Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Country chickens

For those of you who has followed my blog for some time, know my weakness for chickens.. You know; once farmer - always farmer! :) We always had chickens at the farm and when I was a little girl, we sold eggs to the local grocery store. I loved to pick the eggs, counting eggs, wash the eggs before they went to the shop etc. The eggs were big - no joke - and many clients wanted eggs from our chickens!
Remember the old lady who hinted to my friend Johnny about sale in her local quilting shop? Well, not the old lady... I mean the box full of fabric swatches I got last year - it was a 10 kilos / 22 pound box! Lots of yummy fabric swatches there and what caught my eyes - no surprise! - was the chicken fabric; hens and roosters, from the 'le petit poulet' line by American Jane for Moda.
I almost broke my brain figuring out how to get the max out of the swatches. I knew using only the swatches and panel pieces were far from enough for a quilt, so I added white tone-on-tone.  

The panel pieces also included small squares of bunnies and sheep. I decided not to mix sheep into the chickens and bunnies...
What was left of the swatches after the quilt was finished,  turned out to be; a table topper...
I think it's going to look much better if I add a white border around it, like I did on the quilt... Looks like something is missing...
Looking at it now... Do the bunnies disappear somehow with the big pinwheel blocks around? The blocks are 7.5 inch square (sewn into quilt) and I only had 5 bunnies (one not used). What do you think?

Now I'm waiting for matching backing fabrics... :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

New York Beauty QAL block #5 and #1

Over the last couple of weeks I have finished another 8 (I make 4 of each) of the New York Beauty QAL blocks. I have decided to make four of each block, which should give me a decent sized quilt as well as good practice! :) The blocks are 8 inch sewn into quilt.
Each week, from March 7 (first block) to May 7 (last block) there will be tutorials by different bloggers. It's not too late to join! :)
The QAL (quilt-a-long) is hosted by Sara over at Sew Sweetness and you can read more about the QAL here
The second block (block #5) has Sew Sweetness' tutorial. To see the tutorial, click here

I'm struggling a bit with the curves, but I think the trick is to cut them on the bias for maximum stretch - or am I wrong? Do not get me wrong; I don't overstretch them - lol! I always cut the edges 1/4 inch bigger, because it is easier to trim the block to the right size. I don't know about you, but for me the pieces added together tend to shrink somehow when pieced together. I also add the pieces together without removing the paper and using lots of pins! :)
What about you, how do you make the blocks and what works best for you?

Next block - #8 - is on from tomorrow - Monday 26th, tutorial by From the Blue Chair.
I want to continue the remaining blocks using Civil War/reproduction fabrics, but I ran out of light fabrics. More is on the way, but I won't receive it until 2-3 weeks. Not all of the fabrics I have used so far are reproduction fabrics, I think, but that doesn't really matter as long as they fit together! :)  


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NNC Friendship Bag Swap

I have said it before - and I say it again; NNC is never boring!
There are always different swaps going on and I was participating in a 'Friendship Bag' swap earlier this year. I received the cutest bag and goodies from Sally in Malaysia!
The requirement was to make a bag and stuff it with goodies - anything a crafty person needs. I also received a cross-stitching book with very  cute designs, ribbons, buttons and labels.
Meet Sally at Etsy too.

Cross-stitching book and goodies

... and here's my bag to Sally, accompanied by matching pin cushion and needle book

.... and here are the 'stuffings'; fabric, felt, buttons, needles and sewing thread.
And yes... Sally loves owls, hence the fabric! :)

Sally, THANK YOU so very much! I love the bag, it's so cute!  
A big THANK YOU to headmistress MW for organizing the swap!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Christmas in March... FUFO's

I've been working hard on UFO's and a couple of weeks ago I finished several table runners/toppers. The fabrics have been sitting in the closet for a few years - can't remember when I bought them, perhaps 3-4 years ago - time to attack them with the cutter! At the end of last year I got totally carried away with those cute snowmen and even if I had in mind to finish them before Christmas, I couldn't... Because I didn't have suitable backing. Most of the Debbie Mumm fabrics I have bought from Mumm Quilters and I was lucky to get backing from the same fabric line; Santa Goes to North Pole and Arctic Holiday.
Here's my FUFO's (Finished UFO's) :)
Table runner #1
I've used DMC embroidery floss 1 strand to highlight Santa and the Polar bears.

