Tiny tree sew along by Temecula Quilt Co.

I tried to resist, because life is so busy at this time of year...and I actually wanted to make the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt!
I was nearly a week behind when I started making the Tiny Tree blocks in Temecula Quilt Co sew along. But one afternoon I carved out the time and got six blocks made in the one sitting - the unfinished blocks are 2 3/4" square.  While I love little blocks I still struggle with getting them perfect.  But this time I spray starched all my scraps then cut the pieces out...and hey presto it works -sewing perfect points was easy, so after years of chasing that elusive golden rule for perfection in mini quilts = starch!
 I made the next three blocks...and remade the first block, because the contrast was terrible.  Another few days flew by before I was able to sew again, and I was able to finish all the blocks.  It is just so unrealistic to think I was going to be able to sew each day, but I got there!  
I am still holding out hope I can do half the required blocks for Bonnies mystery quilt, but the biggest thing holding me back is the fabric.  I have to dig deep in the stash and might need to change a few colours to line up with what I already have in my stash.
This is the wall hanging flimsy completed, there was some unpicking required and still unhappy about the side triangles!  I had accepted its not going to be finished for Christmas, but definitely will be for next year LOL!
I was deadheading roses before the real heatwave hit and found a beautifully constructed nest in the middle of my standard rose - the one with the biggest thorns!  Birds are so clever, but unfortunately it belongs to a blackbird, which are not native and not welcome in our garden.  Still it is nice to see that our garden provides refugee to so many birds.
Happy quilting Sue.

Quilting FG table runner

I had purchased a French General jelly roll only to discover it was Christmas prints.  I used all the red and cream prints in a French General quilt, but still had oodles of green fabrics and wanted to try out a pattern I had that included instructions for a table runner and two different sized quilts.  I think adding instructions for a table runner is a genius idea - certainly get more bang for your buck!
Sewing the blocks did not require too much concentration but I did dither a lot deciding on fabric placements.  I used a nice neutral (also FG) that I had yardage of and was really happy that enabled me to use the lighter prints as well to get some contrast with the green patterns.
I stitched in the ditch, then did some orange peel quilting motifs in larger spaces. I used left over strips for binding - and was hand stitching the binding down at my group one afternoon.  One of the ladies asked to see the table runner and I explained that I was making it as a raffle prize for the Christmas tree at our "local" (where I grew up)  hall.  She said she would buy some tickets and purchased $20 worth to my delight.  The raffle is our main profit making process, as we aim to keep cost of events cheap so families can enjoy.  Anyway because she was not attending, we wrote her name on her tickets and she won the table runner!  The main prize was a hamper of Christmas food, but I think she is going to be thrilled with her table runner.  And I might need to make another one in this pattern for myself, but perhaps next year!

A friend gifted me two dozen eggs and suggested I make a 8 egg pavlova, which I did and it was very successful!  This will be dessert for my December birthday (gluten free so ticks all the boxes for a easy family dessert) and I think I will make another for Christmas.  Anything that doesn't need refrigeration is a good thing, as we are in midst of a heatwave.
The paving still needs some finishing work, but the section that touches the lawn is done, yippee.  Hubby has taken "cores" out of the existing lawn and planted in the empty section and we are now watering twice a day to get it growing.  The heat this week is attempting record breaking, so keeping the garden alive this summer is going to be a battle.  
Happy quilting Sue.

Ladybird lone star quilt finish.

