Monday, June 29, 2015

A Quilters Odyssey Retreat

The Sunset on Sunday night at Nunyara Belair, you wouldn't think turning 90 degrees to the right and you would see the City of Adelaide below you. I should of taken that my picture.

A Quilters Odyssey annual retreat was on over this last weekend. Beautiful clear weather, no rain in the forecast. All 23 of us packed our bags and head for Nunyara Conference Centre at Belair for a weekend of sewing, chatting, games, shopping and good food. Kate and Sue are behind this gathering and they have done a great job once again.
I always take too many project to work on. I didn't want to run out of sewing now, do I? This year's goal was to finish my Double Wedding Ring bed runner as it came with me on retreat last year and wasn't touch. So that was Saturday project, the top was completed and it is ready for quilting.

Also I tackled the remaining 8 large Ohio Star blocks that have been cut for months. Done now just have to sew the small ones which I cut just in case I got to them but that didn't happen.

Another lingering project was my Batik Half Square Triangle quilt, it just needed the 3 borders added to them.

This was Sunday job after we had the wonderful Michele Hill visit us and speak to us about her quilting journey. Very inspiring she was and her work is stunning to see close up. I may even have a go at one of her patterns in the future. It may be time to try machine applique for real. I brought her new book on the day so I will share which project I pick and how I go when it happens.

Sunday night gave me a chance to sew a Melly & Me project for the next fair. I need a few more samples and I do like to try the patterns I sell because it helps me advise my customers. So I made Dee Dee the dolphin and she was a breeze to make and you can get the pattern at with lots of other Melly & Me patterns including some I have made kits up for.

On Monday I had Piper & Pete the penguins to make up as I cut them out before the retreat, but I got about 3/4 quarters through making them and I needed to stuff them before I could finish them off and I didn't have enough stuffing with me. 
Lastly I finally finished April's Bitty Blocks. The lag of sewing over May and June is noticeable to me with me falling behind in some projects. I have May's blocks cut ready to go so we will see if we can catch up a little bit before the end of July or not.

No matter what, lots was achieved over the weekend by everyone with lots of fun thrown in. A great weekend was had and it was sad when we had to return home and most of us back to work. If only we had another day together but there is always next year.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More new stock has arrived

Not a lot of sewing happening here. I am going to have to make up for that on the weekend when I am away with a great bunch of ladies at A Quilters Odyssey annual retreat.
In the mean time there has been new products arrive in store, The Shop tab at the top of the blog.
First is Raff the Giraffe he is available as a pattern for $16.00 or in a kit $28.00.

Plus The Quilted Fish Pigs in a Blanket is now back in stock at $16.00 per pattern. I know there is a couple of you out there waiting on their arrival.

I have left the best til last, Riley Blake Designs 10' Stacker Packs in a variety of ranges are now in stock at special low prices.($16.95-$24.95) When new stock comes in they will be a higher price so get in early for these specials.

Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our Trip on the Steam Ranger

On Sunday I took the day off from everything and my LSH (long suffering husband, so he tells me) and I took a day trip on the Steam Ranger from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor. When LSH booked the trip he made sure we had the steam engine pulling the train. He love steam trains. It was a long day but full of fun even if it was pretty cold up at Mt Barker. We were prepared knowing it was going to cold there and there was a good chance it would be cold and windy once we reached Victor Harbor.

Yes I did take my hand sewing with me but I could only stitch while we were stopped at the stations. These old trains tend to rock a bit much, so I was having trouble sewing on my line. Only a little bit got done.

There was plenty to look at as we rolled through the hills down to the coast. Lots of kangaroos, livestock, birds and more and the scenery was beautiful, maybe not as green as you would expect at this time of year. Rainfall has been very light for this time of year.

We stopped in Goolwa for 20 minutes and visited the local market and got to says hi to a few friends who would trading there. It was lovely sunny weather down there. Then back on the train for the rest of the trip.
Granite Island
The Bluff. Look how calm the water is.
We couldn't believe our luck when we arrived in Victor Harbor, the weather was perfect considering it is Winter. It was sunny and hardly a breeze compared to what we normally have down there at this time of the year. We had some lunch at one of the local hotels, did a little bit of shopping and had a good walk around and before we knew it, it was time to return to the train station for the journey back to Mt Barker.

