Saturday, June 30, 2007

Still Quilting

First up ... Hi Sharon & Jon, thank you for drinkies last nite, it was fun! (Our distant family members & good friends who I only last night discovered have been following my blog!) The kids and I went to their daughter's birthday after school yesterday, and it turned into drinks and husbands joining in after work, and a fun night!

Anyways ... here is my Starstruck top, I thought I'd share, I just moved the hoop again. I'm definitely two thirds done with the quilting. I haven't done much in the last couple of days, and I hope to get some done tonight. We have a BBQ with friends tomorrow which I have to prepare for, so I'll do some chores as well *sigh*. The BBQ is the fun part ... but the preparation is less fun.

When I took the picture I turned the backing fabric forward so you can see the fabrics I've used. I used four different pieces, all Judie Rothermel fabrics that I purchased while in Paducah last year. I sure did buy a lot of fabric, it really will take me a while to get through it all.

I'd ideally like to get the quilting finished on or before Wednesday, that way I can be sewing the binding down at quilt group on Thursday. That may be ambitious, but a girl can only try. Sleep is highly overrated and a waste of good time right ... :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And the winner is ...

Ohhh my, I never expected to see 78 comments! Wow, you've all made me blush with your lovely words. I won't continue to gush however ... I'll get on with the news ...

First up I got Marty to draw a name. And the name he drew is: Linda Z - comment at 7.04am. Since you're the first name drawn, you're the lucky winner of the table runner. I sure hope you like it.

And just for fun, I thought I'd have Amy draw another name, and you'll receive something mysterious in the mail ... so mysterious I'm not sure what it is yet. And the name Amy drew is: Hanne - comment at 10.48pm.

Congratulations to you both, if you'd be so kind to email me your snail mail address, I'll get busy mailing you!

Once again, thank you all for your lovely comments - you sure know how to make a girl feel special. x o x

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Year Bloggiversary!

Today is my one year bloggiversary! Happy bloggiversary to me! I can't believe I made it this far. I was really chicken one year ago to take the leap into blogland. Who would have thought that one year later I'd have managed to post over 250 messages, and had over 56,000 visitors. Amazing! I've met some of the loveliest people too. The world is an amazing place.

I've loved the fact that so many bloggers have been conducting give-aways for their milestones, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon too! Please leave a comment on my blog and you could win the table runner pictured above. I made it on Sunday and finished the binding yesterday. I made a couple of these for gifts while I was in the US last year. And just so you don't think I was working applique like a maniac - that is a cheater cloth there in the middle. So go on ... leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you - and I'd love to see some lurkers come out of the woodwork too! I will draw a name either on Thursday or Friday depending on work commitments ... so - ready ... set ... go!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Piecer's Mat Finished

This afternoon I finsished the binding on the piecer's mat. Marty kindly took Cameron to the birthday party so I could have some time to myself.

Dawn recently made a sewing machine mat, and my friend Karen purchased a mat a lot like it, but was using it for hand piecing. I was thinking it'd be neat to have one with some flannel fabric in the middle so that if you were hand piecing, it would be like a mini-design wall. You'd also be able to pin your pieces to the flannel area. I can see more of these mats in my future.

I have a small table runner project I'd like to work on for the rest of this afternoon, and then I really MUST get back to doing my real work. I think I'm some kind of ADD quilter - I'm really easily distracted!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's a skill ...

It's a special skill that I have ... the ability to completely ignore the pressing deadlines that I have, and concentrate on something entirely different.

I have a top to quilt for a lady, a magazine project to hand quilt, and a very large pattern order for a quilt store. Instead of working on any of these things, I decided to start working on something else entirely. It's a mat thingy, and hopefully I'll get it finished up tomorrow, I'm just working on the binding right now.

If I weren't so tired, I'd press on with it, but it has been a big day. Amy's netball was first up this morning with a big win, a quick visit to Quiltaholics, a trip to the store to pick up the stuff for 'loot bags' for Cam's party. Then making the bags, and finally the party at Hungry Jacks for all his little friends. Whew ... I'm glad for some piecing time. Tomorrow is his little friend Matty's birthday party, and it goes on for a few weeks. They're all turning 5 at once!

Well, that's it from me for now ... I'm way behind with my blog reading. I'm catching up with you all slowly and leaving comments as I can. Don't give up on me! x o x

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Holly's Working

Still hand quilting away here, I think I've done about a quarter of the quilt now. I'm just doing it lightly to begin with, just in case the deadline looms close and I'm not nearly ready, if time permits, I'll go back and do more. I should be quilting right now, but I'm having a rest, it really does get old after a while.

