Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Spider Legs - WIP

Hello my pretty ... what's your name?

"Spider Legs" you say?

Farmers Wife Block 82 "Spider Legs"

What's that?  You want to join the others in the progress chart?

Well, when you are so gorgeous .. how can I resist?

Yes ... this is my favourite block so far ... It took 37 individual pieces to create this little 6" baby!

Hope your sewing projects have put a skip in your step today!

Joining in at:


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Tragic Tuesday

I feel that if Shakespeare was a quilter the famous line would certainly have gone like this:

"To steam or not to steam; that is the question ..."

Farmer's Wife Block 83 "Spider Web"

I've never had a preference either way - you could say that it really hasn't been a controversial topic for me at all ... hang on a minute ... is this a Spider's web's floating in the breeze?  

Nope it's just my "wibbly wobbly block" - my 3 year old's words!

Is this block waving at us?

It wasn't "wibbly wobbly" until I gave it a blast of steam to make those seams sit nice and flat.  

Nice flat steam ironed seams = wonky block?

I've done the same thing with the previous Farmer's Wife blocks I've hand pieced.

Now I'm scared of steam ...

So friendly quilt folk; "To steam or not to steam?"  this is the question I'm asking you!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WIP - Literally!

I've seen a few bloggers out there chart their progress when starting a large quilt or a quilt that has a large variety of blocks such as the Dear Jane's, Civil War's and Farmer's Wife quilts. 

So I've decided to shamelessly copy follow their lead and do one for my version of the Farmer's Wife.

The layout below is by no means what the quilt will look like (damn you prime numbers!) it's just a boring old table that I whipped up using Publisher - but it should serve it's purpose ...

The purpose being:
1.  Keeping track and balance of fabrics and colours; 
2.  A visual guage of my progress - yup, I've got a modest (cough) amount left to do;
3.  I had another reason but it seems to have slipped my .. ah yes .. avoid goldfish syndrome ie ensure I don't do the same block twice!

We don't really celebrate all that is spooky at Halloween here in Perth.  I mean, sure, there's the entrepreneurial kids of our neighbourhood that steal a sheet from their neighbour's clothesline and come knocking for sweets as a ghost - I fully support their wickedness as long as said sheet is returned ...

In the spirit of my Northern Hemisphere friends I thought I would tackle the creepy crawly Farmer's Wife blocks next.

Blocks 82 "Spider Legs" and 83 "Spider Web" are coming right up!

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone - the sun is shining here so I think I might just head outside to sew today - ah lovely :)


Tuesday, 22 October 2013


I'm a quote person - I love them.

One of my favourites was said (well, I wasn't there to say for sure) by Virginia Woolf and it goes "Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends"

Block 39 "Friendship" - Farmer's Wife

Friends are really important to me at the moment.  I rejoice in a text, phone call or friendly knock on the door. Being housebound is dampening my ALL important social life!  

Block 40 "Friendship Block" - Farmer's Wife

My husband has been a bit perturbed by the amount of cooked dinners arriving at our house.  He said something strange to me the other day when another cooked dinner was dropped off. He said "Don't they think I can cope?" - I was baffled by his question - "Of course they think you can cope", I replied, then I added "It's just what friends do". Men are definitely from Mars!

Block 41 "Friendship Star" - Farmer's Wife - looks like a Ninja Star to me!  Yer, I don't get out much ...

So with all this in mind it's no wonder I was drawn to the three "Friendship" blocks of the Farmer's Wife to hand sew next.

4 down ... 107 to go!

The subconscious works in amazing ways ... now I have to phone my friends and tell them :)


Friday, 18 October 2013

Butterflies Make Me Happy

I've decided that it's the little things in life that make me happy.  The first flutter of a butterfly at Spring ... the sneak of a jelly bean when the kids aren't watching ... catching perfectly spaced stitches on my needle and little 6" blocks that are the Farmer's Wife.

Today I finished my very first (cue dramatic music) HAND PIECED Farmer's Wife block, Ta Da!!!

She's a little higgly-piggly but I'm sticking with the mantra that it just adds to the hand pieced quilt charm - everyone on side?  Good, I'm glad we agree.

This is block 14 and is called "Butterfly at the Crossroads" ... yer I know I didn't start at block 1 - but where's the fun in that?

The fabric is Lily Ashbury's range called High Street.  I really love the fresh and vibrant colours in this range mixed with the pretty flora inspired prints.

Happy, happy, happy!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Hand Piecing - WIP

If you've been following me on Instagram you would have seen that I've been attacked by a mosquito and subsequently put on bed rest .... pesky little bugger.

Which means that all machine sewing has been put on hold ... which means that my MiL's quilt has also been put on hold.  I'd managed to get it to the stage of framing all of the story blocks.

and had cut out about a quarter of the quota of 2.5" squares that's required to pad it out to a queen size quilt.

and that, sadly, is where it stays.  It looks as though I'll be missing my November deadline for THE BIG FINISH and to be honest I'm totally bummed.

But you can't keep a quilter down!  So I've been finding little projects I can do in the confinement of my bed including a little cross stitching ..

and I've also started on my Farmer's Wife quilt, which I'm hand piecing.  I was planning on starting this quilt after finishing my MiL's quilt but 'C'est la vie'.

I've started with the Butterfly block or block 14 ... butterflies cheer me up!

So far I've managed to piece 8 HST (my first ever whether by hand or machine!!)

I'm starting to get nice consistent stitches on my needle.

I'm using Gutermann quilting thread to piece.  It may seem like a strange choice but ...

