Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday - what have I done!!

I have been away on my own little sewing retreat this week. Not officially but it is how I billed it for myself.

I have been staying at my friend Suzy's place at the beach at Yeppoon whilst she is away at Presbytery and then at a minister's retreat. I have been cat sitting the magnificent Patrick for her. When Suzy went away a couple of months ago she put Patrick at a cattery and he escaped and was missing for 12 long days. This was really tough on Suzy and everyone who is  her friend because we know how special Patrick is to her. It was a real blessing that eventually he was recaptured not far from where he escaped. I was with her when she got the news that he was found - such a special place to be.

Anyway  - I have had to suffer here at the beach for 5 days :) although I am going home today.

I went for a walk on Sunday in Emu Park including visiting the Singing Ship and the New Commemorative Walkway.

I put this one in so you wouldn't get too jealous just to show you we did get some less than sunny weather... but it was only sea mist and only lasted 10 minutes 

I tried to find a link to information on the Commemorative Walkway but it is so new (only opened this year for Centenary of Anzac) that there isn't much on official pages.This was about the best I could come up with


Zipper Pouches. I sewed 10 of these little pouches (See my stash report here for more details) I was so pleased with how they have turned out although must admit I am still looking for the split rings to thread onto the tabs

I also sewed a biigger boxy pouch. I got the dimensions a bit wrong and it looks a bit weird. I haven't photographed it yet so stay tuned... perhaps in the stash report.

Going Green. I cut rectangles from green fabric and white squares to work on the border for the quilt. I calculated that I would need 118 flying geese which is 236 squares. I've managed to get them all done over a couple of days. Last night I was sewing downstairs and watching tv upstairs. I'd dash down stairs in the ad breaks and sew then go back upstairs when the show came back on and snip and press the completed sides. I trimmed the excess fabric off from behind the flying geese having sewn an extra seam first meaning I had little hst. Tonight my friend Suzy was back home and we watched tv together. I'd finished stitching the blocks earlier this afternoon so just had the final snipping and pressing to do... so no crazy stair climbing in the breaks. (I am sure Suzy and Patrick were both relieved)
The finished flying geese... doesn't look much but there are 118 of them!

The ziplock bag full of the little hsts. I will find a way to incorporate them into the quilt too I am sure. I can feel another border coming on... perhaps a bunch of little pinwheels. I love pinwheels

Pink Pizzazz I bought the borders with me. I had made them last week at Patchwork group. Usually I only work on them up at the patchwork rooms - its my Wednesday project  but knowing I would be away this week I bought it home to get it finished.
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The borders seem to be a bit wavy in the photo. I'll have to check that out when I get home. Don't you love my feet in this one :)
I am feeling frustrated because I had planned to bring my Amy Gibson BOM project with me to work on but left the box at home with all the fabric in it. I also planned to work on a bag I want to make as a birthday gift for a friend but forgot the fabric for that too. Its all neatly packed up ready to bring on the cutting table at home. Grrrrr

I also got to hang out with 2 lots of lovely quilting friends. On Monday I caught up with 3 friends from Patch n Peace. I showed them Crop Circles and they were delighted to see it. They especially loved the quilting done by my friend Kym. 

Tuesday I caught up with another friend who used to live in my town but has moved to Yeppoon. It was great

The impetus behind me staying on for these extra days was that I had an appointment to see a specialist today about a small lesion on my cheek. The surgeon thinks it is nothing really but given that it has changed size over the last 6 months - growing then getting smaller - so small now its ridiculous - he has suggested I get it taken off and I have agreed. So I'll be back next month and I can do it all again!!!

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stash Report

Its been another week of little projects finished.

A fellow Twilter DDR (I don't know her name or even what DDR stands for ! -now know the D is for Dianne) had tweeted a link pattern from Dog Under my Desk. The pattern was for this Earbud Pouch tutorial. 

It looked really cute and easy. Better still it used small zips. I bought a bundle of zips on eBay a few months back. The bundle included 12x7" zips which I had yet to find a useful pattern for. This was perfect. I didn't bother to print out the pattern sheet as I had decided that I would make my pouches from the contents of my 5" squares scrap draw. Using my compass I drew 2 x 5" circles on paper and cut one in half to be my pattern. I think the circles in the tutorial were smaller but I hate wasting fabric and figured that if the pouches were a little bigger then they could be coin purses or whatever.

