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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Project list for the coming year.

 My friend Sharon gave me a little chicken shaped blackboard a few years ago, and I use it to keep track of my stitching and patchwork projects, writing them on it, and erasing each one as it is finished.  I did rather well in 2014, completing most of what I aimed to do.  I don't know yet if I will commit to another year of "One Xmas Project a Month", but it was fun, and I was pleased with myself for keeping up!  My last project for 2014 (apart from the Xmas ones)  was a table runner for a cyberspace friend, which will be a surprise for her, so I am hoping she doesn't read this blog, or the surprise factor will be shot, lol!

I found this gorgeous colourful fabric in an opshop and couldn't wait to use it.  There was about 3 metres, more than enough to make a runner for my friend and another for me :-)  One is slightly larger, and I've changed the border colours around a bit for each. Isn't it amazing what a difference the border colour makes to the main fabric!   I think the green border looks better, and that is the one I'll be sending to my friend.   I used the same backing for each one.  I finished these two today.

So what is on my new To Do list?  A cloth book for an autistic child, some more rooster coasters, 15 chook mug rugs for the girls on a forum I participate in, a bed runner for a friend interstate, and a hundred other things that I've seen in magazines and just have to do!  What is on your To Do list in 2015?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Memory miniquilt finished.

We invited two old friends to dinner on Saturday while we were all available this close to Christmas.  I had been procrastinating on the binding of the quilt I was making for H, so it was a scramble to get it finished in time to give it to her, but I made it without messing it up!  They loved it, and started reminiscing over the photos immediately!  It can be used as a table topper or a throw over the back of a couch or chair, so it will be interesting for me to see where they decide to use it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Projects in progress, other stuff.

Today my friend D came for afternoon tea, and I gave her the cushion that she had admired in my patchwork magazine. (the red robin cushion in an earlier post here).  She loved it!  I was so pleased because sometimes people will say something is nice, to be polite, then wonder why they are given the same thing down the track!  But although she didn't remember the magazine, she said it was the best Christmas present she would have this year :-)
She gave me a gift too, which she had seen in a craft shop and thought of me straight away (wonder why?)
I was equally delighted with this, and am looking for the right spot to hang it.

The 12 Christmas projects I've made during the year (thanks to Narelle's blog here) have been a bonus when it comes to impromptu gift giving.  Half of them have already gone to new homes, while I've kept some that I made for myself, and they are now decorating our house for the Christmas season.  I've been making some more items as well, with a non Christmas theme, but as gifts by request.  Remember those owl placemats I made for the Avicultural society hamper, that were snapped up by someone at the last meeting?  Well, I've made some chook coasters to replace the owls, and these are definitely going in the hamper.  If anyone wants them, they will have to buy tickets to win the hamper!

These were done in a hurry, as you can tell if you have a closer look!  I used up scraps of fabric left over from the chook bunting, and I didn't do a great job of binding, but the guys in the Avic. society won't be looking for stitching perfection, lol!

Then there is the memory quilt/wall hanging my friend Helen asked me to make after seeing what I'd done for other friends.  Inevitably it got left until the last minute, while I hummed and ha'd over which fabrics to use, but I finally decided on the theme fabric, which needed some matching colour homespun, so I got that last Saturday, and have been working flat out on it ever since.  Here is the top ready to be made up into a finished piece.  Once I've completed it, I will wait until Helen sees it and decides if she wants to hang it, or use it as a throw over a couch, or table centre.  If she wants to hang it, I will add a rod sleeve.

Finally I have also been making a table runner/centrepiece as a surprise gift for a cyberspace friend who sent me an unexpected gift some time ago.  I have since learned that she doesn't sew at all, but loves to see what others make.  I asked around among other ladies on the forum, and got an impression of her tastes, so hopefully she will like this when its finished.  I just need to add the remaining green borders, then pink binding to match the pink of the fabric.

I could have waited until I'd finished these last two items before photographing them and posting here, but it will all be done in a rush this week, and I might not have time to be back on here this side of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

More chook bunting, and a mug rug.

I had some flags left over from the bunting I made for our Chook house, so I made some more bunting for a friend.

When you cut fabric for bunting, you end up with a heap of odd triangles. What can one do with them? Made a mug rug of course!
For the back of the mug rug I used a piece of curtain material that I found in a remnants bin somewhere.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bunting for the new chook house.

