Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Little Bit of Red

All year, I have participated in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge run by Angela at soscrappy.  The colour for the month of July 2015 is Red.  Although it's one of my favourite colours in all its variations, sadly, I've had little time to sew this month, and haven't had a chance to link up all month.

So on with what I have done.

First up, I have made all 22 Bow Tie blocks I had prepped to do for this month.

 
I found I didn't have too many "real" reds.  In the six blocks you can see below there is everything from purple red, through to a colour which is almost orange, and there's even something that looks pink set against the other reds.

 
I have also made about half the Twinkler Stars I have prepped. 

 
There's a whole variety of reds in that lot too!
 
To see what other red goodies people have made this week pop over to soscrappy for the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up.
 
This week end is all about Bridge.  We are playing all day on both days at a congress organised by one of the local clubs.  Pairs today, but we didn't all that well.  We will need to brush up our game a bit though, so we don't let down our team mates tomorrow in the Teams event.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Friday, 24 July 2015

Stash Building & Quilting

Last week I took some donations up to the Wickham Student Accommodation Facility run by the Samaritans.  If you remember, we made some quilts for them last year with Stitching Hearts.  On the way home I stopped briefly in a little park on the banks of Lake Macquarie.  It was a glorious day and the lake was like glass.  I was particularly chuffed to see I had captured the reflection of the clouds in the sky.

 
And here are the obligatory photos of cormorants all lined up sunning themselves.

 
Back on the road again, I swung by Blueberries.  Its on the northern edge of the Central Coast and I don't get there terribly often as its generally too far for me to go, so I took the opportunity to pop in an see what they had.  I love the fabrics Jackie keeps.
 
I stocked up on some neutrals and a wee bit of lovely red fabric.

 
And some applique needles.  I like to use a very fine needle, and am always looking for fine, large eye needles.  I haven't seen this brand before.  Isn't the packaging gorgeous?  Hope they live up to expectations.

 
I have been quilting the baby quilt the last couple of days. Some stitching in the ditch and a figure of eight design in the pink pieces in free motion quilting.  I have marked the centres of the pink bits for the junction of the "eight" and just point and shoot.  You can just make that out in the photo.

 
And in the odd bits of time I have, I've been making little drawstring bags for the Samaritans Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that I made a whole pile last year.
 
So far, there are 28 completed, and around 20 more half made.  I don't mind making them.  They are super simple to make, and I get to use fabric I am never likely use.

 
I have no idea how many I will make.  I'll stop when I get bored.  When they are done, I will drop them off at the school two of my grand daughters go to. 
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Any Knitters Out There? I Need Help.

If you read my last post, you will know that I picked up 2 projects that needed finishing from my daughter last week.  I have finished the first, and delivered it.  The second of these is a little cardigan for her 9 month old foster son.  She had completed the back.

 
And the band for one of the front pieces.  I am now almost finished the second front piece.

 
I had knitted up to decreasing for the armhole, when I realised that I had made another right front piece.  So I had to pull it undone to the end of the band and start again to make it a left front piece.  Boo Hiss.
 
Here is what I need help with.  My daughter's grand mother used to have a tricky way of making the front and neck band as she knitted the left and right front pieces.  My daughter had therefore cast on the stitches required for the band as well as for the right front as she started to knit it. 
 
But neither of us has any idea how Vi used to do this.  So all I have done is put the extra stitches onto a pin for later, and I thought I would simply knit that up when the fronts are finished.
 
How I wish I had asked Vi how she did that.  Can anyone help with this?
 
Now.  Can anyone guess what these are?  Have you used them?  Do you still have a few lurking in the depths of a drawer somewhere?

 
Its been quite cold these last few days.  There's been snow in a number of places in NSW which don't normally get snow.  So Friday was a 3 quilt day......

 
And there have been some spectacular skies too.  I managed to capture a rainbow on camera the other day.  First time ever I've seen both ends of the rainbow I think.  This was taken from my front verandah mid morning just before a deluge hit.

 
You can't see it for the rain and fog, but behind the rainbow there should be a body of water and land in the background.  I love watching the water - it looks different every time you look at it.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Scrap Dance Mystery Update

A few weeks ago I succumbed and joined into the Scrap Dance Mystery QAL that Carole is running at My Carolina Home.  At the time I joined in, I had to play catch up because I was rather late starting it.

I have decided to use greens, greys and blues in this. 

Step 1 was to cut all the pieces and make the Half Square Triangle units. 

 
Step 2 was to piece one of the strips which form part of the block.  There must be 5 rows for each block as each strip is 5 squares across. 
 
 
My quilt will have 30 blocks, so this is 3 piles with 10 strips in each.
 
Step 3 & Step 4 were two more strip sets.
 
 
 
 
Step 5 has just been released and although I have still to do it, technically I am all caught up.
 
Here are my strip sets.

 
So how are they going to go together??  Not like this I don't think.

 
This is a possibility for two of the strip sets, but it leaves the bottom lot completely out of the picture.  Besides, I am certain that none of the strip sets are repeated, and this setting needs these two strips to be repeated.

 
I am really enjoying the puzzle of this mystery, so will just have to be patient for another couple of months.  And I'm not known for my patience LOL.
 
With all the bazillion UFOs in my cupboard, I was at my daughter's the other day, and picked up this little fellow to finish off for her.
 
 
She bought three different animal kits for her girls to do about 5 years ago, but they were really too hard for the girls, even for the eldest who would have been 9 or so then.  My daughter had worked on it, so all I needed to do was make the two ears, the tail and one leg.  And construct it.  Guess one day the other two will find their way here!
 
I also picked up a little cardi she started for her little foster baby.  I'll share the progress on that next time.
 
