Thursday, September 22, 2016

My happy news :-)

Recently the Royal Adelaide Show was held in town - it's a fun week for us here in the city with so many things going on there. The carnival rides and sideshow alley for the young and young at heart, the agricultural side of the show with farm animals/equestrian events etc, crazy amounts of showbags for all ages, and also the competition part of the show with all sorts of categories from pets to plants, cookery and craft.

I love to enter a quilt or two when I have something ready, and this year I decided to enter two projects. You've seen them both before, but it can't hurt to revisit them right?

My Montmellick quilt fitted right into the hand quilted category, and this year there was a special category for nine patch quilts, so I decided that Omigosh! would be perfect for that one. After I knew the judging was completed I waited a few days before I checked the show website, and received the happy news that both quilts had placed first in their categories!!

Here is my Omigosh with her first place ribbon. I'm so happy it did so well! :-)

And I also had the happy news that my Montmellick quilt won best quilt in show! I was just so thrilled! You can see her two ribbons in the picture. Yay!!

Amy and I visited the show one evening after work, and we had a really great time. My sweet girl is a real thrill seeker and wanted to hit the rides in sideshow alley. I love roller coasters, but some of those rides at shows leave me a little sweaty ... I don't know how she did it, but Amy convinced me to go on the biggest scariest ride there. It's called Speed 2 - I found a video on YouTube from a few years ago:



It was actually really fun, but I definitely didn't need to go on any more rides after that!! We got busy eating the obligatory carnival food, and after purchasing a bunch of show bags and watching the fireworks, we were super tired and ready to head home. What a great night out with my girl :-)

In other news, I wanted to share a quick snap of Norma's finished peacock block:

It's really cute isn't it? She's made it up into a cushion as a gift for her daughter. I am absolutely certain she  must love it! :-)

And finally for today, I just wanted to share a couple of fabric purchases I made at work today. There's a 50% off sale in the back room, so I was determined to give a few pieces of fabric a good home :-)

How could I leave behind a couple of Di Ford-Hall fabrics? And the Jo Morton in the middle there too? They'll live nicely in my stash until I have a project ready for them.

And this fabric will be super cute for a Christmas project I'm sure. I don't have any ideas right now, but I won't be able to think of anything until I've finished the top of the Caswell project. Surely it can't be long now?

So, today I added 5.5 metres of fabric to the stash. At the beginning of the year I stated that I wanted to end the year with less fabric in my sewing room than I started with - it's fair to say that I've done very poorly with that goal. Maybe next year I'll work on much faster projects and I'll get through more of the stash? Who knows??

Thank you all for the lovely comments you send my way. I'm behind with mail at the moment and promise to respond as soon as I can. And a big Hi to Janet who always sends the kindest notes - your email address doesn't pop up with your comments so I'm not able to reply.

It's getting late now, so I'll have to dash and catch some zzzz's. Chatter soon! xoxox

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

More border progress, and a sewing room update ...

I've been super busy working away on my Caswell quilt. In my mind I'm thinking I'd like to have the top completely finished by the end of this month so I can send it away to be basted for hand quilting. If I'm honest with myself, that goal is unrealistic, but it doesn't stop my from trying.

I've completed all the applique on one of the borders, and I'm plugging away at a second border. Here are some progress pics:




It's really fun making up a whole bunch of flowers and leaves and then throwing them on the border to see what happens. Of course, my perfectionist tendencies won't let me be completely random, but I'm doing my best to make each border different. My sweet friends from the USA will recognise some of the fabric they sent me in a recent care package making up some of the green leaves. You girls are all awesome, thank you!!

With less than two and a half weeks until the end of the month, the more I think about it, the less likely the applique finish will be, but at least it keeps me motivated and stitching. I'd like to have as much hand quilting time as I can possibly get.

In other news, I have some new additions to the sewing room. I'm not sure if I've shared that I've been looking for the perfect side table for my hand stitching throne. The item I particularly wanted is something I've been seeking for YEARS, mostly at auction because they can be pricey when new. I'd only seen three since 2010 and had devastatingly fallen just short placing absentee bids at auction. I finally decided to bite the bullet and see if I could find a new one, and here it is:

The side table I chose is actually a cocktail cabinet! I just love it! And because I finally got the 'table' I could go ahead and order the lamp I'd coveted for the longest time. It's a repro Tiffany lily lamp. I'm just the worst for having a vision in my head of the items I'd like in a space, and then tearing my hair out looking for the pieces in my mind, not necessarily knowing if they actually exist or not!

