From little things, big things grow

This cushion was made on a whim, so the end size didnt fit any of the inserts I had. So I made up the back, stuck the too small insert in it, pinned around the pillow shape, too it out and stitched on that line...presto a flange edged cushion!
 Yesterday I finally got around to making up this pattern for a bin for the car...its a lot longer then I expected, but that's what happens when you don't read the dimensions first!  I might make a shorter one for DH car, it was very quick to make, took me more time to choose fabric from my stash then anything!  This pattern is by A Ditchin Time Quilts blog and her Car Trash bag tutorial can be found HERE. Please note that I found the pellon insert to be a tad too small/ make a tube of stiff pellon insert (I used interfacing) that sits inside then you can tuck a plastic bag into it - hence it doesn't poke out over the top, but you have a disposable bin liner......very practical!
 I finally got around to finishing these oven mitts for my Dad...I had quilted the fabric up, but hadn't sewn the binding on.  Yesterday I decided I really needed to do that, but wanted to use the left over backing from my Flange cushion and there wasn't enough to make it the corners are a bit rough...would have looked nicer curved.  Still they are MAN sized and long  so the backs of his hands are protected...his major complaint about store purchased oven mitts. 
 I endeavoured to squeeze in as much stitching as possible yesterday plus tick a few things off my to do list.  So I FINALLY made a Once A Month themed project....this is a wall hanging for Spring/September!!  It is nearly finished, just need some hanging loops on the back.  This cute free pattern "Hello Spring" is by Charise of Charise Creates blog and can be found HERE.  I went a bit overboard with the quilting, very out of practise with my free motion, but I am happy with the results.
Charise creates her own foundation pieced patterns and has a awesome FREE vintage sewing machine pattern and another with a dressmakers model in it.  I have printed that out for another I hope to stitch some more basket blocks for our new summer quilt....and perhaps watch some of the AFL grand final.....DH is a Hawthorn supporter so "Go Hawks!"
Happy quilting Sue SA.

Some work in progress shots

Wow Explorer wants to play nice and do a post, yipee!  I was using Goggle Chrome, but then it was playing up while I was trying to read blogs...would get stuck and you couldnt scroll, so could only read the first few lines of peoples post...or just their header if was a big one, all very frustrating.  So after considerable thinking I decided to read in Explorer and post using Explorer is messing with my mind and being super nice so I am going to use it for both..... fingers crossed!
Before our visitors arrived last weekend I scrounged through the left over strips and managed to find enough to piece the extra 12 blocks I needed to make this top longer.  The piecing resulted in another 6 spool blocks, but they are from the same fabric as the others, so no picture.   I am happy with the size of this quilt now and think it justifies a shopping trip to purchase fabric for a border.  Everything else came out of my stash, so I dont have much left in the purple and green department, in fact so little they fit in a standard draw along with my neutrals!
I had a lovely few hours in the garden last weekend, working to uncover the clivias hidden under a jungle of jasmine.  I also discovered this abondoned blackbirds nest complete with eggs and a tree that we didnt know was growing!  Its a decidious tree and just starting to bud, so now we have to wait and see if we can work out what sort of tree it is - when the leaves appear.  
After my parents arrived my mother expressed a wish for a trip to Hetties Patch....I needed little encouraging, as I have not been for a long time.  My expressed purpose was to find binding for my little Ohio star quilt, which was found and purchased - sorry no pictures as it has been cut and stitched on the quilt...just waiting to hand sew down.  These neutrals with white backgrounds and bright colours were also purchased, perfect for the background of my newly started basket quilt.
Happy quilting, Sue SA.
Sunday turned out to be a very productive day for me in terms of sewing...hmmm Sat was pretty good too!  Mainly because my two little men were so good at entertaining themselves.  Here they are "fishing" in our swimming pool.  The conversation was very entertaining as they bragged about how many fish they were catching!
I decided that I needed to start our new quilt, its going to be a summer quilt, although I doubt it will be ready for summer.   We only have one quilt for our bed...shock horror gasp!  It is a dark blue and cream snail trail (you can view it HERE), I still love it, but the colours and wool wadding make it most suitable for use in winter.  The basket quilt that I fell in love with HERE uses a fresh bright colour palette that deviates from my usual warm/country tones. 

 But when I had a look in my stash there were sufficient fat quarters to help add to the scrappiness and I got some yardage on sale, super special sale!  As you can see I made a start on seven blocks.  I need 9 with the triangle pattern and 4 with the square.  I did a fair amount of cutting in preparation, but then decided I still needed more colour/fabric mix before I make any more, so I can achieve that real scrappy look I love.  I also need to get to work on hand sewing the handles down, which is something I am putting off - the instructions are to use your favorite method - and I am not sure what that is!  I love the look of needle turn appliqué but after many years of not doing any I no longer seem to get the method I learned to work well for me.  Which is something I have to address soon, given that the next lot of blocks all have appliquéd fruit in the baskets!The leaders and enders worked well with piecing the baskets as it was slow and steady work, as I sorted colours and patterns.  I finished another 10 spool blocks, so my total count is up to 31....just bragging cos I notice that Bonnie is only at 19.  Hmmm but we wont mention how I cheat when it comes to putting the final three pieces together, I might slip two through at a time!  Definitely need some more colour though, will have to remember when I kit the next lot up.  
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Keep calm and carry on quilting!

The need to make small achievable items could stem from the large single bed quilt tops I have finished of late.....or perhaps because I have been dreaming of an interesting collection of cushions for so long that I had five new cushion forms in my sewing cupboard.
I saw this Union Jack Cushion over at Sweet P's blog (you need to scroll down - pic at the end) who was at a quilt was made with squares and half square triangles...I had drawn up my own pattern previously for foundation piecing, so just let myself be swept away on a whim Friday and got it finished Saturday.  If you look closely you can see that the white fabric has a scissor print on it and the red has a button print.  I brought the scissor print Thursday when I couldn't find fabric with writing on it, like  Lisa is using in her spool blocks.  This is my version of "Keep Calm and Carry on"... Quilting!

This stitchery has been a UFO for some years...I don't confess to UFOs that are not quilts!  It would have be finished earlier if I had planned better and made it the right size to actually fit one of the cushions forms l already had!!!  I ended up using an old cushion insert that was a bit flat, so it makes for a very plump cushion!  This is now pride of place on the spare bed in my sewing room ....the couch is nearly full of cushions!
This is the pattern book the stitchery came from - Country friends is a combined effort by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly and Wendy Brigg.
****While I am acknowledging authors/pattern designers, the pattern for the animal heat bags that I posted about HERE is called Hot Buddies by Millamac - one of my favourite Aussie designers.

In order to keep making leaders n ender spool blocks I decided to piece together the Schnibbles quilt McGuffey, started HERE in June with some of my After Dark Friends.   Of course it came together in no time at all and I was left wondering why that took me so long to get around to!   So I think I will add a pieced border, what do you think?   It needs a solid narrow border first, just not sure what colour, any suggestions?

 I cannot find my book...but I think the pattern has a piano key border and I have lots of fabric left over, so might try one.  Its currently 48" square, so not too bad a lap quilt size.

And the bonus, more spool blocks.  I ran out of background fabric pieces so dug out my collection of already cut scrap 1.5" strips and snaffled the few pales and cut them into 3.5" lengths.  I was then so tempted by the gorgeous rainbow of colours on offer in this bag that I cut a few strips and 1.5" squares out of pretty new prints for more spools.
I am really loving making these cute little blocks.  Total = 21 blocks made!  Hope your having a great weekend, happy quilting Sue SA.
PS solved ALL my posting issues by using Goggle Chrome instead of Internet Explorer, yippee!

But its a nice day outside!

I always feel really guilty when I stay inside sewing and its a really nice day outside.  That's why I like winter, because rarely do I feel guilty of "wasting" a nice day! 
 I have finally stopped thinking about leaders and enders and actually prepared some a few weeks ago, after prompting from Lisa - who was prompted by Bonnie Hunters challenge to make 3" finished spool blocks using 1.5" strips.   I actually didn't read Lisa's email properly and later found out she is making her blocks larger, which makes more sense, but it was too late for me as I had already started cutting extra 1.5" strips.
 While I had some 1.5" strips already cut, I decided I needed to cut up some more fabric out of my stash that I didn't "love" anymore.  The only problem with this is that you can get heaps of blocks out of one strip (especially if its not a fat quarter but the whole width of fabric), so I have a very limited range of blocks made so far.  I think I might utilise my pre cut strips of scrap when I need to kit the next lot up.  So far I have made 10 blocks.  I did a quick calculation in the shower the other morning (well fogged up shower screens are good for those of us who cannot do multiplication in their heads!) and worked out I needed 144 blocks to make a lap size quilt, give or take.  But later realised that was not true, I would only get 4 rows of 12 blocks which was 36" wide, so to get 12 rows by 12 I need 432 blocks!  Hmmm this might be a long long long term project!
 So in order to get more leaders and enders through the machine I whipped up these two cushion's out of furnishing fabric a friend gave me a long time ago.  I love this fabric, for the leaf print and the colours.  
I also made this little four patch table topper to cover my notions draw, which I have moved, so it can now double as a bedside table in my sewing room/guest bedroom.  Green seems to be the theme here at present.  I also fished out an old stitchery and made it up into a cushion front, but need a zip to complete construction and a finished the red nine patch which will also become a cushion cover - once I can get the red backing fabric to stop bleeding - is it salt or vinegar you add to the water?  Another job for today to sort out.  While the sun is shining I am doing lots of washing - but my excuse for being inside is DS2 who isn't well and had us up half the night....perhaps we can both have a nap in the sun later....because it truly is a beautiful spring day outside.  Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Offline achievements

I successfully made four humbug bags and stuffed the fifth one up, but that's OK as they are pencil cases for my Christmas boxes - so the last one looks more like a traditional pencil case!
The border fabric was purchased and attached to the Kwik Krazy Star quilt.  I am really pleased with it and its off to the long arm quilter today.  I pieced a backing as my bargain back wasn't big enough, but I found some cute fabrics to match - ironically I had to pick two that also were the end of the bolt, but the three prints work well together, just took me awhile to work out the best way to make everything fit.  It was also so large (single bed) that I had to peg it sideways on the clothes line to take the photo.   Please excuse my layout but having lots of problems with Blogger, not all the buttons in the composing page are visible and only 1/3 of the window where you compose - and pictures disappear if you try to move them, all very frustrating after being off line so long!  Happy quilting Sue SA.

Testing - third attempt!

Yes, I am still alive.  I have been sick again, nothing life threatening, just annoying.  More to the point I have been off line with IT upgrades, which equates to pain in the *&%$#! fiddling and waiting, but apparently we now have bigger and better internet!  So while I was off line I did sew.  I finished this heat bag Dog, which DS1 claimed.  So then DS2 insisted he needed a pink rabbit, so that was made and filled with wheat.  Then I decided a present for a friend was in order and I made the cat...just in time for the heat wave in Adelaide, but luckily it only lasted two days!  Got to go, one hot cat to deliver!  Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Postscript: The pattern for the animal heat bags is called Hot Buddies by Millamac - one of my favourite Aussie designers.

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...