Monday, April 26, 2010

What to do first.

Well, since I returned from the best weekend away ever in stitching history, I haven't been able to sit at one thing.  My kitchen table is covered in 3 projects which are all demanding equal time from me.
I found a pattern and fabric for pincushions just before we left for Adelaide..  I do need extra pincushions- the one I use is never in the right place.
The pattern actually has 5 pincushions in it, so of course I need to make them all.  I'm on to my second one so far.  Suddenly it's become an obsession. 

I really love the little heart button in the centre.
Next on the list is a lovely buttery yellow embroidered little pincushion.

In between times, I'm being drawn to trying to finish the stitching that I started in Adelaide.  It will be the feature panel on a bag one day!  LOL.
She'll look much better once she has a face.
And lastly, I'm still working away at my Dear Jane blocks.  We have our  second get-together tomorrow.  Although our homework was to complete 4 in the month, I'm trying to get nearly a row a month done.  That's 13 little blocks, so that I'm nearly done when our classes finish.  Lets not think about the triangles and kites around the border!
So far, so good.  This month I've completed 9 blocks, almost finished a tenth, and have 3 more prepped and ready to go.
I've been stitching on the little sashing strips as I go to.  I started sewing the first row - have got to block7.  But then I changed my mind and now I'm starting in the middle and working out.  Jane made the Quilt in a Trip around the world style.  So hopefully this will make colour choices easier.
So, blocks A1 and A2.
A3 and A4.  These blocks all have their sashing added and have been sewn together in 1 big row. 
A5 and A6.
Last but not least- A7.

Then, there are G 6 and G 8, and then H7 (almost finished).  This is my new start - I'm sewing in the round the world style from the centre.
Unfortunately, the colour is a little off in some of these photos, but close enough.
Well, back to the stitching.
Hope everyone else is being productive or is planning their next project.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Inspired Stitches...

What a fantastic weekend was had.
Two lovely and friendly teachers, with beautiful, achievable projects.
Firstly , Natalie Lymer, was showing us her newest patterns for a gorgeous bucket bag, needle book and gadget bags.
The colours are lovely and fresh, just perfect for these projects and the stitcheries are done in a wonderful thread that I haven't used before- Cosmo.  I may have to accumulate a selection of these threads.

We also had Natalie Ross tutoring us in some of her fabulous projects.

Firstly a lovely little bucket bag with a delicious strawberry appliqued onto it, then some embroidered flowers to embellish the panel on the bag.  This was accompanied by a "sewing machine wristie"- a sweet pincushion to go on the machine which even I could not knock off.  (which is what usually happens when I sit the pincushion on top of my machine).
This was joined by a lanyard to go around the neck with a strawberry pincushion and scissors holder, but unfortunately I didn't get a pic of this.
 The lovely display from Natalie Lymer. of Cinderberry Stitches.

Joined by an equally lovely display from Natalie Ross of In Stitches
We ladies from Victoria had such a good time at this retreat, that we have already started to talk about "when we go to the In Stitches retreat" for next year.
Sarah and her very capable crew from Quilt Fabric Delights thought of everything.
The room was comfortable, well lit with natural light.  The food- well lets just say we could have gone without our evening meal each day and we'd never have noticed!  Friendly ladies on our tables,  goody bags with patterns, starter kits, lollies.  Everything was there.
Accomodation was sooooo above standard.  The Retreat was held at a boarding school in Adelaide, we stayed in the boarding houses.  Let me tell you, there were no dormitories.
This was our spacious self contained 3 bed room unit.
Our lodgings were so good that GF Mrs G excelled herself and actually finished one of our stitchery projects!!!
This is Sarah and I standing in front of some of her bright and luscious fabric.  I did try to restrain myself with purchases, but when you're locked in a room for the weekend with all of that, what was I to do???

Inspired Stitches.

