Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bibs

The day after Boxing Day, a friend of mine announced on Facebook that her daughter had suffered a second stroke.  Reading this I had tears running down my face. 
 
After the first stroke 5 years ago, which affected her left side, I made Lauren a quilt.  This was meant to be "Sunshine".  You won't have seen it as it was a pre-blogging finish.
 
 
Tibby of course got in the act.
 
She was doing so well; even driving again.  But in December this past year, her second stroke affected her "good" right side, leaving her blind and immobile on her right side. 
 
Her mum posted a couple of weeks later that the hospital was unable to supply enough bibs for Lauren for meal times.  She couldn't buy any anywhere.  I offered to make some if she was desperate, and the offer was taken up.
 
Well, easier said than done!  You can't buy terry towelling for love nor money on the Central Coast.  I could have bought some on line, but that would have meant a delay in receiving the fabric.  So I lit on the idea of terry nappies (diapers for those from the States).  I picked up a dozen for under $25, cheaper than 2 metres of terry towelling would have cost me.
 
But they are white aren't they?  How boring!  Lauren had joked she wanted hot pink bibs.  So I bought some dye and had some fun with 3 of the nappies.  I'd have preferred to have lime green, but couldn't get the dye, so the third one is teal.  Here they are on the washing line drying.
 

I decided to line them all so that they could be reversible. 


Having done those, I thought I should make another couple.  These are white, with some fun applique on them.  As soon as I put them down to photograph them, Tibby marched straight onto them to inspect them.
 

Initials and flowers on the left and a bunch of hearts on the right.
 

I was telling the girls at Friday Quilters what I was doing, and it just so happened that Lyn was making little eye pads.  They are filled with lavender to help you sleep.  I asked Lyn how she made them and she gave me one for Lauren.   I had to finish it off, but here it is.


I took all of this down to the hospital the other day.  Lauren had a giggle when I told her she was going to be wearing nappies! 

How I wish I could do more for her.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Thursday, 26 January 2017

More From December

At the time I did the December post (here)  I did not include a few things (actually I forgot about these), so here is the "real" 2016 wrap up.
 
In the time between Christmas & New Year it was very hot, so I hid downstairs in my sewing room where it is significantly cooler than the rest of the house, and I quilted.  It was rather blissful to just sit quietly and sew after the crazy month I'd had.
 
This little quilt was made for Stitching Hearts by Jill.  I'd had it here to quilt for months.  I did a simple open meander in the centre, and stitched in the ditch for the borders.
 

Here is a close up of the stitching.


Jill's quilts are always so pretty.  It was a joy to quilt.  I pieced together some binding from toning yellows to finish that off.

Next up I finished off my Scrap Dance Quickstep for Stitching Hearts, made from a tutorial by Carole who blogs at From My Carolina Home.  The pattern is available from her Etsy store here.  That was such a fun project to make!  My friend Robin (from Stitching Hearts) quilted it. 

 
She did such a perfect job, I was delighted.  She said she wanted a quilt pattern which was modern and a bit funky, and as far as I'm concerned she got it spot on.


 
I loads of that blue/grey background, so I used that to bind it with.
 
In case you are interested, Carole has a new mystery quilt which started up this week.  Go take a look here.
 
We had the final meeting of the year for my church craft group Buttons, at Joyce's home.  She always puts on a little crafty thingy for us to do, and this year was no exception.  We made little stockings from scraps of felt, ric rac and beads. 
 
 
And lastly I want to tell you about a book I've read recently.  There are a couple of places here where I live, which have a freebie book exchange.  You take one or leave one, whatever.  I picked this up just before Christmas and polished it off during the holiday.

