Friday, November 28, 2008

Lucky me :-)

What a lucky girl I am. Today I was able to relax and rest some more, and this evening I had some of my family over for pizza dinner and birthday cake. It's always so nice to spend some time with them, and I'll be able to see my other brother on Sunday.

I have received the most lovely treats. My Mum and Dad gave me a new set of saucepans that I have been coveting for a long time. My Brother and SIL gifted me with the cute bamboo plant - they're lucky you know :-)

Marty asked what I would like a little while back, and I gave him the choice of three items - an open toe darning foot for the Bernina, a new Dustbuster, or a thread-stand. I did the research for the thread-stand and the darning foot, and the location where he could find them - but I never expected that he'd get all three items! How lucky for me :-)

The thread stand thrills me - I'd been looking for one for a long time. This one is raw timber, and Marty's taking it to our cabinet maker who will stain it to match our furniture. I can't wait to hang it on the wall.

Thank you all for your birthday and get well messages - I have had the very best day.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This is how much quilting I've done ...

*insert sound of crickets chirping here*

Ahh well, I've been resting in bed - this bug really got a hold of me. I'm on my second course of antibiotics, so I hope I'll be feeling better for my birthday ... which is tomorrow!!

So, in lieu of quilty pictures - here a selection of recent snaps:

I love my fridge magnets, and collect them from all over the place. My current fave is the lady on the phone - she was a must have from PIQF, I wonder if the kids have noticed it yet ... they haven't said anything ...

This is a DJ picture I sent to Karen recently - it's of my first DJ - I love that I used all different background fabrics, and the blue block is one of my absolute favourites in the whole quilt. Hard to believe that I finished it more than seven years ago now. I was quite an inexperienced quilter when I began, maybe if I'd known more I'd have been too scared to start it.

And here is Holly - how scary are her eyes?? Camo tipped his duplo container over, and if there's a bag or box laying around, there will always end up being a cat in there - it's guaranteed. Funny, none of our other cats have ever been that way inclined.

Well, I'm off to get some more rest, I hope to post tomorrow and share my b-day goodies :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jenny's been busy :-)

** Late edit for somewhat better picture :-) **

Isn't this quilt just lovely? It belongs to my friend Jenny S - I just started quilting on it this morning, and it's a pleasure to work on. The quilt itself is so simple, but so effective, and the darling bright fabrics really just make it sing.

Over the weekend, I spent some quiet time hand quilting on my Holiday Wholecloth table topper. It's a Christmas project, there is no way it's going to be ready for this Christmas, and at the rate I'm going, probably not the next one either. But that's not the point, I'm enjoying the process, and that's what matters :-)

Thank you all for your kind wishes and get well messages. I've had three days worth of antibiotics now, and while I'm still quite croaky, I'm definitely on the mend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hand Quilting

I love love love to hand quilt. It wasn't that long ago that I hand quilted everything - didn't know how to machine quilt, and didn't want to. I love the way hand quilting looks when it's brand new, and also the way it looks with age.

This is the Christmas tree skirt we use - it's from an old American Patchwork and Quilting magazine (around a 1997 issue I think). I did a pretty smart job if I do say so myself :-) Regular quilting thread in the blocks, and perle cotton for the star - very fun!

I think I'll be doing some hand quilting today. I want to be doing other things, but I've been working so hard lately that I have gotten really run down. Had I listened to the warning signs my body was sending me, I probably wouldn't have gotten this nasty throat infection - but I did, and with a visit to my doctor, some antibiotics and a restful weekend, I'm sure to be on the mend.

I'll chatter soon, I promise :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I've finally bitten the bullet and made myself a new banner. I had to wait to have my favourite drawing packages installed - and then set aside some 'playing' time.

I ended up challenging myself to learn a little about Photoshop CS3. I've never really used it too much before, and it is HARD! I'll give it some time and do some more tutorials over the holidays - maybe then I can make up something more interesting.

It's bedtime soon - and I haven't quilted at all today - what a strange day :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Upload

I often get emails asking if this pattern or that pattern is available for purchase, and I just love that people are interested. Chances are that if you've seen my project, it'll be available at some point, and I just haven't been able to set aside the time to upload it to my site.

On the weekend I got busy and put a 'new' one there - Bears in the Garden. This would have to be one of my favourite scrappy quilts.

If I could ask a favour - could someone out there test the button for me? It's a new kind of button, and for some reason I can't check it out. Don't take it all the way to checkout (unless you want to of course) but just see that it takes you to the correct place. I'd really appreciate it.

Happy stitching everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday's Achievements

Yay team! I put together the other two Back Home Again quilt blocks I already had cut out, so I've completed a total of seven so far. I'll have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to make any more, as I've loaned by Easy Angle and Companion Angle to a friend. No problem - I'm sure I have plenty to keep me amused until then. The blocks are so cute, and I can't wait to put the whole top together.

I had planned to make my Buck a Blocks, but while toying with my USA purchases, I found the above pattern. It's by Atkinson Designs, and I remember the very moment I purchased it - I thought it'd be perfect for a fabric I've been so reluctant to cut into. A while back someone had a challenge to use a fabric you just couldn't cut up - and I'd enthusiastically thought of my Lady Liberty fabric. When push came to shove, I just couldn't make that rotary cutter move.

Yesterday was the day, and here is the result of my efforts. I had enough of the fabric to make three runners, so I'll be making up a couple of gifts also. I'm not sure yet how I'll quilt it up, but I'm sure it'll speak to me when I'm ready. I plan to use Mereth's idea of piecing together strips for the back. It's a win-win, using that special fabric, and scrap busting too!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back Home Again Blocks

I had planned to be further along with my Back Home Again blocks at this point, but you know how life can just get in the way. Regardless, here is my progress.

