Friday, February 15, 2019

Fun things ...

In honour of St. Valentine's Day this week, I thought it would be fun to make up a block that I've admired for some time - it's an applique block, so I've been able to do everything apart from actually stitching the applique shapes down (they're glued down for now) - stitching will happen when I'm able to hand sew for a length of time.

This block is called Tangled Hearts - it was designed by the lovely Teresa Rawson from Fabric Therapy and was featured in Quiltmakers 100 Blocks #10. Isn't it just so much fun? I can imagine a whole quilt made from this block, and that might be exactly what I do some day.

Marty and I don't really do a whole lot on Valentines Day, but yesterday he surprised me with something really interesting. He found a pattern for a thread stand for Featherweights  and 3D printed me one - isn't it neat?

In the background a picture to show how it works, and in the foreground is the one he printed. I can't wait to give it a try!

Speaking of featherweights, I found one at auction during the Christmas holidays and absolutely had to purchase it, the machine and it's box were in such lovely shape - I knew I could give it a good home. I'm thinking that I might sell one of my featherweights though, it really does seem greedy to have four of them when they're so sought after. I'll have to think on it, I love each of them as they're all slightly different, and a couple of them I have an sentimental attachment to.

Also yesterday was the day for the lovely ladies of my quilt class to gather, and as promised I took pictures of the other two Rajah quilts in progress to share with you:

This one belongs to Betty, she chose a William Morris block by Michele Hill for her applique centre. And from that point she's following along with the pattern more closely. It's just so pretty, and inspires me to get out my William Morris patterns and start working on some more applique. Though it doesn't show well in the picture, there are lovely hints of gold in the fabric, and it all looks so luxe!

And this one belongs to Jean. As you can see, Jean is following the pattern as it was written, and it's coming along so well. I love the bright colours and the bling of the fabric. Jean and I are at the same point with our tops, and our two projects could not look more different.

I can't wait to see how all our quilts come along going forward. Very exciting!

Well, that's it from me for now - I hope you're all having a great week. Chatter soon xox

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Busy, busy!

My goodness, the past week has been super busy! Today however, I have been able to catch my breath a little and put the next borders on my version of the Rajah quilt. Here's where I'm up to:

Wow, is this quilt busy or what? I really should have taken the time to press it a little better, but I've folded it and put it aside for now - let's see if I can do better for the next picture. I think there are three more pieced borders and a final applique one, and then I can call this top done. It has come together quite quickly really!

So, the thing that really had me occupied over the past week was the final organisation and then the actual happening of my sweet girl's bridal shower and then hen's night. The bridal shower was here, and we had the perfect day for it to be out under the pergola. Amy had lots of lovely friends and family attend, it really was such a fun afternoon:

And then after a short break, the evening celebration was at Amy's house, also a super fun time, but more for the young girls than us oldies. I won't share any pictures of that party, but be assured a great time was had by all, and it was a very late night!

That's all I have to share for now - I have to get busy in the sewing room putting a little Valentine project for my Thursday girls, and then a few chores are beckoning. A girl can never get bored! Chatter soon :-)

Monday, February 04, 2019

So many pieces!

I didn't have much time for piecing on the weekend, but I managed to find enough time to put two sides of the next row on my quilt:

The next row after the one I'm working on is simply a strip of fabric, which makes me so happy, there are so many seams jumping around between the rows that it makes it so hard to press my work neatly. All those seams and lumps and bumps are going to make it challenging to quilt, that's for sure.

Yesterday I only stitched for a short time, and Saturday wasn't that much better, but I do try and sew a little each day. A few years back at a quilters guild meeting we had a guest speaker - the lovely Irene Blanck. In addition to sharing her lovely quilts and talking about her quilting journey with us, she shared a pearl of wisdom that really resonated with me. Irene shared that despite her full time job and other significant commitments, she always makes time to stitch for 15 minutes each day. No matter what is going on for her, she could always find a 15 minute bite of time, and so her quilt projects are always moving forward. Now there are times when I haven't been disciplined enough to do the same, but I try really hard to put in a few stitches even on the busiest of days. I'll see how that works for me as Amy's wedding draws closer - I can't even believe it as I say the words out loud ... it's next month!

Lastly, in my previous post I mentioned that some email comments hadn't come to me - well imagine my surprise when I found them in my junk mail folder! I can't even imagine why that would happen all of a sudden. Anyway, I'll get busy answering comments as soon as I hit publish here - if you don't hear from me, please check that your email address is enabled so that I can get back to you.

