Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend retreat for one.

The post title sounds a bit sad doesn't it? Far from it. Even though I couldn't go on retreat this last weekend, I was determined to get some quality sewing time in and I think I did pretty well. Just me and the DVD's

If you read my last post, you would know that I needed to restore my best Nana title.
I was looking for an excuse to make these pochettes and I got the free tutorial from Peachmade
Even though the instructions are in Japanese, the step by step photos were good enough to understand.
I made them in the large size. These are perfect to sling over the body and hang on the left hip, leaving little hands free and they won't get lost. The cords can be shortened to fit when they get them.,

I love the way the boxed bottoms give shape to them. I used a thin iron on Pellon to line them and there was no hand sewing so they were quick and easy to make.
I only sewed two klosjes this week but I did have a cutting session so I'm ready to sew more. Having enough cut out to sew is what's been holding me up.

I spent Saturday sewing some stars on the machine and prepping some applique.
There are twenty applique blocks in the Stars and Sprigs pattern and each one gets reversed so that makes forty applique blocks in total to do for the quilt.
This one got appliqued last evening. Most of them only take an evening to stitch.
I need to keep track of the blocks when it's time to sew the rows together so thought of this solution. I wrote the rows and block numbers on these flower head pins with a fine sharpie pen. I even colour coded the pins. I always piece from left to right so I know that the letters are the rows and the numbers are the blocks in numerical order.
The reason I can get so much done is that Mr Quiltsalott took over the cooking but I did cook a big meal on Friday. I made a chicken, mushroom and bacon pasta dish and this apple tart. I actually made a shortcrust pastry for a pie but self raising flour had been put in the wrong flour bin and so I had to ditch that, luckily before the pie was made. 

Friday, May 28, 2010


Thank you to all who entered my five day pincushion giveaway. I had a lot of fun with it and you have helped me clear out some stuff that I haven't the time to make. Lets get on with it.
Giveaway day 1 Terry, Terry's Treasures
Giveaway day 2, Kerry, Forever Friday
Giveaway day 3, Susan, Pieceful Threads
Giveaway day 4, Dot, These Two Hands
Giveaway day 5, Elaine, Soggy Bottom Flats
Congratulations, I'll be contacting you all for an address to send these out to you.

My Nana Halo slipped
I have to tell you about these crochet flowers. The pattern comes from Rose Hip and can be found here. 
I made one some time ago and my daughter even had a go. Miss 4year old got the one she finished and Miss 2 year old is still waiting on hers. Well I had to send a parcel to them and included the flower I made so they could have one each. Can you see what's coming??

Big Mistake! Miss 4 year old was inconsolable that she hadn't got one from Nana ( that would be me) and rang me after a half hour on the couch sobbing her little heart out. She was crying so hard that I couldn't make out what she was trying to say. All you Nana's would understand how this pulled at the heart strings. After some promises, there was calm but I felt awful that I had slipped up big time there.

Last night I crocheted my fingers to the bone to redeem myself. I made plenty for both girls.I even thought if I made more, my DD could crochet some leaves and make a garland for the girls' bedroom.
Don't they  look just like the camelia that's started flowering?
Because I feel so bad, I'm even making them something else out of these cherry fabrics and polka dots.

I did manage to do some applique this week as well as my hand quilting which is taking me way longer than I thought. I'm missing out on my annual retreat this weekend because I've been a bit under the weather with the sniffles. To make up for it, I'm having my own personal private sewing time this weekend. Not as good of course but it has to do.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pincushion giveaway day 5

Dear  lovely readers, I've been having so much fun with my five day giveaway but alas, sadly it has to end. Today the final  kit is from Crab Apple Hill and is a very elegant pincushion with an embroidered button and some ribbon and beading to dress it up.
Leave a comment on each of the five giveaways you want to be in the draw for which I'll do on Friday. See you then.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pincushion giveaway day 4

The days are whizzing by and already I'm up to the fourth of five pincushion kits to give away.
This one is just too cute. A fairytale mushroom cottage from Gigi Minor at Pinks and Needles, the pin topper maker extraoindinaire. There's one pin topper that goes with this too.
Same as all the other days, just leave a comment. Winners are drawn on Friday. Good luck.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pincushion kit giveaway 3

G'day, here I am having lots of fun with this giveaway and it's day three already so lets  move from pretty to fun with this one from Rosalie Quinlan, half of the Melly and Me team. It's a ladybird pincushion with a pouch to match, how cute is that? Just leave a comment on this post to be in the draw. Winner to be announced next Friday.
No klosje (spool) blocks to show this week as I surge on ahead with hand quilting. I spend an afternoon cutting pieces and it only takes an evening and a bit to sew what I've prepped. The hold up is getting out the fabrics and folding and putting them back.

I thought I'd look for some charm squares or fat eights to give a bit of variety without the outlay but there wasn't much at the shop.  I did find this jelly roll in the style of fabrics I'm using. It's called Old Primrose Inn by Blackbird Designs. I can easily cut blocks from these and it'll be faster too.
See you all tomorrow for day 4.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pincushion giveaway day 2

Todays pincushion kit for the giveaway is Ivy's Bloom from Australian designer Janelle Wind.
It includes the supplies for a 7" pincushion, wrist wrap and needle book.  It also has a secret pin to go with the kit.

