Thursday, October 31, 2013

The taming of the UFOs

It has been another good month for finishing up some UFOs.  Of course there are plenty more where these came from, but thanks to Sew Its Finished, with Wendy and Dawn, I have been very pleased to conquer some of that growing pile of UFOs.

This scarecrow cushion was started by my daughter when she was still at school - just a few years ago (plus a few more).  She did a wonderful job of the applique, and had almost finished it before handing it on to me to finish.  I found it when I was cleaning out a fabric box recently, so finished it off.  I think he is a cute scarecrow.

 The front stitchery on my folder is one I had traced out from the pattern Daisy Street.  (I made the whole quilt but had changed to doing it on a dark navy background, so had this block as an orphan).  I drew up and embroidered the house on the spine - just because.  The trim and fabrics are all ones that have been in my stash for too many years, and it was time for them to be used.

 I so much enjoyed working on these hearts.  This was from early 1997.  I can remember this well, as I used to take the hearts and my threads to the hospital where my Dad was spending the last weeks of his life.  He had moved up to stay with us for the last 9 months of his life as he needed care, and could no longer live on his own.  By this stage he was blind, so he didnt know I was sitting with him on his little hospital balcony stitching away while he chatted.  I had stitched the hearts on the background, and quilted it, so it just needed the wide binding on it.  I put it in a box and left it there for all those years.  It holds lots of memories for me.

 I also wonder how come I could do such neat little bullion roses then, because I cant seem to do them so well now.  I have also forgotten how I did the silk ribbon roses - will have to look it up.  This also has lots of french knots and beads on it, and is in such delicate colours.  I am hoping to find a spot in our bedroom to hang it.

 This Nancy Halvorsen panel was a gift from a friend some years ago.  I had put on the outside border, then left it.  Each year Christmas seemed to come around too quickly and I wouldnt have time to finish it.  This year, thanks to 1 Christmas Item a Month, with Narelle, I have been working on these things much earlier in the year, and  so it is finished and ready to hang.

This one is hand quilted in the panel part, and the writing around the border is free motion quilted after being traced on.  It is also a hard one to get the colours right in a photo - I have tried all conditions, and it just doesnt come out right.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Laminated fabric projects

The weekend was a good opportunity to finish off some sewing club projects from Sew This and That, my "local".

A couple of months ago we made these, a block roll and rotary cutter holder. (this post)

The next month's project was a carry all.  The three items were designed to take along all our bits and pieces for classes.
It has a zippered pocket on each side, as shown below.


This was not the easiest project to sew.  Again we used the Riley Blake laminated fabric, and quilters vinyl.  After putting in the chunky zip at the top, the side seams were quite difficult to stitch, because of the thickness, and to stitch over the cut off zip to secure it without breaking a needle.  Perseverence won in the end, I am pleased to say.

Again this month, Cheryl (at Sew This and That) chose to make projects using the laminated fabric.

Firstly a drinks cooler bag  
 For this we used InsulShine inside.
 We also made travel placemats.  The idea is to have a knife and fork in them, roll them up and leave them in the car.  When you are out for the day and decide to have a takeaway picnic you have a placemat to put on the picnic table, and knife and fork to use.  That is a very civilised way to eat fish and chips at the beach.
 These were much easier to stitch than the carryall.  They were designed to make using an overlocker, but as mine is in need of some TLC, I went with the optional sewing machine method.

With the piece of InsulShine left over, I decided  to replace my old lunch bag.  I looked at some styles, and went with this one.  It was interesting making up the pattern for it, but in the end it worked out well and I am very pleased with it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Christmas Items for October

The 25th seems to roll around a bit quicker each month.  This month's Christmas items are this Nancy Halvorsen panel which I have been hand quilting.  It is almost finished, just 1 section, the border and binding to go.   I received the panel some years ago and this year it will finally be quilted and on display.  YAY !!!
(an overcast day makes for very wrong colours)

 These are the Christmas cards we made at our card night this month.

You will be able to see lots of other beautiful Christmas items that have been made by visiting Narelle at Pins and Whiskers.  

I will be back soon with my other "makes" and finishes..

Saturday, October 19, 2013

FNSI stitching

Another great and quick project in the 52 week scrap challenge was a foundation pieced double tulip pin cushion.  They were very quick to make, and I didnt stop at one.
 As well last night, I did some more embroidery on the house on the left.  This is for a folder cover, and the house on the left will be on the spine.  The larger embroidery is a UFO - I traced it off a few years ago, and had not embroidered it until recently.
remember to go check out what other clever stitchers got up to for their FNSI stitching.  Thank you Wendy for organising the FNSI again this month.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What have I been up to? and FNSI

I have been quietly working away in the background lately, without posting much.  There hasnt been a lot to show till now.

On the quilters trail this year, each store gave us some 5 inch squares.  I have put mine together, with some added white/cream squares, then cut it all up with my L'il Twister ruler, and sewed it back together.  I was following a picture which made a heart pattern from the twister squares.  After I had finished I realised that the first border should have been in the white/cream also, to make the heart show more clearly.  However, here it is - the top only at this stage.
It was fun experimenting with the ruler, and I just may make something else in the near future.

As part of the 52 week scrap challenge run by Samelia's Mum, I made the mug rug project from a few weeks ago, for my daughter.  But of course she needed more than one, so ended up with 4.

She had recently painted/shabbied/stenciled her coffee table and needed something to protect the surface of it.  She is thrilled to have them.

I have also been working with these gorgeous Christmas fabrics - on a bit of secret womens  Santa business.
There will be plenty left over to make something else with it - maybe something to keep???

Tonight I am joining up with lots of other stitchy people at FNSI.  Go and visit Wendy here if you would like to join in.  There is still time to join - after all it is Friday night somewhere in the world for many many hours yet.  I think I will work on a UFO tonight but my dilemma is WHICH ONE.

Once again our country is being confronted by devastating bush fires, particularly in New South Wales.

There are so many heartrending stories and the loss of property is overwhelming - the only thing is we are so fortunate to have such willing and well trained firies who respond so quickly when needed.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fun at the Fair

What a wonderful day it was yesterday at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair.  Some of the SEQueensland bloggers had arranged to meet up.
Here we are - Val, Teresa, Tatyana, Sandi, me and Noela in the front, with Lynda, Susan, Michelle and Fiona behind us.  Jane joined us also, and took the photo for us.  I think (as usual when we get together) we were the noisy table in the cafe area.

Eventually we all went our separate ways, and got on with the business of checking out the many merchants, and doing just a bit of shopping - some of us more than others.

My purchases included
just a little fabric, and some purse hardware and kit,
 some ribbons and trims,
 Natalie Bird's new book, In My Garden,
 which she signed for me  - the quilt on the cover is beautiful, as is the bag,

and my new cutting mat.  My old one is starting to flake green snow whenever I use it, so a new one was on my necessities list.  I must say though that it was interesting bringing such a large mat home on the commuter train, part of the time involving having to stand.  It did get a little bent up but has straightened out now.

Teresa gave me a lovely little painted spool to add to my spool collection.


And here it is, brightening up the corner of its new home.


 I love it so much, thank you Teresa for such a lovely gift.