Friday, January 28, 2022

I love a finish!

Doesn't it feel so great to get a quilt finished? Especially since this one gave me a few hiccups along the way:

It's not easy to see in the photo, but I quilted it with one of my favourite all over designs, a swirl with petals. White cotton thread to fade it into the background. The backing fabric was hiding in my stash - it was a double wide pink reproduction fabric. Not from the same era, but it looks cute all the same. When I think about it, this project was put together entirely from my stash - nothing was purchased - not even the batting, that had been laying around waiting to be used for some time too!

I won't give it to Mary until I've been able to show the quilting ladies, and then it'll go live with my sweet grandbaby :-)

Once this project was finished, it was time to evaluate the state of the cutting table. I've had a bunch of must make projects on the go, and then some holiday laziness, so the scrap pile on the side had become hectic:

I spent an afternoon cutting strips and squares in 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5". All sizes that our dear Bonnie recommends for her Scrap Users System. Christmas fabrics are stored in that zip-loc baggie so I can put my hands on them easily when I want to make more mats. A few small pieces are ready to put in the applique fabric containers, and large pieces placed in their appropriate colour drawers. It feels really good to have a tidy cutting area, but I'm sure I'll be busy making a mess again soon lol!

I had a treat in the mail recently, my beautiful friend Linda who lives in the USA sent me a Christmas block:

Linda is not a fan of applique, so it's a huge deal that she made an applique block for me. She is such a special friend, we always have so much fun when we are able to see each other, and I love her to bits.

Because I've made myself a promise that I won't start anything new until I've finished some of the other things I'm working on, I'm being really good, and I'm continuing to busy myself splodging paint:

I'm really getting somewhere, and still finding it fun. I was intimidated by the dark paint colours at first, but now that I'm over that nervousness I can get more done. 

Next week my Xmas break is over - tennis resumes, and most likely quilting, so I won't have as much free time. I'll try and use my time wisely and keep moving toward getting projects finished. Maybe that should be a goal for this year - finish more things. Let's see how I go! Chatter soon xox

Friday, January 21, 2022

Spending time with my sewing machine ...

I spent quite a bit of time with my sewing machine this past week, more than I have in a little while. My version of Marti Michell's free block friday quilt top is finished:

I'm super happy with how it came together. You can see why I didn't want to use the two blocks that had frames around them - they really wouldn't have worked with the layout I had in mind. This is not a large quilt, and obviously with the cute 30's prints, it's going to be given to our sweet Mary. My plan is to baste it this afternoon, and if I'm inspired I'll start quilting this evening. I'll use a white thread and a simple allover design.

The piecing for this quilt made me kind of crazy. I had all kinds of trouble with my sewing machine and it's tension. I prefer to piece with the Bernina 34D sewing foot, and step my needle to the right to position 4 for a perfect quarter inch seam. About 99 percent of the time, this works so well, I'm definitely no novice piecer! Some of the 30's prints were extremely thin, and the change in tension when I stepped the needle over caused all kinds of puckering with the seams. It absolutely didn't matter what changes I made to the setup - I simply couldn't combat it. I ended up reverting back to the normal 37D quarter inch foot and had much more success. The quarter inch foot isn't my favourite for piecing generally, as with the wide 9mm feed dogs the fabric can tend to trail away when you get to the end of the seam. I'm thinking I'll have to spend the $100.00 odd dollars and get a 97D foot at some point. I'd rather not, but we will see!

In the times I didn't feel like piecing, I put a few more stitches in the white wholecloth and was able to move the hoop:

A fresh new area to put some stitches in on the left with the light of my lamp beaming on it. And where I have already been on the right with just the light of the room showing the contours. I'm going to absolutely love this quilt when it's finished!

I shared these photos earlier in the week on Instagram, I'm slowly starting to get more tech savvy and use the apps more with the encouragement and assistance of my lovely daughter. Feel free to follow me there, I've popped a button on the top right so you can find me.

Last of all for today where I'm at with the paint splodging. I can see how these paint by numbers projects could absolutely become addictive. 

I'm making myself finish this up before I begin stitching on the felt elf ornaments. I just have too many things on the go at the moment and it makes my brain crazy!

Anyway, that's where I am this week ... let's see what I can achieve during this coming week! Chatter soon! xox

Friday, January 14, 2022

More retail therapy than stitching ...

Happy Friday! I'm so pleased I'm managing to keep up my commitment to fill you in on my quilting week. First up for this week, I managed to get block 12 from the free block friday project finished, it's a cute one:

Because I took the picture on my cutting mat, the dark is showing through, and you can see where every single seam is going. I don't use white fabric very much, so I really haven't seen this effect too often :-)

And after that block was finished, I started putting my plan into place for the sashing strips - I haven't got very far yet:

I've framed each block with a 1in border, and I'm simply going to use 2in squares as sashing strips - I don't really have large pieces of any of the 30's prints, so this will make good use of what I have. Hopefully the 30's container will be quite diminished after this project. 

