What a lovely Christmas...opps I started a new project...again!

I have a birthday close to Christmas, so most of these pressies are birthday, but a few Christmas ones from my quilty friends, when we had dinner together before Christmas.
Vicki made me this lovely table runner using the modern curved ruler.  Lisa gave me this cute seam roller for those pesky seams that don't want to sit flat!
Hubby brought me a book full of fun projects and Lisa brought me one by Kim Diehl and Jo Morton - Simple Friendships, which prompted us to make a quilt out of it, and we choose Warm Regards, a mix of piecing and applique.  Well the way the book works is that Jo and Kim both make a version of the same quilt.  Warm Regards is Kim's version, which I am making.  
We had a sewing day together to get things started.  I continued to work on it the next day, prepping applique pieces and couldn't resist making a few of the pieced blocks.
 I have decided to not make the berries as yo yo's mainly because I don't have the Clover yo yo maker in the small size, but I do have Perfect Circles.  Lisa is making the Jo Morton version of this quilt (all pieced) but in the Kim layout, so she can include yo yo's...they are her favorite quilty thing!
Vicki's day job is long arm quilting and she brought me back my second Vivid Grid quilt, after working her magic on it.  I love this quilting panto!  I machine stitched the binding yesterday.
But alas I haven't hand stitched any down yet.  It would be nice to squeeze in one last finish for 2017, so I will see if I can wrangle some today.   I love this pattern and there are lots more 2.5" strips in my cupboard, so I think 2018 might find me making a third version of Vivid Grid!
Hubby and the kids had an extended break with his family (I came home early for work) and got home last night. So today is full of fun things, like washing and cooking food to take for a NYE party tonight.  Still some hand stitching with a cuppa is a possibility. 
Happy quilting, hope you have a safe and fun New Years Eve, Sue.

Christmas finishes

The joys of the Christmas season have been keeping me from sewing, it started with card writing, end of year celebrations to attend and gift shopping, but luckily the baking was the last distraction.
There was about 20 minutes of help from the kids to cut out the gingerbread men, but after that I was back to baking solo!  The icing looks like the kids did it!
Spotlight had Decor containers on sale, so I brought some to hold this years teachers gifts.  Other years they have had lovely bright coloured containers for sale, which were much more festive.
 With the baking done, I figured I had a bit of time to play.  My friend Lisa recently won some Go Cutter dies. She very kindly choose dies that I did not own, but we both liked, so she could use them on my machine and I could keep them!  When we were looking at my collection, it became apparently that I have predominately used the strip cutters and the 2.5 " half square triangle the most.
For the life of me I could not think why I brought this shape.  So I grabbed some fabric, did some cutting and slowly it all came back to me - this shape, makes wonderful stars!

And I had the right sized square and triangle to cut out the background fabric, yipee!
This was my first attempt, because I forgot to cut some of the diamonds upside down! I deemed it the prototype and it is staying at my place.  My insert piecing wasn't so good on this one, but I quickly mastered it.  Mainly thanks to the accurate cutting of the Go dies.  
End result, two star mini quilts and some lovely wire hangers I brought earlier, which were the intended present, for two special quilty friends.  Now they have something to hang in them ;)
Happy quilting, 

Red and Cream quilt at Christmas time, not for Christmas!

The lovely Ann from Periwinkle Patchwork gave me this book back in May.  I have read it several times and changed my mind about which quilt to start several times!
When the moons of time, motivation and organisation aligned, it was this pattern I chose.
I have made the chain blocks. 
 And started piecing the stars.
Then distractions crept in, in the form of Christmas baking, 
 and decorating!
As enthusiastic as my boys were, finishing the decorating of the tree is not their strenght!
The bigger issue with this project is that I am in danger of running out of fabric...shock horror! One assumes that a personal collection of French General fabric is endless, but when it is squirrelled away for long periods of time, you forget how much you actually have.  My bad, not checking measurements (of patterns or requirements) is my weakness, but starting new projects is my strength! 
Having said that its just a red/cream quilt.  I am sure there is more red fabric in my stash, somewhere!  And if there is not, well more shopping required?!
Happy quilting Sue.

Out of sight, out of mind?!

Serious brain fade happening here.  I did mention a couple of finishes in a recent blog but only showed off one!
Scratching my head for something of interest to show you this week, I was pleased I had forgotten to brag about finally completely the Snowball quilt.  What started as a stack of free fabric (mainly strips), morphed into this top.
 And finally looked decent with the bargain of the year, this Jo Morton print that I found on sale at Spotlight.  Now I am not a huge fan of brown, but my love of reproduction and traditional quilting styles seems to lean in favor of murk pallette.
But a nice dark red binding saved the day.  Not so obvious in this shot, but lightened up the border fabric and gave it a final kick of colour.
Very lucky that Mum happened to visit at the right time to act as quilt hanger - otherwise I wouldnt have any photos, as this baby is now gone, gifted last weekend.
So its definitely a finish now, one to tick off the list before the year ends!
Happy quilting Sue.

