Bags galore

 Recently DS1 has become fixated on going to visit his grandparents and both sets live interstate.  Our next scheduled visit is not until Christmas time, so in the interim I have made him this backpack, as both a distraction and also to carry his special things in.  DS1 collection of special things has blown out in recently times, to the point that they had to reside in an old nappy box, so this bag is rather large for a backpack, eg bigger then his back!  The vehicles are from a Kellie Wulfsohn quilt pattern - Peak Hour, which was published in the magazine Homespun No 85. Vol 11.6. 

My quilting friend Stacy showed me how to make these bags, using 50 cm of vinyl/pastic coated fabric from Hetties Patch.  I loved the ones Stacy had made her nieces (Christmas gifts with the intention of them being swimming bags) especially the cherry fabric.  So I had to make some for myself, particulary as DS2 started swimming lessons this week.  I thought that he could have the oranges and I could have the cherries, but they are sufficently large enough to hold both our towels, togs and associated stuff.  Still I think that I will go back and buy some more fabric to make one for Mum (she tries to swim laps regulary to excerise her hip) as I love these too much to share!  And the best part is they only took an hour or so to make!  Thanks Stacy! 

Quickest quilt ever and rescued UFO's

Do you remember the flannel fabric I showed you on Oct 5th I brought for my best friend?  Well here they are! 

When my BF admired my flannel quilt I offered to make her one, based on the colour she liked, terracotta.  Luckily she also liked the pattern, as it is a really quick and easy one.  The thing I like least about patchwork is the cutting, and in this quilt you cut it all out first.  However I found it easy to do with this pattern as you have 12 different fabrics, so I just cut one or two up a day, in between my preferred tasks.  Then before I knew it I had all the blocks together, enabling me to put all together yesterday at my groups "all day sewing" class.  I am very happy with it now its all together.  I am sending the top off for long arm quilting by Vicki Jenkins who had previously kindly donated the quilting on the Kinder I spy quilt.    I brought the backing and binding this morning, so its all ready to go.

Here is a  shot of the Courthouse Steps table runner now gracing our sideboard.  It is very fitting that they live together, as the sideboard was rescued out of my grandparents garage, after they had both passed away.  Where it came from originally I am not sure, but it was missing its "back"- the piece that would have held a mirror, not to mention the water damaged top, the fact it had no legs and needed stripping back.  I brought some reclaimed Oak only to find that there are about four different types of wood used in its construction.  My father (who wasn't a wood turner then) found a local wood turner and traded the job of making legs by giving him a few burls.  A burl is one of those round growths on the side of tree trunks, bit like a oval pimple covered in bark.  Burls make really nice bowls if your a wood turner.  And then after many years of living in my parents garage, my father stripped it back for me and I paid a professional to french polish it.  So there is a happy ending for both of these rescued pieces. 
Happy quilting Sue SA.

Courthouse Steps and Harvest Table Runner's

  I made an attempt at trying to show you a close up of my quilting on the Courthouse steps table runner.  I free motioned a figure eight twice, one inside the other vertically and then again horizontally.   I think they turned out OK, certainly all good practise anyway.  I used monofilament thread, which looked so much better then cream and of course was the perfect answer for the dark blocks.  I did take some photos of the finished product, but don't seem to be able to find them at the moment.  Anyway its finished, label and all and on my sideboard, looking good!
 This is the Harvest table runner also completed.  I never did go back and add the extra quilting on the inside of the fruit.  I know I probably should but the monofilament thread is off the machine now, so perhaps next time I load it up!  This table runner hasn't made it onto the table yet, as I have decided that I want to be a bit precious about it.  DS1 is too fond oftexta's and drawing at the table, so I might just bring it out for special occasions.  I did have a request for a close up of the quilting, again its hard to take pictures that show quilting to their advantage, but I tried!

And lastly but not least, below are the seven Celtic applique blocks (large approx 20 inches) that my friend Bea started.  I am not sure when Bea commenced working on this quilt, but I do recall her telling me about them.  I use to give Bea a lift to quilt guild meetings and charity quilting meetings when I lived in Sydney.  We kept up correspondence when I moved to Adelaide, however it was not frequent.  I was really sad to learn that Bea had passed away in June after a short illness, in her late 80's.  Her daughter then asked me if I would finish the quilt for her and posted down all the pieces.  I am yet to start work on it, but I do enjoy seeing it in my sewing room as it reminds me of Bea.  I am a bit daunted by the task, but I do enjoy hand applique and want to honor my friendship with Bea, who was a lovely lady, so I will give it my best shot. 
Happy quilting Sue SA.

All in hard days work

 Thursday night I went to the quilters guild meeting and borrowed this book from the library, as I needed to make a girls cot quilt.  AND then I was lucky enough to win four fat quarters that were just perfect to start my project!  But that's not all, as I was leaving, a lady from my group (thank you Julie!) introduced me to two of my blog followers, Dawn and Jude - which was a lovely surprise, so it was a great night out! 

OK so I shouldn't really be starting any more quilts, but with a pattern and fabric in hand it was all too tempting!  I  had to dig through my novelty collection to find some bright prints that would complement the pink and green.  Now I wouldn't normally use bugs for a girls quilt, but they were all so cute, and with two boys I don't have any real girly fabric in my stash.   So I was able to use the pink, green and white polka dot fabric that I won.  But I needed more yardage for the sashing, so back in the stash and came up with this yellow dot fabric.  Bit out there isn't it!  Anyway so that was this mornings work. 

