Friday, 14 July 2017

The weather is cold - time to sew.

Here in the southern hemisphere it is winter..... and it is cold, well by our standards. DD in England is sweltering with 24 degree temperatures, and I'm freezing with 20!! Anyway, a good time to sew.
We spent most of June traveling in the van so hand sewing was readily on hand. I took away the hexies, of course, and the Farmers Wife blocks, but also had a new project to do. While traveling last year I came across a Christmas Countdown Calendar in an Australian theme at a lovely quilt shop in Cowra. I bought two panels. I have finished one, well the sewing of the pockets are done, and all that is left is the backing and quilting. This first one is for our English granddaughters to take back home.
Before we left on our last trip I decided to make a small needle pouch. I was past the needle in the thread spool stage and wanted something, not only safer but also pretty. I had left over fabric from a mystery quilt earlier in the year so made this little pouch. Think I will need to make some more, so each hand sewing project box has their own little pouch.
This is the mystery quilt - finished and gifted. 
I did find some lovely fabric while traveling - these were from the Craftbasket in Orbost.
Back home again, I started a block-a-thon. It actually started in March, so I've been playing catch up. It is run by Bear Creek Quilting and is called Moda Blockheads 2017. A block pattern is released each week and it is presently up to block 19. I finished block 14 last night. I have been leaving out the applique blocks, but will get organised to take them as hand sewing on our trips. The top two photos also show some leaders and enders I've made from the block leftovers. I chose browns as I purchased three FQ packs of 6FQ's for $5 each pack. Much of the fabric was brown AND only one FQ was duplicated - so that's why I'm not using 'my' colours. One has to use some of the stash some of the time.
Bonnie this past week also introduced this years 'Leaders and Enders' Quilt Challenge - so why not start another project.πŸ˜„ It involves making railpost blocks. What a great idea. Bonnie is using a checkerboard for two of the rows, so I thought ...why not! I chose a 1.5inch jelly roll that I've had for some time and made a sample block, first in blue and white checks then in black and white checks. Liked the black and white so that's what I'm doing.
With so many little pieces in the blockhead blocks, I have been able to sew a lot of leaders and enders. I have drawn up a plan and cut all the fabric strips so I'm ready to go.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

These past few weeks at my machine....

What a busy, busy few weeks this has been. Sadly sewing took the backseat. This is the longest we have been at home in the last three years.
With still culling school stuff, and trying to down size what we have - not fabric, of course - and Peter renovating an investment house to sell - now that we are both retired - it has been a very hectic month.
However, I did manage to piece the back of En Provence, including a large hand drawn label, and sandwich and quilt it. The quilting caused a problem. I had to change the needle, the needle plate, the thread, the bobbin, and still it did not quilt as it should have. In saying that, I persevered and finished the quilting. Now all that is left is the the hand finishing of the binding. I'm not sure if I will sell this one or keep it - it is my colours πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ.
I also caught up with Simply Colorful 'Row by Row' and I am now waiting for next Friday and the last clue. This will be a cot quilt, maybe 😊.
I am thinking about re-making the dark 'racing car' block and reversing the light and the dark.
I just don't think it fits with the other blocks.
What do you think?
I thought I would tell you what I do with binding. I cut either 2.5 or 2 inches of fabric, sometimes on the bias, and sometimes not. I then sew the strips together and fold and iron. I then carefully roll the strip onto an empty cotton reel. If I have a lot of binding I will put the wound up reel into a tea/coffee cup. For En Provence I didn't need a tea cup, I simply put the reel under my extension tray and it feed it through to the quilt.  
I have always believed in an anchor cloth when sewing projects, and have been making random leaders and enders, mostly from off cuts from projects.
I hate to waste fabric.
Here are some off cuts from 'Row by Row' mystery when squaring the blocks - not going to waste these. Not sure what I will do with them either!
These are some left over triangles from a Halloween project - must finish that quilt too πŸ˜– - they will make a lovely border or mug mat.... or maybe they will be perfect for my jacket!!
 Off on a road trip later this week, so hand sewing will be in order.

Monday, 10 April 2017

On My Design Wall ...

On my design wall...and on my lounge...and on my sewing table....
 ... Peace and Love quilt ... I decided not to make it a full size quilt, so I am making a lap quilt, a couple of baby quilts, and some centre pieces (or stove covers for caravans).

On my machine, I have been sewing the blocks together, and making strip blocks as leaders and enders. I am using pinks and purples, as they will be incorporated into my jacket.

I have also been making one block each week in the Row by Row Mystery on Simply Colorful - and that is in greens!!
On my lounge ... waiting to be quilted ... is two of the completed Peace and Love quilts, Bonnie Hunter's En Provence Quilt and the beautiful baby quilt I made at Croki, NSW last February in the van. I can't think of the name of it ... I so have to remember to make labels when I start a quilt, so I can remember the name! 
And I love the pattern so will use it again.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Under My Needle

The past few days have been mostly taken up 'glued' to the TV watching Cyclone Debbie unfold along our beautiful Queensland Coast. A category 4 cyclone that caused a lot of destruction, fortunately no loss of live. Now a low depression, the tail of Cyclone Debbie is hitting the south coast of Queensland, including Brisbane. All schools have been closed for today and tomorrow due to flooding, and everyone is pretty much in lock down until the storm passed. There has been a lot of rain, and just now the winds have started to get stronger. So while all this is happening, I have been sewing - what else! Under my needle is a jacket I am making. It has been a long time coming and I have made sew many changes, but that's ok. It will get done.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

