Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mail, Gifties and Show and Tell

Well, I have just had the best week so far. Really, the past seven days have been wonderful. Last Thursday I had lunch with a long lost friend, and I shared the little giftie I made for her. In the mail this week, I received a lovely card from Nat and the little book in the picture. We had shared with each other that we both love shoes, and just can never have too many, so the little book of quotes all relates to friendships and shoes. Just too cute! The card says 'I'm looking forward to kicking off our friendship again'. So sweet!

Also in the picture is a 'tumbler' template. I had seen the tumbler quilt on Dawn's blog, and thought it was wonderful, so cruised ebay once more to see what I could come up with. I have a different package of Pepper Cory's templates, so when I saw this one, I knew it would be a good one to have. The thing I like about this one is I can use it with my 3.5" pre cut strips. Yay! It arrived this week, and I really want to play with it, but I'm going to wait until I get some other things finished.

Also, by popular request is a picture of the 'Hat Boxes' quilt that Linda gave to me while I was in the US with her earlier this year. This quilt is one of my most treasured posessions, and it's on display on the quilt rack in my lounge room.

The quilt is just beautiful, and Linda has made it up beautifully. I can't tell you too much about it, as I don't know who the pattern designer was. I know Linda had it professionally quilted. The fabric is just gorgeous, I could just look at it all day long.

Also, one of my non-blog friends asked me when the picture in my profile was taken. Well, that's an easy one, it was taken in April this year while I was in the US. You can just see the corner of Linda's blue shirt on the bottom left there. We're in McClintocks bar at Pismo Beach. I'm amazed I look anything more than tired, as it was the same day I arrived in the US, so I'd just spent 16 hours flying, and several hours in the car that day! I think I was running on adrenaline!

Today I'm going to spend some time in Cameron's room tidying and culling the toys. Wish me luck people, this is going to be a big job!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Double Irish Chain

Gosh I just love Bonnie's scrap quilt patterns. I never have to push myself to work on one of them, I just want to get sewing on all the scrap quilts I'm making. Maybe it's because her instructions are so inclusive that nothing ever goes horribly wrong?

Well yesterday was no exception, I made 5 more blocks toward my Double Irish Chain quilt. (I wanted to work on the blue and cream too, but have to wait for that one :-) weigh in on Monday) I really wanted to make some more blocks, but chores were calling. I made a big dent in the housework, so today after I'm done teaching at the quilt store I can work the sewing table in a big way!

I laid out the blocks I made, and I'm so thrilled with how they're coming together. With more blocks, it's super fun to see how the pattern starts working its way around the quilt. I don't know at this stage how big I'll make the quilt. I'm thinking that it'll either be 7 blocks square with a border, or 9 blocks square without a border. If I add a border, I'll add a narrow border the width of the squares, and strip piece a border also the width of the squares. That's a way off though, so I won't consume my thoughts with it.

I don't know how easy it is to see in the picture (still working with the phone) but there is actually a tiny bit of a plan with the blocks. There is a link through the blocks, scrap blue squares threading through the middle. Super fun!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New blocks and Ebay find

I have six blocks toward the blue and cream quilt now. You see all six here. I made my 'pound loss' four blocks up last night after dinner. I had planned to make them a little earlier but did some chores instead. I really like the way they look together, and can't wait to make some more. I hope the anticipation of new blocks will give me extra motivation to stick to the points!

A parcel arrived on my doorstep yesterday while I was out at lunch. It's a little ebay find that I'm totally thrilled with. This summer we anticipate our reasonably young fruit trees will start bearing fruit. In past years we have been given fruit by a friend who's family owns a fruit block, and I have lots of fun preserving and making jam. Ohh, that would be 'canning' for my US friends :-)

Well, in the past I've used a 60 year old Fowlers Vacola unit, which is great, but it's a stovetop unit, and you have to bring it up to temperature, hold it at temperature, and when you're done, you have to clean, dry and oil the unit as it's made from steel. A bit of a pain, but still worth it.

While cruising ebay, I found this electric unit that was sitting at a reasonable price. I decided to watch it, and on the final day bid for it. These units (the newest kind) retail for about $150, so I didn't want to rush out and get one. I also checked how much they'd been selling for on ebay, and the previous two (the same as this one) had gone for $102, and $80. I didn't get my hopes up that I'd get a bargain, and I told hubby I'd only bid up to about $50. Well, I got lucky, I won it for $31.55! With $20 postage, I'm totally thrilled, and for an extra bonus, it was packed with 8 x 1 litre jars! We gave it a test run last night, and it works perfectly! Today I'll give it a little clean up, and then ... rock on fruit season!