Chatter soon! xox

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

This project has me gripped!

I'm really gripped by this quilt, as is often the case when things are going well. I'm able to piece away at my machine with little trouble, and so that's what I'm doing - in every moment that I can!

Some of the fun in this quilt is choosing the fabrics, and I knew I wanted greens with the florals for the next border. This is my favourite green tone, and I was thrilled that it played nicely with the other fabrics. The photo above is a bit crookedy, sorry about that - and I'm too lazy to fix it!

Those two green triangles in the middle - the fabrics I've used in them are from DEEP stash. The bottom one is all gone now, there's not a skerrick left - the top one I stumbled across at the bottom of a green pile while auditioning fabric from my stash. They're both from the Smithsonian Collection which is a line of reproductions from way back when I was very much a beginner quilter. The Smithsonian collections were released in 1995 and 1996 I understand. For my stash, 23-24 years old is practically antique! The print in the top triangle I had in pale blue as well as the green, and the bottom triangle I also had in pale blue and a cream colour. I wonder if there are any shards of those left in my scrap boxes?

And this is where I'm at as of last night. I've placed two sides of the hourglass borders. All the hourglass blocks are made for the other sides, I just need to get them into strips and sewn in place. How fun!

Next is another border using the same shapes as the green border, I just need to decide if I'm going to make it with a different colour theme, or attempt to emulate the green border with a few different fabric additions.

Thursday classes begin again tomorrow, and two of the ladies are also working on this project. I'll snap some pictures to share with you so you can see how entirely different our quilts are. I'm always amazed how quilters can take a pattern and make such different and beautiful pieces of art.

Before I close, I just wanted to let you know that all but the last one of the comments from my last post weren't emailed to me. Fortunately, because it's happened before I knew how to fix it - but it means that I can't respond to those messages. But please know that I love hearing from you, and always respond when I can. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, January 25, 2019

A little progress ...

Just a quickie post today to share that I've added a little more to my version of the Rajah quilt:

The applique has been a little hard on my arm (as is the case with hand quilting) so it happens in small doses, and there is still just a tiny bit to finish stitching down.

Beyond this narrow border are a bunch of pieced borders, so hopefully by the time I need to do a whole lot more hand sewing I'll be fully healed. So next up there's plenty of cutting to do, and lots of time spent at my sewing machine.

Well, that's it for now, chatter soon! xox

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Hi there friends :-) Not a huge amount of news, but thought that I'd share ... last week I was working on some secret squirrel stuff, I popped it all in the mail on Monday so it could get to its destination in the USA on time ... and realised that I forgot to take pictures so I could share the results of my labours with you later on. Oops! One of the items was a Christmas block for the Quilt Batts annual exchange, so hopefully one of the sweet ladies over there will share a picture with me, and I can in turn share with you. I really need to better taking picture of happenings here!

I can share that after the 'have to do' work was done, I was able to do some more 'nice to do' work too. Rather than the applique designs used on the Rajah pattern, I was inspired to do something a little 'Pendle Hill' like, from the pattern by Di Ford-Hall:

The little pentagon units are so cute - this picture was taken while I was testing to see if they'd all fit along the border, and also making sure I was happy with the placement of the colours. You can see a couple of the other ones scattered around. One destined for another side of the quilt, and the one just out of shot on the left will be for another project - not this one. Nothing is stitched or glued down at this point, and I still had to remove the papers.

And in this picture the pentagon units have been stitched together, the papers removed and I've glued everything in place. I still have to stitch it all down, but it was getting late last night, and I needed some zzz's. The hot weather we're experiencing is quite draining and I find myself very lethargic. I keep telling myself that this happens every year, and it will pass ... it's perfect weather for staying indoors and stitching!

I'm looking forward to the next borders which are very busily machine pieced - it'll be fun to choose lots of lovely fabrics from my scraps.

Well, that's it from me for now - I'll check back in soon with more progress :-)

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers. I hope you've eased into 2019 doing some things that you love. As I mention each year, it is thought that what you do on January 1st you'll continue doing all year. So to that end I always try and do some things that I love, as well as some things that keep my home running along happily.

I did some sewing, so that's good news for my stitching prospects each day - but I started a new project, and I don't need to be working on a new project each day. 