It was after 6pm when we got back to the car to head home which is about one and half hours drive. So when we got home we were buggered but we had a great day out. I think we will have to plan a few more days out like this, do something we want to try or go somewhere we have never been before.
If you even get the chance do the trip it was great.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Stock on the Shop.

I thought I would share today what is new in the web shop. There is Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt now in stock at a special introduction price of $49.95 for a short time.

There is 2 new patterns from Melly & Me Black Sheep, White Sheep and Dee Dee the dolphin both are $16.50 each. I have selected Dee Dee to make up in a shop sample using some Tula Pink's Elizabeth fabrics I have in stock. I will share a post on that when I make it.

Also in stock Riley Blake Designs Cotton Blender Fat Quarter bundle and it is $140.00 for 31 Fat Quarters.

Plus you will notice a new Category under the Patterns tab called Cynthia's Ark Downloadable Pattern I am updating some of my printed patterns into PDF file so you will be able to order them  and receive them in your inbox once your order has been processed or can also access your download patterns via the webshop when you log in to the shop you will see a download tab under the My Account tab on the right hand side of the shop. Currently there is 2 free patterns available plus my Scrappy Roads pattern $10 with more on the way. All new patterns will come in both formats and I will update the more popular ones to PDF along the way.
Plus you should see what is coming. Lots of new stock including new friends for Larry & Oliver, 10' Stacker packs and new fabrics on the bolt. I look forward to sharing them as they arrive.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scrap Dance Quilt Along #3

The 4th clue was released during the week, so out comes the Scrap Dance box with all my fabric and blocks pieced so far. This time I have 40 of these to make.

I had planned a big sewing marathon but I didn't quite work out that way. So much other stuff kept getting in the way. I had to do some block testing for a pattern the sizes needed double checking and a good thing I checked because 1 piece was  1/4 inch too small. While doing this I used the Scrap Dance blocks as leaders and enders so I could chain piece. The only problem I had was I was missing 1 half square triangle unit and as I made them in pairs- 2 squares together stitch either side of the diagonal line there should of been an even number but I was 1 short for my 40 blocks, so I made up 1 more pair. A good thing because I accidently cut the corner of one of the pair, so silly of me.  Note to oneself. Make sure you leave enough room on your mat to trim without cutting into something else.
By the end of the weekend I had all 40 done.

So I am ready for the next step. Wish I knew how  all this is going together.
By the way while laying out the rest of the blocks to take this photo look what I found. That's right the missing half square triangle unit.
Until Next Time
Keep stitching 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vacation Time Block of the Month #6

We are up to our 6th block and I found myself a few hours for sewing this weekend. I'm happy to find this time halfway through the month to do some sewing. So what did I start with. Vacation Time was my starting point as it is only 1 block and an easy finish. So here is June's block completed.

During the week Pat Sloan announced her 2015 Summer Lovin Table Runner Challenge using a block from her book or from Vacation Time. So I am thinking I might have a go using January's block from Vacation Time in different fabrics as I am using my beautiful batik for my Vacation Time quilt. Here is the link to the post if you are interested.
This is what January's block looks like.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #4

June has become finishing month for me. With my Pies & Tarts quilt finally finished. I handed my Wishes quilt to Valerie to quilt and I have decided to give my Farmers Wife quilt to Valerie when I pick my Wishes quilt up to baste on her long arm machine which means Yes I have made the decision to hand quilt it. I may curse myself in the future for making this decision but today I am happy that I finally made the decision. Now I can move on, I think these decisions have been slowing me down. Anyway this post is suppose to be what is under my pressure foot, let me show you.

This is my lozenge quilt I am quilting today with some black and white variegated thread. This is breeze to quilt especially since I am doing my favourite free motion straight line quilting. (With my usual wobbles along the way.) I started with stitching in the ditch. Then some diagonal straight lines one way and then I wanted to do the opposite diagonal line. As I got started on the last set of diagonal rows I wasn't sure if there was enough thread.

