Saturday, May 26, 2012

Outside My Comfort Zone

I am always wanting to push myself to learn new ways in my crafts, be it knitting or sewing.

My latest push for being outside my comfort zone is machine applique. I haven't done a lot and  by the end of  this project, should have me an almost expert.

Been saying to Pat for awhile about a quilt for Cooper for when he visits our place. Now that Amy is back at work, we have a regular all day Thursday with Coop. But the quilt hasn't been made yet.




 Yesterday afternoon I started to look through my quilting magazines for some animal templates I thought would be nice on Cooper's quilt.




Last night I went through my stash and have started to pick out some homespun fabrics for the blocks. I always get nervous when picking out colours. Are they too bright? Not bright enough? Too plain? Over busy?




I have three blocks picked out and ready to machine applique and another 3 blocks to iron the appliques on.

Very excited and at the same time very nervous about my new direction I am taking with my sewing.





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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our Dad


A couple of times on my blog I have mentioned about a secret quilt. Today I am able to tell you about this secret quilt.

My dad isn't a well man now a days. He's always been a hard worker from his teens until he retired. Most of the work was done in the outback of Australia.

Back when our mum died I spent the days leading up to her funeral, keeping dad company. I saw my dad in a different light. I feel it has brought us even closer in our relationship.
 

It was dad's birthday this month and back a few months ago I spoke to my 2 sisters Sue & Debbie and our sister-in-law Sally, about a quilt for dad.

All three jumped at the chance to join with me in making a sampler quilt for dad. Debbie suggested 12 inch blocks as this would be a good size when putting the twelve blocks together.

Sally went to Spotlight and bought a backing fabric and I bought the wadding.

It was decided to have the blocks completed by the last Friday in April as we were meeting at Debbie's place (in her local town) to put the quilt together. 




We were thrilled with how the blocks all came together in an Autumn theme. Placing the blocks and the labels we each made on Deb's kitchen table was so exciting.

Our labels were made from some of the fabric we used in our blocks. This way dad would be able to tell who made what blocks.

After having a cuppa and talking about the sashing/border colour we thought would look nice. We walked down to the local quilting shop with the labels to match up a fabric.

It was handy having a quilting shop in the town as we were able to pick the sashing/border fabric between the four of us. While we were there, we also did some shopping for ourselves.



Using Deb's bed to lay the blocks out in the order we picked them to go in. It was fun moving the blocks around to see where the blocks suited. We picked our own block styles and fabrics. This day was the first time all the blocks had been together and we just couldn't get over how well they suited each other.



 We all had a job on the day, Sue was using her ruler for measuring before cutting fabric, Sally was ironing, Debbie was pinning and me...... I brought my sewing machine along and  I was chief sewer. Once we got into a routine we just zoomed along.

I took photos while Sue, Sally & Deb pinned the quilt. This is the first time I have seen a quilt sandwiched and I learnt so much. Hence the photos, so I can look back on them when I sandwich my next quilt.

Debbie took the quilt back to the sheep station when she lives and quilted the quilt. Then on  a Wednesday when it was the local quilting day, Debbie passed the quilt onto Sue for the binding to be done.




Our labels with our  special birthday wishes on them. We all thought the backing fabric Sally chose suited the Autumn theme so well.




All finished and ready to go to our dad.

I though when dad isn't feeling well or just feeling cold, he can wrap his girl's around him and feel our love for him.

Happy Birthday Dad. You are very much loved.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Week That Was

 I have enjoyed this last week so much and feel I have achieved so much in my Farmer's Wife & Dear Jane quilts.





Block 3 
Hunter's Moon

This one took a while to work out and I did spend some time looking for my old DJ blocks. But alas they are once again lost in my sewing room. I really don't know how I could loose them a second time.

Once I had finished this block and about ready to clean up the kitchen where  I was sewing and cutting, my heart started to play up.

Long story short I spent the night in hospital and was released at 10 am Sunday morning. This gave me 30 minutes to get to church to see my grandson Cooper baptized. I made it, just as our priest was walking down the aisle to the alter. 

There is talk of an angiogram in the coming weeks.

Gosh I have gone off track, back to the blocks.

I made  4 Farmer's Wife blocks and 4 Dear Jane blocks.  Very happy with my week.




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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Blocks For Today

Yesterday we had little Cooper again and while he thrilled us with his presence I cut out the templates for 3 Farmer's Wife blocks.

While I took over the kitchen table and Cooper took over the rest of the rooms, he was able to get into, Pat took it all in his stride. Hehehehehe






Block 8 
Bouquet

I spent more time tracing the templates onto fabric and cutting the fabric, than sewing them together.



