Friday, January 22, 2010

The end of the cushions.

I managed to finish the last two cushions just in the nick of time to take to my granddaughters. I love the ladybugs on these designs of Kellie's.

Yes, I remade the cushion and really, this one isn't a whole lot bigger.

I used a left over flower for the back.

This is the another one from the pattern pack. It's not as busy but I really love it a lot. The machine quilting practice has been good for me and I do believe I'm gaining more confidence since I don't do a lot of it normally.

The three together, what a fun time I've had with these.

I have had some minor glitches with the new Bernina 820 since I got it last June. I had to turn the tension down on every setting and the threader wasn't really impressing me. There has been an update that you can do at home and Mr Q put it on a flashdrive directly from the internet and plugged it in the machine.
It was super easy. I wanted to get a screen shot of the hand with the thumbs up when it was done but I wasn't fast enough. If Bernina did some new background wall papers of quilts or if we could load our own, how neat would that be?

And so the Bernina is now renamed, "my precious" and we are best friends.

I'm off for three weeks in New Zealand on Sunday. I have to get up before dawn, sigh. I'm excited to see my children, grandchildren and two sisters. I'm not sure if I'll be blogging but I think I'll have more time to catch up on some blog reading.
Until next time,  take care,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A winner and a weekend of sewing.

First of all I have to announce the winner of my happy mishap cushion. Thanks to all who left me such lovely comments. I read them all and I didn't realise at the time of the giveaway that it was also my 150th post, what a good way to celebrate.

I numbered all the comments in order and used the random number generator tool that makes an easy job of  it all.  
Congratulations to Christine 
 from Once Upon A Quilt who had this to say.

Oh my our little Sophie would just adore this beautiful pillow, she is only two and half but is so in love with pink and pretty things, she wears two butterfly rings everyday and won't go anywhere without them.

Love your giveaway and your generousity.
quilting hugs, Christine

I've had some lovely quality sewing time this wekend but not on anything quilty. I decided to use some stash and make pillowcases. They go with quilts, right?
That called for getting out "the beast" so known for it's ability to provide me with endless amounts of wasted time  fiddling with tension or having to rethread it. Mostly, it lives in a dark cupboard. I think the threading path is colour coded just for me and even then I can get it wrong. I don't really understand this piece of equipment despite doing a class years ago. How to get the most out of your overlocker. As if I'd rememnber it all. It did decide to behave for me so I made the most of it.

I made two pairs of each one, six in all. I didn't want the pillowcases that have the contrast trim on them so worked out the dimensions for plain ones with the inner flap. These are so simple and super fast to make.

Some for the kids I'll be seeing next week.

Have you seen the gorgeous pillowcases that Rosehip makes and sells on Etsy? Fab-u-lous. I love them with the crochet trim so I did the same. I could go on making these, I may never buy another pillowcase again.

You know I love my gadgets and here's another way I use my Hera marker apart from marking quilting lines.  It's great when you need to turn over a seam allowance and press. Or a double seam like I had to do. And I found out that the curved tip is great for putting in the corners after turning them through. I suppose I'm the last to find that out.

Simply turn and press on the lines.

Talking about gadgets, has anyone got one of these icecream makers? I had one years ago but the new ones make the icecream much easier. It comes out like soft serve but then you put it in the freezer to firm up. So far, I've done French vanilla bean and frozen yoghurt with raspberries. Today, I had the urge to try cookies and cream. The only thing is it only makes a litre, we couldn't find a bigger machine on the market but it makes just the right amount for the two of us to last awhile. It's good, it's really good! Next batch could be mango sorbet. The best thing is, we know what's going in the icecream.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thank you

I was overwhelmed by the number of comments on my last post, offering suggestions and soothing words to make something out of my mistake. You guys are the best! Some even ate chocolate on my behalf, now that's support! Thank you so much. Without you, this could have been delegated to languish in a drawer forever.

In celebration of blog friendship and support, I'd like to humbly offer this 11" cushion as a giveaway. (Thanks to those who made that suggestion) Just leave me a comment on this post and please, please make sure you have a way of me contacting you in case you win.
I'll draw a random number on Sunday night Australian time and you'll forgive me if I don't reply to comments on this post so I can get on with sewing the other one.
Edit: I am prepared to post internationally of course.

If you want to make one of your own, this is Kellie's pattern from Don't Look Now. I love it to pieces and there are four cushions in the pack,  and I'm making them all. She suggested a great binding would make it look fabulous and I did find a good stripe in the stash. I didn't even have to cut it on the bias, it was printed like that.  Kellie even has some free patterns for you to download and make for yourself on her sidebar. I didn't start these knowing how to do it, I just followed the instructions and had a go. I've never done free motion applique before so while it might not be a proffessional version, it was made with joy.

A pretty pink on the back and I think it was a good save.

Other happy news is the fabric that arrived from Terri. She had a fantastic sale that I just couldn't pass up. Fabulous Kaffes to re-stock the stash and the cheapest I've ever bought. For now, I've left them out to stroke as I go past, lol.

Good luck for the draw, back again after the weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We've all done this.

I'm still doing some stitching on my Susan McCord vine, this one is taking awhile. I have about three branches yet to stitch on this panel.

One day I decided that it makes sense to trim the panels as I go, you know, cut down on the work at the end. That will be sometime this decade for sure. It got pretty distorted from all the stitching on it that even though I put a basting line down the middle, I ended up folding it in half to find the new middle.When this much time has gone into a project, that rule of check twice, cut once applies. I checked more than twice and even marked the cutting line on the wrong side. I was a bit cautious and prayed for no slips of the ruler.

I even cut out all my sashings and borders which will be trimmed to size as I go. I had three inches left, no room for errors.

