Time to Sew!

Well, hello there! It’s been almost three months since my last post and I do apologise for my rather long absence.

After a busy Christmas period filled with many family and friends visiting from interstate, I’ve taken a bit of a side step into other non-sewing pursuits. I’ve been enjoying the Tasmanian summer sunshine by working outside in the garden (something I’ve avoided for a few years!) and I’ve also been trying new recipes in the kitchen. My recent culinary successes include slow-cooker massaman beef curry, salted chocolate & peanut cookies and caramelised red onion chutney. Yum!

However, the main focus for me this year has been our three children. They are all growing up way too fast and are now 11, 9 and 8 years old. (How time flies!) I’ve been making an effort to spend more “Mum” time with them by playing board games and doing jigsaw puzzles. As a family, we have also been doing quite a bit of camping and hiking including a recent steep and strenuous 880m ascent to Cathedral Rock.cathedralrock6

School and work resumed three weeks ago and my weekly routine has settled down somewhat. So I figure it’s time to set my own short term sewing goals. I’m hoping that this may give me the push I need to get back my sewing mojo!

The projects at the top of my list are as follows:

  1. Disco by JayBird Quilts – bought as a kit a few years ago. I have cut the pieces and they just need to be sewn together.disco1
  2. Spinning Quilt by Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts – pattern purchased last year, fabrics chosen…it’s time to sew!spinning1
  3. Spin Cycle by Cluck Cluck Sew – I’ve always adored April Rhodes fabrics and Arizona is one of my favourite collections. spincycle1
  4. Twisted Flying Geese Pillow twistedflyinggeese1
  5. Pillow/Mini Quilt using Carrie Bloomston’s Story fabricstory3
  6. Aragon Bag by Sew Sweetness – my recently won pattern for Quarter 4 of the 2016 Finish Along. Thanks so much Sara (and to all of the hosts and sponsors!)

As a final note, I have one small finish (my ONLY finish this year!) to share with you.gingham4

This pillow is a pattern from Issue 23 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. The gingham result is achieved through clever strip piecing. I used some colourful Prints Charming fabric from my stash for the back of the pillow and quilted it with simple straight lines.

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Here’s hoping that this is the first of many finishes for 2017 🙂

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts

November OMG Goal Success

With only one day remaining of this month, I am very happy to have been able to sneak in a finish and achieve my November goal for OMG (One Monthly Goal).cottonsteel3-11cottonsteel3-12

This quilt, the third one I’ve made using vibrant Cotton and Steel fabrics, was made following the wonderful quilt pattern “Over the Rainbow” by Keera Job of Live Love Sew. I used a Cotton and Steel jelly roll made up of fabrics from a few of their different collections and a “Slate” Homespun solid background fabric. You can read more about this quilt here and here.

With my previous two Cotton and Steel Quilts, I used Cotton and Steel fabrics exclusively for the quilt front, quilt back and binding.

This time, in accordance to my recently self-imposed not-buying-any-more-fabric-just-using-what-I-have mind set, I chose some very cute Foxglove poplin fabric by Aneela Hoey (Cloud9) for the backing. cottonsteel3-3

After some initial uncertainty as to what to use for binding fabric, I was fortunate enough to find what I think was the perfect choice hiding in my stash! This fabric is by Michael Miller Fabrics for Vera Bradley. I purchased it such a long time ago that I can’t remember from where. I do suspect is was one of my early ebay purchases.cottonsteel3-8

I straight line quilted in an echoing x pattern, with lines all two and a half inches apart. The dark backing fabric made it difficult to photograph but the quilting design is similar to the echoing x design you can see here. My quilting however is completely symmetrical with the centre of the x in the centre of my quilt.

I do like this subtle quilting effect that is more visible on the back of the quilt.

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This quilt finishes at 56″ x 85″. As well as my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for November, it is also my third finish for Quarter 4 (#4) of the 2016 Finish Along.cottonsteel3-9

I can say with absolute certainty that this will be my final quilt finish for 2016. From this point onwards, in the lead up to Christmas, life will become even more hectic than usual. In a few weeks time, my sewing machine will get packed away until the new year to make room for our annual Christmas visitors.

