Saturday, December 29, 2018

December Finishes and Sunday Stitchers UFO Challenge

I've already posted a number of finishes for December - because I had them ready for a particular meeting.  Some are very small - like the 60 angels I've made, or the little tree decorations.

But in the lead up to Christmas there were a lot more finishes...
**Warning long post***

Holly Cottage Christmas Quilt

Our Sunday Stitchers Challenge number to end the year was - of course- #6 - which was my version of Michelle Ridgway's Holly Cottage Christmas.

I started this quilt in conjunction with a Stitch A Long Blog - this time hosted by Fiona - there was a plan of when to make blocks and when to finish it - I think my blocks were all done on time - but not my finish....I still want to add a bit more before I post on the SAL Blog but I showed this at the December SS meeting as my #6:

I did make many changes to the original pattern - and a formal apology to Michelle - I started off following the pattern - although I left out the words, but then it became a quilt for my eldest daughter and she wanted certain things in it - so I deviated a lot more from the pattern.

It was beautifully quilted by Fiona...just perfect ...
I have now gifted it to my daughter and her husband as part of their Christmas present and they are delighted.

Updated August 2021...for some reason the quilt was still with I added some presents to the tree block:

but it is now safely delivered to them in Townsville, so no more additions!.

Ruth's Quilt

I also showed Ruth's Quilt at Sunday Stichers - another group project  - hosted by the No Fuss team.

I really enjoyed making this quit.

I personalised a lot of the blocks to include the various sewing groups and retreats that I go to. 
I must admit it was a battle to get these both finished in time along with all the other Christmas stuff that happens - maybe next year I will be ahead of the game??? maybe...probably not.

Crochet blocks

Only 6 crochet blocks this month

 Alphabet Book

My eldest daughter is due to have a baby in March and I have made her a cloth alphabet book.  I started this in September or so....and in November she decided to have a "Book Themed" baby it is very appropriate...Guess I chose well.

I loved doing the Q page....

I have since gifted this to her too - as she had the Baby Shower whilst down in Brisbane for Christmas.  It was a big hit!

Mini Quilts

My best friend (Maureen) and I swap presents each year and we decided to stick with the mini quilt idea - this year it was Christmas themed.
I had thought about a bauble made from strips of fabric and ribbon which I started in October...and then I saw a lovely Crazy Christmas tree as a machine embroidery project...mmm...couldn't decide - so I made both - I gave this one to Maureen

and I have kept this one for me

Non slip machine foot pedal mats

I actually made two of these - I've given one away .  This one is for my eldest daughter - I added it to a sewing box and thread holder which were her Christmas presents.

Boy!!! no wonder I was busy in December!!!

There are still 2 days of december - what else can I finish???

String Quiltalong

I discovered a String Quilt Quilt a Long starting January 2019.

I needed another project   NOT for 2019....but I had planned a table cloth using striped blocks like we did earlier in the year for Sunday Stitchers, so this will be a great motivator to work on it.   I have no idea how it will be run but I have indicated my interest in joining.

If anyone else feels tempted - pop over here to read about it.

Gotta go - need to go fabric shopping!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

FNSI - December

The last FNSI for 2018 - big thanks to Wendy for continuing this for another year - it's great motivation to sew and to blog!

Friday night - still working on secret projects!

Just a few peeps!

I wish all my fellow FNSIers a wonderful Christmas - may you be happy and with those you want to be with.  Looking forward to a fruitful 2019.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Stitchers Christmas Meeting

Sunday Stitchers is the largest group I belong to - so it makes sense that it is the biggest party - BUT a few special touches sets this one aside.

Sandi always puts herself out and creates something special - so although this year we went to the local hotel (rather than her place) for lunch - and it was very good - she still manged to amuse us with some games and crafty activity.  

First up - we formed teams of 3 and had to wrap a ball - set up and decorate a tree with a set list of decorations. All within 7 minutes.  Just getting the tree out of the box and all the branches extended was time consuming!!
Of course at the end there were prizes for everyone... Silly game but fun.

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She also made up a giant photo frame  and brought along a box of props for us to use.

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Another game was threading popcorn on string.

Our craft activity was to make a little decoration - Sandy brought along the mug shapes and the adornments - I chose to make this one.

Although we have a "Secret Santa" swap - a lot of us also give a small gift to everyone  - here is my collection....

