Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Switching from Phebe to Swan lake

I thought I would give you all a break from Phebe, I have been a bit obsessed about it and have neglected my other projects.   I have to make 107 hexagon flowers for Swan Lake.  Doesn't sound like too many, until I realised that means it is actually 749 hexagons to cover and sew together!

Buddy boy had a date with LA Clips yesterday.  His paws were so matted underneath that it all had to come off.  He looks like a totally different dog and is a little depressed at the moment, even though he came home with a new bandana to add to his collection. 

I went visiting to Patchwork on Stonleigh today and came home with the most beautiful fabric.  It is from the Twelve Oaks range by Judie Rothermel.  I bought a fat quarter to make a little sewing bag for my hexagons - can't have too many sewing bags!

The other item I purchased was this magazine from our local newsagent.  I have seen it on blogs before and  was very happy to see it "in the flesh" for the first time today.  It is a fantastic magazine, full of inspirational quilts and I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through it this afternoon.

This is Kellie dressed up as a Vampire for her work party on Monday night.  She works at a pub and looked even paler Tuesday afternoon when she dragged herself out of bed after a big night of free drinks!!!

Sue-Anne xxx

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Klosjes, Phebe and Applique for Valentina

I managed only 6 this week but still one more than my goal so that's ok.

I now have a total of 27!

Look what came home with me this week.  Rural Jardin is in our local store and the large floral is absolutely divine.  The blues are beautiful too.  Another green and brown for Phebe was also added.

I had to make a Klosje straight away with this fabric. 

I am still making slow progress on Phebe.  I have added some greenery and have started appliqueing down some of the pieces.

I love the blue and purple together in this flower.

Here is my finished Browne Sisters block. 

Valentina has asked me to do a tutorial on how I prepare my applique. 

These are the tools I use.  Reynolds freezer paper, Roxannes Glue, a sandpaper board, collection of gel and pigma pens and scissors.

I trace all the shapes onto the dull side of the freezer paper and if there are lots of shapes (like Phebe) I number them all.  If I am doing multiples of a particular shape, like a leaf, I will use templastic.

Cut the shape out on the line that you traced, then iron it onto the right side of your applique fabric with the shiny side down.  Don't worry if you don't get it placed correctly, you can pull it off and iron it down again.

This photo isn't too clear but, once you have ironed your shape onto your fabric, trace around the outside of the shape, onto the fabric using a gel or pigma pen.  Choose a colour that you can see but not something that may show through when you turn the edges under.  For this pink, I have used a silver gel pen.  You can see this better further down.   Cut out your shape about 1/8 inch from the gel line.

Pull your freezer paper off and turn your shape over, wrong side facing.  Place tiny little dots of glue around your shape, making sure it is well inside the edge because when you needleturn, you want to be able to tuck the fabric under without being blocked by the glue.

Turn your piece back over and stick down onto your background fabric in the correct position.  Don't worry if you have to realign it once you start sewing.  You can easily lift off the shape and reglue it down again.  The glue washes out completely in water or you can lift the applique fabric up as you sew to remove the bond of the glue to the background fabric.

There are so many different methods for applique and this is just the way I prefer to prepare mine.  I always use Roxanne's Glue and Roxanne's Applique needles.  I will try and work out how I can put this into a separate little box on my sidebar.

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Sue-Anne xxx

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Birthdays, Phebe, Easter & Buddy!

We had two birthdays to celebrate last Friday at sewing.  Michelle signed up for a BOM last year and it is mostly applique.  She hasn't started it yet so I thought I would make her a little purse to carry her thimble, glue and needles in to try and motivate her to start.

Michelle's turned out so nice that I decided to make Jan one as well in her favourite colour, green.

I have been adding more to Phebe.  It is starting to look a little better now.  I have finished the applique on the first of two Browne Sisters blocks and have made a couple of hexagon flowers for Swan Lake.

This morning I realised that it is less than two weeks till Easter so I thought I would put a couple of my rabbits on display.  This one is from the garden.  I brought him inside to sit on the hearth.

This is Mr Hopkins - boy is there are story to tell about him!  But I will leave that for another time.  He is my favourite out of all the dolls I have made over the years.

I can't remember where or when I got these two above but I love them.  The little pink rabbit is only about 3 inches tall.

And here is a pic of Buddy.  I think he is way overdue for a trip to the groomer!

Sue-Anne xxx

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Retail Therapy & Saturday Klosjes

These buttons are so cute.  Susan saw my Mason Jar buttons on my blog and very kindly gave me a big bag of buttons.  This is just a small sampling.  I love the old buttons on the cards.  My jar is three quarters full now!

I was also given these very special fabrics to add to Phebe.  I have always loved the pink and the blue pieces pictured in the front and I can't wait to use them.

I went shopping for some fabrics  to use in my Swan Lake hexagons ... 

and added some more fabrics to the Phebe basket.  There is nothing like a little retail therapy to get me back on track.  Thank you to everyone for your positive comments on my last post.  I am over my little hissy fit now and feeling very positive about all the projects I am currently working on.

I managed to make 8 babies this week.  I am aiming for 5 a week and if I make a few more, then that is a bonus.

I now have a grand total of 21!  I am looking forward to getting a few more made so I can start sewing them together.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.

Sue-Anne xxx

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I have been feeling a little overwhelmed this week by the tasks that I have taken on.  Two major quilts, Phebe and Swan Lake, Browne Sisters Sampler quilt, and of course I have my beautiful Klosjes and my other fill-in project, Yo Yo's.  A plan for some time management was needed and last night I spent the evening cutting out hexagons and spools.  This morning was devoted to Phebe.

Phebe is proving to be quite a challenge for me to get started BUT now I think I have had a major breakthrough.  I finally got the centre urn looking how I wanted it to.  I have had this piece of Yuwa fabric for quite a while, saving it for something special, and I think you will agree, it is perfect.  The photo does not do it justice.

I have made a start on the 2nd instalment of the Browne Sisters Sampler and I am enjoying the applique.   The Autumn weather is beautiful here at the moment, top of 30 C but cool in the morning and evening.  I think I might spend some time this afternoon outside sewing hexagons and now that I am a little bit more organised, I feel an overwhelming sense of PEACE (that is until I can't decide on the next "perfect piece" of applique fabric or run out of hexagons to stitch!).

This is Michelle's Positive/Negative 9 Patch.  Doesn't it look wonderful!  We have basically used the same fabrics and Michelle's looks totally different to mine with the lighter, fresher background fabric.  Michelle has made her quilt to fit her huge dining room table.  It looks fantastic Michelle!!!

Sue-Anne xxx

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Klosjes Saturday & A New Project

I have made 8 Klosjes this week, bringing my total to 13.  Not many, I know, but I am getting a little quicker each time so hopefully I will be zooming along soon.  I think it will take quite a while to make enough for a quilt but I am really enjoying the process of making each little spool.

I have also started a new project.  The quilt is called Swan Lake by Susan Smith and I am taking the class at Patchwork on Stonleigh.  The quilt is an adaption of the Dancing Dollies quilt from South Australia.  I'm not quite sure when it was made but it is very old.  This is a beautiful quilt and you can see more of it here.

The quilt requires many of these hexagons flowers and given my track record with hexagons, I think I will have my work cut out.  This is going to be a long term project, but I think you will all agree, well worth the effort,  and an opportunity that I couldn't pass on.

And of course, I couldn't leave Stonleigh without at least one new piece of fabric.  The photo doesn't do it justice - it is the most beautiful shade of blue and will be used in both Swan Lake and Phebe.

Just had to show you this jar.  It is a Mason's jar that I purchased at the market in Violet Town today.  Jan, Helen and myself went on a road trip to see the first annual "Airing of the Quilts".  They had over 300 quilts on display all around the town.  The organisers did a great job and the main street looked fantastic.  There were people everywhere.  They had a huge market with lots of different stalls and Jan spotted this jar for me.  It's quite large and is going to sit on my little red and white quilt that Jan made me for my birthday last year.  I love the white shell buttons and every time I go to a store with buttons, I buy some to add to the collection.

Sue-Anne xxx

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pets Behaving Badly And A Project Update

Buddy discovered this dinner plate on a stool and decided that there might be something up there for him.  He's just not quite tall enough!

Max has a basket that sits on the pool table.  Everyone knows it is his but occasionally Milo thinks he will sneak a snooze in it.  Milo was sound asleep when Max discovered him there.  He stood over him, squared up his shoulders and glared, then swiped as quick as a cobra.  Milo got such a fright, he jumped, kicked the basket and fell off the table.  Lucky cats land on their feet.  Can you see the terror in his eyes?

I have finished one of my Browne Sisters blocks and  and only have the basket to applique on the 2nd.  I love how it looks after all the frayed edges have been turned under.

I have finally made a start on Phebe after deciding on a 3rd background fabric!  It doesn't look like much I know, but I have traced out over 200 pieces onto freezer paper and have the "coveted" green hill fabric cut out and stuck down.

Joke has told me that Klosjes are not sewn just on Saturdays.  Saturday is the day that everyone shows what they have done for the week.  Valentina says she spends Saturday preparing her blocks ready for sewing through the week.  This is bittersweet news because it means I can sew them EVERYDAY of the week, but if I do, I won't get anything else done.....

Sue-Anne xxx