Saturday, May 31, 2008

Christmas Applique

It's really wierd, but I seem to be in something of a 'quilting funk' when it comes to my own projects right now. I'm still quilting an average of two customer quilts per week, but my own things definitely seem to be on a 'go slow'.

What I have managed to do however, it make a decision on the applique for the ends of the table runner I've been working on. The designs I'd been toying with just didn't seem to go with the geometric style of the fabric in the centre of the blocks, so this is what I've settled on.

Tonight I'll do the blanket stitch around the edges, and hopefully get right into quilting. That will be the third project checked off the list. Hopefully projects four and five will go together quickly so I can move on to other things. I'll check back in soon! x o x

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long post? Could be :-)

Hmmm ... my laptop isn't playing nice, so I've moved onto the computer in the study ... let's see how I go loading images ... seems to have worked.

First up for a little eye candy, I'm sharing this picture of a quilt I just finished quilting for a customer. I really love love love it. I don't know anything about the quilt - who's pattern etc, but it's made up in the most gorgeous repro fabrics. This is sooooo my style of quilt. I hope Jenny doesn't mind me sharing it - it's just stunning!

And my latest acquisition - a new knitting bag. I've named him Shawn - he's very cute. Time spent in my car is my knitting time, and I thought this would be the perfect bag so I don't have to take my knitting bag out of the car all the time. It looks like a stuffed toy, and hopefully would not interest anyone taking a peek for any goodies while I'm not actually in the car?? Well, that's my hope ... isn't it a shame that we have to even think about things like that?

And on the car knitting front, here are my most recent finishes. (Well, I should say almost finishes, because I haven't woven in the ends yet.) A pair of pink socks for Sharon, and in the foreground you can see I'm working on some hand warmers from the leftover yarn. And a pair of blue socks for me ... or should I say a sock for me, because it doesn't have it's partner yet :-) I'm so easily distracted.

I was waving my purple hand warmers around in front of Marty the other day taunting him before I went off to netball ... "jealous hon, are you jealous" and he asked me if I could knit him some in black. Well of course I can, and I've cast on a black mitt too. It's naughty to have so many projects on the needles. I hope I can finish something soon.

And of course, there's always the laundry being done. Except for when I put the empty basket down on the floor while putting the folded laundry away ... I come back and what do I find? Two kitties glowering at me ... I'm sure they're just daring me to put them out of 'their' basket ...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

All Christmas, all the time

Are you tired of seeing this wallhanging yet?

I don't mind admitting that I'd like to be working on something new and different. But really, July isn't that far away, so Christmas projects for "Christmas in July" it is.

I think I'd like to dampen and block the Noel hanging - if it would hang just a little straighter, I'd be completely happy :-)

There will be five projects for the workshop, and one of them is a set of placemats. I'm so pleased with how the wallhanging has turned out that maybe I'll do coordinating mats. It's funny how when I start out working on projects I often end up with something really quite different to my original idea.

And here is the Christmas table runner. Just for a perspective on size, each block is 7" square. I need to decide on an applique motif for the cream coloured triangles, let's hope I have some inspiration soon. I'm thinking maybe some baubles? Help ... anyone?

Last of all for tonight, I need to pin a customer quilt so I can have the quilting done before Thursday. Of course I can do it ... of course I can do it ... I'll recite that to myself while I'm pinning. Where's the caffeine ...

TTYL x o x :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Noel is on the home stretch ...

'Noel' is almost finished. I just need to apply the binding, and I can check one more item off my list. I went to town quilting this one tonight - I used a gold metallic thread (didn't shred once!!) and quilted feathers, loops and arcs galore. Loving it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Just a quick post ... Here's the newest item I'm working on for the 'Christmas in July' workshop. It will be a wall hanging, long and narrow.

I'll have to stop at this point, as I need a little more of the green fabric. I'm teaching at the quilt store tomorrow afternoon, so I'll be able to pick up some more then. It's such a shame, as I'm just so inspired to keep working at it.

The letters are fused in place, and I've machine blanket stitched around the edges with some lovely gold thread. I'm thrilled with the results.

More soon, I promise! :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

In the news ... Stash enhanced, waste batt saved!

