Friday, March 31, 2023

I’ll hand quilt a little …

Tonight I’m just plain worn out, so I’m going to settle in with a little hand quilting and chill …

I can tell I'm definitely carrying a little tension right now - my vice like grip has bent my needle like a banana ... I need to relax!

Should I perk up a little later on, I plan to make some templates and cut out some pieces for blocks of the Morrell quilt - I'd like to get some portable piecing together. I'll have fun choosing fabrics when I'm ready to tackle it!

As this isn't a very newsy post, I promise I'll check back in a couple of days, I'm sure I can share much more newsworthy things! Chatter soon xox

Friday, March 24, 2023

Quickie post!

Hi there friends, this week I've been working really hard to get through all my deadline projects, and I'm so thrilled to report that I'm really getting there!

I've pieced this quilt top, and it won't take long to quilt once I've pinned it:

I'll use a light coloured thread and an all over design. Not sure what I'll use for binding yet as all the fun prints were fat quarters, but I know I'll have something cute in my stash. This is one of the sweet Flinders Kids patterns, I love how it came out, and I'm going to use it for some donation quilts later in the year as it was super fun to put together.

I've got a good start on the last of my deadline projects, I'm quilting on this sweet top for a friend. I don't quilt for others very much anymore, but I was happy to do this one:

I'm trying to work on my quilting repertoire, when it comes to machine quilting I'm a bit of a three trick pony - I'm usually happiest with the results when I venture out of my comfort zone a bit, so I don't know why I don't try more often. Please don't look too closely, the experts among you will see all the imperfections, but I'm happy and I know my friend will be too.

And last of all for this post, I wanted to do something just for me that has been hanging around for A LONG TIME!

Did I share this dress while it was a work in progress? Well, I stalled when it got time to attach the neck band. I was kind of scared of messing it up as it's usually the most noticeable part of the garment. Anyway, with advice from one of my quilting friends, and a dose of courage, I basted the neckband in place, overlocked it to the body of the dress, and then used the coverstitch machine to topstitch it down nicely. I did have to do some unpicking, but I got there in the end, and now I have no clue why I waited so long! Now I want to find some more knit fabric and make some more to take on holidays with me.

So that has been my week. I'm going to get back to quilting now, I hope to have the black fabric area of the quilt finished before I head to bed tonight, so I must get moving! Chatter soon friends :-)

Friday, March 17, 2023

If only I would remember to use my camera ...

Hello friends, I hope you've had a wonderful week!

I've had a great one - since I checked in last, Mary had her birthday party. I managed to take a happy snap of the cakes while we were setting up for the festivities:

And then got busy socialising and didn't manage to get the camera out again :-/

Almost right away after the party (as it was a long weekend) we headed off to spend some time with friends at their beach house in Aldinga. On the way down there I noticed we were heading right past Tricia's Fabrics, and managed to convince the hubster to stop in, and grabbed a couple of treasures. This picture I took just now lol:

A cute Di Ford Hall border print and a sweet French General toile. Not really what I expected to buy, but I'm super happy with them just the same. Marty actually came into the store and was helping me look around, and a sweet lady from interstate asked me how I managed to get him in the store - her husband was sitting outside in the car. We all laughed a bunch, and then we were soon back in the car and on the way again.

As is my usual form, I only managed to get one picture while we were on the beach:

We genuinely did have a great time and were sad to have to return to normal life. If I could just remember to take more pictures, I'm sure you would believe me!

And in quilty news, I haven't managed to achieve much this week. I have started working putting together a block which is just a kernel of an idea right now, I hope it will become something:

I'm thinking about some appliqued EPP pieces and some broderie perse to make it more interesting. Let's see how that goes.

And tonight I'm going to start quilting on the pink heart quilt with the crown background fabric. It's all pinned and ready to go:

I can't decide whether to use a pale pink or a cream coloured quilting thread. I think I'll try a pink first and see how I like it. I'm super happy to be getting through all the projects I have deadlines for. There are two more must do things on the list, and then I'm coasting toward getting some hand piecing ready for next month. Yay!

Okay, I'm off to answer a bunch of emails now, thank you for all your sweet notes. I'll chatter soon! xox

Friday, March 10, 2023

So, Mary is almost 2!