This includes some lovely decorations to add to my collection - which this year are strung up on a fine LED light wire.

My Secret Santa swap buddy was Norreen - and she was mine - an easy swap!!!
This year we each put a fat quarter in a brown paper bag with an idea of what we would like....I left mine til the last minute and grabbed a yellow bali - and asked for "Something sewing related"...probably not very helpful for Norreen - but she rose to the challenge and made tme this lovely sewing folder - she added a lovely stitchery and some gorgeous purple bali.

It is great and will be used for a project I have almost started!!

Norreen put in a fat quarter of a lovely blue floral - a tricky blue - but one day when I was out and about - I found a great stripey fabric that went with it.  Norreen had asked for a bag or a zippy pouch...I settled on the zippy pouch and added a few much can you get out of a fat quarter???   I used the fat quarter for both the front & back of the zippy pouch so there wasn't much left - not even a 2.5" square.  As well as the zippy pouch I made a scrap bucket, a needle case, a scissor holder and fob, a pin cushion and a mug coaster.

Alison is the chief coordinator - Madam President - for the group - she needs to coordinate with the hall admin people and attend yearly fire drills, so we thought she deserved a gift.  We made up a box of Moscato and some treats (chocolates, nuts shortbread etc) and I made her another of the mini wall hangers that I've been making lately.

Oh - and we had two birthday girls too - that all got a bit overshadowed but they each received a lovely bunch of fabrics.

AND we had a bit of Show & Tell - that will wait for another post.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

KQ Christmas Meeting

This year we decided to celebrate Christmas at a local hotel - we were able to hire a room and eat meals from the dining room.

Margaret and HIlda did a great job decorating the table and organising some games.

We also had a coupe of craft projects - we made a tree from ribbon and beads

and we made lolly trees.

Each year we have a themed swap - this year the theme was "Door" - so it had to be anything related to a door - a door decoration, a door stopper, one present was a wall hanging with  a door image.  I was a very slack photographer and didn't take nay pictures...even forgot to take a picture of the one I made....but we did all have a lot of fun - and it was very easy and comfortable being in the hotel.

I gave everyone an angel and also gave Pat a special gift - she is our chief coordinator - keeper of the key to the room we go to and I thought she would like this:

I also made these two trees for the children of one of our group

Another fun year wrapped up!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

FNWF - December

My word - the last FNWF for 2018!!!

And of course everyone is super organised for Christmas and all the Secret Sewing is done....NOT!!!

MIne isn't all done - It will be - nothing like a deadline to put some pressure on . . .

Tonight I organised the back and hangers for these little trees:

I also made a mini hanger and will get that one sewn up pretty quickly by Saturday night ...sorry - not showing the front at the moment!

I hope everyone else had a fun & productive night - poor Cheryll was probably tied up with some other stuff - cruising is a pretty tough life after all!

Cheryll, many thanks for continuing FNWF in 2018 - even though you missed a few - it gives the rest of us some incentive to sew and to blog!

To all my FNWF buddies - I wish you a Merry Christmas full of hope and happiness and all the very best for 2019 - may you finish more projects than you start!

And to all the FNSI buddies - I'll catch up with you all soon!!  (I think we are doing December??)

Hugs to everyone.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

SIMS Christmas Meeting

Sadly we were missing one of us - so only 3 of us to celebrate the end of the year.  But we had a fine feast - with pudding later on.

I made these little hangers for everyone - I even managed to make one for myself this year.
(No surprise for my missing buddy)

I received a lovely Christmas hand towel from Inca and a Christmas decoration, soap and hand cream from Sue.

A great end to the year and we will be back in January with new ideas and new projects.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Loose Threads Christmas meeting

Again this year we gathered at Jan's - she lives down the coast - and we go out to lunch to the nursery close by - its a Cafe 63 and very enjoyable.

This year we decided we would give each other a Christmas Decoration - either bought or handmade.  We do a random draw so it's always a bit of pot luck.

I made this little tree.

and I received these lovely angels.
 (very appropriate that I should receive the angels...)

As tradition dictates - I also made angels for everyone.
You can see all the previous angels here.  I've been doing this since 2002.

(They are a bit sparklier in real life)

I love how Jan arranges her angels so I like to take a picture.

(Believe it or not I have a plan and part of the requirements for the 2019 version..
absolutely no excuse not to have them ready early next she says.)

