Monday, 1 December 2014

Stitching, Hail, Girl 18, OPAM

Hi everyone,

Gosh,  November has been a crazy, busy month here at the cottage.  There has been a LOT of stitching happening here but it's all good...stitching makes me happy.

Our Sunday Stitchers Christmas party was yesterday.  The name I drew for Secret Santa was Teresa who has a blog here.   Teresa loves gingies and she loves French General fabric, so I stitched this super cute design by the lovely Michelle who blogs here.   I put a few goodies inside...more FG fabric, a vanilla candle, a cute little Daiso cherry tape dispenser, a gingerbread cookie, and a notebook.   The Christmas party was great fun and I will show you my gorgeous present and tell you the story behind it in my next post.

Some of us in the SS group have been working on a row by row quilt.  It's been a paper bag swap type of event where we are given a theme each month to make a row for another lady's quilt.  We have not been allowed to show anything until now...the Christmas party was our big reveal.


                                            Susan, Maree, Debbie, De.

                                          Debbie, De,  Marilyn, Noela.  We had so many ladies in front of us
                       taking photos, that none of us knew where to look LOL.

I rarely show my face here, but this picture is especially for  Mel.  Earlier this year, Mel was my partner for another swap and she included this very special stitchery for me of a Labrador with a quilt to always remind me of the naughty one that wouldn't stay off the bed. I put the stitchery on my fridge so I will see it every day.  The instructions for the very last row that we were to make ourselves had to include stitchery.  So, I traced the special stitchery from Mel to include on my quilt (it's near my right hand).  The rest of the stitchery says "Happiness is a Sweet Little Cottage By the Sea".  I will show a better picture later but I hope you can see "Z" there, dear Mel.

Four of us also joined in the "haveyourselfaquiltylittlechristmas" stitchalong that has been happening on Instagram.  L-R:  De, Debbie, Teresa, Jeanette.  The hostess is Lori Holt from beeinmybonnet and some of the blocks are from her book Quilty Fun. We all managed to get our flimsys ready in time for show and tell at the party.  This has been great fun sewing together with so many ladies from all over the world....together.

Somehow, I also managed to make 20 cute little thread spool ornaments to give as gifts at the party too.  This the spool pattern is also from the book "Quilty Fun".

I still have more pictures to show of more things I sewed in between all this, but they will keep till next time.   I am expecting girl 18 to arrive 22nd of December.  She is a yellow lab/golden retriever mix and she is a working coming when we meet at last!!

Last....did you hear about the hail? In 7 1/2 years, I've only ever had pea size hail at this house, but last week, it seemed like rocks were falling from the sky. The noise on the iron roof was deafening but I am thankful my only loss was my tomato plants...I can start over easily enough.  So many others had it much worse that day.


This palm frond is well latched onto the power lines...until who knows when!?  That's all for now,  I will show my gorgeous present from Jeanette and the rest of the sewing soon. xx debbie

Saturday, 8 November 2014

FNWF, Girl 17

Hi everyone,

Did you get a chance to join in with FNWF?  It was a stitchy day at here at the cottage  all day Friday with a visit from my dear friend De.  De worked on some hand stitching while I worked on machine applique all day. I have 11 little baby items to do (including five dinosaurs) and I finally finished the last one. 

I've joined in the fun on Instagram with  Lori  from beeinmybonnet.  She is having a Christmas  quilty fun quiltalong.  There are 3 blocks out so far, so it's not too late to catch up if you would like to join in too.  This is the first block, a gingerbread house.

This is my second block,  I think it is called fresh cut tree. Who knew I would ever be able to use olive green fabric with pastel spots?!  This is why I hoard just never know!  The next block is a mug of cocoa but I haven't gotten that far yet.  Time for me to do some other work now.

My dear Girl 17 left me two weeks ago today.

She is one of those souls that all you have to do is look at her and you instantly feel a sense of calm.

Girl 17 will always be remembered as my hoarder. She kept all of her toys close.  I've been told she has been adopted by a lovely family for her forever home.  See the lion king toy in the foreground? It is no longer with us. My neighbour's old cattle dog visits me and she ate it :(

My last photo of her. She heard me talking to the lady on the phone about the plans for her and this is how I found her. *cry*   Happy life, my dear Girl 17!   xx debbie

