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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Crazy Cats table runner

I put the last stitches in the binding tonight.  Another small project out of the way!


Sunday, October 01, 2017

Two Bunnies stitchery

I have several friends who love rabbits, so when I saw this free pattern online I immediately thought of doing one for a Christmas gift.   I love the current fad for framing little embroideries in hoops, and as this design was already circular, and I had a stack of hoops in my stash...

It only took about an hour to stitch, over two days as a break from sewing doilies on to blocks, and it is one less Christmas gift to think about.


Doiley quilt blocks

I have made a good start on the doiley quilt.  I have cut 21 blocks 12" square, and pinned two or three doilies (depending on their size) to each block.  I am hand stitching them to the background, around the edge where the crochet meets the linen.  The blocks will be joined in rows, but I haven't yet decided whether to join them up as they are, or use a sashing in between.  My SIL and her hubby were visiting us yesterday, and were admiring the blocks I've done so far.  I mentioned the sashing, and we mulled over the choice of white or ecru, or coloured, and looking at the all the embroidered colours, we couldn't agree on what colour sashing would look best.  The tablecloth on the kitchen table at the time had a pale aqua border, and one of my blocks was sitting on top of it, showing a bit of  the aqua next to the block.  Ken pointed to it and said 'that looks nice' and he was right - it looked perfect!  But I've got a long way to go before I even think about sashing yet, so no firm decision has been made.
Here are four blocks.  They are on the dark carpet so it isn't a good photo, but it gives you an idea.
The background fabric is a pale cream with a simple floral pattern in a denser shade.  It looks quite contrasty here, but isn't so bad when you see the actual fabric. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Scrappy quilt completed

I finally got around to finishing the scrappy quilt that had been lying on my sewing table for weeks while I messed around with other more interesting things!  I used white to bind it, and pink flannelette for the backing.  I've got heaps of this childrens design flannelette from when I was making quilts for the babies in Papua New Guinea, but sadly, that project seems to have fizzled out due to the astronomical cost of transporting the quilts to PNG, then getting them overland to the highlands where the natives live.   So I suppose I can continue to make baby/childrens quilts from time to time, to use up that flannelette!


One of the other projects I was messing around with was a table runner using some cat fabric that was given to me by my lovely friend Sylvia in NSW who is a cat lover as well as a collector of Royalty memorabilia.  Her blog is here.  I hope she sees this - she sent me a heap of cat fabrics and I have been slowly using them up for various projects, but still have a lot left in my stash:-)
This is the top, which only needs backing and binding to finish it.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Damaged linens mat finished

I don't know what to call this, and I don't know what I will do with it!  It measures 28" x 19".  It was just an experiment to see what could be done with damaged linens.  Those that are stained, torn, or worn beyond repair.  I just took the good bits, framed each piece and joined them all together to make a 'mini quilt'.  More of a wall hanging size, but I'm not going to hang it anywhere.  Mostly likely it will be put on the coffee table for a while, then folded up and put into the cupboard where all my other completed sewing projects live, that aren't out on display anywhere.



Embroidered tablecloths.

Here are some more of the linens that were given to me recently:



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Vintage Linens

It has been ages since I posted photos of vintage linens here; in fact without looking back, I think the last time was when I inherited several boxes of linens from my friend Denise who died last year.
Since then I have been given some more, but even though I wash and press them within days of getting any, it can be months before I get around to photographing them!  Here are some doilies that I was given recently:







There are more from the same lady, but I will post them in the next day or so - the crocheted and lace doilies.  There are also tablecloths and teatowels, still to be photographed.
While on the subject of doilies, I have finally made a start on the doiley quilt for the Olivia Newton-John Centre.  I bought the background fabric last week at The Quilt Shop, and cut it into blocks, then started pinning doilies on to the blocks ready to hand sew.  I think it is going to be rather lovely!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What does one do with damaged linens?

I would never dream of cutting up any of my precious linen collection to make something else!  But people do, and they can be very creative too.  I even find it hard to part with finely embroidered items that have substantial damage to them, and I have had a stack of them in a bag for some years, waiting for inspiration.  Enter Pinterest :-)  After finding dozens of ideas there, I printed off some examples, and decided on one style.  It meant cutting the best embroidered bits off my linens, into pieces all the same size.  Sometimes the remaining stitching was too small, so I joined two bits together to come up with the size I wanted (4" x 5.5'").   Next, I pulled out some fabrics from my stash of small pieces, and cut 1.5 inch strips to match the embroidery patches.  I sewed the strips at the bottom, then along one side of each piece, to give me these:

I have since sewn them together and put a pale blue border around it, which looks very sweet.  Once I put a back on it and bind it with a darker blue material, I will post another photo.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Updated photo of finished table runners in Japanese fabric.



Just remembered that the previous photo of the table runner didn't have the binding done on it.  So there they are together, and the second photo of course is the back of them.

Strippy block quilt top.

