Saturday, 22 April 2017

'FNSI' for April... The Dodgy Disc Edition

I had every intention of joining Wendy & the ladies for some FNSI fun... but it just wasn't to be.
Yes, I need a sad-face emoji.
 
To start with, my dodgy back (or "compromised lumbar spine" as my specialist calls it) decided to play up... I have disc-bulge episodes episodes now & then; they cause tremendous pain but I'm well versed in management.
The pain was not too bad in the morning, & it wasn't enough to put me off going to Patchwork... but when I unpacked my cross stitch, I realised I didn't have the chart, so no stitching for me... another sad face!
As the day progressed, the pain increased considerably, so I went into Management Mode as soon as I got home.
It's feeling a lot better today, but still will be a few more days until feeling really good again... no sitting, sofa or chairs for me, for now... pain of any sort is such a beast... but that's how it rolls... I manage.

In place of stitching, I have at least been leafing through some of the gorgeous books I have on my shelf... god help me, they're giving me all sorts of inspiration & ideas... plus the ones that are already on my Wanna-Do List... plus the WIPs & UFOs...
Doesn't the mind play silly games when one is rendered immobile??!

Thank you Wendy for hosting us again... at least I have time now to go visit the other people who signed up! Pop over here to see the links.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

'Christmas Through The Year' for April

Welcome to CTTY for 2017
 
I hope you will join me in the coming months... linking up the gifts you're making for Festive Season giving.
If you don't know what 'Christmas Through The Year' is all about, or you need a little reminder of how it works, please click on the CTTY tab at the top of the page; it's all there!

I've started my 2017 Festive giftie stash with a small item... a cross stitched bookmark... one of the many kits I have for such things... nice & easy to stitch, & sewed up quickly.
I'm sorry for the poor quality of these pics:(
 
This is actually the 2nd one of these butterfly kits I've stitched now... the first one was so well received a while back, so it was easy to pick out another for a quick stitch & finish.
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The CTTY linky will always appear in my blog post for the 18th of each month.
It's open from 6am on the 18th of the month, closing at midnight on the 21st.

Finished items... progress pics... Christmas theme gifts & non-Christmas theme gifts...
They're ALL welcome!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Sow's Ear Binding Is Done... & EPP Tuesday...

Because I am such a humble, meek & shy person😉, I shall blow my own horn here & say
I'm dead-chuffed that I got the binding done on the Sow's Ear Quilt so darn quick.
I think it's because I decided to neglect virtually everything for a few days, & just stitch at every possible opportunity.
 
Went into Spotlight for sewing machine needles last week, & came out with 2 DMC threads, 50cm of fabric, a candle, some template plastic, a new rotary cutter & spare blade... & the needles. Also bought a container of handy little clips; I'd seen them in use in blog & IG land, so they were worth the try at 30% off.
No more pricking, scratching & swearing at the pins holding the bind in place!
 I did sew a good length by machine, & it looked ok despite my lack of confidence with that method... but decided I preferred the look of hand-stitched, so unpicked it.
 Site Manager has issued his tick of approval, which is such a relief... wouldn't want to disappoint him... little devil just sauntered out the back door, straight over to the quilt, flopped down & made himself at home!
 I'm so very pleased to have it finished!
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Now to my EPP efforts for the last few weeks... still on a break from the Scrappy Quilt, it's been fun to play with the half-inch hexy's & progress these ornaments. The sets will be stitched together, with a ribbon loop at the top, to become little gifts for Christmas.

While I can't say I'm a fan of the 1/2" size & do find them tricky to baste, these hexy's are certainly cute.