Monday, August 28, 2006


I weighed in this morning, and to my great surprise, I am missing 600g from my frame. I think that's around a pound and a half. It could be a little more, or a little less as my scales only weigh in 200g increments. It's not a lot for a week's effort, but it's much better than last week, and it's so much better than the way I've been working the pantry over winter!

So, I get to make four of my blue and cream blocks today. I'll do it after I collect the kids from school. This morning Cameron has a play date with one of his little kindy friends, and this afternoon I'm having lunch with one of Amy's friend's Mum. The social whirlwind is so tough *lol*.

Yesterday I didn't do much in the way of stitching. I had planned to have a very 'stitchy' weekend as Marty is away, but I just wasn't in the mood yesterday. The kids and I went shopping for fun stuff.

Amongst other things, we picked up two movies that were on sale, the one on the right we watched in the afternoon together, and the kids really loved it, it was a fun movie. The one on the left I watched after the kids had gone to bed. I sort of planned to do some hand quilting while I was watching it, but as it turns out, because of the Shakesperian language I needed to concentrate on the movie, so no quilting last night.

One thing I did manage to do last night before I put the movie on was 30 minutes of scrap cutting. I set my timer (of Flylady fame) and cut up some of my 'scrappage'. I still have a lot of scary scrappage in my large fabric bins. Maybe I'll get to some of those before the end of the month too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Off the UFO List

It's finished! After two years sitting around, it's finally off the UFO list. I put the last quilting stitches in at around 11.30 last night, I was really ready to be finished too, I just wanted to go to bed.

In all honesty, this has not been an unfinished quilt top for nearly two years. I only pieced it earlier this year, but it has been sitting in my box of unfinished Thimbleberries club projects since October 2004, and because most of my T/B club buddies worked on their projects right there and then, it was the same as a UFO for me, because it just played on my mind in the most terrible way. I was the one who went along to club and chattered and enjoyed everyones company, and got very little done! I think I still have 5 of the 12 projects to do from that year, and that doesn't even include the quilt to be made with the bonus blocks from the year. I won't beat myself up over the UFO's however, and I'll plug away at them as I get the chance.

The picture shows the hand quilting I did yesterday. I've done between the pumpkins (like they wanted us to in the directions), and I've outlined the pumpkins, and cross hatched in the checkerboard section. I think I mentioned yesterday that I was using a black perle cotton for the quilting. It's been a while since I've quilted with such a thick thread, it was fun! Apologies for the quality of the picture once again, I'm still working with the camera phone, and there is also a shaft of morning sun racing across the quilt. Gotta love that morning sun!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

October 2004 Quilt

Today I had grand plans to show you one or two of the quilts on the rack in the lounge room. Best laid plans have gone to waste however, as I discovered that DH has taken the camera with him on his mini break to the sheep-station.

Armed only with my camera-phone, I'm showing you what I worked on yesterday. The quality of the pictures I get with the camera phone aren't that good so I'll save the quilt rack items until next week.

On my list of goals for this month is to start hand quilting the October 2004 Thimbleberries Club quilt. Yesterday morning I was able to baste the quilt, but while I was doing that, I discovered that I'd managed to ripple the top and bottom border a little. :-(

Because of the ripple, I decided I'd machine quilt the border with a loopy meander to hopefully take in the ripple a bit, and I think it has come out okay. The quilt looks a little lumpy on the floor, as I just had to rescue the quilt off the lounge from under Amy's tushie! I couldn't just set to quilting the border without doing anything else, so before I started on the border, I quilted in the ditch around the inner borders and the inner part of the quilt. I also bound it yesterday.

Now I plan to hand quilt some cute details in the middle part of the quilt using the same black perle cotton that I used to blanket stitch around the pumpkins. It should like kind of cute. Darn the quilt looks really wrinkly in this picture. I hope the quilting makes it look a little better!

Yesterday Patti was curious to know about the reasons why people quilt. It's a really good (and fascinating) question.

I had to think about it for a little, and I can only say that in the beginning I was just drawn to it. I actually went to a pumpkin bag workshop with my Mum when I was first married and when I saw the quilts on the wall at the store, I just knew it was something I had to do.

Quilting satisfies a creative drive in me, and I love that it's an a pastime where you have something tangible at the end of it, something beautiful, and something warming. Patti talked about the fellowship, and that is so important too. I have made some of the most important friends in my life through quilting. I can't imagine where I would be in my life right now if I hadn't started quilting. I don't even want to imagine it!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Experiencing technical difficulties ...

