Friday, 24 June 2011

My sewing room now...

I may have called this blog "sewn upstairs" but the reality is that at the moment I am not upstairs and won't be for another 12 months.

For the last year we have been renting a house near to our build.  Its a great little house really,  close to the kids school and to the train so hubby can get to work.

It only has three bedrooms for all of us so the two little guys share while our teen gets his own room.

My little sewing area was going to be in the back rumpus room with the kids.......until we started sizing up the spaces and realised our lovely square 8 seater table wouldn't fit.  There is a little dining room between the front lounge room and the kitchen but it's too small for the table.  Hmmm what to do, what to do!

Well the table ended up in the back room with the kids and the dining space became the perfect sewing area for me.

It meant I could bring along the sewing cabinet I had in our old house.  I love it, its painted green and all scratched up but I love all the different sized doors.  The middle top door is tin lined so its 50's era at least.

There was a handy nail already on the wall just waiting for my quilting hoop.

Printer comes in handing for paper piecing but would work better if I put the toner cartridge in

The monitor is a ring in from hubby.......
and that covered item underneath the hoop, the one with the brown thing on it..........well thats hubby's scroll saw.  Not very useful for sewing but we literally have no where else to put it safely.... :)

Cutting mats and rulers here too,
the black and white thing is three hat boxes full of projects I should be doing.

And the bean bag...well that needs the seam may be made tough but my boys are tougher!

Then there is the actual sewing area.

2 benches, one from Ikea that was a computer desk but now has my mini ironing board (also from ikea) and iron.  Great for putting lots of stash stuff under too.

The picnic basket holds all my farmers wife completed blocks.

The desk on the left was made by my late father in law Bob.  I inherited it so to speak and I will never get rid of it.  Its a perfect height for sewing.

The wall calendar and the electrical plan are for my new house...

There is a serious lack of storage in this house so every corner gets used.

This is some more of my stash, and some other gear that should be in our storage unit but won't fit!
As you can see my lounge room is on the left (thats my laptop on the ottoman) and the kitchen is on the right.  Not a big space but I get a heap done there.

My sewing desk is messy but I know where everything is.

Here it is ready for me to do some farmers wife blocks.  The pink tupperware containers are great, they were a gift from a friend who is a dealer.
I have all my baggies ready to go for the next lot of blocks and a scraps container too.

So thats my space.

Its about 3 metres by 2.8 metres but thats ok.  I think I am going to have more trouble working out how to set up the new space, its 7 metres by 6.1 metres, but its going to be fun to fill up!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week 3 and more round robin

Haven't been as quick to sew my blocks this week, mainly because I have been working on the last round of the international round robin.  I am going to post a picture of where I am at so don't look Suzanne.....

But I did get my bum into gear on Sunday and finished my two blocks for the week.  I went back to the blocks I missed in week one, so here is block 59 Night and Day, and block 60 Noon and Light.

Block 59 Night and Day
I'm not completely happy with the contrast in this block.  I think it might have been more effective to have a plainer background, it would have shown off the block design more.

Night and Day

Block 60 Noon and Light

I do like the colours in this block, love the contrast of the blue and pink with just hints of the red.
Noon and Light

And then there is the matter of the round robin.

I have never made flying geese before, not sure why, just never have.
So I did what any self respecting quilter does and googled the instructions.
Found a heap of different sites that gave instructions, but not in the size I wanted (yes I am that retentive that I needed the sizes).  Then I remembered that I had a flying geese ruler given to me by a friend (Hi Sue) and so I rummaged around and found it.   I didn't actually use the ruler but it had all the measurements on it for what size to cut so off I went.
I basically cut a 6 1/2" by 3 1/2" rectangle and two 31/2" squares.  Laid a square over each corner and sewed across.  Yes I know I give crappy instructions...ok... not here to teach only to show off my brilliance!!

This is where the quilt is at now.... 
I put a little strip of the red on either end of the sand borders.

Now I am going to applique a little vine in the top right corner, with just a couple of red rosebuds on it and some leaves.

I have to say I am pretty happy with how its turned out, will post a photo when I am done.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

International Round Robin

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing an international round robin with The Patchwork Studio.

Then I got distracted by my other round robins and forgot to show you what I am working on.

We are at the last round now, I will be sending mine back to its Suzanne in NZ very soon.  You can read about her journey here.

The last round states we are to do 2 pieced and two appliqued borders, representing our favourite season.

