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!

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Healing · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

One Crafty Week!

Well this week has been very busy craftwise. I had three days off to rest and recuperate and I am so glad that I did. I feel so much better! It’s amazing how a little R & R can revitalise you. I feel more like my normal self than I have in years. On the Tuesday Hubble took me City Beach so I could scrunch my toes in the sand and smell the ocean air. It was a beautiful day and the water was pristine. I felt so healed after spending time down there. I realised how much I miss the beach now I don’t live across the road from it anymore. City Beach has all been renovated and there are lots of restaurants and kiosks that all look great. They have done a really great job on the foreshore there. Hubble & I had a drink at Hamptons and want to go back for lunch one day.

Craftwise, I decided that I wanted to make one of those cushions I’ve been designing to take to the outdoor cinema when we go. I only wanted to use the fabric that I had on hand. I had some candy squares I wanted to use and since we are in the month of love, I thought it only fitting that I used them to make a heart.

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I then appliqued the heart onto a piece of gingham that I had in my stash. Then using the colours from the heart I made a back for the cushion and gave it an opening using some left over Velcro I had. The back actually turned out great. I love the colours and it’s not going to show the dirt. I bought a feather cushion insert from Ikea. They are a little dearer than the normal polyester fill but so worth it. They are plump and squishy, just the way I like my cushions.

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And yesterday morning I finally finished the felt tote I had been working on. I’m pretty pleased with the end product. It’s the perfect tote for picking up a few things from the supermarket. I love all the embroidery on this bag and feel really confident now when I go to do my “Bird on a Wire” Quilt.

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I’ve also been busy cross stitching and don’t have much to go until I finish that. Very excited. I also started my BOM block and am up to hand stitching all the appliqué pieces onto the block. I’ll show you the finished block hopefully in a couple of weeks.

Well that’s all I’ve got time for now. Enjoy your week!

Until next time…happy creating!

Healing · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

On The Road To Recovery…

Well it has been about two and a half weeks since my surgery and I am finally starting to feel like my old self. Unfortunately, I only had two days off before going back to work (from home) and it has meant that my recovery has been a bit slower but I’m on a few days leave to try and get me back to fighting fit!

I had an implant put in last week, that puts me into temporary menopause for three months. Wow! I now totally sympathise with Mum & Sharon (my Stepmum) and what they were going through. Within twelve hours of having the implant, I had menopausal symptoms…mostly aching joints and sleeplessness (not good when you’re already sleep deprived). By Friday I was exhausted. But thanks to Sharon I have been using my Doterra oils, which have helped immensely with the aching joints and keeping me calm and happy. The best bit is that I have had no endometrial pain at all so I am so pleased about that. I am actually starting to remember what my life was like before chronic pain took over. I’m really looking forward to getting back to that!

I haven’t done much craft over the last couple of weeks. Mostly because I couldn’t sit at my sewing table for long enough and I also found it really hard to focus on something for very long (I think that must have been the painkillers). But the craft that I did do was quick & easy. Once again the Missouri Quilt Co inspired me to make some tissue holders. They make great little gifts and are good scrap busters. The ones I’ve made have already been given away. My niece, Darci, loved hers (she is definitely going to be a maker).

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I’ll have to make a few more and keep them as little pressies.

I also decided, after buying a box of alphabet buttons that I would make my niece, nephew and my granddaughter a pencil case each. They all have very unusual names or spellings of their names so they can never find anything with their name on it. I made them in bright homespun and zippers to make them more fun!

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You could do heaps more with this easy pattern but I just kept it simple to match my concentration span. They are fully lined in some pretty green fabric, which hopefully won’t show too many texta or pencil marks, and they can be washed if they get dirty on a normal wash in a laundry bag.

So that’s about all I’ve done, oh and a little bit of cross stitching.

However, I have some great projects on the horizon. I’m still on a mission to use up my fabric stash so I have a good excuse to buy more fabric. I also want to finish off some projects that didn’t get done last year. I want to quilt my Happy Days quilt, finish my felt tote bag and make a couple of cushions that I’ve been designing. And, of course, I want to continue on with the unfinished projects I have still sitting in my UFP box. But the most exciting project I have ready to go is the Homespun magazine BOM Quilt which is called My Butterfly Patch. For ten months the magazine publishes the pattern and you spend the month doing the block/s for that month and then you put it all together and quilt it. I fell in love with this quilt as soon as I saw it. I love the fabrics and the colours. It has quite a bit of hand stitching, which I wanted to get more adept at, so it is the perfect project for me. I’m hoping to take some hand quilting lessons this year as well so I can hand quilt it.

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So, I’m off to do some hand stitching and I think maybe have a nap.

Until next time…happy creating!

Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Busy Bee!

This week just gone has been a busy one for all things crafty. I worked on my “Just Sew Happy” mini quilt (Tied With A Ribbon).

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I also went & bought some flannel to make some baby bibs for a lady at work whose just had a baby girl (such a gorgeous little thing). These are so easy to make and so easy to tizz up if you want to with a little pocket or some appliqué or some lace trims. I love the rose bud flannel that I used as backing fabric, making the bibs reversible.

I also found a great way to use my scraps. I personally hate keeping scraps. I hardly ever use them and all they do is take up lots of valuable space, so usually I throw out the tinier scraps. However I am loathed to throw out scraps that are a bit bigger because they can be used for appliqué and such. However, my scrap box was starting to overflow and I had to think of a way to get my scrap pile down. Browsing through Facebook the other day I saw a video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and she talked about crumb piecing, which is basically sewing your scraps together to make fabric which you can then cut up to use in blocks or in appliqué, etc. I loved this idea and started to piece together my scraps.

