Monday, March 30, 2009

It's not about me ...

It's all about the customers today ...

First up, I'm just quilting on a few baby quilts for a friend, and I really wanted to share this cute border - isn't it sweet? I think I shall file this one away for a future project - very cute indeed. I love the combination of the red dots and the fruits. Very sweet.

And last for today - a surprise from a few days back - a customer came into the shop to share a little show and tell. She'd made up one of my quilts - Purple Hearts. It's always so nice to see grandbabies come back to visit. I figure they're babies of my quilts, and therefore grandbabies :-)

Still quilting busily - I've done four quilts over the past five days, so I'm really starting to catch up now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bernie's Better

Today was a big day. Bernie went into 'hospital' for her motor transplant. She breezed through her surgery, raced through post-op, and was soon home happily ensconced in the sewing room.

Otto has done an amazing job restoring my baby to perfect health, and she's purring like I haven't heard her purr for a long time.

We're back quilting together, and I hope to have caught up on some of my backlog by the end of the weekend.

Can't talk ... quilting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Special Project

On Monday I popped my Dogtooth Violets quilt in the mail right on schedule, so you'll be seeing it in an upcoming issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting - it'll be issue 18/4, I'll have to check for you exactly what the on-sale date is.

And in other news, here is a quilt I've drawn up to make soon ...

This quilt will have a special significance to me - for an occasion very late in the year. The block is a Temperance block, but that's not the significance ... do you see the T's hidden in there? There's four of them. This quilt is going to be named 'Turning Four T' ... because that's what's happening ... I'll be turning 40!

So, I'll be making this quilt up over the next few months, using my usual controlled scrappy palette, and I'm going to enjoy it 100%.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A tiny rescue

My Mother recently had her kitchen remodeled, and as part of the process was having a huge 'sort and purge' of all her kitchenware.

We were visiting for dinner earlier this month, and during the course of the evening Mum produced a tub of all the cutlery that was to be donated to the thrift store.

I had a quick rifle thru the tub and felt compelled to liberate the three silver items you see in the picture. I don't actually have a cheese knife, a pate knife ... and I certainly don't have one of those heart shaped items ... because I have no idea what it's to be used for. Ideas anyone?

I gave them a quick polish this afternoon, but I'm not highly skilled in the polishing department. It's fairly certain that the items are silver plated, as I don't see any hallmarks anywhere. But don't you think they were well worth rescuing?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Purple Stars - now known as Dogtooth Violets :-)

The quilting on my 'Dogtooth Violet' quilt is finished, and the binding applied. It's all done. I'll be writing the directions this weekend and making up the 'in progress' pieces in readiness for the mail on Monday.

In the picture, I've folded the quilt so you can see the binding and backing fabrics I used. I had originally planned to use a purple print I purchased recently for the back - but when I went to the closet, the funky paisley fabric was calling to me - so I answered it's call.

I quite like it :-) It probably doesn't fit the era, but I think it works anyway. Isn't it funny how our tastes in fabric change over time - I'm sure a few years ago I would have walked right past that fabric - and now there are other fabrics in my own stash that make me wonder 'what was I thinking?'

There are already ideas forming in my mind about my next scrap quilt, but first I have another top to quilt, and then another after that. How wonderful it is to have my hobby as work, and my work as a hobby :-)

Be sure to have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gone quilting ...

Last night I started quilting on the Purple Stars quilt - I expect I'll get it finished tonight if Bernie cooperates.

The strangest thing has been happening - and I'm interested to know if anyone else has ever had a similar experience ... Every time I quilt on the navy and white print, I'm holding my breath, because often when I get to a seam in that fabric, the top thread breaks. The needle makes a banging sound, and then - snap the thread is gone. I thought maybe I'd blunted the needle, so swapped a couple of times - but it didn't seem to make a difference. I've made the problem a little less severe by changing to a Janome blue-tip needle. I don't know what is different with the blue-tips and the regular Schmetz needles I use, but for now, I'm still getting a little of the sound, but so far *touch wood* no thread breakage.

This quilt needs to be finished in it's entirety by Monday next week, with directions and 'in progress' pieces etc. It's destined for Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine - I can't remember the issue number, but I'll definitely fill you in. Back to quilting for me - I'll check back soon :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Caterpillar top finished

Because I finished quilting on another top last night, I have had a bit of a lazy day today. Just pottering and tidying in the sewing room, and then I cut and added the final borders to the hungry caterpillar top.

This is how it'll remain until I have the chance to quilt it, and that's not on my immediate horizon.

I have about an hour until I need to collect the small people from school, so it's my plan to cut and piece the back for my 'dogtooth violet - or purple stars' quilt. If I can get that all pinned by the time I go to bed tonite, then I'll be a happy camper :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hungry Caterpillar

I finished quilting on a top this afternoon, so as a reward, I started work on Cameron's 'Hungry Caterpillar' quilt. I purchased a kit last year from Fons and Porter and picked it up while I was in the USA - I don't think there are any more kits available as I can't find a link, but if you look here, you'll find the pattern.