 
Marliss Melton is a new to me author.  You can read a bit more about her, and her books by clicking on this link here.  I enjoyed this book.  It was a thriller mystery set in the US with the central characters a Navy SEAL and his next door neighbour who finds herself as the target of a serial murderer.  There is a romance thrown in which adds some spice to the story.  I am definitely going to be looking for more books by this author, and I'm delighted that she seems to have a series of titles about Navy SEALS.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fuglies Part 3

Now I know you have all been dying to see what I did with that pile of Totally Evil 6.5" squares, haven't you??  I showed them off in my last post here, but just in case you missed it, here they are:

 
I can hear you from here - "Yuk", you say.  All except Lyn who blogs here.  I knew that as soon as I posted the photo someone would pipe up and say that the fabric is lovely.  Well, not to my eye!  LOL  Why not go take a peek at what she creates. Make sure you tell her I sent you.
 
My first foray into using these was a total unmitigated disaster.  I took a couple up to my local shop, and tried to get something which matched one of the colours in the mish mash of colour in the squares.  The idea was to sash them.


I did a couple of rows at Friday Quilters a couple of weeks before Christmas.  The girls gave me permission to abandon that project, which I did quick smart.

Over the Christmas break I took them out again to see what I could do with them.  I lit upon the idea of sashing each square individually in a solid which toned with the square.  I pulled all the bits of homespun fabric I had.  It came together really quickly.  Here it is ready to sew together.


Apologies for the photos.  For the last few weeks it has been unbearably hot with temps in the high 30s and even a few days in the 40s.  My sewing room faces west, so the blinds have been drawn pretty much all day for weeks to keep the heat out.

And it is complete....


You can see by the second photo that I changed the layout about a bit.

Each of the squares has a different mix of colours in it, and when piecing the blocks, I tried hard to pick one colour out for the sashing to highlight the square.  I made two of each colourway.  I managed to use a lot of pieces of homespun AND most of the pile of squares.  Win/win.  I think its actually OK now, and I don't really mind it.  I don't love it, but its doesn't offend me to look at it.  Ha ha.

I think these are my favourite blocks.



This was so quick to piece!  Starting with a 6.5" square is a little different to my usual 2" or 2.5" squares.  LOL.

So I am calling it done.  It will go to Stitching Hearts on Thursday for our first meeting of the year.  I am sure that someone will be pleased to receive it.

Til next time.....Keep on Stitching

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fuglies Part 2

Don't fall over backwards!  After a month of no blogging, here is my second post in as many days. Can you tell I am on holidays?  LOL
 
You might remember that I have been endeavouring to use a bunch of fabrics from Stitching Hearts which no one else will use (my first post on that was here).  I actually started with a bunch of large scale florals on dark backgrounds some weeks ago.  There was an all day craft day at one of the local churches and some of my friends from Friday Quilters were there.  I took these along to work on them.
 
This is what I came up with as a centre medallion:
 

I had the inspiration for the sashing from a Patchwork magazine (no idea which one, sorry!), so the middle bit came together quickly.  But then I struggled to find something to add to it. 
 
I put it aside and found some nice fabric (I don't mind the florals - its the others won't use them) in the cupboard at Stitching Hearts a week or two later.  In my Finish It Up Frenzy in the last week or so, I picked this project up and set the medallion on point.
 

Still not big enough, it needed borders.  So I dragged out a few fabrics to see what was what.  But first it needed a framing border.  I used the homespun I had used in the medallion.


I wanted to carry out the florals on the dark background to the border, but of course there wasn't enough of that fabric was there!  I discarded the top right because it was too pale and too pink, the bottom left was too busy and the flowers were more red than pink, and the bottom right fabric because there were pale blue flowers and the back ground was too light. 

Here is how it turned out


Not ideal as the background is black, but it is better than the rest of the fabrics I had, and the flowers are a better match.  Its come together very quickly as the pieces are big - not like my usual 2" squares.  Hee hee.


The trouble with using donation fabrics is that you never have the "right" fabric and if you do happen to score some, there is never enough of it.  That is the challenge - you have to make do.  So now some of the fuglies have been used, and the result is an OK quilt which will do for a Stitching Hearts donation quilt.