 Guess what I didn't make it. So what does a quilter do when you know there is no more thread and I couldn't get more easily. It is a scrappy project so I just found a spool of black cotton and continued until I finished it. I don't think it is too noticable. At least not from the front, on the back you can tell.
A close up of my quilting. It creates an interesting effect, fading in and out like it does. Looking at the on point squares created by the quilting you can see different blocks from the original lozenge blocks I made.
Now it is time to pull the binding box out and create a scrappy binding to finish it off. A totally scrappy quilt.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Pies & Tarts quilt.

I have the need to finish some loose ends off. These loose ends are projects that are holding me back on making progress on other projects. So I am happy to say I finally finished hand quilting my Pies & Tarts quilt and got the binding on.

I just had to turn the binding over and hand stitch it in place. A few nights in front of the television saw me make short work of that job. So I can now tick this project off my 2015 Projects to complete list.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Salisbury Craft & Hobby Fair 2015 Round Up

I can't believe the Salisbury Craft & Hobby Fair is finished for another year. Time flies when you are with good company. We had lovely weather this time, it was still cool but at least there was no rain. I can't believe how many years we have been doing this event, it is over 15 years. Things have changed over that time, some good, some bad but that just like life isn't it.
Saturday was my best day.  It was a little bit quiet for me sales wise on the Sunday and Monday but that meant I could spend a little more time with the customers I did have and catch up with some of my market friends I don't see as often as I would like. Plus I did some work on my Inklingo black and white hexagon quilt which is starting to come along nicely except I seem to be missing 1 black hexagon flower. I will find it, I don't need it at the moment so it's ok.
Anyway back to the craft fair there was a good crowd each day with lots on offer over a wide selection of crafts, maybe a few too many jewellery stalls but who's counting.

As you have seen over the last few months I have had a few new animal friends arrive here at Cynthia's Ark and they were really popular at the fair. Having them sitting on the stall in a few different places sure did attract people attention, along with The Quilted Fish Pigs in Blanket slippers which I made up in Noosa at Cotton Carnivale early this year. So if you missed out because the patterns sold out they will be back in stock shortly. I know Larry the Lion will be back in stock in the next day or two as they are in an order on it way to me. I think there will be a few more new arrivals come soon to join their friends in store. I will keep you posted on their arrivals.

Now I have four weeks to restock the craft fair boxes for the Adelaide Sewing, Stitching & Handcraft Show starting on the 17th July to 19th July. I know there will be some more new stock arriving just in time for this event. It is alway good to have new stock for people to see.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #3

In my Unfinished Project post earlier this week I had selected 3 quilts I plan to finish. So how am I go?

I started with my Pies & Tarts quilt as it only needed the binding to complete it. My thinking is to start with the one closest to being finished. So I am happy to say I got the binding on Sunday morning, then I have some hand work for the evenings. Binding on ready for the hand sewing.
So really it is an easy finish.
Next I want to tackle my lozenge quilt as it was ready for quilting and the thread and quilting design had been selected. As this it a scrap project I thought I would use what I had in my stash to make up the backing. It was too big for a one piece backing so I selected a larger  piece, sliced it and add an extra piece off centre to make it big enough.
Then pinned it ready for quilting I will need to take some of the pins out after the first part of  the quilting is done as I can see some of them will be in the way on the second pass, but they need to be there to start with.
This is as far as I have got. I am hoping to have my Pies & Tarts quilt finished by the end of the week, but it may be a week before I can start quilting my lozenge quilt with the Salisbury Hobby & Craft Fair on this weekend. Not much of a chance to do any sewing but we will see what happens.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What do you prefer?

This week I have been looking at some new upcoming fabric lines and I am trying to work out what to order. Which is very hard as there is so many beautiful ranges available. Then once I select the ranges I really want, the next question I ask myself is how many bolts of fabric? Followed by do I want to order some co- ordinating pre cuts? Now I have ordered a few precuts previously but I just don't know which ones and it is too hard to stock some of each co -ordinating pre cuts.
So this is my question to everyone. Which pre-cut do you prefer when you buy pre cuts?
Charm square packs (5" squares), layer cakes (10" squares), jelly rolls (2.5" strips) etc.
                                           Until Next Time
                                           Keep Stitching