Monday, December 31, 2012

One last finish for the year...

I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful 2013 and I hope the new year brings many wonderful times for everyone.

I am so fortunate to have one last finish for the year.  My Birds and Bees quilt is finished! Yay!

I had given it to a long arm quilter by the name of Joanne with no deadline on when I needed it (there was no big rush as it's a keeper) so wasn't expecting it back before Christmas. Joanne called the week before Christmas to let me know it was finished so of course I raced there to pick it up and home again so I could get the binding on and all done.

I am very happy with the finished quilt.  It fits over our king size bed which is going to be great in winter.  I have been trying to get a photo of it on the bed but we haven't had much sun on that side of the house.

The back was pieced from Beatrix Weave in Limeade which worked well.  The quilting was completed with a variegated green cotton that matches in very well.

There are two patterns with the quilting.  The white sashing is completed in a different pattern so it stands out.

I finished the quilt off with Cotton Couture Charcoal which makes for a great frame.

And lastly is a little review of the projects I've done since I started sewing May.  It was busy but I was having so much fun I didn't realise how many I'd done.

Have a great new years to all!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who has taken time out to read my blog over the past 5 months.

I hope you all have a safe and merry Christmas and that the new year brings all that you have dreamed of!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Going Hexie...

I am in love with Hexagons and how easy they are.  I love that I can carry them with me.  I love that I can do  them while watching my favourite tv shows.  I love that you can use your scraps.

That's enough about why I love them.

I cut a heap of hexagons as I wasn't really sure how many I'd need for a cushion cover.  The fabric might look familiar, I am using the scraps from my Birds & Bees Quilt which you can see here.  I am very excited that the quilt is with the long arm quilter so the final reveal will be in the new year.

Originally it was only Birds & Bees fabric but after looking at them all together it was a little busy.  I think the white mixed in is great and gives the eye somewhere to rest, along with incorporating the solid from the quilt.

We are heading off to the beach for Christmas so these little guys are going to be packed in my bag to be finished and when I get home I think I'll make a simple square patchwork cushion cover to go with this one.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday and Fabric Tuesday.

Fresh Poppy Design
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Birds and Bees ready for quilting...

Not much sewing happening around here lately so all I have to show this week is the completed top and back for my Birds and Bees quilt.

I am now in the process of trying to find a long arm quilter to complete the next stage.  This is proving harder than I thought with messages being taken, phone calls not returned.  I know Christmas is fast approaching and they may not want to take on extra work before then but a return call to say that would be helpful.

The back was pieced with Beatrice Weave in Limeade.

I'm hoping to get back into the sewing room again soon and have some new projects under way.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finished in time...

Over the past few weeks I have been working on this quilt for a friends 50th birthday.  You can see previous posts about design and fabrics here and here.  This past weekend I needed to make sure I got this beautiful Bella quilt basted while my husband was home to help out, which he did so wonderfully.  It is so much easier when you have two pairs of hands!!

I've found that once I've basted a quilt I'm so eager to get back to the machine and complete the quilting which I did on Sunday.

I love the way the colours work together and how the yellow really pops.

I back was pieced from leftover squares and white along with the grey.

The additional yellow border was a variation from the original pattern from Stitchery Dickory Dock which I'm quite happy with.

I kept the quilting simple with random curvy lines through the white sashing.  Now that the quilt is finished and I'm so happy with it, I am much more comfortable that my friend is going to love it.

And on a fun note, we have added to the menagerie!!  My husband has taken to buying these recycled metal barnyard animals each time he is home.  They are just so cute!!

I am linking to Fabric Tuesday.

Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Christmas gifts finished...

In the past week I finished a couple of gifts for work friends and one for my Nan.

The first one is for my soon to be 91 year old Nan.  This is the table runner I made in my sewing class which finished up this week :(  You may be thinking this is very bright for a great grandmother but if you could see her very yellow kitchen walls you would understand the choice of colours.

A couple of weeks ago I bought, with my work friends in mind, these very cool coffee mugs that are double walled.  I thought the extra insulation was great as we rarely get through a full cup of coffee/tea while it is still hot.  Then I started thinking what am I going to give with them.

