Wednesday, 7 August 2019

bits and bobs

I just don't know where the past few weeks have flown to...
I have been working on a surprise gift which I will show once it's complete as the recipient doesn't visit my blog but I can show that I have been slowly adding to my mini hearts collection.
This is a pic from a few weeks ago they have doubled since this pic was taken quite nicely.
 These little lovelies are from my scrap stash. They are so cute.

On Monday I had a day to myself and decided that I would piece a backing from my blue stash. It's rough looking in this picture but you get the idea. I was in a hurry  to start basting so it was a quick pic.

the backing is for this basket quilt which has been waiting for awhile.
It will be hand quilted as it's not that big and should be manageable.

I also basted another secret project for hand quilting. Think these will keep me distracted for a little bit till I get back to what I need to be working

happy days

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

playing with scraps

Holidays provide the luxury of spending idle time in my sewing room and I have really been enjoying just dawdling and getting distracted by bits and bobs.
Yesterday I decided it was time to minimise my scrap baskets and iron and sort larger pieces and try to utilize smaller ones. Gradually I have been trying to cut up small scrap pieces into 1 1/2"and 2"squares so added a little to these but had a great idea to try appliqueing small hearts.
I made two tops to donate to the victims and first responders of the New Zealand tragedy and I enjoyed sewing the hearts so what better than downsizing them and making little hearts. Another mini on the way?

It started out as only prepping some hearts to have at the ready, then progressed to having a little go to see if it would be too fiddly or not,then  to getting carried away last night and sewing little hearts till my hearts content!

In for a penny, in for a pound as they say! I just can't help myself.
The hearts will use my 2" scrap blocks and the backgrounds are 2 1/2" and are from odd pieces of backgrounds that I have plenty of as I can't seem to throw them away.
Now aren't they cute? you can hardly blame me for getting carried away?
In my defence I did prep another saw tooth border for Mary Brown ready for applique and also a row of clamshells are ready to sew onto the border piece before losing myself to these hearts.

In the mail yesterday I received a gorgeous little parcel of loveliness from wonderful Michelle.
I had sent some of my stash pieces to contribute to her clamshells and her heart blocks for her grand daughters. I got to reduce my stash (minimally) and it added variety to her projects. Winning all round. As a thankyou she sent me this very cute milk jug doily and beautiful shirting piece.
I love milk jug doilies and this will add beautifully to my collection.
the little cup and saucer is so tiny, about the size of a thimble!

Saturday, 13 July 2019

broken dishes

don't be alarmed, I haven't been destroying the crockery just getting distracted in my sewing room.
Initially I was distracted by Spring Bouqet..... I made a start on preparing the applique pieces for block 1, then I decided I should prepare the red strips for Mary Brown's borders but I got distracted by some half square triangles that were left overs from Sweet William baskets and some off cut triangles from other projects.

 they'll make two lovely little minis.

these triangles were some scraps kindly given by Lynda. I can finally say this is the last of them!!

 Block 1 ready to go.....

but first there are some clamshells and saw tooth borders that need working on.
Wonder how long I will hold out before starting lol

Happy days

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

something new, something to get back to..

Well where has the last week gone. 
My days have been spent happily going for walks with Billy and Poppy and getting some sewing time too.
Mary Brown and I still have been spending time together and the first framing border is on and I have started one side of the outer border. Planning and measuring are not really my strengths, I sort of have an idea in my head and thankfully it usually transfers to my project. I am going to have to mitre the outer border to match up the sawtooth border. A logistical nightmare for my non mathematical brain. Thankfully mum came over and jiggled some figures and clarified how I need to proceed with the borders. Today I cut and measured a paper 'dummy'of the border to make sure I don't make mistakes. I'm sure I will but it won't be anything that can't be fixed.
Here's a little snapshot of how it will look..
I'm pretty happy with it so far.

I received my new project pattern in the mail last week and I am chomping at the bit to start it. As a little reward to myself for all that measuring and planning I decided it would be good to start tracing and cutting the freezer paper templates. I have some lovely fabric that I will use for the backgrounds. These blocks are big-measuring 16 1/2 inches square. The pieces are nice and big too. 
I'll use my reproductions stash and by the time I've finished this and Okehampton it will hopefully have reduced considerably....famous last words!
Well here it is..

Speaking of Okehampton, some progress is very overdue. 
first a reminder what this quilt looks like...

