A riot of scrappy colour

 I thought I had better show you the complete view of my finished Rainbow quilt. 
It is a narrow single bed quilt (14 x 74") but DS1 loves it and its been perfect for snuggling on the couch during the cold mornings. 
Then because I had been away from my machine I was hungry for some simple piecing.  While we were away Bonnie Hunter announced the end of the Spool block leaders and enders challenge...she has quilted and bound her spool quilt already!
 So not wanting to create another UFO (well that's my excuse) I started piecing blocks together.
And kept stitching as the kids were happy to be able to play outside, after nearly a week of being housebound.  You could say I was as "happy as a pig in mud" chaining piecing the day away!
And I kept stitching until I had a flimsy measuring 45 x 48".  I have about 12 blocks left over, nearly all of them are red!  So if I made a few more blocks (I have pieces cut out waiting) I could add an extra row, but it would be a very red row, what do you think? ;)
So now to decide if it needs a border, or can just go into the pile of tops waiting to be quilted?  I will have to assess my stash for potential border fabrics but I am happy to buy something, as this is what I call a "free" quilt, largely made from scraps and some stash reduction to even up the colours.   
Happy quilting, Sue SA.
PS I have never had a pile of tops (3) waiting to be quilted before, makes me feel like a "real" quilter!

PPS DH's niece said she would love to own this quilt - which was lucky as I made it with her in mind!  However she doesn't want the purple border.  That's OK by me as I didn't have enough fabric anyway, but do you think it looks a little unfinished with just the narrow pink border?  Should I do a final border in the background teal green spots OR leave it as it is and bind it in the pink?  All comments and suggestions are welcome!

School holiday fun

We have had a lovely break in Victoria for the school holidays visiting family.  The weather was cold though and I have to get my head around the fact that 3 C overnight does not mean that I will be able to make a snowman in the morning!  Mind you we got home to Adelaide only to discover there had been a sprinkle of snow on Mt Lofty that morning!
Hand sewing was the order of the day, helping pass the long hours spent in the car.  I made most of these hexies three years ago and never sewed them together...because I got distracted and started Seven Sisters.  They are now destine to become a table runner, just a few more rows and it will be long enough. 

We enjoyed some shopping and new purchases were made, more reproductions!  I visited all three patchwork shops in Geelong, but still didn't find the Primitive Gatherings fabric I was looking for.  I didn't complain because DH normally avoids taking me to one shop, let alone all three!  These fabrics came from The Blanket Box in Newcomb.  I love shops that stock reproductions in fat 1/8's and they had a great selection. 
We had a lovely outing to the Werribee Zoo and we enjoyed visiting the gorillas, who are very quick and larger then you realise, when up close.  They came shooting out of their enclosure to find the food the keeper had hidden, but there were no surprises, they could smell tucker and quickly found it.

We nearly "ran" into the keeper taking the Serval for a "walk".  The keeper was great and answered all my questions (they are a jumping/leaping cat who kill birds mid flight up to 3 m in the air!) and also tried to give us a demo.  Alas the Serval wasn't up for performing tricks and waited for the meat to fall off the stick instead!
The first lot of hippos were enjoying a lazy day around the pool, the second lot were swimming and did a big impressive yawn for us, but unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the bus for a photo.  Definitely not tempted to get up close once you see how big their mouth is and the size of the teeth!
 The original wool shed for the Werribee Mansion is on the zoo grounds so we got to visit that.  Unfortunately there was no time to see the mansion as well (plus its a separate entrance fee), and two boys were tired from running around outside,
and in. Still there is always next time, as the gardens at Werribee Mansion are famous for their roses, so we will plan a visit when they are in full bloom.  Instead I found a teapot tree...which I wouldn't have know what it was (we were driving past), except I had seen one on Michelle Hills blog!
Happy to be home and to get back to some machine time, happy quilting, Sue SA.
PS just noted the watering cans "growing" in the bottom left of the picture!

