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Friday, 31 December 2010

Blossom Bag

I have the new Amy Butler's Style Stitches bag pattern book. It's gorgeous. I have recently (right before Christmas) made the "Blossom Bag" pattern, and here it is...I love it. Quite time consuming to make, but oh so worth the effort. I am hoping that my girlfriend Suzie likes the bag because it is her very belated '0' birthday present. Searching for the appropriate fabric to make the bag with took longer than I thought and then I found it on the day of her birthday. This bag has fancy little details around the straps, zippered pockets on the inside and lots of space for all those things a girl needs to have. The Style Stitches book is sensational with all steps clearly written and fantastic diagrams to boot. I have to say, Amy Butler and her team can sure write patterns well. Anyone with a bag fetish, such as I have, must own a copy of this book. I know I will be making more bags from the book, with the fabric for another 3 bags waiting in my sewing room to be made up.... stay tuned!

Monday, 27 December 2010

A Fun Bag

to take along sewing projects, made with shot purple cotton, a large floral print and some purple pom pom trim all topped off with a bright striped lining - LOVE IT!
I made this bag for my Kris Kringle recipient at the SS&Q Christmas dinner which was held early in Dec.

What's even better, the recipient loved it! She came up to me later very happy - what more can you want when you make something for some one in the group who you don't know very well? It certainly made my night even better. - aw shucks.......

Friday, 3 December 2010

To Do Lists.......

It's always around October/November that things seem to get busier and busier and not much happens in the way of quilting! :)

A few weeks ago, for the first time ever I compiled a list of what I want to achieve in the way of gifts to be made and other quilty things that I want to finish by a certain time. A bit like a 'to do list', but longer. So far, so good. My list seems to be working by not letting me get distracted by other things.

The list I mention won't get many UFOs completed, but it will clear space in my sewing room - mostly the sewing table and it will empty a few ziplock bags that seem to breed more projects when I am not in the sewing room.

I feel very calm since I have made this decision to follow the list. I will have to pay an UFO penalty to Stashbusters and will probably become their UFO Queen again before the end of the year, but that's OK because I am achieving projects which will make me happy, make others around me happy and I'll be having a few good catch-up sessions with friends when I see them to hand over the gifts - That is the important thing.

And.... the count of remaining UFOs and sewing room clean up will happen the week before Christmas when I have to get some projects out of the loungeroom and back to the sewing room so as to leave space for Santa to visit.....

Friday, 26 November 2010

Hopscotch Bag...

I made a fantastic bag for my sister for her '0' Birthday this week using the pattern Hopscotch by Melly and Me. Guess what - I foolishly didn't take any photos of the bag before giving it to her, so I have no show and tell today. I'll try to remember to photograph the bag when I see her next....

Oh well, next time........

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pretty Flower

Pretty in the City was the original name of the pattern I used for this quilt. Taken from a 2006 issue of Quilters Companion Magazine, I found the perfect fabric in the range called Fandango by Kate Spain for Moda. Appliqued with a very pale fossil fern fabric, this particular quilt is soft, pretty and actually quite flowery once you look at the patterns of the individual fabrics.
Here is a close up of the applique. I sandwiched the quilt with pin basting and then used the machine blanket stitch to applique the petals and stamens on through all the layers so it was partially quilted by the time I finished the appliqueThe rest of the quilting was clamshells around the outside of the flower and for the 'petals' I followed the patterns in the individual squares of fabric. As you can see, I still need to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt and attach a label - but I might wait until I am sure of who the quilt is going to before doing that.

By the way - don't you just love the backing fabric?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Funky Granny?

Hmm - here is a quilt top which was made with a couple of years ago with a Sturbridge Collection from the Curator Aimee Newell. A rather odd range of 13 fabrics to go together, with an awful red and white one as the feature for the centre of the back. The pattern was a stack 'n' slash, which used 12 fabrics and was from the book Patchwork by Julie Wallace. The purpose of making this quilt was purely and simply to practice my Domestic Machine Quilting with 'sampler' blocks of quilting all over it.

