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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Pantry wall hanging finished today!

One good thing about miserably cold grey weather, it's great to be stuck inside - lots of craft time! I finished my Pantry this afternoon, and am so pleased with it. I changed the lace on the shelves from what I had pinned on it in earlier photos. It was too tizzy. The most tedious part of the whole project was attaching velcro to the background. It had to be attached after everything was finished, which meant I had to hand-sew the velcro bits through the three layers. The velcro on the back of the food items was machine-stitched on, and even that was hard enough. Velcro might be convenient, but it is a bugger to work with! Even The MOTH likes this wall hanging. He said "Don't give it away. Why don't you hang it in our kitchen?" Well, why not? The little girls didn't know I was making it, so they can play with it when they visit us!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Next stage of My Pantry

Thanks to all who left encouraging comments on the previous post. I got going on the Pantry again this afternoon, cutting out all the fabrics and interfacing, fusing them together where necessary, and pinning lace trimming on to the shelves. Before I go any further, I have to do some embroidery on the top piece, but by the time I got to that stage, it was late in the afternoon and other things had to be done...bring washing in off line before it rained, get tea started, feed cats, and so on. I'm going out with a friend tomorrow, and picking up my Iris quilt later, so I probably won't have time to work on the Pantry again until Thursday, but apart from the embroidery, it's all ready to sew together! I couldn't resist laying everything out to see how it would look, and I'm quite happy with it. If I was a little girl, I'd love to play with it - lol! Just hope my grand-nieces will feel the same way!

New project started.

My Iris mini quilt is over in Greensborough being professionally quilted. I didn't want to mess it up, so I phoned the lady who ran the patchwork class I did a while ago, and she told me to bring the quilt over for her to see. She loved it, and understood why I didn't want to risk quilting it on my old machine, so she offered to do it for me. It should be ready later this week, and all I have to do is put the binding on.
I went over to Spotlight on Saturday to spend my $50 gift voucher. I got all the fabrics and cotton needed to make my next project (the kids pantry wall hanging), and had enough left over to buy a few paper craft items as well. So, having the fabrics from Joanne and Cathy on hand, I started working on the applique items for the pantry, and finished them today. Joanne and Cathy, if you look closely at the photo, you'll notice that I haven't used all the fabrics you sent me. But they won't go to waste; I have a couple of other ideas for them! They were fiddly things to make, but it was fun, and another learning experience for me. Again, I understand why the designers tell people to read all the instructions before starting. At first I thought I could make a few short cuts, but at each stage, I re-read the instructions again, and realised that if I'd gone ahead and done what I thought I could get away with, it would have been a disaster!
Tonight, I ironed all the fabrics needed to make up the pantry background, and tomorrow I will measure and cut everything to make it up. I might even be finished by this time tomorrow night!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fruit and vegie fabrics.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a request on this blog, asking if any readers knew where I could get patchwork fabrics with fruit and vegetables on, for a special project I want to make. Joanne (Victoria) and Cathy (USA) said they had fabric pieces that they didn't need, and I could have them. Joanne's arrived first:
... and today I received these from Cathy.
Knowing my passion for peacocks, Cathy included some extra 'surprise' goodies in her package, but you will have to go to my Peacocks blog to see them (rather than post the same photos twice). Thanks to both of you kind and generous ladies! Joanne said she didn't want anything in return, because I'd sent her some goodies a while ago, but Cathy loves lace, so I'm posting a parcel of laces off to her shortly. I might curse my computer sometimes, but gee I love the friends that live in it!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A very unusual piece of patchwork!

I found this sweet little item at our local opshop today, for $3. At first glance it looks like a kiddie's lunchbox made from fabric. I noticed it because of the Sunbonnet Sue style applique on the front.
I unzipped the zip that ran from one side to the other, and discovered the inside was a kind of patchwork picture book. The first section appears to be Little Red Riding Hood on one side near the house, and the Wolf lurking in the trees on the other side. Both little dolls are separately made and can be removed and put elsewhere.
Over the 'page is a little boy doll, who looks a bit sad. Not sure who he is supposed to be.
The last 'page' shows a grey haired lady doll in her bed (I've taken her out for the next photo so you can see what they are like).
My first instinct was to buy this for my grand/great-nieces, but they can be destructive little girls with their toys, so I might just hang on to it for the time being!

