Sunday, September 27, 2009

Black and white scrappy boxes

Had some time today to do a little work - didn't want to get into anything which took too much time, so I browsed through one of my stacks of stuff and found these blocks and the backing I was intending to use for this quilt - I put the blocks together into a top (the blocks themselves were finished some time ago), about 40" square or so, and attached the last few strips to the backing. The black and white fabrics came from my stash but the other pieces - the four-patches in the centres of the framed four-patches and the strips for the backing - all came from the scrap basket (or, as the case may be, scrap shoebox). Who knows, at some point I may actually put the quilt together and quilt it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In need of renovation...

Here's a little house for September, for Pam, whose theme was "in need of renovation". I have done an English country cottage, which obviously needs a bit of tending. A shutter is hanging by a single hinge, there is no door knocker (not sure where it's got to!), the grass is overgrown, the thatch is desperately in need of repair, the roses are taking over, and you can see that a wee bird has made a nest in the chimney. I'm really pleased with the way it came out (and frankly, pleased to get it done in September, as busy as the month has been) and hope Pam will like it also.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Runner finished

Despite feeling a bit run down (coming down with a cold) I did manage to do a little sewing today - I made scrappy binding for the dresser runner and attached it - then sewed it down tonight while watching telly. So now I have two runners which fit the top of the dresser, which is good - much easier when one is dusty and needs washing. Think I will swap them around tomorrow... The finished piece is about 20 inches deep and 60 inches wide (the blocks are 4" blocks). Gotta love that double four-patch block!

Monday, September 21, 2009

More cross-stitching

Well, between the yoga class (mine) and the orthodontist (Sarah), I didn't have any chance to sew today, so I'll give you a cross-stitch update. I finished the little Inspire piece - will frame it soon & put it up - very sweet (the colour is closer to true on left). I was completely not inspired to go back to the wardrobe/dresses, so I decided to do this little school house sampler next...

I think I might put the dresses away for a while until I get inspired again - after all, no point in doing it if it just annoys me - defeats the purpose of doing cross-stitch in the first place! Lord knows I have enough unfinished (and even unstarted) pieces knocking about which I could work on instead...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bag day...

No quilting done today, but I did manage to make four bags for party favour bags for Sarah's party next weekend - they are very simple bags, made from two rectangles of fabric, stitched pillowcase style and turned out, then top stitched around to form the bag. I used some velcro for closures. The hardest part was finding enough stuff in stash to use as handles, as they had to be strong enough to work as strapping without being too bulky. Might make some more of these in future as gifts, though I will have to source some more appropriate strap material (obviously I could make straps from fabric, but that defeats the whole quick & easy pattern...)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quilt Bee

I feel like I've done almost nothing this week (in terms of sewing, anyway) - but today I did finally have time to make this block, which is for Lorena's quilt on the Around the World Quilt Bee. There were a lot of 30s prints in the blocks already made for her quilt, and that's not something I have a lot of (I used my entire stash - 3 partial FQs), but I think I managed to get the tones alright. On the agenda for tmorrow, a start on some party favour bags for Sarah's party next weekend. Can't believe she is nearly 12. Where do the years go?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


(that's the word which will appear on the cross-stitch, when I finish the rest of the design). Lots of progress this week, not least of which is because of the dead laptop - well, I have to do SOMETHING with my hands when I'm watching telly...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trees - mostly

Well, here's the first of the two tree pieces, put together (and yes, I have just now noticed the blue and white piece which is in sideways. Sigh. Will fix it next time!). I think it works well - definitely was right to go with the lighter blues! And the nice thing is, the paper is all off as well, thanks to my laptop not working - I usually catch up on emails and stuff while watching telly, but I couldn't get the laptop to turn on tonight after it spontaneously turned itself off, so instead, I pulled papers. And then I cross-stitched. It's annoying, but good for my handwork! (I am fairly sure the laptop's problem is with the battery or the power cord/transformer as it wasn't charging properly earlier and despite being plugged into a power source and the laptop, the transformer wasn't getting warm at all - but I guess only a trip to the computer gurus tomorrow will tell for sure...)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stack o' cabins

Yep, it's a stack of log cabin blocks - all finished! Now it only remains to lay them out, piece them together and them remove the paper. Oh, and then quilt them, bind them and so on. But at least the blocks are done...

The other thing accomplished today was an exercise in fabric selection. Sarah has a birthday in a few weeks and wants a sleepover. We decided to make little goody bags for the girls (there will be four in addition to her). How long does it take a nearly 12 year old to select fabric for bags? Well, just add a bit more time to your guess and you're probably in the neighbourhood. During the process, we came across a bit of fabric I love - half a metre of Alexander Henry's Bow Wow Chow Mein, which I have been saving with the intention of possibly making a bag from someday. Lovely daughter promptly asks "will you make me a gym bag" - which offer I declined due to lack of grommets and lack of interest in making a bag with complicated string pulls, etc, until she decided that actually, she would be more than happy with a simple tote bag to put her PE stuff in - and of course, I can always pinch it back in future if I decide to be mean!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Little squares

Worked on another block for the Around the World Quilt Bee today - this quilt was very scrappy (in a good way) and several of the blocks were one patch type blocks, so I decided to make a block with lots of little squares divided by sashing. I promise it's squarer than it looks in this photo!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Items received...