Judy of Sunshine Quilts fame is having the most terrible technical issues with her blog. You can visit with her at her new blog, which she is hoping will be a temporary one.

Hope things get sorted out for you Judy*hugs*

By popular request ...

Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in seeing my applique quilt 'Christmas in the Garden' unfurled and in all its glory. I really like this quilt, it's Christmas-y but not Christmas fabrics. The applique is needle-turned, and it's hand quilted. I don't hand quilt so much any more, I want to get back to it.

A big hello to Dawn's friend Kathie who emailed via Dawn to have a closer look!

This quilt was in Australian Patchwork and Quilting, Vol 14, No 1, the February 2006 issue. If you have that issue, you're also going to be able to read more about me than you're ever likely to need to know!

To take this picture, I had to tidy away the Thomas the Tank Engine railway that had magically appeared in the lounge, there were tiny clues around the place about who had put it there ... little piles of sultanas ... and tiny shoes ... it must have been a tiny man ...

And to give you a little perspective of where we are in the house, I took a picture looking forward from where I'm standing ... I'm in the lounge, looking toward the entry at the front of the house ... you can see where the quilt 'would' have been ... and where it soon will be again. The ultimate plan for this quilt is for it to live on the wall over our bed. I just need to get myself organised and put a hanging sleeve on the back.

My little quilt rack is there on the left. The quilt on the front is one of my most prized possesions. It's a quilt called 'Hat Boxes' it was made by my wonderful friend Linda, and presented to me when I visited with her earlier this year in the USA. In the middle is a wholecloth cot quilt I made when I was expecting Cameron. I hand quilted it, and I was so lucky that it won best hand quilting at our guild show. The quilt on the left side of the rack is my 'Faith of Friends' quilt, which is special to me as it's the first one I ever had published.

I know many of you are interested, lunch with my friend yesterday was AMAZING! We had the very best time, it just flew. It was like we had just seen each other yesterday, not 20 years ago. We just talked non stop. To hear names I'd forgotten about was super fun, and to hear all about what she'd been up to ... well, Nat has been living a huge life. We have made plans to catch up again. This time we won't let 20 years pass by! I'm so pleased we bumped into each other that day at the village, and I'm so glad I found her number again after losing it!

Well, that's it from me ... have a great day everyone!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mug Mat

Today is the day that I get to have lunch with a long lost high school friend. We haven't seen each other for 20 years I guess. I finished high school at 16, so the maths is easy!

It's funny, I'm really excited about meeting up with her again, but I have a few nerves too, and I have no idea why? We were really good friends, so I have no worries about her, but maybe it's about the passage of time and the toll it's taken on me? Who knows, so I'm determined to shut any thoughts like that out of my head and just enjoy the afternoon.

Just for fun, I sent her an SMS last night to ask her favourite colour. She replied that it's hot pink, so I decided to set to work and make her a little treat.

Log Cabin is a block that features prominently in my life, so I made up a little block and turned it into a 'Mug Mat'. I then purchased a mug that had some hot pink on it and made it up into a little giftie.

What a fun way to remember our afternoon together.

We're going to a local cafe, and I know they have wonderful salads there, so I'll be able to keep strong on the diet. I feel sure there will be some blue and cream 'Blue Ridge Beauty' blocks in my future. Now here's a question for my friends ... I need a name for the blue and cream quilt when it's done, and it would be fun to maybe have a diet reference ... ideas anyone??

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Welcome to my home! Tonya and Kathie's posts about the entry to their homes were fun, so you're on the guided tour of the entry to my home!

If I were a better photographer, or a gymnast, I might have been able to get you a better picture. I had to open the door and step out onto the mat, I'm not tall enough to unbolt the second part of the front door, so it was tricky to get a shot where you could see anything quilty!

At the top of the picture, you can just see two of the three Rebecca Barker 'Quiltscapes' I purchased in Paducah. I just love her work. I got a mouse mat too, so whenever I'm on the computer, I'm still feeling quilty!

Tonya mentioned she wished she'd asked about the first quilt people see when they come into your home. I keep one of my favourite quilts folded on top of my Singer treadle. It's called 'Christmas in the Garden'. It was a quilt that accompanied my profile in AP&Q early this year. They renamed the quilt 'Tara's Garden' as the quilt didn't end up going in a Christmas issue. My SIL really wanted the quilt, but I just couldn't bear to part with it after it had been in the magazine.

I don't really have a wall large enough to hang a decent size quilt on in the entry-way, but just out of shot I have two little blocks on hangers, one is a block called Prosperity, I figured if I hung the block in my hallway, maybe it would invite prosperity into our home? The other is a cute little schoolhouse.