Today was quilt group, and I had a great time with my buddies. Today was filled with a lot of fun and laughing, they're a great bunch of ladies. One of my besties, Karen, belongs to the group, and today she brought along something which warrants further investigation, so we've organised a play date together on Tuesday. It's something like the machine mats that Dawn showed us not so long ago, but Karen is using hers as a mat for her hand work. I was thinking that we may have a go at making something like it up, but refining it with some cute features, but that'll be something we play with on Tuesday.

Today's picture was snapped just a short time ago. Holly was fascinated by an hourglass that was moving on the computer in the study, and was just staring at the computer. She turned around for the picture though - doesn't the camera make her eyes scary! We were joking around that she's got work to do ... Holly often chases the mouse pointer on the screen and taps at it ... it's really fun to see.

Cameron's family birthday party last night was lots of fun. We had a house full, and he loved being the centre of attention. He received a LOT of Lego as gifts. I didn't realise I'd spread the word so far that he loves the stuff so much! I loved it as a kid, and I'm pleased he does too. Amy didn't care for it so much, but she's enjoying helping him out with his kits. School transition went well today, I think he coped better than I did. It was just an hour with his new teacher today, a little longer on Thursday next week and the week after. Then we have two weeks school holidays, then he's at school for real! OMG, I think I'll be a mess on that first day. I'll be a lot happier next year when he's actually at Amy's school.

Anyways, that's it for me ... I hope to have something quilty to share with you all soon. x o x

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I don't really have a lot to share with you today, but I know I won't be able to visit with you tomorrow, so I'll give it a whirl.

There are two reasons for my seeming lack of productivity ... the first is because I'm hand quilting on the Starstruck quilt. We all know how slow that can be. I'm quilting very lightly 1/4" away from the seams with a black perle cotton. I'll get as much done as I can before my deadline. After I get the quilt back, then I can set about doing all the decorative quilting that I'd like to do. The quilting doesn't show up much in the pictures anyways, so as long as the quilt looks nice I'll be happy. I don't know if you can even see the quilting in the picture I took, but I promise it's there. I have around 30 days to have it finished and with the publisher.

The other thing that has been keeping me on my toes is that I'm putting together a web page. I know about enough html to get me in trouble, so it's a slow process. I'm getting better though, so hopefully sometime this milennium I'll have something to share with you.

Well, that's it for me today - tomorrow is the tiny man's birthday, and there is school transition on Thursday, this is one big week for the little guy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Treats and stuff ...

This week I received a wonderful surprise in the mail. It came all the way from the USA. Melanie - our wonderful blogger of Covered Porches and Wooden Screen Doors fame - had sent me the most wonderful package. It contained a Thimbleberries pattern (which is sooooo me) a fat quarter of cute fabric, a thimble, a gorgeous hand made card, and best of all - the most lovely bag ever, which she made herself. I just love all the items! Thank you so much Melanie, I love them to pieces!

I had no idea when I started blogging that I would 'meet' so many wonderful people, and grow to count them among my friends. Such a lovely surpise, I'm glad I took the leap almost a year ago.
I took the bag to the quilt store on Wednesday, and it was so admired. The girls were poring over it to see how they could make one for themselves. Of course, they couldn't make one as special as mine, a wonderful gift from the other side of the Pacific.

On an entirely different note - Marty put his computer skills to good use and worked out my phone and computer's communication issues. I guess they were just having a disagreement, as they seem to be conversing politely now. I had taken a picture at House and Garden on Thursday of these cute sheep, and I wanted to share them with you. They were looking at me from the shelf saying 'Please take us home ...' but I had to walk away ... the knowledge that Holly would have torn them asunder was more than I could bear ... Maybe another day when Holly is a little less juvenile ...

This afternoon we had a little birthday party gathering to go to. It was Marty's Grandfather's birthday on Thursday, and we had a family gathering today. Can you believe he turned 96! Remarkably, he and his wife (second wife) still live in their own home, and Grandpa still drives and has his wits about him entirely. He's a remarkable man, and we're lucky to have him in our lives. My kids are really lucky actually, they still have all their Grandparents, and also have five Great Grandparents. So anyways ... we had a lovely afternoon catching up with family, and now Cam is worn out and has gone to bed. Our next celebration will be Cameron's birthday on Wednesday. He turns five! School transition starts on Thursday, I can't believe my little man is growing up so fast!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Eye Candy

A few girls have asked me to post pictures of my Dear Jane quilt. I know I've posted a pic before, but it was quite a while ago, and I'm just too darned lazy to look for it. So, for your viewing pleasure *lol*, here is my DJ quilt in all her glory :-)

The quilt was started sometime in 1997, and I put the final quilting stitches into it in 2000. I was something of a beginner quilter when I first started it, I had been quilting for a little while, but had not explored many different techniques. I think if I had more experience, I may have been too scared to take it on.

My wonderful friend Linda and I collaborated on this quilt, we exchanged some blocks, and she sent me so many wonderful fabrics, I really could not have made it if it weren't for her.

The quilt has lots of different background fabrics, and not all the coloured fabrics are reproduction style fabrics, there are a few oddballs in there too. After the quilt was completed, I entered it into our guild show in 2001. I was lucky enough to win 'Best First Time Entrant' and my prize was a Horn Cutting Table. Apart from my sewing machine, that table is one of the most used items in my sewing room.

So, that's my Dear Jane. She was a labour of love, and it was around six years before I could work up the courage to start another. Even then, Linda asked me if I was outta my mind. Yes ... I think I am! :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Keeping busy :-)

We're having some busy days here in Chez Tazzie - DH is away right now, but expected home sometime today. Just in time too, the laptop isn't talking to the cell phone, so I'll have to talk to him in a 'help desk' kind of capacity.

Amy and her bestie from school dance together, and they're doing a hip hop dance in the end of year concert for the dance school. Their dance teacher wants them to wear half length black hoodies as part of their costume. As Bec's Mum works, I volunteered to take them shopping to find the hoodies. Easier said than done I learned. I went to the Plaza on Tue afternoon with them, and to my surprise found the hoodies, but not in their sizes. The store kindly located them in other stores but don't do transfers, so yesterday before work I travelled to Elizabeth, and today with my friend Cheryl, travelled to West Lakes. Gosh, the km's we do for our kids. They're taking them tonite to make sure they're okay ... they better be!!

It was a nice opportunity for Cheryl and I to spend some q-time together, her daughter came along, and we checked out some clothes stores etc. One we went to was the Crows Nest - the supporters store for Cam's fave footy team. I picked up a cute t-shirt for him and one for Amy too. I'll pop them away until Cam's birthday next week. We also went into House and Garden, one of my favourite shops, and I saw these shelves of super cute sheep - I took a picture with my phone to share with you, but couldn't upload it - maybe tomorrow.

On a quilty note, yesterday I finished up some coasters - something a little different this time - some fusible applique. I'm loving the coasters - it's fun to have small projects that finish so quickly. And last night, I basted the Starstruck quilt, and have put just a couple of quilting stitches into it. Let's see how much hand quilting I can get done before the deadline looms very close.

Wow - this has been a rambling and wordy post with not many pictures. I promise I'll share more eye candy next time around! x o x

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sewin' like mad!

Monday was the Queen's Birthday public holiday here (I understand it actually bears no resemblance to her actual birthday, but we celebrate it anyway) and I was able to get a lot of sewing done!

First up, I quilted up the log cabin blocks I made the other day and bound them. I've put them in my shop, as I had a request for some more. There are two sets of four, the same as in the picture. We'll see how they go. I'm enjoying having some little projects, they use up the scraps of fabric I keep accumulating and also the scraps of batt I just can't bear to throw out.

Next up I added the half and quarter blocks to the Starstruck quilt top to complete the border. I love how this quilt has come along. Today if I get the chance I'm going to find a backing fabric and get ready for quilting. I plan to hand quilt this one, and with a black perle cotton. It will be fun to do something with the quilting. I haven't hand quilted a project in a little while, so I'm looking forward to getting to that part of it.

And here is a close up of one of the half blocks that has the different background fabric. It's not very different at all, and from a distance you can't really see it at all. Not that Maverick, but I'm growing from the person who would have rushed out and spent ages looking for the same exact fabric. I decided I would rather have a little something different in my quilt and extra quilting time.

And last up for today, this morning my friend Wendy came over for a little stitching time. Since she is piecing her Dear Jane, I thought I'd piece a couple of blocks along with her. I haven't picked up my DJ in months and months, so it was fun to revisit it. On the left is J11 - Twin Sister, and on the right is M13 - Lynette's Diamond. They are both applique blocks, and I still had the templates from last time I made the quilt, so it was easy to get organised to put them together.

Tomorrow is a day at the quilt store, I'm looking forward to seeing what all the girls have been working on.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I tried so hard ...

... to get this top finished today. I came close - I only have the half and quarter blocks to put around the edge now, but it's getting late, and I've had a couple of glasses of red. I think I'll have to leave the rest until tomorrow.

We had an unexpected dinner party tonight which was really fun. The friends that came over have kids around the same age as ours, so it means our kids can have fun together too. Marty only organised it at 4.30pm, so I had to quickly get the house 'company ready' and then think about what we were going to eat. Lucky I had purchased a little extra when I shopped last, just in case of this kind of emergency!

If I have to give up any sewing time, this is the kind of thing I'm happy to give it up for :-) How is your weekend going? x o x

Friday, June 08, 2007

On a roll ...