We talked about what we would do for Birthdays and Christmas for 2019 - that is really looking ahead (especially for Christmas and of course we will all be well prepared...(???maybe)

It's a fun group - there have been some changes over the years but we have now been going for over 20 years... a lot has happened in those years of course...but its good that we are all still friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sunday Stitchers UFO List #6

As the year draws to a close, we take time to reflect on our achievements.. for the year....
(let's gloss over our non achievements).
[waffle waffle]   But we do have a month to go!!!

De proposed a Sunday Stitchers UFO Challenge for the year. Most of us created a list of 12 things that we wanted to "get done" - it didn't have to be a finish - it could be as simple as "work on XXXX"
Most of us have joined in enthusiastically and even if we didn't always do what ever it was that we were "supposed" to do - we all celebrated our achievements.

I am pretty happy with my progress - December's number is 11 and I am almost guaranteed to have that one finished by our next meeting.   So, I have one failure...#5.... It might go on next year's list - or maybe I will get it done over the Christmas break....we will have to wait & see.

November's number was 6 - this is my Mrs Beasley's Sampler - which as some of you know was a very long drawn out story...I started this about January 2014 and was finally able to start the 4th block in January 2017.

Now its quilted (lightly) and I can say "It's Done"...yay

and some close ups - I ditched most of the blocks 
and then added some machine embroidery 

I used a feather stitch on my machine to applique the dresden plates

The colours are so soft & pretty - I'm glad to have it done and although it was very disappointing to have to wait for so long to get the rest of the pattern (and there was no communication to explain or apologise)...I do love it.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

FNSI - November - Part 2

Wendy decided to have two FNSI this month - she realises most of us are very busy with those Christmas projects...that we should have started MUCH earlier...

I couldn't join in last week - but tonight I was able to join....I can't show much - "secret stuff"  but I worked a bit with this stuff:

I am sure you are all better organised than me - I have quite a list to get through - I had to write the deadline dates against everything so I could prioritise!!

Oh will get done always does.

Thanks Wendy - Thanks everyone else for your company - the motivation I need sometimes!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Stitchers - November

Another Sunday Stitchers meeting on Sunday - the usual frivolity, chatting, sewing etc.

We had decided a while back that we would make some drawstring bags and fill them with toiletries for the needy.
Today was the day to bring them in and Alison filled them with the purchases made last month - things like tooth brush, tooth paste, soap, razors, deodorant etc...

This is the result of all that activity:

My bag was this one:

As usual I had a collection of crocheted squares - only 8 this's been a busy month!

It is my Birthday month so I had a fun pile of presents to open.  We give an idea of what we would like and this year my requests were: 
Scraps - anything - big enough to cut a 2.5" square
Fat quarters - pale colours (greys, blues etc) for stitcheries OR Floral prints like Kaffe Fasset

I collected big time many scraps. strips to cut 2.5" squares (the box on the top right is full of fabric to cut up), lovely stitchery pieces and gorgeous very colorful florals... I do have a plan for year hopefully!

Cheryl adds in an extra - this year it is a gadget for squeezing the last drop out of a tube - it is that orange thing  - it is already on my toothpaste tube!
And Marilyn gifted me a badge - "Old crocheters never die - they just keep on hooking" - I love it - it is already on my Diva quilt.
Thank you to everyone in SS - I really appreciate your generosity.

I will do a separate post for the UFO CHallenge later.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Glenrose Retreat 2018

I have just had a week away with a mad bunch of ladies.  This retreat at Glenrose Patchwork is quite different to the one I do in August...but I still try to be prepped well and I try to make the most of the time away - that means late nights and not too much sleeping in.

I had a list of "To Dos" and was able to achieve almost all of it.
I've had to block out one - it's a secret project  - quite a time consuming one - I didn't finish it - I didn't expect to - but I made a lot of progress on it.

Here are a couple of finishes:

A small wall hanging with a stitchery from Natalie Bird.
(The stitchery was completed ages ago.)

I runner/topper for a set of drawers in our family room:

This one was an unplanned project.  This retreat is held at a Patchwork shop - very dangerous to the wallet!!!!    Quite a few of us made these reading pillows - the front of the pillow has a large pocket and you can add a few books and give it as a gift.
I fell in love with this greeny tree fabric and have a purpose for it early next year, so figured I would join in the fun.  It was very quick to make, just need a pillow now.

