Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Finished Quilt...

Lately I have been gradually getting back into some regular sewing. This is good - if you had asked me a month ago I would have said it is likely I will never sew again.  A few minutes here and there and a clean space to work makes all the difference.

So finally, after three years of on again off again working on it - this quilt is finished. It is Bonnie Hunter's pattern called Roll Roll Cotton Boll. This was her annual mystery quilt in about 2010 (I think?). They are always great fun and you use up HEAPS of scraps - I did not buy a single piece of fabric for this quilt.

 Not a great pic, but it is cold and wet and rainy here so I can't hang it outside...sorry!


 I have come to LOVE hand quilting and this one is quilted by hand in a baptist fan design.


 This is what Baptist Fans looks like:
Photo compliments of http://conquilts.tripod.com/135circles.htm
I bought this bucket of thread off a friend when she was having a cleanout - it was an absolute bargain at $10 - and this quilt was quilted using some of the reels. I think about 4 or 5 in total, starting with the reels with the smallest amount of thread. When one finished I just started another not caring if it was a slightly different shade. This doesn't bother me for two reasons.

  1. No-one is going to notice
  2. It is a scrap quilt - so scrappy threads fit with that. 

 


I have also started designing a new quilt. Designing is not something I have not done a lot of lately. Inspiration comes in funny places...this one came from a little stuffed toy belonging to a colleague, we have nicknamed him 'Q-Cat'. He is from the Oxfam shop and smells lovely as he is filled with Lavender. After weeks of looking at him, I decided he would be a good quilt block.

Fluffy getting acquainted with Q-Cat


The quilt block....I have not quite finished the detail on his face, so the picture shows the paper pattern sitting on the block. What do you think? Cute or what?

I have lots of cat fabric and will be making about 20 blocks - each one featuring a different cat fabric. I also need to add tails - but still deciding how to do that at this point. I am also not sure just yet what the quilt layout will be - but I have a few thoughts running around my brain.

For the pattern I literally just photocopied the stuffed cat! So easy and it was good enough as a base to draw the pattern from.  When I have a decent pattern, I will share with you all - if you would like it?

It is a cold and wet and rainy Sunday here, so I am off to find a new hand quilting project to move along toward finishing. Happy Sewing Everyone!

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Using up Cat Fabrics....

Hello All

I thought I would share with you a project I am working on...and have been for some time! I have no plans for the quilt at this stage, I am just making blocks and will decide on a layout and size later. I suspect I will make two quilts - and one will go to Little Paws Kitten Rescue here in Brisbane for their annual fundraising auction. They are an amazing charity here in Brisbane who rescue hundreds of cats and kittens each year.

First up - if you are new to my blog, why not subscribe? That way you will be sure to receive each post as they come out and you won't miss anything!


OK now the housekeeping is done, onto the sewing. My mission for this quilt was to use up all the smaller scraps of cat fabrics I have. Trust me there was HEAPS!

I also had a BIG pile of 8 1/2" squares of cat fabrics - so decided on QAYG (Quilt-As-You-Go) and rather than cutting the smaller bits into uniform size pieces I decided on some crumb piecing.

For some reason I also had (and still do sadly) a big pile of cat 'pictures' such as this, so I am using them as the centre of the blocks. They are about 3 inches square or a bit smaller - perfect!

First up - you will need 8 1/2" squares of whatever backing fabric you want to use, it could be one fabric or lots and lots of different ones - as mentioned previously I am using my cat fabric squares. You will also need 8 1/2" squares of wadding/batting - I prefer cotton (or predominantly cotton) for QAYG as you need to iron it.

How cute is that cat fabric on the right? One of my favourite of all time. I would love another couple of metres of it if anyone knows where you can get it? Love love love it. Here is a close up for you.

If you have lots of little pieces of batting you can join them - I do as money is tight in our household and I believe in recycling which means using everything I can.  Just butt the edges of the wadding and use the widest triple zig zag on your machine to stitch them together. This one I happened to sew with contrasting thread so you can see it clearly!

Now onto making blocks. Place one square (8 1/2") of batting on your board, put a small squirt of quilt basting spray in the middle only (you can get away without using it if you like) and place your backing fabric onto the wadding - wrong side of the fabric to the wadding of course.

Next you will need whatever pieces you are going to use for the centres of your block - could be all one colour, could be pictures as I have done or anything you like.  Don't bother cutting them to a uniform size - this is a quilt based on random size pieces. The more random the better.

Place one of the centre squares onto one of your prepared backing/wadding squares. I mixed up the placement of the centres onto the blocks - some I placed in the centre, some off centre, some a bit crooked, some straight. Again, it adds more interest to your blocks.