I'm up to the clamshell borders and  I seem to have stalled a little. Seeing some other clamshell projects happening in blogland I am feeling very guilty but a very inspired to get back to it.
I have a box full of clamshells, mostly basted and two rows basted ready to stitch for the first border.
So I need to fire up string bean!

The winter weather is being quite kind and I hope it continues to be.
Sewing catch up this week with some lovely ladies to look forward to and some extra holidays too to make me happy.
Hope there is lots of happiness heading your way too


Monday, 1 July 2019

Celebrating Mary Brown

The weather has not been too great over the weekend and I decided to hibernate a little of the time in my sewing room.
The result was that I managed to put my top together for miss Mary Brown.
I have ordered some more of one of the greens from Threadbear to add a small 1" border then I will add a plain border and a red saw tooth edge, that will point inwards. By the time I have finished the top it will measure pretty much the same as the original. I have booked it in for custom quilting and it is booked in for April next year as the quilter is so busy. I'm happy to wait.
Hopefully Okehampton can see some action now....... after I put the binding on a quilt for a friend.
Have already got something planned for the next project and a pattern should be arriving in the mail soon. I just can't seem to help myself! I think I need someone to organise an intervention.
May as well go for it while I'm on a creating high.

Here she is...

Feeling happy


Friday, 28 June 2019

happy holidays

First week of holidays and it's been a lovely start.
Lots of sewing time and quality four legger time too.
Second last block of Mary Brown is done and dusted and the final block is well under way.

this block isn't actually from Mary Brown it is a favourite from Caswell quilt.
There were a few pieced blocks that were a bit beyond my limits and I chose two Caswell blocks to take their place. When I decided to finish Mary Brown smaller I still had this block ready to go so decided to still include it. It's really pretty I think.

There has been a little retail therapy....courtesy of Threadbear's website and also with some crafty friends to Jemima's.
Some new greens to freshen up my stash.

lovely shirting to add to my stash from Jemima's and a little something new.....
It was a little costly for what it was but sometimes you gotta live a little! The packet only includes the wool felt pieces.

I wanted to share an experimental project... this will be a small throw/blanket. It has a very thin wadding almost like a light flanelette which makes it lovely and soft. Once I quilt it I will bind it and add a crochet border.
I used a special stash of Liberty fabrics that No 2 son gifted me a few years ago.

Sun shining and no working for a few more weeks.... 
Perfect Day.
Happy sewing


Saturday, 22 June 2019

life is good

I started writing this post over a week ago and after a frustrating afternoon trying to edit my photos as they were the wrong way around I gave up... they don't seem to go to google pics anymore and I couldn't edit them where they were. Seems like I have missed out on changes while I was not blogging.
I had a play with my Mary Brown blocks to see how the blocks went together. When I took this pic I only had four to I have one and a  half to go!
It will finish at this size and I am thinking of adding a thin coloured border to frame it  then a plain background border then I have a few ideas in mind for that border... a trailing vine, an outer geometric frame or sashes?
Decisions, decisions.... I have some time to work on that..

the most recent blocks I have made are...

Here's some furry love to share too for those that wanted a poppy update.
Poppy is going great guns, More front than Myers and a mouth like a snapping turtle (as Billy is discovering lol) with those sharp little puppy teeth! She can be quite the couch potato and gives great entertainment value.
I have some leave at the moment so hopefully I can start teaching her some proper manners and perfect her retrieving technique.

Poppy loves sleeping with/on Billy.

walkies! there is a halti in Poppy's future too...
Happy days!!


Monday, 3 June 2019

June already....

June has crept up on me so quickly, where has the year gone?
Seems like the days and weeks just fly....
Mary Brown has been my main go to project over the past week and a few more blocks have been completed.
I have decided not to make my version as big as the pattern. I realise I don't need another huge quilt, there are also quite a few blocks that are out of my league and some I am not keen on either so I will eliminate the outer blocks and perhaps add a small border as I did with Caswell.
Now that I have selected which blocks will complete my journey it seems that I just want to work on this project. I can't wait to have it all together and get it quilted.
There are still some I need to catch up on my blog but here are the ones that I've completed recently..

Happy Days


Sunday, 26 May 2019

a lull in stitching...

