Thursday 30 January 2014

Hexagons and what to do with them

Our quilting group, that I visited last night, are all doing hexagons.  No one has any great project in mind, but it seems at least three quarters of our ladies last night were stitching away at their hexies.

They all do them differently – some favour the traditional way – the needle basted through the cardboard way.  Some favour the catching a stitch way, some favour the glue basting way.  I’m a firm follower of the needlebasted way – I like the slow, methodical work of the basting.

But what to do when you have stitched all your hexies?  When you’ve made a quilt and you have some left over?  I collated some links for you to look through – I’m definitely making more than one of these projects!


Hexies just scream pincushions to me.  This lovely one seems easy enough, and you can make it in any size.  I found it here: Hexie Pincushion Tutorial by Benita Skinner

5afb662c4202ec241086c7d81c8cd403 has an awesome quilt using BIG hexagons.  We always think small when we do hexies, but here’s a great way to make use of some BIG ones!


There’s a truly awesome hexie holder for those of us who need to make another pouch or bag!  This one is from Comfort Stitching.


Where The Orchids Grow has an excellent tutorial for a flex purse – I’m just drooling over those Liberty hexies. 


Fabadashery has a pattern for the most DIVINE (yes, I’m yelling – I love this) pincushion.  This one is definitely getting made.


DeliaCreates has a tutorial by See Kate Sew over at her website – these very sweet little hexie pouches.  Only problem is, they just use two hexies.  What do I do with the other 20294738739 I have made?

tut header copy

My Three Sons has a very clever little needlebook at her website.

So for now, that’s all the links I can find though I suspect there are many millions more out there.  I really need to stop surfing for links and start stitching but it’s been so hot the last few days all I want to do is sit very still. 

And so I will say goodnight for now, I’m still systematically working my way through the Grow Your Blog list, and I hope to visit lots more blogs in the next few days.

If you are new to here, I’m so pleased that you’ve come to have a look and I hope to hear from you!

Till tomorrow,


Monday 27 January 2014

So about this new quilt

I posted a few days ago about my plans for a new bed quilt, after deciding that I needed to retire the one on our bed.

I had started a new one a few years ago (of course I did) but as time goes on, I’ve come to think it’s too busy for a bed quilt, but ideal for a wall one.  What do you think?


The original plan was to turn it on its side and make it on-point, with big cream triangles out to the side, and more applique.  I have all the triangles pieced, and I’m pretty sure that this is where I’ll go from here.


But I needed a lot more ‘rounds’ to get it big enough to fit on our bed, and when I lay it there to have a look, I decided it was too showy for the bed, but perfect for the wall behind the bed.


I buttonholed the flowers and leaves, and needleturned the stems.  I used a bias maker for the stems and glued them down with Roxy glue, and years later, they are still stuck.  Most of them have been stitched now.


I was given a bag of leftover fabric from my mother in law who flirted briefly with quilting years ago and never continued with it – so I think I scored pretty well.  These fabrics are just gorgeous.


Again, it’s those lovely concord florals that seem to jump out at me.  I’m sure it’s time for a revival of them.



The design is not my own, or at least the centre is not my own – the outer borders I’m winging it, I must say.  When I remember who designed it, I’ll certainly let you know.  It was in an Australian Quilting magazine, on the cover all in blues and it was the prettiest thing I’d seen in a while.

I’m still systematically going through the GYB links Vicki posted at her website, and meeting such a lot of new people – it’s great fun!  So if you are here from that website, please say hi!  Let me know if you have a blog so I can head over there and see what you’ve been working on!

Till tomorrow,


Saturday 25 January 2014

Grow Your Blog

Hi to any new visitors - I'm so pleased to have you visit.

I've never done any sort of link up party thing in my blog before, but I'm trying new things this year, and I hope you enjoy reading what I have been up to.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Suzie, I'm Australian and I have one husband, two children, one dog and one cat.  I've been quilting for probably twenty five years, sometimes very productively and sometimes not so much.

Lately it's been not so much.  But I'm trying my hardest to improve that!