Remember those strips I was making into blocks last month?  Well, I finally ran out of strips which was such a good feeling to see the scraps bin reduced in size!  I took the blocks to the Quilt Shop and moved them around on the design wall in several configurations before I decided to make them up like this.  Our tutor said it was boring and I should have mixed them up, but when I tried doing that, I wasn't happy with the result, so boring it is!   (she wasn't being rude by the way - she is is very creative and helpful - and honest!).  Now, what to use for a border....I saw a similar quilt on Pinterest, and it had no border at all, just made up as a quilt as it was.
Any suggestions?


Rabbit cushion

My friend Glenda gave me a length of rabbit fabric some time ago when she was having a cleanout.  She said she had intended to use it but never got around to it, so I may as well have it.  I offered to make something for her using the fabric, and she was delighted when I presented her with this cushion for her birthday yesterday!  I used a dark pink for the first narrow border, and a light green for the outside border, as both colours are in the background of the rabbits.  I used a paler pink fabric for the back of the cushion.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Using up leftover Japanese fabrics

I really should make more of an effort to keep this blog up to date!  I will be picking up some vintage linens from a friend next week, all going well, so there may be something worth posting here then.  In the meantime, I have made two table runners, or mats, with the fabric left over after I made my Japanese quilt.
This one will be going to Aiko, my friend in Japan who sent me the fabric last year.


These photos were taken on different days, hence the difference in tones.  The second photo shows the colours of the fabrics much better.  It will be a runner for the coffee table in our lounge room, and will complement the quilt which is on the couch nearby.  I still have to put the backing on it and bind it, and plan to use the same binding as in the first photo, as I have just enough fabric left to do it!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Scrap Strippy blocks

In between decluttering and tidying up my stash, I browsed Pinterest to see what other quilters do with the scraps left over from finished quilt projects.  I have a box of scraps cut into squares and rectangles simply because it is easier to keep them tidy, and a tub of strips.  The squares I can always find a use for, and I kept thinking I could use the strips to bind a new project but of course the reality is that whenever you bind a quilted project of any size, you don't use leftovers - you cut a whole new length of binding to suit the project!  So what was I to do with this tub of strips?

Make a strippy quilt!  I found many ways of utilising strips, but I liked this one best.  Sew strips on a background of interfacing.

When all the strips in one colour range have been used up on squares of interfacing...

Trim them all to the same size, and put aside until a decision is made what to do with them :-)

Now I am working on squares using all the red/red patterned strips in my bucket.


Japanese quilt and more.

My Japanese quilt has been beautifully quilted by Jenny Jameson at Sunrise Quilting in Diamond Creek, and is now on show over the back of our couch in the lounge room.

Even Tiger seems impressed, checking out the back of it as I flipped it over.  The backing fabric is from The Quilt Shop in Eltham, where Alison and Sharon are always ready to provide advice and suggestions, as well as selling fabric from their incredible range!


But it looks like this won't be the last Japanese fabric quilt I make.  My generous friend Aiko in Tokyo has just sent me another parcel of materials - completely different from the above.  Traditional day Kimono fabrics in indigo, stripes and browns.  At first glance I thought What????  but after going through my Japanese quilting books, I can see the potential.  Watch this space, but don't hold your breath - LOL!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Table runner and Mat completed.

My Japanese quilt is at Sunrise Quilting in Diamond Creek, with Jenny Jameson, who did such a superb job with my Handkerchief quilt, I have no hesitation in going back to her with a second quilting job.  Can't wait to get it back - hopefully next week!

In the meantime, I finished two small projects this weekend.  The table runner and the bear mat that I mentioned in the previous post.
I think my friend Glenda will be very happy with her Bear mat, and she will be able to flip it over and use the other more colourful side as well.


If my hairdresser doesn't want this runner for her holiday house, I will be happy to keep it!


Monday, May 29, 2017

Projects waiting in the wings.

Now that I have the majority of my fabric stash  sorted out, I can get on with sewing some items that have been waiting for me to find suitable bits to complete them.   Looking back at my post in April, I made an experimental block in scrap fabrics to see what the design I had chosen for the Japanese quilt might look like.  Today I added a navy blue border to match the sashing, and pulled out a dark blue and aqua fish fabric to use as the backing.  This is going to be a coffee table runner for a friend who has recently bought a holiday house near the sea, and as she doesn't sew,  I think she will like this.  If not, I'll keep it for myself - LOL!

I made a throw and two cushions for myself a while ago, and used another piece of the same animal fabric to make a rabbit cushion for a friend.  She loved it, and also liked the bear in the same design.  I'm not into bears at all really, so I am going to make this last piece into a place mat for her.


Can't remember where I got this cat fabric from - possibly the opshop, but could have been given to me by a catloving friend.  I've been meaning to do something with it for ages, and tonight I pulled some fabrics from my scraps box to preview with the cats, prior to making a table mat or runner.


So!  What is everyone else up to?

Decluttering.

