Friday, 31 May 2013

Crafty Caddy

When I last visited Jackie she was trying to remember how to make a craft caddie that she'd seen: When I left her she still had a just square of fabric.  (She did sort it later and send me a pic)

Yesterday Amanda from the BQL group on Yahoo! posted a pic of a similar caddie, and I decided there was no point in just liking these things, I should have a go, so I did!

I cut my fabric to 16" square (to give a 5 inch base: 5x3+1).  As well as the decorative fabric, I cut the same size square in a plain fabric for the inside and some wadding (except I actually used fleece as that was what I had to hand)

I layed the fabrics fleece first, then lining cotton (right side up) then outer cotton (right side down) and stitched them together with a generous 1/4" seam, leaving an opening for turning along one side

I snipped the corners and turned the whole lot inside out, making sure the wadding was in the middle of the 'sandwich'

I marked the fabric (using a frixon pen) into 9 squares, all 5x5 inches

And then stitched over the lines, and continued round to top stitch the edges, including the opening so that was now stitched closed

I then folded the unit diagonally and stitched along the matched seams as shown . . .

. . . to make a triangular pocket

I folded the point down, and secured with a button (what do you mean it looks like a pin?)

I continue with all four corners, then took an out of focus photo

Ta da - a  sewing caddie with pockets for pens, threads, scissors etc
Amanda's version also had handles (plaited fabric), which I might add next time.  It should be possible to add pockets inside too

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Stars of Silver Screen

I know you all understand that sometimes you see a fabric and you have to have it, well this was one of those fabrics.

Not even suitable for patchwork, I still HAD to buy this fabric.  I then had to choose between bags or cushions: as you can see, bags won!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Southern Star

I decided to have another go at the Giant Star , but at a smaller scale than the last one.  I used the Australian fabrics that my lovely S -I-L sent me, first cutting off what I need for the Australian Hexi stars.

I think I need to spend some  time tidying up - I've run out of room in my sewing room

and in Lisa's room,

and my dining room looks like this!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Wet And Windy

I spent the day at Chertsey Museum (the rain bucketing down outside,) making Wind Socks with the hardy souls who braved the elements

At least it looked bright and sunny inside!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Medallion Monday

There are a lot of medallion quilts around at the moment, and seeing them reminded me of one I'd started some years ago.

The centre was made about 4 years ago from 10 strips from a jelly roll.  (or 10 x 2.5 inch strips.)  Join them, long ends together, press.  Cut in half (appx 22 x 22").  Put one on top of the other, right sides together, with one side having horizontal stripes, one vertical.  Stitch all around all 4 sides.  Cut diagionaly into quarters, press open

Sometime later I added a yellow border, and then must have decided to add pink into the mix, as I added the pink dashed border

later again I found a bit of pink and some orange in my stash and added a chequer board row

Today I decided to have a go at adding some flying geese blocks.  I used the 'no waste method' where you make 4 at a time.  I then wasn't sure how to arrange them, but I'm really pleased with this chevron arrangements

On the other end I put the HSTs that I made a few weeks ago with that printed iron on interfacing stuff

Followed with a vanishing nine patch row

And finished with the remaining Flying Chevrons

I'm not sure that I like it much, but I liked each separate componant, and it certainly cant be accused of being a dull quilt!

As with yesterday's Star of Africa top, this has been pieced, basted and quilted as I went along, so all that now needs to be done is the binding, but I'm all pinked out, so this can wait.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sunday Stars

Today I worked on the Star of Africa blocks.  These have been arriving from Bee Buddies all over the world, and today I had the time and the space, so I got on with attaching the strips to each other and to a fleece blanket in one go, using my Slik & Quick method:

I started spray basting one strip (from the eventual centre) to the fleece,

then I pinned and then stitched its next-door neighbour to it (stitch and flip). 

I then spray basted that one in place then pinned and stitched the next one, then the next, and the next.  Now it's pieced, basted and quilted, in just 8 lengths of machine sewing

I am actually going to hand quilt the stars, to make them pop out even more, and it does needs binding, but it's done enough that I can use it.  Sod's law, we have lovely weather today so I don't need it!

Once I'd finished working on it took it out into the garden to photograph, it didn't take long for my assistants to sit on it,

then play it, with one on top, one underneath !

(Just one green eye from the cat under the quilt!)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Saturday Star

Well I had a "home alone" day today, waking up to an empty house, and it'll be just me until 10pm ish.

Much as I love my family, this is the best kind of day (once in a while at least!)

