Tag Archive | Quilting

Weekend finishing frenzy

I had planned to get acquainted with my sewing machine over the weekend, but the end results weren’t actually what I’d planned … for some reason I got a serious urge to get some of my finished projects sewn up into pillows etc – it ended up being an exceptionally productive weekend on that score, with 9 pillows and a scissor fob completed, along with a little mini-quilt that just needs the binding to be hand-stitched … plus I also made some minor amendments to a lovely wall-hanging that Sylvia gave me years ago.  Anyway, here are the end results – I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

The Stitcherhood-Autumn LizzieKate-Fall Nathalie-Chatrouille freebie
Erica Michaels-Random Hearts LizzieKate-Boo Squared
Peacock pillow Plum Pudding Needleart-Love freebie Heart in Hand Needleart-Wee Valentine Bird Mosey 'n Me-Love February freebie
Pumpkin scissor fob Pumpkin scissor fob

This one just needs the binding to be stitched down 🙂

halloween-mini-quilt

Sadly Sylvia’s lovely wall-hanging was folding up due to the high humidity, so I chopped up the hanger into pieces and stitched it in 4 places directly onto a pretty wee wire hanger 🙂

2066036870047689748QjuOfx_fs

This is what first got me into “sewing machine mode” – the first month’s BOTM fabrics and instructions for my Piece and Plenty quilt … sadly it doesn’t come with any specific instructions for each block, and I’ve ended up spending a fair bit of time rummaging through my quilting books and online tutorials trying to work out how to do paper piecing – once I’ve got a bit more comfortable with my sewing machine I’ll be ready to start this one 😀

2130461710047689748JTKeNO_fs

Advertisements

Christmas decorations

Before I show piccies of the decorations, I want to say a heartfelt “thanks” to one of my closest stitching pals Katrina who has been spoiling me for a number of years now with a handmade ornie – each one I treasure dearly, and this latest one is absolutely no exception!  (Excuse the silver lametta sitting on the top!)

Don’t you think this is just so “ME”? 😀 Unfortunately I forgot to bring the other part of the gift home with me, and it’s still sitting on my computer at work … it’s the cutest little yellow rubber ducky with little santa hat and scarf on … too, too cute!  He was keeping a smile on my face all day at work on Friday.  Thanks again Katrina, you have once again spoilt me rotten, and I totally adore it!  I feel very blessed that the internet has enabled such a lovely friendship to blossom 🙂

Unfortunately I haven’t been in the brightest of stitching moods throughout the year, to be honest, and my own ornie plans pretty much went out the window – instead I’ve been focused on stitching whatever I’ve felt like just to keep my momentum up as much as possible and keeping the feeling of being ‘overwhelmed’ at bay. I think I’m finally coming out of that blue phase, so fingers crossed in the new year I’ll get a few more ornies stitched up and sent to some of my best online pals, as well as fulfilling some outstanding stitching commitments!

Anyway, back to the decorations, it was receiving Katrina’s ornie on Friday that made me start thinking of bringing up my ‘little’ Christmas tree from the garage instead of the huge 6ft one and having only my stitched ornies on display. Even Katie gave it the thumbs-up when I’d finished and said she really likes it, so I guess it gets the official seal of approval 🙂

Rightio, enough of the waffling, here are this year’s lounge decorations in all their glory (I personally think the tree’s a bit crowded, but I didn’t want to leave any ornies out! – I think maybe next year I need to buy a tree that’s just a little bit taller and fuller, and it’ll be a perfect size):

DSC_1715

DSC_1716

DSC_1717

DSC_1718

DSC_1720

DSC_1721

DSC_1723

And this little tree (which stays up all year as a backdrop to my ornie finishes) is look a wee bit bare as it’s waiting for Mum’s 12 Days of Christmas set to be finished and added … not entirely sure that’ll be completed before Christmas, but it definitely will happen before I have to put them all away again! 🙂

DSC_1722

The next year I also want to make a table runner for the lounge and/or the table under the tree – I bought this fabric a few months ago in readiness for when the urge of quilting creativity struck (which will hopefully be some times prior to December 2011!) – this is from the 12 Days of Christmas fabric range by Moda:

19-12-2010 6-26-47 PM
19-12-2010 6-26-13 PM 19-12-2010 6-25-34 PM 19-12-2010 6-24-44 PM 19-12-2010 6-23-36 PM

And on that note, I’m off to sip on my iced Paull’s Egg Nog (that’s the brand on sale in supermarkets over here) and perhaps do a bit of stitching … perhaps … unfortunately Bittersweet Season will continue looking like this for a while longer, as the threads I need are still lost in transit, but I do now have the threads to finish “Valentine Bird”, so perhaps that will suffice for now and may even get some of that stitching mojo back … ?

