Friday, September 30, 2022

And more stitching ...

This week I have been enjoying the lillies that are blooming in our garden. Most of the time I leave these in the garden, but I was told (and I don't know if it's true or not) that cutting the blooms encourages them to flower even more. I'm happy to put this theory to the test:

The runner on the dining table is one of my absolute favourites. It was quilted by my dear friend Lizzy and is always much admired. I do have a new runner made from red and cream French General fabrics in progress - I think I've been working on it for at least seven years, but we all know you just can't rush art. I may have to change it from a hand piecing project to a machine project just to make some headway!

In other news, I was super happy to get the little Winnie the Pooh top together. These are my final blocks for the Churn Dash Sewalong - this has been a fun project to be part of, I'll be sad when it's all finished and done.

I'm going to have fun quilting it over the upcoming school holiday break. Not that I have any small people in school of course, but tennis and my quilting ladies are on hiatus during the holidays, so I have a little more time on my hands. Whether I use this free time for the good remains to be seen! :-)

And last of all, I almost finished stitching down the applique pieces on the first border of Lily Rosenberry, just a little more and I'll pop the next border on:

That is a wrinkly old picture isn't it? But I thought you might like to see the back of Lily warts and all. it's not often you see the messy side of an applique project. I have one stem, nine berries and some yellow flower parts to stitch down, and also a bunch of thread tails to trim. Lily Rosenberry has been such a lovely project to work on, and I cannot wait to get to the quilting stage.

Last of all, I wanted to talk about threads for a moment. I bought some new coloured spools today to fill in some gaps in my thread rainbow, and also some cones of neutral colours as they're what I generally always piece with. Then I removed some cones of variegated thread from my thread-stand, as I've started using these variegated threads for piecing scrap quilts - I just don't seem to reach for them for machine quilting my projects anymore. I feel like I got swept up by the fancy colour combinations, and for whatever reason now I always just go for a single colour thread. Is anyone else finding they don't reach for variegated threads anymore? 

Well, that's it from me for this week, hope everyone is safe and well, chatter soon xox

Friday, September 23, 2022

Stitching along ...

I have two pictures to share with you this week. It seems like I should have more as I've been super busy, but sometimes lots of tiny stitches don't appear immediately newsworthy.

I've almost finished stitching down the first of the borders on Lily Rosenberry. Honestly, I thought it would take a lot longer, but the borders are so much less busy than the blocks.

All the swags on this border are stitched down, all the vines too. Just two of the flowers and half of the berries to go. So, I have to share - I was considering working on Sue Garman's Grape Quilt next - but I sincerely don't think I have it in me to stitch down a bazillion little circles again in a hurry. A little distance is required, yes? That can be a project for the future :-)

And though I wanted to have the Churn Dash top finished tonight, I stopped stitching about ten minutes ago at 10.00pm without having sewn the rows together. I just ran out of steam!

It's looking cute though, and I'll be able to finish off the top tomorrow. It took me a while to decide on what fabric I wanted to use for the cornerstones, and I'm still not certain that I've chosen the right one, but these will be just fine, and I'm happy to get as far as I did. Apologies for the terrible quality picture, it's late here and the light in my sewing could be a bit better (and if I were a better photographer that would help too!).

Tomorrow I'll finish off quilting a project for a sweet friend of mine, then I'll get all the the churn dash rows together, and once that is all done, I can settle in for some applique. I can't wait! xox

Friday, September 16, 2022

A super productive week!

This week I'm so pleased with what I've been able to achieve, it's such a great feeling to know you're getting things done!

While I had Lucky the Featherweight out, I was able to put together all the Churn Dash blocks I need for Chookyblue's sewalong:

Even though you can't see them all in the picture, I made sixteen blocks. Lucky is so great to sew on, incredibly easy to work with, and makes such a perfect stitch.

I've started sashing a few of the blocks together, but I'll share that progress next week. I'd like to have the top complete by Friday next week. That Winnie the Pooh fabric is so sweet, Jean was so kind to share it. Back to the sewalong - if you'd like to see what all the other ladies are working on, click on the button in my sidebar - it links back to Chookyblue's blog with a listing of all the participants.

