Friday, February 26, 2010

A mini "Frock Quilt"

After making Amelia's Frock quilt I had a small panel left of the 'frock fabric' which I was going to make into another cushion for her room but when I finished the top I decided that it was too pretty to be sat on and would make a nice little wallhanging to match her quilt. I don't normally buy panels like this frock fabric but I just couldn't resist the cuteness of these little frocks and also the pretty pastel colours. I love the tiny squares of fabric in the border too.

Anyway this is my finish for the week and I now have to rush around and pack for yet another weekend away.  We are going up to Auckland for a wedding and staying with friends that we don't see very often and have 2 girls the same age as our girls. Looks like another fine and sunny weekend too! Sorry to rub it in to those in the northern hemisphere. Have a great weekend!!

Edited to add : Go check out Amber's blog 'A little bit biased' for another great giveaway of one of her patterns AND some Lila Tueller goodness too.' Seriously you won't be dissappointed!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All the way from Texas!

I won these goodies in a giveaway on Diane's blog a couple of weeks ago. Four scrummy fabrics, a redwork panel plus embroidery thread and needles so I have no excuse to start this. I have always admired redwork so am quite keen to have a go. It will be my next handwork project to do in front of the TV in the evenings. Diane also made a cute little zippered pouch with some pretty cherry fabric and hidden inside were 2 bracelets perfect for my girls although they might have to share them with me sometimes. Also included was a copy of "Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks" collectors edition which is I was very pleased to recieve. So thank you so much Diane, you generosity made my day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A sneak peek......

A little peek of what I've been working on this week. This is a border made up of 1 inch squares made with 1 1/2" strips so a great way to use up a honey bun although I used scraps. Quite easy, a little time consuming but I love the result. Not sure what this is going to turn into yet.
It will have to wait till Monday as we are going to stay with friends for the weekend and I'm participating in a cycling event on Saturday. The weather is predicted to be fine and sunny so I'm predicting lots of swims in our friends pool and perhaps a soak in their spa after my ride.
Enjoy your weekend!!

Stumbled upon ............

Whilst cruising through my blog reading list last night I stumbled upon a blog by the lovely Amber called "A little bit biased". She has just launched her first set of quilt patterns and I've got to say they are quite beautiful! She has written a lovely background story of how she got to where she is today and how her Grandmother inspired her and continues to do so. Also a few posts down on her blog she has done a 'keeping it real' post so you can get to know her a little bit more, PLUS she is having a giveaway to celebrate the pattern launch. So head on over to her blog and check out her pretty patterns. She gets an extra vote from me because she has a New Zealand connection!

My husband just earned himself brownie points this morning by texting me to wish me Happy Anniversary!!! I had completely forgotten although I knew it was coming up. We have been married  16 years today! Wow that sure went quickly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In honour of Valentines Day....

This is what I've been working on every night for the last week while watching TV ( I hate to have idle hands!). I started off with a basic wooden heart purchased on a whim from Spotlight with no fixed idea how I was going to decorate it. I found some leftover red bias binding with tiny white hearts and wound it all the way around. Got out some red and white fabrics plus a little pink and started adding some yo yo flowers with buttons on one side. 

Then on the other side I made some felt beaded flowers and another with fabric, felt and a button centre.

To finish it off I made a felt heart ornament studded with beads to hang in the centre.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out and it was fun to make. We don't exchange Valentines gifts anymore but when my husband packed his bag to go away this week I snuck in a little surprise present for him. Sometimes its the little gestures that mean more. What did you do for Valentines this year??

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And the winners are................

Okay so I got together with my random generators also known as my daughters  Amelia and Caitlin. Amelia helped me write out all the names and the extra entries for all your lovely comments then they both took turns in pulling out names.
Congratulations to Debbie aka Marblesbestfriend, Diane of Life Scraps, and Ariane of Ariane's Crafts.

Debbie wins the 6 fat quarters and flower brooch.

