Dresses, quilts and more….

Despite my lack of recent blog posts, I actually have been doing quite a bit of preparation and stitching!  I’ve been fighting with my overlocker so the hot pink tartan miniskirts are on hold, so in the meantime I have cut out four new dresses (two for a friend, one for myself and one for my mother-in-law’s belated mother’s day present):

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I’ve also finished a skirt for myself:

photo 2(1)and gotten underway with an embroidered lingerie bag for a friend to use on her upcoming travels:

photo 1(1)Oh, and nearly forgot, started on two Christmas presents as well – little lap quilts:

photo 4(1) photo 5So, there you go – I’ve been busy but with a whole heap of boring preparation and background work.  I’ll hopefully have more to update in the next day or two.

Happy stitching!

 

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Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt Along

I received a VERY special parcel today. I ordered a quilt kit and backing kit from Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios in Illanois,USA late last year as part of her Downton Abbey mystery quilt along. The poor girl was short-shipped by about 16 bolts of fabric on her shipment from the manufacturer so her kits were not dispatched in time. I’ve been following the block reveals each week via email and her blog and have so been looking forward to receiving my kit, and it finally arrived today – I couldn’t get to the post office quick enough!

I chose to receive a kit with all pieces for the quilt blocks already cut using a die cutter. I’m not personally familiar with this process of cutting fabric and I wasn’t confident enough with my own abilities to convert her instructions to rotary cutting which is why I picked a kit that was pre-cut. I have NEVER received such a beautifully packaged kit, embroidery or quilting, before. Check out the photos below. Each quilt block has been packaged separately in black bags and somehow she even managed to send through customs international shipping some yummy Twinings tea to enjoy while watching the next season of Downton!

I am really looking forward to starting this quilt although I’ll definitely be restraining myself from starting it until I’ve got a couple of UFOs complete so I can concentrate on this fully – I’m quite sure this will take my complete concentration to make sure I don’t make a mistake!

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Sweetcakes quilt, nearly finished!

This will be the last Sweetcakes update for a little while.  I’ve added two borders, a photo is below.  I’ve decided to add another border so that’s currently pinned but it is so hot I just can’t be bothered stitching that tonight.  THEN, all that needs to be done is baste the layers of the quilt top, wadding and backing together, quilt the layers together and put the binding on.  I’m undecided yet whether to outsource the quilting to a professional long-arm quilter, or tackle the quilting myself.  I have a friend who is much more experienced at machine quilting, so I will be asking her advice over the Christmas break before I make a decision.

Here is a photo for you!  I will now move onto other projects while deciding what to do about the quilting, so this project will be on the shelf for a while.  Thanks for staying interested in this quilt!IMG_2595

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.

http://www.lovebugstudios.com/2013/11/10/week-1-downton-abbey-mystery-quilt-along-getting-started/

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!

http://andoverfabrics.com/Grid.php?GroupName=Downton%20Abbey

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

Sweetcakes continued

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The quilt top is together and ironed now, ready for the borders to go on (first photo).  The second photo is the fabric strips pinned together ready to be stitched and ironed into one long strip for the borders.

I took the first photo of the quilt top, then moved away for five minutes and when I came back, our cat had made herself comfy!  So of course I had to get a photo of that!

I went through my fabric and embroidery stash yesterday, it’s good when you find things you forgot you had!  I actually found two more jelly rolls that I don’t even remember buying, so there may be a couple more of these quilts to come down the track.  The next quilt you will see on here though, once this one is finished, is an embroidered quilt that my grandmother embroidered and I am putting together, ready for a friend of mine to quilt over the Christmas school break.

I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that my glasses will arrive this week so that I can get stuck into some embroidery again and have something a bit more interesting to show you.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me reach 21 likes on Facebook – keep them coming!  Once I have reached 30, there will be one (or maybe two, depending on how generous I feel at the time!) lucky winner of a blackwork Christmas decoration.

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Sweetcakes continued, and a scrappy stash started

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I came across a blog quite a while back, a Bee In My Bonnet – when I was looking online for a tutorial on a neater way to bind quilts than I was previously doing.  Recently, I came across a blog post on here about how she keeps her fabric scraps – now, if you decide to visit this blog, you will see just why I am drooling over her sewing room, but that’s not the point of my story.  My point is she keeps her scraps and cuts them into useable 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 inch squares and strips to be used later for scrap quilts or anything else they come in handy for.   http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/from-my-quilty-studiohow-i-save-my.html

Prior to reading this, I was a bit useless with scraps, always thinking “what on earth will I do with leftover bits and pieces in various shapes and sizes”.  But AFTER reading this I realise I can keep them and use them later on for anything that comes up!  So I spent some time today cutting the scraps of the accent fabric used in the Sweetcakes quilt, into 2.5 inch squares.   Admittedly, I probably could also have cut some 1.5 inch squares from some of the bigger leftovers, but honestly I didn’t have the energy – baby steps!  At least I have kept SOME of the scraps this time instead of just tossing them – I now have a nice stack of 2.5 inch squares, as you can see on the right hand side in the photo above.

Below are a couple of photos taken today of my progress with the Sweetcakes quilt.  The first one is the stack of strips all pieced together, and then the second one is the strips then pinned together ready to be stitched into one whole quilt top!  It should all be together by tomorrow afternoon with the borders ready to go around the edge.

Yesterday I cut out fabric for two simple dresses, one for myself and one for my boss.  The Christmas decorations and other embroidery projects are still on hold because my new glasses have not yet arrived…  They better arrive soon, I’m having withdrawals! (and headaches…)  Although I have chosen fabric out of my grandmother’s stash to back the Christmas decorations with, so I guess that can be called progress!

Have a great weekend!

 

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