Friday, November 9, 2012

Diamond Ring Quilt for DUDQS3

Here is my finished quilt for The Down Under Doll Quilt Swap 3 which was made for Lorraine.  Lorraine was pretty easy going, she likes colour but her favourites are orange and green.  Initially I had a hard time coming up with a colour palette using both of those colours. The beauty of swaps are that they force you to use colours that you wouldn't normally use and sometimes the process has you feeling really uncomfortable but I was so relieved when I came up with a combo that would please my partner and that I was happy with too.

The design inspiration came from this quilt by Green Bee Designs that was photographed at Quilt Market earlier this year.  The design had stuck in my head and I wanted to challenge myself and work out the pattern.  The diamond wedges are paper pieced and then the wedges are put together as a drunkards path.  The inner circle was really hard to sew since it was so small and it didn't come out very well.  I ended up adding a circle applique over the top using this tutorial from Amy which finished it off really nicely.  Lorena kindly invited me over for coffee and a quick lesson in hand applique - knowing how to do it properly makes all the difference.

When it came to the quilting I always knew I was going to base it on this design by LR Stitched which has been a favourite ever since I saw it.  I have never quilted so densely before and it gives the design another dimension.


Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt measures: 19" x 19"
Special techniques used:  foundation paper piecing, hand applique, quilting concentric circles
Quilted by: Me

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

At last!

At last! #DUDQS3 by A Labour of Love
At last! #DUDQS3, a photo by A Labour of Love on Flickr.

My doll/mini quilt for The Down Under Doll Quilt Swap 3 is finally coming together. Not without a lot of angst!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Field Study by Anna Maria Horner

I have been a good girl all year and have not bought much fabric.  I have even destashed twice!!  I waited patiently for the reveal of Anna Maria Horner's latest range at Fall Quilt Market and it didn't disappoint.  I have been waiting patiently for Field Study to hit the stores and then I splurged and bought a full FQ set from Pink Castle Fabrics in a 20% off sale.  The doorbell rang early this morning, it doesn't happen often and it was the Postie with some happy mail!

The only disappointing thing is that I am so busy for the next couple of days that I am not going to be able to rip open that plastic and have a proper fondle.  I need to savour that moment for when I have a clear head and some time to sit and drool.  And then it will probably go into a bag with the Good Folks that I'm hoarding until I have the current WIPs out of the way.  I'm thinking a bed quilt if I can be brave enough to tackle a project that large.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fun boy trousers

Dodgy iPhone photo
Mr 5 has taken a bit of interest in sewing lately.  In the last school holidays he helped me make this Babushka Superhero, and then a couple of weeks ago he announced that he wanted to make pants (trousers for my UK readers).  Trawling through my stash I didn't really have any boy fabric large enough so I headed to the local Spotty and bought some wide wale corduroy for both boys ($9.99m).  I also picked up the robot poplin since it was a great match for the pale grey cord.

Click for a larger view

Making clothes for my children has been on my to-do-list so it was great to get the nudge to finally give it a go. Also, I happened across this tutorial about a week earlier so I was fairly confident.  It wasn't until I was actually cutting the cord for the first pair of pants that I had a bad thought - I forgot to prewash!  It's the one thing I love about quilting, one less step to worry about but I knew that there would be some shrinkage.  Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the cord would shrink quite a bit so the applique knee patches have gone all wrinkly, not to mention that the 2" hem had to be let down completely (I ended up turning it up 3/8" and zig zagging the hem in place).  At least they fit in length and they're fine for a 5yr old to kick around in.  

Lesson learnt, I made sure I prewashed my cord for the second pair for Mr 4.  These ones came out pretty well.  I don't have an interlocker so I had to make do with zig zagged seams.  I'll have a go at French seams one of these days as the unprofessional seams bother me a bit (but not enough to want to buy an overlocker).

BTW Mr 5 supervised the cutting process and then went on a hike with his Dad and came back to finished pants.  That's OK, I'm still nervous letting him sew on the machine since he keeps dragging the fabric instead of just steadying it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Down Under Doll Quilt Swap 3

Have you made a mini quilt?  I haven't yet so I decided to sign up for the latest round of the Down Under Doll Quilt swap on Flickr.  I put together this inspiration mosaic for my partner.

