Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Q4 FAL - Babies NICU gowns

I finally got round to finishing these ten sweet little gowns for NICU babies.

 They are designed to be easy to remove when babies have tubes attached and the charity will add the correct snaps on the shoulders so I have left them off. They are lined with nice soft poplin.

This is the pattern that I used: Project NICU: Baby Hospital Gown Tutorial.

This is another project ticked off my Q4 FAL goals list.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Winter Solstice Block 2 - Day into Night

I really like the second block pattern for Pat Sloan's Winter Solstice quilt. I decided to fussy cut a lovely santa fabric for one of the large pieces and use red & white fabric with the same snowflake pattern for the rest. I'm really happy with the result.

See more blocks at the Winter Solstice linky page.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2017 Goals & Plans

2017 Planning Party Yvonne at at Quilting JetGirl is having a planning link party so I thought I'd join in and write out my plans. I'm excited about next year as I have a year off work.

Instead of looking at all the great quilting projects & BOMs and being too tired to join in I can sew all day every day if I want to... and yes, I want to!

My main sewing skills goals for next year are:
  • to learn free motion quilting
  • to learn how to use my embroidery machine (Janome 11000)
  • to improve my quilting/piecing skills
So I've signed up for quite a few BOMs & quilt-a-longs. My goal is to keep up with these and finish on time.
  • Children's Library
  • Winter Solstice
  • 365 Challenge
  • En Provence
I'm also going to work through some of the Craftsy & Creative Bug classes in my library.

UFOs -I want to finish some UFO's which  I've listed in the 2017 Patchwork Times list:
  • Pink quilt
  • Childs quilt
  • Scrappy eye spy
  • Eye Spy 4"
  • Eye Spy 5"
  • Floral Patchwork
  • Floral Quilt
  • Blue Diamonds
  • Children's Playground
  • A Boy & a Girl
  • Building Blocks
Charity Sewing  Goals:
and I have a few quilt patterns I want to work on.

So I have a lot planned and I'm looking forward to 2017!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 FAL Q4 - 70273 project - 100 done!

The 70273 project was started by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers after she watched a documentary about the holocaust. In the 20 months before WWII began 70,273 disabled people were murdered by the Nazis. Their fate was sealed when doctors, who had never seen them, marked their health report with two red crosses.

Jeanne writes: "I will commemorate these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person), and I will stitch them together into quilts."

I was really drawn to this project when I stumbled across it. I wanted to make 100 blocks before the end of the year so I added it to my FAL list. This morning I finally completed my blocks. Most are sewn, some I did with a fabric marker. They are all different.

This brings me up to my 100 blocks goal.

This is a wonderful project so if you'd like to get involved you can find out more information here: 70273 Project.

 2016 Q4 FAL goals post

2016 FAL

UFO's list for 2017

I'm joining up with Patchwork Times 2017 UFO challenge to work on my unfinished quilts. Heres my list of 12 projects:

1. Pink Quilt: All the blocks have been joined in strips, just need to join the strips, quilt and bind.

2. Childs Quilt.  I found a small remnant of fabric  one day with a lovely picture of a little girl and a bear in the forest. I added scraps joined into long strips and green trim to make it into a single bed size. This just needs quilting and bindng.

3. Scrappy Eye Spy blanket. I love making eye spy quilts! I make them about 1m x 1m as they are for Angels for the Forgotten charity. This one just needs quilting & binding.

4. Eye Spy blanket (4") - this needs a border, quilting and binding.

5. Eye Spy Blanket (5") needs a border, quilting & binding.

6. Disappearing Nine Patch - mainly Kaffe Fassett Collection fabrics. Needs a border, quilting & binding.

7.  Floral Patchwork Quilt.  Another one that needs to be quilted and bound.

8. Floral quilt - donation.  This unfinished quilt top was donated. A large part of it had already been pieced and I have added more blocks to each end of the quilt to make it big enough to fit a single bed. I also made a set of matching pillow cases. It is waiting to be quilted and bound.  I am so overdue on doing this one!

9. Blue Diamonds Quilt. All pieced and border is done, waiting to be quilted and bound. ( I'm really starting to see a pattern here...)

