Friday, October 05, 2018

Quilting, Cooking and Wandering ...

Tonight I had settled in for a night of hand quilting, when it occurred to me that it wouldn't be a bad thing to quickly grab the laptop and do a little sharing. I've been a busy bee, and have tried to record a few of my activities in pictures.

First up I thought I'd share my view in the quilting hoop:

If I can manage it, I'd like to at least finish up this area tonight so I can move the hoop again. I've been thinking about how I might like to quilt the grassy hill, and that will probably be what I'll tackle next. Try not to envy my mad drawing skills ... that poor sweet applique lady's face is really not all it could be, and let me tell you that the man is no better! Oh well, I think it's clear that I should stick to stitching :-)


And this strangely narrow photo shows how I was working in the border last week. For the moment I've outline quilted the applique shapes and worked some clamshells in the background. And now I'm wondering if I might go back and fill the clamshells with 1/4" shadowing to fill the shape completely. It could look quite nice. I have plenty of time to make these decisions, but I'm seriously leaning toward it ...

And in news other than quilting, on Friday last week I made these cupcakes for my lovely friend Kathy who was celebrating her 50th birthday. I do love making cupcakes, and never say no to a reason to bake them.

Her party was on Saturday night, and then on the following day for fun and to keep our hearts ticking we headed into the city for a walk in the Botanical Gardens. I took a great many pictures, but chose a few to share with you:

Springtime is a beautiful time to spend wandering the gardens, and I'm always inspired to come home and tinker in our own garden. It's a shame I don't have much of a green thumb, I usually leave the yard work to the hubby.

And last of all, I wanted to share something I've been working at for a little while. This year I made myself a promise that I was going to learn to bake French macarons. They can be quite tricky but I resolved that with practice I should be able to figure it out.

Well, let me tell you, I made many many mistakes, and to coin a phrase of the wonderful recipe that I'll share with you ... I baked a lot of 'macawrongs'. However, I stumbled across this recipe at Not So Humble Pie, and it has rocked my macaron world!

These are some of my offerings right out of the oven, before being filled and sandwiched:

The small picture with two trays was an early one and I was still perfecting my piping - the flourish to finish off was hard to master, so those ones are a little lumpy. I used a little brown food colouring in those ones. The other two pictures are au naturel - no food colouring at all. Other times I've made them pink, and purple as well. Sometimes I didn't even bother to fill the macarons while I was still practicing, as Camo was more than happy to eat them just as they were.

I'm so happy with my progress, and can't wait to bake some more. Though I've taken a little break from them over the past few weeks as it's not great for the waistline having these treats in the house! Do check out the link above though if you're interested in baking macarons, the recipe is just perfect and has all the wisdom in the world for helping you troubleshoot.

Well, that's it from me for now - I'm going to get back to hand quilting and see if I can get this hoop moved before bed time. Chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Whoops!

Well hello! I certainly did not intend to be absent from my blog for a whole month, but it seems that is exactly what I have done! Definitely a whoops! I don't have a good excuse, only that I seem to quite busy, but who isn't? We all cram a bunch into our lives don't we?

Just so I have a little eye candy for you, I'm sharing a picture of where I'm at hand quilting on Phebe. I haven't done a lot, but I'm happy with how it's coming along, it's still a fun project and I'll spend any spare moments working on it.

I'm sure I have more to share with you, so I'll check back in with you after I've gone thru the phone camera. Chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

HOQH & Exchange Blocks

Hi there lovelies, thank you all so much for your kind words on the finish of my Phebe quilt top. It was so nice to read all your sweet messages, it really made my heart sing. The top is visiting with Lizzy to get ready for hand quilting, and I'm looking forward to starting that when the time comes.

In the meantime I've been buzzing around catching up on some chores and socialising, and from a quilty perspective, I picked up a slightly abandoned project and also started working on an exchange. Let me share the quilty things with you:

The slightly abandoned project was Honouring our Quilting Heritage by Lori Smith - though I loved working on the blocks, Phebe bullied it's way into being my priority ... it seems to happen a lot with me!

