Final quilt for 2015

I looked at my 2015 wish list and WIP/UFO list a few weeks ago ....and panicked!   Then I found time and inspiration I needed to get these little quilts finished.  DH found the dowel required to hang them.
Only problem was we had to hang them on a new wall....the original wall of mini quilts is full!  This is next to my front door - the original owners had speakers hard wired into this room, which shouldn't be a problem, except when your trying to hang quilts!
But I still had one outstanding WIP. The bears paw wall hanging.  Well its suppose to be a table topper.  I quilted it simply with a diagonal cross hatching.  Its got the hanger corners on, but no label yet.
 I washed it to get rid of the marking pencil.  I am relatively new to using cotton wadding.  I forgot that it makes for crinkly quilts AND I draped it over a drying rack, which made the centre puff up?!!  I like this quilt.  Cannot say I love it.  But looking at it daily might change that, lets hope!
Hanging little quilts is interesting when they are very different sizes!  Think I will have to make some more to match my Temecula We wish you a Merry Christmas, otherwise it looks a bit funny by itself.  Any excuse to make more mini quilts!
Happy 2016 and happy quilting, Sue.


Red and White Dresdens are stitched

My favorite WIP, the Red and White pieced Dresdens, are all stitched down onto their backgrounds.  
Trying to get a good photo was tricky. And yes, I probably should have ironed them first!
This is a better shot as the true colour comes through, but I couldn't fit all the blocks in the lens!
Still you get the idea.  I cannot made up my mind about the colour for the centres.  I thought the choice would be between white/cream print or red print.
But it turned out that the 2.5" strips were not wide enough to make a centre from, so I couldn't use the left over light strips from my dresden's.  Instead I tried some French General reds.
The red print is a bit distracting, but I like the size better then the plain red.
You can see the size difference here.  I am not going to have enough of this solid red - I cut into a layer cake square to get it.  So I am either going shopping or finding another suitable fabric, perhaps a red with a very small print out of the same layer cake.
Happy quilting Sue.

Temecula Quilt Company - We wish you a Merry Christmas Part 2

So I was going to be clever and show you each lot of blocks as I made them.  Life gets busy and it didn't happen.  Here is progress shot two.
And here is the finished mini quilt!  I had some time and I knew it was now or never, so this little quilt top got pieced and then quilted.  I didn't quilt the border, as it is so small, but perhaps later when I can borrow the cable border stencil my group have - we have broken up for the summer, so it will have to wait for now.
The finished quilt is 10.5 x 12.5 inches.  I tried to stick to Christmas colours, but think I will leave it hanging up to enjoy all year.  
Happy quilting Sue.


More finished mini quilts!

This cute little dolls quilt has been a short WIP.  It was finished while my computer was offline, but I was also holding off revealing it, as it was intended as a gift for a friend who follows my blog.
 I amended the pattern (original was on point) Shoofly Potpie by Kim Diehl from her book Simple Traditions.
You cannot see the border quilting very well, but I machine quilted a cable pattern.  It was fairly easy using my walking foot, but my marking pen was hard to see on the beige fabric.  The ideal marking pen is out there and one day I am going to find it!  
 This larger mini quilt is from Lori DeJarnatt's quilt along, Country Roads, so a few stencils later  and I found one that fitted this quilt that I could achieve on the machine!  I do really need to start hand quilting the little quilts...but I am a machine girl : )
  Didn't take long, just the right frame of mind to get stuck into it.  
Happy quilting, Sue

Leaders and Enders dilemma

A lady I know is moving house and while they are not downsizing, there will be less room in the new place.  The end result is that I have been a very happy receiver of goodies from her quilting room.  I was very happy to give these two books a new home.  
There are the cutest quilts in the Civil War Legacies by Carol Hopkins.  The Civil War sampler has some lovely blocks, but is also a very interesting read.
SCORE!  I didnt own any of Bonnie Hunters books, but now I do!  I learned all about Leaders and enders from following Bonnie, so it was great to have the patterns.  I am now trying to decide which pattern to choose as my new leader and ender for 2016. 
I love a good nine patch and Sisters Nine Patch ticks all the boxes!  How can you not love all those delicious red and white nine patches!  And I have loads of red and white stripes left over from my dresden plate quilt.
Then again Blue Ridge Beauty - a blue and white four patch combined with half square triangles is also tempting! 
OR perhaps I should throw caution to the wind and move away from controlled palettes and make this sweet quilt called Crab Apples, using all my 1 1/2" squares...I am sure I don't have 854 one and half inch squares, but then I have never counted them!
Ah decisions, decisions!  
Happy quilting Sue.



