but wait, there’s more…

… cushions that is. After making the cushions for Christmas gifts, as mentioned last week, I decided to make some for myself. In particular I wanted to use some ‘giraffe’ fabric that a friend had given me. I had started thinking about some quilt ideas for it, and had started to look for some fabrics to put with it. But the cushions were such fun that they won out!
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I bought a couple of other pieces but also had some in my stash to complement it, so I looked for some lights and darks to put together.
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I found this pattern in the magazine Love Patchwork & Quilting which I thought looked good so decided to use it.
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These are the four individual blocks which were quick and easy to make…
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then joined together.
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I ironed some thin fusible batting on the back of it and then quilted it with straight lines diagonally across the top.
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While I was in the mood, I thought I might as well make another one! so I looked for a block in the book ‘Modern Blocks’ which I could utilise. I chose the Eccentric Wonky Star by Wayne Kollinger and adjusted its size for my purposes. I used the same fabrics but in different proportions to the first cushion. One cushion was bound in a teal colour
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and the other in a goldy mustard colour
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and I used different fabrics for the back, with an envelope closing.
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I quilted the second one with straight up and down lines.
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Here they are together:
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Cute, hey?!

colourful cushions

When looking around for some ideas for Christmas gifts for nieces and nephews, I fell upon the idea of making some cushions. I know that is not a novel idea! but I’ve not actually made quilted cushion covers before- mainly because I was always busy making quilts whenever I could find the time and didn’t want to take any time away from that.
But, now having made some and found how nicely they turn out without a lot of trouble, I think I’ll have to change my thinking! The bonus is that they are a gift that can be made for males or females, especially those that have left home and are living in rented flats. It helps to have something nice to decorate their surroundings.

This first one was made for my nephew. I used a block I’ve seen in a lot of quilts and enlarged it to the size I wanted to fit the cushion inserts I already had.
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I just made the front, did some simple in-the-ditch quilting and added an envelope back to it. I had to gamble on the colours for this one.
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The next one was for my niece in colours that I knew would look good in her room.
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I used some batiks and matched them with some black fabric that I had previously done some discharge-dyeing on. I used a different block, once again enlarged to the right size.
You can see the effect of the discharge bleaching on the black fabric in this next photo. I did this in a little workshop earlier in the year, so this was an excellent use for it.
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I was having so much fun that I also made one for my daughter in a different colourway.
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This one was backed with a text print fabric, and also a basic quilt in the ditch. By just using an envelope closing on all the cushions, I didn’t have to use any zips or buttons etc.
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I was very happy with how they turned out :)

a little colour play

Here’s a little something for you to play with: have you ever made a colour mosaic? Over on the blog ‘Stitched in Color‘ there is a little contest happening where you can use an online mosaic maker to put together your favourite swatches of fabric.

mosaic_iced_parfait

The theme is Iced Parfait, which sounds really nice in this heat we are having- although I think her focus is on the wintery vision of ice!
Have a go. You can win some fabric yourself, and you don’t need your own blog to enter.

holiday stitching on a story cloth

I am on a few weeks leave from work at the moment, so in between catching up on house-related chores and acting as a chauffeur I’ve been able to fit in some more sewing. It’s also been good to catch up with friends and family, especially when the visits can be combined with a little stitching here and there!
I have some hand-sewing handy in a little bag that I can take whenever I think I might be able to fit some in. The project that I’m working on can vary. Last year it was always the latest block I was working on for the Lollipop Trees quilt.
I’m working on a couple of things at the moment. I have been trying to get this little story cloth finished that I started back here, before Christmas.
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While it is essentially one I am making as a Christmas cloth, I still want to keep working on it to get it finished, and at least then it will be ready for next Christmas! I’m not sure about what story I’m trying to tell with it though, which is why I’m still lingering over it.
The lowest third has the three animals in it, which closely resemble the four-legged animals of our family!, and I feel like I need to do something more to tie them in together. The little seed stitches and knots that I’ve started to add in around them is a start, but still not there yet.
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I added these trees in. They were done in feather stitch, which is an excellent stitch for trees!
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More stitching at the top is also needed, just more of the kantha-style stitching. But it’s close, nearly there.
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Last weekend I had a day to fill in while my son was playing indoor cricket at Caboolture, so I took myself over to Bribie Island for a look around. I eventually found myself at one of the beaches, so I even got to sit and sew under the trees! A beautiful day, although warm and muggy, but not having been to Bribie before I really enjoyed it. A nice place to relax and enjoy some beach-time.