I sewed 2 of the pouches during the week and have 10 more cut out ready to go. I don't have any rings to slip over the tab at the moment but will see if I can source them

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Each pouch uses 4 x 5" squares and 2"x3" rectangle so not big fabric use but cute non the less. Used .12m

I made a boxy pouch during the week as well. 
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I used plastic back curtaining for the outside of this one which will make it water resistant on the outside I hope Used  .3m

My daughter Fangirl asked me to make a cross stitch she had designed and stitched into a wall hanging. The pattern is available here from her Etsy shop here. It used .39m of fabric

My other stash usage for the week has been 6 hearts for 3 quilts for the children of a friend who died from cancer recently. She was a member of an online community I am part of and we are making these quilts for her 3 children aged 10 - 19. As well as my own 3 (below right)  I made the heart blocks for another member of our group (below left) who is not a crafter (who had been sick herself and feeling really snowed under). She sent me the fabric to use for her hearts. I supplied the background fabrics for her hearts. Don't you love the aboriginal print fabric she sourced? Used .24m


I had to go to Spotlight on Friday to get some vliesofix for the applique and whilst I was there I found some lovely Australian fabric so I bought half a metre of it. That was my only purchase for the week. Bought .51m

So my stats are

Week 30

         Fabric Used                     1.01m

         Fabric Added                   0.51m

Year To Date

         Fabric Used                    97.75m
         Fabric Added                  36.64m
         Net Used/Added             61.11m   

As a side issue I just looked at my excel spread sheet on which I record my finished projects and purchases. I am up to line 69 on my projects made page - and some of those line entries are for multiple things (but usually things like 6 hearts, or 10 serivettes or 2 boxy  bags) I am only up to line 19 on my fabric purchases sheet. Admittedly some of them were for fat quarter bundles but still - I like that I am running over 3 to 1 projects to purchases.     

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Another weeks seems to have gone whizzing by. I have been dipping in and out of various projects.

On the home front I have studiously ignored Playing in the Sunshine. Its pinned ready to quilt but I am avoiding it. So much so that I even started a new top. I blogged about it yesterday in "Going Green" I was showing my husband the quilt last night as it was on my design wall. While he'd been out I had cut the set in triangles to complete the on point design. "Aren't you taking the four patches all the way through" he asked. I had made it according to the pattern but his comment prompted me to have another look and think and I decided I really liked his idea. It did mean I had to make another 32 four patches, which also meant I had to cut a few more 2" squares in order to keep the green overtones going through to the edge. It also means I have to cut more white squares..

I was able to cut all the squares from the white triangles and some of the set in triangles. I didn't take the squares right to the edge of the quilt but like the bit of extra that I did do.

I was at Handmade Love yesterday and gave them the hanging towels I had made... well all but the 2 that still need press studs. I ran out, bought some more but do you think I can find the packet with 2 cards of press studs in it. Aggravating. I had planned to finish them off whilst we were gathered together but instead I sewed a casserole carrier. It was so easy that I got it done in a morning.

Came home and then in the afternoon made a boxy zipper pouch for the stall we are having in 2 weeks as well. I am hoping to get a few more pouches made this week. I used a new pattern I found via Pinterest but to be honest if I hadn't know what I was doing I would have been in a bit of trouble. It wasn't really a beginner pattern. I am not sure about the two loops

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Today at Patchwork group I worked on putting our latest community quilt together. I got the 9 centre squares together in a nine patch arrangement with white 1.5" finished sashing in between each block and around the outside. I have the borders made but not attached. These are also white - 5" borders with a pinwheel in each corner and in the centre of each side. It will only be 50" square to finish so might have to add something more to it. Thinking I will call it Pink Pizzazz. Or maybe Pink Pinwheels... all my quilts have to have a name.

I am going away for a few days to the coast to mind a cat I am very fond of. Its a rather long story and has lots of changes and ups and downs. Originally I was going to be away with my husband for 5 days but through various commitments we both have we are both going to be away but we are travelling separately and he is going to be gone Friday to Sunday and I am going to be away Saturday to Wednesday. I have a doctors appointment on the Tuesday with a specialist but that is my only commitment aside from feeding Patrick the Cat. I am going to be meeting up with some quilting friends for morning tea and lunch whilst I am there but the rest of the time I am free to do my own thing and that means.... lots of sewing time.

I am starting to organise various projects to take away with me. So far I have

  • Pink Pizzazz with the borders to be attached and backing fabric bits that could be put together
  • Going Green - attach the set in triangles and then sew rows together
  • Birthday bag for a friend to be made
  • Heart blocks to be made
  • Zipper Pouches for Handmade Love stall to be made
I don't think I am going to be bored. Nor am I likely to get everything done but I can have a red hot go at it!!

