2013 Wish List Revisted

Quilts I did make from my wish list this year were;
 a Zig Zag quilt, (for a niece) it is finished just not in this photo!
Childs Quilt (Blue I Spy) for charity,

Cowboy Quilt (for charity),
 Dinosaur cushions (for my boys),
 Dresden Plate Quilt (for a niece),
Autumn table runner (for me)
and the Modern quilt were all started and finished in 2013.
Then there were several ongoing projects that I did work on:
Seven Sisters, which grew and grew and I am still searching for the right fabric or design to join all the "sisters" together, so it "works".
Basket quilt - our summer bed quilt, perhaps ready for next summer!  Actually I am sad that I didn't progress further on this quilt, but it is because I lost my applique skills/confidence and the next set of baskets all have appliqued fruit in them.  However as I have finally got the knack/confidence/desire to FMQ, I am hoping a few lessons will revive my needle turn skills in 2014.
The other wish list project I wanted to start and did - but made no progress on was the "Blue stars in sashing" or Milky Way quilt.  Here it is in its box, all cut and ready to go!  This is a simple pattern of 5" blue squares with blue sashings and white stars as the cornerstones.  I brought a white fabric with tiny chocolate spots.  But then decided I didn't like it...too white...too spotty...?  I think I need to make a few blocks before I ditch the fabric and see what they look like on mass.  This summer is probably a good time to give it a whirl!
And an new project that I need to add to the UFO list, is the reproduction nine patch.  I have up trying to find any more matching background fabric - but I did squeeze out enough scraps to add the corner triangles which are missing in this photo.  I have brought a Moda solid that I hope blends nicely, just need to decide what sort of border I want/the quilt deserves?
So that just left a log cabin, red and white wall hanging, spring table runner, house block quilt and delectable mountains quilt all on the wish list that didn't get started!  Oh well there is always next year!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my fellow bloggers.  

May your celebrations be full of good cheer, good food and good friends.  I hope that 2014 brings you good health and plenty of stitching fun!

(Jumbleberry Santas, a May Blossom pattern by Simone Gooding)
 Happy quilting, Sue SA.

The modern quilt

Finally I finished the modern quilt, started in a class with Lyn Uphill (Riverlea Quilts) earlier this year.  
 The journey has been an interesting one.  I started with colours and prints that I would usually never buy, but felt were more appropriate for the theme.  I had made all the blocks in class, but was at a loss as to how to best put them together.  Lisa came to the rescue at our sewing weekend away in May helping me with the layout design and the top was finished.

The top then had to wait a few months before I was able to tackle the quilting. And in the process I learned that I CAN free motion quilt.  Well enough to finish the quilt and happily tackle other projects with a fresh eye and new approach.  Thank you modern quilt, I learned a great deal along the way!

Baking and binding

I have been busy for the past week doing all the usual Christmas things, baking, buying and wrapping presents, attending social functions and binding!
 I thought it was worthwhile channelling my inner Nana, by using my great grandmother's rolling pin and the pastry recipe my mother in law gave me, which came from her mother in law.
As I was terribly worried that my first real attempt at making my own pastry for mince pies would be a flop.  But obviously good tools and recipe paid off, as they were yummy...but then DH announced he doesn't actually like mince pies and silly muggins has been making them every year we have been married!  
Don't worry I am sure my Dad will help me eat them!
I have a birthday this month, so have a get together with a school friend who has one too and swap pressies.  This was my gift...it helps that her mother has taken up patchwork!  Cannot wait to make something gorgeous with this layer cake after Christmas, I have a pattern already picked out.
More binding completed and some more FMQ on a little "not too Christmas"  table mat, inspired by a picture over HERE (at Snippets of a Quilter blog) and actual the pattern which I altered over HERE at Shabby Fabrics!  The binding pile is now reduced to one quilt, so I am off to play the final few episodes of Downton Abbey on DVD and hopefully finish the binding on the modern quilt. 
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Quilters Christmas Tree

I had to show you this gorgeous Christmas tree! 

I stole this photo from the Freebies for Crafters blog HERE and they got the tutorial on how make this tree HERE from Home Talk.
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Quick, hurry its nearly Christmas!

