Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year lovely readers! At midnight tonight as we head into 2022, I'll be sending up wishes for this new year to be one where our lives become somewhat normal again. I hope the coming months will be good to you all, and personally I'm going to make a big effort to be thankful for my blessings. Thank you for reading along with me over the past year (and previous ones also). I'm going to continue my commitment to post each friday, so I'd love it if you stick with me some more :-)

The strange week between Christmas and New Year usually affords me some free time, and this week has been no different, I've checked a few things off my ever increasing to do list:

I'm up to date with the Free Block Friday blocks (until the final block comes out tonight):

This is block 11 and I really like it, wouldn't it be a cutie for a whole quilt?

This is my substitute for block 6. I probably could have chosen a more complicated block, but some of the earlier blocks were simpler, so hopefully it will fit in well. The reason I changed two of the blocks is because they were essentially 10" blocks with a 1" frame all around them. This wouldn't work with the plan I have for setting the quilt together. I plan to frame my blocks before adding sashing and cornerstones, so those blocks would have had a double frame.

I also finished a project I had started in January! I don't really know why I didn't complete it, as I was so close with only the button loop to make and about 12" of binding left to stitch down.

This is a much smaller tree skirt than my pattern which sells wildly on Etsy. This one is only 34" from tip to tip which would make it better for someone with a small tree or a tabletop tree. I get asked frequently for different sizes, so I will write up a pattern soon - hopefully before next Christmas!

I've spent a few stolen moments on my Paint by Numbers gift to myself:

It really doesn't look like anything interesting at the moment, but it's fun to see it come together. I'm amazed by how much time seems to disappear while I'm working on it, so I've had to set myself absolute time limits and stick to them!

And last of all for today, I started working on a cute little table topper to adorn my table when Valentines Day gets here. 

I'd like to have it finished in the next few days, if I'm really good, maybe I can make last minute rushes a thing of the past?!?

Well, that's a wrap for this year. Tonight we will be celebrating and seeing the new year in with a very few close friends - no big celebrations at the moment. Thank you once again for reading along with me, and I'll look forward to spending time with you next year! xo

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve

We're ready for our family celebration tomorrow, the table is set, all the presents are wrapped, and I'm pumped for an early start in the morning to begin cooking. I've always loved the Christmas season, and this year as with all others, from my home to yours Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I finally got this years gingerbread creation put together:

I've declared it to be an Orangerie - they seem to be all the rage right now, and with the sapin de Noel inside, it definitely fits the bill. I just didn't have the energy for a larger creation, so next year I'll make something grander.

In other baking news, I've made cupcakes for tomorrow:

We'll probably be in a food coma pretty early, so there may be leftovers for boxing day. Fingers crossed!

Activity in the sewing room has been sort of on pause, but I did manage to get another two of the free Block Friday blocks put together, I only have one more to catch up on ... until tonight's block comes out!

This is block 10, it was so much fun to put together. I love the blue fabric with daisies, it's such an oldie, but so sweet!

And this one is block seven - another cutie. The pink fabric is another favourite. It must be block six that I'm missing, and it's one that I'd like to re-engineer. That will be a job I'll tackle in a few days time.

Well, that's it for today - I'm going to get a last few things done before I head to bed - tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day, and I hope it is for you all too! xox

Friday, December 17, 2021

Holidays ...

It's official, I'm now on holidays - for the next five weeks all my regular weekly activities are on hold. It will be nice to have some sleep-ins and time to work on projects in a casual way. I even managed to get all our Christmas shopping finished today - all that remains now is to get groceries closer to the big day - and that is a huge relief. Shopping malls get crazy at this time of year and to be honest, I would like to minimise my time spent in crowded places.

Because all the 'must do' quilting is also done, I was able to put a couple of the Free Block Friday blocks together. I had fallen a few blocks behind ...

This is block 9 - I'm super happy with it.

This is block 8 - I'm not as thrilled with it, as my fabric selections are too blendy. If I make another with similar fabrics I'll be able to put them on opposite sides of the quilt and then they won't look out of place. I didn't have my mind on the job when I was stitching this block last night, and I had to unpick several seams before I finally finished it up.

I have two more blocks to make, and then I'll be all caught up ... until tonight's block comes out :-)

There were also adventures in baking this week, it was Amy's birthday:

Doesn't everyone love a three layer vanilla and strawberry with white chocolate cake? Yum!

And then for the last Thursday quilting gathering for the year:

Vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting - topped with Maltesers. Also yum!

My next baking adventure will be the gingerbread house I hope. I just don't seem to have been able to get into the spirit so far this year - but I know if I just break out the tools I'll be inspired. I'm sure you'll see the end results in my next post.

In other news, a little fabric came into my life this week:

The two fabrics on the left are ones that I'll use with 30's prints - whether it be with the Free Block Friday project or with the Farm Girl Vintage blocks I'd like to make sometime. And the fabric on the right is just something I decided to grab as I always love to use plaids for bindings. I have so many now that I'm never likely to run out - but who wants to take the chance? Haha!