Unfortunately there was only time for a quick inside photo of the finished ladybird cot quilt before I drove to Geelong to deliver it.  The recipient, Miss Ivy is very sweet, just 9 weeks old and so placid.  Her parents live in Perth, so we won't see her often, so all the more reason to give her a floor quilt to enjoy. I think straight line quilting on the diagonal is going to be a favorite for awhile.
I used the Hera marker on the last quilt, but this fabric did not take the markings as well.  So I had to resort to a Frixion pen, which I then ironed off (weird but it works) and then I gave the quilt a good wash to make sure it was all gone.  I also wanted to make sure the gorgeous raspberry red striped binding did not run.   I used flannel on the back of this 42 x 42" quilt, as it was just that bit wider and saved me having to join the backing.  I find flannel backs cling to the carpet, so think it makes for a better floor quilt. 
Our oldest son has been a reluctant baker now he is in his early teens, come to think of it, he is reluctant to do most things that involve work!  However this semester he has slowly warmed up to cooking class at school and come home with some yummy treats. The final class they made cute reindeer Christmas cupcakes and he was so proud of himself !  As a added bonus he was suddenly  very popular with the other kids on the bus!
This is a early birthday present that my father made me.  I requested a potting bench made from a second hand sink, so that it could double up as a bar/bench when we are cooking in the gazebo because the stainless steel will be easy to clean off.  Dad decided to make it from red gum, which is a heavy wood and my other request was that it had wheels so I could easy move it.  So he decided it needed wheelbarrow handles and two wheels (recycled off a old lawn mower).  I didn't want the handles to stick out and get in the way, so he made them so they fold down when not in use...genius! He had only just delivered it, when I put it straight to work, potting up a indoor plant and some fuchsia cuttings.  I purchased two small fuchsias for $3 each and pinch the tops off when I planted them in the shade house.  I put the cuttings in water and they grew roots, so I have just potted them into little pots and taken a second lot of cuttings from the original plants, which are growing well in the shade house!    
Not a lot of sewing happening here, as I start preparing for Christmas.  We are hosting Christmas (20 people) this year, which will include members from both sides of the family for the first time.  I have to start baking soon, but first I need to start cleaning...unfortunately the oven is at at
the top of the list!  
Happy quilting Sue.

Lone star on the line.

I finished quilting and binding the Lone Star cot quilt (51") and was super happy with the straight lines on the diagonal.  This was super easy to quilt, but it had been pinned within an inch of its life!
I love the fabrics I picked, but this photo does wash them out a bit.  The background is a grunge, which I don't love but the quilt shop owner assured me it was "all the range" for a modern quilt.  Now its all together I am happy!
Lisa gifted me two mini charm packs, as a thank you and they were too cute to resist.  I sewed them up quickly into this handy sized table runner and quilted it simply.  I had some striped fabric in my scrap bin, which was leftover backing fabric and it was just enough to back and bind the runner - perfect for Christmas!
The urge hit me to make more Teddy bear sleeping bags ....this time with pillows!
I try and make them in different sizes to use up batting scraps and to suit different sized soft toys.  But I had to add a little scrap fabric to top and bottom of the one on the left, so I could use the cutest fabric featuring a farm house and farm scene on it!  Having lots of fun playing with outrageous colour combinations like pink and yellow!
Happy quilting Sue.

A second Ladybird lone star quilt, neonatal quilt and fun shopping

A shopping trip recently with friends resulted in lots of purchases.  The orange, navy and raspberry fabric on top LH side of picture was purchased in Maldon, where bargain prices have to be taken advantage of!  The rest was purchased at Maree St Clair's shop in Bendigo, my first visit, but as it is dedicated to reproductions it most certainly will not be my last!  The two mini charm packs were gifted to me by Lisa as a thank you for being the driver for the day.  I have already started to make them into a red and white checkerboard table runner - perfect for Christmas!
Another Lone Star baby quilt, with cute ladybug fabric.  I have actually ended up making two the same.  There was a complete lack of interesting in doing any form of calculating when I was at the shop and the background fabric was low, so I just brought the rest of the bolt!  Then I made a mistake when sewing the half square triangles (forgot to make two with both feature fabrics, and made too many star points), so I just made two quilts....there is still plenty of fabric left over for binding and backing!
A Neonatal quilt made for charity (Very Snuggly Quilts), using left over yardage from my plus quilt.  I made the nine patches and then they got parked.  But after making the ladybug quilt, I realised the leftover background fabric (white with a tiny grey spot) was perfect for sashing these blocks, so that reignited this quilt.. 