Anyway, here's what I've begun:

This is  where I'm at with my interpretation of the Rajah quilt that I mentioned in my last post. I'm using the lovely pattern by Lessa as a guide, and I'm changing things up here and there to suit myself. I didn't feel like doing the applique block in the centre of the quilt, so I used this lovely printed block and a border print from the Windermere collection by Di Ford Hall.

It's strange for me to be working on a new project when I'm still working on the quilting of the Phebe quilt, but I really felt like having some machine work when I'm not feeling like hand quilting. I don't think I mentioned it, but I injured my right arm playing tennis a little while back, and hand quilting is hard on it while I recuperate.

I'll keep you posted as I progress with the Rajah quilt - though it might be slow - there are so many things going on right now, not least the planning and preparation for my sweet girl's wedding!

Something I'd meant to share with you in the last post were some little gifts I made for the sweet girls that come to my class:

I enjoyed making the trees from Marcie's sweet pattern so much, and I thought they'd make pretty little Christmas mats, so I made a bunch of them, and I'm fairly sure I'll make more. They were great for using up random strips of fabric, and I'm always thrilled to find ways to use up my scraps!

And in my post from before Christmas, I promised to share a picture of my Nutcrackers, and then promptly forgot ... but here's a quick piccy, because I'll have to put them away soon:

These are just the ones that live on my china cabinet, there are some larger ones on the floor too. I have some favourites, the one with the cloak is really neat, and the music box is a special favourite too.

I just noticed I've made a new years ooops, and I'm too lazy to change it right now - I've neglected to change the date on my photo watermark. I'll have to make sure to do it before the next post. I'm sure it won't be causing any international incidents, but clearly my attention to detail is lacking - I'm still in holiday mode :-)

Thank you to my commenters from my last post - some were set to no-reply so if you didn't hear from me, that's the reason. Equal numbers encouraging blogging and Instagram, so I'll waddle along as best I can. Chatter soon! xox

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

I'm running late, but here's hoping all my lovely readers had a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy New Year. And if Christmas isn't your particular thing, know that I'm sending Seasons Greetings your way with a happy heart! xox

I really hoped I'd get a post in before this year is over, I can't believe how fast 2018 has flown by. Each year I make a commitment to try and document the creative elements of my life more often, but time seems to run away from me and I find myself thinking about it rather than doing it. I'm starting to wonder if it might be time to post more to Instagram as it's much faster ... I'll have to think on it, as I really don't want to give up on blogging entirely.

So, to keep you up to speed on what's been going on here - as tradition dictates I put together a little gingerbread something something for the festivities:

This is something I drew up based on some things I've seen on Pinterest - what a fabulous resource that is. The circle base is cut out the size of our everyday dinner plates, and the hexagon shape has 4" sides. The hexagon is the base of the 'gazebo' and though it's an unlikely prospect in real life, the inside of my gazebo has royal icing snow on the floor. The tree is simply an icecream cone decorated with green royal icing piped thru a star tip.

I always use brown royal icing for construction - it hides all kinds of sins, and IMHO it gives a much neater finish. When it's dry I can come back and make things pretty with white royal icing. I've used gelatine sheets for glass in the windows, the criss cross pattern almost looks like leadlight. The walls were 4" wide by (I think) 5.5" tall, and I thought it would be nice to make the windows a little interesting. I don't mind confessing I was concerned that the roof would fall in before it dried - I had a slightly taller pointier roof in my mind, but that's not what I managed to bake. During construction I also put a string of Ikea battery operated LED's inside so it would light up. Fun!

And this is the finished gazebo. I was pretty happy with the finished piece. The only thing that bugs me about it is that I managed to miss a little row of dots on the front window there, and by the time I realised I'd missed it I'd cleaned up and had no icing left. Oh well, we can't have all things perfect :-)

And now that all the Christmas festivities have concluded for the year, I've had time to work on a little of the hand quilting on Phebe. I'm enjoying it again, and have been looking forward to each time I get to move the hoop and work on the next section.

Though now I'm on holidays, it's all I can do not to work on a new project. One of the sweet ladies that comes to class is working on the Rajah quilt by Lessa Siegle - I just love it and really want to make it too. I can't promise that I won't get started on it ... and you know I'll share if I do, but I have to show restraint. I have so many other things that I need to be working on!

Well, that's it from me, I hope you've all had a lovely week of festivities, and I promise to check in soon. xox


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