Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fuglies Part 3

Now I know you have all been dying to see what I did with that pile of Totally Evil 6.5" squares, haven't you??  I showed them off in my last post here, but just in case you missed it, here they are:

I can hear you from here - "Yuk", you say.  All except Lyn who blogs here.  I knew that as soon as I posted the photo someone would pipe up and say that the fabric is lovely.  Well, not to my eye!  LOL  Why not go take a peek at what she creates. Make sure you tell her I sent you.
My first foray into using these was a total unmitigated disaster.  I took a couple up to my local shop, and tried to get something which matched one of the colours in the mish mash of colour in the squares.  The idea was to sash them.

I did a couple of rows at Friday Quilters a couple of weeks before Christmas.  The girls gave me permission to abandon that project, which I did quick smart.

Over the Christmas break I took them out again to see what I could do with them.  I lit upon the idea of sashing each square individually in a solid which toned with the square.  I pulled all the bits of homespun fabric I had.  It came together really quickly.  Here it is ready to sew together.

Apologies for the photos.  For the last few weeks it has been unbearably hot with temps in the high 30s and even a few days in the 40s.  My sewing room faces west, so the blinds have been drawn pretty much all day for weeks to keep the heat out.

And it is complete....

You can see by the second photo that I changed the layout about a bit.

Each of the squares has a different mix of colours in it, and when piecing the blocks, I tried hard to pick one colour out for the sashing to highlight the square.  I made two of each colourway.  I managed to use a lot of pieces of homespun AND most of the pile of squares.  Win/win.  I think its actually OK now, and I don't really mind it.  I don't love it, but its doesn't offend me to look at it.  Ha ha.

I think these are my favourite blocks.

This was so quick to piece!  Starting with a 6.5" square is a little different to my usual 2" or 2.5" squares.  LOL.

So I am calling it done.  It will go to Stitching Hearts on Thursday for our first meeting of the year.  I am sure that someone will be pleased to receive it.

Til next time.....Keep on Stitching

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fuglies Part 2

Don't fall over backwards!  After a month of no blogging, here is my second post in as many days. Can you tell I am on holidays?  LOL
You might remember that I have been endeavouring to use a bunch of fabrics from Stitching Hearts which no one else will use (my first post on that was here).  I actually started with a bunch of large scale florals on dark backgrounds some weeks ago.  There was an all day craft day at one of the local churches and some of my friends from Friday Quilters were there.  I took these along to work on them.
This is what I came up with as a centre medallion:

I had the inspiration for the sashing from a Patchwork magazine (no idea which one, sorry!), so the middle bit came together quickly.  But then I struggled to find something to add to it. 
I put it aside and found some nice fabric (I don't mind the florals - its the others won't use them) in the cupboard at Stitching Hearts a week or two later.  In my Finish It Up Frenzy in the last week or so, I picked this project up and set the medallion on point.

Still not big enough, it needed borders.  So I dragged out a few fabrics to see what was what.  But first it needed a framing border.  I used the homespun I had used in the medallion.

I wanted to carry out the florals on the dark background to the border, but of course there wasn't enough of that fabric was there!  I discarded the top right because it was too pale and too pink, the bottom left was too busy and the flowers were more red than pink, and the bottom right fabric because there were pale blue flowers and the back ground was too light. 

Here is how it turned out

Not ideal as the background is black, but it is better than the rest of the fabrics I had, and the flowers are a better match.  Its come together very quickly as the pieces are big - not like my usual 2" squares.  Hee hee.

The trouble with using donation fabrics is that you never have the "right" fabric and if you do happen to score some, there is never enough of it.  That is the challenge - you have to make do.  So now some of the fuglies have been used, and the result is an OK quilt which will do for a Stitching Hearts donation quilt.

And as a bonus.  Remember the bottom right fabric I showed you above which was too light for the border?  There was 2 metres of it, so I pieced a backing, and then made 2 little draw string bags for this year's Samaritan's Christmas shoeboxes.  Not a scrap left!

I am a sucker for punishment, but here is Fugly No. 3......

A couple of months back, Evelyn dumped a pile of 6.5" squares on me and said "Here, do something with these".  Oh dear.  These. Are. Totally. Evil.  LOL.  But!!  At long last, I have a plan, but you'll have to wait until the next post to see what it is..... 

Til next time.....Enjoy the Summer Holidays and Keep on Stitching.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Whirlwind December

Just a warning - this is a long post!! 

December for me was an absolute whirlwind.  Most of the time my life is busy, but December this year took the cake!

