Saturday, 31 December 2011

A New Years Eve Resolution - UFOs

Today I have listed my UFOs onto a database - 49 this year. I have sorted into "To Be Quilted", "QAYG" and the "general list" of where there is pieceing and cutting to be done. Somehow, this simple sorting, even though they are all UFOs, has freed my mind somewhat.

I have also started afresh with a smaller list of just 4 projects too. A birthday, a class working with odd blocks and a wedding shall take care of finishing those projects, with a bag project thrown in for good measure. I'm pretty sure I've made it achievable for the 8 weeks I've allocated myself to get these things done. On my personal list there is one extra UFO added to get to flimsy stage if I have time.

Also (what - there's more? :) ) A friend and I have challenged each other to complete a 'done done' UFO finish per month during 2012. This is a very accountable thing to do as it means having to physically show it to the other person in the LQS - no escape here! The way I have sorted my UFO list now, makes me think I can achieve this. On my DSM, it takes me about a week or so to complete the machine quilting of a big quilt. My biggest procrastination point is the handsewing of the binding, so if I save this for social sewing days, it should happen while chatting shouldn't it?

My gorgeous fabrics and fantastic projects will be far better off being completed and gifted or used.

So, to all of you UFO'ers out there, whether it's scrapbooking, knitting, quilting, woodworking or whatever, raise your glasses with me tonight - New Years Eve - to a toast - UFO Reduction!


Flimsy - unquilted quilt top

DSM - domestic sewing machine

UFO - unfinished object

LQS - local quilt shop

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

When I signed into my blog today, I didn't realise quite how much time had passed since my last post - what happened to the last 4 months? However, I have not been idle! After Christmas, there will be several postings of my 'show and tell' where you can share what I have been making as the gifts will be with their new owners and I don't have to be secretive anymore.

The last couple of weeks have been really lovely with shared dinners, BBQs and catching up with people. The true spirit of Christmas is in the sharing of simple things, with friends and family and just enjoying each others company.

Thankfully the weather has finally warmed up and the kids have been able to run around with the rain-water tank hose in the yard and make mud pies in the sand pit - a blessing(?) of being completely self-sufficient and not a town water supply.

Here is my Christmas tree, complete with two Santas and Mrs Claus whom I made a few years ago.

With good tidings, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to sharing more 'quilty' and 'crafty' things with you in the new year.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Baby Clothes...

Here is my latest attempt at crochet. A nice, simple pattern which was produced by 'Panda' yarns. I chose to crochet this cardigan in Patons Dreamtime 4ply 100% Australian Merino Baby wool.

It's been a long time since I have completed any baby knitted/crocheted items and this was very enjoyable to do. I had forgotten how nice baby clothing is to make.
So soft and cuddly. This size is to fit approx 6months, so it's the perfect light weight cardigan for those slightly cooler days we sometimes get in summer. The cardigan will be given away in a week or two (when the baby arrives) to my swim coach for his very first grandchild.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Stained Glass - sort of........

At the end of each year when our SS&Q Group has Christmas Dinner, 2 Elves will hand out a parcel to each group member. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the challenge set out in the gift box. You then get 6 months to make the challenge for it to be revealed at the Christmas In July lunch. This year, the Elves chose "Stained Glass". The challenge was fantastic, with 21 out of 50 members completing the task.

Here is my entry
Above: The central section
Below: Quilting detail

The rest of the stained glass challenges can be viewed here on the Sunbury Stitchers and Quilters blog. Beware - there is some fantastic eye candy on the group blog! :) Enjoy.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Just Plain Nuts - Month 4

Here is the 4th installment of Just Plain Nuts.
Block 5 - A funny looking block, I had thought I could make it with 2 colours, but then discarded that idea because you didn't get any pattern effect in the corners of the 'mini blocks, so here it is with 3 colours and I am much happier.

Block 10 - love those geese! The geese are foundation pieced and the rest is all conventional piecing - such good practice for getting accuracy right. :)

Block 27 - nice and simple.

