Friday, February 19, 2021

First block - Lily Rosenberry

This week has been a quiet one for me, I've had to take it easy, so it's very lucky that applique is quite a restful thing to do. 

I began auditioning fabrics for the Lily Rosenberry quilt (by Sue Garman) - one that had me stymied was the fabric for the vase, the first one I chose was very blah and much too blendy on my background fabric:

You can definitely see why I wasn't happy with it. So then I considered that it didn't need to be made from only one fabric:

And I'm much happier with how the vase looks now. My lovely friend Lizzy helped me settle on the taupe fabric - I was thinking of something gold and glitzy but in hindsight it probably would have been too gaudy.

So then I could start assembling the block:

I've been using the glue baste technique made famous by the lovely Teresa from Fabric Therapy, and honestly, it's just the best thing ever. Today I finished putting the block together, and now I can start stitching the pieces down.

I am super happy with how the first block looks, and can't wait to get started making more. There are sixteen blocks to make, and then the border - this is going to be a FUN quilt to put together!

Chatter soon! xox

Friday, February 12, 2021

Late in the day, but still Friday!

This week has been consumed with very much non-quilt related activities, but that will change from this evening.

Last weekend I was busy baking for Amy's baby shower, the due date is drawing near. She requested cupcakes and a cutting cake:

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Newman's Nursery & Topiary Tea House with family and friends. It's amazing how fast the last eight months have gone, and soon we'll have a new tiny family member. I cannot wait!

In other news, I finally finished the tennis skirt I've had on hold for a few months. I'm trying really hard to tame my fear of the overlocker, and honestly, it's getting easier. I tried a rolled hem for the first time, and OMG, life changing! Here's the skirt:

It has built in undershorts, and I'm so pleased with how it fits me. There are lots of things I'd like to do better, but it's all learning. And to be honest, it's probably a rather ambitious undertaking for a first project? Anyway, it's done, and I know what I need to improve on going forward.

Some new shoes came into my life this week, and I adore them!

Have you ever tried to take a picture of shoes you're wearing? Oh my, it's tricky, but there they are ... on my kitchen floor that clearly needs a wash ... but let's pretend we didn't see that. This girl loves some pretty shoes, and I'll be wearing them out tomorrow night to our 'vino and vinyl' group. Super fun!

Last of all, some much needed quilty content! I'm going to start working on some applique blocks for the Lily Rosenberry quilt:

As soon as dinner is done, I'm starting prep work for this sweet project. I am actually really excited about it. And you know I'll share my progress with you in the next post.

Chatter soon! xox

Friday, February 05, 2021

Wow, it's February already!

Well this year is off to a flying start, can you believe it's February already? This week seems to have gotten away from me, it doesn't seem like I've achieved much, but I also don't feel like I've had much spare time.

I did get this project made, a Valentines Table Topper:

It's a quick little project for the girls that come to class, and if I get the details written up in time, I'll pop it in my Etsy store as an inexpensive download. For this project I've used some bits and bobs from my scrap drawers, and I decided to piece the back too. It would have been very easy just to grab a stray fat quarter for finishing, but it only took a few minutes to use some of the random bits from my container with leftover binding pieces.

While I was working on the quilting, I used one of the new rulers I purchased on some of the straight lines. I clearly have some practice ahead of me, but I'm sure I'll get better eventually :-)

These are the rulers:

I've watched a couple of Angela Walters videos on YouTube, she explains so much in an easy to understand way, so I'm excited to expand my machine quilting capabilities. I'll always be a hand quilter at heart, but it takes so much longer, and sometimes it's nice to have some quick finish projects.

And just to finish up for that particular project, a somewhat brave close up of the quilting from the front side - it's hard for me not to focus on what I could have done better - but it's all learning right?

And the final image for the day - this is a jersey fabric I found while out and about today. I was looking for something I could make into sweet little hats for the grandbaby. I'm also thinking it would make a cute and very different to norm tennis skirt. So that is something I'll investigate when I finally finish the one I've had 'almost finished' for a few months now. If I'm honest I'm a little nervous with the overlocker - it's flat out or stop with that thing -  and I'm a bit of a perfectionist haha - so I'm on a learning curve with that too.

So that's all I can share from my quilting room this week - this weekend I have the excitement of Amy's baby shower, and then it's the count down to the due date. So exciting! Chatter soon! :-)

Edit: I'm just answering emails, and one of my lovely readers - Carol from Texas - asked what kind of washout marker I use! Always happy to share - I use the blue Sewline markers. I have never had a problem with them, but also note that I always send my projects on a journey in the washing machine after they're finished to make sure that all the blue markings are removed. Thank you for asking Carol!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Quickie Post

Just a quickie post today - I didn't get a huge amount of quilting done this week, and I only have about 30 minutes before I have to head out the door.

