Sunday, 22 February 2015

a get together and some progress

Yesterday was the day for the first Mill Rosie get together for this year.
It was lovely to see everyone again and in such a beautifully inspiring venue.
I happily sewed in between the socialising, eating and retailing.
Top of my list was some fabric for the border of my pieced Lisa Bonegan sewalong.
It was unanimous that this star and stripe fabric would fit the bill perfectly. It is posiitoned with the fabric that I will use for the thinner border. Big tick here!
 While at Mill rose I appliqued 8 roses in the corner blocks for the appliqued sewalong block. When I got home I prepped and sewed down a vine one border. The other three are stapled ready to go.

 On Friday I popped into Jemima's to show the girls the fabric I wanted to use for my baltimore blocks.
I have had the papillon fabric on the left for years, waiting, waiting..... I picked up the centre fabric from Jemima's and the third one is from my stash too.
The other fabrics shown are all from my stash and these will be used for the applique. Some are newly added and some have been there for a long time. It feels good to use from my stash. There are a few more bits and pieces that I will need to gather before I start in March.
 We have been having quite a burst of heat here in Victoria, perfect excuse to hibernate and craft.
I found this cute heart pattern on the net and had some wool embroidery skeins given to me that I figured would be perfect.
I think these will be gifted to my nieces next time I see them
 Just had to share this cuteness. I adore this little mini jam jar. There were two in a hamper mum got for christmas. I have some ideas milling around my head on how to use this mini and the bigger version too. It's just so pretty.
Thanks to all the girls for a great day yesterday
cheers for now
Marina

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Oops!

Well I have had two big oops moments today so I think I will quit while I am ahead as the third one might be a doosie!!
I thought I would give myself some time in the sewing room today..... but there were a few things that halted the retreat. Mum popped in this morning as we are both doing an applique class at Jemima's in Craigieburn and we had to go and sign up. We will be making a gorgeous baltimore quilt. Mum and I are both very excited!! Roll on March.......
Then......No 1 son popped in to get a button sewn on- are you for real!
I told him that I would show him how to sew it on.  You know the saying.... Sew a button on for a man and he wears his shorts without falling down, teach him how to sew and his trousers will stay up for a lifetime...
He didn't buy it....
Next visitor for the day was a dear friend. We had a great natter over a cup of tea then....... it was time to sew.
Then......One more delay to stop me sewing was one smelly curly beast. We had a massive downpour last night and Coffee got quite soaked which meant he also got smelly. He got a much needed wash, now I won't be so reluctant to bring him in the house if he has a decent aroma.
 He has also been in a little bit of trouble as he has been enjoying the fruits of DH's labours and helping himself to the green tomatoes. Seems we not only have to combat the thieves from the air but have to combat hairy ground forces too. For Heaven's sake.
So then eventually I made it to the sewing room......
I had cut out the blocks for the next sewalong batch of flying geese. During the week I prepared them all, pinning carefully ready to sew. Well here is where oopsie no 1 took shape.
I sewed and sewed, zipping along and when I made the first cut discovered my mistake

Notice that pretty floral fabric? Yes that's right, I sewed the corners on the incorrect side of the red square. Seeing as they were all cut and I didn't have enough fabric (or enthusiasm) to resew them they are staying as they are and I must say I prefer them this way.
some more sewing and cutting and sewing and they have become this
I am going to put a final border on this and then it will be done. Next week is the mill rosie get together so I will be on the hunt for a nice panel fabric that I can use for the last border.
It seemed a good idea to snap the pics outside. Well that's where we come to oopsie no 2
I put this one on the ladder to snap a pic too and thought i should put something on the top corner on the ladder to keep it on...  like so...
Well the item I put on the fabric had moudly stale water that dribbled out of it and landed on my mini.
 
After a few expletives
I ran inside to get this..
It's amazing stuff and has removed all the yukkiness that was going to ruin my mini and reduce me to tears. Once it dries out I am sure it will be perfect again. Phew!
These ufo's were on my February ufo list and I am still hoping to get the tops done and will be happy if the applique and quilting is the only part that needs doing byt the end of the month.
Hope there has been some sewing in your day too
cheers
Marina



