Monday, March 31, 2008

Quilting ...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I do not take good photos. This one makes Maureen's quilt look like she's piecing around corners, but it's actually just the way I've draped the quilt over the sewing counter.

Just wanted to share that I haven't been slacking off over the past couple of days. This is the second customer quilt I've worked on since Saturday. I should have it finished tomorrow morning, and then I can give it to her on Wednesday.

This week I also hope to get the Spring Fling quilt in the mail, so the directions for that are another thing I'll work on tomorrow morning. Grocery shopping in the afternoon ... a good deal less fun ... but just before I do that, I'll be doing something super fun! Booking tickets to the US in September. Am I excited. Why, yes I am!!

Back to the quilting, I'll talk to you all soon! x o x

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Youtube Son

Cameron is on the 'innernets'. Marty has been teaching him to fly remote control planes ... clearly after school judging by his attire ... those from far afield will enjoy the accent :-)


I've had a few questions lately from people who come up as 'no-reply' or 'anonymous' in their email addresses. I'll do my best to answer them for you - but please forgive me if your questions are lost in my inbox (it can be like a black hole at times!).

Singing Feather sent me a link yesterday regarding methods of payment for the quilt top I've listed on Ebay. Paypal is my preferred method of payment for international customers. I hope that answers your question.

Anonymous Mary asked if I'll be selling the pattern for my Spring Fling quilt, and Betty J asked which magazine the pattern would be in. The pattern will be in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine with an on sale date of 22nd August 2008. If the magazine isn't available in your area, or if you simply can't wait that long, just let me know.

Nicole wondered where Cameron's panel came from. I got it from Quiltaholics here in Adelaide. Of course other shops would have it, but I don't know of them specifically. Cheryl is wonderful and if you call or email her, she'd be happy to do a mail order for you.

And lastly, a number of people have asked about the kind of machine I'm using for machine quilting. I don't own a long arm machine (but I'd gladly give one a good home). I use my Bernina, which is an older model - a 1080. I just adore Bernie, and can't imagine using a different machine.

Well, I hope that's everything answered ... be sure to enjoy your weekend! x o x

Friday, March 28, 2008

Out with the old ...

It's time. Really, it is. It's time to accept that I'm just never going to get a chance to quilt this top, so I'm giving it a chance to go to a new home.

I've decided to sell it on Ebay. I thought I'd let you all know, just in case you think that your home may be the perfect place for it.

It's the Thimbleberries Vintage Stitches project from 2006. Each block is seasonal, and has a really cute stitchery in the centre. All the stitching is done with black perle cotton, and if I may say so myself, looks super cute.

Please remember that I'm a quilter, definitely not a photographer - this top looks sensational in person. I hope the link to the auction works, if not, just contact me and I'll email you the details.

Please give my baby a good home - this is going to be a hard one to say goodbye to!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quilting Physics

I think I have discovered a flaw in the laws of Quilting Physics. Think about your scraps and your yardage. Why is it that when you have some gorgeous yardage, and you put it into that special project there is just nothing left. Nothing. But the scraps, you keep on using them, and using them ... and using them ... and they just never go away! I don't understand it? I was cutting up some pieces in my scrap box the other day, and I found some more fabric from my first ever project. I can't believe I haven't used it all up yet. I think it's reproducing!

But still, it's fun to use up scraps. I was quilting on the quilt in the picture last night, and as I was working my way around it, I found myself reminiscing about the fabrics and the other quilts they'd been in. These blocks really have a LOT of my quilting history in them. Fabric from my DJ quilt, fabric that Linda has given to me, ones that I purchased in Paducah, fabric from my childrens quilts and other treasured projects, and other fabric that I can't even imagine how they found their way into my stash. Judging by my scrap stash, I'll be scrap quilting for a good long time yet, thank heavens I'm learning to love it!

And another thing to thank the heavens for ... it rained yesterday. Almost all day! And it's raining again today, and likely will tomorrow too! We need it so badly.

Marty and the kids were out in the backyard during one of the breaks between showers, and had an opportunity to snap some of the local wildlife. Aren't the colours just gorgeous?

I have so many chores to get thru today before I head to work, so I better go face the day. x o x

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The clean up ...

For a little while yesterday, and after we got home tonight, I have cut strips for my scrap boxes.

