Monday, 31 October 2011

At last, something to show you

I finished something this weekend!
It's another pastel quilt. I know. I'm just about pastelled out but the box of those scraps is nearly empty now. I'm thinking I'm going to hang this on my daughter's wall. She has a quilt in there already (actually she has two!) but this one is more little girly than the one she has now, which is just stars.

Just a quickie post today.  Hope your day is going well!


Thursday, 27 October 2011


After piecing a small baby quilt perfectly yesterday, for no apparent reason my Pfaff machine broke. Sob. It's in the doctors today, it's got a broken spindle on the spool and the timing is out. For those of you like me, to whom that means nothing, it means you break many needles and the machine is angry.

So today, for the first time in a LONG time, I haven't pieced anything! It's a bit of a dangerous time really. I tend to get itchy feet (or hands?) and start something new when I can't finish something old, which is why I have so many UFO's. One day I'll show you my UFO cupboard.

How are we all going with the first month of Bountiful Bouquet? I'll confess I haven't even started stitching mine. But I have pieced next months' blocks so I will be ready to post them on the 1st November.

Must away, tea to cook. See you tomorrow!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Where I belong

This is where I live.

Not right on the river, of course, but a five minute walk.  

I am very, very blessed to be able to look at this every day.  This is our river in flood a few months ago.  Floods are rare nowadays.  Our river is overused, and in crisis.  But that's a debate for another day.

Right now the river is filled with fish, and yabbies, and waterbirds, and ducks, and so much more.  It's a blessing to live here.

You couldn't pay me to live any place else. 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Local Quilt Show

The group I belong to is having its annual quilting show this weekend. 

I'd give my eye teeth to spend some time there, by myself, all along, without children.   The group is manning the exhibition for eight hours today and tomorrow and the idea of being with like minded people for a whole eight hours is just too tempting.

But, I'm by myself this weekend, so I've had to take my two little people along with me this morning and have a quick run around.  Can anyone tell me why seemingly well behaved childen act like - well I can't really tell you politely how they were acting except to say many a hard word was said between clenched teeth 'I will NOT TELL YOU AGAIN....'   They ran between the quilts, playing hide and seek - the amount of Very. Bad. Looks. I was getting from others, I can't begin to tell you.  We didn't stay long.

It wasn't their finest moment but I think I can put it down to their familiarity with quilts.  We have them everywhere, on the walls, on the beds.  There's always one or two in the sewing room in various stages and to them, a quilt is just one of those everyday things.  Great for making cubby houses or for wrapping yourself around on a cold day. 

I took a few photos, in between wrangling children.  

There were plenty more, but it all got a little too hard and I left, children in two, to go home and have naps.

I might see if I can pop in tomorrow for a little bit more quilt-love.

Till then,


Sunday, 16 October 2011


Inspired by some of my favourite blogs, and because I have nothing better to do (insert eye roll here) I made a klosjes.

It's four inches in total.  I only have to make about 500 more and I'll have a quilt!

It was fun.  Slow, but fun.  It may become a project or it may just be one of those orphan blocks we all have but I at least had to make one.

Hope your weekend has been filled up with good things.  Till tomorrow,


Saturday, 15 October 2011

I'm back!

I seem to say that quite a bit.  I do try to blog daily, really I do but sometimes I do feel like the most boring woman on the face of the planet with absolutely nothing noteworthy to say.

But this week I have a good excuse - it's school holidays.  Fresh off the beach break, family visited for three days and I've barely had the computer on. 

So busy family time means no busy sewing time, much to my dismay.  I feel disconnected if I don't get to do some sewing at least every day.  And when I say sewing, I mean the whole spectrum of craft, plonked under the umbrella of 'sewing'.  Even if it's crochet.  Or knitting.  Or something.
(on an aside, at the local spotlight store I very nearly brought a 'do your own candle' kit.  Then I smacked myself around the head and got the hell out of there, because really - do I need to invest myself emotionally in another flipping craft?  I don't even like candles.)

I got a shipment from Judy Rothermal of (I'm sure I've mentioned my love of her stuff before) of her latest collection.  I've been wanting to use my Apple Core dye on the Go Cutter for ages now, so rather than put the fabric away for 'special', I thought Nope, bugger it.  I'll cut it up.  And this is what happened:

It's going together so well, the Go cutter works really well for this curved sort of project.

I do love this range.  I do love her fabrics, as much as I love Jo Morton.  As much as I love Nancy Halvorsen.  I'm an addict.  This is filled with lots of lovely bubblegum pinks and rich browns and it's yummy.

Also on my design wall is this:

The picture is a bit blurry.
I have wanted to do a pineapple quilt since I saw Bonnie over at doing one.  I printed a few pages from my EQ programme and whilst the little people were playing so beautifully, came up with two blocks.  I think I can manage one a day in the 'downtime' we get but it's a pretty messy sort of job - I have strips of fabric EVERYWHERE!
And because I do actually like to talk to my husband for at least five minutes a day, I don't lock myself in my sewing room after he get home (which is always pretty late, he works long hours).  I prefer to do hand work in the television room with him.  This is the result:

How cute are they?  These are left over blocks from another quilt I made (it's always never ending) that didn't quite fit so I added a couple more and this is the start.  I've got about five more to applique so I'll stick them up on the wall when they are done.

So that's all I have to show you today.  I'm off to a flower show and market stall this morning with the little people so I may have some lovely photos to show you tomorrow, if I remember to bring the camera.

Have a good one!


Saturday, 8 October 2011

What I've been working on

I managed to spend some time cleaning up my sewing room and actually did a little bit of piecing!

This is just a couple of half square triangles mixed with a few more smaller half square triangles.  I had so many blue squares already cut I figured it would be a good way to do them.  I've seen the same kind of quilt someplace else on line but can't find who - if it's your picture please email me and I'll happily give you credit.  It looks pretty good up there on my design wall, though I have a lot of rows to do to finish it.  And it doesn't even make a dent in the stash pile.  

Till tomorrow


Friday, 7 October 2011

A few fixed up things

Hi everyone!

I'm home from our little jaunt and trying to fix up a few little bugs with my first month of Bountiful Bouquet.

I understand some of you have had a problem with size of printing.  I'm not really sure what to suggest to fix this - I did a few trial runs with my printer set up and it worked.  But I think I can see one or two issues, which I'll try and address.

When Using Thunderbird as your browser:

If you have my website in your browser, and you click on the image directly, then LEFT click, and then FILE, then PRINT, you will not get the right size to print of your design.  It will show as this when you do a print preview:

Can you see all that blank white page?  That is not what you want.  Your picture should nearly fill that whole page.  It should look like this when you do a print preview:

To fix this problem, you need to save yourself a copy of the file, and then print from that.  

So to do that, you go first to your desktop.  

Open a file on your desktop (right click on a blank bit of your screen, then click on NEW, then click on FOLDER.

Rename your folder Bountiful Bouquet.

Go back to my drawings.  Put your mouse over the first one and right click.  When given the choice to save somewhere, find your Bountiful Bouquet folder on your desktop menu and save the image into this folder.

When all four have been saved, go to your desktop and double click on this folder.  Click print, follow the prompts as it tells you and if it asks you to crop and rotate to fit, do so (this isn't really a biggie though)

The crop and rotate thing doesn't matter so much, because it won't really change the measurement too much in the overall scheme of things.

The ultimate aim is to have your design, when taped together, measure 8" x 36".

I have tried the above steps using Internet Explorer and it all works the same. So save the file before you print it, and it should all be hunkydory.  Hopefully.

Reading of the Numbers

I've also had some issues with the quality of the diagrams, in particular the numbers not being able to be read easily.  I've put them through the copier on a darker setting, which will make that easier, but it also makes the background white look a little grubby.  I haven't worked out how to fix that background 'noise' yet so hopefully you can work around it.  I've put them below for you to download if you need to.


I find it helps with the numbers if you lay down the leaves first, then the small off shoot stems over the top of the leaves, then the long skinny stems over the top of those shorter stems.  You can press at this step, because all your flowers go over the top.  But please, please email me if you need a closer picture of any of my diagrams and I'll be happy to email you one directly if you want.

Finally, I've uploaded a copy of these pictures to 4shared and I really, truly hope they work!  The PDF file contains all four diagrams in one go or else the JPEGs are single diagrams.
Okie Doke.
I've done my best, people :)  Please let me know if it's still giving you grief.

All the best,

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Hi everyne...thanks for all your input regarding the diagrams. I'm aware of the problem that some of you are having and soon as I have access to my home pc I will load the diagrams onto google docs which should fix any issues some of you are having. It should be in the next day or so. I'm so thrilled that there has been such be honest I thought one or two people might have a go so this is just lovely. Till tomorrow, Susie

Monday, 3 October 2011


Thank you so much for the lovely reception that month one of Bountiful Bouquet has received.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see some new followers!  It's so much fun to open your blog account each morning and see new friends!  I thoroughly recommend you start a blog - if I can do it, anyone can!

I've given you more than enough work for one month, but as with most block of the month programmes, some months are easier than others and when you have done all your homework one month, you can pick up some of the other ones that have been lagging!

I'm off with the family on a little three day beach stay tomorrow, so I thought I'd pop in and show you a couple more finishes I've done before we go.  I've realised that I've not cropped either picture, so you get it warts and all so to speak - threads included.  Doesn't that sum up a quilter?  Covered in threads! 
The first one is a really simple four patch that was once upon a time going to be a shop design, now it's just something I found scrunched up in the cupboard that needed a little button holing done and bob's your uncle. I haven't decided what to do with it now, it's a bit useless with the size it is.   Perhaps I'll include it in a backing down the track.  For now it goes in the 'topped but not quilted cupboard';
I'm not sure if I've shown you this one or not, I have a suspicion I may have.  Toooooooo much sun to see it properly, but this is definitely going to the quilter (aka mother) to be quilted.  It's my oldest living UFO and definitely needs some quilting love.  It's been a cupboard far too long, now it's time to stick the old dear on a bed someplace.

So that's all for now.  Thankyou again for the very nice comments and reaction to my block of the month.  I'd love for you to tell your friends about it, or leave me a comment so that I know you're out there. 

Till next time,


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bountiful Bouquet Free Block Of The Month....Part One!

Click here for a printer friendly pdf  INSTRUCTIONS and here for DIAGRAMS

Okay!  It's the 1st of October and I'm officially nervous!  Please remember I'm new at this and my aim is to get better at the computer while sharing something I'm really proud of, so please be gentle with me!

So - to begin with we will be working with our first row.
We will require:
  • One of our background fabrics
  • Various coloured fabrics, including a few greens
  • A lead pencil, or a fine ink pen.  I don't recommend a wash-away pen because we are going to be ironing over the top of any markings we make
  • Vliesofix
  • Matching embroidery floss
  • Sewing needles (I prefer crewels)
  • General sewing requirements (ruler, board, rotary cutter etc)
  • Light box if you have one
Just a quick note - I don't prewash any fabrics.  It's up to you if you want to, but I have yet to have any issues with unwashed fabrics. 

Also, I'm assuming a basic knowledge of how vliesofix/fusible webbing works.  There are tutorials out there in cyberland if you need a lesson, or please feel free to let me know and I'll try to answer your questions.

To begin, cut a 10.5" strip from the width of your background fabric.  Open it up and it should measure 10.5" x 43" at least.  We will be trimming this back when we have finished stitching.

Press any centre fold seams from your background fabric.

Now, right click on the following files and save them somewhere safe.  I recommend you open a new file on your desktop and safe these files into that.

Okay.  Now, right click on each of these pictures and when given the option to print, do so.  PRINT TWO COPIES OF EACH PAGE.  I'm in Australia, using A4 paper that measures 8.25" x 11.75".  Now, tape them together with sticky tape all the way so that your design looks like mine below, being sure to overlap where indicated. 

It may help if you put the images over the light box when doing this step.  You want to make sure that the ones underneath are laying in the right spot before you tape.  Now measure your design - it needs to be in the vicinity of 8" x 36" but honestly, an inch or two different in size isn't going to matter as long as it's not bigger than your background piece (which will have a finished size of 9" x 42").

Write at the top of one of the papers REVERSED PIECE and set this paper aside for now.

Okie dokie.  Now the fun starts.   

For the next step, I lay my whole border piece of fabric onto an ironing board right side up.  I then set up a smaller ironing board (or a folded towel, just a smaller thing to iron on).  It will be on this smaller board that I do my fiddly work with the bits and pieces of applique.

Now you can see that I have numbered the floral appliques.  It's easier to start at the first number and go on, slowly, while you plod through it.  We will work from the first applique design first, not the one marked REVERSED PIECE.

Trace as many pieces as you wish to onto the smooth side of the vliesofix or fusible webbing, making sure that you leave a little bit of space around each shape.  Remember to number each piece to correspond with your background diagram.  This will save you going nuts later in the placement stage.  Cut roughly around each shape in the space provided. 

Decide what colours you wish to make each applique shape from.  Use our photo for placement guidelines if you wish but be adventurous.  Every garden is different! 

With the iron on the dry setting (no steam) lay the rough side of the vliesofix onto the wrong side of the fabric you wish to use for each appliqued piece.  Fuse the webbing to the fabric by ironing over each piece for a short time.  Cut out on the line and let cool completely.

Now, take that other piece of paper marked REVERSE PIECE and lay it face down (or reversed) onto your ironing board.  This is your placement picture so it needs to be reversed to the one that we are working with tracing our bits and pieces.  You should be able to see your design through the fabric, but if not, I find that taping the paper onto a window frame or light box and then drawing your picture onto the reverse side.  Centre your background over your design.  The long vertical stem in the middle of the picture is the middle, use that as a guide.

Peel the backing paper from each piece and lay in place over the traced lines on your background fabric where it is indicated.  I find the backing paper peels off much easier if you let it totally cool after pressing.

Begin in numerical order.  Start with number one and continue onward.  Gradually add the layers that are on top.  Lay as many out as you feel comfy with and then press in place.  This is why I use two ironing setups, you will NOT want to move the background fabric when all the bits and pieces are laying in place.

When all your bits and pieces are in place and you are happy, give it a good final press to secure any loose corners and using a new needle and two strands of matching embroidery floss, blanket stitch around all exposed edges of your applique shapes.

I'm sorry that I couldn't do a whole length photo but long and skinny is very difficult to photograph!

Trim border length to 9.5" x 42.5" and set aside for now.

So stay tuned on Nov. 1 for your second installment!  Please email or comment if you have any questions or queries.