It doesn't seem like much stitching for the week - I have also been putting hand quilting stitches in the wholecloth, but that just doesn't seem to be especially photo worthy - at the moment pictures in the hoop look very same/same. 

Though it's not an exciting photo, I remembered to take a pic of the fabric that came into my life last week. Lovely Karen from Somerset Patchwork had a flash sale on Instagram. I was powerless to resist:

Those two pieces make up a total of 5.5 metres. Definitely useful for a back, or borders or something useful.

And yesterday some of my lovely quilting friends and I went to visit with the sweet Lyn at Quilters Quarters. I haven't been to her shop before, but I will definitely return - I was a little overwhelmed yesterday so I didn't shop to my full potential, but I'm happy with what I got:

More red fabric? I seem to have a thing for it right now! The fabric with the little critters is so cute! Maybe it could be used in the centre of some hexies for a grandbaby quilt? All my future quilt plans seem to be very Mary-centric right now :-)

Definitely more fabric coming into the sewing room lately than being used, but that's okay!

And something else that has been added to the to do list ... have you seen the lovely ornaments by mmmCrafts? I saw on Instagram that Janet Treen had made some for her grandchildren and decided to investigate, and I have fallen in love! I purchased the pattern for the Christmas Elves almost immediately and have started collecting supplies. Here's where I'm at so far:

There are other bits and pieces tracking toward me in the mail - and I simply cannot wait to get started.

Last thing for today, I have continued with the paint splodging - and the canvas is starting to make a little sense:

It's fun to see the details appear amongst what first seems to be random blobs of colour. After seeing me working on this, Amy has picked up one too, and I also included one in my brother's Christmas present - though I'm not sure when he'll find time to work on it - he's such a busy bee.

Well, that's my update for this week - I'd like to have the 30's top finished by the time I check in with you all next week, let's see if I can achieve it! Chatter soon xox

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Small Project Complete

As promised yesterday, I'm back with a little more newsy post. I'm super excited that I managed to get my Dresden Hearts Valentine table topper finished - I wanted to offer it in my Etsy Store so that people would have time to actually make it before Feb 14th rolls around! I think it's so pretty, I hope you like it too:

Some of my Grandmother's antique china came out of the hutch for the pictures, that lovely tea cup set is from the 20's or 30's by Susie Cooper, I just love it, and have never seen another set like it anywhere.

I had a lot of fun with the little flowers and was so happy to find the perfect fabric for the applique - I love when fussy cutting works out well.

Whoops - that photo came out a bit blurry - you'd think I'd have learned a little about taking photos by now, but apparently not!

When I get motivated, I'd like to make another table topper, this time for the coffee table in the lounge room. I've used this one in there it seems like forever! It was a Thimbleberris club project from the early 2000's I think, maybe 2006? It's getting faded, so it's time for a change.

I definitely want to use some more of the redwork panel blocks I have - they're so pretty - Redwork Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings. Anyway, that's a project for another day.

As I shared yesterday I've also been working on the Lily Rosenberry applique blocks slowly, and I've put a few hand quilting stitches in the wholecloth too. I'm yet to tackle the final Free Block Friday block, this weekend is looking good for that project, as we're laying low and keeping to home as much as possible right now.

I've put a few more splodges here and there on the fun paint by numbers canvas. It still really doesn't look like much, but hopefully will start making some sense soon:

I can see that people could get addicted to this ... and I still have to make sure I don't paint my afternoons away. Hours simply disappear!

Marty has been busy too - our apricot tree has a smaller crop this year. I don't bother making jam any more as we just don't eat it all that much, but he has been using our dehydrator to make dried apricots. OMG, it smells so yummy outside in the verandah area right now:

This is the second batch for this year, they're always so tasty! And on the topic of fruit etc - if any of my local friends would like any Fowlers jars, stainless steel lids and clips, please let me know, I have a bunch I'm happy to give away.

This week I also had a little fabric come into my life, but I've neglected to take a picture, so I'll share that with you next time. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, January 07, 2022

2022 is here!

I had a bunch of things ready to blog about tonight, but I'm babysitting and time is short, so I'll pop one photo here with a promise that I'll check back in tomorrow.

The Lily Rosenberry project has been chugging along slowly in the background, and I'm almost finished my eighth block. I laid the ones I've done so far out on the floor so I could see how they look:

I like it! It's definitely motivation to keep going! But I'll sign off here, chatter soon! xox


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