Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Coasters and Sunbonnet Sue

On Monday morning I finished putting together the top of my 'Galaxy of Scraps' quilt. I would like to further 'stash bust' with it, and when I'm ready I'll piece a back for it. I love Bonnie's 10" squares back idea, and use it whenever I can.

Next on my agenda for that day was to put together the back for the Sunbonnet Sue quilt. The lady who I'm making this for had included some yardage, so I just had to chop it in half and put it back together again - easy!

Later that evening I pinned the quilt and set to quilting, and wouldn't you believe it, I ran out of the pink thread! I'm experiencing deja vu here :-) Because I was due at the quilt store today, I decided not to run out and get thread locally but to wait. So ... this meant I was looking for something to do last night ...

I've had a lot of orders from quilt stores for my Log Cabin Table Runner patterns, which meant that I've been playing with my Thimbleberries Christmas squares - so I wanted to play with it some more ... I didn't feel like making up log cabin blocks just now, but thought I'd make up some Christmas Shoo-Fly coasters. They were fun to make, and I see more in my future.

They're in my Etsy store if you're interested ...

This evening after I pick up Amy from netball, I'll get busy quilting some more on Sunbonnet Sue - I think I have a customer dropping off two more quilts for me tomorrow, so I need to get busy!

Hope you all have a grrrrrrrrreat Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Getting there ...

Here's where I got up to last night putting the rows together of my 'Galaxy of Scraps' quilt. Thank you for helping me be sure about my setting triangles. I'm glad I didn't go with the more plain fabric - I wouldn't have been happy with it in the end.

I have three more rows to go, and then I'll call the top done. If I get the opportunity, I'd like to put the back of the Sunbonnet Sue quilt together this morning before I head out for my lunch date today. Maybe I should do it first ...

But back to the scraps - isn't it amazing how far our scraps go ... I still have sooooo many 2.5" squares. I've had to stop cutting them for the time being, and I'm concentrating on 2" and 3.5" at the moment. I have 1.5" too ... but I don't use them as much ... but seeing Bonnie's trees ... Ohhh - what would I give for a few more hours in the day :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Setting Triangles

I've completely finished making up all the blocks for 'A Galaxy of Scraps'. All the blocks are sashed and it's now decision time.

This is another quilt that I don't plan to put a border on, and I had planned to use the biscuit coloured fabric in the foreground of the picture for the setting triangles around the edge of the quilt. I'm now thinking it may be a little boring.

I found the pictured Sturbridge II fabric in my stash, and I'm thinking I may use it for the setting triangles instead. What do you think?

Decisions, decisions ... I hope I don't lose sleep over it! :-)

Friday, October 26, 2007

On guard!

Just a short time ago I ambled into the sewing room - you know - to pet the fabric, and think about what I might like to work on later today ... and look what I found :-)

It's like Holly has laid claim to some of my recent quilts. Or perhaps she's 'guarding' them. Whatever she's up to, she's certainly comfy!

And here's a fun link for you ... Australian Patchwork and Quilting ... it's their 'current issue' page, and you can see one of my quilts at the bottom of the page there. I don't know how long it will be before they change it out for the next issue, but I expect it will be a couple of weeks at least. You'll have seen that quilt in progress some months ago - how fun!

And last up for today, I thought I'd take a quiz that's doing the rounds - What colour am I? Do you think it's accurate? What colour are you?

you are lightcyan

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More quilting :-)

Today I spent most of the day teaching at the quilt store - not many places I'd rather be :-) After I got home and dinner and sporting activities were out of the way, it was back to quilting on this beauty.

I've been working on it off and on as I get the chance, it's for one of my Thursday girls. You can see it's one of those wonderful split nine patch patterns, and Janine has made it up beautifully. I wish I could remember the fabric range off hand, but of course it's kinda late, so the brain is getting fuzzier. It's just gorgeous though, and I'm loving working on it.

I thought I'd include a picture of the back for you - Janine chose a really cute red, green and gold Mettler variegted thread, and the back shows it off wonderfully (not that you can see the colours in the picture very well - but trust me, they're there!).

As you know, I'm a bit of a two trick pony with my freemotion quilting - it's meandering or peacock feathers as a rule - and on this quilt it's the peacock feathers. I thought I'd get it finished tonight - but wouldn't you know it, with about three square feet to go, I ran out of thread. Just one of those things - I'll grab a reel tomorrow, and if I get a shop sample done, I'll finish this quilt up while I'm at the store.

Nothing else of any interest to show you right now - I'll check back with you all really soon - I promise! x o x

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stitching Day

A big hello to Sue, Janette, Sharen and Michelle for spending a lovely day with me.

Sue (in the black shirt) organised for her group of sewing friends to come over for show and tell, some quilting and lunch. I'd only met Sue before, and have never invited people in that I've never met, and I wondered how I'd keep them busy for four hours - but let me tell you it flew by!

A nice time was had by all, and we'll make plans to catch up again soon. Cheers girls!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sewing Machine Mat

I've had a number of requests - most recently from Anonymous - "Hi there :-)" asking if I would make the pattern for the Sewing Machine Mats available for sale. So, of course I'm happy to do it. It's over at my website. This weekend I have just made up an order for the Quilt Store for the pattern, I've also taken the extra steps to customise the directions for a PDF file, so it's now ready to go. Please remember that the prices on my site are in Australian dollars, if you want to check the US (or other countries) conversion, I recommend the website

Thank you for being so interested ... x o x

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ohhh, aint it the truth?

Treats and Tops

First up, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Linda Z. Linda was the winner of my one year bloggiversary table runner a little while back. What a sweet treat she sent me - it's a Thimbleberries pattern - and she had been to retreat at the Main Street Cotton Shop, and had Lynette Jensen sign it just for me! What a treasure! The pattern is really cute too, and I know I'll make up the quit sometime. Thank you once again Linda :-)

Here is the Sunbonnet Sue quilt top which I completed last night. The shop had offered to finish this quilt for a lady who was unwell, and I had been working on it in spare moments while there. Those spare moments have been becoming scarcer, so this week I decided to bring it home and finish it off. If I can manage it, I'd like to baste it today so I can start quilting on it tonight. My ultimate goal is to have it ready for binding on Wednesday. Lets see if I can keep up the momentum.

I'm also quilting another quilt top for a customer, and that's around one third finished. Also a project I'd like to have done by mid next week - as I believe I'll be receiving two more tops to quilt on Wednesday or Thursday. It's all hapenning!

Thank you also to Rose for a recent award, and to Elsie for tagging me. I hope I can get to them soon! Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Christmas Wreath

This project is so cute I just had to share. Pauline, who is one of the girls from class had made this wreath recently. I don't know much about the pattern or the technique, but it's called Snippets. The girls had the book (I'm sorry, but I don't remember the name to attribute the pattern to) and were oooohing and aaaahing over it, and I have to say I can understand why. It looks really cute, and would be a wonderful way to use up those scraps. Can you imagine it in Autumn colours too?

Pauline asked if I would stipple on the project for her so it could be finished up. Of course I'm always happy to do it. She had her first go at stippling yesterday on some leftover fabric and batt, and decided that perhaps this won't be the first thing she quilts on ... I can understand her thinking, it does take a little practice ... I remember very well when I first started quilting, and I'm still nervous when I try new things.

I'm off to the quilt store again in around an hour. I have some students again today, and if I have the opportunity I would like to get working on the Sunbonnet Sue quilt again. It's so close to completion, it would be nice to get it done.

That's it from me ... have a great day :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The fabric that just won't quit ...

Yay! I've finished making all the middle parts of the blocks for the new scrap quilt. you can see them all piled up there in the background. Now I just need to finish framing the blocks with the biscuit and purple fabrics. I think I've framed about half of them. See how I'm using purple AGAIN! I think it's my new favourite colour.

