Block of the Month · Knitting · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Getting ready for winter.

Another week and already we are nearly halfway through April. This year is going so fast! The 100 Day Project has encouraged me to do a little bit of stitching everyday and it has paid dividends.
Continue reading “Getting ready for winter.”

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Block of the Month · Quilting · sewing

Relaxed, refreshed & rejuvenated!

I hope everyone has had a great Easter and the Easter Bunny brought you lots of chocolate! In Australia we have a four day holiday for Easter. Here in Perth the weather has been absolutely beautiful! I love this time of year. Cooler mornings and evenings and warm days. It makes you glad to be alive when you experience weather like this.
Continue reading “Relaxed, refreshed & rejuvenated!”

Block of the Month · Knitting · Quilting · sewing

So many projects…not enough time…

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This week has been a bit hit and miss as far as spending time in my studio is concerned. I did manage to finish the centre blocks for the charity quilt I’m working on. I just need to put the borders on and I am done. The inner border is ready to go.

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On Saturday I went to Handcrafter’s House to have a one-on-one demo on the Handiquilter Amara long arm quilter and I have to say I am impressed. It ran really smoothly and has some great features. It has definitely made my mind up that this is the machine I want. Elinor from Handcrafter’s was so helpful. I really appreciated the time she spent with me. Then she helped me pick out some fabric for the outer border for the charity quilt.

Then I went up to Helena College in Glen Forrest to the Artisan’s Markets. Unfortunately, it was raining and absolutely freezing up there so there wasn’t as big a turn out as they had hoped I suspect but I’ll give them credit; they turned up and stood out in that cold selling their wares. I bought some lovely handspun wool from Dyeing For Ewe. I can’t wait to make it into a shawl and found some gorgeous earrings that I would have bought but the wind kept blowing the internet connection out. I plan on purchasing them from French Attic’s website.

I have now finished the quilting for the cushion, come wall hanging. This really is a sampler quilt full of firsts. It’s the first time I’ve made a Dresden plate, and the first time I’ve used my walking foot for something other than straight lines. I’m pleased with the result. Not too bad for first tries. I can actually imagine what I would have done if I had my long arm quilter. It’s making me so excited.

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My Homespun BOM is coming along nicely, although I still have a lot to do, so it may go into the next month. I’ve nearly finished sewing all the clamshells together and then I just have to remove the papers and trim it to size. The fabrics are so gorgeous in this quilt. I love spending time with them.

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At the WAQA sewing night last Wednesday, I picked up another block to do for March. This block was a star and really easy to do. I loved the colour of this block but the blue fabric was quite thin and unravelled easily. I was glad to get it together before it unravelled completely.

I’ve also been contacting wholesalers about buying wholesale should I decide to open up my business. Responses have been very positive so far. I’ve also got plenty of designs buzzing around in my head that I really need to sit down & get out. I have also been continuing to put my stash into the Quiltography app so I have my stash with me all the time. I’ve got about a sixth of it in, so quite a bit to go yet.

So this week, I want to finish the borders on the charity quilt, bind or add a back to the cushion/wall hanging and try and finish the majority of the Homespun BOM. I also want to finish my scarf and one of the socks I’m knitting. I’m so glad it’s the Easter long weekend here so I get 4 days to create rather than just two. I also want to work on a quilt I started years ago that has a Ohio Star in it. I think I’ll take it to my sewing night tomorrow and get Chris to help me with it. Oh, and I want to get some of these designs out of my head and onto paper so I can start seeing if they have any potential.

Have a great week.

Until next time…happy creating!

Block of the Month · Quilting · sewing

Being a Domestic Goddess.

This week finds me in a very good mood. It’s been over a month since I’ve had a visit to the hospital and I’ve been pain free. I’m getting my life back and with it a renewed vigour. I still have some more tests to do but I am finally seeing a light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. I can finally see life without endometriosis. It’s been a very busy week but not much craft has been done.

