Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Dear Jane or…..

I actually sewed today!


This is Dear Jane block A11, Pebbles Protest or Dog’s Breakfast as I like to call it.

But – it’s sewing done.  It’s the first Dear Jane I’ve done in a thousand years or at least it feels like it.  I’m hoping that when all my blocks are together, it won’t look so dramatically awful.  Jane’s didn’t look all that flash way up close and we all forgive her for that. 

Having said that, I do wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this Jane quilt.  I’m pretty sure the quilt police would hate it.

I must get moving though, tonight is New Year’s Eve and I’m off partying.  I may even stay up till ten o’clock tonight.  I am definitely the last of the party animals around here.

Hope your NYE is safe, and fun, and not too tiring. 

Till next year,


Monday, 30 December 2013

Grandmother’s Choice–an update

So ready for some photos?





IMG_1097 (2)
This is about where I am up to with the Grandmother's Choice quilt that was run a year or two ago.  

One of the resolutions I made last year was to finish this quilt.  You can see how that resolution has gone.

But this year, I hope things will be different.  I hope to finish a large amount of quilts.  I hope not to start too many more.  Not until some of the list has been crossed off.  You know that list?  Mine seems to be never ending.

Everyone is at school, or at work this year.  The school bus has been organised.  I don't need to drop everything to run the little people to school and pick them up again.  They've been nagging me to take the bus for years (I don't know why, I hated the bus).  That will give me up to an hour more in my day.  Can you imagine what I can do with one more hour a day?

I hope your Christmas holiday break is going well.  We have our summer holidays at the same time here so school does not return until the first week of February.  Today is scorching hot - too hot even for the pool and everyone is very tired. Tired of being stuck inside.  Tired of hot, savage wind.  Tired of little sisters. Tired of big sisters.

So patience is being tried very much.

But we will survive!

Till tomorrow,


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Nick and Rudy

 It seems appropriate that during this season of 'who has time for sewing?' I can show you a Christmassy wallhanging.

How cute is this?  This is a "Chook Shed" design, they did the most lovely Christmas things.  We churned out sample after sample of these designs.  We would make them as show pieces for the kits we were selling, hang them on the wall, someone would walk in and want to buy the ready made thing.  Of course we'd sell it. I wish we had sold more - I have so many left over in cupboards here.  But once they were sold, we had to make another one.  My dear old Nan was alive then, and we would iron all the bits on, and she'd sit and sew them during the day, and return them to us.  

We had quite the production line happening at our shop, and I do miss that.

Till tomorrow,


Saturday, 28 December 2013

From the five year old

I asked my four year old to go get me my shoes please. 

She did very well, retrieving a matching pair of sandshoes.

Then I asked her to please put them on my feet for me. 

I know, I’m old.  It helps to have them tied up for me.

She rolled her eyes at me (oh yes, she did) and said ‘Oh mum, I’m not your assistant’.


Friday, 27 December 2013

I Love My Cat = Some Show And Tell

Until some calm returns into our house of chaos (and who knows when that will happen?) the sewing room has been strictly off limits.

So, a little more show and tell for you.

This was a small wall hanging we did years ago.  I find it amazing how times change, fashions change - just like in all things, so too do they change in quilting.  Small, dinky little wall hangings were all the rage a few years ago.  Not at all the in thing now.

Still, it was fun to design at the time, and is one of those things sitting in the bottom of the cupboard now.  I doubt it'll see the light of day for ages now.

I hope your holiday season is going well - my palms have been itchy for days now.  My husband tells me it's because I will 'come into money' (hahhhh...at this time of year???) but I think it's my hands going into withdrawal symptoms due to lack of stitching.

Till tomorrow,


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

We've had a big day.  The food has been eaten, the dishes are clean and I'm just about to pop myself into bed.

But before I do that, I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  I have big plans for the New Year, I'll go into them when the New Year arrives, but I have had such a blast blogging this year - I'll definitely be back next year!

So till then, enjoy your holidays and stay happy and safe!


