third day towards Christmas

On the third day, I have three Christmas stockings that will be hung with anticipation… well, they were when the children were younger, and to be truthful they still are, just in case.

I made these years ago, using a flip and sew method.
The backs are just plain fabric, all three different colours. They were embellished with stick-on coloured stones and sparkly bits and the initials were painted with fabric paint.

On the third day heading towards Christmas, there are 3 Christmas stockings, 2 happy doggies and a pear made out of green felt…….

Second day of Christmas…

On the second day of my liberated 12 days of Christmas, here are two little dogs wanting to say Merry Christmas from our home to yours:

The photo of Haley, on the left may look like it has some grass floating over her, this is because…..

Behind the scenes this is what happened when we tried to get Haley to wear the red Santa’s hat- she ran off with it, grass clippings were everywhere and the chase was on.

First day of Christmas………………………Second day………..

a pear for day one

I thought it would be fun to do a little photo lead-up to Christmas; a sort of twist on the Twelve Days of Christmas, only instead of Day One being Christmas Day as it is traditionally, I’m starting today and therefore finishing on Christmas Eve.
It will just be a photo or two of Christmas happenings in my home.
So today for my first day of Christmas, instead of a partridge in a pear tree, I have a pear>

I recently made this little pear, from a pattern in a magazine (original post on it here). I’m not sure it is the best-shaped pear around! but I followed the pattern exactly and this is what I got.

Made out of two shades of green wool felt and hand-embroidered with cream floss in a design I made up as I went along.
And a cute little aside: the stand it is on belonged to my mother. Dad made it for her years ago, to use for displaying her little bonsaii trees.

Here is a link to Work In Progress Wednesday on the Freshly Pieced website.

some more to show

A few random things that I’ve been up to lately: here is the second little birdie that I’ve been making as part of a kit, first mentioned back here.

There are 5 little birds that hang underneath one another, hand-sewn on Japanese fabrics and that will be backed with some hessian and hung with string. I’ve slowly been improving my stem stitch on them! When the stitching on the front is finished, I damp-stretch it on a cork board:

and this makes it nice and flat without having to iron.

I have been sewing some other things but they might be for gifts so I better not show them here just yet!
Also a little cooking:

this is a tasty Craisin Shortbread which is quick and easy to make. I’ll include the recipe here if anyone is looking for something quick to take for a Christmas morning tea- you need to only cut it into small slices because it is a little rich, but very yummy!

Craisin Shortbread

Prep time= 15 minutes Cooking time= 40 mins

2 ½ cups plain flour
1 cup castor sugar
300g butter. Chopped
125g Craisins (dried cranberries), chopped coarsely
1 egg white, beaten lightly
2 tblspns castor sugar, extra

1. Preheat the oven to slow (150’C/ 130 fanforced) Grease a slice tin or tray (approx 26cm * 32cm), or line with baking paper.
2. Process the flour, butter, castor sugar in food processor (or crumb with the fingers) until mixture just comes together. Stir in the craisins.
3. Press mixture in prepared tray. Baste with the egg white and sprinkle extra sugar on top.
4. Bake in slow oven for about 40 mins or until golden and crisp. Cool in pan. Cut into small pieces.

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday- check out some other lovely blogs

a little birdie for the tree

I had a hankering to make a little birdie for my Christmas Tree. I had seen some around at craft stalls and in magazines, so decided to have a go at making my own.

I drew the shape on some templastic and used that to cut out a shape on both a natural open weave silk and a piece of broderie anglais, which I used for the back. I like the natural textured weave fabrics best so that’s why I think of that as the ‘right’ side.
I sewed 2 little black eyes and couched some thick thread on one side in the shape of a heart. I then just had to sew the edges together with the seams out and leaving an opening to push the stuffing in. I used black thread to sew around it, to give it a crafty look.

Oh, and before I sewed the two sides together I inserted some ribbon to use for hanging from the tree.
A cute little birdie!

the beach and an apple tree

A little more quilt art to show. Another talented Gatton Quilter has assembled the next fractured-picture art quilt from our yearly challenge. This one was assembled by Jan M.

Assembled by Jan M. Pieces (L-R): Lorraine, Meryl, Jan M, Shirley, Jan K, Karen

The original picture is on the left with our re-creation on the right. Jan has put the pieces together with a black sashing and black border and mounted it on a canvas. It looks fantastic- all the segments segue into each other to create a scene that you have to keep looking at to take in all the techniques that the contributors have used in their pieces.
By their use of paint, coloured pencils, fabric, threads, string and all manners of bits and pieces the creators have given texture and dimension to their pictures.
For my segment, which is the last one on the right in the completed picture, I added some sari scrap for the fallen tree and used different threads and hand-stitching as well as free-hand machine stitching. Below is the picture of that when I originally completed it.

I also recently finished another quilt on my long-arm quilting machine. This is Meryl’s apple core quilt which she pieced all by hand.

The quilting I did was a design of a tree across two segments and repeated across the quilt, so they appear to interlock with each other.

To get the design to be the same in all the blocks I made a plastic stencil to trace around, then hand-guided the machine’s foot to quilt it.
Hope you have a good weekend!

this week in progress

I have been doing some more work on my Spiderweb quilt, first mentioned here and here. I have lots of segments constructed but not yet sewn into blocks. To see how many I have done so far and get an idea on how many left to do, I arranged them onto my design wall.

I think I will make this quilt about 3 spiderwebs wide by three spiderwebs down, which means, as you can see, I’m not there yet!
I am making this by first sewing together lots of strips of brightly coloured fabrics, mainly Kaffe Fassett and Phillip Jacobs fabrics.

Then I use the templates to cut out the triangle-shapes, angling all the strips pointing to the apex of the triangle.

The kite-shaped pieces are also cut using a template, and for these I’m using a black spotted fabric.

I sew two triangles to a kite to make one segment.

The segments will then be sewn together to make small blocks, which will then be sewn together in rows. Its fun to play around with them to see what they will like when together but it is easy to get the segments arranged higgeldy piggeldy!

I’m waiting until I have all the segments sewn before joining them together so that I can check the colour distribution of the strips throughout the blocks.

I’m also linking in to Work in Progress Wednesday and Small Blog Meet – this is a special feature on the blog “Lily’s Quilts” for smaller blogs to make some connections with other blogs and encourage readers from those blogs to come and visit here!

Lily's Quilts

November photos

I’m still having fun taking photos and sharing them via Instagram for the photoaday challenge (first mentioned back here). Here is a small selection of daily photos I took in November:

November 8 Something I do every day {I don’t think a caption is needed here?!}

November 16 The view from my window

November 23 Black {saw this while out furniture shopping with my daughter}

November 29 Big {this is just an oversized sewing machine!}

November 30 On the wall {a wall quilt I made especially for this spot on the wall}

What photos would you have taken for those themes?