"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ten MInute Table runner Xmas gift.

I made this table runner for my home Carer.  She loves any hand made crafts, so she was tickled pink with this :-)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Cat mug rugs

These aren't strictly mug rugs, more like large coasters.  I made a cat mug rug for a friend last year, and her home carer was admiring it.  My friend asked me to make another one for her carer, and I invited her over here to go through my cat fabrics so she could choose one herself.  She liked this one so much she asked if I could do two, one for her and one for her carer, and as they don't take long to make, I agreed.
They are exactly the same; coloured cat print on the front, paws on the back.

Table runners for Cancer fundraising.

My friend Louise is passionate about raising funds for the Cancer Council, as she has lost several friends to the disease.  She had a fundraising afternoon tea party last year which was so successful she decided to have another one this year.  I offered to make some patchwork items for her to raffle or auction to help make some more money.  I made a pink table runner and a smaller blue one.  Both were made using the "Ten Minute Table runner" technique.   As it was the first time I had tried this, it took a bit longer than ten minutes for the first one (the pink runner), but I can see when you've made a few of them, it probably would take less than 20 minutes to make one!

They didn't take long to go!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Christmas theme table runner completed.

Here is the runner I have made for an exchange on the Down To Earth forum.  I am so pleased to have finished the binding with neat mitred corners!  Should have started doing this a long time ago, but I don't feel like undoing all the binding on my previous quilts and redoing them properly.  Not now!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What I am doing.

The Xmas table runner I have been working on at the Quilt Shop is all but finished, just one side left to hand sew the binding, and it will be posted off to Queensland on Monday.  I will take a photo of it to post here later.
One of our friends is the proud grandmother of a little boy, and she loves to show us photos of him on her Iphone.  I asked her to email me her favourite photo of him, so I could make a mug rug with his picture on it.  Now S. is not a craft person at all, and she didn't really understand what I was planning. So when I presented her with this last week, she was blown away!

 It is a bit bigger than a mug rug, but smaller than a placemat, so I told S it is a snack mat!  Of course she can use it any way she wants to;  some people have said they would frame it and hang it up somewhere, but I wouldn't go that far. 

Photos at Eltham Quilt Shop.

The quilters and stitchers in this area of Melbourne are so happy that Sharon and Alison have opened this shop!  I have been to all of the Friday morning 'Coffee O'clock" sessions, and plan to continue doing this as long as it is running.  Some of the group are regulars and others pop in when they can.  There is also a Monday sit and sew group and some ladies go to both.  I don't have that much time to spare unfortunately!  But I am very happy to spend two hours a week dedicated to working on my own projects and seeing what the others are doing.  Sharon and Alison cook a cake on the premises for our group every week, we are thoroughly spoiled!  I took some photos last Friday to post here so my readers can see why I have been raving about The Quilt Shop.  Of course there are other patchwork and quilt shops around Melbourne, but I haven't seen one yet that has so much space and offers so many amenities to their customers!  I posted a photo of the shop front a while ago, but this one is a better shot.  The next photo shows where it is, near the corner of Bridge and Susan Streets, Eltham.

When you walk in the front door, this is what you find:
Tables piled with goodies, two comfortable chairs to browse books and magazines, and the grey cabinet with drawers holds embroidery floss.
Straight ahead is where most of the fabrics are arranged in colour categories, with more tables laden with various products.  At the end of this corridor is the studio or craft space.
Standing in the studio looking back up toward the entrance.  The wall on the left holds all the accessories needed for the quilter, nothing is left out!
Here is our lovely workroom.  The tables have powerpoints on the sides for those who need power for sewing machines.  The white wall you can see has special covering to enable people to 'stick' their work up to see how it looks.  There is a name for this, I can't remember at the moment.
On the left out of the picture is a kitchen where tea and coffee is readily available. 

On this side of the room is an ironing board and iron set up for whoever needs it, a table with a large cutting mat and ruler, and a rail to hang quilts which are examples for future classes.
Ahhhh!!  I'm in sewing heaven here...thank you so much Sharon and Alison!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

One finished, two nearly finished.