1. , 2. Sewing Circle Pillow, 3., 4. wildflower garden quilt: block #2, 5. Spring 2012 Market Brochure_1, 6. DS Quilts Mini, 7. Quilt top finished... now on to the back!, 8. good folks value quilt, 9. FBLiQS, 10. layout - almost all the blocks together,, 12. friends! :D, 13. Butterflies - done, 14. Granny Square Quilt top, 15. New bag!, 16. Cherry Creamsicle, 17. PTS7 in progress!, 18. such a star., 19.DSC_0906, 20. Equalizer Quilt - Habitat Challenge

The partner I've been assigned has different colour taste to me, so I always find that challenging (especially as I don't have a lot of lovely fabric in her colours). Maybe because I don't have the right fabric, I'm finding it really hard to find inspiration and settle on a design. I've got a little time up my sleeve, they don't need to be posted until early October.

Have you ever put your hand up for something and then struggled to execute?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Habitat Bowtie Quilt Top Finished

I calculated that it's only taken nine months to assemble this quilt top! I initially did all the cutting and assembled half the blocks in the space of a couple of weeks then it got put aside until a couple of months ago. I've been working on it in dribs and drabs. The rows have been assembled for a few weeks and it only took me a couple of hours yesterday to sew them together.

In regards to the size issue blogged here, I decided to leave off two rows and use them on the back instead. This brings it to a more manageable lap quilt size at 70" square.

I'll be bringing it along for Sew and Tell at tomorrow's GWSMQG meeting.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild

Have you heard the news? A new chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild is starting up in Sydney.  It's the Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild.  I'm really excited because I've been longing for some like-minded people to hang out with on a regular basis.  The idea behind the GWSMQG is to have two meet ups per month - one Monday night for general meeting and catch up stuff, show and tell etc AND a Sunday sew-in day.  Sometimes I would really like to go and sew somewhere else to get away from the constant interruptions.  Plus it's nice to be able to share what you're doing and get input from others and learn a few tips along the way (like the right way use a rotary cutter - when I first started I had been cutting towards my body instead of away! D'oh!! But you don't know these things unless someone shows you!). 

The other thing that I'm really excited to share is that I have teamed up with Amy & Sheridan to help out with the running of this guild.   So the aim of the GWSMQG is to meet geographically central in Sydney.  The first Monday meet up has been organised at Dooley's in Silverwater (Newington) on Monday, 20 August 7-9pm.  It's an easy to get to location and we could even help you arrange car pooling with someone if you need a lift.   If you are local to Sydney (or can get to Sydney) we would love to see you at our first meeting or a Sunday sew-in (details of the sew-in to be advised when we have our venue confirmed).

Check out the GWSMQG blog for more information and/or join the Facebook group to keep up to date with the guild's happenings.  If you don't do Facebook then sign up to be updated via the blog.

Other local MQGs - the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild came out of hibernation this week and has announced some meeting dates, check out their blog for details.  If you live in the Illawarra the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild meets on a regular basis, details on their blog too.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Care do.Good Stitches - Feb WIP

I love it when a project starts to come together. This quilt is in memory of a green loving friend.

I'm changing tack from yesterday and am introducing the Heath in lilac as a narrow border around the stars, followed by a white border and then the Heath chartreuse binding (if I can get my hands on more). The pale aqua fabric on the right is going to be the last pair of stars.

I'm excited that this is finally getting somewhere. I'll be glad to have this finished as it has been hanging over me for a few months and I was having trouble finding inspiration. Nothing like being re-inspired!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Winter in Sydney

The last few weeks have gone by in a blur. The eldest had two weeks school holidays and it was nice to just let the kids reconnect with each other and not have any "need to be anywhere" pressures plus we ALL had a cold the first week! I loved having the whole day to tackle projects without the interruptions the school run brings.