Sunday, 8 February 2015

UFO guilts


A few weeks ago I visited my sil who had just been given a mountain of fabrics from an elderly aquaintance who was destashing.
Among the metres of fabric and assorted crafty books and goodies were numerous, and I mean numerous smocking projects waiting to be sewn up. My sil asked me over to have a look and give some advice on the sewing process for the smocked pieces and also to give me some lovely aida and cross stitch linen that were in the stash.
Seeing all those beautiful smocked dress fronts and thinking what would happen to my own stash of wip's smocked bits I have decided that I need to address those ufo's too.
I used to love smocking and made lots of items as gifts for great nieces and nephews who were born at the during my smocking phase. I was also smocking for other sewers and a magazine and that took a little of the enthusiasm away. You know when you have to do something to other's specs it becomes a chore not a hobby. So quite a few unfinished pieces got put away in a large box. I was great with doing the smocking just not so great with the sewing them up into a garment.
Well it's best to get them out into the open and I think I need to try to make some headway with these ufo's too... so they are being added to the list and will wait for their number to come up. Who knows they may just make it to the top of the creating pile too...
 Here are the ones that have just been smocked, some pieces cut out....

 this is an assortment of garments at the finishing stage......quite a few needing buttons....
I feel so guilty having this many unfinished bits.

Now to more pleasant things....
Yesterday Hub and I visited family in Gisborne (sorry girls....) and I also made a visit to Patch and quilt to look for a cream fabric from a previous visit and also some red to finish my sew a long minis. No luck with the cream but found some lovely reds. We then headed off to Daylesford and made a little detour to Castlemaine to Threadbare. Found a gorgeous cream and some more reds and two greens.
 Two amazing shops in the one day. I only had about 15 min at Threadbare as DH must have had an inkling I might go a little crazy lol
Here are my goodies...   (the greens will go towards applique on my sweet william blocks)
Speaking of my sew along blocks...
The first one is done, just needing some wool applique which is prepped ready to go.The outer border will have more applique of a trailing vine with the flowers in the corner. Hit a bit of a hurdle on the geese for the second one but am keen to get that one to this stage too. But I did manage those tiny star blocks..
a little wonky in places but done!

Some cross stitching has been happening while watching tv too now that I have a new stash of linens and aida..
These are both freebies...
This one from the Little Stitcher (Dorothy's red shoes by Laura Rimola) It is stitched with only one thread on tiny aida and it was difficult to get the stitches even as if I pulled too tight it would disappear!
 I really love this one and I will make it into a little cushion like the pattern....
Using some of the linen this time and two threads makes it a little easier.
Pattern from www.thesnowflowerdiaries.blogspot.hu
Off to put that smocking stash in my sewing room so that it is under my nose and I can't forget it as easily.
Have a wonderful sunday!

cheers
marina

Thursday, 5 February 2015

February UFO project...

February is here already and it was time to select the project for this month

My Lisa Bonegan Sew along blocks have been neglected for quite awhile.
I had every intention to keep up but I was a little intimidated by a whole pile of little flying geese that needed to be done for the 3rd instalment.
Well the number was up and out it came.. and surprisingly the piecing was easier than I thought. The instructions by Lisa were so easy to follow and there are pictures to follow as well. My kind of patterns.
this is where the blocks were left at in July last year.
This week the applique one has progressed to this..... some applique pieces all cut out for the corners. They will go on once the next borders are on and that's where I'll finish it. using one of the later patterns to finish it off.

The star pieced one has the next border on and a visit to the fabric shop is in order so that I can get some more red fabric for the geese.
In the corners it has little star blocks. I have these half sewn..
You can officially call me certifiably crazy as those little cream squares are only 1" square!!

Off to the cave to tackle those little stars..... wish me luck

Cheers
Marina

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

where did all the holidays go....

Two days back at work so far and I must say I am sleeping like a baby...
It's quite tiring having to think- remembering passwords, where you put things last year that you need now, where did my pen stash go, who was that again? etc etc.
Definitley a mojo killer!
Lucky I worked so hard on the weekend and Australia day that I got the Boy's story top all pieced together.
Phew! that was a job and a half...
would you like to see it?
the photo doesn't quite show the oomph of the bright fabrics as it was a gloomy grey day when I snapped the pic.
Just need to piece a backing and it's ready to go to the quilter.
 Second sweet william block appliqued too. It has a little lean but that is a minor concession I can live with!

 Maisie checking out the dolls in the girls' room!


hope you are having a lovely week.... Hope  I survive it. Craft group on Saturday, which I haven't made it to for a few months. Looking forward to catching up.
happy stitching.
Marina

Friday, 23 January 2015

last hurrah...

