Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Back after so so long!

I haven't posted for a couple of years. I was so busy nursing my Mum. I managed to nurse her at home until the afternoon before she passed away.  I am so grateful for that, she loathed hospitals!
She passed away 25th June 2017, much loved and with me by her side.

I have actually been posting on Instagram for quite some time, periodically since September 2017 but more frequently recently.

My Instagram is : @maittlen61

Now , what I've been up to creatively... I have several quilts nearing completion which is satisfying as some have been long term projects!

Firstly, my Whig's Rose blocks are all done! I now have to decide whether I will do an applique border or a pieced one.

The next quilt I am very close to finishing is a Kim Diehl design "Sprigs and Twigs" from her book Simple Appeal.  I am just finishing the applique on the corners of the border ready to machine stitch the borders onto the quilt. I have really enjoyed making this quilt.

Another quilt I am ready to put together is for my 3rd son. This quilt halted due to lack of fabric! I waited and searched for suitable fabrics to finish the blocks when through great good fortune Minnick and Simpson came out with another fabric line in extremely similar colours and prints to the range I had been using to make the blocks so far! I quickly put in an order then after it arrived got busy finishing the last blocks! I've now bought the sashing/border fabric and am all set to begin putting it together. The photo below is the layout my son and I agreed on.

Finally I am working on the last couple of Benjamin Biggs blocks! I have machine appliqued 98% of the blocks for this quilt but the last 2 blocks I've stitched by hand which I've thoroughly enjoyed! I have also begun prepping the applique for the borders of this quilt.

The last picture is just some of the Benjamin Biggs blocks I've completed.  The total number of blocks won't fit on my design boards .

Well, I hope to return soon with a post showing either further progress or some finishes!

Happy stitching,


Monday, May 15, 2017

Courthouse Steps and Pineapple Logs

Oh dear! I have been an extremely infrequent blogger, ahem... Life just gets in the way. My Mother's health suddenly deteriorated early last year and I became a full time carer with Mum on oxygen and needing constant care. However, though my Mum needs constant care , I am now in a routine and managing to get a bit of sewing done.

I'm still working on the hand appliqued Whig Rose blocks which I find very relaxing but I've been having so much fun with 1 1/2 inch strips! It all started with a pattern in a Kim Diehl book I bought some time ago. I pulled some fabrics and made the blocks for the quilt centre with a couple to spare. There is the applique border to do next.

I've always loved log cabin quilts. I then began looking at pineapple log cabin quilts and tutorials on the internet and found a really easy method. The blocks are around 12 inches finished and do take a while to make but its such a joy choosing the fabric strips, stitching them on then cutting off the ends with the rotary cutter.  T\he only measuring is the original cutting of the 1 1/2 inch strips!

The strips that extend past the edges are just cut off! I use the lines marked on my ruler to keep the block even and straight. So easy. It's very handy having the spinning cutting mat for this.

Do you get in a mess like this? Or are you organized with little trays for each colour strip ? I usually am a little less chaotic but this really has been a pleasure.

Happy stitching,

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Belated Happy New Year , a New Project and an Old One

Now all the Holiday excess is over and school has returned yesterday, I have at last a quiet afternoon to post a few pictures and a few words, lol. A dear friend has recently moved within visiting distance and I have introduced her to applique and now we are making the Moda Sampler Shuffle blocks together. I found the downloadable patterns of the 6 inch blocks, contributed by many Moda Designers, at www.bearcreekquiltingcompany.com. They have been a great way to teach piecing (machine piecing)as there are lots of different designs with different challenges, even an applique block! I am making mine mainly with some Fig Tree charm packs and a Fig Tree layer cake with some of my stash fabrics thrown in for contrast. While I do love how fresh and pretty the Fig Tree fabrics are I have found, whilst making these blocks, that there is a lack of good contrasting darks...plenty of medium and light values but very few darks. So I have supplemented these from my stash. So here are the photos of blocks 1-11.
I will have to re-make this block. The green and cream fabric is a complete disaster! Live and learn! Bit of a laugh that I'm teaching my friend, lol, but it was a very good example of how certain fabrics and values Do Not work well together!!
The following is Block 19 of Benjamin Biggs which I am still plugging along with. Not many blocks to go now! Then it's on to the applique border!!
Last but not least a picture of my Christmas Pavlova which has been a family tradition started by my Great Aunt who past the recipe on to meto continue on with it after she was gone. My children would mutiny if there wasn't a Pavlova and a good old fashioned Sherry Trifle on Christmas Day! No photos of the Trifle, it didn't last long enough! I'm not sure what has happened with Blogger but I can no longer see the actual photos in the post as I'm writing it (only computer language!)so I cannot see where the text is ending up until I preview the post! Bit annoying , I have fiddled around but I give up!! The end result is the best I could achieve, sorry. Happy New Year to all! Rowena

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Son's Quilt Finished!