This block is really vibrant and felt summery to me but thats not my favourite season so I have been in a quandry.

photo courtesy of Cathy in Florida who added the green setting triangles.
I have really struggled with how to represent my season but have gone for spring, when beautiful flowers are coming up and the ducks and geese are starting to reappear at the duck pond near our house.

Then it was off to chose fabric.  I do a lot of online shopping for fabric (its usually way cheaper) and there is no local shop here so the only logical choice was a visit to GJ's in Carlton.   I haven't been there in about 2 years and boy has their patchwork range many modern fabrics that I had never seen.  I took my lovely mother-in-law Shirley with me, she is not a quilter but we really enjoy going out shopping and spending time together.    Shirley (the non-quilter) fell for the French General Fa la la range of  fabric and has told me I am allowed to make her a quilt from it.    I see a Christmas pressie coming up don't you (although it may be Christmas next year so if you are reading this Shirley don' get too excited just yet.

With some help from the girls there and an nice big window for good light we chose these fabrics for the borders.

lovely fossil ferns for borders

The photo doesn't really show it but the sandy background has green splashes through it that match the setting squares in the block.
I have used the blue and the background to make flying geese blocks around two sides.  The other sides have only the background fabric at the moment.  I am planning on using the green for a vine or stem and small patches of red for flowers.  That part is not decided yet.
Will post an update with the photo of the flying geese tomorrow.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week 2

This weeks blocks are Block 61 Northern Lights and Block 62 Old Windmill.

I have done alot of the blocks already and was up to block 59 so I just skipped a couple and did these.

Northern Lights and original book
 and the first block on its own

my northern lights
And on the other page....
Old Windmill and book original 
and mine on its own...
Old Windmill

I am pretty happy with how these turned out.

Spent a bit of time uploading all the blocks I have done to my flikr account.   I did think of putting all of them on the Farmers Wife QAL but its kind of overloading it I think.  If you would like to have a look at the blocks I have already completed please click here.

The best part of being in one of these groups is seeing the blocks everyone else is doing.  There are some amazingly gorgeous blocks in modern colours that I would never have thought to use and they look fantastic.

accuquilt GO! baby giveaway

My clever sister in law M let me know about a great giveaway of an accuquilt GO! baby cutter.

I had never seen one of these before but it looks fantastic, a great time saver as well.

I really like these sets

Hexagons 2" 3" 5"

I like the hexagons mainly because I have always wanted to do a hexie quilt but the idea of cutting out all those hexagons has put me off.  How quick would it be with this great cutter!

Stems and leaves

Stems and leaves

The stems and leaves are another great time saver, and I think the birds are just too cute.



So if you'd like a chance to win one too have a look at Samelia's Mum.  Then again maybe I shouldn't be telling you where to look....more chances for me to win that way!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Round Robins

I have been involved in quite a few round robins over the years, mostly with the Southern Cross Quilters group.

I did a couple that were Initial swaps.   This is where we made blocks for each other based on our our first initial. 

B is for Bec

"B is for Bec"

Beetle car,
 best friends, 

you get the idea.

C is for Cam
"C is for Cam"

Cricket (the sport not the bug)
cake and coke
McCam's chips

I found the most amazing pizza fabric for the border.  My son loved it. I backed this one with polar fleece and its really snuggly.

Hearts and butterflies

Then I tried to do a one that was a bit more girly so it was Hearts and butterflies.   I gave them the patterns and just asked them to pick fabrics.

Never actually got around to putting it together because as girly as it is, its just not me.  Its currently in pieces in storage.  It will reappear when we shift into our new house and I will decide what to do with it then.  Maybe one of my nieces will get lucky for Christmas?

Nate's On the Move
Nate's On the Move was simply anything that was boyish and was in motion.
Rockets, trains, jets, hot air balloons, tricycle, ambulance, skateboard, submarine,  totally fantastic. I really like the look of the stripey sashing too.  I spent the money on getting this one machine quilted and its a lovely quilt.

This lovely little cot size quilt was made by my Crafty Old Witch group and was donated to a child in a local appeal for Christmas presents.  Very sweet and yes its draped over the bonnet of hubbys car.

After doing all these quilts (and a few others) I was slightly bored with the more common angels, chooks and beach themes that were being done.

So I decided to do a bra's and undies quilt.
Bra's and Undies

I plonked a bra down in front of my daughters best friend and asked her to draw it. Luckily she was very talented at drawing and so she did.
I made a plastic template from the drawing that I sent off with the round robin.
I was pretty open with my request on this one, simply do a set of bra/undies or boxers in whatever fabrics float your boat.