Immediately opposite the front door there is a window which looks though to a fernery. And of course there are the obligatory blue and white chine plates on the wall near the clock. They're from the Spode Xmas collection. It's super fun that so many of us seem to collect blue and white china! Ohhh, and I should probably tell you that that's the door to my bedroom there ...

Hanne is ready to make her 4 blocks already. I won't know until Monday when I weigh in, but so far so good. Keep your fingers crossed for me! x o x

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blue blocks ... pound by pound!

Hanne and I bounced a few emails around yesterday after her challenge to me to lose a pound this week. Everyone knows I love a challenge, so as our emails crossed the globe, our challenge became more tasty!

The end result of the challenge is this: For every pound I lose, I can make four of the cute 'Blue Ridge Beauty' blocks I showed you yesterday. I really want to work on them, so I feel sure I'll have the impetus to work off a few pounds now! Hanne also decided she'd like to shed a pound or two, so she's going to leave the almonds alone and for every pound she loses, she's going to work on four Nearly Insane blocks. Sounds like super fun to me, and nothing like having someone on the other side of the globe to keep you strong!

Last night I was able to finish off the tiny applique block for my miniature quilt, and I've started the second. I'll share a picture with you when I've a few more bits and pieces of it to share. The applique leaves are fun and easy to do, but the flowers are a little more tricky with the petals needing to be snipped and secured. Lucky I love to applique!

Yesterday Tonya had a wonderful picture of her 'Terms of Endearment' quilt up in the foyer area of her apartment. It looks just wonderful, and we were able to see a tiny glimpse into where she lives ... it gave me a little idea ... I thought it would be fun if we shared a little of our homes, or a fave place in our homes on our blogs.

I thought I'd show my favourite place to stitch in winter. When it's cooler, I love to hand sew or hand quilt in the lounge. There is a big bay window out of shot on the right, and it lets in lots of sun, so even when it's not very warm, it feels cosy. I hide things like scissors and my thimble etc in the dimples of the lounge, and often forget they're there!

The quilt on the coffee table is a kit that my wonderful friend Linda from the US sent to me (I think last year) I made it up earlier this year. It's an Underground Railroad pattern called Monkey Wrench, and I just love it!

The pillow on the lounge is one made up from a chunk of cheater cloth ... I actually used it to practice machine quilting on, I was so scared of machine quilting in the beginning!

Ohh, on an aside, I was strong with the WW points yesterday, so let's see how I go today. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, August 21, 2006

ADD Quilter?

Yes, you read that correctly, I could be deemed an ADD quilter! Lately I don't seem to be able to rest my mind on any one particular project!

Two days ago I mentioned the scrap quilt that's in my future. It's one of Bonnie's from her leaders and enders area, and I remembered today that it's called 'Blue Ridge Beauty'. Well, having it on my mind a little, I decided that I'd have a little play and made two blocks yesterday. I realllllly like them! This is going to take some willpower to work on the things I must do, and not play some more with these blocks! I used 2" scraps from my scrap bins to create the four patches, and 3.5" strips and my 'easy angle' ruler for the half square triangles. It's very liberating not to have to worry about the 7/8" measurement, this is the first time I've really used the 'easy angle', I wonder why I haven't worked with it before??

I really need to do some more work on the miniature applique project, so I should do some work on that today ... right after I do some housework, the kids totally laid waste to the house this weekend, there are toys everywhere!

On the points counting front, I lost zero this past week! Not a totally unexpected result, as I was not as good as I should have been, so this week I will make an extra effort to be good and maybe even do a little exercise *horror*. This coming week will be mega fun, I'm catching up with a friend I haven't seen since High School!! We bumped into each other at the shop just days before I went to the US, and then I lost her number. I found it again a few weeks ago (on my cutting table of all places!) and we're having lunch together. I can't wait for Thursday!

Hope you've all had a great weekend, I look forward to catching up on you all! :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Looks a bit better!

Here's the stash trolley after a few days of scrap cutting. It looks better than before, doesn't it? I found things in the I'd forgotten all about, and some things that were probably repressed memories!

I'm not sure that I can cross the 'empty one basket' goal off my list at this stage, technically I haven't emptied a basket, I've probably cut the equivalent of a basket, but it's okay. It's not about putting a line through some words, it's about making a commitment to getting some stuff done, and I feel great about that!

