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. I'm not sure who else would be interested in reading my blog but here it is in any case!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday Stash - Damn That Sale Section!

Well there I was minding my own business being a good girl and not buying any fabric and just like that, Boom! I had whipped in a quick order to Pink Chalk Fabrics!  That's what happens when you get those lovely emails letting you know all the lovelies they have in store. My problem is their sale section!  I just had to have a little look and then I spotted some coated Kate Spain fabric for a bargain price and I was lost!

These little goodies arrived in the mail on Monday (well I couldn't just order the Kate Spain fabric could I?)

This is the one that triggered my spending spree (don't you just love that selvedge? Pity its coated fabric!

Why do I want some coated fabric you ask? Well some time back I saw a pattern (there's a Youtube tutorial as well) for a little bag you hang off your sewing table to put your threads, offcuts etc in and it was made in coated fabric inside so that when you want to empty it the threads etc don't stick to the fabric. Brilliant idea I thought and stored it in the back of my head for when I saw the right fabric, and here it is! You're supposed to use two contrasting fabrics but I'm happy with both sides being the same. Who knows when I'll get around to making it but at least now I have the fabric sorted!

I also picked up these lovelies. The one on the left is Garden for Olivia, Star Flower Blue by Lide Enche and the one on the right is Twice as Nice Blue Blooms by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.

I couldn't leave these lovely spools behind either! (They're Love to Sew Cool Spools in Black by Michael Miller).

And last but definitely not least these two lovelies. Zen Chic Barcelona Spanish Tiles in Onyx on the left and Erin McMorris, Astrid, Mitte Aquamarine on the right. I have looked at that Aquamarine fabric a few times and its never quite made it into my cart but this was its lucky day! I love the Spanish Tiles mostly as it has splashes of orange and I can see it teaming with some of my orange stash fabric beautifully.

It also happens to have the cutest selvedge!

Very happy with my splurge.  Nothing was over $9 US a yard and some were only $5 and $6 so easy on the hip pocket too. Only problem is I might have done the same thing this week over at equilter.com but that's another blogpost because that fabric hasn't arrived yet!

Linking up with Sunday Stash over at Molli Sparkles.

Molli Sparkles

Friday, 11 April 2014

Swap Blocks - Some Lovely, Some Hideous!

This month my Quilting Block Swap Australia partner was Kerry from Queensland.  She requested some scrappy blocks, two different designs with the guideline of being as scrappy as possible, preferably using my ugly fabrics. A little dubious, I searched my stash for a selection of uglies and this is the result:

Now I must say I have heard from Kerry since and she loves the blocks but I really felt terrible when they were done as I felt they really were hideous! Probably the most unattractive blocks I've ever made but she's happy so that's okay.

Now the blocks I received in return were lovely. She did a wonderful job and they are probably the best made blocks I've received so far in this design. One in white:

and one in black:

I still need 10 black and 3 white so it will be a while before I get this one put together!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sewing Retreat Wrap Up

Now that I've had a few days to recover after my sewing retreat I'm ready to do a recap!

Don't you love a few days away with lovely people in a lovely place doing what you love? What could be better?

So on Friday night, right on sunset, my bestie Kerry and I arrived here. (Hopefully the photos aren't too odd, I found later in the day I inadvertently had my macro button on and I don't know when I did that!)

After a quick tea of tasty minestrone prepared by my sister in law Kerrie (note we had two Kerry/Kerries!) we got set up and got cracking!

My goal was to reduce my scrap box somewhat by making string blocks. Here it is on arrival:

We stitched late into the night on Friday night and then finally crashed only to start again the next morning. We were a bit slack this time and didn't get up until 7.30am and sat around having a chat and brekkie until our last person arrived at 8.00am.  Pauline had been to the Rocky Horror Stage Show the night before in Adelaide and surprised us by arriving so early. She was keen to get cracking!

Here is the lovely Doreen, Pauline and my sister in law Kerrie. I think she may have been threatening me with those snips but I took the photo anyway! 

It was such a beautiful day the other Kerry and I took a gentle stroll along the beach:

We walked all the way down to the end and back and then got stuck into it again. Here was the view from our front verandah in the other direction:

Kerry was mostly doing some beading and crocheting but she also had a sewing project to do so I took a break mid afternoon on Saturday to press some blocks and do some hand sewing and let Kerry have a go on my machine.

Its only a project she's been meaning to do for 18 months so it was great she got it done. That's the other Sue in the background (yep two Sues and two Kerry's in a group of 6!) coming to grips with cutting fabric.  Sue was never going to be a quilter but the bug has bitten and she made one quilt top using some lovely Vincent Van Gogh fabric and by the end of the weekend she was hooked on making divided 9 patch blocks after Doreen gave her a lesson!

So on to my projects.  I made a total of 32 string blocks in a variety of colours:

I only stopped as I ran out of the background squares and strips I had prepared!  Then I moved on to making crumb blocks out of all my teeny tiny leftover bits.

These I find are quite time consuming so only got four of these done (which is the same number I made last time). This time around I made yellow and pink - here are all my blocks so far (they're 8.5" square).

So of course by now you'd think I would have made quite an impression on my scrap box wouldn't you?

You'd be wrong though! I'm not sure I can even tell I took anything out of it!  Looks like I'll have to do it all again in September!

