Wednesday, 1 October 2014

what a day

Yesterday I got to entertain the wonderful city girls at my home. We had a great time spent chatting, eating and laughing with a bit of retail therapy thrown in for good measure. What more could you ask for?
I got some tips for my needleturn applique and after confusing Elyte, I tried to help her with some stitching.
Funny how when you do something without thinking it can be so hard to show someone else how to do it.
I took the girls to Jemima's patchwork shop, a shop run from home in Craigieburn. Can you believe that none of them had ever been before.....Some silly person didn't check their Tuesday opening hours and when we arrived the shop wasn't officially open but Shirley and Veronica were very accomodating and the girls and I got to do some spending. It's a great shop and has a wide variety of fabrics, something for everyone really.
I did notice that there was a big assortment of batiks that had multiplied since my last visit. I have found a fondness for them since making my aussie flag quilt. 
I'm afraid I didn't take pics of our get together I was too busy making cups of tea, stitching and chatting. Elyte was official photographer of the day so hopefully she will post pics soon.
the girls all commented that our get together was a therapy session, how appropriate that they come to the asylum...
thanks girls for a wonderful day!

It hasn't been all laughing and cups of tea all the time here...
The signature quilt is complete!! I finished stitching the binding and sleeve down this morning.
Hooray!
not a bad effort - started on the 12/9/14 completed on the 1/10/14. I think this is almost a personal best. I think it will come close to my aussie flag quilt.
hand quilted with crochet cotton( to speed up the process a little bit.)

 the left overs pieced into the back,
 I was very happy with how neat the quilting turned out, not many zig zaggy stitches on the back either. Wish I could channel that  permanently.

My third sweet William applique got done too.
I am using scraps from my flowers where I can. These are favourite scraps from a quilt I made some time ago. I have held onto them for ages, nice for them to resurface. I have cut out the two baskets for block 2 and 3. Hopefully they will get done soon.

...But a new project has taken priority... I forgot that I had promised to make a baby quilt for a friend who is about to become a grandmother for the third time. 
I picked up some fabrics from Jemima's yesterday to go with the stitcheries I have selected.
Was going great guns with the first stitchery when I ran out of thread. Typical!
Off to get some this afternoon so it doesn't hold up proceedings.
Will show you my fabrics and hopefully a finished stitchery next post.
Happy days!
Marina


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sweet William..

Well I thought this was going to be the end of a long term infatuation but it may be becoming true love..
After a bit of a rocky start to the relationship I think we have set the guidelines to a good start.....
Sometimes I think I need Dr Phill telling me


But it's ok Dr Phil stand down.....
I think I have got it covered...
I don't think too bad a start for my first real needleturn project.

omg those berries were so tiny!
 
my first block...

second block applique done...

I changed the flowers a little bit as when I started to prepare them for applique they looked absolutely hideous! The shape just wouldn't work for me. A little more rounded and softer was the way to go.... a little like me ...
Some imperfections but I am quite happy with the results and more importantly quite enthused to continue with the blocks. I feel I am learning something with each piece I applique.
There you go I have jumped in the deep end with my floaties on and I am floating nicely.
I think Josie should be proud of me..
The signature quilt is still coming along nicely, wasn't done by thursday but that's not a problem it won't take much longer.
a sunny, wild and windy day here in my neck of the woods. Perhaps some time today for another basket?
have a great Sunday

cheers
Marina


Friday, 26 September 2014

friday stitching

Yesterday I got an email from Sue one of the lovely Country girls asking if I would like to go to Gisborne Patchwork shop for a stitching afternoon. Well don't ask me more than once, I was off like a shot.
I was keen to go as there was going to be a special gift given to Tania who has been a little unwell lately.
Sneaky Sue had arranged for some other sneaky people to make a block to make into a quilt for Tania.
It was all finished this week ready to be gifted.
Sue and Tracee and Marg all chipped in and got it together and finished. You are all so wonderful!
Tania was quite surprised and moved by her gift

but she cheered up quick smart....
Now I had to point out that the second last row had a few of us grouped together, one might say it is the noisy row......Shez, Moi, Chez and Robin..... now what is the meaning of this?
The blocks were to reflect the maker and each one is wonderful. Such a gorgeous gift I was so happy to have been able to contribute.
a beautiful label...

In the mail this week the lovely Bev  sent me this gorgeous embroidered piece as it reminded her of Maisie.
I joked to Bev that Maisie had the glasses on for when she cat scanned my quilts in progress.
I was thinking of how I could finish the embroidery and then it came to me!
This afternoon I stitched the wording.
I think it looks so cute, thanks heaps Bev!
(please excuse the lack of ironing...)
Sweet William and I have finally made some time together. After some stressful moments and reassuring words from mum as she checked my piecing and working out I havecompleted the first basket!! (after throwing one version in the bin!)
Instructions are never my strong point but I am finding the directions difficult and there was almost a pattern looking for a new home. Thank goodness for mum.
I took my progress on the first block to show the girls today and they gave it the thumbs up.
I hope to work on the applique part of it tonight and will show the block when it's done.
Hope you have found some stitching time too
cheers
marina


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

remember....

