Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New Work Sept - Nov 2015

Its been a while since I posted. That's because I have had knee replacement surgery in October with major physio following. For my hospital stay I took lots of handsewing sewing to do and managed to complete some applique that has been hanging around for a couple of years.
I finished four of these blocks begun for a reproduction quilt begun several years ago. Now I have no excuse not to complete the whole quilt as the other blocks have already been pieced. The pink check on the background fabric was tea-dyed to damp down the colour a bit so that it toned in with the  civil war reproduction prints in the rest of the quilt.

One of the members of my craft group (Yarnspinners) kindly gave me a beautiful scrap of vintage Japanese silk.I decided it couldn't be cut up or it would be ruined so I quilted the beautiful flower print in large stitches (a pretty inept sort of sashiko) using two strands of embroidery thread. I'm pleased with the result but undecided about quilting all the pale green background. I completed the binding by hand in hospital. It's a table topper I think. I was concerned to highlight the beautiful flower print which looked like a watercolour.

I have joined an international online group called "Global Piecers" and am having a lot of enjoyment being involved in swaps etc. The group comes from countries all over the world.It's a great deal of fun hearing from everyone and preparing small pieces to send to swap partners. The prayer flag above was supposed to be a Christmas one but with all that going on as I was making it, I couldn't conceive of doing anything as jolly as Christmas. I hope my swap partner likes it! It's made of silk, cotton and linen, uses doilies and embroidery in a collage. I haven't done a prayer flag before and really enjoyed doing this one.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

More small things; August 2015

Last weekend I made a pincushion from a couple of leftover friendship star blocks, a needlebook from some Laurel Burch cat fabric and a mug bag from a pretty lavender print. Time to get back to the bigger projects soon though. Ive had a good bit of fun putting these small things together.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Needlebooks using Vintage Doileys; August 2015

I've had a lot of fun making these sweet little needlebooks as gifts for my lovely friends. I used old and stained doileys and cut out clean embroidered bits, using them on the front of the needlebook. The hand-crocheted edgings were too beautiful to waste so I stitched them across the front of the embroidery. I chose a tiny taupe print for Loretta's (at the top), knowing she likes those little flower prints. As the white background did not really go with the taupe, I tea-dyed the  embroidery and I think it worked well. I enjoyed doing these so much I'm going to do some more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

More Mugbags: August 2015

Recently The Yarnspinners asked me to workshop the little mugbags that I use so frequently as gifts. To do this I prepared each step in progression to demonstrate how to proceed. This involved cutting out 4 mugbags which would later need sewing up. So...........last week after the workshop I sewed all the mugbags up! We can't have them hanging about unfinished can we? And a pretty little bunch they turned out to be. I love doing them because they are very quick and easy and you can use those pretty little pieces you have left over from other projects. It's fun making the lining coordinate and more fun choosing fabric to match the mugs you have. Here is the latest batch.

That red one has no mug or drawstring yet but the fabric was a beautiful oriental that I had left over from some other project.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Len's Birthday Present: June 2015

Everyone seems to like my needlebooks so I've done another for a much-loved member of our craft group, The  Yarnspinners. Len is turning 85 next week and he can outsew all of us, making masses of lovely quilts and giving them away for charity. He has a great sense of humour and, because he likes my needlebooks, he has been turning up at Yarnspinners with a raggedy piece of felt covered in needles. This he shows to me and says, "Don't you think I need a new needlebook?" Needless to say I had to take the hint. I chose a folksy picture, embroidered it in stemstitch and put his initials on it. I'm not an expert embroiderer and essentially stick to stemstitch and chainstitch with the odd foray into more complicated stitches. Basically I embroider so that my quilt labels look good.