It was great to off load a large collection of quilts (mine and others)  to a lady in Stawell who goes to Vic Quilters meetings in Melbourne.  But then I just felt guilty when she said they wouldn't go to Melbourne until February, unless she drove them to Bacchus Marsh to another lady!  So going to make a better effort to better time the drop off so they get to Melbourne (for distribution) in a more timely manner and to make contact with a local that does go to Bacchus Marsh, who might deliver them for me.  But first got to start making more kids charity quilts!
Happy quilting Sue.

Winding ways to blue and white quilts.

I splashed out months ago and purchased a new die - Winding ways for my Go cutter.  I hadn't used it, but  a cold blustery day drove me into spending the day inside rather than gardening.
   I used a scrap of old navy blue fabric with some gorgeous shirting yardage.  It was less then ideal (block was too small), so I tried a different setting on my needle and another scrap of blue - Voile it worked perfectly!  Piecing curves used to scare me, but not any more!  Getting the centre perfect is going to require some unpicking, but thats OK as the rest of the block goes together fairly easily.
So now the production lines commences and a new quilt is in progress!
Blue and white quilts has been on my mind for awhile - as images were popping up online and I was sewing miles of binding on these two beauties.
I have made this pattern, in this colour combination before, as well as a autumn toned version.  Its a great scrap quilt pattern and easy to sew.  But I just had this fixation that I had to get rid of those pre cut 5" squares and 5 x 2.5" rectangles. .  
So when the larger sized quilt was finished and there was still a pile of squares and rectangles, I just kept sewing!  There was a whole lot of searching through scrap bins for  neutrals, to get it finished, but I got there in the end.  Simple quilting, scrappy binding and using up some much loved backing resulted in a great finish, I am really happy to donate these as teenage quilts for a children's charity.  
Happy quilting Sue.

A new Herb bed, a mini quilt finish and a ladybug quilt flimsy

I finally got around to finishing the quilting and binding on this little mini quilt.  The blocks were from Temecula Quilt Company circa 2016 sampler sew along.  I especially love the churn dash.  Tempted to make a whole quilt of mini churn dashes!  I tried a figure of 8 for the border, but its a long way from being perfect, I am considering it practise for the next one! ; )
We recently had lots of drying wind and some hot days.  So to wake up to half an inch of rain was a blessing for the garden.   Bit late for the crops, but nice for my plants.  The rain ment junior tennis was cancelled and hubby had time to attach the watering system to the new bed, on the newly renovated shade house.  I planted out parsley, chives and rosemary I had grown myself.  Then I put in  sage and thyme neighbours had grown, a curry plant (never had one before) sweet basil, lemon thyme and white oregano.  I rescued my Lemon Verbena which was frost affected and just coming back into leaf and planted that on the corner, where I hope it thrives.   I have potted up the mint and it is living in the shade house behind this bed.  So now all my herbs are in the one spot, between the kitchen and the BBQ, which is perfect!

Hubby gave up on waiting for the contractor and has started the paving preparation.  So with the cooler weather I am madly pruning/hedging and mulching while he is trying to get the paving done. Then next up is edging and lawn...hopefully all growing in time for hosting Christmas and a NYE party!

Another trip to Ballarat for Dads medical appointments, treatment is progressing well.  I purchased these cute fabrics with out doing any calculations in my head - given that last time I purchased too little.  This time I had too much and then made an error...so enough for two cot quilts (42" square each), one of which is made, other the blocks are ready for me to sew together.  Just gardening comes first!

This is fast becoming my favorite pattern as it is quick and easy.   These are 10" blocks, which finish at 9.5", so with a 2.5" cut border the total quilt is 42.5".

The front nesting box is outside my kitchen window and the two young birds (hybrids a mix of Eastern and Crimson rosellas) were ready to leave the nest and one was poking its head outside minutes before these two Crimson Rosellas arrived.  We call it house hunting, the pairs of birds turn up and give the box a through inspection, as if to consider it for next years nesting site and if its better or worse then the one they previously used!  They did not harm the fledglings, who flew out of the nest later that day.
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...