Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Fuglies

I think I am certifiable!  Huh?  You say.  You already knew that didn't you?  😄 

But why am I making such a claim out in the Big Bad World of the Internet? 

Well 2 weeks ago when I was down at Cabarita at a Stitching Hearts meeting, I looked at the overflowing tubs of donated fabrics that No One uses, I thought I would do some damage to the florals.  So a bunch of fuglies came home with me.....

 Who in their right mind would pick up a huge bunch of ugly fabric and bring it home, eh?

The Pinks

The Blues

The Brights
I also bullied Jan into taking a bunch of apricots.  At least I gave her a choice of which pile she wanted.  Ha ha.

That same afternoon, on the way home Jan and I stopped at Craft Depot, the biggest patchwork fabric store anywhere within cooee.  At the counter, I noticed a magazine which had a photo on the front of it, and I was inspired.  Apologies to the publication and to the maker of the quilt, but the name of both escapes me.  If someone recognises this, give me a hoy and I will properly acknowledge it.

I came home and pulled the Brights out, and added a few from my stash too.  LOL

Some leaves and flowers were cut from Vliesofix and fused to the fabrics......

And in very short order, there was a quilt top.

One of the flowers....

And an upside down one....

And just in case you missed it, another shot.....

Really pleased with the way it turned out. 

I have a Plan for the pinks and the blues are already partly pieced - show you those next time.  I'm on a roll with those fuglies!  Funnily enough, me raiding the floral tub did little to diminish it.  Oh well, I've tried.

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Adopted Orphans

This all started some weeks ago because Evelyn, my friend from Stitching Hearts, shoved a bunch of 3.5" squares into my hands and said "Here.  Do something with these".  They were all in autumn colours, a colour palette I love.

So I got them home, and after thinking about it for just nano seconds, decided to do 4 patches.  After adding some 3.5" squares cut from scrap light value fabrics, I made up a pile of 4 patches.  Nice easy peasy sewing.

But then I got to the point where I started to wonder what the heck to do with them.  I remembered that literally years and years ago I had cut a whole lot of triangles for a quilt I had never made.  They would make up cute pinwheels to go with my 4 patches I thought.  So I scratched around in my stash cupboard (must tidy that up one day soon).
The first thing that I spotted was a fistful of maple leaf blocks.  No idea where I got those.  Most likely at Stitching Hearts as we get loads of UFOs and orphan blocks come in and I often take them home.  And then again, someone may have given them direct to me.

Perfect colours to go with my autumn 4 patches!  So I grabbed them, and kept looking for those elusive triangles.

No luck on those, but I found a little packet containing dozens of pieced flying geese.  Again, I have absolutely no idea where I got them or when as I have no memory of them at all.  They would do for some borders.  Perfect colours, perfect size.

I ended up doing a row by row quilt with sashing made from a fabric I have had in stash for years, and years.  I had gone to a sale of fabrics left in storage which had not been paid for, for months, so they were being sold off at a pittance by the storage warehouse.

To finish off my quilt, I raided my 2" squares stash to make 2 rows of 4 patches to go on each side of the quilt.

And here is a close up of it.

I've made binding for it from left over bits of binding and will be taking it to Stitching Hearts for pinning.  So pleased with my adopted orphans!   Its just a small lap quilt which will be donated to the group and used as required.  If you feel like taking a look at what our little group does, click on the link here or on the little Heart icon on the left of this blog post.  Some of the quilts that are made are totally inspiring.

There's actually enough of the flying geese to make some borders on another quilt.  Now that I have remembered I have them, I will find a use for them. 

And No.  I haven't found the triangles!  LOL  They really must be in a dim dark corner somewhere.  But I'm not that worried as I have used up lots of stuff which has been hanging around for years.

I also want to show you my gorgeous orchid.  Our sweet next door neighbours moved out to a retirement village about 4 years ago, and gave me some tubs of orchids.  We split them, gave some to my daughter, planted some in the garden, and these are in the little indoor courtyard of our house.  They have recently thrown a flower spike.