Thanks for the compliments on my Scotty dog quilt!  For anybody who wants to pin something from my blog to their Pinterest account, please go ahead - I don't mind at all!
I've been busy this week working on some projects to be done before Christmas.  The first one is for a swap on a forum, and my partner said she would love a table runner to put on her coffee table.  She said they would be putting a Nativity scene set on top of it, so I have left the centre panel plain (no embellishment) as it won't be seen under the ornaments.  But she can still embroider or otherwise tart it up later if she wants to.
I just have to put the binding on now, which is a creamy colour similar to the centre panel.
 The second item is a very simple placemat.  I took the photo of those Gouldian Finches and printed it on fabric to use in the quilt that I made for the Avicultural Society raffle, but Ken and I decided it wasn't good enough, so I threw it aside at the time.  When I found it under some other stuff last week I thought I may as well just make a mat out of it, and donate it to the Avic. Society Xmas hamper.  I was finishing the binding today at the Quilt Shop sit and sew morning, and the ladies all said they liked the backing fabric best!

The third item I am doing is one of those spur of the moment things.  I found a photo on Pinterest some time ago, of a quilt with a cat appliqued on it, and the fabric was ripped in places to make it looked as the the cat had clawed it.  It was called Cat Clawed Quilt, and posted on Pinterest several years ago.  I tried in vain to locate the original person who posted it, so I could ask if she had used a pattern, but I couldn't track her down, or find a pattern.  But somebody else had posted a template on Pinterest of a similar cat and claw marks on fabric, so I printed a copy of that.
Last night I pulled out some pink and white fabrics that I've had for ages and never used, as they aren't cotton - just materials I've been given, or picked up somewhere...I wanted to use something that I could rip into, lol!  Cut them into strips, sewed them together quickly, traced the cat template on to fusible webbing, and ironed it on to black cotton.  Cut that out, ironed it onto the pink and white back, and used a black fabric marking pen to draw the claws, whiskers and claw marks.
Today I started to stitch over the pen in black embroidery cotton, and have decided not to tear rips in the fabric for realism!  The Quilt Shop had a roll of cute fabric, white with black paw marks, so I bought some of that and will use it for the backing.  Ken said "What are you going to do with that?" and I said I didn't know, just leave it around for a while until I get sick of seeing it!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Scotty Dog quiltlet finished.

Here is my little Scotty dogs quilt, neatly bound with mitred corners - thanks to the girls at the Quilt Shop!
My next project is a table runner with a Christmas theme.  I've completed the top, and the backing and wadding is sitting on my table waiting to be cut out and put together.  I'll do the binding at the Quilt Shop this Friday.  This is for a swap on the Down To Earth Forum, and my partner has already sent me her gift - a row of Christmas fabric bunting, and three clever cable ties.  Here are the photos:

I found this quote on Pinterest this week and thought it was worth reproducing here, with thanks to whoever posted it on Pinterest!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Second Friday at The Quilt Shop.

I was back at the Quilt Shop this morning, and it was very busy in there!  I didn't count the ladies at the sit and sew tables, but there were more than last week.  I took my scotty dog mini quilt to ask for advice about doing a mitred corner binding on it.  I've only done one before, on a small mat, so I'm not confident about doing that, but after the mess I made of the binding on the placemats I've just finished, I thought it was about time I learned how to do proper binding!   Just as well the placemats are for a bloke, and he couldn't care less about the binding, all he wanted was something with birds, and he's got them.

I was pointed in the direction of one of the ladies, who I was told was an expert on binding, and when I approached her she was surprised to hear that!  But she was very helpful - sat with me and explained how to do it right from the start, and pinned it into place for me so all I have to do is machine it this week and take it back next Friday when she will show me how to do the end bit.  I have been shown this before, and seen it in magazines and on You Tube, but there is nothing quite as good as being shown on the spot.
So hopefully this time next week I will have my Scotty Dog quilt finished and photographed to post here :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Morning Tea at the new Quilt Shop

Eltham's new Quilt Shop provided a lovely morning tea to about ten enthusiastic customers on Friday morning.  "Cake O'Clock" will be held every Friday from 10 am to noon, and due to demand, bookings are essential.  Everyone (except me) brought a patchwork project of some kind to work on; I wasn't sure what to expect, so I just took my Ipad with photos of my latest projects, and showed them to the girls.  I spent time looking at the books they had in the shop, as well as the fabrics and accessories.  They have a great range, and are happy to get anything else in for customers requests.   I bought half a dozen postcard quilt patterns.  I'd never seen them before, but they are a super idea! 