And the last photo of the day is a book I saw and knew I'd love:

The projects are really charming, and it fits right in with my love of making scrappy vintage style quilts. I really do have a quilting 'type' don't I?

So, that has been my week - how has your week been? I'll love to hear from you, and chatter soon! xox

Friday, December 10, 2021

Winding down for the year ...

This year has flashed by, and slowly all my weekly activities are drawing to a close. The tennis luncheon/presentation was on Wednesday, and twelve ladies were lucky winners of the table mats I'd been working on. It was very funny to the girls at my club that I ended up winning the table mat on our table, but I engineered a redraw and my lovely friend Marie was a winner after all. 

And though I didn't reveal it over the last few posts, I ended up making 25 mats as I was also giving them to the ladies that come along to quilting on Thursdays. I know some of them are blog readers (HI) and didn't want to give the game away. I hope you all liked them!

We had our Thursday quilting end of year party yesterday, which is always a nice time, and I baked festive cupcakes:

Pinterest and Instagram are wonderful ways to get inspiration for decorating cakes, and lucky me I already have all the piping tips I need.

We still have one more week of quilting before the end of the year, and then I know I'll miss everyone until we begin gathering again - it's usually about a six week break.

So, last night because all the deadline sewing was finished, I was able to pick up the Lily Rosenberry applique project and prepare another block:

This one is all glue prepped and ready for stitching, I think I'll prepare a few more for hand sewing as the weather will start heating up soon and I'll love to have a little applique stitching ready to go. I think this might be the sixth block, but it could be the seventh I've made so far. I'm so enjoying these blocks!

And a little retail therapy from recently:

This panel is by Karen Styles from Somerset Patchwork. When I saw it I knew I would need it for the future. At some stage I would like to make Di Ford-Hall's Antique Wedding Sampler quilt, and these motifs would be perfect for the broderie perse portion of the quilt. I've no idea when I'll be starting that quilt, but it's wise to collect pretty fabrics when possible as they don't seem to last long!

This weekend I'll have a bit of a kitchen weekend. We're celebrating Amy's birthday on Sunday evening so I'll bake her a birthday cake (which hopefully I'll remember to photograph) and I'm going to start planning my gingerbread creation for this year. I don't think it will be as elaborate as last year, but hopefully I'll come up with something I'm happy with.

That's it from me, I'll chatter soon! xox

Friday, December 03, 2021

What a week!

Oh my goodness, this week has been such a blur, and in the best possible way! It started with my birthday on the weekend. I was thoroughly spoiled by my friends and family - I love you all!

And then on Wednesday my tennis team and I played in the Grand Final, and can you believe it? We WON!

It was just the most exciting thing ever, I adore the ladies in my team, and we had the most remarkable season. Wednesday next week we have an association luncheon and the presentation, and that will be the end of tennis until late January next year.

Also, we only have two more quilting sessions on Thursday before breaking up for the year ... so what will I do with all this extra time on my hands? This is not something a quilter really ever needs to worry about ... but I had a delivery this morning, and I'm starting to wonder about my state of mind when I placed this order:

I have taken leave of my senses, surely? I've fallen down a rabbit hole ... but to be honest, I'm pretty excited about it. Who doesn't love to colour in? And this will be like colouring in for grown ups! It's taking all my inner strength not to just tear right into it, but I still have things that NEED doing first. I'm exercising some restraint.

I'm not completely good though, I've really had my head turned by all the quilts I'm seeing on Instagram and Pinterest with circles appliqued to squares of background fabric and then sewn together. Some of them have a lovely colourwash effect. I have no idea of the dimensions, or who started making these first, but I grabbed some scraps and my box of 3.5" strips and started cutting squares for the backgrounds:

Whoops, that picture has come out sideways - attention to detail is lacking tonight! Anyway, I don't expect to see much progress on this particular project, but sometimes an idea gets stuck in my head and I have to run with it for a bit. I'll see how long it lasts for.

Last week I had a question from a lovely reader Natalie Spilsbury. She was so sweet and mentioned that she has followed my blog for years. Thank you so much Natalie! I wanted to reply personally, but your email address didn't come to me - apologies for that. Anyway, Natalie asked what thread I use for hand quilting. I'm always happy to share that YLI hand quilting thread is my absolute favourite. It has been harder to get lately and their range of colours has been rationalised, but it remains my clear preference. I also like to use Thread Magic when I'm hand quilting, a light run through thread conditioner just seems to help draw the thread through the fabric and ease tangles a little. So there you go, maybe more information than you wanted, but thank you for asking!

Okay, that's it for me for tonight - not much quilty content right now, but hopefully next week I'll have a bunch more to share, chatter soon! xox


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