Saturday, July 30, 2011

Christmas through the year and a few projects

I have made a little gift this time. I tiny quilt block fridge magnet. Very fiddly and took as long as making a big block! I had planned to make a few but that will have to wait. Christmas Through the Year is hosted by Allie of Allie-oops Sweet Happy Life.  On Allie's post Mr Linky has links to those who have joined in for July.

I have a few projects on the go or nearly finished. I made another pair of arm warmers for DD1. She liked the first pair so much. I just have to sew up the wrists and the thread ends.

I am more than half way through my lacy scarf using the alpaca wool I bought in Adelaide. It feels so soft and I love this pattern. It is the same row over and over. The label recommended no. 4 needles but I have used no. 5 to make it a bit looser. The pattern is here:

I made a crazy block using a different pattern and I will make it into a heat pad/mug rug by using blanket to pad it. I want to make the book shelf block as well.
These are designs from Don't Call Me Betsy.
She has a tutorial page link along the top. Her latest post is the book shelf block that she made for a friend's birthday present.

Lastly, I have been working on the Christmas quilt and have just finished one side of the final border. I should finish it in a couple of weeks without pushing too hard.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1 Xmas item a month

Nearly the end of the month and I was looking at all the nice Christmas things so many of you were making and remembered that I joined the Christmas clubs so I would be more inclined to make something. So this morning I got up and went up to my sewing room to make something. I was pulling out a few books when some bags of scraps and loose Christmas scraps fell all over the place. There was also a ready cut wadding square for a crazy block. My pot holder / teapot stand kind of evolved. It needed to be bigger so I added a border. I put woollen blanket inside. One piece a bit smaller than the other so the binding would go on easier. That's why there are stitching lines on the back. I sewed the smaller piece to the back first then sewed it all together. I love the button but it doesn't really go. At least it is finished and can wait til I get a Christmas button. I still have lots of pink scraps so I will make a pink pot holder for the teapot button.
Visit Narelle at Pins and Whiskers and see who has commented. Most will be part of 1 Xmas item a month and have posted about their project.

I made a useful discovery at Lincraft the other day. The fabric I bought had no tag on it and the girl said no problem she would look up the care instructions. Funny how some things just never occur to me. Of course most stores have inventory software on their cash register computer. I would always forget to write down the care instructions and when I got home I would promise myself that I would take my little note book next time. But now I will ask if they can print them out for me.

I have been pretty conservative with my clothes lately. Trying to get away from fussy patterns and multiple colours but I figured I could use what ever took my fancy for the lining of my camel coloured jacket so I bought leopard print :)

Also, the other night, instead of visiting all my blog friends I played with my header picture. I have a few Nitwit collections with lots of background fabrics and notions that are used for digital scrapbooking and after seeing someone's header I stopped blog surfing and made my own header.
I have nearly visited all the blogs in my list. It feels like I have missed so much over the last few weeks.
Thanks for all the lovely responses to Running Stitch Tommy. I feel inspired to make some more cat designs.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Running Stitch

I love making things that are special to me so a stitch sampler designed by somebody else to show off my work did not appeal to me. I had to think of some way to use running stitch on my kind of project. I have designed my book cover with Tommy on the front attached with running stitch and inside the flaps are decorated with lines of running stitch. I have used the ribbon from some Haigh's chocolates that I bought in Adelaide as the book mark. The fabric is stuck onto fairly stiff hand bag pellon.
My next project has to showcase back stitch. Not sure what I will make yet. If you hadn't already guessed I am following Helen's lessons in stitchery. So far she has covered running stitch, back stitch, stem stitch and lazy daisy stitch. I was never big on stitchery and I have learnt all sorts of things I didn't know before. Stitched Sunday is well worth a look.

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Crazy Quilting Friday

I made time for my crazy block yesterday. The teacup was trimmed right up to the left edge when I made my table cloth and I didn't know how it would go lopsided but I think it turned out OK. I used some of my free trim to finish it off.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Gift from Fiona and More Adelaide

Fiona has done a marvelous job of keeping track of all the pincushions and I was surprised that she sent a gift thanking me for being involved. Thank YOU Fiona for organising the sew along and thanks for the lovely key keeper. I put it straight onto my hand bag. I normally hang it to the inside.

I think I said I didn't buy much in Adelaide but it seems to have made quite a pile on the ironing board.

I bought a few notions. I paid $2 each for the open ended zippers. I want to try using them on tote bags so the end of the zip doesn't restrict getting into the bag. Melann's Sewing World had lots of zipper pulls. I love the little panda one I got. We had a demonstration of how easy it is to sew on stretch binding. It looked great on all sorts of knit tops. I haven't seen it before but she will post it if I can't find it. I also bought leather needles for my lamb skin leather. Horne Leather gave us 20% discount and I only paid $16 for the skin. I want to make a wallet. I finally bought a water soluble pen for tracing my stitchery patterns onto fabric. I used to use lead pencil and try to sew to cover it up.

The ribby edge is the stretch binding. It folds over like bias binding.
This is my leather. It is fairly thin so shouldn't be too hard to sew. 

