Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sewing along

Well here we are again (so soon?) with end-of-year celebrating. My son has finished his first year of school with an Academic Achievement Award. We are very proud parents. He was only one of three in his class to receive the award. The first year of school has definitely had many good and bad challenges. I just might have had a celebratory drink after school Friday with some very good friends who also had children in kindy. Verrry nice! It was perfect just chilling and chatting while the kids played.

For the wonderful kindy teacher I made a pleated pouch using Tanya Whelan fabrics (I adore that floral & may just have stashed a metre or two!!!). I have made so many of these. It is a wonderful pattern. The pattern can be found at Skip To My Lou. I put some hand made soap inside. Its tricky trying to think of something different that they aren't going to get lots of and something that they will like and use.

I was definitely on a mission to finish wrapping my presents. I decided to make my MIL & her sister a grocery bag. Pattern was awesome!!! It is from Keykalou and you can but it here. I used some older generation Amy Butler fabrics with some spots I found in the cupboard to co-ordinate. I just have to say what a pleasure it was to make these bags. The pattern is thought out beautifully. The bags have been suitably stuffed with goodies.

Then yesterday I really found my groove. Gosh it felt fabulous! Isn't it great when everything you touch just goes together without any 'issues'? Oh yes it is!
First  up was the latest block from the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along. It involved a cathedral window star centre. The instructions were great and I got it to work first go.

I have had this messenger bag tutorial by the talented Amy Smart bookmarked for ages. Well no more! It finally had its day thanks to some inspiring fabrics from Art Gallery. Yet another superb pattern. It has yet to be road tested. I have plans for Thursday though. A certain super son might just get a train ride to the city and get to visit the hobby shop of all hobby shops. You can read that to say we won't be leaving empty handed. His passion is cars. Anything cars! We have a toy car collection that you wouldn't believe! Yes he remembers if he has one or not. Of course that's nothing like us quilt makers and our fabrics is it? (LOL)


A very good friend asked if I could finish a candlewicked quilt that her Mum had started but was now unable to finish. All that was needed was to bind satin ribbon! Thank goodness for walking feet and Rita's (Red Pepper Quilts) binding tutorial. Easy peasy! The photo of the whole quilt is useless in showing the candlewicking designs. I'm good at taking photos like that (lol). I however was able to get a closeup of one of the blocks. It is cute.

If you've made it to here THANK YOU. This maybe my longest post ever.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some finishes this last week

Its time for the Softies for Mirabel appeal run by Pip from Meet Me At Mikes. Its the fifth year and my third year participating.
This year I chose a pattern from Retro Mama and what a great pattern it is! It came together so beautifully. Its a great 'go to' pattern. I highly recommend it.

Next up was Block 5 in the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along. I had been hunting through my stash for a specific green fabric and couldn't find it. But there was a reason as these 2 fabrics practically jumped out straight onto the cutting mat. It was a quick block and came together easily. I am loving this quilt along! Its especially enjoyable when one manages to stay on top of the block making.

Last up is some eye candy. One of my local quilt shops was having a sale and as luck would have it this fabric was spotted and I thought "that would make a great backing fabric for my fat quarter stars quilt along quilt". So metres  were cut and paid for. Its a beautiful aqua from the So St.Croix range by Jennifer Paganelli.  Of course none of this would have happened if the price hadn't been right and I just 'knew' I didn't have anything at home that would be suitable for the quilt back. Yeah right, nothing suitable. As if! Let's just notch it up to a 'must have'.

 Has anyone taken advantage of any of the sales going on over the weekend? I may have done a bit of damage at The Fat Quarter Shop. I am so happy my sister is also a quilter (lot's of fun can be had shopping for just the right present for her) and was able to get her an awesome present. Can't tell you though as she might be reading this. Let's just say it will be 'swooning' its way over to me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I think I am out of practice

You won't believe how long it took me to make the last 3 blocks of the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along. I haven't been able to sew for some time and I think I definitely lost the flow. That being said I did get them done. Yeah! I am all caught up now.
Below is blocks two, three and four. Block three looked good before I cut the pieces and sewed them together. There just isn't enough contrast in the centre pinwheel for my liking. No unpicking will be occurring though. I am just going to see how it fits in the whole quilt when all the blocks are done.

