Monday, December 31, 2012

A Rainbow Whirlygig.

I took a break yesterday for all that pebbling and took 30 minutes to finish the little bit of binding left to sew down and wolah, this quilt was finished. I've said it before, but I'll say it agian, I love the Whirlygig block!

I used some Prints Charming fabric for the backing and the binding was a stripe print from Micheal Miller. Thats Grace on the label holding the child the quilt is for.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quilting with My New Spool Holder!

Thanks for the comments and suggestions over to add another row or not. I went for the opinion that matters the most.... the husbands! LOL He took one look at it lying on the floor laid out and said "Nope, its finished." So I peiced together a backing from the stash, sandwiched it, loaded the FMQ foot and started quilting. I was thinking stipple, nice and quick and easy but ended up doing largish, loose pebbles. 8 bobbin changes later and the green was done!

Then for the row of yellow. I didn't have enough yellow cotton in the stash so I decided on white. Trouble is I am sewing back on my little Brother Super Ace 3 and it doesn't have a large upright spool holder. Nothing some bluetack, a pencil, cardboard and some masking tape can't fix though! I'm half way down the second side of yellow and Its working perfectly.

Friday, December 28, 2012

More Scrappy Squares!

An action packed day of sewing yesterday, I got all these blue squares done and just have 16 to go. I like to cut a bit to make say 30 - 40 blocks, sew those but with a third of the fabric not used, then cut some more fabric, sew another thirty and mix the first batch of fabric in with the next. That way I can keep a tab on how many blocks I have to sew, I don't want to be left with any spares! And also it mixes up the colour range, I don't want  one section of the row to be all the same floral and spots, KWIM?

So is this quilt finished with two rows of blue? Or does it need another row? It measures 56 x 56 inches. I shared a photo online last night with some quilting buddies for opinions. One vote for another row of green. Two votes for another row of blue. Three votes for leave as is and then an unexpected one vote for another row but of red! I think I like the red idea.......

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Green & Blue & Yellow Scrappy Squares

I started this quilt back here in August. It got folded up and pushed to the side while Christmas table runners and baby quilts got in the way. I have unfolded it though and am determined to finish it before the year is out. The yellow strips weren't sewn on, 15 minutes of sewing fized that!

Now the plan is to add two rows of blue. I have calculated I need 112 squares, I've done 36!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day 2012.

Merry Christmas dear blog readers. (I know there is at least one! Thank you Ruth for all your lovely comments on my blog throughout the year.) I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday. It started very early in this house with the girls up at 5.00 already having tackled their stocking and standing by our bed side at 5.15 asking when they can open whats under the tree. I stretched them out till 6am! We opened our presents, chatted on the phone to family over the other side of Australia then packed some drinks and snacks and headed out in the boat.

We went to our favourite destination, Sandy Beach, a 30 minute boat ride up the river. Its a popular spot but for the whole three hours nobody was there which was fantastic! We put the gazebo up, had a coffee, had some gingerbread and fruit mince pies, went for a swim, watched the grey clouds roll over the range in front of us. It was beautiful, very lucky and thankful to be here for Christmas Day.

I did have some quilting related presents under the tree which was wonderful. I had purchased them for myself (except for the fat eighth bundle from my sister Ad, once again spoiling me with beautiful fabric) so it wasn't a total suprise but lovely never the less. The Skinny Quilt book looks really good, inspiration for more table runners for 2013! The material is from the Fat Quarter Shop, I love the little mini charm packs, super cute! I brought them in multiples of two so I can make whirly gig runners easily. And yardage of plain solids, the dusty blue to go with the Kate Spain fabric and the green to go with the other pack. Time for some serious sewing!

This is my greatest gift though. The affection these two girls show towards each other is heartwarming. For all the yelling at them and nagging I do throughout the year, no more or less than any other parent I am sure, and here they are with grins as wide as the watermelon slices they are eating. Life is good.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Finished Table Runner.

I don't know what to call this runner, the red Kaffe runner? I finished it today. Enjoyed listening to a podcast of Pride and Prejudice on the ipad while sewing down the binding. I don't think this photo does it justice, its so long, it measures 13 by 44 inches. I love it, I want to sew another!

A detail of the quilting, wonky straight lines. So now just the label to sew and then to wrap and present to the new owner on Tuesday. Hope she likes it. Next sewing project!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Summer Sewing!