I made the smallest of my tree skirt/table topper items - it came out quite cute:

It's just over 20 inches from widest point to widest point. It did measure 22 inches before quilting, but I've quilted it quite heavily.

For the next one I'll use a better quality thread, this one was a nice shiny one, but it was a little sticky for my machine and gave me all sorts of tension problems. Sometimes you just get to a point where you don't want to do a bunch of unpicking and it's easier to grit your teeth and keep going.

It looks cute from the back though! I dug the backing fabric from deep stash - the fat quarter didn't have any identifiers on the selvedge edge, so I'm not sure who it's by, but I really like it!

And the last image for the day - I'm sewing the binding down on the tree skirt I showed you last week - I'm hoping to take it along tomorrow so I can hand stitch the binding on the reverse side while I watch Camo play tennis.

That's it for this week, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on last week's post, I always appreciate hearing from you all!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Check that list!

Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you can check some items off the endless list of things to do? I've been able to do that this week, and it feels so great! They're just small things, but each finish has an accompanying sense of relief!

I had wanted to make up another of these applique block mats:

The secret squirrel project was started and finished:

And I'm now busy working on the tree skirts/table topper patterns for my Etsy store:

My tree skirt pattern has been extremely popular for a number of years, and each year I receive many enquiries about whether I can provide the pattern in different sizes. And I'm sure that for every enquiry I receive, there would be even more people that just move on. So, I'm working on three new sizes, two smaller that can also be used as table toppers, and then one larger - hopefully people will be able to find one that suits them.

It is my preference to always make the projects first, so I know that I'll get the fabric requirements and instructions right rather than just make guesses - so the one above is the first one on the machine. It finishes at 34" from tip to tip.

I'm machine quilting right now - just some organic scrolly things - my machine quilting could definitely use some improvement - my own fault entirely, because I simply don't take the time to practice. Having said that though, I recently got a ruler foot for my machine, and I've ordered a couple of rulers to play around with, so maybe there will be more adventurous machine quilting in my future?

This afternoon I'll be back to the sewing room - hopefully I'll finish the quilting today. The only interruption will be a trip to a nearby lighting store - I've had a call that the new light fittings I've ordered for our family room are ready to be collected. I hadn't liked the fixtures since we moved into this house in 1999 - but I had no idea what I wanted instead and was completely at a standstill about what to do. Anyway ... you just can't rush these things ... and finally I've made some progress in that regard. Another list item checked off!

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my post last week - I appreciate you all visiting so much! xox

Friday, January 15, 2021

First Friday, check!

I tried so hard to get all the things done that were on my list for this past week, and I think it's fair to say that I made it!

The quilt I've been working on for our soon to be arriving Grandbaby is now complete - I finished the binding and washed it to remove all the hand quilting marks.

This was such a fun project, and I loved that I was able to re-use the feature fabric from Amy's baby quilts - it feels very nostalgic. I'm thinking I may make this one up again sometime with some more modern fabrics and put together a pattern for my Etsy store.

Just another fun angle so you can see the quilting a little better and also the adorable 'people quilt' fabric. 

And because the 'people quilt' was out of the hoop, I replaced it with something I haven't worked on in a really long time!

This is the queen size wholecloth I've had on the go for a really long time. I'm pretty sure it has been YEARS since I've spent any time with this top. Just for nostalgia's sake I put a few stitches in it right away, but I will have to leave it be for a little while as I have other things to concentrate on first.

The next thing I needed to check off the endless to-do list was to finish up with Phebe. Even though I'd resolved to finish up the binding etc last year, I hadn't gotten it done. So, I made up the label and the hanging sleeve, got them in place, and finished hand stitching down the binding.

It was about 10.30 on Wednesday evening when I placed the last stitches, and then I gave it a 30 minute ride in the washing machine to remove all the quilting lines. My habit is to lay the quilt out on the lounge room floor on towels so it can dry flat so that was the last thing I did before I headed to bed - pretty much exhausted. When I wandered past on Thursday in the afternoon, it was fun to see the dappled light highlighting the quilting while it was drying:

Today is going to be a busy day - I have an optometrist appt, a coffee date with a cousin, and so much preparation for a birthday celebration. We're having a bunch of friends over for a formal dinner this evening. 

This is the menu:

I started working on the pavlova/meringue component of the dessert last night, but I have a bunch of cooking still to do. I'm really looking forward to it, and if I remember I'll take some pictures as I go along. 

From a quilting perspective, during the next week I have a secret squirrel block to work on, and I need to get some patterns ready for Etsy that I've had requests for. Let's see how far I get!

A big thank you so those of you that stopped by and commented on my recent posts. I wasn't able to respond to some of you due to email addresses not being enabled etc, but thank you for your notes all the same. I'll chatter with you again on Friday next week!

