Wednesday 28 December 2011

2012 UFO Challenge

Each year I plan to finish Every. Single. Thing.  I have started.

You know how well that always turns out.

This year I've decided to do it differently.   I couldn't possibly finish all I have started - there is just too many hours of work there and so little time to do it.  It would be foolish for me to even try.  But I can finish a few things, and that is why I've decided to join Judy's 2012 UFO Challenge.

I think the basic premise is this - find 12 UFO's in your cupboard (oh the challenge - which twelve of the hundreds should I pick?), post them onto your blog along with photos if you like.  Let Judy know your twelve (not yet sure how I do this but no doubt I'll figure it out) and then once a month, you finish one.  Easy peasy. 

So which twelve to pick? 

1/  The Blue Cream Scrap Quilt

I'm totally in love with this quilt.  It's one of those that looks so much better from afar.  I've made most of the units, now I just have to put each block together and stitch them into rows.  Should be easy.

2/  The Joseph's Coat Quilt

Maybe I'm being a little optimistic about this one.  It's a BIG job.  But goals are there to aim for, aren't they?

3/  Quilting Group Mystery Quilt

This is half pieced, now I just have to a/ find the other pieces b/ iron them all back into shape c/make the quilt and quilt it.  Easy really.

4/  Blue String Quilt

This one is nearly done, it just needs me to handsew the white binding onto the back, and then stitch into rows.  One day I'll do a tutorial on this too.  I know there's heaps out there but too bad.  I enjoy tutorials.

5/  Amish Quilt.

You've not seen this one yet.  I was going to offer it as a mystery quilt but decided it was just too challenging for me to finish/write it all up/keep posting about it/etc.  Resolution Number One:  Recognise my limitations.

6/  Orca Bay Quilt.

Am currently drowning in this.  I'm not sure I will ever get this amount of work finished for one quilt.  Not enjoying it one little bit but I'm sure I'll get into the swing of things once things settle down here.  I'm confident I'll love the finished result. 

7/  Hand Embroidered Quilt Version One

Each block in this design was made by my 91 year old grandmother for my daughter.  One good afternoon's sewing will knock this design off my UFO list.  Then I will beg my lovely mother who has a long arm to quilt it for me, as I haven't a clue how to quilt a design like this.

8/  Hand Embroidered Quilt Version Two

The second of a set of blocks hand stitched by my grandmother, this one made for my other daughter. Again, all it needs is a little bit of stitching and then quilting.  I want to get it finished as 91 year old grandmother is - well, 91 and her time may be limited (oh how I hate writing that!).

9/  Crocheted Pink/Cream/Variagated Granny Square Blanket

Not a quilting project but I'm guessing that no one will mind.  And after all, it is my UFO list.  It's taking up a lot of space in my sewing room and I'm all about emptying out the space.

10/  Flying Geese/Heart Quilt

This one consists of lots of blocks left over from other quilts in my whole pastel quilt journey, and I just couldn't make them fit.  So I've decided to put them into a quilt with a row of hearts.  I've seen a picture of something kind of the same and I think it'll work.

11/  Master Bedroom Quilt

We've been in our house for nearly four years now and I've been saying as long as that "I must make a quilt for our bed".  It already has one on there, a much loved, much used one but the whole bedroom looks unfinished.  This quilt is one of those 'I know kinda where I'm going with it but where it ends up is anyone's business' designs, but so far so good. 

12/  Framed Vintage Stitched Pictures

These are all finished and appliqued, and I have brought the frames to put them in.  I just need to hand stitch them and mount them, then hang them in my formal lounge.

So that's the list!  Sorry the photos aren't fabulous but they'll do for now.


Thursday 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Well, not quite but I'm sure I won't be able to pop in before our Christmas day, so whilst I have a few free minutes, I thought I'd get in first!