And, last but not least for this post - Block 28 - super quick and easy, but still just a stunning as the rest, especially the tiny little strips in the centre of the block.

Stay tuned for further installments during the year as progress is made.....

Thursday, 9 June 2011

City Lights

Another UFO bites the dust! From 2006, this quilt top has been moved around my sewing room several times. Currently off being valued, it is my donation to my children's school for their Auction Night - I have to say, I am quite nervous about what the Quilt Valuers have to say and what the response will be on the Auction night.

My own design using a selection of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. A very simple but effective quilt with Colorburst fabric for the outer border and hidden stars. The design is reminiscent of a city skyline at night. Lots of lights against a dark sky, the winds of change combine with thoughts and dreams, swirling up into the darkness, towards the stars which are just out of reach, promising new tomorrows.Below, quilting detail in the border, don't look too closely - vbg.... :)
And, below, quilting detail of the main part of the back. Quilted by me, on my DSM with Raiman Variegated Rayon Machine Embroidery Thread. Unfortunately the flash blew out the colour a bit, but I think it shows the vibrance of the quilting and how interesting the back is.
Off to work on the next project now!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Just Plain Nuts - Month 3

Block 9 - Love it! - simple squares and triangles with the centre star highlighted in a darker colour.

Block 31 - Log Cabin with a border

Block 32 - super easy - very nice.

Block 8 is part of Month 3, but I haven't completed it yet. There was just something about that block which didn't work for me, I sewed the wrong sizes, sewed them mirror image, upside down and right side to wrong side, so I gave up and put it aside to complete another day. I guess every Quilter has her day where it's better to walk away than keep trying... vbg :)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Merry Mayhem Rainforest

Finally, I have had a finish from my UFO List and hopefully ended my Blog posting drought! An UFO (#36) from 2010, it wasn't an old one, but certainly far too simple to have just sitting around not being completed. This quilt, except for the final border and backing fabric, is entirely from my stash, which is wonderful.

The pattern is a Merry Mayhem mystery pattern. No, I'm not giving away the number because that would be spoiling it.
I have called this quilt "Rainforest" because that is what my husband said it looked like to him, which I am very happy with as I was thinking of rainforests when I pulled the fabrics from my stash.

A great stashbuster and an even better lounge snuggling quilt!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Just Plain Nuts - Month 1

Now, because I forgot to post the first month of my Just Plain Nuts blocks, here is the first installment - after the second - oops. I am not sure what made Liz Lois design these blocks and print her book, but I sure am glad she did. I am having a ball!
Here is block #1 - easy does it to begin;
And block #2... A bit of spray starch and the use of templates, nice and rewarding.
And block 3 - too cute for words...
And, block #4
Then, to top that off, I have decided that my quilt will be a medallion style, so here is my central medallion, the pattern is from Perfect Precision Piecing by Claudia Clark Myers. Spray starch and foundation piecing were my friends making this block. I have enough segments made for another compass block or to make four corner setting blocks, depending on how I want my final quilt to look.

I can see that Just Plain Nuts is going to be a very exciting journey for me and hopefully for the other ladies who are undertaking this quilt adventure with me.

Until next time, happy piecing!


Monday, 21 March 2011

Just Plain Nuts (JPN) - Month 2

Doesn't that block above just look awesome? Well, I think so, can I say that about my own work without sounding to full of my own self importance? It is block #30 from the book Just Plain Nuts by Liz Lois of Nearly Insane (the Salinda Rupp Quilt) fame. I am posting the preview of the block for the ladies who have joined me in another "Insane" journey. After uploading the photos I realised that I had forgotten to crop them, but for now I am going to ignore that as the PC/internet has been so slow today.