I am planning to go every week (sorry Ken), as I envisage getting a lot of sewing done that I wouldn't get done at home, as well as having help and advice on hand if I get stuck on something.   Watch this space for my weekly report!  I do hope to see some of my blogging friends at the shop from time to time; they will need all the support they can get until they are well known in the area and build up a regular customer base.
Their hours are presently Mon to Fri. 9.30 am to 5 pm and Saturday 9.30 to 1 pm. But the managers say that this may change in time due to demand.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I found two vintage embroidered aprons today at an antique market.  I've posted photos on my Aprons blog if you wish to see them.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Quilt shop in Eltham!

In the 35 years I have lived in Eltham, there have been a variety of craft and fabric shops come and go, and the last patchwork shop which was only a few blocks away from me, closed a few years ago, before I started doing patchwork and quilting.  I have since regretted not going there more often while they were open, as I could have learned so much.  But now we have another quilt shop here - hooray!
I was checking my blogs last night, and noticed a comment from Sharon, asking me if I had been to the new quilt shop in Eltham.  She mentioned where it is and I couldn't believe it was only 5 minutes from our home!  I drive up and down Bridge Street about 5 times a week,  but hadn't seen the quilt shop on one of the corners...eeehh I need new glasses:-(

So I raced down there this morning and the sign hit me like a ton of bricks!  Funny how our mind can play such tricks on us; I wasn't expecting to see a quilt shop in that spot,  the last time I looked it was a bicycle shop, so why would I look in that direction again?
What a treasure trove - owned by two local girls who decided that Eltham needed a quilters shop, so they made it happen.  Huge shop, heaps of gorgeous fabrics, batting, fusible webbing, interfacing, needles, thread, patterns, books, and a big light airy space at the back for classes - YIPPEE!   I was so excited they were laughing at me :-)  In the past I have had to drive for miles to sewing classes, and missed out on many simply because I didn't want to drive for an hour there and back.  So I immediately purchased 2 metres of batting which I needed for my scotty dog mini quilt and some placemats I am making for a Christmas gift.  I had been putting off going across town to buy it, but now I don't have to :-)  I have a loyalty card, and am on their mailing list for future specials and events.
Ken said he is pleased for me, but I am sure he wishes I hadn't found it, as he knows I will be gone for days at a time, LOL!  At least I won't be far away if he needs me in an emergency.
Shop 2, 38 Bridge Street, Eltham.    How many bloggers who read my blog live nearby?  I know of quite a few who are NOTY (North Of The Yarra) quilters, and I am sure they will be as delighted as me, but I am wondering if there are other 'loners' like me out there?  Look forward to catching up with some of you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NOTY Quilt show in Eltham, 2015

I have just posted the photos I took at this year's NOTYshow on my Needlecraft Shows blog.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Scotty dogs and Piano cat.

Two more projects are just about ready to remove from the UFO list!  Well, they were never really UFOs as I have been working on them both without stopping to do any other projects.  These are only small items, but there is so much else going on around here at the moment, it's about all I can manage.  They were just for fun and I have enjoyed making them :-)
This was based on a photo I saw on Pinterest, of a black cat sitting on a piano, and I thought it was perfect to make in patchwork.  The background fabric is the one I bought at the last quilt show I went to, and the appliqued cat was fussy cut from a panel that I have with cats in various poses.  
 The back is fabric that I bought after I bought the piano keys fabric.

A friend fell in love with my fabrics and asked if I would make her a mug rug for her son who is a musician.
Here it is.  The backing fabric is the same as above.

And here is my Scotty dog mini quilt (or whatever it turns out to be). 
I fused the dogs to the background, and machined around the edges.  The hexagon flowers are fused to the background but only the centre of them.  I will handstitch around the edges of those.  Then all that is needed is the backing and wadding, and binding, and it's done.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hexies and Dogs

I should be continuing to finish some of my UFOs, but you know how it is...you see a pattern in a magazine or book and you just HAVE to do it NOW!
So why am I making hexagon flowers out of tartan fabrics?

To match tartan Scotty dogs of course!

Which will all make up a small version of this quilt found in one of last year's issues of Homespun :-)

They used reproduction fabrics but Scotty dogs always mean tartan to me, and I have heaps of tartan fabrics!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sampler mini quilt finished.

I finally made up those orphan blocks from my first patchwork quilting classes!  Funny thing at the time I was doing these, I only wanted to learn how to make these designs, which I could  never figure out by myself looking at books.  There were more blocks and the tutor went on to show us how to make them into a quilt, right up to the finished quilt stage.  But I was only using scraps from my stash and they didn't all really match up, my other blocks were pretty badly made, and I wasn't interested in making a quilt then as I didn't have the machine to do it properly and it all seemed too hard.  So these block were put away until I was decluttering this year and I decided they were too nice to hide away any more.  So, here they are made up into a table topper or throw, which might or might not be displayed in my house at some time in the future.