.....those gorgeous little triangles that I received from Lynda?
You might think I am avoiding my getting together with Sweet William but I have to fulfill a few obligations to some older projects first (while I work out how to tackle Sweet william).
I did play with the triangles a while ago after a marathon session of sewing the off cuts together and trimming them to 1 1/2 inches.
These were the results...
I just didn't know which I preferred as they all ended up hard to match the points and bulky around the seam joins. So they got put away until inspirations struck again.
I kept thinking make it simpler...
Well inspiration struck a few weeks ago while I was looking for a pattern to use for my shirt challenge.
I found a pattern that was described as 'old maid's puzzle' on Barbara Brackman's Jane Austen family album blog. I thought it was perfect to use for my fig tree triangles especially now that I had some extra fig tree fabric for the solid squares left over from my friends birthday quilt.
I think they look so pretty and scrappy. They finished at 3 1/2 inches. So a nice mini in the making?


Quilting is progressing nicely on the Kaffe Fassett quilt but no way will it be ready by tomorrow.
I want to quilt along the borders and that will be a big job so taking it easy....
Happy stitching!
Marina

Monday, 22 September 2014

some photos to share.


 Woke up and thought omg, is it really holidays?
 Get that sugar level up.... and get ready to go.....YES it is holidays
Are you going to sew all day? Pleeaaase...
 woo hoo I love holidays.....
the sun is shining a nice walk is in order...
A swim for someone... come on throw the ball!


Back to some sewing.....

My little houses have been calling me....
I was a little enthusiastic putting the borders on I need to make another lot of little houses for the bottom row that doesn't require sashings with corner stones at the bottom. Prefer to make new houses than un sew. This will make a total of 64 houses. A lovely little hanging.

A start has been made on this quilting too... It is progressing quite quickly which I am very happy about.
I am meeting up with the recipient again on thursday. Wonder if I can out do myself and get it done by then?
No pressure....
Sun is shining here in Melbourne and we are expecting a top of 24. Lovely weather!
Have I mentioned I love Holidays?
Happy sewing..
Marina

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Getting by with some help

..... from my friends....
Wondering how that Signature quilt is going?
Well it is going fine... with some help from my friends  Jacky and Jo the main part of the top was together last night with just the borders to be done this morning. After a 5 o'clock wake up I started to sew the borders on and they were done in plenty of time.
The top was presented at the farewell function this afternoon and it was very well received by the recipient and other staff that had signed squares. But she won't be able to keep it just yet as I still need to quilt it. That's my job over the next few weeks.
So many thanks to my lovely sewing elves for their help, couldn't have done it without you!
Now would you like to see the top...
I am hoping you do...
The pics were taken quite early this morning.
 Now the big question "do I like Kaffe Fassett now?"
Answer- I love this quilt, don't think there is one for me in the future but I love the effect of this one.

A very exciting arrival this week too... This beautiful Janome Memory craft 3000 machine.
Is'nt she lovely? She sews so beautifully too and there are some gorgeous stitches that I can try too when I am feeling a little adventurous. This was a generous gift from a friend.
 I tried it out when I made this block today.
It's in the hands of Australia Post on it's way to a crafty friend somewhere.....
Well I feel like I have used my holiday Sewing mojo all up-hope there is some left for the holidays?
I am hoping to spend some time with sweet William I  need the comfort of a project without such a drastic deadline, but I'll still have to spend quite a bit more time with Kaffe Fassett.
Hope your week is going well.
Marina

Sunday, 14 September 2014

blocks ahoy!

after a couple of marathon sewing and cutting sessions the fat quarters from the previous post havebecome this lovely pile of signature blocks ready to go tomorrow to be signed. 110 in all.
That little tin next to the blocks has all the off cut  triangles. As the recipient of this quilt is also a quilter I think it only fitting she get these triangles so that she can make something with them. They have come together quite quickly but I did have some support on call in case it got too much for me.
I have cut borders also and Fingers crossed we will be putting the top together tuesday night.

 Last night I delivered a special quilt for one of my great nieces. I had picked it up from the quilter friday and got the binding done yesterday at craft group. I forgot to take a pic of the finished quilt but it was very well received. Her two older sisters have also received a quilt and I got to see how well loved they are first hand.
It is so satisfying seeing a well loved quilt! My niece was concerned as to whether the quilts could wear and what happens if they wear. I replied that they will get a new one!
(this was the top before quilting)
hope you have had a crafty weekend too!
cheers
marina

Friday, 12 September 2014

Never say never....