I made 25 of the star blocks, and 16 of the sixteen patch blocks, and of course, it seemed to make very little difference to my box of 2.5" scraps. Clearly I have a lot of scrap quilts left in me yet. One thing I did was make an effort to use the ugliest of the fabrics in the box. Amazing what fabrics make their way into the stash!

And see the light blue fabric in this block (I know it's hard to see clearly - I really do not take good pictures) but anyways ... that fabric was in the first ever quilt I made. Back in 1992! I don't know how much of that fabric I purchased - but we were newlyweds with a new house and not much money, so it can't have been too much. But this stuff is like a bad penny - I just can't get rid of it. It's popping back up all the time in my scrap boxes. I tried to use it all in this quilt, but I think there is a little more. And who knows what is in the other size scrap boxes ... I'm just never going to be rid of it! Thank goodness fabric is so much more interesting these days - it's not an attractive fabric!

And speaking of unattractive fabrics - get a load of some of the bad boys in these blocks! Ewwwww ... I have no idea where that yellow fabric came from - I know I never would have bought that one ... and the black and orange plaid ... and the little calicoes ... Ohhh and of course, there's a little more of the blue in there too *sigh*.

I hope I don't look upon my current stash this way in ten years time. I love my repro fabric ... I hope I never fall out of love with it!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More scrappage ...

Don't groan ... but yes, I've made two more sewing machine mats. One is a gift for a precious friend, and the other is a class sample. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I hand out a fun scrap pattern to my students each quarter at the quilt store.

What I had started doing was cutting the 3.5" strips required for the tumblers I showed you earlier. The fabrics I had selected to use, once I cut two 3.5" strips, there was just enough left for a 2.5" strip, so I decided to cut that up to use toward the machine mat.

This afternoon I'll write up the directions for the mats, and I can hand them out this week at the shop. I'm so looking forward to getting back to working at the shop - I don't work during the school holidays, and honestly - I think the kids in many ways are looking forward to heading back to school. The holidays have been busy, and it will be nice to get back into our normal routine.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cuz they're just so much fun ...

... and because I really can't help myself - I've popped another one in my Etsy store. It's fun to use up my scraps, and I'm working toward building up my yardage. Just super fun!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sisters Choice Medallion

Just a quick heads up - because many of you were interested, and not able to get your hands on the magazine - my Sisters Choice Medallion pattern is available for sale on my website.

I'll only have it there for a limited time, and remember, if you subscribe to Australian Patchwork and Quilting, you'll be seeing the pattern in February.

Tumbler time!

Today I toddled off to quilt group - it's a while since I've been. Now that I'm teaching more at the quilt store it has been hard to get there. Anyway, there was no hand work that I wanted to take along, so I thought I could start a project I've wanted to do for a little while now. I have these repro fabrics - I guess they're around 10" squares. I have seen many people's tumbler quilts over time and mentally allocated these fabrics to make one myself.

First of all, I had to look for the template I purchased especially for this quilt. I looked through the drawer at the back of the cutting table to no avail. The cupboard at the back ... still no. My knitting lives in the front, but you never know ... no. Hmmm ... where else could it be. I'd almost given up and decided I'd look on my ruler rack (thinking there would be no way) but there it was. So - I put the template, and the cutter next to my bag, and grabbed the fabric. Next - where was my travelling cutting mat? Once again I hunted ... and after a while decided to look in the boot (trunk) of my car. Bingo! Okay - we're ready to roll. At quilt group, I socialised for a little, finished up something else that was in my bag - and it was time to get cutting. Out came the fabric and the cutting mat ... and could you believe it ... I left the template and my cutter at home! This project just was not meant to be started today!

On an entirely different note - the lunch yesterday was just lovely. There were five of us in the end, a few couldn't make it. I took Cameron with me - Amy was at a friend's house. Even so, there were eleven children there having a wonderful time. It was really fun to see people I hadn't seen in 20 years. Two of the girls I would have recognised easily, and one of them I wouldn't have known at all! Natalie was a perfect hostess - and it was fun to hear all about the lives the girls are leading, and to reminisce about old friends and times. Thank you to everyone for your positive and encouraging words. You all knew it would be a good afternoon didn't you? It's not the first time I've been disconcerted about something like that - but the result is always the same. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm kinda nervous ...