The Down to Earth blog's author (Rhonda Hetzel) has a flock of chickens, and her husband built her a new chicken run some time ago.  I was amused by Rhonda's photos of the new coop decorated with bunting and other items!  So when we had our chook house built recently I decided to use up the scraps of chook fabric from my stash and make some bunting too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two projects finished.

I've been doing more paper craft lately, as a bit of a change from textiles, but I had to get working on my November Xmas project, which I finished today.  This cushion is for a friend who has terminal cancer.  She saw this magazine in my sewing room and said how cute the cushion was. 

She asked if it would be hard to make and I said no, not difficult at all.  It is felt applique on the background fabric with a few trims - easy! She doesn't know it yet, but this is to be her Christmas present, providing she lives that long...I had the spotted fabric in my stash, and even though it has little blue flowers on it, I decided to use it and not worry about buying more fabric for this project.

I borrowed this library book and have renewed it twice, so it had to go back today.   As usual I left it until the last minute to make what I wanted to before I returned it!  The owl coasters I made two weeks ago were from this book, and there were so many cute patterns in it, that I was tempted to buy myself a copy but decided not to add to my already bulging bookshelves..

I still wanted to make one more item though, and this was it:  A wire coat hanger dressed up with a felt cover, appliqued with felt flowers and a bit of stitching.  It is really cute.  I used felt as the pattern instructions suggested, but if I make any more, and I hope to - I'm going to use fabric, as I've got so much that isn't ideally suited to patchwork, but would be perfect for this!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Decorated supermarket bags, Owl coasters.

Once I've been doing some sewing, I get on a roll and do a few more things while the sewing machine is on the table.  Like most of us, I accumulate all kinds of 'green bags' in various colours, but I like to tart them up a bit and block out any brand names.  Today I had red bags from Bunnings and the Heart Foundation, so to give them a feel of Christmas, I added some motifs that were left over from a fabric panel that I had used for something else.  It was just a matter of cutting them out with pinking shears and machining them on to the bags.   When I give somebody a bag of goodies in the coming months, I'll use one of these bags which they can continue to use if they wish!

Ken is a member of the Avicultural (birds) Society and we usually attend their monthly meeting.  At the last meeting the president put out a call for donations for their annual Christmas hampers, asking for wine, biscuits, and the usual food items.  I asked his wife later if they would like some patchwork items such as coasters or placemats featuring birds, and she was very enthusiastic about that idea!  I have plenty of Aussie themed fabric, but none with Australian birds as I used it all a while ago.  But to make a start, I decided to make some coasters with the owl fabric I had, as most people like owls :-)   Cute?

Another Christmas project finished.

I started to stitch three kitten stitcheries back in August, intending to make a wall hanging for that month's Xmas OPAM, but I only got one kitten finished before I ran out of time.  September came and went, so I put my head down and bum up to get the Santa Paws project finished.
This is an awful reproduction.  I think my camera is stuffed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


...to the people who responded to my query about the number of readers here.  At least I know now that it is still visible to those who want to read it.  Back soon with some more stitching updates.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is anyone reading this blog?

I usually have a couple of comments on here after most posts, but haven't had any for a few days.  I've tweaked the settings of this blog and Patra's Other Place, so that they are now open to anybody to read, as they were previously so I'd like to know if readers are able to comment, even if they haven't lately.  Please just leave a comment on this post to let me know!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Not my own work, and very different!

I am a member of the Down To Earth forum, and the members have a lot of fun with exchanges and swaps during the year.  The patchwork tree I showed in the previous post went to Pam in South Australia, and this is what she sent to me in return:

I don't make dolls, in fact since I got rid of the dolls I had in my childhood, I've never had once since, up until now!  Pam named her doll "Chrissy" as she is a Christmas doll, and I adore her!  I took the first photo outside in the daylight to capture the colours, and then brought her inside to find the right spot for her to sit during the month of December.  Here she is on the table in our entrance hall, where she will be able to greet everyone who walks in the front door :-)

Another hand made item I received this week from another member of the DTE forum is a tea jumper.  Yes, a jumper, not a cosy.... There was a discussion thread about tea cosies, and 'Glenda' posted a photo of the teapot jumper she had knitted.  I fell in love with it and asked if she would make me one, and she did - aren't people generous?
Here is my Tea Jumper - isn't that the cutest thing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Christmas stuff.