Block 6 - Boxes and Baskets

This was a really fun block to put together, and I was able to use plenty of the scraps I had worked with while stitching Phebe.

Block 36 - Windmill

Some of these fabrics were dug out of my box of 'Donna fabrics' - my USA friends are all so kind to share their stashes with me!

If my records are correct, I now have 36 blocks made and there are a total of 59. It doesn't seem like there are TOO many left to make, but if I know myself there are probably a lot of hard ones left in the mix!

And in other stitching news, I've started working on an exchange that some of my lovely USA friends have organised.

We're making variable star blocks in 12", 8" and 6". And the fabrics are to be shirtings and reproductions - not sure that my backgrounds are necessarily shirtings or if they're too light, but I'll make them again if needs be :-)

Well, that's where my quilting world is right now, I'll check in with you soon as I'm sure I'll have more to share before I know it! xoxox

Saturday, July 28, 2018

And Phebe is finally done!

Squeeeee! I'm just thrilled to report that I've finished working on the Phebe quilt top. It has taken 11 months to get to this stage, and here it is:

It's another big one, I can't lay it out fully anywhere in the house - so I'm sending it on to my lovely longarming friend Lizzy to baste for me, and then I can get busy with the hand quilting.

Here is a close up of one of the sides:

There are so many different fabrics to look at, my eyes are skipping all over the place seeing new things. Can I share a secret with you? When I first started putting the final borders together I was really unsure about whether the fabric I used in the large triangles was the right one, I felt it might have been too dark. I love it now though, and I'm so glad I purchased it on a whim from Hetties Patch.

This week has been a busy one - I had Christmas in July with my sweet Thursday quilting class - I made them little quilted mats, refreshed a Christmas pattern for them, and make yummy cupcakes. I didn't remember to take a picture of the mats etc, but may be able to snag one from a friend, but here are the cupcakes etc:

Isn't the Nutcracker in the background a cutie? Manuela bought it on her recent trip to Germany - after seeing her pictures I don't know how she showed restraint - I definitely would need extra luggage - the German Christmas stores are amazing!

Lastly, a quick apology, I haven't responded to comments from my last post just yet - and there are some I can't respond to as the email addresses aren't enabled, so a big hello to Lin McQ, Marie, Melody A, Randy Tangen and lvkwlt - I appreciate you all stopping by! Chatter soon everyone! xox

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Almost, almost ... getting reaaaalllly close ...

I really wanted to have my quilt top finished by this evening, and I'm so very close, honestly I am ... There is just one side of the star border, and then the little spacer to go ...

I just dumped the quilt on the floor in the sewing room and haven't straightened it up properly so it looks a little jiggly wobbly, but you can see it's coming along. I think I will do a little unpicking though - the top of the star block in the very corner doesn't meet with its neighbour nicely enough for my liking so I'll sort that out tonight.

As soon as the top is done I can hand it on to my lovely long arming friend Lizzy to baste for me, and hand quilting can begin in earnest.

In other news - yesterday while out shopping with Amy, we wandered into an antique store and I found a lovely piece to add to my Masons Vista collection:

Isn't it pretty? I've never seen a '3 section relish dish' in the wild before so I had to bring it home with me. They did also have a dinner plate, but I left that behind because at $55.00 the price was too steep - and lets be honest, the 20 plates I already have are plenty!

Well, that's it from me, hopefully the next time I check in with you all I should have this top completely finished - fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Almost there ...

Oooooh, look at me go! I'm getting so close to finishing this quilt top, I feel like I can almost touch it! The last little skinny border was stitched in place on Tuesday evening, so here's where it's at now:

I haven't laid it out on the floor very well, and the light coming through the window in the sewing room has washed it out a lot, but I simply couldn't wait to share it with you all!

Basically, all that remains is the final border with pieced stars set on point. 56 stars are required, and I've made 13 of them so far - I need to get my skates on and get busy piecing! Chatter soon!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

One inch closer ...

