Monday, 20 July 2015

Back on the bandwagon

School holidays are almost over and as such, life is beginning to return to normal.  Yesterday was Sunday, and I’ve made a semi formal decision to devote Sunday afternoons to sewing No Matter What.  So Yay!  I have something to show you!

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A while ago, I tried my hand at hand dying some fabric.  I’ve got many pieces of muted colours now but the dying didn’t really work as I would have liked.  I really didn’t get the bright, crisp colours that I wanted.  I didn’t know what to do with all these fabrics and they were sitting there, bothering me.  Bugging me to use them up and get rid of them.

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Did I mention that I’m a horrible flyer?  And the thought of four hours on a plane to Darwin was filling me with dread? I needed something to occupy my mind before we left.

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So I stitched these little stars (or at least, cut them out) before I left.  It’s amazing how craftwork can calm the mind when you need it to.  I cut out the whole quilt before I left and stitched a couple of the stars too.

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Yesterday, being Sunday, I spent my day putting it together.  It’s not big enough, but I still have lots more fabric yet that I can add to it.  I think I might do another round of stars, and then perhaps – well, I don’t know.  But I find my best quilts are ones that grow organically, without any firm plan at the start.  So that’s the plan. There is no plan!

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My youngest daughter has already put her name on it, so this one might actually get finished!  Wouldn’t that be a radical concept!

I hope you’re keeping warm, or cool, or whatever you need where you are.  We had very cold weather here over the weekend, and thought it’s clear and sunny, it’s FREEZING right now.  Big shock from the lovely warmth of the top end.

See you soon!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

I’m back!

How many posts do I start with those words?

I have a good excuse this time.  We took our little family right up to the top of Australia and visited Darwin and the Top End over the school holidays.  I’ve never been to Darwin.  I flew over it once when I was nineteen but that’s all.  When we were invited to go to a wedding there last weekend, we jumped at the chance to take the children on a family holiday.

I have a million photos I could show you but I suspect it might be boring for you, so here’s a select few for now:

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Of course there is the mandatory crocodile photo.  I didn’t see as many crocs in the wild as I would have thought, which is fine with me because even though I didn’t see them, they lurk under the water and that’s where the danger is.  Quite the stealth hunter, the croc.

By far the highlight of our trip was a day or two in Kakadu National Park which I’m sure you’ve heard of.  We didn’t have nearly enough time to do all I wanted to do – it was hot and the kids are still little, so we couldn’t drag them out for too long.  It’s just so big and open and gorgeous, and WARM.  We are struggling trying to reacclimatise to freezing temps here now.

Darwin itself is a very happening place, but I suspect I’m about twenty years too old to fully appreciate it – it’s filled with backpackers having a wow of a time and sadly, those days are over for me!  It’s definitely the outback I want to see more of, and I can highly recommend it.

I was sad to say goodbye to the Northern Territory but I will be back!  I’ll research a little more this time and we’ll definitely be back!

As for quilting (hah!).  Haven’t stitched a stitch in at least two weeks.  Bit of a joke really.  The kids go back to school on Tuesday so hopefully I can show you at least something by then!

Talk soon!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Picture Free Post

Hi everyone.

Thanks so much for your lovely comments on the barnyard quilt.  I’ve decided to not be lazy and to stitch the extra borders on to the quilt – it was my original plan and I tend to ditch the final borders of my quilts out of sheer laziness.  It’s a habit I recognise in myself and so I’m not doing that this time.

I’ve had a few questions regarding where I got the pattern from – it was a quilt along by this lady here:

http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-quilty-barn-along-tutorial.html

She did make mention of taking it down at some point so I would suggest saving a copy of the instructions if you do want to make it.  You need to make your own six inch block for the barn wall but that’s not at all difficult, and there are eleventy million out there on the internet to use if you need help.

I’ve got a housework day today planned (oh my gosh, the state of the children’s rooms…….) but hopefully after lunch I shall be able to throw in a little stitching that I may be able to show you.

Till then, happy quilting!

 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Is it done yet?