All you need to do if you'd like to go into this draw is leave me a comment. How easy is that?
For every pincushion draw, you need to leave a comment on each one you'd like to enter as there will be a separate draw for each kit next Friday.
Good luck, Janet

Friday, May 21, 2010


I'm celebrating the number five. Why is that I hear you ask. When I started blogging, I thought it would be great if some people would take the time to read my humble blog. This week the number of followers on my blog hit 500 and then it went to 505. I can't believe it, I'm very happy to be sharing my stitching journey and I'm thrilled to bits you follow along with me. Many of you have also become friends.
Its Friday today, the fifth day of the week. May is the fifth month of the year so I'm celebrating by having some giveaways of some pincushion kits I have but am unlikely to make from a pincushion a month club I was in last year. It also includes a specially made pin by Pinks And Needles
The first one is a sitchery kit by Leanne Beasley
Leave a comment on each giveaway  post to go into the draw. I'll read them all but not reply to comments for the giveaway posts. I'll also not be able to include any no reply or anonymous entries beacause I need a way to get hold of you. I'm happy to post internationally.
I have another four pincushion kits to giveaway each day so come back to see if you'd like to win what I have to offer. I'll close the draw next Friday to give followers, lurkers and readers time to enter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quilt as desired

The applique is on hold this week and as the weather has turned cooler, I've been quilting my Licorice Allsorts quilt. I'm on the last round before the borders and got stumped as to what to do there.
I usually decide on the quilting designs as I'm making a quilt but had no idea what to do for the borders. How do you decide on the quilting design?
I looked at the square shapes inside the quilt top.
I looked at the curves.
I just couldn't come up with something so I turned to my trusty book.
Perfect! The old Amish pattern echoes the shapes and will give about the same density of quilting. The interlocking circles can also be changed in size and the melon shapes are echoed. Best yet, it's easy to draw and easy to stitch.
These circle templates are the bomb, I use them so often for all sorts of things.
I can't turn the corners the same on each side so I'm just going to say that this is no competition quilt and I'm channeling Gwen Marston and not being precious about it. There's a little girl waiting for this quilt so I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the month.
If you'd love to win a little wool project, get yourself over to Soggy Bottom Flats to enter Elaines giveaway. You only have until Friday 21st. Say I sent you and if I win, you'll get one too. Pass it on.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From the weekend.

I'm a day late posting the latest number of klosjes but here's the next twenty which brings the total to 149. I have to repeat fabrics but that doesn't bother me, it'll still look scrappy. 
It was a gorgeous sunny day yesterday so we headed off down south for a drive. I went to a shop called Japanache which sells antique homewares, furniture and Kimono's. They also have a small collection of patchwork fabrics and I came home with these. Don't ask me what they're for because even I don't know. They have texture in the weave and the red one is my favourite.
Another stop at the patchwork shop and these were picked to come home with me. There was a sign on the door which said absolutely no photography allowed so sadly I think that spells the end of showing off any shops here.

You might have seen the purses and needle keepers I sent to Kathie on her blog. These are the items I made for myself awhile ago that came with a pattern. The scissor case was too big so I made a smaller one but it's not practical since the scissors fall out.
This is the inside of the needle keeper. You put your thumb on the reel of thread and take out the last threaded needle to quilt or hand sew with. Then you take the next one and so on. If your eyes aren't good, you can get someone to thread them for you ready for a stitching session. The pattern for this item apparently dates back to 1849. I recieved one similar about twelve years ago in a secret Santa swap.
The accessories came with the pattern for the giant mother of all pincushions. You can get the pattern here.
Thank you to all who take the time to leave me a comment, they make my day. I reply to all of them unless you are set as no reply blogger. If you don't hear from me that's the reason. Some ask questions that I can't reply to and I'd feel bad if you thought I was ignoring you.

The links to my tutorials, including my applique techniques are on the side bar. If you click on them it'll take you to the post. This is for those who've asked.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What a week.

I had a crummy week last week,  but this week is more than making up for it. I felt like a bit of wool therapy, just enough so that my blinkers would stay on my current projects. It only took a couple of hours to whip up this gnome and it makes me smile so what better reason could I have to make it?
The pattern is free here and if you want to see what one hundred of them look like check this out. 
I had wanted to buy some flowers last Sunday and couldn't find anything that I wanted to bring home. Mr Quiltsalott bought this gorgeous Moth Orchid home for me on Monday. He heard me a long time ago when I said I was looking for the huge original classic white one with it's big blooms.
Then my cactus decided to flower.
That's not all folks, I got luscious mail from Liz at Broderie. I had won a giveaway to celebrate her 200th post and I nearly fainted when I opened the surprise package. Be still my heart! Check out the perle threads. Their varigated loveliness had me playing, arranging them according to colour, sigh, talk about overwhelmed.
That wasn't all, there's more. Kaffes, and one I didn't have and another that I'd run out of, double sigh, doing the happy dance.
If that wasn't amazing enough, there was this cute panel too. Something to make for the grandchildren. Thanks Liz, you made my week extra, extra special.
On the sewing front,  I finished three applique blocks.
I'm so happy with the progress I'm making, those blinkers are working. Four rows, five to go.
This one funny photo of a portion of the back of my work is for another Janet (no blog) who asked to see it.
I've been hanging out with handsome men too, Richard Armitage.
And Patrick Swayze, from the miniseries, North and South. Yup, he's in 24 hours of period drama with amazing costumes to boot.