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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Shabby Chic place mat

In the latest Down To Earth forum handmade swap, my partner is a lady in the USA who like me, didn't want any more dishcloths, teatowels or notebooks!   But she told me she loves anything in pastel colours, and in the shabby chic style.  I knew I had the right fabrics in my stash, so I searched through my magazines and files until I found something that I thought could work for her.  It is basically just a decorative mat that could be placed on a coffee table, or side table, anywhere really.  The front has strips of lace embellishing the squares.

  The back is plain, using a dainty strawberry patterned fabric.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mushroom cushion finished.

This cushion is not something I would have chosen to put anywhere around our house, and if it wasn't for a surprise email I received last week, I probably would have just finished doing the needleturn applique for the experience, then put it in my basket of UFOs to languish until someone took a liking to it!
The email was from Homespun Magazine.  They had seen my first photo of this project on my blog and asked if I would send them a photo when it was finished, so they can print it in the magazine!  You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather : - o 
So I finished it today and will email this pic to the lady from Homespun who requested it.  Out of all the projects I have done over the years from Homespun mag, this one has to be my least favourite!  I suppose it is a bit different and not many of their readers made it? 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

One finished, one in progress.

Below is the mini quilt I have made for a friend of Ken's.  They are both members of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, and J has been very kind to Ken at times when he has been unwell at a bike meet, looking after him and taking charge of his bike when it broke down once.  Ken asked me if I would do something for J, so I scanned some vintage bikes from a calendar, printed them on to inkjet fabric, and made them up into this:

Back (used a panel of vintage poster prints):

Some of my regular blog readers might remember when I bought a panel of Japanese fabric with cranes flying across a landscape - a few years ago at a patchwork show.  I have been trying to decide what to do with it ever since, and had made up my mind to make it into an Attic Windows style wall hanging or quilt.  But I wasn't game to cut my fabric up until I had expert advice on how to go about it.  The expert advice came to me via Leanne at the Eltham Quilt Shop, who has guided me through several quilting projects now - she is my Quilting Goddess!  Last week she showed me how to cut the fabric, as well as the lengths for the window frames, and the border.   Then she showed me how to piece it together using a mitre technique for the corners, instead of a half square triangle corner.
The next day at home, I made up a sample block using scraps of fabric from my stash, and once I was confident, set about making up the cranes window.  Here it is:

I am wondering if I should have made the window frames wider, but we did discuss it last week, and thought if they were too wide, they would overpower the cranes fabric.  I'm certainly not going to pull it apart now in any case!  Just waiting until next month when I can show Leanne and see what she thinks.  I am in two minds about putting another border around it, but she advised to leave it with the black border, as any extra could detract attention from the picture.
At this stage I am thinking of handquilting this one, using gold thread to stitch around the cranes and the red and gold swirly bits.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New vintage doilies addition to the collection.

I can't remember when I last bought linens on eBay - a few years ago - because my collection had reached a ridiculous size.  And the only time I visit Etsy is to see what my cyberspace friends are selling, and I rarely buy anything.  But like many of these things on the internet, once they get hold of you, they don't let go, so I get update emails from Etsy now and then, with stuff they think I might be interested in, so I have a quick look, then delete the email.  But last week one of their messages showed some lovely linens from a lady in Melbourne, from whom I have purchased linens in the past.  One of the doilies had a King Parrot embroidered on it, and as I particularly like Australiana themed embroideries, I really wanted this one, as I'd never seen this particular parrot on a doiley before.  It was one of four nicely stitched doilies, but I only want the bird one for my collection, and will probably use the others in a craft project that I am planning in the far distant future ;-)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Waverley Patchworkers Quilt show.

Today I visited the show with my friend S. and we  had a wonderful time as always, admiring the work of a very talented group of quilters.  At the Merchants hall I restrained myself somewhat and only bought what I really needed....sort of.  I was pleased to find a stall selling inkjet fabric sheets, as I have run out of them after I made the bike quilt for Ken's friend (the quilt is finished, I just haven't had a chance to photograph it yet).  At the same stall, they were selling Sashiko patterns and threads, and although I have some in my stash, I only have the white thread, but after seeing the stunning result of using variegated thread on one of the quilts in the show, I had to buy some for myself!

One lady was demonstrating English paper piecing techniques using a heat sensitive coated template paper (instead of freezer paper), and it looks useful, so I bought a packet of that.  My final purchase was a stitchery pattern by Sally Giblin, called "My Button Garden", it is a cushion with flowers and a tree embellished with buttons - very cute!  I won't make it up as a cushion, it would get wrecked with the cat around, so I'll make it as a wall hanging.

I have now posted my photos of the show on my Needlecraft Shows blog here, so do pop over and have a look.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Vintage unworked linens

I have been given a stack of old linens and knowing how many of my blog readers like to see these, I have cleaned them up and taken photos.  Some of the ladies at the Quilt shop group were keen to take these off my hands! but we'll see.  I'll be keeping the aprons and the crinoline lady doilies of course, but will think about the rest.  Some of them are very faded, so they might be indistinct on the computer, sorry about that.

The cloth below is one of my Peacock collection cloths, and I put it on the kitchen table last week when one of Ken's cousins came over to visit with his wife, who is part Indian, part Malaysian, and she loves anything with peacocks.  She certainly loved this cloth!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Messing around...

Things are tough around my home at the moment.  Ken is not in good health, and I'm "on call" 24/7.  He isn't bedridden, but isn't able to get around much, although he keeps up with our exercise routine 3 days a week when he feels up to it, as it does help his breathing somewhat.  Anyway, you don't need to hear all that, but I mentioned it to explain why I am making some 'silly little projects' instead of getting on with bigger projects that have been started.  Sometimes I just need to fiddle with small things that are a bit of fun - that or bury my nose in a book, which annoys Ken even more :-(
But I have to have my own space sometimes.  So here is what I have done this week:

I borrowed some magazines and books from the library, and because you only have them for a limited time, I am making some of the easy projects now, rather than photocopy the pages and never get around to doing them!  This issue of Homespun magazine

has several cute items in it that I want to make before it goes back to the library.  The cherry pie pincushion that I posted on this blog a few weeks ago was from this issue.  Now I'm working on a cushion cover featuring mushrooms and toadstools.
Not that I am a big fan of fungi, but the little faces on some of them appealed to me!
Here are mine pinned to the background, ready to applique (my first attempt at needleturn)

One of the library books is this one - "Scrappy Bits Applique".
I've seen lots of books on applique, but this one is quite different, and a lot of fun.  I find it so because the author makes the fabric pictures in the style of paper collage, which I have done in the past.

I am doing the project below, but I put my elephant on a plain background rather than make up a patchwork background like hers.

Finally, I've started a small patchwork runner for a friend of Ken's who is into bikes.   I copied photos of bikes from old calendars onto inkjet fabric, used some leftover bike fabric to fill in spaces, and will give this a border in black, then a wider border in another colour.