Hubster was actually away when both these items made their way into the house - it's actually funny - he teases me that whenever he's away with work I always seem to drag new furniture home. It was the same thing with the dumbwaiter (bookcase) at left in the picture, and I think the chair too. I joked with him that I must get so bored when he's away!

I also had some good news recently with a couple of my quilts in the Royal Adelaide Show - I had some happy wins. I'll share some pictures with you in my next post - I can feel my fingers itching to get back to some applique work. Chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Border Progress ...

I had a bunch of things I wanted to share with you in this post, but they'll have to wait until next time ... woe is me, I have a horrible cold - and it's all my fault!! Just last week I thought to myself "I haven't had a cold in ages, I am soooo healthy". Almost immediately the universe responded giving me a doozie! Darn me and my cocky thoughts!

Anyway, I have done just a little work on the Caswell border ... I'd have done more, but energy levels have been low:

I'm having fun with the placement of the applique pieces, and I can't wait to share more with you.

Just for fun, I thought I'd share my sweet friend Norma's next project with you - she's the lovely lady that appliqued the chicken I showed you recently. Her next piece is a peacock:

Isn't it coming along wonderfully? I predict that she'll have it finished by the time I see her on Thursday. I can't wait to see it.

Well, that's it for now - hopefully I have more energy to share a newsy post with you soon. xox

Monday, August 01, 2016

Caswell Border

Today I had some time to myself, so I set about putting together some flowers for the border of my Caswell quilt. My border will be more elaborate than the one in the pattern, and though I have some ideas, I feel like it's just going to evolve ...



I'll put a bunch of flowers together, throw them on the borders and see what looks good. My new favourite technique for applique was learned from Teresa's blog, and while I don't use it all the time, I love being able to put flowers etc together before actually placing them on the quilt. Check it out, you won't be disappointed. I should have time to put a few more bits and pieces together tonight, so it'll be fun to have a tidy pile of blooms put aside.

In the last few days I also finished work on the play mat - it's embellished and bound now, but I'll save that for my next post - so I'll chatter soon! xox

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Small Projects ... finally!

Hi there, I'm finally checking in! Thank you to the sweet ladies who emailed to check on me, you're adorable, but me, I've been busy being a slacker :-)

Well, not really, but definitely slack at photographing and sharing what on earth I've been up to. But here you go, here are a couple of things:

This is a table runner I made last week and just finished off the binding yesterday. It's for one of my Aunties who will be having a significant birthday soon. I hope she likes it, it was really fun to put together. And fast which is something I haven't done much of lately - I've been working on that looooong term project mostly!

And today I put together this baby play mat. Not for any particular reason but that I had the fabric sitting around for a while and I've been meaning to get it in my Etsy store. I've had some time to myself in this last part of the holidays and I've been trying to get a few things up to date that I've let slide. The picture is really washed out, but the fabrics are really cute with little critters on them.

Last of all, early last week I knitted a beanie for Camo to take up to the station. Darn it if he didn't leave it behind when he was packing! I know he likes it because he barely took it off after it was finished, but I think he was rushing at packing time - it eats into gaming and play time!

The beanie was super easy to knit and I had it done in only a day - and for the first time ever I used a circular needle. Marty wanted one too, but I didn't get it done in time. If you'd like the pattern, it's from here: Notes from the Slow Lane. You'll see that I made some changes - Camo didn't want to have a rolled up hem, and that's cool - a bit less knitting!

Ohhh, and I have to share - the beanie is sitting on the head of my childhood teddy bear in the picture - and in front is my favourite doll also from when I was little. I just looooved her so much - her name is Jenny. Teddy was just called Teddy - and to the right mostly out of picture is Amy's childhood bear. They're just treasures to me :-)

I've also been working away at the Caswell project, and I have all the blocks stitched together, and half the final border constructed. I'm getting prepared for all the applique to go in the final border, I really do have a ways to go.

Well, that's it from me for now - hopefully I won't leave it so long next time. I need to get better at recording the things to share! Chatter soon xoxox

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bits and Pieces ...

