Thursday, May 18, 2017

Closest to the finish line

Do you ever have days when you just can't settle on a project to work on?


It seems to be the story of my life at the moment. I have lots of projects on the go (even for me!) and lately I just can't seem to settle in and work on anything...and it's very frustrating!

When the postie turned up this morning with this lovely new book written by my friend Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon, I thought I'd post a photo on instagram to show her that I'd received it, and congratulate her on such a wonderful achievement. (it's a lovely book....a must for your crafty bookshelf)  I pulled a quilt from my quilt ladder to use as a background....photo taken, posted, and then...nothing.

 Well, to be honest, not exactly nothing. Lots of wandering around, pulling out projects, umming and ahhing over what to work on. Ridiculous really.


I was nearly ready to resign myself to an afternoon of netflix and dog snuggling when I looked again at that quilt from the quilt ladder, and realised I STILL hadn't attached binding to it. Oh the shame!! It arrived back from the quilters late last year, and I promptly hung it on my ladder (with edges folded under lol) and forgot about it.

So I invented a new game...I'm  calling it "Closest to the Finish Line". If I'm wandering around, stuck in a rut, overwhelmed by the number of projects I have yet to complete, I have to pull out the project in my stash that requires the least amount of work to finish it, and JUST GO FOR IT!


Even if it is the worst part of quiltmaking....sewing down binding. BLEH!

Hopefully I'll avoid playing this game too often, since my next few "closest to the finish line" projects also include binding. There's a definite trend there.

TTFN

Susan xxx

Friday, April 7, 2017

Foxy Happenings



My focus this year on small projects has lead me to my UFO stash....
obviously the fact that projects only require a couple of hours work
 to finish them doesn't preclude them from being tossed aside when
 a new shiny project comes along 😳

A few years ago I was lucky enough to attend an event in Sydney 
called Urban Stitches. Along with some lovely projects from Rosalie 
Dekker and her lovely sister Melly, we worked on a gorgeous felt fox 
with the divine
 Jodie Carleton from Ric Rac.


I  had managed to stitch and stuff a few of the body parts over the course
 of that weekend, but that's where my poor fox was left...unfinished and
looking rather disjointed!

A few hours of hand blanket-stitching, and he was looking MUCH more handsome.


This is a totally hand sewn project, and was such fun to watch come to life!
 Now my fox is happily sitting in my craft space, I'm thinking I may just pull
 out some of the other kits I bought that weekend...the pig and giraffe are exceptionally cute!

While on the subject of foxes, I thought I'd share my next instalment of
 Foxley Village...Part 7.


Only two more blocks to go on this one! The quilt top is a really nice size
now, so it's tempting to just get in and finish it off (if only I didn't have so
 many other projects on the go!)

 As always, my furry assistants had to test for comfort and durability 😆
I've set myself a May deadline on this quilt which may be pushing it a bit?
 I'd better get stitching!

Thanks for popping in to visit...and have a lovely weekend! ITS FRIDAY!
YAY!

TTFN

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Happy Flower QAL Blocks 3 and 4

Week 2 of the Quilt-a-long, and so far so good!

 I've added some more polka dot backgrounds, and stuck with the Little Ruby prints by Bonnie and Camille for now....although I can't guarantee that this will always be the case :)


Most of all, I'm loving the simplicity of the blocks. They are very achievable and don't take a big chunk of time.... Saturday nights when there's not much on seem to be my perfect time to pull out the fabrics and at least choose what I'm going to use.

My lovely local quilt shop have ordered me in some of the elusive pink that I'm using for the borders, so I should be all set!  It's called Betty's Pink from the Bella Solids range...it matches beautifully with Little Ruby.

Are you joining in the QAL? Please leave me a comment so I can check out your blocks! If you're on instagram, my username is suzitee1 😀

TTFN

Susan xxx

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Blessings

Cushions are my new favourite thing to make, it would seem :)


This one has been in production since way before Christmas, and was intended as a Christmas gift for a very special friend of mine (oops!) Luckily, she is the kind of friend who saw the humour in recieving a cushion top , half stitched and held together with safety pins on Christmas Eve.


The stitchery design is by Rosalie Dekker Designs, and is stitched with Cottage Garden Thread 1301 Rosalie, which quite possibly is my favourite of all CGTs.

                                      

The background was created by piecing lots of 2.5 inch squares in random order, backing that piece with some wadding, then quilting a smidge on either side of the joining seams. It's a simple technique but gives the cushion a gorgeous cuddly feel.