I've put orpan blocks in the bottom tray. On the top you can see a Remembrance block. I participated in an exchange in 97-98, and ohhhh my, some of the blocks I received! Some were just lovely ... some were horror stories. My favourite part of that exchange was that I 'met' my wonderful friend Linda for the first time!

In the same pile of blocks are also some applique blocks from an applique class I attended. Two are finished, and one is somewhat finished. It still has tiny pins in it. Maybe I'll finish it someday and make it into a gift for someone. I think the applique blocks may be from the same era as the Remembrance blocks.

I found a few fabrics that I'm not certain were 100% cotton, so I hurled them directly into the trash. I remember Bonnie talking about having no guilt with that one. I also found a crazy quilt block I tried the year before last, I wasn't sure where I'd put it. I didn't do very well with the decorative stitching, so I put it aside to have a 'think about it'.

My ultimate goal is to empty this trolley so I can give it to one of the kids for their toys. I know now that it's just going to take some commitment to cutting and organising. Now I should look at the scary giant fabric tubs ... *shiver*

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Everyone loves Hugs & Kisses

It's true isn't it? Everyone loves hugs and kisses! I love the real ones, and I've loved making my hugs and kisses quilt! It won't get much bigger than you see here, possibly a 3" border all around, and that will be it. Little quilts of love don't need to be very big, so I'll just wait to hear back from the coordinator.

I really can't thank Tonya enough for giving me such special attention, and helping us all out with such wonderful directions. It's been a great learning experience for me, the realisation that there are rules, but there are times when you can break the rules! Super fun stuff!

I didn't end up doing any more of my applique yesterday. I just was not in the mood for anything fiddly. Instead I forced myself to do some chores ... and I also did some more cutting toward my goal for this month. I have done a lot of cutting toward a scrap project I would like to do in the not too distant future. It's from Bonnie's website of course, in the leaders and enders area, I'm not sure what Bonnie has called it, but it's the first quilt on this page, the blue and cream one. I've loved it from the first time I saw it.

I'm discovering that it's great to have a 'cut scraps up' goal in my life ... but I need to also have some time to sew the scraps too, because my 'scrap strips' bins are now getting really full! It may be time to get some more bins and sort the scraps into the lights and dark colour values within the different sizes.

Now if someone could come up with a way to piece a few extra hours into our days, everything would be easy!

Another great win at netball this morning, 21-6. The girls are in the semi final next week, so I'll have my fingers and toes crossed for them. A win next week will mean they go straight to the grand final, a loss will give them another chance in the preliminary final the week after. We're so proud of the girls!

That's it from me, have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Miniature Block Taking Shape

Here is my progress on the miniature block. It's starting to resemble something now :-)

I got one flower and a couple of leaves sewn on at quilt group yesterday, and not much more. That's not a lot of progress for 3.5 hours of quilt group, but we have such fun talking and laughing that I wouldn't mind if I never did anything there!

After the kids were in bed last night I did a little more, hopefully I'll finish this block today. Just a few more leaves, which are already cut out, then I'll press it and trim it back to the 4.5" that it needs to be.

I always find that after I've been working on a miniature, when I get back to regular piecing, it feels like I'm working with bed sheet size pieces. I felt that way after I'd worked on the DJ for such a long time too.

That's it from me, have a great day everyone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Miniature Start

Last night I started to work on my quilt for the guild show in November. I decided to enter a miniature again, and you see the start of my little quilt here. There will be 9 blocks, sashed with either quarter or half inch sashing strips and cornerstones, and then an appliqué border. I’ve put the square on my cutting mat so you can see the size and width of the wreath compared with the inch markings on my mat. I just measured the width of the circular section, and it's just on 1/8" wide.

I love miniature quilts, and have been mega-lucky to have won the category for the past three years. I was blown away by the miniature quilts in the show in Paducah, they were just amazing! On the Saturday evening in Paducah, with two of my quilting buddies, we went on a walking tour through some of the homes in the downtown Paducah area. It was one of the most fascinating things I've done. At one of the homes, they were dressed up in Civil War era costumes ... fascinating ... but I digress ... In one of the last homes we visited, we bumped into Judy Day, a fellow Aussie quilter, who had placed 3rd in miniatures in the competiton in Paducah! Amazing work!

So, today at quilt group, I'll be taking along my miniature to work on, and taking along the Dancing Dolphin for show and tell. Some of my buddies there who know me so well will be amazed that it's finished!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hugs and Kisses

So here you see it, the beginnings of my hugs and kisses quilt. While so many of you have leapt into the raging surf, you can see by my conservative fabrics that I'm paddling along the shoreline dipping my toes in and swirling them around. I had the best fun making this little piece, and I was amazed at how quickly it went together.