It started with a 2 week visit by our niece Alice and her friend Katie.  They are English and finished off their 3 month visit to Australia at our place.  Loved having them both here.  While they were here, we had a fun craft morning when I taught them how to make angels from Christmas ribbon.

Alice on the left & Katie
Here is our little tribe of angels.  The one second from the left was my sample.

I taught a couple of workshops in December.  The first one was for my church craft group, Buttons, and we made a folded Christmas Star.  I got the inspiration from a blog post by Avis who blogs here.
The ladies really enjoyed making that, and several brought in theirs to show me the finished product the following week.
Also at Buttons, we made little knitted Christmas Trees from a pattern put out by Spotlight.  Here is mine - it stands about 7" tall, and I have left it at Buttons for the church stall.

I made up 8 little zippered pouches as Christmas gifts.  (Forgot to take photos.... sorry)  Four were for my team of volunteers who help me at the Mitchell Library.  And one each for my grand daughter, Alice & Katie and the Kris Kringle at Friday Quilters.  These were some of the fabrics I used.
The front fabric is shown in front of the linings
All the fabrics were chosen specifically for the person to receive it.
Next workshop I did was for the ladies at my Friday Quilters group.  We generally do a craft item before lunch at our Christmas function.  I found this on the web in a tutorial by Betz here.  I offered the option of making it into a brooch or a Christmas decoration.  My sample is made into a brooch and has been worn several times since.

I also taught Alice and Katie how to make one each.  It took me a while to get the hang of how to fold this as its a bit tricky, but once I "got" it, it was easy peasy.

I also finished a little beaded ornament which my daughter gave me as a kit at least a year ago.  I thought I ought to get it made, and it was done in the nick of time to put on the tree.  There's a mistake in there, but by the time I found it, there was no way I was going to undo all that bead work!

We were fortunate to be invited to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as support for the maxi yacht CQS (which ended in 7th place).  It was so exciting to be there in the midst of the yachts on the harbour!  A really early start for us, but so worth it. 

At the marina before the race - CQS behind us

CQS getting into the mood just before the start
Since Christmas, I have laid low, spending a lot of time in my sewing room, pottering about and just sewing.  First up I used some ugly squares to make a little mat for the cat to sit on.  My daughter screwed up her nose and asked why I hadn't used pretty fabrics.  Well that wasn't the point!

I used a double thickness of thick synthetic wadding, which was awful to quilt, but what I wanted was a thick cushiony effect.  When I finished it, I took it up to Tibby to show her.  She sniffed at it delicately then, Flot!  She parked herself on it.  I can officially call it a success.

I then finished off this little top.  In one of the bags of donated scraps I found almost enough blocks to make this sweet little cot sized quilt.  So I set to and made the remainder. 

As soon as I finished this, I found enough for about 3/4 of another quilt.  Guess I have to make a few more blocks!
If you have got to the end of this post, thank you!  You deserve a medal for sticking it out.  LOL.
I would like to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year.  May 2017 be a creative and pleasurable year for you.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Fuglies

I think I am certifiable!  Huh?  You say.  You already knew that didn't you?  😄 

But why am I making such a claim out in the Big Bad World of the Internet? 

Well 2 weeks ago when I was down at Cabarita at a Stitching Hearts meeting, I looked at the overflowing tubs of donated fabrics that No One uses, I thought I would do some damage to the florals.  So a bunch of fuglies came home with me.....

 Who in their right mind would pick up a huge bunch of ugly fabric and bring it home, eh?

The Pinks

The Blues

The Brights
I also bullied Jan into taking a bunch of apricots.  At least I gave her a choice of which pile she wanted.  Ha ha.

That same afternoon, on the way home Jan and I stopped at Craft Depot, the biggest patchwork fabric store anywhere within cooee.  At the counter, I noticed a magazine which had a photo on the front of it, and I was inspired.  Apologies to the publication and to the maker of the quilt, but the name of both escapes me.  If someone recognises this, give me a hoy and I will properly acknowledge it.

I came home and pulled the Brights out, and added a few from my stash too.  LOL

Some leaves and flowers were cut from Vliesofix and fused to the fabrics......

And in very short order, there was a quilt top.

One of the flowers....

And an upside down one....

And just in case you missed it, another shot.....

Really pleased with the way it turned out. 

I have a Plan for the pinks and the blues are already partly pieced - show you those next time.  I'm on a roll with those fuglies!  Funnily enough, me raiding the floral tub did little to diminish it.  Oh well, I've tried.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Adopted Orphans

This all started some weeks ago because Evelyn, my friend from Stitching Hearts, shoved a bunch of 3.5" squares into my hands and said "Here.  Do something with these".  They were all in autumn colours, a colour palette I love.