Of course, that’s not to say that there won’t be a possible small project finish in the next few weeks so stay tuned… 😉

Incidentally, this is my 100th post on New Creative State! I just want to say thank you for joining me on my quilting journey and taking the time to leave me such encouraging and supportive comments along the way. I appreciate it more than you realise!

Linking up to OMG (One Monthly Goal) @ Elm Street Quilts, MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts and Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

Paper Pieced Pillow

For me, 2016 has been a year filled with many small project finishes including drawstring bags and pillow covers. This week I can cross another small goal (#3) off my Quarter 4 list!paper-pieced-pillow3

The pattern for this paper pieced “Stargazing” cushion cover comes from Issue 14 of Quilt Now magazine. I chose fabrics from my stash including one of my faves – Northcott “Doodles” (by Sue Beevers) for the background fabric – and a selection of others including fabrics by Tula Pink, Denyse Schmidt and Prints Charming.paper-pieced-pillow2

The original pattern has the centre star made using the same background fabric as the rest of the pillow. I felt as though the star needed a bit more oomph and so I unpicked and replaced those pieces with Navy Bubbles Monochromatix (Robert Kaufman).paper-pieced-pillow1

This pillow is my second finish for Quarter 4 of the 2016 Finish Along.

I have also been working on several other small projects these past few weeks.

I work two days a week as a Teacher Aide at a community run Pre-Kinder Centre. I really wanted to make each of the wonderful 3-to-4 year old children I work with a special gift for Christmas. Using the drawstring bag tutorial by S.O.T.A.K Handmade that I have used previously, I made a scaled down smaller version that the teacher and I can fill with various craft items and present to the children at our Christmas break up.beehive-bags

As our centre has a bee related name, I found some perfect Saffron Craig Bee fabric to use for the bags. Each bag has been cut to reduce wastage and is therefore slightly different from the others. Sixteen children attend our centre on either one or both days so I still have another five bags to make.

The final small project I made over the weekend is a star for my guild’s (the Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild) “Kris Kringle” Christmas tree ornament swap.

(No peeking if you are a fellow member…)

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I had a lot of fun making this little star ornament using this tutorial. I think I may need to make myself another for my own Christmas tree!

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I still have a few projects I would like to get finished before the end of the year. However, with only six weeks to go until Christmas, I am seriously doubting my chances!

How about you? Are you on track with your end-of-year goals and Christmas sewing?

Deb 🙂

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and NTT @ My Quilt Infatuation

Another Cotton and Steel Quilt Top

This week has been a good week. After a miserably cold and wet start to Spring, we have finally experienced some warmer weather. It always amazes me how a few rays of warm Spring sunshine can instantly lift my mood and clear away those winter blues.

I am also doing a little happy dance because I have finished my Cotton & Steel #3 quilt top!Cotton & Steel 6.jpg

As mentioned in a previous post, I used a wonderful jelly roll-friendly pattern by Keera Job of Live Love Sew. This particular pattern was published exclusively in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Issue 31.

Keera is a talented designer of many wonderful quilt patterns. After emailing Keera about the availability of her Over the Rainbow pattern (prompted by a comment on my last post), I received a kind and gracious reply from her informing me that she is currently in the process of converting the pattern back to her original format. It will soon be available as both paper and pdf pattern in her online store.

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For increased contrast with the vibrant Cotton & Steel feature fabrics, I chose to use a denim blue Homespun solid as the background fabric. The homespun colour is in fact “Slate”, not “Oxford Blue” as stated in my previous post. I do sincerely apologise for this mistake and will strive to be much more careful with my colour names in the future.

Although the warmer weather may lure me outside more often in the coming weeks, I hope to be able to start quilting this flimsy soon. In fact, I’m going to set myself the goal of finishing this quilt by linking up with Patty @ Elm Street Quilts for OMG (One Monthly Goal) November!

Deb 🙂

Linking up to OMG @ Elm Street Quilts, MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and NTT @ My Quilt Infatuation!

