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I’ve read how a few ladies like to applique or stitch with a cushion on their lap for a bit of support or to raise their work so they don’t end up with neck strain. Well I use a Stable Table – a little lap table with a bean bag base. It’s really handy, especially as it has a trough around the outside so things don’t roll off. It’s also slightly non-slip on the surface, so that helps keep things in place too.

Now while I find this table very useful, I wasn’t really all that in love with the coffee beans image that was on the top. So I decided to do something about it.

I had made a start on some of the blocks in the Homespun Magazine “Breast Of Friends” quilt, but I lost motivation after about 3 1/2 of them (there are 12 in all, I think). The first one I had made was this one – it’s a Leanne Beasley design and I really love the filled in backstitch swirls on this block.

So, rather than have the block sit in a bag and go to waste I thought I would re-purpose it. (If you’re interested in more ideas on “re-purposing”, check out NotJustNat – she’s a wizz at taking something old and making it new again!) I covered the original coffee bean picture with my block, slipped it back under the surface . . .

and voilà . . .

One updated stable table that should see me through many more stitching hours to come!

How have you re-purposed your orphan blocks?

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I started out to make a bag so that I could applique this little stitchery on to it. The stitchery is from a retreat with Rosalie Quinlan and Leanne Beasley held in Nowra (hosted by Jukejema Quilting Barn) and was a practice in satin stitch.

Satin Stitch - Rosalie Quinlan design

So I had the fabric for the bag, chosen to match the variegated threads (Cosmo Seasons) used in the stitchery.

But then procrastination set it!

And stayed for a while!

And then a while longer!

To cut a long period of procrastination short, I ended up using the applique on the front of a journal cover. There’s something quite decadent about a notebook covered in fabric, don’t you think?

Journal Cover

So this journal cover did not use any of the original fabrics (although it did use fabrics from my stash, so that counts for something). I’m loving these muddied/muted colours at the moment.

Well, then there was still the issue of the fabric for a bag!

So I stitched the bag outer.

And the bag lining.

And then I decided that I really, really liked the bag lining and that it should be a bag of its own.

And it is!

Bag with drawstrings

I’ve put a casing and drawstring on it, so I can fill it up or give it a little shape if it’s not so full. I really love the fabrics in this bag.

Bag with drawstrings 2

Egg fabric

But then, what to do with the original bag outer?

Well, make another lining, of course.

bag-brown

So this one also used fabric from my stash (it feels good to use from the stash).

I left the lining sitting up a little at the top to give the look of piping, and then top stitched to keep it in place. I quite like the look of this one.

bag-brown-2

Both bags have been put into service and it’s lovely using fabric instead of plastic when I’m out and about!

What project of yours has evolved into something entirely different?

This is “Francene” – my birthday present! How lucky am I?

She’s a February 1951 Featherweight model 221K, made in Scotland. And she’s just about perfect!

When I first unpacked her, the needle wouldn’t go up or down, but removing the 2″ piece of thread caught (or really just snagged slightly) in the bobbin case and the lint from around the bobbin saw her sewing like a dream – such lovely tension and perfect stitches (I used 2 different coloured threads to test her out – much easier to see where the tension needs adjusting). Her bobbin area may never have been cleaned, but all in all, she’s been very well looked after.

And she’s got the most beautiful scroll work on the face plate . . .

Her paintwork is in pretty good condition – see her reflection in the bed extension?

What is it about older things that holds such appeal? I mean, I can’t speak highly enough of my Janome machine (which is about 23 years old). It sews like a charm – always has. But Francene . . . she’s got a feel all of her own. Such a gentle rhythm, not to mention way toooo cute. She’s aged pretty gracefully for a 59 year-old! I guess my husband feels the same way with his cabinet making – he has the “new” tools, but there’s something about working with vintage equipment – mentally it seems to take you back to simpler times, a less rushed pace somehow. Whatever it is, I like it!

So there she is – Francene the sewing machine!

I’ve added a page to my blog with links to useful and/or interesting iPhone applications. You can click on the button on the left of the page or the iPhone Stuff tab at the top of the page to get there . . .

