Shoo fly blocks multiple!

I have ordered fabric for a special quilt, but in the meantime I started making Shoo Fly blocks because that used up the HST and 2.5" squares I have in the scrap box.  I found them addictive!
Sew I kept on sewing until I had used all the red and lime green!
I was trying to use up all the sea gull fabric, but I found more!  These blocks are only 6" big, so this needs a border to make it toddler size, but I ran out of red scraps, so figured that's good enough.  Just need to piece it together, already have the border fabrics sourced from my stash - amazing what you find in the back of the cupboard!
Heron on my early morning walk around the "block".  We live on the outskirts of town. 
The undeveloped end of south bank of Wimmera River in town.  The Council have made a new bike path, so the kids and I had a big (12 km) ride into town and a loop along the river and around the small weir.
View from our front door  watching the sun set.
Just a few photos from the second week we spent self isolating ...we are allowed out to exercise and because the weather has been so warm, I am trying to do so every day.  The kids are on school holidays, so trying to get them to be active also v sitting on the couch playing games.  
Stay safe, stay sane, keep sewing! 
happy quilting Sue.

Falling charms done and dusted

Falling Charms (pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Co.) is finished!  I had a great sassy hot pink chevron for the back which was sublimented by a little bit of solid hot pink.  The binding was another hot pink chevron - which I think just sums up that the world is very up and down right now!
The other quilt I pinned last week is 75% quilted (no pictures) but I ran out of thread and not sourced any more yet.  Simply choose to get distracted by other projects!
Not the best photo, but an overall photo of progress to date.  I have made the orange, pink and light blue plates and sewed them down.  Just prepping more leaves and cherries while watching news which is dominated by COVID 19 restrictions.  Finally sounds like we are going to close more and more services and I dont think that is a bad thing as people were not taking it seriously.  

My normal physical activities have been cancelled (ParkRun and pilates) so I have been trying to go for a walk or run most days, to keep exercising, especially while as the autumn weather is so beautiful.  As well as just having some mindfulness time.  I now understand part of how it must feel for every person who has lived through a World War, and those who currently live in a country at war.  The future is unknown, you know that some people are not safe, you cannot go where you like, there are shortages of supplies and job losses.  I am not panicking, just trying to adjust my thinking to this new world of uncertainty and staying home.

This is an updated photo of each block (photo edited in Layout - some were taken closer then others, hence size variations) so you can see that I ended up unpicking lots of the centres and re sewing them in a more uniform style.  That included re sewing the stems as the original method I used made for a very think stem and again they were not very even.  I have also added very small circles to the green block.  The red block already had them, but I am trying to refine my method, as they are very fiddly! 
I don't have a pattern, just making it up as I go along - hence all the mistakes!  I am thinking that a vine and berry border is next.  But would like to add some pieced sashing between blocks, just not sure if I will do a checkerboard or something simpler.  Ideas anyone?
Happy quilting Sue.

Falling charms and puppy dogs tails

A good friend Lisa donated this small top and the directional print that were left over from a previous quilt she had made.  I added the side borders to make it square but we agreed a top/bottom border was necessary and there was sufficient fabric.  This photo shows me trying out cornerstone options, because I was just that bit short of fabric!  
Its all pinned now and ready to quilt, another cute* kids quilt that will be appropriate for my prefered charity.  (*prints are all dogs and cat themed)
This pattern is called Falling charms (by Missouri Star Quilt Co) and I had two charm packs that had been neglected in my stash for too long.  It is an overdue finish.  I started this months ago but the pink background fabric was a problem and the needle kept unthreading even when I put in a new needle. In the end a larger sized needle helped, but I am still throwing out the scraps of this pink homespun from Spotlight!  I was pinning the quilt ready for quilting when I realised that that red checked block was turned around....way way harder to unpick and re sew with hundreds of safety pins in the top, but I did do it!
The second charm pack has been prepped with red background pieces and is sitting ready to go as one of the kits I have prepared for two charity quilting workshops I was running in late March and April.  Two ladies had already taken kits to sew at home because they were not available to attend on the dates.  I think the other dozen kits I had made from my own and donated fabric will also be handed out to friends who want to self isolate as much as possible - plus given them some entertainment.  So its still a win win in my book!
With the COVID 19 situation worsening every day around the world and the average age of quilters in the vulnerable category I have decided to cancel my March workshop and doubt that April will go ahead.  Over last weekend and this week in Australia (well the regional corner of Victoria that I live in) people have started to panic buy at the supermarket and major and minor events are being cancelled daily.  The local netball and Aussie rules football season is about to begin (a major part of any rural community in Australia) and the start date has been postponed to May - a friend of mine tells me he is concerned about how that will impact peoples mental health, such as  die hard fans live and breath for their football.  Schools are still open, unbelievably.  For now my kids are attending but each day I question myself.  So many social commitments and volunteer activities have been cancelled already, which is people being cautious V government imposed requirements.  Friends who two weeks ago were determined to have their much anticipated overseas holiday are now saying they are happy to cancel.  I am not panicked but being very cautious and avoiding the shops.  I have been buying a little extra for a few weeks now.  Its not enough to feed us for two weeks of isolation but certainly I can help out my parents and prevent them going to the shops.  Hubby already works from home and for the first time in six months I am pleased to be unemployed!  Having said that, I fear for the thousands that may soon find themselves unemployed or their business failing.  After months of horrible bushfires and such a strong sense of community and willingness to help our fellow Australians, I do hope that people can continue to find that good will to be kind and help others. 
Happy quilting Sue.

