Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meet My Mum

(or Mom for my American readers!)

My mum has decided to enter the world of blogging to help keep me and others up-to-date with her sewing and camping adventures.

Head on over to Outback and in the Sewing Room and see what she's been up to.

Mostly her craft involves garment making or other sewing crafts, and loom knitting.  Her camping adventures involve a 'space ship' (a sales guy at Toys'r'us thought it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen!) on the back of a truck travelling over lots and lots of dirt road.

I had hoped to find a picture of her out camping but it appears she is always behind the camera.  I figured the above photo of us together was the next best thing.

And just to prove that outback and sewing can mix, here is a photo of the mini quilt I made her specially for taking camping (which you can read more about here)!

Post 6 of 9

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to ruin your eyesight in one easy step

Tonight I am actually sewing in front of the computer.  Not sure if I've done that before, certainly not in this house where I have a proper study set up for the computer.

I'm chatting to my mum online and helping her set up her own blog.  She's decided she would like to blog about her crafting and her camping trips.  Online chat often has pauses in between so I figured I'd try and finish my embroidery.

Can you guess what I'm working on?

Post 5 of 9

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm a fabric addict

who isn't?

I recently discovered the new Wee Folks range by Ingrid for Moda and decided I had to have some.  I usually end up buying these sorts of fabrics when they're on the sale table and at the end of their run.  For once I wanted to have something when it was 'new' and everyone was still excited about it!  So I ordered some and added some other things to the order so that it was worth the $14 postage from U.S., but then found out that the store I had ordered from was out of stock.  By this stage I was really looking forward to the rest of the order as well.... so I was forced to go ahead with that order (and switch in something for the out of stock Wee Folk), and then go elsewhere to get my Wee Folk!  This also meant that I could pick up a few Bella Solid charm packs to go with all the charm packs I have waiting to be used.

So here I am with lots of new fabric.
Wee Folk and Bella Solids from Green Fairy Quilts

Modern Workshop by Oliver + S, Ready Set Snow by Me and My Sister, Just Wing It by Momo charm packs and Rainy Days and Mondays by Melimba & Beccabury for Riley Blake fat quarter pack from 1 Choice 4 Quilting
In trying to find the link for Rainy Days and Mondays, I found all sorts of other Riley Blake fabrics. I really should learn to look past Moda when searching for new fabric.  I guess it just becomes easy because they're everywhere!

So now that I've got this Wee Folk fabric in it's prime, I figured I'd better do something with it quick smart too!  I've started my plan and here is a sneak peek
I have a vague goal of finishing it by the weekend, but we've got a pretty busy one coming up so maybe it will be early next week.  Actually I think I need to buy some backing and binding fabrics to finish off the entire project.  Oh, dear, what a shame, more fabric shopping!

Post 4 of 9

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Should have bought a lottery ticket

It seems today was my lucky day!

This morning I received an email from Sandy Gervais telling me I'd won on her giveaway as part of the Table Talk Blog Tour.  Sandy designs fabric for Moda and I have some of her Lollipop and Awesome collections.  Now I also will have a box of scraps from her new line Later Bloomer.

I found it amusing telling my husband that I'd won a box of scraps because to someone not in the quilting world it would seem like rather a silly 'prize'.

Then tonight I was just coming in to check things before I went to bed and I notice a post from Samelia's Mum listing the winners of her May Giveaways and there I was for prize number three, a charm pack of Symphony by Sentimental Studios for Moda.

Sadly it's a little too late to get to the newsagents to buy that lottery ticket.

(I would say post 4 of 9, but I don't think this one really counts....)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kevin the Koala

Several months ago I put my hand up for the 'Handmade Challenge' which was going around Facebook.  I've seen it in blogland too as 'Pay it Forward'.  It's a promise to make something handmade for the first five people who comment on the post.  I've got my list of five people and worked out what I'm making for them, but I've got till the end of the year so I'm fitting it in where I can.

One of those people is about to move back to the UK to be with her new husband so I wanted to get her present done before she left.  Had no idea what to make for her so was flipping through my many craft magazines.  I came across Kevin the Koala and thought it was perfect for her as a momento of her home.

So here is Kevin the Koala:
He's made of a very soft flannel sort of fabric I've had in my stash for ages, and I don't know where it came from.  Had been wondering what to do with it, and then decided it was perfect for this project!  The white is polar fleece, so he's very soft and cuddly!

He comes from Patchwork & Stitching Vol 11 No 8

Post 3 of 9

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Busy little beaver

or so it seems (sew it seams?).

