Tuesday, 30 August 2011

cruising along...

Boy my clothes line has been getting a workout- not so much with washing as a hanger for my quilts. I fixed up my mistakes in quilting my Sweet Nostalgia quilt and visited my local patchwork shop Jemima's to buy the binding for it.
I also found some lovely fabric to make some goodies for Peta in the Friends Swap. That will have to remain a secret but there will be sneak peaks for sure.
I got all the binding on and now there is just the handquilting around the embroideries to do. I have stitched five of the blocks- 7 to go.

I just love looking at the folded quilts. You get little snippets of colour and the designs, am so happy that this quilt is finished, well 98% finished...
I hope to visit mum's on the weekend to baste my Flower garden.
Another Christmas stitchery got finished yesterday....
This is from the lovely pattern Michelle sent me. It was very pleasant to stitch. For now it will join the first one and may make an appearance for next month's Christmas finish. Having finished this one means I can work on this for a little while.....

Block two of Down in the Garden. There is a heap of stitching in this one.  I had to get the butterflies on, I have just done them blanket stitch applique. Now to the stitching.. And there is also some stitching for the friends swap to get started on.
busy days!
Happy crafting

Saturday, 27 August 2011

counting the blues.....

these two are flimsies

This week the wonderful Nicki of Mrs Sew and Sew finished her first and only blue and white quilt top. I had to confess that I have quite a few blue and white quilts. When I mentally counted them there are 7 then I remembered another one so the total is 8 blue and white quilts. Of course Nicki requested a show and tell so here goes...
Seeing as the sun was shining they got aired on the line.

this is one of the first quilts I made. I do like it but with time it seems a little gawdy. The teacups and pots are appliqued. Hand quilted.

This table topper is my first go at dresden plates, not perfect but still pretty.

I did have quite a big blue and white stash....
this was my first queen bed size quilt. Disappointingly the navy around the outer border has faded . Probably not a super quality fabric

the top row. I remember researching all the different star blocks to add and attempting the different blocks. Some were a little scary.

But wait there's more......

bear paw flimsy

disappearing blue patch flimsy

dutch fabrics (in blue and red)

nursery rhyme stitchery top

Hope you have enjoyed my blue and white show.....
Please tell me I am not the only one to have so many quilts in the same colour range? Perhaps have a quilt show of your own....

Hope you have a great weekend!

ps I have fixed my mistakes on my Sweet Nostalgia quilting-too a couple of go's I must say and also corrected the border on my Hexie garden. Yippee!
TTS top together too, just needs borders.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Christmas item Half finish?

I didn't have a lot of time for Christmas finishing this month but I did get a wriggle on with my second Tis the season quilt this week. It only has nine of the blocks this time.
I managed to get the fabrics cut for the borders and the machine out during the week to get the borders sewn on.
I hope to get them together over the weekend...I know not technically a finish but it is pretty close by  my reckoning. My stitchery last post could also count as a semi finish.

I received my swap partner for the 2011 Friends swap....
It is Peta from Western Australia. Her blog is lovely. She has some lovely things that she has made on her blog.
Now to get my thinking hat on to work out what to make for her.
There maybe some sneek peeks?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

block one, down in the garden

Block one complete! One major boo boo, I cut the piece with the daisiy chain too much on one side. I can live with it....for now.I have swapped a hexie flower for the dresden plate and left out a couple of the extra stitcheries. My fabric is busy enough I think for it not to matter.

