Saturday, February 26, 2011

A change of pace


I think my hand stitching has had enough of a display. Anyone looking for my Christmas items they are in the post below. Since my sewing machine is under repair I thought I would show some of my knitting and crochet. The scarf is made from alpaca in a moss stitch rib. I love the feel of it. I knitted several scarves, vests and hats last winter but my favourite finishes were the tea cosies.

Mohair crochet owl
Here is my crochet owl from Killer Tea Cosies. He sits on display all the time cause I just love him.  The others below were made for specific pots. I like the pineapple stitch one. I got the stitch pattern from an old book of knitting stitches that my mum gave me.
Knitted cosy and pot stand

Crochet with two strands of wool. Pattern from Wild Tea Cosies

Simple rib with beads.
I also did some shopping. Even though it is way too hot I had to have a go at some patterns in the Gourmet Crochet book I got for Christmas and I needed more colours. The pink bit is the start of a cake. I also had to get some embroidery threads for my felt stitchery. Maybe it's my tools causing the trouble :) And since I was at the fabric shop a bit of fabric just jumped out at me!

Stumpy just likes to know where I am.
I bought a thread to match every colour felt I had.
I nearly forgot. I drooled over the magazines for a while and ended up buying Magic Patch ( a European magazine ) and Inside Crochet that had a great mittens pattern. I was inspired to dabble in my crochet again after visiting Kate at Creative World. She has a great blog. Thanks Kate.

Happy quilting (and crocheting and knitting)
Val

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Dear! Two Christmas Clubs!


My sewing machine just stopped and is at the repair shop but I was determined to work on something for 1 Xmas Item a Month hosted by Nell's Notions so I made some felt decorations . Last year I made lots of paper decorations at the last minute so this year I thought I would start a bit earlier since I enjoyed decorating my tree with my own hand made decorations. I will reuse some of the paper ones and add a bunch of felt ones this year. I started with some baubles.  I just have to put the hanging ribbons on the front two.

I went a bit crazy and decided to join in Christmas through the Year as well, hosted by Allie-oops Sweet Happy Life . So I had to make something else without my machine. I decide on a needle case.  If the cat is recognised the recipient will want it now but that is OK. It is fun to make little things and practice my stitchery.


I was looking for some small things to make and found this site.
I only had a chance to look at a few of the items but it looks like fun. http://freebiesforcrafters.blogspot.com/
There was a link to My Fantastic Toys where I got some bauble ideas.

Happy Quilting,
Val

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Machine Mat with hand towel backing

Since last Friday...
There is so much going on out there!
Over at Korumburra Quilting Bronwyn finished a machine mat in one night that made me get out some fabric to get started on mine. I used up more of my February Hearts fabric and put on a machine icon just for fun. The backing is an old hand towel that I had put away for just such an occasion. I machine sewed the binding. You have to sew it on the back then turn it to the front and stitch close to the fold. I might try some free motion quilting patterns on it later.


I had to square it up a bit because the towel was skew.
It made it easier to sew with the big hems cut off anyway.


I have left a little space on the right for a box I will make later.


 I found instructions for a felt pizza with lots of toppings at Wee Folk Art that made me yearn for the felt I have ordered online, and dropped in on Sharon, a lovely lady growing veges and sewing at Roses among the veg that made me want to get out into the garden again.

I went outside but only to take pictures of  leaves for
applique subjects

My art quilt blogger at Marty's Fibre Musings (well she is not mine but she is the only one I follow) went out and took photos then played with them in Photoshop and that made me want to play with my photos in Fireworks (I can't use Photoshop).

The leaves looked so much better
when I stretched them and I love the glowing veins.

I managed to finish my inspirational wall hanging.
I would like one of those wire coat hanger things to hang it on.



Natalia at Piece N Quilt put up a simple tutorial with her clear ruler and rotary cutter that convinced me that I just had to invest in a see through ruler. I also want a triangle and a dresden wedge shape. And probably a new cutting mat and...and.... : )

We had an unexpected visitor. We rarely get lizards or snakes because the cats are around.



I also managed to get some sewing done on my charm square quilt that I am going to enter in the Moda Bakeshop competition at the end of March. I am going to sew the blocks and sashing together in 4's and quilt it as I go. It will be king sized and way too big for me to do even straight stitching on my machine. I just love stars!