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Monday, July 20, 2015

Going Green

I've just joined Bonnie Hunters Facebook group Quiltville's Open Studio. She is a prolific poster (and sometimes she posts twice cause she must have her instagram account linked and so what she puts there also comes across to Facebook)

She has put up several links to several free scrappy quilt patterns from other bloggers/designers. I enjoyed checking them out and have downloaded the patterns to my one day file. Some of the downloading was easy... there was that option offered. But for others I copied and pasted the patterns to a word document and saved it that way. I have included the designer and the website where I got it from in the document. Gotta give the credit to where it is due.

I was itching to get started on one of them immediately and chose this is the one I do first. Its from Little Miss Shabby

I like the on point setting


Her pattern used 2.5" or 2x1.5" squares. After "Playing in Sunshine" I didn't have  many 2.5" squares left so decided to do it in 2" squares. That meant the white squares were 3.5" square instead.  I decided to feature green squares (just like in Playing in Sunshine I featured yellow squares) and this meant that one in almost every pair of squares was a green or had green in it. I say just about cause I didn't decide to feature green till I had already sewn 20 or so. 

Because the squares I am using are smaller than the pattern the overall quilt is going to be smaller so I decided to add another row and because its on the diagonal this actually meant 2 rows... It meant that instead of 18 blocks I needed 32 blocks. Because I wanted the green to dominate the quilt I had to cut a few more green squares from my 2" strips but apart from that the squares came from my stash. I avoided using blue squares because I hope to make a quilt featuring the blue squares some time. I didn't use white or cream either as I was using white for the bigger squares.
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Ready to assemble I had to put a white squared strip either side of the 3 x four patch strips. Its a bit embarrassing to admit that I had to unpick a few cause I put the 4 patch strips either side of a white square strip... In one case I unpicked the mistake only to sew it straight back on incorrectly again. Grr.
Looking at the pattern I have been working out how I could have sewn it in strips. Instead of having lots of 3.5" white squares that end up as 6" squares when the blocks are sewn together I could have cut 6.5" white squares and assembled the quilt as one big block - sewing the 2" squares into strips of the required length ie 9 pairs, 27 pairs, 45 pairs etc plus  lots of 4 pairs and put the thing together in stips... not sure if I am making sense but I know what I mean. I think I made my 2nd quilt something like that... oh so many years ago!

As of tonight I have all the blocks assembled and on my design wall. I still have to cut out the set in triangles. At the moment I am calling this quilt Going Green

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Stash

After my big hit last week  I was worried that this week's usage was going to seem meagre in comparison. However one way and another the yardage used this week has slowly increased.

I made a 12" block to into a community quilt that our group is making. I'll be putting it together as well no doubt. It will be my third one for the year. I don't think we have any more blocks to go together although I will check. I quite enjoy the challenge of putting the blocks together and especially fitting in little left over bits into the borders etc. This time we have 9 pinwheels made from hst made from the trimmings of the flying geese blocks.

Before I made the extra block and the extra pinwheels

We finished putting together the top for Newspaper Mama last week and this week at Patchwork I pieced a backing for it from my own stash. I also contributed some extra fabric for the borders on the top and have given them fabric for the binding. I am not sure if I am going to be the one to put the binding on but at the moment I am counting my contribution as finished and that way I can count the fabric I donated. 3.96m

I can't see where I have counted in the other blocks that I have made for these community quilts... the ones for the blue and white one either. So I've counted the yardage for all of them too. 5.12m (Incl Newspaper Mama)

I need to get on and quilt Playing in Sunshine, my latest scrappy quilt. Its been pinned and ready to go since Wednesday but I just haven't felt the mojo to get started with it. Perhaps this week... tomorrow even. But so far not feeling the mojo.

I've made some more hanging kitchen towels. Each one only uses 2 10" squares (and even then there is some left over). Some of the fabric I used came from the stash we have at Handmade Love so since I didn't count that in I can't count it out. Still the fabric I contributed does slowly add up... I have made a total of 13 hanging towels, half of which I used my own fabric. .58m

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I thought I had another week of no fabric additions but when I was sorting through some stiffening I had bought at Spotlight a month ago I found 3 fat quarters I had also purchased.. whoops. So they have gone into this weeks Stash addition. That's .77m (yeah you would think that it would just be .75 but because the fabric is 110cm wide.....)

So my stats are

Week 29

         Fabric Used                     5.70m
         Fabric Added                   0.77m

Year To Date
         Fabric Used                    96.71m
         Fabric Added                  36.12m
         Net Used/Added             60.58m        

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I remembered what I forgot

 I remembered the other thing I need to add to my July goals.

