Sunday, 25 April 2010

A day to myself and my dolls.....

Today I have been left to my own devices. Hubby and two of the boys have gone out for the day to their special Anzac Day shoot and not 1 son has gone to the Anzac day football match.
How ever will I cope being left on my own..........
After a quick clean up it was out with the sewing machine to finish off the pinwheel quilt!
And Ta Da here it is in its new place on the couch.

Not sure if you can see the quilting clearly but this is why my arm has been so sore!
Never again..
While doing that little bit of tidying I noticed my poor porcelain dolls were looking a little in need of a freshen up. They seem to attract dust, poor things. Their clothes are in the wash and they soon will be looking spiffy again. And if they were getting an airing the other dolls in the cupboard needed to see some light as well.
The porcelain dolls are all ones made by my mum.
this one is a googly, one of my favourite types of porcelains dolls.



The long haired doll reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, she has a lovely little dress with a broderie apron. The baby doll on the right is the first one mum made me. She has a 'mama' sound when you tip her over. My old cat used to come running meowing everytime she heard it, it was the funniest thing.
This little cupie is another favourite. She is a little brooch and you can see how small she is in my hands. She was brought from a doll show. So sweet!

Having boys my childhood dolls have been relegated to the cupboard. Stored safely till they are wanted again. Every now and again I pull them out to look at them. The baby doll in blue I have had since I was around 2 or 3. I used to have another doll that I would carry everywhere but that was in a horrid state so my mum brought me this one so that they could try to dispose of the old ratty one. Needless to say she didn't disappear for quite a few years and this one stayed to the side. She is probably in need of being disposed of too but I don't have the heart. She has lasted this long it seems fitting that she should last a lot more. I put some of the boys old baby clothes on her so that she looks decent. She still feels lovely to hold. I used to think she was just like a real baby.

The others are special too, each one has something that makes them special.
For now it is back to the cupboard for them till next time.
In the meantime the porcelain dolls will have to wait for their clothes to dry and for me I will put the kettle on and make a start on the border for my Heart and Home quilt while the afternoon is young.
Have a lovely weekend.
Marina

Friday, 23 April 2010

quilt one stitcheries

This week I have been slowly making a start on the stitcheries for quilt one. My arm is still not quite 100% and if I stitch too long it is a little tender. Lucky the stitcheries are only small. I started using Madeira cotton for the stitching and regret my choice a little. I used to use it when I smocked for a lady and she used to prefer Madeira but I find it frays and doesn't fill out as well as the dmc. I will have to find an equivalent colour or just stick it out.

I also traced off the new Sweet Nostlagia block. It has a very cute easter theme. It is all ready to go!I am afraid my boy is a little too smiley lol. Perhaps I can fix that in the stitching.

Kymberly at The Cotton patch has taken the plunge and is learning to smock. With two gorgeous girls to smock for I know she will have an outlet for her new craft.
During the Christmas holidays I wanted to clear out some smocking ufo's. I love the smocking part just not too good with the sewing part. I pulled out one and managed to get it to the point of having to do the hand sewing. But I can show it off anyway- it's to encourage Kymberly. Next holidays I will pull it out again and perhaps finish off the hand sewing............ It's not like I have a newborn to finish it for. It will go into storage for when I have grandchildren who may wear it. (I hope that is a long way off!!)

cheers for now
Marina

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Roses from the garden

I have been busy stitching the baby stitcheries for quilt2.  I will put some pics up over the weekend.
In the meantime I have been snapping some of the last roses that are in the garden. I have a few very neglected plants that we have had since we moved in. I do feel sorry for them but they are very forgiving.
Can you spot the spider in this yellow rose...

Something arrived in the mail today that would bring joy to the heart of any patchworker....
No it isn't a swap parcel....
It is this...

This is one of my favourite fabric shops and the sale is only a week away! Woo hoo!
I have resolved to finish off some quilt tops and this will be the perfect opportunity to get some backing fabric and batting just so long as I don't get distracted by the lovely fabrics wanting a new home.
Don't like my chances.
Cheers for now
Marina

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Quilt one and quilt two...

One of the girls I work with has asked me to make a quilt for her yet to be born granddaughter. I am more than happy to oblige but she told me "I will leave it all up to you, you do a good job and I just wouldn't know what to pick in colours and stuff"
Well, I have been stressing about colours and designs ever since. There is also one of the girls at work who is expecting a girl also, as it happens, and I also want to make her a quilt for her baby.
The solution- make two and ask 'grandma' to pick first. Make them different so that they are easy to tell apart and also may appeal to different tastes.
Here are the fabrics....

 


for these fabrics I will use a stitchery pattern by Ella and Skysie with baby stitcheries. Not sure
how to work the blocks..... Needs some thought!
We will call it quilt one.


This will be an appliqued center panel from a Bronwyn Hayes pattern with the charm squares around it. We will call it quilt two.

Trying to follow the KISS principle - keep it simple stupid!

Of course I had to start it off last night and I managed to fuse the pieces ready for the applique and I placed around the charm squares to get a feel for it.
What do you think?

Bright and cheery isn't it?
Big curly fun day again tomorrow so not much crafting going to be happening.
I took my Horsey quilt to be machine quilted at Jemimas. As I am still having some issues with my arm I couldn't even contemplate hand quilting it especially with a May deadline.
It should look great.
I also need to put the binding on my pin wheel quilt - the cause of my arm pain! I picked up some fabric for that when I bought all these other goodies for the baby quilts.
Have a lovely Sunday!
Marina






Friday, 16 April 2010

smocking.....