My quilt top is one finished inch closer to complete with the addition of the latest border:

It was fiddly to apply, just like last time, but per Di Ford-Hall's suggestion, using a little starch made it easier to work with, and I made sure to pin super carefully. Sadly though, stitching time has been a little scarce this week - once I got the border done, the only thing I really had time for was cutting for the next pyramid border.

Now the pieces are all ready for me to spend some hours foundation piecing. It's really just the best way to get all those triangles looking absolutely perfect. There's always a little oops though - I think I cut a bunch more light triangles than I needed - I just kept going until I had none of that lovely French General fabric left, and I think there are at least 50 more than I need! I'm a bit sad to have run out of the light fabric - I've used it in a few quilts and just love the vintage look it has. There's sure to be more around somewhere, and when I find it, I'll be grabbing it with both hands!

In my last post I mentioned that I had a big tennis match ... well, I didn't want to go into too much detail in case I put a moxy on us, but my midweek tennis team and I were playing in the grand final. And I have the happy news that we managed to get a very hard fought and close win. It was 3 sets all, but we managed to get 2 extra games. The best finals are close ones and we were holding our breath until the last set was over. Happiness!

And the last bit of news for today - my lovely friend Keryn put a link in her comment on my last post regarding a possible fix for the comment issue on blogger lately. I tried what was suggested and I'm so happy to report that it has worked, and comments are being emailed to me once again so that I can respond to your notes. Thank you so much Keryn, and to my lovely readers, feel free to comment away! 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Are you weary of the borders yet?

Because there's more to come!

Here's where I'm up to as of this evening:

It's a lot of piecing let me tell you! But I think the cutting actually took longer than the piecing did. Luckily for me I have a Marti Michell template that was the perfect size for the little triangles - and that meant they have the little notched corners that make everything line up so nicely. The squares were cut with a regular ruler, but they were a funky size at 1 9/16". I got them all done though, and it'll be easier from this point on.

Here is one of the corners of the quilt top:

If you've made the quilt, or are working on it, or even if you have the book, you'll see that I didn't stick exactly to the instructions - at the ends of each border strip, there is a half square piece, and I chose not to do that. It makes little difference to the look of the quilt, but I just thought it was a neater finish. Next up is another skinny dark border like you see prior to the pieced border, and then another triangle/pyramid border. I have some pieces cut out ready for that one, but there will be a lot more cutting in my future.

Is anyone working on this project? I got a little carried away cutting for the border I just finished and made a whole bunch of pieces I don't need:



If you'd like them, just pop me an email and I'll be happy to send them to you.

A big thank you to the commenters on my last post, I always love to hear from you. And Hello to some 'new to me' visitors, Momto1 and Lisa Dziuban - great to hear from you too! Lisa mentioned that this is a great stash busting quilt, and that's true, it really is. Though I have so many scraps I never seem to see a reduction in them.

This week I have a top to quilt for a sweet friend, and also a big tennis match on Wednesday, but hopefully I'll have time to put the next skinny border on and then get the foundations made up for the triangle border. Chatter soon! xox

Update: Whoops, I almost forgot to mention ... I'm a little dorky and still dabbling with the Pokemon Go app while I'm out and about. They've just introduced friends to the game - is anyone else playing along and interested in being buddies? Pop me an email or a comment if you'd like! xox

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Border progress ...

Hi everyone, thank you all for stopping by and commenting on my last post. Seems the comments thing still isn't working which is a little irritating. On the last post I left a comment of my own, and subscribed to replies which meant that I did receive an email that I'd received a comment, but there was no address provided for me to respond to. I may be able to reply if I still have your address on file from a past communication, but other than that, who knows? Is anyone else having the same issues?

Anyway, let's get on to the quilting ... I can't remember if at the time of the last post I had all of the first triangle border in place, but that's definitely complete now. And the subsequent skinny border is in place too. It is only an inch cut, so half an inch finished. I've also pieced the next top and bottom borders which are made up of small squares and triangles, and I've stitched one to the body of the quilt. So much cutting and piecing!

