Saturday, September 07, 2019

Well hello there!

I swear to you, every day since my last post I thought to myself 'today will be the day that I get busy writing on my blog', and almost each night without fail I'd realise that the day had simply gotten away from me. But not tonight ...


So, Hi! What have you been up to? I have mostly been hand quilting, and just living life, and not taking lots of pictures apparently, but I can show you some of where I'm up to on the Phebe project:


I was getting tired of quilting in the applique area, so to change things up a bit I put a few stitches in some of the star blocks. I just love these stars, and it's so much fun revisiting the fabrics and remembering the other projects they were used in. Many of the fabrics were gifts of scraps from my lovely friends too.


I only quilted three blocks before I moved back to the applique area - there's only one side left of the applique to go before I'm done and I can move on. I am still supremely happy with my choice of sashing fabric between the stars. I don't know if you remember, but it ended up being a tricky choice. I had a few bits and pieces of the dressing gowns print in my scrap box that I'd used in various projects, and my lovely friend Linda who was visiting at the time was sure she had a chunk of it.

When Linda got home, the fabric proved to be elusive, and I put a shout out to my friends to hunt some down. A local quilting friend Julie had a piece, but I still needed more, and the lovely Rosemary Youngs came to the rescue. I was able to get the blocks pieced together just as I wanted. 

And because our stashes work in mysterious ways, way later on I found a fat quarter of the elusive fabric in the bottom of my stash closet, and Linda found a couple of yards in a small fabric collapse in her stash. So there you go ...

But I'm back to quilting in the applique border now:

And I'm pretty happy with how it's looking :-)

And the last picture for the day is a quick table runner I put together. One of the lovely ladies from my Thursday class had made one, and I loved it so much I wanted to make one too:

It's made with 60 degree triangles cut from a border print, and for best results the border print needs to be quite different from one edge to the other. This table runner will be gifted to my beautiful Nanna who is turning 90 this month. Isn't she amazing, I just love her to bits!

Well, that's it from me for now, I trust you're all keeping well, and I hope to chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

And it's July!

Well hello there! I'm finally checking in on my somewhat neglected blog.

I do have some good news, after some medical procedures my arm is finally pain free. It's actually the best it's felt in a whole year ... which means I've been able to work at my hand quilting with gusto! A couple of nights ago I took this quick snap of how it's looking:

I had really been missing it so much. While Wimbledon was on, I was quilting into the wee small hours, and I have become kind of nocturnal. I'll start to get myself back to normal hours soon, as school holidays will finish at the end of this week and I don't want it to be too much of a shock to have to start getting up early in the morning!

And here's a snap of a little someone who has been keeping me company on the sofa and in the sewing room:

It's super hard to get a good picture of Gracie, she's such a good camouflage colour that photos just don't work out well - this one isn't too bad, even if she looks kind of grumpy.

And because this is just going to be a quick post - it's getting late here ... I just wanted to share something that has happened since last time I checked in with you ... my little guy turned seventeen! I snagged this photo from Amy:


It's hard to believe Camo is so grown up, I think when I started writing here he was around four years old! He's such a good kid, and we are blessed that he's part of our family.

That's all from me right now, I need to get some zzzz's, but I am going to really try and check back in this week. Let's see how that goes! xoxox

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Trimming ... and then some ...

This past week I've been lucky enough to see the Rajah quilts belonging to a couple of my sweet Thursday ladies grow some more. Betty is just finishing up her pieced borders, and Jean has started working on the final applique border. This reminded me that I haven't picked up mine in a while, and I know exactly why.

The next row on my project is the first of two rows of about a bazillion one inch finished half square triangles. I've gotten the ball rolling on them, but the next step is cutting them into individual HST's and trimming them to size. And I don't mind confessing to you that I find this part ... tedious ...

So, I'm going to do what Betty did for hers ... I'm going to leave it out on the cutting table, and set myself a goal of doing a few here and there between other things until they're all done. It won't be so onerous that way, and hopefully they'll be done before I know it!

And for a little extra eye candy, here's where Betty's Rajah quilt is at right now. Isn't it fabulous?

It never ceases to amaze me how a group of people can all have the same pattern, and using their own interpretations and different fabric, end up with such different looking quilts. It's one of my favourite things about this creative process.

After I finish my allocation of HST's for this evening, I'm going to get myself set up with my hand quilting again and I'll put a few stitches in while I am distracted by the French Open tennis final. I've been riveted by it this year, and it has been keeping me up very late at night. So lucky I'm a night owl.

And speaking of things TV related, I was watching an old episode of Modern Family this past week, and in the background I noticed something very familiar. Please forgive this terrible photo  I took while I hurriedly paused the TV:

In Gloria's home, they have the very same dumb-waiter in use as a shelving unit that I have in my sewing room. It it silly that I was super excited?

This is mine in use:

It's one of my favourite things I bought at auction. By brother and I picked it up after I was the successful bidder and we tossed it in the back of his ute. I waited until we'd got it home before I told him is was an antique from the late 1800's, because I knew he'd be worrying about it all the way home!

Last of all, I had a comment from Quilt Granma on my last post asking about the pointy border on my Phebe quilt. I would have loved to reply to you personally, but your email address isn't enabled on your comments. But in response to your question, I'm sure that the tri-recs ruler would make a great job of your pointy border, the angles wouldn't be as sharp, but they'd still be wonderful. I foundation pieced mine, mostly due to my laziness about not wanting to worry about cutting out fabric super accurately. I hope this helps!

Well, that's it from me - I'll check in soon - hopefully with all my one inch HST's trimmed :-)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fabric Acquisition Team

On Monday some of my lovely quilting buddies and I headed over to Tricia's fabrics to hunt down fabrics that needed to be ours. I haven't shopped for quilting fabric in quite some time - largely because I have SO MUCH already, and also because it seems irresponsible to just buy it when I'm using it so very slowly. But when one of us decides they're making the journey across town, it's amazing how quickly you can get a car full!

Here's what came home with me:

The cute map fabric on the left really caught my eye, I thought it would make up some really lovely placemats for the kitchen table - I love the retro colouring. The purple is a 'just because' fabric. I don't have much purple or yellow in my stash, so I need to remedy that. The next fabric was another that just grabbed me - I've never seen it before and thought it would lend itself to some fabulous fussy cutting opportunities. The stripe on the right I'm thinking I'll use for sashing strips for the HOQH project that is on a slow-go at the moment.

I don't think I'll be doing anything with any of these fabrics for a while, so for now they'll be folded up and put in the stash with all the other lovelies :-)

There have been some more spare minutes in the past week to work on my hand quilting, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. The weather is bad here right now, so I'm hoping I'll be able to do some more this weekend too:

For me, hand quilting is pretty slow going, so there's not a great deal new to see. It's going to take me a while to get through this applique border, but I'm really looking forward to getting to the pieced stars so I can work out how I'll quilt them.

Well, that's it from me for now, I'll chatter soon! xox

Monday, May 06, 2019

A little quilting ...

These past couple of weeks I've been able to get some things checked off my stitching list - even though they were things I love to do, they were weighing on me because the wedding had taken first priority.

First up were some secret squirrel blocks that I can't share, but will be able to do so in time, and second I got all the star blocks made up for the exchange with my lovely USA friends - I have shared photos of the blocks before I'm pretty sure, and I'll share again when I have all the blocks in my hot little hands. Lastly, I quilted a really sweet cot quilt for one of my Thursday girls, and of course I forgot a photo of that too. I really need to lift my game!

But all those finishes meant that I could try and get back to hand quilting - I haven't been able to do much since my injury. I've moved the hoop twice now, and while I'm still nowhere near healed, I'm not in quite so much pain.

In this picture you can just see the small clamshell design I used in the grassy area:

The sheep look a little naked though, so I may come back and quilt them a little more too.

And this is where I'm working at the moment:

There is still some marking that needs to be done, and I'm going to finish that as soon as I'm done on the computer, then I can get busy with a little more stitching.

I have an appointment at a spinal specialist this week who will hopefully be able to get this nerve pain in my arm sorted out. I'm so missing all my tennis and being able to stitch for longer. Don't tell anyone, but I've been getting a few cheeky coaching sessions in here and there, so that means it's not as bad as it was ... it's all up from here! Chatter soon :-)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Back to normal ... or something like it ...

Hello! It has taken a long time for life to return to normal after Amy's wedding. The lead up to the big day was pretty exhausting, the celebration was so much fun, the days afterward during the 'take down' exhausting once again ... and what I wasn't expecting was the fatigue for weeks afterward!

I should explain - Amy and Mark were offered the use of a family friend's vineyard as the location for the ceremony and the reception. It was so very generous of the lovely people that owned the property, but because it's not a place that hosts weddings on the regular - we needed to do so much to ensure the 150 guests would have everything they needed. This is the very picturesque location:


I enlisted the help of a wedding coordinator, but there was still so much to be ordered and delivered into the foothills: A marquee that could fit the guests and all other items in the event of inclement weather, a bar, fridges to accommodate all the drinks/alcohol - and then we had to load them, bar tables, benches, tables and chairs, pews, electrical for lighting, portable bathrooms, photo booth, lounges, catering, speakers for music and speeches ... ohhh it went on and on.

Amy asked me to make cupcakes and a top tier cake for cutting, as well as gingerbread people for bomboniere, and the cakes I did do, but I outsourced the gingerbread, thinking I just wouldn't be able to juggle all the things in the time I had available. I haven't managed to find a picture of the top tier, but here are all the cupcakes and the flowers I made for the cutting cake:



Hopefully I'll be able to share some more pictures once we receive everything from the photographer.

Because I had such a busy day running around working with the wedding coordinator, I didn't manage to find myself in front of anyone's camera that I've seen so far, but there will be some of the official pictures I'm sure, but I can share what I wore on the day :-)



It was hard to find a dress that I liked as I'm not in great shape at the moment. Five months of not being active on the court has taken it's toll. But I loved the dress when I saw it, and then had the fun of finding some shoes to match. These ones winged their way to me from Tasmania after a little while of searching. I'm truly a lucky girl that I have a sample size foot - shoes just seem to fit me well!

Anyway, we made it through all the things, a lovely day was had by all, and here is the first pic sent through by the photographer:


Isn't it a lovely picture? I'm looking forward to seeing more of them, shouldn't be long now!

So now that all the wedding fun is behind us, I've been spending a little time in the sewing room and also working on things that I selected as my goals for this year. Last year I made it my mission to make macarons, and I managed to do that in a passable way. This year it's my goal to pick up the French language again, and also to learn how to make clothes.

I studied French while I was in high school for two years, so I can sort of remember the basics, but certainly couldn't carry on a conversation. I've been using the DuoLingo app for a little while now, and I can definitely see improvement. I hope I can keep it up.

And regarding sewing garments, I had tried a few bits and pieces, also as a teenager, but that was limited to running in the seams on a pair of jeans, or very minor alterations/mending. I have been inspired by Laurie Perry (crazytourist.com - but honestly her Instagram is the place to go), and then lately I found the blog of Gertie - so much more inspiration! I bought her book and I was ready to rock and roll!


Next up, supplies:


And before you know it, I'd made the pencil skirt in her book. I was assured by people in the know that a skirt is the way to go for beginners, but that I'd chosen a challenging fabric to start with. Here are the results:



The skirt fits well and I'm pretty happy with my pattern matching on the side seams. Yay! Who knows what I'll tackle next, but I know I have a boiled wool coat in my future, because I found a brooch on Etsy that had to be mine ... and I made it so:

Isn't it just adorable? Apparently it's from the 1950's - I just know I'll be able to wear it with lots of things. Nothing like planning your winter wardrobe around a cute piece of jewellery.

To keep things quilt related, here is something I worked on for a sweet friend. Lovely Betty made this quilt top from Jo Morton's Little Favourites 3 book - she's not much interested in quilting, and since it was not large I said I'd quilt it for her:



I loved the look of the top, and was so happy with the quilting that I've added this to the list of projects I'd like to make in the future, it's just darling.

And last of all, I'm back working on the star exchange that I'm doing with some of my lovely USA friends. I'd best get busy on it as I understand they've finished their blocks, I've a way to go, but hopefully I can get it all done in the school holidays:

Well, I've pretty much written a thesis here, so if you're still with me, you're all caught up on what's going on in my world. Hopefully I'll be able to write more regularly now that my life is all back to normal. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fun things ...

In honour of St. Valentine's Day this week, I thought it would be fun to make up a block that I've admired for some time - it's an applique block, so I've been able to do everything apart from actually stitching the applique shapes down (they're glued down for now) - stitching will happen when I'm able to hand sew for a length of time.

This block is called Tangled Hearts - it was designed by the lovely Teresa Rawson from Fabric Therapy and was featured in Quiltmakers 100 Blocks #10. Isn't it just so much fun? I can imagine a whole quilt made from this block, and that might be exactly what I do some day.

Marty and I don't really do a whole lot on Valentines Day, but yesterday he surprised me with something really interesting. He found a pattern for a thread stand for Featherweights  and 3D printed me one - isn't it neat?

In the background a picture to show how it works, and in the foreground is the one he printed. I can't wait to give it a try!

Speaking of featherweights, I found one at auction during the Christmas holidays and absolutely had to purchase it, the machine and it's box were in such lovely shape - I knew I could give it a good home. I'm thinking that I might sell one of my featherweights though, it really does seem greedy to have four of them when they're so sought after. I'll have to think on it, I love each of them as they're all slightly different, and a couple of them I have an sentimental attachment to.

Also yesterday was the day for the lovely ladies of my quilt class to gather, and as promised I took pictures of the other two Rajah quilts in progress to share with you:

This one belongs to Betty, she chose a William Morris block by Michele Hill for her applique centre. And from that point she's following along with the pattern more closely. It's just so pretty, and inspires me to get out my William Morris patterns and start working on some more applique. Though it doesn't show well in the picture, there are lovely hints of gold in the fabric, and it all looks so luxe!

And this one belongs to Jean. As you can see, Jean is following the pattern as it was written, and it's coming along so well. I love the bright colours and the bling of the fabric. Jean and I are at the same point with our tops, and our two projects could not look more different.

I can't wait to see how all our quilts come along going forward. Very exciting!

Well, that's it from me for now - I hope you're all having a great week. Chatter soon xox

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Busy, busy!

My goodness, the past week has been super busy! Today however, I have been able to catch my breath a little and put the next borders on my version of the Rajah quilt. Here's where I'm up to:


Wow, is this quilt busy or what? I really should have taken the time to press it a little better, but I've folded it and put it aside for now - let's see if I can do better for the next picture. I think there are three more pieced borders and a final applique one, and then I can call this top done. It has come together quite quickly really!

So, the thing that really had me occupied over the past week was the final organisation and then the actual happening of my sweet girl's bridal shower and then hen's night. The bridal shower was here, and we had the perfect day for it to be out under the pergola. Amy had lots of lovely friends and family attend, it really was such a fun afternoon:

And then after a short break, the evening celebration was at Amy's house, also a super fun time, but more for the young girls than us oldies. I won't share any pictures of that party, but be assured a great time was had by all, and it was a very late night!

That's all I have to share for now - I have to get busy in the sewing room putting a little Valentine project for my Thursday girls, and then a few chores are beckoning. A girl can never get bored! Chatter soon :-)

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