Friday, 16 January 2015

First Quilt finish for 2015

I have just finished hand sewing the binding on a baby quilt.
My first Quilt finish for 2015.

My daughter asked me to make a quilt for a friend who is expecting a baby in about a month's time.  The parents know it is a boy and my daughter loves Overall Bills so they had to be part of the design. DD hand blanket stitched a few of the blocks but the design, fabric choices etc were my ideas.  The parents lived in Australia for some years so as I had a small piece of Koala bear fabric I included that as the centre block.  My intention was to have Overall Bills walking in different directions throughout the quilt as if they were seeking the koalas.

Finding Koalas
 


The quilt is vibrant, much brighter colours than in my photograph.

I pieced the backing, using some of the fabrics used in the quilt front.

The pieced backing:
  
 
The Overall Bills were hand blanket stitched and I echo quilted with Perle cotton around each appliqued figure.  Otherwise the quilt was machine quilted.

I used two of the Pearl bracelet fabrics I won last year in a Giveaway - almost nothing of those two pieces are left!  Lots of small scraps were used to make the Overall Bills.  Everything in this quilt came from my stash......... nothing extra was bought at all.  Just how I like it!




Passing it on to my DD this weekend, so she has it ready for when baby puts in an appearance.
 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Sorting out my sewing room

Well, suddenly we are halfway through January, so 2015 is already starting to slip away, and it's time to sort out my sewing room and have a good old tidy up.

I have a drawer with "Project Packs" which I did not touch today. I do more or less know what's in there.  Mostly packs of fabrics and scraps ready to make a quilt, not WIPs.

However, I did delve into the cupboard which has packs of blocks, including a couple of Sewing Bee groups I participated in a few years ago.  Time they saw the light of day!

 
Thirteen 12.5" blocks which really need to be made into a quilt - or donated. 
 


Another Bee Group, similar colours to the previous set but Stars this time. Perhaps I could combine both sets of blocks?  There does seem an awful lot of white in both sets ( although one block in this set definitely has  cream background).  Perhaps a bit of trimming and adding colourful strips? 

Then I have a few sets of blocks I make as "Leaders and Enders" - in the Bonnie Hunter style:


Top row are a set of 6" Crumb blocks and 2 sets of 4" Crumb blocks
Middle row: a set of Hour glass style blocks and rather anaemic pinwheels(should I undo them into HSTs?)
Bottom row: Wonky stars, Bonnie Hunter style. Boy colours.



And a quilt top made from 4" Crumb blocks made into 4 patch blocks, made into a Cornerstones top (Gwen Marston style).  Probably needs a border.  A good size as you can see from the photo - it is spread out on top of a single bed. Once this is finished I think I will donate it to Siblings Together.


I also sorted out my scraps.  Any reasonable sized pieces I put into a large zipped poly bag which originally  held sheets. I do find these bags so useful.  Smaller pieces I cut into 2.5"  or 3" squares, or strips. All tidily away in my stash.

Not quite finished sorting out as I ran out of time but hope to finish the job tomorrow.

Feeling pleased with my efforts so far.
 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Baby gifts ready to go

Well, baby Etta has arrived!  Born on 10th January, another granddaughter for my husband's cousin and his wife.

I was sure Mum Helen was having a boy and had a quilt set aside that I made quite recently.  However, I knew I had a couple of baby girl quilts in my cupboard so I didn't make another.

Surprise, surprise, along came baby Etta and out of my cupboard came this quilt:



When it was made, way back in March 2012 (I checked my Flickr quilts photos to check the date!)
I called it Emerging Butterflies.  However, I decided to re-name it now it has an owner, and it's now called "Patches in Pink". 

I made a really scrappy backing for this quilt which I was very pleased with at the time and I still love it now:



 
I am adding a crocheted stripey blanket that I recently made so that's going in the parcel with the quilt.
 


Helen is a great crafter herself so she will enjoy this gift, I am sure, and will appreciate the love and care that went into the making.

Can't wait to see them all and perhaps have a cuddle with a new baby!
 


Sunday, 4 January 2015

And the Last will be First

My last finish of 2014 is becoming my first gift of 2015.

Another little needlecase made using the excellent tutorial from  Amy's nanacompany.typepad.com

I have altered Amy's design a little by adding two thin ribbon strings which tie in a bow, instead of the button and loop which Amy did.