Guess what? - the inspiration ran out when I had the top pieced together, so it became a PIG.


Then I purchased a new book - see photo below - and it's FANTASTIC. Now, on the photo above is a selection of fabric and thread to create something a little, I mean a lot, more interesting with this quilt top
Because I saw oversized tulips in the book and wondered how they would look on my quilt top, set to the bottom left hand side and then some floating 'in the air' above the main bunch on the ground.....

Off to the fabric and thread stash cupboards I go... here is the resulting sample in the photo below and... I think that the fabrics and threads will work really well for the applique.


Now the name of Funky Granny has come about because I always thought that this quilt looked like the fabrics from the cupboard of a very old Granny, but now with the appliqued tulips to go on the top, it's become a little bit funky looking now - hence Funky Granny!

And - yes,my applique shapes are all traced onto the fusible web and I am looking forward to machine appliqueing the shapes on with the rayon threads in the next week as my "relaxing" sewing - large pieces with no sharp corners -hmmm... nice...

Guess I'll just have to keep you all posted now!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

.... yes I'm still here - but with no finishes for a while, I have nothing to post. However, it is worth watching this space as I'll hopefully have some wow factor photos in the next few days........

xxx Andrea

Friday, 10 September 2010

Hanging Stars for Christmas

... these stars are just the ticket for hanging in the windows at Christmas time. Completely, 100% my own design and technique.

My inspiration has come from our cold Christmases when in Germany and the gorgeous stars which were hung in the windows of the houses and shops. In Germany the stars had lights in them in the windows, but here in Australia with our long Summer daylight hours, the small lights are not necessary. So, without further ado - here are my Hanging Stars for Christmas, to hang in my Aussie windows...
Above is side one and below is side two. Completely reversible, it doesn't matter which way they face, the look good from inside and out. Love 'em!

And, here is a close up shot of the fussy cutting I did for each star. This sample is the smallest star.I can't wait for Christmas to hang these stars up.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Bag Lady?

Hopefully a tasteful lady with gorgeous bags! - vbg... I have been very productive the last week or so catching up on making bags.

The first one here is a pattern which I have made once before. Called The Original Scrap Bag it is a pattern from
ScrapBags . Normally 4 x Fat Quarters are needed, but in this case, I used 2 x 50cm pieces as I had some gorgeous Japanese fabric in my sewing room. I have padded this particular bag with some very heavy duty stabilizer, so that when I put it down, it will stay standing up and not fall over. Big enough to hold A4 size books, but not so big to be bulky - make sense? I hope so.
The second bag to be presented to you in this post is called The X Bag from FourCornersDesigns . I made this one in a single afternoon. It was very, very easy to construct and required 1m of each fabric. Once again, I had some gorgeous Japanese fabric which was perfect. What you can't see in the photo is how the two panels of the bag cross over each other, so that there are 3 internal pockets. The middle one is the widest 'cos that's where you put the covered cardboard base and the outer two pockets are narrower, perfect for diary on one side and my hand-sewing in the other, making the centre pockect perfect for all of my everyday paraphenalia.

I am feeling quite chuffed - 2 finished projects that I can use immediately and a small amount of floor space in the sewing room is now cleared! :)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Stars of Winter

One of the really nice things about Table Runners is that they are effective, quick and easy to make and it is really simple to make a dramatic one. Last week I made the Stars of Winter Table Runner from the book "Wintergraphix - holiday project book 2". I just love it.

So - without further ado - here it is.......

And - here's a close up - don't look too closely, my points might not be perfect! LOL...

A perfect present ready for December...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Dissappearing 4 Patch

Nothing new from me here on this post - but I wanted to share with you a link to another blog that has an absolutely fantastic tutorial on something so simple, that turns out really effective with endless possibilities. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Dissappearing4Patch on the Sew Wonderful Blog.