I'm going to wait for a little before I continue to put the top together ... not a long time ... I have placed a call to a lady who coordinates 'Little Quilts of Love', they're quilts for families of stillborn babies. I will wait until she gets back to me before I continue, because I'd like to know what the best size is so that I can donate some quilts to them. It's a very worthy cause, my cousin received one of these quilts when her baby died during birth, and it's something she cherishes so much.

Thank you Tonya for putting together such clear instructions. It was not nearly as scary as I thought!

Yesterday I wanted to tick another of my goals off the list, so before I tackled the hugs and kisses, I pieced together the 50 nine patches for the exchange Linda and I are working on together. It sounds like a lot of blocks, but it's not such a stretch. All the strips are cut out, so I really just sew strips into pairs, then cut them apart and randomly piece them together, with one extra square for good measure.

While I was cutting up fabrics the other day, I was amazed at how many oldies and uglies are lurking in my stash. I'm not even sure how I got some of them. These blocks are great to use those up! In the picture, the 50 new blocks are in the foreground (before pressing) and the blocks that Linda and I have already made are in the baggies in the background. At some point I'm going to have to work out how many I actually need!

I'm off to the quilt store again today. It's Dear Tazzie day, and I can't wait! I can pet the fabrics and decide what will come home with me on September 1!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ohhh, what a mess!

It’s not one of my favourite things to do, but it’s a means to an end. If I want to make scrap quilts, I need to have a supply of scrap fabrics. I knew that the only way I’d commit some time to cutting up scrap fabrics was to make it one of my deadlines. I spent a few hours cutting up strips and squares from my ‘stash trolley’. There was once a time when I could fit my whole stash into this trolley. I was once so proud of the fact that I was able to wheel my stash around the house if I chose to. Well, that’s sure not the case any more.

I have what you see here, plus four huge tubs, various bits and pieces in different hidey-holes, plus the ‘scrap bins’ I have made up in the style of Bonnie Hunter. Those few hours have barely made a dent in any part of the stash trolley, let alone a whole basket of the trolley. This goal is going to be the trickiest of the month! I’m not one to let a challenge get me down, even one I’ve issued to myself. I can do this!

I cut 1.5 inch, 2 inch, and 2.5 inch strips and squares. From pieces that were large enough, I cut 10.5 inch squares to use when piecing backing fabrics, and today for the first time I started a tub for 3.5 inch strips. I talked to hubby about it yesterday afternoon, and I’ve decided that when I get the stash under control, I’m going to get two cupboards to house the stash and other assorted items in the study. I like the ones that Bonnie keeps her fabric in, so I’m going to try for some like that. I made this mountain of fabric … I can bring it down again! Be strong!

Speaking of being strong, I made it thru my first day of points counting. There was just one challenge, I was heading toward the grocery store after dropping Cameron off at kindy, and I got a call from two girlfriends to meet them for lunch at the village. It was like they’d seen me … because that’s exactly where I was. We were all well behaved and ordered conservatively, despite all the temptations on the menu at the café.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Atlantic Jewels Top Finished!

After dinner last night I settled myself in the sewing room and got to work on the Atlantic Jewels blocks. I managed to finish the last two blocks in such good time I thought I'd have a play with them and see what to do next.

I set them out on the floor, and decided they really did need sashing strips. They looked nice abutting each other, but I just felt they needed something more. The sashing strips are 1.5" wide finished, and I used a really cute Judie Rothermel print which I purchased at Hancocks of Paducah in that frenzied back room!

Since I'd come so far by that stage, I decided to go ahead and add the border. The border print is the impulse buy from my favourite quilt store Quiltaholics last month. I have just enough of the border print left to bind the quilt with when I'm done.

The blocks are all pieced from stash fabrics, which makes me smile. It's fun to look at the different fabrics in the blocks and remember where they came from. I have used three backgrounds (it's hard to tell from the picture tho). One of the backgrounds is the backing fabric from Amy's Fairy quilt. One was from my Sarah Johnson quilt. A lot of the fabrics were sent to me by my wonderful friend Linda from San Jose. Also, some were leftovers from my DJ quilt. Lovely memories, and one to mark off the goals list.

Today being Monday, I've decided it will be D-Day. That is Diet Day. I have made myself a promise to begin counting Weight Watchers points again. You would think I've been getting ready to hibernate the way I've been going lately. We're heading into spring soon, so I need to shake off a few of these pounds I've found before the weather gets warmer. If I record something of my progress here, at least it'll keep me honest. Wish me luck people!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Family Room Finished

On Thursday I was able to finish painting the family room, I ended up doing it without help, as my BIL wasn't able to make it in the end. I just love painting, and have been known to paint a room again and again just because I want a change of scenery (This is the second time I've painted the family room *blush*).

