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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five more quilts for PNG babies, and my table runner finished.

Maddy in Qld has made five beautiful little quilts for our PNG babies.   Here they are pegged out on my clothesline today.

 Being a fine sunny day, I took the opportunity of re-photographing most of the others because the first pics were taken inside due to poor lighting outside.  So I've replaced the original photos on those posts with better ones.  Well, a bit better.  I can't seem to get my camera to focus clearly on some things....

I finished one of my own projects today - the tea time table runner.  Again the photo doesn't show it up as well as I'd like.  Maybe I should have taken this outside to photograph too.   I've attached two novelty buttons - one is a teapot in the top row of stitching, and the other is a teacup in the bottom row, but all you can see are little blurs!  You'll just have to take my word for it.  Ken thinks his cousin will adore this; she always 'has the kettle on', and she loves handmade things.  Fingers crossed!

So what is next on my agenda?  Well, I'm being shamed by all the ladies who have sent cot quilts for PNG babies, so I'm going to get a few of my own done!  I've got the fabric ready for the first one, and it shouldn't take long.   My lovely Janome speeds things up.  And for those Quilt Police out there, I'm being very good, and replacing the machine needles after finished a project ;-)  I have to admit, it does make a difference, the sewing is much smoother. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Craft And Quilt Fair.

Just a quick post to tell Melbourne/Victorian readers to visit the Craft show if they can - this year's show is a good one! There were five of us ladies from the Embroiderers Guild manning our information stand today, so we took turns to have time out for coffee and shopping. We'd all brought our current stitching project, but none of us got a lot done, as there was a steady stream of people coming up to chat or ask questions about the Guild. (Only one person I knew (see below) came up to say hello - sniff..) There were a lot of Guilds at the Show this year - more than I remember seeing at previous shows, but I might be wrong. We were all lined up at one end of the exhibition area - facing the cafe/coffee area and not far from the loos ;-) So we had a lot of people wandering by who had stopped for coffee or whatever, and came over to have a look at the Guilds, which they might not have if they'd been somewhere less conspicuous.

When my turn came for a break, I headed for the Quilts show, and it was well worth looking at. I said to somebody else that some years, the quilts didn't appeal to me all, but other times I could happily photograph the whole lot, and look at the photos for weeks after. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera today, as I wasn't sure if I'd have time to look at the quilts. I wish I had. Fellow blogger and Guild member Linda Steele and her friends at Waverley Patchworkers had their own display and that alone was excellent. Linda won a prize (or was it more than one prize?) for her fabulous Crazy patchwork Christmas quilt. If you visit her blog at the link here, she may have by now posted details of her win and photos of the other quilts there. Congratulations Linda!

Some of you will be wondering how much I spent. I can tell you exactly - $44. $4 for a coffee and $40 for parking - YIKES! Isn't that disgraceful? When I saw the read-out on the parking ticket machine I yelped, and the lady standing next to me nodded sympathetically. She said "I said to the machine I hope you choke on that" which made me smile. Just as well I didn't spend my cash on anything else at the show!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Table runner, and Craft Show this week.

I've nearly completed the top for this runner, but still have to stitch around the appliqued teapot and cups. This will be another 'first' for my new machine, as it does blanket stitch, and I am looking forward to trying it out, to save my fingers from aching after hours of blanket stitch!
When that's done, I'll quilt the three layers and bind it with the same dark green as in the middle section.

If any of my readers in Victoria are going to the Craft Show at Jeff's Shed on Thursday, come over to the aisle where all the Guilds are situated - I'll be on duty at the Embroiderers Guild stand for most of the day, and I'd love to say hi to any bloggers that might cruise by!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Table runner.

Between making quilts and cross stitching  peacocks, I wanted to make a couple of quick gifts for deserving people.  This table runner pattern has been sitting in my 'to do' folder for some years, and when I was given some matching fat quarters a while ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to use them for.  

My runner is a bit different from the original pattern.  Instead of sewing 90 2" squares together for the background blocks, I took a short cut and sewed three strips together from my chosen fabrics and cross cut them into little blocks.  Also, I didn't use the pattern to trace and cut the cups and teapot to applique.  Instead, I fussy cut them from printed fabric.  Much faster and prettier!

This was taken last night - there is more to the runner than the above.  I was laying out what I'd done so far to get an idea of size.  I've done a lot more since then, and hope to finish it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Photos as promised.

I had a very productive day today despite all the noise overhead while the workers were ripping the old roof off our house!   (I've posted photos here if you are curious).  I spent much of the afternoon hand sewing the binding of Ken's quilt, and once finished, hung it out in the sun to take this photo.

This is my Janome with it's hard case, and underneath, the cover I made using some printed denim fabric that I found in an opshop for a few dollars.  It is rather cute with those handkies looking almost real, and hard wearing fabric, so it is perfect as a protective cover for the machine.

And this is where I am up to with the Peacock sampler.  Now that I have a closer look at this, there isn't a lot more done since the last photo!  But every stitch counts...;-)

What I've been doing.

