Saturday, 28 March 2015

Last of the Yellows & Morning Visitors

Yesterday I sneaked in a half hour of sewing time and put together my Crossroads block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I can't remember if I have told you where I found the tutorial.  It was on Connie's blog Free Motion by the River, and comes in 3 sizes.  I am making the large one which finishes at 12.5"
Then I thought I'd see what it looked like with the others.   Can't wait to see what it looks like with all the colours made.
For more yellow goodies, pop over to soscrappy and check out what others have done.
Friday evening, I went out to cut some parsley for the Bolognese sauce I made.  And noticed, right beside the parsley, the Daffodil bulbs are starting to emerge.  When I looked around the bed, I saw that heaps of little green spears have popped up. 
This morning as I wandered into the kitchen for my breakfast, there was a commotion just outside the kitchen window.  This is what was going on..
These guys are Rainbow Lorikeets.  They are around all year, but they don't bother to come for a feed in summer.  We have a lot of birds, and several varieties of parrot.  Lorikeets are noisy, cheeky and will show off if you pay them attention.  They are a fun bird.  They always travel in pairs, and from my observations they seem to mate for life.  If you are interested, there is more information here, with a short video where you can see some of their antics and hear them as well.

No sewing today, but I did make some Strawberry Jam.  Here it is bottled and waiting for labels.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Bit of Pink

Today I decided to try and progress the baby quilt I am making a little.

I am at the boring stage of adding the white triangles to two corners of the pink squares, and then checking them for size.  So to break the monotony, I decided to piece a few of the squares into blocks.  Don't they look cute?

The pattern is called Road to Tennessee and I used the tutorial I found on Sarah's blog Sew Me.  I used this block as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last year, and made one up in all the colours.  The blocks are still waiting patiently for me to do something with them.
I have a halo.  Can you see it glimmering and shining above me?? LOL  Why, you ask.  Well way back in the last century, or that's what it seems like, I told you about this bag of scraps I was gifted.  In reality it was in October 2013 when I first showed you this photo here.
The bag was so heavy, I couldn't lift it.  And this was some of what was inside that bag.

My friend Jan came by one day and helped me attack it, (see my post here)and although we did heaps there was really more than half of it left when she left.  And then I added my scraps to it over the months.  Get the drift - there was a H.U.G.E. pile of scraps to process.  They have been lurking under my work table in my sewing room and irritating me, so a couple of weeks back I decided to do something about it.
I set myself up in the living room in front of the TV.  This is my set up.
Each night I have chopped a little, and then a little more.  See that pile on the far left of the photo?  That is all that is left of that humungous bag of scraps.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and maybe soon my living room will be tidy again.
I've put a lot of the squares & strips I cut away already, but here is the result of some of my chopping, waiting to be put away.

That is why I am crowing about my halo. LOL 
Now I need to get back to that little pile and chop it all up.......
Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Saturday, 21 March 2015

More yellow.

This week is week 3 of the yellows in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the yellow scrap bin.

Firstly I found time to make up 10 little Bow Tie Blocks.

Remember the stack of strips I showed you the other day here?  I have already told you in that post that I started a project using the blue/green/purple stacks, but I was itching to make some more yellow goodies, so I decided to make a cover for my tiny laptop using some of the yellow strips.  I use this laptop when I am out of the house so that my "real" laptop with its precious, vulnerable data is not lost or stolen.  I thought it would be good for the baby laptop to have its own cover. 
I used a fabulous tutorial by Amber at One Shabby Chick.  Thank you Amber!  Great tutorial.
I began by pulling a stack of those yellow 2.5" strips and cutting them to about 6" in length.  At this stage, I didn't really know where I was going with them.
Once they were sewn together, I decided to add a strip of linen on either side of the yellows.  And then I FMQ'd sort of straight lines on either side of the pieced yellow strip. 

I didn't think that was enough quilting when it was done, so I FMQ'd some little daisies and leaves through the middle of the yellows.  My favourite "go-to" pattern for FMQ.

And here it is.  All done.


And occupied
I'm really happy with the way this turned out.  Now I am planning to do one for my tablet. 

Now for a surprise.  I regularly get visits and comments from my lovely bloggy friends to encourage me on my quilting journey.  A week or so ago I decided that the next time I had over 15 comments I would do a little surprise give away as a thank you.  That happened last Saturday, when 17 lovely people took the time to leave me a nice comment. 

