Monday, December 9, 2013

Scottish themed Quilt and fish

A combination today!  Not fish and chips [too expensive in Australia!], but another fish in the BOM that I am working on.  I have named these fish for no other reason than they appear to have a personality; today's fish is Esmae.
A few months ago I took up the challenge to create a quilt in a Scottish theme, anything I liked with the only pre-requisite being it had to be no smaller than 42" square.  Mine surpassed that by 10" on all sides.  I had fun choosing what to put into the quilt, as with a Scottish theme the ideas were boundless.  Some blocks were 'proper' blocks, while the applique ones were mainly pictures taken from colouring in albums.  This was the first quilt I have ever constructed 'out of my head', and over all I am rather pleased with the result.

"The Heritage of Angus the Piper"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cushions and other stuff

I have been busy sewing towards Christmas ... there is a real feeling of freedom when one actually ticks of all projects.
Cushions give great scope to the imagination, the cushion designs all emanated from my own head, which does go to show I do have some creative ability initiative.   
Recently a tutorial I watched from HGTV Forum gave clear directions as to foundation piecing, and as the subject to be made was a Christmas tree, I gave it a go ... three times.  These trees are an excellent beginning to foundation piecing, though I have done a little before, with much trepidation.
Last year I made two cute pincushions and had it in my mind to make another.  Two days of searching through the far too many magazines I have was successful ... the magazine in question was right under my nose; I must have put it aside knowing I would make another 'lady pincushion'.  These are simple to make out of small pieces of fabric; the only real requisite being doll's hair.
At the moment I have no pressing sewing ... Yay!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In readiness for Christmas

In spite of the fact I was laid low for a couple of days with the flu [that visited without invitation!] I have managed to complete a Christmas table runner, or it would be equally suitable as a chair back, or cover for that plastic box of 'stuff' taking up a corner of the room.
This is not the first of these 'runners' I have made over the years; one was considerably larger, but they are simple to construct, use 2½" of a fat quarter and a few other pieces of fabric that one often has in their stash.  Add some holly leaves, and berries [red buttons suffice] and the finished result is bright and colourful.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The days are flying by and with the advent of warm weather Christmas cannot be too far around the corner.  I have things I hope to make before then! 
My big project was the Scottish themed quilt which I will show a photo of at another date. 
Two or three years ago I made a Christmas swag from what was then a free pattern and is still available at a reasonable cost here  I loved the finished swag and this year when it became evident that a Big Family Christmas was on the cards I decided to make another, albeit framing it to suit the room of the recipient.
As well I have completed another fish [my name for it is Shy Susie] from    This BOM offers free patterns if you download them each month, but they are available for purchase.
Several projects are waiting their turn to be completed!!!  The sewing machine cover is seldom on it. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Small projects

As I have a rather large [and secret at this moment] project on the go I endeavoured to complete all the small BOM's, plus a swap early in the month.  All completed ... which gives me a clear plate to make progress on the secret project. 
Here is Spencer the dandy in his electric blue suit.
The final block, Shooting Star for Our Craft Forum's 2013 BOM, using blocks selected by participants from The Quilter's Cache   This block was featured as two colours but as I want three colours in this final block I deviated a little.
I made this Anni Downs Christmas wall hanging for a swap, once again moving away from the more traditional colour-ways.  [sorry about the photo quality.]
All in all I am quite pleased with myself!  However the list of projects I would like to complete before the end of the year continues to grow ... as does the fabric stash.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Fish

August and September blocks for the Fish BOM provided a little fun in choosing colours.
I have been naming each fish, for no reason other than I can.
 Meet Georgiana who joined her other friends in the ocean in August.
September gave birth to Great Aunt Moira, whose name was chosen because of the little story that developed for this month's fish. 
Great Aunt Moira was conjured up to oversee the shenanigans of the other fish let free in the wide ocean in September.  Sadly her eyesight is failing, so one is not 100% certain her efforts to keep younger fish behaving in a seemly way will work. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tiny and Fun