There were a couple of outings, a birthday party, teaching M to sew, a night out for my Mothers' Group Mums, catch up with cousins, play date with a school friend etc. I took some random photos with Instagram so here they are:

Waiting for Light Rail on a chilly day

Looking at Sydney from Harbourside

Outside the National Maritime Museum

Making banana cake

Afternoon tea

M wanted to do some sewing today - we made this Ooshka

At the park on a warm day

WIP - progressing slowly

A "new" washing machine

Too much of this

Not enough of this

A new haircut

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Handstitched Camp

You might have noticed the Handstitched Camp button over on the sidebar. I wasn't planning on doing this course but when registrations opened I didn't want to miss out. The Handstitched Camp is part of a series of online courses on hand stitching. It is an area that I felt lacking in confidence and technique. The course is run by the talented Rachel of Stitched in Color whom I did Curves Camp with earlier in the year. I was really impressed with the way Rachel ran Curves (really thorough tutorials and online support) so I knew this was going to be money well spent (about $70). There's something about paying money that gets me really committed, I don't think I would be so disciplined with a quilt a long.

Things have been a little busy 'round these parts so I have only managed to make a start on the Modern Medallion Quilt. I had to change the centre applique from the original which was a dogwood shape to this square on point. The dogwood didn't work with my centre fabric "It's a Hoot" but I am being very restrained and using mostly fabric already in the stash. This project will be added to at each stage of the course and for me it is the main priority. There will be smaller projects along the way, and if I have the time I will do some of those too.

Here's the colorful combination of floss that I've selected for the next step which is to add embroidered half square triangles and cornerstones. The solids are going to be used in the next round of borders. I must make a move on because that tutorial is coming on Monday!

Have you ever done any online courses?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Pretty Lined Drawstring Pouches

A couple of weeks ago I had a niece celebrating her Holy Communion, a niece turning 13, and twin niece and nephew turning 11. Perfect opportunity to use Jeni's drawstring pouch tutorial. I made these pouches over the space of 4-5 days but it should only take a couple of hours to make one. I got lots of interruptions and I made one then decided to make the other three... Wait for fabric to arrive... You know how it goes.

As soon as these were made my kids were asking if they were for them, especially my two year old!


This one is for my 8 yr old niece who is very much into pink. Her family have just gone on a European holiday so I hope the pouch was useful for packing some little travel items.


In other news the kids have just gotten over a really bad flu virus. I was lucky to dodge that one. I have been trying to find a balance between sewing time and home duties. I find the home duties a real drag and get by on doing the basics. I feel like that's not good enough and I want to make our home more of a priority. I also have the incentive of a house guest next month so I'm aiming to spring clean and declutter one room at a time, I know having a clean house makes me happy (it's just that three littlies can trash it in the blink of an eye).


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jane Market Bag do.Good Stitches Secret Swap

Instead of making a quilt, the do.Good Stitches team is participating in a secret swap this month. I spent three days last week (yes, it shouldn't have taken that long) making my swap item.

My partner, Kris, didn't request anything in particular but her color choice was blue and green.

I chose some Liberty and co-ordinating fabrics from the stash and turned them into a Jane Market Bag.

I used some cotton drill between the layers as stabiliser and I used a lightweight interfacing on the Liberty and the pockets. The bag was still a bit floppy so next time I'll try a stiffer stabiliser.

The other deviation from the pattern is the straps were cut 5" x 24". The little selvedges were added for some fun. I also top stitched around the base for added support.

Fabrics used: Dear Stella, Liberty, Japanese remnant for the pockets and DS Picnics and Fairgrounds for the lining.

Kris received her bag a couple of days ago and blogged about it here. Now just waiting in anticipation to see who and what mine will be!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

do.Good Stitches May

Where has this week gone?  I took these photos on Monday morning and it has taken me four days to find the time to blog about them! These are my May blocks for do.Good Stitches.  Kris, the quilter, asked for Herringbone Blocks in feminine colours as she intends to donate the quilt to a Woman's Shelter.