I started a kitten stitchery for my September "One Xmas Project a Month" but it is taking me ages to finish the stitching.  It isn't difficult - just back stitch, for goodness sake!  But since I've taken on patchwork and quilting, hand embroidery seems to take forever by comparison.  I still enjoy the peaceful slowness of embroidery, but if I'm in a hurry to finish something, it slows down the end result.  So, to catch up with the One A Month blog, I threw a couple of quick patchwork projects together, and one of those served a dual purpose.  I committed myself to a swap on the Down To Earth forum, where we had to make our partner something crafty with a Christmas theme, so I made another Scrappy Patchwork Tree for the exchange.  I made one earlier this year, and used it as a Kris Kringle gift at a Christmas In July party.  The recipient loved it, so I thought it would be worth while to make another one. 

The front is the patchwork squares, and they are embellished with sequins and beads at the corners of each square, although it can't be seen in this photo.  I used a cute fabric for the back so it can be used to display either side.

As I was in the mood to keep going with quick result projects, I made up this placemat based on a project in a Country Threads Christmas special magazine.  There is a matching tea cosy, but I won't be doing that.

I think I made an error of judgement in combining two fabrics for the border.  I had them left over from a previous project and decided to join them up to made the border for this.  It doesn't look as bad in 'real life' and when I put it on the hall table to see how it looked, you would hardly notice the edge.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Update on the PNG Quilt Collective blog.

My husband's cousin Yaso has emailed me with a report on her recent trip to Papua New Guinea, and the distribution of more of the quilts donated by many generous readers of my blog (and others that I know outside of the blogging world).  If you would like to read it, just select the link on the sidebar here for the PNG Quilt Collective.

I've got half a dozen projects on the go at the moment, and hope to finish some of them in the next day or so, and will post some photos then.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A little less blogging.

I see on my dashboard that there are still about 60 people following this blog - I don't know why they bother!  I have cut down my blogging time for a number of reasons, the main reason being lack of time due to other things happening in my life (all good!).   So I have 'retired' some of my blogs for now - they are still out there in cyberspace, but I won't be updating them unless there is something in particular I want to put out there.  

I will keep this blog going because it serves the purpose of keeping a record of my stitching and patchwork projects, which is useful at time to refer to.  However, I have deleted a number of blogs from the sidebar because again, I don't have time to look at them all, and have only kept the blogs that have special meaning because they are personal friends, or I have been reading them for many years.

With all the work going on at our house, my sewing time is much less than I would like, so I've only been keeping up with the One Xmas Project a Month challenge, and a few PNG baby quilts, which doesn't provide much eye candy for my blog!  Anyway, just thought I would let those of you who read this blog know what is happening.  Most people seem to use Facebook and Twitter these days, but I don't.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Two small quilt projects finished.

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of two baby quilt tops I'd made using pretty sheets.  I've now made one of them into a quilt for the PNG Quilt Collective, and used some very thick wadding, so it will keep one tiny bubs very warm in the near future!  For the binding, I used a technique described by Jane on her blog recently when she wrote about a quilt she'd made, bringing the backing around to the front and stitching it down.  I did this one in reverse, taking the edge of the front border around to the back and sewing it.

I have also done the binding and back of the small Xmas quilt I'd been working on, and am very pleased with the way it has turned out.  It is great to use up the bits and pieces in the stash.  The white fabric sashing is actually curtain or upholstery fabric, quite thick cotton or polyester with a design woven into the fabric.  I was given a huge piece of it and discovered it was perfect to use on all kinds of Xmas projects.
The backing doesn't show up very well in the photo below; it is a lovely vibrant pattern with cherries, berries and bright green leaves.  Not a Xmas theme, but the colours are perfect.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An orange block and a Christmas quilt.

Do you look through magazines and books, dreaming about all the quilts you will make some day?  I have a bad habit of borrowing quilting books from the library, poring over them for two weeks, then realising I only have a week left before having to return  them, and I haven't even started to make anything, let alone try to copy a pattern for future reference.  So I have to make a quick decision - look for the book on eBay or Amazon to buy a copy for myself, or work really fast to make up a block that I like!

The library book was due back on Saturday and I had decided there wasn't enough in it to warrant buying a copy, so on Friday night I made up a block which is a mini version of one of the quilt designs I liked.  It is simply cutting strips and sewing them together until you have the length you want.  But this is done twice so you have two rows of strips.  They are sewn together without sashing, and a border added.  I ended up with three rows instead of two for my block, as I used as much as possible of the stash in my box of orange/brown scraps and decided to do it this way.  I'm quite pleased with the way it has turned out, for something done on the run.  And now I have a reference point for a future quilt in that pattern.

