Fabric Diet and 2014 – The Year of the UFO

It’s that time of year when I look back on the projects I’ve been working on this year.  Of course, there are usually little completed and many more started!

I am happy that I’ve managed to complete these projects:  Christmas decorations, Kaaffe Fassett Log cabin quilt, blackwork fuschia,  mounting a goldwork initial into a jewellery box, two pieces of crewel embroidery for a course I am doing through the NSW Embroiderers’ Guild, a dress and skirt for my boss’ birthday, a couple of dresses for myself, a dress for Miss H (our daughter), baby name cross stitch for Miss H and a lap quilt/wallhanging for Husband’s Nan.  Wow, when writing a list it actually seems like I have made progress!  I will try and load photos of some of these to show you.

Now, onto 2014 – The Year of the UFO.  No, I’m not talking about Unidentified Flying Objects.  I’m talking about UnFinished Objects!  I really need to STOP myself from starting new projects (unless they are in planning for the book) and make a dent in my UFO stash.

The UFOs I want to complete, off the top of my head, include:  Sweetcakes Quilt for Miss H, my gran’s embroidered quilt, at least three more pieces of crewel for the embroidery course (one of these needs to be completed and sent in by late Feb so I better get cracking!), two dresses for my boss as a late Christmas present – my overlocker needs fixing before this can be done, Christmas decorations for next year’s gifts, two dresses for myself plus any others I come across which have been cut out but not put together, a goldwork Calla Lilly, a Mountmellick sampler which I will need to bribe someone into knitting the fringe for me as I don’t knit nor do I have a desire to learn, a quilt for a good friend of mine, a blue threadpainted butterfly and a pair of blackwork Lovebirds.  Unfortunately I do actually have more UFOs but these are the ones I want to have done first.  The others can float along in the background for now.

And finally, onto my planned Fabric Diet!  I have (unfortunately) inherited my grandmother’s addiction to fabric.  Quilting fabric, embroidery fabric, dressmaking fabric, you name it…  My discovery this year of www.fabric.com did NOT help this addiction.  On top of my giant fabric stash which is kept at not only my house, but also there are bits at my dad’s and my mother-in-law’s still, I also have unopposed access to my gran’s stash which has been collected over the last 50 or so years – between us, that is a LOT of fabric!  So I am going on a fabric diet.  I have acknowledged I have a problem, and this is the time to work on it  🙂  I am not going to buy any fabric for at least six months.  I will reassess this in June and hopefully go the whole 12 months of 2014.  The only exceptions to this will be fabric needed to complete a UFO which cannot be found in the giant stash, and any materials needed for projects for the book.  Wish me luck!

I haven’t made much progress on any projects in the last week or two due to Miss H teething and being extremely unhappy.  I now have about two weeks of work over Christmas so hopefully I’ll get a bit more done during the day.  I desperately want to be able to show you a completed Sweetcakes Quilt Top by Monday afternoon!

Below are some photos of some of the completed projects from this year.  Enjoy!photo (2) IMG_1896 IMG_2253 IMG_2108 IMG_1587

Blackwork 2012

Blackwork 2012


Christmas decorations, and Downton Abbey addiction explained

We still need five more likes on the Facebook page to reach the goal of 30, at which point I will draw the winner of a Christmas decoration.  Please, help me and share with your friends and encourage them to like the page!

I have managed to get the Christmas decorations well underway.  Last night I checked that I had finished all of the embroidery, cut the squares to size including the backing fabric and pinned the squares ready for stitching.  Then I realised that I had no ribbon for the hangers to be able to hang them on the tree!  So it was a mad dash to Lincraft today to get some ribbon and now the decorations are neatly pinned and stacked, ready to be stitched and stuffed tonight.  photo(2)

Hopefully I will also have time tonight to iron, pin and stitch the next borders onto the Sweetcakes quilt.  Not likely though, but we’ll live in hope.

Over the weekend I mentioned a current addiction of mine to Downton Abbey.  This has come about in part because I have signed up for a Mystery Quilt Along, using Downton Abbey fabrics that have recently been released by Andover Fabrics.  The Mystery Quilt Along is being run by a lady in the US named Ebony Love, of LoveBug Studios.  If you’re interested in the Quilt Along, I understand that you are still able to sign up even though we are in week 5 of the quilt along.  The link to Ebony’s page is here.