Now - I am having to have a finish this week, as on Stashbuster, I am in the top 10 of those who have no UFO completed this quarter year. Must do some quilting and stop mucking around with pieceing. I'll keep you posted! :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Aliens...

Have come to land. This very cute little alien is from the pattern by Melly and Me. He was a lot of fun to make. Christened as 'Alien X', he has been to school, football, in a back-pack and had a few flying lessons, with some crashes around the lounge-room. Alien X is only 2 weeks old and already he has had an action packed life, with lots more fun and adventures to look forward to.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Strawberries and Cream

Mmm..... yummmm.... a very delicicous combination! Our local group had a fantastic Afternoon Tea Challenge at the end of June. There was lots of fun and frivolity - even if some of us got the date wrong - it didn't matter, it just provided us with a great excuse for some to have afternoon tea twice.

I made a Strawberries and Cream table centrepiece from a pattern in old Homespun Magazine. It was fun to make and a little different to my usual style, as it included stitchery. I am very pleased with the result.



Friday, 25 June 2010

Drum Roll Please.......

... No, wait for it - It's a Block Roll! Designed by local Quilter - Couzart Creations - this is just the ticket for keeping those larger and smaller blocks nice and flat without the need for a pizza box. Nice and simple, made in one afternoon and I just love it! I didn't have enough of the nice floral fabric, so I borrowed Lorraines' wave ruler to echo the ric rac waves and inserted the green piece to go around the middle.

Simply roll open and there you have them - your gorgeous blocks. A block from the Land Of Liberty online BOM is shown here.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Just Plain Nuts...

Look at that! Mmmm - a new fabric pack and a new book. Heaven for the next project that is a bit challenging. I can't wait to get started on this one. Just Plain Nuts is a book of complicated 6in square patterns designed by Liz Lois, who also drafted up and published the book Nearly Insane which I made a couple of years ago. I've got everything ready to go - the only thing missing is the time to start it - hopefully I'll get some of that over the next few days...

Now I am going to play with my fabric... while I tidy up the sewing room of course :)



Friday, 18 June 2010

Visting animals...

It seems that when the cold weather strikes, the animals need to come indoors and seek some warmth in a quilt! Check out this little black skink - he was found wrapped up in our camping quilt in the loungeroom.
As you can see, he was tiny, but boy, he sure could move really, really quickly! He slowed down though when he was put outside. Hopefully he is happy now living in one of my pot plants.
And then, not to be outdone, here is a bat - sleeping in our shed. My DH found him nicely snuggled in between two dropsheets. Sweet dreams little guy...zzzzz

Saturday, 15 May 2010

State of my Stash..... shhh......

Hmmm - On Stashbusters yahoo group, you get to talk about the state of your quilting/craft stash in the month of your birthday - which for me is May. So after writing to that group, I thought I'd post it on here too. What do you do with your quilting and crafting stash? Leave me a comment!

Two IKEA Billy Bookcases (80cm wide x 120cm high) almost but not quite neatly stacked and a pile of stuff on top them. There is some wool mixed in there, things to make Xmas decorations and a bit of scrapbooking too. I also have two more bookcases with magazines, books and tapestry/cross-stich in them.

I seem to have a much larger volume of containers all with projects (UFOs) in them and some PIGS all kitted up ready to make. The new things I have started this year are to be 90% from stash, with some allowable purchases for background, borders and backing if necessary. Some of the larger pieces of fabric with suitable colours for the flimsies are making great backings these days. I am quite surprised by what I can make with what I already have.


My big splurge this year was a whole roll of wadding (batting). I have found this to be a good buy and it has turned out to be a very econmical thing to do with far less wastage when cutting for a quilt.