As I like to try to keep my stash and projects organised I have a Needlecase Pack containing the instructions, suitable pieces of thin ribbon, the Strawberry template, fusible webbing and scraps of fabric for the strawberry and leaf, the fronts and inside of the needlecase and 1.5" squares already cut for the patchwork. Then it's easy to grab the pack and make another little needlecase!




And here it is, opened up to show the patchwork back.



This one is a little "Thank you" for Teresa Rawson (her blog is fabrictherapy.BlogSpot.com)

I entered Teresa's Giveaway in mid December and won!  The prize was a great magazine, one I have seen mentioned in lots of blogs: Quiltmakers 100 Blocks which looks a great resource to have on the bookshelves in my Sewing Room.  So, thank you, Teresa.  The Strawberry needlecase will be in the post to you tomorrow.

I love these little needlecases and have now made quite a few which have all been gifted. 
This gift takes to 20 my total of little gifts for 2014. Not all patchwork: there are a couple of crocheted blankets and some knitting but I did make three of these Strawberry needlecases. 

I like to keep a record of all the crafty things I make: mostly Patchwork (quilts, cushions, bags and needlecases) but also a bit of knitting and crochet.  I use Flickr as a vehicle for this record and organise my finishes into Albums.  A couple of years ago I had the bright idea of keeping a clearer record of things I have made by adding the year in the title of the album.
For instance Small Gifts 2014 where this little gift is number 20.

By looking at these Albums I can quickly see what I actually finished in 2014.

I made 8 quilts, 5 of which I have already gifted, 4 sets of blocks for various charity quilt drives and 2 crocheted blankets which have yet to be given away. 

Not as many finishes for 2014 as there were for 2013 but last year was extremely busy on the health front - for me and also for my daughter who had a slipped disc in September which took a lot of time to improve so I was helping out a lot there too. 

We are hoping 2015 brings better health for us.

So, as this is my first Blog post of 2015, may I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy and Creative 2015!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Keeping track of battery chargers

Like every household we have several battery chargers, looking similar but not exactly the same.  This can be irritating if my husband and I grab the wrong charger. Keeping track of 'His' and 'Hers' chargers is a nuisance so  at the weekend I decided to make 2 drawstring bags using Pink Penguin's excellent tutorial.

The tutorial is straightforward to follow, especially as she has lots of photographs showing each stage very clearly.  I made them in different colourways, a more girly one with pinks for me and a more masculine one ( black, green and blue) for my husband.

So now we should have no problem keeping our battery chargers safely. I think the bags will also be very useful when we go away as it should speed up the packing   Instead of hunting in drawers for various chargers, they will be together in their little bags ready to go!

 
 
They didn't take long to make especially as I used already cut 2.5" squares from my stash. I keep all my smaller pieces of fabric together so it only took a moment to find suitable fabric for the linings and casings. After I had cut the lining and casing pieces I had some scraps left over and I straightaway cut a few 2.5", 3" and 1.5" squares for my stash.
 
I keep pieces of ribbon too and I was able to find suitable lengths in my Ribbon Box and, of course buttons from my large Button stash!
 
Nothing is wasted in this house!  Bagged squares are much easier to store than irregular sized scraps which end up creased up and neglected.  I thoroughly recommend cutting up your scraps at the end of each project.  That way it's not a daunting task and your cut squares stash keeps growing.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Another Crochet baby blanket finished

I have now finished a second crocheted baby blanket, this time using stronger "boy" colours.

I'm pleased with it. This one is a little larger than the first one I made as I think I had more links in the chain - 81 this time. I couldn't remember how many I had in the first one.  It's s nice size, measuring 25" x 31", and I like the colours I used.  A few of them are the same as I had in the first blanket but I didn't use the mauve and the pinks, adding a burgundy, a cream and a bright lime green to make it more suitable for a boy.

Here it is:

 
 
And a Close up of the stitches and stripe colours:
 
 
 
This blanket is waiting with the girly version to see which will be needed for the new baby expected any day now.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hash Tags blocks for Sydney

I have just mailed 4 blocks for the wonderful project Molli Sparkles is running.  He is hoping to have enough blocks made so that he can make quilts for the families of victims in the Sydney CafĂ© Siege.


Click on sewing for Sydney to find out all the details.

The blocks are easy to make and don't take long to complete.

Here are mine, already winging their way to Australia:



Hope you can manage to make a couple of blocks too.