They are always so interested in my sewing so I decided to make these coasters to go with their mugs.  You can find a great tutorial from Jeni at In Color Order.  These are great for using little scraps of fabric, which I am always wondering what I'm going to do with.  I varied the quilting on the coasters to keep it interesting.  I hope they'll like them!

I will be linking up to Sew Modern Monday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still sewing...

Over the past week I have been busy enough and have made progress on a couple of quilt tops but with being out of action on the weekend (hurt my back shopping of all things!) I feel as though I could have done so much more.  

I am happy to say I have pieced the quilt top and back for my friends 50th birthday present and am really happy with it.   I didn't manage to get a photo of the back but it's a scrappy piecing using what fabric I had left.  I'm waiting for my husband to get home so I've got some help to baste it and then I'll jump into the quilting which I'm planning on keeping simple.

I paired up the Bella collection with Bella Solids Charcoal, Clementine and Citrine along with Kona Royal Blue and Emerald.

I can't believe that on the days we've had sunshine and could get outside to take some photos the wind has been crazy.  I just keep clicking until I get a photo with it mostly front on.

I've also got 3 columns of my Birds and Bees quilt together which I am really loving.  I am hoping to piece the backing over the weekend.  I am thinking about taking this one to a Long Arm Quilter due to it's size.  I'm not really sure how I want to quilt it either.

Again the wind was not letting up!

And totally off the subject of sewing, I thought I'd share this gorgeous magnolia.  I am in no way a green thumb and really have no interest in gardening.  On top of that I have allergies to some flowers so needless to say I had to do some research before planting flowery plants out the front of our house.  I couldn't have made a better decision though!  These have really grown all by themselves.  I haven't actually watered them since they were planted, that's how good they are!  They are covered in flowers!  I'm guessing they like tough love :)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week.  I will be back later in the week to share the finished table runner from my sewing class.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday

So much is happening and I can't believe a week has already passed.  My husband was home for the weekend and as it is approaching the festive part of the year we seem to be so busy.  We have every weekend booked between now and Christmas, no wonder people call it the silly season :)

Now on to sewing.  Last Tuesday I started a patchwork class.  We are making a table runner which is designed to build our skills and give us tips we can carry to other projects.  I really had a fantastic time and learnt so much.  I was so excited when I walked out at the end of the night.   So here is a photo of what I've done so far.

In hindsight the fabrics I chose were too busy and wish I'd put the solid fabric on the front instead of using it for backing.  It's all about learning :)

After the sewing class last week I came home and started pulling apart my Birds and Bees quilt.  I've now got every seam perfectly aligned.  Before the sewing class it was a little hit and miss as to getting them perfect.  I still didn't get them all perfect first go but I am more open to getting the seam ripper out and doing it over and over until it is right.

6 columns are now finished and I'm waiting on the fabric for the sashing, backing and binding.  Hopefully it isn't too far away.  I did end up sewing my blocks together a little different to Tula Pink's pattern.  My small rectangles are all in a line rather than alternating each block.  This was entirely by accident, I really need to look at instructions!!  However, I am really really happy with it this way and would probably even go so far as to say I prefer it this way.

It was a crazy windy day when I tried to take photos and this is how most of them turned out.

And only 2 photos with them straight on.

I've also started another quilt for a special friend who is turning 50 later this month.  It is a simple design by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock but with these great colours, I think she will really love it.

And lastly I've decided to try making some new clothes.  I've copied the patterns so hopefully I'll get to sewing these soon.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Going Zakka Style...

Hi everyone

Things have been a little Zakka Style around here.  I really loved the look of the Zakka Style book and wasn't disappointed when it arrived.  I had been keeping up with the Zakka Style Sew Along and getting inspired to actually make something from this book.

I have been pouring over it deciding what to make.  In the end, the sewing kit with pin cushion won!!

I really enjoyed making these.  It was fun picking out the colours and they were easy to make.  The instructions were clear so I didn't spend hours trying to understand them, always a bonus here!!

I didn't stop at just one, I ended up making 4 of them in total.  Mine is the green, that being my favourite colour.

These are going to make great little gifts I think.

I have linked up to

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, October 29, 2012

This week's finishes...

This week has been rather productive but not a lot to show for it just yet.