My dear friend Connie did come over on Tuesday as planned, and showed me how to put the walking foot on my sewing machine.  She took a few minutes to figure it out, but once she had it in place, she showed me how to do it, and suggested I take some closeup photos with my camera to look back on if I forget.  Once the foot was on, I got going on Ken's quilt, with advice and encouragement from Connie.  We had  lots of other things to talk about on the day, but I got most of the quilting done, and now only have to finish the binding.

Photo will be on here as soon as  that's done - and it has to be done very soon, Ken instructed me.  It is soooo cold at night lately and he has been sitting up watching the Tour de France thing, and even with the gas fire on, it is still chilly just sitting around.  I'm dreading the next few days when our roof is replaced - the whole roof has to be taken off, new insulation put in, and the new roof put on.  It can't possibly be done in one day, and although they tell us the areas without roofing will be covered in case it rains....brrrrrr!!!

I was looking at patterns in magazines to make a cover for my machine (even though it's got a hard case, the handle at the top is an open area and dust will get in there if I leave it as it is), and not being able to find anything that looked relatively easy, I googled the topic, and found dozens of You Tube tutorials.  One in  particular looked very easy, and I made up my cover (lined and padded!) in a couple of hours!  I'll post a photo of that when I finish Ken's quilt.

Finally, I've done some more cross stitch on my Peacock sampler and again, will take a photo soon.
That's my week's sewing!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Patchwork hand towels.

I've been playing with my scraps stash again.  I've done all I can with Ken's bike quilt, and am looking forward to Connie coming over on Tuesday and showing me how to quilt it!   In the meantime, I was surfing through Blogland (really now, who needs Facebook?) and I discovered on somebody's side bar a blog called Diary Of A Quilt Maven  I can't remember what else there was about this blog name to attract my attention, but I popped over there and found a cute tutorial on adding a patchwork embellishment to plain towels.  I have a heap of tea towels and hand towels in my stash - huckabuck, linen, cotton, etc. so I pulled out the huckabucks and followed Monica's instructions.  Aren't they nice?  Great way to use up some of those 2" squares in the box of scraps.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th July!

Happy Independence Day to all my American blogger friends!

Five more baby quilts.

Two lovely bunny rugs from Sue in South Australia:

Three from Ida, in Texas, USA. These cost Ida US$60 to post by air. This is more than generous - I can't find the best word to describe what I felt when I saw how much she had paid to send quilts to Australia for babies in P.N.G. Ken said we should email President Obama and let him know about the big hearted people in the biggest state :-)

Thank you Sue and Ida - I've also thanked them by direct email.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Quilts, quilts and more quilts.

I received an email from Yaso tonight in response to mine yesterday, showing her the first batch of quilts to arrive here.
Hi Gina,
could the quilt makers embroider their name, town & country on the side?? It would be so good for the recipients to know who they are and to have that on their quilts as well.
What I will attempt to do is also get the recipient's name - and also photo - and we can start to have a file of all these - for an exhibition/story down the track.
 I suggested to Yaso that I could make up labels on my computer, using a template so they are all the same, except for the individual's details.  This would be quick and easy for me to do, printing the labels onto fabric, and stitching them on to each quilt.  That way, they would all be easily identified as being made by this group of quilters from my blog, for whatever exhibition or story Yaso is thinking of doing.

I have been working on Ken's retirement (motorcycles pattern) quilt and the layers are all tacked together now, ready to be quilted and bound.  My friend Connie is coming over next Tuesday to help me set up the machine with its walking foot, and show me how to use it.  I was going to post progress photos here, but decided to wait until it was finished.  Then I'll get stuck into making some baby quilts!  It's been busy around here with other stuff holding me back from doing more sewing (have a look at my other blog for the Wilson household report, lol).  As well as all that going on, I've been doing more art than stitching over the past few months, but I hope to balance that out over the coming months.  Don't know how, but I'll try!  Ken says I have far too many hobbies and he can't see how I keep up with them all.  The answer to that is that I don't!

First lot of baby quilts have arrived.

Today I received a large Aust Post Satchel from Maria in Western Australia, stuffed with four beautiful baby quilts!  Ken was very touched when he saw them - he couldn't believe that somebody so far away would go to all that effort for people she had never met and probably never will meet.  I said that's what quilters do :-)
Here they are on the clothes line:

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Selling hand made craft items - read the advice on Joanne's blog.

I've noticed quite a few blog writers asking their readers for their opinions on selling their finished craft items.
It has been suggested to me that I sell some of mine, because they are 'cute' and would have wide appeal at a market stall.  Well, my answer is no - I don't want to sell any of my creations.   I made them for me because I think they are cute too!  I have given away a few things that I've made, and while not regretting it, I wished I could do them again, but I know I won't, because there are so many others I want to make.

Joanne over at Quilting Collecting And More has written a very informative post about the pros and cons of selling hand made crafts, either online or at markets.  If you are wondering whether or not to sell, and how to go about it if you decide to go ahead, do yourself a favour and read this post!