Another project I "finished" was to add the borders to my Holly Cottage Christmas Quilt.   I started this quilt as part of a Stitch-a-Long hosted by Fiona over here.
The quilt is designed by Michelle Ridgway and I have made many changes to her pattern.  I am sure she may want to thump me - but this is for my eldest daughter and she had a few requests - so the blocks got changed around a bit and we minimised the detail.  As much as the original design is gorgeous - I wanted this quilt to be for DD1. 
To take the photo I pinned it to a quilt on the wall - so ignore the blue and pink on the outer.  It stops at the bauble border.   I will be getting this quilted by someone so much better at quilting than me - so stay tuned for the finished quilt - before Christmas.

Just for the record, I also made an angel ornament, added ribbon to a towel and made a bag for the a charity project that Sunday Stitchers are doing.

I had a ball, I got so much done.  Thanks to the Tuesday girls who invite me along each year.  And a big thanks to De who did the driving - allowing me to crochet along the way and keep ridiculously late nights!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November - FNWF

Time for another cyber gathering with Cheryll.

Friday night I gathered one of those "go to when nothing else is ready" projects.  I sewed a bit of this - not a lot but any sewing is good progress.

I am sure most of you were more productive - but I have had a week away sewing and needed to organise for a sewing day at my place on Saturday - so I am not unhappy with just a small bit of stitching.

Friday, November 2, 2018

October OPAM

My head is all over the place - work has been busy - then I was away for a week - retreating!!! (YAY)

BUT it's November and I need to tell Peg & Kris about my finishes for October - nothing in the sewing arena - but I did finish 23 crochet blocks for blankets for the cold & needy people in and around Brisbane.

That's it for now!!...but the tally will be better for November!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Organising DMC Threads

This post is all about organising DMC threads   - It might appear that I am a bit OCD from this - I don't think I am all that OCD, but perhaps in some areas I am . .  .you can be the judge!
If you are not into probably don't need to read on!!
And if you do - take a deep breath.  or grab a cuppa!

Joy from Days filled with Joy - is doing some blog posts about how she organises sewing things - in particular she did one on organising DMC threads.... we have exchanged several emails about this and other organising tips and I told her I would do a blog post about me & my threads.... 
(I must confess to owing some of each of the DMC 6 stranded threads - many years ago my bestie friend and I collaborated and to complete our sets we bought threads and gave half of some of them to the other...blah blah...hopefully you get that idea....)

We then spent a few lunchtimes (we worked together back then) sorting colours into colour groups and naming each group - there were several on line resources we used and took some poetic licence on some colour names...

MIne all got wrapped onto the cardboard bobbins that you can buy...not sure I even knew of the plastic ones then....and the numbers were written on - I elected to put mine in plastic boxes and I lay them horizontally so I can see the colour better.  So I need to write the number on the tab as well as on the larger area.... as shown below:

(I do sometimes do cross stitch or need a specific colour but more often than not I just need a colour and I like to see all the pinks together - and DMC have not done a good job on their numbering...LOL)

Then I created an Excel spreadsheet to list all the numbers by colour group....(mmm getting very OCD now??)
So, what I do is print the spreadsheet and trim it to the size of the lid of the box.  

That sits in the lid.

I printed a page for each box to show what colours are in each box.

Inside the box - I have a square of cardboard with the colour group name, then each bobbin for that group, then the next colour group name etc - to match the list in the lid.

So - how do I find a colour by number?? usually I can scroll down the list if I know what sort of colour - or if I am desperate - I open the spreadsheet file and search for the number - it will then tell me the colour group and I can find it easily enough.

Now - to make it even more OCD - when I remove threads for a project - I have cardboard squares cut to size and I write the colour number and what project the thread is for....then  if I really need it for something else I can (usually) find it.

This is my pink/purple box - there are a lot of threads can also see bits of sponge that I have cut to help fill in the gaps so that the threads stay upright - that is not a fool proof system...but the best I could think of . . .

If you would like the Excel spreadsheet - I am more than happy to share it - include your email address in your comment (unless you are a regular commenter and I know your email address already). 
I can't guarantee its totally accurate and it doesn't include the latest lot of new colours (numbered up to 55), but if you wanted to do something similar to me it will save you some time.  I don't still have the document I used to print the colour group names.

Yep - OK - over the top - but it works for me.