Friday, 30 August 2013

OMG it's Friday

Sheesh I've been so busy doing stuff, I nearly forgot to tell you about it! The ABC quilt along is all ready to go on Sunday *squeal* so be ready with a lazy afternoon wine and nibbles to read all about it.

Other than that I have other tidbits of news which can wait until next week. I've had some gorgeous mail and been working on all manner of things. *giddy*

In between all that I finished this cutie. I've been scouring the interwebby for suitable Christmas crafty gifts, and I couldn't help but try this one out.  I have put a few gift idea links up on my links page if they have passed my threshold of discerning coolness. I'll put more up as I find them.  You lot are SO talented. 

Lotus blossom loveliness

It has also been pointed out to me that I have been remiss in not showing you BQF's finished quilt, which she was working on during our quilting bee many moons ago. So here it is.  Oh wait, no it's not! I can't find the photo. So here's another one she has since made for Mummy BQF. Pretty fabrics, eh!  You may reach the conclusion that BQF finishes her quilts more promptly than me, even though she works as well. You wouldn't be far wrong!

Crap photo colour editing - it's the best I could do in 10 minutes

I'll be back Sunday with more ABC quilt along news, and will pick someone for the fugly fat quarter giveaway early next week.  It's all go go go round here!

How's that for a 20 minute post start to finish including photos?  That's worth a whoop whoop, right?

Linking up to the awesome Friday linky parties. Howdy visitors!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I've been wipping along on this:

And this:

And this:

But now I've got these to baste. Urgghhh. Thank goodness for glue. 

I've also been sorting out my ABC quilt fabric - I'll tell you about it on Sunday!  How are you quilty people?  What have you been doing?

Howdy WIP Wednesday visitors!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Taking stock at Shush

I saw this lovely list at a Cuppa and a Catch Up and just knew I had to do it.  
  • Making : project bags for my EPP and ABC quilts
132 EPP diamonds - that should keep me busy for a while!

  • Cooking : panko chicken in lemon sauce
  • Drinking : diet coke
  • Reading: JR Rain - Moon River
  • Wanting: more time off work
  • Looking: at the tomato seeds sprouting

Spring is coming ...

  • Playing: tickle tummy with the wee man
  • Wasting: lettuce (why do we buy it and leave it in the fridge?)
  • Sewing: foundation pieced letters for hubby's zombie quilt
  • Wishing: for the baby to sleep through the night
  • Enjoying: the early spring time
  • Waiting: for the enthusiasm to finish the Oh Deer quilt
  • Liking: Instagram - it's fast and friendly
  • Wondering: what our children will be like when they grow up
  • Loving: Mr Selfridge
  • Hoping: our new plum trees grow
  • Marvelling: at how clever Princess is
  • Needing: nothing
  • Smelling: fried chicken
  • Wearing: weekend comfies
  • Following: True Blood
  • Noticing: how things don't bother me much any more
  • Knowing: that work won't have changed a bit when I get back
  • Thinking: I should go for a walk
  • Feeling: like some chocolate
  • Bookmarking: Christmas gift ideas
  • Opening: a tub of icecream 
  • Giggling: at the baby burbling

Cute eh!  Why don't you try it?

Friday, 23 August 2013

Fugly FQ Freebies and Friday Finishes

As I was rummaging through my stash (heh - I love being able to say that) I thought it was time to drag out my fuglies for Lucy's link up party. These babies are free to a good home - and it's not this place. They were purchased about a year ago at my LQS in an effort to keep Princess quiet (I want them Mummy, I want them) while I finished buying me fabric. 

Three lonely fat quarters, looking for a home

Do you want them?  Well let me know if you do. My decision making process for giving them away is up in the air. Maybe the most needy?  Maybe someone who truly loves them? If there is more than one  worthy recipient perhaps the Princess random number generator could be called upon. To be honest I'm not sure if they'll be anyone's cup of tea. Leave me a comment and let me know. 

In between looking for ABC quilt inspiration (let me know if you're in for the quilt-along - I'll put the "getting started" post up next week) I have been trying to finish my "stick no bills" poster using Kristy's Just My Type paper piecing pattern. The good news is that I know how to paper piece now, thanks to this YouTube tutorial.  The first letter took me two whole hours. It was "I". *sigh*  Anyway then I got into the swing of it and they take me about 40 minutes now - and that's the tricky ones. I've kinda learned to love it too.  Like I need another obsession. 

I'm not quite finished, but here's my current wishful thinking. I mentioned this to my bank manager, who thought I was hilarious. *sarcasm*

Yeah, I know, that L doesn't line up very well.