I also recently had a lovely time sewing with my sister.
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She was working on this Japanese-designed bag, and with a few hours of dedicated sewing nearly had it finished.
day5I love how she has her sewing corner set up, a nice place to be in.
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I hope you are all getting lots of time to sit and stitch!

recycling challenge

I made this little quilt as my contribution to a challenge that the Art Quilt group of Gatton Quilters held in the second half of 2014. I mentioned the challenge back in this post. This is my interpretation of the theme.
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The theme was ‘Recycle’ and we could interpret that in any way we wanted, whether it be by the materials we used or the subject matter of what we depicted, or even choose between realistic or abstract methods. The title of my quilt is the Recycled Neighbourhood. It shows some streets of any neighbourhood, lots of little houses all in a row. The tree in the middle is what had to make way for those houses to be built, so it was recycled into the houses as well as the road map that it is made from.
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I didn’t buy any new materials to make this, although the bits of fabric for the houses were some old scraps of solid colour cottons I’ve had for years. The base was an old linen tea towel- used on the ‘wrong’ side, as was the backing. I ironed some light-weight fusible interfacing to the back of it for stability.
I drew the tree onto some paper to use as a template and then worked out where I wanted the tree to be placed.
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I fused all the scraps of cotton and cut out lots of little squares and triangles for the houses, placing them along imaginary roads and around the tree outline. I had to include all different shape houses as well as the odd park and river for the neighbourhood.
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Once I had pressed them into place, I then free motion quilted the houses with assorted threads.
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The tree template was then used to trace a tree from an old road map. I coated the tree with gel medium and let dry before placing it onto the quilt and sewing it in place around its edges.
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I backed it with another old teatowel from which I also cut strips to attach and use as the facing edges. On the front I sewed selvedge scraps around the edges to act as a frame.
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My little ‘recycled’ neighbourhood!

as we say goodbye to 2014…

The first day of 2015 and lots of promise and hope ahead. I hope you and your families all have a wonderful year ahead, especially in your arty and quilty endeavours!
I thought I’d just show you a summary of the daily photos I have taken over recent months. I’ve been participating in the online Photo-a-day challenge for a couple of years now and at this stage I’m planning to continue, although I’m thinking about not necessarily taking a photo for the stated theme, but we’ll see! I try to take photos that also give both my son and daughter who live away from home a little glimpse into what’s happening back here.

I have recently returned from a couple of days spent down in Victoria visiting with my son and his fiancee. We had a great time, and as it coincided with Christmas festivities, this first photo was very apt for the theme ” I like..”. We went on a drive to look at Christmas displays, and this house was just spectacular:

The theme was [loud], and this fellow, Dublin, who came into our lives earlier this year certainly knows how to make himself heard (and he also has a lovely soft tummy!). He likes to keep me company when I’m sewing- that is, when it suits him:

In October the themes centred around letters of the alphabet. When the time came for [R is for] what else could I show but these beautiful roses grown by my husband in our front garden:

[made me smile today…] we have had a drought for many months so it’s great to see the rain. Currently the grass is still green….

[I made this…] for my Mum a lot of years ago, and has now been passed back to me.

[letters]… my favourite text prints used in a New York Beauty block….

[I really love this…] lots of stitching whenever and where ever I can fit it in! These were some little stars I made for Christmas gifts.