I have a bunch more cutting still to do before I can make up the borders for the sides, but once they're done I feel like this quilt is really moving toward the finish line!

After this pieced border, it's pretty much a mirror image of the borders I've done already, a skinny dark border, another triangle border, a marginally less skinny border, and then I move to the final pieced border made up of star blocks.

My lovely friend Lizzy will baste the quilt for me when I'm done, and then I can get busy hand quilting once again. I'm really looking forward to it!

A big thank you to Shasta Matova, Phyllis, Janet, Karen, Wendy and Jocelyn for commenting on my last post, I'll pop you an email if I can. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, June 08, 2018

Slow stitching ... but as fast as I possibly can!

This past week I've been piecing the triangle borders I shared with you in the last post, and I'm thrilled that yesterday I finally finished them - so many little pieces!! I've trimmed and removed the foundation from one of the borders and just a few minutes ago I stitched it in place:

It fitted just perfectly, no easing required, so I'm confident that everything is going to be great with the next few borders going forward. The finish line for this quilt top is inching closer!

There are a few more fabric oldies amongst the triangles - the pale green one near the centre is from the Smithsonian collection, and I want to say it's probably from the late 90's. And from a similar era the fifth triangle from the right is from the Oakland Museum collection sent to me by my lovely friend Linda. It's always fun to see such cuties pop up in my scraps - I used those in my Dear Jane way back when - and to think I was still such a beginner quilter I had no idea what I was taking on!

Next, I wanted to share a couple of gift quilts I put together - I know they've reached their destinations safely, so I won't be ruining any surprises. Some beautiful ladies shared fabric from their stash with me, and I really wanted to repay their kindness:



The blocks were from one of Barbara Brackman's block of the month quilts a while back, and though I didn't continue making all the blocks, I really liked the ones I'd made and saved them for something special. Combined with some favourite border prints and stripes, I think they came out as quite pretty table toppers.

And last of all - in the last post I mentioned that Blogger seemed to be having a problem emailing comments at the moment. It seems like it's a common issue, and though information is hard to come by, I've read that they're working on a fix. I don't know if that's correct or not, but I really hope it is, as I enjoy interacting with you all, and answering questions when needed. Please continue to drop me notes, as I feel like this will simply turn up fixed one day - but perhaps if you have a particular question just email me. And to that end, Sandra asked me recently about tutorials for drawing on Corel draw - I'm sure you can google some. But if you send me your email address, I'm happy to send you the one I did already.

That's it for me tonight - I'm going to settle in and watch the French Open tennis men's semi finals. It's going to be an exciting (and long) night! xox

Friday, June 01, 2018

Piecing process ...

Fridays are generally a day where I have some time to myself, so I finished up some cutting and began to make busy foundation piecing the next borders for the Phebe project:

Piecing this way always looks kind of jiggly wobbly until it's trimmed at the end, but at least I can be sure all these points are going to be perfect when they're stitched to foundations.

Each row has 62 coloured triangles and a similar number of them in background fabric, and I'm piecing the four borders in tandem so I can keep the fabric placement consistent. This means I have a whole bunch of tiny pieces to play with over the next few days - looking forward to attaching these borders to the main body of the quilt will keep me motivated, otherwise it's pretty mindless piecing.

Do you see that pinky coloured fabric third from the right up there? My goodness that one has some age on it. It's from the Sarah Johnson collection and I'm guessing it's close to 20 years old - amazing how these oldies turn up in my stash! I remember it was a huge purchase for me at the time - I got a skinny quarter of the whole collection from a local quilt store. Being a fairly new quilter at that time I thought it was really extravagant, but it's much more common now to participate in that kind of stash building. Having said that, I'm pretty sure I have enough fabric to last until the end of time, but it doesn't seem to stop me from adding to it!!

In other news, Blogger seems to have made a recent change which coincided with my last post - and it meant that none of the comments my readers made were emailed to me. So disappointing, because I do like to respond to all messages if I can. Please pop me a note on this post if you can, I'd like to see if it has been rectified or if it's an ongoing problem. Thank you so much, and chatter soon! xox

Friday, May 25, 2018

Time keeps rolling, and so very fast!

Heavens, it seems like I've barely had any time in the sewing room since I checked in with you, but I kind of have - just not in a newsworthy (or share-worthy) way. I don't quilt much for others anymore, but I agreed to finish up projects for two of my lovely ladies that come to classes - I also finished up two secret squirrel projects that I will share with you later on, and I've been teaching a sweet friend who recently retired to quilt. This has all meant that my Phebe project got put on the back-burner for a bit, but these past few days have spared me some time to pick it up again.

The next little border print was fun to cut out, and I've started stitching it in place - it's 3/4" finished, so a little fiddly:

It looks kind of wonky in the picture, but trust me when I tell you that it's all lovely and straight, but the edge is kind of flapping up in the air unevenly. It'll look super when the next round is attached - but that will be a while as it's a border of about a bazillion triangles with a 1" base! I see lots of foundation piecing in my future.

And because I was up close and personal with my blocks while I was pinning the border in place I found this bit of a boo-boo:

Whoops! There's a problem with that green pointed star for sure! I can't believe this one slipped through the cracks - when I look at the back of it I realise I had unpicked it a few times too - a few of my early blocks had seam intersections that didn't thrill me, so I redid them, and I think this may have been one of them. Anyway, I've fixed it now - I hope I haven't let any more slide thru!

I don't have anything more to share in the way of stitching ... but I have continued to practice baking. I loved making pastry so much that I decided to make an apple pie for the Mother's Day dinner I hosted for close family. I've been gathering fondant/pastry cutters and having fun with them, so here's my pie pre and post baking:

Since I've learned that pastry is not nearly as difficult as first thought, I've also made two lemon tarts over the last couple of weeks, and I see more in my future. Let me tell you that Weight Watchering is very challenging when there are tasty baked goods hanging around.

Before I sign off, I wanted to say Hi and thank you so much to Andy who commented recently. I wasn't able to reply to you directly as your email address didn't come to me, but I appreciated your kind words very much. And I feel the same about every comment I receive, it's lovely that you all stop by and share your thoughts. But now I'm heading back into the sewing room, and I'll check in with you all very soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Star border ... done!

Early this week I got the last of the stars in place on this section of the Phebe quilt top. I'm thrilled with how it's looking at the moment.

I don't mind confessing that after I put the first section in place I wasn't sure if it was all accurate - sometimes a heavily pieced border can make the next addition look a little full - but as each next side was added I realised it was all going to be just fine. I have more anxious moments ahead of me though, as the next rounds are all heavily pieced too.

I haven't been able to start on these next borders just yet though. I just have a couple of other doodads I've wanted to work on for a while, and I'm almost finished - at the moment I can't share, but I promise I'll show you in due course.

It makes me giggle without fail when lovely people commenting tease me about having time management superpowers - I promise this isn't the case - the past two weeks were school holidays, so I had more time than usual on my hands - there was no school drop off/pick up run, the endless sporting activities for Camo and I were at a halt ... and the stars were already made from September/October last year and sitting waiting for me to put them to use. So really, not nearly amazing at all!

What I haven't done is keep up with all my emails - and I plan to do that tomorrow morning as it's getting late here now, so I'll catch up with you all really soon! xox

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stars aplenty!

This past week I've enjoyed spending time with my Bernina. While I was working on all that lovely applique all I could do was wipe the dust off my sewing machine periodically. I've made up for it though, and here's where I'm up to:

Just the rows at the top of the quilt to go now, and it's onto the next steps. Please don't think I've made all those stars since I checked in with you last, all the stars were already made and patiently waiting for me to pick them up again.