I was in my element with this one!  I love using the girly fabrics in my stash.  The only problem was that I was not having a good sewing day.  I read the tutorial which stated you need a 6.5" x 24" ruler or template.  I have two 24" rulers but didn't actually realise they were only 6" wide NOT 6.5".  You can see where this is going....  I cut my first half-block with my ruler and that's when I measured and was swearing at myself for stuffing up the block.  Here's my orphan half block, I'll have to find another use for it!

The wrong size!

Things seemed to go downhill from there.  Instead of cutting exactly the same fabrics to remake that block I cut the fabrics I had allocated for the second half of the block (I now had two sets of the same fabric strips).  That worked out OK, just not as I had originally designed it.

When I made block 2 I cut the second half block upside down!  This meant that a couple of the fabrics I had planned to mismatch now matched up.  Not a biggy but still not what I had originally planned.

So they are still useable blocks and I do really like them.  They are just not as awesome as I had hoped they would be!  Do you find that you have good days and bad days when sewing?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking over the lounge room

The size of this quilt is scaring me, it's bigger than our living room rug! That's AFTER I trimmed those edges - I'm glad I did and it was pretty easy thanks to my square ruler.

I'm so intimidated to quilt this on my sewing machine since I have only quilted cot sized quilts before. I am considering doing it in two pieces and then joining them - kind of a quilt as you go technique. I know I read a blog last year where the quilt was quilted in 3 pieces and joined together - I just can't remember where it was.

Maybe I should just wait until I get my new, bigger, fancier sewing machine. I've got time to think about it as the batting won't be here for a few weeks since it's on backorder.

Anyway, I've got the blocks labelled into rows and ready to piece together. Does anyone remember reading the tutorial I mentioned or something similar?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bowties. To trim or not to trim, that is the question!

55 out of 56 blocks done. Just putting the last one together this morning - I lost the little squares but found them in my stash drawer before I cut new ones.

I'm tempted to skip trimming these blocks, I can see they are not perfectly square but I'm feeling lazy! Do you always trim your blocks?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

SMS Giveaway Day Winners Announced

What a great week of give aways.  Did you get around and enter a few?  I didn't get to spend as much time entering give aways as I would've liked but I entered some give aways that truly spoke to me - fingers crossed that I'll win something!

The entries are now closed on my give away and I've already drawn and notified the winners.  I was too excited to leave it until later!  To see the announcement head back to the original give away post.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sew Mama Sew May Giveaway Day

Welcome if you're visiting to the first time, and hello to my regulars.  It's give away time over at Sew Mama Sew and I jumped at the chance to join in on the fun.  Since it's my birthday next week I wanted to celebrate with my readers by offering up these goodies.

I'm going to be giving away two prizes.  Both packs contain a fabric range that doesn't really need any introduction - Good Folks!  The reason I have decided to share this coveted fabric range with you is that the Good Folks Gods have been shining down on me lately and I have managed to acquire the last few prints to finish off my collection.  Happy dance!!

Prize 1:

Three fat eighths of Good Folks prints in my favourite colour pink.

Ric Rac owl embroidery panel

Two sets of vintage style buttons

Purse Frame Bag 8.5"x7" lined in dupion silk (handmade by me!).  
You can use it to store your notions or add a little chain and use it as an evening bag.

Prize 2:

Good Folks Fortune in Sea (12"x22") with matching zip & Gutterman thread

Make It Perfect - Versatile Wrap Skirt Pattern

Monaluna Shopping Tote 17"x14" by Green Bag Lady


1.  Leave a comment below letting me know what sewing machine you use and whether you would buy it again.

2.   Leave a 2nd comment if you are or become a follower via Google Friend Connect, stating as such

3.   Leave a 3rd comment if you are or become a follower of me on Twitter (@DoloresALOL), stating as such

Remember to leave an email address or make sure you have one on your Google profile so that I can contact you if you are the winner.  

This competition is open to everyone internationally and will be open until May 25th, 5pm PST at which time two winners will be drawn randomly - the first drawn will win Prize 1, the second will win Prize 2.  The winners will be notified by email and announced on this post.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


Draw 1/Prize 1:

Draw 2/Prize 2:

Congratulations to:

No. 16 Michaela &
 No. 221 Crunchy Con Momma!