Monday, 29 May 2017

Cross stitch progress.

I have done nothing quilty this week, since finishing the kiwi quilt.
Instead I have been concentrating on my cross stitch. I have really enjoyed sitting and stitching at a slower pace.
St Basils,  though seems to be racing along. I'm amazed at my progress in just a week. (If you look at my last post, you will see last weeks progress report)
All of this is great, as I want to get another piece cross stitched in time to frame it as a christmas gift. I don't want to put Basil to one side as I'm not very good at getting back to things when I do that.
I had two extra shifts at work last week that chewed into my creative time, and another this week, but plan to keep on going as time allows. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Lots of itty bits.

Sorry I missed out on posting last week. I had issues!
Which meant not much worth posting.
What did I have issues with? The Kiwi quilt. I have decided that it is jinxed!
When I bought the kit, the fabrics included were not the bright quirky kiwiana fabrics pictured on the packet, or shown on the model in the shop.
I had issues getting the final block to go together nicely, then when I was finally ready to quilt it, I had to unpick not once but twice!! I had a serious issue with cuckoos nesting on the back!
Anyway, here it is, finally quilted and ready for me to close the binding.
I just need to make it a label. It's gong to be renamed...
Kiwi'argh'na!
I have several itty bits of housework to do today, so once I had the binding on to the kiwi quilt I got on and did one or two of those.
Next up will be some more Bitty stars. These are so sweet and quick to make.
I came across a beautiful scrap quilt on pinterest.
All made up in rows of bitty blocks.
My stars will be joining the bitty bow ties I made last week.
Look here to see the inspiration. You have to scroll all the way down to see a completed top. I have ordered the book, but meanwhile I'm pottering on using the links available on the page.
The plan is to trade off itty bits of housework, with itty bitty stars.
Then later today I'll sit down and make some more itty bitty stitches in St Basils.
This has grown quite a bit recently and I'm pleased with my progress.
I'm hoping that I can maintain interest long enough to get it finished and then continue to cross stitch long enough to get a Christmas gift completed and framed in time.....
Wish me luck with that.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Not Two, but Three Finishes!

But only two of them are mine!
Remember on Monday I said that another sew along had taken place over the weekend, but I had no pictures from Claire?
Well here it is. I gather that this one has been a wip for a wee while.
Finished at last. It was made using the 'x block' ruler.
Oh boy! Those colours really POP on the black background.
All the off cuts from making the angled cuts went into the binding. Claire hates to waste anything and will use up even the tiniest of scraps.
With some encouragement (Nagging) Claire even made a quilt label using the alphabet function on her sewing machine. Doesn't it look great?
*
So, onto my efforts for the last couple of days!
Spring Sprouts is now a complete top.
I just need to settle on a quilt design and get it onto the frame.
Beautifully bombed by Belle!!
For those who need to know, this is a batik applique quilt kit from Laundry Basket Quilts and the colours are much stronger and prettier in real life. I took this photo at night with daylight lamps and a forced flash!
(It's pinned onto a previously finished quilt that is hanging in my hall as I don't have room for a design wall. So the animal prints are not part of it! LOL).
*
My next and very quick finish is a Kiwiana kit I picked up a few weeks ago on a trip to Geraldine. I was a little disappointed with the fabrics supplied in the kit and swapped some of them out.
Again, not the best picture as it was also taken at night. 
I'm delighted with how quickly this one went together. So another one ready for quilting.
*
I have several ideas for new projects and one or two that I should perhaps revisit.


Monday, 8 May 2017

More Sunday sewing

There was no road trip this weekend, but there was some wonderful sewing.
Debbie joined me at my place this time and made use of my quilting frame.
I think she had fun.
There were certainly lots of smiles.
This beautiful quilt was finished with an all over meander. This was the first time Debbie had ever tried quilting on a frame.