Hand work for tripping around

We had a holiday in Qld a few months ago, that I especially prepped some wool applique for.   The pattern is called Fall Harvest by Stacey West of Buttermilk Basin.  However having plenty of reading matter meant that I didn't sew, until it was time to watch the footy grand final, resulting in only achieving a moderate amount of stitching.  
 Since finishing the photo quilt commission last weekend I have slowly been adding more blanket stitch and just have one full pumpkin and a few little pieces to finish attaching.  The pattern then has a pieced border of patchwork fabric.  I think this is going to be a cushion rather then a wall hanging.
This poor project has been neglected for far longer and I had to dig around to find it.  But now I have I am keen to finish it ASAP!  The reason being it is a lovely appliqued panel on a zip closed bag, with  clear vinyl on the other side, which is perfect for carting around hand stitching projects! LOL!
Just need to stitch the last six leaves and one flower, then onto the clam shells, which are prepped and ready to go :) 
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 being folded, rolled or just plain handled, as I quilted it.  Such a pity.  The family did the photos, so I have no way of knowing which photo paper/fabric product was poor quality.  
As a thank you gift I received a quilt history book published by V&A Museum, which is fabulous, hours of interesting reading, which I have started. 

 I brought myself some MORE fabric - advertised on Instagram, shop is downsizing its reproduction fabric, which means if I dont buy it now, then it wont be around to buy when I want it....right?!
 Border sides are on.  Just contemplating the cornerstone fabric options, above is option 1
 This is option 2
And lastly, is option 3 - no cornerstones!  I think that looks a bit too heavy, but would value your opinion.
Happy quilting Sue.

Eurambeen garden tour

Eurambeen homestead like many original mansions had extensions during its life, which you can see clearly in this photo with the different types of materials used.
 The garden was delightful and I particularly loved the border of Lambs Ears and the meandering paths.
 There were delights to be found around each corner and lots of flowers I hadn't seen before. 
Espaliered camellias will be something I aspire to in my own garden one day. 
 The various buildings on the property have been converted for B&B, and this was a school house.  It was very sweet, but I loved this side view of the veranda detail and climbing rose.
 Lots and lots of lawn to mow and luckily for us the cooler spring weather we have been experiencing,  ment there was still plenty in bloom.  Thats Mt Buangor and the paddocks in the background.
 I love flag iris and this bed had a nice mix of iris and bush roses.  I think I need to buy some bush roses!
 I love rusty metal art and the garden was dotted with different pieces.  The barb wire was from the old fencing and I am sure these disks are from farm machinery - good way to make a tree stump look pretty!
 I have always fancied growing artichokes, not to eat them but for the flowers, so beautiful but big!
Cute corrugated sheep hiding in the hedge!
 Rusty chooks, also hiding in the garden.  Perfect because they dont scratch up your seedlings!
The front of the house with a lovely original tree, which unfortunately is slowly declining due to age. You can see the enormous cypress on the far left of the photo which could not be saved, but they kept as a dead tree, for its structural beauty.  

Simply a pretty garden, well worth a visit. 
Happy quilting Sue.

Fabric shopping breaks sewing drought!

In order to find my sewing mojo I knew I needed some mindless chain piecing.
 Late last weekend I found the bag of pre cut half square triangles for Rainbow Scrap challenge and sewed up some stars (my first pink for October before the month ended),  to get me started.  
 Then made some four patches.  For no reason I have started a new block - no idea what you call four half square triangles, but I think they look cute and it helps use up the surplus triangles.  
When I ran out of pink I started on purple and yellow scraps.
I hadn't showed off the lovely booty that Lisa brought me at a destash sale...four packs of reproduction charm squares in purple, blue, black and brown.  I love them! 
When I went looking for patterns suited to charm squares, I unearthed my stalled projects; 
a top that needed a back (blue), a mini that needed borders (pinks) and a quilt that needed binding (red). 
I was very mean (didnt dial a friend) and just whipped up the highway for a solo shopping trip, to get these purchases.  I was short on time and was only going to buy what I needed and come straight home to start sewing.  Well that was always the intention, but you know, life gets in the way!
Well, I did come straight home, but I did buy a bit extra, some hot pink yardage and this is a sea green with a fine dot.  I have a vague plan for some little girl quilts after seeing this fabrics, so brought up and left the shop before I could spend anymore money! 
And so after all this inspiration I have made a good start on the quilting (quilt as you go) for my photo quilt.  Its working out better then expected...but only about 40% done so far, so got to get stuck into it today - deadline is looming!
Happy quilting, Sue.

Where has October gone?

I lost my sewing mojo weeks ago.  The last sewing I did was wool applique while on holidays and dont even have a picture to share.  However on Friday, crunch time had to happen, because there is a deadline looming.
I started working on this photo quilt for a friends MIL.  It was not what I expected, but working with what we have. Luckily sewing friends pointed out that using Quilt as you go method would assist overcome some of the hurdles.  
I have brought the backing only to find I cannot get basting spray :( because the shop was closed Saturday - so no further progress made, waiting until Monday when the shop is open.
 Lisa asked me what happened to my Temecula Mini?  
So a little bit of sewing was eventually achieved Saturday.  Well unpicking and resewing.  Not just on this (sashing was wonky), but also on a backing.  But that is it for me.  Mojo still missing, but working on some motivation.
Like this great quilt top Kaye finished on Friday.  
Cute kit for a grandchild she brought some time ago.  Bit hard to see, but fabric is perfect for the beach theme, fish,water and seaweed fabric!
 Two new purchases, which will hopefully inspire some sewing action in near future.  I am hoping the triangle tool will make flying geese easier to piece and more accurate....fingers crossed!
I have been enjoying the riot of colour spring brings.  Once a upon a time I thought owning a a carefully laid out blue and white garden would be lovely....now I crave masses of colour all jammed in together!
But the reality is I am starting to run out of room for more flowers
Happy quilting Sue.

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...