I used a dinner plate slightly bigger than the design to create a cardboard template. I then cut the stitchery roughly in a slightly bigger circle, gathered around the outside of the fabric and placed it over the template.  If you pull the bobbin threads firmly but carefully, your stitchery will form a neat circle over the cardboard.


I  iron the stitchery then remove the cardboard....this leaves you with a nice round circle, which you pin then stitch onto your prepared background. I always machine stitch :)


 Thankfully she loved it.

Perhaps I should start making Christmas gifts a little earlier this year?

TTFN

Susan xxx

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Foxy Tale

What to give a girl for her 16th birthday? That was my recent dilemma with my daughter fast approaching that milestone.



Last year, I made her a simple quilt for the end of her bed. On an expedition
to our local quilting shop, she had fallen in love with the soft florals, and mix 
of pinks and greens which is Tilda's Apple Bloom collection, so I bought the 
quilt kit and constructed the quilt over a weekend. She was totally surprised 
and loved it!



( Since I hadn't actually taken any photos of it, I thought I'd include some
here.)


The pattern is a simple log cabin design, and is available at
 www.tildasworld.com if you'd ever like to make one :) I had it quilted with 
an overall pattern of swirls 
and flowers...it's quite stunning, actually.


 Anyhoo...this year I really struggled with what to gift her. She loves anything handmade, and she also loves nothing more than to snuggle with a good
 book under her quilt, so I decided to create a reading nook in her bedroom.
The idea was to drape her quilt over the back of a really comfy chair next to
her window, cover it with cushions and also provide some extra light for those
 late night reading sessions.



 

 I set about making her a cushion using the quilt offcuts :) I've been making
lots of Dresdens lately, so this was an obvious choice for my cushion design.
 I was a bit stuck for what to use in the centre...I was leaning towards a stitchery or a monogram, but finally settled on a fox. She adores foxes, and
has several plush versions of them sitting around her room.


I resized one of the foxes from my Foxley Village quilt, blanket stitched it in
place using the vliseofix method, and chain stitched a double border with
co-ordinating colours.



She LOVED it (phew!)

While she was at school, I cleaned and rearranged her bedroom to
accomodate her new furniture.

That was last week, and I always know where to find her now :) snuggled
 in her chair doing her homework on her laptop, or reading quietly in her
reading nook.

(Is it wrong to admit that I am very jealous? I'm thinking a stitching corner
 in the master bedroom....but I'm not sure how keen my husband would be 
on that plan!)

TTFN

Susan xxx

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy Flower Quilt-a-long

The Happy Flower Quilt-a-long had my name written all over it from the minute I saw the hashtag pop up on instagram 😄



 From the very first time I saw the amazing book by Atsuko Matsuyama several years ago I was in love with the pink quilt on the front cover...SO much pretty! However, the book was printed in Japanese and I really didn't think my quilting skills could extend to understanding instructions in another language!

The English version was printed in 2016, and I managed to get my hands on a copy earlier this year...yay! I wasn't actually planning on making anything until I saw that hashtag, and all of a sudden my head was swirling with ideas.

One (very late) night last weekend, my heart settled on my Bonnie and Camille fabric stash, in particular my Little Ruby fat quarter bundle. How perfect would all those tiny prints be?


The rest is history.


The polkadot backgrounds were a no-brainer...although I may have to stock up on a few more colours  over the course of the QAL ;)

Already, a happy little community has formed over on Facebook and Instagram, and I'm sure you would be welcomed with open arms if you choose to give in to the temptation.


I'm hoping to keep up with the group's goal of two blocks per week, but if not I'll be happy with however far I get. Just making pretty little 6 inch blocks is enough to give me joy :)
(speaking of 6 inch blocks, I must remember to show you my Splendid Sampler blocks....oh and my Farmers Wife blocks...and my Farm Girl Vintage blocks....there's a trend there!)

Have a happy day!
 TTFN

Susan xxx

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

There's a club for that!

It seems I'm not the only person obsessed with Tilda....in fact, there's a whole community of people worldwide who love anything and everything created by Tone Finnegar and her team at Tilda. Who knew? 😀

You can imagine my joy when I discovered that there's even a Tilda Club! It's a bi-monthly subscription, and you receive a pack FULL of Tilda goodness. I receive mine through my local quilt shop, Care2Create in Woodvale, WA....a must-visit if you're ever in the area.