Monday, 13 October 2014

How I Pin a Quilt

Hi everyone,

This week sure has flown by. I've been sewing pretty much non stop to finish more requests for my customer before her new baby arrives.
I finished the "Where the Wild Things Are" quilt I've shown in my previous posts and gave it to her last Saturday.  Here is the last picture of it all wrapped up and ready for delivery.  I just love the grey and white bias binding.  She was very happy with it too.
When I gave her that quilt, she asked if I could please hurry and make the other quilt for her little girl along with two matching cushions with invisible zippers.  I gave her an estimate of two weeks, but she really wanted me to try for ONE week.  Most of these squares were already cut, but she asked me to cut some of them over for fussy cutting.  I came home that Saturday morning and worked pretty much non stop the rest of the week.  Here is the quilt top for the second quilt laid out ready for pin basting.  This is a queen size bed.
When I was younger, I used to crawl around on my knees and pin huge quilts on the floor.
 For health reasons, I have come up with a different plan.  If the quilt will fit on my deck table, I pin it there. In this case, the quilt is too large for that, so I have done it this way for years. 
 First, stretch the top bed sheet as tight as it will go to give a flat surface. Iron the quilt backing carefully and smooth it out flat on the bed. Layer the quilt in the usual manner.  Next, slide the rotary cutting mat under the quilt backing while supporting the quilt sandwich with your fingers.

I pin over the mat, then slide the mat to the next section while supporting the layers with my fingers.  My mat is 35 "/ 90cm long, so I only need to move it a few times.

It is still a bit harder on the body, but if you don't have a large table available, it is better than crawling around on your knees :)
Pinning took maybe half an hour, then on to the fun part...quilting!
Then the next fun part...the binding is on, I am trimming the backing for the next step of hand sewing the binding to the back.

Here is the quilt all finished. My customer has provided all fabrics as she has chosen them for having special meaning to her family.
Here is a look at the quilting on the back.  No tucks anywhere :) This is 100% cotton batting and fabrics, so this quilt will have beautiful texture after she washes it.
Wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a pretty bow.
Plus a matching cushion for each quilt, both with invisible zips.  I managed all that from Saturday to Saturday and gave them to her yesterday (Sunday).  Phew!!! What a week :)  but I am happy that she is happy.  xx debbie

Thursday, 2 October 2014

OPAM, Girl 17

Hi everyone,

I've tallied up my September finishes and this is not one of them :)

I am still hand sewing the binding down.  I will finish up today so I can turn it in to "J" tomorrow.  Her new baby boy is expected at the end of this month and this is for his nursery.

I finished the turtle pincushion. Pattern by Anni Downs.

Fabric by Lynette Anderson.  The turtle is a girl and her name is Millie.

I've mentioned in the past how each of the special dogs is different from the others.  I've decided Girl 17 is my "hoarder" LOL.  She doesn't scatter toys like the others.  She likes to keep all of them in the bed with her.  Teddy is under her head and bunny is just behind her. 

A lady from the special dog place came to take Girl 17 for a walk and this lovely boy came with her and he stayed with me while they were out.  He was a calendar boy last year :)

These are pet collar covers I made for a friend who repaired something for me.  He chose the fabric from my stash.  I used to make these back in the 80's. 

Maree from Sunday Stitchers (ollieandmay)  gave me some hexies she no longer wanted. There were a few flowers and heaps of them ready to be made into flowers.  I made this hexie swag to go above my kitchen window.   Thank you, Maree.

Last, here are some scraps from cutting I did last night.  Any guesses as to what these scraps might be from?  Hint: it is something to go with the thongs in my previous post. 
My OPAM total this month is 6:   Hexie Swag, Turtle Pincushion, 2 Blankets of Love, 2 pet collar covers.   (and most of a quilt, but it's not done just yet)   xx debbie

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Stitching, Naughty Girl 17

Hi everyone,

I've been busy working on a baby quilt, but in between, I have been experimenting with applique. This is a new to me pattern and I've also tried some different stitches.

These are so not my colours, but I have a dear friend who loves them. These will be part of a housewarming gift for her and her new home. 

These are the colours throughout the cottage, so these are for me! All fabrics from my scrap drawer.

The baby quilt for my customer "J" is coming along well.

Here is the flimsy I finished yesterday.  The layers are ready now so pinning is the next step.

Girl 17 has settled in and made herself right at home.  It seems she saw Boy 14 and the quilt stitchery that I showed in my previous post though.......

While I was piecing the baby quilt top yesterday, I noticed she was very I went to look for her and found her in MY bed!!! Not only that, I went back to the other end of the house to get the camera and she was STILL  there as you can see by this picture.  Cheeky girl!  The special dogs are not allowed on the furniture, so it is very unusual to have two in such a short time that are doing this.  Now I have to remember to close the door and to put stuff on the sofa at night too as I found her there a few hours after she was in my bed.  Other than that, she is lovely :) xx debbie

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Special Gift & It's a GIRL!

