My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some small gifts —

— and a short show-n-tell.

In amongst the bigger projects I've been working on lately I've made a few smaller items as gifts.
Now that I've finally gotten these to Mum, I can show you the covered coathangers I made for her...
I always struggle to make something that I KNOW she will use and was happy I came across this idea.
To my local SS friends, (and other learner crocheters out there)
these are just a combination of treble and double crochet.
(Single and double crochet in American terms?)
I've also recently made this little hanger for a friend. As soon as I came across this tutorial I knew I had to try it, especially as the instructions included a 3" version. SOLD!

I have fallen in love with this disappearing pinwheel block. The technique makes it not-so-fiddly to make the small block version, but Helen also has done the maths for larger blocks as well.
It was so much fun that I took a few photos while I was making one of the blocks.....
Start with a pinwheel block.... 
Slice it into thirds....
Rearrange the outer pieces...
Sew it back together...
Voila! One block. How cool is that?!
Click *here* for the tutorial.
 And now for the Show and Tell. You may remember that last year at the shop I designed a free motion quilting block of the month called Birdy Love. I made it 'quilt as you go' style so that the pieces were easier to manage and so the participants could focus on quilting a little each month rather than wrestling a large quilt. To my absolute delight the other day Nancy brought hers' in while I was at work. It was so good to see it finished. She has done such a lovely job of the quilting.
Nancy's finished 'Birdy Love'.
She said she learnt lots and it has given her a lot more confidence so I was very pleased :-)

The sun is rising so it's time to get on with my day. Hope you're managing to squeeze some creativeness into your day, I'm going to try to do so!
Happy stitching,

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sewing along(s) —

As a new weekend approaches, I am still trying to find the time to write about last weekend's sewing! I've had a week of meetings, appointments, a work day and heavy rain (flooding) so it's sped by with little sewing and blogging time.  I started last weekend with a new blade and a new needle - armed with those I felt ready to take on the world!! I spent most of Saturday thinking, planning and cutting ... I seemed to be partway through several projects, all of which had stalled because I was ready for the next step.

I had got Irene (see Terry's Treasures to learn about this sewalong) to this stage and was ready to do the outer border...calculations done.... enough fabric left to do it Terry's way —
— until I did a miscut (probably was day dreaming about the next project I want to start) - oh no, would I have to rethink the outer border, or maybe do some piecing and hope the joins were not noticeable?  I managed to hold my breathe until I got to work on Wednesday... I had taken the last of the fabric on the bolt, but was hoping there would be some precuts still left in the shop and ...lucky me... there were two bullets in the bullet jar!
And the two bullets were just what I needed!
I made a few decisions and did a little cutting on the project I haven't officially started yet - if it's not on my blog, it's not started, right? I am loving this project but needed time/space to decide on my next fabrics. I feel confident with where I am going with this one now.
Hmmm, maybe it is officially on my blog now and maybe I'll have to 'fess up to
another started project pretty soon?
With Irene off the design wall, I pulled out Hop To It....actually it was already out but Mum is coming next week so I needed to take it off the bed in the spare room. More decisions needed with this one, I hadn't been able to decide on the cornerstone fabric, but think that using the background fabric will be fine... my sashings are quite dark so I think it needs the calmness of the creams. Deciding on an outer border will be another path I need to go down!
(Hop To It is an Edyta Sitar quilt, some bloggy friends and I used it as a sewalong 'in the past' (I am scared to think how many years ago - two maybe?!))
I've been wondering who else is doing Pam Buda's Market Day sewalong? I love Pam's mysteries so of course couldn't help myself :-) I also caught up on my cutting for this. (By the way, I met Pam at Pittsburg and she really is a sweetie). This is really intriguing me ... we are making a few small, simple blocks each week so is a good one to cut out and use as a leader/ender. I wonder what will happen?!
Pam is giving instructions for two sizes - I couldn't resist trying them both.
3 1/2" and 2" unfinished sized blocks.
I've started playing with possible layouts but the 'odd' number of some of the blocks are throwing me. Guess I'll have to be patient!
 (Seems the colour went a bit off in this last photo, it's the same carpet as the previous one!).

 I have a few little secret projects I need to complete this weekend, hopefully I can squeeze in a little time cutting and sewing :-)
Happy creating, and thanks for reading to the end :-)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Party Time!

A special thanks to Chooky for inviting us all over to her place this past weekend...a weekend of sewing sounded like a great way to celebrate the Chookshed's 2nd birthday
I started with some curtains for YD - winter hit New Zealand suddenly last week and her thin little curtains just weren't keeping her flat warm....I cheated and bought lengths that already had the tape sewn on. All I needed to do was the sides and the hems...
Woohoo using my quilting skills and a walking foot on the curtains!!
I spent a bit of time on a little design I was putting together for our 'Seasons' club at The Country Yard. It's a 12 inch mini... had lots of fun with this one and wow a finish for June already!
'It feels a bit like Winter'
It sure does feel a bit like winter. The fire is going well and we had several frosts last week that knocked the socks off us - Northland NZ is supposed to be the winterless north!! The photos below show that this isn't always true!

 Anyway back to my weekend of sewing to celebrate Chooky's Chookshed's 2nd birthday...
On Sunday I also stitched a little —
a Rag Tag freebie from Michelle Ridgeway designs
and crocheted a little —
This is growing nicely and ever so cosy. It went to America with me
and helped keep me occupied at airports and on planes!
— And all was well with the world!

I just want to finish off with sharing two lovelies that I have been lucky to win lately; the lovely Kris sent me this as a monthly OPAM winner - a very cute pattern of one of her Tag Along Teddies designs that I look forward to stitching up one day - thank you Kris!!! Opam is a great motivator and a good way to keep on track with my projects, it should be us sending gifts to two lovely hostesses, Kris and Peg, shouldn't it?
 And I was delighted to also win this English Paper Piecing kit through a sponsered giveaway on beaquilter's blog.
It will be a case of coming up with a clever plan with my fabrics to get an effective design. (Gulp did you notice the size of some of those pieces?!). Thank you Bea, and also to Hillbilly Quilt Shop.
Bea is a clever crafter who willingly shares her learnings with us. I originally came across her blog through her EQ7 tutorials, but she does all sorts of things.

And here it is only 20 minutes (or so) until midnight on Tuesday night - yes the weekend, and Chooky's birthday bash is well and truly over.
Time to stoke up the fire and pop off to bed,
Happy creating everyone!