Now this has got me excited, to see how it will look with the pink. I'm still madly keen about this quilt but I'm realistic, it's a long, slow work in progress. It's not just a quilt, it's a journey that I'm taking.

I showed you two cushion covers I was working on. Yesterday, I finally put the last stitches in the tops. I had a yeee-ha moment. I'm thrilled with how they look, even my amateur quilting thrilled me.

Today, I was looking forward to getting them made up into cushions. I found some nice fabrics for the backs in my stash and had the zips all lined up.
First job is to trim, I checked the measurements in the pattern, had some center lines marked to go by and brain did a number flip on me. Check out the photo below.

Bad words were said, more than once, a few times in fact. There is no fixing this, so I resigned myself  to starting again.
Did you get that? I'm starting from the begining.....again!!!
And how come I proceeded to trim the second pillow and made another (slight) error in measurement? Although this one wasn't a really big mistake, you'll never know when I'm done.

Emergency medicinal sedative required here.

I hope you have a better day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some little things

Sometimes you just have to get out and about  when the weather is so nice. Mr Q and I had a day wandering around historic Berry on the South Coast. There is one shop which is a favourite with anyone who likes to ply a needle or two of any kind. It's an embroidery shop called Sew And Tell (no website) and out the back is this shop which is part of it. It has beautiful gifts and items and is just delightful to wander around.

I never leave the shop without helping to support them. I picked up two books by Rosalie Quinlan, one half of the Melly and Me team. There are a few yummy projects in the books which would make great gifts.

I'd been looking everywhere for this DMC varigated thread so I grabbed three for stitcheries. It has a  lovely rusty brown and pink colourway. It'll be a nice change from the red varigated I've been fond of using.

I had to have this alphabet  fabric. I could imagine this would be a great for kids quilts but then I got to thinking how good it would be as pillowcases, crayon rolls or kids aprons. I could use a bolt of this but there was a limited amount left and I grabbed the whole 3 1/2 meters. Then I went back at Mr Q's urging and bought a bit of the co-ordinating stripe. I'm such a sucker for anything with text ot letters on it.

This week I got some lovely fat quarters of Jennifer Paganelli fabrics in the mail. I have no plan for them except to use them in scrap quilts and small projects eventually. I picked a couple of fat quarters to make a pincushion out of  the Raslie Quinlan book, A stitch in Time.

I'm a bit of a sucker for pincushions and especially if it means I get to use one of my vintage buttons.

The pincushion turned out huge, it measures about nine inches from one point to another. Too big for my use but I'm thinking of someone who could make use of it. These fabrics are just up her ally too.

This is my favourite pincushion that's been on my blog before. It fits next to my machine perfectly and yet it is still big enough. This one was made out of paper diamonds that measure 2" on each side. The sides are made up of the same diamond shape and it was all stitched with the english paper piecing method.

When I get tired of one side, I can turn it over and use the other.

I haven't been doing anything else that's new, I'm still working on my current projects which are not very blog worthy at this point so hopefully next time I can show some progress.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Preparation week

I've been deliberating on how to tackle my projects this year, just like a lot of us. I even started to make a list of ufo's in my head. I overwhelmed myself so that was too scary to continue. Last year was my first in blogging and I had a motto. Do what I want when I want and it was all about fun and indulgence. It was the best, no gulit, no deadlines, no commitments. Doing what I love.
This year I have a loose list and it's in my head so I don't feel tied to it but I do want some of those projects and test blocks from last year to grow up to be quilts. I think a weekly goal is more likely to work for me.

Day one of the new year and I've already failed been tempted.

Lori is posting the steps to make this doll quilt and what a beauty. Cheddar Cheese and Crackers is a great wee quilt, the blocks are so cute and I would love a full size version but not just now, I'll be satisfied with this one.

I do have two deadlines and one is to finish this cot quilt. It's been so humid here that it's been difficult to have the wool batting on my lap. Even the blue washout pen is fading fast so I had to knuckle down. I re-discovered the fact that the wool makes me sneeze and requires drugs to combat it.

I did stick to my plan for the first week which was all about preparation so I have glued four Joseph's Coat blocks ready to stitch.

Forty six baskets blocks prepped as well.

I plan to take some applique on holiday so that's the reason behind all the preparation. I'm off to the cool sewing room to do some more of the same and maybe a bit of sewing too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1st

Happy New Year!
I've heard that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you'll continue to do all year. If that's true, I should do a bit of everything today. Blogging and stitching being at the top of the list. I might stay away from chores today.

Since I'm off to see the Grandkiddos later this month, I thought I'd better do these cushions for the two eldest. I've done one already for the younger one and just have these two to do.
They are of course Kellie's pattern from Don't look now.

The pink blobs are going to be ladybirds, they just don't have their wings attached yet.

I've only just started to do the free motion stitching around the appliques, I'm pretty slow when it comes to that bit but hey, it works for me.

Over the last year blogging has been such a pleasure for me. I've made contact with quilters from all over the world and made lots of friends with the same interests as me. I never thought it would be such a blast so I hope to be able to continue in the same vein this year.

The other wonderful thing about blogging is the wonderful support, the encouragement and the inspiration that has injected so much motivation into my projects.
I have also no discipline when it comes to getting tempted by what I see either. Here's a few links.

Check out Lori's blog for a tutorial for a Reproduction style doll quilt.
Nat from Not Just Nat is having a lovely giveaway for her blogiversary but you'll have to be quick, it ends on Sunday.
Have you seen these wooden quilts by artist Fraser Smith? If I win lotto that's what I'd have on my wall. You can click on detailed photos and see the quilting stitches. I wouldn't even mind some of those as real quilts.