Temecula Quilt Company - We wish you a Merry Christmas part 1

I would like to say that I made one of these blocks a day, following the Temecula Quilt Company free patterns - We wish you a Merry Christmas (on their blog HERE), in the lead up to Christmas.  But the truth was while I was offline I was ignorantly bliss, as soon as the computer kicked back into gear, I immediate gorged on these sweet patterns and made all five at once!  

To put the size into perspective the blocks currently measure 2 3/4"!!
Happy quilting Sue.

Curved Ruler table runner

I finished making the curved ruler table runner - this is the free pattern that comes with the ruler.  I completed the top in a workshop months ago with Ann from Periwinkle Patchwork.
However it took me forever to go and buy backing and binding fabric to match.  Then it sat around waiting to be quilted.  I really struggled visualising an appropriate quilting pattern.  However a quick flick through Pintrest and I just got down and "did it"!  
I enjoyed quilting the wavy lines and was tempted to do the coloured curves in the same way, but I didn't want to over quilt the whole piece.  I am glad to have another finish before Christmas, now I just need to find it a good home!
Happy quilting Sue.

Woolie workshop with Debbie Busby

Yipee I fixed my IT issues...don't ask me to explain how, but I managed to retrieve all my lost photos and software, phew!
OK so back to the important stuff!  While I was offline I attended a wool workshop with USA artist Debbie Busby, at Quilters Harvest in Warracknabeal.
Debbie had lots of lovely patterns, I was especially smitten with the tiny flower baskets.
And then there was a lovely floral table runner pattern.
I have always wanted to make a month themed wall hanging, this one was the perfect size and Quilters Harvest are ordering in the cute wire hangers to hold them.
 We made this delightful table runner (pattern is called Holly Basket) and I got most of it finished on the day.  
It was so nice to come home and be able to finish it in front of the TV that night!  And it is the perfect size for my "newest" coffee tables... one that belonged to my grandmother.  
 Debbie was very generous and made everyone a cute little tomato - I am using it as a decoration, but I guess its really a pin cushion.
 The girls at Quilters Harvest were very generous and our kit came with all the wool (many pieces were already cut out, a great time saver), three skeins of embroidery thread, scissors and a needle, so I didn't need to take a thing!
I really enjoyed working with wool and Debbie was so sweet, the catering us A1 (food is always good at the Quilters Harvest workshops) and all round we (Lisa and I) had a great day out. 
Happy Quilting Sue.

What have I been working on?

This should be a much longer post.  But alas despite several hours work from DH, pulling apart the computer, printer and non ergonomic desk and then reinstalling computer and printer on an old unattractive but perfect height laminex table - my computer still has issues.  
Well really only one issue, for some reason the software that downloads my photos from camera onto the computer isn't working AND all the photos that were on that software have disappeared.  I have lots of new quilting things to show you....but the pictures are stuck on my camera, so frustrating :(

 Still I have one photo you haven't seen previously, an updated shot of the pieced red and white Dresden's.  Now that I have stitched eight down onto the background, I have started to think about what I am going to use for the centers.  I have four more to applique on before I am ready to do the centers, but going to start auditioning reds.  I am leaning towards using different reds for each center, but we will see.  

Life is getting busy here with all the Christmas associated social functions starting to kick in, as well as usual preparations for the 25th.  I hope to fix this IT issue (well DH is the IT Fixer!, not a job title he relishes) soon before we hit the madness that always happens in the last five days before Christmas!
Happy quilting, Sue.

Bright stars

Stitching is a rare event at present, as I cope with a shoulder that gives me pain all the way down my arm.  However another trip to the physio and a better desk (current one is too high, which is what upsets my shoulder) will soon fix this problem, hopefully for good.