This week I had to make up another block for my Caswell project. I was putting the top together when I realised I'd appliqued one of the bird blocks on the wrong background fabric. Luckily it was a block that wasn't a favourite, and rather than make the same block again, I opted to make a completely different one:

This is the one I chose - it's F1 from the pattern. Apologies for the poor quality of the picture, I had to nick the picture from my Facebook page and it doesn't seem to have copied across well. I have no idea what I did with the picture from my phone?? My friend Wendy came over not so long after I made the decision to replace the block, and she took the reject home happily and is going to make a cushion with it. Happy days!

The next picture I wanted to share with you is one from class last week. One of my sweet ladies Norma is working on an applique pattern by Wendy Williams:

This is one of her first serious attempts at applique and doesn't it look just fabulous? Some of those points are tricky even for a seasoned stitcher! The original pattern was done in felt, but Norma wanted to use regular cotton fabric, and I'm thrilled that she's doing so well!

In other news, at work recently I was able to do a little machine quilting on a machine I've never touched before, it's a big beastie!!



I'd like to spend some more time playing with this bad boy, I love all the space around the needle. At home I still have Bernie to play with, but it never hurts to broaden my horizons!

Last of all for today, exciting times ahead for January:

Fair to say we're addicted to cruising now, and we've booked another one. I simply cannot wait ... 6 months and counting! :-) :-)

Chatter soon!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

A weeks work ...

Just wanted to share a couple of things I've worked on this past week:

One of the blocks I made quite early on for the Caswell quilt had embroidered stems. As I worked through the quilt and appliqued many bias strips in place, it bugged me that this was the only block put together that way ... so I changed it:

Apologies for the terrible shadows in the picture - I think it was pretty dark when I snapped it. But you get the idea, and I'm much happier that the block matches all its buddies now. It was a job I put off for a little while thinking it'd be a bit of an ordeal, but it actually didn't take long at all. Happiness!!

After the Di Ford-Hall workshop, which I just LOVED, I was dying to work on some more paper piecing. I hadn't done any in quite a while, so I'd kind of forgotten that I really enjoy it! So when I needed a little hand work for yesterday, I got out this slow going hand work project that I have had for a little while:

I have no idea what the future holds for these hexies, but at some point they'll look like something fun. I'll keep plugging away at them in stolen moments and maybe in eleventy years time I'll have a fun quilt put together!

Well, that's it for now, I'm getting back to assembling the top of the Caswell quilt (minus borders). It's not going to sew itself, I need to get busy! Chatter soon :-)

Monday, June 06, 2016

Pendle Hill Workshop

This past weekend I attended a two day workshop with the wonderful Di Ford-Hall where we worked on the gorgeous project Pendle Hill.

Di is the quilter I'd love to be, and I can't even think of one of her quilts that I wouldn't like to make some day. A bunch of them are on the MUST MAKE SOON list - and those words are in capitals completely intentionally!

I'm never good at getting work done in class, I'm usually busy chattering with those around me, busy taking pictures of the workshop samples, or generally just being star-struck, and this outing was no exception. Here's what I'm up to:

On Saturday we began by focussing on fussy cutting our broderie perse fabrics. I have to admit I got bored with that after I'd cut out only four pieces. All I could see was that amazing vase and I wanted to get busy cutting it out and get it ready for appliqué, so that's what I did. Di was wonderfully understanding, and thankfully because she'd taken my Mountmellick quilt across the world with her, she knew I'd be fine striking out on my own a little.

For homework on Saturday night I cut my background fabric to size, reverse appliquéd the square to the circle, pinned the vase in place and appliquéd some of it in place.

Sunday we started to work with the little 5/8" pentagon shapes. Di explained her wonderful technique for fussy cutting fabrics, giving us an entirely new perspective on how to place our papers achieve pretty designs on the pentagon flowers. I only got two made up in the morning before I was wishing I could have brought my entire stash with me to choose fabrics from. In the afternoon I started to work on the placement and appliqué of the broderie perse pieces, and though I still have so many more to cut out and place, I can see how wonderful this centre panel is going to be. The workshop was over so very quickly - doesn't this always seem to happen when you're having fun? All the ladies in attendance had an amazing time and it was so much fun to see the different variations of the same project. Di is a wonderful and very generous teacher, and I can't wait to spend time with her again!

Also, Di has some pictures to email me of my Mountmellick quilt hanging at the quilt show in Nantes France, so she has promised to send me copies. I cannot wait!

Sadly I'll have to put away the Pendle Hill project for the time being, I need to get back to working on my Caswell quilt - I'm dying to get it to the hand quilting stage, but first I need to get all these blocks together and a border in place. Must get busy!!

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