I still have to add the outside border which has all the cupcakes and other foods, but I'll do that tomorrow as I would like to pin another quilt before I head to bed tonite.

Cameron was very excited to see the quilt taking shape, and told me that he was 'dying' to have it. His actual words :-)

I have lots of sewing planned for this weekend and the upcoming week. One of the things on my schedule is to quilt my 'Dogtooth Violet - or - Purple Stars' top. I'm really looking forward to that, and have found the most lovely variegated purple thread. A few people asked a little while back how I plan to quilt it - I'm thinking at this stage I'll use an all-over pattern, and probably my safe fall-back pattern, the peacock feathers. I'm a bit of a two-trick pony when it comes to machine quilting, but I'm getting better at it :-)

Be sure to have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Technically speaking ...

My DH has all his electrical and technical tickets etc, which is very handy for so many reasons. We never have to call electricians in ... and he can fix almost anything ... as long as I make an appointment :-)

Last night he restored my dear little Singer Featherweight to good health - she had disgraced herself back in early November when she decided to set a capacitor afire. After a quick chat to Otto yesterday, he assured me that the machine doesn't even need the capacitor, and all is in order again. I have my backup machine at the ready. She won't do any machine quilting, but for piecing, I'm sorted.

And my Bernie has her second health spa appointment tomorrow, but Marty wanted to give her the once over, and the benefit of his professional opinion *s*. He showed me where the bearing is worn, and concluded that I do indeed need a new motor, I've just worn the thing out. I'm going to order the new motor, because when I do get the new machine, I'll still keep this one. The 820 is huge, and will not be portable - no travelling to classes or the store for that baby. It's a less than $200 expense, and I think worth it - and when I consider how much work my machine does, it's quite remarkable that it hasn't happened earlier.

There hasn't been much sewing going on here lately, and it's kind of making me edgy. I am behind on my deadlines by three quilts, and even though they're pretty much self imposed deadlines, it means that all other obligations become just that bit harder to fulfill. I'll keep pushing on though, and tonight I'll see if I can pin some quilts ready for when I can get busy again ...

I'll check back in soon :-)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tree Skirt Bound

My dear sweet Bernie must have heard me telling my tale of woe last night, and behaved herself sufficiently for me to do some quilting on the tree skirt I started on Saturday. I got about half of it done before I decided to call it a night.

Today I finished off the quilting, cut the opening, and applied the binding to the front. Now I just need to trim away the excess batt and hand sew the binding to the reverse side.

You can't see it from the picture, but there's a little loop made from excess binding hidden at the back. When I do the hand sewing, that will pop thru to the front. And ready to be stitched in place for use with the loop, a cute Christmas themed button.

I've had fun putting this project together, and it's really achievable in a weekend - especially when your sewing machine cooperates. :-)

Sunday, March 08, 2009


My darling precious Bernina is making the alarming 'growling graunching' sound again :-(

Otto did warn me that it could come back - I didn't expect it to be within mere days tho! It's raking at my heart that my little work-horse clearly isn't well. And it's killing me that a long weekend is a-wasting. I don't have a back up plan - I guess it's back into the Bernina Health Spa on Tuesday.

What to do ... what to do ...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tree Skirt

Here's a little something I have been working on this afternoon - it's a very simple tree skirt, the cute fabrics are doing the talking.

It's destined to be a shop sample, and we'll be kitting it up, ready for people looking for a fast and easy project.

Can't believe I'm working on a Christmas project already, but I guess you can never be too prepared right? After all, it just seems like yesterday we were celebrating New Years, and here it is March already!

I'm heading back into the sewing room now - I'm going to finish quilting on Prue's Hydrangea quilt before I get busy quilting on the tree skirt.

Be sure to have a great weekend :-)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oriental Traditions

Over the last few days I've been working on Maureen's quilt - it's called Oriental Traditions, and it's simply gorgeous - the fabrics are delightfully rich, and it was a delight to quilt on. I gave it back to her today, and she was so happy with it - it really makes my heart sing.

Life has been crazy busy lately, with work, patterns, quilting and my regular "nothing to do with quilting" life. I'm really hoping that things will slow down a little soon, because I'm starting to get a little sleep deprived. I'm sure you've noticed that my blogging has suffered somewhat, and I'm not catching up with you all as much as I'd like. I have noticed though that I'm not seeing a lot of blogs coming up on bloglines, am I the only one experiencing this, or is it a universal problem?

And in unrelated news - I had a couple of questions recently regarding the reproduction fabric line that came into the store last week, it's the Windham Emigrant Trail range, and I just love it. Be sure to check it out. I can't wait to get my hands on some!!

Better run, I have another pattern order to prepare tonite, and then I plan to be early to bed. Let's see if I get there :-)


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