I have been such a busy bee since I checked in last, I've been prepping for imminent babies, and a sweet little birthday party!

Finally I can properly share the little quilts I made for the sweet baby boy my brother and his fiancee are expecting:

This is the quilt I made with the fabrics that Mum found in a charity store. The three fabrics she spotted are the ones in the large squares. I wish I had noticed those two dark squares in the middle and separated them. It's funny that you see things immediately in photos that don't jump up right away in real life.

And since we were going with an owl theme, I added some borders to this panel and made it up too:

They were gifted on Sunday when we went to the Glen Ewin Estate for high tea with our family. It was so lovely. The grounds are just beautiful and the high tea absolutely divine.

So very delicious, and it was hard to leave after such a wonderful time.

Because that celebration was finished, next I needed to focus on finishing little Mary's quilt which is making up part of her birthday present. I'm super thrilled that I finished stitching down the binding on Wednesday evening:

I don't think the blocks of background fabric that are pieced are noticeable at all, so that's a relief. After I'd finished the quilt top, I realised that I may have a piece of the same fabric in my William Morris box so it's possible I needent have pieced the squares, I haven't had a chance to check yet, but I will look - not that it will change anything, it's too late to alter it now.

Thursday I had a few big orders for painted heads to fulfil, and then it was time to start baking Mary's birthday cake. I had the four layers done by bedtime last night, and today was final assembly.

But first up0, Amy wanted some guidance icing cupcakes for the party, so she came along this afternoon and finished making up these lovely things:

It thrills me that Amy has been becoming crafty and also loves creating in the kitchen.

And then it was my turn to put the cake together:

This cake was a bit of a learning project for me - it's the first time I'd tried the drizzle icing, which was easier than I thought. Also, I tried Italian buttercream for the first time. I do love that it's not as sweet as regular buttercream, but I found it a bit harder to work with and make smooth, so I'll probably stick to regular buttercream in the future. I also had the devil of a time halving the macarons, so I don't think I'll bother to do that again lol. It's all learning for me, so I know I'll do a little better with each cake.

So, that's where I'm at as of right now. I'm pretty worn out, so I don't think I'll be long out of bed. So, I'll leave off here with a promise that I'll chatter again soon! xox

Friday, March 03, 2023

I've checked more things off the list!

Really, I'm super happy that I managed to get the binding finished on the second owl quilt from last week, I haven't shared a picture, as I'll be gifting them this weekend, but I promise to share a picture on Friday next week.

Because I love to add things to my plate, I started another quilt with the same fabric as the one with the crowns from last week - this one with a William Morris background fabric. I think it's super cute! A big thank you to lovely Chris from our Quilters Guild Flinders Kids for permission to use this pattern, much appreciated!

This quilt is needed for next weekend, so I popped the crowns aside and got busy stitching. I was reminded of Loulee's squirrells as I was stitching - my mind flits from one thing to another. Tomorrow I plan to pin this top, and I'll quilt it over the weekend. Fingers crossed I can get it done in time!

I only just had enough of the William Morris fabric for the background - I was able to get all the squares to construct the half square triangles, and I needed an additional four squares to complete the design. There was only enough fabric for two squares, and I had to piece the other two with the skerrick of fabric that I had left:

Can you see all the seams there? That five inch square is made up of six pieces of fabric! Whew, I was so relieved to have enough little pieces. I don't think you'll be able to see all the seams after the top is quilted, and if it stands out a lot, I guess that'll be part of this quilt's charm.

I don't think I have anything else to share at this time, I can't think why I don't have much to show for what seems like a really busy week, but I guess that's how it goes sometimes. I'll check back in with you all next week with more eye candy I'm sure! Chatter soon xoxox

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Checking things off the to do list ...

Hi friends, this week has been such a busy one, and in the best possible way. Even today I've been working away, and have just managed to get this post started two minutes before midnight! Whew!

I managed to get the owl baby quilt I had been working on bound completely, and today I finished quilting the second owl quilt, this one is a panel with some added borders, so much simpler than the first (which was still a very simple quilt):

I can't wait to gift these two - I won't say too much right now, but I need them for next weekend, so I better get busy with the binding for the second quilt soon!

