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

Saturday, December 09, 2017

More Christmas sewing.

I've been using up some Xmas stash.  This apron and the runner below is made from a panel which also included an oven mitt, but I gave that to someone else as I don't need another oven mitt!



Two coasters, one larger which will probably be used as a hot plate mat.
  The other side of the coasters.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Christmas Table Runner

I have just finished a gift for a non-sewing friend.  I made this table runner from fabrics that I had in my stash.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Doiley quilt.

So glad I decided to use the machine to sew the rest of my doiley blocks!  They are all done now, and are waiting for the November class at the Quilt Shop, when I will put them up on the design wall and decide what to use for the sashing and border.
My next projects are a couple of Christmas themed runners, place mats and coasters for friends. 
Thanks to those of you who expressed concern over my news of the bladder cancer.  It didn't take me long to recover from the operation, and I am back to my usual routines now, but for the coming six weeks I have to attend the hospital every Monday for two hours for bio immune therapy, to get rid of any remaining cancer cells.  I'm told that it doesn't take long and there are rarely any nasty side effects, as it isn't like chemo or radiation, but I'm sure I won't feel quite as energetic as I have been!  So if I don't post anything here for a while, it will only be because I'm a bit tired.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Update on my doiley quilt.

After meticulously handstitching doilies on to three blocks, I decided that was a crazy idea, and had a go at sewing the next couple of blocks by machine.  Much faster, and looks quite neat, so that is what I will be doing for the rest of them.
Funny to think I am doing this quilt in memory of a friend who died of cancer, and now I have just been diagnosed with cancer myself :-(   However, it is in the bladder, not an aggressive cancer, and I had the tumours removed last week without any problem.  My doctor assures me that it is quite a common cancer, and most people survive for many years once it has been treated.  Maybe I'd better make another doiley quilt when I've finished this one, just in case!

Clover shaped needle case.

I made this for a swap on the Home Makers Forum.  My nominated swap partner had mentioned a while ago that she would love to have one of those clover shaped needlecases, so I consulted Mr Google, downloaded a free pattern, and here  it is!   they are :-)
I made the Paris fabric one first as a trial to see how it turned out, and learnt a few things on the way, which made the second effort much more presentable in my eyes.




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?