Diane wins the Charm Squares and apple pincushion

Ariane wins the honey bun and pear pincushion

Congratulations ladies I shall email you to confirm and post out your gifts ASAP. Thanks to all who entered and left comments and welcome to all my new followers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

One sweet cushion!

This afternoon I made this cushion from a tutorial found on the Moda Bakeshop. It's designed by Roslyn Mirrington of Bloom. The original cushion is made with a honeybun but I already had some 1 1/2" strips leftover from Amelia's Frock quilt that I wanted to use up. I also added strips at both ends and omitted the button trim as I think mine is busy enough. This was a great tutorial with easy to follow instructions.

I love the ric rac trim just peeking through and the piping gives it a nice finished look. This is a great project to use up scraps and create matching cushions for your quilts.

And on the back its tied with 2 sweet bows. I havn't made an inner for it yet as I've run out of stuffing. Off to the big city of Auckland tomorrow to do some shopping and I have quite a list of sewing needs to get. This also means I won't get time to draw my giveaway till Sunday. (Sorry!)
Oh and I'm linking up with Amy's Sew 'n' tell Friday so click on the button over their on the right and check out all the other great finishes for this week.

Another beautiful day in Whangamata!

This was the sunrise that greeted me just after 6 am this morning.Check out the tiny moon at the top! Today was another beautiful sunny but hot day. Managed to get in a 2 hour cycle before it got too hot though.

And about 10 minutes later here's the sun! It's mornings like this that I feel lucky to be living where we do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Works in progress...

Finished 8 more blocks of this quilt today. It's so fun to sew and I love scrappy quilts!                                     

I'm using recycled paper to sew the strips onto. This paper is from the girls old drawing pads.

I've pulled these fabrics together for a future quilt too today. I want to make a feature of the dutch print and decided that the top 4 left fabrics which are from South Africa go with the blue and white colour combo in the print. I then added some batiks from Bali. Not too sure of a quilt pattern yet but I like that the fabrics are all traditional fabrics from their country of origin. Let me know what you think??

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A simple drawstring bag

Whipped this simple bag up in an hour this afternoon for my daughter Amelia to take her PE / gym gear to school in. Made from a lovely batik on the outside and on the inside is a remnent of cotton fabric that my dressmaker neighbor gave me. Hope she likes it!

Pretty cushions

Last week I cleaned Amelia's bedroom, clearing out all the toys she has got too old for. Her room now better represents her age and her status of being a 'High school girl". We decided she needed some floor cushions to sit on ( she has a small room and no room for a chair) so I came up with these 2 cushions. They are made using an Amy Butler free pattern which I had printed out a few months ago but was waiting for the excuse to try it out. I'm really pleased with the resulting cushions. I used up leftover fabric scraps from other projects ( including her frock quilt) . Even the bias binding trim wasleftover from previous projects. The pink one is smaller than the other because I forgot to add the seam allowance but still a good size.
The other side of the cushions.

 When I made the cushion inner it ended up too big because I had forgotten that the bias trim would make the cushion smaller so I made a smaller inner for it and a larger cushion cover for the too big inner.( I think that all makes sense!!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

100th post giveaway!!!

  Doesn't time fly when you're having fun! I can't believe I've managed to do 100 posts so soon. I'm so glad I started this blog way back in May. It motivates me everyday to do some sewing or just be creative in some way and of course it's great to get some feedback from like-minded people. One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was to share the knowledge I have gained over my years of sewing and I really enjoy helping out people when they need it. I have met some lovely people online so far who have also inspired and helped me out so this giveaway is to say thank you for visiting my blog.
As you might have guessed by now the other bunch of strips I cut up the other day was for this giveaway. I have rolled them up just like a little honey bun. There are 32 all up and they would make a lovely addition to a scrap quilt. Colours included are greens,browns,blues, purple/lilac, red , yellow and pinks. They are 1 1/2 " wide and at least 40" long.  Also included is a pear pincushion that I just finished today made from a Heather Bailey pattern plus I will add some other sewing goodies.
So this is 1 of 3 gifts I have put together.

