Sunday, July 23, 2017

Honouring our Quilting Heritage - 2 blocks

Late Friday afternoon I spent some time putting a couple of blocks together. I haven't worked on these in many months, so it took me a while to get back in the zone. Two blocks are added to the finished tally, and hopefully I'll get some more made soon:

Block 9 - Mystery Flower Garden

Not super pleased with the points on the bottom pink triangle in the block above. It's tempting to take it apart and see if I can't do a better job there - you all know I'm super fussy about points.

Block 11 - Chained Star

Much happier with this block - I don't think I need to change a thing. Yay!

I'm still working through my scraps with this project. After working on so many scrap projects over the last few years you'd think they'd be lessening ... but no, my scrap baskets appear to be getting fuller by the day. Baffling!!

Today I'll try and put a couple more blocks together, and then I'd like to get busy again working on the People Quilt project. So Much Fun!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Small Projects

Thank you so much to everyone for your kind comments on my last post - it was lovely to hear from everyone, as well as so many people that don't regularly comment. I've responded to all that I can, if I haven't responded to your message, I wanted to, but your email address didn't come to me. But thank you for commenting all the same!

I'm so looking forward to collecting my quilt tomorrow, and pinning my newest ribbons to the pinboard is going to be fun.

Today I'm having one of those days where it's hard to get motivated. I've finally moseyed into the sewing palace, and hopefully I can get some fabric moving around. Yesterday though, I managed to get something done:

One of my lovely friends is going through some tough times at the moment, so I've made her a little worry quilt:



I know it won't change anything for her, but I hope whenever she holds it, she'll know she's loved.

And earlier in the week I finished up a cot quilt I was asked to put together:


I was given the panel and I cut it apart to add fabric and make it larger. It was indeed serendipity that I have coordinating fabrics in my stash. But back to the panel for a moment ... it's baffling to me how out of square they can become - the individual blocks of this panel were 11" square, and some of them were almost a full inch askew - crazy!!

And for fun a strippy back to make it more interesting, the red and blue prints having been given to me also:



All these projects were put together and quilted with Bernie the elder, she's such a workhorse. Bernie the younger is still at the health spa, and hopefully returning soon.

Not sure what I'll be working on this afternoon, but I'm thinking it's been a while since I worked on the Honouring our Quilting Heritage blocks, so they may be contenders. I've also been doing a little designing, it's been fun to have the time to be creative again.

Chatter soon!! xox

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quilters Guild of South Australia - Show Day

Today was the big day out for my quilt. It was a wonderful day, I'll let the pictures do the talking ...




I'm beyond thrilled, so proud that it was hanging nice and flat and looking wonderful. Happy Days!! :-)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cute Top!

I finished that little quilt top I was working on ... if you're my buddy on the Facebooks you've already seen it ... but here it is again:

And it's really quite cute isn't it? But for the green inner border, it's all made from scraps. Even the sashing strips were leftover from back when I made my Nearly Insane quilt. It almost feels like I made it for free :-) :-)

Friday, July 07, 2017

And it's Friday already!

My goodness, this week has really flown, but don't they always?

Today is such a dreary rainy day that it's hard to get motivated to do anything. After I dropped Camo off at school I settled down on the lounge with the Ipad and did a little reading of a new to me blog. A sweet TV show has started airing here - Home Town, and I'm loving it - as I tend to do with home reno shows. I discovered that Erin has a blog that she updates with fabulous regularity, so I've been reading along.

It's easy to get caught up in other people's writings about their lives, and before I knew it, an hour had flown by! My realisation was that I really needed to get up and make busy living my own life rather than just reading about those of others, so I got up and moved around a bit ... and on that note, I'm so glad you're here reading about my life *lol* :-)

Anyway ... sewing time has been scarce, but is soon to be easier to come by - school holidays start at the end of today! But here's my small amount of progress on the criss cross top:



I'd like to have the top finished today as I have another project I need to get busy on. A commission for a baby quilt. I have some ideas floating around in my head, and I'd like to get it drawn up before the ideas flit away ... it happens so easily!

Another thing on today's agenda - replacing the net curtain in the lounge room ... the evil kitties caused me to make an unwanted expenditure ...

When the days are warm (obviously not today) they like to snooze on the sill of the lounge room bay window. One of the naughty creatures has tugged at the net curtains too enthusiastically and caused a huge tear! I had to call for a new curtain to be made as it is a very specific size and I picked it up yesterday - this time with an opening at the centre of the window to hopefully prevent it happening again. Gracie and Holly, start saving your pennies as you'll be receiving my bill and I don't take credit cards!

The third picture in the collage is just one that amused me ... I realised once I dragged the new (old) kitchen chairs home is that they are almost identical in style to the ones in the dining room. Maybe that is why I was drawn to them on the auction listing?!?

Something else I've been meaning to share with you for the longest time is a blog post I found. Do you remember that about this time last year my Montmellick quilt was happily selected to travel to France? Well, I never did end up getting pictures of it, time went on and I didn't want to hassle the people that visited, after all, it's the same quilt in a picture, but just a different location ... blah blah blah, reasons reasons ... but I was cruising Pinterest and saw a picture of my quilt I didn't recognise and followed the link. It led me to this post about Pour L'amour Du Fil and the Montmellick display - there are many different versions of the quilt pictured, and mine is one of them. Do check it out, it made me so happy to see it and some of the others on display.

Last of all, a big thank you to everyone who responded regarding my Etsy sidebar. I can see it on my Ipad, but not on my laptop, and it appears that some people can see it, and some people cannot. I'm not sure what I should be doing as Etsy don't seem to be supporting Etsy Mini anymore. I guess at some point I'm going to have to make some buttons myself ... just another thing for those spare minutes we all have *lol*

Well, that's it for me today, I hope you all have a great day doing something you enjoy! xox

Monday, July 03, 2017

Monday!

First up, I need to apologise to my local readers. I washed my car this morning, so I am entirely responsible for the horrible rainy weather that has set in this afternoon. Oooops! Aside from that lapse in judgement, it has been a great day and I felt like I could take on the world!

I'm still loving piecing on this small project, and stitched away until I needed to cut some more sashing strips:

I may or may not cut some more this evening ... I also may or may not simply lay on the lounge and watch tv ... who knows??

But honestly, I didn't spend all day sewing, I had the most productive day - laundry, cleaning, shopping and cooking, crazy!! Camo will be super happy, I've made his favourite banana cupcakes:

I won't bother to do any fancy icing tricks on these, they just won't last long enough - I predict there will be none left by the day after tomorrow. And then I'll make more ... I've another overripe banana I don't want to waste ...

And on my travels around the house today, I discovered the kitties making themselves right at home ...

The new (old) kitchen chairs are hanging out in the dining room for the moment, and some certain house members have declared them comfortable. I can't keep chasing them away all the time, so I'm just going to go with it - after all, this isn't the forever upholstery for the chairs ... It does amuse me that the critters treat anything new like a play gym. Ha!

Alrighty, that's been my Monday ... hope yours has been good too!

Note: I have a favour to ask ... would you mind letting me know if you see my Etsy link with the little pictures in my sidebar? I see them sometimes and sometimes not, so I just need to know if there is a problem that needs fixing, or if it's just something going on with cache. I'd appreciate it so much, thank you! xoxox

Saturday, July 01, 2017

New blocks plus bits and bobs ...

I've really enjoyed being able to stitch at a much more leisurely pace now that I've met my deadline with the BIG QUILT. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much I've been making more and more of these darling little cross blocks. These 31 are finished and trimmed to size:




I've also made a further 18 that are yet to be pressed and trimmed:

The blocks finish at 4 3/4" and will make a darling little wall hanging or table topper. I'd like to get a start on putting them all together this weekend.

And when I'm done, I'll start working some more on these sweet things:

It's fun revisiting this fabric I've had in my stash for such a long time. I purchased it from Lincraft I believe, and because it was from Amy's baby quilt it would have been in the early 90's. I don't have much fabric from that era in my stash anymore!

There have been some other things floating around in my head that I wanted to catch up on here, and whenever I sit down and start typing, it's like my brain empties and I can't remember what they are. I'll do my best to remember them.

One thing I wanted to share is a darling knitting pattern I picked up on Etsy a few weeks ago. I stumbled across Mary Jane's Tearoom somehow on Facebook, and clicked my way through to her store and fell in love with her knitted bears, and also the sweet little cardigans that can be made with leftover sock yarn. Socks are pretty much the only thing I ever knit, so I had to make the pattern mine - I always have little bits of sock yarn left over. And because they're so sweet the bear pattern became mine too. Do go and have a look, but don't blame me if you fall in love with those sweet faces!! :-)

Also, I have some email comments to catch up on. I often get comments from people who haven't enabled their email address on their comment. It's truly much easier for me to respond to questions if there is an email address for me - but I don't mind posting answers here ... it's just that sometimes I forget to go back and see what needs answering. But anyway, here goes:

Paula and Lynn S left sweet comments on my last post, thank you so much for your lovely words xox

And a big Hi and thank you to Celiaquilter and Jocelyn Thurston, its so nice to hear from you xox 

I also had a message from Val Simms with a nice note about my blocks and asking where she could buy my patterns. My own patterns are available at my website or etsy store, both links are in the sidebar. But if you're thinking of the Caswell blocks, you can purchase that pattern at Threadbear. Corliss is just lovely, and her patterns are stunning!

My lovely friend Sue from New Zealand also asked if I would share more information with everyone about my process for marking my quilts, batting choices and washing. Of course I'm always happy to share!

I don't have a particular preference for batting in my hand quilted quilts. I've used a few different ones in my last three projects. For the Caswell quilt, I used a 100% wool batt, for the Montmellick quilt I used a cotton/poly blend, and for Mrs Billings I used a wool/poly blend. I can't say that one was better than the other for quilting, I quite liked them all, and I don't think there was any discernable difference in my stitches.

For marking, I always use the same products as I've never had a bad result. For light fabrics I use the Sewline blue washout marker. I believe I shared a picture of the packaging recently. On the darker fabrics I use the Sewline white ceramic mechanical pencil. The white pencil marks pretty much brush away, so you can't mark too far in advance - and that's fine for me as I mark my area while it's in the hoop. For the blue washout marker, even though it's claimed that you can spritz the marks away, I prefer to wait until the quilt is completed, and run it through a cycle in the washing machine. Because the ink is a chemical, I want to immerse the quilt fully and ensure there are no chemicals remaining that could damage the fabrics.

Sue also asked about my washing machine - I have an LG front loader. I can't answer anything about agitation, but I can tell you that I don't use any detergent, I use the gentle cycle and always include colour catchers in the wash. Colour catchers are little sheets you put in with the wash, and they attract loose dyes so they won't settle in your quilt. They're not a guarantee, but everything helps, right? You'll find them in the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store. In my local store they're on the top shelf - not super easy to find. And you needn't put two whole boxes in like I did with my Caswell quilt, that was definitely overkill, but I was not taking any chances!

I hope this helps everyone. Do remember, I'm no expert, but happy to share what I find works for me.

Tonight will be an early night for me I think - I'm really feeling quite tired after an early start and a 5km walk this morning. Though that doesn't seem like much, I haven't been able to do much exercise at all after my calf muscle tear 7 weeks ago. I am amazed by how much it wore me out, and also by how quickly any fitness I had has dropped away!

So on that note, I'll end here with a promise to check back in soon! Have a great weekend everyone! xox

Thursday, June 29, 2017

And June's nearly over!

Can you believe it's almost the end of June already? Is it just me, or is time going faster and faster? Seriously, things need to just slow down a little ...

This has been a big month for me. First of all, I finally finished quilting on my Caswell quilt!


If I've done a lot of marking on a quilt, I always like to immerse it completely by washing it in the washing machine after it's done - this way all the blue washout marker is removed, and with hopefully no chance of it returning. Putting it in the washer this time was a bit of a heart stopper, as there was a fabric (I had realised half way through quilting) that was definitely going to run. I put two full boxes of colour catchers in the machine with the quilt, and I'm entirely thrilled that there is no sign of dye in any place it shouldn't be. Whew!

So my quilt is bound, labelled, has a hanging sleeve and is all bagged up ready for its next adventure. I'll keep you posted.

While I was working on the binding, my Bernina was playing up in the very worst way, so she's gone for a visit at the Bernina Health Spa, so for fun my other favourite playmate has come out for a visit:

I realised after piecing for a little while that my (still unnamed) Featherweight also could probably use a service *gah* so I've moved on to Bernie the elder ... and thankfully she's running like a trooper and I'm piecing happily on some little blocks.


These are blocks that my sweet friend Betty was working on from a Jo Morton/Kim Diehl book, and I just loved them. I've made some size adjustments to make the block a little larger and so far I've put about 30 together. It's so much fun to be machine piecing again!!

There are a bazillion projects I want to work on, but I'm managing to fill my days at the moment - all the things I've put off until 'after the quilt is finished' have been rushing at me at once.

For example, I've wanted to do some redecorating in the family room for a little while, but haven't had the time to go around and look at bits and pieces ... now I have the time, and I've been busy ordering! Today my Dad and I went and picked up some kitchen chairs that I bid on at an estate auction. Our kitchen chairs were showing their age and getting a little wobbly from kids rocking back and forth on them. I think Marty was sick of the sight of them from repairing them so often, so they're now replaced: Here are the chairs I purchased:

The table was part of the auction, and I don't need it, so I've passed it on to my sweet friend Lizzy, and she is happy to have the old chairs too, they'll tide her over until she finds her forever chairs. I'm super happy with my win, and when I've decided on the perfect fabric I'll have them reupholstered.

I've also been trailing around indecisively looking for a new lounge suite for the family room. This has been the most difficult thing for me, as my home is really quite traditional in style, but I've been loving some of the retro looking lounges that are kicking around and the moment. I definitely knew I didn't want leather, as we have chesterfields in the front room, and just thought a more casual look would be better ... I even had a quote to get our current lounges reupholstered ... and the quote was DOUBLE the price of new lounges. Baffling!!

Anyway, I've finally decided on the new suite - it's much more traditional than I thought I'd go for, but it's supremely comfortable, and that's never a bad thing! Here is a not great picture:

This picture shows up a little darker than the fabrics are in real life. Originally our plan was to get a blue fabric, but the options were all really blah, and I decided to have something more neutral. Soooo I've selected the linen look fabric over the right back cushion. I just need to go in and place my order tomorrow.

Once the lounge is not too far from delivery, I'll be ordering a new rug, and perhaps a different coffee table, and then I really better stop spending for a little while!!

This month was also a milestone for my little guy. Camo turned 15!!


I can't even believe that he's 15 already - those years went by sooooo very fast. I love him so very much, he's growing up to be such a nice young man, one that I can be so proud of. He's already just over 5'10" (8 inches taller than me) ... it's very likely he'll grow to be taller than his dad! Hard to believe that this time next year he can get his learners permit and he'll be on the roads! Tomorrow he'll be getting braces, another rite of passage for teenagers. Lucky for him he won't need them for as long as his sister.

Last of all, I wanted to share some pictures from our most recent cruise with you - even though it was a couple of months ago now. I don't seem to have taken very many pictures which is irritating - I guess we were having too much fun. My Mum wanted to have a girls long weekend and take Nanna, so on Friday morning, Nanna, Mum, Amy and myself boarded the P&O Pacific Eden for a short four day cruise around the gulf.

Here's the ship as we approached the passenger terminal. It's a much smaller ship than we're accustomed to, almost hidden by the building:


We had a lovely big room, a suite - and though I didn't manage to get any pictures of the actual room for some reason, I did get one of the balcony, which was massive:

It'll be hard to go back to regular sized balcony cabins from now on!

And here's a snap looking back to land as we set off:

And for baffling reasons, the only other picture I managed to snap was one of the theatre while we were waiting for a show to begin:

We were obviously there good and early, as this place was usually packed!!

I will definitely have to do better taking pictures to share with you going forward, sometimes I'm soo busy having a good time that I forget to break out the camera. Next year Mum is planning another family cruise - we'll be flying to Hawaii, spending 3 days there, and cruising back to Sydney via New Zealand. I am genuinely looking forward to that one - it is safe to say we are all completely addicted to cruising!

This week I learned that a lovely friend I just adore and don't see too often, regularly checks in on my blog - I didn't realise this, and it makes me so happy to know they're interested. Big hugs to them, it was lovely to chatter and catch up with you. So now that I have a little more free time on my hands, I'll be sure to post updates more often. Famous last words eh?? 

Well, that's it from me for now, and I promise to check back in soon xoxox

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