Aren't they famous last words...
Some may even imagine that hell has frozen over......
why you ask? well because these have arrived at my doorstep today
Those that know me will attest to my shall we say, 'lack of love' for Kaffe fassett fabrics.
This week my boss announced that she would be leaving at the end of term, ie next week.
She is also a patchworker so I thought it would be a great idea to make her a signature quilt with all staff signing it for her. She also loves Kaffe Fassett fabrics! Oh no...
 Now remember that deadline??
Thanks to the wonderful staff at L'uccello who made some fabric selections and sent them express post so that I would get them today making sure I can make an even start. I hope to have the blocks all ready for signing by monday.
I wish there was a patron saint of patchworkers as I would be lighting many candles in her honour!
wish me luck!
 I had a lovely day out today to get me into the patchworking mood with Liz and her friend Kaaren.
We went on an adventure to The Patchwork teahouse where we had a lovely lunch and I picked up the quilters muslin for the signature blocks. On the way home, well sort of on the way home, we stopped into the new Somerset Patchwork shop that is now in Vermont. Lovely new light and roomy shop with lots of civil war temptations. I just picked up a few pieces of cream print fabric to put towards my stash for sweet william baskets.  A project that has been giving me nightmares! I better make a start soon or I may never take the plunge. Josie where are you???
Thanks Liz for taking me on a Cook's tour it was wonderful.
Here's to the weekend, hope you all get some crafty time..
cheers
Marina

Sunday, 7 September 2014

hot off the hoop

Where has time gone....
Have had lots to tell but not much enthusiasm to do it... so what has been happening you say?
I won a gorgeous giveaway from Cheryl, the goodies arrived and they are definitely going to see some attention in the near future.
I have been plodding along on the crafting front working hard to get the gift quilt finished for my friends birthday. The party was yesterday but I delivered the quilt today. She was very happy with the quilt and didn't mind it being a day late.
Would you like to see it?
 I anchored the  plain squares with a shell button
stitchery design-Rosalie quinlan
A few weeks ago we had the Mill Rose get together. It was a wonderful day and there were quite a few that were missed from the regular group but there were some lovely new girls to get to know.
 Unfortunately my photos of the day were pretty poor so I haven't any to share but lots of the other girls have posted fun pics of the day.
this lovely little pincushion came home with me from Mill rose...a sweet gift from Lovely Sue (the gisborne girls) two cute little owls in a woolly tree.
 Since finishing swan lake I have been contemplating a new long term project....
Sweet William has been in the back of my mind for some time and after a little arm twisting from Josie (dilly dimple- yes Josie I am going to blame you totally for this) I ordered the pattern online.
I think this will be a big challenge but hey challenges never killed anyone, right? Hillary climbed Everest and survived....
I thought I had really bitten off more than I could chew when after paying for the pattern a few days later I received an email with photos of each of the blocks, but not finding any written instructions I broke out in a sweat. I was worried that I had to work out the blocks just from the pictures! OMG did I have an anxiety attack.... a quick email to Susan Smith calmed me down ....the paper pattern was on it's way and she just wanted to send photos of each block as a guide to colours and so forth... PHEW!!!
I am going to endeavour to learn needleturn applique and once I work out how I will piece the baskets I will be off and running. Only a few weeks till term holidays so then I will have time to play.
Wish me luck!
cheers for now
Marina


Sunday, 3 August 2014

are you ready.....

for some photos that is.
I have felt like a bit of a crafting tornado this weekend. Wish I could bottle my enthusiasm for those times that I feel a bit lacking. A bit like a craft berocca perhaps?
Maybe it's the fact that I have a short deadline that has spurred me on.
Anyhoo....
Here we go there are quite a few pics so be warned.


The Christmas feast is completed..




love the little blue tongue on the blue tongue lizard 


 we always joke here about being fat arsed wombats, unkind I know but you can see why....
I tried to select some border fabric, I love this one but had to unpick the second border as it just didn't look right. Not sure where to go from here so I will just sit on it for now.
At least all the stitching is done.
(pattern by Smee Designs)
Great progress has been made on the birthday quilt.
All the 9 patch blocks are done waiting for the stitchery to get done so that I can work out final settings and measurements.
I have been working on the stitchery but it is a little taxing trying to get the needle through the print on the linen. I remember having the same issue with previous pre printed designs. A few extra fabrics made it to the stash courtesy of Jemima's. After we had selected a few 4 out of five were fig tree fabrics too.
very happy with that.
 this pic shows the cottage garden thread colour and linen colour correctly, the thread is 1108 Mill rose
The stitchery is block 7 from Rosalie Quinlan's Blessed bom. I have just bought this one.
 progress so far....
lots more to go....
Hope you have had a wonderful weekend
Marina