Pineapple blocks

I bought some new dressmaking pins when I was choosing fabrics with Adelaide at Amitie Textiles this week.

I suddenly had the need to make a new pincushion to provide them with a home.

Pineapple block pincushion 2

I quickly drew up a teeny tiny pineapple block on some pattern making paper.  Then I cut tiny scraps of leftover fabrics and spent the next little while enjoying some machine piecing.

Once that was done I still hadn't overcome my need to make pineapple blocks. So I fiddled around with a block template on Illustrator and came up with a simpler one that didn't have as many rounds.

Pineapple blocks 1

I'm not sure where these are headed, but they're quite satisfying to make.  I never knew what foundation paper piecing was until Rita on Red Pepper Quilts enlightened me. She has an excellent tutorial on her blog (for a different pattern) that explains how to piece with foundation paper.

Rita also has an astounding pineapple quilt.  You simply must take a look.

Pineapple blocks 2

If you want to try your hand at your own pineapple blocks, I have uploaded my 7" template.  You can access it in my left side bar.

Patchwork ironing board cover

Don't you love Pinterest!  This image:

Courthouse steps 1

Plus this image:

Courthouse steps 2

Plus this image:

Board cover inspiration

Inspired a litle quilting. (These images and their sources can be found on my Pinterest board here.)

I have one of these old wooden ironing boards.  I found it in a quirky thrift shop in Flinders Lane.  I walked through the city with it tucked under my arm like a surfer in search of a wave.

Patchwork ironing board cover 8

This is not really a practical or usable ironing board, particularly if you use a steam function.  

Patchwork ironing board cover 4

This is a Denyse Schmidt fabric bundle - I'm not sure which range.  I like the pop of red.

Patchwork ironing board cover 1

I bound it in a plain red and then ran a running stitch around the binding which I pulled in to get it to hug the board.  It was a relatively quick project to make.

Patchwork ironing board cover 6

This will be more of a decorative piece in the studio in our new house.

Speaking of which, renovations are in full swing.  As is invariably the case, the scope and timing of the renovation has blown out enormously.  We will be lucky to be in by Christmas. The house is a mere shell; with walls, floors, ceilings, the roof and plaster missing.

The simple suggestion to line the roof and put in a few dormer windows to create an attic studio has turned into a major element of the project.  Our architect does not do things by halves.  We now have a beautiful space taking shape on the roof, complete with French doors opening to a small north facing terrace and a lovely deep window seat overlooking the back yard.  The views from up there are fantastic - looking out over the neighbours roof and the treetops. From the street you would never know it was there.

Attic studio 1

This photo was taken a few weeks ago.  The opening on the left will be where the French doors go.  The opening on the right is the dormer window overlooking the back yard.  A pair of windows flanks the French doors.

Attic studio 2

This is the space looking back the other way, with Adelaide standing at the top of the stairs.  Through the openings you can see the roof tiles on the front part of the house.  There will be some fabulous roof storage in that section.  You can never have too much storage.

Patchwork ironing board cover 5

In the meantime, this little craft project is casually waiting around in my current sewing studio (and getting in the way really).

Quilted dog bed

I do like a small quilting project for the immediate satisfaction.  Quilts rarely get finished in this house.  Recently I made a quilted cover for our dear Lucy's bed.

Quilted dog bed 3

The awful vinyl cover that this dog bed came with was not going to cut it for our pooch.  The cover I made was very much inspired by this image in my favourites on flickr.

I used a Denyse Schmidt fat quarter bundle for the sides and the piping.  I prewashed some linen for the top and bottom and then quilted it in a diagonal grid pattern.  I inserted a big metal zip that would stand up to a beating and frequent washings which I hid in the seam under the piping.  The sides are quilted in a loop-the-loop pattern.

Quilted dog bed 2

The bottom line though, is that Lucy approves and is happy to sit on this bed and not the sofas.

A quilted pincushion

Yesterday I felt like taking on a small craft project.  Life is really hectic at the moment, with the weeks being swallowed up with weekends at the snow and weekdays poring over architect's plans and joinery drawings.  All very exciting stuff but there's not a moment to spare.


This quilted pincushion was squeezed in between homework supervision and dinner preparation last night.  I like having a few pincushions so one can travel with each project.  It saves me from stabbing the furniture with needles and pins.

Pincushion in sewing box

I've resurrected an earlier hand quilting project from a few years ago.  I have now completed 5 blocks.  I'm not sure how many more I will need to make.  It might be a 9 block quilt or a 12 block quilt.  This little box of craft travels with me to the snow each weekend.  At least there I find more time for sewing.  It's funny how it's so much easier to relax when I'm away from home.  Do you find that?

Ocean waves quilt is finished

I promise this will be the last post on this quilt.

Quilt in frame

I've been quilting like a mad woman over the last few weeks to finish this quilt before the ski season.

Quilt in full

Mission accomplished.

Quilt with Lucy

I already have one happy customer.  Lucy doesn't need much encouragement to jump up.

Quilt in situ

I am partial to greys so I didn't need much persuading to put all these fabrics together. They were chosen to go with the soft furnishings in the room.

