Monday, August 24, 2015

Tree Skirt Finished

I don't really have anything exciting to share, but I did want to show you the pictures of the completed tree skirt. It's actually really quite pretty:

It would have been nice to wait for a brighter day to take the picture, but it has been so wintery here and I didn't have the luxury of time.

The quilting made me happy, and it felt like ages since I'd turned on the Bernina:

The tree skirt is living at the shop for a while now, hope you like it!

Things have been testy here - Amy came down with a yukky gastro bug last week. Working in a medical centre she does get exposed to a few icky things. I thought Camo would be fine as he was away on school camp, but on Saturday afternoon he came down with it too. And today it hit Marty. I've been sanitising everything like crazy, and I'm going to pray I don't get it ... because who has time for things like that?? Keep your fingers crossed for me ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Striped Binding

There really is nothing better than a striped binding ... I just love the way it finishes a quilted item:

Now I just need to get busy stitching the binding to the reverse side of the tree skirt. Wonderful!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Simple Tree Skirt

Today I'm putting together a Simple Tree skirt for the shop, it's never too early to get a start on Christmas projects:


I just love the French General fabrics, they're always so pretty. I had hoped to be further along on this by now - hopefully I'll get to the quilting stage today, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

We'll be making up kits, but if you can't wait until then (or if you're much further afield) you can grab a pattern from my Etsy store. xoxox

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Still Quilting!

Hi there friends, I'm still quilting here, hand quilting of course, and it takes time. I'm out to the margin of the quilt on two sides, and I'm beyond thrilled with how it's looking:

I took this picture under the ott-lite I quilt with, so the fabrics are looking all washed out - it's much more vibrant in real life :-)

Let's hope I can get some more done tonight - I'm sure I have the energy. After an early start for Camo's tennis this morning I had a nap this afternoon, and right now I'm all hopped up on caffeine!!

In tennis news, Camo had two big wins this morning, he and his partner won their doubles 6-2, and then he won his singles 6-3 against a boy he hasn't won against before. So proud!

There is not much more to share in pictures at the moment, but I did see something fun recently - almost like a quilt sighting:

While quilting one night I was watching the old original Footloose movie, and there the scene where the kids are moving the flour sacks around before the big dance, I noticed that the sacks were patterned like the feed-sacks of old. I have a small collection of feed-sack fabrics, but I didn't know they were used so recently. How fun!

And the final thing for today, on Thursday evening I gave a talk to the ladies of the Quilters Guild about my journey as a vintage style quilter. They asked me last year, and I really only left my preparation to a week before the presentation. I was beyond nervous - it's hard to get on stage in front of up to 200 ladies, but it was actually really fun and everyone laughed in all the right places. I call it a success, and I needn't be so nervous if I need to do a talk in future.

Well, that's it from me, I'm heading back to the quilting hoop. Chatter soon!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Speedy days ...

This week is flying by, it always happens when it's school holidays. Camo and I have been busy shopping - he's had some birthday money to spend - and I've also had a little quiet time to stitch.

Last weekend on Sunday we had a lovely time at the birthday of one of Marty's cousins. I didn't want to arrive empty handed, so I baked brownies (which didn't last the day) and on Saturday I whipped up a quick table runner to take as a gift:

I've almost used up the last of this particular border print now - there is only a skerrick left now. Perhaps enough for a little something for me. I think I've had 12 yards of this fabric pass through my hands. It's so pretty - an oldie but a goodie.

Sylvia has lots of wood tones in her home, and a dark red leather lounge, so this fabric really was the perfect choice. She loved the gift and put the runner into service on the table immediately!

And because you know that I'm addicted to it, I'll share that I'm still hand quilting! In a small area, I'm right out to the edge of the quilt. If pushed, I'd say I'm about a quarter done (and that may be generous).

I have some time to myself over the next couple of days, so I hope to get a LOT more quilting done.

If I'm really good, I'd like to also do a bit of a sort in my closet - it's getting wildly full. I was trying to do a "one in - one out" thing, but I fell off the wagon in a big way. In related news, I tossed out five pairs of shoes on Thursday - shocking I know! I really could so some more of that!

Something fun that happened during the week was a little crochet workshop at Victoria's house on Tuesday. Sweet ladies from my quilting class organised it, and it was really fun. I believe I could grow to like crochet, and I'm thinking it'd be fun to work on a scarf - it seems like it'd work up much faster than knitting. Anyone have a favourite pattern they'd like to share??