This was a Jelly Roll pattern by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I used a Jelly Roll by Minick and Simpson, I can't think of the name at the moment but it's lovely. This pattern went together quickly and very easily, I'd definitely do another quilt using this pattern. I put a wider border on it so Jorden could use it on his bed if he wanted to but the pattern size would make a great quilt for snuggling under on the sofa. The pattern is one of a series of individual patterns called "Just One Jelly Roll" and this pattern is Flower Baskets. The original is 62" x 62" without a border but mine has a border of around 6 inches or so. It did take just one Jelly Roll for the blocks and corner stones plus 2 1/4 yards (2 metres) for the sashing and setting triangles. I quilted an all over meandering feather on my longarm machine. I asked my son if he had any preferences for the quilting and he said he wanted "that really flowing flowery one"! I had to get him to show me an example, it was the meandering feathers! Great choice as it works beautifully with the prints, it gives a lovely texture. I used a 60% wool 40% poly batting which I have often used. It machine washes and is cuddly and warm, it's a dream to machine quilt. Not the greatest photos but here it is:
Enjoy your weekend. Happy stitching, Rowena

Friday, November 13, 2015

More Benjamin Biggs Blocks

I am gradually catching up the Benjamin Biggs blocks but I still have a few more to do before I am up to date.  I won't even mention the border applique! I'll get around to tackling that once all the blocks are done! So here are the blocks I have completed recently.

Block 17

Block 15

I am madly prepping a couple of blocks to get them ready to stitch over the weekend ( I hope ! )

I have also completed a quilt for my son, it's quilted and bound, just waiting on the label to be finished and stitched down! I will try to photograph it this weekend while my son is home and can act as chief quilt holder-upper!

My Mother has improved considerably over the last couple of months which is wonderful but she will never be as independent as she was before all the ill health she has had this year.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Benjamin Biggs and some instant gratification!

I have to say I can't think which number this block is off the top of my head but at least it's nearly done!!

I have still been having to grab stitching time where and when I can as Mum has still been needing quite a lot of hands on living assistence.  She has improved quite a bit but 5  months of inactivity has really taken its toll on her strength and energy so I am still very much her carer. I hope to get her to the Physiotherapist next week to devise some type of exercise regime that is designed for an elderly, much weakened woman in an effort to halt the loss of muscle and energy and hopefully start to regain some of both!!

However, back to sewing!! I have another 3 BB blocks in various stages of prep, 2 are almost ready to glue onto the background ready to machine applique.

I have still been doing a little bit here and there of my Whig's Rose blocks. A much slower project as it's all hand applique. While I do love the quick results of machine applique I still really enjoy the soothing and relaxing process of handwork.

Now, the instant gratification of the heading is a small idea that sprung forth after spying some Fig Tree Charm packs I've had in my fabric stash for a few years. I had a sudden uncontrollable urge to cut up and stitch together these pretty fabrics!! Here is the result of a couple of hours playing on Sunday night after dinner.

The colour hasn't come out as saturated as it is the the flesh unfortunately but it's so pretty I think I may make it bigger than I had intended.  I was going to make a table topper but I am now considering adding some applique on a border of natural quilters muslin and continue the borders to a lap or bed size quilt.

I have no idea why blogger has suddenly centred all my writing but I can't get it to align left now! If that's my biggest problem today I'm a lucky girl!!

Enjoy life and happy stitching,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Quite a catch up! I can't believe it's July and the last time I posted was January! My Mother had a fall which took months to get over and I was having to do everything for her which put my quilting very much on the back burner. When she finally started to really recover she tore a muscle in her back which put her out of action for another couple of months. We are all back to normal now with Mum being a lot more careful about where she walks and how she does things, I'm very pleased to say!!

So here is what I've been up to, a little bit of Whig's Rose and BB blocks 13 and 16. The blocks in between are in various states of prep.

Whigs Rose (all hand appliqued)

Ben Biggs Block 13  (All BB blocks are machine appliqued with cotton thread that matches as closely to the applique pieces as possible)

Ben Biggs Block 16

Some of the BB blocks laid out to get a feel for what it will be like when finished ( use your imagination!!)

....and a few more...

So I will say goodbye and go back to prepping and catching up on my BB blocks.

Happy stitching,