I feel like I have Christmas under control, so today I turned my attention to the sewing machine. I wanted to sew a table runner, I know, typical Helen, sewed a billion table runners this year, but I like sewing something little and giving it as a gift. I have a few birthdays in February so thought I'd get in early. So I pulled some fabric from the stash with the floral fabric from Kaffe being my feature fabric.

I wanted to go the square in a square, wing it as you go technique like I did for this runner and this one. I had a piece of wadding left over from another project so I was sewing to fit that. Five squares seemed to fill the space nicely. Then the day unfolded with everyone in the house happily doing there own thing and leaving me to my sewing.

I got it quilted and the binding on, all ready to hand sew down tomorrow night. Interestingly enough my walking foot was not smooth, the stitches were inregular and it ws glinding through. I took it off and put on a normal foot, increased my stitch length up to one notch below max, and perfect lines were the result. I so need a new machine though!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Red Squares Runners.

It's nearly Christmas and its the season for bringing out all those table runners I made earlier this year to give away! I had forgotten about these two, they were cut from the quilt that wasn't meant to be, back here.

I quilted the lines with the free motion foot for a bit of extra waviness. That and I didn't fancy turning it around at the end of each line if I had used the walking foot. I used white thread for the white background but a verigated thread of different shades of red for the red area.

I'm happy with how they turned out. Christmas looking but not enough to be used at other times of the year I hope.

I like how the non quilted areas pop. I have already given one away and the other is wrapped under the tree waiting till we see the person it is intended for.

And at the final whole school assembley, guess who picked up the Art Award for Middle Primary? Grace! Go Gracie! Working at the school I knew about it in advance but said nothing to her and the look of amazement on her face when her name was called, was just priceless! So we are on school holidays now till the end of January. I hear my sewing machine calling me.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Lynne's Butterfly.

I sewed a butterfly earlier this week. Lynne sent me an email asking if I would be a tester for a tutorial she has written. I said yes of course and as a result I now have this beautiful butterfly!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rainbow Whirlygig Quilt Top Finished.

I finished this quilt top today. In true Helen fashion, I only had to sew on four strips to frame it and that simple task sat there uncompleted for the last two weeks. And when I finally did get around to doing it, it only took five minutes! I really like this block.

When I went outside to take a photo there was an odd small moaning sound coming from the tree. At first glance I could see nothing.

But at second glance these two little guys were staring back at me. They didn't mind getting their photo taken and two hours later they are still sitting there. I think they are Tawny Frogmouths, cool name.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

EB Quilters Doll Quilt Swap #6.

I signed up a few months ago for the 6th EB Quilters Doll Quilt Swap. Signed up reluctantly I must admit and only signed up because AJ made me!! LOL I used to love swaps but now am a bit over it all. I procrastinated for weeks until I pulled out four left over blocks I had made back in June 2009 here. There was 8 blocks originally but the other four ended up in this quilt finished in March 2010. That quilt is now over in the UK and this one is over in NSW! What I am basically trying to say is hang onto to your left over blocks as they may come in handy one day!

The quilting was very simple. I wanted it to be soft and drap around a doll if needed.

And I recieved this quilt in return from Shirley, who coincidentally was the one that recieved my quilt! Thanks Shirley, the hand quilting is lovely. Grace has her teddy snuggled under it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An Aqua Quilt.

 I originally refered to this quilt as blue, but it is really more an aqua colour. Either way it is finished. Binding sewn down and label on! Yahh! It does feel nice to have a finished quilt, it has been awhile. It measures 32 x 41 inches, perfect cot size for a few born that is 3 months old now!

The quilting was just straight lines up and down. It was the last quilt to be quilted on Mum's Janome 1600. She has taken it away with her and now I have my little Brother to sew with. The husband has given me the okay to buy a new machine. Any recommendations?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Casino Royale.

A few months back I signed up for a charm square swap. The kind where you send in 24 orange blocks and get back one colour each from a rainbow from 23 other people. I signed up for two bundles figuring I'd get two squares of each colour to make a whirly gig quilt. That was the rough plan. Not much sewing going on here lately but I can still cut up fabric and visit the post office! They arrived and have sat unattended for a few weeks until last night. Perfect sewing conditions in our house. Children in bed by 7.30. Husband in bed by 8.30. Coffee consumed at friends house after dinner which must have been extra strong as by 8.40 I was sketching up a plan, then cutting away as Casino Royale started on telly at 9.00! My favourite James Bond movie ever, perfect!

This is what it should look like afterwards if I have pinned all the right sides together. That is the plan at least....

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday Milly!

