Sunday, 29 September 2013

D is for Dinosaur and Dress: ABC quilt-a-long week 4

Hello quilty friends - have you had a good week?  Are you ready to find out who the winner of S is for Stitch is?  Are you?  Are you?

Heh - you can wait to the end!  First, here is my dinosaur.  He's a bit wonky, schmonky, but the lettering is a bit better than last week.  I think this little fellow is pretty cute though.

Stomp, stomp
That photo isn't really showing him in his best light - he has nose flare which isn't doing him justice.  Nose flare in a photo wouldn't do me justice either.

So what have you been doing?  Stitching away?  Why don't you show us - right after I announce the winner of S is for Stitch.  Mother has been visiting, so she was the random number generator.  Blame her if you didn't win.

So, without further ado ... *drumroll please* ... the winner of a copy of S is for Stitch is ... number 44 ...

Emma's Daughter.

I'll send you an email to get your address details (if you're in the US) or arrange for an e-book to be sent (if you're anywhere else in the world).  I hope we'll see you along on the stitch along now!

Okay people - it's link up time now.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Friday Finish and giveaway last chance

Most importantly, before I start blabbing, today is my last post before I draw a winner of a copy of Kristyne's beautiful book, S is for Stitch, on Sunday.  Head over to last Friday's post and enter a comment to win.

Goodness I'm doing everything slowly these days now it is all work, work, work.  But I'm very pleased to have my curved hand pieced block done for my Citrus Sweet Love BOM.  I can tell you for free that it's much more exciting than the blah de blah blah new Reserve Bank conditions of registration for banks relating to high LVR loans. *snore*  Are you still with me?  Quilting is better, I tell you!

Isn't this gorgeous (even if I do say so myself)?

Well when I say hand pieced, I mean except for those straight seams!

I wish I knew what all those pretty fabrics were.  I have just bought Sarah Fielke's Hand Quilted with Love, and I recognised some of these prints in there.  Cathy and Treehouse Textiles (who helped design this) must have the same great taste as Sarah.

Those seams and points match for the most part!

Now I want to conquer machine piecing curves so that I can use them more than once in a quilt.  While I enjoy hand sewing for little bits and pieces, I'm not sure that I'm up to the challenge for a whole quilt.   I have previously much admired Barb's drunkard's path quilt, so think I need to get my act together.  But first, some simpler projects - hopefully I'll have something new to show you next week, if I get my act together over the weekend in between Mother's visit (Hi Mum), a fairy party for Princess to attend and a wedding.  I'm such a social butterfly, I tell you.

Linking up to Crazy Mom, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Howdy visitors - have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

WIP Wednesday for BQF

First - don't forget to head over and enter my lovely book giveaway if you haven't already (thanks Stash Books). Although I warn you that you might end up liking using a little embroidery in your quilts. I'm a convert I tell you. 

Despite constantly meaning to, I never seem to get around to sharing with you BQF's quilting escapades. But she's busy working on a quilt at the moment that I have on my To Do list, and that I thought you would like to see.

It's this great chevron/zigzag quilt put together using jelly rolls (I love me a jelly roll) with the odd charm square thrown in. You can download the pattern from Moda Bakeshop here. It has a lot of chain piecing, which is very therapeutic. 

Don't you just love those little flags?

Then it has a lot of laying out, which is not quite so therapeutic. This is what the painstakingly laid out quilt pieces look like after Roger the cat has been left at home with them. Not only that, but apparently BQF's wee man had a incident with his remote controlled car. "Mummy the car just ran over the qwuilt.*  But it's okay mummy, I fixed it". Or not. Bad car.

Probably not enough to convict Roger, but the claw marks in the fabric were a hint ...

This is Roger.  Here he looks like butter wouldn't melt, right?  I understand it was pretty touch and go as to whether he would be returning to the SPCA after his initial quilting effort.  Naughty Roger. But here he insists it was nothing to do with him. Those claw holes in the fabric must have been made by some ferocious cloth beast. Or something. Whatever it was, he's guarding the quilt so it doesn't happen again. 

What are you looking at, huh?