Buggy Barn Quilt

Here is another from the vaults that you may be interested in seeing.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have decided that I have nothing more noteworthy (!!) to do and therefore I am labelling and photographing and refolding all my quilts into new living quarters.
This was a quilt based on a scrap quilt doing the rounds at the time, and was made in approximately 2000ish.  That was a very productive time for us in the shop.  I thought I would see how a small cut scrap quilt would look made up in a matching range of fabrics, using bigger blocks.
And it worked really well, I think.  The range was a Buggy Barn group of fabrics, and at the time their fabrics really appealed to me.  There’s something about this that screams winter, and it’s a great size to snuggle under.
No one snuggles under this one much though.  It’s in a bag, tucked away in the cupboard.
One day I will get rotate my quilts around and really use them.  I have so many now – yet the bug to quilt is still there all the time.
What can you do?  You just got to go with it.  I figure quilts made with love can always be given away.  These early ones are really not my best, but they were my best at the time and that’s all I can offer.
Hope you enjoyed that look at another quilt from the vaults.  See you soon!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Just Ducking In....

Who has time to quilt this close to Christmas?  I am going through serious withdrawal symptoms, let me tell you.

I just wanted to pop in and with all my lovely friends a very happy Christmas, and to let you know that whilst I am a little scarce this time of year, my thoughts are with you all.

I'm tinkering a little with bits of the blog, and have managed to deftly delete any blogs I read from my blog roll.  But never fear, it will all return and I will be adding some new ones too.

So please have the very best of Christmas seasons, and I'll see you soon!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Kris Kringle

As part of our quilting guild, we go out once a year for our Christmas dinner.  Every year we have to provide a gift for someone – anyone, it’s pot luck who you receive and hopefully you receive a nice gift back. 

This year’s theme was a Christmas Cracker with a value up to $15.

I actually did something quite radical really.  The dinner is in another week.  Mine has been finished for a month.  I actually GOT SOMETHING DONE IN TIME! **

I decided to make a mug rug, and a small needle/scissor keep.

It was much easier than I envisaged.  I think I’ve been doing massive quilts for so long I forgot the pleasure of doing the little things.

First of all, I made the mug rug.  I appliqued one side with a sweet cup of tea, and pieced a six inch block.


IMG_2325The block is actually square but the dodgy photography makes it skew-wiff.

I stitched the two together after appliqueing the cup and saucer


Then I quilted it a little, whacked a binding on it, and bob’s your uncle.  From start to finish it took me about probably two hours.  I adore the colours, don’t you?  I was going to do the whole Christmassy fabric thing but we only have those fabrics out for such a long time, I decided to give that a miss.

And the end result looks very nice, yes?




After the success of that little venture, I made a small scissor/needle-keep.

That was easy peasy also.  I pieced a whole stack of 1.5” squares together in the same fabric line that I made the mug rug out of.  I made them about the size I thought would work, and then quilted it all together using a nice backing fabric and a remnant of wadding.


I trimmed it all back to size and then bound it much as you would any little quilt.


I included a pocket that ran along the bottom of it, simply stitched in place.  Then a layer of wadding as my needlekeeper, and it was done!




Folded in half it measures about five inches x four inches. 

Once I had made those little lovelies, I needed to fit them into some sort of Christmas cracker.  I didn’t have a clue how to do this, and then I had a flash of brilliance.


The inside of a Pringles packet was the perfect size for my cracker. 


I collected my supplies and had a go.  A little pink ribbon and a very sweet pink teatowel as the outer casing was all I needed.


It couldn’t have been easier.  I just put my needlekeep and mug rug inside the Pringles packet, lay it in the middle of the teatowel and just rolled it up.  All I needed to do was tie the ends with a matching ribbon.


And it is done!  A lovely, not rushed, Christmas gift for one of my quilting friends.


I really hope she likes it.

Till tomorrow,


**longtime readers will recognise this is not a normal behavioural pattern for me.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Celtic Solstice


Have you started your Celtic Solstice mystery quilt yet?

It went live on our Saturday morning, and I haven’t had time to even step foot in my sewing room, let alone start stitching.  I haven’t even pulled my colours, truth be told but I think I’ll be doing it in Autumny colours – greens, purples, rusts.  We’ll see what I can get together.

But I thought it would be fun if I listed a few of the blogs I can see that are also doing the quilt, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to spend ages surfing through them to see how everyone else is going. 

I hope, if you’re listed below, you’ll see it as a good thing that other quilters want to see how you’re doing.  If not, please let me know and I’ll remove you from my list.