I’ve been UFO’ing again, and I’ve been working on this quilt:

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I had made the blocks months ago (conservatively, it was probably closer to years) and had put it away, as I do with so many of my projects, because I didn’t have the right fabric to finish the sashings and borders.  But some time ago I brought the fabric online, and over the weekend I was able to finish.

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But I don’t know if I’ve finished.  The original design had borders.  But the more I look at it the more I think it’ll do.  Apart from the fact that it’s already a big quilt, the borders will make it immense and if I do actually finish this quilt all the way to the quilting, it’ll need to be a certain size to hang on the wall.  It’s definitely a wall quilt for me, I’ve never been a lover of one direction quilts on beds.  The fabric I have for the border is the same one I’ve used for the cornerstones of the sashings.  I planned to put a small cream border next, then a wider red one as the final border. 

But I don’t know.  I’m hemming and hawwing a lot about this top.

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So what do you think?  Am I being lazy by not adding a final border?  I’m thinking if I leave it as is, I’ll bind it with a stronger colour –perhaps even the green I used in the sashings. 

I’ve got it hanging on the design wall right now and each time I pass by I give it more thought.  Maybe a few more days hanging might firm up what I think.

Apart from quilting, it’s been a busy, hectic time here, but that is nothing new.  I have houseworked my butt off today, and I feel very virtuous.  So some soup for lunch will do me, and then I will have a few hours in the sewing room guilt free before I have to do the child from school, child to ballet run.

Busy Busy Busy.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A Finish

Hello lovely readers.

It is me, she with the cotton wool head. 

My cold is still there, hanging on for dear life despite the drugs I am throwing at it.  But it’s fine – it’s slowly, gradually leaving the building, as they say.

I managed to sew yesterday while the house was quiet and I have another flimsy to show you.

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The close ups give a much better idea of the colour – I’m still struggling with photography – my aim is to replicate as much as possible the original colour of the quilts I make.  Some days are better than others.

It’s a BIG quilt, and it’s stretchy as all get go.  After deciding I didn’t need to press it, I really did and spent much time unpicking and pressing and trimming back to get it all to go together.  I do like it, but I think if I made another one I would pay more attention the the colour placement, and try and highlight the centre squares.  And perhaps I would limit the amount of fabrics in it. 

But I doubt I’ll do another one.

Still it was a good exercise in quilting, and I must admit that as far as quilts go it was a quickie.  So it’s all good.

Now I’m going to take my cotton wool head and have some hot soup and maybe curl in front of the tellie with a movie and some knitting – it’s about all I feel up to right now.

Hope you have a lovely day!

Suzie

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Update on the sick old me

So my first daughter has had a really nasty cold, which she has given to me.  I’m sick of being sick, you guys.  I know it’s the time of year but seriously – twice in two months is doing me in!

But no whinging from me today (apart from that small one).  I have managed to fit some sewing in and have got motoring along with these blocks:

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I made a whole lot of them, and then realised that despite saying I didn’t need to press them last post, I really did.  And that made them all a little distorted, try as I might, so I had to then trim them all down.  But it was worth the effort (it always is worth the effort) and I am much happier with them.

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I’ve made all my blocks up but just pinned a few onto the board for pinup purposes.  It’s a much darker quilt than I originally thought it would be.  But it’s going to be quilted and popped on my spare bed, so this one will definitely be used and abused.  So dark is probably better than light!

I also had a go at Quiltville’s spools designed for leaders and enders.  I’m no good at that, I think I’ve told you that before.  I end up just sewing the whole quilt in one go rather than using them for their original purpose.  But they have intrigued me and so I had a go.

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Hideously horrible photo that one.  I’ll take a better one on the proper camera.

Do you find your ipad takes horrendous photos or is it just me?

Anyway, we have a long weekend and visitors this week so I may not be back for a while (what’s new??) but I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Suzie

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

An update...

Busy busy busy...story of my life.  How are things with you?

I have had a chance to do a quick bit of sewing.  We host a small class here on Tuesday nights, just four ladies who come share some sewing time away from their families.  They are always looking for something new to try and when I saw a tutorial for a Missouri Star Quilt pop up on my facebook, I thought it might be something they might like to try.