And as a bonus.  Remember the bottom right fabric I showed you above which was too light for the border?  There was 2 metres of it, so I pieced a backing, and then made 2 little draw string bags for this year's Samaritan's Christmas shoeboxes.  Not a scrap left!

 
I am a sucker for punishment, but here is Fugly No. 3......

 
A couple of months back, Evelyn dumped a pile of 6.5" squares on me and said "Here, do something with these".  Oh dear.  These. Are. Totally. Evil.  LOL.  But!!  At long last, I have a plan, but you'll have to wait until the next post to see what it is..... 

Til next time.....Enjoy the Summer Holidays and Keep on Stitching.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Whirlwind December

Just a warning - this is a long post!! 

December for me was an absolute whirlwind.  Most of the time my life is busy, but December this year took the cake!

It started with a 2 week visit by our niece Alice and her friend Katie.  They are English and finished off their 3 month visit to Australia at our place.  Loved having them both here.  While they were here, we had a fun craft morning when I taught them how to make angels from Christmas ribbon.


Alice on the left & Katie
Here is our little tribe of angels.  The one second from the left was my sample.


I taught a couple of workshops in December.  The first one was for my church craft group, Buttons, and we made a folded Christmas Star.  I got the inspiration from a blog post by Avis who blogs here.
 
 
The ladies really enjoyed making that, and several brought in theirs to show me the finished product the following week.
 
Also at Buttons, we made little knitted Christmas Trees from a pattern put out by Spotlight.  Here is mine - it stands about 7" tall, and I have left it at Buttons for the church stall.

 
I made up 8 little zippered pouches as Christmas gifts.  (Forgot to take photos.... sorry)  Four were for my team of volunteers who help me at the Mitchell Library.  And one each for my grand daughter, Alice & Katie and the Kris Kringle at Friday Quilters.  These were some of the fabrics I used.
  
The front fabric is shown in front of the linings
All the fabrics were chosen specifically for the person to receive it.
 
Next workshop I did was for the ladies at my Friday Quilters group.  We generally do a craft item before lunch at our Christmas function.  I found this on the web in a tutorial by Betz here.  I offered the option of making it into a brooch or a Christmas decoration.  My sample is made into a brooch and has been worn several times since.


I also taught Alice and Katie how to make one each.  It took me a while to get the hang of how to fold this as its a bit tricky, but once I "got" it, it was easy peasy.

I also finished a little beaded ornament which my daughter gave me as a kit at least a year ago.  I thought I ought to get it made, and it was done in the nick of time to put on the tree.  There's a mistake in there, but by the time I found it, there was no way I was going to undo all that bead work!


We were fortunate to be invited to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as support for the maxi yacht CQS (which ended in 7th place).  It was so exciting to be there in the midst of the yachts on the harbour!  A really early start for us, but so worth it. 

At the marina before the race - CQS behind us

CQS getting into the mood just before the start
Since Christmas, I have laid low, spending a lot of time in my sewing room, pottering about and just sewing.  First up I used some ugly squares to make a little mat for the cat to sit on.  My daughter screwed up her nose and asked why I hadn't used pretty fabrics.  Well that wasn't the point!

 
I used a double thickness of thick synthetic wadding, which was awful to quilt, but what I wanted was a thick cushiony effect.  When I finished it, I took it up to Tibby to show her.  She sniffed at it delicately then, Flot!  She parked herself on it.  I can officially call it a success.

 
I then finished off this little top.  In one of the bags of donated scraps I found almost enough blocks to make this sweet little cot sized quilt.  So I set to and made the remainder. 

 
As soon as I finished this, I found enough for about 3/4 of another quilt.  Guess I have to make a few more blocks!
 
If you have got to the end of this post, thank you!  You deserve a medal for sticking it out.  LOL.
 
I would like to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year.  May 2017 be a creative and pleasurable year for you.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.