Saturday, January 31, 2009

Log Cabin Drawing

I haven't really been doing too much sewing lately - it's been too hot, and for too long. We've had 5 consecutive days where the temps have been 40c (104f) and over, and it will stay that way until Friday. Whew!

The little bit I have done is some quilting which is not so interesting to share, and I've added some more strips to my log cabin blocks. And, so you can see where I'm heading with the log cabin blocks, I thought I'd share with you the picture I drew up before embarking on the project:

I do love the colours in the drawing - but I'm actually using my scrap strips for my blocks (as you saw in a previous post), so it's not going to end up with the pretty purple tones. But, who knows, I may end up making another in a more planned colourway.

Well - I'm heading off now to pin a quilt, and then cover some school books for Cameron. My kids are back to school on Monday, and we're all really looking forward to it. Have a great weekend, and I'll check back in with you all soon!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Oops - I nearly forgot to figure out who would be the recipients of the stuff I'm 'flyladying' out of my sewing boxes.

I just decided to go with the first response for each item, as I didn't really think about sending different things to different people. So, could the following people please email me with your snail mail details:

Kathie, Jenny and Vicky. I'll get your things in the mail as soon as I can. Thank you everyone for your interest x o x.

Amy's Room ...

... is uninhabitable right now. I just couldn't face painting it - especially not in this heat. So Jon is coming over today to do it. He'll do in one day what will take me a week of messing around and being distracted. Since the day we moved in to this house, I've never seen this room so empty.

And speaking of the heat - it's 7am and already 36c (97f). Still better than our high yesterday of 45.5c (114f) - that's HOT!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm working through the scraps in the boxes, cutting and sorting where appropriate, and I've happened upon these four items.

They need to go to a good home - to someone who can use them. I know I'm not going to finish/use them myself.

The stitchery is a Christine Book project, it's all traced, and 90% finished - I could finish it, but I know I won't use it when I'm done. The gold fabric is a linen piece - I'm not sure how big - I didn't measure. The stripes - feel the same as the linen piece, but it could be cotton. Lastly are the tiny faux applique blocks - they're really quite small, but very cute.

If you're interested in giving these items a home, please leave me a comment to let me know. If there are lots of takers, I'll use a random number generator to pick someone. It's 4.30pm Tuesday here - I'll check back in around the same time on Thursday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day

The other day Camo wanted a flag from the grocery store. What did we do with it?

Happy Australia Day.

Scrappy Log Cabins

I wanted a piecing project to dive right into once I finished the 'Purple Stars' top - and given that I'm seriously into cutting up my scraps, I thought a Log Cabin quilt that I'd envisioned would be the perfect thing.

Judy Martin is a wonder at piecing blocks that have other blocks inserted into them, and I thought I'd give it a try on a small scale. I'll have fun playing with the light and dark fabrics.

All blocks will have the same red print in the centre. I found the fat quarter in my stash and set about cutting up the 36 x 3 1/2" squares that I needed. I was only able to get 30 from the fq, but didn't worry too much, I just resolved to choose another 30's style print from my DJ box. I don't know if I had a psychic episode or something, but when I opened the box, there was another fat quarter of the exact same fabric in there. It had been a gift from Linda. I purchased my original fq in Paducah, I wonder if she had done the same. It was all a very happy accident.

I made up four blocks to see if I liked the pattern, and I do very much. What I don't like is that I wasn't careful enough with my seam allowance while making up the blocks, and the outside row is a little rumpled. I'm not going to pick the blocks apart however, I'll just let them be. I'm sure it'll all quilt out.

Yesterday I set about making up the other 32 blocks that I need, and I've made up all the blocks to the point where the last four rounds need to be attached. I'll need to make up eleventy-four half square triangles first. This is going to be the time consuming part. I've also paid better attention to my seams and these blocks are lovely and flat. I can't believe after all my years of quilting I can still sometimes err with silly things like seams!

These blocks have all been made up using the contents of my 2" scrap box. I'm thrilled to say that I can actually notice a visible reduction in the contents of the box. I did have to add some light fabric however, as I'd pillaged most of the lights for the green and cream leader and ender nine patches. (Ohh, and I have made up 51 nine patches so far!) I'll keep you posted with my progress :-)

Also, a big thank you to Shasta who has identified the purple block I was working on. I had no idea, and I'm thrilled to know it's called 'Dogtooth Violet'. I have found a similar free block pattern at Quilter's Cache - be sure to check it out. Thank you once again Shasta - I think I'll be renaming my quilt!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

C'est fini!