I have completed my first stitchery from Michelle's pattern. I  have traced another two. I am toying with making them into smaller table mats for my great nieces to put cookies out for Santa. That way I can spread the love around. I started it at craft group on Saturday and it has been fun working on it this week.
I also did some unpicking last night. I had to get to 'pleats' out of my Butterfly hexie garden borders. Don't know how they got there but two did and they had to go!
I visited a site that had the worst quilts on display. Some of them were quite hideous. Some were judged on lack of quilting skills and they were terrible. The commentaries are quite funny and tongue in cheek. It made me think of my Sweet Nostalgia quilt. I got to the last block to machine stitch around and I developed a nasty puckery bubble, if you get what I mean. I nearly cried. After seeing the terrible bubbling on the winners of the 'world's worst quilts' I unpicked the quilting all around the error and smoothed it out and pinned ready to quilt it again. I know I just wouldn't have been able to let it go. It is my first go at machine quilting on something so big and I am moderately happy but I just couldn't live with 'punch in the eye'  unhappy when I know I could fix it. I may even get my quota of hand quilting done for the week. Three blocks is my target.....
Tonight I will need to work on my Christmas finish for the month.. Last night I trimmed my second lot of Tis the season blocks and cut fabrics for the borders. Hopefully I will get some sewing machine time tonight.
I leave you with some orchids from my garden. Surprisingly one of them produced five spikes. I was ecstatic when I found them. The doily underneath was my grandmothers made by my mum. I just love it.  It's so special to me.

Have a great week......

Sunday, 21 August 2011

It's gonna be a bright sunshiny day

The sun has been shining beautifully this weekend. Feels like spring for sure. This weather should continue for a few more days yet too, bonus!
Some pics of my block one of Down in the Garden which is ready to be sewn up. Too much socialising has gotten in the way of some one on one time with my sewing machine.
I am going to start block 2 next month.

the postie brought some loveliness my way too this past week.
Firstly the wonderful pattern that I won on Michelle Ridgeway's blog arrived on Friday. I quickly traced one up to take to Craft group on Saturday. I will enjoy working on these in between my Down in the garden stitcheries. Michelle also sent a lovely plum pudding and gingerbread button as a surprise. They are so cute- Thanks!!

I have a pic of my Park Avenue hexies which I have started sewing together too. I am almost ready to sew the third row on. I have also adopted a flower garden top from Nicki that I am busting to get finished. It will be on my 'eager to do' list. I will show pics soon.
While on the topic of hexagons....
I saw this in a magazine. Crocheted Flower garden! How cute!
Another treasure that arrived this week after a delayed post...
These gorgeous brooches are made by Julie at www.meandmystitches.com
I came across them while blog surfing and they are just adorable. I had to get a couple of them

Just so you get a sense of perspective, check out those tiny pieces of fabric!!

Hope the sun has been shining in your neck of the woods!
ps if you would like to vote for Maisie  at the Pets on quilts competition click on the button on my side bar.  Voting is on this weekend.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

2011 pets on quilts!

Sew Cal Gal is running a gorgeous competition with some amazing prizes. The subject is Pets on Quilts!
I have had a sticky beak at some of the entries and they are just adorable. Of course I have a few Maisie pics as she is a quilt tester extraordinaire so here are some pics for my entry.
Some background on miss Maisie...
We got her a few years ago after the passing of my special 21 year old cat Mimi.
Mimi was a wonderful cat, so affectionate and loving, I would say she was part dog! I swore I wouldn't get another cat but after a few months I just missed her so much and craved the company of a moggy around the house. I love my furry boys but there is something about cats, their take it or leave it attitude.
We got Maisie. She was the runt of the litter and I am sure the kittens were only about 6 weeks old. She was free to a good home and we fitted that bill so she came home with us.
I think she is such a beautiful cat and can be very affectionate when it suits!
So roll on the photo parade...

 this is one of my favourite photos..
maisie's usual quilt pose!

'that's the life for me......'

that pose started very early on...

I do sit up occasionally..
Well that is my girl... I hope you enjoyed the pics...
For those that are a little allergic to cats...
I do have one pic of Coffee on a quilt... but he was very small and very sneaky and hopped onto my bed when no one was watching. I suppose it was a doggy quilt.
hope you are having a great week....
Will be back on the weekend to show progress on my Down in the garden!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

spending time down in the garden....