So I got them home, and after thinking about it for just nano seconds, decided to do 4 patches.  After adding some 3.5" squares cut from scrap light value fabrics, I made up a pile of 4 patches.  Nice easy peasy sewing.

But then I got to the point where I started to wonder what the heck to do with them.  I remembered that literally years and years ago I had cut a whole lot of triangles for a quilt I had never made.  They would make up cute pinwheels to go with my 4 patches I thought.  So I scratched around in my stash cupboard (must tidy that up one day soon).
The first thing that I spotted was a fistful of maple leaf blocks.  No idea where I got those.  Most likely at Stitching Hearts as we get loads of UFOs and orphan blocks come in and I often take them home.  And then again, someone may have given them direct to me.

Perfect colours to go with my autumn 4 patches!  So I grabbed them, and kept looking for those elusive triangles.

No luck on those, but I found a little packet containing dozens of pieced flying geese.  Again, I have absolutely no idea where I got them or when as I have no memory of them at all.  They would do for some borders.  Perfect colours, perfect size.

I ended up doing a row by row quilt with sashing made from a fabric I have had in stash for years, and years.  I had gone to a sale of fabrics left in storage which had not been paid for, for months, so they were being sold off at a pittance by the storage warehouse.

To finish off my quilt, I raided my 2" squares stash to make 2 rows of 4 patches to go on each side of the quilt.

And here is a close up of it.

I've made binding for it from left over bits of binding and will be taking it to Stitching Hearts for pinning.  So pleased with my adopted orphans!   Its just a small lap quilt which will be donated to the group and used as required.  If you feel like taking a look at what our little group does, click on the link here or on the little Heart icon on the left of this blog post.  Some of the quilts that are made are totally inspiring.

There's actually enough of the flying geese to make some borders on another quilt.  Now that I have remembered I have them, I will find a use for them. 

And No.  I haven't found the triangles!  LOL  They really must be in a dim dark corner somewhere.  But I'm not that worried as I have used up lots of stuff which has been hanging around for years.

I also want to show you my gorgeous orchid.  Our sweet next door neighbours moved out to a retirement village about 4 years ago, and gave me some tubs of orchids.  We split them, gave some to my daughter, planted some in the garden, and these are in the little indoor courtyard of our house.  They have recently thrown a flower spike.

This is what I look at when I am sitting at the table in the family room.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Thank you Douglas.  Your orchids continue to give me joy each year.

The ones outside are also flowering, but I don't see them as often as they are in a corner of the garden somewhat tucked away.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Making Bias Tape

Recently I had the opportunity to borrow a bias maker from Stitching Hearts to make a bazillion metres of bias tape.

Now why would I be making so much bias tape you might ask.

Because for the last few years I have been making little draw string bags for the Samaritan's Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  I make heaps of them, and this year I thought I would make bias tape to use for the "string".

So how does it work?

You start by winding strips of fabric joined into long lengths onto the take up reel.  I set it all up on my ironing board.

And then threading it through what looks like a regular bias tape maker.  The square thingy to the left of the tool is actually the iron.

Once the motor is turned on, the tape comes whizzing out from the iron section at the rate of knots.  You have to really keep your wits about you, its so fast.

I was using the 3/4" tape maker, but there are oodles of other sizes in the accessory box.

Then I sewed the two folded edges together to make the tape.

Here's the stuff I packed into the 2 boxes I donated.  I chose to do them for boys aged 10 - 12 as I have heard that they are the least well provided for in this campaign.

They like to have stationery equipment for school, a few toiletries, a toy or two, and the odd bit of clothing - this year I picked up a couple of tee shirts.  Then its a matter of stuffing the boxes brimful.

The extra bags I make I take to the school my grand daughters attend, which is just down the road.  The school packs up around 800 bags with donations from the students and their families, and the 6th formers pack them up assembly line style. 

And so how many bags did I make this year?  I roped in a couple of my Friday Quilter friends to chip in, and also middle gd (13) who came to Friday Quilters during the July school holidays.  With their help we made a total of 185 bags.   And this is what that looked like.....

Some close up, just to make sure you see them.  LOL

The fabrics are mostly ones that I would not dream of using in a quilt because I think its ugly, so I am really pleased to have used them in something useful which just might give someone some pleasure.  The tape this year was a success - I would not have been able to afford to buy that amount in, and the tape itself used up some excess fabrics too.  A win/win in my book.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching