Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Another project on the home stretch ...

I've been quilting like a fool these past couple of days - I thought I'd be done so much sooner, but it's amazing how life can just get chaotic. Today though, I finally finished quilting on the strippy and stitched the bias binding in place on the scalloped border:

I'm super happy with how it's looking, and I'm really hoping that I'll be able to get started hand stitching the binding down tomorrow evening after cardio.

Here's a closer look at the quilting:

I really struggle to take good pictures of quilting, but here's one I took while it was under the machine - the lights under the machine throw some mad shadows:

At least you can see what I was trying to achieve a bit better.

So, that's my effort for the past few days - I should type more and fill you in on what I've been up to, but I'm just so darn tired I'm going to head straight to bed. I'll catch up on emails and bits and pieces tomorrow. Chatter soon! xox

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Dresden Table Topper is finished ...

... and I'm loving it! I've enjoyed working on this project so much, it's fun to work on something small sometimes, you see results so much faster.

Here it is all done:

This was one of my earliest patterns - first made in 2005 - I really felt it needed refreshing with some of the pretty fabrics that are in vogue right now. So, I've updated the pattern as well and listed it in my Etsy store.

Here are some more pictures of the finish:

We're experiencing even more hot weather here, so once again we'll be laying low this weekend. I've chosen a backing fabric for the strippy I made the other day, and if I'm really productive, I may be able to have it all quilted by tomorrow night. Let's see how far I get :-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trimming ...

I'm fixing the trims in place with applique glue before I stitch them down using monofilament. I'm just thrilled with how it's looking!

This is absolutely super fun! :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A new project ...

On Monday while I was working on the Dresden Topper, I needed a break - so I decided to work on something different for a little while. I made up a whole bunch of half square triangles, and then made them into little blocks:

On Tuesday after I was done quilting the topper, I got busy and made the blocks into strips, cut a bunch more strips, and by Wednesday morning, a new top was born. Apologies for the wrinkly state of the top - I just pulled it out of my bag - it would not have hurt me to press it again :-/

I'm really looking forward to quilting on this top, there are so many opportunities to do something a little fancy. And at this point I'm thinking a scalloped border would be fun too.

As predicted, while at Hettie's today, they had just the perfect trims. The red is a French General trim - very appropriate for the Dresden project given that a lot of the fabrics are FG. The pink ric rac has the sweetest green embroidery, and I'll use that for the centre circle and a couple of seams. I'm thinking about a lace doily in the centre like I had on the old one - I'll see what I have kicking around in the linen press :-)

Tomorrow I have little in my diary, so I'm hoping to get lots done on the home front ... I'm looking forward to it! xox

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Almost finished ... sooo close ...

The Dresden Topper is so close to being finished, all it really needs is the binding ...

But before I bind it, I'm toying with the idea of adding some trim ... I'm thinking a red ric-rac around the center circle, and then maybe some other trims along the outside seams ...

I'll have a looky when I get to work on Thursday, I know they'll have the perfect thing :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just about a Dresden ...

It has been so stinkin' hot here these past few days, there's little a girl can do but stay indoors and stitch. So I've almost got the top of my refreshed Dresden Table Topper put together:

I just need to organise the centre and stitch it together in quarters. I'm really thrilled with how it's looking, and have made a small dent in the FG stash. Actually - I'm almost entirely out of reds (but that's because of the tumbler project I'm hand piecing too).

Yesterday the NTFW sewing group gathered together at Shay's home - it had been such a long time since I've been able to catch up with them due to tennis commitments - so it was great to see the girls. I took a couple of the Dresden blades to share, and Shay was surprised at the size of them. In the last post it probably wasn't apparent how large the pieces are - so I'll share that they're probably around 12 inches in length - and the picture above takes up a whole portion of my kitchen bench and hangs over the sides a bit. I think it finishes around 36 inches across at the widest point.

If I'm a really good girl, I may just have the top finished by the end of the day - and if I'm extremely good, I may get it basted too! Chatter soon :-)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Today I Passata'd and Scrapped too :-)

It's possible that Friday is one of my favourite days of the week - I usually get to spend a fair amount of time in the sewing room, and generally I don't have tiny person commitments - so after school is much more slow paced.