This is what I look at when I am sitting at the table in the family room.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Thank you Douglas.  Your orchids continue to give me joy each year.

The ones outside are also flowering, but I don't see them as often as they are in a corner of the garden somewhat tucked away.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Making Bias Tape

Recently I had the opportunity to borrow a bias maker from Stitching Hearts to make a bazillion metres of bias tape.

Now why would I be making so much bias tape you might ask.

Because for the last few years I have been making little draw string bags for the Samaritan's Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  I make heaps of them, and this year I thought I would make bias tape to use for the "string".

So how does it work?

You start by winding strips of fabric joined into long lengths onto the take up reel.  I set it all up on my ironing board.

And then threading it through what looks like a regular bias tape maker.  The square thingy to the left of the tool is actually the iron.

Once the motor is turned on, the tape comes whizzing out from the iron section at the rate of knots.  You have to really keep your wits about you, its so fast.

I was using the 3/4" tape maker, but there are oodles of other sizes in the accessory box.

Then I sewed the two folded edges together to make the tape.

Here's the stuff I packed into the 2 boxes I donated.  I chose to do them for boys aged 10 - 12 as I have heard that they are the least well provided for in this campaign.

They like to have stationery equipment for school, a few toiletries, a toy or two, and the odd bit of clothing - this year I picked up a couple of tee shirts.  Then its a matter of stuffing the boxes brimful.

The extra bags I make I take to the school my grand daughters attend, which is just down the road.  The school packs up around 800 bags with donations from the students and their families, and the 6th formers pack them up assembly line style. 

And so how many bags did I make this year?  I roped in a couple of my Friday Quilter friends to chip in, and also middle gd (13) who came to Friday Quilters during the July school holidays.  With their help we made a total of 185 bags.   And this is what that looked like.....

Some close up, just to make sure you see them.  LOL

The fabrics are mostly ones that I would not dream of using in a quilt because I think its ugly, so I am really pleased to have used them in something useful which just might give someone some pleasure.  The tape this year was a success - I would not have been able to afford to buy that amount in, and the tape itself used up some excess fabrics too.  A win/win in my book.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Workshop for Buttons

My Church runs a craft group called Buttons on Wednesday mornings during term time.  A couple of weeks ago I was asked to run a workshop on "Decorated Hand Towels".

That's a pretty wide topic.  And as there are supplies in the storage cupboard I wanted to provide some samples that might make use of them.

The first couple were made with a border fabric and lace edges.  It was using up a few scraps, and I quite like that one on the right.

Lots of the ladies like to hand piece, so the next two are simple hand stitched ones.  The one on the left is an appliqued heart with some lace and a ribbon, and the one on the right a little hexie flower. 

Here is the appliqued one close up.

Another project we have worked on at Buttons is little bears and kittens to give as a special gift when a child is baptised in our church.  I took my machine along to the group and we had a production line going.  I then took home some of the blanketing we used and made up this little kitty:
The idea this year has been to make use of our crafty skills to raise money for the church.  We had a morning tea last week, with about 60 people attending and our little stall raised $1,000 which we donated to the building fund.  (Our church has embarked upon a building project to build us a lovely new church).  We are all feeling rather chuffed at that and everything we have made over the year has sold.
All three of my grand daughters came by for afternoon tea recently.  The eldest came straight from school on the bus and brought a cake she had made in Food Tech.  Isn't it just great?  We didn't eat it of course 'cos she had to show it to her family!

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

New Toys for Quilting

In recent weeks I have bought a few new toys to play with for my DSM.  First up I bought some Westalee Rulers.