Well, a fantastic weekend away in Adelaide has been had.  Fabulous company, great food, terrific tutors, and the best organisation I've ever seen at a retreat.
I travelled to Adelaide over 2 days with GF Ms A.  We took our time, there are shops to be visited.
We travelled to Warrnambool for our first shopping expedition.  A treasure trove otherwise known as Fragrant Cottage.  I got some lovely little pieces of the new range from French General- Rural Jardin.  Next year at Summer School in Wodonga, Karen Cunningham is teaching a quilt which will be made in these fabrics.  We know nothing more!  So with trepidation and blind faith, GF Ms A and I are accumulating some bits and pieces.
The stripe will make a great binding.  I also found the pattern for the great traveling size bag- The Paris Traveller's Bag by Joanna Figeroa.  There was a sample made up in the shop, which I always like because it seems my imagination doesn't always work well!
Our next port of call was Stitch n Knit in Mount Gambier.  Let me tell you, after 1 1/2 hours poking around the shop, I felt like we'd only been in there for about 10 minutes. LOL.  A tremendous range of things and a lovely shop owner to boot.
I found the big border stripe piece of loveliness in the $10 m bin.!!!  What's a girl to do but buy a couple of metres, I think I'll make the Travelers bag with it.  Then there were the stripes.  So hard to find sometimes- and I have to admit that I love a stripe cut on the bias for a binding.  A gorgeous piece of Kaffe in there in case I need it for my sew- along project  Joseph's Coat from Kellie at Don't Look Now.   And some neutrally pieces for the next mystery over at Quiltville with Bonnie Hunter.  No pattern plans yet, but her quilts always need scrap neutrals, and I'm fast running out.
We finally made it to the venue for our retreat by 1/4 to 5 Friday afternoon, after a hard days shopping, but we really helped the economy!LOL.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Well, thought I should show you the Easter cushions totally finished.  This is a whole new area for me- Finished that is!
This is the cushion I made in a class with Kellie Wulfsohn from Don't Look Now.
And this gorgeous little Easter bunny is a cushion pattern from her blog- Hunny Bunny. 
My kids loved their easter gifts.
I was surprised at how easy these patterns were to put together.  The instructions were great, with fabulous photos.  I even learned how to put in a zip in the back!
Friday 16th of April is the next Friday Night Sew-In.  I'm speeding along on my Dear Jane blocks, so I think I will continue with them.  I'll actually be away at a sewing weekend- minus family.  Yayyyyyy.  What better reason to travel for 8 hours with friends than to arrive at a stitching get away.  Of course there are also the shops to be visited on the way.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Lovely Weekend.

Well, how restful has this weekend been?  The kids are on holidays, DH is on days off, and I haven't worked since Friday.  The weather has been very kind to everyone who has things going on for the Easter weekend.

I've accomplished a fair bit of sewing.
In 2001 I purchased the Dear Jane book with the intention of starting.  Well, 9 years later, the book was still on my bookshelf in a browsed but unused state.
Thankfully, Quilters Bazaar have offered a monthly class to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I may actually get moving and achieve something.
So, last Tuesday 9 of us gathered to start this monumental journey.  As of Tuesday, 2 of us are handpiecing and 7 are going to machine foundation piece.  I actually finished the  block on the left at class!!!!
Since then I've also completed the block on the right , and almost finished the block below.
Let me tell you, this is going to be a long term project!  By the time I trace the patterns out onto freezer paper, iron onto the fabric, and then trace around each pattern piece- it takes ages.  Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day.
I needed to make myself a little block book to contain all the millions of pieces, too.
Whilst sewing these blocks, I've been watching the first 2 episodes of The Matrix.  I'm sooo far behind on my film viewing!
In between times, I'm still working on my Joseph's Coat quilt.  I'm busy basteing the fabric over the interfacing templates.  I need to piece 49 blocks, but before I begin i'm trying to baste a lot of the leaf shapes so I have a good selection to choose from.
So much to choose from to keep me busy.
Onwards, so much sewing to be done and viewing of movies to catch up on.