"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Friday, April 17, 2020

Fruit and veg. patchwork.

Some of the ladies on the Home Makers Forum decided to have a swap of 'care packages' to cheer ourselves up.  I made this table mat for my swap partner as she is a dedicated 'foodie' who loves to cook! I selected a bright cheerful Batik fish fabric for the back.  The design on the front was originally called 'Rainy Days' because the designer bought fabric with raindrops on it, and made it up during a spell of wet weather.  I found the pattern on the internet several years ago, but this is the first time I've made something with it. 
It's not a great example of how the design should look; other people have made it, but on bigger quilts, with the borders of each square of fabric wider than I've done here, and they look really great.
I have more of this fruity fabric in my stash, and am keen to make one for myself, but will make the black borders wider, and use more squares to make a table runner instead of a mat.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Stitching in these stressful times.

Life is back to normal!

Did I really say that on my last post?  Little did I know when I wrote that on 18th February, what would be confronting the world within weeks, or even days - of that statement.
I haven't visited any blogs since then, let alone post anything on my own, because I've been flat out adminning the Home Makers Forum, where 99% of the chat is about COVID19.  Naturally people want to vent their anger and frustration, and express their anxiety, but tonight I suddenly felt tired of it all, and have returned briefly to my little blog.

For my long term blogging friends, I can assure you that Ken and I are fine.  Not a lot has changed for us, as being old older and non travelling retirees, most of our time is spent at home anyway.  Ken's GP has instructed him not to leave the house, so all his medical appointments are cancelled, we don't go to the gym (but I still do my knee exercises at home), and we don't have friends and family popping in to visit us.  But we stay in touch with everyone by phone and email, and I have been writing letters to many of my friends, just for something different.  I've had a good response to that!

For  the month of March I was completely uninspired, like many crafty friends, but this month I made a conscious decision not to wallow in worry and sadness any more.  I got out some of my long term UFOs and have been working on them.  I've put my quilting aside for the moment, as I've been quilting steadily for a few years now and decided to make time for the abandoned embroidery and cross stitch.
Here I am on one of our last warm sunny days in March, stitching my late mother-in-law's supper cloth that she started around the 1930's and gave to me in the 1990's to finish!  It's taking a long time...I  had a photo of what I had stitched on this day but can't find it now.

This Semco blackwork sampler has been sitting on a large embroidery frame for goodness knows how many years.  It has been covered by a cloth, so hasn't been affected by light or dust, but it was in a corner of my sewing room and whenever I had to get something from that corner, I had to move the embroidery frame.  So last week I moved it right out of the corner and into the middle of the room where it gets good light from the window, and can't be ignored by me any longer!
Last week I did the cross stitch on the handle of the teapot/jug and a bit of back stitching.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Life is back to normal!

Maddy, Kathleen and Pam - thank  you for your kind messages of support after my previous post here.  The bushfires have largely gone now thanks to recent rains, and although it is still summer, I feel the possibility of further fires this season has diminished, and we came through unscathed for another year.
Ken came through his gall bladder operation and has recovered well.  I have finished the six week bladder cancer treatment and am feeling fine.  I've got my sewing mojo back, and have finally finished two more of my long standing UFO quilts - the Tie Quilt and the Abandoned At An Opshop quilt.  Here is the Tie Quilt:

I haven't been able to photograph the other one as it has been raining non stop and I can't hang it out on the line!  I'll do it in the next day or so if the rain stops long enough.

I'm now working on quilts to donate to bushfire recovery centres for people who have lost their homes.  A quilt is a nice thing to be given when life is so bleak.  Something to wrap around yourself or your loved ones and hide away for a while.  The tutor at the class I attend at the Quilt Shop here brought a heap of unfinished quilts and tops to our class last week and offered them to the students to take home and finish, to be brought back to the next class ready to be donated to bushfire recovery centres.  I took home this lovely appliqued top which just needs borders, backing, quilting and binding.   There was enough fabric to do all of that, so I have cut out strips ready to be sewn up and added to this to complete the top.  Hope to do that in the next few days.
Once that's done, I'd like to use some of my huge stash to whip up some more quilts to donate.  Maybe some quilts for boys and blokes, in plaid and other masculine fabrics.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Australian bush fires

I have had an email from a fellow blogger in the USA who is concerned for my well being, after watching the news featuring the bushfires here, so I decided to write a quick post to assure the readers of this blog that Ken and I are safe where we are, although nothing is guaranteed.  We are in an outer suburb of Melbourne, which has a lot of trees and bush on most properties, so there is  a remote chance that if a bushfire started in a nearby park or large block of land, it is possible for it to move on to residential areas, depending on the strength and direction of the wind. 