So in my pyjamas, over the first cup of coffee, I cut the biggest squares I could get out of my half metre dots.  Then I cut them into triangles.

Then I stitched and stitched and stitched.  Then pressed and pressed.  Then I joined the blocks into strips and then I realised what a beast I had created.  I joined two Ikea fleeces together and sewing the strips together, until I had this:

Isn't it wonderful!  I love this method of making a quilt top - I reckons HSTs aren't too bad when they are big, but these are probably too big, so I started a smaller version - then the iron packed up, so no more today.

(PS, if I turned this over you would see that two Ikea fleeces are not enough, I need to go and get a third!  So no more work on it for now, until I get to Ikea!  I can see errors: the puckered stitches and the mismatched seams, but I don't reckon you can!). 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Waiting for the Weekend

Squishy arrived

8 perfect fabrics for my Giant Star
(again rubbish photos, the colours are more muted than shown.  I'm not using the 3 vertical ones, just the horizontal ones)

Hurry up weekend , I want to get started (suppose I *ought* to give Niki's birthday priority today!  Happy Birthday sweetie xxxxx)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Less of a Lull

So as I left you yesterday I was making blocks for a quilt that didn't excite me, while I tried to work out what I could do with my Moda Essential Dots, and what could I use to make a Giant Star?

So this is how my sewing time panned out:

The blocks have been assembled,  
Hmm The problem with the fabric collection seems to be the red and the gold, they are a different tone to the others. But if I take them out I only have four fabrics that belong together.

The borders have been added,

Hmmm What fabric shall I use for the Giant Star?
 Some of the left over fabric got 'piano keyed' and added as another border
Hmmmm, I could use the 4 fabrics I have to make the lone star, but it would be better with all different fabrics

A few more borders to use up all the project fabric, and I seem to have a quilt top, and what's more I love it again.
Meanwhile ... Hmmmmm I wonder if there are any other shades of Essential dots?  

A quick visit to ThreadBear, and a few clicks later and I think that teeny problem has been solved!!!!  So a finished top, AND a plan for the Giant Star when my squishy arrives!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Little Lull

I haven't blogged much about sewing recently as I haven't really done much.  I think it's due to some fabric that I really want to use (but not sure what to do with it) and a design I really want to make (but don't know what fabric to use). Very disheartening.

Instead I've been despondently plodding with an old UFO from a workshop I did with Jan Hassard and the Richmond and Kew  Quilters in 2011.  I haven't really been feeling the love here either but after 18 months I just decided to get on with it. 

I was so 'bleugh' about everything I didn't take stage photos, but basically I had loads of 1 and 1.5 inch strips in shades of red and black and beige.  I used these to make 36 offset log cabin blocks.  Half had the two narrow sides made of red, 

and the other half had them made of cream.
 (Indoor, flash photos, the cream colour is somewhere between these two shades)

As I made these I pondered my two problems: one being the fabric I want to use, and the other being the quilt top I want to make

This is the fabric: Essential Dots from Moda,

 I love, love LOVE the colours, but feel that the bottom two don't really belong with the other shades, and without them I don't have enough fabric to make anything.

As for the quilt I want to make - it's the giant star that lots of people made a while ago:

This is Katy's version

And this is Nicky's 

Aren't they yummy!  I also fell in love with a version Hadley made a year or so ago, but I certainly don't have charm squares in the right colours

(hope it was OK to borrow your photos, girls xxxx)

I *may* have come up with a solution, I'm off to bed now, I'll let you know tomorrow 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Lovely Lovely Lisa

A few days ago I blogged about daughter Lisa, today I'm blogging about sister-in-law Lisa.  The same sister-in-law who very considerately bought a house within walking distance of two fabric shops, and then patiently drove me to every other fabric shop within about 50 miles of her and my brother's house in Sydney.

Her daughter, India, made me this fab paper quilt for my birthday

I reckon there is every chance that Indi may have the sewing gene, but I'm not sure that I'll ever convince Lisa that this is a fun hobby - however she does make a great personal shopper!

I'd mentioned that I'd run low on Australian fabrics for my Aussie hexies and stars,

and just look what arrived in the post!  Far too yummy to cut into yet, I'm just enjoying looking and stroking and trying not to drool

Thank you Lise, love you!!!!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Broom Farm

The ladies at the Broom Farm class have been busy today: blanket stitching

English Paper Piecing

Machine Appliqueing 

Learning how to use a sewing machine

and hand sewing

Time for me to do some sewing?