Out came Mr Random from his mothballs, and after much whirring and thundering decided that comment No. 1 was the winner.  And that was Marly, who blogs here.  I was dead pleased to have drawn that.  Not only does it show that No. 1 does win occasionally, but Marly always leaves me a comment, and is so generous with her praise and nice words. Thank you Marly for being a lovely bloggy friend since I met you. 

Please click on the link and give her a cyber hug from me (and leave her a comment too :0 ). 

Linking up with the other creative quilters at SoScrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Friday, 20 March 2015

What to Do

....when you have dozens of UFOs? 

You start a new project of course!

Last Friday my friend Joan had some magazines, and her folder of inspirations with her.  And I saw Something I Wanted to Make.  LOL.  I resisted all afternoon, and then I caved as I knew I would eventually.  Weak willed I am!

I sorted out my 2.5" strips into colours and laid them all out on the ironing board by the time I had to stop to make dinner.  Love all those lush colours in the stacks.

I chose to go with a blue/green purple colour scheme as that is what I had most of.  By Monday afternoon, I had sewn all the strips into threes.  Like so. 
See the stack on the right?  That middle strip which is actually 2 fabrics, was part of a baby quilt I made for my first grand daughter - she is now 14.  'Bout time it was used.   I hadn't made much of a dent in the stacks I was working on though.
Next step was to chop all the strip sets into 6" squares.....

And then they had some triangles sewn on.....

The triangles are cut from a lovely soft palest of pale blue batiks.  Hard to see the pattern in real life and impossible in a photo (at least with this photographer).
And this is where I am heading.

And that is pretty much as far as I got, because this gadfly has sprung off into another direction altogether, and started yet another project.  But as it is primarily yellow, I shall keep you in suspense until tomorrow when I post my RSC post on my yellow creations.  LOL.
Remember I did a post here about all the things my creative friends get up to on a Friday?  Well this is Fiona's quilt - all the blocks waiting to be sashed.  Today she was putting the final borders on.  Isn't this stunning? 

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

RSC15 - Yellow, week 2.

Yellow is the colour for March in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year. 
This week I have managed to squeeze a bit of sewing into my week, and I have sewn up some Twinkler Stars.  Firstly the large one, which finishes at 11"
And then I managed to make up 4 of the small ones.  These ones finish at 6.5".

I have virtually no yellow in my stash, and really only a few scraps.  So I was surprised to see that there was quite a bit of variation in the shades. 
I follow Barbara Brackman's blog, and the other day she spoke about the use of yellow in the 19th and 20th Centuries in this informative post.  I love reading her posts - there is so much historical information about quilts & fabrics in each one!  Anyway, that got me thinking that yellow is really out of fashion these days.  It is quite hard to find true yellow fabric, and you rarely see yellow used in quilts today.  I certainly don't use it much.
Last month's colour was pink, and I missed out on getting my small Twinklers made, so as I was on a roll, I made 5 of those.  Now I am all caught up.  Just have to make sure I get the rest of my yellows done.

I have also realised that I haven't credited the original tutorial I used.  If you feel like making a few Twinklers, you'll find the tutorial here at Quiltfabrication.  But you know me don't you?  I adapted the tute so I could use what I had, so for the large ones I use 4" and 2.5" squares and the small ones I use 2.5" and 2" squares.

Earlier this year I created a hashtag in Instagram for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - #rainbowscrapchallenge2015.  If you have an Instagram account please feel free to add your creations to that.  The more the merrier.  Oh.  And come visit me too if you are so inclined.

I'm linking up with the others who have sewn yellows this month at SoScrappy

Friday, 13 March 2015

A Win & Some Birthday Sewing

I was lucky enough to win two Give Aways through the Grow Your Blog Party (that hasn't finished yet, so if you want to venture over to see what went on click on the link here.) 

I told you about the first gift which dropped into my letter box last week, and earlier this week I received this little parcel of goodies from the lovely Chantal who blogs At the Corner of Scrap and Quilts.

A sweet little card, a fat quarter of fabric with colourful prints of hands and feet, and the most beautiful fabric origami butterfly brooch.  All the way from Canada.  Thank you Chantal.  They are gorgeous.
How about going over to visit Chantal here.

It was my daughter's birthday on Tuesday, so I set to and made her some presents.

