Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Clue 5.

Woohoo,  moving along with Clue Five in Bonnie Hunter's  Quiltville mystery.  Please click on the link to see this weeks' fellow mystery stitchers.

Starting off with some triangle cutting- 200 neutral triangles from 2" strips, and 100 blue triangles from 3 1/2" strips. Thank goodness we're using our blue now- I was wondering where that was coming in.
So, using the 100 yellow and orange triangle squares, we add the neutral triangles to each side.  

I was worried that my triangles may have been inaccurately sized, exactly perfect when laid on the blue triangle.  Yayyy.

So, 100 blocks later, we're all done and waiting for the next clue to go live on Saturday morning.
I'm starting to get a bit fidgetty ( is that a word?  LOL) about how this quilt is going to come together.   I still have no idea, but can't wait until the big reveal.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Made it.

Amazing what a few days not working will do for sewing time. I've had a few days home without too many distractions, and managed to finish up the clues for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt Celtic Solstice.
We have been sewing clues for 4 weeks now, each new clue comes out on a Friday, and although I managed to sew a few blocks for each clue, I wasn't really keeping up.
That has all changed now, thank goodness.
Clue 1 was off to an interesting start when the first 2 blocks sewed together wrong.  

Looking much better now.  So, 92 with the orange centre and 96 with a neutral centre.

Part 2 is a very messy looking pile of Chevron shaped blocks- 200 in all which were then sewn together to make 100 blocks.  Hmm, where did that photo go then?

Step 3 was 200 half square triangles blocks, with 100 sewn into 25 pinwheel blocks. (and some very nicely pressed chevron blocks.)

Step 4- 120 4-patch units.

So, here we are, finally up to date.  Feels good not to be chasing my tail with these steps.
Can't tell you how much I love Bonnie's yearly mystery quilts.  Besides the whole lot of fabric coming out of my cupboard, I love the challenge of not knowing what I'm sewing.
Bonnie has such a flair for these quilts- you don't know what they will turn out like until the end.  And no big chunky pieces either.  Lots and lots of piecing of smallish size pieces.  All the large blocks above are 3 1/2" blocks.
Just in time for Christmas!
Today was the regular weekly link-up day with other quilters who are sewing along on this mystery.
Please go have  a look at some wonderful colour choices, and a few guesses at block shapes.
Can't wait for Saturday morning now for the next clue.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Little Better.

This is a little more like it!

Ninety two orange triangles, ninety six neutral triangles, and 188 Pairs of blue triangles.
Now, just to sew them all together, and that's Step 1 DONE!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oh, dear, I'm soooo late....

I'm thinking of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date.
A little behind on Celtic Solstice.  It's not a race, but I like to keep somewhat up with the clues.
So, here is the first half of Clue One.

Ninety Six neutral triangles cut and pinned in 10's.  Now to move onto 92 orange triangles.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Celtic Solstice.

Another year has gone, and it's time for the annual Bonnie Hunter Mystery.
I was all ready to start.  I really was.  Fabrics kind of picked, machine ready.  Hmmm, when the instructions listed a Tri-Recs ruler, why did I just think "check"?
Sooo, I have been waiting anxiously since Monday for my ruler.  No local shops stock it, or could order it for me.  So, luckily for me, trusty mailorder came through.  Punch with Judy had the ruler in stock.  Impatiently waiting until today.
Look what the postie brought me!
I was worried about it surviving the post, but Judy packaged it up very carefully.
 Still need a ruler, and live in Australia?  Contact Judy, she's been very helpful everytime I've contacted her.
Unfortunately need to work today, but look out tonight when I get home! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oh so long...

I can't believe that it's been nearly a month since the last post.
My goodness.  Must mean that either I've been sewing a storm or very busy.  I wish I'd been sewing, but it's just that family life is very busy at the moment. 
Here in Australia, it's the countdown to the end of the school year.  There are concerts, recitals, art shows; and youngest DD is starting at a new school next year so much preparation for that.

Thankfully, a little sewing has been taking place amidst the rush.

There are presents to be made for school friends left behind.  These little stuffed toys are so cute, I sew the pieces together and DD2 stuffs them and will stitch on some eyes.  A very easy pattern from
 Rachel  at "Clearkid". 

A little of my kind of stitching has occurred.

I've been saving this free download pattern from Andover Fabrics for ages.  I have a piece of the gorgeous stripe and border fabrics just waiting for this strippy quilt.
Little bags of cut pieces for each block.  The instructions for this quilt are very easy to follow.
The first two of many blocks to come.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Just look at this GORGEOUS border.  Good sewing friend (now VERY good sewing friend!) Andrea has recently been travelling to Europe and brought back some pieces for our regular sewing group.  How lucky are we?

It's a chintz border print from Den Haan and Wagenmakers in The Netherlands.  This shop is famous for their chintz fabrics, so to receive a piece is wonderful..This border has that lovely chintz coating feel.  I'm not sure how I'll use it yet, but it will need to be something special.

Further sewing of sashing strips for DD's special quilt.  These pinwheels will finish at 2".
Several much longer pieces that need a good press to lay flat, but for now, I'm storing them this way.  I have lots to make, it's a very big quilt.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Still sewing hexagons.

I'm over half way with my hexagon lozenge shapes for the border of Netherfield.  Twenty eight down twenty four to go.

I'm using up some of my favourite little bits of fabric that have been in a tub for years.  Son't think it's possible to fit another hexie shape on here!