This afternoon I just "whipped up" this single Irish chain.... yeah I know I am NOT suppose to be starting new quilts, but all that digging in my stash unearthed ever better "girl" fabric.  Besides with two friends due to have babies soon (one is over due) and lots of girls already in the family I figured that two cot quilts was better then one!  Mind you not sure when I am going to quilt them, but that's another issue.  Oh and I am going to put a border on the green/pink quilt, just that DS2 woke up before I could cut more fabric.  So besides sewing today, I also made some muffins with DS1 and applied the second coat of oil on our outdoor table - ready for alfresco dining now!  Today DH was also  very busy, but doing some proper "heavy" work, paving... here is DS1 hard at work ... good little worker isn't he!
 Happy quilting Sue SA.

Love a good design wall

DH has been on holidays this week, hence I have free access to the PC and his handyman skills during the day! So 1 minute is about the time it took DH to drill in three cup hooks to hang a piece of dowel.  Then another minute to unearth my batting box, which was overflowing with batting scraps and this large piece of prequilted calico.  Prequilted calico is good for making tote bags, but used wrong side out it also proves to be a great design wall!  So not sure why it has taken me two years to organise one?   Anyway now that I have got a design wall I am making good use of it.
 This is a quilt top that I put together for the charity quilting group I belong to, Quilts from the Heart.  Alan is in his early 80's and donated all the blocks, apparently they were "left overs".  He couldn't be convinced that they were of use to him (he had already made two quilts with this pattern (not sure what the blocks are called sorry) and wanted them to go to a good home, which was lucky for us.  So I used some of the fabric we had received recently (good patchwork fabric but dated prints), which had come from the family of a lady who had gone into a nursing home.  We don't usually get nice large pieces of patchwork fabric donated, so it was a joy to piece the top together.  Our fearless leader generously quilts all the tops on her long arm machine, so it is now waiting its turn.      

 These are my wedding blocks, made by my Sydney quilting group friends - what do you think about sashing them? 

Thanks for the comments re colours (other then red!), it gave me the motivation I needed (LOL!) to go to the patchwork shop and audition some options.  I decided on this nice reproduction, its a grey blue with a small tone on tone floral print. 

So now I just have to decide if I am going to sash them or put them on point, what do you think?

I have 50 blocks and they are 6" finished, so either way they are going to make a reasonable sized quilt.

I have had more votes from my current group for the on point option.  Which I like, but can then see the need to do some nice quilting in the plain blocks and hence making me quilt it myself!  Still they are a treasured reminder of my time in Sydney and the friends I made, so they warrant something special.  Not sufficient sentiment to hand quilt,  the Eastwood ladies were very skilled at hand piecing and hand quilting however this didn't rub off on me - I am definitely a machine girl!  Happy quilting Sue!

Something old and something new

This my completed version of Millies Flower Garden, I have used "jewel" tone fabrics, rather then the 1930's prints that I originally saw it completed in.  The only really change I made was  adding the four patch corner stones because I ran out of border fabric (it was from my stash) but I think it looks better for it.  I am really pleased to have completed this project at last, so THANK YOU Kylie for giving me the encouragement!  I must say this is also the first time I have sewn down the binding, hanging sleeve and the label all in the one sitting and that felt great! 

 Hot on the heels of having a "finish" I decided to throw caution to the wind and purchase some flannels for a quilt for my best friend's birthday.  Last time my BF visited (she lives in Victoria) she admired the flannel quilt that lives on the back of DH arm chair, in particular the terracotta sashing.  So I brought 10 different flannels of which she OKed 8, to make her a large lap quilt.  Not being a quilter, but the daughter of a quilter, she had some idea about patterns, but declined an offer to choose one, rather happy for me to use the same pattern as the one owned by me - you can see it in the picture.   This pattern is called "Take 12 Fat Quarters Quilt or Quillo" and was designed by Deb Thompson of the Old German Quilthouse in Geelong (Vic) - which has closed down.  So I just need to buy four more fat quarters (or 30 cm strips in my case) and I can start this quick and easy quilt.  Yes I know I wasn't going to start anything new, but my BF has known me more then 20 years and NEVER even hinted for a quilt so I figure she deserves one sooner rather then later. 
This is a poor quality photo (the colours are not this dark) of a quilt I made with my mother, for my grandmother (my mothers mother) about eight years ago.  I had been quilting for a few years but my mother was fairly new to patchwork when I proposed this quilt.  So we made half the blocks each, but to ensure uniform sized blocks we used paper foundation papers from the Quilters Barn (Vic).  The idea was to use up pink and green fabric from our own stashes so the quilt matched the colours of my grandmothers lounge room.  My grandmother passed away in early September, aged 95 and my mother now has the quilt.  I am glad we made the quilt but I regret that we didn't make it in her favorite colour - turquoise.  My grandmother was a very creative lady and made me the most wonderful outfits for my barbie dolls.  I had Grandma's precious Bernina sewing machine up until last yeary and I was delighted to pass it onto my cousin (the only other granddaughter and youngest grandchild) who is also very creative and is pursing a career in the fashion industry .   
This quilt was made by my mother and is an original design, that came about from participating in a groups challenge.  The decision (by their group coordinator)  to make a row quilt (with different instructions each month) was a good one as it made the maths a bit easier.  I love this quilt (although I am not a Kaffe Fasset fabric fan) and in particular the colourful braid borders.  I think this type of challenge is a very good way to learn new skills and extend yourself as a quilter.  So after a nice long weekend with my family I need to get back to the grind stone and see if I can squeeze some more quilting in this week while DS is home on school, or in our case kinder holidays. 


Kim Diehl star in a churn dash blocks

I was just popping in to read some of my favorite bloggers, after a six month absence!  Then I saw that there was this draft post, so figure...