Saturday, September 23, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival........

Is on again this year over at Amy's Creative   Here is a place to gather and share some amazing work that has been created by bloggers during the year.   First of all I would like to share my 365 daily circles.   This was a fun project and used up a lot of those novelty prints to represent an activity that I did on each day of the year.  I set it out like a calendar and it is a lovely reminder of a year in my life.

My next "net" challenge was the rainbow challenge.   Each month we were given a different colour to work with and for some reason I decided to make 6 nine patch blocks of each colour with no clear direction of what would be done with them when finished.    Once all the blocks were finished I realised that there were not enough blocks to make a decent size single bed quilt so 4 extra colours of my choice were added in and this is the result.    The front

And this is the back

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Thursday, September 21, 2017

East meets West.......

Is what I have called our new favourite dinner.  I saw the recipe on the "net" a couple of weeks ago and as usual I did not have some of the ingredients but did some substituting as one does and ended up with something delicious.     Best of all it is all cooked in one pan....that is my kind of cooking.   I gave it the name "East meets West"  because  the vegetables are stir fried - being the East part and the West part being the pasta.    The original recipe called for mushrooms but hubs cannot eat mushrooms so chicken was substituted nor did I use soy sauce due to the high salt content so extra lime juice was added.    As you can see it was a big pan so lunch today was leftovers.

I was inspired after my spring walk on Tuesday to get my snowball blocks sewn together today.   It will make an ideal runner for spring on the dining room table.

I still have just over a week to go before the end of the month so there is hope that this will be finished as it was one of the items nominated for September's OMG.

Back soon and in the meantime
Happy sewing all

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Join me in a ......

Today it was one of those glorious Spring days walking shoes on, grab a bottle of water and into the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney we go to see what we can see.    Like hidden statues

Paths meandering through the pretty garden beds.

A visit to the Calyx is a must when in the Gardens as they have ever changing displays.

At present it is all about Pollination.  It is very hard to get the full picture of the vertical wall as it curves around.

Time to head back through the Gardens and enjoy the views of the lakes and the sun glistening on the Harbour in the background.

I hope that you enjoyed the Spring walk as much as I did.  

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, September 15, 2017


Tonight I spent the time making up pillowcases from the panel that was bought last month.   After doing some measuring, re-measuring and then working out which way to cut the panel in order to get the best out of it I found that I needed to make the pieces a bit longer and a bit wider and fortunately there was some backing fabric left over from the rainbow quilt which fitted in perfectly as it was from a range called "Spot the dog".   I ended up making two pillowcases with "Skye" on both the back and the front.   Miss M can have one for home and one for here.   These were very quick to make once all the measuring and cutting was done as I used the overlocker to sew them up.

During the week I had some time to cut out more of those snap top glasses cases and all that was left to do tonight was to sew them up.   They have been added  to my "giftie" box.  

Head on over to Sugarlane Designs to see what the other 18 participants got up to during FNSI.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Monday, September 11, 2017

Snap top bags

My first attempt was back to front with the snaps but once I had another look at you-tube and saw where I went wrong it was on to finish off two snap top glasses cases.  

They are quick to make - around 15 mins each.    I have an order for another one and can see more in my future.    These can be made in any size or shape and would make great gifts.   A good scrap buster project.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, September 8, 2017

An "0" Birthday

Hubs has just had one of those "0" birthdays.   His brother is half an "0" older and I am half an "0" younger with all 3 birthdays falling within 3 weeks of each other so it was decided to celebrate this momentous occasion by getting together for a few days  at Coffs Harbour.   Someone whispered to the restaurant manager what we were celebrating and he presented us with the plate below.  

The reason for choosing Coffs Harbour is because it is approximately halfway between where both parties live.    This was our home for the time away.

Breakfast is ready.

Off for a drive to the rainforest and a walk out on the skywalk overlooking the area.

Time to head down to the beach and have a paddle.    It will be sometime before anything above the ankles gets wet as the water was a bit chilly.      

While we were away the garden did what the garden does in spring.

There was no time to do any fabric shopping while away but I was lucky to be given this delicious fabric for my birthday.     I will enjoy patting it and having a think about what it will become in the future.

Back to reality with a thud this afternoon.   The bags have been unpacked and the washing machine is doing its thing.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The beginning of the month means......

Time to sort out what  item is up for a finish during the month.   Me thinks that it will be a couple of smaller items this time.    First up this panel just happened to fall into grandma's basket as she was walking around the fabric shop and seeing that Skye from Paw Patrol is one of Miss M's favourite tv characters how could I have left it behind.    Now what to do with it.   I feel a couple of pillowcases may come out of this.  

One of the members of my quilting group impressed us all when she made a few snap top bags.   Hopefully I can impress you also if I can make something out of this.

Then there is the little matter of some snowball blocks that were made a couple of years ago - like about 5 years - lurking at the bottom of one of my fabric crates.

Originally this was designed to be something big but after laying them out and having a play around with what blocks are made a tablerunner is their destiny.    I have decided that small and finished is better than waiting for something that may never happen.  