BQF is using Reunion by Sweetwater for Moda for the fabric. It's to go on her hubby's boat/yacht thingie (he's a mad sailing buff) so it is very in theme.  I'm thinking it would be an awesome pattern for my Lorax jelly roll. 

Linking up to all the mid week linky parties!  Howdy visitors!

* not a typo! That's how he says it. Cute, right?!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

C is for Car and Cupcake and Cat: ABC quilt-a-long week 3

So my quilty friends, would you like a copy of Kristyne's gorgeous book S is for Stitch?  It's probably best you don't though, you know - you may need to take to your bed once you've seen it because the sheer cuteness is too too much.

S is for Stitch 

But if you're not sensible, and you would like a copy, head to my Friday post and enter with a comment. I'll be drawing the winner next Sunday.  Eeekkkkkk. It's so exciting. I'm going to have a cup of tea and a sit down. We have Stash books to blame for all this, you know. 

But on to our ABC progress.  Goodness, I'm already up to my third block. That is like 10% done already. Heh!  How are you getting on with A and B?  Any tips?  Don't forget to head over to Flickr and show us your pics.

You'll see I don't have a car or a cupcake. The car is pretty cute, so I might yet regret this, but I had fallen in love with the kitty from the girl's quilt and knew I just had to use it. My plan was to use it as Cat, so I could keep the Kite when we get to k. Blah, blah, blah.  Confused?  Ditto.

Anyway here is my kitty cat. My back stitched letters are a bit rubbish again. I really need more light at night. Hubby has offered his caving headlamp for me to wear in the evening. I might yet say yes. That would be a photo opportunity you will never get to see.

C is for cat.  That's right.

I have used some orange DS fabric for the border. Hey little kitty!

Fortunately this photo is out of focus enough that you cant see quite how bad the sewing is.

So link up quilty friends, and show us what you've managed to do. Any letter is fine you know, we don't judge around here! Remember to link your post, not your blog, and go and say Hi to your ABC comrades.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Giveaway time and an old finish!

*The giveaway of a copy of Kristyne's beautiful quilty embroidery book, S is for Stitch, is down the bottom folks!*

Well it's been an exciting first week back at work. There's been far more work than I would have liked, but morning coffee and toilet breaks without an audience are high on my list of enjoyable new experiences. 

Because I haven't had much quilty time this week, I thought I should do a post I've been meaning to do for aaaaaaages about Princess's bed quilt. This is the second quilt I made, and was a significant step up from First Quilt (not my best effort!). 

As you can see, it has wonky stars, which was inspired by this absolutely gorgeous quilt (I can't find the finished picture, sorry!).  I used a variety of sherberty coloured fabrics I had lying around - lots of which were not quilting cottons. I have since learned that quilting cottons are much less stretchy and that trimming your blocks before sashing is a good idea!  Princess's favourite fabrics are the Hello Kitty prints.  Hence her quilt name.  Wait for it.  Wait ...

Hello Kitty quilt.  

That's right.  She's a genius.  It has a red striped binding and a matching pillowcase, to finish it off.

Why hello kitty quilt

Wonky stars are great fun.  This is the tutorial I used, which makes them really easy.  I think I'll make another one at some point.

Hubby was on photo duty.  As you can see he left it late in the day. *sigh*

Can you see the black smudge in the middle?  That's from when Princess had a tantrum the other day and stomped all over her quilt with dirty shoes (we're not allowed shoes inside!). It needs to go in the wash. *sigh*

In further news, da da dum .... it's giveaway time.  I know, right, how awesome is that?  Stash books are the best.  They heard about our little ABC quilt-a-long from S is for Stitch and thought that you, my lovely bloggy friends, would like to win a copy.  I pondered this for all of 30 seconds and agreed that indeed you would.

Would you like to win me? Would you?

So here we go.  The rules are:
  • anyone can enter
  • if you are a follower, you get another entry
  • if you mention and link to this blog post elsewhere, you get a further entry
  • post a comment for each entry
  • US residents will receive a hard copy of the book
  • Other country residents will receive an e-copy (it's a PDF so you can print up the pattern pages - cool eh!)
I'll draw the winner Sunday week (29 September) using the Princess random number generator and tell you about it on the Sunday ABC BOW blog post.  I think we will be up to D is for Dinosaur by then.  Coolio.

Good luck my quilty friends!

Linking up to Crazy Mom, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Howdy visitors.

PS - I love you all, but I won't respond to all the entry comments. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Citrus Sweet Love: hand piecing curves

Goodness I can't believe how quickly it is Wednesday again. It's my first week back at work and I have been a little put out that there is actually work for me to do, instead of swanning around updating my blog and chatting to my quilty friends.

However I have managed a little hand piecing in the evenings, to get my second Citrus Sweet Love September BOM block finished. It has been a little character building, but I am getting the hang of it. That's probably just as well, because looking at the quilt, I suspect there is more to come in future months. 

The block has three template pieces, which are stitched together to create an eighth of the circle in a wedge shape. Two wedges are then sewn together into squares, and the four squares form the block. Here are the first three squares. I confess that I didn't hand piece down those straight lines joining the wedges together. I didn't see the point when Bernie could do the job a million times faster. 
Making the plastic template pieces wasn't too bad - and I have heaps of extra plastic if I decide to do something else requiring templates. 

I didn't find a tutorial on hand piecing curves, but my Sarah Fielke Craftsy course covered machine piecing curves, and that was very helpful. I only pinned the beginning and end of the curve and sewed a little bit at a time. This tutorial is how I did the sewing - which is ridiculously simple. It is only the curve that makes it challenging!  I imagine it could be done by machine with a bit of practice, but for one block the hand sewing means the seams are accurate. I don't think I'd do a whole quilt of these but I have eventually enjoyed these. That could just be the pretty fabric though!

I have since finished the last square, and I just need to sew it together now - but work is interrupting my photo opportunities. I'll show you when it's totally finished.

In other news, there's going to be an exciting giveaway here on Friday.  Yes siree.  Here's a hint.

Not that subtle, right?!  Squeeeeeeee.  If you haven't joined the ABC BOW because you don't have the book, this will be your chance.

Linking up to the lovely mid-week linky parties.  Howdy visitors!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

B is for Baseball and Ballerina: ABC quilt-a-long week 2

Hello quilty friends!  Have you had a good week?  Have you managed to get some stitching done?

Do you know our little stitch along is a bit famous?  Not only has Kristyne given us a shout out on her blog - Pretty by Hand, but Stash books has got in on the action and is having an S is for Stitch giveaway. Ohhhhhhh how exciting!  So if you haven't started yet, head over there to enter for a chance to win the book (be quick - it closes on 17 Sept) - you'll catch up in no time, given the glacial pace we're moving at. 

In further public service announcements, we now have a ABC BOW Flickr group - so if you're not a blogger, you can upload your photos and show us all how you are doing. The link is here - and I've also put it up on the ABC BOW page. Go and have a look at Deborah's angel.  I'm pretty sure you'll be jealous of her stitching and pretty fabrics.  I know I am.

Here is my block for the week - my lettering back stitch is not very tidy. That's what you get for trying to do it in a bit of a rush without good light. You'll see I have written ball, not baseball. That's because baseball isn't really a thing down here in New Zild - we're more of a rugby nation (for you non rugby folk - that's like gridiron without the padding).  But a ball is a ball. On reflection, I should have centred the word, but hey, it looks okay. 

B is for ... ball

I also decided that I didn't have enough variety in my fabrics - so I have grabbed three more.  More blue and orange, and then red to shake it up! This should give me a scrappier look. Hopefully it looks good when we're done.

Yep - more fabric shopping!

How are you getting along?  Do you have any tips for us?  I see that Tanya is using her beautiful perle cotton for stitching, and uses a little batting behind her piece to hide the stitches. It's interesting to see all the different little things people do.  Also it seems most of you have realised it's a good idea to put your blocks together at the end so you can play with your fabric.  Obviously being sensible doesn't get in the way of my quilting.  But you can laugh at me at the end!

Now link up, quilty people. Remember to link your post, not your whole blog, and go and give some comment love to your quilt-a-long comrades!  I'll keep the link open until next week. 


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, 13 September 2013

Deerly beloved: a quilt is finished

Yes I have a quilt alllllll finished just for you.