Plus Plus Quilt Finish

I cleared off my rather overcrowded sewing room table this week to create some much needed space to quilt and finish my Plus Plus (aka Cotton & Steel #2) Quilt.PlusPlusFinish8.jpg

For this fun and cheerful quilt I used various Cotton and Steel fabrics from my stash and used this wonderful pattern by Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs.

For the backing, I pieced together some larger pieces from the Playful and Spellbound collections. I quilted it in a simple grid pattern using a beautiful golden thread (Guttermann Col. 956).plusplusfinish4plusplusfinish3

I had initially visualised a chartreuse or green fabric for the binding but didn’t have enough of these colours leftover. (I was determined not to purchase any more fabric for this project and only use what I had!) So instead I chose to use navy and think that it frames this quilt quite nicely. I was a bit short on Mesa Fern Book so added in a strip of navy Basics XOXO.

This 64 square inch quilt is my first finish for Quarter 4 (#1) of the 2016 Finish Along.PlusPlusFinish7.jpg

I have also made significant progress these past few weeks on Cotton & Steel Quilt #3. I have managed to complete all thirty nine blocks and now just need to piece them together. Fingers crossed that I’ll have a completed quilt top to share with you soon!

It’s weird because it sounds like I have done heaps of sewing lately but this could not be further from the truth. My mood’s been low – still waiting for that warm spring sunshine which has been delayed by what seems like constant cold rainy days- plus we’ve also been super busy trying to finish our kitchen renovation in time for the annual arrival of Christmas visitors.

Thankfully it seems that even a few minutes sewing here and there can result in some progress 🙂

Deb

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and NTT @ My Quilt Infatuation

Cotton & Steel Quilt #3

It’s no secret that I love Cotton and Steel fabrics. I have amassed a reasonable stash over the course of my two year quilting journey and have completed two quilts made entirely from these fun fabrics.

Although I haven’t made any many recent purchases, I still own enough Cotton and Steel for at least one – or maybe two 😉 – more quilts. For my latest Cotton and Steel Quilt, I am using the pattern Over the Rainbow by Keera Job of Live Love Sew. This pattern was published in Issue 31 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

Some time ago, I purchased a Cotton and Steel jelly roll – strips of fabrics from a few of their different collections – collated by the lovely ladies at my local fabric store Frangipani Fabrics. I decided, instead of white, to amp up the contrast with these glorious Cotton & Steel colours and use a Slate blue Homespun solid as the background fabric.

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I really like the clean lines and angles of the log cabin block (this one really a quarter log cabin block) and it seems to be a design I find myself making again and again.

Is there a particular quilt block that appeals to you and that you have used a number of times?

I had this particular project listed as one of my goals for Quarter 3 of the 2016 Finish Along. I wasn’t too successful and only managed to finish four (out of 39) blocks.

In this past week however, I have made the most of every spare moment and am happy to report that I have made another fifteen blocks! Only twenty more to go…

Deb 🙂

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and NTT @ My Quilt Infatuation.

2016 Finish Along Q4 Goals

I was reasonably happy to have achieved five of my Quarter 3 goals for the 2016 Finish Along:

With my recent and shocking realisation that there are only 11 weeks until Christmas (!!), I have set myself a much shorter list for Quarter 4. Again, in my usual fashion, I have shaken it up a bit and added a few new projects to alleviate any potential attention/boredom problems 😉

  1. Plus Plus Quilt (#1 from Q3 list) – finish quilting and bind
  2. A new table runner – Modern Geometrics Pattern (#12 from Q3 list)
  3. Stargazing Paper Pieced Cushion (#18 from Q3 list)
  4. NEW Cotton & Steel Quilt (#20 FROM Q3 list) – 13 out of 39 blocks complete
  5. Scrappers Delight Quilt (#5 from Q3) – 17 out of 36 blocks complete (Note: 8 more than Q2). For this project, I intend to try QAYG (quilt-as-you-go) for the first time.
  6. Quilt and bind my newly finished and very-spur-of-the-moment Country Cabin Quilt Top
  7. Spinning Quilt – pattern by Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

picmonkey-collageq4Good luck with your final quarter goals if you are linking up!

Deb 🙂