I was a Domestic Goddess on Sunday, making some mixed berry jam, pikelets and some lunches for the week. The jam & pikelets were absolutely delicious for my morning tea this morning.

On Saturday I spent the afternoon with my Mum and my niece and nephew, Darci & Braith, at the park in Kalamunda. It was a beautiful, sunny, cool afternoon and we had heaps of fun walking around the park and then playing in the playground. Oh and eating tiny chocolate Easter Eggs.

On Friday night, Hubble and I went to the Night Markets in Kalamunda. We had the best pizzas – so fresh! And then we downed some Dutch Pancakes. Absolutely devine! The sunset was amazing!

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So, on Wednesday night I went to Laneway Quilts for my sewing night. I had a lovely night with some like-minded women, all working on beautiful projects. I managed to get most of the charity quilt rows sewn together. I have one more to sew and then I can sew them all together and get ready to put the borders on.

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Then on Sunday I got to spend some of the day working on my Dresden plate cushion cover, which has now become a wall hanging for my sewing room because I love it so much. Last time I put some photos on I was trying to decide how I could hide the fact that you could see the fabric underneath. I ended up doing some machine embroidery (something I haven’t done before) around the edges. Then I started quilting it. I did some echo quilting and then some big arcs randomly around around the plate. Instead of using my walking foot, I used my open toe foot so I could see what I was doing and it also gave me a bit more freedom in the movement of the foot. Not perfect but good practice. I still have the borders to do.

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I then finally started my Homespun BOM block, which is a sampler block. I’m putting together some clamshells. I’m loving that I get to try lots of things I’ve never tried before with this BOM quilt, like clamshells. I might even work on these tonight after dinner.

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One of the most exciting things I did this week was I found an app called Quiltography. I have wanted to buy the quilting design software EQ8 but I need to update my computer, so I had a look to see if there was an app that did something similar and that’s when I found it. It’s a great app. It lets me add my fabric stash so that when I’m designing quilts I can see what it looks like with the fabric I have in my stash. It also lets you take shots of fabric on the internet so that you can see what the fabric will look like in the quilt before you actually buy it. It has about 180 blocks and you can design your own blocks. I’ve had so much fun with this app & I’ve already designed a quilt and a wall hanging too. If you’re a quilter who likes to design then go check it out.

This week I have my WA Quilter’s Association sewing night. I’m looking forward to picking up more Community Quilt blocks. I also have a one-on-one demo at Handcrafter’s House to look at the Amara, a long arm quilting machine I’m thinking of buying. I want to have a really good look at it before I make a decision.

I also want to check out some Artisan Markets on the weekend for inspiration, so I hope the weather continues to be lovely.

Well Hubble has cooked a roast pork for dinner and my tummy is grumbling, so I’m off to eat. Have a great week!

Until next time…happy creating!

Block of the Month · Knitting · Quilting · sewing

It’s all about the quilt

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Exciting news today! My labels arrived from The Dutch Label Shop and I love them. I’m going to use them on my quilts. All I have to do is add a date to them with permanent fabric pen. I’ve also been thinking about opening an Etsy store with some of my craft items and these labels could also be used for these items. I also bought some of the tags that I can attach care instructions to. Ideas are still developing in my head but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I really just need to nut out what I want to sell and how much I want to sell it for.

This week has been all about the charity quilt, which I have now finished all the blocks for. I still have to sew them together and add the borders before it is ready to quilt. I have laid it out on the bed in my guest room so I can go back and look at it every now & then & see where I want to change blocks around. I’ll start sewing it all together at my sewing night at Laneway Quilts.

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Apart from this quilt I haven’t done much other sewing. This evening I attached the Dresden plate I’ve been working on, to the background fabric. I love it except that you can see the ends of the plates sitting behind the centre circle. I’ve decided to embellish the centre circle to try & disguise this. I’m going to embroider little vines and maybe flowers over it. I haven’t decided whether to do it by machine or hand as yet. So I’ve learnt my lesson with this – to always use really good fabric and/or a bit of stabiliser behind it. Oh well, it’s my first go at the Dresden plate so I’m pretty pleased.