The centre of the quilt just glows next to all the scraps doesn't it? Seeing all this come together has helped me to make another decision - there is a thousand pyramid style border coming up soon, and though I was going to make that scrappy too, I think I'll use the same cream fabric I used in the applique for that. Probably another choice I'll make on the fly when I see how it looks. And I'm entirely thrilled that my lovely quilting friends were able to help me out with the Civil War Dressing Gowns fabric for the sashing strips, I can't imagine anything looking better - it's just how I saw it in my mind's eye. You can see it better in these next two pictures:



There are some fun fussy cut squares throughout the quilt top, and where I could I've tried to keep any stripes running in the same direction. One of my favourite things about working with scraps is remembering the other quilts they've been in and also remembering how the fabrics came to me. Some from lovely friends and from shops on my travels - or from lovely local shops - all fun memories.

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get the rest of the stars in place, and then I can start thinking about the next stages of the quilt. Happy days!

From my last post I had some messages I wasn't able to reply to - so a big hello to Holly Field, Co Coya, Alejesnat and Guusje. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving comments, they're always appreciated.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Speedy Sawtooth Border ...

As predicted in my last post, I thought things would move much faster with the Phebe project once the applique was done. So far, that's exactly what's happening. Less than 48 hours after the last applique stitch went in, I had drawn up the foundation papers and stitched the sawtooth borders. Then trimmed them all to size and removed the papers, and finally stitched them in place. Loving it!!

Doesn't it all frame the applique so nicely? It has been great to spend some quality time with my sewing machine after so much hand work. And I'm excited to get busy with the next frame of stars - hopefully I'll get one side done tomorrow.

In other news, this week I had a little retail therapy after not having purchased fabric in a while. The thing is that I just haven't needed anything as I'm largely working with scraps in this project - and let's face it, even if you don't count scraps, I still have a lot to work with already! Anyway, I found a backing fabric that I felt would work for Phebe, so needed to grab it.


I'm a lazy girl and don't much like joining fabrics for backs in projects I know I'll hand quilt ... I liked this one, so it had to be mine.

And these ones appealed to me too. For no reason other than they look like something I may use one day :-)


Last of all for this post, I just wanted to share the cake/cupcakes that I made for Amy's engagement party. I didn't know for sure that I'd be able to make the 'naked cake' that she wanted for the top tier, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. Pinterest to the rescue with helpful links to tutorials. What did we ever do before the internets??

There were 100 cupcakes, half decorated with a swirl, and half with flowers. Bless those wonderful flower piping tips! Her theme was gold/pink/black and I managed to get all the colours in.

The two pictures on the left in the collage are the finished cupcakes - top right are most of the flower cakes prior to piping the leaves on, and bottom right is how it looked at the venue. I'm so happy I managed to get it all done, and I have a year to think about how the wedding cake will work!

It's getting late here now, I'll dash and get some zzz's so I have a bunch of energy for piecing tomorrow. Chatter soon! xox

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Phebe's applique complete!

I'm so thrilled, last night I finished the applique on my Phebe project, and I'm super happy with how it's looking.

I do have a couple of things I'll get back to - the first is to give the people their faces, and the second is to put a basket or some flowers into the lady's hand. I haven't decided which I'd like, but I'll know what I want to add when I see it.

Some of my favourite things are the small flowers, I had such fun fussy cutting pretty fabrics for the petals and the centres:


The next steps for the quilt are to add another sawtooth border, and then I'll be able to put all the lovely scrappy stars in place. The quilt will grow quickly from this point I think!

Before I sign off, I had some comments I wasn't able to reply to directly, so a big hello to Diane Smith, Lynn S and Deb. I also had a question from Terry regarding how I went about the sawtooth border. I did foundation piece the border, and drew the pattern up on the computer so I could print it out and know it would be accurate. I use Corel Draw, but I'm sure there are many programs that would do the same thing. Hope this helps!

I have some emails to catch up on, so I'll sign off here and check back in with you soon xox

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

And a little more progress ...

It seems like I'm sharing such tiny details with you on my Phebe project - only if you compare the last three pictures side by side would you realise that anything is actually different. But it does seem like I'm getting closer to the finish line with this applique border, and I predict by the end of next week I'll be all done - all that is left now is to fill in the spaces with leaves.