Being a Pinterest addict I also thought I'd try one of those pincushions on top of a jar that I'd been pinning on my pincushion board. This did not go so well as I'm not the best at using glue guns. It was worth a try but I'd need to get much better at it to feel comfortable. I cut out a circle and embroidered "Have a nice lamington" on it.This is an in-joke in the Yarnspinners. Len recently was ill and had to go on anti-biotics. He ended pronouncing to us all that he thought lamingtons made much better anti-biotics than tablets and proceeded to hand them around for afternoon tea. To those of you who don't know what a lamington is, it's a 3" cube of spongecake covered in chocolate icing and then covered again in desiccated coconut. A great Australian staple for afternoon tea.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Patrick's Qullt May 2015

Of course, once Bernie's quilt was done it was clear  a lap quilt for her partner Patrick was necessary too. This one did not require quite as much effort as it was a quilt top I had made some time ago from some beautiful batiks that I bought in the United States. I love the combination of blues and browns in this quilt.
 In the photo above you can see clearly the pieced border. This is a great way of using up leftover fabric. Each piece is the length required for the size of the border. In this case, 4.5". Whilst all pieces are the same length you can vary the width of each piece to get some variety into the piecing.
 The label for Patrick's Quilt.
 Border and block details
Close-up of the batiks used

Bernie's Quilt April 2015

Bernie is visiting my family from the United Kingdom for a couple of months. I thought it would be fun to make her a quilt. She enjoys those bright pastels which are so much fun to use in quilts. She carefully chose those prints she liked and we decided to do just a very simple basic block quilt. Using the simplest block possible is a good way of showing off colours and textures without the distraction of complicated designs. We chose many of those beautiful Kaffe Fassett prints in clear fresh colours. Bernie loves her quilt and there were enough blocks left over to make a couple of cushion covers.
 Bernie arranged her own blocks into a pattern that she liked. She watched carefully as I sewed them up and noted the way quilters organise the blocks. She pinned the blocks together with help from Fadia in our craft group "The Yarnspinners".
 I'm not good at zips so I put buttons and buttonholes on the back fasteners for the cushion covers.
 Here's the label. I am convinced that these add the final luxury touch to a handmade quilt.
The backing was a cotton poplin in that sweetest of blues with a light touch of green. It was a foregone conclusion that Bernie would want to make a quilt of course, so she made a doll's quilt for her granddaughter. She will return to the UK enthused about making more quilts.

Valentine Table Runner March 2015

This little table runner caught my eye online. In general, I  don't use hearts frequently in piecing or quilting but I liked this little block and thought it made an attractive runner.
 View of the whole runner
 Handquilting with embroidery thread highlights the theme.
 Attractive enpoint end using one heart block
 Hearts along the sides

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Owen's Quilt: April 2015

Here is a sweet little baby quilt. The fabric is a soft cotton with fire-engines and little firefighters on it. I could not better a traditional gingham in pale blue as an accompaniment. It was also a case of "the simpler the better" where the fabric does the work for you. A soft striped shirting for the back completed the task.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Leaf bags

Last year I  copied a friend's leather bag and reproduced it in soft cotton, This bag folds flat and balloons out when unfolded. I made three of these and taught a few others how to make them. They are very handy and great fun to make as they are so quick.

Log Cabin Christmas Tree

Some years ago in 2006 I did a weekend workshop on a Christmas wallhanging. When I finished it I gave it to my sister-in-law for Christmas. When we spent Christmas last year with them in Melbourne, there it was. As I had no record of it I thought I would do a blog entry for it. Here it is.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Angela's Needle Book

I've made a few of these for friends. One of the things I love to do is personalise them. In this one I've appliqued and embroidered a couple of little girls (Angela's granddaughters) and embroidered her initials on the cover. The picture was adapted from a Pin I found on Pinterest, incidentally one which I noticed that Angela had liked and pinned. I have improved the pocket area by adding a button down flap for scissors so that they don't fall out. Adding some vintage  thread, a tape measure and some vintage pins to the pocket completed the package.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Mugbag for Am

We have a new member in the Yarnspinners. Am's specialty is scrapbooking so we anticipate she will contribute to the group in many ways. I have questions to ask about displaying photos of my grandmother. In the meantime I have made the requisite welcome mugbag complete with mug.
I have been using the experimental crocheted flowers as decorations on mugbags.