And there was a break in the weather today, so I managed to take some photos too. It's fair to say this is no longer my least favourite quilt. In fact, now that the memory of making that quilt top is fading, it may be becoming one of my favourites. BQF has declared it is so.

What do you think?  Would you be miserable if you received this as a wedding gift?

Your accolades may now flood in.

A real outdoor photo and everything

The brown is no longer a focus, once the brown blocks were put together and spread throughout the quilt. I also think the red polka dot binding gives it a real lift too.* 

Oh the wonderful feeling of a finished quilt in the sunshine

Those points don't look too bad - they're not perfect, but no outrageous whoopsies. And it's not as if anyone will be looking too hard for poor sewing!

My treasured piece of Oh Deer print - looking good

Hubby insisted on straight-line quilting. That was no skin off my nose - it's a lot quicker and the quilt drapes so much more softly than with stippling. The lines are 1/4" out either side of the thin strips on the front. I like how it looks on the back. 

There be straight line quilting

The large scale print on the back is still one of my favourites. I sacrificed all 2 metres I had, and sashed it with the same pearl solid I used on the front. I was so worried the front would look awful that I wanted one side to look good. As it turns out, the front doesn't look so bad after all!  But the back is probably my favourite. On seeing the back, Princess informed me that "this is beautiful Mummy.  Perhaps this can be my quilt?"  Yeah - I don't think so, honey.

Here's the binding!

Riley Blake small dots.  How I love thee in every colour

Now it needs to go through the wash (I've got to get me some of those colour catchers first) and then be labelled. I know, I forgot the label before quilting again. *sigh*. Then it will be in the post and winging its way half way around the world to the happy couple. It's only two months since the wedding - and they will be past the excitement of their first gifts now, so surely it's better that this has been stretched out?


Fabric - Oh Deer by Momo for Moda together with pearl solid (requires the equivalent of one patterned and one solid layer cake for the top).  Binding - Riley Blake small dot
Batting - 100% low loft cotton
Size - 64" x 80"
Pattern - disappearing four patch - cut 1.5" from the centre (tutorial on my quilty links and resources page)

Linking up to all the wonderful linky parties (see my linky page). Howdy visitors!

* or some zing. Or pazazz.  You choose.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wednesday: Citrus Sweet Love BOM - September

Howdy quilty friends!

It's my last few days off work (I'm back on Monday) so I'm sewing like a demon trying to get things finished and organised. And as of half an hour ago I have a finish for Friday. *delirious with happiness*  Let's hope the weather clears up before then so I can take some pictures and wow you with my quilty completeness.

In addition. I have received my September package in the post for my beloved Citrus Sweet Love quilt. This is what I have done so far for this month. Are you loving it?  I'm loving it!

Totally owned those flying geese  Easy peasy!

More great fabric choices.

I have two blocks to do this month. The next block is hand pieced and has curves. Gulp. I've bought my plastic for making the templates, and found a YouTube tutorial on hand piecing, so hopefully it will all go well. Fingers crossed. I shall report back next week. Wish me luck!  It's a good way to learn new skills though. 

Here's the recap so far. 


August applique

August pieced block

On top of that, I had some happy mail yesterday. You got to love spots, right?!

Riley Blake small dots and a little Amy Butler

Linking up to Freshly Pieced, Show n Tell Thursday and Needle and Thread Thursday (links on my linky page).  Howdy visitors!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A is for Ant and Angel: ABC quilt-a-long week one

Hellooooo quilty friends. Have you got your copy of S is for Stitch out and your fabric chosen?  Have you found out any useful tips for us before we start? Are you ready to start stitching? Are you excited???


I am just dying to know what you're all going to be doing. All the gorgeous stuff is going to be too much to bear!  You will be pleased to know that I have been a busy little beaver trying out a block, just to make sure this is not all going to end in tears before bedtime. And I can tell you, as a total beginner, it's no problem. 

I traced the pattern with dots on to my fabric. 

dot dot dot dot dot

I watched the colonial knot tutorial on YouTube a zillion times (link on my ABC BOW page). I backstitched my letters. I overstitched my ant. 

Look it matches!

My purple pattern vanished before my eyes. I gave it a good press. I sewed on the fabric. 

