Monday, November 27, 2017

Centre block almost complete ...

I got brave this past week and decided to try working on the people featured in the Phebe centre block. I don't mind admitting I was a little nervous about it, I've never appliqued a person before! They're definitely not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the results, and it gave me the boost I needed to tackle the remaining applique elements:

Not everything is stitched down yet, but I'm getting close. I feel like it may be a while before I'm brave enough to give the people their faces. I know I'll get there though - maybe I'll practice with a wash out marker before working with anything more permanent. The last thing I need is to find something to put in the ladies hand next to the vase. I'm thinking maybe a broderie perse bouquet or some such thing.

And because there has been so much applique on the agenda lately, yesterday I was itching to sit at the sewing machine for a little. A few weeks ago I had made a tiny top from some left over HST's, and decided it was time to quilt it.

Quilting and binding really only took a very short time to finish, and it definitely satisfied my need for some more instant results. I think I'll wrap this up with some other little doodads and give it to my Nanna for Christmas.

Today I'm going to finish putting up the Christmas tree - I'm running a little late this year. I usually put the tree up on Pageant day, and this year that was the 18th Nov - so I need to get busy.

Well, that's it from me - chatter soon! xox

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Phebe Center Block

Hi there, just a quickie post for today - I'm off to tennis shortly. I wanted to share that I haven't been entirely idle, and there have been applique stitches worked in stolen moments. Here is where I'm currently at with the center block on the Phebe project:

This has been a LOT of fun so far, and there's not a huge amount left to do now. Finish those teeny trees in the foreground - add the sheep, the flowers on the grass and the people. I've never appliqued a person before, and they make me a bit nervous - but with the perfect fabric, what could possibly go wrong?? Haha, famous last words! Chatter soon!!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Hello November!

According to my Blog, October simply did not exist - in my life it certainly did, it was really busy - and I just loved it! My most special friend Linda from the USA and her husband Jerry came to stay with us, and we had the most lovely time flitting here and there visiting local landmarks - it was such fun being a tourist in my own city. 

After Linda left, it was hard to get back into the swing of regular life, but school, work and tennis commitments quickly beckoned and we're back into our regular routine again.

I have a couple of pictures that are lurking in my phone to show you ... not sure what order they'll come up in, but here goes:

On one of the days, we visited the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. They are just lovely, and right next to the square mile that makes up our city centre. I love this little cottage by the park entrance. The ivy growing over it is so pretty.

I have such happy childhood memories of this pond in the gardens - we'd visit to see the change of seasons and then linger to feed the ducks.

I had heard that the wisteria arbour was in full bloom, and it definitely didn't disappoint. Just beautiful!

And this is the Victorian Glasshouse - I remembered it being full of ferns, but lately it's home to lots of succulents. The building is so ornate, my picture really does it no justice.

After the gardens, we crossed North Terrace and visited Ayers House. This was the former home of Henry Ayers, a prominent businessman and Premier of South Australia. I have never toured the museum, but my wedding reception was held here in the conservatory - it was just lovely.

Here are a couple of interiors:

This coverlet was in the Gentleman's Bedroom. A reproduction of the antique Dancing Dollies quilt which belongs to the museum's collection. My lovely friend Irene Carrig has reproduced this quilt - it was featured in Australian Patchwork and Quilting, and she has patterns available for sale both in the Ayers House gift shop and on Ebay.

Another of our days was spent in Hahndorf, a lovely little village in the hills, though I don't have any pictures to share from my phone, I did find this one, which are two items I purchased at the German Village Shop.

I had wanted to visit this shop for the absolute longest time, and now I can check it off my 'things to do' list. My DH can count himself lucky that I didn't purchase a cuckoo clock too, but I can't promise I won't head back to do that very thing. I've loved them since I was a little girl, my great aunt had one and I can't even tell you how thrilling it was on the hour when it would chime.

The boys spent a couple of days at the station in the mid north, and while they were away, Linda and I took the opportunity to spend some time visiting quilt stores, and also just hanging out in my sewing room. I'm excited to report that I have a lot of the stars done for my Phebe project, and I've started working in earnest on the centre square. Here's some of the progress on the vase:

I've done more since this picture was taken - I've added all the stems, the small trees at the side and some of the flowers. I'm happy with how it's coming along at the moment and I can't wait to see it progress.