And I finally finished my first ever quilt.

A few more things out there...
Block Boards at LaVieEnRosie
Flying geese with triangles and the Fit to be Geese ruler at Sherri's A Quilting Life
I dropped in on As Sweet as Cinnamon (Dawn is one of the designers for Out of the Box BoM) and found an invitation to a blog hop that sounds interesting. I will definitely be having a look. It starts on 25th Feb at Miss Nance's
Happy Quilting,
Val


Friday, February 18, 2011

More surfing than sewing since Tuesday

I love this shawl pin from South4th wood fashions

Craft and drop and drag games for the kids
I visit everyone's blogs in between posting and found that on Wednesday Shez at Enjoying Life said Jenny B at Allsorts had a cute bunny pattern. I zipped right over and found that Jenny B had fun dress up games (drop and drag) as well as the bunny pattern and a lovely angel pattern under her craft button on the right hand side.

A scarf and shawl pin
The lovely lady at Wee Folk Art has a nice scarf pattern and a link to the shop she bought her beautiful shawl pin. It is polished wood and shaped like a butterfly. I visited the woodcrafts site (www.south4th.com) and even though they didn't have any butterflies they are the nicest pins I have seen anywhere. They might do a butterfly on request.

Hot pad exchange
Cheryll at Gone Stitchin is organising a hot pad exchange. You make a heat proof mat for the kitchen bench and swap with your assigned partner. International swapers welcome. You still have a few weeks to join up.

Pin cushion sew-a-bit
Fiona at Bubzrugz is having a pincushion sew-a-bit. I have joined up this one. Each person in your group puts a little bit of pattern on the pincushion top you make and post on. Your top comes back to you eventually. I think it will be a lovely keepsake of blogging friends. You need to have your top ready to post 1st march so sign up quick.

Zig Zag design
Just discovered an interesting zig zag design tutorial at Bee Square. It is a tutorial by Crazy Moms Quilts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New project and some new blogs


I have been busy designing and creating the applique and caption for my latest small quilt. I took pictures of the things I like in my sewing room and made them into applique. Instead of my quilt magazines I put myself having a design idea. Since this is my first attempt to put myself into a project I wanted to put some text that would inspire me as I sewed (I plan to hang it above the sewing machine).

I decided on "The art of sewing" across the top and "stash design create" along the bottom edge. You can view and download the text.  It is written in swash italics. My cupboard holds the stash, my head holds the designs and my sewing machine and pins help me create.
I have included my sewing machine and me as jpg's so you can use them and resize them if you like.

I couldn't draw the cloud on the computer so I just did it by hand after I printed it out.


I had some time to look at some blogs yesterday.
Thanks to Ines of Granny's House I found a cute cat for all seasons at Ellie's Quiltplace. You can applique or use stitchery to make a hanging or a cushion cover.

Thanks to Simone at Quilting and Stitchery Diary I will follow Birds Home BoM at Quiltecke with interest. Starts 15th Feb.
Happy quilting,
Val

Monday, February 14, 2011

My February Hearts

This...
...from this.


Hi everyone, I worked hard on my February Hearts project to get it done. I think it looks pretty good. I was surprised how quickly it came together. I really enjoyed the experience. I liked being able to check out the flickr group photos. There are some lovely colour schemes. I played it safe with this one but I am inspired now to whip up something else about the same size. Pop on over to Daisy Quilts .
Happy Quilting,
Val

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finding my Rhythm

I was browsing through my new Homespun magazine and found a cute little wall hanging idea for my sewing room wall. It is called "All my lovely sewing things" by Val Laird. Before I had even finished my February Hearts project I started using the left  over fabric to cut out what I needed for this new project. I guess what attracted me to it was the idea of the favourite things she had appliqued on it and in my frenzy to get started on it I realized that her favourite things meant nothing to me. Why don't I put on some of my own favourite sewing things. So I looked around my sewing room and settled on four things.
My sewing machine - it is a Bernette (made by Bernina) and a real fighter and does everything I need so far.
My trusty pin cushion - this has sat beside my sewing machine for as long as I can remember. I think my daughter bought it from the Mother's Day stall at her school when she was in 1st or 2nd grade nearly 20 years ago. Some wonderful mum mad it for the stall. It is just the right size and still works perfectly.
My Ikea cupboard - I have several of these modules for stacking my fabrics and notions. I like the way they make good use of my wall in a narrow space. My sewing room is as long as a bedroom but quite narrow.
The fourth one was tricky - My spools of thread mean nothing and I have no cute tape measures. What I really love doing is reading through my collection of patchwork and quilting magazines and dreaming of  all the projects I will make. I made a little stack of my magazines but I think it will be tricky to reproduce them in applique. I have just thought that maybe I could do myself with a dream cloud. But what to put in the cloud?