9 patches and a Traffic Jam

 I told my friend I was NOT making this quilt and did NOT want to make nine patches!
 LOL, yep here I am making nine patches. For some reason that I cannot explain they are scrappy but not multi coloured.  I normally like multi coloured.  I dont think this is the start of a new quilt.  Rather me just playing and having fun.  I think its the start of adding some more to the orphan block collection!
I finished binding and quilting Traffic Jam by Pat Sloan this week.  
It was hard to get a good photo because of the bright morning light.  The quilting is stitch in the ditch and diagonal lines.  I have given the quilt a wash since then and its nice and crinkly.
A scrappy back was required and made from the left over of fat quarters and backing leftovers I unearthed in my stash. I hope to make more pieced backs, its a great way to use up stash scraps.
 

I had been making steady progress on the trees, but the trunk and triangle section is giving me a few issues (making them all the same) and I have put it aside and become distracted by 9 patches! As the Covid 19 virus ramps up in Australia I can see more and more opportunities to stay home and sew!  I have started washing my hands for longer a and keeping social distances as recommended.  The constant bombardment of "disaster" news is hard to ignore and I am not surprised people are panic buying in the shops. I have purchased some extra groceries, but did that 3 weeks ago and I know we could never survive on what was in the pantry for a full two weeks.  I guess if you live somewhere the roads got cut off regularly you would know how to prepare better, but just taking it one day at a time here!  Its my elderly friends I am most concerned about and social gatherings are being cancelled everywhere.  Luckily I am content to stay home and sew.  The kids are busting to stay home from school as well, but so far not been told to...I have pre warned them that extra holidays will come with extra homework, they are not impressed!
Happy quilting Sue.


Mini quilts and summer fruits

Summer stone fruits are much loved in our house, but at the end of summer I am a bit over having to deal with them.  This year we only 
 had a handful of apricots and nectarines on the trees, so I was really pleased we got lots of blood plums. 
However I was given lots of tomatoes, so I  made tomato sauce, then a friend gave me figs that got made into jam.  So I decided that plum paste would be nice instead.  Well the first batch was a fail, so that was turned into plum jam.  This batch was successful and is now setting as plum paste.  But my kitchen looks like I killed a purple people eater, with stains on the floor, bench tops and I keep unearthing sticky spots every time I clean!  
This poor forgotten mini has been waiting months for me to sew two hanging corners on the back!  Now it just needs to find a spot to hang.  These are all blocks I made from Temecula Quilt Company free patterns.  I made a version in red and pink that has been completed for ages, so it was nice to get this one finished.
This is a much loved Australian native bottle brush flower,  starting to bloom, that I only planted last autumn.  These bushes do really well in our sandy soil, but previous owners only planted a red variety and this one is distinctly pink or salmon coloured.  

Janet from Rogue Quilter made a Tree of life mini using just one block, in plaids.  It was darling and it inspired me to start sewing something for myself, so I made this block (6" ), but cannot decide if I am having a "dirt" triangle at the base of my tree of life or not. 

What do you think?
I am making four blocks, just one block completed and without a pattern the trunk took a bit of mucking around to work out the right dimensions.  Now I am happy I think I will ditch the directional print! The HST finish at 3/4" and I am really pleased with them. 
Happy quilting Sue.

Strawberry hearts and orange pinwheels

A lot of recent activity in the sewing lounge has been for others.  Mainly making up kits for two charity quilt workshops I am running in March and April, which has taken up a lot of my time.  Mind you it has reduced my novelty stash and scrap bin considerably.  Then Mum gave me some of her scraps, so back to where I started LOL!
  These scrap triangles donated from a friend have been hanging around for a long time and a need to sew finally gave me the push I needed.  I was thinking of making a  mini but there were a WHOLE lot more HST to be trimmed so it might stretch to a doll quilt.  The HST finish at 1.5", so the pinwheels are 3" and its now 15" square.  Perhaps I will add a white border, not sure.  Lots of HST left over, but not four the same fabric, so need to use them up in a different way, perhaps the border?
While making something orange for February RSC was important to me....I really got fired up about these pretty strawberry reds and soft pinks in my stash.  I had written down a note on an easy method to make 1.5" HST I had seen online. So then when I started seeing cute images of heart blocks for St Valentines day I just started sewing.  THe blocks finish at 4" but no idea what I am going to do with them, perhaps another mini, just enjoyed the process of playing!
The weather has been hot and humid, too much to want a quilt on my lap for binding.  So now its a bit cooler I have finally finished a few of my binding jobs.
I made this out of the last scraps from my plus sign quilt. I had to piece and substitute some of the reds to get the last few rectangles.    I made it the right size for the scraps that I had left over, so is only big enough to be a dolls quilt.
This quilt is even smaller and will also be gifted as a dolls quilt.  I need to make some teddy bear sleeping bags to go with them!
Happy quilting Sue

Frolic flimsy finished

Frolic flimsy is finished!  
The border was fairly straight forward.  The addition of the solid white border stopped the stretch from bias edges and the HST behaved beautifully.  I have stitched right around the outer edge immediately and found some of the HST seams had started to pop open.  I am considering adding another skinny white border....but for now enjoying the quilt as it is.
I already had lots of blue HST made in my parts department.  So I have a lovely array of colour variations.  But my pinks follow the pink in the quilt fairly closely.  I like the combined effect of existing colour and new.  There are lots of fabrics in this top that I can point out and say, "that was a backing, or from Mums unwanted stash, or from a bag I made." It is a scrap quilt...except that I did have to buy some yardage in white and green, plus there was some bargin bin navy that was perfect to finish out the blues.  I might have purchased other colours before checking my stash adequately but they will be used eventually!!
Happy quilting Sue.

Shoo fly blocks multiple!

I have ordered fabric for a special quilt, but in the meantime I started making Shoo Fly blocks because that used up the HST and 2.5&qu...