I have finished prepping for the 2nd block of the Homespun BOM and am about to start the clamshells. It’s so pretty and I’m getting to try my hand at a lot of different things. I have also been practicing my free motion quilting. I figure if I can get the hang of it on my domestic machine then I can buy the Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen but if I can’t then I’m going to have to splash out on the Amara Long Arm Quilter. So far, I’m crap but I’ve only had a couple of practices, so I’ll persevere and see how it goes.

Lastly, I’ve been fitting in a bit of knitting every morning before work and sometimes before bed. My scarf and socks are coming along nicely and I’ve done two more crochet patterns. I’m really enjoying expanding my crochet repertoire.

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I don’t know what I’ll do with these practice pieces I’m making…maybe frame them and hang them on the wall or maybe make a cushion cover…

Well that’s all for now. Have a great week!

Until next time…happy creating!

Block of the Month · Knitting · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Dust bunnies, quilt blocks & knitting…oh my!

Well another week has been and gone and all my spare time has been once again consumed with all things creative. This weekend was a long weekend in Perth and today was really the first day where I have not spent the whole day doing sewing. My house was getting to the stage where I could not ignore the dust bunnies hopping around any longer so I spent most my day today cleaning. Then in the afternoon after a well deserved shower (in a sparkling shower recess) I spent some time outside enjoying the view and listening to all the different varieties of birds flitting about in the trees and bushes around my home. It was so peaceful I do believe I may have dozed off for a few minutes.

So what do I have on the go this week? Let’s see… The second block for the Homespun Block of the Month came out on Friday and I have prepped for that by organising papers for paper piecing, etc.

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I have also being doing a stitchery that I got off the front of a magazine (Mollie Makes). It’s really cute and I want to take it to work to brighten up my desk.

I have also started knitting a scarf in prep for winter and a pair of merino wool socks. I have also bought some cotton to make some crocheted face washers & practice some of the fancier crochet designs.

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Lastly, my sister Chelsea has a team for the Relay for Life this year to raise funds for cancer research. I have joined her team this year, hoping I will be well enough to go in it. I have volunteered to make a quilt that she can raffle off to raise funds for her team. So I have been busy deciding on the pattern and organising fabric, etc. I’m loving the fabric – blues, burgundy, pinks & taupes. I hope Chelsea likes it too.

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Oh and one other thing. I found out that there is a quilt shop in Kalamunda, just 5 minutes from my house. My prayers have been answered AND the owner, Chris, puts on a sewing night on Wednesdays, which I can’t wait to attend. The store name is Laneway Quilts. Check it out on facebook.

Well have a great week.

Until next time…happy creating!

Block of the Month · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Butterflies & Dresden Plates.

Well, it’s been another busy period as far as craft is concerned. The Homespun magazine Block of the Month started in February and for most of the month I tried my hand at needleturn appliqué. But last week I had had enough. My work looked terrible and I was not enjoying it at all. I could see if I persisted with this that I would end up with a lot of fabric sitting on a shelf never to be realised into the beautiful quilt it should have been.

So I consoled myself that I had tried and that I was wise enough to know when to cut my losses. I unpicked all the needleturn I had done and started putting the block together like I have always done…machine buttonholed. And I was enjoying putting the block together again.

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I picked a cotton thread in a grey/cream that blended with most of the fabrics in the quilt. Once I had worked out where everything was to go it all came together really quickly & by Saturday afternoon I had finished attaching the appliqué to the background. Then all I had to do was the hand embroidery, which I finished this evening. First block done and dusted!

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I have always wanted to try to make a dresden plate block and I got a template on the front of a quilting magazine a few months ago, so I decided to give it a go. It’s not yet completed but it’s coming together nicely. I love the colours. As I have said before, green and pink is my favourite combination and sometimes I finish a project without even realising that I have once again used pink and green fabrics. This project has a touch of blue thrown into the mix. This dresden plate will be used for the second cushion I am designing. It is going on a background of green homespun. I can’t wait to show you the finished project.