Do I know how to use them?  Nope!  I have been intrigued by the concept for a while and then saw a demo at the Sydney Quilt Show a while back.  I was sold.  Above is the Basic Set you get when you by the foot attachment for your machine.  What they didn't tell me is that my Bernina needs a special attachment for the foot attachment.  So it took a while for that to materialise.
At the same time as I bought the rulers, I bought a slippy mat which adheres to the bed of the sewing machine table and the slippery surface eliminates the drag when you are free-motion quilting.  The product is called "Sew Slip II".  It is totally removable and doesn't leave a sticky residue on your sewing surface. You store it rolled up so it doesn't take up much room.
I bought both the rulers and the mat at the same time as the rulers from Punch with Judy but they are available all over the place,
When my Bernina attachment finally arrived, I set everything up to have a play with my new rulers.
It all got a bit wonky at the end, but overall I was relatively pleased with the first attempt.  Here it is warts and all.

I need a LOT more practise.  LOL
I needed to quilt my "Green & Blue Should Never be Seen" quilt.  (You might remember I showed you that one under construction here).
So I put aside the rulers and took out the other new toy I have.  This is a weighted ring that you use to help keep the sewing area flat while quilting.  I bought that on my trip to the Newcastle show a month or so back.

When it was demoed the lady said I needed to hold my thumbs in like so, as I'm quilting.

I struggled with the hoop.  Basically I think the problem was that I was quilting a fairly large design.  It would probably work better if you were doing denser quilting.  Bottom line is that the jury is still out on that one.  I stopped using it after a while and just went back to my bad habits.
Anyways, this quilt was stitched in the ditch to anchor the blocks, and free motion quilted in a free hand orange peel design.  I use that design a lot and quite like the results.  These are some of the better orange peels. LOL

So.  All done and dusted, and it has gone to Stitching Hearts already.

An altogether happy little quilt which came together nicely.  And we found the best backing for it!  It will do to keep someone's knees from freezing.

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

Monday, 22 August 2016


In my last post I mentioned that Jo and I had "just happened" to do a bit of shopping.  Hee hee.  Jo needed some backing fabrics for 2 quilts, and both were a somewhat unusual colour, so she asked if I minded going past a shop or two on our way to the show last Friday.  Mind?? Does a duck swim??

The first shop we stopped at was on the way to Newcastle, sort of.  It was Patchwork by the Lake in the Main street of Boolaroo.  There's no web page, but they are on Facebook if you have a FB account. 

Can you see the fabulous pressed ceiling in the photo below?
Its an amazing shop actually as Boolaroo is a tiny, tiny place in an out of the way village and yet there is a fabulous shop there, with an enormous range of fabrics.   

I picked up 3 gorgeous pieces of fabric there. 

The blue floral is going to be the sashing on a little child's quilt, and the 2 yellows are just because.
By the time we headed off we were thinking of morning tea, so we stopped at a coffee shop in Adamstown, just next door to Quilt Essentials in Adamstown.

Lovely shop with a great range of fabrics and lovely welcoming staff.
I picked up the pattern on the right in this photo.
Its hard to tell from the photo, but it is a little round bin with a spring which allows the bin to fold up flat. 
On the left of the above photo is a Wendy Williams set of pin cushions I bought at the show.  I chose to buy the kit for the middle one.  Such a fun set of pin cushions!
Next stop was the Stitches & Craft Show at Newcastle.  I told you about that in my last post here
I picked up some Robison Anton threads (which I love to use for quilting), some sewing machine needles, and a quilt weight.

Mr Scissorman was there as always.  I needed a new pair of embroidery scissors.  The little job on the left of the photo below is a pair of travel scissors I will be able to take on planes.

The Western Sydney Woodworking Group had a stall there.  I love wooden things, and found a letter opener, magnifying glass and a thingy to open and close quilting pins.  Anyone know what they are called?  There's also a cute little spinning top which they gave me for my little grandson.

And then it was time to go.  But Jo was still looking for fabrics, so we decided to check out the other shops in the vicinity.

We found Zig Zag Sewing at Georgetown.  Love that shop! 

And then On Point Patchwork & Needlecraft at Waratah where I found a range of Civil War fabrics.

You'd think I would have enough of those by now, but no.  These just had to come home with me.
So that was our day.  Exhausting!  But so much fun.  Thanks Jo for doing all that driving.
And after all that, Jo did find some backing fabric for one of her quilts.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.