I have taken a picture of all the blocks together. I am slightly in love with the Kona Maize solid I am using. I love it with all the colours I have picked so far.

Next up is something sort of special, sort of insane. I asked one of my sister-in-laws if she would like a quilt. She said yes and we bought some of French General's Rural Jardin. The pattern is called Delectable Mountains. I love how the first block turned out.  There is an insane amount of triangles for each block and they are on the smallish side. I have to make 30 blocks. Yes 30!!!!! I have no idea how I will stay motivated but motivated I must be. I don't have an official deadline but I am thinking I should set myself one just so I get it finished.
Anybody got any tips on keeping the motivation going?

I know I lost my mojo a bit because while cutting out my quilt along blocks I cut myself not once but twice with the rotary cutter. Smart eh? Geez Louise do they sting.  Lucky not too much damage to me or the rotary cutter.
Now I am off to do some cutting out of small triangles.
I will leave you with a very cute saying from my 6 year old son. We were out driving and were merging onto the highway where the speed limit is 110 km/h when this voice pipes up from the back of the car "Accelerate like you love it Dad!". Yeah he loves watching car racing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I have actually been sewing...

You better believe it! The motivator was Konda posting the first block in the Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along. Its an awesome block. My solid for this quilt along is Kona Maize. I am going to use stash fabrics for the prints. If you were thinking about trying a quilt along I would thoroughly recommend those organised by Konda. There is a button in my side bar that will link you up with the details.  This is the third of Konda's quilt alongs I am participating in.

My son turned 6 a couple of weeks ago. For the party favours I made some zippered pouches and put some goodies inside. They seemed to go down well. I used the pattern from Skip To My Lou blog. 

It has been school holidays here for the last 2 weeks. My husband, son and I headed home to my folk's place and spent some time with them. It was nice that my son's actual birthday co-incided with our visit. My son adores visiting his grandparents and aunty. While we were gone there was plenty of rain and our garden has exploded with lushness.  Amid all that greenery is strawberries, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, orchids, chrysanthemums, curry plant, lemon and lime trees plus a couple of other things I don't know the name of but are pretty.

There was a very juicy strawberry just waiting to be eaten. It was delicious. There are so many strawberries developing. Can't wait. Any bugs reading this STAY AWAY!

This a photo of what I know as a bush orchid. It is such a pretty little thing and surprisingly hardy. Our courtyard gets so hot in summer but still it keeps growing and flowering.

Happy stitching (and strawberry eating )!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tote Bag Finish

Yes you did read the title correctly. I have another finish! Randi from 'I have to say' blog organised a Tote Bag Sew Along. Its a great bag. I took it out today and it performed beautifully. I used some fabrics from Bari J Ackerman's Paris Apartment range. I adore the blue. The lining is also from the same range.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Catch you all soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ta dah!

Here is my quilt top in all its glory. I am thinking of calling it 'Last Hurrah'. It is  more than likely the last time these fabrics will ever appear in any of my quilts. They are older style fabrics that just don't 'float my boat' anymore. The original pattern went to the last white border. To make it bigger I just had to make a bazillion 6 inch blocks. The cutting of all the different fabrics was probably the most painful but I am so glad I did it. 

Have a good week friends!  You never know but I may even have another post next week. Yeah wouldn't that be a miracle! Wish me good sewing vibes for tomorrow (its Bank Holiday and I have the day off. Nice!) so I can get a project completely finished. Wonder what it is?

Monday, July 25, 2011

You won't believe it!

But I finished a quilt top today!!!! I was trying to get it done Saturday but kept making mistakes (urghhh). However today while at home with a sick boy it all came together perfectly. I obviously bought my 'switched on' brain to the job. (Note to self: must do that more often). Photos unfortunately are sadly lacking as the weather has been particularly damp. I will try and get some photos  later this week (hello weather are you listening). You may be wondering exactly which one it is. Well it was a quilt along run by the sassy and utterly delightful Audrie from Blue is Bleu.  Audrie was generous enough to give us directions for making it bigger. I am a sucker for big quilts so just had to make all the extra blocks.  You can see Audrie's quilt here.