Block 9
Box

After making the Dear Jane blocks it was lovely to have a block or two that wasn't as fiddly.


Block 10
Bowtie

I love how in the book the instructions are just visual and no words written. Very relaxing and so rewarding.

My sister-in-law Sally sent me this great you-tube link on nest & spiral seams.  If your making the Farmer's Wife quilt or just want to learn a great way of flattening those seams check it out. Thanks Sally for the tip.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cushion Swap

 Now that my cushion I made for a swap has arrived I can show you what I made and what I was given.

Love cushions and I have quite a few floating around the house, lotsI have made and some from swaps.

Liz was my swap partner this time and she knows me so well.





Isn't my cushion just me? Love my chooks and ducks so much. I had told Liz when we were talking about what we'd like in our cushion. I said anything as long as she understands I'll be using the cushion and so it'll need to stand up to the washing machine and my fur kids.


I love the cushion and its used every day on the lounge. So far the fur kids haven't used it......lol



Liz said to me about how she didn't want an over bright cushion. So I picked the Moda "Butter Cup" range for the applique and the backing of the cushion.

I love the fact I had some of a charm pack left over and thought this fabric was just spot on for a "soft look" . Practiced my machine embroidery on the applique and am become rather keen on this form of applique work.

This has been a very enjoyable swap.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Jane



A-2 One -Two Buckle My Shoe

This block has 40 pieces to it. My points aren't the best and the row that is not sitting well is row 3. Row three is done in two sections and then joined together.

Once the blocks are all together, people will be too busy going OMG to notice the points not perfect.

Interesting thing is these points aren't bothering me like the colour mix up did. So I shall not be posting asking for a "what would you do?" question tonight.

I'm happy as I have made 3 blocks in 2 days.



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Another Dear Jane.

Let me start this post off by saying a huge thank you too all that that have commented about the last block. I'm going to keep it in the quilt, rather than make a pin cushion or what ever with it.

I have been enjoying the last couple  days making my Farmer's Wife block and the two Dear Jane blocks.

As much as I have enjoyed making blocks for Christmas quilts, Senior Quilts finished off and a surprise quilt I shall soon post about, its good to be making something for myself again.

So much enjoyment I have decided (if nothing goes wrong) that this week is going to be Farmer's Wife and Dear Jane week.

I think we're having Cooper again tomorrow as well as our usual Thursday, so I'll work on getting templates printed off, traced on fabric and cut out, ready to sew later on in the week.

At night I'll continue with the Dear Jane blocks.




G-10 Woven Meadows 

Today's block took me 2.5 hours, including a lunch break while the midday movie was on. So I'd say at a guess 2 hours, from tracing the foundation templates onto some non-ironing interfacing to sewing on the last piece of fabric. 

And guess what? The fabrics are all correctly placed in this block...lol.

I love this block and think the fabric suits it well. 

I love foundation piecing and as I hadn't done any blocks for a while, I didn't know how much I love this style of quilting.


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Star Struck Block



 F-7 Star Struck

I spent an enjoyable evening last night, making this Dear Jane block. Just love star blocks and I couldn't resist treating myself to this block.

Its smaller than the Farmer's Wife blocks and put together by foundation piecing and not templates.

Once it was finished I showed Pat and he said how nice it was. Then I realized, I had made the centre of the star white and not the with the blue fabric.

I was then torn with what to do. The block looks stunning and I am so pleased with the points and how crisp they are.

What to do???

Then I thought why not ask. 

So last night I posted on Face Book and the Janiac's Unite blog what would you do ?

The response was over whelming and thank you to all that commented. With all your wonderful  comments, you helped me to decide and I'm  staying  with this block.



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Monday, May 14, 2012

Farmer's Wife Block




Birds In The Air, block 7 from the Farmer's Wife quilt.

Fiddly bugger when cutting out all those pieces. Very happy with the end result and so pleased with my points.

Since finishing the block this afternoon,  I have been doing some foundation piecing on my Dear Jane quilt.  Enjoying every moment.

I have to take a break as I am score keeper for Amy's netball team tonight. Then I'll get back into it, when I get home.





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Finally




 Finally the two Senior Quilt have made it to my local Parish. I am so excited to think these two quilts will bring some comfort to a couple of seniors.

Hoping its not too long down the track before I get to make another one or two quilts for my Parish.










Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Blocks

An update on the Senior Quilts as I was taking them up to the parish yesterday. This didn't happen as at about 9.10 am an ambulance was called for Patrick while we were at our local chemist. We had called in to pick up the never ending supply of prescriptions and POW the asthma attack hit without warning.