After non-stop activity in the sewing room for the past couple of months, I really needed to do some tidying up, and the piles of offcuts/leftovers/batt etc were really starting to look messy and need attention.

So, first, I'm sorting, folding and cutting up all the bits and pieces. In the picture are my 3.5", 2.5", 2" regular scrap boxes. My applique (generally batik) fabrics and my 2.5" and combined 2" and 1.5" Thimbleberries scraps. Out of picture are some other size scrap boxes. I haven't cut up all the scraps you can see in the last few days, but the boxes are beginning to fill up again.

Once all the fabric is sorted, I'll clear away the paperwork I've piled up. All the patterns etc that I've drawn up and not filed away, magazines and other assorted mess. Once all that is done, my mind will be clear, and I can begin creating again. It will be like a breath of fresh air in the sewing room :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Getting close ...

The Spring Fling is soooo nearly complete. I finished quilting it an hour or so ago, and just a few minutes ago stitched the binding in place.

All that remains now is to hand sew the binding down on the reverse side. Ohhh, and write the directions and make up some sample pieces, but that's the easy part :-)

I'll take it along to my Grandparents home on Sunday and do the hand-sewing then.

I hope you all have wonderful plans for this long weekend. From my family to yours, wishing you a lovely Easter. x o x

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

...this my newest favourite thing ...

... I was singing to myself ... you know, to THAT song. Apologies in advance if you get the Favourite Things song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

A parent of one of Cam's little classmates has a lovely shop nearby, and I've promised for a little while that I'd stop by. Natalie and I had lunch on Monday in the same shopping mall, so popped on over for a chatter and a browse.

I knew I'd be getting a candle, but just had to come home with these 'Car Jar's' too. Mel told me to just cut the plastic wrap off little by little, because they're very strong and will last a long time. My car smells like rose petals - just lovely! No more supermarket air-fresheners for this girl :-)

Ohhh, and the placemat in the background is a favourite thing too. They're gracing the table in my family room. A wonderful find just before Christmas.

Nothing quilty to report ... still quilting :-) Talk to you soon!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Fling Quilting

I'm not sure how well it will show in the picture, but I wanted to share how I'm going with the quilting on the Spring Fling quilt.

Can I say I love it? I'm having a lot of fun :-) Why was I ever frightened of free motion quilting? Quite often as I'm doing it I'm critical of the work I'm producing, but when I step away from it, I'm always super happy.

I have quilted veins on the leaves, little circles in the centre, and added dimension and separated the petals. The additional appliqued circles around the quilt will also have little circles quilted, and the body of the quilt will have my favourite peacock feathers. I may also do a feathered border, but I'll let the quilt speak to me when I get there.

And now I'm signing off, because I can't wait to get back to the quilting!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cameron's Quilt

Yesterday morning, Cameron asked me if I could make him a quilt today. Knowing that I had picked up an Aeroplane panel from the shop a week or so ago, I knew I'd be able to get a start on one.

I took the kids to the quilt store yesterday to pick up the binding for the Spring Fling quilt, and while I was there I found a 'Map of the World' panel, and it was just slightly larger than the 'Plane' panel I already had. So, the extra panel came home with us, along with the binding and some striped fabric to use for the binding on the panels.

The batting was pieced from some of my offcuts, the project pinned quickly, and I started quilting in the afternoon. I'm such a rebel, I used monofilament on top, and ohhh the horrors, I decided to try it in the bobbin too. There were no problems at all. I can't say that everyone will have the same experience, I'm sure different machines and different brands of thread will have different results, but I'm really happy I gave it a try. I just didn't want to distract from the pictures on either of the panels with thread trails everywhere. (In the picture I've just flipped the left of the quilt over so you can see the map on the other side.)

We went out to an Indian restaurant with friends last night (which was really lovely), so I stopped quilting around half way through - but after we got home I could start again, and finished it up and attached the binding to the front. After breakfast this morning I hand sewed the binding down, and by the time Cam and Marty got home from their flying session, Cameron's Airplane/World Map quilt was all finished. So really, he almost got his quilt in a day ...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Angels came calling ...

In the middle of adding the borders to my Spring Fling quilt, the angels came calling for my iron. It has gone to 'iron heaven'. I knew that things weren't good when I had it on the 'cotton' setting, and the base plate was cool enough to touch.

Marty has had a play with it and maybe fixed it, but we're thinking that for the sake of the cost of a new iron, we shouldn't risk burning the house down.

