Thursday, April 30, 2009


Quilters need accessories and pincushions are something that I have a lot of. I can't seem to help myself when it comes to pincushions and now I find myself with a collection of them. I even joined the pincushion of the month at Quilt Fabric Delights and have only made two out of the seven so far. I've given away some beautiful ones and not made them for myself but here are some humble ones out of my current collection. I decided to make another one based on the pie blocks I've been making. It's also like the featured pincushion on the pincushion swap on at the moment and I've seen a published pattern similar to this.
For this I made 2 complete pinwheel blocks out of charm squares.

I cut circles out of them measuring 5 1/2" and one strip for the side, 2 1/2" x 16 3/4"

I matched the half way and quarter way points with pins, added more pins in between and sewed it with the strip on top. For items to be stuffed, I reduce my stitch length down.

I did the same with the circle on the bottom leaving a gap to turn it through and stuff it.

Add a nice vintage button through both sides in the middle and that's it.

I made two of these and stuffed this one with crushed walnut shells and it works great with the large flower pins. The other one I stuffed with toy stuffing and I wasn't keen on it for size and it ended up looking not as nice and round. A smaller size would have been better with that one. This is the reverse side of the one above.
This one is huge and has pockets around the sides.

And this is one you've seen before in photos. It's my favourite one and I use it next to the machine. It's just the right size, the pins are easy to grab and it's also reversible. This is easy too, I used diamond paper pieces and English paper pieced two stars and you can see the middle is more diamonds turned on their sides.

I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of pincushions floating around in blog land in the near future as we see the results of the swap.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

what's my style?

I've been quilting for over thirteen years and I've been waiting all that time to discover what style of quilts I would get to love the most and make it my style. Here are some quilt tops off the quilt ladder I keep in my spare room, yes, that's right, I'm coming clean.

a-la Freddy Moran
shabby chic

The one thing I am sure about is that I don't want to be restricted by a style and that's a good thing for me. I recently came to appreciate 19th century reproduction and 30's quilts so along with applique, that's where I'm at right now. I reserve the right to change that at any time! Applique has always been my first love and I doubt that will change but if any of my family need a quilt, hey I have these tops. I know that some of these will never grow up to be a quilt, some were made as teaching samples and they've served their purpose. I'm OK with that.

Good news this week, welcome to Bethany, our new granddaughter born on the 26th April, to my step daughter, isn't it wonderful, I just love babies!

Monday, April 27, 2009

sampler blocks

I've always wanted to make this pine tree block, it wasn't hard to figure it out from a photo of a quilt in Jeana Kimball's book, Red and Green, An applique Tradition. It's going to be put aside to put towards a sampler quilt I'd like to make someday. Along with this one. I have posted about this block before but I needed to add the circles to it which as you can see is done now. Oh that's so much better.
There are a few ideas in these two books but I think I'd like to add more of the pieced coloured blocks rather than have so much white space as in the examples in these books.
I've stumbled across a new to me blog I have to tell you about. If you love reproduction style quilts, Lori has some great ones to look at here at Humble Quilts. Leave her a comment so she'll be encouraged to keep blogging! I've been through her past posts and was drooling at the ones I'll have to put on a list to maybe do one day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A quilt with a story

Tangaroa's gift, a Maori legend.Long ago, a sea creature named Paua ( pronounced par-wah) had no shell. One day, Tangaroa, god of the sea, noticed the difficulties this created for Paua and decided to create a special covering for him.

Tangaroa said, "I will take from my domain the coolest blues of the ocean and ask of my brother Tane (pronounced tar-knee) (god of the forest) his freshest greens. From the dawn you shall have a tinge of violet, from the sunset a blush of pink, and overall there will be a shimmer of mother of pearl."With this, Tangaroa fashioned for Paua a wonderful coat that sparkled and dazzled with its beauty. But, alas, it was fragile and was soon broken by sea creatures envious of Paua's new appearance. Seeing this, Tangaroa strengthened the shell with many more layers.

Finally he added a camouflage coat to enable Paua to blend in with the drab grays and browns of the rocks.Then, Tangaroa charged Paua with the life-long task of adding layer upon delicate layer to his shell home, each a different hue and blend. So it was that Paua got his shell.To this day, he hugs the secret of his inner beauty to himself and only at the end of his life, when his empty shell washes ashore, is his artistry revealed.

Tangaroas Gift, 2004
This is my quilt that is my memory of a trip home to New Zealand. The quilt pattern is northwind
My son in law went for a dive for the paua which was cooked for a shared family meal. The same shellfish you may know as abalone. I have had abalone here in Australia but the flesh is cream and it has a delicate flavour unlike these which have a very dark almost black flesh and have a strong flavour.
The Paua shell is highly polished and used to fashion jewellery and ornaments. In years past, people used the shells as ashtrays but this is no longer considered culturally sensitive as it is deemed disrespectful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Look at what I found

I had to search for these quilt parts after a big tidy up, I almost forgot about them!