This is the last week of the holidays and I have been trying to cram it with lots of loveliness to ease the transition back to work.
There was a wonderful catch up with the City girls on Tuesday. A day of stitching and chatting and of course eating lovely food . I managed to get all my stitching done on my boys story blocks so that I could make a start on putting them together.
Wednesday it was to the movies with a friend to see 'Into the woods'. Not quite what I expected but not a bad movie.
Thanks to the hot weather we have been having, a lot of time has been spent indoors, which means lots of sewing time...
Two blocks done.....only seven to go....




Sweet William hasn't been neglected during this week.
I have a total of 19 basket blocks pieced ready for applique. (all the blocks are on my sweet william page) Last night I thought I should make a start on some applique too. If I can do at least two per month I think that will be a steady workable pace.
This block was the first one I appliqued when I first started the project but it has turned out smaller than all of the early ones. It has now been remade in the correct size. Loved making this block (twice).

Each basket has an excess of 1 half square triangle unit and also another when I make the basket base. I have been frugal with these and trimmed them up to use later on in a mini. They will be a scrappy reminder of this quilt. Aren't they sweet?

Now there has also been a squatter moved into my room. Someone who seems to have claimed it as their own!!
Maisie has discovered that there is a lovely comfy single bed with a snuggly woollen blanket on it in my sewing room. Of course it must be there just for her! She has been keeping me company while I sew some days and other times she just takes the room for herself as I often find her sleeping in there on the bed.
It's officially the 'girls' room'
Have a wonderful weekend
cheers
Marina

Sunday, 18 January 2015

sewing merrily along..

Well the relationship with Sweet William seems to be ambling along perfectly now. Those difficult times seem so long ago.......
I have a grand total of 13 baskets sewn so far and they are all of a uniform size. I am quite over the moon about this! A new 'Sweet William' page on my blog has all the photos of each block. There are another 8 to be made up in this batch then I will start to do some of the appliqueing. On Friday I got very organised and sorted all the patterns and applique bits that I had started to prepare, into a folder so that I will be uber-organised with this project now that I am in love with it once more.  (I think Elyte may have unleashed a monster)
Lesson-Never underestimate the power of the light bulb moment. Sometimes you just need someone to flip the switch.
 here are the latest blocks...

 On Friday I had a day out to Gisborne with Liz, Rosalie and mum. We had a great visit to Patch and Quilt, lunch at the new cafe a few doors up which we can happily recommend, then afternoon tea with lovely Karin from Kilmore quilters. Karin couldn't make the road trip so we detoured to visit.
Liz brought me two lovely gifties- one was this gorgeous pin cushion. It has already found a special place on my pincushion shelf. I love it and the colours are perfect, Liz knows my love of blues well.
 She also made this beautiful little angel ornament. It is so pretty. It has joined my treasures from crafty friends. It may go on the tree next year or just stay in my sewing room all year round.

Yesterday I had a great day with three of my nieces. 11 y/o twins and their 16 y/o sister. They are such wonderful girls. We made gnocchi together and then they asked me to teach them to crochet.
Well three students at once was a bit full on but I got them started with chain stitch. I told them once they perfect that we will move onto the next part of crocheting. They happily took yarn and hooks home to practice. I'm so happy to pass on some craftiness!
Needless to say once they went home I needed a big rest..... I did enjoy the girlie time a lot.
Well the sewing machine beckons, I need to make as much use of this holiday time as I can as it will end soon.
happy sewing!
Marina

Thursday, 15 January 2015

relationship counselling...

Things were getting desperate and it was time to take up the offer of a caring friend.
Sometimes you have to grab help when offered, don't be too proud.
Lovely Elyte came over yesterday to help me and Sweet William to try to reconcile our differences and forge a new relationship. As my crafty friends will attest to it has been a rocky relationship. Almost hitting the rocks as hard as the Titanic hit that iceberg!
I am very happy to say we are back on track, after both admitting our faults and even though we're not back to our honeymoon period I'd say it is a relationship that will continue into old age with that slow steady spark of affection.
Elyte and I started from scratch and went over each of my steps and thanks to my clever friend found a way to achieve the desired size, correct matching of top and bottom pieces of the blocks and without the addition of too many grey hairs on my part. Will have to make sure I haven't given any to Elyte next time we meet.
The original blocks that are too small will be put aside for a smaller project and it is full steam ahead with the correctly sized ones. I only managed to salvage one of the appliqued blocks but that's ok I am in a happy place  now.
I got one done yesterday with Elyte, one last night and I bolted into the sewing room this morning to make another one, just to make sure I was doing the right thing still.