Bonnie also has a linky party happening on Monday, so there’ll be loads more blogs to visit through her website.  But for now – have a little fun surfing.  Hopefully I’ll get into my sewing room later today and have something to show you!
























Monday, 25 November 2013

Raggedy Wall Panel

Very little in the sewing department happening today, or this week to be honest.  It’s getting towards the pointy end of the year, and so much is happening.  Christmas shows seem to start earlier and earlier, we’ve already had a couple of them that we’ve had to go to and it’s not even December!  And don’t get me started on how early the Christmas decorations go up in the shops!

Still.  I’ve two little ones who are still very much into the awe of Christmas and I remember how wonderful that was, and I try very hard to ensure they are having as much fun as they can this season.  And if that means dragging them over the country side so their ballet group can perform in Christmas dances, so be it!

And as there has been so little sewing, I’ve got an oldie but a goodie to show you.  I couldn’t tell you who this designer was, but when this panel arrived at the shop – oh a good fifteen years ago, I think – I knew I had to have one for myself. 


It was such a cutie, and it came in those wonderfully rich, country colours that were so prevalent back in the nineties.  I miss them.


Bit hard to read what the panel says, but it’s all about buttons. 






I machine quilted the outside, and hand-quilted the cross hatching in the centre.  And if I do say so myself, I think it looks quite nice!

It’s never seen the light of day as a functional quilt, or wall hanging.  I have a cupboard full of things that I have never actually use.  But as I say time and time again, it’s not about the end result, it’s about the pleasure one receives whilst one is making it.  And that’s what it’s all about for me.

Later this week I hope to show you some photos of some little stitching I’ve been doing to give away.  But the computer is not being co-operative (what’s new!) and so I will wait. 

See you soon!


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Carpenter’s Wheel Cushion

I don’t know if this is something I have shown you before or not.  I had to make a Carpenter’s Wheel block for a combined charity quilt our guild was making.  I’ve always adored the Carpenter’s Wheel – it’s just challenging enough for me without making me want to tear my hair out.

Carpenter's Wheel Cushion 1

I have blocks that I love, that I keep going back to and this is one that I have always adored.  I may have to make a whole quilt out of it.  Team it with thirties prints, and what better block could you have?

I hope you are enjoying your quilting time.  Life remains hectic here, but I would haven’t have it any other way.

Till tomorrow,


Monday, 18 November 2013

Another Flimsy















I’ve had this sitting on my design wall for a few days now, and I’m just so pleased with it.  It brightens up my room such a lot.  I’m only going to take it down because I’m worried the bias will stretch, as it’s un-quilted. 

I am such a sucker for these thirties prints.  I can see how they would have made such a difference in cheering up depression households.

The design I think came from another blog and I am in no way claiming it was mine – but as I’m so supremely disorganised, I cannot find who the designer was.  Do you know?

Anyway.  Love it to pieces.  Lord only knows how many of these thirties quilts I have now.  Never enough!


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Pastel Stars Quilt


Another in my ‘stuff we made whilst in the shop’ posts.

This one was a made up pattern.  We received the beautiful panel with the children on it (and it’s so familiar to me, I must have read a story book in my youth with it), and knew we had to make something up in it. 

At the same time, we received a lovely Nancy Halvorsen range of fabrics that went beautifully with the panel and we (mainly Mum) just made it up as we went along.   I used to love doing that – you’d add a bit with something you fancied, add something else on the side, and just keep going until the quilt was big enough to call finished.

It was a bit of a bugger though when you were asked ‘Do you have a pattern for that?’  And people always wanted a pattern of the shop samples we made.  Sometimes we were clever and wrote things down as we went along.  Mostly we didn’t.

But this little quilt is very sweet, and we had a lovely time making it.


I look at it now and I realise there are lots of obvious flaws in it – nothing we made in the shop was ‘our best work’, sadly.  But there were only so many hours in the day and admittedly, we did rush through things often.  We wanted to get the quilt up on the wall so we could showcase the fabrics, and we cut corners more often than we should have.


But I figure if a little girl received this, and she’d never had a quilt before, she’d probably adore it.












Chopped off points in the sawtooth square.  So be it.

The Nancy Halvorsen fabric was just too, too sweet.  I’ve a big bag of scraps left for ‘one day’.  There’s a lot of bags left for ‘one day’.  I hope I live to be 110.

Till tomorrow,