Friday, November 26, 2021

Binding!

This has been a week for binding ... lots of binding! And it's going to continue into next week too.

I finished up the binding for the table mats, and if I do say so myself, I'm really pleased with them:

These are all traditional style ones, I've already handed the bright ones over to the tennis club. Hopefully we won't need any more, I think I need a break from them now lol.

And next on the to-do list was a delightful task. One of my sweet quilting friends has a daughter in law who's grandmother was a quilter. She had a couple of English paper pieced tops left to her, and she wanted them to be finished in her grandmother's memory. My darling friend Lizzy quilted the tops just beautifully, and now I'm working on the binding:

It's hard to show in the picture, but this lady was a masterful stitcher - her whipstitching between the hexies is tiny and so beautifully even. The top above was made with absolutely magnificent fabrics - there are silks, brocades, corduroys and velvets. She must have been a very stylish woman if these were offcuts from her dressmaking. I could run my hands over and gaze at this quilt for hours.

And once I'm done with the luxe top, this one is next:

This top is gorgeous too, but with more traditional fabrics. The hexies are larger and organised into a flower garden style pattern. We selected a cute fabric for binding, and it's going to be just as lovely as the first one.

Playing with these hexie tops makes me want to break out my own hexie projects and get busy piecing. Maybe I'll do some work on them during the holiday break.

The coming week promises to be a busy one again - birthday celebrations are always fun, and my tennis team and I have won our way through to the Grand Final on Wednesday. We're facing a super tough team, so it will be a hard day out, but I'll have my fingers crossed.

That's all I have to report for the moment. But I just wanted to take a second to wish all my Stateside friends a Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you've all had a wonderful celebration and were able to spend time with the ones you love.

I'll check back in with more quilty goodness next week, so chatter soon! xox

Friday, November 19, 2021

I'm really getting somewhere!

Today I made block 5 from the Free Block Friday project, I'm really enjoying playing with my 30's prints, and I feel like it might be a little while before I put the storage container away, they're such happy fabrics.

I don't have really large pieces of any of the 30's fabrics, so it will be a challenge when it comes time for sashing and borders, but I'm confident I'll come up with something I'm happy with. This block was finished just in time, as the email has come through announcing block 6 literally while I've been typing this post! If I can, I'd like to get it done this weekend rather than later in the week :-)

I've also finished piecing the mats I've been working on for a number of weeks, I still have to quilt several of them, but I'm thrilled to be nearing the finish line with them:

The quilting doesn't take as long as the piecing, and I think for these mats, the quilting is my favourite part of the process.

As I mentioned last week, because of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant it was time to put the tree up and begin decorating for the festive season:

I haven't purchased any new decorations for the tree so far this year, and that's unusual, but to be honest I don't think there is any more room. Each year I try to get myself organised and purchase a glass pickle ornament, but so far I'm never at David Jones before they run out of stock, and this year I can't see that they have them at all. Some day I'll check that item off my list.

And I'm super happy with how the new tree skirt looks:

The pretty fabric from the panel really makes it don't you think? If anyone would like some, I purchased extra, so just let me know :-) This tree skirt is wider than the other ones I've made - it's 60", so I'll have extra space for presents!

Alrighty, I've managed to get this post done while it's still Friday, so I'm happy. I hope you've all had a great week, and I'll chatter again next week! xox

Friday, November 12, 2021

It's okay to make changes ...

When block four in the Free Block Friday project came out last week, I decided I wasn't particularly enamoured with it. So I changed it! Here's mine:

The corner units in my block are the same, but the centre portion is different. The original block was a 10inch block, then it was framed with a 1inch frame all around. Because I always fuss over symmetry and there are only two blocks out of the twelve with the 1inch frame, I decided those particular blocks won't end up in my quilt. And that's perfectly okay. I'll be looking forward to what block comes out tonight for us to work on :-)

I've also been putting a few more stitches here and there in the white wholecloth quilt. I'm still just addicted to it, and have to try not to spend too much time on hand quilting. But it's just so soothing to sit and quietly quilt:

Won't be long though and I'll be able to work on it any time I like. I'm still plugging away at the mats, it will be so freeing to have them finished. I'm estimating one more week and I'll be all done. Yay!

I also did some baking this week - I have become addicted to the Baking with Anna Olson show, and often have it on while I'm stitching bindings down. This time I tried the Earl Grey Sweetie Cakes recipe, and they turned out really well:

I wasn't able to taste test them myself, but I was assured that they were really good. In the same show Anna baked some really lovely shortbread cookies with windowpanes made with crushed candies, and I'd like to give them a try in the not too distant future. They will be lovely for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, the Pageant is happening here in Adelaide tomorrow, which is the signal for my Christmas decorating to begin. I know that for many people (particularly my far-away friends) that this is too early, but it's traditional here, and I just won't fight it! I do love the festive season!

