Sewing frenzy

I made this needle case on a whim about two weeks ago.  I brought this book early in the year (or was it last year?) and was desperate to finally make something out of it.  Since then I haven't done much sewing, so this weekend I went mad and just started sewing....I don't accept long absences from my sewing machine very well!
This cot sized quilt top is what I made on Saturday.  The fabrics are all out of my stash...they had to be, DH was out Christmas shopping and both my boys now refuse to come into the fabric shop...besides together their behaviour doesn't make for relaxed auditioning of colours...it always ends in hasty purchases that can be regretted.  I then needed more fabric to continue (I only had left over fat quarters in these colours), so managed to purchase necessary yardage today (well it was on sale!) to start the next step. However I really wanted to wash and dry the new fabric, so I had to put this new project aside.

That prompted me to finally finish the boys version of the cot quilts I had been making...there was only two corners of binding to be hand sewn down and a label attached, its been like that for a few weeks! 

And then this project - Alphabet Sampler, only required a hanging sleeve...why do those simple jobs take so long to get around to?  This wall hanging I designed with DS1, he picked out the shapes and colours he wanted in the corners.  You probably cannot see very well from the picture but I quilted each letter of the alphabet into each square, depicting that letter.  It was very hard to find J and X fabric...J = jeep but it is a black print on blue background so not easy to pick.  I was more then happy to cheat with X after I found this skeleton fabric, I figured that would do for X-ray...I was never going to find a better substitute!  I am not hugely proud of this wall hanging it got made in a hurry and the quilting is very poor.  However the boys don't care and I suspect its "life" will be short, as they will grow out of it in a few years, so I figured finish it now, while they can enjoy it...not a time to take up hand quilting!

I cannot find the photo of the pot holders I made (quite some time back) so I had to take a new shot, which doesn't do them justice.  Downloading the pictures for this post took two days, so I will wait to see if my internet speed improves and try to squeeze in one last post before Christmas/New Year...I am nearly at 100 posts....trying to think of a way to celebrate??  In the new year I might just have to have my very own give away, stay turned!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Christmas Challenge

The South Australian Guild gave all those attending the December 2010 meeting a fat quarter of Christmas fabric.  There were three different prints; snowmen, angels and Christmas trees.  We were only instructed to make something, so with no rules it was great to see the results this December.
This was the wall hanging I made for the challenge...I couldn't help but use every little bit of fabric, when the squares are only 2" cut!  The pattern was from the Moda Bakeshop and is called Christmas Wreath Wall Hanging by The Calico Horse.  I had lots and lots of fun with the quilting, stippling in the white background and using a free motion teardrop echo shape over the wreath, giving it a lovely curved look.  I never appreciated how much better a wall hanging would sit flat on the wall because it was heavily quilted, this is now my favorite Christmas decoration.

I liked the snowman fabric, so did DS1 so he demanded a large piece for another project (to be included in a different post) which left me with only a few snowmen to play with.  I decided snowball blocks would be appropriate for a table runner, but things didn't quite work out that way....it was hard to avoid chopping off their heads!  The projects other ladies made were fantastic, table runners aplenty, wall hangings, as well as journal covers, pot holders, decorations, door stoppers, quilts and even a bag with working fairy lights!

And I have now finished the girls cot quilt, title to be determined.  It needs to be delivered to ACT, but after a well known SA teacher announced at our guild meeting that Australia Post had lost her 8 kg box of quilts, teaching samples, notes and books I decided I wont be risking it...apparently its the second time she has had precious work stolen out of the postal system.  I am hoping that Granny express will be happy to deliver door to door for free - I just have to get it to Granny first! 

Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Luck of the Irish

Can you say its finished if you still havent sewn the label on?  I had better hurry up and do that because I have booked it in for valuation...I need some evidence of its worth for my sewing self esteem!

Thanks Kylie for being my quilt photographer and ignoring DH who was not impressed I had interupted him at work (well it is for his mother!) to hold a corner of this quilt, while balancing on the couch...because its that big! 

