Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some of what I've been up to

Christmas is over and I'm looking forward to the new year, I hope it brings lots of exciting sewing projects for us all. Here is a Christmas stocking I made for my DD. Funky is her style. I had a couple of questions regarding the footstool in the last post which I can't answer until I'm back home on the 14th January. I think I have a quilt pattern in the jigsaw style too, it might be a freebie, if it is I can link you to it if anyone is interested.

We took a nice trip out a couple of days ago, had a picnic and visited a quilt shop and the most gorgeous wool shop. The fabric was very pricey, some of them were $27 per metre, I couldn't resist these red and whites for my Nearly Insane quilt.
My DD also took me to a local fabric warehouse and lucky for me their fabric was on sale to make way for a container of new fabric next year. I managed to pick up these for $3 a half metre!

Of course I am missing my sewing being away from home but I always bring some handwork for the quiet times. I do some embroidery and this is a Hardanger tablecloth I have been working on for a long time. It's done on a 36 count linen so good light is essential to work on it. I go to a Hardanger group once a month.

I'm going to travel in the New Year so will take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the coming year and catch up with you again in 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

These don't live at my house

We've had a great family Christmas in New Zealand and it was a treat to be around small children. I hope you all enjoyed your day as much as we did.
This is the secret sewing I posted about a wee while ago. It's a bean bag foot stool for my SIL. The kids love it too!This coin purse I made for my eldest GD from a scrap of silk she was given a couple of years ago. The following quilts have not photographed too well for colour, sorry. This is one lap quilt I made in October for my DD's birthday. It's machine quilted and was a quickie done in 6 days. The pattern is from here.
This daisez quilt was made in 2002 from a Jan Mullen pattern, again machine quilted.
A cot quilt using a cheater panel called Hungry Animal Alphabet, Hand quilted.
Finally, a double sided king size quilt made for DD and SIl in 2006, commercially machine quilted. I was asked to make something cheerful but the quilt is brighter than shows in the photo.

Until next time, have a very happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

This and that

I managed to fit in some last minute sewing and made these origami pouches for the some little girls to put their treasures in. They are quick and easy to make and have handy pockets on the outside.On Tuesday we had our last small quilt group meeting for the year, we had a lovely day and a lovely lunch. We swap a lucky dip secret santa gift each year and this is what I got. The pouch has some sewing goodies in it. Lucky me.

My thoughts are already on my projects for next year. I think just because we are starting a new calendar year I can give myself permission to start some big amazing quilt that will probably take forever to finish. Oh the plans I make! This UFO below is on the list to at least make it into a top, It's been taking up my quilt wall for a long time and I want it off. It's a BOM from here. The instructions are in German and in centimeters but it was easy enough to work in a 2" grid. I have the Japanese book with the origional in it, which is not done in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I like the mushy blendy look of the blocks.
Oh someones been shopping, yep that would be me! I have been hankering after some reproduction fabrics for one of those big plan quilts I was talking about, herewith now to be referred to as a major work. I have hardly any of these fabrics so I needed them. I can't wait to use them. They're showing a bit bright in this photo.

You might know I'm a Kiwi, I've lived in Australia for 10 years this month and I love living here but my heart still belongs to my homeland, New Zealand. We are flying into Auckland at the top of the North Island on Saturday for nearly a month to visit family.
I am so excited to be seeing my three GD's again and catch up with my son who I haven't seen for two years.

We plan to travel down the North Island to visit with My parents, other sisters, some of DH David's family and take the 9 year old GD to see her other Grandparents and Aunty. New Zealand is not a big country so it will only take 8 hours for the trip.

This is my last post before the 25th so until next time, have a wonderful and joyous Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The week before Christmas

Last weekend we had DH's kids over for afternoon tea and that called for some baking. We enjoyed some lovely summer fruits, pikelets with jam and cream and these pecan brownies, I got the recipe here. For the Aussies, for 3/4 cup shortening I used 170 gm's butter. The leftovers freeze very well.Now don't be horrified when you see the photo below. Yes I've cut out the back of the appliques on my crib quilt. I know the stories as often told, if you cut out the back, it won't be strong and if it gets worn, it won't be easy to repair. Or this one, "they never did it on the antique quilts." I don't cut out the backs of the applique on my bed quilts and it makes it hard to quilt within the applique. But this is not something that's going to get used and I wanted to make it easy on myself. So It's all basted up now. I'd be interested to know what you do, cut out or not? Are the quilt police going to come and get me? And here's a thought, are the applique stitches more secure than hand piecing stitches in a quilt since they're smaller?