It would be nice to get busy with the stitching this week, but there are much more exciting things afoot. This week my sweet baby girl has her engagement party - and we could not be more thrilled. Her man of choice is just wonderful, and they are sure to have a fabulous future together. 

So, this week I'm getting busy making their engagement cake/cupcakes - also making sure we all have our outfits, and helping out with the decorations. It's all such fun, and it will be a great practice run for the big day next year. I can definitely share the shoes I bought for the special occasion - you all know I'm a shoe gal ...


Aren't they yummy? And of course I love the bling :-) Not sure exactly what outfit I'm going to wear yet, but I have three to choose from, I'll most likely decide at the last minute in a panic after I've tried each of them on again.

And now on to something completely unrelated - this past week I had a hankering to make a pie ... I've only ever made one in my life before, so it was a little scary ... but here's a pic of my apricot pie - before and after baking ... just so you know I really did it!

Yay, I can make pastry! I found a simple recipe on Pinterest - you make it using the food processor, so it really could not be any easier. I feel like there will be more pies in my future!

Well, that's it for me - I have a tier of the cake to get out of the oven shortly and I'd like to be ready for the next one soon. Have a great week! xox

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Still at it ...

Hey there lovelies - I'm still here working away on Phebe's applique in stolen moments. I'd love to share that I'm finished with it and moving on to the next step, but not just yet. Surely it can't be too far away now.




Things have been busy over the past week or so, Camo's tennis team were in the grand final on Friday night, and happily won - my own tennis, parent teacher interviews and work have meant that time has been scarce. Is anyone as shocked as I am that we're almost at the end of March and it seems like it was New Years just last week??

Anyway, back to Phebe, I took this picture earlier today (wouldn't have hurt to press it a little!!) and since then I've already added the oak leaves in the top left corner. Next I will make up more acorns for the left side of the quilt, and after that the small flowers. The last additions will be the leaves which will fill the gaps along the vine. It really feels like I'm getting near the end of this border.

Framing the applique will be another red and cream sawtooth border, and I'll foundation piece that like I did with the last one. I love the accuracy of foundation piecing. Then I'll finally be able to use the star blocks and the wonderful sashing stripe that I was luckily able to track down. Happy days!

Before I sign off, I want to say a big hello to Sjoukje, Paula DiMattei, Pamela Tasker, Deb from the Frugal Little Bungalow and Martina from Germany for stopping by and leaving greetings. I wasn't able to respond to your messages personally, but I would have loved to.

Well, that's it from me for today - the rest of the week promises to be busy, but I feel sure I'll have some time free over the Easter weekend to get some more work done. Chatter soon! xox

Monday, March 12, 2018

Quickie post ...

I just wanted to check in really quickly to share where I'm at with Phebe's applique. It's coming along slowly, but all progress is good, right?

The little acorns in the corner were fun, and I love the little flowers. I'm slowly filling in the vine with leaves, and if I have time tomorrow night I'll add the vines on the other two sides.

Well, that's it for now - I promise to check back in and catch up on emails soon! xox

Friday, March 02, 2018

Applique changes ...

I haven't had much time to work on Phebe's applique lately, but happily today was a quiet day so I could spend as much time as I wanted working on my stitching.

Some of the little oak leaves I'd already stitched down didn't thrill me, so I unpicked them, and I've replaced them with some others. I'll reuse the ones I replaced in other corners - I realised I wanted to have a couple of different sizes, and also I knew I wouldn't have enough of the Jo Morton print for all the leaves required. Let's face it, I like to use a lot of different fabrics, so it was weird that I'd used only one in the first place.

So here's where I'm up to now:

Something else I'm going to do this week is pop into Officeworks and pick up some waterproof coloured pencils. I thought it'd be fun to add dimension to the oak leaves with shading - and also use the pencils to give the people their faces. I'm just not confident to stitch details in place, so pencils may be better?