On a different note I have felt the pressure of having a deadline for my February Hearts project. It was a great way for me to get into blog world but I have realized that my greatest pleasure comes from doing my own thing. So I have started to design a "Seashells" quilt and a "Potty about tea" quilt while I make my "Favourite  sewing things" quilt.
Here are a couple of my seashell drawings. I thought 12 would be a good number with each one surrounded by courthouse steps in various blues. For the teapots I am going to do silhouettes of my teapots but that is still just in the notes phase.



I plan to do some blogging twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. There has to be order! Random blogging is tempting but takes up too much time. I will still read and comment everyday because I love to see what everyone is doing. I will definitely be looking in on Colourful Fridays and Tuesday Treasures.
Happy Quilting,
Val

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Faithful Friends

Hi there, I just put up pictures of my wonderful pets and was looking at my blog list updates and linked to Wendy's lovely blog at Snippets of a Quilter. I couldn't believe she had her cats in the side bar too. I thought it was an original idea. ha ha! Anyway she also has a giveaway happening because it is her birthday. I don't mind mentioning her giveaway for extra chances. She is obviously a cat lover.
Happy Blogging,
Val

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hearts and quilts

Today I managed to sit and quilt my "first ever quilt".  Won't be long and it will be out of the WIP list. I also got started on my February Hearts table topper.
Finally ready to go. Haven't sewn any yet.


I also spent a couple of hours looking at peoples' blogs. I think I will have to make a plan to visit  blogs A-K on Saturday etc otherwise I find myself drifting into reading tutorials, downloading patterns and looking up fabric shops. There are so many groups or challenges or swaps or bloghops to join that my head is spinning. I promised myself I won't join anything else until I finish my Hearts project otherwise I would be rushing out to get stashed up for the next project before finishing this one. But from what I have seen I wouldn't be alone!

Happy Quilting
Val

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Fabric

I put together the best I had for my February Hearts design and this is what I came up with. Not as pretty as I would have liked.

So I went out and bought some Love Birds by My Mind's Eye. I would have like Strawberry Fields but I try to support my local quilting shop and they had Love Birds. It is better than having to travel further if they closed down. Now this is pretty.





The other day I saw some dainty lavender pillows on Bunny Hill Designs blog so I ran up to my sewing room and made some. I had several single charm squares from fabric samples that I wanted to do something special with. Cause my stash is so small I made them reusable for when the smell runs out. I have always been a sewer so I do have some bits and pieces. I found some fine netting to hold the lavender together. I cut backing rectangles 4" by 5" and turned under 1" on the long side of every piece.
I hemmed along the fold and raw edge of each piece

I put two pieces on each charm square right sides together.
Turned them and poked out the corners with my trusty large paper clip


Voila
Here are my netting bags. All I need now is the lavender.




 I was very excited to get my first quilt ready for quilting. Stumpy likes it.

Cheers,
Val

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can I have too many mug rugs!!!

I have been following quite a few quilters blogs lately and have noticed that nearly all make wall hangings or baby quilts with their stash. I am afraid my stash is only mug rug size and they seem to be breeding like rabbits. I was supposed to start on my February Hearts project from Daisy Quilts this morning but I saw all those little triangle scraps from my star blocks and they looked too useful to put in the scrap box so I sewed them all together into... you guessed it,  a mug rug!

There are some green triangles there ready for the next one.

 I sewed all the triangles together so they were all the same then just fitted them together.




I made this one because owls are just cute.


I made this one to try out the stack and slash method.



This was my first one just to try half square triangles.

I made coasters before I discovered mug rugs

And of course, there is always a little helper.

Cheers from Val
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