This is gift number 2, a lovely bundle of 85  5 1/2 " charm squares that include all the fabrics from the above honey bun plus a whole lot more. You can make so much with a charm pack, sew them all together for a simple scrappy quilt or cut them up into half square triangles and the possibilities are numerous. Also included is an apple pincushion I made today from the same Heather Bailey pattern plus as before I will add some other sewing goodies.

Lastly number 3 gift is 6 fat quarters of these lovely fabrics that I purchased the other day plus a flower brooch that I made from an Amy Butler pattern. The winner of this gift will get to choose which colour(s) they would like this brooch made up in as the one in the photo belongs on a matching bag of mine.

How to enter my giveaway:

  1. Leave me a comment and tell my what sewing projects you would like to do this year. (My list is rather long!)

  2. If you are new to my blog become a follower and let me know. Any current followers will automatically gain an extra entry.

  3. I'm going to leave this giveaway open till next Friday so if you comment on any posts between now  and then you will gain a further entry. And I will give any regular commentors extra entries as well.
When you leave me a comment please make sure you have your email on your profile and have ticked the box 'show email' otherwise it makes it very difficult to contact you. There are a lot of people out there who are completely unaware that they can't be contacted. Amy of Parkcity Girl has done a great post on this that you might want to check out here.

Also I'm added this post to Amylou's Sew 'n' tell Friday because those 2 pincushions are my finishes this week. Click on the Sew'n'tell button on the righthand side bar to see some more lovely finishes for this week.

My first string blocks!

I managed to get my first 4 string blocks completed yesterday. Once I'd done the first one they were quick and easy to do. I'm following the instructions on the blog Sewtakeahike. Very clear and easy to follow. Most of the strips in this quilt were swapped with a lovely bunch of ladies I've met through the Old Red Barn Quilt along on Flickr. This was a great way to get lots of different fabric scraps for a truly scrappy look. I've seen two of the other ladies finished quilt tops here and here. Go check them out they are quite different from each other but equally stunning. Also go check out what one of them has done with her scraps over here. Susan you are one clever and creative lady!
So when I was cutting strips the other day I cut 2 piles so that's 2 lots of 32 strips. One pile is for this quilt but I will tell you what the other pile is for in my next post. I think you might like it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some fabric loveliness.

I bought these lovely fabrics in Spotlight on Sunday. They seemed to have really upped their game and now stock some quite simply beautiful and modern fabrics now. I don't have a LQS anywhere near where we live so generally Spotlight is the destination for fabric and sewing/crafting supplies for me.
The top 4 fabrics are by a designer called Emily Bloom and I'm not sure about the bottom 2 but they just whispered "Buy me Catherine" so I had to didn't I.

Yesterday was a very wet and windy day here so I spent most of the day cutting these 5 1/2 " charm squares. I think their are 83!

I also cut some more up into 44" X 1 1/2 strips. There are about 32 of them and yes the palm of my hand is now a little tender from overuse of the rotary cutter. Now if you are wondering what I'm going to do with all these strips and squares I will show you at the end of the week.
Tommorrow I'm looking forward to some uninterrupted sewing time as our girls return to school. They are both a little anxious about going back to school this year. Amelia starts High School and Caitlin moves up to the senior class at her school. For me the best thing about the start of a new school year was getting all the new stationery. I still love going into stationery shops and for people like me this company has recently opened a chain of shops in NZ.

Now on a competely different subject, I seem to be having a bit of an ant problem in my kitchen. They are of the tiny brown ant variety and I just get rid of them from one spot and they appear somewhere else. Today there was a trail of them winding their way up to the top shelf of my pantry. I couldn't find what they were after but I now have a nice clean pantry although I would have rather been sewing. Any hints and tips would be most welcome!
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