Saturday, 14 November 2015

It's been so long!

 It's been so long since I have been here that I'd almost forgotten I had a blog!

I am teaching a glorious year 2 class full time and I absolutely love it. It is a bit tiring though. And I have a lot less time for everything else. But I love it!

I have managed to do a few bits and pieces, including these two bunting blocks that I have chosen as my bee block when my turn comes up.

I have kept up with my monthly bee blocks for others, but I haven't kept up with downloading photos of each of them. I'll have to save those for later.

Instead, how about a few photos of things that I made before I became super busy?

 This grab bag was not my favourite bag during construction, but I loved it once it was finished. I gifted it to friend and have another part way through construction for myself. The outer fabric is organic cotton and feels beautifully soft.

 I also made two of the one hour baskets that have been popular recently (well, a while ago, but I'm always slow to catch up!). The fabric was gifted to me by a friend, so one went to her and one lives with me.
 During the last school holidays we made some pretzels. They were easy to make and absolutely delicious!

This is the video tutorial we used. We plan to make them again.

 Oh look! I managed to upload a photo of one of the bee blocks I recently sent out!
So, what's been taking up your time recently?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

scrappy quilt

 Hello! Remember me? I recently returned to work and have been working as a relief teacher (substitute teacher for my international friends) at a lovely primary school. I love it!

I have had to reshuffle my time, so my sewing machine has not seen a lot of love lately. I have managed to finish a quilt that has been a long term UFO. Comprised mostly of leftover 5" squares, it is one of two projects on my Finish Along list for this year's third quarter.

I used minky as a backing for the first time. It is very, very soft and cuddly (and very popular with the kids!). I picked up the red minky dot in the fabric remnant basket at my favourite fabric shop and it is been sitting in the cupboard for quite some time. I think the slipperiness and stretch of the minky made me very hesitant to use it in a quilt. I am glad I did though! It really wasn't a problem at all, though I did keep the quilting simple and quilted organic, horizontal lines.
The quilt measures 45.5" (116cm) x 65.5" (167cm) and is bound using scrappy 2.5" strips.
This is one of my favourite squares in the quilt. 

School holidays have started (yay!), so I took the opportunity to make some Bee blocks in each of the Queen Bee's nominated design and colours. It felt so good to create these!
I really love school holidays. I think it's because I don't have to make four lunchboxes each day!

Monday, 20 July 2015

pinwheel cushion

 I finished the cushion that I blogged about here. It is number two on my Finish Along list.
Zoe chose the fabrics for this cushion and made the cushion top using the fast and easy pinwheels tutorial by Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Co. The pink fabric used for the pinwheels and backing is Lecien's Folk Tale Flying Pixie Girl. The other pinwheel print is from Australian designer Sarah Fielke's On The Pond range.
I was responsible for quilting and constructing the cushion cover. Which is why it took so long to finish. But doesn't it look nice now that it is done! It is approximately 16" (41cm) square.

I love a covered, zippered back and always use Svetlana's tutorial. She makes it so easy!

I also completed some bee blocks which have now been mailed. I really like the feeling of mentally ticking these off my list.
 This is our last day of the school holidays. Oh how I have enjoyed them!

I will be back to show you some of the crafting we have been doing during the last two weeks. Some was planned and some was impromptu.

Friday, 10 July 2015

finish along 2015 {q3}

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Well, I missed the second quarter of this year's finish along, but am back on board for the third quarter.

I'm keeping my list short and realistic. These are the projects that I would like to complete:
1. This quilt. I'm not sure what else to say about it.
2. Zoe and her friend each made a cushion top during the school holidays late last year. Her friend's cushion cover was completed not long after it was started. My own daughter's has been sitting waiting for me. I had started quilting the cushion top, but it looked truly awful! I will unpick my dismal attempt at square stippling and redo it. With round pebbling.
Unfinished. And I'm not showing you the awful quilting!
And that's my list! An achievable two items.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

pineapple block {tutorial}

Once a week Zoe has a cello lesson. It begins before school and finishes about ten minutes after I exit Eli's classroom. Rather than leave Zoe's cello at school all day and then fit it in the car along with all the school bags, box constructions and precious tree branches that absolutely have to come home with us at the end of the day I wait around and take it home with me in the morning.

I like waiting around for Zoe's cello. I sit under a tree and do a bit of doodling. Quilt block doodling.

This pineapple grew from a bit of doodling. Isn't it sweet? Or is that pun making you groan?
Pineapple block design in progress.
At 17" (43cm) square it is a big block, but I decided that I didn't want those half square triangles any smaller. I wanted this block to be easy and quick to put together.

If it isn't too big for the other members, I think I'd like to use it as my bee block later in the year.

So, let me show you how to sew it up.

Fabric Requirements

Orange - 1 @ 6.5" x 8"

Green - 1 @ 3.5" x 5"
8 @ 2" squares

Background - 14 @ 2.0" x 2.0"
 2 @ 6.5" x 2.0"
2 @ 5.75" x 17"
**if you do not want your pineapple to be centred on the block, substitute the 2 @ 5.75" x 17" for 1 @ 2.75" x 17" and 1 @ 8.75" x 17" for an off centre pineapple.

Sewing the Block

Before you go near the sewing machine, draw a diagonal line across the middle of each of the 2" background squares.

  1. 'Snowball' the orange rectangle (6.5" x 8") by placing a square in one of the corners. Sew on the diagonal line. Repeat for the three remaining corners.
2. Trim 1/4" from each sewn line.
3. Press corners open. This is the pineapple base.
4. Pair a 2" background square with a green 2" square, right sides together. Sew on the diagonal line. Do this seven more times for a total of 8 pairs of background/green squares.
5. Trim 1/4" away from the sewn line. Use the triangle shaped trimmings in another project!
6. Press/iron open.
7. Using a 1/4" seam, sew six of the half square triangle blocks together as shown below:
8. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a half square triangle unit to each of the long sides of the green 3.5" x 5" rectangle as shown.
9. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the remaining two HST's (half square triangles) together as shown below. Press/iron centre seam open. This will reduce bulk when sewing this unit to the rest of the pineapple top.
10. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a 2" background square to either side of the joined HST's. Press/iron open.
11. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the small HST unit to the larger unit.
12. Carefully trim away the half of the seam allowance where the three seams meet (at the point of the triangle) to reduce bulk. If this step doesn't make sense, it is quite okay to skip it!

13. Press/iron open. This is the pineapple top.
14. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the pineapple top to the pineapple base. Press/iron open.
15. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a 6.5" x 2.0" background rectangle to the top and bottom of the pineapple. Press/iron open.

16. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew a 5.75" x 17" background rectangle to either side of the pineapple. Press/iron open.
And you are done!

So, do you like pineapple? Do you put it in your tuna mornay or your home made burgers? We do!

Update: A lovely friend made me three pineapple blocks! I know I should have ironed them first, but I was too excited.

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