DSC_1726

Quilting help needed, please!

I want to start a quilt (I’ve only ever made one cot quilt before, so this is a major achievement in itself wanting to make a big queen-sized quilt) that I’ve been wanting to do for a few years, but when I look at how it’s made up, I wonder to myself why it’s done that way.  You see the individual block looks like this:

And when you start putting them all together it puts a seam smack-bang in the middle of the cream blocks:

Which then made me think, why don’t they stitch the blocks then piece together on the diagonal, either in large blocks with connecting smaller strips, or just big long strips – I’ve tried to make a picture that will explain what I mean:

If anyone could offer advice I’d really appreciate it before I start cutting up my fabric.  While I can understand the simplicity of putting everything together when it’s all symmetrical blocks, it seems an awful lot of seamwork where there doesn’t need to be any … but it could just be me trying to make things awfully difficult for myself for my very first big quilt! 😛

Basically I need to know if I should just suck it up and continue doing the quilt as it was designed in the magazine and make things easy in myself or whether doing it one of the other ways will give a more pleasing result, even with the extra brainwork involved …

WIP’s and UFO’s

This is especially for Kathy of the Blig Blog … here are photos of the current state of all my UFO’s (I could pretend that they were WIP’s but seeing as the majority haven’t seen a stitch put into them in over 12 months, 95% would definitely be deemed as UFO status!):

Macaw by Ross Originals Beaded Fish WIPs
Macaw -&- Beaded Fish

EG-01May07 TW English Garden Sampler
Egyptian Garden Mandala -&- English Garden Sampler

Le Jardin Silk Sampler 21Jan05 Flight of the Bumblebees at 2Jan07
Le Jardin Silk Sampler -&- Flight of the Bumblebees

TW Noahs Ark Winter Queen 01Jun08 1
Noah’s Ark -&- Winter Queen

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 1 With Love & Affection
In the Dark Needleroll -&- Love & Affection

st-wildflower-needleroll Apricot Elegance
Wildflowers Needleroll -&- Apricot Elegance

Hussif by Monica Hunt XS Bookmark
Monica Hunt Hussif -&- Classical Garden Bookmark

Nature's Resting Place Beehive Needlecase
Nature’s Resting Place -&- Wool Beehive Needlebook

Oriental Poppy & Cornflower Summer Fruits
Oriental Poppy -&- Summer Fruits Pincushion

Pomegranates, Snail & Gold Bug HOCS Hussif
Pomegranates & Beetle – Martha Schmidt Hussif

Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin
Stumpwork Needlework Accessories

Goldwork Pea Pods Wool Embroidery
Goldwork Pea -&- Wool hot water bottle cover

Honesty & Heartsease stumpwork Bullion Roses
Honesty & Heartsease -&- Bullion Rose Facecloth

Frog Longstitch Butterflies & Hearts needleroll
Long stitch frogs -&- Butterflies & Hearts Needleroll

Dragonfly Common Hawker Dragonfly
Stumpwork Dragonfly

Berry Delightful Bag Mediterranean XS
Berry Delightful Bag -&- Mediterranean Village XS

quilting-ufo-2
Vicki’s Cot Quilt

Stitching Leporello isn’t included in the photos, as I’ve been stitching a complete section each time, so no individual section is in progress at the moment. And I can’t put my hands to either a photo or the actual project of GCC Ornamental Delights, so I guess that one won’t be getting stitched in a hurry haha.

Very sad that some of these projects are over halfway and never finished, however there are many there that are barely started … I’m sorely tempted to just unpick the bullion rose facecloth, for example, as I don’t know if I truly ever want to finish it, the same with a couple more projects in there … will see how I feel after one more stitching session on them, I guess, before I make the ultimate decision to turf out. It’s funny when you look back through the photos and remember why you stopped working on them … for example the Lorri Birmingham Butterflies & Hearts needleroll, I really hated the colours used, as I felt the wording etc just faded into the background, so no doubt that whole piece will be unpicked and started again from scratch with my choice of threads 🙂

I’ve already gone out and pulled numbers out of the hat for the first round, and highlighted the text in bold in the main list in the previous post … and I’m really looking forward to starting my rotation – I just want to finish my current piece first … although I guess I could just choose to start at the “free choice” slot and start counting my hours, that way I can continue with my current project and be starting my actual rotation at the same time – ooh, I like it when a plan comes together!!! 😀

That means my new current rotation is as follows:

  1. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  2. Medium/Large:  Lavenderblue Celtic Knot Quilt – From Nancy’s Needle
  3. WIP’s/UFO’s:  Berry Delightful Bag
  4. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  5. Small/Medium: Jumpin’ Jelly Beans – DKT Originals (freebie)
  6. Large/BAP’s:  Egyptian Garden Mandala
  7. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  8. Christmas Ornaments
  9. Finishing
  10. Free Choice

A couple of VERY picture heavy posts coming up!!!