The picture I have included today is the window out to the patio, which is to the right of the cabinet on the wall which I included in an earlier picture. The inside of the window frames was something I had to paint on Thursday, as well as behind the TV cabinet. I don't know why I did it, but I left the trickiest things until last. I had to take all the curtains down and stuff ... You may have noticed that I have an addiction to collecting blue and white Spode plates. The ones in this picture are from their Christmas collection, they're not just out at Christmas in my house :-) Ohh, and the plate on the far right is actually a clock!

Yesterday I was able to make seven more alternate blocks for my Double Irish Chain quilt. That's enough to fill all the gaps in the picture from yesterday. I'm not sure what size to make the quilt. I think I have enough scraps to carpet my whole house with this quilt! I may be limited by the fabric that goes in the alternate blocks. I don't think there is any more at the quilt store. It was a Thimbleberries Club background from 2005. It's super cute! Thinking of Thimbleberries Club ... I still have to quilt the Sunrise quilt from last year ... I think that may become a September goal ...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Link the Double Irish Chain

Here is a picture of my progress with the Double Irish Chain blocks. I've only made three alternate blocks so far. Late last night I was making a couple up, and realised that I'd made them two inches too big! I had just cut the centre square at 8 inches instead of 6 inches. I was too tired to deal with it last night, so this afternoon I fixed them up and made one extra.

I'm still working with the camera phone, I'm so flaky, I keep forgetting to get hubby to charge up the batteries for the regular camera. Mind you, the phone is super easy to use, I can just put the phone next to the laptop and the computer just sucks the photos right out of the phone! Amazing technology!

This morning was an exciting (and nerve wracking) netball game, Amy's team drew 24-24 with the team that is top of the ladder currently. Amy's team is second on the ladder, but the team they drew with has only lost one game all season so far. There is only one more game in the minor round before they have to face this team again in the first of the finals. Should make for a very exciting finals series! Go Tango!

I'm still strong on my fabric diet, but I do miss buying that special piece. Hope you're all having a great weekend so far. x o x

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dolphin Close Up

This is just a quick photo for Mary, she wondered about how the dolphin was quilted. I hope this picture is a little clearer for you, once again, it was taken with my phone, so the quality will be anyones guess.

The main body of the quilt was machine quilted, and the dolphin (thank you to everyone for suggestions) was hand quilted in sort of movement lines. It's not heavily quilted, but I'm just very glad it looks okay. It was quilting the dolphin that kept this project in the UFO pile ... I'm sure of it!

Double Irish Chain

Since my friend Jenny visited the other day with her Double Irish Chain quilt, I have been absolutely hanging to make my own. I have had the pieces cut out in my ‘scrap users system’ boxes for some time, but for various reasons have not had the opportunity to get to it.

Well, last night, I decided to start! Even if only to satisfy my need to make some of these wonderful blocks. It’s a bit nutty, after all, it’s not like I’ve never made them before, because I made the table toppers using this pattern for Donna and Karen. Anyway, last night I made 5 blocks. They were super quick to put together. I just kept sewing pairs together, and then one of the pairs had an extra sewn to it, and the block was made! Now I'll need to make some of the alternate blocks so the pattern pops out. I apologise if the picture quality is poor, I had to take the picture with my phone as I accidentally flattened my camera yesterday … I left it turned on while connected to the laptop … all day! Ooops!

On Tuesday I went shopping at a variety store … needed some things like stationery etc …. and made a fatal mistake at the checkout … they had these puzzle books called Sudoku. I thought it looked interesting and picked one up. Big mistake … I tried one, and then another … they’re addictive! I didn’t see a warning on the cover … “warning – if you’re easily addicted, look away”. I will have to give the book to Amy, I don’t think I have room in my life for another time consuming addiction!

Just a quick question to those of you who use bloglines. I signed up yesterday, and I’m not really sure exactly how to use it (I haven’t had a lot of time to check it out). I assume you load all your fave blogs in there, do you then view them within bloglines, or is it a notification service? Any input would be appreciated!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hancocks Fabric Arrives!

The fabric I ordered from Hancocks on the 21st of last month has arrived. I still feel some guilt about this fabric when it comes to my fabric diet, but I ordered it before I knew about the diet ... so I'll make sure this is the only new fabric I touch this month!