I'm into all sorts of needlework - quilting is what is predominately taking up my time but I do enjoy lots of other sorts of hand work.  Last year I brought myself a fancy quilt frame and I want to reinvest some time into my hand quilting.  Not wanting to be lazy (!!) I also have a spinning wheel and two bags of fleece and I want to teach myself how to do spinning too.  Can't be too hard, right?

I've done a couple of tutorials on the blog, a mystery quilt and a block of the month in the past.  I would love to do more this year, and it's on my list of Things To Do.  

I'm constantly to-ing and fro-ing with my craftwork, and can't settle long on one thing.  I hope that will settle down this year.  But at least life's not boring!

Thanks again for taking the time to visit me - I'm going to visit every one of the blogs that Vicki gives us links to so please keep a look out for me on your blog!

Happy quilting!


Friday 24 January 2014

Why I need to make a new quilt…and why it’s all my mother’s fault

This is a long story.  Bear with me.

My mother is making a hexagon quilt. 

She doesn’t have a large stockpile of fabric from which to make said quilt.

I do.  I have lots of fabric.

So a few times a month, she visits me and takes home some of my fabric to add to her quilt. Sometimes we spend a while picking the fabric that is just right, which means I’m rifling through bins of fabrics that I’ve long forgotten about.

That’s what I did today.  She decided perhaps she needed a dusky pink colour, and many moons ago I sorted all my fabrics into colours – and I had a whole box of dusky pink because I was going to make myself a quilt from it.  That quilt never happened, by the way.

So, whilst rifling, I found this:


That is the last little remnant piece of one of my favourite fabrics of all time.  It is so favourite, that I made a bed quilt from it.


Originally this quilt was going to be a Carolina Lily block, but I made one up and it looked revolting so I committed to making five thousand (seemed like it) more individual lily blocks so I could set them back to back.  They are all paper pieced, and it was a fairly mammoth task.

Never one to rest on my laurels, I then decided to hand quilt the thing and it took me twelve solid months at night after work to quilt it.

But I love it.  I adore it.  They will be wrapping it around my cold little body when they stick me in the ground, and they’ll have to pry it from my dead fingers if they want it back.

I’ve slept under that quilt for the best part of fifteen years.  It’s been washed so much it’s soft, and it’s worn thin in places and it has holes in it.


But here is the problem.  You know when you look at something day after day, year after year, you forget what it originally began life like.  When I found that remnant of fabric, I remembered how this quilt began its life.


Oh. My. Gosh.

I knew it had faded, but what I didn’t realise was just how much it had faded.  Every piece of that quilt is a faded remnant of what it was once.  The pink is so washed out in places it’s almost beige.

And so I’ve decided the time has come to make a new quilt for my bed.  This one will be lovingly laundered (again), I will label it (alas, most of my quilts are yet to be labelled) and I will lovingly and gently pack it away for some future generation to look at. 

In that fifteen years I’ve lost my father, my two grandmothers, a much loved dog who would sit on the edge of the quilt while I hand-quilted it and a cat who would sit on my feet at the same time.  I’ve changed a million nappies on that bed, my girls have been wrapped up in it when they are sick.  A lot has happened in that fifteen years. 

I’ll never, ever part with it. 

Till tomorrow,


Thursday 23 January 2014

It’s coming along

I’ve been able to steal five minutes here or there (oh…bring back school!!) and have moved along a little with Goodnight Irene.




The box of bits for it doesn’t seem to be getting down though.  I think scraps breed.  I really do.

Till tomorrow,


Wednesday 22 January 2014

How do you organise your quilting?

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you’d know organisation is something I struggle with.  In all aspects of my life, it’s something that challenges me day in and out.

I like to think my sewing room is reasonably organised – if you asked me to find something in there I would be able to put my hand on it fairly quickly.  I’ve got a cupboard in which I have stacked many plastic cheapo dishes and all the buttons are in one dish, all the dmc threads are in another.  A place for everything and everything in its place.

That works really well for the cupboard, and I’ve made myself a rule that if it goes in the cupboard, it goes in the right place.  At least I know that part of my life is sorted.