I decided as part of my new years' resolution way back in January to use up not just my stash of fabrics, but my cottons/threads (for piecing and quilting) as well and slowly, but surely there are some gaps opening up in the shelves and drawers. It's very satisfying and now when I do make purchases, they are more planned and have an immediate use as opposed to just being "stashed" - I only hope my halo doesn't slip! :)

Thank you all for listening!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

2 UFO Finishes!

Well sometimes, you just can't spend time at the PC if you are busy stitching! In the last month I have completed these two UFOs. The Christmas one above was stitched in 2008, bordered in 2009 and quilted in 2010. For something the size of a Fat Quarter - well it just couldn't be rushed now, could it?

The quilt below was started in Nov 2009 and finished 2 weeks ago for a baby who is now 5 months old. Time to wrap it up and give to the Mum.

Now, I'm going back to the sewing machine to complete the quilting on another UFO - pics hopefully at the end of the week :)

Friday, 2 April 2010

Why, it's a Horse of course!

No, this isn't a mug shot either, it's just a purple hobby horse lining up for her first photo shoot before being given away.
Isn't she just so cheeky? Perfect for my neice for her 1st birthday. Just need to add the stick with wheels on it and she can ride to Banbury Cross and back again! :)
The pattern for the horse has come from a local designer, Couzart Creations. I had a lot of fun making the horse. Maybe there's another one waiting to come out of the cupboard one day....??

Monday, 29 March 2010

Flowers are blooming....

very nicely on this particular quilt. A quilt which just didn't keep me inspired. It was an UFO for a very long time (about 10 years). Last week, with a deadline looming because I had entered it into a quilt show - I finished it Drum roll please for the great unveiling...
Here is a detail of the quilting from the back of the quilt.....

And another photo showing some applique and quilting details...

I feel so relieved to have completed this quilt. In my mind I can now move onto other things!
And... some late breaking news - I have won a first prize at the Ballan Quilt Show for my domestic machine piecing and quilting. More to come in the next post! Soooo excited...... :)


Monday, 15 March 2010

Where's the Bolly???

Who remembers Patsy always asking Edina for it in the Absolutely Fabulous TV series? I sure do and guess what I'm holding in the photo? BOLLINGER - real, live simply divine proper French Champagne. What an absolute treat! The reason for the celebration was my MIL 70th birthday lunch and so my SIL decided we needed a treat too! Fabulous! Just what was needed for lunch - vbg.
And.... I still managed to get the borders on the quilt top, below after everyone went home later that afternoon. This was a fantastic pattern, which I tried for a friend. An excellent Stashbuster, as out of 5.5m required for the top, I only had to buy 1 - and I have all the backing and binding fabrics from stash as well as wadding and quilting thread! It was clearly meant to be! Very happy.....

Enjoy, life is good.... :)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Isn't it wonderful when.....

everything works the way it is supposed to? Tonight, I sat down at the PC, it is no longer having hissy fits, the camera cable was in the right spot and hubby has just made me a cafe latte - mmmm..... perfect!

While I have been away from the PC this past month, I have not been idle. Here are some snapshots of what I have been working on lately...

Chenille Cushions

Blue & White Toile Cross Stitch, which is currently being framed.

And there is some other stuff, but that needs to wait until the big group reveal, otherwise I would be letting the cat out of the bag - and we don't want that now, do we? :)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New Years' Resolutions...

Almost 3 months has passed since I last wrote on this blog! What happened to the time? I think it got swallowed up in the comings and goings of family life. While I have been on holidays, it has given me time to think, clean up with spiders webs gathering in the corners and organise my sewing space a bit better. In the process, I have rejoined the Stashbuster UFO Challenge again, with the same resolution as last year, to complete as many UFOs as I can.

However, I am not going to complete all of them this year, they currently stand at 38, but I aim to have 20 finished before NYE 2011. 13 of the 20 are ready for quilting with tops, backs and wadding ready to go.

I have made a list for January - if it goes into February, it doesn't matter. This list has 5 things on it; 3 x UFOs and 2 x other. A bite sized chunk of projects, with interest and variety to keep my mojo in top motivational order :)

Oh, and while there are no photos in this post, I promise that there will be in the next one. That's all for now, the roast dinner is nearly ready for serving....... mmmmmmm, yummmm