I'm not so accurate with my 1/4" seam allowances when paper piecing.  As long as I get at least 1/8" around the edges I'm happy.

Cute little star back!

This fussy cutting seemed like a good idea at the start, but I had to re-do so many of these as I'd cut them out wrong.  I'm in awe of those that fussy cut most of their patches, don't know how they do it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sewing with friends.

A lovely Spring day today.  Even better when spent with sewing friends.
I have been part of a small sewing group for a couple of months and am enjoying the relaxation of sewing with friends.
We have the pleasure of meeting once a month at Millrose Cottage Quilt shop and fantastic cafe.

Good sewing buddies Jean, Andrea and Gerri.  I continued stitching on my hexagons and wool applique, so nothing new to show there.
I've been working on my Quilt-a-long from Pam Buda using her new fabric range Pin Money.  We've been working on 1 block per week over the US Summer and recently got the finishing instructions.

This little quilt finished at around 37" square.
I've also been working on my latest monthly mini quilt from The Quilted Crow in Tasmania.

Nowhere near finished, but it's a start.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Days away.

I've just spent 4 days away with youngest DD at a science excursion.  We were in a very small country town, so lots of time to sit and sew whilst waiting for her.
I'm very pleased with the amount of sewing achieved, I never could have stitched this much at home.

Some more "lozenges" for my Netherfield border.  I think I'm up to about 19 of these finished, only need to make about 30 more.  I need some more excursion days.

I also did some more stitching on this block.  I'm still enjoying sewing wool onto cotton fabric.  It's so textural, and very easy to blanket stitch.

This month's little quilt was languishing until I found it last night.  I had to pick up eldest DD from a birthday party at midnight, so a few hours to fill in at home.  A little cutting started, hope to finish this today.
A very productive few days.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The last Present.

Well, the last package has arrived.  Happy Birthday to me, and not a set of towels in sight!

Look at those colours.  When I saw this quilt in photographs, I love the pattern, but I really loved the colours.  It's much more rich in person.   The batting in this quilt is much thicker than my previous quilt.  The quilting is beautiful.

Such lovely piecing- the points all match.

There are 3 blocks along 1 edge where this yellow has been used.  I wonder if it was just that she ran out of orange.

Gorgeous 30's (  I think) fabrics, maybe 40's?

The binding is simply the backing brought over to the front and stitched by hand.
Some of these fabrics are quite coarse in weave, the prints are really fine. 
I'm very happy with these latest purchases.  I certainly wish there were quilters in my ancestors, but that wasn't to be.  No heirlooms to be handed down, so I'm obtaining my own!  LOL.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A gift to me.

It's my birthday soon, and I've been buying my own presents for quite some time.  This is much better than the question "Would you like these new  towels for your birthday?"  I kid you not, this was a question last week!  Anyway, I most graciously replied "No thanks, You've bought me something nice and it will be coming soon in the post,"
So, Friday dawned clear and windy, but it also brought the postie to my doorstep.

Yayyyy, all the way from half a world away.  A rather soft and squishy parcel.

Still soft and squishy, but also very beautiful.

What a sight on top of my king-size bed.  Hand stitched beauty.

Oh, the hand-quilting is so lovely.

What a lot of work this wonderful quilter put in so long ago.
I find myself wondering about her  Unfortunately, there was no information accompanying this quilt,but it's easy to see that it was magnificent back in its day.
Much better than new towels!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hexagon table topper.

I'm pretty pleased with myself.  The table topper top is finished.

Next, to quilt and bind it, and put it on my table!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Project Intermission...

I was a little weary the last few days- night shift will do that to you.  I really wanted to sew, but I didn't trust my tired eyes to any applique that I've been working on.
Whilst looking around Blogland, I found Aunt Reen's Place and noticed that she'd just finished a short Sew-a-Long.  It involved a new to me cutting method for hexagon blocks with a 60 degree ruler.  Now, I purchased a new ruler a while ago but hadn't had a chance to use it yet.  So, win-win for me.

A few bits of a recent fabric club came in very handy.

Strips of background from the fabric resource shelves!  Using the new ruler to cut pieces.

Then in half.

Now, we had a little problem here Houston.  Somehow I managed to cut some of the pieces a little "wrong"- remember that night shift?  Hmmmm, I thought this was a foolproof project-maybe I shouldn't operate sharp objects with not much sleep!

Sewing the shapes together.
And Voila.....
Blocks are made.

This will finish about 32" square- a lovely table topper size.  thanks so much for the Sew Along Irene, I came along a little late, but enjoyed finding the project.
A bit of fudging with the  shapes, some creative trimming, and I got the blocks about the same size after cutting the hexagons wrong.
Now, borders I think, and maybe I can even machine quilt this one.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh Spring...

I had no idea that clivias have a lovely light fragrance.  I've had some in pots for several years now, but I've never smelt them up close.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Twirling balls.

Moving along slowly on my DD's quilt.
The stitching is not hard, but there is more preparation required than usual for me.  I've chosen to back baste these applique blocks .  This is a new technique to me, very easy, but as with all applique by hand- the time is in the preparation.

I'm stiching the dark fabric to the gold, the pink running stitch is my guide for applique stitching, these are removed as I sew.
I'm getting used to this technique.  It's wonderful for absolute accuracy, the pieces don't move at all.  This is a problem I've had in the past.  I like to glue baste, but often the fabric moves a little before I have time to sew it down.
Do you back baste?  What's your preferred method of applique?