Sunday, 20 July 2014


Hello lovelies!  I've had quite a productive week!  A few good things are on the horizon and I am dying to share them with you.  Firstly, this week I bravely ventured off to meet my local quilters guild.  I realised I needed to be surrounded by people who share this crazy love for quilt making and I wasn't disappointed.  I discovered a whole group of lovely ladies who are just as passionate about this craft as I am.  Our meetings are once a month but there is a sub group that meets weekly.  It was also a surprise to discover that two of the members I already knew as their children go to the same school as mine!  Small world.  If your looking to connect with others who share your passion, make new friends and go to quilt related events, I highly recommend making your acquaintance with your local guild.

My other news is that next term I will be teaching sewing at my daughters primary school... I'm very excited about this!  My daughter and I have been coming up with some small but cute little things for the kids to make.  I made this little bucket pin cushion and this adorable little needle book.  The pincushion bucket I will soon be putting on the blog as a tutorial.

 They are super easy and quick to make so stay tuned.




The needle book pattern can be found over at nanaCompany.  I love how it uses mostly little scraps you have laying about from other projects.

In other news, I have put the tumbler quilt away for now, but started sewing these little I-spy jars.  I have built up quite a collection of these novelty fabrics.  I look forward to using them in some of my kids quilts for BlanketLovez but this quilt will be for our family.  I'm going to turn some of the blocks on their side to make it look like the jar has fallen over and some of the creatures have escaped.  I've just made the pattern up as I go, so when its finally together I might even draft it as a pattern for my new shop.

Anyway, a quick post today, but hope to be back later in the week with a recipe or two.

Yours in Stitches

Leanne x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Winter progress.

Hello lovelies, sorry its been a little too long between posts (well, for me anyway).  It's school holidays here in Australia so the kids have two weeks break from school.  As much as I like the company, the bickering and fighting is exhausting at times.  Nevertheless, we had a few little trips out on the days the weather was clear.

On the sewing front, my Star Quilt was posted off to NSW last week to be long-arm quilted and then bound.  I cannot wait to see a pic of the final product!  So much fun.

Since then I have been working on my tumbler quilt.

I have really enjoyed this one.  I just adore these fabrics!  It will however, be the last time I purchase a quilt kit or charm squares for that matter.  I was really surprised to find that many of the charm squares were inaccurately cut - I think I prefer cutting my own from fat quarters.  And there was supposed to be 4.6 metres of fabric in the kit for backing and binding - there was only about 2 metres!!! Very disappointing!  But I think I'm fairly happy with the way it turned out.  The large print border (was supposed to be the backing fabric) is not really me... a bit too busy... I would have preferred a smaller print to highlight the tumblers more.  But since I had to buy new backing fabric I think I've spent enough on this quilt.

The kit I purchased many years ago from a quilt show and I recall it was about $200.  Now I just have to sandwich and start quilting.  I'm tempted to hand quilt this one as my hand sewing project, which I work on nearly every night while watching TV, is coming to an end.

I've featured Grandma's Garden hexagon quilt before (its a little crinkled from being crunched up while working on it).  I found some sweet polka dot fabric for the borders so I'm now just finishing the hexagons and then will attach the borders.  It looks incredibly sweet on my dining table as a table cloth, I can't wait to finish it.

Also, I haven't told you about the quilt show I went to a couple of weeks back.  It was wonderful.  I was unsuccessful in recruiting anyone to go with me but ohhhh I had a lovely time.  Just taking my time wandering the aisles, checking out all the new patterns, fabrics, etc each stall had to offer.  Pure heaven.  I was very good and only came home with a small stash.  A fat quarter bundle of the new range from Melly & Me, and some I-spy fabrics.

Not sure what I'm going to make with the Melly & Me fabrics but they are just gorgeous.

The quilt exhibition was amazing... so much talent!  Here are just some of the beautiful quilts I admired (I wish I knew how to display them in a grid or slideshow):

The quilting is just exquisite!

Postage stamp quilt of 1" squares, hand pieced and quilted!

A colourful tumbler quilt!

Love this hexagon quilt, just beautiful!

Amazing hexagon quilt with teeny tiny hexagons!!!  All hand pieced of course!

Hexagons in diamond format

Love this selvage quilt!

Itty bitty stars!

Dear Jane quilt!

Loved this one, little pieced baskets.

As you can tell, I have a bit of a thing for vintage quilts.  The detail in these quilts was incredible, real works of art.

On a sad note though, this week the quilting world learned of the passing of a beautiful quilter Julie Wallace of Quilters Barn.  Such a talented quilter, I'm sure her designs will be enjoyed for many years to come.

I found some beautiful quilt patterns from the Make It Do website here and here.  Ohhhh there is nothing like the prospect of a new quilt, oh the possibilities really do inspire me!

My studies have been seriously neglected but its been nice to have a rest and laze about the house.  I have been looking into making my own house cleaning products in an effort to save some money.  Last night I made my own dishwasher powder.  I used to make this years ago and still had the recipe. It works a treat and is so cheap to make.

Dishwasher Powder

1 cup Borax
1 cup Bicarb Soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid
30 drops of essential oil (I used lavender, but orange or lemon would be nice)

Mix together and store in an airtight container.  Use 1 tablespoon per load.

I also added a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid with the powder in the dispenser and filled the rinsing liquid dispenser with vinegar.  I'm very happy with the results.

I'm trying this today:

Laundry Powder

4 cups grated pure soap (grate by hand or use the grater blade on your food processor)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing soda powder (not crystals) (known as Lectric Soda in Australia)

Mix well and store in an airtight container.  Use 2 tbsp per load.  If you wash in cold water (as I do) dissolve the powder in hot water and add to wash so the soap dissolves.  This powder won't lather like commercial detergents but it still cleans well.  The lathering of commercial laundry products is due to an additive to make us believe that bubbles make things clean!  If you use your waste water on the garden, don't include the Borax - too much Borax is toxic to plants and worms.  If you need a more heavy duty powder, you can substitute 2 cups of the pure soap for 2 cups of grated stain remover soap or powder (ie. Napisan or Sards soap).

I am also making my own citrus multipurpose cleaner.

Citrus Multipurpose cleaner

Fill a glass jar with peels from citrus (I'm using orange peels, but lemon or lime peels are good too) and cover with vinegar.  Seal the jar and leave in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.  Strain the liquid into a bottle.  The liquid is ready to use just as you would with a spray and wipe product (not for use on wood) or can be diluted with water if desired.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out.  Yes, I had a heap of oranges for lunch lol.  They are so sweet and juicy at the moment.  These were organic oranges... they were the same price as the normal oranges!

You may have guessed, I'm a bit of a homesteader at heart :)  I even have bread baking in the bread maker!  I'm on a roll.  These products are all much better for the environment than your purchased cleaners and much easier on the pocket.  They are also quick and easy to make.  I think I will do this once a month.

Well I think thats it from me, hope your getting some sewing done at your place.  Feel free to post a link to your blog in the comments :) I love seeing what projects others have in the works.

Yours in Stitches

Leanne x