The HGTV forum is running a swap for Christmas themed Dotee dolls.  I do not intend to participate as postage as Christmas nears can quickly become prohibitive, but I was curious as to exactly what Dotee dolls are.  Some photos were posted in the forum, and my interest was piqued.  Mr Google provided instructions.
Today being Sunday and as Fremantle won their round of football yesterday it seemed to be a good idea to fritter away a day constructing a Dotee doll.  My embellishment stash is almost non-existent, but I managed to make a doll that looks quaintly hippy-ish. I did put a couple of flowers in her hair!  What to call her?  That was obvious ... Dot!
Time was spent in understanding the principles of Dotee doll construction, but as they say, the first time is the hardest.  The imagination could easily run away as fabric is matched to personalities.  Future Dotee dolls should take less time!  Now if I could whip one up in an hour or two these dolls could easily become a collection. 
I can picture them made up in a Christmas theme ... hanging on the tree would be one logical place, but a swag hanging under a picture would be equally striking.  The possibilities are endless!

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Project in Progress

Earlier in the year a member of Our Craft Forum managed to buy more medallions centres than she could use.  Her solution was simple ... offer them to members with the proviso that we follow the borders recommended. 
I put my hand up; made round after round until it became apparent that I would soon run out of fabric which wouldn't have been a problem if the shop I purchased it from hadn't decided to close down.  Some of what I needed was no longer available the round 8 had to undergo a change from my original conception.  I guess that was part of the challenge!
Not having enough fabric to do another round I have called it quits, which isn't as bad as it sounds as the quilt does cover the bed.  Backing fabric is in the post as I write; the batting is in the cupboard, quilting cotton purchased ... this project should be completed by the end of 2014!  [Setting myself a goal here!]
I am rather pleased with the outcome of this project. 

Friday, August 9, 2013


Christmas is coming!  In spite of good intentions little time has been given to the coming festive season ... until I visited Spotlight [the place where fabric has a habit of jumping off the shelves into my trolley.  Oh yes I always take a trolley; a basket is simply too small!]  Mindlessly browsing with no particular purchases in mind suddenly my eyes were drawn to the Christmas selection of fabrics.  I really didn't need any but when I noticed the fabric designed into bunting, well ... the level of resistance slipped to below zero.
Recently I have noticed that bunting figures a lot in the crafting world.  The addition of bunting to a scene immediately adds a touch of whimsy; brightens the spirits and to me brings back scenes from childhood.  The fact that there were 30 different flags on each section had the mind swirling with good intentions.  I purchased two 'sections' without perusing the instructions too closely. 
Yesterday I read the instructions.  Mmmm ... two methods were mentioned; one entails using fusible webbing to hold them together.  The cost of the completed bunting that would at the most see daylight two weeks each year made the project in that form just a little expensive.  I decided to see what ideas were on the Internet.  It took seconds!
The idea I ran with was to stitch two flags together with no fusible webbing.  Simple!  The sewing is completed, but I have no bias binding to hold them together.   No two flags are the same. 
Christmas is a wee way away ... I will need to visit Spotlight next trip to the city ... then I will be able to complete what I trust will be a brightener to the festive season.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A bit of this and a bit of that

The days simply whizz by, and although I have not been idle, somehow this blog is neglected. 
An invitation to a birthday celebration sent me to sort through my fabrics for a cushion suitable for a man.  I knew pinks would definitely not be just right, and hope the grey, brown and yellow will set a bright, but 'manly' note.