Today I started another French General scrap reduction project. I can't believe how much of this fabric I still have ... is it reproducing? What on earth is happening in my sewing room??

Anyways, here's where I'm at ...

It's the second project I'm refreshing from an old favourite :-) my Dresden Topper. In addition to the FG fabrics, I threw a few red and cream beauties from other collections - I'd used them in recent projects, and they seemed to get along with their neighbours.

Getting back to the scraps - it just blows me away how much can be created from the scraps that you really want to use up - but when you have some yardage, it never seems to be quite enough for the special project you want to use it in. Hmmm ... the ponderings of a quilter ...

I didn't get too much done though, because earlier in the day I got busy picking tomatoes in the garden, so many have become ripe all at once:

And so I got busy making passata again. The small jars in front are about a pint in size, and the ones at the back are a litre, which is (I think) a scootch more than a pint and a half.

Last night I used one of the jars I made the other day to make pasta for the boys. Marty declared it excellent, so I'm super happy. I hadn't tried the recipe before - and if you'd like to have a go, I pinned the recipe here. There are still a bazillion more tomatoes in various stages of ripeness on the bushes, so there will be more of this in my future - and I'm sure we'll be grateful for it later in the year.

Before I dash back to the sewing machine, I just wanted to say a big HI to a couple of commenters I haven't been able to respond to due to email addresses being unavailable: Wendy Phelps, Wendy Caton Reed and Sjoukje. I loved hearing from you, thank you for stopping by!

I'll get busy sewing now. I'm hoping to finish up all the blades of the topper, and then I'm going to pull fabrics for a cute project I designed during the week. Super fun!! xox

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Refreshed Shoo Fly Table Runner

The sewing machine needle has been flying here lately - I have been a busy girl. It has been on my mind to refresh some of my older patterns, and since I'm just loving my French General scraps right now, I put them to work. You saw the Shoo Fly blocks recently, and now I can share with you some of the recent work in progress:

After I got the top together, I had a bit of a hard time choosing a backing fabric. Hunting thru the stash found the leftovers of the spotty backing from my Turning Four-T quilt. I had to make the back up from three pieces, but doesn't it match the front well?

This picture was to serve two purposes - firstly to show you a little of how I'm quilting the blocks, and secondly to share that I had scorched that cream coloured square a little while I was pressing. Oops! You can't actually see the mark as the bright lights under the machine have washed the colour out - but if I'm really honest, it's not too bad anyway.

And a little in progress shot while I was quilting on the hexagons. I'm super happy with how they looked in the end.

And here's the finished article. It looks so much nicer now than the old original Thimbleberries one that I made almost 9 years ago. I've re-written the pattern for my Etsy store, and if I can bear to part with it, this runner is destined to be a gift.

Last picture of the runner for the day - Gratuitous pattern shot :-)

Also, I wanted to share a couple of gifts I recently received - I truly have the most wonderful friends on earth:

My lovely friend Wendy from quilt group found this side plate for me while we were all on our holiday break. She was in a second hand store and stumbled across it for the bargain price of $4.00 and thought to grab it for me. I have plenty of the dinner plates, and it's the side plates and salad plates that I'm looking for, so this was a 'meant to be' find. Thank you Wendy!!

And my sweet friend Bridget from class gave me the most darling gift on our first week back after holidays:

Bridget knows my love of Masons Vista dinnerware, and also my love of Nutcrackers. While browsing Etsy, she found me these miniature plates! Do you see the size of them there? Ohhhh my goodness!!

I'm not sure if Bridget knew that one of these days I'd love to have a Victorian doll-house - but it is actually on my bucket list, I've even been pinning a few lately on Pinterest. I'm just gob-smacked by the detail of these darling tiny things, and also by Bridget's wonderful generosity and thoughtfulness. Thank you so much!!

Well, that's it for today, I ended up writing a bigger post than I intended, so thank you for sticking with it. If you have an inkling that you'd like to make a shoo-fly runner - head on over to my Etsy store. You may well be inching me along to my Victorian doll-house dream! :-)


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