10. Children's Playground Blanket. Needs quilting and binding.

11   A Boy & A Girl.  I just love this quilt pattern and I need to get back to working on it. I have one block waiting to be appliqu├ęd - I'll be doing machine applique - and others I've started tracing off the patterns for. This is my biggest project for  2017.

12. Building Blocks BOM. I started this Leah Day quilt-a-long in 2014 because I wanted to learn free motion quilting. A lot of the piecing is done but there are still a few blocks that need finishing and quilting.

So, thats my list of quilting UFOs for 2017 - hoping they'll all be completed this time next year.

Monday, 26 December 2016

En Provence MQ - Clue 5

Clue #5 was easy and fast - 64 half square triangles.  I made mine early Christmas morning while everyone was still asleep.

They still need to be trimmed to size. Its been good to keep up with the clues each week and I'm learning a lot doing this mystery quilt. I have come to really appreciate the importance of neutrals in a quilt and of contrast.  I like very bright colours and so I tend to buy them for my stash and ignore the neutrals. Now I am making a deliberate choice to buy a few neutrals for my stash each time I shop for fabric. 

We had a lovely Christmas yesterday, just a quiet day with the family and a traditional Christmas dinner. I was given several Spotlight vouchers for Christmas and they had 40% off all fabric today, 75% off Christmas fabric,  so this morning I went out and spent my vouchers on these:

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Pat Sloan -Winter Solstice

Well I got home from work this afternoon and settled down to catch up my blog reading, only to find that Pat Sloan has started another wonderful quilting sew-along - Winter Solstice.

I've been wanting to make a Christmas quilt and so I pulled these from my stash:

I'm going to use the bunny fabric on bottom right as a feature so I fussy cut the centre square and made my first churn dash block!

It was nice and easy to sew. I'm thinking I might add some embroidery around the outside of the red - will look at it a bit longer and see....

Pat has started a new blog called - very appropriately -  I love to make quilts.

updated to say I decided I would add a blanket stitch around the edge, it just improves the outline a little:

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

En Provence MQ - Clue 4

Clue 4 of En Provence was more triangles using the darkest purples. I found I was much more accurate and much faster using the tri-recs tool this time. I decided to cut the side pieces of my triangles 1/4 " bigger than the middle triangle - it made matching them up and getting enough crossover at the top so much easier!

I can't wait to use the yellow...

I had a play around with the blocks... (one facing the wrong way)

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Scrappy Quilt Progress - Patches & Pinwheels

I've been working at my scrappy quilt pinwheels this week in between other projects and I'm really pleased with how its looking.  I tried two ways of making pinwheels and found this way easiest & more accurate.

I have a lot of scraps already cut into squares ( 4", 4.5", 5"). Some are from my own projects and some were given to me. I tend to like really bright colours so pinwheels were a great way to combine my brights with colours I wouldn't usually use.

 So I went through my bin of squares and put two contrasting fabrics right sides together. Then I drew a line down the centre:

Then I stitched 1/4" down both sides of the marked line.

Then cut down the line and you have two half square triangles. I did a whole batch of these and then played around to make the pinwheels, some with all blades the same:

Others with alternating blades:

Then I joined these together and trimmed them to 6 &1/2" blocks.

I love the way they have turned out!  Amazing how good scraps can look.

I trimmed up the 16 patch blocks and then had fun playing around with them all:

I have still have a lot more pinwheels to make but I'm loving this so far! The pattern I'm using is one of Bonnie Hunters - Patches & Pinwheels.

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday - lots of great scrap project links there.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Children's Library BOM 2017

Not long now till I have my year off and I can sew and quilt all day- at least thats the plan! I've had a great time this week planning for next year and have signed up for a few quilt-a-longs already.

Today Pat Sloan released her Mystery BOM for next year - The Children's Library.  I've been sorting through my stash to choose my fabrics and this is what I've decided on using:

I have swapped the colour scheme a little.
The left top fabrics are my greys; next to them is two larger border prints that I might be able to work in somehow - I'll just wait and see - possibly a border?

Bottom left - my cream, beige whites are creams with soft pink, green & apricot patterns.

Middle right - my reds are a deep maroon, one a larger print, another chequerboard and then a small print.