The pattern is from Evelyn Sloppy's book "40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts".   The original pattern just has a plain border, but I needed to make the quilt bigger, so made up the pieced border, which also helped to use up some of the left over 1 1/2" squares.  And as you can see I love adding a 6 1/2 " border to all my quilts....its easy because thats the width of my ruler and it seems to frame everything nicely...plus it helped make it the right size. 

Then because I have only done a bit of hand sewing this week, I will show you the string pieced placemats I made earlier.  I couldnt find the yellow and pink/purple ones I made, think they are in the wash!


The final block of the Celtic quilt was cut larger then others (by 1/2") so once I figured that out, it ment I am going to have to unpick and resew ALL the corners of the applique....otherwise I would have to cut them off :-(   But because it is the LAST block I am trying to focus on finishing it ASAP....as my goal was to have the top done by September... the new goal is Christmas!

Happy quilting, Sue.

Slow progress

It was the week for everyone else to be unwell, so it only stands to reason that I would come down with something (different as nobody was infectious) on the weekend.  However some progress was made with...

The second last Celtic block has now been "fixed" so the applique is more then 1/4" from the edge.  I have unpicked one section of the applique of the last block and just need to stitch it back down today.  Part of the reason it has taken me so long is I find it too hard to see at night, particularly unpicking as Bea's stitches are so tiny.  The dressmakers chalk that she used to mark the pattern shows up well in the picture, but its alot fainter in reality.  However I do think I will try and carefully wash this block before I sew it to the rest.  I also unpicked the row that was the wrong way up, so it just needs machine stitching back together. 

And finally a picture of the place mats I made some time ago.  I was trying to get the lids on my scrap bins closed (they are sorted by colour) and decided that I HAD to use some up immediately.  There is one scrappy I spy mat for DS2, a red one for DS1, blue for DH and green for me, with a spare for guests. 
I used ugly/unwanted fabrics for the backs, pieced scraps of wadding together and used left over binding for a real scrappy look.  It was a good way to have a clean up and get some functional place mats very quickly.  I am sort of wishing I used some decorative stitches on some of the seams as well. These crazy place mats inspired some string pieced ones, but I don't have a photo to share handy, perhaps next week when I am feeling better.
Happy quilting, Sue.

Christmas Quilt along

So the plan was that DH would work outside, the kids would play quietly (inside or out) and I would sew inside, therefore allowing me to join the Christmas quilt along.

Hmmm the best laid  plans....DS1 has another sore ear, the third in the last month and the doctor has previously refused him medication.  He is lying down on one lounge, dosed with Panadol and at least eating dry biscuits.  DS2 hasn't kept down water since 7am but fingers crossed its now 3 pm and he has had half a dry biscuit and some water.  He is holding fort on the other sofa and at least had a couple of short naps. 

Obviously when I decided to clean the house yesterday and the mop broke before I could wash the floors, it was for a good reason.  So today apart from going out to buy a new mop, several loads of washing and washing the floors I did squeeze in some sewing and a quick trip for batting.

So I previously showed you a block of this quilt.  All the fabrics came from my stash, apart from the blue stripe.  Definitely a boys quilt.  Oops needed a girls quilt....hence a bit of sewing this morning to finish the sashing on this...none of which came out of the stash!
Sorry just needed to acknowledge that this is a Ursula Reikes design, titled Coxey's Camp, from her book Even more Quilts fro Baby, Easy as ABC, published by That Patchwork Place 2000.
 

So the backing (from stash) and batting have been prepared, but two sick kids will prevent me from sandwiching these to cot quilts today. 

However I did stitch the final bit of binding on this quilt this morning, so here is a peek...I haven't done the label yet.  Luck of the Irish is too big for DH to hold on his own and the clothes line is full. So hopefully I will round up two friends soon...if I am not quarantined by the doctor tomorrow...!
Happy quilting Sue SA.

South Australias Quilt Show

I tried to load some pictures for you last week, but the Guilds website wouldn't open, I am guessing it was overwhelmed with visitors.  I have my own photos of the show, but the Guilds rules are that we are not allowed to publish them on the Internet.  Which is a pity as not all my friends won a prize, and some complete strangers quilts captivated me, which I would have liked to share. 