Now you are going to add strips around the centre square - again random widths is great! Start with your smallest scraps to use them up. The strips you will need will get longer as you work your way out. Use your walking foot for the seams - and use the edge of your foot for the seam width, no need for a 1/4".

Place your first strip right sides together, onto one side of the centre piece and pin in place. Stitch. You have a choice here - you can do a few stitches back and forward at each end to secure, however be aware it will show on the back of your quilt. My preference (and what I do) is to just stitch across, leaving thread tails at each end. I then pull the top thread to lift the bottom thread up to the top, tie the ends in a knot and snip. These knots will be hidden in your piecing and stay secure. I stitch a big pile, then tie the ends in front of the TV.

Iron the strip outward. You are now ready to add the next strip - you can work on opposite sides of the centre square OR work around it, a bit like a log cabin OR mix it up and do a bit of both!

Keep adding to the block in this manner until you have covered the backing and wadding square. Trim the blocks to a uniform size - I am trimming mine back to 8 1/4".

Random size strips and alignment look great!....

Nearly finished....

A couple of finished blocks - two down, about 90ish to go....


I also thought I would show you the back of the block - when making scrap quilts like this where you CANNOT get one colour thread to match all blocks, I use up all the odds and ends of my bobbins. So, as you will see, each block my have a few different colours.

You are now ready to design a layout and join your blocks...I have written a post on joining QAYG blocks which you can find by clicking here. As soon as I have decided on a layout and am up to joining blocks I will share that with you also. In the meantime - happy sewing!

This is basically what is referred to as a 'crumb quilt' - click here for a search on pinterest for crumb quilts - so many beautiful variations!

While surfing around, I also found this quilt - which is basically a crumb quilt that you could adapt to QAYG. Click here.  

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Knit One, Purl One.....

As the cooler weather sets in every year, out comes my knitting. This year it has been a little earlier than usual as I felt the need to knit an Afghan rug. Big wool, big needles and easy blocks means I have made good progress.

A friend asked me today what I was knitting - so Eileen from Touchwood Design, this post is for you! For everyone else..why not duck over to Eileen's blog after leaving here - she makes the most beautiful cushions.

I am using this wool from Spotlight....Kendra. Lucky it is on special cause it takes 3 balls per block - saving money is definitely NOT a reason to hand make things anymore.


I started with a pattern from Lion Brand - they have heaps of free patterns on their site. Click here to have a look!

Diagonal Rib....


These needles belonged to my Grammie, I have a lot of her treasures including knitting and crochet needles..and furniture.  They are missing the knob off one end  and the rubber band in its place is totally corroded...but they are still priceless to me!

Please excuse the carpet that desparately needs a shampoo.  This is the first strip done, it will eventually be 3 strips wide of four blocks - so 12 blocks in total. It is so snuggly buggly already, and I MIGHT even get it finished in time for winter.


Some close ups of the blocks....


Strip two is well under way, and it looks awesome beside the first strip.


Sorry about the really BAD photography in this post...but hope you get the idea!

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Sunday, 23 March 2014

100 HAPPY DAYS...

Hi All,

Today I came across the '100 Happy Days' challenge and will be starting it tomorrow. Why don't you join me? Click on the title below for the link to the website.


It is no secret I LOVE to take photos...and love to see them used, this challenge will be great to help me focus on the positive things in life and the photos will be a great addition to my Project Life albums.  Here is my last couple of pages that are just about complete!

I love the look of using just one or two colours in a weekly spread to tie my pages together - for Week 8 (mid February) I decided Orange would be perfectly complimented with black and white photos.

 



A little FLIP pocket featuring Grandad squeezes in an extra photo...love this look!


This is a more recent week at the beginning of March. It was a happy week for me, in between missing Wilfred. It was also a good week in that I started listening to music again - not something I have done recently.



On that note...I will leave you with one photo that ALWAYS makes me happy....


Have a great week everyone.

Kylie  xoxo


Friday, 27 December 2013

The aftermath...

Hi All and Merry Christmas again! Hope you all had an amazing Christmas day filled with family, fun and lots of food. Ours was very quiet with lunch at Mum and Dads.


This year I decided I was getting one combined present for Mum, Dad, my Sister....and me. It is a QPix Scanner for slides, photos and negatives and oh wow is it a gem. Christmas Day I spent scanning the family slides, some I had never seen and most have not been seen for 40 years or more. Some are a bit mildewed but on the whole they are in good condition and it is a process that is priceless. We now all have digital copies of the photos and can start getting them printed and into albums.

This photo is of me - taken close to 40 years ago, and it is outside our house in the middle of Maroochydore. Of course, it does not look anything like that now.  :-(  The quality of the scan and the printed pic from that scan is amazing.