Bottom right - I've swapped aqua for apricot - two small prints & one larger.

You can see more fabric selections here on the link page: Children's Library Supply List

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Q4 2016 FAL - Soft Baby Blocks

Working my way through my Q4 Finish A Long list and a quick finish was to sew the final seams on these soft baby blocks. These were easy to make. I just used charm squares in bright patterns - (simple high contrast patterns are good for developing babies eye tracking movements) and put some greaseproof paper in so they make a noise. Add a few loops of ribbon in the seams, stuff and stitch up.

You could also use textured fabrics and baby rattles to add more interest. Theres a good tutorial on how to make these baby blocks here:

How to Make Soft Toy Rattle Blocks

2016 Q4 FAL goals post

2016 FAL

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

En Provence MQ - Clue 3

The third clue for En Provence Mystery Quilt was purple four patches. I started out with these lovely purples.

Later I added a small gingham print, but now I'm not so sure if if I'll use it. It was a nice easy clue and I finished making my four patches on Sunday morning.

 I love the colours in this mystery quilt and I had a play around with some of the pieces. The avocado green is not a colour I would usually go for - but its just the right green for these colours. 

My previous clues:

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday - sewing week review

This week I've managed to get plenty of time in for sewing - mainly in the mornings before work. I've been working on a few different projects and planning what I want to get done in 2017. I'm going to review each weeks progress on Sundays.

My daughter made this orange and navy quilt and asked me to put the binding on.  I've added a wider navy blue binding and made a thinner orange binding that I'll add. 

I love the backing fabric with the navy:

My sewing room is just overflowing at the moment and really needs a good tidy up. This week I finally got set up my scrap stash using Bonnies scrap users system.  I bought some small plastic tubs and set about cutting 3 tubs into the different sizes - which took quite a while!

Then I started a 'leaders & enders' project with these 2" strips:

I ended up with over 40 of these lovely scrappy 16 patch squares after a week of sewing!

I spent time working on my En Provence clues 2  & 3. I'm trying to keep up to date and actually finish on time with this one. 

I finished up some tote bags and today I got started making more. I'm adding pockets to these ones with 5" patches.

Weekly To Do List:
  • Cut another bin of scraps into strips
  • Add pockets to tote bags that are cut
  • Start making pinwheels as leaders & enders project
  • Sew some 70273 red crosses
  • Put orange binding on quilt
  • Bind play-mat from FAL list
  • Work on disappearing nine patch quilt
  • Finish baby blocks
  • En Provence Clue #4
Linking up to Tweety Loves Quilting

Saturday, 10 December 2016

En Provence Clue #2 - reminders of Mykonos!

Well last Saturday I was up really bright & early at 1.30am and excited to see Bonnie had clue #2 up - triangles!  I've avoided all but simple triangles up till now so I knew I'd be in for a lot of learning.

 Our colour was the magenta and it reminded me of the stunning deep pink bougainvilleas that we saw at Mykonos on our cruise. This lovely eatery had bougainvilleas tumbling down from the pergola - just beautiful!

My Tri-rex ruler and colour chart arrived a few days before. I ordered from Ozquilts and it arrived in 48 hours.

So I set to work on cutting my triangles using the Tri-rex ruler and ended up cutting twice as many as I actually needed - never mind, they'll get used for another project. Thats what I get for cutting fabric at 2am lol!

I had some help from Lily who just wanted to play...

Some worked well but quite a few were crooked at the top...

I ended up taking a few days break as I had to work on getting those tote bags sewn and I could feel myself getting frustrated. I remember as a kid when sewing would go wrong Mum would always say " Just take a break" - never could do it - now I'm a bit older and wiser thank goodness. I left it till Thursday to try again.

So after watching the video a few more times and playing around I finally started to get it right. The magenta is a batik and so it was much more stretchy and slippery than the neutral. I found I needed to life the presser foot and place it right up next to the needle to start sewing otherwise it would 'eat' the fabric.  The tri- rex tool is amazing once I got the hang of it and that little notch makes all the difference.

Clue #2 done and dusted on Friday night, just in time for #3.  Check out lots of other great Clue 2 posts here at Bonnies Quiltville link up.

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