On Tuesday I was able to pick my quilt up after the show was finished, so Phebe has come home and been put away for now, and I could see my ribbons up close and personal:

A big thank you to Helen and her team for putting on such a great show. It was such a pleasure to visit with my quilt, and see all the other prize winners and quilts on display. And while I was heading home from picking up my quilt, I got the news that Bernie was all fixed and ready to be collected, hooray!

So because I had my favoured sewing machine back, and I had finished all the applique on the Lily Rosenberry blocks ... I trimmed up all the blocks and sewed them all together to complete the centre of the quilt.

Ohhh my, I am so pleased with how this is all coming along!

And joy of joys, I'm now working on the borders of the quilt, this is so exciting!

It won't take long to get all the applique placed, but it will take longer to get everything stitched down. I'm having so many ideas about how I'd like to hand quilt this project, I just can't wait until I'm at that stage! Yay!

Well, that's it from me, it's late on Friday evening (almost 11pm) but I'm buzzing so much about the applique border right now that I'm going to work on it for a while yet. So, I'll chatter soon! xox

Friday, September 09, 2022

Show day, and I ouched Bernie!

This week I did one of the silliest things - I gave my Bernina a big ouch! I had the single hole needle plate in place, and horror of horrors, I forgot about it and switched over to a zig-zag stitch ... Oooofff. So I'm feeling kind of sheepish, because each time I use that darn needle plate I worry about forgetting, and I finally did it!

Anyway, Bernie is off at the health spa now, I think her timing is out. And to be honest, she needed a service anyway, so I have my sweet little Featherweight out for a play. Have I ever told you that her name is Lucky?

As much as I love my modern machines, there really is nothing like the beautiful stitch that the Featherweight makes. And I just love the sweet sound she makes while stitching. Vintage machines really are adorable.

So, all the blocks I've made so for the second half of the Churn Dash sew-along have been pieced on Lucky, and I'm really loving how they're coming along:

I have all the components made up for the sixteen blocks, I just have to sew the remaining ten blocks together. I'd love to get them done right now, but I'm absolutely bone weary!

And the reason for my tiredness is because my Mum, Dad, Amy and little Mary and I went to the Royal Adelaide Show today! We wanted to visit with my quilt and see the other quilts on display. But also we wanted Mary to have her first show experience. And she absolutely loved it. I already shared pictures of my quilt last week, so instead I'll share a couple of snaps of my sweet grandbaby having the time of her life!

Having a great time on one of the kiddy carnival rides. There is a video of this too and she is loving it, but I'll have to figure out how to get that on here.

And here she's starting to run out of steam a little, but enjoying icecream from the dairy pavillion. Mary had the best day with a pony ride, a carousel ride, the carnival ride, and her first bus trip to get there. She fell asleep on the bus on the way home. It was a big day - for all of us!

This weekend I am going to try and get the rest of the churn dash blocks finished - and then I'll get back to the last applique block for Lily Rosenberry. I'm so close to having the centre section finished! Maybe next week I'll be able to start working on the border, I'm super excited to get to that stage!

That's it from me for this week - I'm absolutely ready to catch some zzzz's, it has been a big day! Chatter soon! xox

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Catching Up ...

Thank you so much for the kind thoughts and condolences on the passing of our sweet Uncle Bob. He was a wonderful man, and his funeral reflected how highly regarded he was by his family and the greater community. Vale to a sweet man.

So now I'll share with you how things have been going here ... I finally managed to pull some fabric to make my last sixteen churn dash blocks for the sew along. 

I'm sure I already told you that I'm using these blocks to make small donation quilts, this one will be good for kids. The Winnie the Pooh fabric was donated by lovely Jean, and I pulled the others from my stash. I'll get busy cutting out the blocks tonight. I can't wait to spend a little quality time with my sewing machine, it feels like it's been ages!

And in other news, I learned early last week that my Phebe Quilt placed first in it's category at the Royal Adelaide Show, and I was thrilled to learn that it was chosen as the Best Quilt in Show! OMG!

A big thank you to my brother for taking some pictures for me yesterday, I'm not able to get there until Friday.

Those of you that are long time readers may be surprised to see Camo all grown up in this picture - it's been a long time since I've shared any photos of him!

Some new ribbons for my pinboard. I'm feeling so chuffed!