Two more for the collection.

As promised last night, here are the two items I bought from Patricia, one of my dear blog friends in the USA, from her eBay auction.
A darling little supper cloth with cups and saucers embroidered in each corner and hand crocheted edge.
I was astonished to win this vintage baby blanket for US$9.95 with not one other bidder against me! A real-life Sunbonnet Sue blanket - made with love for a baby, not for a show! Isn't it the cutest thing??

I am not ignoring anyone!

Like most bloggers, I love receiving comments on my blogs, and always try to respond to them by posting a comment on your blogs. But lately it has become increasingly difficult to access some blogs, due to the enormous amount of graphics they use. The reason my blog headings are so plain is not just because I'm not clever enough to do fancy stuff on my computer. I also leave them as simple as possible because the downloading process is a lot faster for readers as well as me!
So, my apologies to those of you who post comments here but haven't had a response. If I get on to Ken's laptop (once in a blue moon), I can usually access most of my favourite blogs, and will leave a comment. But if I don't, it just means your blog is too complex for my ancient PC (11 years old) and OS (ME, cc 2000)! I have another computer on order, which is about 5 years old and uses the XP Op.System. Yeah, I know it's old too, but not as old as mine, and it will only cost me $290 for the modem, LCD screen, keyboard and mouse, so hopefully it will do me for another couple of years, because I just cannot afford to buy a brand new one!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Second try - more linens for my collection!

I found these beautiful linens at a local second-hand/collectables shop (not an opshop) and for those prices, I thought it was worthwhile adding them to my already overflowing collection! Looks like I'll have to cull a few more out of the collection to make room, as I received two more items today via eBay. They need to be pressed first before I photograph them, so you won't see them here until tomorrow. Centrepiece, $4 Small cloth, $5. Larger cloth, $10.

Three linens for my

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photos on fabric experiments.

Remember this book cover? My SIL gave it to me for my birthday last month. I've started playing with it! Sorry the photos are a bit blurred, and the colour should be sepia tones, but my printer decided all of its own accord that purple would look better, lol. So I used purple fabric as a border around the black. This is Ken and I just before we got married. It was taken at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, at one of those studios where they dress you up in period costume. I stitched the lace border around it as a romantic touch :-) The photo on the left is Ken's Great-Aunt Emily, and on the right is my mother as a child with her mother. The project in the book tells you that once you've printed your photos on to fabric, cut around them with pinking shears. The corners of the photos are squares of black fabric cut in half, and fused on to the photo. Clever idea! I love this book, there are some great ideas in there. This is my great-grandmother Lucie. I haven't put her on a block yet, because I haven't scanned or printed any more vintage photos. Until I do that, I won't know what size they will be, and how to place them on the block.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

A small project finished, and some goodies in the mail.

I finally got this little stitchery block finished, and it is in the mail to Fiona in Qld, who is one of the Quilting Angels who is making up quilts for flood victims up there, from the blocks being stitched by volunteers all over Australia and overseas.
One of my many cyberspace friends collects antique sewing tools and haberdashery. I was able to add to her collection when we were cleaning out MIL's home and nobody else wanted her sewing basket. Marian was delighted with what I sent her, and in return, she sent me some vintage linen UFOs to play with, as well as this cute needlecase. I didn't know what it was at first, as it was in a cellophane bag, but when I took it out, I noticed it was several layers, and lifted one up to find the pins. Lovely! Thanks heaps, Marian ;-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

All fired up.