2017 Week 11 update

This past week I've finished unpacking and washing from our last trip and I've been able to start and catch up with Simply Colorful Row by Row mystery.
Block One
Block Two
Block Three
I'm doing a crib size and in green, as green seems to be the new mum's choice for baby quilts.
 So then I started, or should I say continued with...Peace and Love Mystery quilt from Love Shack Quilts.
Block 8
Block Nine
... and did I show you the fabric I purchased in Lautoka?
Not bad at $4.50 and $5.50 AUS. Now I've started making bags I'm going to make a 'cruise' bag for myself and my sister.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

March News

We are back home again!
All my good intentions for writing weekly haven't really gone too well - but today is another day.
So far this year we have caravanned all over north-east New South Wales, from the Queensland border to Tamworth, Hunter Valley and back up the coast. We were then home for 3 days packing for a Fiji and Pacific Islands cruise - read about it here on PetalliTraveller NEXT WEEK - and it is only the first week in March! I'm still unpacking.
I did have time to do some sewing. I finished a mystery baby quilt top, which I am very happy about and will definitely make more. Will post about that next. I also did another Farmer's Wife block, and some scrap string blocks, and of course some hexies. I even took a box of squares to make hexies on the cruise ship.

With not a lot of time for sewing while travelling, I was able to look at a few different websites, some of which I thought I would share with you.
*Angie at GnomeAngel is starting another sew-along next week. I'm thinking about it 😍, but still doing her Farmer's Wife Sew-along - and a long way behind.
*Lynn at Simply Colorful started a new mystery called 'Row by Row' while I was away. I am starting that today, but only making the baby quilt size. I still have to finish her sampler mystery, and her Brown Paper Bag mystery.
*Aussie Hero Quilts (and laundry bags) is in need of more sewers. If you can help check the website or FB page.
*Also in my email I received news about Quilter's Diary changing not only their website, but also their name to NewQuilters. Check it out, lots of hints and good ideas.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Farmers Wife 1930 Sampler #07 Augusta

Haven't been doing a lot of Farmers Wife blocks as I am doing them by hand now (easier) and only do them when travelling in the van. I keep the making of the templates and cutting of the pieces for home and then store them in zip lock bags in the book, so I am ready to sew the next one, once I've finished one. Just like this.....

In saying that, I am so far behind in the 'sew a long' that I doubt I will catch up - but that's ok! I'm enjoying what I am doing, and that's what counts. This block has 33 pieces and is hand sewn.
"Her Great Granchild" writes in 1931, a letter titled 'When Great Little Grandma Drew the Line' in which she has a really detailed description of Great Grandma and her clothing, including an obvious cherished 'big pocket'. Grandma would tolerate situations, but when enough was enough, she drew the line!
I know that feeling. One can only be pushed so far when that line gets drawn. Enough IS enough! Choices need to be made, and boundaries drawn.

There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you've had enough!


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

This week at my place.

In an effort to keep blog a little more regular, I will (hopefully) update each week what I am doing sewing wise. So, here we go....
 I am working on step 7 of the Love Peace mystery quilt by LoveShack Quilts. I enjoyed watching Midnight Quilter on Craftsy Youtube, while drawing diagonal lines on 6" blocks.
I will talk more about Midnight Quilter in a later blog.

 ON MY WALL ....

I have completed the Bonnie Hunter's En Provence top and it is hanging on my design wall waiting for me to purchase the backing and batting for the quilt, then a 'spare' πŸ˜€ day to pin, quilt and bind.


After ruling the diagonal lines I proceeded to sew a 1/4" either side of the drawn line. I always like to check a few times while sewing that I am pretty close to the 1/4". Not bad, I thought.
..and here is the finished part 7 of the Love Peace Mystery quilt.
What to do this coming week.... finish En Provence quilt, make at least one table topper, and work on Farmers Wife blocks.

Friday, 13 January 2017

En Provence Mystery Quilt

Regular readers know I love mystery quilts. This time of year I am doing Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville's mystery, (as well as others - busy time for mysteries) - this year inspired by the beautiful landscapes of France. As in previous years, I am doing half size, and Bonnie's colour choice recommendations are 'my' colours - well, except for yellow. I substituted the yellow for light pinks 😊.
 Bonnie's mystery starts at the end of November every year, and I started doing them back in 2012, with the Orca Bay Mystery. Although I had made mystery quilts previously from magazines, I do believe that Bonnie's mystery quilt really got me hooked.
This time of year there are many mysteries on-line so I find it easier to have a list of fabric requirements and a quick note about each unit made. I store this with the fabric in a box so it is always together for when the next clue comes out.
The first clue was a neutral 4-patch. Now that I have finished the top, except for the border, I have many 4-patches left over, so I may incorporate in in the border.
Part 2 was magenta & neutral units, followed by part 3 -a 4-patch lilac & purples.
Part 4 was a purple and neutrals unit same as part 2.
Part 5 was purple and neutrals half square triangles.
Part 6 was green, lilac and neutrals. I almost changed the greens for teal, and although I like the way the greens look, I still think teal would have been a better way to go.
So all units complete, well half of them, it is time to start to put the units together.
I swapped the yellow for pink, and for me it looks 100% better. I really don't like yellow!
I really like the way the units have come together, still think teal would have looked better.
I thought about having a thin magenta inner border, followed by a 3" outer border, but after auditioning it I didn't like it. I think I will incorporate the left over neutral 4-patches and make a neutral border with a magenta binding. 
As I made the quilt with half the units Bonnie suggested, I decided that a single bed topper would be what I complete. That leaves me with two central blocks. I will use one on a jacket that I am making, and the other as a table topper or caravan stove topper. Sold lots of caravan toppers, helps pay for petrol as we travel Australia.