Thursday, 23 January 2020

Blockheads 3 - Block 2

Well, the second block in Blockheads 3 was released last night our time. This week's block is by Sherri McConnell.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to make my version today.

This time I made the block at six inches, as it was much simpler than last week's.  I noticed that Joanna at Figtree has made the same sizes as me so far.  She is going to let us know her plans for the quilt next week, so I am looking forward to seeing what she has planned, as I may follow along.

Now I have to wait patiently for next week's block.  I can't wait.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Rainbow Scrap Challenge for January - Green

As I mentioned in my stitching goals for January, I've joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again for 2020.

Rather than make another quilt, I will make a couple of cushions. One using a six inch foundation paper pieced pineapple pattern and the other circles made using the drunkard's path pattern.


I started out with the drunkard's path blocks.  I have made a quilt where each quadrant finished at twelve inches, which was fine.  These finish at three inches and are quite fiddly.  After I made the first one I nearly abandoned the whole idea.  This is supposed to be a quick and easy project, not a tricky one.

I wasn't planning on making the opposite colour version, but it worked out that there was going to be  either loads of wastage, or next to none, so they were made.

Eventually, I made the other three greens and they did improve a bit as I progressed.  They are still a bit wonky and will probably need to be trimmed down before I do anything with them.

I'm not going to join them together at this stage, rather I'll leave them and see what I decide to do.  I could make the cushion with the coloured circles (as originally planned) on one side and the opposite colours on the other side, or I may do something completely different.  Who knows.

Theory has it that they should tie in nicely with my Plus Quilt that I made last year, by using some of the same feature fabrics and backgrounds.


My original plan was to make this out of bright colours as well and to use many different fabrics.  However, despite my large stash, that was going to be a pain cutting all the little pieces.  I considered abandoning this idea as well.......but finally decided to at least give it a go.

After a bit of a think, I decided to use my 1930s stash that I have for my Splendid Sampler 2 quilt.  There are lots of variations of the colours and the scale of the prints is small, which is definitely a must.  I also decided to at least use the same fabric for each round.  Much more manageable.  I know they aren't "light and bright" greens, but they will do. I only want to make nine blocks, so I will probably not make the other green later in the year.

It took a while, but turned out well.  I think I will definitely proceed with this.  I'm pleased that I had plenty of practice with foundation paper piecing in Splendid Sampler 2, as I now feel quite comfortable with the technique.

This should match nicely with Splendid Sampler 2, when I get it finished.

I'm linking up with Angela over at So Scrappy.  Pop over and see what the others have been up to.  There are lots of good starts for the year.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Oh Dear, I've Gone Down the Rabbit Hole.......

As if I haven't got enough projects on the go this year, I've succumbed to the lure of another stitch along.  This time it is Moda Blockheads 3.  

Two years ago I tossed up whether to do Blockheads 2 or Splendid Sampler 2 and Splendid Sampler won.  As I can now see the finish line for that quilt in the not so distant future, I decided that it is OK to join in this time.

I've had a little pile of fabrics put aside to use for something, as I like the fresh colours. They are just fabrics I have collected along the way,  not any particular collection. I've liked the look of a couple of other stitch alongs, but have not felt able to jump in until I finish Splendid Sampler. I did buy the white background fabric especially, but everything else is stash.  I'm sure I will have enough here and hidden elsewhere, to make all the blocks.  

The first time they ran Blockheads all the blocks were 6 inches.  The second version had a variety of block sizes.  This time each pattern provides instructions for blocks of 6inches, 8 inches and 12 inches.  Some are even for 4 inches.  You can make the blocks whichever size you choose, or a variety of sizes.  I like the idea of a variety of sizes.

There are 56 blocks, with a new block, or in a few cases, blocks released each Wednesday (USA time).  Fourteen designers have contributed.  The blocks are free and you don't have to sign up or anything to join in.  It's all too simple.

The first block is by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts and is called "Star Chain".

I elected to make this one 12 inches, as it was a bit fiddly.  It's nice making something bigger than 6 inches for a change.

I hope I can keep up with the blocks each week, but know that some weeks it will not be next week, but it will be fun having a go.

Don't worry, I am up to date with everything else for the month.  I just haven't shared it as yet.

Monday, 13 January 2020

My Sewing Room - Part 7

We are getting near the end of my very detailed sewing room tour.

This is what you now see as you enter my sewing room, as opposed to the pile of boxes and crap that greeted you previously.

The chest of drawers was bought when we moved out of town about 25 years ago and were used to store plastics, baking dishes and the likes in our kitchen.  They turned out to be ideal for a cutting station.  The mat hangs over the back by about half an inch.

The three caddies hold, from the back, scraps, selvedges and rubbish.

The drawers are just the right size to hold shoe boxes that you buy in a set of six at The Reject Shop, or alternatively, fill with miscellaneous stuff. Fabric fits really well too. You can fit two shoe boxes in each drawer.

The floor mat is plaited from woollen fabric scraps.  Mum made a few of these.  We have two here.

Sitting on the table just behind the drawers are my rulers.  The smaller ones in a stationery organiser and the larger ones in an envelope stand.

There is also a drawer in one of the tables, where some instructions and other bits and bobs are kept.

This shows the tables better.