However I wanted to sew despite the discomfort.  The enormity of the acts of terrorism in Paris on television kept me updated, but required me to see solace in easy, chain piecing using up left over half square triangles from my rainbow scrappy challenge projects.  I made some brighter blocks - to cheer myself up and pray for a time when individuals seek comfort and happiness in peaceful activities instead of seeking power and destruction.
I honestly believe if everyone had a creative hobby like sewing or gardening, the world would be a better place!
Happy quilting Sue
PS My computer has some issues that I cannot resolve (eg the thingy isn't reading the whatchamacallit) and so I am forced to use the computer at the library.  Hence you are getting a old post which was luckily in draft format awaiting me to approve it.  Hang in there I will be back, hopefully with some up to date photos made since my shoulder has improved sufficiently for some sewing :)
 

Sweet stitching finishes

Finally I have some finishes to show you from my stitching day out at Warracknabeal. 
 This is the needle roll (called Little Bird Roll) designed by Shelly Kelley.  I found a sweet little "S" button in my sewing room that I got in a packet of buttons from the op shop...forgot that I had ever brought it, but amazing what goodies you find when you clean up the spare bedroom robe (and the linen press and laundry cupboards!).  So I just have to add the "loop" to catch the button and its done!
It has a great little pocket for thread and is a lovely addition to my sewing room, perfect for stitching on the run.  After borrowing more thread from my stitching neighbour Rose, I got the "Cornflower Blue - Doorstop stop by Leonie Bateman finished.  
Well that enabled me to get the applique finished then I had to sew it all together and fill it with kitty litter, which is very tricky!  We don't own a cat (we have budgies) so I am going to be making a lot more doorstops before I run out of kitty litter!
I enjoyed the wool applique so much that Lisa (and hopefully Rose) and I are back off to Quilters Harvest, Warracknabeal on Sunday for another wool applique class - this time with USA teacher Debbie Busby.
Happy sewing, Sue.

Threadbare, Castlemaine

     Threadbear, the patchwork shop in the Central Victorian goldfields town of Castlemaine specialise in reproduction fabrics.  I didn't just love it, I wanted to live there!  Honestly the phase, "like a kid in a candy shop" applied to me the minute I walked into Threadbear.  I didn't know where to start or what to buy...eg cute muffin packs or yardage!
The second question people asked me, after finding out that I finally made it to Threadbear, was, what did your husband do while you were shopping!  Frankly that was important as this was not a shopping trip to be rushed.
Well normally he would be entertaining the kids, but gasp, we were on a weekend away without the kids!!!  
OMG yes we might have racked up a decade of marriage, so thought we were entitled to a weekend away to celebrate.  
 The general consensus was that I needed to buy a metre for every year we were married....a bolt per child was mentioned as well, but DH managed to avoid complete financial ruin!
 Yes we had a lovely anniversary weekend away.  I did ask DH if on a scale of one to ten, where he rated wandering through markets and patchwork shops, but I didn't get an answer!  Don't worry folks I also went BBQ shopping with him and we brought the Rolls Royce of BBQ's!  
The final fabulous touch to the weekend was visiting Buda, the historical house and gardens donated to the town of Castlemaine by the Leviny family.    I took this photo off their website.
Buda Historic Home & Garden Castlemaine
It was well worth seeing as it showcased lots of lovely landscaping ideas and DH took lots of photos (sorry on his phone not my camera), because without me saying a word, he wanted to replicate them at our house too!
Happy quilting Sue.

Table runner curves

 Not a lot of stitching action is happening here of late.  However I did have one sewing deadline to meet.  I needed to finish this table runner as I am donating it is a prize in a raffle.  Ann from Periwinkle Patchwork taught us how to used the curved ruler in September.  
I wanted to keep the quilting modern, but I am no expert in that department and had a deadline to get it finished!
I stippled in the centres and straight lines which curve back at the end....so much easier to do this continuous line then piano keys, so I might try this again on a more traditional piece.  
All the big ticket non sewing time wasters are been completed now, so hopefully I can get some productive sewing done this week.
Happy quilting, Sue. 

Archies Diggers

My boys love their quilts for snuggling under while watching TV.  They also have quilts on their beds to keep them warm.  And our oldest son has some "extra" special quilts that live in the linen press!  But many years ago he picked out some digger fabric while at Hettie's Patch with me.  
When I realised that this special digger fabric was still unused I decided that another special boy was a better age to appreciate it.  I used a Ursula Reikes pattern, which made good use of the large print.  There was enough red to make the border but not the binding.  There is still digger fabric left over, so DS1 might get his own digger quilt yet!  I think Archie and his brothers will have fun finding the different machines in the pattern and that the snuggling flannel backing will make it a fun cuddly quilt for years to come.
Happy quilting Sue.