I just thought I'd write something quickly before I start heading toward bed. Maybe it'll help me sleep ... not that lack of sleep is usually a problem ...

Tomorrow my friend Natalie (my school friend I was reunited with last year) is hosting a lunch for 7 or 8 of our old school friends (that number includes Nat and I). I'm really nervous and kind of scared about it. Apart from Natalie, I haven't seen any of these girls for 20 years.

Anyways, as an ice breaker, I've made up some of my customary mug mat gifties ... I started making the blocks yesterday and finished them up this afternoon.

Twenty years is a long time, and I know we've all grown up - in fact, it's quite possible that tomorrow may bring wonderful things, but I can't help but look toward it with trepidation. I'll let you all know how it goes ... I just wish I could face this all in a more positive manner ... it's just so unlike me to have this nervous outlook ... Have any of you faced something like this in the same way?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fun in the mail

Today I received some wonderful items in the mail from my wonderful friend Linda. She is truly so incredibly generous, I am the luckiest girl to have a friend like her. Thank you so much Linda - I really appreciate and love each and every item.

I received the fabrics you see above, I haven't had a good look at them all yet, but they're wonderful reproductions, and some of them I think are Jo Morton fabrics. Linda knows my taste inside and out, and knows I'll love these to pieces.

Also sent are some wonderful magazines. I've never seen Quilt Sampler on sale here, and it's one of my favourite magazines, so Linda always gets an extra copy for me. Also, some issues of Fons and Porters magazine, which I love too. I'm looking forward to settling down and reading thru them all. I had seen the Quilt Sampler on some of your blogs already and was hoping I'd be able to get a copy sometime. It looks scrummy :-)

Last of all today, I have been sewing away with my box of 2.5" squares, and I was looking for a change of pace from the blocks I've been working on (which are almost done now) and thought I'd put together another sewing machine mat for my Etsy store. This is a fun one, and you'll recognise some of the fabrics from recent projects.

In my last post I mentioned my change of hairstyle, and many of you definitely want to see pictures ... let me work up the courage girls, I really dislike having my picture taken. I know it's silly ... but seriously ... I'll work up the courage ... I hope :-)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Back on track

I'm back on the scrap wagon again now that I'm happy with my seam allowance. Thank you to those of you who gave some great tips for accuracy. My issue was that my needle had stepped one to the left and I didn't notice. Well, I did notice when I needed to add a new shape to the mix, but all is well now.

Good thing I didn't keep using the block border fabric from the previous post, I don't think it would have gone well with the purple fabric I had settled on for the star blocks. It's the same purple I used in the borders from the last quilt. I really love it!

I'll just keep plugging away now, I expect you'll see more of the same for a little while as the blocks come together. The thing I find super fun is that I can hide some of the most extraordinary scrap fabrics in here and they still look great.

For this project, I picked up most of my already cut 2 1/2" scraps from my scrap boxes - added the bits and pieces from a couple of recent projects and cut a few more 2 1/2" strips up. The squares about quarter filled one of my project boxes, and as I'm making up these blocks, it's amazing to me that the amount of fabric in the box has hardly diminished. I have to try not to think about it too much - I really don't want to be making only scrap quilts forever, but I can't see my two big tubs of scrap fabrics ever diminishing to the point where they won't bug me. Gosh, I almost get breathless thinking about it ...

On another note - we're off to a party this afternoon. For me it will be the first outing for my new hairdo. I had my hair cut and coloured somewhere different just for a change, and I really love it. I had foils for the first time people! My hair feels like it has about eleventy-four different colours in it. I've got blonde, silver blonde, a little auburn, and a teeny bit of medium brown. I love it! The cut is different too, a couple inches shorter and requires less maintenance. Maybe I should pop out and get me a new outfit too ...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quarter inch ... and unpicking

Late last night I thought I'd do some fabric auditioning. The quilt I've been working on will have two different blocks, and each will be framed with a different colour. In my design I thought the sixteen patches would be framed with a natural colour - but last night while looking in my fabric closet, I thought I'd try the fabric you see at left.