Yaaaay! The top is finished!! I'm not going to add borders - I like the way the top looks kind of vintage just ending like that. I'm entirely thrilled with how it's come out.

Ohhh heavens ... what am I going to do now?? (just kidding) :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009


I've set myself a couple of goals for this year. The first is to spend 15 minutes (on each day I'm in the sewing room) cutting and sorting all the fabrics which are hidden in two large plastic storage boxes in the corner of the room. This is a place where in the past I've tossed pieces of leftover backing fabrics, pieces I wasn't sure what to do with, and also orphan blocks.

I've made a start in the last two days and ended up spending 30 minutes each day, and it has made quite a dent already. I'll be really happy if I can get one container out of the room, and entirely thrilled if I can get them both empty.

This morning I tackled something else - I cleaned off the cutting table. I purchased the two containers on the table the other day at a discount store, and the one on the left holds all my supplies like tape measures, pin containers etc, and the one on the right holds fabric trimmings. My goal is to keep my cutting table clear at all times during the year. I predict this will be the tougher of my goals.

I haven't done my 15 minutes of sorting from the fabric boxes yet, but that's next on my list for today, and after that's done, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to assemble the last sections of the purple stars top. How fun to see it all come together!

Also - a big thank you to Prue for a lovely day out yesterday. My kids and I met up with Prue and some other quilting ladies at her home in the hills. Amy and Camo were fascinated with her pet turtle, and then had the most fun feeding her cows. I didn't have my camera with me, but others did, and I'll share some pictures with you when I get copies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Green Nine Patches

It's no secret to anyone that I'm a huge fan of our dear friend Bonnie. And as such, I'm a dedicated scrapper and have also recently started working with leaders and enders. I've always done chain piecing to save thread and thread ends - but to me leaders and enders are relatively new.

Here's what I've achieved to date - nine green and cream nine patches - the far basket has all the pieces cut and ready - and the close basket has the greens and the creams sewed in pairs. The squares are a 2" cut, and the nine patches will be 4.5" finished. It's really fun seeing these little units come together almost accidentally!

I'm thinking of going along on these until I have enough for a queen bed, and setting the blocks on point, maybe with a cheddar setting square. I've a feeling that alternate fabrics are a choice I'm not going to have to face for quite a while ...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three rows

Finally, I have finished all the blocks (except for the one I'm going to take one corner off and do a quick fabric change). What a relief! The triangle corners weren't hard to do, but just endless - because of all the tricky bias edges I pinned as I went which seemed to make it take ages!

Last night I wanted to see if I could put all the rows together, and because there were a couple of good games to watch on the Aussie Open Tennis, I thought I'd have a pretty good chance to get it done. In the picture you can see how far I got - three rows assembled.

It was quarter past midnight, and I just ran out of energy and had to go to bed. I don't even know if Roger Federer won his game - but I'm thinking it's unlikely he lost. But back to the quilt - when I put the first row together with the sashing strips, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. It looked all wrong. I decided to plug on regardless, and now I'm happy that I did - the fabric has really grown on me, and I love the 'pop' of the pink cornerstones. I'm not sure that this quilt will actually have a border - I had envisioned it without one, but I'll see if I change my mind. I'll definitely be binding it with one of the darker purple reproduction prints - one that I used a lot in my Sisters Choice Medallion quilt.

Well - it's getting late in the morning here, and I haven't had breakfast - my body is calling for a morning coffee, and I'm going to oblige it. I'll chatter to you all soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Purple Stars

Are you growing weary of these pictures yet? As a rule, I work on a project methodically from start to finish without putting it aside too much. But I always wonder if the endless photos of the same project at various stages of construction bores a person to tears ...

And so I present ... another picture of my purple stars blocks! This is how many I've made so far, and the remaining twelve blocks are so close to finished that you'll be seeing them by the end of the day - I'm sure of it!

I'm excited to see how the blocks will look with the sashing strips in between. I'm not sure that I've chosen the right fabric, but it'll be great to test it for real - and I'd like to use a double pink cornerstone - just for a little pop!

We had a great night on Friday night - a gathering of friends for Marty's birthday - but also to break in the new outdoor suite. A great night was had by all - way too much wine, and so much fun. Yesterday we were all feeling very tired and flat. So, what did we do? - Have friends over for dinner last night to polish off some of the leftovers, and we'll be out again tonight! We'll rest another day :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's on your bed?

I'm not sure that I've ever given anyone a peek into our bedroom before! So, what's on your bed?? Because it's summer here, we have a quilt rather than a doona. This is one of my favourites - a scrappy Sisters Choice quilt that Linda and I made. It's one of Bonnie's Scrap Users System projects. Linda made 100 blocks, I made 100 blocks, and we swapped 50 over. It has wonderful memories and our taste in fabric is so similar that it's sometimes hard to tell who's blocks belong to who.

And so you know I haven't been slacking off, here's two of my 'purple stars' blocks with what I'm thinking about using for the sashing strips. You can also see the alternate background fabric I elected to go with. It's one of the double wide backs from the Sturbridge Village range. How I love the reproduction fabrics!

All the triangle segments of the blocks have now been constructed, and I'd say I've finished 10 to 15 of the blocks entirely. I think tomorrow will be the day that I complete the blocks.

And though there is absolutely no chance that Marty will be reading this ... Happy Birthday hon. Love you to bits :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amy's Fairy Quilt

Even though I'm pretty sure that I shared this a very long time ago, I just thought I'd give you another looky at Amy's fairy quilt that you saw the sneak peek of in my last post.

This was the first ever bed size quilt that I entirely hand pieced and quilted, and I was entirely thrilled with it. In the picture the quilt was just finished and hadn't even seen use on Amy's bed.

The quilt has definitely seen better days, and when I have a chance, I'll show you what it's looking like these days.

This morning I painted the cornices in Amy's room - they're now returned from the pink that they were to a crisp white. Should look lovely with the sage green that the room will ultimately be painted. Because it's 41c (106f) today, the paint dried in about 45 seconds, so I was able to paint around twice in no time. Now it's back to the sewing room and keeping cool.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Housey Stuff

This is a picture of Amy's bedroom - I'm not sure if I've ever shared it before. She's 14 now, and for some time she's been asking to have her room redecorated - which I can understand - it's pretty uncool to have a fairy border in your room when you're a teenager.

Our wonderful neighbours Andrew and Kath offered to lend me their steamer, and after some helpful instruction, yesterday I set about removing the wallpaper border. I was kind of nervous, but once I got the hang of it, it came off like butter. It's all done now, and I can get ready to paint. The hardest part of it all was moving around all the furniture.

She wants her room painted sage green like the rest of the house, and for the windows instead of the icky pink blinds we'll get timber venetians, with perhaps some sort of sheers to drape prettily at the sides.

See the peek of the quilt on the bed - I hand pieced and quilted the entire thing when Amy was around 5. She has used it to death - there are holes appearing in it here and there, but regardless it is loved still.

And as promised here is our new outdoor suite - we're having a little gathering on Friday to break it in - I'm so pleased we decided to wait rather than grab the one that was available straight away.

I'm off to the quilt store shortly - today is their opening after the holiday break, and they're having a big sale all this week. I need a couple of things, and have been dying for them to reopen. It will be fun to see my buddies again, and I have some quilts to drop off.

Better run - the day is disappearing!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Last night I was plugging away at the 'purple stars' points. The most time consuming part of this section of the block is the cutting - they're such funny shapes. But as I was cutting, I got this ominous feeling ... I was running very low on the background fabric.

I cut up all that I had, and got busy sewing ... and when I was done making up the points, I had exactly 50 point units. I need 100. Oops!

Rather than panic, I took it as a sign from the fabric gods that I was being too conservative with this quilt, I'm just going to be a little bit maverick and use something else. My blocks will still have symmetry after all, half the points will have one background fabric, and half will have the other one (when I decide which one it will be).

Friday, January 09, 2009


Yesterday I got the call to let me know that the new outdoor setting was ready to be collected, so after work, Marty and I toddled over to pick it up. It's now assembled, and I'll share a picture once I've cleaned up all the cardboard that Cameron has been busy 're-purposing'. My he's made a mess, but he's having such a good time.