Riley Blake chevron - which provided the colour-way for the quilt and the embroidery

And then it was done. It took me about 2 hours, but that included a lot of faffing around checking out how to do the stitching. I think I'll get quicker. 

Glamour shot

What have I learned?

  • This is a great little project to potter on in front of tv in the evening with no roar of the machine. 
  • You need good light though. 
  • Knots on the back are fine.  In fact no one sees the back!
  • 4" embroidery hoops are the cutest. 

What do you think? I think it is soooo cute, even if I do say so myself!  Get stitching on yours, so we can see them next week. 

Now link up, quilty people, to show us what you have chosen for your ABC quilt design and fabric (I'm a bit worried I'm going to have fabric envy!). Remember to link your post, not your whole blog, and go and give some comment love to your quilt-a-long comrades!  I'll keep the link open until next week. 

If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us your progress and link to Flickr or other photos if you have them.

I. Can't. Wait!

Friday, 6 September 2013

More man quilt and a fugly fabric winner

In between the excitement of getting the Oh Deer quilt in a presentable state, I have been pottering along doing the 'Stick No Bills' poster for hubby's man quilt.

Oh Deer I had better make you into a backing!

I am VERY pleased that the poster is the done.  By my estimation, it has taken as least as much time as making the quilt background.  On that basis, it is definitely a mini quilt finish!

Here it is in all its glory.  The pattern is Just My Type from the talented Kristy at Quiet Play.  The wonky seams are all my own.  To give you a sense of scale, each letter is 2" high finished.  

B is for bloody hell that took ages.

There are some teeny tiny little bits there, I tell you.

Not Bill Clinton or Bill Crosby or Billy Crystal. Nope.

I also have found a winner for the three fat quarters of my fugly (or not, depending on your viewpoint!) fabric.  It is Grandma Helen, who said

"I make charity quilts for the Mayo / St. Mary's Hospital Pediatric Infusion Therapy Unit (kids chemo). These fuglies would be PERFECT to bring a smile to a child's face.  I promise that if you send them to me, I will make a bright, colorful quilt, or maybe 2 if there is enough, to tell a child(ren) they are loved!"

Well, you can't argue with that really, can you?!

I'll send you an email, Grandma Helen.

Finally, I couldn't wait until Sunday to show you a sneak peak of my first block for my ABC quilt. Here it is. Eekkkkkk!

I'll tell you all about it on Sunday!

Welcome to visitors from Crazy Mom's, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF and Quiet Play (links on my linky page).  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Oh Deer returns *gasp*

I bet you thought you were never going to hear about this quilt again, right?!  I certainly didn't think you would.  Having got about half the blocks done I had decided that it was officially the worst quilt I had ever tried to make and gave up on it.  The wedding that it was intended for came and went.  We all realised that I am *rubbish* at quilting to deadlines.

Deerly beloved, we are gathered here today ...

But look - all of sudden last week I thought I might sew up a few of the blocks.  And then a few more.  And then they were done.  Just like that.  This is not one of those quilts that you can pre-cut all your blocks (if you muddled up your pieces it would be a disaster).  But I set up a little production line doing 10 at a time, and it was no problem.  And it's not the sewing that takes the time, it's the cutting.  Yuck yuck yuck.  I need me one of those swirly whirly cutting mats (technical term).

Here is my little production line in action.

First we sew this way ...

And then we sew that way ...

And then we have 80 finished blocks and we have a virtual champagne.  Mmmmmm.

There was a bit of a tantrum when this happened.

Conveniently, that slice was 1/4" wide, so I couldn't even hide it in the seam allowance. Grrrrr.

80 blocks later, here is the design wall where I tried to figure out block placement and Princess decided I needed some help.  Yikes.  Hubby and I managed to sort it out after her bedtime though - it was like putting a puzzle together without all the right pieces.  We got there in the end though.

And we'll put this piece here Mummy, and this piece here.  Me: *deeeeeep breath* Thank you, darling.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am this is done.  BQF has declared it a triumph (I paraphrase) and I have reached the giddy heights of not hating it - which I think is enough for now.  But I do love the backing fabric (which inspired the quilt) - so if the happy couple don't like the hard earned front, they should at least like the back!