I also got a start on another quilt top which is destined to be a gift - even though this is a very girly quilt, believe it or not, it's not for little Mary:

I have a bit more time to make this one, so I don't need to panic. The fabric is so sweet, and I'm enjoying working with larger pieces for once. Mary's birthday is coming up soon though, so maybe I should start another quilt for her too? Why not? :-)

And in other stolen moments, I've been putting a few hand quilting stitches in Lily Rosenberry:

It would be so nice to have more time to work on Lily, so if I keep motoring along on the things that MUST be done, then I'll be able to have the time to work on the 'nice to do' things.

And for a special treat, on Tuesday night my Mum, and a friend and I went to the Entertainment Centre to see something we've been waiting excitedly for:

Dick and Angel from Escape to the Chateau were in town on their Dare To Do It tour, and we were lucky enough to get tickets. It was so fabulous and we had seats right up close. They gave a wonderful presentation and behind the scenes tour of their chateau, and we were absolutely enchanted. Ohhh it was just so great! If you're a fan, and they head to your city, do go along. You definitely won't regret it.

I think I should close off here as it's getting super late and I'm ever so tired. But before I go, I want to let you know that I'm way behind on emails, and I plan to catch up this weekend. So I'll chatter soon, big love and hugs!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Gettin' stuff done!

I've been such a busy bee in the sewing room this week! One baby quilt is almost complete, two more to go. I only have the binding to hand stitch down on this one now:

The binding won't take long to stitch down, and then I can get busy on the next one. I've made the top already - I but a border on an owl panel that was living in my stash - so during this week I'll get that quilted and bound too. I was thinking I'd like to try and make a quilt for little Mary's birthday which is in March, so I'll see if I can fit that into the schedule?!?

I also managed to get two more Morrell quilt blocks put together, I am just loving this project!

This applique block needs a little more stitching and trimming, but it won't take long at all.

This pieced block is all finished and ready to go in the quilt top. I did change it up a little - the block in the original quilt had only two fabrics and didn't contain anything as dark as the red that I've used. I don't mind changing things up to make it my own.

Earlier in the week I made macarons again, first of all for Valentines Day, and also to share with my quilting friends. There are only 7 in the picture, but I made 22 in total. Yum!

I did a test while baking this time. One sheet of macarons was baked on a tray with baking paper, and the other on a tray with a silpat. Usually I use baking paper, but no more! The macarons baked on the silpat were so much easier to remove and more evenly baked. I have ordered another silpat, and that's all I'll be using from now on. My macarons are far from perfect, and I'm endlessly striving to get better at them. There is always something new to learn!

That's all I have to share for this week though, this week just flew by, and Friday evening has almost taken me by surprise! So I'll close here with a promise to chatter with you all again really soon! xox

Friday, February 10, 2023

Baby quilts on the way ...

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on last week's post, I love reading them all. We have such a lovely community of bloggers and readers, it makes my heart happy :-)

This week in the sewing room, I got started on the first of the three baby quilts I'll be making. This one is for my Mum to gift:

Mum found the sweet owl prints in a charity store and gave them to me to work with. They're awfully cute. There wasn't a lot of them, and toward the end, I was piecing the cornerstones together to eke the last pieces out that I needed - but I can happily say that I haven't wasted any fabric. The green diamonds are from a range I bought a while back that goes with a panel and I'll quilt that up next.

I'm absolutely working with fabrics/prints/colours outside my comfort zone, but that's how we grow right?

Next up, here's a block I made up last week but forgot to share:

I really love working on the Morrell quilt, and I'm seriously wishing there were a few more hours in each day to make up the blocks. I haven't made up a block for this week yet, but I'll remedy that tomorrow.

And here is a delightful piece of show and tell:

I had spoken with my quilting ladies about a book I had coveted for a long time as I adored the quilt on the cover. It has been out of print for a long time (it's quite an old fashioned sort of quilt book) and the only ones I'd located were pricey. Well, one of my lovely friends filed this information away and tracked down the book about 18 months ago, and over the Christmas break her daughter brought it over with her from the USA. How lucky am I? I feel so very blessed and thankful for lovely friends <3 <3

That's all I have to share this week, even though it seems like I've had a productive week I don't have a lot to show. Hopefully there will be more next week, so chatter soon!