So enough about what I hope to achieve lets go and see what everyone who has signed up over at Elm Street quilts OMG aspires to finish during September.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, September 1, 2017

A bigger table mat

Last year I made a set of placemats with matching coasters and  table mat which be seen below but when using the tablemat I always felt that it was just too small to be of use particularly when there were a couple of bottles of drink placed on it.

During the week when doing a search through my scraps for something else I found some left over cork fabric from the coasters and set to today to make a bigger tablemat.

All that is left to do is the binding and it will be ready to use with the rest of the set when the weather gets warmer and we can start eating our dinner out again of an evening.

That is what I achieved during FNwF - to see what the others taking part got up to pop on over here.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last nights leftovers....

Of roast pumpkin and chicken were added to onion, crumbled fetta cheese and olives to make pizza for tonight's dinner.    Once you have covered the pizza bases with tomato paste just arrange the topping  all over and pop into the oven  for 25 mins.   While they are cooking there was enough time to finish off sewing up the beanie that I was knitting during the week.

Time to take the pizzas out of the oven, cut into quarters, sprinkle generously with roquette leaves and enjoy.

Hubs and I met up with some very good friends at Berrima for lunch yesterday.   Being a  2 1/2 hour drive from our house it was time to enjoy a little sweetie and coffee on arrival.   You cannot argue with the writing on the cup!!!!   I chose the award winning salted caramel and chocolate tart and I can see why it was a medal winner.        Delicious.  

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The last lap

It is always a good feeling when heading down the last lap of sewing on the binding and that is what happened just after lunch today.

I did a simple quilting stitch using the walking foot.  It was a matter of just sewing up and down each column of the rainbow and then into the middle of each block.    Even though it was a simple design it took just on 8 hours to complete the quilting.      In the picture below the quilting can be seen if you look closely.   Being white thread on a white background it does not show up too well.

And now for the completed quilt.   The same fabric was used to bind it as the backing with a bit left over to do another small project.     More about that later.

I am feeling very pleased with myself as my goal for August was to complete the quilting but I did manage to finish the quilt off completely with a week left in the month.   I really enjoyed the rainbow challenge even though I did not participate this year hopefully it will be running again next year.   A great excuse the use up all those scraps that keep appearing no matter how fast you sew.

Now to tidy up the living room, return my machine and all the other bits and pieces to the sewing room and start work on a few smaller projects that have been in the pipeline for a while.

Linking with Elm Street Quilts OMG for August and Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The boring bit

I did manage to finish off all the quilting on the rainbow quilt during the week and spent sometime yesterday and last night making a start on  pulling all the threads through to the back, tying  off and burying them.   Very boring and mind numbing.  

Just to give myself a break from all that mindless work - and what takes forever with very little to show for all that time spent - I picked up the beanie and seem to be making good progress.    I have reached the stage of shaping the crown now.

I did set a goal of trying to have all the quilting finished by the end of the month - that has now been achieved- and seeing that there are nearly 2 weeks left of August my goal is now to finish off the quilt completely.

If you would like to see what others achieved last night for FNSI go over to Wendy's blog.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ready, Set, Sew

This week I had time to make a start on quilting the rainbow quilt.   Here it is all pinned and under the walking foot.  

This time next week my aim is to show you the completed quilting...hopefully.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

 Happy sewing all

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Putting in a Zip

That sentence usually strikes fear into my heart and into the heart of many others also.      When I decided to make some zippered pouches I looked at "google" and found many different ways of making them.   I did a couple and took what I considered the best way from each of them for me but putting in the zip was always the same - fiddly and difficult.   They all mentioned using a  zip longer than the intended pouch but had you cutting them down to size or even smaller and making sure that the zipper pull or head was in the middle of the bag and open.    This is where the fiddly bit happens as you are moving the pull along  upside down was you sew.     After giving this some considerable thought and thinking that there must be a better way I just happened to stumble across someone else who had the same problem and her method was a light bulb moment for me.

I will not go into the actual pouch making but just the insertion of the zip.   So here is the secret to successfully getting the zip in without any bad thoughts or words flying around your sewing room.

Make sure that the zip is longer than the intended pouch but have it closed all the way and sew in.   This is what it will look like when in from the top.    As you can see the zip pull is nowhere along the area that you are stitching

Just give a quick press and you are ready for the next step which is to top sew down both sides to keep the lining in place.

Next step is to bring the zip pull into the middle of the pouch - this is most important as you will cut off the zip pull if you do not - and sew cross the zip where it meets the ends of the fabric.     Once you have sewn across the zip at both ends you then trim off the zip to fit the pouch size.

 A close up of the stitching across the ends of the zip can be seen below.

Then proceed to finish off your pouch with a perfectly non fiddly inserted zip.   I hope the above helps anyone else who finds putting zips in purses etc difficult.