That's it from me for now - hope you're all doing well, and I'll chatter soon!

Friday, November 05, 2021

Hello November!

Isn't this year flashing by? Christmas will be here before I know what's happening, and then I'll be amazed that the New Year has arrived - happens every time! I'm so glad I've been recording my activities here, or it would be easy to think I haven't got much done at all!

This week I indulged in a little retail therapy. Not a lot, just a little. I'm sure you're all well aware that our gorgeous Di Ford Hall sadly passed away early last year. Her lovely daughters have undertaken the daunting task of selling her stash on Instagram - and I decided to purchase a little momento.

They're such pretty fabrics, and all of them ones I'd likely use. But I think I'll keep them in my cabinet for now. Di was such a darling person, and I'm going to keep these for a really special project - perhaps one that she designed.

Also on Instagram, Karen from Somerset Patchwork was selling little scrap packets, and since I'm such a sucker for lovely reproduction fabrics I simply had to help her manage her stash!

More absolutely beautiful fabric. I'm just thrilled! Now we all know that I need more fabric like a hole in the head, but I'm letting myself believe that I haven't purchased that much this year so I deserved some treats! Hahaha! Genuinely, even if I never purchase another thing - at the rate I'm using my fabric right now - I will NEVER run out. Not ever! And you know what? That's perfectly okay!

For this weeks stitching, I made the 3rd of Marti Michell's Free Block Friday blocks:

My 30's fabrics are so much fun to work with, and I'm already planning to make some of the projects from the Farm Girl Vintage book in the future. Maybe next year?

I'm also still working on the mats for the tennis luncheon. I'm trying to be super dedicated and keep pressing on with them even though other projects continue calling to me.

I'm all done with the more modern fabrics, and I'm sticking with more traditional ones now. These are really much more my style. It's going to be hard to give some of them away.

There's a naughty little secret with these mats that I'm going to share with you - it's all to do with the batting:

Because I make SO MANY small projects during the course of a year, I rarely throw away my batting scraps - I use them all! And in this particular mat I've used some TINY pieces. To be honest, normally I would have tossed the really small pieces of batt, but because these pieces had made their way into my batt storage I decided to use them.

To make use of the scrap batts, I cut the backing fabric to the size I want, spray it lightly with 505 (glue baste) spray, arrange the batting pieces so the whole backing fabric is covered. Abut the batting, don't overlap it or you'll create lumps. Once you're satisfied that the backing is covered, spray the batt with 505 spray and place the mat/quilt on top. Because my mats are rather heavily quilted I have no concern that the batting pieces will move around. I don't recommend this technique for larger quilted projects or if you're only lightly quilting your project.

Well, that's it from me for this week, I'll be heading back into the sewing room shortly, there are more quilted mats in my future! Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate you all visiting xox


Edit: Whoops, I almost forgot to share a picture of the cake I talked about last week. My little brother's birthday cake:


Apologies for cutting Tim out of the picture - I'm not sure that he'd appreciate being a star on a quilting blog lol! I made the cake exactly to the recipe I shared last week, but I made a chocolate buttercream frosting rather than the caramel one. I wish I'd managed to get a picture of the cake when it was sliced - it looked magnificent! YUM!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Not much more than last week ...

This week there has not been much to report on the quilting front. I'm plugging away at the mats, and I've made the second Marti Michell 'Free Block Friday' block - so I guess I haven't been idle!

These Marti Michell blocks are really quite fun, and the templates make construction so easy. It's a wonder I don't use them more often. It's easy to get into habits and stick with favourite techniques. The white background fabric is very unforgiving, so next time I'll try and remember to have a light background that won't show through when I take photos.

And here's where I'm currently at with the mats:

I'm all done with the fabric I'm not crazy about - just some of the red and white fabrics with the stars left, and I think I'll give those away. Going forward I'll use the more traditional fabrics like the ones I used in the top two mats in the picture.

I also finally got the binding stitched on the reverse side of the little placemat top right in the picture. It had been sitting around waiting for a few minutes of attention.

After I'm done with my computer work tonight I'm going to begin baking a cake for my little brother's birthday tomorrow. I'm going to attempt this one: Anna Olson Chocolate Layer Cake. I'm sure it'll be great, I trust her recipes ... but I don't trust myself to remember to take a picture. Let's see how I go!

That's it from me for today, hopefully I'll be able to come up with a more newsy post really soon! xox

Friday, October 22, 2021

In production ...

This week in every spare moment I did something toward putting the quilted mats together. I've made three complete mats, partially quilted another one, and almost finished piecing a fifth. This weekend I plan to get a bunch more made.