Kristy gave me some great tips (she's super dooper helpful) and I learned a few things of my own. So, if you're a foundation piecing virgin, this is what I recommend:

- watch the tutorial
- finger press for small pieces, but iron the big ones.  If you iron all of them, it takes forever and I found with little bits it didn't make much difference. 
- just trim your seam allowances with a pair of scissors sitting at your machine - there is a technique in the tutorial which is good for large piecing but a waste of time for little bits - and it takes forever getting up and down all the time. 
- once you've pieced each component (A, B, or C) baste them together with your largest machine stitch to check they're lined up. This was Kristy's best bit of advice - I must of re-sewed some of them four or five times, and it was really easy to unpick. Once they're lined up, sew with your tiny stitches.

Give it a go - it's a bit frustrating at first, but then really fun.

Linking up to the Friday linky parties.  Howdy visitors!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Man Quilt inspiration

It's man quilt time in the Shush household. No pretty EPP or candy pink Princess quilts. Nope, it's all grey and charcoal and sand and colours that hubby likes. His incessant nagging about his quilt finally wore me out and I started.*

So before I launch into the boring monochromatic photos, here's some pretty fabric to cheer you up.  That's it though folks, so enjoy it. 

Too cute, right?

Those of you who have been around the Shush traps for a while may remember talk of hubby designing a zombie quilt. And hubby ain't no talented man sewer who knows his way around fabric either (although he certainly knows where the quilt fabrics are at Spotlight - he spends quality time there with me). His sewing experience consists of asking me to make muslin bags for his home beer brewing (which I have down pat now if anyone wants to know the details). 

So we were all very proud of his efforts, in much the same way as you are proud of your kids learning to draw - cute and well loved, but no masterpiece. I won't bore you with the details, but it was a Midwestern style half square triangle extravaganza. And not in a good way. For a while I thought about making the quilt he designed to validate his efforts and blah de blah.  Then I decided there was no way on this earth I was making something that ugly, and announced if I was making it, I would decide what it looked like.  Poor hubby. But he's happy now, so don't feel bad for him.

So my vision (which is naturally brilliant and awesome and so on) was to make a concrete block wall onto which zombie wanted posters will be appliquéd. Über-cool, right?!

I chopped me 72 concrete blocks in two shades of grey (think post apocalyptic urban jungle) and sashed them up with a sand coloured 'mortar'. 

Possibly the most boring quilt photo.  Ever.

The blocks are 10.5" x 6.5", so the background has ended up just over 65" x 80" once the 1.5" mortar sashing was added.  A good man sized throw and quick to put together. 

Now I've finished the block wall, I'm liking it. I reckon it could be a background for all sorts of things:

Some Banksy style graffiti 
A climbing rose
Rapunzel leaning over the top of her tower wall
Some knights jousting in front of the castle
Wanted posters for superheroes or cowboys or favourite pop stars or anything else you can think of. 

No judging the indoor photos - its POURING with rain.  Ugh.

Or maybe it could be quilted up as is, with some orange and grey binding (hubby LOVES orange) and put on your white leather couch in your New York loft apartment. Don't have one of those? Me neither.  

Anyway, what do you think?  A versatile man quilt background?

Make me exciting.

Next up I have to sort out the posters that go on it.  For now, in an effort at post apocalyptic humour, I'm foundation piecing a Stick No Bills sign for the middle of the wall. That is sooooo a story for another day - but Kristy @ Quiet Play has been VERY helpful with her hints and tips. I can pass on the beginners guide to surviving foundation piecing soon. There are some sneaky peeks up on Instagram if you go have a look.

That's it for now. 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday and Show and Tell Thursday (phew) so howdy folks if you're visiting!

PS:  I've got the ABC quilt along page up now, if you're keen. I'm thinking about starting in two weeks. And it has a button - squee - my first ever - so go grab it for your side bar and let me know if you're in. I think we will be a small but sophisticated bunch, embroidering away.

Shush I'm Quilting

* to be fair, his nagging consisted of him looking plaintively at me when I finished the lattice quilt and saying "perhaps you could do my quilt now, honey?".  Probably not the biggest whinge in the world. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Public Announcements and Stashing up

First, some public announcements (sit up straight, pencils down):

  • I found Instagram.  Yes I did.  You guys could have told me that is where all the cool kids hang out, you know!  Anyway, come follow me; I'm a bit lonely there at the moment - I even managed to put the button up and all.
  • I have put together the starting details for the "S is for Stitch" weekly ABC quilt-a-long on a new page.  If you're keen, go and have a look.  I'll get it up and running in a few weeks, but that will give you some ideas in the meantime.  I'm excited.  Yes siree. *wags tail, pants*

Secondly, the courier visited me this week.  Ah, your sales warm the cockles of my heart.