The block I chose to complete for Our Craft Forum's BOM was partly paper pieced.  Only once before had I tackled paper piecing, which I have been reliably informed is easy.  I printed out 'Lightning in the Kitchen' and a couple of extra templates, just in case!  Those two templates ended up in the bin, and somehow I managed to finally 'get' paper piecing.  I am not 100% certain that method will stay engrained in my mind, but do admit that the points are precise and easier to join up with this method.  
The fish block for the month of July was a colourful creature!  I decided on the name Henri and to me he looks a little like a French chef ... the check is his apron!!  I am enjoying stitching the fish family, and am toying with an idea of how I will 'tie' them altogether.
This year I decided not to enter into swaps in Our Craft Forum the reason being I have a few several UFO's calling for attention.  One was a row by row BOM of two years ago that sat in the cupboard awaiting inspiration attention.  When my daughter announced she was coming to stay for a few days I hurriedly put that quilt together [and forgot to take a photo].  That was easy, so easy I wondered why I hadn't attempted earlier!  I lay the batting on the backing, a lovely dark green flannel, and machined each row on in a 'quilt as you go'.  Time wise that method took less time than putting on the binding.  That simple quilt now earns its keep covering the bottom of the bed to keep toes warm.
Forgetting my vow to not take on too many new projects I am in the process of constructing a Scottish themed quilt that needs to be completed by November ... photos later.  And I have made a start on Red Brolly's Girls Own stitching club BOM; Le Jardine
To state that my work table is a mess ... is an understatement!!!  But as long as I am making something I am happy.  One should never let a little mess get in the way of happiness!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ski hat

A quick project, quick because I made three hats to this pattern last year; as my grand daughter is heading to the ski fields shortly, and as a grandmother it is my considered opinion that warm ears, and head, are essential.
Unfortunately there were no 'girly' colours in my stash, but hopefully this hat will do the trick ... though for a fashion conscious girl it might need the cold of the snow fields to persuade her to don it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Puppets for Grandson

The last several days were spent constructing glove puppets for my littlest grandson.  I used the Annie Smith pattern provided in Australian 'Homespun' magazine, Vol.13, 10.   The magazine came out towards the end of last year and as it was my intention to give the story book as well as the puppets work didn't commence until recently ... because ... I had to buy the book on-line; it was not available in any of the bookshops I searched, and even garage sales ended up as dead-ends. 
Initially I considered I could 'whip these up' in a couple of days ... not so.  It took a couple of days for each puppet, though I will admit I didn't sit and work at them all day.  [And I should read instructions more carefully as well].  However at the end of the project I looked at them lined up and a smile came to my face.
I hope little grandson, and his parents who will need to work some of the puppets as they read the story, enjoy these puppets.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gone Fishin'

Two more fish have escaped the nets and landed in the ocean.  Claude was completed last month, while this month Priscilla jumped into the water to join Claude and Coral-lee.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Got a spare hour?

Earlier today I found instructions for a coaster ... no applique, no embroidery, in fact, hardly no sewing! 
Last year I was gifted a similar coaster made of Christmas fabrics, but at the time must have been too busy to closely examine how it was made.  Today I found out ... just too simple.
In less than an hour I turned out four small, and one larger coaster; more than half that time was spent sorting fabrics into suitable colours.
If you have a spare moment and wish to make a small gift that can be popped in with a larger gift, then a coaster is exactly what you need.  Have I captured your attention?  Just Google 'folded coasters' and choose a pattern. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Odds and Ends

No big projects on the go at the moment ... only the medallion quilt that has a few months to run yet [I think, as it has suddenly struck me we have not been told how many borders we do]. 
I decided to take a photo of the fabrics in use as this quilt is growing out and upwards in all directions which means I hung it on the clothes line and the colours are not true ... too much sun?
The Friendship Star [outer border] gave some grief!!  The directions were for a 5" block.  I hunted the Internet for 5" blocks and trust me, they are few and far between!!  Another pathway needed investigating.  Several years ago a member of Our Craft Forum gave me a book [surplus to her requirements!! ... I was so lucky to be the recipient] that is full of blocks; just photos of 4" blocks, that can be enlarged as wanted.  There are no measurements.  One morning I measured the 4" block and gradually increased the measurements until the final result was a 5" Friendship Star.  I will not tell you how many small pieces of trial blocks ended up in my bin!
As well I have made more dishcloths as they are an easy relaxatiion when the brain is dead with all the maths required to alter a 4" block to a 5" block, and am now in the process of knitting little mittens for youngest grandchild.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thank you

