Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baby Blue Scraps

.... more scrappy premmie quilts

Sashing still to be stitched on 

Ready for quilting

 Tiny blue quilts for the little boys.  The last two are made from blocks I made for RSC 2016, and I've just added sashing and borders to bring them up to the required 40cms (16 inches).  The last picture shows the back, a soft doggie flannelette.  I don't use any batting in these, as that would make them too heavy, they're not for warmth so much as comfort and to make it easier for parents to hold their babies, with something soft to wrap them in.  With the quilt tops like the string one, I use a piece of very fine soft cotton between the layers, just so all those seams can't be felt.  The top one I'll just give a flannelette backing.

Linking with Tall Tales from Chiconia where Kate hosts January ScrapHappy Day and SoScrappy where Angela hosts ScrapHappy Saturday Tuesday.....I'm just a couple of days late....where the colour for January is blue......light blue actually, which mine definitely aren't.  I realised though as I went through my blue boxes looking for suitable scraps to make the crumb blocks a bit bigger, that I have very little light blue......plenty of aqua, teal and dark blue though, so that's what I've used.  Lots of inspiration on both blogs if you think your scraps are getting out of control.

.........till next time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Baby crumbs and strings

...........tiny quilts for premmies

These little 40x40 cm (16") quilts are for Ronald McDonald House, one of this month's charities for the Aussie group, Knit4Charities.  They'll be given to the parents of sick or pre-term babies who stay in the house so they can be close to their babies, who have to stay in hospital.

I had made these blocks as part of the  Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016, so with a bit of sashing and some borders, they've been turned into nice little quilts for a good cause.

I'll be making some for the little boys as well, so better get back to the quilting before the day gets really hot.

till next time..........

Sunday, January 7, 2018

One Monthly Goal - A First Time

....... hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Take me to the OMG Link-up

**Select ONE of your creative goals for the month that uses fabric, thread and / or yarn.  This could be to make a few blocks, cutting fabric for a project, sewing on a binding, or finish a quilt top.  Any goal that involves a step in the process of making with thread, fabric or yarn is a valid goal.**

I saw this link up while I was catching up on some blog reading back in October, and thought it would be a good way for me to stay motivated and accountable, while enjoying the sense of community and support to work consistently on my "making", whether that be quilting, sewing or knitting, without all the rush and panic of last minute finishes, or UFOs being consigned to bottom drawers or blanket boxes and forgotten about.

I decided I'd join in November, as I had some wonky stars I made in 2015 as my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for that year, that I was keen to turn into a quilt.  Well, the blocks weren't where they were supposed to be, and having looked through every storage bin and cupboard with no sign of them, and with Christmas sewing to do, I decided to leave it until the new year.  Funny how things just turn up......while packing away blankets not needed for my Christmas visitors, and tidying the blanket box, there were the wonky stars, tucked away at the bottom!

So here they are -  9 wonky rainbow stars and a wonky house! I think I decided before the end of 2015 I'd put them together for a housewarming gift for my friend A.......hence the house.  Obviously that didn't happen, so now they'll become a quilt for her 50th birthday.  I thought about taking the house out and making another rainbow block, but honestly can't be bothered making another star block, and I like the house....and A will too.

A's cat and dog pieced into the windows.

I'm going to put this quilt together with the QAYG method, so my goal for this month is to get all the blocks quilted. I could probably get a lot more done on it, but as A's birthday's not till the end of March, and I have other goals for the month, taking it slowly will work fine.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts January OMG

till next time............

Monday, January 1, 2018

A finish and a start

New Year's Day has dawned cloudy and sullen, but hot. Every day since Christmas we've been treated to nasty storms, thankfully spared the hail and strong winds suffered in nearby towns, but no less scary and destructive. We've been treated to amazing colours and cloud formations, and spectacular displays of lightning.

Coming home, up the range, and as the trees opened out, I saw this storm racing across the valley.  I stopped long enough for a picture, then raced it home, got the car away just as the heavens opened up.
From my back verandah

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and nature
Posted with kind permission of  a neighbour who took this one looking down the lane to the south. My house is to the right behind these houses. 

Christmas here was quiet and pleasant, spent with the good company of loved ones, good food.....most of which I didn't have to make......and quiet times just trying to stay cool.

You'll all be pleased to know I finished R's quilt, last minute sewing on Christmas Eve ensured it was washed, dried and under the tree ready for Christmas morning.  It was received with squeals and sighs of surprise and delight.
I was really pleased with how it turned out, it came together just as I'd pictured, and apart from 40cm of fabric I bought for the binding, it was all either scraps or strips cut from my stash.
I crosshatched quilted it with this lovely shiny pink, which sank into all the colours beautifully.

I backed it with  this dark pinky red, it doesn't show in the pic, but it has tasteful burnished gold coin spots on it.


So another year has gone by, with it's highs and lows, with good things to remember and other things best put away and if not forgotten, then learned from, resolved or a measure of peace found.

Now we head into 2018, with all it's surprises and potential. May it bring health and happiness, joy and peace, creativity, and safety and shelter for all.

Paysage arc-en-ciel by illustratrice-lalex
Till next time......

Saturday, December 16, 2017

ScrapHappy December

It's late and I was heading to bed when I remembered I hadn't done a post for Scraphappy Day.  It's been non-stop and full on all day, starting with making green Holi powder .... a messy and time consuming business.........for a fun day tomorrow, called the Other Big Wet........after the water fights the coloured powder will be thrown around....lots of fun for all and a gift to the community from a local mum to say thank you for all the help she received after she lost her house and all her belongings, and very nearly her own and her children's lives in the March floods.