I am delighted for her. Just the binding left to do. Debbie plans a scrappy style of binding, using up the off cuts from the top.
Like me, Debbie has more than one crafty project on the go.
Her other current project is a crochet blanket. Inspired by the various versions of 'Flowers in snow' that she has seen on the internet she set off using up a bag of yarn scraps that she admitted she would probably have thrown away this time last year! LOL

This is going to be a very pretty blanket.
*
So while Debbie was doing all of that, what you may ask did I do?
I was there in a supporting role for Debbie. Helping with bobbin changes and resetting the frame when it was time, but I was also able to plod on slowly with my Spring Sprouts.
I made a start on stitching my blocks together into rows.
I'm about halfway done with that now and plan to do a little more later today.
I have to say, I have been thinking about how to quilt this one. An all over meander seems wrong.
Am I brave enough, and ready to try some simple custom quilting? Those star rows certainly will need something pretty.
*
Claire is still working on applique diamonds for her compass quilt.
No progress pics yet.
*
 I'm off on a solo shopping trip today. I have one particular fabric that I need to purchase and none of the three shops we visited last week had it in stock!!
I probably won't be ready to start that particular project for a few weeks, but you know how it is.....
I NEED it and I NEED it now! LOL
*
I hope you had a lovely weekend of sewing too. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I think he likes it!

M'boy finally came to see me and to meet his new quilt. I think he likes it.
We all know the cat likes it!!
Progress has continued slowly since Sundays marathon sewing effort.
I had fun in the sun on Monday laying out batik pieces and deciding what colour to put where.
Before starting the next cutting process.
I now have a bunch of pieces with pretty corner triangles all waiting to be joined into rows.
maybe I'll do that tomorrow.
*

Monday, 1 May 2017

Sunday Sew-along.

But first the road trip. 
Debbie, Claire and I all hopped into Claire's car on Saturday and drove off to explore some quilty shops. Three of them to be precise.
Debbie din't really have a shopping list. That is a dangerous position to be in.
Claire was looking to be inspired.
I was shopping for a metre of white on white and a particular fat quarter of kiwiana fabric.
Our first stop was the Oamaru silk centre, now called Clementines. It sits right in the main street of town, on a corner spot with lots of windows. 
Debbie and I found some fat quarters and Debbie also found a shirt pattern.  Claire found a quilt pattern but said she remained uninspired.
*
Next stop was a shop new to all three of us. It sits right on the main highway as you are leaving town to head North. Wisteria Cottage has recently opened. You could tell it is new. I found my white on white and Claire found a charm pack from which someone had stolen a few squares, so that was a bargain price. Debbie left empty handed. I was interested to see that she carries a good range of cross stitch threads and some beautiful hand dyed aida and evenweaves, so although we were uninspired by her quilty content, I may find myself returning for cross stitch supplies. 
*
Our third and final stop was at a wee place Debbie and I have both visited before, but not Claire, she had never heard of the Quilting Shed. Oh boy. Finally she found her inspiration.
 We enjoyed looking at a beautiful customer quilt that was on the frame. I made a quilt years ago using the very same fabrics. The customer in question was having a lesson in longarm quilting and using a pantograph. We all wished her good luck and of course Claire and I both assured her she would soon relax and enjoy herself. The lady who owns the store is very good and was very helpful to me when I visited soon after getting my own frame.
So back to the shopping.
Debbie found a couple of small kits and I think some fabric. I found a book and Claire.....
She wins the prize!! 
She finally found inspiration. Amid all of the amazing batiks carried in store Claire found not one, but two quilt kits. One was throw size and the other a beautiful table runner. Both designed by Jenny Beyer.
 They are beautiful, I may have to go back and get the table runner myself.
I think that particular bill added up to a lot more than all other spending that day!
So suitably inspired we all agreed that there would be a sew-along on the following day.
*
I'm a bad blogger and didn't get any photos!! I even put my own items away without taking pictures!
*
Sew-along Sunday was fun. It was a grey miserable day, with a cold wind blowing.
I finally finished the applique on my Spring Sprouts, which I started in July last year.
Then, because I had promised the pattern to Debbie, I made up a wee kit I've had stashed away for a while. This cute little mug bag was fast to make. (It has a magnetic snap closure which is incredibly powerful I think if I make another I swap it out and use a press stud/popper.) There is plenty of room for not only a mug but also a packet of soup or a few sachets of coffee or tea bags, a spoon and even a tea towel!! 
That was me for the day. I called time at about 4.30 and went off to make dinner.
Debbie meanwhile was playing with the most beautiful blue fabrics.
She made a few more of these blocks, then started playing about with placement.
And even started to think about border treatments!
I'm sure that tiny hint of green is going to POP out much better once the blue and white border goes on.
Claire was hand sewing, LOTS of diamonds for a Mariners compass, which she says has been a work in progress for way too long. She was also dog sitting so was hampered for a time by the needs of her furry friends. I hope she found some time to catch up. She did say she was going to sew late into the evening, while watching quilting and sewing videos on youtube! 
Can't wait to see more of this.
*
So I believe we three had a really good weekend. 
We will be doing it again, only next time the road trip will head North to take in some different shops. Including another one that Claire had never heard of!
Right, I'm off to find something a little warmer to wear and maybe another cuppa. Bloody cold start to the day, there is frost on the neighbours rooftops! The sun is on her way up now though, so it should warm up soon. 
Today I get to play with my sprouts again.
😊