Here are the pics of the smocked doll gowns that were rescued from mum's cleanout. They are just lovely and need only a little bit of finishing.....buttons and hems mainly.

I have changed some commenting settings on my blog due to an unpleasant anonymous comment left on an older post. I wish I had been able to reply but was unable to so I have changed some things so that anonymous bloggers cannot comment. I hope no one has trouble commenting, if you do please email me to let me know.
Not much happening on the craft front at this moment. I resolved to finish quilting my pin wheel throw which I started off hand quilting in a stipple pattern. Well I have learned my lesson. I had only an area about 20 inches square left to do and finish it I did. But I have such a sore arm even a week later. Talk about repetitive strain! So  I am taking it a little easy to recover, though I do want to do the binding this weekend. Will see how I go.
Take care and have a great weekend.
Marina

Saturday, 10 April 2010

It is done!!


Last night I had a final all out effort at some sewing as next week it will be back to normal.
I have managed to finish my top for the Life is Beautiful quilt!
I was not leaving that sewing machine till it was done, or mostly done.
When I was sorting out the blocks for the background blocks I was so careful to arrange the colours so that there weren't any two together and that the colours were balanced, blah blah blah. Well after I had sewed the rows I realised that my blocks must have been mixed up in the process of stitching and restitching the medallions. I was so disappointed but I wasn't undoing every thing. Just will have to deal with it! (I feel borderline obsessive)
I did undo one row of sashing as the blocks didn't align properly and it was so 'captain obvious' I just had to. So this morning I unpicked and then resewed and sewed the last row on.
My top is only 7 X 7 rows and I am going to add a border too as I just like it to be framed like that.
so Ta Da, without further ado......
and Yes! Life is Beautiful!
Have a lovely weekend
Marina

Thursday, 8 April 2010

bringing home treasure...

Yesterday we spent the day clearing out an old shed at my mum's place. It used to be our old cubby house when we were kids but ended up as a depository for old furniture, books, old toys, fabric, you name it, it was in there. Pigeons had been roosting in there too and had damaged a lot of the stuff so there was a lot of 'chucking'.
We found a few treasures and re-sorted and tidied them up so she knows she has them now.
I got to bring home some goodies, always a dangerous thing, but I am sure I will rehouse, recycle or use the things I did bring home.
There some beautiful small balls of crochet cotton.......already started something to do with some of these....
Some crochet hooks... I have quite a good selection of hooks in most sizes but these filled the gaps, I have some extra fine ones spare if anyone would like them. Just email me and let me know.

The final treasure is this beautiful piece of tatting. Mum says it was done by my great grandmother. I have become the keeper of the family doilies as I love them so much and mum thought I should keep it with the others I have. How precious!
My mum's grandmother taught her how to do many hand crafts when she was a child, we know where the gene came from.


There were also some beautifully smocked gowns that mum had made years ago for some porcelain dolls, that just need some finishing off. She was going to throw them away (this is someone who throws nothing away mind you!) I didn't have the heart, it is close to criminal, so I brought them home and washed them and when they are nicely ironed I will put a picture up. They may be a good size to donate to wee care.
Only two more days to go.......So I better make the most of it.
Have a great day.
Cheers
Marina

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

LIB progress

I have been managing to spend some time productively on my Life is Beautiful blocks in between Easter weekend socialising and eating. Am almost over the cooking bug...thank goodness.
The most daunting part with putting the blocks together for me was how to cut out the circles at the back of the embroideries. Once that was mastered there was no stopping me.
I hand appliqued the stitched medallions onto the four patch blocks then ran the sewing machine around the edge with just some straight stitching as I couldn't seem to master blind hemming on my machine, I used the kiss principle-keep it simple stupid.

Here are all the cut out circles tacked to sew onto the alternate four patch blocks. I think they look quite cute. I tried hard to keep them circular.

The process of hand stitching them onto the blocks is quite time consuming but looks quite neat. I will have to work out whether I will machine stitch around them.....
It is great fun and quite challenging.
If there is some spare time I will start to cut out the sashings.
It is coming together quite nicely.......
Have a great day
Marina

Thursday, 1 April 2010

days flying....

Well the days are flying by and not much to show for it I am afraid. I have only managed to finish the latest Sweet Nostalgia block. I have enjoyed it heaps!
I need to get the Life is beautiful blocks underway... but I seem to have lost my crafting mojo, I am afraid it has been adbucted by the cooking mojo. How dastardly!
I am not a great one for cooking- nutritious, filling and not to fancy or time consuming is my usual m.o. , but these last few days I have been taking a bit more time and making things that we normally wouldn't have time to make and heaven forbid, I am even considering making sweets. Aaaagghhh. I hope I get over it soon or I won't have any crafting to show for my holidays!
Tomorrow is Good Friday and I have the fish stock cooking for fish soup tomorrow night for tea. See what I mean, I should be cutting out and stitching, not worrying about whether there is tea on for tonight let alone tomorrow? Then there is a weekend of full on socialising and shared meals.
What is a girls to do?
I think I will go and sort some fabrics and see if I can shake this cooking affliction....
In the meantime here is my Sweet nostalgia block...

Hope you all have a lovely easter break!
Cheers
Marina