Also on Friday night, I added a border to the Xmas quilt/throw I've been doing for my monthly Xmas Item project.  This also used old Xmas fabrics I'd had for years, and that I simply wanted to get rid of from my Xmas fabric stash before I buy new materials.  The border in particular is a very old patchwork fabric that I found at an opshop about 5 years ago, and could never make up my mind what to use it for.  All I have to do now is make it up with batting, backing and binding, and it will be added to my box of Xmas goodies.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

More small quilts.

I've just finished two more baby quilts, and made two quilt fronts, mostly from old sheets bought at opshops.  I used brushed cotton for the backing, and have never had to buy it from a retail store, as for some reason a lot of brushed cotton ends up in opshops, so I snap it up.
The cover of this green quilt is part of a sheet.  I've quilted in circles around the flowers and bound it in a plain green cotton from my stash.

Here are the three I've just finished.  The two on top are made from two different sheets. One quilt is much thicker than the the other because I've used different batting in each.  Like brushed cotton, batting (wadding) also turns up in opshops frequently, so I grab that too.  But I've just about run out of my opshop stash, and had to buy some last week!

These two flimsies are made from a floral sheet and some purple and white patchwork fabric from my stash.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Invitation to a craft show.

My brother has just emailed me to ask if I would like to submit some of my work for his church art and craft show at the end of this month.  I said I would love to, and suggested that as it is a church activity, I should submit the items I've been making for the One Xmas Item A Month blog.  I've already given one away as an early Xmas gift, but it was such a simple design I can always run up another one by 28th August.

Last week I went to the CWA Craft show over at South Morang.  It was absolutely stunning - just as good as any regional show I've seen, as it included just about every craft you can name, including cake decorating, patchwork and quilting, all kinds of embroidery, crochet, knitting, tatting, and painting.  I took about 60 photos and keep meaning to load them on to my Needlecraft shows blog, but haven't got around to it yet.

I've been making some baby quilts for the Box Hill Hospital premmie babies after a friend told me she was knitting beanies for them, but her group didn't know anyone who could make quilts, so I put my hand up... I'll just add them to my PNG quota!   All good experience.

The Embroiderers Guild have their annual exhibition on at the moment - running from August 9 to 24.  I'll be working there this Sunday, doing stitching demonstrations in the morning, and manning the Gift Shop in the afternoon.  If you are planning to visit the exhibition, please come and say hi!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Baby quilt for PNG quilt collective

I just posted this to the PNG quilt collective blog, but as I'll be working on these for a while now to try and build up my contribution to the Collective, I'll update this blog too.  Sue N. gave me a huge stash of fabric for this purpose quite a while ago, when she could have easily kept it herself to make her quilts for Aussie Heroes, so I think it is about time I got serious and started using it up!
I posted a photo here a while ago showing what I'd done with these fabrics, but I hadn't got around to making up the actual quilts until now.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Another Xmas project finished.

I was running late again with my "One Xmas Item A Month" project for July, but finally got it all finished tonight.
You can see it here One Xmas Project

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some new embroidered items.

I found this lovely set in our opshop last week: traycloth with matching napkin and sandwich tray doiley.

 Today the postman brought me a parcel I'd been expecting from Kathleen in the USA who does the most exquisite embroidery, and sells some of it both online and in her 'bricks and mortar' shop at her home.  I would love to visit her shop but as I can't I'm just glad she sells her linens online as well!  When I saw these matching teatowels on her blog I emailed her immediately, begging her to put them aside for me!  And now they will be gracing my kitchen : - )  Thank you again, dear friend.

Finally, I've been doing a bit of stitching myself, just quick and easy back stitch for a table runner that I'm doing for the One Xmas Project A Month blog.  I've got a large stash of Xmas fabrics, but wouldn't you know it, I need to buy a bit more to match the fabric I've chosen to surround these stitcheries.  Hope to get to Darn Cheap Fabric in Heidelberg tomorrow, and find what I want.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hand stitched tea towel.

On the Down To Earth Forum we are having another fun swap. This one was for tea towels or hand towels, which could be hand made or purchased if the participant didn't have the time or skill to make one. I chose to embroider a vintage linen tea towel, using a vintage transfer that I had.  It is all worked in back stitch.  The lettering is a bit wonky; do you think it looks more like Classes than Glasses? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tatting Torture continued.

This is a sample of Tatting:

This is as far as I got: