Tuesday, April 22, 2014

All at sea ...

Things got a little quiet on my blog here didn't they? I didn't mean to just disappear like that ... but you know how time can just get away from you, and it really did!

Those of you that know me on the Facebooks will have already seen some of these pictures, but for those of you not in the know, some of my family and I have just returned from a super-fun cruise to the Pacific Islands, and we had the very best time! And to make it super special, there were four generations of us: Camo, myself, my Mum and my Nanna.

We flew over to Sydney on Saturday the 12th, and journeyed to Circular Quay where our chariot was waiting ... OMG, I have never seen such a large ship in all my life! Camo and I had a fabulous balcony cabin together, it was the fourth one back in the first row of balconies above the portholes you see there ... Room 5115 - it was wonderful! And Mum and Nanna were in 5116.

Once boarded we were ushered up to the Lido Deck to take advantage of the wonderful buffet lunch, and of course we had to indulge in some celebratory cocktails ... after all, we were on holidays! And may I say, they were delicious, and the cocktails became a tradition we upheld each and every day on the boat.

At 6.00pm on the dot we were underway. The ship was berthed directly across from the Sydney Opera House, and so there were so many photo opportunities as we left and then sailed by. I was amazed by how smoothly we progressed through the harbour ... but when we were in open water, oh my goodness it was rough! We had 4 metre swells, and thanks to our thoughtful crew's advice we medicated to save from sea sickness.

Cameron took frequent advantage of the ice-cream buffet ... it was open 24 hours a day, and a couple of serves each day became mandatory! I may have indulged too ... can't prove anything :-)

The restaurant on board was just so opulent - we felt like royalty and ate breakfast and dinner here most days. Here are Mum and Nanna looking expectant. I don't have any pictures of myself sadly ... I was always on the other end of my camera, but I'll hopefully be able to wrangle some from my Mum (fingers crossed)!

Our first day on shore was on the beautiful Isle of Pines - the beach was simply idyllic. We tendered ashore on the life-boats as the water was not deep enough for the ship to get too close - they shuffled back and forth for the passengers all day long. I think this was my favourite stop - we swam in the warm water and played in the sand. The locals spoke only a little English, mainly French, so I joked with my Mum that my college education paid for itself this trip with my basic grasp of their language.

And here we are back on the ship again - Mexican night in the restaurant. Cameron made great friends with our waiters Elmer, and in the background there Shri.

Bafflingly I don't seem to have any pictures of our next stop in Mare which are worth sharing, so I'll have to check and see what Mum has.

Our third stop was the beautiful island of Noumea. Oh my goodness, it was just gorgeous. We had a tour of the island, and I may or may not have participated in a little retail therapy. (Of course I did!!)

And then after a few more days at sea, we were back in Sydney again. Because my Nanna had never been to Sydney before, and we had some hours to kill before our flight back to Adelaide, we did a tour of some of the sights in Sydney. In this picture we're at the Sydney Opera House looking back to where our ship was berthed.

Oh my goodness, we really did have just the very best time. I had packed some stitching to do in quiet moments, and I can say that I didn't sew one single stitch, we were so busy and had so much to see that I didn't feel the need for busy hands at all. I can definitely say I have the cruising bug now, and can't wait until I can go again!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Part Two finished :-)

This evening I finished part two of the Di Ford Mystery BOM. I didn't think I'd be able to get the time, but instead of heading to the shops today, I prepped and stitched hexagons, and while waiting for Camo at tennis training, I appliquéd them to the background fabric. Tomorrow is going to be super busy as a result, but I am so glad I can go on holidays with this little project off my mind.

Here are the hexies before I sewed them to the border strips:


Ugh, both of my pictures are blurry again - maybe I need to clean my lens? Clearly a little technical help required from the hubster. But I wanted to share this picture with you so you could see the teeny size of the hexies - they're half inch. And they only just fit on the block - the seam allowance will just skim the edges of the hexagons.

And here are the final borders in place:


I'm thrilled with how it's looking, and can't wait to see what is coming up in Part Three. I'm guessing the next magazine is due to come out in May? How will I ever be so patient?

When I have better light tomorrow, I'll try and take a less blurry picture - check in with you all soon! xox

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Two borders attached ...

Last night I trimmed up all my little appliqué circle pieces, and got busy cutting out all the triangles for piecing. Because I'm working from my stash rather than receiving lovely fabric parcels in the mail, I was a little indecisive about what fabrics to use in the triangles. I'm trying to use up scraps from when I made my Nearly Insane quilt a little while back - and perhaps just a few little pieces of yardage here and there.

Here are my borders all ready and lined up for piecing ...

I chain pieced pretty much all of it, I do love to save thread that way when I can. It was all super easy - and happy days my machine didn't give me any trouble today. Perhaps we're beginning to love one another after all :-)

Seeing my block up on the fabric cupboard, I'm happy with the fabric choices I've made. What do you think? Here is where I'm up to right now:


I've managed to take a blurry picture - sorry about that. I'll try and get a better one when I have the side borders on. The side borders are together, but I haven't made the corner blocks yet. I have such a busy week ahead of me, I really hope I have a chance to put them together soon, or this project will be on hold for a couple of weeks. And just when I have a little momentum too ... ohhh well, I have fun things happening in the school holidays, so I cannot complain too loudly.

I know a few ladies on the Facebook group for this project have had some trouble with this border - I have been fortunate not to have any problems, but I will not congratulate myself just yet - the sides still need to fit on.

Alrighty, I'm going to get busy and prep the hexies for the corner blocks. Hope you're all having a great weekend. I'll check back in with you soon. xox

Friday, April 04, 2014

Seeing spots ...

Yay, I've finished appliquéing the little circles for the second instalment of the Di Ford Mystery Quilt. This evening I'll cut them apart and trim them up ready for the next step, which is piecing the borders.

I'm looking forward to rifling through my stash to find the perfect fabrics to use in the triangles for the border. If you haven't seen what the next step looks like, click here to see where I'm heading with this ... and if you love it, I'm sure it's not too late to jump on in! xox

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Caswell Quilt by Corliss Searcey

As promised, I'm back with a picture of the fabulous pattern I purchased from Corliss Searcey of Threadbare on the weekend:


Isn't it just divine? I'm really looking forward to working on this one. In my mind I'm planning on making it larger to fit on my queen size bed - I like them to hang almost to the floor, so 100" square is just perfect to my mind.

Corliss is a woman after my own heart, she has a love of vintage and reproduction style quilts, and as you know, they're my particular calling too. I can see I'll have to make a trip over to visit her store in Castlemaine sometime soon.

Well, I'm off to busy myself with more appliqué circles, I'm two thirds done now, so won't be long and I can get busy putting piecing the border for the Di Ford project. Chatter soon!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Treats in the mail, Country Quilters, and I'm Appliquéing!

So much has been going on this past week - time is just flying by, I can't believe it's going to be April tomorrow!

First up, last week I received the most lovely parcel in the mail. My sweet friend from the USA, Donna, sent me some lovely floral fabrics for my stash, and for maybe some future broderie perse projects. I just love them all.


And on the left there, is the block she made me for the Quilt Batt's Christmas block swap. It's just adorable. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the block I made - Donna and I were lucky enough to draw each other's name in the exchange - how fun! Thank you for my treats Donna! xox

On Friday, my sweet friend Vicki and I made our way into the country - we were heading to Burra on Quilters Guild business. The Burra Quilters were hosting the 'Regional Round-up' - a forum for country group members to attend. There were guest speakers, five shops in attendance, and a great time was had by all.

This is the Burra Town Hall where 200+ quilters converged. Check out the car cover made by the Festival of Quilts Exhibition Committee, it's just great and being used at so many quilty gatherings.

When Vicki and I arrived, we were met by our friends, who tried to convince us that this 'rustic' cottage was where we were staying. Thank goodness they were being tricky. We stayed at the Tivers Row Burra Heritage Cottages and it was much like this one, but it had been restored and was quite delightful. In the picture from left to right is Roz, Kay, Vicki, me, and Shirl. Gay is on the other side of the camera.

Corliss from Threadbear was the keynote speaker at the round-up, and she had her shop there too. She is a girl after my vintage heart, and I purchased the most delightful pattern from her. Kay bought the same one, and we're super excited to work on it. Lots of needle-turn appliqué with delicious fabrics. I'll share the pattern next time as I didn't remember to take a picture.

And last of all, I've been working on Part Two of the Di Ford Mystery BOM. Isn't this a natty way to deal with lots of appliqué circles for little blocks:

This is how the magazine suggests we do it, and I have to confess I never thought of tackling them this way before. Saves dealing with lots of little tiny pieces, that's for sure. I've finished working on these 16 circles now, I need a total of 48 so I'm one third done - I'll get some more appliquéd tomorrow.

Well, that's it for now - I'll check back in with you all soon and show you the lovely pattern, I can't wait to work on it! Chatter soon xox

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BOM - Part one Finished

I've finally finished working on part one of the Di Ford BOM. I can't believe that the last eight leaves took me eight days to complete - how did I only managed an average of one leaf per day??

Now that I'm done, I'm really looking forward to starting on part two. While I was cropping this picture down in Photoshop, I realised that the bottom of the basket is not sitting parallel to the edge of the block, so at some point I'm going to straighten it up. It's only 1-2mm higher on the left side, but it's enough to bug me, so I'll get it sorted. Darn, being fussy can be a curse!!

Alrighty, I'm off to do some chores, and then I can get busy working on some appliqué circles ... happy day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Border on ...

Just a quickie post to share where I'm at with the BOM ... I'm excited about this latest development:

The outside border is in place now - it'll look so nice once it's had a good press. I have to confess something - since taking the picture, I unpicked the bottom left mitre and did it again - see that tiny pucker there? I just wasn't happy with it and knew I could do better. And it does look better now, so everything is good in my world.

All that is left to do now is appliqué the little hexie units and leaves in place in the corners and I can start working on the second instalment. I'll tackle it tomorrow if I feel up to it - I have gone and caught a hideous cold ... it's so early in the year to be catching bugs like this! Honestly, I'm dripping like a faucet and sneezing like crazy - my family are keeping their distance, and I can't blame them. I even had to miss the NTFW quilting group on the weekend, and I was seriously displeased! However I could not live with myself if I shared these bugs around so I'll have to wait for the next gathering ...Anyways, that's enough of my grizzling. I'll check back in when the block is finished. Chatter soon :-)

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