I have chosen the Dowager Countess fabric in the new Downton Abbey Line (see photos below from Andover’s website), and when I first read about this Quilt Along, I pre-ordered a die-cut quilt from Ebony Love.  Unfortunately, the poor girl had a short shipment from Andover of her fabric, by about 11 bolts – one bolt holds about 10 yards/metres of fabric, so in short she was over 100 yards short of fabric for the kits that she had pre-sold!  I knew that I was one of the only people outside the US who had ordered a kit, and I know how much of a pain it can be to ship internationally, so I let Ebony know that I was happy to go to the bottom of the list for kits.  Thankfully, she has been able to get her hands on the missing fabric and hopefully I will receive my kit early in the new year so I can get started on this fantastic quilt she has designed!  I’ve been receiving the revealed blocks and instructions each week, and I think I have signed up for something a little out of my depth as far as quilting is concerned, but I’m sure I will keep you amused in the meantime of my mistakes and lessons learnt in the process!


Until my kit arrives, I’m re-watching seasons 1-3 of Downton Abbey on DVD to get my fix!

Lessons for today

I learnt a few lessons today.  Mainly, the groceries you ordered online WILL be delivered when:  a) you are still in your pjs; b) your teething, tired baby decides she really is tired and ready for a bottle and a nap; c) your crazy cat finds a fly and runs riot through the house knocking down a full glass of water, the recycling box on the bench and who knows what else; and d) the iron starts beeping and yelling at you for leaving it alone for too long…  Oh, and it doesn’t matter how long you spend staring at the bookshelf, you will NOT find Season 1 of Downton Abbey if the spine is facing the wrong way…  More on my current Downton Abbey fascination in a later post as this has something to do with an upcoming project.

Anyway.  Moving on.  An embroidery lesson follows for you:

I thought I’d share with you a neat way to start and end your embroidery with a waste knot.  My ulterior motive for doing this is also the fact that my lovely enthusiastic mother in law has offered to help me stitch some samples for new designs I have created, and I need to teach her how to start with a waste knot.

Start by threading your needle and putting a firm knot in the end of the tail (see photo #1)

Take your needle through the front of the fabric, about 2-3 inches away from where you need to start, so that your knot at the end of the tail is sitting on the front of your fabric (see photo #2)

Bring your needle up through the back of the fabric at the starting point (see photo #3) and stitch as you need to, until you only have about 2-3 inches left of thread.  Then take your needle to the back of the fabric (see photo #4) and weave the end of the thread over and under at least three or four stitches to secure it (oops, I forgot to take a photo of this step! But see below steps for similar photo)

Clip off the waste knot at the front of the fabric and discard the knot (see photo #5) and turn your fabric over.  The remaining tail will be there (see photo #6).  Thread the tail in your needle (see photo #7) and weave the end of the thread over and under at least three or four stitches to secure it (see photos #7, #8, #9 and #10).  Trim the end once this is complete  (see photo #11)  Voila!  A neat back with the start and ends of your threads!

(Oh, and a further lesson for today – you may wonder why I have a bandaid on my finger in the photos below – well, who would have thought, it turns out that newly sharpened dressmaking scissors are actually really sharp and can cut your finger!)

I have finally been able to pick up my new sewing/reading glasses and hope the Christmas decorations will be finished over the weekend.  I have also made some progress on the Sweetcakes quilt and will post an update later on.IMG_2498 IMG_2499 IMG_2500 IMG_2501 IMG_2502 IMG_2503 IMG_2504 IMG_2505 IMG_2506 IMG_2507 IMG_2508


Christmas decorations - part 1

As promised, here is a photo of the work in progress Christmas decorations.  I have done the embroidery on three out of eight so far, and will hopefully have the rest of the embroidery completed by the end of the week.  Then they will be cut, backed with Christmas fabric, stuffed and have a hanger attached.

I’ve attempted to link this blog with a newly created facebook page, so fingers crossed it works!