I went to edit the photos I've been taking and realised how many there are since I last posted!  There are some I can't share yet because people might see ;)  but I have been busy doing things.

First I finished the last of the Retro Nine Patch blocks
I had an 'oops' moment with this one too, I'd done the flower buds the wrong colour, so some unpicking was involved but it was soon recovered.
Here they all are together
Can't wait to get on and sew them all together now, although I haven't even thought about what fabric I'm putting with them.  I guess I'm waiting for Lyn to tell us what we're doing.

I've caught up on the last two Civil War Blocks.  I've fallen into a pattern of doing them in pairs, which works for me.  I'm just determined to get them finished by the Saturday night when the new one comes out.

19 Missouri Star

20 New England Block
The blue/tan fabrics for both of these are from my dino quilt and the red/pinks are from belated Mother's Day gifts* (except the white which I just used because I needed an extra colour).  After making the challenge to myself to finish the dino and puppy quilt tops within a month, I sat down and finished the dino one last weekend.  I haven't managed a photo of it yet because I need to lay it out or hang it up, plus we've had rather grey days recently, not brilliant for photos.

It might be some time before I can share photos of the Mother's Day pressies because my mum reads this blog and I am not sure yet when I will see her next to give her the gift.  Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise ;)

And the other photo I pulled off my camera is another gift which I haven't gifted yet, so can't share, but you should get to see that in a day or two.

*It's not that I'm really slack with Mother's Day, it's just that my family don't get hung up on dates so we exchange gifts when we next see each other rather than pay for interstate postage.  Consequently I didn't get around to making Mother's Day presents till now because I knew there was no rush

Post 2 of 9

Monday, May 16, 2011

More parcels

Today I was rather excited!  My copy of Natalie Lymer's Cotton Floss arrived!!
I love Natalie's work, and got one of her quilt patterns for Christmas.  I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't actually made any of her patterns yet, but I do love looking at them.  This book has got some lovely smaller projects so I should be able to get right into them soon.  Although, I've decided I'm not going to start another embroidery project until I've finished the embroidery for Retro Nine Patch, which will only be a few weeks at the most.

I'm quite interested in the needle holder, since making a needle book has been on my 'to-do' list for a while.  And then the matching thread holder would be handy for storing threads in whilst I'm working on a project.  I don't keep my threads on cards though, so I might have to rework the pattern a little.

The toadstool, as featured on the cover, is just too cute so I'm sure I'll end up with one (or more) of those soon enough.... although you're supposed to stick pins into them!!  I'm not sure if I could bring myself to do that.  I just want to make a row of them to sit on the shelf...... which would work perfectly if I end up making The Hidden Garden canvas art (which can be seen in the first image here) for my daughter's bedroom.

Now I haven't shared photos for most of these projects because Natalie hasn't put them up online and I didn't think to scan them in, so I guess you'll just have to refer to your copy of the book to find out what they are ;)

And since I mentioned Retro Nine Patch, here is the latest block I just finished this week.  Only one more to go and all the stitchery is done.
I made a slight error on this one.  I stitched the yellow with two strands of floss, then started to stitch the purple and realised I had three strands in the needle.  I unpicked the stitches I had sewn, and started again with two strands.  Once I moved onto the next colour, I realised I'd been stitching all the blocks with three strands of threads, so now the yellow and purple on this block are thinner than all the rest.  I had contemplated unpicking it and re-doing, but then decided it can be the little 'error' in the project which proves it is my own work ;)

Oh, and since I made the challenge to myself to post twice a week for the next month, I'm going to do a countdown to help me keep track.  I'm going to say that it's 9 posts from 12th May to 12th June (4 1/2 weeks), so this is 1 of 9.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Challenge Yourself - May

So last month's challenge was a bit of a fizzer.  Prior to the challenge, I'd be doing exercise on most days.  For the two weeks following that post I didn't do a scrap of exercise!  I hope I'm back on track now though... better get out there tonight and do some ;)  I wont dwell on it though, that's not the point of this.

So on to May!  I'm getting back to crafty challenges now, and I have two.

Challenge #1
I want to finish the quilt tops for the puppy and dino quilts by this time next month.
I've made a good start by getting on with the pieced blocks.  I've finished all the full nine patch blocks for the puppy, and have half completed the pinwheel blocks for the dino.

Once I finish a quilt top, it usually sits for a little while before I end up quilting it, so if I can finish these quilt tops by mid June, that gives me two months before they have to be completely finished.