Well, and fill my fabric bins. Most importantly, with blender fabrics because I go a little bit crazy buying feature prints, and forget the rest. 

Liberty Lifestyle Stile.
All the fun of tana lawn Liberty, without the sewing anxiety and the cost. 

Cold Springs Dreams Geo Dot pink
Michael Miller Just My Type Crossgrain grey
Michael Miller Just My Type Color Keys multi

Various small print blenders. A little boring. A lot useful.

Maude Asbury by Blend - Gabbie

Clever clogs striped fabric. Lots of little blenders in one. And the cotton is silky soft - beautiful quality. 

And just for a treat, a little more tana lawn Liberty. Hello kitty!

The big question is, what to do with it?  Some EPP? A new project?  Ahhhh - the excitement of new fabric.


Linking up for Sunday Stash hosted by Ms Midge. Howdy visitors. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

The EPP Journey Continues

Are you bored with this yet?  These blocks are going to go on and on and on and on.  I can tell. Mainly because I think I need about 200 to do a quilt. I haven't done the maths properly just in case it's too depressing and I stop!

That reminds me - I must get the hellebores planted.

But are are my recent little finishes:

Liberty tana lawn and Japanese linen. A marriage made in heaven. 

Note to self: photograph light fabrics on dark background.  Bleh.

My favourite, pink polka dots and botanical seeds.


Finally, hot pink and aqua madness (the hot pink doesn't photograph well). 

Get out your sunnies!

These are still making me happy!

Now quilty friends, tell me, are you interested in doing an ABC baby quilt?  I ask because I have this book, which has the cutest little ABC quilt which is on my to-do list. There are boy and girl versions. I just know that without motivation, I'll never get it done.  But if I had YOU quilting with me, I'd be forced to do it! The blocks are little so they wouldn't take long. 

Go see Crazy Mom's soft kitty cushion.  Cuteness overload.

If we do just one block a week, it will take us 30 weeks. I know that seems like a long time, but slow and steady wins the race, right?  Let me know if you're keen - you'd need to get the book, so I won't start for a few weeks. And I haven't done embroidery for over 20 years, so I can rummage around and find us some tutorials to look at. Definitely total beginner friendly!

If there are a few of you, I could talk to some peeps and see if I can rummage up some prizes for finishing.  Ooohhhhh, nice. 

It could be the ABC BOW (block of the week!). Heh. 

Welcome linky party visitors.  Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Citrus Sweet Love BOM 2

I'm still lovin' my Citrus Sweet Love.  Well, and learning lots too.  This month was all about flying geese (never done before) and needle turn appliqué (never done before).

And now I can give them both a big ole tick off the list. 

First, flying geese (they're the little triangles each side of the centre rose block).

Hello pretty fussy cut rose

Those points aren't quite perfect, but they're not too shabby either.  There are, like, a million billion tutorials on how to do flying geese, so I won't bore you with the details.  I just followed the cutting instructions I got sent and focussed on getting a proper scant 1/4" seam.  That seemed to work just fine.

Secondly, needle turn appliqué. The lesson here - spend two minutes looking for a free YouTube tutorial BEFORE you spend hours on it.  Durr. Apart from the centre circle (which is pretty spot on, even if I do say so myself) I used a sort of whip stitch to sew the fabric down. It took hours. and. hours. one evening, peering at it while watching Game of Thrones (SPOILER ALERT: we got to the end of the series and they still haven't killed off Joffrey.  I mean, honestly, how long can they drag it out?). And despite all that time, you can still see my little stitches.

In the morning, I got up to do the blue centre and thought I would look at this tutorial. Epiphany. The centre circle took me about 10 minutes after I had pressed it and the stitches are basically invisible. Despite my general spazziness, I still think the block looks okay, and there are five more applique blocks in the quilt for me to practice on.  So it turns out that needle turn applique is not the devil.  In fact, it's pretty simple - try it.  Go on!

Hello first ever appliqué

To press the centre circle perfectly - I used a technique I watched in a Craftsy tutorial.  You cut a thin cardboard template into a circle and then use a piece of tinfoil to fold the fabric (cut 1/4" bigger than the template) around the cardboard and hold it in place.  Then you can press the tinfoil with the iron (hot, hot, hot).  When you take the tinfoil off you have a perfectly pressed circle with its seams all tucked under to use.