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Lastly, I made a promise to myself that I would do more for the community. I feel very grateful to live where I live and to have all the wonderful people and things that I have in my life. I want to give back somehow using the skills and talents that I have been given. As you know, I am a member of WAQA and they have community quilts, where they put together quilts that are then given to people in need, such as victims of domestic violence, cancer patients, neonatal care units and the elderly. They have members take home a pattern and pre-cut fabric which is put together into a block and then taken back, where at Community Quilting Bees, are put together into beautiful quilts. I decided to take one home at the last meeting, just to see how I went and I have to say, I really enjoyed putting it together. So much in fact that I will be taking more home next month to put together and hopefully be well enough to attend a Quilting Bee or two to help put the quilts together.

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So now, I’m waiting for the March Homespun to come out to start on the next block for the Block of the Month quilt. I want to finish the Dresden plate cushion and maybe even start quilting my Happy Days quilt. We’ll see. Fingers crossed I stay well enough to do all I have planned.

Enjoy your week and until next time…happy creating!

Knitting · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Fabric Stores & Honeymoons

Due to all the crap that went on in our lives last year, Hubble and I did not get to go on the honeymoon we had planned and it was looking like we would not get to go this year either. But as you know some things are best when they are organised at the last moment. On the spur of the moment Hubble and I decided we needed to have a honeymoon even if it was for but a short time. The Universe was surely looking after us too. The Sunday before we were to leave we got an email from the place we had booked advising us that due to unforeseen circumstances they had to close the hotel down for three days and would we like to reschedule or be placed in another hotel…this hotel being Cape Lodge – a 5 star luxurious hotel. Since it was too late to change our leave we jumped at the chance to stay at Cape Lodge. And it was beautiful. We were greeted in our hotel room with rose petals in the shape of a heart.

The weather was pretty dismal whilst we were away but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, eating great food, wine tasting and visiting quilt stores (yes I have the best husband ever)!

We first visited Sew Gentle Era in Bridgetown. A lovely little shop on the main thoroughfare through Bridgetown. The owner was lovely and she had some lovely fabrics available.

Next we visited Spool & Spindle in Margaret River. Helen, the owner, was lovely as well and really helpful, telling me about another quilt store in Vasse. This store sold more wool than fabric but it had Liberty fabric, and some gorgeous Tilda (I think). The wool products were gorgeous and there were comfy lounges and chairs so you could while away the hours knitting in the warmth of the store.

Lastly we visited Cotton Rose in Vasse. Tanya is the owner and she has a gorgeous store. Tanya was really knowledgeable and helpful, giving us some great tips on where to eat. Another store with a comfy lounge, which my patient husband was grateful for.

I obviously could have spent hours in each store but I couldn’t torture Hubble too much and we were on our honeymoon.

So this week has been more about shopping than creating, although I did get a few hexi flowers done up. When we got home I had some time to finish the blocks on my Happy Days quilt so now I have to put them together. And I spent about an hour undoing my cross stitch where I had stuffed up – so frustrating!

Sorry there are no photos this week. I wanted to put the stores logos up and some pictures of our trip but all this weather is playing havoc with our internet connection, so it isn’t happening this week.

Have a great week!

Until next time…happy creating!

Knitting

Somewhere under the sea…

Good evening everyone. My, it has been a busy week! My niece’s 4th birthday has finally been and I excitedly gave her the present that I had been working on for weeks. I was so happy to see that she loved it. In fact, she hopped into it straight away and started waving her legs around like she was swimming (so much for the staged photo of her lounging on the couch…). She even took it to bed with her but since it is not quiet cold enough for bulky winter blankets I did hear her ask her Mum if it was okay to get out of it. God bless her.

Continue reading “Somewhere under the sea…”