Enjoy the eye candy! Below is block #29. I am not quite sure about the orange triangles, I may need to change that colour. I will put it aside for now and look at it again when it is time to make the blocks for next month. Maybe some time will put a perspective view on the block.
Below is block #6. A little brag here, I made the whole thing, including all the little triangles around the outside with no foundation. All conventional piecing. It took a long time, but I am very happy with the result. A challenge to myself to see how small I could really piece without foundations. Below is Block #7. Another one made without foundations, but you can see the little pinwheel in the centre is a little off in one corner. I will fix that. I had thought it was OK, but in the photos it really stands out. I might to need to adjust the seam with a little handstitch rather than putting it back under the machine.

I'll post the blocks from Month 1 shortly.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Celtic Rose Table Runner - UFO #50

Here it is, my very first UFO finish of 2011 - yep, it's #50 on my UFO list.

Celtic Rose is the name of the pattern which I used - from Australian Patchwork and Quilting (Vol 14 No 8).

I used Australian Native Flower prints and put some insulbrite wadding into the quilt sandwich, so hot pots can go straight from the oven onto the table and none of those ugly white burn splotches will appear on the timber table top.

Now, I'm not sure what happened to my photo, but for some reason it just wanted to upload sideways, even though it wasn't that way in the file. Who knows, just a little gremlin inside the PC laughing at me I think.

The photo below shows the quilting from the back. I just love how dark back fabrics, with very light colour quilting thread makes the quilting come to life and gives the quilt a whole new facet.
A project which I started in 2005, is now done, gifted and being used. Perfect!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Oz Comfort Quilts

Jan MacFadyen is an amazing person. She is living near a flood zone, but if you click on her blog - above, you will realise that she is all about helping others whose homes have been flooded. 2 years ago, Jan and others (names I don't know), made, collected and distributed many quilts to Bushfire victims/survivors. This year she is using her extreme selflessness, with some help from others to co-ordinate a massive quilt drive to provide for those in both the Queensland and Victorian floods.

My photos here are the small donation I was able to make to Jan for her charity quilting:

A pile of 11in squares, ready for QAYG string quilts...A pile of cotton fabrics, washed and ready to be chopped up into strings for Quilts...

Then,into the box, complete with 22m of pre-made binding, ready for Jan to use.

Here is the message which Jan sent to me after receiving the box which I sent her for the Flood Victims:
We were very lucky not to be flooded this time and I really feel for the poor people in the Swan Hill area. The anxiety and worry about whether or not you will have flood water through your home is very stressful.
Many thanks for the lovely large box of fabric, binding and wadding squares. It will all be put to good use ASAP.
If you keep an eye on my blogs you should see some of them made into quilts very soon.
Thanks for all your help with this very large project.
Hugs Jan Mac

Jan - I am very happy to help in any way I can and I urge everyone out there to do their thing for Charity Quilting - a small donation of fabric, money, wadding, cotton thread or even quilt blocks and quilts along with help to distribute them can make such a big difference to one or many people.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Warm Fuzzies

I made the child that left the following message on my sewing machine.......
Just gorgeous!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Gum leaves

are on the tablecloth! Large, oversized appliqued ones with some free-motion gum blossoms scattered in between. I have taken the pattern from an old issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine and 'liberated' it into the central panel of a tablecloth.
My MIL had a cloth which had been made by yours truly for a table in their old house. Now there is a newish house and a fantastic outdoor eating space. Roll call - one new tablecloth please - here is the old one - what can you do with it? Voila, take cloth, new fabric to match and adapt a pattern, then add elbow grease, sewing machine, rayon threads and time.

Happy table, happy MIL and FIL; I'm happy that the project is done!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Five Star Dining....

is what my lovely cleaning lady - Kathy - received for Christmas. I'm hoping that she liked it...
If you think you've seen it before on this blog - you'd be correct, as I made this pattern a couple of years ago and gave it to my Mum.

The design is by Corliss from Threadbear and has been around for a few years now. It is one of my favourites for something effective and easy that everyone likes. Perfect. And yes, I have more fabric to make another Five Star Dining runner in the future. A great standby for that last minute gift idea. One weekend or a few weeknights sees this little baby made in very little time.