I am starting my first sewing course on Tuesday which I am very excited about.  The course covers patchwork so I am hoping to pick up a few tips on how to do things better.  I received my list of class requirements last week and have got everything ready to go.  When I looked at what I needed to take I decided I was going to need to something to carry it all.  A tote bag it was.  I have made a few bags since starting sewing but am no expert so I was really happy with myself when I made the tote (lined) without needing to refer to any tutorials or patterns.  I've learnt something :)

Everything fits very nicely!

On one side I made a pocket to hold my purse and phone.

On the other side the pocket will hold my rotary cutter and cottons.

The other finish this week was the Firefly quilt from a few weeks ago.  I was waiting for my new sewing machine before i quilted this one.  Well I have my new machine which was a lot sooner than expected but I am thoroughly enjoying it.  When we have some nicer weather I will take some photos and share some thoughts on it.  For now here is the quilt.  You can find the tutorial at Canoe Ridge Creations.

It has been a dreary day so the photos are a little dark.  This time I did wacky lines all over the quilt.  I kept them fairly well spaced so the quilt would still be soft.  The binding was completed with left over fabric from the quilt top.

I couldn't believe how much easier it was to quilt and also bind with my new machine.

I've got a few works in progress which I'll share Wednesday.  As well as another finish that I didn't get time to photograph.

I am linking to Sew Monday

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Holiday Tutorial on Quilt Story - Scented Pillows

I was lucky enough to have a guest post featured on Quilt Story as part of their Holiday Tutorials series.  Each Thursday through to December you'll find a new tutorial by a range of great bloggers.

The Holiday Tutorials at Quilt Story are not to be missed! 
October 4th: Kerry from verrykerryberry (Hexagon Handle Holder)
October 18th: Darlene from Sew Cal Gal (12 Pocket Bag)
October 25th: Kirsty from Handmade by Kirsty (Scented Pillows)
November 1st: Jesse from Messy Jesse
November 8th: Tabatha from Bending Pins
November 15th: Ali from a.squared.w
November 22nd: Happy Thanksgiving!
November 29th: Karen from Sew Well Maide
December 6th: Pennie from Tuppence Ha'Penny Quilts

My tutorial is for scented pillows which are very easy and a quick stocking filler.  These are great for putting in drawers or if you scent it with lavender they can assist with sleep and relaxation.

Fabric Scraps
Ribbon (if you want to make a ribbon pillow)
Coordinating Thread
Water Soluble Pen (optional)
1 lb or 450g Rice (uncooked)
Essential Oils

For the pillow:
Cut 2 pieces of fabric 51/2"x31/2"

For patchwork:  Cut 4 pieces 11/4"x11/2"  (or if you are making a few pillows, cut strips of 11/4" wide)

For stripes:  Cut 2 pieces 11/2"x31/2"

For ribbon:  Cut 2 lengths at 31/2"

Step 1:  Mix uncooked rice with 15 drops of essential oils in a zip lock bag.  Allow the rice to sit for a couple of hours to dry.

Step 2. Sew patchwork or stripes together.  For patchwork sew the 11/2" edges together and press seams.  For stripes sew 31/2" edges together and press seams. (seam allowance is 1/4" throughout)

Step 3.  With your pen mark each long side 1/4" in from edge and press along that line.

Step 4.  With one piece of pillow fabric, right side up, pin patchwork 21/4" in from the left side and top stitch along each side. Or for the stripes, pin 2" in from the left side and top stitch along each side.

For the ribbon I placed the first strip 11/2" in from the left edge and allowed 1/4" gap in between.

Step 5.  Pin pillow fabric, good sides together, and mark 3/4" in from each edge on one short end.  This will be your guide on where to start and end stitching.  Sew from top right corner around to your other pin.

Step 6.  Trim corners off and turn out the right way.  You can use a stuffing tool or a chopstick as I do to push your corners out.

Step 7.  Press pillow, making sure the opening is pressed inwards.

Step 8.  Add scented rice to the pillow.  I used approx 1/4 cup.

Step 9.  Lastly, top stitch around the outside of the bag, ensure that the opening is caught in the top stitch to seal the pillow.  When you reach each corner give the pillow a shake and move the rice to the opposite corner.

Then all that's left to do is wrap your pillows.