Wednesday, 29 October 2014

blogger's quilt festival {zoe's entry}
Twice a year Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival to coincide with Quilt Market (the trade shows where manufacturers show off their new fabric lines to businesses).
Zoe is entering her quilt into the ROYGBIV category.

I love looking at all the quilts that are entered. See if you can find Blue Mountain Daisy's 'Happy As A Clam' quilt in the Original Design category. It's one of my favourites!

You can start admiring all the amazing quilt entries here (just click on one of the quick links - underneath the Blogger's Quilt Festival logo - to take you to the category of your choice).

Voting for your favourites starts on 1st November!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

goodbye old faithful

You've been so reliable and were remarkably cheap.
Each child has loved your little red squeak.
Used only indoors, you have lasted so long;
over ten years and you're still going strong.

We'll miss seeing your speed as you drive through the house.
 But the time has come for you to live somewhere else.
Eli is too big and we need some more space.
I have already put a blanket box in your place.
Thanks for the memories and skid marks on the floor.
We wish you the best, but we'll see you no more!
The op shop will probably sell you for a dollar.
But your value is in the memories you helped make for our toddlers.
Goodbye old faithful.

Monday, 20 October 2014

zoe's quilt

Zoe's entry.
Zoe's quilt progress. Making half square triangles.
Zoe's original inspiration came from Christa's Charming Chevrons.
Christa's Charming Chevrons quilt.
Zoe used 5" squares to make the half square triangles. As she was putting the half square triangle units together Zoe decided to change the layout.

I didn't have use of my sewing machine for some time, as I allowed Zoe to have preference. This was usually in the evening before going to bed (and after homework and other responsibilities were completed). As per the rules of the competition, the quilt had to be sewn entirely by Zoe. It took quite a while!
I think I was as excited as Zoe was when it was time for the binding to be sewn on.
 Nearly there!
 Zoe machine quilted this quilt using a walking foot. She left the white areas unquilted. The coloured chevrons were quilted in lines that were randomly spaced.
I am very proud of her persistence. And willingness to unpick stitches when needed.
The back.
 Unlike her mother, Zoe remembered to label her quilt.
  Zoe is already planning her next quilt!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

craft fair {books}

Some months ago I attended the annual  Craft & Quilt Fair that tours nationally. I don't go every year - I find that there aren't enough differences from year to year to go every time it's on - but a friend and I hadn't been for a considerable number of years. So this year we went!

It is always lovely to stroll amongst beautiful things. Fabric. Long arm quilting machines. Fabric. Patterns. Fabric. Quilts. I always love the quilts that are on display. I didn't take any photos of the quilt display, but have some very bad shots of the purchases I made.

After seeing some Japanese pattern books on various blogs I was keen to get my hands on one. Particularly as the English version had just been released. I hadn't done my research before going to the fair and bought my book by Yoshiko Tsukiori for $29.99. The Book Depository will it mail it to you - anywhere in the world - for a total cost of $22.23 (AUD). 
Tidy little pattern pocket in the back.
Oh well! Clearly a matter of being swept up in the excitement of being at the fair!
These are three of my favourite patterns from the book. I have a linen blend patiently waiting to be sewn into pants.
 That really is a terrible photo! My apologies to the model.

I also bought two other books that were only $10 each. I didn't need them, but I do like to flick through quilting books with one hand and a warm Milo (or hot chocolate) in the other.

This book contains quilts made entirely from solids.
They are all very modern designs.
I love this one. The circle is machine appliqued, with the edges left raw.
 This book was just a bit of fun!
Who knows when you might need a pineapple?
 Or some lemonade during the summer months?
My only other purchase (apart from an amazing 'home made' pie at lunch time) was a panel of quilt labels.
I LOVE these quilt labels! They are Handmade with Love by Sweetwater for Moda. 
 This is one of my favourite, but I really do like every single one of them. So much, that I purchased another panel - the colour version - a few weeks after the fair.
There are about 24 quilt labels per panel. In Australia they are priced around $7 per panel.

So now I just need to finish some quilts so that I can use my lovely new labels!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

star wars {block progress}

Boba Fett - a bounty hunter. Lily insisted on this character.
I have added a few blocks to my Lego Star Wars collection.
For a while after the Chewbacca block I didn't think of him as fondly as I did before sewing him. I have now forgiven him for making me utterly confused with the slight differences in all the browns (which resulted in a lot of unpicking). Enough time has now passed for me to like Chewbacca again.
C3PO. As if you needed to be told.
This is what all six blocks look like together. Let me reassure you that I did use the same background fabric for all the blocks. My terrible photography just makes them look different. Oh, and I will embroider faces on them. Eventually.