I have to make 3 blocks to go into quilts a group I am in is making for the children of a friend who died recently. We are a non quilting group but we have made these quilts as joint projects when there has been a significant bereavement (a child, or partner). This is the first time we have lost one of our own. We are spread around the country and so the co-ordination of the squares can get to be mind boggling. In the past I have been one of the coordinators of the quilts (the first one we made was my idea ) and I have also been the quilter of a few of them. This time I am not as involved... although I might end up quilting one/all of them. Will have to see. I do need to make my blocks though. They are only small - 6.5" and will feature hearts. Must get my act together and get them made and posted off to the woman who is co-ordinating them

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fat Friday and Monthly Goals update

I won't even pretend that this is a Fitness Update. My attempts to exercise, eat more healthily, go to bed earlier have all gone out the window this week. I've put on weight, barely made 2000 steps some days and stayed up till all hours.

Discovering Mug Brownies has been a major downfall as far as the diet goes.

The colder weather we have been having combined with staying up late means no way do I want to get up early in the morning and the evenings have been closing in. We seem to have had stuff on in the afternoons or evenings and with our boys home from uni (college to my American readers) things have been out of routine. So missed a good few walks this week. Hopefully we will get better soon.

I have been getting lots of sewing done and have really mown through my July goals. I am up to date with the POD blocks. We have only one of the blocks to go and then there are a few extras we can do if we want. Soon be time to put them all together. I know some people have been sewing their rows as they have gone but I have resisted till we get the new layout from the designer, due in just a few more weeks.

I got my two quilts that I had professionally quilted bound, I've finished my part of the community quilt our Patchwork Group was working on. I've made up all the hand towels I had on had into hanging kitchen towels apart from 2 that I am needing some more press studs for... thats 11 done and 2 to finish off. I have down that I am going to make some more zipper pouches and I will do that soon. And of course the Growing in Christ banner was done by the time I actually published my goals.

I have decided to add a couple more things to my goals list. I started Charlotte Hawkes "Playing with Nine Patches" after the month began and the top is now finished and the quilt is pin basted ready for me to quilt it. I would like to get it finished by month end.

I also have a birthday to go to by the end of the month that I want to make a gift for the guest of honour so I'll add that too. I do like all my projects to make it to my goal list... then I get to cross them off... so much extra satisfaction then.

There is something else I want to add to the list... something I have to finish or do... but for some reason I can't remember what it is now. I'll add it when I remember

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I thought we had a big stall for Handmade Love at the end of the month but the powers that be within the group decided we wouldn't go to that particular market. I had made a big effort to get  all the hand towels I had sitting in my box made into hanging kitchen towels but now it turns out I need not have worried. Still they will go into the suitcase of goodies we are making for the next market stall they are having. I haven't finished them quite... still sewing on press studs and decorative buttons but that doesn't take long. The photo isn't all that flash... but the finished ones that I could have hung up to show are in the suitcase with the co-ordinator!!n(I've finished 6 of 12)

I also finished off a clutch bag for Handmade Love as well. It too was just waiting on a press stud and a decorative button. I forgot to photograph it. Oops

I have been working on my Playing with Nine Patches quilt as well. I made a border for it using more 2.5" squares from my scraps and from the background fabric. I think its called a checker board border. For the corner stones I used nine patches in all bright colours. The only 2.5" squares in this entire quilt that I had to cut, besides the ones from the background fabric, was a few bright ones for these corner stones. The rest of them I pulled from my stash of cut 2.5" squares - all 1000 of them!! I can't believe I had that many of them in the shoebox but... I've even got some left!!

I was thinking about what I would piece for a backing of the quilt but I found that I had a piece of backing fabric that is big enough so I don't have to piece one. That is quite a relief. I do like a pieced backing but sometimes they take me as long to make as the top. I fiddle around fitting various bits and pieces in. 

This quilt is probably going to be given to a friend who lost much of her home to a fire a month or so ago. I do want to get it finished sooner rather than later. I got it pinned out at Patchwork today and will stipple it myself soon. I've decided to call it "Playing in Sunshine".

Today at Patchwork I also made a backing for Newspaper Mama. I had forgotten to measure it, and I had left it up on the board at our patchwork rooms as it is a group quilt.  I sorted through my stash and found several pieces that would work in for a backing. In the end I used one large piece of black and white checker board in a checker board which I joined down the middle to make it wide enough and then cut through the other way to insert a piece of solid black to make it long enough. We off centred the black strip so that it won't be noticeable if the quilt backing isn't quite centred when it goes together. I didn't take a photo of it either. Its a backing so not that exciting.