I almost forgot to do this - but I did promise I'd show you the technique I used to join smaller pieces of batt together. It's super easy - I abut the pieces (don't overlap them, you'll make a bump) and use a serpentile kind of stitch with my walking foot to stitch the pieces together.

This is a technique I learned at a machine quilting class a while back, and it was very useful indeed. The reason to use this stitch and not something like a zig-zag, is because a zig-zag can pull the pieces together and form a ridge in your batt piece. To begin with I only pieced batt for smaller projects, but as I've become more confident, I've done it for larger projects too. It feels like 'free batting'.

I needed to sneak back to Spotlight to pick up another piece of fabric, and while I was there, I thought I'd have a quick look around seeing I was 'child free' at the time. It's always a good idea to poke thru the bolts of fabric, because you can get a surprise sometimes. I was able to pick up the piece on the far left, which is a wonderful reproduction fabric for half normal price. And the blue paisley is from the same range as the tan paisley I found the other day. The fat quarters are supplements for the blue and cream quilt I'm working on.

But ... the excitement for the day was finding that Spotlight now have their own range of sock wool! 100g balls for $4.99! Sure beats the almost $20.00 I have been paying for the same size balls I pick up at the craft fair ... and even beats the 50g Patonyle balls that run for around $7.00. While I still love the range and the colours of the more expensive options, it's great to know that there is a budget option now too. Happy days :-) I should share some of my 'car knitting' I've been doing lately ... I'll get to that next time.

And because a number of you were interested in the paisley fabric, I've included a picture of the selvedge. It's not very helpful to me, but maybe it'll contain just the clue you were looking for. I even thought to have a look at the cardboard in the bolt when I was there, but it was a generic Spotlight one, so also not very helpful. If anyone has any clues, maybe you could share?

Hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful weekend ... ours is just drawing to a close. x o x

Friday, May 16, 2008

Foundations Finished!

Woohoo! I finished foundation piecing the Christmas blocks this afternoon, and I just need to trim them to size and tear the papers from the back. It'll be fun to sew them all together.

Those that know me well understand what a huge departure these colours are for me. I'm really a 'reproduction fabric girl' and while they're still my first love, it has been fun playing with these brights and gold accented fabrics.

These blocks are 7" finished, the perfect size for me to print up easy foundation papers. I guess I could have just pieced them without foundations, but I'm looking to use a number of different techniques at the workshop, and I know many of the girls won't have made up this particular block before.

We have had the most wonderful soaking rain today. It started at 9am, and here it is almost 9pm and it is still going steady. The rain is needed so badly here, so I have no problem with it raining for a month. School netball was cancelled tonight though, as the local rec centre roof is leaking - this means I get to snuggle up indoors and get more stitching done. See you on the weekend! :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Christmas Blocks

Today I worked a full day at the quilt store as 'shop girl'. I often work a little in that guise as well as teach there, but never before a full day behind the counter. It was really fun, I hope I remembered everything I needed to do :-)

Tonight I started foundation piecing some of the blocks I need to make a Christmas table runner. This is the second of five projects I will make for the upcoming workshop. I love the fabrics in the centre of the blocks. Doesn't the one in the middle look like those old fashioned Spirographs? I used to love that toy, I wonder if my Mum still has it?

I have a total of ten blocks to make - five will be like the two you see in the picture, and the other five will have the brighter green and the red on the outside of the blocks. It will make it more interesting when the blocks are stitched together. There will be a panel at each end of the runner, and it will have an applique of some sort. I'm thinking maybe a snowflake or something. I'll decide when I get there. I love the fun colours that Christmas prints are including at the moment - I never would have called the bright green a Christmas colour, and yet here it is and I love it!

