Thursday, 20 August 2015

"One Very Happy Camper"

Many of my regular readers will recall the lovely bright quilt top I put together in February, called "Cabin Beneath the Stars" - photo of the finished top in the March post.  The top was made using some left over jelly roll strips used in the "Bugs in a Rug" floor quilt made for Master K. I added a few more fabrics from my stash and made the top large enough to fit the queen size mattress in our camper trailer. Of course, I didn't give any thought as to HOW I was going to quilt it on my home machine, OR what to use for the backing! So it was put away with the other PIPs in my "must-do" work basket.

We are now only two weeks away from the start of our three month adventure to Western Australia, so I thought it was time to put aside all other projects and try to finish our "camping" quilt - not withstanding a few "dilemmas" of course!

Dilemma One:  What to back it with? And do I want to add batting? My first thoughts were to use one of my microfibre blankets - you know the ones - they are fluffy and very warm. Nope, not big enough. Search the stash - nothing that fit the idea I had in mind. Oh, but wait - what about those few winter fabrics in the laundry cupboard? Ah, herein lies the beauty of the saying - "I'll buy that fabric on special - might come in handy for a project one day". And there I discovered a long forgotten "end-of-bolt" warm corduroy - metres of it -- certainly more than I needed for this project. And NO, there would be no batting used.

Dilemma Two:  Fabric not wide enough but lots of length.  So I measured, and measured again (always remember - Measure twice, Cut once). Cut the desired lengths (which was really the width of the quilt and not the length), and stitched together to give me the desired width and length. Now with the two pieces joined there was more length than the size of the quilt (and it was slightly wider - about 2.5").

Stitching the self-binding bottom
Dilemma Three:  Yep. What to do with the extra length. Do I cut it to size? Nope. I decided to make it longer, to fit under or over the pillows. Process:  As there was to be no batting I decided to join the top and backing fabric together like a sack, so it became more of a warm coverlet rather than a thick quilt. First I joined the top and bottom of the top to the top and bottom of the backing. Not a good move as the backing was slightly wider than the top - only by 2.5" each side, but enough to make it all out of shape. Unpick the bottom seam and have a rethink. Presented Dilemma Four - of course.

Dilemma Four:  Where to from here? Isn't it a great feeling when you suddenly have a creative thought and things start to come together. Laying the conjoined top and backing out on the guest double bed I discovered there was enough backing fabric along the bottom and sides to create a "self-binding". So I set to with pins and binding clips to fold and pin the bottom binding first. Took it to the machine - and voila - an open sided "sack".
Stretchy sides?

Bottom and side self-binding complete
I was a little hesitant about stitching the sides. As I mentioned, the backing fabric is a warm corduroy (more like velveteen actually), but the only thing I was concerned about was that it is a STRETCH cord. A little more difficult to sew but what the heck. I had successfully managed to deal with the other Dilemmas and was determined there would be no more. So I decreased the pressure on the machine foot and slowly stitched the sides a small section at a time (stitch, stop, remove pins/clips, adjust) and in no time at all there was one finished coverlet ready for the camper trailer bed.

Yay - Finished Coverlet!
The OGO was a little disappointed that it was not actually a "quilt" per-se, with no warm batting. But he was still impressed with the finished coverlet (more impressed that I had ACTUALLY FINISHED another project from my PIPs basket!!!!).

So I am One Happy Camper looking forward to our three month adventure to Western Australia starting on 3rd September.  If you would like to follow our adventure you are more than welcome to go on over to our travel blog -

We'll be posting photos and a little summary of the different areas we will be travelling through.

A very Happy Camper!!!

But before then I think I may have time to put up one more post here as I hope to finish a couple of more things before we leave home. So now I'm off to the Woman's Cave to see what other creative things I can work on.

Hugs and Happy Stitching 


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mid Year Crisis is Over

Wow - it's August! And I have to admit that I am delighted that the first half of this year has gone and the OGO and I can look forward to the second half of 2015 with great expectations. Yes, it has been some time since my last entry shared with you and I wish that I could say it was because I was far too busy in the Woman's Cave or travelling around the country.  Some of that is true (the travelling bit anyway) but mostly it has been more because of the OGO's health issues - which I am delighted to say have now been dealt with and the crisis is over.  Time to move on to more positive things methinks!

There were two very wonderful events, or moments in time, in the first half of 2015.  One in March when a beautiful new addition to our family arrived in the shape of a baby boy for Mrs K. This little one is a delight and a joy to us all - but especially the OGO who seemed to form a bond with the little one since day one. So we have now been blessed with FOURTEEN beautiful grandchildren. All strong and healthy - for which we are very blessed.
"Ya-Whoo" - Owls for Heather - July 2015
The other wonderful moment in time was to hear the news from the lovely Heather in Tasmania that she was clear of all cancer following months of chemo treatment. Such wonderful news and I wish her continued good health for a long time yet.

After the OGO's op in July I managed to re-ignite my passion for my craft work and set about making gifts for Christmas. I know, I know - such a nasty word so early in the year. But getting things started now means less rush and stress in December - especially as the OGO and I are off on another adventure from early September until the end of November.  Anyway, despite being mid-year, I have managed to start ticking off my list of goodies for family and friends.
Large Arrowhead Cushion cover

Drink bottle carriers
Matching cushion covers - Ooh La La

My 2015 goal was to finish some of my PiPs before starting any new projects. Yeah..... well that didn't last long. I did manage to finish some of the small PiPs.   The Aussie floral placemats, French General fabric cushion covers, and the bottle carriers were all small PiPs started in 2014. Christmas gifts do you think??

 I still have a large number of PiPs to work on (maybe whilst travelling for three months do you think?), but I have also started (and finished in some cases) a number of new projects, as I felt the need for more challenging projects.

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 1 close-up
Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 1
One of the new projects is a BOM by Jacquelynne Steves called "Cozy Afternoon". This is a FREE online project offered over five months - I only signed up for it two weeks ago and I have completed two blocks (photos below and on Pinterest). A great project for using up some of my stash, which seems to be growing faster than rabbits can breed!!!  This is the first "online" project I have taken part in and it's quite good fun being able to share the end project with others.  If you would like to see the full project, you can just click on the link above and it should open in another page.

Of course, there are other "new" projects happening in the Woman's Cave. Things like the beautiful "Gift of the Month" projects from Faeries in My Garden - quite a challenging project the last one which arrived in two parts (photos next time I hope). Not yet completed but well on the way. And the Hexies Storage Bag that I showed you part of last post, is now finished and full of things to work on whilst travelling.
Hexi bag front - embroidered

Inside Hexi bag - all ready to travel

Hexi bag back - zippered close

And so the next two weeks will be busy getting everything ready for our travels to WA with the camper trailer.  Of course, there will still be time to work on projects in the Woman's Cave - and I do have to prepare some "hand" projects to take with me - how would I survive for three months without a challenging project or two!!!
Placemats for travelling

FiMG Picnic Placemat

FiMG Placemat ready for travelling