Drum roll please.......... (photo by SA Quilters Guild)
Elaine Kennedy won first prize (category Amateur - Traditional) for Cream Feathers and Scrolls and Excellence in Long arm/Short arm quilting.  This is just a close up of the middle of the quilt, because the quilt is a cream on cream whole cloth a photo of the whole quilt doesn't look like much, sorry but you really need to see it in person! 

Elaine and I quilt together at After Dark Quilters and she quilts all my big quilts....plus we are very privileged to have her quilt the charity quilts we make at Quilts from the Heart.  Elaine is also a good friend, so heartfelt congratulations and a few tears of joy, as these awards are great recognition for her wonderful work and well deserved.
In keeping with my red and white/cream fetish I made a few purchases in fat quarters and really pushed my comfort zone buying TWO charm packs.
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

What happened to October?

The past month has disappeared with visitors, DH work trips, trying to get back into routine after school holidays and a long weekend away.  I have made a few purchases...

More boy novelties from the quilt shop in the Barossa and one reproduction print for my Seven Sisters quilt.


But I decided I needed to focus on my priorities, so put the finishing touches to my Quilters guild challenge #2 - a table runner, sneak peek here...sorry but its a secret until December.


And my other ongoing priority which is to finish Bea's Celtic quilt.  So I trimmed the blocks, laid them out, stitched them together...only to discover I had sewn one row the wrong way...now there are two blue applique blocks together.  So that is in the "waiting to be unpicked pile" along with the two applique blocks I need to finish, so I can put the top together.



Then I heard from a friend...she has had a daughter, so I started a cot quilt, but it ended up a bit gender neutral, only from the lack of pink in my stash.  Then I couldn't get a purple to go with orange and green (why is that?!) so ended up with navy sashing (sorry no pic) but the blocks look like this...definitely not a girly girls quilt.  So what can you do but buy more fabric !



 But before I could cut that up it was time to go to the Adelaide Quilt show...which features in the next post as blogger isn't playing nice when it comes to pictures.  Happy quilting Sue SA.

Quilts from the Heart

It turns out that I was awarded 4th (hence no prize or certificate) for the Wagga I made (machine quilted by Elaine Kennedy) for the Royal Adelaide Show....:-)!  I only found out when the results were published in the SA Guilds magazine Patches, so I doubled checked on the RAS website...and its true!  This quilt was made for Quilts from the Heart and you can see photos of more completed quilts that I have loaded here on the blog I run for that group.
 
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Error adjustment

Yesterday on my post I said....."....too bad in we have to shift interstate!" What I meant to say was
"too bad IF we have to shift interstate!"  Oops, what a difference one letter can make!  We do plan to move back to Victoria one day, but I hope not for a long long time.  Thanks for caring though, love Sue.

Mother Patchwork - whats in a name

Dawn from Sweet as Cinnamon is asking people to post about how they came up with the name of their blog.  When I started quilting I tried to convert ALL my friends into patchworkers.  One good friends partner use to say to her "Are you going to the House of Patchwork to see Mother Patchwork?"  So I figured that now I am a mother and still patchworking (12 years last month) it was an OK blog title.  Besides all the good ones were already taken!  Oh and because my name is so common and I never won the friendly argument with DH about NOT changing my surname (when we got married),  I call myself Sue SA as these are the initials of my surnames...and I live in South Australia...too bad in we have to shift interstate!

A quick mother story...tonight while preparing tea the boys were playing Thomas the train and I overheard DS1 tell DS2 that "your train has to take the ladies, ummm Mummies to sewing and then the boys and girls to school"! 

So now you deserve some pictures of what I managed to achieve today...
 Little Birds a free pattern by Jodie from Ric Rac - a creative genius who makes awesome softies!  I adapted the pattern so they were child friendly eg left off buttons and stitched on beaks.
My first sock softie...lots of hand sewing involved, probably wouldn't make one again as the birds were much quicker.  I do have another pair of socks though and all these cuties are going in my Christmas boxes .  I also worry that my hand sewing wont hold up, but machine stitched wool birds should be fine, plus they fit into the boxes better.   