The one with the sewing machine on it was one we bought at a garage sale and Dad restored for us.  The chair has the same story.  It was painted gloss white.  He did a lovely job, even using a dentist's drill to get the paint out of the carving on the backrest.  The little chest of drawers next to the chair were an auction find.  They are actually loose leaf binders.  For my birthday one year, Dad turned them into drawers, by adding sides and backs.  They are really handy there.  I can sit notepads, a pen cup and markers within easy reach, but not on the sewing table.

I made the sewing machine cover some years ago.

The other table was our kitchen table at our previous home.  It was painted white with damaged yellow laminex on top when we bought it.  It is a good practical table, and I can store stuff under it.

The little blue chest of drawers are Mum's sewing table drawers.  They still have all her bits and bobs intact.  When they got married, Mum wanted some drawers for under her sewing table (which is now our dining table - I'll have to tell you about it one day), so she made them herself.  She had also attended woodworking classes at Tech back in the days when she was a Tech dressmaking teacher, so she had the skills.  

The flat tub on top of Mum's drawers hold my leader and ender project.  My light box fits in nicely beside the drawers.

As you can see, I can have "Stuff" on this table and you don't see it as you enter the room.  It is hidden behind the rulers.  Very handy.

Now, just to keep it real, around the other side of the tables, near the comfy chair, you can see I still have plenty of "stuff" stashed in boxes and tubs.  A lot of it is magazines, which need culling.  There are also very old projects, either started, or in many cases, not even started.  This still has to be dealt with, but at least it is tidy and not taking over the room.

Now, let's do a quick recap.  Pop back over here to see what it was like "Before".

So there you have it.  My happy place.

It ended up pretty much how I envisioned it.  It is pretty, with lots of vintage items and things that hold a special meaning for me.  It is light filled, but still has a warmth to it.  I so enjoy being in there now.

I hope you enjoyed tagging along.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

My Sewing Room - Part 6

I know, we are still going.  I do hope that you don't mind me going into so much detail.

This cupboard had been languishing in the garage and very nearly sold on Facebook.  I'm so pleased that didn't happen.  We would have really regretted it. The top was on my silky oak chest of drawers.  There is a story behind it.

Way back when Mick and I bought our first house I went to a garage sale out of town with some friends, while Mick was at work.  I came home with a pine table, which was our dining table until a few years ago.  I also came home with the cupboard section of this. It had been painted with one of those awful 1970s faux wood grain finishes and in fairly poor condition.  But, it only cost $5, when, in the lead up to Australia's Bicentenary, old furniture was costing a fortune. It was put in the shed until it could be restored.

Meanwhile, Mick and I were attending a TAFE course, "Woodworking With Power Tools", back in the days when you could do non trade courses.  I made the dresser top in that course.  Finally, it was time to do up the cupboard.  Well, if I hadn't made the dresser top, the cupboard would have gone to the tip.  It was in terrible condition.  In the end, Mick made a new back, replaced both shelves and put a new plinth around the base.  He also replaced the drawer pulls.  It came up a treat.  Well worth all that effort.

Then.....we moved into our new home out of town and took the top off this cupboard and put in on the silky oak drawers, as they were much more practical in our farmhouse kitchen.

This is the first time they have been back together in 25 years!

On the top is my little toy sewing machine collection.  Dad bought a couple for me and the rest we have bought at various places.  None have been restored or attempted to be used.  I never did have a toy sewing machine when I was little.

The two cream things at the top are match box holders.  They would have hung next to the fuel stove in a kitchen.  The colours are right up my alley.

On the next shelf sit some biscuit tins with 1930s sewing patterns on them.  Mum and I each bought a set one Christmas in the late 1980s.  The other set are in one of the cupboards.  I crocheted the shelf edging when I made the dresser top.

On the next shelf down sit the one and only doll I made, when they were all the craze. I had previously made a tiny weeny teddy, so she nurses him.

Next to the doll, is the Mazawattee Tea Tin. This was my Grandmother's and has always been spoken of as though it is something very special. I'm not sure why so much importance has been placed on it. It is very old and the picture is in fairly worn condition. It holds some old buttons and buckles, but some of them aren't all that old.   I must ask Mum more about it one day.

The cream sewing machine is one of the first we came by, and we even have the box that it came in.

The other tin is just one we have had for ages and the little sewing baskets are just cute.  I made the strawberries on the top of one in a class in the mid 1980s.

Mum made the little grey koala.  She has made several of these, using left overs from a dove grey flannel skirt I made in the 1980s.

The counter has a table runner I made on it.  Someone posted it on Pinterest, when it was a fairly new thing.  It went kind of viral.  I was rather chuffed when Lori Holt pinned it.

The tin on the left is Mum's old cake tin.  I'd never thought anything of it, but it turns out to be an Arnott's Christmas Cake tin and dates back to the 1930s and is very rare.  I think we will hang on to it.

Other than that, there is actually some pretty fabric on show and a box of odds and sods.

The only other thing there, is one of Joey's scratching posts.  He does love using them.

The storage in the cupboard is just the right size to house shoe boxes from The Reject Shop.  They are my new favourite storage item.  I'm all for inexpensive, but practical storage.

That takes us all around the walls.  The tables will be next.

More soon.