We got lots of free things in little gift bags at most of the shops. Sewing kit, ribbons and laces, embroidery threads, pin cushion, note pads, sewing books, thread cutter, mini cutting mat.

I bought three lots of fabric to make jackets.

Two suede look polyesters with shiny backs. Camel and burgundy.
A lovely wool with lining fabric and dark brown polyester for trousers.

And two blouse fabrics. One white in 100% cotton with a pretty flower self pattern and the other is a cotton poly mix giving it a nice sheen. They were a bit hard to photograph.

I also bought some harmony. I just love the feel of it. It is 100% polyester and drapes beautifully. I plan to make a short sleeved jacket and capri pants with a floral shell top.

I bought some quilting fabrics and shiny oriental fabric to make some zippy purses. We visited several quilting shops. The tea pots and tea cups look lovely on the black background. The roll with orange spots is little pumpkins and the pale roll has little white tea cups on it.

I love the tea pot fabric in the back.
I also love to knit so I couldn't resist some cream alpaca to make a loose knit scarf and a ball of Jigsaw that knits up into fair isle. I have been wanting to try some socks and the jigsaw looks fascinating.

I wanted a panda mug from the zoo but they looked pretty ugly so I bought some playing cards in a nice tin. I loved seeing the pandas.


Wang Wang
Now I can play solitaire like Mrs Pollifax :)

We visited the Botanical Gardens and I was fascinated by the lily pads. These are a giant African variety and I didn't know they had such mean spikes underneath! The stems were all spiky too.

The edge is just turning up and you can see the spikes.
Inside the Museum of Economic Botany (MEB) we found the most interesting work of art by Fiona Hall Grove . It included a peep hole with a beautiful light show on animal and plant shapes. It is hard to describe but it went for several minutes changing colours and positions of the lighting. It was past all the dried seeds in long glass cabinets so unless you liked that sort of thing you wouldn't walk in and see this magical peep hole. It is part of a larger timber art work.

I left this as a big file so if you click on it you will see it better.
Funny how the birds in the south are the same but different. This White-Backed magpie is only found in the SE of Australia. We have Black-Backed magpies here in Qld. They are almost the same but ours only have a white collar on the back of their neck. The picture shows the white going right down the back. This sort of thing interests me.

White-Backed magpie from South Australia.

Nearly forgot to show me having high tea at Newman's Nursery. I am wearing the coat I made for the trip.

I have definitely used up my Friday post quota so I will post my crazy block tomorrow.

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Adelaide trip

I had a wonderful time in Adelaide last week. The weather was cloudy and cold but quite easy to handle with my big coat. 22 ladies hit the town and bought up pretty big in all the wonderful fabric shops we visited. We also had some time for wine tasting and site seeing visiting McLaren Vale, Hahndorf, Haigh's Chocolate fatory and Rundle Mall.
 Mum and I took some extra time to visit the pandas at Adelaide Zoo, the Botanic Gardens and the Central Markets.
I recommend the tours as a fun way to meet people and find great fabrics. The price of the Australian tours is only about $1500 plus your air fare to the location. Next July is Melbourne. Keep an eye on Sue Neall's site or the ASG site.

We stayed at serviced apartments in the old Treasury Building. The rooms were very comfortable.

Adelaide was planned on a grid pattern and has lovely wide streets. About 4 blocks down this street is the main shopping precinct Rundle Mall.

I took this photo from the bus. It shows the Adelaide skyline and you can see that the city itself is not really very big. I left this one full size so if you click on it you get a better look.

Country Bumpkin embroidery shop. Sold lots of kits and threads and embellishments.

Ferriers Fashion Fabrics. It had a wide variety of fabrics. Mostly natural fibres and quite expensive.

There are only a few more photos but unfortunatly Flickr just disappears when I try to find a photo. At least I got these ones in today. Yesterday I manged to upload them all and then couldn't do anything with them. I clicked on the Flickr home button and was taken to Google home! Hope it settles down soon.

I am in the process of making a list of the stores we visited with addresses and phone numbers. I will post it shortly. I only bought a few things and I will also show them next post.

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday and Tuesday Treasures Double Up AND Tea cup challenge

I found some posts of teacups and something about a challenge so I thought it was time to show my crazy tea set. These are cup, saucer, plate sets that I was given by my mum for birthdays a long time ago.
I get them out occasionally when I have tea and bickies with several friends.
I think the tea cup challenge started at with Liz then was taken up by Chris at
I actually found it at Michelle's site on the post before her Tuesday Treasures.
I treasure these tea cups because they are gifts from my mum. I have to say my favourite is the dark blue one. I have the plate for the Lavender Rose set but it is in two neat pieces at present :(
What tickles me about them is that I never tire of looking at them.

Royal Tuscan set

Dimity Rose set

Heirloom set

Serena set

Lavender Rose set

Interested in Tuesday Treasures? Visit Melody's House on the Side of the Hill to link up to other treasure posts.
Allie-oops and Polka Dots and Rick Rack will have what is Tickling them when the calender rolls over to Tuesday in their neck of the woods.
Maybe you could pull out your best teacup set as well.

Happy Quilting,
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