Better go and see if that train has arrived to pick up the sewing Mummies...perhaps it can deliver me to the kitchen for real mothering work...dinner!
Happy quilting Sue SA.

A quilty week

Last weekend was a long one for South Australia and the start of school holidays.  I had decided to go "home" to country Victoria to visit my parents with the children.  We were suppose to stay the whole week but for various reason had to come home early.  Before I left though I got to have a child free catch up with my friend Lisa...and she had made me a present...this gorgeous bag....just because I came to visit, how good is that!  
So at first I thought it would make a good shopping bag, but decided it was too cute to mix with my dirty green supermarket bags...and its too nice to only use for groceries!
So then I thought...well I stopped thinking actually and just filled it with my current patchwork projects!

 Because we came home early I was able to pick up where I left off, with my version of the Sleepover bag by Melly and Me.  Let me just say up front that the pattern is fine, I did get a bit confused in a couple of spots and because I am a visual person diagrams would have been nice.  BUT the pattern was fine, it is just not a "quick and easy/do in a weekend" type of project.  I just figured because I had all the pieces cut out and done the cross hatch quilting (green bit) that the rest could be done in a snap.  But honestly bag feet are a TOTAL pill, really more hassle then I thought could be possible...and Ann you did warn me, so I am just saying out loud, that you were right!   However I need a rest before I make another one of these....and I will make another one (and I will omit stripped fabric next time round as well), just not straight away!  PLEASE note that the bag top and pocket fabric is from Michelle Hills William Morris range... it was the best fit with the green and I love William Morris....and of course Michelle is an Adelaide girl, so it seemed appropriate!
 Please note that I used the green (bag outer) and cream (as lining) that I had previously brought for my Luck of the Irish Quilt and then didn't use...I felt guilty about buying 3 m of fabric and then not using it...plus this pattern had been in my sewing room for awhile, feeling unloved...!
So after finishing the bag I did need a quick simple project.  And while at Lisa's house, after admiring all her cool quilts (her style is very fresh and modern) I spotted a strawberry....hmmm I have that pattern....hmmm it has been unused and living at my house for far too long!  So I decided that I would make up the watermelon pincushion (which accompanies the strawberry) from the Fruit Salad Pincushions pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  When I finished it this morning I stuffed it to an inch of its life, using the last of my crushed walnut shells and loads of wadding....and now it is top heavy and wants to roll over and lie upside down....not very useful as pin cushions go, still it looks cute!

I have been checking through my pattern collection of which half have never been made up.  I think I needed to express myself after finishing the top of Luck of the Irish.  But I really needed a pick me up after my friend/teacher told me that I had to UNPICK two of the Celtic blocks...the applique was too close to the edge....the only reason I didn't cry was because there was chocolate on hand.  So my hopes of getting this top together soon have been dashed.  So while I sit and unpick and restitch I am going to reward myself with at least one more "quick easy" fun project from my pattern stash.  Perhaps that should be next years goal...to either make up OR give away my unused patchwork patterns...yikes! 

Happy quilting, Sue.

Maths is my friend

All weekend I pondered what I could show you...but I hadn't done any sewing!  Then I managed to find time to cut out some diamonds for my next  seven sisters block.
 Then I remembered I hadn't told you that Wednesday night my generous friends at After Dark Quilters had pointed out there were buttons on sale...we sew in a church hall along side their op shop... so I got the three packets of coloured buttons for $3.  At Thursday Craft, I got the white buttons off the honesty table for $2...I can see more button necklaces in the near future!
 Also from Thursday craft I got this vintage fabric, it is silver, black and gold, which are not my usual colours.  I am not really sure why I love this fabric, but I can see it in my house, so it also came home with me. 
 Then I remembered that you hadn't seen the completed final block for the Celtic Quilt.  I need to borrow a very large square, so I can now square the blocks up, before joining them. 


