year and with instructions on how to take part. I have found it a great way to keep myself focussed each month on finishing just one UFO project - except for last year when moving house meant having all my quilting packed up for many months!

Thanks for dropping by,