I used a little blob of my EPP glue in the centre of each bit of fabric to hold them in place while I sewed them.  It worked great.  No getting the glue near where you want to stitch though. That = sad face. 

I also finished another of the pinwheel blocks we will be placing around the sides of the quilt. I'm going to do one a month until they're done - there are 10 in total (8 to go now).  So, excluding the pinwheels, this is where I'm at:

July - pieced block

August - pieced block

August - applique block

I would never think to put these fabrics together, but I think it's going to look great when it's done. Bring on September!

Howdy WIP Wednesday visitors.  It's nice to see you!

Monday, 12 August 2013

And the winner is ...

So it turns out that obtaining Princess' cooperation to a photo shoot on a Monday evening with the wrong camera lens was more than a little character building. 

She was most excited to pick some numbers with her magic fork, but recording the occasion was not so successful. First, she waved the magic fork, and this is what she picked ...

That's right, she wouldn't stand still. If you can't tell - that is zero that she is holding up. 

And then she picked another number.  But we got bored, and collapsed on the couch clutching the magic fork. I thought this would assist with the photos, but she made it more complicated by insisting on putting the number upside down. Confused?  Well take my word for it - that is number 6. 

So, drum roll please ... the winner of the Gorgelicious Giveaway of a Hello Gorgeous! charm pack and some Whittaker's chocolate is Barb from Quilting Barbie. Yippee!  Woo hoo!  Ta dah!  Next time I think I'll just use the random number generator.

Drop me a line Barb and I'll get your address. 

And as a bonus, I have discovered that you are a most discerning bunch of chocolate eaters (as only you would expect from people with such great literary bloggy taste). I now need to try salted chocolate, dark chilli chocolate, Malley's Pecan Billybobs, special Finnish Christmas chocolate (I'll be in touch, Tiina!) and dark raspberry chocolate, among others. How onerous. I don't know how I will survive. 

On top of that, I have met some wonderful new readers this week.  There are too many of you to list, but I have new friends in the UK, Finland, Australia, the US and Germany, just to name a few. I think that is the most exciting thing about blogging - distance doesn't mean a thing, and you can have fabulous friends all around the globe.  I hope you all enjoy reading about the crazy goings on at Shush!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Lattice Quilt: Finished!

Hello quilty friends. It's been quite an exhausting week in the Shush household, what with the excitement of hosting WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and then finishing the lattice quilt. 

Yes you heard me right - the Lattice Quilt is all finished.  This quilt has been such a rollercoaster ride - it was pretty hit and miss there for a while whether it would get finished at all.  Then there was the greasy mark incident - I mean honestly, you wonder if some things aren't meant to be.  But now it's finished, and the world is a better place. 

Well, that might be a bit extreme, but I'm sure happy.

And because hubby has a new camera, I even took it outside for a photo shoot. I'm not sure quite why a quilt would choose to drape over a bench seat in the sunshine, but apparently that was what it wanted to do.  Who am I to question these things?

The wind conveniently wanted to show you the DS 2011 print on the back. That is no artful arrangement of mine, I tell you. I was responsible for the broom in the background though. Really wishing I'd moved it now ...

Lazy lounging lattice

Are you loving it?  I am, and that of course is the ultimate test of taste and discernment in quilting. 

Luxuriating lattice

After it had finished draping and fluttering around being artful, quilt told me it would like to be folded up and sit on the wee table. This is so you can admire the chocolate binding. And it turns out we all like chocolate, don't we?!  Don't forget to ooh and ahh over the stippling plus straight line quilting. 

The total size is roughly 56" x 74", and it's made of only 12 blocks. The patchwork fabric is Coquette by Moda.  I had a layer cake to use, and I have enough leftover to make something else. Like I need another project on the go!  The solids are a random hot pink and aqua from Spotlight. Here's hoping that pink doesn't run in the wash. Then there would be tears before bedtime. 

I have set out before the rough details of how it was made. But let me know if you want a proper tutorial with all the deets so you don't have to go rummaging around the interwebby. I could do that for you, my quilty friends. Yes, I could. 

I'm feeling pretty good now it's done. Now it's on to Oh Deer (blergh), the Zombie Quilt (grab your hatchet, there may be bloodshed), EPP (that's not finishing any time soon) and my Citrus Sweet Love BOM. Plus anything else I can think to start from the monster stash. I just can't. stop. shopping. 