And I bet it will look even better after an iron. Fabric - Oh Deer by Momo for Moda.

So I just need some fabric to frame up the backing (it needs 10" on each side) and then it will be basting time.  For once, I'm looking forward to it.  Don't come over all faint at hearing that.

If you ever want to make your own (and I do like the pattern, I just don't think this was quite the right fabric for it) then it is a perfect layer cake quilt - one patterned and one plain layer cake will give you exactly the right amount of fabric for 80 blocks.  You quarter both layer cakes into 5" charms and then use two patterned and two plain charms per block.  The instructions to sew and cut are on my tutorials page. My only difference from the tutorial was to cut my block 1.5" from the centre, not 1".  I preferred the sightly chunkier design it created.  The finished quilt will be 64" x 80" or thereabouts.

Hopefully it won't be another three months before you see it finished!

Welcome visitors from WIP Wednesday, Show n Tell Thursday and Needle and Thread Thursday (links on my linky page).  Don't forget to come and find me on Instagram - I need some more friends there!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

ABC quilt-a-long: getting started

Okay folks. I'm bursting with excitement, and I just can't wait any longer, so I think it's time to get started on our weekly ABC quilt-a-long from 'S is for Stitch'. This week we're going to do some prep and choose some fabric, so next week we can do our first block *skip*.

So, if you haven't already, this week we need to:

  • choose a quilt design
  • get your materials
  • get your fabric (which as we all know is, like, the BEST bit!)

It's pretty hard to resist the gorgeous girlie embroideries in the book, but I've decided to do a boy's quilt - you could do a gender neutral one too, and pick greens and yellows - and the pictures that you like the best from each quilt. But I'm getting ahead of myself - one quilt at a time!

"And everything nice" quilt - photo from book shown with Kristyne's consent

If you want to do your own ABC embroideries, don't feel constrained by the book designs - do your own. That would be awesome (I'm not that talented!).  Lucy - I'm looking at you!

I got my materials from Spotlight - cheap and cheerful - one 4" wooden embroidery ring (it was a couple of dollars) and a marking pen. I got one that air fades - so I can't mark up my embroideries in advance. You might want to chose one that's more permanent. The book has some ideas on marking pens. 

As for embroidery floss - I have a box of bits and bobs that Mother gave me years ago. It is mainly DMC and Anchor. I have just chosen some colours I like - mainly blues, oranges and browns, with some touches of brighter colours. If you want more specific guidelines, the book has specific floss details for each quilt.

Boy thread colours.  Brown is okay, really. 

I've decided on a different quilt pattern than in the book - I'm going to trim each block back to 4.5" square and border it with 2.5" strips to make a 8.5" finished blocks. I'm going to alternate blue and orange prints. Who knows what it will look like when it's finished - but it's best not to agonise over these things or you will never get started. 

Here are my six prints all cut up and ready to go - I don't want to be cutting once I'm back at work, so  I've done it now. For my embroidery fabric I've picked a white on white dot, for a bit of texture. If you get a yard of your embroidery fabric, that will be heaps - you will be cutting 30 blocks 6" square.

Robots, zig zags, man stuff.
In summary I cut:

  • 30 blocks 6" square of my white on white fabric for the embroidery (standard quilting cotton)
  • 60 strips 2.5" wide x 4.5" long (various colours)
  • 60 strips 2.5' wide x 8.5" long (various colours)

This should yield one quilt 40" wide x 48" long.  When I've sewn it up, I may add some borders.  We will see what it looks like.

So I'm pretty much ready to go - you don't actually need much stuff which is a pleasant surprise!

Go to it, quilty friends. We'll link up next Sunday and you can show us what you've chosen.  The following week we will find out if I can embroider or if the whole thing needs to be cancelled because my block is too ugly to show (just kidding - you'll see it warts and all!).

Is there anything I've missed that you think I should mention?  Let me know.  And don't forget to visit Kristyne's blog - but don't blame me if you explode from the gorgeousness of it all.  Just saying.

*so excited*

PS - Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is having a great giveaway - you should pop over and have a look (except know that I'm going to win, okay).

Linking up at Sew Many Ways - Sew Crafty.