I'll probably do my last post before Christmas tomorrow, until then, have a good day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another red and green quilt

There's not a lot of sewing going on at Quiltsalott this week so I'll show you a quilt I finished last year in the red and green. You'll probably recognise this quilt if you are a fan of Piece O' Cake designs. It's in their book Flowering Favourites which is now out of print You may be able to pick it up somewhere. I hand quilted this in a basic grid design, it has a cotton batting so it has that lovely texture I love. You can click on the photo to get a closer look.
This is all I managed on the machine this week, three more nearly insane blocks, #'s 12, 15 and 16
A big thanks to Kathie who told people about me and also to those who visited and left some very kind comments. I appreciate it! Also thanks to other bloggers who have been so helpful to me when I've needed it, I have some basic computer skills and this is still a learning process for me.

Have a great weekend, Janet

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Red and white, Nearly Insane

Here's my container that I keep some of my red and whites in for a special project, you see I'm using these to make the Nearly Insane quilt that I saw here. About the same time I discovered Hanne's blog and she was doing the same colourway. She's finished her quilt now and it is fabulous. Take a look at her finished quilt. These small 6" blocks are a challenge! Starting from the top left and going clockwise, , the block numbers are 1,2,3,4,5 and 6
The blocks below are 8,10,13,14,30,31 #8 was the really insane one!
Blocks 33,40,48,54,55,57

Blocks 60,61,66,67,78,82

For foundation piecing, I'm using a stitch and tear which gives me good accuracy, I can see through it and it tears off really easily. I cut it to size, Iron it flat and run it through my photocopier. Some blocks I have to reverse the image. I then cut apart the pieces that I want to foundation piece. The other parts of the block are just machine pieced.

Now that I've finished my Christmas sewing, I'm hoping I can get some more blocks done.
I hope you are all finding a little time for yourselves this week.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Small stuff

What can I show you? Well nothing that I'm doing at the moment because I've been working the Christmas stuff still. I have been finding some time for hand quilting though.
Sometimes I just have to make small things, they don't take a huge investment of time and I feel I can achieve something. Some I've made this year....

I made the rabbit pincushions after seeing them at Thimbleanna I made the pattern up, I hope she doesn't mind that she inspired me. I had a ball making these Raggedy Annies from a pattern I got from Nicole
All but two were adopted out. They smell like coffee and vanilla since that's what was used for the parts to age them. Back to the Christmas projects.

Anne Ida at Quiltoholic has given me an award! Thank you Anne Ida.

I'm supposed to pass this on to 5 people. EEk! Ok instead of doing that and passing it on, and because I'm so new to blogging and would have trouble choosing... I'll give this award to all you bloggers who take the time to read my posts and take the trouble to let me know through your wonderful comments. You are all so supportive and inspiring!


Thursday, December 4, 2008


Nine years ago I started a Christmas tradition, I wanted to make or buy a Christmas decoration for my grandchildren, I have to do it for three of them now. That way when they have their own place they will have some decorations to start them off.

These little hanging bags are a pattern by Melly and Me and I have some little treasures to put in them. They can be hung on a door handle or wherever.
Here's a top secret project for another handmade gift, I have made some other stuff but can't show themThis is Mia, a sock monkey made by Kellie from Don't Look Now
I was lucky enough to win her by being the 1000th person to leave a comment on her blog. I'm going to have to make a go at making one of these.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kaffe colour part 2

If you've visited the Glorious color website then you would have seen Kim McLean's quilt pattern, Lollypop Trees. What a fabulous quilt, I loved it so much, I knew I would have to possess it asap. I've been doing blocks on and off this year. Here is the progress so far.

Some of the smaller border blocks. You guessed it, I have quite a good collection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics!

This great book doesn't look like it belongs on this post does it?

Look inside though and you can see where the inspiration has come from, 1855!

This would have been an unusual quilt design then, don't you think?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kaffe colour

A border of birds...
Princess Feathers...

these are the first two blocks of a four block applique quilt, which are quite large
I managed to do one of the borders, I love the birds.
This is a Kim McLean design available from glorious color

She makes the most wonderful quilts and this is part of her exhibition at the Sydney quilt show. You can see the princess feathers quilt to the far left. The quilt is shown as a close up if you follow the links on the Glorious Color website.
I'm in no hurry to finish this one, I'm enjoying taking my time and I need to have some applique on hand to do. Besides, I have to quilt the tops before they become quilts and I have a few of those!