This is the first time we have needed an ambulance at a shopping centre. 

What a great place to have an attack, they were marvelous and had Pat on a nebuliser  while we waited for the ambulance.   Many thanks to the owner and staff, also the ambulance people who took care of Pat.

So we didn't get to the parish office and spent the hours away at the hospital until Pat was released.

I'll just let you know after I have been to the parish, as when I plan to go, something happens and we don't get there.


Today was a better day as Pat rested and my sister Debbie was here with her sewing machine. I set up the trestle table in the kitchen and we sewed our little hearts out.

But first we did a trip to Spotlight and used our "spent $100 and pay for $60.00 vouchers" on lots of machine embroidery threads and some other notions.

I made 2 blocks for Tony & Ann's quilt. Very happy with how they are coming together.





 Streak Of Lightening



Maple Star

Tomorrow is our day with Cooper. I am thinking a quiet day making and cutting templates and fabric for my Farmer's Wife blocks will be a nice way to go.

Can't wait until Cooper is old enough to draw, cut and glue with his Nanny and Poppy. Until then I'll enjoy Cooper raiding my Tupperware cupboard for lids and his toys.









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Monday, May 7, 2012

Third Senior Quilt Finished

Last night and this afternoon I finished off the binding and the label on the third Senior Quilt.






This one is suited for a woman. I'm very happy with the quilt and how I have used some beautiful "mother" sayings in the border.




Once again I have used a lovely quilt label that talks about kindness and love. I was asked where I got these lovely labels and I am pretty sure it was The Craft Depot about 2 years ago.


I am so thrilled to think I have made 3 Senior Quilts for this winter. First one was sent to Pa for his 90th birthday, back in March.

The whole idea was to use up the donated squares and  scraps of fabric in my sewing room. The idea of the Senior Quilts grew from a dream I had one night. Was it God telling me how to put the squares to a good use?

Tomorrow I'll take the quilts up to my Parish and show them to the people in the office. I have been talking to a person in the Parish office about getting the quilts to some people in our Parish.  They know I'm coming in sometime this week.

I'm hoping to be able to tee up a visit with a person who does home visits to some of the parishioners. They'll have a good idea who can use a quilt more so. That way I can write their name on the label.

I've decided this will be an on going project and down the track  I'll start making more. Not sure if it'll be for this winter or start for next winter.

Pat & I are on a pension and I so know how hard it is to live fortnight to fortnight. Thankfully our kids have now left home and this does take some pressure off us.

Barb asked me if I want some more squares for future quilts and I have said yes. If you would like to donate some squares or some fabric to help me keep costs down, please email me. 

I'll be keeping my eye open at Spotlight for reduced fabric for backings and sashing. Wadding I'll buy when on sale and with those 20% cards I get for taking my own bag.



 I started the Senior Quilts to let a senior know,

  • There is someone who is thinking of you.
  • The quilt will keep you warm on a cold night. More so now with utilities rising even higher.
  • Maybe they have no family left and a quilt will make them feel loved.
  • I wanted to give something to someone, as I have so much to be thankful for.
I'll keep plugging away with the quilts for Christmas, weddings and Senior Quilts. I did say this was the "Year of the Quilts" and I'm so pleased I am doing just that.

Many thanks for all the positive comments here, via email, face book, quilting groups/forums and my sisters Sue, Debbie & Sister-in-law Sally who donated the wadding we didn't use in Burra. Its already ear marked towards a future Senior Quilt. Love you 3 girls so much xoxoxo



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Binding All Finished






 Finally I have one of the two Senior Quilts I have been working on, finished.

I was starting to wonder if I was going to ever get this completed, before winter arrived.





 I am so thrilled with the end result and that those donated 3 inch blocks, weren't just put at the back of a cupboard and forgotten about.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully have the bonding on the second quilt sewn on and start the binding by hand tomorrow night.





 I picked a label out with a pretty saying on it. I wasn't sure what to write myself and thought "keep it simple". The person who receives this quilt, will have their name written onto the label.

I hope your day has been as rewarding as mine.



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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cooper



Cooper is growing up so fast. Every Thursday Cooper spends the day with us, while his mummy is at work.

Cooper is such a joy to all of us and we just can't get enough of this little guy.

He loves sitting on our little step from the kitchen to the rumpus room. Also the little duck Khris gave me is a popular toy when he comes around for a visit.

Though the cats are wondering why Amy & Ben haven't dropped him off at the pet shop at 6 weeks like most kittens are.