I do have some Mary Brown Blocks to share, but there has been some interruptions to my stitching as we have had a new addition to the family.
Early April we lost Coffee and I couldn't decide whether to get another dog to keep Billy company.
I thought long and hard about it and didn't feel I could cope with the physical demands of another big dog. Years ago we had a fox terrier and I always wanted to get another one so felt this would be the perfect compromise-A big dog in a small body! Miss Poppy..

She is very sweet but still has all the tenacity and character of her breed and because of this I knew she could cope with an active big dog. Billy has had to endure a bit of Karma for all the hassle he gave poor Coffee when he was a pup but I think he enjoys having her around and having someone to play with. She has been on a few adventures in her first week and has taken it all in her stride.

And those blocks I spoke about...

this bird needed the berries and eye added.

Now you're almost caught up with my Mary Brown blocks!
Hope the sun is shining where you are
Happy days


Coffee.... to a sweet and gentle boy

Saturday, 18 May 2019

a catch up post

It's a glorious Saturday here in Melbourne.
The day started with a walk for me and Billy then I headed off to craft group with friends.
After some domestic drudgery I thought I would give you a catch up on some things that happened in the past year.

First off was a crochet throw I made for my sister in law.
She decided to change her colour scheme from red to blue and on a visit to the Unwind Cafe I was inspired to buy some beautiful Bendigo Mills cotton. If you get the chance to go the Unwind Cafe it is a real treat. You can be surrounded by luscious wools in a perfectly vintage setting. Tea cups for ladies with milk jugs and pretty little plates carrying scones and dutch pancakes (these are my favourite) sprinkled with lemon juice and icing sugar with a dip in some lemon curd served on the side, Delicious!!
This is what the finished product looked like...
I was inspired by the trip around the world block.
 suits her sitting room perfectly....

Another past project was a repair job I was requested to do by the same sister in law on behalf of a friend of hers.
This throw was a treasured item that was in dire need of repair. I replaced the inner blue blocks which were originally in satin but had rotted and frayed away. I don't know who had made it and it is not perfectly square in it's piecing but a treasure is a treasure! I didn't know if I was up to the challenge but I found the perfect fabric and it came together quite well.
It is an ecclectic mix of fabrics which I would say are from the 70's as I recognise a few of them.
The owner was over the moon and I was happy to have helped a treasure live on.

Last year I took Lucy Kemper to be quilted at Jemima's. As they are so busy I didn't get it back till earlier this year but I wasn't in a hurry and I wasn't disappointed!
This was my 50th birthday quilt, a gift funded by the lovely girls that I worked with.
I have two gift quilts from them, both made by me lol

If it's not too taxing for you guys reading , I'd like to share some Mary Brown blocks too
Before long you'll be all caught up

Thanks for hanging in there for such a big post.
Hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods and that there is some eurovision love happening for you too.


Monday, 13 May 2019

days with friends

Saturday was a get together with the fat 1/4 girls at Gisborne Patch and Quilt.
This group has been getting together for quite a few years in different forms, it started off as get togethers at Mill Rose cottage in Ballan.
People have come and gone from the group but thankfully the city girls still like to go. I have been quite slack and not attended many get togethers in the past year, but this year I have managed two.
It was a lovely day with lots of laughs, some wonderful retail therapy at one of my favourite shops where Mary always greets you like a friend.
There was sewing done  and a lot of progress made on my latest Mary Brown Block.
I tweaked the beak and legs a little as it didn't sit right to my eye (it's still not perfect but I can live with it) and I also took out a rooster that was on the bottom of the block. Just some berries and stitching to go and it's done. Might have to do something about an eye too?

Thought I would share some of the other bird blocks too.
This lovely owl block really was the main tempter for the quilt when I first saw it, I just love him.
Mind you the other blocks I felt were way beyond my skills but it took a few years for me to overcome that trepidation.

this block had some additional birdlife which I ommitted too. Sometimes less is more.

Some crochet has been occurring of late too.
I joined Attic 24's Sweet Pea CAL and ordered the wools from the UK too. The colours are amazing and the wool even though it's 100% acrylic is amazing. I finished the main blanket as far as I wanted to and had quite a bit left over so not wanting to waste the wool decided to crochet a small throw in her latest Shell design. While it is small I have been taking it to work with me to hook during lunch breaks.

Happy days!
Hope your Mother's day was a lovely one.


bits and bobs

I just don't know where the past few weeks have flown to... I have been working on a surprise gift which I will show once it's comp...