I’m back briefly for a two-week stint on the internet, before losing it again for possibly a full month … I wish I could say I’ve been spending my time offline stitching my little heart out, but the truth of the matter is I’ve hardly touched a needle the whole time … I’ve had my nose in a book instead, and finally read Diana Gabaldon’s latest novel “A Breath of Fire & Ashes”. All I can say is “wow!” – over 900 pages, and once you get into it you just can’t put it down!!! Those novels would have to be some of my all-time favourite books – and every single one has had me hooked and enthralled through every single page!  Next up I’ve borrowed “The Kite Runner to read, which apparently is supposed to be exceptional – everyone I’ve spoken to so far has raved about it, so I thought I’d find out what all the fuss is about … 😉

Anyway, I can say that I have done some sort of stitching, although it’s not embroidery … I finally hand-stitched all the binding onto my Quilt UFO – this would have to be about 8-10 years old, and it’s a great feeling to finally get it finished. One of the Supervisors at work has offered to buy it from me, as I wasn’t too sure what to do with it now it’s all finished, so I’ll probably take her up on her offer – even if I just get $20 for it.  I need to get it drycleaned first, though, to get rid of both the old musty smell and the wrinkles 😉

golliwog quilt finished

As to what else I’ve been up to … there have been some hiccups with my housesitting, which I won’t go into in huge detail, but it’s started me thinking about giving it up and looking for my own place in November. Daniel came home from overseas a day early, when I was in the middle of packing up … I got a call at 7pm (on a 6pm shift) to say they were at home and basically wanted to get into their own bed – having no spare room, they stayed at his parents place overnight and kept saying “how early can we come over?” so I felt really uncomfortable, I ended up finishing my packing after work at 2am and doing the last lot of cleaning, then going back to work at 5am to pick up a key from my pal a day early … she wasn’t expecting me turning up at work, of course, and let’s just say I had a frosty reception. Made me realise how much I rely on her for my ‘inbetween’ times of housesitting, and I think it would be better to call it quits (mind you, I did get an apology from Daniel when I saw him next.) It would be perfect if I could get something for 2-3 months over Christmas, but I guess that’s not going to happen, so decisions need to be made ho-hum 😦

While I had my days off, though, I made a concerted effort to get out and see some more of the Mornington Peninsula – I headed out for a drive to Arthur’s Seat to take in the views, then spent time in both The Enchanted Maze Garden and Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens, before taking a quick drive out to Sorrento and back home. It was a wonderful day out, and even though most of the garden wasn’t in bloom yet, it was a really pleasant way to spend the day. I’ll definitely have to go back again when the flowers are out, as the gardens will take on a whole different personality again 🙂

Here are some shots of the views from Arthur’s Seat … there’s usually a chairlift operating to the summit, but it’s closed during winter, so I just drove up to the top instead 🙂

arthur's seat 1


arthur's seat 2


arthur's seat 3


arthur's seat 5

The next couple of posts will be dedicated to both of the individual gardens I went to, and they’ll be pretty chocka full of photos – I took oodles more as well, and in fact went a bit snap happy overall haha.

In the meantime I’ll close this post with photos of some of the colourful beach huts on the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula – I just adore their bright colours, and I’ve been dying to take some photos of them forever. I still want to head out to Brighton beach at some stage and take photos of those ones too, as they’re the most famous ones in Melbourne, I think (there’s a great shot here – love it!). Here are a few from Dromana anyway …

beach huts 1


beach huts 2


beach huts 4

Rightio, while my next lot of photos are loading up into Webshots, I’m off to clean up cat sick … that was what greeted me on my first ‘morning’ here in Edithvale – I woke up after my nightshift to find a pile of cat sick on the lounge carpet and floorboards … there’d better be some rubber gloves somewhere, that’s all I can say!!! Let’s just hope I’m not like I normally am … I often join in in sympathy at the sound and smell of sick … yukky!! 😦

I’m Baaaack … !!!