Then because " all good things come to those who wait "... I managed to get quite a bit of sewing time in today...despite DS2 being sick... just had to fit in some cleaning first!  Ah, maths is once again my friend...it worked!!! I had to make a few more 1" squares today, but got there in the end.  This top is now so big I had to resort to the clothesline for a photo...don't know why I haven't done this before, as it works so well.  Well except it is sideways, but you get the idea.  I am going fabric hunting tomorrow for border/binding fabric, so I can finish this quilt asap.  Then while it is at the quilters I will be able to get my head around the maths for the Celtic quilt...all those setting triangles!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Christmas quilt along part 2

 Yipee, I finished the 100's of 1.5" squares ready for my border and I finished hand sewing the LAST Celtic block.  Sorry no updated pictures, so decided to give you a sneak peek of my Christmas projects which are part of a challenge set by our guild. 
We were all given a fat quarter at our December meeting last year...I got snowmen.
I tried to avoid cutting the snowmens head off, but sometimes it proved difficult!  I have finished most of the piecing of this project...its in the cupboard for now while I focus on getting the Celtic blocks together and the final borders on my other quilt. 

Christmas Quilt Along

Quilt Sue is hosting a Christmas Quilt Along, because she is in the UK it technically didn't start until yesterday afternoon/evening for me.  I have never done one of these before, so not sure if I am doing the right thing or not.   I spent most of yesterday sewing  (and checking Sues blog) and now I understand I have to post on my progress.  I had assumed that I needed to work on Christmas projects, but decided that I had other more pressing deadlines.  So during the morning (Sat) I attached the first border to this quilt...Luck of the Irish.  I was going to enter it our Guild show, but couldn't get my head around putting the forms in on time (by Friday) with Dad being sick AND not knowing how I was going to finish it, e.g. borders.  I tried to work out the maths, it is not my strong point, so gave up and going with the suck it and see method!
 This morning I am auditioning the second and subsequent borders.  Actually that green floral tone on tone looks better in this picture then in life! 
 Yesterday afternoon I decided that my second priority was finishing the final block of the Celtic quilt.  Sorry its a bit blurry, but as you can see I have got 3/4 stitched down, so nearly there.  I had lots of interruptions yesterday, as DS1 and DS2 decided that they would join me in watching TV while I hand sewed.  That involved negotiations about snacks, fights about who would sit where and finally about what we were going to watch...I won but by the time I sat down there was only 45 min left of the Elvis Presley movie! Luckily DH was outside working and I was able to distract the boys back outside and settle back down with a Jane Austen movie, Northanger Abby.  I got more completed later when the boys were in bed, but I had to "watch" the footy, Aussie Rules that is...cannot wait until the season is over and I can watch movies instead! 
Today I made some scones for morning tea, broke up arguments about which bike DS1 and DS2 could ride, where they could make sandcastles (not where DH is digging trenches) and folded the washing.  Now I am going to make a few hundred more 1" squares for the rest of the border (Luck of the Irish) and then later I will try to get the rest of the hand sewing done...just waiting for something interesting to be on TV. 
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Royal Adelaide Show - Wagga's (Quilt Challenge)

I promised to show you a picture of my Wagga once the Royal Adelaide Show had started, but then I realised I hadn't taken one of it finished!  I finally made it to the show yesterday and took pictures of most of the Wagga's entered, including mine!This is the quilt I made (above) and Elaine's (below), the fabrics are all wool, or a wool mix.  Elaine had a large diamond template we used and all the fabric came out of the Quilts from the Heart stash, so both these quilts belong to QfhH.  Elaine had wanted to make a Wagga for a long time so she was the one to inspire me to have a go at making one.  My quilt was quilted on Elaine's long arm machine, in a baptist fan pattern.  In keeping with the "make do" spirit I had used batting left overs pieced together, so really wanted to make sure the quilting would hold it all together - I always assume our donated quilts will be machine washed...or worse!  Elaine choose to hand quilt hers, a real dedication to traditional methods given that we are giving them away! 
Quilts from the Heart - Elaine's Wagga
 Elaine made a second Wagga for herself, out of her scrap collection a lot of which were velvets or corduroy.  Again she hand quilted, using a variety of threads.
 This is the first prize winning Wagga.  I didn't touch it, but from a close up inspection I am sure they are wool suiting fabrics and it was beautifully hand quilted. 
 This is the second prize winner and again without touching I suspect these fabrics were flannel and from the patterns it would surprise me if they were recycled men's PJ's or similar. 
For those of you who don't know what a Wagga is, traditionally they were "make do" blankets that men living and working in "the bush", generally made by sewing two layers of hessian wheat bags together as a blanket.  Later women made Wagga's by sewing together domestic sewing scraps, men's wool suiting samples, blankets or old knitted garments.  Wagga's are not quilts in the true sense as they were generally only two layers and not necessarily quilted.  Hence this entry, which received a special mention.
A tough call for the judges, because it is very traditional, but hard to say it is the finest needlework, compared to the other entries.  I liked it but not exactly quilters "eye candy"!
  This wagga was made entirely from old jeans, while I like the crazy piecing I am really glad I don't have to sleep under it, as it looks really really heavy!