The reason for my lack of posts on this blog since October is because I found out that my bladder cancer had returned, and I needed treatment, and right after that, Ken got sick and had to have his gall bladder removed.  So I haven't had much time for stitching or quilting!

Thanks for caring, and I will be back here with an update at a later stage. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Back to cross stitching

My quilting has come to a temporary standstill, as the September Quilt shop class was cancelled due to lack of numbers (school holidays), and I was going to pin the backing and wadding on two quilt tops that night.  Hopefully I will do that and more in two weeks time when the next class is scheduled.  Much easier to do it there on their big tables instead of messing around here at home.

I've been focussing on catching up with some embroidery and cross stitch UFOs, and am very pleased with myself for getting so much done on these baby Lorikeets.  I've had the kit for years, it is only a small picture, but so many colours are in it and on 18ct aida too, so after I did a small bit when I first got the kit, I put it aside for something easier at the time :-(

I have been very tempted to drop it at the opshop, but it was one of the Challenge projects on the Home Makers Forum this year, and after doing a bit more work on it, I decided it was worth keeping, so this is where I am at now.  Only the branch, birds feet and tails to go.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

September finishes, October plans.

The two bird quilts that I made last month (kookaburras and parrots) were greatly admired at the Avicultural meeting last week.  I took them to show the ladies who are in charge of the Xmas raffle to see if they would like one of them.   They loved the parrots quilt and were a tad disappointed when I said that I loved it too much to part with it now, but they said they would be very happy with the kookaburra quilt instead.  I have some more Aussie bird fabric now, and will make another quilt top to show the ladies at the next meeting, and if they like that, they can have it instead of the kookaburras, which I would probably donate to Liscombe House aged care, where I sent all my quilts last year.

The quilt top with the opshop stitchings has now had the title added, but I am going to add a small border before adding wadding and backing, and binding in black.

For a long time I have admired photos of a small wall hanging, seen in craft magazines, but I was never able to locate a pattern.  A few weeks ago I was in an opshop, rummaging around in a box on the floor, which was full of all kinds of patterns and kits.  Lo and behold, there was the unopened kit for the wall hanging I've been looking for all those years!  Original price on the packet was $19.50, I got it for $1.90 :-)
Despite all the other projects waiting to be done, I couldn't wait to make up this little kit, and I finished it last night.

Our UFO monthly challenge on the Home Makers forum has indeed been challenging to all the participants, but I  think I speak for all of us when I say what fun it has been to rediscover all those forgotten discarded projects, and either finish them off or at least made headway on them.
I have finished several of mine, others are works in progress, and two were not even worked on because life got in the way, but that's okay.  We are doing the challenge again next year, so those projects that are still UFOs will probably be on next year's list.

I had a photo of this quilt a few posts ago, but it was draped across the couch and the light was bad, so I thought it was worthwhile posting a better photo of it.  Another quilt destined for Liscombe House, but reluctantly, as I've fallen in love with this one!

Thursday, September 12, 2019


I'm on a bit of a roll with my quilting!  Here are some photos:
The first one has had a title added to the top since I took this photo.  It is called "Abandoned At An Op Shop" which I have hand stitched in chain stitch on a calico background.  I have collected all those little embroidered items at opshops over the years (some have been given to me by friends who found them), and rather than frame them all separately which would cost a fortune and I haven't got the space on our wall anyway), I decided to put them all on a wall hanging.  I've had this project on the back  burner for a few years, but it was the item selected for a monthly UFO challenge I am participating in, so it had to be done!

The tie quilt now has a border.  I used the remainder of the ties on the quilt  by cutting them into lengths, joining the strips and cross cutting them.  I've very happy with this, and have the backing ready to complete it soon.

This is an awful photo unfortunately.  The standard lamp messed up the colours for the camera and no amount of fiddling has fixed it.  I'll have to take another photo outside in daylight.  I was going to donate this quilt to the aged care home, but I really like it on our couch, so am going to keep it.