Pedal to the metal

I had the urge to finish something last weekend.  So I quilted and bound this mini quilt.  Sorry about the picture, but taken inside, so you cannot see my quilting, which I am actually very proud of, because I deviated from straight lines OR stitch in the ditch! 
This week I had very limited Internet access as we had used up our allowance.  So the finishes are growing more quickly then previously anticipated.  It just goes to show how much time I waste!
 Hmmm this is the only photo I have of the FINISHED Rainbow QAYG string quilt.  Blame the rain and two boys who delighted in rolling around on the finished top and were very cute "pretending" to be asleep...which lasted 3 minutes!  Actually it needs a label and so does the mini quilt, so technically neither are a finish....yeah right!
During the week after I wore a hole in my finger stitching down bindings, I switched over and worked on my Yellow Sister...I think this will be my last!  Last night I started making triangles to fill in those gaps...so they are complete hexagons and I can decide on a layout.  Well that's the theory.
 Saturday I stayed home and worked on my Dresden Plate quilt top.  I made all the pink centres, machine appliqued them down and then joined the blocks together.  It took a whole morning.  I am kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner!
The weight of the pieced plates has made for a heavy top.  I found it tricky to sew straight when putting the pink border on.  This purple fabric is what I originally brought for the final border...but that was before I brought the pink.  I don't know, what do you think, does it work?  I was aiming for a purple quilt (the intended recipient likes purple), but hot pink is dominating so far. I only have a metre of the purple, so need to purchase more if I stick with the original plan.
 Then I started working on the Blue Twister (using Indigo Crossing by Moda) quilt, which I really really want to finish. I found the extra fabric I needed during the week, so I made the final border Saturday afternoon.  About 2/3 of the way through cutting the little twisters out, I cut too far...boo hoo!  Luckily I had a 2" scrap and I was able to piece that into the border and it worked.  Phew.  However I am completely out of the the background fabric now!  Oh well that's not a disaster...unless the shop is all sold out...and they are located on the other side of Adelaide, but fingers crossed!  In the mean time I cut a blue skinny border, to see how that looks...I think this layout works....just so long as the background fabric is available!  This might be the last time I make a quilt without a pattern!
And finally I finished the day by piecing the long rows of this quilt.  Just realised it looks awful on the bottom row, but it is straight I promise!  I had run out of the blue/grey leaf print in the bottom row, but as good luck had it I had some in my stash.  The fabric for this quilt was gifted to me by Lisa, and I started it while we were away on our quilting weekend in May.  I am pleased to finish it, but bit scared to trim the edges, especially the top edge, don't want to loose that zig or zag!
Phew, you exhausted?  Yep me too.  Knocked off this afternoon so DH and I could take the kids to the train park, it rained a bit, but we had some family fun, so hopefully that makes up for my ignoring them somewhat during the week!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Bunny rug for baby - tutorial

Want to help me to make a present for newly arrived/expected soon babies?  My mother continuously asked me if I had any bunny rugs when I was expecting DS1, I never found any in the shops the same as she had when we were born (although the hospital had them), but this is my home made equivalent.  
In this post I used a 75 cm length x width of fabric in two different flannel prints.  In the past I have also made them 1 metre x width of fabric. Take your two pieces of flannel and iron (steam is best) them right sides together.  I try to line up one short and one long edge - the animal fabric was not as wide as the pink, go figure I thought width was standard!
 Trim the selvage's off both sides, and even up the top and bottom.
 Using a side plate as a guide, cut off each corner so that it is rounded.
 Pin the corners as you go.  I didn't bother pinning the straight edges, as the flannel sticks together really well if you iron it all over first.  Yeah I know, who likes ironing, but it makes for a better result!
 Using your walking foot, sew a quarter inch seam right around the edge of your blanket, leaving a 5" gap.  Make sure you do a little reverse on each side of your gap.  (If you have a overlocker, you may like to also stitch the edges to reinforce them, making sure you do the gap edges separately.)
 Put your hand into the gap and grab the nearest corner, then pull the rest of the blanket through carefully.  Press the whole blanket again, taking care with the edges, ensuring they are fully pulled out.  I kind of roll the edge between my fingers (not sure how else to describe it!) to make sure the two layers sit flat.  You could also gently poke the edges out with your finger from the inside.  Iron down the seam allowance at your opening, so they sit nicely.
Now using a coordinating thread, top stitch (sew a 1/8" seam) right around the blanket edge, sealing up the opening.  The top stitching reinforces the seams, as flannel does tend to fray over time and this blanket will be washed a lot.  If you like you can do two round of top stitching to make it extra secure.
And your done, one bunny rug for baby!  If you use the 75cm length they make good baby wraps for newborns, if you go the longer drop they are more suitable as a cot blanket - or perfect for autumn born babies that are going to be wrapped (and grow longer) right through winter and cooler spring nights.
I made four, two for gifts (one pink for a girl and one green for gender unconfirmed) and two I am sending HERE....for the babies of PNG, if you wish to help also read this POST
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...