Monday, December 31, 2012

First Boutis Project Finished

This afternoon I finished my first Boutis project. This piece is only about 16 cm (just over 6 inches) square.

Here it is with the light behind it so you can see the pattern.

I learnt a lot making this little piece, so I hope my next boutis project will be much better.

Its the last day of 2012 here and I have been thinking about what I will be making in 2013. Of course I still have Roseville Album and Friends of Baltimore which I am looking forward to getting back to. There are the 2 Blogger's BOM quilts which I plan to finish soon as well as a top I have ready to baste. I want to get better at machine quilting so I have some tops for that purpose. I am sure there will be some new projects that I will start too! :)

My main challenge for the beginning of 2013 will involve these:

I had a short lesson on sock knitting with circular needles earlier this year. I have never made a pair of socks before so 2013 will be my year to give it a go. Wish me luck!!

Happy New Year to everyone!!

Thank you for reading my blog, becoming a follower and leaving comments.  Thank you for your friendship, inspiration and encouragement.

May 2013 bring joy, good health and prosperity for all. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Some finishes and good news.

This week I finished the little pinwheel quilt (now known as Field Notes Challenge)

I quilted it by machine.

here is a shot of the back...

On Monday DH and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. While DH was at work I spent some time in the city. We had  beautiful dinner at a French restaurant that evening.

Below are a couple of photos taken around the city,

The Yarra River and the city looking towards Flinders Street Station from Southbank, Melbourne.

The glass ceiling at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Today I made 2 small sewing projects. The first is a pouch for earbuds. I found a great tutorial here.

 I will be definitely be making some more of these!
This afternoon I made this little purse using these instructions.

I will be making more like this too!

After a few days of rest my elbow is much better! Thank you to everyone who expressed their concern.
I am looking forward to lots of hand stitching!!

If you have been reading my blog for the last few months you will remember the quilt I put together for a young couple expecting their first baby. The young couple are now the proud parents of a healthy son! :)

Lastly, the best news of all! Thank you very much to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for my friend who is in hospital. The good news is that her health is once again improving! She is still a very ill lady and has lots of rest and physiotherapy ahead of her. Hopefully she will be home for New Year.

Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Trailing Vines

Last night I finished the second panel of Trailing Vines and today I joined the 2 panels together.

Today I also finished quilting the little pinwheel quilt. I started out hand quilting it, but I was not pleased with how it was looking. I pulled out the stitching and machine quilted it instead. Tonight I will be burying all the threads, so there will be a photo in my next post.

I am going to take a little rest from hand stitching. It looks like the couple of days of hand quilting have irritated my tennis elbow again. I was stab stitching because of all the seams and I think that technique might be my problem. Hand applique and normal running stitch with piecing don't seem to cause any irritation.

I now have all my sashing and backing fabrics for both versions of the Blogger's BOM quilts so they will be next on my sewing list. Part of my quilting plan for the bright version will be big stitch quilting with perle stab stitching this time! :)

My thoughts are with all the families affected by the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut and another shocking incident at a school in central China.

Lastly, could I ask everyone, please spare a thought, and a prayer or 2, for a special friend of mine who is currently in Intensive Care.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another Chester Criswell Quilt Block

Yesterday I finished the next Chester County Criswell block.

I made James Carlile's block using a single piece of fabric. This fabric is from Barbara Brackman's new line called Metropolitan Fair. I like how the shade of green changes across the fabric.

Here are all my blocks so far.

I plan to make the quilt with a few different background fabrics.

Today I basted and started hand quilting the little pinwheel quilt in my previous post.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Not Blogging, Sewing.

Well, it has been a while since I have blogged. I have lots of sewing to share, so this will be a long post!

Today I finished this quilt top. The design was inspired by the setting for Jackie's Blogger's Block of the Month quilt.  I have used the same centre block and a slightly different Ohio Star block with the nine patch blocks.

I have taken advantage of the cyber Monday sales to get some backing fabrics to finish this quilt and the 2 Blogger's BOM quilts I am making. Lots more sewing ahead when they arrive in the post!

Speaking of arrivals in the post...

This parcel arrived yesterday from Christine.  Christine, of Once Upon a Quilt, had a giveaway on her blog, which I was lucky enough to win! :)
Lots and lots of scraps!!!

I know exactly what I am going to use them for...standby..

Yesterday I finished another little quilt top.

While Karen was in USA she was given a package of  mini charm packs. Karen gave us Friday sewing girls each a pack and challenged us to come up with something.

 Field Notes by Blackbird Designs is a new fabric due out in February next year.

I decided to add yellow and cream fabrics and make pinwheel blocks.

 Next I added sashing and cornerstones.