Last year before a quilt retreat, I cut out enough fabric for two quilts using the same fabrics.
The yo yo's were made after retreat. They were made out of 6 1/2" circles and I must have made about 130 of them. I made 121 blocks that weekend
It starts with a square cut 5 1/2 " How simple is this?
On my design wall I have a partially made quilt top which I can't take down and I don't feel like finishing it. Since I needed the wall to put these blocks up, I just pinned the top that was already on and overlaid a flannel sheet over it. Problem solved!
Very retro, fun cosy looking top. I now have to label the blocks according to position and rows and then I can sew all the yo yo's on. I definitely don't want to do it after the top is together.
The original quilt is pictured in the book called Cotton Candy Quilts by Mary Mashuta but the magazine on the right shows it on the cover of this magazine that it was a project in.
I love the 30's style quilts but I often add other fabrics with them to give a more retro, sparked up look. Now all I have to do is get onto those yo yo's, at least I'm one step closer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I got the Princess Feathers on the wall and cut some sashing strips to see how it's all working. I tried a couple of colours for the sashing but I'm sticking with the same as the pattern.
The border on the right has all the circles to go yet. The corner appliques go on after the top is together. When I do the last block, I''ll at least be able to sew the center of the top. The blocks finish at 30" and I recently bought this 20 1/2" ruler which makes the job so easy. It comes in so handy for all sorts of cutting jobs!
Lurline and I have both got this pattern for the giraffe so we are going to make these sometime between the 11th -24th May. It's a good way to get these done as gifts, we'll spur each other on.
Join in with us if you want one of these cuties.
I'm sorry that Anne from Finland has not been in touch to claim her giveaway prize so I've passed the prizes down and drawn another number for the third pick.
Congratulations to Amy from a needle in my hand.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I've done enough of these Pies and Tarts blocks to put them on the wall to get a sense of how they are going to look and I'm really liking them a lot. I have changed some of the backgrounds to what was provided in the bom. The small circles will be appliqued on after the blocks are joined. And a little project on the side are these itty bitty baskets blocks from this book. I think I'll call them Petite Baskets because they are small, they'll probably be 6" finished. As Kathie says, they are addictive, so thanks for the inspiration Kathie, they're a good way to showcase lovely fabrics.
We've had a wet and windy weekend and the temperature has dropped so that's compelling me to get back to some handquilting. It's been too long since I've done any so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

If I couldn't quilt

I would do embroidery to satisfy my need to stitch. I bet we all have tried other crafts before we discovered quilting. I went through one of my phases where I did a series of Stumpwork embroidery classes, but I was already a quilter. Juggling the two doesn't work for me anymore but I do have these framed pieces around the house so indulge me please while I make a record of them. Scarlet Honeyeater on gum blossom branch.
Hummingbird with fushia
sweet pea and bumblebee.
dragonfly and thistle
dragonfly sampler
peas and bee

Now back to quilting, have a wonderful weekend doing whatever you love.
P.S. I wanted to mention that you can submit your quilt blog at where you can browse around the blogs that are listed, you might find some new ones you'd like to visit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Can you tell I've been shopping. Believe it or not this little stash was bought for me at the insistence of DH. It's true, so I had to let him spoil me.

Softie patterns are from Melly and Me and the fabrics, buttons and trims to make them.
DH also put the snail tape measure in the bag, really I have enough tape measures but not one as cute as this.
If I don't hear from Anne from Finland by next Tuesday, I'll have to do another draw. I'll pass down the first and second giveaways and draw for the third choice again. A reminder that if you leave comments for a giveaway, please make sure you edit your profile in blogger to show your email address just in case you win!

Finally I have to tell you to race over to Mrs Schmenkman and leave a comment to be in the draw to win some fat quarters for her second blogiversary, that's if you haven't already.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Giveaway winners

Thank you for all your good wishes for Easter and the wonderful comments you left. I have loved blogging these last six months and I truly appreciate all the support and kind words you give me.
The fairest and easiest way for me to choose the three winners of the little giveaway is to use the Random number generator.

first to pick is #24 Anne from Finland no blog , could you please contact me as your comment is set at no reply.

second pick goes to #3, MJ in Michigan no blog

and the item left goes to #66, Janie

Congratulations, I will email you and get your addresses so that I can get these into the post this week.

I had such a great Easter and managed some quality family time and quite a bit of sewing time.
My two goals were to finish the third block for the Princess Feathers quilt........

and I did say that this free project of Kellie's would be a good weekend job.
I had so much fun making this into a cushion for a DGD.
My DD sent through these photos of two softies I made for her girls when they visited. Believe it or not, I'm not into making softies but these were fun. Lindsay, the rabbit in my header was the one left at home.


MindyThe patterns for these are from Melly and Me

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter giveaway

I've been blogging for nearly six months now, where did the time go! In celebration of that and Easter, I am having a little mini giveaway. If you leave me a comment by Tuesday morning Australian time, I'll do a draw for these three goodies I made wee Annie based on a Nicole Ellison pattern. She has bloomers with some tea dyed antique lace and the buton is an old one out of my collection.
This pincushion is made from a wool kit by Hatched and Patched.
I love the feel of this as it's filled with silica sand so has a great weight and with it being flatter than the normal pincushion, is great for those small applique pins.
And this bunny pincushion was made based on the ones seen on Thimbleannas blog.

I think the fairest way to share these goodies is to have three draws. First name gets the first pick of what they'd like etc.
Now I won't respond to comments this time otherwise I might not get any sewing done if I'm tied to the computer :0

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Todays sewing

I didn't win anything on Kellie's giveaway but she has provided a free Easter pattern for us all. It's so cute! I had to play with it today and got it to the basted stage. I have to admit I'm nervous about the stitching part. This would make a good weekend job. I've had a few more comments on my header quilt so here it is again for those who asked about it. The original post can be found here.
At the risk of boring you with more pie and tart blocks, here's method #4 courtesy of a suggestion from Penny (no blog). A friend I was talking to about it told me she has made this block by this method too. I wanted to see if I could get it out of the strip provided in the BOM. Yes I could!
For the large pies I started with 4" squares and for the small, 3" squares.
The HST were then trimmed down to 3 1/2'' and 2 1/2" respectively and sewn into a pinwheel block.
you can see what I did with the circle at right. I think that this is a great method for some but it takes a little longer because of the trimming for me so I might stick to my method#2. The circles finish at 5 6/8" and 3 6/8" I know it's a funny measurement!