Thank you to all the people who left comments to confirm that my comments box is working, well for some people anyway.  I have been a bit distracted this week, so not replied to everyone as my father collapsed while on the phone to me (Monday) and ended up being transferred (by air because he lives a 3.5 hr drive) to Melbourne.  They have scheduled him for a pacemaker on Monday, which apparently is considered a minor procedure, and I have been told should be the end of any need for medical intervention, much to everyone's relief.  Dad isn't impressed as the doctor thinks he wont be able to weld...hmmmm the least of my concerns I can tell you, especially as he had been driving the truck all day before I called him!  That and the fact that he still cuts all their own wood for the wood heater.  I am a bit tempted to send the tradesman around to have the gas heater installed while he is still in hospital! 

On a lighter note we attended the show as a family, which was a nice outing, but very different from previous years.  Priorities have now started to focus on show bags, junk food and rides, as DS1 is now at school and influenced by the other kids experiences.  This is very disappointing to me as I loved taking the boys to see the animals and hand crafts.  I did get to check out the decorated cakes but DS2 was convinced that all those cakes  and a "present" (show bag) meant that it was his birthday!  Which made for a very funny running commentary if you were stuck behind me in the queue to look at the cakes..the absence of candles didn't convince him that it wasn't his birthday!

Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Testing one, two, three...hello?

Hello, anyone out there?  I had been wondering why I wasn't getting any comments, then Kylie emailed me to say that she wasn't able to.  Last night at Guild Jude and Dawn confirmed the problem.  I did have a fiddle yesterday, but not sure if it worked or not...(fingers crossed)...could someone please try to leave me a comment and send an email if it wont let you?



Thanks, Sue.
PS these are my purchases at the shop, Riverlea Quilts from last nights SA Quilters Guild meeting.  Yeah I know, do I really need more novelty prints? LOL, I  just couldn't help myself!

Quilt for Carisbrook

Stacy and Erolyn helped me sew this quilt back in March and then I posted the top to Wilma in Carisbrook and she quilted it and it was donated to someone affected by the floods.  I was really pleased when I made contact with Mary Kaye, because she took the photos of all the quilts donated to Carisbrook and she generously send me a CD of her photos and gave me permission to include her photos on my blog. 
Its amazing what a difference quilting makes to your quilt! 
Mary took all these photos and I have found a few quilts that I want to lay claim to on behalf of the Quilts from the Heart group.  I am sure we sent 12 quilts over but I cannot find the pictures I took, they are somewhere on DH laptop.
 The green nine patch on the top left was by Quilts from the Heart and the quilt next to it, with cats and pumpkins looks familiar but I am not sure.  Sue Z makes a lot of quilt tops at home and then often brings them in for borders or just quilting ...it looks like one of hers but I will have to check!
 This quilt is one of ours as well, but not sure who made it, but I definitely remember cutting the borders! 
The blue floral quilt on the right is "ours" and I believe Jill made it.  Jill is our special helper, as her usual job is helping to run Thursday Craft, so she just fits in some quilting when she can.

More information and photos of quilts can be seen at the blog Wilma set up, 

Happy quilting Sue SA.

New books and a finished flimsy

DH brought me this book for Mothers Day.  He is a gem, as I was in awe of this exhibition, but the photos online where never enough.  The b...