Next, I have a hopeful favour to ask. I have a fabric that I'd really like to use for sashing strips between the star blocks on the Phebe quilt:

This is a Judie Rothermel Civil War Dressing Gowns print, and I have a small amount of it that my lovely friend Donna gifted to me - this is the fabric that I've set my mind on, and I need just over a yard of it. It's an oldie, so I know I won't find it in stores - does anyone have a piece they'd be happy to part with? I'll gladly pay you for it and also for postage. It would be so much appreciated.

I've found a substitute that I can use if I don't find the fabric, but you know how it is when you really have your heart set on something - it's hard to look beyond it.

Last of all for this post (because it's so very long) I just wanted to share the cupcakes that I made for my lovely friend Lizzy's wedding:

I love working with the Russian piping tips, I'm getting better with them slowly, but I still have quite a lot to learn. Lizzy's wedding was just lovely, and I"m just thrilled she's found the most wonderful man to share her life.

Well, that's it for me for today - hopefully I won't skip another month before I post again - chatter soon!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Some Phebe progress ...

Over the last few days I've been working on the Phebe project. If you've not in the know, it's a delightful quilt made by Di Ford-Hall, a reproduction of a gorgeous vintage applique quilt. I'm having a hard time working on the HOQH blocks, and I have this feeling I'm in danger of Phebe bullying it's way to being the ONLY thing I want to work on. This happens to me A LOT!!

I've made some more blocks - I have 18 now, only 62 to go! :-) And a whole lot of cutting, different star blocks, borders and applique still ahead of me. I've made two of the inner sawtooth borders too ... just because I wanted to:

I'm going to make sure I keep everything separated in containers - there are so many tiny shapes to cut out, it will be so easy to lose them! In the middle containers are tiny scrappy squares, and little light fabric triangles - I'm weeding through the smallest of scraps to find cute ones that will work in the quilt. 

Though the stars and pieced border will have a bazillion different fabrics, the applique and the sawtooth borders will have a consistent fabric - I think it will give the eye somewhere to rest. And I'm looking forward to starting work on the applique center block, but after so much applique in the Caswell quilt, I'm just not quite ready to start ... soon though, I feel it will be soon!

In other news, the sweet ladies at Hetties Patch hooked me today with the most darling of fabrics - I have a feeling I may go in and get more. See if you can guess why I had to have some ...

Isn't it just the most gorgeous print? And there was another one that was all Nutcrackers ... I feel like that will have to be mine too. No idea what I'll be doing with it, but when has that ever stopped me?

Well, that's it from me this evening, I'm going to do a little more cutting I think, I'm just loving revisiting my scrap fabrics and working out pretty combinations for the star blocks. Chatter soon! xox

Thursday, September 21, 2017

HOQH - This week's blocks

This week I managed to get two of my HOQH blocks put together, yay! Two blocks doesn't seem like much to have gotten done, but I also finished the last of the 'kitty savers'. I ended up having to make eight of the lounge protectors ... I didn't think they'd be required for the back of the lounge where it's against the wall, but apparently no part of the upholstery is sacred to that darned cat!

Anyway ... here is the first block:

Block 48 - Contrary Wife

There are so many 1" finished half square triangles in this quilt, I'm really getting a lot of practice. The green fabric in the corner squares is one of my absolute favourites.

Block 23 - Morning Star

I love how this block turned out - and it may be because there's a whole lot of my favourite green fabric in it! Does anyone know what collection the green is from? I only have a little bit left and I'm afraid the selvedge is long gone. It would be fun to hunt some more down.

Is't getting late here now, but I'm spending a little time in my sewing room tonight - I'm going to dig into my scraps some more and see what I can come up with. Chatter soon!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Turning Four-T

Doesn't that sound lovely? Turning Four-T?? No, I'm not turning 40 again ... but I have been revisiting this project getting the pattern drawn up with diagrams ready for my Etsy store.

This is one of my all time favourite projects, made for a special occasion, using some of my most special fabrics. I have a deep and abiding love of conversational prints, and I used nearly all that I had in this quilt - and the blue/navy fabrics are some that were gifted to me by my darling friends and others that I found on my travels in the USA.

One thing that always makes me giggle about this project is the name - I love that there are four "T's" turning in each block, and that it was made when I was turning 40. It's the little things in life that keep me amused.