...nothing worked on, though. This has been a particularly busy week at school (first week always is) in terms of uniform and other things I help with - next week, there is far less on the schedule and I hope to actually sew a bit more!

Still, I had these lovelies in the post a few days back - an African block from Karol Ann as part of our private block swap - we are now making 6" blocks with the aim of actually getting the right number and sort of blocks to be assembled into a quilt... And the blue fabrics from my monthly club from eQuilter - always fun to have fabric in the post! On tomorrow's agenda is a block for the Around the World Quilt Swap, and then perhaps some more work on the log cabin Christmas trees, which are coming on fairly well.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Log cabin progress

I have actually been doing some work over the last few days, but it's more log cabin blocks - I have now done all the pieced blocks except the solid blue ones (done a few of those, as you can see) - it's beginning to take shape, though I don't really think it will show up properly until I get it all pieced together. Still, one can get the general idea. Only about a dozen more blocks to go and then it's a matter of piecing them together (along with the setting triangles around the edges, which I won't piece themselves) and then, taking all the paper out. That will be the fun part. Or not...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cross-stitch break

Well, I decided to take a little break from the cross-stitch of the wardrobe (bored of those browns) and work for a little while on this piece instead. This one will only take a couple of weeks - not much stitching to it - I did the branch in one short evening stitching. I think my problem with cross-stitch in the past (in terms of finishing) has been boredom - I tend to get tired of the project, so I put it down to work on something else for a while - which is fine, if you pick up the piece again later, but that was the part that was causing me problems. My current system is much better - mixing in the larger, longer pieces with some nice short, quick pieces. I can take a break and have the pleasure of finishing somethign as well...

Anyway, that's all I have to show from the weekend - yesterday Alex and I spent the day at Diggerland while the girls were involved in the Girl Guiding Centennary party, and today we spent the day cleaning, sorting out cupboards and various other bits and pieces. Back to school tomorrow, so later in the week I should have some sewing time - not tomorrow though as I am at school doing stuff for most of the day - uniform shop, a meeting, lunchtime work and helping in the library in the afternoon. If I'm really lucky, I will have enough time to sew a badge on Sarah's jumper before Guides. I won't, however, blog about it as a sewing effort!

Friday, September 04, 2009

A few good blocks...

Today I took some time to work on a few things besides the log cabin blocks - I needed to do a block for the Around the World Quilt Bee - here it is. This is for Cathy's quilt and although there were many colours represented in the blocks which have been made to date for her quilt, I tried to keep mine close to the ones in the block which she made to start things out. I was tempted to do a star, but decided for something a little different to help balance the quilt. This was a 12" block - nice to make a standard size block this time around - some of the recent ones have been a bit harder to come up with a good design for (this design is not an original, mind you - it's a Judy Martin block).

The other thing I worked on, I can't actually show you, but I can show you the starter block on the piece - it has been added to several times already and of course I added my pieces to it, so it doesn't really look much like this anymore (this is a 4" square), but at least there's something to show!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Log cabin update...

Well, I've been promising for several days to show these eventually, so here they are. Obviously, not in the right pattern, but you can get the general idea - and the contrast will work much better than with the darker blue. I have a lot of the rest of the blocks partly done, so with a few more days' work, I may have them all ready to put together. I have a few other things I need to work on, so I may take a break for a day or two, but I'm pleased with the progress and very glad I decided to do them over again with the different colour scheme - and pleased I decided to bite the bullet and make two - one for my partner in the swap and one for myself.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

One I prepared earlier...

Today I worked on some more of the log cabin blocks, but rather than show them, I thought I'd share the September block lotto blocks, which I made a few days ago and couldn't show, as it was still August. Amazingly, it's no longer August, but September, so I can show the photo now. I know, I know, I can't believe it's September either...

These blocks are sawtooth stars in oriental fabrics with coordinating tonals for background, which is the theme for the block lotto this month. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

End of summer...

Can't believe there's only a few days of summer holiday left! Sarah is back to school on Friday (new school - secondary) - it may seem strange to start on a Friday - it's on the new students (Year 7's) who are going on Friday - everyone else at her school starts Monday. Gives the Year 7's a chance to settle in a little. The others in our house start on Monday, as well. Anyway. Today was a doing nothing sort of day - the kids played, Olivia had been at a sleepover, so she came home from that and hung around - no big plans. Needless to say, when the kids have no plans, I get to sew, so I did.

I worked on the log cabin blocks for the Four Seasons Quilt, but honestly, they wouldn't be that exciting to look at at this stage, so I've decided to post a cross-stitch update instead. Fairly good progress - would have been better if I hadn't had to rip out an hour or so's worth of stitching due to not being able to count! Still, better than nothing, and in a day or two, it will be back in the right place...