Also - I haven't forgotten about those of you looking for information about piecing batt together - I hope to have a few minutes to put a demo together for you this weekend. And regarding the paisley fabric, I haven't had any luck yet finding out who it's by, but I also haven't given up. More news as it comes to hand! x o x

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day. I know a wonderful day was had here. I had my parents, brothers, sister in-law, grand parents, my cousin and her daughter over for a BBQ lunch. Of course we massively over-catered - being that we had too much food here in the first place, and then everyone brought along more to contribute. Part of what makes a family gathering special right? We all get to eat leftovers for days afterwards :-)

My husband and children gave such nice gifts. Cameron purchased the pincushion at the Mother's Day stall at school - I'm still amazed that he knew just the thing to get me. And they all contributed to the lovely purse set. I may have had a whole lot to do with the purses ... like, I may or may not have chosen it from the catalogue, and actually gone to the store to get it ... and well, you get the idea :-) And even my Mum got in on the act and gave me the little afternoon tea set in the background. Lucky me :-)

So far today I've been quilting on Maureen's quilt - I think I'm around two thirds done. I'll have it finished this evening for sure, and then I hope to get a start on a cot quilt for Jenny. Tomorrow I'm going to start piecing on another of the projects for the Christmas workshop. I found some lovely Christmas fabrics at the shop last week - more little Christmas pictures, these ones have lime green, so I had to choose a lime green coordinate. More later when I have something to share. Have a great day. x o x

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's done!

Just minutes ago I stitched the last of the binding to the quilt for my Mum. I actually didn't think I could get it done in time, so I'm just thrilled that it's complete :-)

Tomorrow I will finish up the chores around the house so I'm ready for Mother's Day and our influx of guests, and get some grocery shopping done. Think of me in the morning taking Cameron to his first ever basketball game. We tried on his top today, and it comes almost down to his knees - in fact, I'll be surprised if you can see his shorts underneath. His little team are called the Panthers - he's so excited. This afternoon he also had his first Auskick session for the year - it would be so much fun if he gets the chance to play at Aami Stadium again, that was the most exciting thing ever!

Now I'm just going to put a little laundry away, and then hit the sheets. It has really been quite a week!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blue Ridge Beauty

Do you remember this quilt top I made a while back? It's Bonnie's Blue Ridge Beauty pattern, with a different border treatment. I love love love this quilt, and some day will have to make another one for myself.

Last year I gave it to my Mum with the promise that I'd quilt it up for her - and so far I haven't gotten it done. Last night I thought it would be really nice if I could have it done before Mothers Day. I pinned it this morning, and I've started quilting, so I'll see how far I get before other things get in the way. I have offered to have the family over for a BBQ on Sunday, so I'll also have to get the house 'company ready' in addition to working on Wednesday and Thursday. Even if I don't quite make it, I'm sure Mum will be pleased that it's in progress.

On Jeana's Journal, there is a post regarding personal economies and what we do to pinch pennies. I thought I'd quickly share one of my favourite things. I often piece batts together. Last night I pieced the batt together for the blue and cream quilt, and it used 22 smaller pieces. Last month I also pieced together a batt for the Cinnamon Christmas quilt, and that one used 25 smaller pieces. It feels like I've got free batt when I do this - and it means I can save the money toward some more fabric or thread, which are the parts of a quilt that we actually do see. I must admit - I'm also curious to know what other people do in the spirit of economy.

Have a great day! x o x

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I got so much piecing done today *cough*. Well, actually, I didn't, but this evening I've managed to add the outside star points to the blocks I made the other day.

And speaking of the other day - where did the last four days go??

But back to today ... this morning I finished quilting on a customers quilt - and then this afternoon got busy doing chores. My house has gotten really neglected while I've been so busy. Tonight I would like to begin quilting on another quilt - I'll see if I have the energy in reserve ...

It has been a great weekend, starting with yesterday morning. A fun treat for Cheryl and I was to spend some time at the Magill Quilters 'Biggest Morning Tea'. It was so nice, and a very worthy cause, with proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research. When we got back to the shop, I was able to see the new AP&Q magazine had arrived, and it has one of my quilts in it. My 'Galaxy of Scraps' quilt that I made a little while back. I think there will be another of mine in the next issue too!

When I got home I started quilting some more, and almost finished the project, and found that I hadn't been supplied with quite enough thread. I had 20 minutes before the stores were due to close - not enough time to get to Quiltaholics, but enough to get to Spotlight. Amy and I dashed over, and with only 15 minutes got the thread I needed, and managed to pick up the fabrics you see there in the picture. Talk about power shopping! The blues will be wonderful for the Star Happy quilt, and the paisley - well, just because.

Well, that's it from me - I'll try not to leave it so long between posts next time - I promise!


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