Hi everyone,

I recently received this  cute little stitchery from my dear friend Mel.  Mel and I have not met yet, but we have become good friends through email. We seem to have the same taste in fabrics, we both love dogs, and we have plenty of other things in common...the emails can get pretty long :)

You might remember Boy 14 from July of this year.  He was the naughty one I told you about that didn't care to sleep in the dog bed. The beds here have quilts on them and I was saying how the one quilt was covered with Black Lab hair.  Dear Mel made this cute little stitchery for me to remember Boy 14 by.  He is adorable done in black thread and holding a quilt!  I added the ribbon and it is on my fridge now where I see it every day.  Thank you, Mel, for this lovely remembrance.

Yesterday, I had a call from the special dog place asking if I would be ready for another dog yet.  Of course!   Meet Girl 17.  She is petite compared to all of the boys I have had lately.  She hasn't been here long but she acts like she has been here forever. She is very mellow.

She barely even looked up when I took the pictures.  She is gorgeous and so shiny! 

She doesn't take up near as much of the bed as the recent boys that have stayed with me :)

I've recently mentioned cutting squares for the next two baby quilts I am making for "J".  She has arranged the squares how she wants them and given me photos to follow for piecing.  I will start on the one on the left first because the baby will be arriving in the next few weeks :) It's good to have everything I need now including batting and fabric to cut for the binding and backing too.

Girl 17 won't be going to work all day like Boy 16 did.  I don't like to leave a new dog alone for the first few days, so I try to finish errands before they arrive.  I made a few stops this morning so I will be able to stay in for now.  When I went for milk and bread, I found this in a $2 bin at the grocery store. It is an air freshener with different shades of gel balls inside. When I went back to the room I put it in, the sun was shining through it...such a simple thing, but the reflection really caught my eye!  That's all for now, will show those quilt squares again once I get them sewn to look like the pictures. xx debbie

Monday, 22 September 2014

Applique Therapy Day

Hi everyone,

Today I stayed home! Starting a week ago Sunday, this has been the busiest week I have had in years.

I finished this little bunting mini quilt a few weeks ago, but it just needed something...the idea finally came to me to add the bird and now I am happy that it is complete. I added a little gold stitched beak too.

Here is the other one with a butterfly added. I had forgotten how much I enjoy needle turn applique.  These are wrapped up now and ready to be posted tomorrow.

Last Sunday, I went to the Stitcher's Dream Day Out in Toowoomba. There are heaps of pictures on other blogs of the projects of the day.  My favourite part of the day was meeting Libby Richardson and learning how to paint the teddy. I also bought a couple of teddy patterns that I am looking forward to using soon. 

On Wednesday, I became an Australian Citizen. The ceremony was joyful, with live music and singing along.  Special thanks to Maria for knitting my pretty scarf.

My group of 10 guests was seated with me in the front row.  It was quite warm in there with so many people, so it was nice to be in the front :)  We were also gifted with a native plant (in the shopping bag).  There were snacks after and several people were asking me about my accent?!

Umm...not sure what was happening here, but it was fun anyway!! This is my dear friend Shane.

I also went to the High Tea and Quilt shop hopping the next day with most of the Sunday Stitchers group.  I also went to bed very early that night as the week was starting to catch up with me!

The young mum that I did all the sewing for last month has hired me to make two more quilts.  I met with her on Friday to collect the fabric for the first quilt and to turn in these squares I cut for the second quilt.  She will arrange them how she likes them and return them to me with a photo "map".
The second and fourth fabrics are both solid blues, not patterned as they appear.  (All fabrics chosen by "J"). She has even given me a different striped fabric for binding and a blue for the backing too.

Saturday was spent finishing up my row that was due for Sunday Stitchers.  I will show that later, along with a few others.  Yesterday was the big reveal, so we were able to see what others made for us at last! I am very happy with mine and I will show pictures later. We still need to make one more row for our own quilt that includes stitchery before we finish them off.  At Sunday Stitchers I worked on the turtle pincushion I've showed in previous posts. I will be able to finish it next time I work on it. I also made a hexie swag but haven't taken pictures yet.

I received a special gift for my birthday that I have not shown yet either.  I have added to it so I could hang it in a place where I will see it every day. Picture next time.

So, from Sunday to Sunday, last week was quite a week!  I will catch up on blogs soon. xx Debbie

Thank you to those who offered congrats on FB.   I am not on FB, but friends have showed me some of the messages.  They also helped me register for Instagram, so if you are there, you can find me by my usual name of sweetlittlecottage.