Then a border to finish the top. I haven't decided on a backing fabric yet.

I can see the end of panel 2 of Trailing Vines! :)

Not far to go till I can join the first 2 panels together!

I have been doing a bit of experimenting with an applique project.

Still a work in progress.
The background is a linen blend. The appliqued fabrics are Liberty. I reversed the green fabric to get a more faded look. With the quilting I hand quilted around the applique and I am trying to get the look of dandelion seed heads with the background quilting.

I may change them...

Here is the same design with completely different fabrics.

No quilting on this one yet.

Earlier this year Cathy started a quilting group that I have been attending once a month for the last few months. We meet in each other's homes and share our love of making quilts with some food, lots of laughter, inspiration and friendship. Recently we had our Christmas breakup at Treehouse Textiles. Emma and her Mum, Sarah, run workshops, have a little shop and create delicious food in serene bushland surroundings on the Mornington Peninsula.

A view from one of the windows.

We had a gift exchange.

I made a small padded camera bag....

with 1/4 inch, fussy cut hexagons..

We enjoyed a delicious lunch. It was a beautiful day so we ate outside.

Michelle gave us a lesson on foundation piecing. I have tried this before, but it was just a straight line of triangles and I remember being quite confused!
Michelle prepared a pattern for us and gave clear instructions.

Once I got the steps clear in my head I was on a roll! However, clearly I need practice at machine sewing curves! Lol 
I have a quilt pattern in mind to get some more practice.
Thank you for a wonderful day Ladies! :)

 Some more for Treehouse views to finish..

Have a great week. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Next Criswell Quilt block, More Boutis and a win

I have finished Block 4 (Nancy Smith's block) of the Chester Country Criswell Quilt.

Here are a few progress photos...

..and a bit closer..

I have had a bit of a play with some different threads for my little boutis project.

First I tried DMC Perle 5, then a 4ply and an 8 ply cotton/acrylic mix and lastly a worsted cotton thread made in USA which was marked 4 ply, but would be equivalent to approximately a 12 ply.

In the photo above I have placed each thread next to the leaves I stuffed. The centre circle and the bottom left leaf are stuffed using the Perle 5. That thread was much too fine and gave no "puffiness" to the shapes. The leaf on the top right has 4 ply. It looks better than the Perle 5, but still not puffy enough. The top right leaves have 8 ply. I think they look much better!  Lastly the bottom left leaves are stuffed using Lily Sugar and Cream; a thread made in USA. I found a shop in Queensland that stocks this yarn. These leaves are really puffy!  The fabric I am using hasn't got a loose weave so the bulk in the eye of the needle made is more difficult to pull the threads through with this yarn.
Thank you to Heather who has given me lots of hints!!:)

Recently I entered an Aurifil thread giveaway on Kelly's blog. I was one of the lucky winners!

The pink and orange are perfect for that fabric from my stash!!   Thank you Kelly!

I'm still working on a couple of those "secret sewing" projects. :)

Lastly photos from the garden.

Our Kiwi fruit plant is covered in flowers at the moment. The flowers have a perfume that seems to get stronger after dark.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back to hand stitching

Over the last week I have been able to get back to some hand work.

I have now finished the 2nd branch on panel 2 of Trailing Vines.

I have been making very slow progress! I do love working on this quilt every time I get it out.

I have the leaves prepared for 2 more branches, so I hope to get plenty more done soon.

In a previous post I showed a picture of a book on Boutis I bought while we were in France. I have done a little more reading and  decided to be  a little less ambitious about my first project!
Here is the beginning of my stitching. This piece is a little over 6 inches (15 cm) square.

And a closer look...

The main difference between boutis and trapunto is that there is no batting between the 2 layers of fabric.

The design is stitched through the 2 layers of fabric, then the shapes are stuffed in a similar manner to trapunto by hand.
When you hold a piece of boutis up to the light you can see clearly though the fabric where there is no stuffing.
I am almost up to the point of stuffing the shapes.

The rest of my current sewing projects are "secret sewing"!

Here are my fabrics for one new project.

Many of them from here.

Last week I spent a wonderful day at Linda's with Bev, Dorothy and several other ladies farewelling Randi who was going back home to Norway.
We had a lovely day of chatting, laughter, sharing great food and seeing lots of quilts; some newer and some antique. Thank you for a great day Linda, Bev and ladies!

My thoughts are with those who have been through the fury of hurricane Sandy and other weather extremes. I hope you are all safe and well.

A few photos from my garden....

Rose Just joey, fuchsia Heidi Ann and 2 miniature roses.

This is sunrise yesterday morning from our front yard.

Have a great week everyone! :)