 Other than that it has been a sewing sweatshop here. Remember that nice tidy sewing space I showed you last week? Here it is now....ooops.  Today I just have to stop and clean up!



Of course, my little buddy has been by my side the whole time - and has destroyed the surface on my design board...grrrrr Fluffy.


At times I have to fight him for the pieces....at the risk of having my arm torn off.


Remember those african blocks I started - I am now joining them into a top - and only have one block left to make. How beautiful are the colours - and the 'photo bomber' in the corner?


I have also moved onto this one....most of the blocks are made, the rest are cut out and now I am onto joining. This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern from Quiltville and used up lots and lots of scraps...yay.


I did brave the sales briefly this morning - but just picked up a couple of things, one of them being this cordless iron - it could be good, or not, at only $10 (from Spotlight) I am happy to take the risk and try it out.


Happy sewing everyone - hope you are getting some time to relax and enjoy the rest of the festive season.

Bye for Now

Kylie  xo

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Making Progress

Here I am again, only a couple of days before Christmas but I had Wilfred until the 19th, so we celebrate early. That means Christmas is all over for me - and I get a couple of weeks of 'just me' time. While I used to hate it, I have realised this is my time to treasure - to do whatever I want and recharge my batteries for the coming year.

So in essence, that means lots and lots of sewing for me - time to pull out old UFO's, retidy both my sewing space and UFO's and get some things finished, hopefully!

I have done some rearranging and am really happy with my sewing space at the moment - lots of natural light, a nice breeze in the window and room for Fluffy to steal my pieces help. The little travel iron beside me is great for just little bits of ironing so I can keep sewing.


Over the coming couple of weeks - my 'focus' quilting-wise it to tame my scraps! I have about a dozen scrap quilts started or partly cut out so it is time to get them sewn up, finish the cutting and most of all use those scraps up.

Today I have been working on some blocks for this one - I cut the blocks in about 2005 - the quilt is by Kaye England from the book Quilt Inspirations from Africa. I did a workshop with Kaye (absolutely jump at it if you ever get the chance) and it was a pivotal moment in my quilting, the workshop was learning to use the half and quarter square rulers and many more! They certainly make life easier for quilters and I like Kaye's brand which are Nifty Notions.


You can read more about Kaye by clicking here.

My blocks so far - not bad for an afternoon....



My favourite blocks so far:



Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, filled with family, fun and happiness.

Thanks for following along with me this year.

Bye for Now

Kylie  xoxo


Monday, 7 October 2013

UFO Count - MINUS 1!

As the long weekend draws to a close I thought you might like to see a bit of a weekend wrapup! I love the weekends I spend with Wilfred, but I also LOVE quiet weekends (like this one) I can spend at home sewing - shutting the world out for a couple of days and spending time with just me and Fluffy. I really have the best of both worlds.

It is stinking hot here - Fluffy sits just inside the door for the breeze...or on top of whatever I am trying to sew!

So onto the sewing....this quilt is one I inherited from my cousin and Mum's best friend who passed away close to 20 years ago - when finished it will go to her daughter.  Just a simple rag quilt with pink florals and white one side and blue florals and calico on the other. It is well on its way to being finished and delivered on time next weekend. Who would have thought I would ever deliver a quilt on time?  LOL


Next is a LONG term UFO and it is very nearly finished - I started this one about 6 years ago to use up all my shabby chic scraps. It is QAYG and so easy to do and I am really happy with it. Nine of these large blocks (made up of 4 @ 13" blocks) make up the quilt - I have 6 of them done and am not far off finishing the other three. I will join the big blocks with a different fabric to give a 'lattice' sort of effect, and will also just bind in the same fabric...maybe a pink?



I should have taken a better pic of the next one - it is a Nancy Halvorsen tree skirt from one of her books - sorry I can't find the book just now to tell you exactly which one. I love everything Nancy does, her applique style, quilts and smaller products and her fabric! See more her work at Art to Heart.

I have finished 3 sides of the stitching - just one to go, and hopefully that will be done tonight. You never know, it may just be under our tree this year!


 And finally - something I can cross off the UFO list - these pillowcases have been sitting on my cutting table all year just needing the backs on. Finally, in 10 minutes this afternoon they are done - woot woot! I LOVE hand made pillowcases - so easy, so much better quality and often cheaper. 1.7metres of fabric gives you enough to cut two lengths side by side perfect to make pillowcases.



How cool is that Santa fabric on the back?

The plans for this week are to finish the rag quilt, do some long overdue paperwork and finish the blocks of the shabby chic quilt!

Have a great weekend everyone - and Happy Quilting!

Kylie  xo