As for all the other bags, boxes and piles of fabrics, UFOs, PIGs and just plain out junk that surrounds the cupboard, I feel that I am one step away from appearing on Hoarders and that troubles me Big Time.

The kids aren’t back at school yet and time is still precious, therefore I have nothing to show you sewing wise.  But I have been surfing briefly this afternoon and found some excellent tips and storage ideas for your sewing room that I thought I would share.

I’ve spend way too many hours looking through those links.  I particularly encourage you, if you don’t already have a pinterest account, to get one.  It is another timewaster, admittedly but if you’re like me, a picture is worth a thousand words and there are so many excellent ideas on there. 

My other big problem is working out what to finish and when to do it.  I have so many UFO’s begun that I can’t settle on any one of them.  I think I’m going to give myself permission to work on five or ten at a time, that way I can move from one to another within that list as the mood takes me without having to dig through the cupboards again and again trying to find something that grabs me. 

I’m feeling very flighty right now – I’m finding it difficult to settle and I think it’s because my sewing room seems to be in such disarray.  First job on my list when the children go back to school is to get in there and Sort. It. Out.  I’ve already stuck the design wall back on that the cat knocked off, so that’s at least one job out of the way.

Hope those links help some of you.  Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments, best one wins a new kitten.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 21 January 2014

Goodnight Irene

I’ve managed to squeeze in five minutes of sewing today.  It’s one of those days, really – school goes back in a week and everyone is ready for that. 

Not been the best of days today, the house is a tip, the children are bored, the new addition (kitty) has been a right royal (*&* and has pulled two quilts from off the wall, unhinging the sticky hooks so that I have to refix them (which is no mean feat – I have to buy them, move the beds, get the ladder, stick the hooks back on, rehang the quilt, move everything back) and then to top it all off, I find the little darling has pulled the design wall down in my quilting room. 


But I did sew a little:





The quilt blocks are just pinned onto the last remaining portion of design wall.  That’s one more job I have to fix.

I tell you, if it’s not the kids touching my stuff, it’s the darn cat!  Good thing they are all cute.

Till tomorrow,


Monday 20 January 2014


After I posted my quilt blocks yesterday, I was randomly surfing and came across this quiltalong at Terry’s Treasures which I had seen a while ago, and then promptly forgot.  Notice anything? 

It’s the same quilt block!  I made mine in a totally different way, but Terry’s seems so much easier to assemble, so I’m signing up for her quiltalong right now. 

irene button

Don’t you think it’s funny how you can look at a block and think “Yes, you make this block this way”.  And then someone else comes along and says “No, actually the way I see it, this block is made this way” and both of you end up with the same result, but having used a totally different way of assembly. 

I like to think I’m pretty good at seeing how a block is made, but Terry’s way is sooo much easier than mine!

Till tomorrow,


Sunday 19 January 2014

And sew it goes

Haha.  Little pun there.

I sewed a little today!




I showed you this block a long, long time ago.  I stitched a lot of the individual units, half square triangles, four patches etc and in usual Suzie form put it away and never went back.  I’m jumping all over the place with my sewing right now, I can’t seem to settle on anything.  So today – I picked this one up.  I stitched a few of the units together and it seems to look okay.

I know the fabrics are replicated quite a lot in my blocks, but they mostly aren’t sewn together into one big unit just yet.  I just laid them out so I could show you.  My problem is going to be the finished size, I’ll have enough fabric for sixteen blocks (four rows of four), and that won’t be really big enough.  I do have enough background fabric to make as big as I like, so I may have to raid the stash and make a five by five quilt instead. 

We’ll see.

I didn’t love the first block, but as I put more together I think it’ll really grow on me.

Till tomorrow,


Saturday 18 January 2014

Update on the fire, and a quilt block!

Update on the bushfire:

All good, Robin Hood.  It’s not out yet, it’s burning its little way through a sizeable chunk of forest, and I don’t want to think about the flora and fauna in its wake.  But it’s moved away from the houses and farms, and I am very grateful.  The change came through late last night and blew a gale, and I thought the world would end, but it blew itself out, blew the fire away from the houses and all is getting better.  Slowly but surely.