This is an evolving list – as I come across things I like, or as my kids point me in all kinds of different directions to different apps . . .

Yesterday, Heidi talked about an app which I knew I just had to have. It’s the Quick & Easy Quilt Block Tool! Heidi talked about the “real life” version of this tool a while back, but I hadn’t seen it in the shops in my travels. So this app was ideal for me. Check it out if you’re a quilter . . .

If you go to the iTunes Store and use “quilt” to search the apps, there are a few interesting one to see.

Check back to the iPhone Stuff page from time to time if you like (I can’t quite figure out how to set it up so that you can subscribe directly to that page, so if anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them!).

OK, so it’s not like I’m in need of another project, but I’ve been seeing the Snowbound Block of the Month from Bunny Hill – and I really like it! The snowmen are so cute. But  I decided I was going to start . . . and then I had a moment of indecision!

What was it that caught my imagination about this project?

Was it the fabrics (Rural Jardin – who can resist)?

Was it the applique which should go together pretty quickly?

Was it the snowmen?

Actually, it was a bit of all of those things. But . . .

I have decided, for now, to simplify (my life and this project) – so I’m doing it as a stitchery – in miniature!

Each stitchery block with be about 4 /12″ square. And I’m using some vintage silk thread that I picked up on my travels a while ago (I knew I loved it but didn’t quite know what to do with it).

So . . .

I started with the pattern and a fine (01) Zig pen (I find Pure Brown pretty good for tracing stitcheries) . . .

and traced it onto my fabric (which is the Rural Jardin plain in the aqua) . . .

then I started stitching . . .

There are 5 blocks available so far, with 12 in all to be done. I’m not sure what I’m going to add – maybe some little nine-patch blocks . . . we’ll see.

I quite liked stitching with the silk. It’s actually not quite as fine as would I would have preferred for this project, but still, I’m using it! I did a bit of Google-ing and it seems that the threads were probably made around 1925. They’ve held up pretty well – one spool was a little grubby on the outer threads, but most of the others are in pristine condition, with the label bands still in tact! There’s something quite appealing to me about working with older things (it’s a bit like antique furniture, I suppose). Whoever owned the threads before me must have a had a project in mind at some point, as there are 6 spools of one colour and a couple of another. Just goes to show – one girl’s stash is another girl’s treasure!

As I’ve been all over the internet checking out so many fantastic quilts as part of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I’m noticing things . . .

Grab yourself one of these . . .

and settle in for some fantastic viewing . . . (I’m not keen to grab photos off other peoples blogs, so just click on the links to see for yourself).

** Warning – viewing these blogs may inspire you to add new projects to your list of things to do! You may find yourself reaching for needle and thread as you read. Don’t say you weren’t warned! **

White backgounds are great – they seem to make for really fresh looking quilts.

Neutrals are everywhere too, and for good reason – they give a very elegant look to a quilt.

A few people seem to have a bit of circle thing going on, like I do.

Quilts with sentimental meaning are beautiful.

There are so, so many people just jumping in and taking on projects out of the comfort zones – and coming out the other end richer for it!

There are some fantastic quilt backs out there as quilters are endeavoring to use up there scraps and trim down their stashes.

Art quilts are beautiful.

Quilters all over the world put pieces of themselves into quilts for others – and it lifts the spirits of everyone . . . giver and receiver.

Oranges are definitely on my list of “I love these”. . .

Funky IS FUN!

There are quilts which you can’t help but admire – even when you know that you don’t have it in yourself to even think about attempting it.

There are all sorts of ways to include your family in your quilts!

You can be VERY creative with selveges.

Pinwheels always look great.

Hope you have as much fun checking out these blogs as I did!

This is one of my favourite quilts.

It’s not the most perfect.

It’s not been the most technically challenging.

But it’s special because it holds some pretty precious memories . . .

