Friday, 14 July 2017

The weather is cold - time to sew.

Here in the southern hemisphere it is winter..... and it is cold, well by our standards. DD in England is sweltering with 24 degree temperatures, and I'm freezing with 20!! Anyway, a good time to sew.
We spent most of June traveling in the van so hand sewing was readily on hand. I took away the hexies, of course, and the Farmers Wife blocks, but also had a new project to do. While traveling last year I came across a Christmas Countdown Calendar in an Australian theme at a lovely quilt shop in Cowra. I bought two panels. I have finished one, well the sewing of the pockets are done, and all that is left is the backing and quilting. This first one is for our English granddaughters to take back home.
Before we left on our last trip I decided to make a small needle pouch. I was past the needle in the thread spool stage and wanted something, not only safer but also pretty. I had left over fabric from a mystery quilt earlier in the year so made this little pouch. Think I will need to make some more, so each hand sewing project box has their own little pouch.
 
This is the mystery quilt - finished and gifted. 
I did find some lovely fabric while traveling - these were from the Craftbasket in Orbost.
  
Back home again, I started a block-a-thon. It actually started in March, so I've been playing catch up. It is run by Bear Creek Quilting and is called Moda Blockheads 2017. A block pattern is released each week and it is presently up to block 19. I finished block 14 last night. I have been leaving out the applique blocks, but will get organised to take them as hand sewing on our trips. The top two photos also show some leaders and enders I've made from the block leftovers. I chose browns as I purchased three FQ packs of 6FQ's for $5 each pack. Much of the fabric was brown AND only one FQ was duplicated - so that's why I'm not using 'my' colours. One has to use some of the stash some of the time.
Bonnie this past week also introduced this years 'Leaders and Enders' Quilt Challenge - so why not start another project.😄 It involves making railpost blocks. What a great idea. Bonnie is using a checkerboard for two of the rows, so I thought ...why not! I chose a 1.5inch jelly roll that I've had for some time and made a sample block, first in blue and white checks then in black and white checks. Liked the black and white so that's what I'm doing.
With so many little pieces in the blockhead blocks, I have been able to sew a lot of leaders and enders. I have drawn up a plan and cut all the fabric strips so I'm ready to go.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

These past few weeks at my machine....

What a busy, busy few weeks this has been. Sadly sewing took the backseat. This is the longest we have been at home in the last three years.
With still culling school stuff, and trying to down size what we have - not fabric, of course - and Peter renovating an investment house to sell - now that we are both retired - it has been a very hectic month.
However, I did manage to piece the back of En Provence, including a large hand drawn label, and sandwich and quilt it. The quilting caused a problem. I had to change the needle, the needle plate, the thread, the bobbin, and still it did not quilt as it should have. In saying that, I persevered and finished the quilting. Now all that is left is the the hand finishing of the binding. I'm not sure if I will sell this one or keep it - it is my colours 😊💜.
I also caught up with Simply Colorful 'Row by Row' and I am now waiting for next Friday and the last clue. This will be a cot quilt, maybe 😊.
I am thinking about re-making the dark 'racing car' block and reversing the light and the dark.
I just don't think it fits with the other blocks.
What do you think?
I thought I would tell you what I do with binding. I cut either 2.5 or 2 inches of fabric, sometimes on the bias, and sometimes not. I then sew the strips together and fold and iron. I then carefully roll the strip onto an empty cotton reel. If I have a lot of binding I will put the wound up reel into a tea/coffee cup. For En Provence I didn't need a tea cup, I simply put the reel under my extension tray and it feed it through to the quilt.  
I have always believed in an anchor cloth when sewing projects, and have been making random leaders and enders, mostly from off cuts from projects.
I hate to waste fabric.
Here are some off cuts from 'Row by Row' mystery when squaring the blocks - not going to waste these. Not sure what I will do with them either!
These are some left over triangles from a Halloween project - must finish that quilt too 😖 - they will make a lovely border or mug mat.... or maybe they will be perfect for my jacket!!
 Off on a road trip later this week, so hand sewing will be in order.
 

Monday, 10 April 2017

On My Design Wall ...

On my design wall...and on my lounge...and on my sewing table....
 ... Peace and Love quilt ... I decided not to make it a full size quilt, so I am making a lap quilt, a couple of baby quilts, and some centre pieces (or stove covers for caravans).

On my machine, I have been sewing the blocks together, and making strip blocks as leaders and enders. I am using pinks and purples, as they will be incorporated into my jacket.

I have also been making one block each week in the Row by Row Mystery on Simply Colorful - and that is in greens!!
On my lounge ... waiting to be quilted ... is two of the completed Peace and Love quilts, Bonnie Hunter's En Provence Quilt and the beautiful baby quilt I made at Croki, NSW last February in the van. I can't think of the name of it ... I so have to remember to make labels when I start a quilt, so I can remember the name! 
And I love the pattern so will use it again.