Friday, January 08, 2021

Happy New Year- Welcome 2021!

Happy New Year lovely readers, I hope you were all able to spend New Years Day doing all the things you'd like to continue doing for the rest of 2021. It's a fun little ritual for sure, why not start the year off on a good foot :-)

I had been doing a little thinking on what I'd like to have as a resolution for this year (from a quilting perspective) - there have been some bloggers resolving to make sure they spend at minimum 15 minutes quilting each day. I thought this would be a great one to take on, and got ready preparing a spreadsheet to record my progress ... but then I changed my mind. I realised I do already quilt every day (it's a strange day for me not to) so I'm just adding paperwork ... So, instead my resolution for this year is to do a blog post every Friday so I can share what I've actually been working on!

This week I have been entirely focused on finishing up the quilting on the baby quilt:

The border hasn't been hard to quilt, and it has been fun to mindlessly stitch away while watching/listening to some favourite things on Netflix.

I've rounded the last corner now and have about three quarters of the last short border to go, so I'm about where I wanted to be at this time. I was hoping to have the quilting finished by the end of the week, and if I do really well, maybe I'll get the binding on too.

So, that is my week from a quilting perspective - I hope your week has been good too! :-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Last post for 2020!

It's hard to believe that this crazy year is almost over, but here we are - almost at New Years Eve. What a strange year it has been, we've had incredible highs and some dreadfully low issues to deal with too - honestly I don't think any of us will be forgetting 2020 any time soon.

So, what has been going on here this past month? Well, in my last post I mentioned that I was working on some secret squirrel things - they were small gifts for the lovely girls that come to my class:

The applique portion of this block is from Sue Garman's 'Afternoon Delight' quilt. I made one for each of the sweet ladies - they all have different green fabrics, and a variety of background fabrics too. I really liked making them, and hopefully my ladies liked them too.

Then it was back to quilting on the baby quilt - I'm one quarter the way through the final border now:

It's hard to take a good photo of the quilting - I'll try to get one when it's finished with the hubster's help - he always manages to take great photos. When this darling project is finished, I'm going to put the white queen size wholecloth into the quilting hoop. It's not something I want to finish in a hurry, but it'll be nice to be able to sit and quilt on it a little when I feel like it.

And in the week before Christmas, I put together this year's gingerbread house which is a tradition for our family. I wanted to make it a big one this year, and I think I accomplished that!

Marty printed a template on his 3D printer for me to stamp the gingerbread pieces prior to baking, and that made the lovely brick effect. It took me a few goes to figure out how it all lined up properly, but it didn't take long before I was zooming along with it. We still haven't eaten any of the house (which is unusual) the quilting ladies asked if we could keep it intact until they start visiting again at the end of January. I'll do my best, but I can't make any promises!

Next year it may all be much lower key as we'll have a 9 month old grandbaby with us, so time may be delightfully scarcer!

And last of all, something I could have shared last time - I have an almost new overlocker!

I have wanted one of these for the longest time - I'd done some research and decided that the 644D was the one I wanted - it's apparently great for a beginner and super easy to thread. I'd obviously even chattered to Marty about it - but never pulled the trigger on buying one - I was worried it'd be a fad for me and I'd never really use it much. $600 to $700 is a lot of money to spend on something you're not sure about.

Marty must have listened carefully as he found this on a chance trip to Cash Converters and it appears to have barely been used. All the accessories were still in their plastic storage bags, and it came with a trolley case too. He bargained them down further to $229 and brought it home for me. Colour me happy! 

I'm still not too sure about it - I'm admittedly a terrible perfectionist, and I find it a bit out of control - it's flat out or stop! But I've been watching some you tube videos and playing with some scraps and so far have managed to put most of a tennis skirt together. I'm determined to do some classes next year to learn to use it properly and look out, I'll be making lots of garments!

Now, last of all, I feel the need to offer my readers (and in particular those of you who have posted comments) a huge apology!

After my last post I was looking around in the settings of my blog and learned that at some stage 'comment moderation' had been activated on my blog. It was set to kick if anyone posted a comment more than 5 days after the date of a blog post. It also did not alert me by email that something was waiting for me to approve it. So, I looked into the comments awaiting approval, and there were hundreds of them! A good portion were junk, but I'd say a quarter of them were sweet readers with comments and questions. OMG, I was mortified! So please do forgive me for not getting back to you when you sent through your comments - I simply had no idea they were there. 

I've rectified the problem, I've asked it to mail me when something is awaiting moderation, and I've set the day limit to a longer time. I don't think I'm ready to let moderation go entirely based on some of the spammy messages in there - but I'll see how it goes. So, please forgive me for my ignorance - I'll do much better going forward.

In the lead up to New Years, please have a lovely time ringing in 2021 in any way you're able to, and I'll look forward to sharing more quilty content with you next year! xoxox


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