I kind of like the fabric somewhat now that I'm looking at a completed item, but I still much prefer a more traditional colour palette.

And to that end I purchased some additional Christmas prints. One of them is quite bright, but I have a particular project in mind for that one:

We all knew I'd look for extra yardage of the Christmas Tree fabric, and I felt like I needed the taupe spots, as it works well for a background. The three fabrics on the left will be used for making mats, and I'm looking forward to putting them into use soon.

And because I really don't have any free time, I thought this past week was the perfect time to start another new project! Hahaha! I subscribe to Marti Michell's emails and she advertised a 'Free Block Friday' project. A block each week sounded so tempting, so before long I'd decided to play along, and I've encouraged some of my quilting friends to join too. Click here if you'd like more information.

I thought it would be fun to use my much neglected 30's prints, and here is my first block:

I'm not going to fuss about which fabrics I put where, it's going to be fun to piece in a footloose and fancy free way! The next block should be out tonight sometime, so I'll be watching my email to see what's next!

Well, I'll be heading back into the sewing room now, I'm looking forward to spending some time with my sewing machine. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, October 15, 2021

I accidentally filled my schedule!

Have you ever been to a meeting and put your hand up for a task without really thinking about the size and scope of the project? I have more than once, and I did it again this week. Oops, haha!

I offered to donate a little quilted something for our tennis association's end of season Christmas luncheon, and somehow ended up with a task to make a table topper type of decoration for each of the tables which will ultimately become part of the table prize. We have well over 100 ladies coming to the luncheon, and at this stage it's not clear how many tables that will be. So, with all my other commitments and end of year projects etc, I decided I better get busy right away!

I started working on them yesterday, and so far I've made three, quilted one completely, and half quilted two. 

I'll try and get a really good start making as many as I can, I really don't want to be lazy about it and get into a panic as the deadline draws nearer. Eeeek!

I think I'll only be able to make six or so using the fabric in the pictures - so weird, I'm really not excited about this fabric line. I'm not even sure what inspired me to buy it. Not like me at all! I'll head to the fabric store tomorrow and pick up some more Christmasy bits and pieces and keep plugging along - but for the rest of this evening I'll do a little hand quilting. I'm absolutely worn out from working at the machine today.

I'll check back in soon and let you know how things are going. Chatter soon! xox

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Happiness!

With huge thanks to my DH (not that he's likely to read this) I am now up and running on the new lappy. I can't even believe how much faster it is - I had gotten used to my old laptop taking ages to load things, and it wasn't really that old - it just wasn't coping well with what I was asking of it. Anyway, this one should last me a good while, and I'm thrilled!

I promised to check in again, so I'll share a little of what I've been working on:

I've been quilting on my sweet friend Betty's quilt. I don't quilt for others very often, and when I do I'm very specific about what I'll take on. The main criteria is that can't be very big - my days of wrestling with large quilts are done - it's much harder work on a sit down machine. I have a darling friend with a longarm machine, so I'm super happy to send work her way.

Betty used up a bunch of her scraps for this project and even raided some of my 2.5" squares to add to the variety. Don't we all have so many scraps? We'll never be able to get them under control, I'm sure of it!

Quilting has continued on the wholecloth, I'm still hopelessly addicted:

I really want to work on it some more now, it's calling to me from the ladies lounge! I don't think I can resist!!

A little more fabric may or may not have come into my life last week also ... can't prove anything!

Though it may not seem like it, I'm trying to shop a little more mindfully. Thinking of projects I want to make in the not too distant future, and trying to fill gaps in my stash. I have very little purple or yellow yardage. Also not a lot of red given how much I love it and tend to use it. And apparently I love to shop for neutrals! Obviously this isn't all my fabric - I have FQ storage, scrap storage, and containers of strips and squares. The pieces that live in my fabric closet are minimum half a yard/metre.

And I wanted to share something I've been admiring next to my cutting table:

This is the block I received in the Christmas exchange with the sweet ladies from the Quilt Batts in CA. I'm an honourary member of their group, and love participating each year. Deb made this sweet snowman for me, and I just love it! Thank you! xox

I don't remember if I shared, but I was allocated to make a block for Karen, and this is what I made her:

I enlarged one of Teresa from Fabric Therapy's Little Treasures blocks, and I was so happy with how it came out. There was a whole story about my Christmas block and it's journey, but that's a story for another day!

Last of all for today, I'm terrible at promoting myself, so please indulge me. I've finally got the larger Christmas Tree Skirt on to my Etsy store, and for those that are interested, I'm offering my blog buddies a discount for this month. Click the button below and 10% discount will be applied automatically.


Well, that's it from me for today, I'll check back in with you all on Friday as scheduled. Happy stitching! xox

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