I've not long farewelled friends who will be away at  Christmas, and so came for an early Christmas dinner.  We had good gourmet pizza, salads from my garden and delicious seasonal mangoes, cherries and peaches. It's been quite a hot day, so a blessing to sit by the river enjoying a lovely cool breeze, a pretty sunset and  good company.
Mirrhi was very excited to find this snake skin hanging in a tree right by where we were sitting.  We were a little nervous then, wondering where the now larger owner might be. There was another skin in the tree as well, but it was getting dark and no-one was game to just stick their hand in to get it......I don't know if it's part of the same snake or another one that's shed......I'll find out tomorrow.  This one's about 65 cms (26 inches) long, and has beautiful markings which don't show up too well in the photo.  It feels nice but creepy! The cats all growled and hissed at it, with fur raised and tails all fat...despite being indoor cats all their lives, and never having seen a snake, they know!

So onto fabric scraps. In between making blocks for the quilt, I made this EPP Death Star from Star Wars Return of the Jedi.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out, there were so many tiny, tiny scraps involved.  I found the pattern here, hers turned out beautifully symmetrical, unlike mine which is a little bumpy around the edges. The actual piece is only 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, so not very big at all.

In case you're not a Star wars fan, or don't remember, here's how it looked in the movie.

Here's a couple of blurry close-ups taken very early this morning.

And finally, I finished the little kantha stitched mini heart quilt that I posted about in October Scraphappy. 

After adding some stars to it and calling it finished, I blanket stitched a soft muslin backing to it, and added a hanging sleeve.

I called it 'Oh my Stars and Hearts'.......very original, I know.   I'll find a wall somewhere for it to hang.

Linking with Kate and Gun for ScrapHappy Day, pop along and check out what others are doing with their scraps this month and be inspired.

till next time.

Edit :  I was going to link my Death Star EPP  to Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches who has a twice monthly link up called Piece Yourself Together, but I just missed it for this time, but here's a link to her blog anyway, she does lots of lovely quilting and EPP and is well +worth a visit.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Early morning

in my sewing room

C'mon, It might be dark out still, but where's my breakfast

I spend a lot of time in my sewing room, so I thought you might like a peek into it. This room was once part of the back verandah ,but some time in the past, it was enclosed to make a room.  I know it used to be the previous owner's sewing room too, and after she died, her husband slept out here......sometimes I still smell cigarette smoke in here.There are windows facing  north and west, which provide lovely light to work by, but now that summer's here i gets quite hot in here by mid morning, even with a fan on.  So I've started coming in here to work on the birthday quilt as soon as I get up, usually around 5, work for an hour, take Mirrhi out for a walk, then back in here until around 10. 

It's a long but narrow room, about 1.5 metres wide ( 6ft) and not sure how long, so I had to plan carefully where everything went.  Last year when I had a friend staying, we painted it, the colour is Weekend Escape and is a lovely yellowy-green, which captures the colours outside.  There're french doors leading out of  the spare room, where I stood to take the photo below.

Looking into the room from the spare room, which is my overflow storage and ironing room until visitors come.

Standing at my sewing table, looking back into the room, there's a door to an outside landing and stairs on the right, and on the left hidden by the cupboard, is the doorway to the hall and the rest of the house.

From the other end looking towards my sewing table.....my constant companion is always in here with me, I'm forever stepping over her, or dragging her away from behind me as she sleeps, she doesn't care, sighs a bit and goes right back to sleep.  It looks long, but is only about 8 steps from sewing table to design wall, so a largish dog sprawled in the middle can be a little inconvenient at times.

Quilt in progress 
I have a lovely view of the river and the levee bank from this window, facing west and once the sun's up, there's a variety of wildlife to see.......water dragons cavorting and fighting over territory and females, the odd snake, and plenty of bird life.

 And looking north, across the park, with the clothes line perched on it's own little platform.

Up to date pictures of the quilt.  Top photo I just put the blocks up randomly to see how they looked, and decided I quite liked the colours scattered about, rather than putting them in colour blocks "somehow", which was my original plan.  The bottom picture I set them out in a kind of round the world pattern, which I quite like.  If I put it together like this, I need to make 2 more blocks, a red and an orange. Some of the blocks still need a couple of rounds to bring them up to 10 inches, so I might've changed my mind about how to set them all out once I've done that. 

So that's it for today, back to work now, until next time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A little progress

on the scrappy quilt for my son's partner's birthday.

I posted about this in my ScrapHappy Day post last month and so far I've made around 18 blocks, all at different stages.

The largest are around 8 inches, and that's what I'll aim for with the others, then it'll be time to step back and play with layouts.  The plan then is to add some more rounds or extra blocks to connect the colours....I have some scraps in pinky-orange and orangey-red that I'm hoping will work nicely......to end up with 10 inch blocks.

After I tossed aside all the yellow/gold scraps, and any of the others with white in them, I didn't have as much fabric to play with as I thought.  I didn't want to go buy any more fabric, so after a bit of thought, and a lucky find of some rose coloured dye powder......while looking for something else.......some of the not-quite-right pieces ended up in the dye pot.

Pinks aren't this bright, there's a lot of light coming in from the open door 

Initially I'd planned  to dip just the pinks, but then thought 'why not' and threw some of the reds and oranges in to see what I'd get.........and surprisingly it worked.......not pinky as I'd expected, but richer shades of the original colours.  Using the other side of some fabrics as well has given me a lot more options.

I've also been given a reprieve on the time frame to finish this, initially I thought L and R were going to India for Christmas, but that's happening in the new year now, so instead of rushing to get it finished and in the mail before they went,  I can take my time a bit and gift the quilt in person, as they're coming here. Much better!

that's it till next time, back to cutting and sewing.....