I am on a mission to finish the last of the projects in my sewing room before Christmas.  Saturday I sat and finished the last of the FMQ on my modern quilt.  Only to discover this ...
when I was 3/4 way through trimming the edges!  So there was some huffing, puffing and unpicking!  It is all done now and I am just hand stitching the binding down at my leisure.
The cute elf stitchery I completed while on holidays in Fiji just needed some FMQ on the border and the background and is now complete, hanging loops, label and all, ready to hang now...if I can find a spare hook!
And finally the Autumn table runner that has been on my wish list all year has been completed.  I tried to FMQ around the twisters in a variegated thread and it was harder then it looked.  However it is all done and ready for autumn...early!  I wont say that I am overly pleased, it is nice but not my favorite project.  Mainly because I found this Autumn issue of the French magazine Quilt Mania after I started and I am now busting to make one of the stunning projects from it!
However if I am going to do that I might just need to brush up on my applique skills quick.  Although they had a pattern for cute pieced pumpkins : )  And in the background is the cute paper pieced moose (Margaret Rolfe pattern), which I pretend are reindeer's and have come out for their annual December airing!
The quilt group I belong to had their Christmas break up last week and this was my lovely Secret Santa gift, five fat quarters, plus the one cute bright fat quarter at the bottom - that we all got from the group.
Right got to go, as this was the progress picture of binding awaiting me on Saturday and I am only half way through tackling it!  Oh and I have Christmas baking planned for today, pictures of that later!
Happy quilting Sue SA.


Dresden Plate show and tell

The Dresden Plate quilt was made in a class with Heather Ford, using a jelly roll. If you live in Adelaide, Heather teaches classes at Tricias Discount Fabrics, Edwardstown.    
  To say that I am pleased is an understatement...I am strutting around like a proud mother, showing off this baby! The quilt is been given away at Christmas to my husbands niece and it will be hard to part with.
Elaine Kennedy, my friend and long arm quilter, used a cute border pattern along the edge. 
 And dropped a square design over each Dresden Plate, which is a bit hard to see...
but it then formed a secondary pattern in the negative space, that I absolutely love.
Although my quilting skills still have room for improvement, I was very pleased with my FMQ efforts on this charity quilt top.  I quilted around most of the big flowers in the border and then stippled in the centre.  My accuracy has improved and because it is a large lap/SB topper I was able to keep going without getting jammed up and having to stop and start all the time.  So there were very few ends to finish off, which was nice! Mum hand stitched half the binding down for me while over visiting, so that helped to get this cutie off my to do list even quicker!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Before the power went out...

I received a gorgeous gift from Susan at Thimble stitch in the mail recently...this cute zipper pull.  Of course I needed a NEW cute purse to put it on and so I made one!  I followed all Susan's blog posts (cos she is smart and puts labels on her posts unlike me!) until I found the link she had provided to the free pattern tutorial for the pouch she found here at Noodle-head.
And once you have made one (and worked out your mistakes!) and discovered they are such fun you need to make more, because these are going to be great teacher gifts!  There was a small moment of panic when DH text me to say his plane had landed and the kids and I were all still in our PJ's!  So I had to take time out to wash, dress and drive to the airport!  Luckily DH was content to unpack while I finished them off!

The next day though we woke up without power :(  thank goodness for ipads and that DH insisted on a gas stove top, so coffee and blogging was still possible.  And stitching, well hand work was in order and
so why not make a button garland for my mini Christmas tree!
 So now the Christmas decorations are up, the gardening up to speed and the non electrical housework (yep I washed windows!) is done (amazing what you can achieve when there is no power) I can play today on my sewing machine, right got to go, plenty of UFO's to finish! Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Busy, busy, busy.....

I have been so preoccupied of late that I neglected to show you this wonderful gift of a block keeper I received from my Aunt.
My Aunt is very  talented in both embroidery and  patchwork, but mainly embroiders.  They visited in September and she sent me this gift as a thank you present, but it arrived while we were in Fiji.  Did you know that when you put your mail on hold with the PO (and pay them good money) that it doesn't count for parcels?  Yep that's right, the fun stuff still gets delivered, but the bills stay safe!  
 Lucky for us we have lovely neighbours who spotted more then one precious parcel lying in full view of the world by our front door (the other parcel contained fabric!) and they kept them safe.  So my block holder works well, keeping 2 UFOs safe while I ponder the realities of miniatures and my wonky less then perfect 1/4" seams that resulted in points being lost :(
On a positive note I made a quick dash to start another project from this years wish list...an autumn themed table runner.  Thought I would use up some of my home made charm squares, but this didn't make much of a dent in them.  Still once its pressed and quilted it will do nicely for the table.  Now back to finishing the binding on my Dresden Plate quilt before the calendar ticks over and we are in December!!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.
PS I received another tiny but cute pressie in the mail, but the camera keeps flashing and I cannot get a good picture this morning, but I promise one over the weekend!