I also have been wanting to add a blog signature and as you can see I did it! You have no idea how satisfying it is to accomplish something that seems so technical to me. I used the tutorial from here.

And because I like a post with a picture I have one for you (and me).

Take care and hopefully you will see me around here sooner rather than later.

PS How good is Pinterest!!! So much eye candy. I have a link to my boards on my blog (if you are interested)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Loot from Quilt Show

What does a slack blogger do to redeem herself? Post about the loot she got at the quilt show at Darling Harbour?

The day started off OK. I got 3 loads of washing done and hung out and dropped my son off at school (yes on time). I then had a short and pleasurable stroll to the train station. The weather was lovely for a winters day. Considering how much rain we have been having it truly was a glorious day weather wise. Waiting for the train in the sun was very nice. I rotated myself around while I waited so I was warmed up to my bones. Train arrives on time HOWEVER its going the wrong direction (its a single track line so there is only ever 1 train at a time and it needed to go up the line for a couple more stops before turning back around). You can imagine I was somewhat displeased as it meant I would miss my connection when we got to the interchange station. Thinking I still had a chance to make it to one of the talks I really wanted to go to, imagine when we reach the main station only to realise I would have to wait 30 MINUTES for a train. Displeasure didn't even cover it! Even the lovely sunny weather was now lost on me. There was no way on earth was I going to make it to the talk OR the demonstration I had also slated for watching. Its great having public transport so handy but when it stuffs up they do a great job of stuffing you around too. I ended up chilling out listening to a new album I had bought.Thank goodness for music!
SO after a slow and frustrating start to the day I finally reached my destination. Yeah! I like to wander around first before purchasing but sometimes if you think it won't be there later you have to GET it fast.
First up is a photo of all that I bought. I really needed a new tote bag for work and had been looking for a while when a nice sales lady showed me the one in the photo. She assured me it was the last one. Its a great size for books, lunch, umbrella etc. Basically anything that doesn't fit in the handbag. It is similar to a laminated fabric.  One side is a red print (side you can see in the photo) while the other side is a cream print and the handles are a different pattern. It really appealed to the patchworker in me.

The next photo is of a bag kit I bought. It is made using strips of cloth used for edging traditional Japanese tatami mattresses. They are supposed to be easy to make. We'll see about that. I got a medium green colour with the longer straps. 

Next up is some patterns I bought. Yes I know some are easy looking but I am really not interested in drafting up patterns. I would rather be using my limited time to sew and not draft. That's not to say one day I won't do it though!  I couldn't resist Anna Maria Horner's book. I think it will be a great resource for using to make gifts. I am slowly reading through it every night. She has such cute things in it.

Lastly is a close up of the fat quarters I thought should come home with me. Notice a trend? Umm yeah it seems I have a thing for spots. I think they are a great staple. For the Aussies reading this I scored most of them for $3.50. That's pretty cheap for us.

Hopefully next time it won't be so long inbetween drinks posts.

Have a super weekend!

PS Here is a link to the quilt show winners.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival May 2011

Welcome to everyone visiting from the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I wanted to show my On the Road To Spring Quilt Along quilt.  Randi from I have to say blog organised a quilt along. I must say I was in raptures looking through my stash for fabrics. It was so much fun.  Not long before starting this quilt along Rita from Red Pepper Quilts had done a post about linen and the light bulb went off. I quickly rang a shop and scored myself some linen (cotton/linen blend).  It was easy to work with and adds a wonderful texture.
This is a photo before quilting.  BIG quilts are a nightmare to photograph! But it fits wonderfully on my bed and is very warm on these cold nights.

Next up is some pictures of the top all quilted up and bound.  I just got my long arm quilter to do an allover meander. Its perfect. I just love looking at all the fabrics in this quilt. 

For so much more awesomeness head over to Amy's (the genius behind these festivals).  THANK YOU AMY!