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Sewing room time ...

So this past week I was able to spend a nice amount of time in the sewing room. I got some more hand quilting done - it's slow going so there's never a lot to show for my time, but I'm chipping away at it:

I never grow tired of hand quilting, it's so relaxing.

There was also time to get a couple more of the Morrell blocks put together. The hexie block just needs a little more stitching down, and then trimming:

It's a shame this is the only EPP hexie block in this quilt, it was really fun and a great portable project.

This nine patch was an easy one to complete and I had fun choosing the fabrics:

The fabric with the little fishbowls was gifted to me by our lovely friend Wendy Caton Reed. I just adore it. Wendy sent me a package of darling conversational prints, and I have been holding them for a special project. This quilt is the one where I'll use a few! Thank you so much Wendy, you're such a darling for sharing. 

So that's where I'm up to right now with the Morrell quilt, and my hand quilting. This month I need to put three baby quilts together, so I may have to hold back on the Morrell blocks for a little bit - I'll put my head down and see how much I can get done. Chatter soon!

Friday, February 03, 2023

Babysitting ...

Tonight I'm babysitting, and made the mistake of leaving the completed blocks I want to share in the sewing room. And the portacot with sweet little Mary in slumberland is in the sewing room with them! I don't dare tiptoe in there as she is a light sleeper and will pop up like a jack in the box.

So instead I'll visit with you again tomorrow ... but first I wanted to share a quick snap that I forgot to share last week.

While we were in Noumea, I found the most darling fabric store - Tissus Mercerie Johnston. It was the sweetest little shop, and the man in the store was just so patient while I practiced my French with him. 

I didn't buy a lot, but the pack of fat quarters was sweet, and I'll make a little something for Mary with them. The beads and sequins are the very perfect thing for working on the mmmCrafts ornaments, so I was happy to find them. Believe it or not, it's not easy to find many varieties of sequins here in Adelaide without tracking down dance supplies stores. And the thread snips ... well let me tell you this ... I packed my hand stitching into my hand luggage quickly and without thinking to check the bag. Of course I had some snips in there and had them confiscated at security at Adelaide airport. The lady was very sweet about it of course, and offered to have my old ones held for me until I got home, but they weren't precious so I was fine for them to dispose of them. So when I saw them at the fabric store I had a giggle and brought them home ... in my checked in luggage!

So that's it for me tonight - I'll do some blog reading on my laptop while I wait for Mary to be picked up. I surely don't have any hand stitching with me in the family room ... so I'll chatter with you tomorrow! xox

Friday, January 27, 2023

Helllooo ...

Hi there lovely friends, as predicted, I didn't manage to put a post together last week. And I didn't manage to get much stitching done either:

This is my first block of the Morrell quilt (by our sweet late friend Di Ford Hall). I hand pieced this block entirely, and just loved it! It has been ages since I've done much actual hand piecing. I plan to do more!

And I got a small start on my hexies for my second block of the quilt:

English paper piecing is so much fun!

But I do have a good reason for this inactivity from a quilting perspective ... my extended family went on another Pacific Island Cruise! Yay!

We spent a night in Sydney before we set off:

Our hotel was one street away from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, in the historic Rocks district, absolutely adjacent to some very famous landmarks.

Our chariot was waiting for us when we woke up the next morning.

So many fabulous things on board the Ovation of the Seas. Most of them (as is my usual form) I didn't manage to photograph ...

Noumea never disappoints!

An unexpected stop in Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

And then it was time to head home.

We had the very best time. It was my whole family, 12 of us. My parents, my brothers and their families and my own family. With so many people there is always something to do, and some fun to be had. I am so blessed that we all love to spend time together.

In April, along with my Mum and Dad as well as Amy and Mary, I'm heading off on another cruise. This time from Brisbane to Hawaii. We can't wait. The lads are staying home to keep house, and I'll be sure to have a great time on their behalf. In the meantime we're still floating on a cloud of happy after our wonderful holiday. I'm catching up on all the things here ... and I'll check in with you all as I can. Chatter soon! xox


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