I'm looking forward to adding more applique shapes tomorrow after tennis. It's the last Saturday game for the Summer season, so in coming weeks I'll have a little more stitching time :-)

In other news, on Wednesday I received two lovely squishies in the mail. One was from the lovely Rosemary Youngs containing the fabric I so desperately wished for to complete the sashing strips for Phebe. And the second squishy was from one of my lovely readers Wendy - with another delightful piece of conversational fabric:

Isn't it adorable? I'm fairly certain it's a vintage print, so it's very kind of Wendy to share. I can't wait to find the perfect project to use all these lovely prints. How blessed I am to have such generous people in my life. Thank you once again Wendy, and also Rosemary.

Well, that's it from me for now - I'm heading to bed soon. It has been a great night with Camo's tennis team having a big win tonight, and they're now heading in to the finals. Hooray!

Chatter soon xoxox

Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine Project

I was inspired by Valentine's day happening recently to create a little project to use up some scraps. It's fun to put these doodads together for the girls that come to my class, and this small quilt was no exception.


Once again, some of these fabrics are from deep stash. A bunch of the pink scraps are from a very early quilt I made for Amy. The pink and red shirting fabric was one I bought from Carolea's Knitche in Sunnyvale on an early trip to the USA. Now I'm guessing that Carolea's has been closed for more than 10 years. Gosh that was a fabulous shop.

All that's left to do on this little one is to stitch the binding down on the reverse side, and I'll do that after tennis on Wednesday. I pretty much have my whole week scheduled out - it's amazing how busy life gets, and how fast it happens ... not complaining, just saying!

It's almost time to pick the little (but much taller than me) guy up from school, so I better dash. Chatter soon! xox

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I dropped the ball for a bit ...

At the start of the year I had such plans to stitch for at least 15 mins a day, keep on top of being organised around the house, and a few other health related things. Can I tell you that the very day that Camo returned to school and all the other tennis commitments kicked in, I totally dropped the ball!

Ugh, this was not how I hoped things would be. I'm not saying that my home has turned into a cesspool, it's still tidy - and I'm keeping it that way, but I had grand plans to do more decluttering - and I'll still get there - I guess just at a slower pace.

My 15 minutes of stitching each day has amounted to a little unstitching at quilt group last week, and today I stitched a couple of blocks together to see how they look. But, I'm not going to beat myself up about this - and I resolve to do better going forward!

I will share something amazing (IMHO) that happened this week:

My mind just couldn't shift from the Civil War Dressing Gown fabric that I really wanted to use in my Phebe project. And I think the reason I just didn't like any other fabric in it's place is that I really was hooked on that darned elusive print. Here's the one I wanted in case you didn't see it earlier on my blog:


Because it's a real oldie, I knew I had little hope of finding it, but in a last ditch effort to hunt some down, I sent out an appeal to my buddies on Facebook. Well, let me tell you that my quilting friends came thru in the best way. A lovely local friend Julie has some that we think is a 100% match, and if that doesn't work out, sweet Rosemary Youngs has offered me some from her stash. My goodness I am blessed with the most lovely friends.

So, this evening I decided to put a couple of blocks together to see how it'll look. Oh my goodness wouldn't it be ironic if after all that hunting I didn't like the fabric?!? Never fear, I'm really pleased with it, and the next step was to decide on a fabric for the cornerstones.

Now the cornerstones are really quite tiny - 1 inch cut, so therefore half inch finished squares. At first I thought I'd use red, but realised they'd be abutting the red sawtooth border. In the end, I went deep stash, and found this little pretty:

I have no clue how long it's been in my stash or from where it came, but isn't it lovely? There is only a fat quarter, but I will only need about half of it with such tiny pieces.

So here is a quick picture of how just a few of the blocks, sashing strips and a cornerstone look when stitched together:

I am super happy with how this came together- and though the cornerstone fabric looks really bright when you look at the fat quarter by itself, its actually quite subtle when you see that little piece just there. I'm really happy with how the piecing looks, yay!

I don't know that I've done any more with the applique on the Phebe project since I checked in last, but it's my plan to get some more done tomorrow, so I'll check in with you soon! xox

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