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...
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.