Meanwhile, here is an update on Miss12's sewing.  She has come to Friday Quilters two weeks in a row (I told you about her first Friday here), and then again last Sunday for an hour or so.  And the quilt top is finished!  She has done an absolutely brilliant job of it.

 
It will be a donation to the latest Stitching Hearts project, which is Barnardos.  That blob in the centre is the child's name, which I have fuzzed out for privacy reasons.  I will be taking that top down to Stitching Hearts tomorrow for pinning.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

RSC 2015 - Mid Year Round Up

Today is the middle of the year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2015.  We have been invited by Angela (from here) to show our efforts so far.  Thank you Angela for organising this fun challenge.

At the start of the year I decided to just do 3 simple projects.  They are actually all blocks I haven't done before, so it has been a fun process.  All of the quilts I make for this challenge will ultimately end up as charity quilts for Stitching Hearts.

1.  Cross Roads block.

I found a tutorial for this from Connie's blog, Free Motion by the River.  The tutorial gives instructions for 3 sizes and I chose to do the largest size which will finish at 12".  This is where I am at with that.

 
It definitely needs some red in there to brighten it up, but that's not a problem because red is the colour for this month.  It is an easy block and uses lots of 2.5" strips, of which I have a ton.  I do like them all laid out together.
 
2.  Twinkler Stars.
 
I saw these being made throughout last year in the RSC, and I fell in love with them, so Twinklers have made it into my plan this year.  I found this tutorial at Susan's blog Quiltfabrication.  But of course I can't leave well enough alone, and I changed the sizes.  I am using 2.5" squares of colour for the star and 2" squares of white for the rays.

 
These little blocks end up 6" finished and I love, love, love them.  I have made so many that I will have enough for 2 little lap quilts for Stitching Hearts by the end of the year.
 
I also decided to make large Twinklers, one each month.  For these I used 4" squares in each colour, and 2.5" squares of white.  This will finish in a 12" block.

 
Being a large block, I won't need as many of them, but I don't like them nearly as much as the dear little 6" twinklers.  I will need to remake one of those light blue ones and replace it with a dark blue star.

3.  Bow Ties

For my third block I chose Bow Ties.  Can't believe that I have never made them before!  I didn't use a tutorial for these, just winged it.  I am using 3.5" and 2" squares of colour, and 3.5" squares of neutrals.


Eagle eyes might notice that I have snuck in a few little red Bow Ties.  Red is the colour for July, and that's all I have done in red so far.

Please go take a look at what others have done so far this year; click on this link here.

There was some excitement here early this evening.  We saw the International Space Station move across the sky from northwest to southeast, right over the top of our house.  It was a beautiful, clear evening and the Space Station was brightly lit so it was very visible.  It went quite close to both Venus and Neptune (ooops it was Jupiter, not Neptune!) and you could be excused for thinking it was a plane except that it was moving much faster than a plane.  Besides, we don't have air traffic fly over us.  It took about 5 minutes to cross over the entire width of the sky.  Truly a once in a lifetime thing to see.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Monday, 6 July 2015

School Holiday Sewing

and other stuff.......

This last week has been the first week of the Winter School Holidays here.  So on Friday, Miss12 (my middle grand daughter) came along to Friday Quilters with me. 

Earlier in the week she had come by because she wanted to make a cushion for her bedroom, which is done and dusted now.  On Friday she made a second one to match.  I forgot to take a photo of it.  Sorry :(  You can just make out the fabric she used behind the machine.

 
I suspected that as this was the second one she had made it wouldn't take her long.  So I took along some squares that Colleen had fortuitously brought into Stitching Hearts the previous day as a donation (thank you Colleen!!).  They are there on the right of the machine.  Aren't they cute?
 
So Miss 12 sewed, and I pressed and then cut some white fabric for sashing.  And there were some character building exercises as well......

 
I did give her the option of leaving it, or redoing, and bless her, she chose to unpick and resew!

Also at Friday Quilters was Mr. Z, Fiona's youngest.  Here is his quilt.

 
He started it last School Holidays and brought it in on Friday to put borders on, and to pin for quilting.  Awesome!  I think this is his third quilt.  Fiona has been bringing him along in the holidays since he was about 5 or 6 and he is now extremely competent on the sewing machine.
 
Miss12 has now made up 12 Rainbow squares, enough for a single bed quilt laid out 3 x 4, although not all of them have had all the white sashing added, so we'll do that next week perhaps. We have been discussing donating quilts to Barnados at Stitching Hearts, and Miss12 is very keen to complete this to give to them.
 
This is where I had planned to go with that.

 
But yesterday afternoon, as I laid it all out to photograph, my daughter and the rest of her family arrived on a surprise drop in visit.  They ganged up on me and I was howled down on all sides.  Digging around in my stash I found this which met with everyone's approval, but it means I shall have to go to Spotlight to buy some more as there isn't nearly enough there to sash the whole quilt.

 
Yesterday afternoon, after the tribe left I set to and finished the second of the 4 quillos I have planned to make.  This one has been on the go for a few weeks, but I have been too busy to get it done. 

 
It is a cute cowboy print and is destined for a 7 year old boy, although he might be 10 by the time all 4 are finished!

 
And here it is all folded, ready for wrapping.

 
And I can finally show you my little tribe of chook pin cushions.  I made these a while ago, but have only delivered the last one recently, so now I can show them to you.

 
Far left is now in my box of gifts; middle one was for Joan and the one on the right is for Joanne.  I gave one to my daughter as well, but it didn't make it into the photo.
 
Tibby spent the afternoon yesterday keeping me company.  Well until the tribe arrived, anyway, then she scarpered at the speed of light.
 
 
This week will not be as busy as last week, so I have plans for a lot of relaxing and a lot of sewing, some of which will be with the kids.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.