I signed up immediately, and received my first pack late last year. It contained some pins, fabrics, and a pattern to make a tablerunner....such pretty colours!


The top was finished at a retreat I attended in December, but I pulled it out recently and finished it off.


I kept the quilting simple...just echoed around the main shapes and along the pink lengthwise strips. It's even reversible!

 The binding, of course, was my least favourite part of the whole process, but being so small, was knocked over in no time.


The February edition has just landed at my house, and contains some gorgeous buttons, and a pattern for a lovely cushion using the new range, Bumblebee.


Now to find a spare hour or two to make a start!

TTFN

Susan xxx

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tilda Bunny

The internet is full of great FREE patterns. 

In fact, you could almost type in any article that you'd like to make, and you'll probably find a freebie (and possibly a YouTube video) showing you how to make it :)



The Tilda website is one of my favourites....not surprisingly 😉  Not only does it have the latest Tilda catalogue to swoon over, but there are lots of free patterns for quilts, soft toys, and other bits and pieces. Well worth a look!

This precious little bunny is a free pattern, and was quite a simple (but very fiddly) little project to make. Yes, she is sitting inside an actual eggshell inside an actual eggcup.

My plan was to make several to give away as small gifts at Easter, but after making just two of those teeny, tiny ears I will definitely be re-thinking that!

TTFN

Susan xxx

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pixie Stars

Another finish for my Year of Small Projects, and the first for #2017sewingbookchallenge...YAY!


As I outlined before, the idea behind the challenge is to make things from your craft books, instead of just collecting them (oops...guilty!)  I chose a Tilda book (since that is my current obsession) but totally balked at actually cutting Tilda fabric for a small project...it's so precious!


The cushion matches a single bed quilt, but I wasn't feeling quite that adventurous.



As it happened, it turned out to be more the size of a European pillow than a cushion! The fabric is Pixie Noel by Tasha Noel, and it was very VERY hard restraining myself to only red and green. The navy and aqua prints are just gorgeous.



I find Tilda instructions a bit tricky to follow, and there wasn't much in the way of finishing instructions, so I just winged it. I made some striped piping out of the co-ordinating red/green stripe, which finished it off nicely....reminds me of candy canes :)


I possibly made it more time-consuming than it needed to be by layering and quilting the cushion top, but the texture was totally worth it!


The characters in this fabric are way too cute! If you look carefully at the finished cushion, you'll see I've also fussy cut lots of little kissing rabbits for the small green squares :)


 It's going to be hard putting this one away until next Christmas....but that's what you get when you make Christmas projects so early in the year I guess!

The dogs hardly batted an eyelid while I was taking the photos....it's a hard life!

Have a great day, and thanks for popping in.

TTFN
Susan xxx

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Foxley Village

Tilda fabrics by Tone Finnegar became my obsession at around this time last year 😀

Prior to the release of the Pardon My Garden and Spring Diaries collections, I only had a passing interest in the fabrics...I liked them, but not enough to buy more than a random fat quarter here and there. As soon as I saw the new collections, though, I was hooked!



Candy pink, turquoise, oranges and greens, all in the most delicious little prints...I couldn't resist!
Unlike most fabric that I buy, I felt the need to cut into it immediately. This was about the time that the Homespun magazine Block Of the Month was released...Foxley Village by Natalie Bird. Her version was made in two previous Tilda ranges, but the oranges in Spring Diaries were all kinds of perfect for a quilt with a fox as the focal point!

I didn't need much convincing to bite into yet another BIG project.


Totally in love with the large scale blue floral... I featured it in Block One.


 Block Two saw the first appearance of the adorable fox, sitting on top of the Tea Shoppe...WAY TOO CUTE!


After auditioning a few different colours for the cat, I went with black polkadots (SURPRISE!) A project of mine is just not complete without polkadots :) and he stands out quite well amongst all those busy florals.


Block Three took a little longer...satin stitch is a bit more time consuming, but well worth the effort.

The middle block (Block Four) is one that I played with quite a bit before settling on the final colours...it's the centre of the quilt, and really needed to pull all the colours together.


Right now I'm putting a few finishing touches to Block Five, and have cut out Block Six ready for stitching and assembling.


Only ten parts to the whole quilt, so I'm really hoping to see a finish on this one in the next couple of months....unless I get distracted with all the other projects I have in progress ;)

Are you working on Foxley Village too? I'd love to see what you're up to, especially if you've finished!

Have a great day
TTFN

Susan :)