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Quilted and bound!!

What's with Blogger today? It took me an age to upload photos and some just wouldn't come in at all!! How bizarre. 
Anyhoo, back to the listed billing.
I finished off the Nautical Code Flag quilt. Except for finding a snappy name for it!!
As you see below, I had a helper getting it all loaded into the quilting frame.
I think she likes it. Every opportunity she gets I find her sitting on some part of it.
Menace!
I made sure to take lots of action shots!! LOL
It being so big I had to turn it just about two thirds of the way down as there was very little room left in the throat of my machine and the meander was getting smaller and smaller! LOL
Glad I did though, as I discovered that the top was actually 3 inches longer than the backing!!
Fortunately I had a piece cut from the side that fitted nicely across the bottom!
Phew!!
Yesterday after fixing that oversight I finished off the quilting, added binding and last night I closed it up and buried the thread ends.
It has a made by Loulee label, but no name label yet.
What to call it?
*
On the subject of finishes, I called it quits for this wee blanket a few days ago.
It still needs to have a quick rinse and be shaped and stretched. So many different stitches makes for wobbly sides! I'm not terribly pleased with this one. I should have limited my colour palette and some of those rows could be a lot tidier, but to  me they were new stitches and designs and a good practice sampler and someone will feel warm and loved as they snuggle under it.
Someone small! It's a good size for a pram or a crib.
Finishes mean starts right?
I already made a start on another crochet project. A third and final cream and brown blanket. I have two already made, they live on the back of the sitting room furniture a third one will complete the set. A certain fluffy member of this household likes to sit up there and leave liberal coatings of white fluff all over the tops of the chairs!  The blankets help to save the worst of that fluff getting ingrained!
(If you're not sure who that might be, please refer to the top photo in this post!)
*
As for new quilty starts. I've had a charm pack of 30s prints for some time, but was never really sure what to do with it, I always found patterns that required more charms than I had, or more meters of matching fabric. When I was in town with Claire yesterday she very kindly handed me the jelly roll you see below!! It wasn't on my list.
I've had that jelly roll in my hands, 2....3? times. Although it has the same colours and the same 30s feel to it, it is different fabrics to my charm pack so was always rejected.
It finally came home with me along with a few Kiwi fat quarters (More about them another time) and two cuts from the special basket.
Claire bought nothing!
Hmmm, maybe she is saving herself for Saturday?
On Saturday, there will be more shopping I suspect.
Three of us are taking a wee road trip South.
There are three shops we want to explore.
One is new to all three of us. She promised to have a hot kettle and biscuits!!
*
Right, I'm off to see if I can find the right pattern to use up these 30s fabrics and try to dream up the right name for this quilt.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

I'm quilting again!