[Please note this was actually written up 3 whole days ago, but I’m not going to edit it any further … my connection died after just over an hour or so, and I’ve only just managed to get a connection back again hmmm.  With any luck I’ll be able to upload the photos this time round before it dies yet again …] 

And I have to say I’m a LOT chirpier than I was the last time I wrote a week ago! 😀  What I didn’t tell you in my last looong post is that I had a small melt-down at work the day after I finished moving.  I had to pick up a few extra items that I just couldn’t cram into the car on the last night, and just put them on the back seat for the day, and when I got to work I managed 2 whole hours before my whole body started reacting … the only way I can describe it is that it’s as if it went into shock … I started getting the shakes, and my mind just couldn’t concentrate on anything – I think it was finally reacting to the fact that it was “all over”, and a release from all the immense tension and stress I’d been under.  I think it’s amazing how much your body can cope with when it has to, but I guess it all has to give way at some time or another, and that day was mine!

Today, though, I’m much much brighter.  I’m settled nicely into housesitting and today is my 3rd day of a 3-day break.  The first day was spent doing exciting things like doing the laundry ‘cos I’d run out of clothes already (underclothes anyway), and doing a few chores that I needed to do like getting a few more boxes for parcelling the final bundles of storage stuff into (which is still not sorted out, but I’ve got 5 weeks left to get it done by LOL).  I also got my new cordless mouse replaced, and picked up a cheap card reader that fits into the USB port, so hopefully I should be able to get photos uploaded soon (I have a couple to add to this post, so we’ll soon see if it works! …) [edited to add that the card reader just keeps freezing my PC up, so it’s getting returned for a refund – luckily I still have my old PC set up on the table, so I’ve uploaded my photos to disk while I can] … as well as spending more money!

I’ve been struggling with one pair of jeans ever since I’ve had them, as it’s too tight in the waist, and I have to leave the top button open (it’s got a button fly), but I always end up with tummy pains by the end of the day.  Anyway, I finally decided ‘enough was enough’ and I splurged on some new jeans from Target, plus two new (blue haha) long-sleeve T-shirts that are more ‘trendy’.  Yes, there are a few new changes on the Shacks homefront, all for the better.  Next month will see new lingerie being bought as well … crikey, will there be no stopping me now? LOL.  I won’t know myself soon!! 😉

Yesterday the entire day (and I mean the ENTIRE day to 2am!!) was spent transferring files from my old PC to my laptop – the contacts folders didn’t copy across at all properly, so I had to update those which took hours, plus for some reason Outlook won’t run at all on this PC, and the Help section doesn’t help much at all, as it says Outlook is now phased out with Windows Mail taking over from Outlook Express hmmm – for love nor money I can’t copy across any of my emails at all from my old PC … not one single one of the 4000+ emails sitting in there (yes, you’re right, that’s ridiculous … and a good chance to “cull”).  So, if I’m missing sending anyone an email reply from before I moved I’m really sorry, but it’s likely you might have to re-email me again, as it’s a bit overwhelming ploughing through the files hmmm (especially as I have no way of printing them or re-emailing them to myself as both modem/printer are now in storage).

Last night was the most bitterly freezing night I think I’ve ever endured sleeping in Melbourne … I do have to say I miss my electric blanket dearly, and even with two duvets on the bed last night I still couldn’t get warm – tonight if it’s the same I’m going to be sleeping in my trackpant bottoms with my long-sleeved thermals on … and I really do have to find that hot water bottle I brought with me somewhere! 😉 I did have another rather large splurge, though, which is a winter weight duvet that has half of it made of wool, which is a lot warmer but thinner so it’ll take much less room in the car when travelling … I should be able to find room for the old one by throwing it on top of the storage boxes 😉

Today I’ve finally succumbed to signing up to the Unwired network, so I can access my emails and internet at home.  I’ve managed to find a position sat at the breakfast bench in the granny flat that gets an OK reception, so here I am online again 😀  I don’t have an ‘unlimited’ account, so I probably won’t be spending as much time online as I used to, but it’s wonderful to know that I can jump online and do my internet banking etc without having to trek halfway around Melbourne to an internet cafe (although admittedly I think the closest one to here is in Carnegie, about 15 mins drive away). The weather’s been dreadful over the last couple of days, so it’s hasn’t inspired me to leave home at all, never mind to go internet cafe shopping.