We've also been super busy gardening. We had to cut down a huge tree in our front yard as it was starting to lift paving and compromise the retaining walls and front fence. It was a huge job, and a relief to have it done after making the tough decision. And in it's place we've planted a magnolia tree, and a matching one on the other side of the yard. I took a couple of photos and shared them on Facebook so they'll pop up in our memories periodically and we'll be able to see how they've grown.

To be fair, I wasn't really able to do much of the hard work, I only puttered around in the yard weeding and keeping Marty company. But while I was weeding some of the garden beds I found some pretty jonquils flowering and brought them inside. Their perfume was absolutely delightful!

And in Lily Rosenberry news, I'm so very close to finished stitching down the applique pieces on the fifteenth block, so if I'm lucky over the next week I'll also have the final block stitched and I'll be able to start working on the border. I'm pretty excited about it!

Before I close off, I want to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments you've been leaving for me, they're very much appreciated. I always try to reply personally, but I haven't been able to reply to Elsie Montgomery and Gladiquilts as your email addresses didn't come to me. But thank you for your messages, I loved reading them!

So that's all from me, you're all caught up. Hopefully I'll have some exciting things to share with you next week! Chatter soon xoxox

Friday, September 02, 2022

Placeholder ...

It's Friday ... so in order to keep my commitment to myself to post each Friday, I'm popping this placeholder photo here. This is the block I'm currently stitching the applique pieces on ... and my tin of doodads I use for applique ...

Today was the funeral of a beloved great uncle, and it has been long day with sad moments, and lovely moments with extended family. So instead of posting properly tonight, I'll check back in later on the weekend. Promise! Chatter soon xoxox

Friday, August 26, 2022

One photo!

I had promised to check in at the end of the weekend, or early in the week, but life absolutely got in the way. So, this week I have only one photo to share with you! I'm still obsessed with working on the Lily Rosenberry project, and because there have been times when I wasn't into it at all, I'm just going along with it! Who knows how a brain works, and why fight it?

It's hard to get a nice picture indoors at night - my photography skills aren't great, and it would seem my arms dont quite have the reach to take a good square photo on the floor. What I wouldn't do to have a fabulous big design wall!

The blocks aren't quuuiiite finished - the two blocks bottom right are glued down and ready, but the applique shapes aren't stitched in place yet. And in the second row, the second from left is the one I'm almost finished stitching, but it hasn't been trimmed yet. A big finish on the centre of the quilt is imminent, and then the next step is the border!

Some sweet readers asked about my applique technique - I am a fairly recently converted 'glue baste' appliquer. I would gladly describe in detail and do a tutorial for you - but our lovely friend and fellow blogger Teresa from Fabric Therapy has written and photographed the most amazing tutorial, so instead I'll bow to the master, and encourage you to visit her tutorial. Thank you so much for being interested in my technique, I first learned needle turn applique and absolutely loved it, but when I learned glue baste, it opened up a whole new world to me. The accuracy and scope of pieces that you can applique are endless!

It is my great hope that this weekend I'll get some churn dash blocks made toward the sew along *fingers crossed*, but I can't imagine I'm going to get a mini quilt made this month. I hate dropping the ball like that, but maybe I'll make an extra next month if I can get the applique out of my mind for a few minutes?

Thank you so much for the comments on the last post - I've been a bit of a slacker responding to emails, so I'll get on to that now. Chatter soon friends! xoxox

Friday, August 19, 2022

Still all applique ...

I'll just check in tonight with a quick applique progress post - I'm feeling like I'm on a roll and would love to get right back into applique prep!

Block 13 is all stitched and finished now, so this week I started prepping all the pieces for the last three blocks:

Gosh I love glue baste applique, it has rocked my applique world!

This afternoon I had all the pieces ready to position on the blocks. I'm so thrilled to have this done!

And now I have the pattern sheet on top of my lightbox, the background fabric on top of that, and I'm slowly putting all the shapes in place ready for stitching. 

So, because I can't sit still right now - I'm just dying to get back to it, I'll sign off here, and check back with you all at the end of the weekend with how far I've gotten. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, August 12, 2022

All applique, all the time ...