In fairness though, I have quilted three quilt tops this week, and worked four days at the shop - though I may think I've gotten little done, when I rationalise it, I've done plenty :-)

Today I'd like to work on the other blocks I have already cut out, and also get a start on some of the Thangles 'Buck a Block' projects I picked up while in the US. I wonder how much I'll get done?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nancy's Christmas Quilt

This is Nancy's quilt, and I just finished quilting it. She made it in my Christmas in July workshop earlier this year. My original quilt was called Cinnamon Christmas, as the pictures in the centre of the quilt blocks had pictures that reminded me of cinnamon and spices. Nancy's quilt has Dickens type pictures in the centre of the blocks, so it could be called 'A Dickens Christmas'.

I'm taking it to the store tomorrow, firstly so that Nancy can pick it up when she pops in next week, but secondly because we're running an additional Christmas workshop tomorrow, and it will be nice for the participants to see an additional colourway for this particular quilt.

A couple more things for me to do - I'll just get all my class notes together for tomorrow, then stitch a binding on another quilt - make the lunches for tomorrow, and then I'll call it a night.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shirley's Flying Geese

This is the quilt top I've been quilting on today. It's Shirley's quilt, and I really love it. Sometimes the simplest designs really are the best. The border is a gorgeous Jinny Beyer border stripe, and the sashing strips are from the same fabric.

Yesterday my Mum and I went to the Craft and Quilt fair at the Adelaide Showgrounds. We had a really nice afternoon, but found that we just weren't tempted too much to spend our money. Perhaps I just spent too much while in the US? Mum did purchase for us both the Better Homes and Gardens bag which we get every year - the bags are wonderfully useful, and the contents a bonus :-) And she also purchsed the Hungry Catterpillar panel for herself, a project for the school holidays which will be upon us soon enough. And that's the sum total of our spending!

I have an evening at home tonight - a rare treat - so I'll be finishing up on Shirley's quilt, and then I'll get busy with some more of the Back Home Again blocks. I'll share my progress with you in my next post. Talk with you soon :-)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pageant Day

Today is the day of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. It's a tradition in our city, and with a population of one million people, it's a testament to the popularity of the event that 300,000 of them line the pageant route in the city. A must see if you're ever visiting at this time of year.

Also traditional for many families - putting up the Christmas tree on pageant day. We haven't always followed this tradition, but this year we decided we'd play along. What is tradition for us however, is to purchase some new Christmas decorations each year, and this year was no exception.

While in Disneyland, I may or may not have stumbled upon a tiny Christmas shop in the New Orleans area :-) Of course I had to bring a few treats home with me - and this is one of them. I just love it, and it's a delightful reminder of our trip.

I also love delicate glass ornaments, and this week past purchased three sets of baubles. My special favourites are the hand painted ones - this one is around 4" high and so sweet. Most of the others are about 3" and accented with gold. Last year, I purchased a collection that look like pretty Faberge eggs - it's very tempting to get some more.

Next week we're going to hunt for some lights for the outside of the house. Should be fun :-)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Out soon!

Spotted at the back of the current issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

A little screed about two small projects I made that will be appearing in the next issue. The project is called 'Among the Evergreens' and the magazine goes on sale on 5th December. Do check it out - I'd love it if you would :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quilts in the Wild

What a lovely surprise at today's Melbourne Cup stitching day. I met Lynne for the first time, and thought the project she was working on looked familiar.

It is very familiar - my Spring Fling quilt from Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine. She was just as surprised to learn that it was my design. How fun to see my quilts 'in the wild' like that :-)

I now have five blocks of the Back Home Again quilt put together - even with some hair raising moments in the mix. My darling precious featherweight sewed along happily on one block, and then began the next, and without warning made a fizzing sound and released a cloud of smoke! How alarming!! I installed myself on the shop machine and made a call to my husband, who asked me to describe the sound and the smell. He has all his electrical tickets and confidently declared that a capacitor had blown and it's a $5.00 part to fix. Whew! And who said quilting is a safe pursuit??

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Slowly, slowly I'm figuring out how to have the laptop and the camera communicate with each other. Not that it's really hard, but I'm actually having a hard time figuring Picasa out. It's just a 'new program' thing - I'm sure I'll get comfortable with it eventually.

So, here is my progress to date on the Back Home Again quilt. I've cut six blocks ready for stitching, and they're in the baggies on the left there. I'll take them to the Melbourne Cup stitching day tomorrow. My precious baby featherweight can come out for the day with me. And the block is one I cut out and stitched this afternoon. It's called Coronation Star. I am in love with these fabrics, and can't wait to cut into more of the fat quarters.

This is a 'just because' picture. I found it while scrolling thru the camera files. It's Amy and Camo in Legoland. A girl just doesn't see scenes like this in Australia.

Last of all - a quick link. Are there any Southern Cross Quilters out there reading this? Ones that are attending the retreat in Adelaide? My table runner is one of the projects listed on the workshops page - so be sure to check it out :-)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

This weekend ...

... I'm going to start putting this quilt together. Well - I'll start cutting out anyway. I'm really excited about it too.

Have you seen it? It's 'Back Home Again' by Kaye England. I just love the fabrics, they're divine, and isn't the little suitcase for the fat quarters just darling? It's my aim to have lots of the blocks cut out and ready to sew on Tuesday. It's the Melbourne Cup stitching day, and we're sure to have lots of drinks and nibbles, and most of all, great company.

Today we spent the afternoon at my brother's house with family and had a lovely time. It's his birthday today - so, Happy Birthday little brother, I hope you had a great day! x o x


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