There has been an unexplained break in transmission

 There has been an break in transmission from this blog, which is too boring to explain, but needless to say it involved kids, life and priorities.  
While I have been off air I have hand stitched a few of my Dresden's down to the lovely mocha striped background I brought at Quilters Harvest in Warracknabeal.  Three down, nine to go!
 I also quilted this child's quilt with snugly flannel backing.  I am just sewing the binding down.  The biggest delay on this project was finding the perfect red for the binding...it's not perfect, but it will do and I don't think one small boy will care...so long as he gets it this weekend!
I have been waiting on a parcel from Ann at Periwinkle Patchwork.  What I didn't expect was these lovely fabrics, scraps from her own scrap bag.  I have dived in and started using them already as some of the colours were perfect for a WIP that needed a small push to finish.

 I found this half started wall hanging (Reproduction Print Table Topper from American Patchwork Quilting website go HERE) when I was looking for something else.  And because I wasn't in a mad rush/panic, I was able to calmly evaluate the problem (ignore the three extra flying geese made, just cut four rectangles and four squares) and get on with finishing the top.  I am not so sure about the border print (only because I have used it on so many things)  but it did need a dark colour and I have lots of this sweet brown Jo Morton print.  
It took a while but I actually found the project I was looking for.  It is 3/4's quilted now...now that I have had a chance to spend some time in the sewing room.  But I will show you that on another post. 
Happy quilting Sue.

LIttle red houses

My friend Ann helped me pick out some fabrics to get these house blocks together.  They have been orphaned for quite some time and I could not get them to look right in different settings. I don't think the contrast between the red houses and red star is ideal, but I am happy. 
I like the fact that it makes a nice wall hanging at this size.  There is a small temptation to make a pieced border.  I am still contemplating that.  With my "new" enlarged reproduction stash I could certainly find some nice reds to make a half square triangle border.  
There are still four houses to deal with - they are in the "negative" colour combination.  I think they will make a nice pillow.
Happy quilting, Sue. 
  

Spring Workshop in Warracknabeal

On Saturday I spent the day stitching in Warracknabeal at the Harvest Quilters Vintage Retreat.
The tutors were (from left) Marg Low, Shelley Kelly, Leonie Bateman and we were hosted by the Quilters Harvest owners, Dell and Shirley.
I started this wool applique door stop, by Leonie Bateman.
 I don't own a light box, so I made use of the numerous light boxes available to participants to trace off this stitchery by Marg Low.
I stitched tiny hexies and started the applique for a sweet needle roll, by Shelley Kelly, which is in the bottom middle of the below photo, which shows all the finished patterns we got in our goodie bag.  
I fell in love with applique all over again.  Shelley showed me how to needle turn, so I thought it only fair I brought one of her patterns...how beautiful is this pillow!
Shelley does wonderful work, this is her naive tulip quilt.
 But her miniatures in reproduction fabrics were just stunning.  I would love to do a class with her, but Shelley lives over near Albury/Wodonga, it's at least a five hour drive!
 Log Cabin miniature by Shelley Kelly. Hand sewn and quilted.
 Lone Star by Shelley Kelly.  Machine pieced, hand quilted.
 Gather your Baskets by Shelley Kelly, I had to have a picture of it, as I love basket quilts so much!
Brookfield by Leonie Bateman..  The baskets and top border are all wool and appliqued on.  Leonie loves hand applique and helped me improve my blanket stitch.  As well as demonstrated her technique for preparing wool work, which was very helpful as she uses woven wool which is too thick for fuse web.
Last but not least a stunning red and white quilt by Marg Low, Sarah's Sampler (1855).  This was available as a pattern and I was very tempted, but thought I am going to be busy enough making all the lovely patterns I had in my goody bag. 
It was lovely day out, with lovely friends.....and I came home to a roast dinner and three happy chappies cos their footy team won, yeah!
Happy quilting Sue.


Finally a quilt finish, or two

I have finally finished the commissioned photo quilt I was working on.    Unfortunately some of the photos started to shatter from be...