Here are some other orphan blocks I had tucked away, and I have sewn borders around three of them.  I might make them into cushions, or just mats to have under things.   The three red toned blocks were experimental "wonky" patchwork, and I am still wondering what to do with them. I plan to add a wide border to them and see if they would be okay for making up three cushions.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Denim apron.

Told you it would be a late night!  It is 1 am as I type this, and I finished this apron about an hour ago.  It was so easy.  I took an apron from the kitchen, laid it over the denim fabric that I had in my stash, cut out the shape, hemmed the edges and added the straps - voila!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Bird quilt has a new home.

I just posted this on the Down To Earth forum, but most of my blog readers wouldn't see it there, so I am posting it here as well:
The quilt got a very favorable reaction at the dinner on Saturday night.  The committee had obviously been discussing the raffle and instead of selling tickets for $1, they stapled tickets on to sheets of paper and sold each sheet for $10, so in effect people were paying $10 for multiple chances to win.  They sold nearly $1200 worth of tickets!  There were 70 people there and many bought more than one sheet (Ken bought three, he wanted to get the quilt back home, lol!).  A lady who looked to be in her sixties won the quilt. She was so happy, every time I looked over at her table, she was stroking it or showing it to someone!  She told me her sister does a lot of quilting, so I said I hoped her sister wouldn't look too closely at mine as I'm no expert, and she laughed and said she wasn't worried about that!

I've been asked to make another one for the Xmas raffle, and one of the committee members wants me to make six placemats using some of my bird fabric, for his Xmas dinner table!  I will run out of fabric at this rate!  He has offered to pay me for the placemats, which is good. If I do another quilt for the Xmas raffle, it won't be a big one like the first; I'll just make a table topper or lap quilt.

Ken also wants me to do another photo quilt, but not of birds.  He has a good friend who is into vintage motor bikes, and Ken wants me to do a quilt featuring photos of vintage bikes for him.  I told him that I wasn't going to do any more full size bed quilts as they take too much time and effort, and he said a small one would be fine.  Then I had a thought for another one for us; using photographs of our cats and dogs over the years, make a Pets memory quilt/wall hanging!

And that's not all....we were in a cafe in Eltham yesterday and I was admiring the aprons that the girls were wearing.  They were all the same, made out of denim, and looked really cute.  I asked if they were custom made, and the girl I asked didn't know, but assumed they were.  I did a little sketch on a paper napkin and told the girls I was going to make one for myself, and they want to see it when I do!  So I've got the fabric out on my sewing table now, and was planning to do it today, but time got away as usual and I haven't done anything with it yet.  Looks like another late night session coming up.  Sigh....it's the only way I get anything done for myself around here!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bird quilt for Avicultural Society

This quilt was made specifically for the Avicultural Society of Australia, to raffle at their Convention Dinner in September.  We hadn't planned on going to the dinner, but have now booked in to go, as I am interested to see who wins the raffle, and will be buying tickets myself in the hope of winning it, lol!  I am really pleased with it, and of course I can always make another one, as I still have the bird photos on file, and it was easy enough to print them on to those inkjet fabric sheets (the person who invented those deserves a medal). I still have to put the label on the back, naming the photographer who allowed me to use his photos, and my name as the quilt maker.
I showed the quilt to the Society meeting this week, and got a very positive response from the members.  The editor of their magazine took photos and is going to publish them in the next issue.  Five minutes of fame, lol!

Vintage handkerchiefs

I have been given handkies since I was a child (we all got them for Xmas in the fifties), and I have also picked up some embroidered ones for my collection in recent years.  But apart from a few that are special to me, I am happy to offload them to other collectors, and some of the ladies on the Down To Earth forum have expressed interest in seeing what I have.  So grab a cup of tea and have a look at the following photos :-)
I have indicated which ones I want to keep and which I am willing to part with.  For the benefit of other readers of this blog, this offer is restricted to DTE members for now.
I will part with all the boxed sets except the men's handkies (my husband is in need of those, and I like the box!)

The photo below is of vintage handkie holders in my collection, which I will keep, but thought you might like to see them.  The Dolly Varden handkies weren't with the holder, but I keep them in there.

These handkies (below) are ones that I would prefer to keep.  I have a pattern for a quilt using handkies for the blocks, and I'm hanging on to these to choose from when the time comes.