One more thing. Don't worry about Yoda's face. That funny looking stain on the left isn't really there in real life. Promise!
So, still only six blocks. I'm going to pick up the pace, as I'm still determined to have this bed quilt finished for Lily by Christmas. Most likely midnight on Christmas eve!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

finish along {final quarter}

Finish Along 2014
Well I only had one finish from my Finish Along list for the third quarter. However I did make quite a bit of progress on other projects which I am very pleased about.

Hopefully that means that I will finish lots of projects during this final quarter!

As Christmas is in two months my list is long. Because I need to finish lots of Christmas gifts. And a few birthday gifts too. So, here is my list:

1.   Two quilt-as-you-go cushion covers. I'll keep one and gift one. This was my first attempt at the quilt-as-you-go method and I really enjoyed it. The block on the left took about an hour to sew. The one on the right took at least double that time. I ended up covering up some fabrics where I had to redo a couple of spots. Both used up a lot of thread, but that's no surprise. Which one is your favourite? 
2.  A quilt that my niece started about a year ago. She graduates from high school in a few weeks and is in the midst of exams. As my niece doesn't have any time for sewing right now, I thought it would be nice to finish it in time for her birthday. I enlisted the help of my sister to secret squirrel it over to my house. I have a lot of trimming to do before these blocks can be sewn into a top.
3.  This quilt top is ready for quilting. A very simple strip quilt, this one is destined to be gifted to one of Zoe's school teachers.
4.  Lily's improv cushion cover is quilted. A quick trim and then I can whip up a zippered back for it. And then do Zoe's. Thankfully I have finished Eli's! Have I even blogged about that?
5.   My Trip Around the World quilt is still on the list. And will probably be the last thing finished. But I have made more blocks.
6. The ugly quilt has been allocated a backing - red minky - and is ready for basting. I am going to try sewing with minky for the first time. It feels really slippery, so I think I'll limit the quilting to straight lines.
I told you it was ugly!
7.  My second 'Scrappers Delight'. My first one was gifted and well received, but I am now tired of seeing this. I think I will pass this on to someone else to finish if I don't get this quilt done by the end of the year.
8.  Lily's Star Wars quilt has grown. I now have some more blocks, but am a long way to finishing it. A really long way. I would really like to have this finished by Christmas. This project is the biggest on the list and the most time consuming.
9.  One of the teachers at my children's school asked if I would make her daughter a Disney quilt. After collecting fabrics I need to start putting something together. I have a rough design in my head, but haven't even so much as cut anything yet. This one needs to be done within the next few weeks. Yikes!
10. I'm adding this one to the list because it has been hanging around looking messy. It's just a scrappy boxy pouch which already has it's handle sewn. I actually have another of these cut out that I didn't bother photographing. But I'm not including that in my list. It will have to wait.
11.  I have been making sunglasses cases using these fabulous little spring strips (or flex frames). They are 4" (10cm) long and I purchased them from an etsy store. I tried this tutorial, as well as this one. I like both of them! I now have about 20 sunglasses cases to make for Christmas gifts.
12.  And there's this one. A 'table tent' that I plan on making for Eli as a Christmas gift. I had a quick look for the fabric - bought last year from Ikea - but a quick look was not fruitful. I sorted and reorganised all my fabric some months ago and remember seeing it, but my new 'spot' for it eludes me right now.
So, an even dozen on my list. Wish me luck. And the ability to function without sleep!

 Editor's Note: I have found the Ikea fabric for the play tent. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

folksy fall {a mosaic contest}

Rebecca who blogs at Bryan House Quilts recently participated in a mosaic contest held over at Rachel's Stitched in Color blog. The contest is a lot of fun (as it requires you to peruse fabric!) and is sponsored by The Intrepid Thread.

I thought I'd take a break from the housework and spend a few minutes putting together a mosaic.

Rachel explains everything, but you basically choose twelve different fabrics to form a mosaic that expresses the theme of 'Folksy Fall'. My first mosaic consisted of browns, greens, reds and blues. With a whimsical print that probably shouldn't be in there, but I love it!
My second mosaic is based upon this folksy fabric:
Rustique - Yes Dear in Navy
Rustique by Crazy Old Ladies for Michael Miller. Yes Dear in Navy.

In Australia it is currently spring time, but I have no trouble at all in thinking of all things autumn. Spring and autumn are my favourite seasons, probably because of the milder weather. 
Folksy Fall mosaic #2

So if you have a few spare minutes, why not create your own mosaic? Two participants will win their bundle of fabric!
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