I shall persevere with the borders tonight, but I'll have to leave the pinning for tomorrow. The double wide back I purchased today is very wrinkly and will be a good initiation for the new iron. I'll get a new board cover at the same time - I've ummmm ... scorched the old one, and it has really seen better days.

Interesting news on the weather front - we're expecting a cool change on Wednesday next week. It will be a balmy 31c (88f). From tomorrow until Tuesday we're expecting temperatures between 38c and 40c (100f and 104f). We've already had 10 of these hot days in a row - this is really strange for March. I see lots of indoor stitching time in my future ... Be cool!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Getting there ...

A photographer I am not. The colours in this picture look very washed out, but they're actually quite vibrant - you can see the colours a little better in the picture from the previous post.

All the blocks are now assembled, and I just need to complete the top and add the borders. Also, the additional yellow dots need to be appliqued down, and they'll end up the same size as the yellow dots in the flowers.

I am enjoying the simple piecing, and having fun with the bright colours - I'm usually a reproduction fabric kinda girl. I'll be indoors all day other than picking up the kids, so I should get the top finished by this evening.

The weather forecast says we're going to have this same HOT weather until Wednesday next week. By tomorrow it will be the longest hot spell in March in recorded history. So, to have 16 days of it, well, that's just unimaginable! Today is forecast at 36c which is around 97f. It's just so hard to imagine all the snow on the other side of the world ... I'd gladly trade for a few days :-)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Flinging!

It's Autumn here, but my thoughts are with this new quilt. By the time this project hits the newsagents, it will be Springtime.

I'm kind of wishing it were Spring, we're in the middle of a heatwave here - it's around 40c today (104f). Most of the past week has been over 35c (95f) and we're expected to have the same for nearly all next week. Lots of indoor activities are on the agenda, and most sporting activities the kids are involved in have been cancelled.

But back to the quilt. I have only two more applique blocks to make, and I'm around a third of the way through the pieced blocks. I'm really loving the way it's all coming together. I'm unsure of the final border at this stage, but I know the quilt will have an inner yellow border.

It's almost dinnertime, so I shall shuffle off. After dinner it's back to the piecing - I'm so motivated to see this one come together!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Applique Underway

Today I was able to get a little of the applique done for the new quilt. If I'm a very good girl, I might get the second block finished tonight too.

The flowers aren't terribly complex, it's my plan to really jazz them up when it comes to quilting time. I love using rayon threads and adding lovely dimension and texture with them.

Tomorrow I'd really like to start working on the pieced blocks too, and then I'll be able to see if the quilt I have running around in my head will translate well to fabric.

I'm really far behind on my blog reading and I'm trying to catch up - so my commenting has been a little scarce. Don't give up on me though, this busy-ness will not be forever! x o x

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Four weeks!

Checking my 'to do' list the other day, I realised that I have a magazine deadline looming in four weeks time. Hmmmm ... must get onto that I thought, as I hadn't even started the quilt at all!

Tonight I put that to rights - I've cut out the applique shapes, and when I'm done here, I'll pin the pieces to the background fabric.

The quilt will be called 'Spring Fling'. It's mostly pieced, and will also have several needle-turn appliqued blocks, and other little applique bits and pieces. It'll all make sense as I go along.

I have a further two customer quilts to work on, but both of them are very much 'non urgent'. They can wait a little while I ease my mind working on the new project. I'll check back soon and let you know how it's all going ... x o x

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Best Idea Ever!

I don't have anything interesting to share in a quilty sense. You know I've been quilting like a fool, but just nothing noteworthy.

But I do have a link to The Best Idea Ever! For those of you that have never seen Kairle's Blog (Happy Valley Quilter), you must stop on by. I love what she's doing with Pyrex dishes. I'm all inspired to get busy on my own.

I hope to be finished with my current crop of customer quilts tonight, and then tomorrow I can get busy on my Spring Fling quilt. Happy blog hopping!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quilting Feathers

It's late at night, but I just had to share. After we got home from Sharon and Jon's tonite, I was itching to get to some quilting.

I've done the outline quilting for the faux applique blocks, meandered about in the main part of the quilt, and now I'm working around the border.

I really love free-motion quilted feathers, and I'm really getting the hang of them now. Working around corners still gives me a few headaches, but with practice, I'm sure I'll grow confident with them too.


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