Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting a bit Christmassy

Sadly, my holidays are rapidly drawing to a close and I am not looking forward to going back to work next week.

The time has just flown by and I just didn't seem to get as much done as I would have liked to. I've done a lot of gardening, a lot of spring cleaning, a couple of fun day trips (blogged about by my friend Lyle) and a little bit of sewing.

This week I've spent a lot of time comforting Spice whose allergies flared up badly again and she ended up with a swollen face and a neck she had scratched the hell out of. So an emergency trip to the vet and with lots of cortisone, steroids and anti-biotics (as she scratched herself so much she got a severe infection) she is back on the mend and much happier. I'm just so glad I have been on leave so I was able to stay home and look after her.

Anyhow, on to crafty stuff, this is what I have been working on this week in between all that - Christmas gift tags and/or decorations:

These are fun and quick to make while watching TV with a couple of big pups snuggled up to you. And at this rate, I might actually be ready for Christmas on time this year .... last year I didn't even get around to sending many cards!

After making them I dunked them in a tea and Parisian essence mixture to antique them. Then decided to dunk my stitchery from the previous post too so it is looking nicely shabby now too and I hope to finish it up this weekend. I still need to attach ribbons to the gift tags and hope to get to that too today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fabric covered notebook

I'm still not sure where I'm going with this stitchery. I've added some borders in a courthouse steps sort of design and hand quilted. But still need to decide whether it is a cushion or wallhanging!

I've also been experimenting with covered notebooks. Here is a closeup of my first attempt:

There's a couple things I'd do differently next time, but I guess it was a learning exercise. I got these vibrant fabrics from Spotlight the other day while hunting for border fabric for my blue and white quilt.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A couple of stitcheries

Here's what I've been working on over the last week. I have been looking through old magazines for fun little stitcheries to do while I catch up on DVD watching:

This one was in an old issue of Homespun and is from Cinderberry Stitches. In the magazine, it is turned into a wallhanging. I'm not sure if I am going to do that, or make it into a cushion instead.

I also made this stitchery, and can't remember for where it came from:

And made it into a simple hand quilted cushion.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Almost there!

I spent all day yesterday and this morning on this quilt top. I still need to add another border but I need to find the right fabric for it so will need to go shopping this weekend.

I don't normally like making big quilts. I just don't have the room for ironing, laying out, pinning. There comes a point when it starts becoming a bit of a wrestling match, when every row starts taking half an hour to pin on to sew, when I start getting entangled and tripping over between the ironing board and the sewing table, when I wonder why my sewing machine is dancing on the spot and find a dog sitting on the other end of the quilt top ..... you get the idea. It is too HARD!

I also managed to run over my finger twice with my rotary cutter in the making of this one and will probably lose half a finger nail.

This one is going to be 250cm square, so it will be a nice bed sized quilt. I'm glad I persevered, even after it stopped being fun, but I'm also glad I can soon move on to something else.

Changing the subject, while at Bunnings getting medicine for a sick orange tree and mulch for the vegie garden the other day, I came across these little cuties:

Aren't they cute? They were less than $3 each so they were hard to resist. I noticed a couple hardened tradesmen in the queue with them too!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The sun is shining

My friend Anne popped around yesterday and gave me these lovely blooms, that started opening up overnight:

And yesterday, I finished off this old log cabin quilt I pieced years and years ago. My quilting is a bit dodgy. But that's okay, because it goes with the dodgy piecing! I was quilting through the centre of each row and the rows were of varying widths, the borders a bit fluted and well, it's not a very good quilt. No wonder I never quilted it before.

But I think the quilting hides a few of its flaws.

Did I mention I am on annual leave for a couple weeks? I had so much leave accrued they have been harrassing me for months to take some, but I have been too busy. Work finally quietened down enough for me to oblige. So I have no excuse not to finish more projects, which is my aim. Today, though, the rain has finally cleared so I am going to do some gardening.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jelly roll sampler quilt top finished - sort of

I've finished my jelly roll sampler quilt sort of. Sort of because I realised I wasn't going to have enough of my chosen fabrics for sashings and borders, so decided to quit while I was ahead and stop at 9 blocks.

It's a nice lap size at this stage. Gee it's hard to get quilt photos in this house. There's always the occasional dog walking through and giving the quilt top a bit of a road test.

I've received the next two installments of my Faeries in My Garden Gift of the Month. I still haven't finished the first few! But here is a little embroidery from the one I am working on now:

One thing I am finding a little frustrating with these is the iron on transfers for the embroidery. In short, they don't work. I've re-read the instructions, followed them diligently, and they still don't work. In the above, I managed eventually to get a faint transfer after about 20 minutes pressing. Some of the others haven't worked at all. There's always the option of tracing them, I guess, but some of the designs are quite tiny and intricate, making it rather difficult.

That's the only dispute I have with this GOM. The patterns are lovely and the instructions very detailed.