Chatter soon!! xox

Monday, June 29, 2015

Finally!!

Finally I have set aside a little time to spend at the computer. Isn't it funny how when life gets busy a few balls can get dropped ... and the ball belonging to my blog may have just rolled under the couch. But I have a morning at home today, so I can pick up a few things.

This post may be a little bitty as I try and catch you up on what I've been doing lately, and figure out what I'm going to do with my pictures from Paducah.

First up, I wanted to share that in stolen moments I've battled on hand quilting on my Montmellick project:

This is something I can really only get done late at night, or when I'm out and about, like waiting for a certain small person at tennis training ... or at quilt group when I can get there. Hand quilting is so soothing, and it feels like I've achieved a huge milestone every time I get to move the hoop.

I don't think I'm even one quarter done, so it's not going to be done any time soon, but it's not a race to the finish line, right? :-)

Another significant thing that happened recently is that my little man turned 13!! Oh my goodness, where has that time gone??

The big day was on a Saturday, so after his tennis game (which his team happily won) I took his team mates to Maccas, and then on to a movie - Minions. It was super cute and I enjoy having an excuse to see the kid movies. I wonder how much longer it'll last?? After the movie and dropping the boys off, it was home to prepare for the family party.

This year I didn't have time to make a real cake, so I baked cupcakes the day before, and iced them on Camo's birthday:


Lazy Mum that I am, I even used store bought decorations - Camo chose Monsters and Pirates. But if I'm honest, there weren't that many choices at the grocery store :-) The cupcakes were really yummy though, and by the next day none of the 24 were left!

Another fun thing that happened recently was a couple of fun wins at Small and Whitfield.

I saw on their website that they had a Masons Vista fruit bowl and some loose amethysts coming up in their next auction, and also an oak shelving unit that I thought looked interesting. The day before the auction my Dad and I went and looked at the treasures and placed absentee bids. Dad had found a ring and a bowl that he liked, so in total we had five bids.

The day of the auction I was working, so when I thought it would be finished, I called and had the great news that we'd won four of the five items we'd bid on. I missed out on the shelving unit, and I think Marty is super glad, when it comes to furniture, he thinks we're full!

But here is the fruit bowl I bid on, and it came with a bonus tea cup:

And here are the amethysts, the four stones make a total of just over 30 carats.

I will have fun deciding what to do with them - I know one will be destined for a pendant, and I promised Amy that she could have one - she likes amethysts as much as I do.

Now - I promised I'd get busy sharing some pictures from Paducah didn't I? Well, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do about that - it seems that most of the pictures I took were of quilts in the show and at the Rotary exhibition. It's not really fair to share quilts without permission from the owners. I will have to see what other pictures my friends have, and maybe even look at some of my pictures from previous visits of things that we visited again. I'll work on it.

But I can share right now the picture of the beautiful Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah - we lunched there on Friday during the show:

It is the most gorgeous historic building, surrounded by lush gardens. This year we ate outside, it was a really nice day, and the ladies of the congregation made us feel very special. There is a picture of our group kicking around, I'll try and find it for you. It's never easy to get 8 ladies in a picture, and at the luncheon we managed it.

Here is a beautiful pink dogwood tree blooming in the garden. This year the dogwood trees in the neighbourhood were kind enough to arrange their blooming schedule to coincide with the quilt show. Everywhere we went we could see spectacular displays of flowers. Our schedule was jam packed this year, so sadly we didn't have time to drive the dogwood trail, but we were able to enjoy the flowers when we saw them.

Obviously I have so many blanks that I need to fill in about our time Paducah, but I do have another picture to share with you. On the last day of our visit, we had a long visit at the Quilt Museum there. Sadly they don't allow pictures in the museum at all, but in the foyer there was this lovely quilt we were allowed to photograph:


I'm not sure of the name of the quilt, but it was made up of the most gorgeous English paper piecing, and the machine quilting was to die for! Being flaky, I don't remember much of the detail of the quilt - it was either a raffle quilt or advertising a book or something like that, the paper pieces logo is in the background there, so I should investigate further.

This year in Paducah and on my other quilt related stops I didn't really buy as much as I have in previous years. I joke with my friends that you can see my stash from space :-) and lately I've been making quilts that are kind of slow going so I'll be a long time using my fabric. I did get some lovely books and patterns, so in my next post I'll share a few of the things I purchased.