Or on the table really :-) I finished the table runner yesterday! I knew I'd need some hand work for quilt group yesterday, so Wednesday evening after the kids had gone to bed, I seriously applied myself to the task of quilting the table runner. At around 11.30pm I was done with the quilting and set to sewing on the binding. After lunches were made for the next day, I got to bed around 12.30am. Not a really late night for me, but for a week night, it's up there :-) but it did mean that I could hand sew the binding down the next day. It's nice to have something different to do at quilt group. Lately I have been taking along the whole cloth quilt, and that gets a little old after a while. I put it on the table, and rather than the blue and white china candelabra that sits on the table, I thought the potplant from the family room would look cuter there. So I swapped them over.

I have some chores to get through this morning, and then I have to start working in earnest again on the Starstruck quilt. I unexpectedly received a commissioning letter for it yesterday, and I have around five weeks to have it ready. I had planned to hand quilt it with a black perle cotton, so if I want maximum hand quilting time, I really need to get motoring. I cut the remainder of the background fabric last night, and can you believe it, I was short by six 3 1/2" squares. Too cruel! I'm not stressing over it though, and I've used a very similar print that I have on hand for the six squares, and I'm going to call it a 'feature'. I like quirky things like that in a quilt, even if they're not really planned on.

Well, that's it from me, I've my work cut out for me ... I'll TTYL! x o x

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wednesday Work Day

Yesterday I had quite a productive day, I finished up piecing an extra four tree blocks (gosh HST's can get repetitive after a while!) and then put them together into this table runner.

I hesitated over putting the William Morris print into the setting triangles, as I thought it was just too busy. But I decided to give it a go and now I quite like it. In this project I did something I almost never do ... I mixed Thimbleberries prints in with other fabrics! That's so unusual for me. I often joke that I don't think TB fabrics play nicely with others, I'm joking of course, and have no problem putting all sorts of other fabrics together, but it's just an odd thing I stick to. Well yesterday I broke my own rule, and I'm really happy with the results. It came about because I just didn't have enough of any of the right green for the border. I guess this will be the start of a new era for me :-)

Ohhh, I should point out, the little bits of brown print you see around the edges is the table runner that was already on the table ... I was too lazy to take it off before I took the picture.

And the last picture for today ... some log cabin blocks I made up last night. These are destined to become coasters.

If I get a chance this morning I'll tear out the foundation papers. I have to head off to work shortly, but being at the quilt store doesn't seem like work at all :-)

Have a great day! x o x

Monday, June 04, 2007

Scrap Trees

These are the tree blocks the girls at the quilt store and I are making up for Maureen's birthday quilt. I love the way they look. I'm going to make up a further four blocks so I can put together the table runner I drew up last month. I've already foundation pieced all the trunk sections, I just need to make up a whole lot more HST's. I've been using some thangles that I've had sitting around for a while, I showed the girls at class how to use them. Normally I'd just use my Easy Angle ruler, but I thought this time I should practice what I've been preaching :-)

I'm just so thrilled that I started following Bonnie's Scrap Users System. Throwing these trees together with scraps was a breeze with all the 2 1/2" strips pre-cut. Back in the old days I'd have had to rummage through the scraps and trim them to size and ... well, you know the drill. Scrap quilting is so much easier now, and I'm actually seeing something of a reduction in my scraps!

And here is another set of placemats I made yesterday. These ones are about one inch smaller all around, and I used a different fabric for the binding.

I'm almost out of the length of braid that I made up, so if I want to make up some more placemats, I'll have to make up some more braid. Not a problem with all the Thimbleberries fabric I have on hand - I just need to piece at a faster rate than the Thimbleberries scraps reproduce.

That's it from me ... I have a lot of work to get through today, so it's 'nose to the grindstone' for me! Have a great one! x o x

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mindless piecing

Last night I started putting together some sections of my blocks for Maureen. I only got a small number of the half square triangles done before I got bored, so I started making up some coasters. It's fun to see something finished in an evening.

I'm working thru my Thimbleberries stash with the coasters. I haven't purchased any T/B fabric in a while, and it doesn't seem to be reducing. I'm sure it's actually re-producing! I'm going to put these and some placemats I'll make soon on Etsy and try my luck. It seems like a fun little outlet.

We have a quiet weekend ahead of us, so I see some work on my Starstruck blocks in my immediate future. I can't wait!

While typing up this note, I received a call from one of the committee members from our states Quilter's Guild. She asked if I would be interested in demonstrating at our show in November. Lucky me, I got the first call, so I could pick my timeslot. Last year I wasn't able to help as I wasn't able to get Cam looked after on the days they had available. This is the fourth time I've been asked, and I always feel so priveleged and unworthy. I know I'll have fun, so rock on November! Now I'll have to start thinking about a project to enter in the show. It only seems like yesterday I was working on last years quilt. I think I'll do a miniature again.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


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