This quilt was lots of fun to make and I was really pleased with the result.  I did get a couple of boxers but they didn't really work with the bra's so they were made into little bags for my boys.

I really love the way all the sets are so different.  The corset is to celebrate my wedding,  the bloomers by a women who felt she was too old for sexy undies....LOL

The pair that are third down on the right are actually made of a leopard skin fur print.  My young boys loved these best. :)
I made the blue set underneath.  They have sequins and crystals and were meant to look a bit like a belly dancers bra and undies.

In my old house the quilt hung right outside my bathroom and I often caught my boys standing there patting the leopard print.  ROFL

My claim to fame with this is that it was in Down Under Quilts in October 2009 about quilting and breast cancer.
When we were making this quilt my mum was battling breast cancer but she never got to see it made.   Its always been my intention to use my pattern to raise funds for breast and ovarian cancer research.

Then there is my big Country Lanes friendship quilt.

This is truly a friendship quilt, it was made with a collection of friends of mine, some who had never met, and some family members.

It is from a pattern by.Patchwork Pumpkin who do lots of country style quilts.   We started in 2001 doing our own top row and then sending it in the mail to the next person on the list.  I love this quilt because of who worked on it with me.

My sister made my cats,
my sister in law made my hearts
my mum made my houses 
my friends made all the others.

Now that my mum has passed away its even more special.

My darling mum Heidi never got to put her quilt together.   My sister split the rows up and made four smaller quilts each with two different rows used in it.

She finished them and gave them to my 3 of my 4 brothers (the other brother had one as his wife was the sister in law who made the hearts) and one to my mums only sibling, her sister.    

Yes this quilt is special, even if the colors are not what I would use now, it will always hang in my house.

I actually started writing this to show you my international round robin that I am working on.  But now I am too tired....LOL...will post that another day.

Oh and today would have been my Dad's 80th birthday.....miss you Dad and your wiggly ears.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along

This week I discovered the Farmers Wife Quilt Along being hosted by Fussy Cut. 

I bought this book and started a block of the month program with Homestead Hearth in the US about a year ago.

When I started I was planning to hand piece them but after the first 8 I was over that idea.  I liked being able to take the blocks with me where ever I went but all those templates were bringing me down!

This is one of the early disasters.

Block 2 Autumn Tints

I really don't like this block, not the colors nor my sewing and I am going to redo all the ones I hand pieced at the start.

So then some lovely kind soul who realised handpiecing is not for everyone, came up with the paper piecing templates and posted them on another group I am in.


A long time ago I made a paper pieced needlecase and loved it, so I felt I could deal with the blocks.

So far I have finished 59 blocks out of 70 that I have received via the BOM.

I will eventually post them here, just have to master the art of the scanner or learn to take better pictures.

Here are my blocks for the QAL that leave no doubt as to my skill with the aforementioned scanner. :)

Contrary Wife

and Box. 
 This one was done by hand, it went all wrinkly when I scanned it and looks much better in reality.

I am doing my quilt in 1930's fabrics and am using the leftovers from the BOM (there are plenty) to make another scrap quilt.  More on that to come.

My blog cherry popped!

Why blog....well why the hell not!!

I lead an extremely interesting and varied life, I travel, meet famous people and .......Oh crap thats not my life.  :-)

So this is just a little of my life, mostly about what I am working on quilt wise at the moment but no doubt other stuff will creep in.

The red quilt used in the background on my blog is the first quilt I ever made.  Made in 1998 for my son C who was 7. 

 I made a similar one for his sister B who was 9 at the time. 

 I knew nothing about how to make a quilt properly. 

 No idea of the importance of seam allowances at all. 

 C's poor quilt has been fixed many times since as the seams gave way.  
The quilts were made from shirting fabrics my dad gave me, from a couple of panels from Spotlight and some florals that were given to me by the local quilt group.  They are still my kids favourite quilts.

When I made these quilts I was living in a little country town.  I started going to a local church's craft group and was totally hooked.   Not just on the quilting but also on the wonderful friendships that I made.  

The women in that group were all really different.  

There were gentle yoga lovers and the callused farm girls.  

It could get really interesting at times but they all loved their crafts and to learn off each other.

For the last 10 years I have been running my own group at my house and its all because of those women in that little country town.

Now here I am blogging about my craft adventure.  Welcome!