That’s enough from me- ‘see’ you next week!

a baby at Christmas

We had a beautiful family-oriented Christmas, with children and adults and dogs all joining in. I hope you all had a lovely day as well. There’s something special about Christmas with children; we love to see them happy and excited. They put the bounce into Christmas! Just when it looked like the ‘children’ in our family were growing up and moving into adulthood we have a new generation coming along.
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My beautiful little ‘great’ nephew- he is the first baby for my niece- was born barely a week before Christmas. So he was only 7 days old but the definite star of attraction for our day. So tiny to hold, to cuddle, to stroke such soft baby skin. I’m now a Great-Aunty! His new Nanna, my sister, made him a little baby quilt, which I was so happy to quilt.

quilt top before quilting

quilt top before quilting


She made it especially for her first grandson in crisp whites and blues and reds, just perfect for a little baby boy living at the coast.
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I quilted it with an all-over swirly pattern, except for the straight stitching in the skinny border.
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The fabric used for the backing and the binding is the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ fabric.
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The swirly quilting resembled the trail of the caterpillar as he moved over the quilt…
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and I couldn’t resist adding just one word- I like writing with quilting!
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A lovely day with our cold Christmas lunch of seafood and ham and salads…. I don’t feel like eating for a week! Happy New Year to you all!
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Christmas 2014

It’s Christmas week already! the trees are up, the lights are on, presents are starting to gather. I just love Christmas!
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I made some little Christmas stars this year. They were made of a variety of fabric scraps, from re-purposed linen tea-towels, like this one I showed last week…
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to rusty cottons and linen scraps left over from past projects.
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I stitched random patterns on each of them, using blues and browns as my theme.
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Then beads were added to add a touch of sparkle. I sewed around them keeping the raw edges out, with some twine or cords to hang them with and filled with a little stuffing. Cute?!
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There’s something about a Christmas tree, so I did a little photo survey within my family:
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all different but all so nice!
And another thing nice about this time of year are the beautiful flowers that are blooming, like these irises from my brother-in-law’s garden:
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I hope you all have a joyful Christmas with your loved ones and look forward to a happy and healthy- and quilt-filled – New Year!
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Christmas party

We had a Christmas party with Gatton Quilters last week. No doubt, there are a lot of Christmas parties being held now! It’s a good time to catch up with everyone, to see the latest project they have been working on, as well as – in our case- the results of any challenges. We also had a lucky dip where we all had to bring along a Christmas ornament to swap with others. Here is the one I made to swap – a star made from an old linen teatowel, hand- embroidered and beaded:
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We have a bunch of talented ladies in Gatton Quilters, including a group of art quilters. The group had a challenge in this latter half of the year to produce a piece to the theme of ‘Recycled’- to interpret however we wanted, in whatever format and using whatever materials we wanted.
Here are a few of the challenge projects:

Marilyn

Marilyn


Meryl

Meryl


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This magnificent work below is by Shirley, using feathers to create the gentlemen: the work is mounted and framed. Really breathtaking.
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The party is also a chance to “show and tell”- here’s just a few:
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Helen- completed journal

Helen- completed journal


Jan K

Jan K


On another note, at long last we have rain! The grass is green, the dams are full, the frogs are croaking and the storms are fierce! Here is my brave companion Hayley, who has to come inside at the first rumble of thunder, then promptly hides under the desk:
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and checking out the window at a particularly large clap of thunder:
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So brave!

spiders and butterflies

Another couple of quilts that I recently long-arm quilted.
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Meryl made these two lovely quilts with jars of bugs and butterflies and asked me to quilt them. As both quilts were the same- same design and same colours, I wanted to be able to quilt them differently to each other.
This first quilt has some spiderwebs all over it:
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and this is the back which shows up the quilting a little better:
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The second quilt has a sort-of echoing curvy design with some leaves and critters and dragon-flies here and there!
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The only thing with the black fabric was that it attracted a lot of fluff which you can see in the photos. I think I brushed these quilts numerous times!
meryl2 A little quilt writing as well!
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I’m busy sewing some Christmas gifts at the moment, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I can’t show them to you just yet! Are you also busy preparing for Christmas?
Hope you have a good week.:)