Recently I spent time with family in New Zealand, and upon my arrival home I pondered as to how I could thank them.  Flowers, while lovely, do not last, so I put the thinking cap on.  That hat didn't fit, but whilst aimlessly flicking through pages of a craft magazine [which is called procrastinating from 'real' work] I happened upon a set of table mats by Val Laird.  Yippeee!!!  Just the ticket.
The fabric stash yielded more than enough variety to begin.  I traced, and stitched, as the embroidery came along nicely.  I then received news of the hospitalisation of my cousin ... the news was not good.  My enthusiasm departed as worry about his condition occupied my mind.  Then came the news of an improvement.  I began stitching again.
This morning the four placemats were posted ... I guess it will take almost a week for them to reach their destination,  However, I am well pleased with the result.
Now to get on with other projects that had been left waiting in the wings.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Decidedly Fishy

I have begun another BOM, albeit a few months late, but somewhere in a new Forum I found, I read there are 15 blocks in this BOM,, and having only missed the first three, I will have a dozen to incorporate into a quilt later in the year, or maybe next year.
The cute fish are eye-catching, and allow the imagination to run slightly riotous as to the colours. 
This little girl [must be a girl!!  see those lips; made for kissing?!] I have named Coral-lee.  To me it obvious she lives in a coral reef, and the glorious coral colour of her body allows her to blend into her surroundings, should she wish to appear just a wee bit shy.
Mmm ... maybe I should have had the ocean lying flatter for the photo take; allow your imagination to wander slightly ... those ocean plants are waving in the tide.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Border

In my previous post I mentioned a Medallion quilt that several of us have signed up for in Our Craft Forum ... one lovely member bought too many centres, offered them to those willing to participate in adding borders [we are told each month what to do, though that is a broad instruction leaving a lot of choices open].
I was away for February which meant I had the two borders of February to catch up on, and have now completed the March border. 
April is just around the corner which means we will have more decisions to make in a few days and our quilts will take on an individual look.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Little things

After spending all of February in the cooler climate of New Zealand, and upon my return catching up with BOM projects I haven't expended much energy on other projects.  To be honest, I have put more effort into outdoor tidying up ... gum trees have leaves that fall, with the slightest zephyr, to the ground adding to the litter that always needs raking up.  I am making progress in that direction!  The bonfire that will be able to be lit in a few weeks is growing ... that is the largest one!  A second smaller one may be added to even yet.
Easter is only days away.  I did make a little Easter egg bag,

 and a hen on a nest in which chocolate eggs [large and small ... I did advise the recipient to make sure they ate the large ones as they could hatch out into emus!] and tiny yellow chickens hide under her body. 
 I have joined in two different projects in Our Craft Forum; one is a BOM, and another interesting project is a 'mystery medallion quilt'.  Mystery because a generous member donated several centres and each month gives us instructions as to what to do ... we choose within those confines, which are varied and wide.  It is interesting to see how each participant chooses what colour to emphasis, which will make the completed quilt a personal reflection of their interpretation.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Asian Teapot BOM ... completed

Another one down!  Last year I began the Asian teapot BOM, and earlier today put the final stitch into the binding.  I am well pleased with myself for keeping on keeping on with a BOM for the whole year as it is easy enough to lose track or is it 'fall off the wagon'?
With great intentions I started off taking a photo of each block ... but did get behind and left the last three to complete all at once, though this was not a problem as stitching the teapots themselves is not a major hurdle.
I deviated slightly in the chosen colours, and used a completely different border to suggested; the chosen borders are in keeping with the home where this will find its way to.