Friday, April 26, 2013

Geometric cats

I found a lovely painting by Azul de Andruchak of cats done like Picasso. There is a picture of the original painting in thisBlog just scroll down a bit to find it.
I couldn't bring myself to give them only one eye each so I added more eyes. It was a bit tricky to get all the pieces to meet in the right places.
It is only small, about 12 x 8 inches.

Linking up with Link a Finish Friday 64
Also linking up with Applique Thursday

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Christmas item or two

I have just looked through some of my magazines with Christmas projects. There are so many nice little things. However , I decided to look in my Christmas pattern file and found a nice star. I wanted something quick so I opted for all machine sewing and made up a couple of tree decorations. They are about as big as my hand.

Narelle at PinsandWhiskers has a list of elves in her side bar so you can see what others are making. Thanks to Narelle for hosting.

Happy Quilting,



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April North Pole QAL

I love the little houses in this quilt. They look a bit fiddly but most of them are quite straight forward. I hope everyone managed to do a bit this month. I have two more blocks nearly done. I still have to decide on a roof for the Chinese take away.

If you have made some progress put it in a blog post and link your post to this page.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sew, sew, sew. Blog, blog, blog

I am so glad I am retired and have time to sew and blog.

Lots of positive things happening .

I received a lovely gift of some woven felt wool from Mel at the House on the Side of the Hill. It was a nice welcome to the Summertime Sewalong she suggested earlier in the year. There are not many sewing along because it is a fairly piecy looking appliqué and even I have decided I will only make 9 of the blocks to make a square wall hanging. It is nice to play and sew with felt.

I purchased some new fabric called Avalon from the Fabric Patch online .

A lovely lady sent me some photos of two block keepers she made with my cat appliqué on the fronts. I was so pleased she liked the patterns. You can see them at Mairsmusings.

I had a great time meeting some of the people behind the blogs at a sewing meet we had for the Brisbane Stitchers Inc. It is basically Brisbane bloggers but all sewers are welcome. Believe it or not I won the lucky door prize of a lovely pattern and a pincushion made by Maree of Ollie and May

I had my first go at needle turn appliqué when I started the Holiday lap quilt from It's Quilting Cats and Dogs. I have nearly finished two of the blocks. They both have some finishing off to do. I plan to make the quilt from the Avalon fabric.


I have also been doing more of the Debbie Mumm sampler . Some little log cabins, the fish and I have started the stars.


And the weather is just perfect today.

Happy Quilting,



Friday, April 12, 2013

Sewing update

I have been sewing a lot and loving it.
I have a new block keeper with zips down both sides so it opens out flat but zips up to make a secure tote bag if you want to pop some sewing gear in.

I also made a little shell purse. I put a seagull on it in felt. I have been wanting to use this seagull for a  while. It is from a Bustle and Sew magazine.

I started a bag from a book I got from the quilting group library. I used 2 inch strips and the centre piece is 6 1/2 inches x 8  inches. All seams are 1/4 inch. I don't want to publish the pattern but if you are keen I can give better instructions. Just let me know.

Phone and lipstick pockets
I finished block three of the Who Knows BoM at Fat Cat Patterns. (See my side bar.)

I have been working on my Debbie Mumm sampler from 2012. I have been really enjoying making the cute pieced blocks. The fabrics are nearly all scraps so between this and the owls I am using quite a lot of scraps.

I made a cardboard curve ruler for doing curved corners. It will make do til I can buy the plastic one that I can use the rotary cutter with. I love gadgets.

I worked on Nanna's farm a bit doing the applique on the next column. I have already sewn the other columns ready for applique.

I bought two new books and have made friends with Shirley at Colours of a Butterfly  who wants to try making the quilt with the watering cans on it to match the pillow on the front cover of Country Cottage Quilting.

Shirley is great at cross stitch but hasn't done any patchwork so we are starting with the sewing set that has the drawstring bag from the same book. We are going to start the needle book in May and do the bag and scissor keep over a month or two. Then we will do the pillow then the quilt. If anyone wants to join in or post pictures of what you have already made I will have a go at setting up a flickr group. This is a first call. I will post about it again.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How much is a cat quilt worth?

I used the formula I found on HuntersDesignStudio. She has created some discussion as indicated in her latest post.


Fabric ( 80 x 80 x 4 ) / 1440 x $12.50

I multiplied by 4 because the cat faces nearly cover each block and I pieced the back a bit.

Other materials were wadding, fusible webbing, thread and topstitch thread for the appliqué ,wool felt for the eyes.

Cost of materials came to $300

Now what about my time. Most of the fabric for the appliqué blocks came from my trip to the Craft and Stitches show in Puyallup, Washington State and from visiting many fabric shops throughout Oregon. The backing and the border fabric I bought online from the US. If I was restricted to regular shops and shops in my local area I am not convinced I would have been able to find the variety that I got and I know the price for the fabric would be closer to an average of $20 per yard. I don't think I can claim the business class trip to the US. But jokes aside it did take me a long time to collect up what I needed and this should count for something. Conservatively 8 hours over two days.

Next, I spent several days cutting the pieces and laying them out in different ways til I got the colour mix right. 2 hours just for deciding on the layout.

I didn't actually keep track of the time I spent cutting and sewing but I think about 30 mins per block from start to finish is fair. 49 x 0.5 = about 25 hours just for the blocks. Maybe count this and the layout time as skilled time at $25 per hour.

I quilted the borders with parallel lines and sewed the scrappy binding on using the sewing machine and the backing had some piecing. I am going to add 10 hours. This work was more time consuming work rather that highly skilled work so I am charging $20 per hour for this and the shopping.

( 27 x 25 ) + ( 18 x 20 ) = 675 + 360 = $1035

My time and skill are by far the greater cost in making this quilt and it is this cost that crafters everywhere find it hard to charge. How many times have you bought something cheap and the stitching comes undone or the seams fray or you saw 20 just the same on the rack . My time and skill and care results in a quality long lasting one of a kind product and I am entitled to convert this to a dollar amount.

I am going to write up a hard copy of this quilt's story to give to my daughter apart from the online evidence I have of the work I put into it. Apart from the idea of it having some provenance it is probably the most expensive item she owns and she needs to be aware of this just in case she has to convince someone of its value.

When it was nearly finished and we had some bad storms I put it all in a bag and put it near me so it would be safe from falling trees and easy to take with me. There was a lot of blood and sweat and cat fur in that quilt and I new it would take me a long time to get over losing it apart from the cost.

So, how much is a cat quilt worth?


How much is this cat quilt worth?


To me it is priceless. It is filled with lovely memories of the first bed quilt I have made and all the help I got from my cat Stumpy and the photo I have of the look on my daughter's face as she holds it up. She is a crafter and a cat lover so I know it has gone to a good home. I know that when I die there will be cupboards full of quilts I have made and couldn't part with.

Happy Quilting,



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friends handbag and Mug bag

I bought the Lynette Anderson book It's Quilting Cats and Dogs. I love it. I made the little satchel handbag using images of my dog and cat. My dog was a Newfoundland with his distinctive forehead and big size. My cat has cute cheeks and a bobtail that doesn't show when he sits. They loved each other and I know Stumpy is a bit lonely now he has gone. You can see them on Stumpy's page.

You are welcome to download my dog and cat.

I also finished the mug bag I started a while back.
The cross stitch makes a pocket for a tea bag and I made a little coaster that fits in too.
The pattern is at Redbrolly. It is at the bottom of the really long post.
Happy Quilting,

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