Thanks so much for taking an interest – it was pretty horrible yesterday, not knowing what was happening but I feel much calmer now.

So much so that I stitched.


We shan’t draw attention to the point that doesn’t match up, I’m fairly happy with this one.  It’s another six inch block that I posted about a few days ago.  If I make one a week, it’ll be finished in a year.  I’m pretty sure I can do more than that.

Hope your day is filled with quilting things!


Friday 17 January 2014

And now it’s our turn….

This is the left view of our house at about eleven o’clock this morning.  Lovely blue skies.


This is the right view of the house.  Looks like thunder clouds, but it’s not.  It’s smoke clouds, coming from a bushfire.


You live in Australia and it’s a common Summer thing – bushfires.  When you hear you’re going to have a week of over 40 C, you assume that a fire will break out somewhere, but it won’t happen to you.  It always happens somewhere else, never in your backyard.

And yet, surreally – it is now.


I’m in a safe area, the fire is miles away and a river is between it and us.  But in the town across the river, where I shop and the children go to school and we live our lives, there is a very real threat to houses and land and lives, too.


Our local radio station has been broadcasting all day to leave your house if you live in the affected area, don’t stay to defend.  I can only sit and watch, and think about the friends who live over the river.

It’s been still and calm all day and the sky has been throwing an orange tint.  It’s eerie, that’s the only way to describe it.  There’s no birds, no sounds of life anywhere.


Later on in the afternoon, the fire definitely seemed to have got stronger.  I have been feeling unsettled all day.  I’ve been glued to facebook and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing, but it’s been hard to let it alone.


After a few hours of smoke building, suddenly it seemed to change.  The colour of the clouds lightened, and the radio reported that the immediate danger level had passed, but as with fires, anything can and does happen.



The orange of the clouds makes you think that it is flame – but it isn’t. 




And yet to the left, it’s still all calm and peaceful.  Amazing how two views can be so totally different.



An hour or so after the immediate threat had passed, I went outside and saw this.  This is new, this is a new outbreak I think  The smoke had cleared, this is all new.


I went inside and turned on the radio, which is broadcasting emergency calls all afternoon.  It confirmed my thoughts – the fire had turned and got more fierce, and the highest level of awareness had been called for again.



As I said, our house and our area is totally fine – we are too far from the flames to be in danger, and the ash that is falling is small and not embers – embers that fly make things catch alight, and that is our biggest danger.  But the distance is too far and the embers are long gone by the time they reach us. 

I drove to the local cemetery down the road from our house and got this view:




There is one massive fire in the scrub behind that smokey area.  But the two smoke areas you can see are the two sides of it pushing towards the outer edges of the town.  A change is meant to arrive later tonight but that means strong winds with no rain, and that could be catastrophic.  Strong winds will only make it move faster before they can prepare.

I don’t know how people live immediately in bushland.  We have bushland all around us but not close – the bush you can see in the middle here is encased in river, and big cliffs, so it would be a pretty clever fire to get past that tonight.  But even these people living out where they do wouldn’t think they are in any danger.

It’s scary, guys.  I’ve not been this close to a bushfire ever.  Not liking it one bit.

As I said, I’m totally safe, and I have no worries about life lost – people here are sensible (Lord, I hope they are anyway) and they will leave if they have to, but houses, pets, animals, gardens, livelihoods – it’s all scary what people could lose.  And the firies fighting the fire are all volunteers, dads just like my dad who used to go each time they asked him to.  I hate the thought of him being out there in this.

We are all told to be fire ready – have all the photos backed up onto disc, copies of insurances, precious mementoes packed in case we have to leave.  All day I’ve been listening to friends post on Facebook that they have done that, and it seems so bizarre that they actually have to – the idea that it’s happening to my town is just bizarre.

I’ll let you know tomorrow the aftermath.  The wind is here now so no doubt we will know the outcome in a few hours. 

Till tomorrow,