Now as you know the first Friday night of the month is always FNWF run by Cheryll at Gone Stitchin" and last night I decided to do a little knitting just for a change.    I was inspired by Cheryll last month when she showed us her pretty beanies.    Being the slow knitter that I am the thought was I could start a beanie for Miss M for next year and it may be finished in time.....LOL.     I still have a long way to go.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August OMG

Goal setting time has arrived and this month my aim is to get the quilting on my rainbow quilt done.  As you can see it is sandwiched and pinned ready to go.   Normally I always use a wideback for the backing but on this occasion I saw this "bargain" and just joined it to make it the necessary width.   I will have enough left over which can be used as the binding also.

In an ideal world getting the binding on would be even better but there are "things" happening at the moment which need to be dealt with so being overly ambitious is not an option.

There are plenty of other lovely items being prepared by others at the moment in the hope of being finished by the end of the month and they can be seen over at Elm Street Quilts.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I cannot stop......

Making little zippered pouches.    These are very quick and easy to make and very addictive.   After making one I had to make another, then another and so on.  They are ideal to use up all those pretty fat quarters that have been lying around for sometime.  There is one more ready to sew in my sewing room.

After making the first one I found that it was much easier to use a long zip, sew it in then bring the head of the zipper to the middle of the bag, sew across the zip at both ends and cut the zip to fit.   So much easier than trying to lift the machine foot past the head of the zip in the middle of the bag.

The charms on the end of the zips are those that I purchased at the recent craft fair.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, July 21, 2017

From this.......

To this.

My rainbow quilt top has now grown into the correct size.   When doing the challenge only 10 colours were used however I added in the red with white and black with white blocks but the quilt was still not quite the right size so the pale pink and pale green blocks  along with the sashings and borders - that I managed to get on today -  have made all the difference.

It was a very cold and windy day - good for doing some pre-washing of the backing fabric and  I am using a lightweight flannel as wadding so that was pre-washed as well.  

I was lucky to be able to make an early start on my FNSI and am pleased with my achievement.   Next step is to sandwich and pin it ready for quilting.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Quilt Retreat

Each year for the past 10 years I have been invited to attend a quilting retreat and this year the dates chosen did not work for me so it was time to take matters into my own hands and do my own quilt retreat over the last 2 days.    There are some advantages such as no 5 hour round drive, no packing and unpacking of the car at either end, not having to pre-plan projects ahead, my whole sewing room to myself, not having to queue up to use the iron and of course there are very big disadvantages such as having to prepare all meals and clean up,  the opportunity to cruise around the room to be inspired and motivated by what others are working on and of course that laughter and chatter of like minded people.    I took this opportunity to re-visit the projects mentioned in my last post and pick up where these had been left off.   Firstly the item that I started at the retreat last year which was a variation of a rail fence. This was a very easy design and went together well but a decision had to be made - make it larger or end it where it is and a have a tablerunner.   I went with the latter and only had to make 3 more blocks, add a border etc.  You can see below that it is now sandwiched and pinned ready to quilt.

Next I unfolded the rainbow quilt - which now has a good home to go to when finished - and measured it  to find that it needs another row of blocks plus some sashing and borders to make it the required width.    It does have green in it already but the green was "shades of the rainforest" so this time I pulled all plain greens or green with white and made 6 more 9 patch blocks.

The next colour is pale pink - again there is already pink in the quilt but it was hot pink - so all the pale pinks with white or other soft colours were used.   So far these are only cut and laid out ready to be sewn.  

I needed a break from all this cutting and headed back to the rail fence tablerunner after breakfast this morning and worked solidly on quilting it, then after lunch on went the binding and yeah I have a finished item to show from my quilting retreat.    I am doubly happy as I had nominated one of these items to be finished by the end of the month for July's OMG.

I may even have sometime tomorrow to sneak back into my sewing room and get those pale pink 9 patch blocks finished.

It feels good to be able to tick one off the list and have another  on the way to completion.   I must do another "at home quilting retreat" in the not too distant future to see what else can be achieved.

Linking with Oh Scrap and Elm Street Quilts - OMG for July.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dancing dress

Grandma do you have a dancing dress was the question that Miss M asked last week and the answer from me was "no but perhaps I could make one".   This obviously was the right answer  as Miss M then went on the explain to me what a dancing dress looks like......"it has a big twirly skirt and looks like my Cinderella doll's dress" which can be seen below.

OK leave it with me and hopefully there will be a dancing dress ready for your visit next week was my reply.   Fortunately for me many friends and relatives over the years have given me bit and pieces of their leftover  sewing projects which have been stored in a cupboard in my sewing room for an unknown one day project so into the cupboard I delve and come up with some blue fabric, pink lace and offcuts of curtain fabric - perfect for a dancing dress.       After 2 hours this is the result.

Hopefully this is what Miss M had in mind with her description of a dancing dress.   I did make the dress a bit on the big side so that she can pull it off and on easily and can be worn over bulky winter clothes at this time of the year.

Thanks Cheryll for hosting another FNwF.   I did cheat a little and start sewing this morning as I was on a mission to get this finished before the weekend as I did not want to disappoint Miss M by not having it ready.      I also made a lacy scrunchie to go with the dress but forgot to photograph it.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all