Welcome

Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Making great progress this month!

Well I think I've made a great start on my February projects. I managed to get my sewing machine block put together and I love it!
At one stage when all my pieces were all over the place it looked a bit like a dog's breakfast but it all came together beautifully! I'm using the block to make a cover for my sewing machine and as its quite large (16" square) it more than covers the front. Pattern available here.

Then I decided I needed something interesting on the back so made a Fool's Square block - it seemed appropriately named!  You can find the block instructions here.
In the end I actually decided that the sewing machine block should end up on the back as that way I would see it every time I go past the room - its too lovely to have it facing the wall!
Next was to make the blocks into a cover and I chose some of my favourite fabrics.
That Lark fabric by Amy Butler never fails to make my heart sing! Now I've got the main piece and the two sides ready to quilt.
I cut out the pieces for my laptop bag and have sandwiched the pieces up ready to quilt also.
I didn't want to change my machine over to quilt mode only to have to change it back to piecing mode so decided to make the bonus test block for The Splendid Sampler before I started quilting my other projects.
I think it turned out quite well although I could probably have experimented with the fabrics a bit more. Nevertheless the size came out perfectly!

Now I have a few days before the first official block comes out on Sunday to get on with those other projects. I have yet to do any of my rainbow scrappy blocks this month but I'd rather get my other two projects done first and then spend the remainder of the month doing those.

I just hope I bought the right size zip for my laptop bag!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Right, lets get cracking on February!

Okay, January seemed to go well so I'm glad to get going on February's tasks. Over at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks the lucky UFO number for February is 9.  My No. 9 project is to finally make myself a laptop bag and a sewing machine cover.

I've had a pattern I've been holding on to for some time now for a laptop bag and now its number has come up! You can find the tutorial here.
I haven't quite decided for sure yet but I'm leaning towards using these fabrics, the spots on the outside and the blue floral on the inside and for contrast on the handles and pocket edging.
I'v worked out my measurements to suit my laptop and just need to get myself a zip (which I just realised I could have bought when I was at Spotlight today - rats!

In the meantime I've been getting cracking on my other project, a sewing machine cover. I saw this lovely sewing machine block on Craftsy.com and just had to buy it.
Its from Kristy at Quiet Play and she has lovely paper pieced patterns. You might remember the blocks I made as part of the And Sew On quiltalong she hosted a while back:

So firstly I needed to pick out some fabrics and after a wander through my blue fabric drawer I pulled these out to use.
My plan is to have the machine blend from dark to light so we'll see how that goes. I've printed out my pieces and have marked them with the fabrics I want to use. I find its the only way to keep things straight when I'm foundation piecing.
Now that January is done, a new colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is allocated and I can only say I wasn't overly excited to find that the colour for February is.......brown. Hmmmm, not a colour that excites me much. However I do have brown scraps so I will endeavour to put together some brown crumb blocks and see how I feel about them once they're done.
I had no plans to take part in any new quiltalongs this year but, well, sometime something comes along that catches your interest and you just have to join in! I'm talking about The Splendid Sampler being jointly hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.
Its a free 100 six inch finished block mystery quilt with different techniques. The blocks are issued twice a week and the first is available on 14th February.  I haven't done much with 6 inch blocks so thought it would be a good project to get familiar with working with the smaller size.  I've decided to use fabrics from my stash, other than the background fabric which I found today at Spotlight. Its actually a Christmas fabric on clearance but you wouldn't know it. It was only $4.50 per metre so I bought all there was as I'm sure I can use it in other projects. Its a lovely silver design on white and I think it will work perfectly with the layer cake and charm square I'm going to use to start with. Anything else I need I'm sure I can find in my fabric drawers!
I also have this layer cake.  I'm not sure all of the fabrics will work as well but its there if I need it!
So there you have it. That should keep me out of mischief this month! What are you up to this month?

Cheers,

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

January UFO Project and Design Wall

This month I started my year by organising myself and working on my crumb blocks in blue. I have been making crumb blocks in different colours over the last couple of years but I've decided that this year I will try and get them into a quilt or two.  I started the month with two blue blocks and finished with 14 blocks, set into black wonky borders.