As the song goes...... You got to have friends!
I'm so glad I do.
have a wonderful day
Marina



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

some starts, some finishes, some stuff...

Well the silly season has passed and we managed to survive it by keeping it low stress.
The year started off with a lovely get together with the Gisborne girls and City girls, with Melody thrown in for good measure. And what a super day it was!!
I have had some lovely time to myself in my sewing room, even though I had to share it with no 2 sone while he was in transit and staying here. He was amazed and said 'what happened to my room?'
I just let him know that it's my room now and while he can visit and stay in the room it must be left in a reasonable condition so that I can pop in and out as I wish to sew. That seemed to work ok. He did seem to move out quite quickly though? Hmmm
The best part of having my own space has been that I can leave the machine and mess out and just pop in  even if it's for just a few minutes and just leave it there till I get the chance to do some more.
Be prepared, this slack blogging makes for photo heavy posts when I do decide to post...

I thought this challenge was a great idea, similar to what I have done myself before.
You list your ufo's and each month you pick a number and that's the project that you work on for the month.
If you play along with the blog site they select the item number to work on.
I have one project down.....
can only give you a sneak peak! My shirt challenge is now a top. I need to work on borders but there is plenty of time.
Something new......I started a new Boys story quilt for a friend at work... Thanks to my 'new to me' machine it does beautiful applique stitch so I don't have to do it by hand. The hand stitching needs to be done. Excuse the threads everywhere, the fabric is fraying mercilessly.





Some progress..... I managed to complete the last row of my novelty hexies and then got so excited I did all the hexies needed to even up the sides. Just need to get some backing and decide how to quilt it. Was toying with borders too? It can sit like this for a little till inspiration strikes.
Of course I had to have some hand stitching on the go....
These two designs are by Urban threads. I love their quirkiness.
Such a great price too for a quick download.
Of course some time in the sewing room means some rearranging... I have been reshuffling and repurposing bits and pieces. I can get lost in there for ages.. Some of the hangings got shuffled around, I reorganised my pin cushions after rediscovering this little shelving unit (got to use that stash of little doilies that I have too) and put a crochet blanket on the bed after no 2 son moved on. My grandmother made this and I just love it. Even though it is old fashioned and daggy. The boys throw quilts got a wash yesterday while it was so hot they dried so quickly in the shade. Perfect!
The two that have moved out don't seem to want to take them with them and no 3 son still at home doesn't want a dinosaur quilt on his bed, he much prefers cars? What is with that, just because he's 19?? Whatever... so they will stay folded up on the bed in my room for now.

Hope everyone has kicked off the year well... Some more social outings planned for this week with crafty friends. Perfect!
cheers for now & happy crafting
Marina

Saturday, 20 December 2014

an Invitation...

to come and visit my Sewing room....
A sewing room has been my dream for a long time...but it is a dream no more.
A not so little bird left the nest a month ago and after the initial period of mourning of about 5 seconds the battle was on as to who would get the newly vacated soon to be spare room! Woo hoo I won!!
The room was mine and I took over with much enthusiasm and happiness.
We don't have the largest of homes so it is still a bit of a storage room with things belonging to the two fledglings being kept here. The room isn't huge but it will serve my purpose perfectly.
would you like to have a tour?



a place for all my treasures...I am so excited to have them on display in my room so that I can enjoy them. Lots of lovely items that have been gifts over the years.

the bed was a 3/4 bunk and we have left it as is for now as it provides ample storage under it at the moment.

 Well that's it. I know it's small, a little crowded and ecclectic in it's contents but it reflects it's owner well.
Hope you have enjoyed the tour.... but is there any craftiness to show?
Of course there is, it's not much but there doesn't seem to have been much enthusiasm or inspiration at the moment. I have some projects on the cards for these holidays and I will be sure to share.
These two toppers made their way to new homes for Christmas.
 Some loveliness has arrived her also...I will share a few of the arrivals
This gorgeous pin cushion from Robyn, one of the lovely city girls. It is in a vintage salt keeper.
She made it perfectly for me! It has happily joined my pin cushion collection.
 this pretty ornament arrived from Fiona,
 And this one was part of a gorgeous package from Els in the Netherlands.
 If you have lasted this long through all those photos-thanks...
I wish I could share the beautiful fragrance from these gardenias from my garden. They only last a short time but they make an impression to last.


 I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas shared with friends and loved ones.

Huge hugs to you all
Marina