Thanks for reading my blog today,

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

2014 To Do List Update

Well I guess that seeing we are a quarter way through the year already (yikes, how did that happen?) I should take a quick look and see how I'm going on my project list for 2014, just to keep myself on track!
  1. Broken Herringbone Quilt - finish blocks and put top together  This is my UFO project for April.
  2. Quilt 'And Sew On' Wallhanging made last year.
  3. Mariner's Compass Quilt for my brother Kym (I have ruler set I bought several years ago I want to test out!)
  4. Complete and quilt QBSA swap star quilt.
  5. Make more blocks using crumb scraps I did four more of these on my retreat last weekend, now I have 8.
  6. Use my rainbow swap charms to make a quilt. Top is done and partly quilted so pretty well done!
  7. Complete Cot Quilt for my niece - this is my January challenge project and is underway! Done
  8. Make more Star Value scrappy blocks I have cut out all the pieces ready to stitch together
  9. Quilt Star Surround Lap Quilt
  10. Make a Shadow Trapunto project from book by Geta Grama
  11. Use pinwheel blocks made at sewing getaway into a project - maybe placemats? Done
  12. Christmas swap charms - use in a project - perhaps a table runner and/or pot holders?
  13. Castle Ceiling Quilt - continue handpiecing. Layout decided, slowly coming together, sewing rows together at the moment.
  14. Make handbags from patterns won last year.
  15. Project using mixed charms from swaps and scraps using pattern from book I have
  16. Make quilt top using Peter Rabbit fabric pieces
  17. Continue with QBSA block swap
  18. I Spy project using swap blocks - very long term as I don't need this yet.
  19. Finish watching all my Craftsy workshops I've signed up for, particularly the Leah Day ones.
  20. Try quilting feathers this year!
So far so good I think.  The first 12 are in my UFO list this year so hopefully things will continue to stay on track.

How are your UFO's? Are you kicking butt or are they breeding?!


Friday, 28 March 2014

Look Out Wallaroo, Here We Come!

I've been hanging out for this weekend for months now. It has been a pretty ordinary six months or so since the last time our intrepid group of girls got together for our sewing retreat at Wallaroo and this weekend couldn't have come at a better time.

So tonight after work (after sneaking out a little early) my best friend and I will be heading off to stay here with four other lovely ladies:

And enjoy the view from my sewing machine like last time!

While I work my way through my scrap box of tiny bits and pieces to make some more of these, along with some string blocks and other scrappy projects.

Fairly sure we'll go for a walk (or two) along the beach too!

Can't wait! Here's hoping that by Sunday afternoon my scrap box will be seriously depleted and that I have lots of scrappy blocks to share with you next time!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Castle Ceiling Project Update

My long term handstitched project continues to slowly come together.  I'm making this pattern in blues on a yellow background.

First I made 121 assorted blue Dresden plates and 100 yellow crosses:

The I started joining them into pairs (here are some laid out on the floor to see how they're going to look):

At the risk of permanently cutting off circulation in my knees and really upsetting my back I crawled around on the floor last weekend and laid out all the blocks on a polar fleece blanket (they nearly all fit) and spent some considerable time tweaking the layout to get the right 'random' placing.  With that done I managed to creak my way back to upright eventually and went to bed around 1.30am! 

Had another look the next morning and tweaked a few blocks again and then crawled around on the floor again pinning them to the blanket before rolling it up around a cardboard tube. Phew!

Not sure my knees and back have quite forgiven me yet!

Now I'm slowly joining the diagonal rows together, emphasis on slowly! My eyesight is not what it used to be and handstitching causes me to give up on my glasses and work 2 inches from my nose at times so I can't do a lot at once!  Think its time I bought one of those magnifying lens things you hang around your neck! Has anyone tried one of those for craft work? Are they any good?

Thanks for visiting today,

Thursday, 20 March 2014

March UFO Project - Tick!

Last year at the end of August I went on a sewing weekend away and whipped up some pinwheels from a charm pack of  Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille which I won some time back from Kristy at Quietplay.

I didn't really have any particular plan for them but wanted to try the method of putting two charms together, sewing a 1/4" seam all around the edges and then slice the diagonally and stitch together to make pinwheels.  It was pretty much as easy as it sounds but that was as far as I got.

As part of the UFO along at Aunt Marti's blog I bagged these up at the beginning of the year and this month their lucky number (4!) came up. So what to do with them?  First things first I had a look through my fabric stash for any fabric which would co-ordinate with them. Not as easy as it might sound as they are not my usual colours, a little softer than I usually use.

I did however find a great black and cream fabric which seemed to be the best fit, along with a diagonal striped fabric.  After a bit of fiddling around I decided placemats and a table runner would be the way to go.

I had hoped to bind them in the black and cream but unfortunately I only had enough for the block sashings so chose a cream which matched the backing fabric as well, so they are reversible! 

Front (above) and back (below):

I had some fun with the quilting on them, trying a spiral in each pinwheel. I hadn't tried a spiral before and they turned out okay, a few wobbles here and there but on the whole I'm happy with them.

I used my usual all machine stitched binding method (see tutorial at Missouri Star Quilt Co here) but used a stitch I haven't used before for the top stitching. I had thought that this stitch seemed to face the wrong way around but in the end I quite liked it so I might use it again! I used a variegated thread in black, grey and white.

 Here's a close up of the topstitching on the back:

Not sure who these will go to yet (they are certainly not my colours) but I'll put them away and find the right recipient during the year.

So UFO No. 3 ticked off for 2014 - yay!

Thanks for visiting today,