To do that I added 3" black borders to my 8.5" blocks.
Then I put my ruler on top of the block and tilted it until I worked out what size square I could cut out, in this case it was 12".
I cut the bottom and right side, turned the block and squared the block up at 12" and there you have it, a wonky crumb block.
I did half tilting one way and half the other way.  Before I show you all of them together I need to share my new design wall I whipped up this afternoon. I took a cardboard roll I had from some curtain fabric and taped some cotton wadding to it. Tapped a couple of nails into the top of the pelmet over the sliding doors to my sewing room, popped the roll behind them and.....ta da....a design wall! Easy to remove and roll up if I need to as well.
Here it is with all my blocks on it and no dog plonked into the middle of them as always seems to happen if I lay them out on the floor.
So that's my January UFO done and if you want to join in the UFO along you can find the information here at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks. You need to scroll to the bottom of the post for all the details!

I'm hoping to do more of these blocks in different colours each month this year, and I'm following along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 at So Scrappy as far as which colour I choose each month.  I did have loads more scraps in blue than any other colour so I'm glad I got that one out of the way first!

Thanks for reading my blog today!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Fabric Aplenty!

This week a parcel of fabric arrived for me from equilter.com in the USA. I have been restraining myself I thought with fabric buying but I just couldn't go past their big clearance sale. Even with postage and the exchange rate at the moment you can't do better than around $5 per yard when we pay $20+ per metre in Australia.

I am wanting to make a black, white, yellow and perhaps grey quilt for my nephew and his fiance and so have been pulling together some fabrics when I see ones I like. After this parcel arrived on Friday I decided I would have a look at all the fabric I have purchased since we moved as I haven't washed any of it yet and I think I'm fooling myself if I think I'm showing restraint!

These first ones were a random few fabrics I picked up at Wrapped in Fabrics closing sale just because something about each one called my name. The one on the left is hard to see but is a gold print. I already have a fat quarter of the second one but in a chocolate brown and the last two just appeal to me.
This one also came from Wrapped in Fabric. Unfortunately it was all they had left and so is only 25cm I think but it was so cute I had to have it!
My next online shopping spree was at Craft Depot. The three fabrics on the left I thought were interesting and the one on the right I thought might work in the quilt for my nephew. I'm not so sure about that now that I've seen it but I love it all the same.
These were also from Craft Depot and will work well in the quilt I think.
Then came my equilter.com purchases. Another nice group of fabrics. I thought the geometrics would appeal to Ashley as he is an engineer and the fleur-de-lis is reminiscent of the Scouts symbol and Ashley was a Scout. What luck it happened to be in black and gold!
The black on the left in the photo above looks like a plain solid black but actually has the loveliest pattern which was hard to photograph so I zoomed right in and used the flash to make it show up. Doesn't do the fabric justice but at least you can see the pattern now. Beginning to wish I had bought a lot more of it now.
Lastly I bought two yards of this one because I just love it. Its apparently a Christmas fabric but doesn't look it.  Not sure what I'll do with it but I'm sure I'll find it the right project.
So that's it for my buying this year unless I need something specific. I want to go to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival later this year so am saving my pennies to do all the classes I want to do.

Thanks for visiting,

Friday, 22 January 2016

Feel like I'm getting somewhere!

I feel like this month has been a productive one.

My black and white placemats are now pieced and I think I will take them away with me on my sewing weekend in March to quilt.
 Then I got stuck into my January project - crumb blocks using up my blue scraps.
I have managed to reduce them to at least a third of what I had, with mostly small pieces remaining. Even Marilyn in the background looks pretty please about that!
I already had two blocks before I started. Now I have lots more!


So 14 altogether now. I have started adding black borders to them and I'll share a photo when they're all finished so you can see where I'm going with them.