It's been a while and I never really became comfortable using the frame, but I got stuck in today, with help and support from a new friend.
I met my neighbour Claire at a sewing shop here in town ages ago, she was working/ helping out in there, we knew we were neighbours and had said we should get together on more than one occasion. I offered to let her use the frame for some charity quilts.
Last week we finally did it, we got together and loaded one of her quilts onto the frame and she happily and excitedly quilted a whole lap quilt in an afternoon. (Bad blogger!! Sorry, I forgot to get a picture.) OK, so there was a bit of evening too!
We enjoyed a good chat about all sorts of things, sewing and crafty related, and some not so crafty stuff too. She came back today and helped me to load my much larger quilt onto the frame and set off quilting. It was great to have her here.
 I had dreamed of some amazing and wonderful quilt designs. 
Then settled for a simple meander. LOL
After Claire left I continued to quilt away for the remainder of the afternoon and ran out of pre wound bobbins at just about time to stop and cook dinner! I'm about two thirds of the way through quilting the top. Once dinner was done with I popped back into my room and wound a load of bobbins ready for tomorrow but I have decided to call time now and relax for the evening. I'll do some more tomorrow. After a wee shopping spree with Claire. I'm off into town for fabrics for a new top.
Once I'm done on the frame I have promised Claire she can load up another of her many finished tops. I think she might end up buying one of her own!


Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Finish.

Oh My Goodness! It was so good to be patching away and creating.
I loved it, even all those triangles!
This is the largest quilt top I have ever created. 
The batting on my frame will just about peep out either side of it!
It's so huge I had nowhere at home where I could capture the whole thing.
I had to take it to work and spread it on the floor before opening, and catch a photo from the mezzanine. Then put it away quickly before opening.
I used these patterns for the square pennants
But the triangular ones I made up myself. Only one was consigned to the scrap bin and remade!
It was the very first and it needed to be bigger!
I tried it out on my bed and it fits rather nicely.
I still need to get on and quilt it, but I promised a friend she could pop a quilt onto the frame this week, so I can wait.
Meanwhile I have other things I could get on with.
Including making a label for this one. But to do that I need to come up with a name for it.
I'm tempted to call it ............

'Somfing Boaty'

Which is what Joe asked for! LOL
Or do I go a little more serious?
Any suggestions?
*
Right toward the end of the last seam my poor silver sewing machine had issues again.
I had to stop and start several times to overcome them.
She is currently in bits on his office floor. 😞
The bobbin holder keeps catching the thread, which then pulls said holder out of position!
Tony took it to see the local sewing machine service man who gave him a few hints to help overcome that for a while, but he said we would need to find a new bobbin holder and install it.
He said he had not seen a silver machine before and didn't stock parts for it. None of the parts he does have would fit. 
Hopefully the temporary fix will work until a new one is found. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Progress.

I almost feel guilty for having sick time from work. I got so much done!
As Monday progressed my sore throat became an incredibly runny nose, but I've had none of the usual aches and pains and don't feel particularly ill, on the contrary, aside from little bundles of paper handkerchiefs in every room of the house and the constant sniffing, you wouldn't know that I'm ill!
I've had so much fun putting together a quilt for DS Joe.
On Monday I finished making the flag blocks, if you remember I only had a few left to do. Then I got them all joined into rows with their sashing before calling it quits in time to cook dinner.
I didn't get quite as much done yesterday as I had a visitor, but I had a goal in mind  and was determined to achieve it, so I was still sewing when Tony got home, he organised dinner.
I am thrilled with the progress I've made. And so is Tony. He says if Joe doesn't like his quilt, that's ok, we can keep it, cause he loves it and wants me to make one for him too!!
(Sorry about the poor photo yet again, we took this last night, after dark with the lights on in the hall way of the house)
One more round to go. I plan to put the numeric pennants into a border of pale grey, then it will be complete.
Thing is, they are triangular flags and I don't have any triangle rulers, so I'll be relying on the cutting lines on my mat.  Oh! And there are two different kinds of triangle!!
Right, stuff to do today before I can play and I'll have another visitor!
Better get to it.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Shhh, it's oh so quiet!