Challenge #2
I want to write a blog post twice a week for the next month.  I've been a bit slack with my blogging and I feel like I've done nothing for ages.  My blog is a journal of my work.  When I want to see what I've done recently I come here to find out.  Lately I haven't written much so consequently I feel like I haven't done anything.  In actual fact I've been working on some projects I can't share (the dilemma of having all your friends and family follow your blog), or I've been working on things which are half finished so I don't think to blog about them.

If I haven't been working on anything to talk about, it's the perfect opportunity to develop some of my ideas and think out loud.

So expect to see more of me in the coming weeks than you have in the past few!!

Add your link below if you want to join in with your own challenge.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thank you Mr Postman

I have been rather slack in my blogging lately haven't I?  I promise to do better.

I had to share today though, because a couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway on Me and My Sister Designs blog.  It is this awesome book, which arrived in the post today
Photo courtesy of Me and My Sister Designs
I've always loved novelty fabrics, I think it's what first drew me into quilting fabrics and I'm still a sucker for them (although recently I've been learning to appreciate the more plain fabrics that you need to make the novelty ones stand out).  This book shows some great ways to use them and show off different sizes/styles of prints such as 'tossed' vs 'directional' etc.  It also included a pattern using a quilt panel, and some cushions using different size novelty prints.

I think my favourite one is actually one of the most simple.  It's called Island Dreams
Photo courtesy of The Quilted Fish
I just love the way that the images on the fabric are so clear and really highlighted by the white sashing.  I think I might have to give this one a go with some of the novelty fabrics I have.  Just hope I have enough with the same theme that it works.

So thank you to Pat Sloan for the lovely book, and to Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs for hosting the giveaway, and also for your endless supply of beautiful fabric.

Also in the mail recently I received a surprise gift!

It is a tissue cosy and a lovely handmade card from Steph over at Mon Petit Poppet to say thank you for contributing to her Hope Softies.  It reminds me of sheets from my nanna's (it is made of vintage sheets), which has a feeling of daggy old fashioned, lovely vintage, and childhood memories of holidays visiting grandparents all in one go.  And I get to carry it around in my bag with me all the time!  A lovely little emotional bubble every time I dig into my handbag looking for something.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Civil War 17 & 18

Two more blocks done.  I'm having more fun with these as we go along.  Trying to make my fabric choices reflect something meaningful for that week plus work together to make the block look reasonable.

17 - Comfort Quilt
It was suggested that scraps of indigo blue prints for this block would add to the look of a woven coverlet.  Since I'd been planning on starting to cut out the dino quilt that week, it was a perfect opportunity to use some blue, but in the end I decided not to.  That week I'd also made a bunny for The Boo for easter, since she is too young for chocolate, and I really wanted to include that fabric in my quilt so I could remember it.  Also the block is called Comfort Quilt and pink is a far more comforting colour to me than blue.  So the fabrics for this week are from the bunny and green from the puppy quilt.

And since I didn't get around to blogging about the easter bunny I made, here it is:

18 - Union Square
I love the way this block has come out, so fresh looking!  The flowers and green in the nine patch are from the puppy quilt, and the white and clouds are from another baby quilt I'm working on.  It took me a while to choose the colours for this one and in the end I cut the flowers on the bias so they were the right way up.  I really wanted to include them in the block but didn't want them going sideways.  I just wish I'd paid a little more attention to my cutting and sewing so that the flowers were better placed within each square.

Another two blocks down, another two weeks into the year.  This project sounded so big when I first took it on and now I can't believe we're over 1/3 done!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cutting Table

I've been a little slack with my blogging lately.  Can't say what I've been doing to take up the time though, I don't feel like I've done anything much for several days.  Clearly this isn't true though because I've managed to do all this cutting:

That is the puppy and dino quilts, as well as another baby quilt I dreamt up, plus two civil war blocks at the front.

This seems to be a bit of a pattern of mine at the moment, cut up several jobs as once, and then production-line them at the sewing machine.  I'll do as much sewing as I can with each piece before it has to go to the ironing board, do my ironing and then back to the sewing machine.

I've also been doing a lot of hand work, enjoying sitting in my big chair watching The Boo play on the playmat.  I've almost finished the current Retro Nine Patch, and just in time too since Lyn has announced that she'll be releasing this month's block early! 
And here is a sneak peak of a friend's birthday present I've been working on.  You'll have to wait a little while to see the whole thing though, I can't risk her seeing it!
Since taking the above photo off all my cutting out, I have finished the civil war blocks, bringing me back up to date, but I'll save that for another post.


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