I'd love to see what EPP is taking shape at the hands of my readers...
Will you share yours here?
As always, the linky is over in the right-hand sidebar.
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It's always great to see what the other ladies in my Patchwork group are working on, they are all so inspiring... 3 or 4 ladies are slowly but surely making the blocks for 'The Farmers Wife'... I so admire their skill & patience with the hand-sewing of each block, they really are amazing.
Nola is making a lap-size for herself using the 1930s book, & I wanted to show you her blocks:
 Each block is 6½"sq unfinished (if I recall correctly) & you can see the size of some of the pieces against the cotton reel below.
 I'm not tempted or interested to make such a quilt myself, but boy it's beautiful to see!

 Have a fab day♥

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Oink Oink... It's The Sow's Ear Quilt!

While I was at Retreat last weekend, I was able to show off my finished
Sow's Ear Quilt.
Yes, finally it's finished... Yeee-harrr!
 This quilt started off as 40 strips of greens & yellows batiks strips... I won them in April last year at Retreat with my Patchwork group.


At that time I really didn't like batiks & the colours were not nice at all... the 'challenge' in the win was to "make something".

It took me a while to get my head around what to do with them, but settled on making a quilt... I reasoned that if I liked the end result I'd keep it, & if not, I'd find a good home for it.
I leafed through my quilt books & took inspiration from a design called Sparkling Gemstones in 'Jelly Roll Quilts', by Pam & Nicky Lintott. (great book)
Another 40 strips of nicer batiks was added, both to give me a more desirable size & also to tone down those original colours.
The back is much darker than the pic below shows it - it's much more like the sashing in the above pic.
How beautiful is the quilting?! I'm completely smitten.
My Quilting Wizard Julie has done a magnificent job, in spite of a few hiccups.

There's a LOT of sewing & cutting in this quilt, but it really wasn't hard... just took time & a good number of dvd's.
Don't have a heart attack... it doesn't start with millions of tiny rectangles & tinier sashing... it's all strip sewing & clever cutting.

This is my Sow's Ear Quilt, because I really did believe I was making a silk purse from what started as a sow's ear.
I'm actually really pleased with the result... AND I've come to really like it, in all its batik-y glory.
So for now it's staying with me.

Binding still needs to be done.
It measures 90" x 77"... that's a lotta binding!
(Upon suggestion from my buddy Maria, I will consider doing it all by machine)

So there you have it... be careful when you play Strips Poker with your patchwork friends after a few drinks... that's how this Sow's Ear Quilt came about!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

EPP Tuesday & My Fabulous Weekend

I'd better start with the EPP Tuesday... been making only sluggish progress on my scrappy quilt in recent weeks... but slow is better than not at all, I guess!
I blame the TV - too many good murder shows on lately... fictional or factual, I don't mind... I do love a good murder (or in the case of 'Murder Uncovered' on Ch7 last night, many murders)... & how handsome is Detective Murdoch, in Murdoch Mysteries?!
Oops, I digress... ANYWAY, please do link up if you're working on any EPP... big or small, it's all welcome & I love to see it.
Linky in the sidebar as usual.
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Now to my Fabulous Weekend... yes those words do deserve capital letter intro's, given that my weekend was spent with my Patchwork gang, yes on Retreat!
Normally for Retreat, I like to start a new big project... but this time I decided to take a bunch of smaller, half-done items to finish off, or get closer to completion.
 You will see I had rather a 'zippy' time with my sewing...
 
This gorgeous pouch was just the two outer panels & gusset, not even stitched together... very pleasing progress with this one, there's only the top bind to turn over & stitch down... then it's finished! I decided to make a little needlebook & pincushion to go with it; golly they were a fiddle, but turned out so well... there's a 2nd pincushion that I'm going to give to a friend.
Some of you will recall that I made a pouch just like this for my SSCS of 2016 & I just couldn't not make one for myself... I have to share that I was quite stumped with one aspect of the zipper install on this one (I'm prone to overthinking), but figured it out eventually; strangely I didn't have that trouble with the other one I made... *I'm scratching my head* !!
 The little pincushions just need their stuffing & the needlebook needs a button, & then they're finished too.
 It's seriously the most machine-sewing work I've ever put into such a small item, but I do love it♥

I also finished two zipper pouches, for my Mum's gifty stash... I'd cut the pieces for these 2, but just not sewn them up.