Dresden Plate - back from the long arm quilters

I took delivery of my Dresden Plate from the long arm quilter this week, thank you Elaine! 
  I think I am in love!
And then I received some quilty love, from the Grade 1 class that I helped to make a quilt, isn't this the most gorgeous "quilt" card you have ever seen! 
The joy is in the giving, but its nice to receive such a heartfelt thank you :)
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

The good, the bad and the ugly of FMQ

I know Lego sewing machines don't have anything to do with FMQ, but I figured it was worth showing off!
 The modern quilt demanded my attention on Saturday, after I had fluffed the best part of the day away.  I promised myself that I would finish it before Christmas. That was unlikely to happen, but the newsagent sold me the new copy of an USA quilting magazine on Friday. 
 In the magazine they had a very similar looking "modern" quilt, with lots of blank canvas for FMQ.  But the best bit was this magazine includes diagrams on HOW to achieve that quilting pattern.  So I tried squiggles.
 And then I experimented with squiggles that go both directions.
 And I attempted waves.  The tricky bit was getting around the corner.
And I tried to fill in the blank spaces with square FMQ.  I must doddle in squares, cos all my previous attempts at FMQ fillers have ended in tears, but this pattern and I hit it off. 
Now I am not saying that I mastered FMQ, or that any of this is even good, but I managed to quilt most of the quilt, without killing anyone, harming small furry animals, resorting to alcohol or having a hissy fit.  There was unpicking involved, but I was fairly laid back about that as well...the Guild will not be recruiting me to teach or display my FMQ anytime soon, but I am one happy "nearly finished" modern quilter.  Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Retail frenzy at the Quilt show

I don't drink, smoke or gamble, but I do need to feed my fabric habit from time to time!  These are my purchases from the Quilt show last Friday.  However prior to going there I had a delightful morning in Norwood, having coffee, cake and chat with Shay (Quilting in my Pyjamas).  The noisy cafĂ© wasn't the place for patchwork show and tell, but hopefully we can do that next time! 
  I can assure you the red "jelly roll" (e.g. not a Moda pre cut) was NOT a bargain and I completely assign the blame to Stacy for that purchase!  Having said that, I have long desired a red jelly roll, so it was the perfect find.  Someone asked me what I was going to make with it...d'oh, who knows!  Hmm perhaps that Irish Chain quilt that I have always intended to make? The little light will be perfect for hand work and is cordless, so great for group meetings and camp.  The matching layer cake and charm squares are for a quilt pattern which hasn't been released (by a well known SA quilter who displayed the quilt in the show - noting that it was intended as a pattern release) so I guess they were "needed" but might be sitting in the cupboard for awhile yet! 
Obviously some of the wool felt was for making the pattern for the Santa's.  I like making one new Christmas decorations each year, but I really needed to do it in July!  I have enjoyed this hand project every evening for a week and now just have to work out how to "blanket stitch" them into three D shapes...that's the only instruction that alludes me!
This is Sunday's purchases.  Yes I went to the quilt show twice, as I had a "date" to meet Sue (Quilted Hugs).  Unfortunately we only had a short time, but viewed the quilts together and did a bit more
shopping.  I brought more wool felt, as I would like to make a autumn themed wall hanging and it was very cheap. The bundle of blades, new permanent pen (with fat nib for easy label writing) and oil "pen" I consider all essential tools of my trade!  Sue and I also brought these sewing machine needles that the sales man said were "superior" to anything else...if it helps my machine quilting, bring it on I say!  I also got some papers for 8 pointed stars, another pattern, a few fat quarters and some rick rack. 

To continue confessing my retail purchases I brought this beautiful layer cake from Ann (Periwinkle Patchwork) back in October, but the dark blue fabric and wadding are recent purchases, to finish the two kids tops I made recently.  
Phew, glad that is all over, now to get down to some serious sewing,
Happy quilting Sue SA.

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...