Next door to the outdoor shop, there is a pawn shop of sorts that will remain nameless. Marty was curious and wandered in. He noticed the little sewing machine and wondered if I'd be interested. Well, of course I was, it's a Singer, and a 99k at that. They're such dear little machines - sadly this one had lost it's bobbin cover, but apart from that it was complete. Originally they wanted $150.00 for it - madness! It had been reduced and reduced and was marked at $65.00. When the guy wandered over I mentioned that I had a $50.00 note, and he could take it or leave it. Eventually, he took it. So, now I have a new little friend for my other Singer machines, and a good lead on a bobbin cover. I'm a happy camper!

Linda my wonderful friend from San Jose is such an angel - I received some mail from her this week, and included was this pincushion that she made. I just adore it, I've never received such a beautiful one before. Just so you know how much work was in it, those strips are one quarter inch wide. It's just stunning. Thank you so much Linda, I will treasure it.

And there were more treats inside, a book on socks that I've coveted for a long time, the last of my buck a block blocks, and some magazines. Once again, thank you Linda, you're entirely wonderful.

Tonight I'll be quilting on a Thimbleberries top, and then if I get the chance, I'll get back to the purple star blocks. I've made up many of the points, and they're looking great if I do say so myself :-)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Summer daze ...

I'm still sewing the 'purple stars' blocks when I have the chance, and I've now finished the middle parts of all 25 blocks. It's fun to chain piece away, and because they're scrap blocks, I've also managed to deplete many of my leftover bobbin threads. I don't know why, but I always feel very virtuous when they start disappearing. Next, onto the triangle outer points.

On the stove right now, just over 3kgs of apricots. I'm stewing them this time - and when they're done, I'll put them in the Fowlers jars and preserve (can) them. Super nice served with ice-cream and we'll really appreciate them in winter months when stone fruits are just a memory. There are still a few more apricots left on the tree, and I'll pull the ladder out tomorrow and get the last few. I may bake something with the last ones - that will be an adventure, something I've never done before!

In the mail yesterday, some fabric I ordered just over a week ago. It always amazes me how fast fabric can get here from the US. All reproductions, the purplish/blueish print is destined to be sashing strips for the purple stars quilt, and also will be put with my 'buck a block' Thangles project (thank you so much Linda and Donna for gathering the components for me!). The others are 'justin' fabrics. You know - just in case I need them sometime. Well, to be fair, I don't actually have any yellow in my stash, and very little pink. I think you'd all be very surprised at the massive gaps in my stash - I'm working at filling them ... in a responsible way of course :-)

I also received fabulous mail from my wonderful friend Linda, and I'll share that in my next post. Chatter soon :-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Could take a while ...

I've been slowly plugging away at the components for the 'purple stars' blocks. I don't have huge amounts of purple fabric, so some of the time has been spent hunting down pieces from my stash that will be suitable. I have to make up 100 of these units for the stars - I guess I'm around two thirds done now. I'm really looking forward to putting some more blocks together.

I haven't been idle however - I talked about pinning a quilt in my last post - and true to my word, that quilt has been pinned, quilted, and I've machine sewed the binding on for my customer. All she needs to do is hand sew the binding down.

And yesterday, my friend Kath, Amy and I went to Harbour Town for a little retail therapy. I found this cute little pair of slides that had to come home with me. Aren't they adorable, and super comfortable too. They were on sale in a huge way - 80% off, so it would have been irresponsible to leave them at the store, right?? :-)

I'm heading back to the sewing room now, I'll check back in soon.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Quilt for the New Year

Happy New Year! To all my buddies who've stopped by and said Hi, and to those who love to lurk, I wish you all good things in 2009. We saw in the new year at home with wonderful friends, more than a few drinks and nibbles and really good times. And for those of you wondering - no new outdoor setting (I've ordered the favourite one) and no-one minded our less than perfect furniture.

And the New Year deserves a new project, so here is a start. At the moment I'm calling it Purple Stars - but it definitely deserves a better name. I enjoyed putting the first block together, and now I'm finalising all the cutting before making up more.

This evening I'll be pinning a customer quilt, a project for quilting tomorrow, in addition to making up more jam. I picked a few kgs of apricots today, and there is still a lot more on the tree. This has been our best apricot season ever. Shari asked how we protect our fruit from birds - well, we do have our fair share of blackbird troubles, but we net our tree, and it helps a lot. If you look at the picture of the tree, you can see the netting. It's not a perfect solution, but it means that the birds must be more determined.

I'm looking forward to catching up on blogs, I've been busy for a couple of days, and it's amazing how the new entries build up.


Related Posts with Thumbnails