Its been really hot here in Adelaide lately but more humid than we usually get, which I don't like. I found the time to wash my sons' quilts and dry them before I store them away until winter.
I also finally got around to putting up some fabric circles that I've been wanting to do ever since we moved. I had this idea when we lived at the old house but had nowhere to do it so always had it in the back of my mind for when I did have a sewing room.  After we moved I found an op shop which had these embroidery hoops which all up cost me around $4. Nice mix of sizes too. Had a dig around for some favourite fabrics and voila!
Now I can admire the fabrics whenever I'm in the sewing room or dining room as you can see them from there too.

We've had some new arrivals in the garden over summer. I didn't know these were there, I just thought some of the other plants had died at the end of winter. Turns out they were these lovelies. First up are the buds which open into these lovely pink blooms. Then I'm guessing the leaves will pop up again. They are belladonna lillies.

They are all out now but its been so hot I don't think they'll last very long!

The garden doesn't look as good as it should as its been too hot to get out and pull weeds and everything gets a bit friend in Adelaide in the summer. Can't wait for autumn, I do love the cooler months, just wish they'd hurry up!

Thanks for visiting today,

Monday, 11 January 2016

Getting into the Swing of Things

Last year after we moved I really seemed to be at all sixes and sevens as far as quilting goes. I think I just had too many other things going on and that was the easiest thing to push to the side. Now that the business of Christmas is out of the way I feel like I can take the time to get my self back into some sort of rhythm.

Strange as it may seem the catalyst for the change seemed to be finally getting around to filing a whole pile of paperwork that had been waiting since we moved. My sewing room also partly serves as an office space and that's where the filing baskets and filing cabinet live. It had been niggling away at me as I hadn't felt as though I was properly organised since we moved and I felt a bit like I was blowing in the breeze. Now that I've filed all the paid bills etc I feel like I've got my system working again and I feel better for it. Clearly I like my space organised - not tidy just organised. I'm happiest when I know where things are and I think that hasn't really helped me over the last few months.

Seeing as this month's UFO was whatever I wanted it to be I chose to spend some more time emptying out my scrap basked and sorting it all out. That way I start the year with an empty basket on the cutting table too. Do you like my new scrap basket? I was using the smaller blue one in the background but it fills up too quickly! This was a basket we received as part of a Christmas hamper and I decided it was perfect for scraps.
For a while I've wanted to have some sort of leader/ender project now that I can leave everything out when I sew and while I was going through my scraps I found my project. I have lots of little triangular pieces which were cut offs from something so I've decided to pair them up and sew them into HST's to be used in some sort of project down the track.
I have also been watching a blog for a while called So Scrappy where Angela hosts a Rainbow Scrap Challenge each year. Each month she allocates a different colour and the idea is to make a scrappy block of your choosing using that month's colour. I've been making crumb blocks here and there over the last few years (I'm up to 14 I think) usually when I go on a sewing weekend so I thought that might also be a good project each month on top of my allocated UFO.

It is especially serendipitous as January's colour is blue and I happen to have the largest collection of blue scraps (its no coincidence that blue is also the only colour of fabric I have which has a whole drawer to itself but that's another story!).
For some reason have only made two blue crumb blocks so far so that is this month's project. If you're interested in knowing more about the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016 the information is here.
After all that I feel like I've got my plan for the year organised and that makes my heart happy! Now I think I'm finally ready to get some sewing done this month.

Another new addition to my sewing room was this lovely pale blue tin with a coppery print which had three tubes of hand cream in it -a rather large tin for that purpose but who am I to argue?
After tidying up my scraps I found one of my boxes was too full so I moved the 5" charms and 2.5" squares into the new tin. They snuggle up together quite nicely don't you think?
One other project I want to finish, or at least finish the flimsy part of is this set of black and white placemats. I only have three left to finish and it won't take long to do. I think then I'll make it a quilting project for my next sewing weekend in March.
I also managed to remember to take a photo of the blue set I finished while I was on holidays after Christmas. I really like these!
I couldn't resist sharing a couple of photos of Christmas Day at our house. Justin, our new golden retriever, thought Christmas was the best thing ever and had a ball helping unwrap presents and spreading the paper all over the family room.
I just love this photo of Justin and Livvie together on the day. Amazing the focussed attention you can get when you have a man holding a treat next to you!
Thanks for visiting, now its time to get sewing!