I've hopefully embedded the tutorial here:


It's much like another block in a quilt I made years ago, whose name I can't remember.  

So you remember that box of pretty pastels and greens?  The one that never diminishes no matter how much I use it?  I used a bit more, and no - the box is no lighter.

I am pretty pleased with the outlook of this quilt.  None of it is pressed yet, it's all on the bias and I'm just trying to stop the stretching for now, so it's only pinned.  But I do think it's pretty.


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So there you are - another quilt begun.  Because I need more quilt tops.

Hope your week has been a good one!

Suzie

Friday, 8 May 2015

What did we do before fusible webbing?

Back before I knew anything about quilting, I decided that I would make a design on one of the Disney characters I had always loved.  I was very young, probably about nineteen or twenty.

I didn’t know about fusible webbing like steam a seam or vliesofix.  I didn’t now about much really.  But I figured ‘this can’t be too hard’.

And it was SUPER hard.  I can’t believe I finished it.  I appliqued it all with pins and a good bit of cursing onto calico, with no sticking products at all, then I stitched it on with machine applique (which again, I had no idea how to do) but I think perhaps I was young and naive, and didn’t know how much easier it would have been with the right product.  And it just worked out.

It sat for so long as a cut out finished tiger, with no background.  I didn’t have a clue how to finish it off, but then the water colour quilt came into vogue and I thought ‘hmmm, that might do’.  So about fifteen years after I finished the tiger portion I finished the background section and now he is done. 

Well, he’s a flimsy.  But that’s done enough.

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What do you think? Yes, I’m well aware I broke about 397 copyright rules, but I figure I’m not selling it for money – I can’t see how Disney would have any sort of issues.  But don’t tell them, just in case.

Hope your day is a good one!

Monday, 27 April 2015

I'm back, and some lozenges to share...

I really do apologise for the quality of these pictures.

I'm not sure just how to take non-shaky pictures with my Ipod.  So much to learn there.

So I've dropped off the planet again.  Sorry about that.  I have the head cold from hell (still) and it's not showing any sign of leaving my body.  The reason I have the head cold from hell is that I told someone the other day 'we've not been sick for ages.....' and you know what the universe thinks about a bragger, don't you?!

I've been sewing when I can, and I decided to try Bonnie Hunter's leader and ender challenge - the lozenge.

It's an interesting block really.  It has lots of stretch in it due to the bias, which worked for me.  I could make most of my points match quite easily.  The colours are not too much to my liking, but I have this bag of fabric left over from the shop days and I'm determined to use them up, hence this new quilt.

Of course while we say we are going to use all our fabrics in these scrap quilts, the actual amount of fabric used was really very small.  I suspect there will be a few more scrap quilts made from this bag of fabric before it all gets used up.






In other news - the children go back to school tomorrow (yay....). I've loved having them home this time, they are good kids and play so well together.  But it'll be nice to have some quiet time and maybe even a chance to have some naps.  Maybe then I can kick this cold to the curb.

So hopefully all is well in your neck of the woods, and hopefully I shall be a better blogger in the next few months.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Show And Tell

Hi there.

It is school holidays.  I’ve packed off my children for three nights with their grandmother.  The house is quiet and still.  I’ve all the time in the world to quilt.

And I have a head cold.

Yay.

I thought I’d give you some show and tell today.  This quilt is a really old one that has been languishing in the cupboard for years, just waiting for ‘something’ to finish it off.

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It’s a disappearing nine patch, and it was finished to the red outer border.  But it wasn’t ‘finished’.  On my last visit to a fabric shop I brought some black and whites and in half an hour had stitched an outer border.  I think all it needs now is that red as a binding and it’s done. 

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It was a shop sample (so many shop samples) and we sold metre after metre of black and whites once people had realised what they could do with them.  I must admit that black and white prints can look very daunting, but this worked a treat.  Don’t you think?

I hope you’ve had a good day sewing, or quilting, or knitting, or whatevering!

Suzie