I'm not going to use it after trying it. I don't mind it, but I don't think it will go well with the other purple colour I've selected. I think I'll audition the biscuit coloured fabric you see there next, and see how that goes.

The fabric selection is not what's bugging me though, I'm thinking there is something up with my quarter inch seams right now. I don't usually have any problems, but my sixteen patches are finishing up just over 1/4" smaller than they should be. I'm using my #57 Bernie foot which I've never had a problem with before, I'm wondering if my needle has moved a scootch over while I was machine quilting. Possibly while moving the quilt around under there? This is something that's never bothered me before, and it was highly annoying when my border pieces wouldn't fit the block nicely. I'll measure my seams when I get back to the sewing room and make any adjustments necessary. Fortunately I've only made 3 blocks so far.

Today is looking like a great day for stitching - I cleaned the house yesterday - so I just need to hang out a load of laundry, and then there will be no distractions. Let's see how far I get :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another start

Yesterday afternoon I sent my 'Sisters Choice Medallion' quilt off to the publisher. It doesn't matter how many times I've done it, I always wonder if it will get there okay, and have a little pang at saying goodbye for the time being. Regardless of that, it's another deadline met, and I'm now marching to a new drum

This morning I received a commissioning letter for a quilt I designed yesterday, so I have a new deadline of 21 November. This will be another scrap quilt, and I'm putting scraps from the last couple of projects to use immediately. I'm using the 'project box' from the last quilt, so I just tipped out the leftovers and cut them up for this quilt. It doesn't look all that interesting so far, but hopefully it'll be more inspiring as I go along.

I have also got about one hour of machine quilting left to do on the second of a customer's quilts. I will then apply the binding for her - ready for her to hand sew down. I know I've got a couple more machine quilting projects lined up for me, but they're not in my hands yet, so I can take a little break from it.

The house is very quiet this morning - Amy is still away with my parents at the beach house, and Cam is spending the day with our day care lady - she's taking a little group of five kids to visit the library. They're sure to have a lovely time. I'm going to sew until about lunchtime, and then I'm going to set to cleaning Cameron's room. It's a much easier task when he's not around. When he helps (which is so sweet) he always finds things he's forgotten about and wants to play.

So that's my day - what are you up to today? :-)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Have I shown you?

** Late edit - I found in my archives that I have shown this quilt before ... so for those of you experienceing de-ja vu, it's not you, it's me being flaky :-) **

For all my talk, I've actually achieved very little this weekend that I can share with you. I have managed to finish up the directions and most of the bits and pieces to send off to the magazine tomorrow. And yesterday I quilted up a quilt for a customer, and got a start on a second one. So I guess there has been some crafty stuff going on. But I do know I've been doing a lot of aimless stuff. Like viewing all our pictures on Picasa last night ... and watching a lot of TV ... But anyways, looking at the pictures I saw some pictures I may or may not have shared with you.

I know I have shared you the miniature baby sister of this quilt, but have I shown you the larger one? Maybe I have. This is one of my favourite quilts, and it's named Purple Hearts. It was my second ever quilt to be published. I just loved the purple fabrics, and had a lot of fun putting the quilt together. This was made back when I hand quilted everything. I was actually scared to machine quilt, and it wasn't that long ago - 2004.

I didn't realise until looking thru the pictures that I had one of the quilting close up - so here it is. I quilted it with a purple thread - some considered it a brave choice, but I loved how it was so contrasty in the lighter areas of the quilt.

The quilt is currently spending time at the quilt store, as some ladies purchased kits and are working on the quilt. I think other than my Christmas patterns, this is one of my most popular. I'm thrilled, cuz I just love it :-)


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