Quilt ocean waves

I think this might just be my favourite quilt to date.


Ocean waves lap quilt

This very rainy Saturday has provided the perfect opportunity to baste this ocean waves quilt.

Ocean waves lap quilt

It's only 48 blocks.  I wanted a size that would be just right for a child to snuggle under on the sofa.  This will go with us to the snow for the upcoming season.  Which means I have only this month to get it quilted. For the first time in ages I'm going to hand quilt a quilt.  So I'd better get my skates on.

Ocean waves basted

I'm kind of liking these moody, wintery greys.

Ocean waves quilt

Saturday morning is always a nice time for some sewing in our house.

Ocean waves quilt

Everyone is calm and enjoying the slower pace a weekend brings.  And I'm pottering in my studio and enjoying the precision required to piece these blocks.

Ocean waves quilt blocks

This creation is totally inspired by Denyse's Ocean Waves quilt. Most of the fabrics I'm using are Denyse Schmidt fabrics from various ranges.

There are lots of exciting things happening in our family and life is good.  But does anyone else find the return to a new school year exhausting?  I'm only just finding my feet now and the term is nearly over.  It's always the way, but seems evermore so this year.

Down Under Doll Quilt has been sent

On Friday I bundled my doll quilt into the post.

Doll quilt flying geese

Continuing with my obsession with flying geese, I pulled some happy fabrics from my stash and got to work.

Doll quilt layout

I then played with the layout.  Once I have blocks where I want them I take a photo.  It's the easiest way to remember which bits belong where.

Doll quilt quilting

I did a little free motion quilting.  

Doll quilt quilted

This red hoop is called a Quilt Halo.  It's rubbery, so grips the fabric.  There's no need for quilting gloves.  You can pick one up here.  I haven't had the chance to try it on a larger quilt, so can't say yet whether I love it or not.  I will aim to give it another try soon.

Doll quilt ready to send

I couldn't resist including a couple of matching t-shirts for the little girls in my swap partner's home, who are the true recipients of the doll quilt.  Well that narrows the field a bit if you're trying to guess who my swap partner is, doesn't it?  I suspect my parcel arrived today so the game is up anyway.

Best quilting rulers

A few posts back I mentioned quilting rulers and what an improvement they have made to my piecing.


Lately I've been a little fixated with flying geese.  An obsession traced back to this quilt.


I had a play around with a few blocks myself.


And then got sidetracked by the blue and white shirting quilt. These two blocks are draped over my airing rack and will possibly be added to when the urge strikes.


As well as a classic flying geese ruler for cutting the triangles, I invested in possibly my favourite ruler to date - the Wing Clipper.  This ruler is used to trim down the little geese blocks after you've stitched them.


It works a treat and I love the perfect little blocks I end up with. They are much more satisfying to put together when they're this accurate.

I wish I'd known about these tools when I was inpsired to make this quilt years back.  Unfortunately it hasn't progressed.  I pulled out all the blocks to trim them down and they were a mess of odd sizes.  As a result I'm not sure this quilt will make it any further.

Pickle dish quilt progress

These little arcs of colour make me inordinately happy.


They come together really quickly. The most time consuming part is cutting around the templates.  Once that is done the sewing is a snap.  I now have nearly 100 of these arcs - enough to make a quilt of 4 x 5 circles.


At the time of purchase, I didn't realise I need an accompanying set of templates for all the joining blocks. They've been ordered and I'm eagerly looking out my studio window while I sew to see if there's a nice looking parcel in our letterbox. Hopefully today.


Until then, I will just have to satisfy myself with laying these blocks out on our bed.

Pickle dish quilt

Last week I dropped by the Quilt and Craft Fair that came to Melbourne.  As well as seeing the amazing quilts on display, I went hunting for quilting supplies.

Specialty rulers and templates were a bit of a revelation to me.  I'd never used one before I made my kaleidoscope quilt. When I discovered the difference they can make to accurate piecing I was hooked. So I'm now on the lookout for other nifty rulers and devices that make my quilting better.


One of my purchases at the fair was a set of pickle dish templates.  These are fun!  And I love sewing pieces that have the corners trimmed.  It makes for quick and easy alignment.


Look at these little piles of loveliness.  I pulled all the happy fabrics from my stash.  Clear and bright fabrics that look fresh and cheery against the white.


Yum.  Now I'm off to join them together.

My house is a mess.  There are little snippets of fabric all over the carpet.  I'm covered in threads and I haven't eaten lunch. But I'm happy as a lark while I potter in my studio for the day, playing with fabric and listening to Pandora.  Life is sweet.

What's your favourite quilting tool?  I've got a few.  I'll share with you my other purchases in a future post soon.

Down Under Doll Quilt Swap Round 3

Round three of the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap is on.  And a doll sized quilt is perfect for me right now, as term 3 is a busy time for us.


Here is my inspiration mosaic - to give my partner an idea of what I like.  No real common theme here, so probably not that helpful for her.  But in reality, anything would be divine.

So I'm off to study my partner's blog and flickr feed and faves to get some ideas forming for what I might make.  Fun, fun.