Friday, 31 May 2013

Keep Calm And Press On the name of this month's block in the And Sew On paper pieced BOM. I've had a week of trying to keep calm - fishing knickers out of the toilet and other delights have given me lots of practice (but that's for another post I think!). I am immensely behind in the Riley Blake BOM (as in I have made one block out of five!), but I am determined to stay on track for And Sew On. Never mind that it is 10:30pm on the 31st May. I did it!!
I could tell you how many seams I had to unpick, or that if you look really closely you'll be able to see where I didn't have enough fabric left and had to piece bits together to cover a section. But that would take too long and I'm off to bed!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mothers Day Overlocker

I enjoyed a lovely Mothers Day and was very excited when my family gave me an overlocker. It is a 6 year old Bernina and I love it! Of course I wanted to use it straight away, but I didn't want to make an item of clothing as I thought it would take aaaages to cut out all the pieces before I would actually get to use the overlocker. So I decided on a cushion cover. It was the perfect solution, as it would 'kill three birds with one stone'; try out my newly gifted overlocker for something purposeful, add something to my very bare couches and use up an orphan block. And it would be quick. I already have too many unfinished projects to add another one to the pile.

I went to my box of orphan blocks and pulled out an improv block made from strips of Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda. After adding a few borders I then excitedly began practising my free motion quilting and tried some bubbles. I was pretty pleased with my effort, though I did unpick a small section that had puckered a little (well, more than a little, otherwise I probably would have left it!) when I got close to the straight line quilting around the edge. After adding the back of the pillow (with the overlocker - I'm so lucky!), unpicking the back (I had layered the backing fabrics so the trim was on the inside!) and then resewing the back  I sat back to admire my work.

I like it! It certainly helps to make our couches look more homely. What do you think?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Starburst and More Bags!

I really enjoy being part of a quilting bee! I can't wait to show you my quilt top put together from when I was Queen Bee back in December. Oh, okay - here's a progress sneak peak!
I'm just waiting for two more blocks and then I can start sashing these beauties with black.
Reverse Rainbow Starburst for Sharon
Last month I sent this beautiful block to Sharon. I love the design she chose and particularly enjoyed making this one. Each Bee member chose a block from Sharon's 12 nominated colours (I chose bright pink - obviously - as I have lots of pink in my stash. Funny; I don't think of myself as a pink person. Apparently I am not a yellow person, as I have practically no yellow fabric!). I have put this on my list of quilts to make. One day.

We had three birthdays to wrap gifts for over the last 6 weeks. All of them were older children (well, over the age of 8!). My go to birthday gift at the moment is a custom made messenger bag (that sounds pretty special, doesn't it!), so two girly bags and one boy bag was gifted.

Denim Girly Bag and Retro Boy Bag
It was the first time that I made the main body of the bag from denim. I really liked it, though I neglected to pre wash the denim (tip: pre wash denim fabric!) and ended up with blue fingertips by the time the bag was put together. I washed one of the denim bags after its completion (thank you colour catchers!) and then spent a good twenty minutes ironing it so that it was wrinkle free (another reason to pre wash denim fabric!). I ran out of time with the second denim bag, so Zoe wrote a note to her friend who was to receive it explaining why two colour catcher sheets were included with the bag! I should volunteer to iron it after its first wash...

Farewell Phone Books...

When our front and back doors are open the flow of air will inevitably slam both doors shut. To prevent the back door from slamming, I slide the laundry basket in front of it. Due to the size of the laundry basket (and the fact that it always seems to be full!), the back door does not even quiver in a gale force wind when the basket is in front of it!

As for the front door...the photo says it all! For years we have been using phone books as a doorstop. I know I don't need to point out that the phone books aren't used for anything else, as it is pretty clear that they haven't even been unwrapped (we did that one year and they kept sliding off one another - very annoying!). Actually, I take that back. Eli has been known to use them as a stool to try and reach something that he knows he is not allowed to touch.

Well, I decided that it was time. The phone books went into the recycling bin and I got to work on a simple doorstop.

Doorstop Carcass!
I had some leftover fabric from Eli's Bear Bag so out it came, destined to be transformed into something more attractive than phone books.

I put together the casing in the shape of a square based pyramid and then thought it looked a little small for our feisty door. No matter - overstuff it to make it heavier!!

Even though Eli is 3 years old, I ended up making an internal bean bag to house the plastic beans (plastic so that I can wash the door stop as needed! Who wants a dirty door stop?) as a precaution against escaping beans being swallowed. It was probably unnecessary, but I do enjoy peace of mind!

Over stuffed door stop.
And this is the result! At first I wasn't sure if it was up to the task, as it weighs a lot less than the phone books (which I couldn't even retrieve from the recycling if I wanted to, as the bin had long since been emptied!). At worst, I figured that even if the door stop didn't prevent the door from moving, it would at least act like a big wedge and prevent it from slamming.

Fortunately we have had some strong autumnal winds this week and the bears have stood firm!

So, do you have a door stop? What does it look like?
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