It is nice to have my missing mojo back.  When I was so indecisive about what to do with the Japanese materials, everything else went on hold too.  One of the things that was really bugging me was the mess my little craft room had got into.  It is only a small bedroom, but I have four bookcases, a filing cabinet, a cabinet holding art stuff, a desk and a cutting table crammed into it, along with boxes of fabric and other craft on the floor because the wardrobe (which has shelves added into it) is crammed with fabrics and sewing notions.

Fabric was spilling out of boxes and the cupboard bulged.  I completely lost track of what I had, and instead of searching for a suitable material for a project, I would simply buy more (great for the Quilt Shop, not so good for my credit card...).  So I decided it was time to declutter.  When surfing Pinterest one day I found a great way of folding any size fabric so it all ended up the same size and could be stacked into a neat pile.  You just cut a template out of cardboard, the size of the box or shelf where you store your fabric, and wind each piece of fabric around it until it fits the template.  I spent nearly a week unfolding, ironing, and trimming boxes of fabrics, and refolding them, and what a difference!  I think I've deleted the "before"photos, but this is what two of  my boxes look like now.
The reason the first lot are in plastic bags is because they are different 'themed' fabrics, ie chooks, cats, teacups, Australiana, etc. and I want to keep them separated so I can pull out a collection without disturbing the rest.


I am so pleased to have my solid colours sorted out!  I didn't realise how many different colours I had, they were in such a mess!

I have two more tidy boxes as well as these, but still have the wardrobe stash to sort out, which is going to be a big job, as the fabrics in there are yardage, not small pieces like fat quarters or half yards.

Japanese fabric Quilt top

Back in April, I wrote a post here about my plans for the fabric my Japanese friend sent me last year.  I had finally got around to cutting them into the sizes I needed to make the blocks, and last Thursday night I took them to the Quilt Shop class, and with the help of our tutor Leanne, and the other people who were there, I moved the pieces around on the design wall until we were all satisfied with the way it looked.  When I got home I couldn't wait to start joining them up, but had to cut the black sashing first, so contented myself with doing that, otherwise I would have been up all night!   The next day I sewed it all together, and am delighted with the result :-)


My next question was whether or not to add a border using the scraps left over from the coloured fabrics, but after discussing it with Ken, several quilter friends, and looking on Pinterest at what others have done, I decided to leave it as it is.  I bought some backing fabric at the Quilt Shop today, and phoned Jenny at Sunrise Quilts, the lady who did such a wonderful job quilting my handkerchief quilt.  I am taking it to her on Thursday, and am looking forward to seeing what she does, as my limited quilting skills (mostly ''in the ditch") won't do those beautiful fabrics justice.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Folded Patchwork coasters

There is a new forum up and running on the internet, called The Home Makers' Forum.  It is basically  about making our houses homely, via cooking, sewing, gardening, and looking after our health.  The members post ideas and opinions on the various categories so we can all share in each other's knowledge and tips.  One of the members challenged us to make these folded patchwork coasters, and posted this link to get us started:
Craft Genie's coasters
We were only supposed to make the initial square coaster, but when I looked further in to the Youtube site and saw all those cute coasters, I had to try them all, didn't I?!
They've been around a long time; in fact I've had some given to me in the past and wondered how they were made.  Well, now that I know, guess what I will be making closer to Christmas?
These are the front:


And this is the back.

Making a start on Japanese fabric quilt.

No, I haven't actually started it yet.  But with the help of my tutor Leanne at The Quilt Shop here in Eltham, I've decided on the pattern I will use to cut out and make up my beautiful fabrics.  It is based on a photo I saved on my Pinterest account, and Leanne spent a lot of time trying to figure out the measurements based on the photo, as of course, there was no pattern!  She concluded that it would be easier if we adjusted the pattern slightly to  suit what I wanted to do with my fabrics, then she worked out the measurements.  She suggested that I make templates, and cut out the shapes from other fabric in my stash, then sew them together to make sure I've got it right, rather than cut the Japanese fabrics and risk making a mistake. I'm so glad I did this, because even though I cut the square and rectangles correctly, I cut the sashing too narrow (1" instead of 1.5"), which meant  I had to cut the whole lot back half an inch all round to make it work!  There will be four blocks like this, although depending on how they look when I line them up, if I have enough fabric, I might make a fifth block to make the quilt a bit longer.


I think it looks good, and am now looking forward to cutting the "real thing"  next week at the Quilt Shop. I could do it at home, but there is so much more room to spread everything out there, instead of the small folding table I use at home.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Mini quilt and mini cross stitch finished.

I haven't done much at all this year really.  Not as much as I'd like to have, considering the amount of fabric and embroidery kits etc. in my stash.  But I got around to finishing my Owl Tree mini quilt, which may end up hanging on a wall some day.  For the moment it is tucked away in the cabinet where I now keep all my finished patchwork projects.  At least they have a home and I can find them quickly if I want to show anyone.


My friend Val suggested recently that we should get together and do some cross stitching, as it has been ages since either of us did that.  So I rummaged around in my UFO cross stitches box and found something that I figured I would be able to complete.  I will be showing Val this when we meet up next week, and I have made her promise to show me the cross stitch item she started :-)