How easily we forget. Most people listen to the daily news, gasp in horror at images of floods, cyclones, earthquakes, etc. but forget about them within hours. There are other people however, who work tirelessly to help others who are affected by all those catastrophes. Have a look at this blog, run by Jan, a lady here in Victoria. She has been co-ordinating the production of quilts and other handmade items to be sent to homeless people in Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand, and she is just one of many women who are doing this through their connections on the Internet.
Jan has posted some feedback on her blog from people in Qld and Vic. who have been distributing quilts. I was shocked to read that so many people in our own country are in such a terrible situation - living in cars and sleeping on the beach because there is no rental properties available. Bloody Julia Gillard is swanning around England and Japan, while her government are holding back money from Aussies that need it desperately. And what has happened to all the money that has been donated to the cause??? Bless the people like Jan who are putting their hearts and souls into doing their bit to bring some home comforts into the lives of those less fortunate. It took so little time to make my Iris mini quilt. I've got heaps of fabric in my stash - can I get off my butt and make some more for a good cause? I don't know, but I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

24 hours later...

I can hardly believe it. To start a project one night and (nearly) finish it the next, is not my usual speed. And I'm not in a hurry to finish it either! But here it is, all done except for the backing and binding. I've always loved the look of Log Cabin patchwork, but had no idea that it could be so quick. I've learnt some important lessons in the past 24 hours. Things that experienced quilters know - iron everything from start to finish. Measure accurately, cut accurately. Pin pieces together and don't sew them until they fit perfectly where they are supposed to be!
Here is where I left it in the early hours of this morning, with the first two borders done. Three borders done: Four borders done: Front piece completed, lying on garage floor. (It was the only place big enough to spread everything out while I basted the batting on to the top layer. I had to back my car out, sweep the concrete floor and spread two old sheets down to work on.)
The pile of purple fabric you can see in the top right hand corner is what I'm using for the backing. I've cut a piece ready to sew, but that can wait until tomorrow or the next day. I wanted to finish the front so I can show it to Ken's Mum when we visit her tomorrow.
There a few people I want to thank. First of all I should acknowledge Elaine Rose, who designed the tote bag that I based my design on. It was featured in Patchwork & Stitching Vol.6 No.10 in 2006. Thanks to Jane, who is my inspiration when it comes to getting things done. She achieves an incredible amount of sewing of all kinds, and reading her blog motivates me to stop dreaming about what I'd like to do, and get on with doing it! She emailed me to comment on my sketch for this project, and said she doesn't go to all that trouble; she just cuts and hopes - that made me laugh!
And thanks to my friend Cheryl who accompanied me to the quilt convention last month, and helped me choose the fabrics. She is always ready to help me when I get stuck on a project - some of my patchwork pieces would never have been started, let alone finished, without her help!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Two current WIPs.

Just as well I dedicated last year to my UFO stash. I'm certainly avoiding them this year, lol! Well, a change is as good as a holiday, isn't it. Here is where I got up to last night/this morning on my Iris tea towel thing. The colours are a bit 'off' - it actually looks much nicer in reality. I kept on cutting and sewing until 3 am...Ken was muttering about the power bill with my nocturnal craft works, but you all know what it's like. Once you get on a roll with something, it is so hard to stop!
And in case anyone was wondering, yes - I am still working on this stitchery for the Qld. Quilts project, and as you can see, it is nearly finished. I hope they aren't waiting on my little block. I haven't had any emails to ask what's happening, so I'm hoping I am one of many who are still stitching!

Call for help!

One of the projects on my 'to do one day'list is this cute wall hanging, for my husband's niece' daughters who are 8 and 5 years old. I found a couple of fabrics at the quilt show last week, but only in fat quarters, and I would have preferred charm squares or smaller pieces, because it would be quite expensive to buy a dozen fat quarters and only use a bit of each for this project. One stall at the show did have a stack of charm squares with fruit and vegies fabric, but it was nearly $100, and there was too much there for my requirements. I've searched the internet fruitlessly (excuse the pun), and I hope to go to Spotlight and Lincraft over the next few weeks to see if they have anything. Do any of my readers know where I could find fabrics printed with foods such as fruit and vegies?