Have today to myself pretty well so I thought it would be great to have a go at some of the piecing on the Down in the Garden block.
I made a good start on the stitching yesterday and I have been so eager to cut into the fabrics.
Here is my progress so far...
lots of little chain stitch, something I hadn't tried before..

traced some of the other stitcheries too.
Made a booboo on the churn dash blocks and had to redo the corners, who would  have thought 1/8th of an inch could be so disruptive! Here are the sewn pieces.

This is roughly how the block will go together..

In the lower green check block there is supposed to be a dresden plate but I am leaning towards a hexagon flower. There is time to decide. There are a couple of other stitched flowers that need tracing but they can wait for now.
Next week the rest of the patterns will arrive but I am going to keep it as a bom. 
I like to do other projects in between big ones like this.
There is a new project on it's way next week too. One I was lucky to win!
Once it arrives I will explain more..
Hope you have had a crafty weekend too! Off to put away my sewing machine and bits and pieces.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Loveliness has arrived..

Here we go...
 This week my fabric pack arrived from the lovely Bec. It is very dangerous visiting her blog as she clears out her stash every now and then and 'rehomes' it. 
This is a lovely kit of Sunkissed fabric. It is just beautiful and I love it. They are not colours I would normally use so I am looking forward to making something outside my usual colours.  I am going to add a few lighter tones of homespun to use for the extra stitcheries.
I traced the first stitchery on the white on cream fabric that came with the kit. It has the names of flowers written on the fabric. Just so perfectly fits the theme.
I will need to carefully select the cottons for the stitching so that they suit the fabrics. It's so exciting starting a new project.
I haven't been neglecting my UFO's. I have sewn 1 1/2 rows of my Park avenue hexagon top together and have attempted some machine quilting on my Sweet Nostalgia quilt that mum helped me baste. Just some stitching around the block frames and the sashings.  It will need a lot of hand quilting too around various parts of the stitcheries but that will be done slowly but surely. About half of the machine quilting to go.

Happy days!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Happy dancing!!

Well I didn't think I would be back so soon but.....
I am happy dancing around the house! And this is the reason why.
My hexie top is officially complete. I sewed the borders on today. There were a few issues with the green thin border that has stretched a little with handling so it puckered in a few places. For now they can stay the way they are but I know they will get the better of me before long and I will have to unpick and redo. sigh
Mandatory Maisie testing the top.

I have the batting ready now I just need backing fabric and then it will be ready to quilt. It will have to wait till I have quilted my sweet nostalgia quilt. I took it to mum's today and we pressed, sandwiched, pinned and basted it together. It was lovely to have her help me. It will be a long slog handquilting it but let's go!
I was discussing with Nicki of Sew and Sew about UFO's. I don't seem to count finished tops (flimsies) as ufo's, I consider them finished awaiting quilting. Maybe this is a more optimistic view of UFO's. I may have to take off those rose coloured glasses.
While the weather was good I took some pics of my non ufo's, there are a few... but after today there is one less!

this is an old one, one of my earlier attempts at patchwork. I want fancy quilting in the white squares so it is waiting patiently. My attempt at an arty photo shot.

here is a day shot of my boys story. I am still happy dancing at this quilt!

my breast of friends quilt, relegated to the ranks of the unquilted. 

this is my 365 journal quilt. It will probably stay like this for a long time yet! It covered a big year in my life. 
my recent disappearing nine patch

The boys came and sat down in front of the quilts as I was putting them on the line. So for a change there are dogs and quilts together. The boys tease me that if anything happens to me the dogs will get my quilts for dog blankets! Don't panic I have people ready to rescue every scrap of fabric should anything happen to me. They have such a warped sense of humour- sadly I know where they get it from!
So I guess this is leading to a question.. What do you class as a UFO and how many do you guys have? If you have more than me you know I will use this to justify my own ufo's to my husband. lol

Hope you have had a happy dance today too!
 Cheers for now