I find the toughness of it reassuring (like it's going to hold together forever!) and it is also a slightly slippery or waxy thread and I find that easier to pull through the layers especially where there are seams to sew through.

I've almost completed the top left hand part of the block and am finding the whole process quite relaxing - even healing.

Although my little sandwich bag for storing my hand sewing supplies is somewhat lacking in glamour ... what do you use to store your hand sewing? 

Pop a link in the comments if you've made something to store your hand sewing in - I'd love to see.

Linking up with WIP at Freshly Pieced.  Thank goodness for you crafty lot out there - I'd be bored big time without my laptop and your lovely blogs to read in bed :)  AND thank goodness for my hubby who is doing a stellar job as Mr Mum!


Friday, 11 October 2013

Unicorn Pillow

Meet Candy ...

She's a Unicorn that sells fairy floss at the circus.

Sometimes she has to talk to the kids too because the clowns get tired.

When she's finished she goes home to her special forest ...

I love the tales my 3 year old comes up with!

Pillow stats:
Size: 20" x 12"
Unicorn pattern: The amazing Kristy from Quiet Play Craftsy store.
Envelope Close back: I used this tutorial
Fabric: Purchased from Spotlight


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Self-Medicating WIP

So here I am again with a cold, flu, bad-arse virus (take your pick).

Before I head off to the Doctor (again) to receive a script of some sort of antibiotic that I can't pronounce, I've decided to self-medicate by immersing myself in the cutting and sewing up of beautiful fabric by a wonderful fabric designer that I can't pronounce - Kaffe Fassett.

Isn't it lovely?  It will be the feature fabric of my MiL's quilt.  Framing the blocks and then used in the boarder.  

I love the iridescence of it - such a lovely amber/terracotta flavour with pops of bright pinks and purples.

Not sure these pics do it any favours but it really is lovely and I'm feeling better all ready.

How do you pronounce Kaffe Fassett anyway?  I shall phonetically spell how I'm pronouncing his name - are you ready? - "Cafe Fassit" - don't laugh!

Perhaps you could do a philistine a favour and pop in the comments how you pronounce his name?  Remember to spell it out phonetically.  Then when I meet him someday on one of his fabulous workshops (a girl can dream, right?) I won't make a total fool of myself!



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Now on Instagram!

I'm trying to keep up with all these new ways of connecting and sharing.

I've mastered Pinterest and am loving it ...

Click on this picture to view my boards or use the button on the right-hand-side

This post from Alyce and a recent conversation with Gemma from Pretty Bobbins has nudged me in the direction of Instagram.

So I downloaded it - signed up - let out a squeal crossed with a squeak - and immediately text (because I know how to do that too) my little sister who is very groovy and 14 years my junior.  Yes, I know, she's still young enough to go clubbing - lucky thing.  She knows all things about social media and bless her little cotton socks she is coming over tonight to give her 'Nanna' sister a lesson or two on this Intagram bisso.

Not quite sure what I do with this Instagram thingy - but I'm sure my sister will show me the way!

But here's my first post:

I look forward to seeing you over there :)

Update: my Instagram ID is @sewgiving


Friday, 4 October 2013

A Cup of Tea

Ok, I'm almost there with the final story blocks for my MIL's quilt - hope you're not getting too bored??

Being English she does enjoy a good strong cup of tea ... so a tea cup was in order.

I found this paper pieced design on Pinterest.  I love Pinterest, it's like flicking through your favourite glossy magazine and cornering the pages that you must go back and read more about later ... anyway I digress ..

Here's the tea cup!

I made it with the handle on the left as she is .... yes, left-handed!  Have you ever noticed that when you hold a lovely piece of bone china that the pretty pattern is usually for only the right-handed person to enjoy?

And what tea is she drinking?  English Breakfast? Good ol' Bushells?  Nope it's Ceylon Tea ...

Don't worry ... I will be definitely unpicking that tea bag string!  This wonky example of embroidery is what is achieved with a very wiggly three year on your lap!

She's drinking Ceylon tea because that is where she had her first child ... her husband was some sort of a ranking officer in the Navy (sorry I didn't write down exactly what rank when she told me).  He had a high enough ranking that he was afforded a house with staff and was allowed to bring his wife to Ceylon, should she wish.  Well being the adventurer that she is, she of course said yes.  Although she didn't get to spend much time with her husband as he was always out to sea!

All this talk of tea has me craving one now.  So I'll pop the kettle on and see what's happening over at Quiet Play's Paper Piecing Party ... Mmmm might sneak a biccie out of the barrel too!


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Not My WIP

My work in progress this week is not my own ...

I recently received in the post one of the pieces of the puzzle that is my MIL's quilt.

The story behind this block is that my MIL does a beautiful cross stitch pattern of her grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's names - something they can frame and keep forever.  It's a real labour of love and can take her months to do.  Her "signature" pattern are these little girl's within the letters.  She's had the pattern for yonks and I have my eye on a copy as I'm not sure that it's in print anymore.

Here's a little example for you:

I asked her to create a cross stitched "B" which is the first letter of her name.  Apparently it was quite a difficult task to cross stitch on cotton - my name is mud!

First she had to baste some soluble Aida canvas on top of the cotton, cross stitch the "B" on it then rinse under cold water to dissolve the Aida canvas.  As it was done in such little stitches she had trouble removing the Aida canvas and so damaged some of the stitches - nothing I can't fix though.

But I think the result was worth it ..

Just look at those cute little hair bows!

Linking up with Kristy who is hosting WIP this week at Freshly Pieced and hope to see you soon with some work of my own ... ahem.  



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