This week applique was the only thing I was interested in doing. So I finished up my twelfth Lily Rosenberry block, and started prepping the thirteenth:

My goodness, I love these blocks! It wasn't long before all the pieces were in place, and even though I hadn't stitched everything down, I wanted to lay them out and see how it was looking:

My picture is terrible, but I'm thrilled with how the project is coming along, and I simply cannot wait to stitch all these blocks together. They're only laid out roughly so please don't panic if things don't look like they're lining up properly xox

Also, I need to apologise, I've been a little busy this past week (and more) so I haven't caught up on as many blogs as I'd like to, but I promise I'll catch up really soon! Chatter soon friends xoxox

Friday, August 05, 2022

Small blocks only!

Heavens, after our house has been hit by another nasty gastro bug this week, I only yesterday found the energy to drag myself into the sewing room. And I didn't have the brain power to work at anything tricky, so I caught up a little on my Moda Blockheads 4 blocks:

Bonus Block 2 - Mix and Match by Michelle White

Bonus Block 4 - Zipper

Bonus Block 7 - Step to it

Block 19 - Clover by Robin Pickens

Bonus Block 8 - Star Turn

I've used a motley assortment of fabrics from my scrap baskets, so it will be interesting to see how the quilt turns out. The tan print in the Star Turn block was used in my Dear Jane quilt, so that means it came to me in the late 90's. Possibly sent to me by my lovely friend Linda from the USA.

Energy levels are still low, I'll sign off here with a hope that I get lots done over the next week so I can share a newsy post with you next week. Chatter soon! xox

Monday, August 01, 2022

Almost made it!

Even though it's the first of August, I wanted to quickly share that today I managed to get July's monthly mini quilt finished! It was so close to being finished yesterday, all that remained was to hand stitch down half of the binding while Mary was napping today.

I pieced the top on Saturday, and basted it ready for quilting - I mentioned in the last post that it's the Highland Plaid block from the Moda Blockheads 4 project.

There are a couple of absolute golden oldies amongst the fabrics I used, this one from the tub gifted to me by Pam Holland:

So vintage - this one is all gone now! The larger sashing strips in blue and the binding fabrics are from the same tub. It's like a lovely trip down memory lane.

Here it is prior to quilting:

I got busy quilting on Sunday, and got about twenty minutes in, and realised I hadn't glue basted the backing fabric accurately. An absolute rookie move - I didn't even bother to check it before I started quilting. I was working on freemotion quilting a fabulous feather border after doing some securing stitches with the walking foot. For whatever reason I turned a corner of the quilt over and saw the most terrible puckers and pleats on the back. Horror! So I then spent the next two hours picking out the quilting! It was a lesson in patience, and I made it through!

After that, I just didn't have it in me to work up a fancy quilting design, instead I quilted a simple allover pattern so I could call it done.

It's all finished now, and in place on the coffee table in the lounge room. I think it can stay there for a bit ... 

Each time I wander past I find another little shard of thread to pick off the top. It'll be a constant reminder to check that the back is okay before I spend too long quilting.

A big thank you to Wendy Caton Reed for hosting the montly mini challenge. Be sure to stop by her blog and have a look at what all the other ladies are working on. Have a great week friends!

Friday, July 29, 2022

And this week - not so productive!

It absolutely makes me smile - I rolled into this week thinking of all the stitching I was going to get done - I had such grand plans! And really, I actually managed to achieve very little in the sewing room. Which is perfectly okay, sometimes life gets super busy with other things!

I looked after little Mary for an extra day this week as her other Grandma has been sick. It was supremely lovely to spend so much time with the little honey, but goodness me it is exhausting minding a toddler! I must have had so much more energy when I was younger!

The only stitching I managed to get done at all was a start on my mini quilt for this month:

Not a lot to show in the picture, just a beginning, probably only an hour of stitching time. I'm reasonably confident I'll be able to get the top done tomorrow during the day, and if I really focus, maybe I'll have the little quilt finished before the end of the month rolls around. The block I've used is a recent one from the Moda Blockheads 4 project - Highland Plaid by Crystal Manning. My plan is to make a few of the little blocks and add a border, I think it will look quite cute.

One thing that has kept be quite busy this week has been painting the little heads for mmmCrafts ornaments. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I'd try popping a few painted heads in my Etsy Store and see how they went. Well, I was quite surprised to find that they have been very popular, and I've sold many more than I ever expected, so I needed to replenish my stocks.

I'm keeping things organised, and happy to keep painting beads as long as lovely crafters are happy to buy them.

I won't hang around online, I'll get back to the sewing machine to piece as much as I can before bedtime. Chatter soon lovelies! xox


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