Linking up to all the fabulous linky parties. Howdy visitors!  I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. 

PS - if you're a follower, don't miss out on my giveaway - it's the last day on Monday NZ time (that's Sunday for lots of you folks). 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Woah it's Wednesday

Well I'd love to hang out with you all here and jabber on about my WIPs, but I'm afraid I've had to pop up to Freshly Pieced to guest blog today (well when it's today in the States - us kiwis like to be first at stuff).

Yep, that's right, your very own favourite Liz @ Shush is hanging out with the big girls of quilt blogging. Come and say hi at Freshly Pieced and find out about me quilting backwards. I know, I know, I can't do anything the right way round!

And I've managed to finish quilting the lattice quilt.  Eeeeekk. 

Chocolate binding.  It makes me hungry just to look at it.

Don't forget to leave me a comment on my Gorgelicious Giveaway if you are one of my lovely followers and haven't already tried to get a slice of the action. Chocolate. Charm pack. Champion!

Howdy linky party visitors. Thanks for popping over - it's nice to meet you - we love new quilty friends around here!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Gorgelicious Giveaway

Oh Em Gee it's my (six month) bloggiversary.  Where has the time gone, my quilty friends?

To commemorate this wondrous moment, and to commiserate my impending return to work (which is the topic we do not mention) I thought a little giveaway would be in order. 

So, for my lovely juvvely blog followers, here it is - a Hello Gorgeous charm pack (because you're gorgeous and you say hello to me in your comments) and a little slice of kiwiana in a chocolate treat.  This chocolate is a brand new release by Whittakers chocolate makers, New Zealand's most trusted brand (truly - they've just won an award for it). They have mixed white chocolate with L&P, which is a lemony flavoured soft drink available only here in the Land of the Long White Cloud. It's crazy delicious and has a little bubbly surprise in it. It's my current favourite chocolate, and I will only have the best for my quilty friends. 

Yep - this could be yours ...

Hello Gorgeous has been around for a while now, and I just love it. I don't know why I don't see more quilts with it. Here is a sneaky peak of the whole range, so you can see the prints. The charm pack has all these plus coordinating solids.  Why am I giving such loveliness away? Sheesh - the things I do for you!

I can't wait to see what the lovely winner will make with the charm pack.  Squeeeee. 

It's gorgeous ...

So if you want some of this deliciousness, leave me a comment below together with two critical pieces of information - how you follow me (ie Bloglovin or email or however) and your favourite chocolate flavour (just because I'm nosy).  Because I like new friends too, you are welcome to enter even if you're a new follower. And it you are new - welcome to Shush - have a look around and a piece of chocolate. You can even have a cup of tea and a lie down if that's your style. It's pretty relaxed around here. 

Princess will be in charge of the random draw, which we will hold in the afternoon on the Monday after next (12 August), NZ time.  She may accept bribes - I'll let you know. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Faux Friday finishes

I have this endearing (to me) habit of thinking everything quilt related is a finish. It makes my life feel more successful and has the upside that you get to hear from me more often. Who doesn't want that, right?!

So what have I finished this week?  First, I've got some EPP fabric combos picked out and some diamonds basted, thanks to the arrival of a little package from  Me and the courier are on chatting terms now.  I'm not sure that's a good sign. 

Is there anything better than a pile o' fabric? A pile o' chocolate?

This makes me happy. These little piles of diamonds look so purdy. But no comments on the fact that some of my little tails don't wag the same way - we're ignoring those.

Little bird cages - hands off BQF!

Folk tales bird cages too

Those little deers and hedgehogs are too cute.  Too cute.

In case you were wondering what could possibly be underlying those fabric choices, I will share my secret. Basically, they are meant to pick up the colours in my little retro dolls block. Given that includes pretty much every colour under the sun, that's not too onerous. And if it doesn't quite match, then it has to match my second criteria - that I like the fabric. It's genius, I tell you!

Well it's genius until I go to sew it together and it's far too busy, but I won't be worrying about that any time soon.

It's important to not be too matchy match, right?

Secondly, my stippling on my lattice quilt is finished.  Here is Wednesday's photo because, to be honest, it still doesn't look much different from this. But I've done more, truly!

And that's all because hubby and I are off to the Food Show now. Yes we are. Nom nom. 

Hello friends visiting from linky parties!  Have a virtual cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate on me while you look around. 

And head back here next week - there's a charming little giveaway for my gorgeous blog followers coming. Yes there is. A little bit fabricky and a little bit chocolatey.  I can't do better than that now, can I?!  Have a lovely weekend.