Because Loulee has a very sore throat.
Tony had the end of last week off work with a sore throat and saw fit to share it with me!
There is no way I could be polite and talk to customers all day, so I guess I'll have a couple of days off work too!!
I guess that means I'll be able to continue with my latest project. The big tidy up last week yielded stitchy results. I set to and made a third start on a quilt for DS Joe. If you recall, quite some time ago he asked for a nautical quilt. I've had a couple of tries at it, but they failed.
This time, I'm on my way. I found patterns for nautical signal flags, they are so quick and easy to make. I have nearly the whole alphabet done! Just W, X, Y and Z to go!
I'll need to make some extra blocks too, just to pad things out a bit, but I feel that at last I have made real progress and can see where this one is going.
The overseer kept an eye on proceedings yesterday.
She has a perfectly cosy kitty bed there on the quilt frame, but chose to park her backside on my pressing mat. She was not happy when I shooed her off and took it over to the work table. 
I'm also still going with my crochet. My new project is far more colourful than these photos would have you believe. In fact, they look better here than they do in real life!!
The pattern I'm following is the 'as we go stripey blanket'.
And I have to say, the colours on the model blanket are far prettier than my own.
But I am enjoying the process, learning new stitches and techniques.
And I'm happy to say that it's a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I've kept it quite small, only 145 stitches across, more in keeping with my recent projects.
I may have to revisit this one or something similar in the future, perhaps making a monster version, with a little more thought applied to colour of course.
I'll take close pictures of some of the fancier stitches when we get a sunny day! It's a bit early in the morning and still quite dark here today.
Right, another cuppa then I'm off to play.

Monday, 3 April 2017

I quilted!!

I did honest.
It's only a tiny quilt, but a quilt none the less.
I made a quilted cover for my new wee friend.
It fits beautifully.
I even stitched on a tiny fairy to keep her company.
I really need to make these for all of my machines, not just Orphan Annie!
Sadly she is not wearing her new coat at the moment, she is currently in bits on the floor of his room, while maintenance and repairs take place.
Tony did manage to get the light working again and was able to 'jump start' the sewing process by winding the fly wheel while pressing the pedal!! When he let go of the wheel the needle continued to bob up and down for a while.
She is currently soaking up CRC.
I hope that soon I might have her back, all in one piece and wrapped up warm.
Then I shall have to find a home for her.
With that in mind I went into my wee room yesterday and had a tidy up. I found the table and had a sort out there. I emptied a junk drawer and put lots of things away.
Found a hook and hung a few items off the side of a shelving unit. A WIP that stalled sometime ago was boxed up and tucked into the cupboard. It's all looking a lot less cluttered in there just now.
*
Then I started on my yarn collection! Debbie had given me a bunch of yarn which needed to be put away and I was finished with my latest scrappy project and needed to put away the left overs from that too. Then I needed to sort out yarn for the next project!
I'll get to that presently.
First, here is the finished scrappy project.
It is brighter and more colourful in real life, but the days are so dull and gloomy at the moment I'm struggling to get a true colour likeness of it!
I finished off with three rounds of grannys in a navy blue and called time.
Belle likes it!
So While I was clearing up and sorting yarn, I came across this piece that was fiddling with last year. I was trying out different stitches and just really had no real direction for it. I had put it away while I had a think about what to do next.
 When I came across it yesterday I found that I had done a simple creamy white border around the whole thing. I tried a few different border treatments, but didn't like any of them, not even the addition a another row of single crochet. So I gave up and called time on this one too, leaving it with a very simple and very narrow round of single crochet.
It's a bit of an odd shape, probably because of the way I added panels on and I'm sure I managed to add to the row ends on more than one occasion! LOL
But I really don't mind, it is so cosy and warm and who is going to see a wavy end when they are all wrapped up in it?
Hmm, I find I haven't yet taken a photo of the new start, or the tidy room!!
Lets pretend I'm saving those for next time.