There are no pictures to show you, nothing that I've been working on except an ever growing pile of presents wrapped and hidden.  We don't put our pressies out until Christmas Eve - even those that aren't for the children.  I can't forget going to sleep Christmas Eve with nothing under the tree, and then waking up to an explosion of presents.  It was magical and I want my girls to feel that too.

But I'm pooped, I tell you.  I don't think we truly appreciate how much work our mothers did during these times until we become one ourselves!  It doesn't help that the three year old has a dreadful chest cold and her cough wakes her up in the middle of the night, and scares her, and getting her back to sleep is a real challenge. 

I plan to post between Christmas and New Years', with my resolutions for 2012, bloggy ones, family ones, and crafty ones.   Time can only tell if I will achieve any of them this year. 

I did manage one resolution this year - start a blog, maintain it, see where it takes me.  I'm so thrilled that I've made such lovely friends through the internet, and I'm hoping that next year will be bigger and better in that way.  You've no idea the pleasure it gives me, this little blog.  Please hang around next year too!

So until then, please have the very best Christmas - eat too much, drink a little too much wine, have a nanna nap in the afternoon and have a wonderful, wonderful day!

All the best,


Saturday 17 December 2011

A quick update

I don't have much in the way to talk to you about, but I thought you might like to see the latest hexagons I've been piecing.

They may look enormous, but they are less than an inch across the width of each individual hexagon, and less than three inches wide altogether.

I found a packet of hexagon papers left over from my shop days, and have had a lovely time basting them onto some hexagons I cut from the Go cutter.  I'm thinking of sashing them with white in between, but as I only have three finished flowers for now, that step may wait a while.

That's all for now, hope your weekend goes well and I'll talk to you soon!


Friday 16 December 2011

A finish to show you

I've finished my hexagon quilt as you go quilt/table centre/don't know what.

The front:

The back:

A close up of the back:

And the 'I'm trying an arty shot' one:

It's a gloriously sunny day today, which makes the picture a little glary but I can't wait till it's later in the afternoon because - well, I have no patience!

I've been asked to provide a tutorial for the hexies and I'm happy to do this - there are lots of ones out there but what the hey, I don't mind doing another one!  But I know my limitations and it won't be this year.  So keep checking and maybe earlier next year I can give it a go.

I'm thinking a lot about this blog - what I can do to make it a good place to visit, what I can offer you.  I know there are a million quilting blogs out there, I'm so pleased that you choose to visit mine.  I know what I don't like when I visit blogs - and it's giving me lots of pause for thought right now. 

Another things blogs are good for - they get your brain working!  I'm always thinking of blog stuff, blog pictures, blog content.  If you don't have one, I so encourage you to start yourself one.  It's great fun!.

I'm off to pick up DD from school now, it's her last day and next year she'll be in a whole new class.  And it means I will have two little people at home with me all summer.  They play beautifully together at the moment and the baby misses her big sister at the moment, so it'll be lovely.  I hope.  I hope they get on and don't drive me nuts.  I have my fingers crossed.

Till another day


Thursday 15 December 2011


Christmas shopping done?  Check!

House vaguely presentable for children's playdate this after noon?  Check!

Washing on the line?  Check!

Tree up, decorations on?  Check!

Sewing all finished, bound, tidied away?  Oh, I seriously doubt it.

Have not even set foot near the sewing room to even tidy it up, let alone get stuck into a little sewing.  But I'm feeling in control of stuff right now, so bring on Christmas!

I'll leave you with a picture or two of some Christmas related sewing that I managed to do this year - I appliqued some lovely checked teatowels with Nancy Halvorsen designs.  Do you think I know where they are now?  Not a clue.

The last one is a Chook Shed design, for those of you familiar with the Australian designers. 

I make all this stuff for Christmas throughout the year, then put it away 'somewhere safe' and then either forget the darn stuff exists, or I lose it. 

But through the power of the internet and digital photography, you can see it!  Hooray!

Speaking of digital photography, I've decided to treat myself to a proper digital camera.  Not a point and click one, but one with a big lens that will take really delicious, light photos.   I'm thinking of getting a Nikon D3100.  Does anyone have a recommendation? 