Anyway, if you'd like to purchase a copy of this pattern and make your own - be sure to click on over to my Etsy store, I'd love it if you would! xoxox

Monday, September 11, 2017

Star Collage

Today I was able to spend some uninterrupted time with my sewing machine - so I got busy putting some more of the small stars together for the Phebe project:

I took the pictures of the blocks super fast, so there are some stray threads in there, and the blocks aren't necessarily straight in the photos, but you can see that I was having fun working through some of the cute scraps I've got laying around.

The thing that really made me happy is that all the points are nice and accurate - I only had to make adjustments to a few of them. I'm looking forward to getting some brighter reproductions and cute fussy cuts in there. 80 of these blocks are required, so with these and the one I made the other day, I only have 70 to go!

In other news - recently I received a sweet comment from Diane Smith. I wasn't able to respond to her personally as her email address came up 'no reply', but I can address her questions here. First up - I think Diane might be a little confused about my identity - I'm not Lori, but I'm slowly working on one of Lori Smith's beautiful projects - but if I'm to be mixed up with someone, what an honour! Diane asked me how I select fabrics for my blocks, ie, sticking to collections/reproductions etc.

Well, this is a tough question to answer - in that I don't have any magic formula that I follow. If I'm working on a vintage style project, I tend to use vintage style fabrics, but I'm not really super fussy about collections. My main concerns are the value of the fabric - does it read dark, medium or light. Do I like the fabric, and do I think the colours play nicely together. Sometimes I just mix things all together and then select a unifying fabric like sashing to keep it all together. Honestly, the best way to go is just trust your instinct, and use things you like.

Diane also asked about my applique technique - I mostly needleturn applique, but for the last project I used the freezer paper on top technique which is demonstrated beautifully on Teresa's blog.

I hope this helps Diane, and thank you for commenting.

That's it from me today - tomorrow morning I get to pick up my quilt from the show and any ribbons etc that go with her - I'm looking forward to bringing my creation home!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Good News, and a new beginning ...

I could have shared this news in my last post, but I was in a rush ... however, now I have some time on my hands to share my happiness:

My Caswell quilt has done me proud, and won some ribbons at the Royal Adelaide Show. I feel so incredibly blessed - it placed first in its category, was selected as the best quilt in show, and won the prize for the best art/craft exhibit in the show. Oh my goodness, I was gobsmacked when I heard the news. Supremely happy!

A big thank you to my sweet friend Lizzy for taking the picture above for me (and to the many other sweet ladies who've done the same) I haven't been able to get to the show yet, but tomorrow is the day we've planned to head over there. I cannot wait!

In much less interesting news, I've made a couple more HOQH blocks, and here they are:

Block 26 - Domino Net

This was a super easy one (in the scheme of this project) - don't forget that the blocks are 6 inches finished! The floral fabric in the large squares is a favourite, I used it in the Caswell quilt on one of the tricker applique blocks as part of a flower and I love how it looked.

Block 58 - Gentleman's Fancy

This block looks kind of wonky in the picture, but all the points are meeting up nicely, so hopefully it'll look just fine when it's sewed into the quilt top. Most of the fabrics in this block were from the 'Donna scraps' again (but not the green print) - I love rummaging through them ... you'll continue to see them in this project ... and also the one I'm just getting geared up for! And I have a feeling that the pink fabric in Block 26 might have been from Donna too!

I had pretty much decided even before I finished the last quilt that the next BIG THING I would be working on would be the Phebe Quilt by Di Ford Hall. I just love all the things she does, and I simply fell in love with Phebe - possibly because I've been itching for a lot of piecing rather than working on so much applique. Definitely google search on pictures of the quilt - it is just darling. Or, if you go to my Pinterest page and check the Quilts-Di Ford Hall tab, you'll find pictures in there.

Anyway, I've been reluctant to just leap into working on it - I was worried that it'd become an addiction for me and I wouldn't be disciplined enough to work on some of the other things I've needed to get finished. But today I threw caution to the wind, and made the first tiny square ...

This block is a little cutie, at 4.5" square. You'll see a lot of fabrics in common between this project and the HOQH one, and hopefully from my end I'll see a reduction in the amount of scrap fabrics I have kicking around. Who'd like to place bets that I see no discernable difference at all?

Soon I'm going to get busy working on the applique centre block, but for the moment I'd like to enjoy some fairly easy piecing and have fun selecting pretty fabrics that play together nicely.

So that's all my news up to now, I'm going to spend some q-time in my sewing room, and I'll check back in with you all soon! xox


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