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It is actually pretty relaxing, piecing pieces of fabric together in no particular order. And it gave me a great excuse to use my brand new tool – the Violet Craft Seam Roller. Whilst it was a little pricey at $25 I think it will pay for itself again and again, especially when doing piecing like crumb piecing. It saves you having to have the iron up. You just roll the seams flat and then at the end you can iron the seams all together. I was really impressed with it.

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I also have 2 new rulers I wanted to share with you. One is a quarter inch ruler which allows you to measure a quarter inch out from your seam. This is great for foundation piecing and needleturn applique. The last one is just a normal ruler but it has one side with rough dots on it so that it doesn’t move so easily when you are cutting fabric. There is nothing more annoying then measuring up twice, only to have your ruler slip on the cut and put your measurements out. I highly recommend both rulers.

Lastly I have been working on making an iPad case for my iPad for when we go on holidays later in the year. The original design by Hatched and Patched called “Nature’s Pace IPad Case” called for a mixture of applique and stitching. This is how I started it but decided that I just wasn’t feeling it so I decided to start again and do the whole front design in embroidery. I’m using back stitch, running stitch, satin stitch and a stem stitch. It is all in Country Garden Threads Granny Bonnet that was picked by Hubble, who I must say has pretty good taste. I’m loving it so far.

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Oh I almost forgot. A present arrived for me last Friday. For Christmas my niece received a Lalaloopsy doll, which are dolls that come to life when the very last stitch is sewn. She got Yuki Kimono & I fell in love with her instantly. So my gorgeous Hubble decided to buy me one for my sewing room.

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I’m one very lucky girl.

Well that’s all for now. My surgery has been brought forward to this week so I may not write for a couple of weeks, depending on how well my surgery goes.

Until next time…happy creating!

Healing · Quilting · sewing · Stitching

Happy New Year!

Well it has been a while since I have written in my blog. Unfortunately I have spent some time in hospital and the rest of the time I have been busily finishing my Christmas presents or resting as the good doctor ordered.

I promised that I would put some photos up of our Christmas decorations. Couldn’t go as all out as I wanted, purely because I wasn’t well enough but it was a start & I’ll expand on that next year or should I say this year. 2018 already! Christmas was quiet but relaxing, not as sad as I feared it might be (of which I was glad).

So what has been filling my time up? Christmas presents I made for my Mum and my sister. My sister was my secret Santa this year and since she’s had a pretty crap year I thought I would make her a quilt so that anytime she wanted a warm embrace & I couldn’t be there to give it to her, she could just wrap herself in her quilt.

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She is just such a gorgeous person. I truly hope she knows how much she means to me. I used my Accuquilt to make the chevrons and because I was only supposed to spend $40 – $50 I tried to use fabric from my stash. I wanted to quilt lots of geometric patterns on the chevrons but then I got sick, so in the end I just did some in the ditch quilting. I was so close to finishing but alas time did get away from me so the quilt was wrapped with a temporary label until I have time to embroider the real one.

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I wasn’t supposed to buy for Mum but I had already started this table topper from Natalie Bird’s book, “Cottage Style Charm”. My Mum’s house is really country and so I did it in these gorgeous aqua and pink fabrics. For the embroidery I used a Cottage Garden Threads (Ruby).

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I can’t wait to see it on her dining table. I’ll try and remember to take a photo of it next time I go up. Mum loved it and I hope it reminds her that she always has family, friends, love and home to support her.

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So before I got sick I did another lesson at Southlands Fabric & Sewing Centre. I took a photo this time of my work. Very sloppy but I’m pleased that you can recognise some hearts and wishbones.

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As I may have mentioned previously I have finally finished my “Happy Days” quilt top. Over Christmas I went and bought the backing fabric and wadding for it. My brain is very mushy at the moment so once I have my faculties back I will start quilting it.

I thought that whilst I was on holidays that I would try my hand at a Jemima Flendt kit that I bought from Carols of Midland. It’s called “Just Sew Happy” (see www.tiedwitharibbon.com). Once again I didn’t get much done. I’ve cut and stuck down all the appliqué pieces and now need to sew them on. I decided to do it by hand, mainly because my brain is not working very well and also because I really want a handmade feel to this little mini quilt. I may even try my hand at hand quilting it…

So that’s it for me for now. I have a specialist appointment next week so fingers crossed this illness gets nipped in the bud quickly and I can get back to my usual crafty self.

Until next time…happy creating!

Quilting

I’ve got the bug!

I had my first lesson today on a long arm quilting machine and I loved it! I’m addicted, hook, line & sinker. It was so much fun! I went to Southlands Fabric & Sewing Centre in Willetton and had the lesson with the store owner, Helen. Such a lovely lady. In fact all the staff are lovely. So friendly. My work was mostly swirls and stippling (very bad stippling) but towards the end of the lesson I was doing these little swirling hearts. Did I say how much fun it was. So now I want one.
Continue reading “I’ve got the bug!”

Balance · Healing

Brighten your day…

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This bunting sits in my office. I made it for Hubble & I’s wedding. I like that every time I sit in my office I am reminded of one of the happiest days of my life. One of the last times that my family will ever be together as a whole, now that my Stepfather has passed. My office also has one of my favourite photos. I took it with a compact camera and it is of my niece, Ivy. She is just a flash in the photo as she ran past me playing at the edge of the ocean one sunny afternoon. It really embodies the personality of her – playful, joyous, carefree and so full of potential.
Continue reading “Brighten your day…”