Must choof off now, will hopefully post tomorrow. 

Happy Quilting!


Saturday 10 December 2011

It's not Saturday again, is it?!

I must admit, I got a bit of a shock when I realised it had been a week since I made my last blog post.

I'm struggling a little here - being two weeks out from Christmas, with school holidays about to start, and concerts and parties and drinks events to go to,  I'm just not sure I can be stretched in as many ways as I am expected to be.  The sad/funny/ironic thing is that we deliberately turned down at least half of our invitations this Christmas season.  It's just all too much and I feel that we're losing the whole point of family time.  It's something I struggle with.  My husband's job requires a fair amount of 'schmoozing', and this time of year is renowned for that.  I'm not sure what the answer is. 

Consequently I have two very tired little people who are ever so slightly turning into the 'I need sleep and I'm fighting it' monsters.  And a husband who is all partied out.

But - enough whinging!  You'll be pleased to know I've been somewhat productive with my spare three minutes a day.

I like to do different crafts at different times.  While DD is having her (infrequently now) afternoon nap, I like to sit and do hand work while I watch a movie or something I've taped.  So, I've knitted this:

Please forgive the unvaccummed carpet.

It's not for us - no more babies for us.  But I love knitting and I love that I can knit a matinee jacket in a couple of days, and practice all my knitting skills on something that doesn't weigh too much and doesn't take up much space in the cupboard.  And the good thing about babies, is they are always being born, and I always have a little gift to give to any new mums.

I've finished all my blue string blocks for Bonnie's quilt, haven't even come close to starting my black/white half square triangles, and have little or no chance to get any of the red string blocks done this side of Christmas.  I sewed all those blue strings using normal stitch length, and now when I try and take the paper out, it stresses my stitched seams so I have to go very slowly.  Not enjoying it much.  Not really loving this whole mystery, I must admit - no disrespect to Bonnie.  Perhaps I shouldn't have taken it on, this close to Christmas.  I'm nearly all stringed out. 

This box has not had the lid off for a week.  I only took the lid off so I could take a photo.  The lid is back on.  I'm kidding myself if I think I'll get to that any time soon.

I've also been hand stitching the hexagons I showed you a little while ago.  I'm on the downside of that - nearly three quarters of them are stitched together and whilst every single one is a different size, I find that with a little bit of stitching and pulling and stitching and holding my breath, I can make them fit.  As long as there are no quilt police nearby, I'll be okay.

Surprisingly, I really, really like it.  I wasn't expecting to quite so much.

So that's my Saturday roundup.  What's new in your world? 

Talk to you soon,


Saturday 3 December 2011

My Saturday Update

I've got a few minutes in between shopping for groceries and taking the two little people to a birthday party (high tea at a rose garden for a six year old's party - even I'M excited!!) so I thought I'd pop in and say hi.


The concert was AWESOME!  Loud, totally over the top and I knew every word of every song.  I went out for tea with my husband before hand and had TWO glasses of wine, so I felt very much like singing when I went in.

(I don't get out much these days)

This was the band, for those of you who live in Australia - and they were fabulous.  There were lots of old rockers there, bald heads, big tattoos.  I didn't really fit in, being tattoo-less, but it didn't matter.

I have had some grief - I had to have a tooth removed and now it's infected and the dentist says the only thing that will fix it is time...gee whiz, labour didn't hurt as much as this.  I've been a bit spacey this week, as I've been given pain killers that make me feel all sorts of tired and they only half work so it's not been the best of weeks health wise.  I'm very blessed that the biggest thing I have to complain about with my health is a very sore tooth.  My girls are following me around, apologising ALL the time because Mummy is so crabby - which makes me feel even worse.  They've got that guilt thing down pat, I tell you.

I've been stitching my Orca bay squares for a few days now, and have made about half.  I've done all the black/white hourglass blocks, and am yet to start on the 29573 half square triangles she wants us to do this time.  The half square triangles of the last quilt darn near killed me - I think I am a sucker for punishment.