First up, I made a couple of Mini Design Boards from a tutorial by Lori Holt on the blog Bee in My Bonnet

I totally struggled with these.  The tutorial is simple to follow, and looked so easy!  But I am a total klutz when it comes to glue guns, and that binding is glued down.  I managed to get glue from one end of the workroom to the other, and on myself as well, and also managed to burn myself about 3 times for each board.  If I make them again, I will need to work out a different way to bind them which doesn't involve a glue gun. (or find someone who will do it for me!)

The other gift I made was a Quilted Knitting Pouch from a tutorial by A Spoonful of Sugar.

This was using a sewing machine, not a glue gun, so I was happy.  LOL

I quilted it with a cross hatch, then chose to double sew all the lines of the cross hatch.  I have never done that before and I really love the effect.  It makes the unquilted bits really puff up.

I had bought the fabric a couple of months back with my daughter in mind, but I had no idea what I was going to make with it.

I popped a bunch of knitting goodies into the bag as well.  Maybe I'll get my knitting notions back now. (giggle)

I think she likes it, don't you?

Today Joan had a pattern at Friday Quilters which inspired me, and I rushed home and dragged out my 2.5" strips.  First off, I pulled them all out of the baggie I had them in and laid them out in their colours to see what I actually had.

Aren't all the rainbow colours lush!
My initial idea was to do a top with brown/red/green strips but there aren't many brown ones and the red ones are pretty scarce too.  So I think it might have to be green/blue/purple that's what I have most of.
But in the process of digging through the scrap bins, I found the baggie with 6" pink squares, and got side tracked with them.  Should I make up a quilt with them??  Hmmmmm...

So you know what I did?  Nothing.  Zilch.  Nil. 
Instead I phoned a girlfriend and gasbagged for a good long while, and now I am blogging.  LOL  And now its time to go feed the man.  Oh well, there's always another day.

Til next time.....Keep on sewing.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Where did my week go?

Here it is with the first week of March gone, and a whole week since we returned from Queensland.  Seems like it was only yesterday afternoon we were walking on that beach!

During the week, I received a sweet little parcel from Canada.  If you read my blog, you will know that I participated in the Grow Your Blog Party earlier this year.  I entered a few give-aways along the way, and was lucky enough to win not one, but two. 

The first of these two parcels arrived from Canada on Thursday afternoon.  Linda from Stitch Lines does the most amazing photography.  She sent me a little pack of cards made from her photos.  The parcel was tied with pretty string....

When we talked, Linda asked if I wanted floral photos or ones of quilting. I asked for a few of both.  These ones are taken in her garden.

And these are her photos of quilts....

Now please do me a favour and click here, go visit Linda, admire her beautiful blog, and say "hello" from me. :-)
Yesterday was an all day quilt day with my Friday Quilters group.  We do these about 3-4 times a year.  As usual, everyone was doing something different and beautiful.
Joan was making baby wraps for an imminent new grand daughter.  She was using flannelette, and using the decorative stitches on her machine on the hem. 

Cheryl was using French General fabrics to make a bazillion Birds in the Air blocks.  She is doing a great job on these.  Love them.

Elaine was making a little Disappearing 9 Patch quilt for her grandie using Dr. Seusse fabrics.  It is turning out super cute.
Di brought in some needle turn applique she has been doing.  These are tiny flower petal shapes in 1930's fabrics.  It is so, so dainty.

Fiona is making a string quilt in black, red & white for one of her boys.  I did see the name of the pattern, but this is a "senior's moment"  LOL  If you need the pattern name, leave me a comment and I will find out for you.  This is going to be a fabulous quilt when its done.

Joyce was quilting her "Australian" quilt.  She is doing straight line quilting in a grid, and has done Trupunto on the sheep.  The colours are very Australian bush, and the quilt will be going to Canada to her daughter to remind her of home.

Jan was doing some quilt as you go hexagons.  These began life as a bunch of hearts which were donated partly finished to Stitching Hearts.  I think she has done a great job of them.

And me??  Well I was working on a baby quilt for my friend Elisa's daughter.  I have chosen to use the "Road to Tennessee" block.  If you followed me last year, you will know that I did these for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in a rainbow of colours.  I just love the scrappy look of them.  This is what 140 x 3.5" blocks look like.  I will need 198 for the quilt. 

And these are some I completed yesterday.  Lots more to go!

Til next time.....Keep on stitching (and don't forget to go say hello to Linda)