Table runner #2

Table runner #3

Table topper #4

Mini Wall quilt.
I have used DMC embroidery floss 1 strand to highlight Santa and the Polar bear.

It feels wonderful to have finally finished those projects.
I still have 6 table mats and 1 table topper to finish - waiting for fabric, which I should get this week.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York Beauty Quilt-A-Long - Block #1

As you may have noticed I haven't blogged for quite some days... That doesn't mean I have been lazy... I've been rather busy and I have quite a few projects to show.
I'll start with what I did today; block #1 (block 0) for the New York Beauty QAL, hosted by gogoKim. The block was 'published' March 5th, but no way could I decide on fabrics, not until this morning...
I was supposed to make one only, but look what I did; I made four! :)
Warning: Addictive!!!   

I have used the same four fabrics for all four blocks. It's amazing how fabrics/colors change a block, isn't it?

I haven't sewn the blocks together. I'll do that - I think (lol) when I have all the blocks.

This was the first block, easy to make.
The next block (block #5) is by Sara from Sew Sweetness (March 12). This one is a bit more tricky... Don't think I'll manage to make four in one day! :)

I have some finished UFO's too, but that will be for another post. I'll have to take photos first of all...  


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Working on UFO's and other projects

I've been working hard on the UFO's over the last days. The weather is nasty, yet wonderful; RAIN, which we badly need for the reservoirs. What's better to sit in front of the sewing machine; SEW! :)
At the end of last year I purchased backing fabrics for the Christmas/winter UFO's. Four table runners/toppers and a small wall quilt is almost done; I've left to hand stitch the binding and I think I'll have to hand quilt the pictures... I've not done any quilting to the squares in the center.... As they are now, they look unfinished without any quilting... I ran out of fabric for the binding of 2 out of 6 place mats!  Fortunate I found the fabric at eBay, so it should be on its way one of the first days.

February has been extremely hot and humid, even here on the higher grounds. I haven't felt for much activity, the best of all was just to relax and do some stitching.
This is one out of twelve blocks... The piece of paper top left is the number of the block... I have to mark the blocks to know where to place them and also to know I won't get the same fabric next to each other.  I have collected some rose / peon fabrics, which I'm using for this project.

A little sneak peak; the bunny table topper. I got fabric for the backing yesterday, just to get going with that one too. This is not a UFO, it's made this year.

Raining cats and dogs yesterday, so this is what I did most of the day; quilted the 'Postage Stamp' quilt. Now it is ready for the binding.

Earlier this year I made some HST (half square triangles) for a baby/toddler quilt, but I didn't have enough fabric for even the smallest baby quilt size. Fortunate I was able to get more of the fabrics and it landed in my mailbox yesterday.
Silly me did a mistake when ordering... :( The fabric to the left was meant to be backing for the quilt, but it is twill! :(( I didn't notice when I placed the order! I checked again and it is stated very clearly (web shop) that it is twill... Oh well, I can always use it for something else... The three fabrics in the middle is for this quilt and the two blues to the right are for the blue quilt I'm working on...

 Aren't these yummy?! I didn't really need them - 2 charm packs; Summer Breeze - but they were too pretty to be left in the shop - lol! :) You can see more of the fabrics here. I am on SSD (Strict Stash Diet) this year - try to buy only what I need - but I'm not sure I'll be able to resist buying more of those fabrics - perhaps a couple of layer cakes - they are just too yummy! :)
The colors on this photo is a bit dark.... If you click on the link above, you'll get a better idea of the colors.

That's all for today... I'm off to do the binding on the 'Postage Stamp' quilt... :)