Thank you for all the emails I've received checking in on me, and also for the comments on my last posts. I'm way behind on emails - next week school holidays begin, so I'll be on holidays too, and it's my plan to catch up on all things! Famous last words!

Chatter soon xoxox

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Hand Quilting

Whew, life has been chaotic these past couple of weeks - my calendar is full, and when ever I have spare moments I've been hand quilting. It really is so very relaxing ...

I don't think I'm going to be done in any great hurry, but isn't it nice to just relax and enjoy the process.

As soon as I have a block of time on my hands, I'll fill you in on my Paducah adventure. It really is such a wonderful place. Chatter soon! xox

Monday, May 25, 2015

Franklin TN, and what I've been stitching on this week ...

Won't be long now and I'll be done sharing my USA adventures, I'm having fun reliving my vacation with you, and I hope you'll indulge me a little longer.

After Memphis TN, we travelled a little further to Franklin TN, not too far from Nashville. The reason for Franklin? We wanted to visit the Carnton Plantation - my friends had visited before, but for me it was a new adventure, and having heard so much about the history, I knew I'd be fascinated.

Franklin was the location of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, and during the fighting the Carnton Plantation was taken over by the Confederate Army as a field hospital. We were able to tour the home and and it was incredibly eerie to be able to see blood stains soaked into the wooden floor boards in the areas surgeons were doing their work. Definitely visit the website to read about the history, and if you have a chance, read the book 'Widow of the South' which is based on events here.

This is actually the rear of the home, but the first view of the home as we came from the visitors centre. It's hard to explain, but you can just feel the weight of history as you're approaching. I understand the home is haunted, and I could well believe it.

The guided tour of the home's interior was just fabulous, but sadly no photographs were allowed. I really wish I could have taken pictures, the interior was delightful - I shall have to google and see if any exist - it was so special, and our guide was so knowledgeable.

This is the front of the home - hard to see with the foliage, but very stately looking.

I can't even imagine how the McGavock family felt when war broke out around them - apparently Carrie was in the front garden when Confederate Generals approached scouting for locations suitable for a field hospital. It's easy to imagine this happening while wandering around in the yard - the garden was so beautiful, and the area is preserved as a memory to all the fallen soldiers.

After we toured the home, we visited the cemetery which is right nearby. It was much larger than I expected, and incredibly moving. The loss of life and carnage was hard to fathom, but it was also difficult to imagine what the McGavock family must have witnessed - and then their dedication to giving rest to the soldiers that perished. Amazing.

In this picture you can see how close the cemetery is to the home - this is only a small portion of it, and there is a family cemetery on the other side of the trees there. The stone markers are very close together - according to our guide, it took some time after the battle for all the bodies to be re-interred, and given that time there was not a lot left to be buried, therefore the caskets were quite small.

Even though the Carnton Plantation was quite a sombre place to visit, it's also fascinating and very beautiful. Franklin is a gorgeous town, so very historic - after visiting the plantation we visited the quaint and picturesque downtown area, all the old shops and buildings were just darling. I'm a bandit for neglecting my camera while I'm sightseeing - I'll have to do better ... but I did manage to take a picture of this home that caught my eye:



We also visited a local quilt shop, called The Quilting Squares, it was very sweet. I have to admit that I didn't buy very much - just a couple of patterns - one sampler style quilt by Lori Smith, and a table runner pattern. Knowing that Paducah and a visit to Whittles Fabrics in Smiths Grove KY were around the corner had me watching my pennies somewhat ...

So, that's where I'll leave my travels for today.

This week I was super excited to start hand quilting on my Montmellick project, I'll share a picture of that soon - but I've just had to put that on hold for a short time. I wanted to put a few more spiderweb placemats together for the sweet ladies in my tennis team.



Even though there are two more games left for this season, two of the ladies will be playing their last matches this week, so I wanted to give them these mats before they head off on holidays. I'm absolutely certain they're not blog followers, so these should still be a surprise on Wednesday :-)

I have still to stitch down the binding on the reverse side, and then two more to complete for next week and I'm all good.

Ohh, and before I forget - I had a comment on my last post from Jane wondering if the Montmellick pattern was still available. I'm sorry I couldn't email you directly Jane, as your email address wasn't available to me - but I'm pretty sure the pattern is available at the Quilt Mania website. Hope this helps.

Well, that brings me somewhat up to date ... I'll check in again soon!

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