Happy 8th birthday dear Milly Moo! This photo sums you up perfectly. You like to wear pretty dresses like a young lady. You still carry Berry your teddy with you when you are tired and we are going out a night. You like to pull funny crazy faces at the camera like your Dad. And you like to apply your learning knowledge outside the classroom as seen here, demonstrating how a tsunami is made with your icecream! Thank you for being you! We love you very much Milly!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall 2012 Bloggers Quilt Festival

Well its that time of the year again, the Blogger's Quilt Festival! This is my quilt. It is not the most fancy quilt in the festival, it is very simple, a 4 patch block made from scraps from the stash. It was a real quick whip up quilt made in one weekend back in mid 2008 to practice accurate cutting and sewing and also as a stand by in case I needed a baby boy quilt. I think I may have jinxed myself as after sewing it, the next three babies I made quilts for were all girls and all pink. It sat folded up waiting to be quilted until July 2009 and a special boy was born and I needed a blue quilt fast!

This quilt is also special as its the first quilt that I quilted on my Mum's Happy Jack frame. It was awesome! My little dodgy Brother machine did a great job stippling away.

A close up of the stippling....

But here is the real reason this quilt is special. It is proof of how blogging and quilting can make a friendship even though you haven't meet the person! I meet AJ online, back when? I can't remember when! We both quilt, we'd chat online, swap fabric, participate in the same swaps. We meet a few years ago when we visited her home city. We went fabric shopping together! A friendship grew and when her son was born, this quilt was his. It is loved and he takes it everywhere. AJ did a beautiful post of how her son loves his quilt here. From two months old to three years. Sleeping under it and playing on it, a loved quilt, rather than a folded up in the cupboard quilt. Awesome!

Thanks to Amy for hosting the festival once again. Check out the other quilts here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cape Lequeve.

Term three holidays have just passed and something quite strange happened. I did not sew anything for the whole two weeks. I can't believe I just typed that. My sewing mojo has flown out the window it seems. Maybe I have left it here? On the break we went to Cape Lequeve which is right on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, 220km north of Broome, 1,044km east of Kununurra. Famous for its red cliffs on the beach on the Western side.

And its endless perfect beaches on the other side of the Peninsula.

We spent our days at the beach. The girls went boogie boarding.

I got to try out the underwater feature of my new camera.

Daz got to practise putting the new boat in the water....

And then bringing it back in 5 hours later when the tide had gone out. Massive 12 metre tides in this part of the world, these two photos were taken from the same spot.

There was some fishing involved but no keepers. We did have an amazing experience of a pod of about 6 dolphins swimming and jumping in front of the boat on the second last day. That was so cool!

On the way home we stopped in at Beagle Bay to look at the chuch built by the Missionaries which is decorated with pearl shells and other shells.

It was a great break, very relaxing. A lovely part of Australia which not many people have managed to visit. Now just nine more weeks till our next holiday! And I am hoping to find my sewing mojo by then!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Quilt Top in a Week?

I feel quite proud of myself. From cutting to finished quilt top in a week. I sewed all the dissapperaing 9 patches together, added a 2 inch sashing and wolah, finished! It measeures 32 by 42 inches. Perfect newborn baby size.

And I have gone for my flavour of the month quilting technique, straight up and down quilting lines. In blue Aurifil. So far I have quilted 52 lines without having to change the bobbin! Have to love that!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blue Disappearing 9 Patch Baby Quilt.

Look, I am sewing again! A friend had a baby boy on the weekend. She kept the sex of the baby a suprise and so I have held off on sewing anything till he was born. So now I have to whip up something quick! What does one turn to in such a case? The good old dissappearing 9 patch block! This one is three 9 patches across and four down. With a bit of luck I should have the top finished by the weekend....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Window of Green.

I finished a quilt. Don't fall off your chair! This quilt was started back here in April and the birthday it was intended for came upon me very quickly..... last Thursday!

I'm pleased with the quilting, very textural. I did have some issues with some of the seams being pulled out of shape with the quilting but overall you can't notice it. And I am learning if you don't point out the faults to anyone then they don't notice them!

Nice size for a picnic rug. It ended up measuring 82 inches by 60 inches.

The backing was fun to sew. Used up a bit of green! Its spinning around in the washing machine as I type this post. I don't usually wash a quilt before gifting it but the binding got dirty during the photo shoot! Bugger!! I hope to walk over to the 15 year old's house later on this afternoon, she loves green so I'm sure she will love this quilt for her bed.... fingers crossed!