Our craft group booked a quilting retreat a few years back to celebrate the 10 years that we had been getting together to craft. While we had turned our hands to lots of different crafts over the years, and a couple of us had had a go at some patchwork, it wasn’t something that all of us had done. But none the less, we booked the weekend! We had a choice of a couple of different projects, but in the end settled on a Mystery Quilt (the pattern’s by Lessa Siegele). This project took us out of our comfort zone on so many levels . . . first there was the choosing of the fabric – 5 lights and 5 darks. For novice quilters, not knowing what the end product is going to look like can be quite daunting. Do we choose different colours? What about the colour value? So many questions. So many nerves.

But you know how it goes – when the going gets tough, the quilters go shopping!

We were given instructions for a little bit of preparation before the weekend, but we still didn’t have any clue what we were going to end up with!

Even though we were all making the same basic quilt, at a certain point in the construction process we had to draw a number each out of a hat, which gave us all different setting out directions. Needless to say, although we all had the same pieces (and a couple of the girls even had the same fabrics) the end result was a group of totally different and yet equally beautiful quilts.

I found it a real challenge to let go of being “in control” of the process and just have fun with it.

I found it a real challenge to choose fabric for a specific project and not know what the project was (which is funny really because I don’t generally have trouble buying fabric for no reason at all!!!).

I found that I really loved the fabrics I’d chosen.

I found that quilting with friends is such good fun.

I found that I should have made the quilt bigger if I wanted to use it on a bed.

I found a new passion.

Oh, and I found that I just love how this quilt looks hanging on my wall!

And that, my friends, is the story of my Mystery Quilt.

I’d like to say a huge THANKS to Amy from “Amy’s Creative Side” for organising this little get together and enabling us to “show and tell”! And now, why don’t you click back over to Amy’s blog and check out some more quilts as part of this wonderful BLOGGER’S QUILT FESTIVAL.

Block 4 stitched – tick.

Block 4 pressed – tick.

Block 4 pieced – tick.

Block 4 of Bronywn Hayes’ Catalicious BOM is called “Brutus with Sue and Cynthia”. This photo doesn’t show the colour very well, but the dark fabric is an aubergine colour, with the other print a buttercup-y sort of colour.

I thought this was going to pretty quick to stitch, but it seemed to take me a little longer than I estimated. But not to worry . . . I’m enjoying seeing all the blocks come together . And I think I’m enjoying satin stitch! If you’re like me and struggle a bit with this stitch and you haven’t seen this tutorial from Melly, check it out and give her technique a try – it worked for me!

So, that’s Block 1 – Brutus The Cat

Block 2 – Friends

and Block 3 – Sisters

I’m trying to use supplies on hand for this project, which is pretty satisfying. These Sawtooth Star blocks will be 18 1/2″ square (finished).  I don’t usually work with large blocks, so this is a bit of a change for me and I must say, I like seeing progress in the large sizes!

I found this little lavender bag in the linen cupboard the other day – I’d forgotten all about it and was pleasantly surprised to see it. It’s filled with lavender grown by a friend of my mum.

I remember I loved doing the monogram on this, and did one like it for my great aunt who shares the “S” with me.  I must say that although I had forgotten about it, I was surprised to see “2006” stitched into it. How time flies (I do actually remember making it) – just goes to show the importance of dating our projects – like quilts. In the blink of an eye years pass and before you know it, the details you thought you’d always remember are just a little hazy . . .

Have you heard about the Blogger’s Quilt Festival?

Click here to find out about this Quilt Festival that Amy’s hosting – and we can all be part of it!

Tell us about YOUR favourite quilt – and I’ll tell you about MINE!

About Me


Welcome to Sue's World. I'm a wife and a mother to 2 great grown-ups, living in Canberra, Australia.

My craft interests include patchwork, stitching, scrapbooking and photography.

Please feel free to stop by from time to time, and I'd love it if you'd leave me a message to let me know you've been.

Thanks for stopping in on my world.

Email Me

sue@trendium.net.au

Singer Sewing Machines

Sue's World Singer Sewing Machines page link

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iPhone Stuff

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Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Catalicious BOM

Snowbound BOM

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