And that's it for my update today.  I don't have any pictures to show you, but I'll aim for that tomorrow. 

Hope your Saturday is doing well, and I'll see you soon!


Thursday 1 December 2011

Bountiful Bouquet Free Block Of The Month - Month Three

I hope we're all okay out there, struggling through with months one and two.  Can I tell you a secret?  I've not even started to applique my first month yet.  It's still just ironed on, as it was that first post.

This month is an easy one, at least I reckon it's easy.  It's just straight sewing.  Easy Peasy.

It's the old favourite, the Log Cabin.  There's a thousand tutorials out there, so I hope even the beginners will be able to fly along with this step.

We will need our background fabrics and coloured fabrics (scraps will do).  Now my Electric Quilt picture shows that all my blocks are the same, just rotated.  It's totally up to you if you want to do the same fabrics for each block or make each one different.  There are no rules, it's your quilt!  Just follow the rule of cream on one side/coloured on the other and bob's your uncle.

Now, I'm not the best piecer on the planet so I have always cut a little larger and trimmed back after sewing, which is what I will do on this block too.  I find it makes a much better block if you do it that way.

Cut your strips (just do a few at a time so you won't have wasteage) into 1.75" strips.  For each block you will need four coloured fabrics (I used the same red centre on all my log cabin blocks) and three creams.

**note - if you're into cutting exact measurements, rather than trim back like I do, you will need to cut 1.5" strips.**

Traditionally the centre of a log cabin is red, to symbolise the fireplace at the heart of the house. 

Log cabin blocks are quickly made by chain piecing, however for the purposes of today's post I will just show you one.  Feel free to make all six blocks at the same time if you wish.

From a coloured fabric and a cream fabric, cut two 1.75" squares and stitch together (logs one and two).

Iron away from the background fabric

Trim this unit to measure 1.5" x 2.5" being sure that stitched line is in the centre (i.e. 1.25" in width on either side).

Cut a matching background strip approximately 3" long.  Lay this strip underneath the pieced unit and stitch down as shown, making sure that a little extends from either side (log three)

Press away from the background fabric again and trim unit back to 2.5" square.

(obviously that's not a trimmed back one.  I forgot to take a photo)
Turn block counter clockwise.  Cut a coloured strip approximately 3" long and lay under as shown before (log four)

Stitch down, press block open and trim square to 2.5" x 3.5".

Turn block counter clockwise.  Cut a strip from the same fabric approximately 4" and lay under as shown before (log five)

Stitch down, press block open and trim square to 3.5" square

(see?  It's easy!)

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip from background fabric of approximately 4" and lay under as shown before (log six)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 3.5" x 4.5".

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip from the same background fabric of approximately 5" and lay under as shown before (log seven)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 4.5" x 4.5"

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip from a different coloured fabric of approximately 5" and lay under as shown before (log eight)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 4.5" x 5.5"

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip from the same fabric of approximately 6" and lay under as shown before (log nine)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 5.5" x 5.5"
Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip of another background fabric of approximately 7" and lay under as shown (log ten)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 5.5" x 6.5"

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip of the same background fabric of approximately 7" and lay under as shown (log eleven)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 6.5" x 6.5".

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip of a different coloured fabric of approximately 8" and lay under as shown (log twelve)

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 6.5" x 7.5"

Turn block counter clockwise, cut a strip of the same fabric of approximately 8" and lay under as shown (log thirteen).

Stitch down, press open and trim block to 7.5" x 7.5"

And you're done!

Lather, rinse and repeat with the remaining five blocks to make a total of six 7.5" blocks altogether.
Stitch them together into one long row measuring 7.5" x 42.5".  Feel free to stitch them in any way, as long as you are happy with the placement, that's all that matters!

So as usual, please email me or send me a note with any queries and I'll be happy to help you if I can.

We'll see you next month!