A second Star Wars pencil case was also finished... such a great fun item to make!

 It's always interesting to see what the other ladies are working on... hand-stitched blocks for 'The Farmers Wife'... applique & stitchery for Bronwyn Hayes 'The Wish Quilt'... a baby quilt made with half-square triangles... a wall hanging for a grandchild... a quilt for a grandson... a softie Unicorn whose horn just wouldn't stitch properly (yes you can imagine the humour we had with that situation😉) It really was a hive of industry.... but of course there's always time for breaks, amazing meals, & endless conversations.
The bush setting is just so peaceful... birds are everywhere... the sounds of sheep & the rustling of the huge trees surrounding the property... no traffic or urban noises. Basically, ♥bliss♥.

Great Aunt Violet saw me getting things organised & packed... so she & Young Penelope tagged along for the road trip. They had a great time getting up to mischief & making new friends!

"Now then Penelope, this is the sign we're in for a great holiday!"

"I really like the finish they've done on the walls in there... re-purposed natural timbers & insulating foil are so homey... saw it in the latest issue of Architectural Chookhouse ... & that ventilation, so energy efficient. Kudos for the use of the solar panel for powering the outdoor coach lights"

"Hhmmm, the front door is a quirky design feature"

"Excuse me lady, please don't keep moving these lovely nesting spots... I just get comfy, then you take them & attack them with that machine!"

"Oh my, this drink is really good, can't beat a good G & T"
 
"God this egg-laying business is bloody painful! Now I've got to get down there & sit on it"

"Look I'm sorry fellas, I really don't know which of you is the Father, you'll just have to wait until it hatches"

"Oh look Aunt Violet, this machine is as old as you"
"Hhmmph, a woman never reveals her age, you cheeky little chicken"

"Bye for now Dwellingup, see you next time♥"

I arrived at Dwellingup early Friday afternoon, with the plan of leaving about 4pm Sunday... but I was having such a great time, I stayed an extra day & came home Monday afternoon...
doesn't The Real World always seem so noisy & busy when you've had such a lovely break from it?!

The Sow's Ear Quilt had its reveal at Retreat too... I believe the ladies were suitably impressed with how I met their Challenge... there's enough pics in this post already, so my next post will finally be the blogland Reveal of this quilt... stay tuned!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

'Christmas Through The Year' for 2017

Well, I'm somewhat behind the 8-ball in re-launching CTTY for the year.
But really, I'm not sure how many people are thinking of & planning the making of Christmas gifts this early!
 
 I've decided to make some changes to CTTY & see how it goes.
 
Firstly, the linky now welcomes ALL Christmas gifts being made... those of a non-Christmas theme (like previous years) and also those of a Christmas theme.
If you're making small quick items, or making progress on a gift that takes time... if it's going to be a Christmas gift, it's welcome here for the linky!
I see heaps of Christmas themed goodies being made throughout the year, ready to be gifted in the Festive season, so why not link them up here... they are gifts after all, which is what this linky is all about.

The other change is the date... the linky will now be open each month from 6am on the 18th, & closing midnight on the 21st; West Australia time.
The linky will appear in the blog post for the 18th of each month.
 
Also, for some added fun, I'm going to be doing a random CTTY giveaway at the end of some linky's during the year... I won't be announcing which month, but just picking a name randomly here & there to be my winner of a small goodie or two... to say 'thanks for supporting CTTY'.

How does that sound??
 
There's nothing like the satisfaction of opening up my giftie tub in mid-late November, seeing lots of great stuff & just being able to pick it out & wrap it... no end-of-year scramble to make or finish gifts, when I'm so busy already! (or worse, forgetting someone!)

I hope you will join me a few time during the year & share your Christmas makes.
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