Speaking of Newspaper Mama... its name came from the fact that its Black and White and Red all over... newspaper That brings the song Newspaper Mama to mind. This song was written and performed by the Australian Children's singer Peter Coombs. My kids had several of his tapes when they were little and loved him. His Christmas CD is still a favourite of ours. I found this clip on You Tube and thought I would share it with you.

I've been working on the 2 POD blocks that I need to get done. I got the tea cup one finished yesterday. I love it. (Block 27)

For block 28 we had a range of choices for the 5" pieced block but I went with Trevor the Toad. I have Trevor together as I write this but still have to make the books in the block and put it together. The next one should be released tomorrow and after that there will only be one more official block. Like many others doing this block though I intend to make the broom stick to lean against the book case and perhaps something else to go on top. Fangirl has laid claim to this quilt and I am thinking it will be her Christmas present.

The other thing I have worked on this week has been another Sarah's Choice block so we will have 9 of those to make into another donation quilt for our group. I am hoping this one will come together more quickly than the last two group ones I have put together. We have some left over half square triangles from this as well that have been made into pinwheels to go into the border. I don't think I will even sash the blocks, just sew them together in 3 rows of 3 and then do the border with the pinwheel and perhaps another narrow border. Its all pink and white and I am hoping that we will give it to the someone who is having a fundraiser for breast cancer and they can raffle it.

I forgot to take a photo of my block and the quilt as a work in progress today but this is how it was looking before today's efforts. I was able to make extra pinwheels from some more hst leftover from other blocks. There is enough for one more pinwheel in the centre of each row and one for the back. Pieced  back coming up obviously!

The link  to this block on Quilters Cache is here

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Crop Circles - Mystery Quilt finished

At this year's  Patch n Peace, ( annual quilt retreat I go on) Betty, one of the organisers ran a Mystery quilt. Early on in the year she sent out a list of the fabric requirements for the quilt and I got mine organised really early.

The quilt had been featured in a magazine and was called Fooled By Thelma by Karen Cunningham

One of the steps involved making circles. There were collective moans when this was revealed. We had the choice to make them raw edge applique or to turn the edges. I went for raw edge as I wanted to get it finished as quickly as possible. Usually I use iron on stuff when doing applique and then button hole stitch around the fabric by hand but this time, in the interest of speed I glue basted the circles to the background fabric and then straight stitched around the edge. This was a new technique for me and worked well.

I was pleased to get all 9 blocks completed by the end of the weekend. I didn't get a lot else done but they were finished

The pattern didn't have borders with it. We could finish it off however we pleased. Betty had with her another quilt pattern which showed the half circle motif that we had on the edges of our quilts finished off in the border. I really liked this idea so back home I made more circles for the border and put them on. I wanted the quilt to be rectangular rather than square and to be a size to fit a single beds in the spare room.

I played around with the borders for a bit till I was happy with the result. An extra row of circles on the ends to give it length and using up the half square triangles down the side. These were from the flying geese units in the blocks. I can never just cut those suckers off and throw them away... I always make them into hst and this time I used them up in the same quilt... bonus.

For the backing I used some string blocks that I had foundation pieced a good few years ago. I had pieced them into a rectangular piece that I had never finished off. The colours went well with the leftover purple linen I had (left over from another backing I had made recently). I had some pieced circles, a few more hst and various other orphan blocks and scraps in the right hues.

Kym from PQS long armed it for me. After some messaging back and forth re appropriate motifs we chose Circle Swirl which continued the circle theme into the negative space with a bit of extra added interest. I loved how it came out. I was initially a bit concerned that the extra white at the top and bottom of the quilt was too much and sat oddly but Kym's work meant it wasn't at odds with the rest of the quilt and in fact added a bubbly mix to the whole thing.

I am not 100 percent sure that the binding I chose was the best I could have gone for - not sure if the mustardy yellow was quite right but I loved the pinky flower like circle motif on it and that ties it in. Sometimes I a a bit too matchy matchy so I have been adventurous in this quilt.

I used an old circular doily for the label. Initially this was because I couldn't find the commercial labels I have stashed somewhere but then I decided I really liked the look of it. Its circular with circular flowers on it. The doily is stained but that doesn't matter to me and in fact ties in with the name. Crop Circles. Crops grow in soil so its ok that the label is soiled.

The name came from the fact that the quilt was a mystery quilt involving circles. Crop circles are also a mystery... so Crop Circles it was.