As to what else I’ve been up to … not much in the stitching department, that’s for sure!  I’ve managed to get a bit of Bordeaux done, and I’m concentrating on that now until it’s finished – after that’s done, I’m not sure which project to work on next.  I have to say that Snapperville is screaming quite loudly to me right now as a new start (followed by Winter Snapperland once I work out which fabric to use) – then I should be concentrating on one of my WIP’s again, and that’s likely to be either Stitching Leporello or the Pyramid Etui … but I reserve the right to change my mind on a whim 😉  I’ve been spending my time reading more than stitching this last week, and managed to finally finish reading Warlock by Wilbur Smith … not as good as some of his books, but I really enjoy the historical content of his Egyptian series … and I have Quest, the 4th in the series, on Audible ready to listen to at my leisure (another pain is that I’ve had to save all my Audible books to disk to be able to play them on the new laptop – for some reason the files didn’t copy across too well).

I haven’t unrolled the scrollbars on Bordeaux since I worked on it the other night, so you’ll just have to imagine the previous band – the light in here isn’t fantastically conducive to over-one stitching, so I gave band #6 a rest, and I’ve been working on band #7 instead to have a break.  Only a couple more weeks will see this finished, me thinks 🙂

While I was packing up the spare bedroom to go into storage, I have to say I was quite disgusted with myself for the state of the following UFO’s … I started going to quilting classes quite a number of years ago (at least 7 anyway), and did an applique quilt class – I wasn’t thrilled with the project we did, but I figured it would teach me the basics of applique quilting.  Anyway, it was all machine appliqued using Vliesofix, and I couldn’t believe how close I’d come to finishing this off before putting it to one side!  Needless to say I’ve brought it with me, along with my new sewing machine (that cheapo one that I managed to pick up before we did the big move), so I can finally get it finished – all it has to have done is the binding finished, and even that’s almost 3/4 stitched on!!! {hanging head in shame …}

Next up is the first patchwork project I attempted after trying the applique class – this was from a craft magazine and was supposed to be for a cot quilt … well, I thought it had turned out to be too big, so Mum kindly unpicked the sides for me to make it smaller, then it’s sat there ever since as I thought I might as well just leave it bigger so it will get more use as the child recipient gets older (don’t even go there and ask which child this was for as a baby, and what age he is now!! LOL) … so now I need to unpick the borders again and restitch it all together, then it’s ready for the backing and to be quilted (let’s just say the backing fabric I originally had ordered got stuck with the cancelled freight services after September 11 … yup, you get the idea about how old this is!!).

Lucky last for the quilting UFO’s, here’s a bag I started from yet another class project … I panicked when I saw the diagram of how it’s all got to go together, as I’ve lost my confidence with machine sewing, then I was thrilled and disgusted at the same time when I opened all the pieces out and realised I’d already stitched the pockets etc into the bag pieces, and yet again it just pretty much as to be stitched together and have the seams bound … yep, my head is almost on my knees now from hanging in shame … yikes! 😉 This bag is designed to be a “quilting bag” where you keep your cutting board and rotary cutter etc in … I have to admit I’m quite proud of myself that I managed to get all the little pockets etc on so nicely … but I wonder how on earth I ever managed it! (I’m such a finishing wuss these days, it’s not funny!!)  Goodness knows where all the gung-ho confidence has disappeared to where finishing is concerned!!  Eventually, though, this bag will be an actual bag, complete with two big outside pockets (not pictured), and it’s supposed to have dowling rods as handles (although I may substitute something else for handles, I’m not too sure yet).

So, my challenge once I’ve sorted out my PC issues (which is now pretty much just the email issue) is to sit down one day on my days off and become friends with my sewing machine and get some of these items actually finished!

I also have something else to share as well, from a recent visit to a beautiful stitching pal’s home … but I’ll do a separate post so it doesn’t get lost in this one (and I’ve been waffling on for ages as it is!! – can’t you tell I’ve been without a chatting outlet for a while? LOL).

In the meantime, I’ll close this post in saying it feels fantastic to be out of my old flat – things are hopefully on the up and up on the homefront … I’ve just heard I’ve got the OK for another 4 weeks housesitting from 4 August, which means I’ll just have a one-week stay out in Seaford between the two housesitting jobs, and I may have another 4 weeks straight after that, which is in Seaford itself … and both these later two jobs have furbabies … I’m going to be in 7th heaven – Daniel has one kitty who is really smoochy apparently, and Ali has two kitties that are admittedly not smoochy, but it’ll still be great to be around kitties again yippee!! 😀  [Plus I also now may have another short stint for a lady at work with a dog … woohoo!!]