The three fabrics on the right are destined for my entry in the guild show this year. I've sent my entry into the competition, I'll be making a miniature quilt, a very non-traditional baltimore style quilt. It has to have a maximum diameter of 80 inches. Mine will be about 19 inches square.

The two fabrics on the left are 'justin' fabrics ... as in 'just in case'. The Sturbridge II fabric was closing out at $1.99 per half yard, so of course I had to get some. I've got a pile of Sturbridge II put aside for a quilt called Scrap Tease. This one will add a little more flavour to it. The top fabric on the left is a background I thought would be useful. I have a gap in my stash where backgrounds are concerned, so it's a little stash enhancement.

Lastly, I purchased the Miss Rosie book. I really like the Miss Rosie patterns, so thought I'd get the book. It will be a great one to use up some of the scraps. I love scrap quilting!

Today my brother in law is coming over to help me out with the very last of the painting. By the end of today there will be no more painting to do! Is it possible?? My BIL has recently finished up at work, and come back home before he heads overseas, so he's at a loose end during the day. How wonderful for him to help me out. He will be very useful when moving heavy furniture!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some more DJ's

Two more new blocks for you to see. These were fun to make. The first is A5 - Cathie's Campfire, and the second, I3 - Family Album.

I foundation pieced A5 in three sections, I just wanted to get those really crisp points, so thought it would be the way to go. I3 was a super easy one to machine piece, just cut it out and go!

For something new, I made myself a set of goals for this month and put them here in the blog. I think I may have set the bar a little low with regard to the DJ blocks - I have only said to complete at least 5. I've done that already, so I've achieved my target for this month. Next month, I'll make myself a better goal. I do have to remember tho ... I'm inspired to make the blocks right now, wasn't so long ago that my DJ was the last thing I wanted to pick up!

My wonderful quilting friend Jenny came over for lunch yesterday. It was great to see her, and she brought over some show and tell ... she has been working on a Double Irish Chain quilt, ala Bonnie Hunter. OMG, it was lovely, and I can't wait to get working on mine. I have all the pieces cut out, I just need to go for it!

Teaching day at the quilt store today, keep your fingers crossed for me girls ... my bag must not be heavier on the way out ... :-)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Four DJ Blocks

I had a very DJ day yesterday! I managed to get four blocks done. You can see that I didn't tackle any of the really tough ones, but I'm really glad to have made these ones. The first one is H13 - Farm Fields. The second is I1 - Ralph & Nelda's Wedding. Number three is I2 - Kaye's Courtyard, and the fourth is K12 - Doris's Dilemma.

They were all fun and easy, and done on the machine. I changed one block - K12 is different in my book. My DJ book is from the first printing, and I know some of the blocks have been made more accurate in follow up printings. Anyway, in my book the centre square is crooked, so I've squared it up again. I didn't do that in my original quilt, and I always told myself I'd fix it if I did it again.

Well, I've made it 8 days so far without purchasing any fabric. The fabric from Hancocks hasn't arrived yet either, so I can say that without any asides. The big test for me will be tomorrow when I teach at the quilt store ... will I be able to hold back faced with all the lovely fabrics? They're like candy!

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments about the Dolphin quilt. Forest Jane asked about the size of the quilt. It's approx 60" x 66", so it's really too small for a bed quilt, it would be nice for a throw on the bed though. I think it's a bit large to put on the wall in Amy's room, but if she really wanted to, we could do it. I hope I haven't missed anyones questions over the past few days ... I promise to make an effort to go back and make sure I haven't missed anything.

Have a great week everyone, and for those of us participating ... keep strong on the fabric diet!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dolphin Done :-)

Last night while watching the F1GP, I finished the last few quilting stitches on the dolphin quilt! Woohoo! I'm noticing now that the picture is downloaded that I must not have had the flash on when I took the picture. We're relying on the morning light in the lounge room, and there's clearly not much! I hope you can see the quilting on the dolphin. Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and suggestions. I think my indecision about the quilting was what held me back for so many years. Amy will be thrilled to come home from school and find her quilt finished!

Yesterday I took Amy and her bestie to the Plaster Fun House again. It wasn't so busy as it was in the school holidays which was nice. Rather than just sit around, I decided to participate once again, and made a C for Cameron in Camo colours. I thought it would be nice to put on his bedroom door. Hopefully I can secure it well enough that it won't shatter if he slams it! Amy and her friend both made butterflies. Very cute.

I was discussing with Hubby this morning the 'Fabric Diet' so many of us are participating in. I saw a small grin on his face and asked him if he didn't think I could do it ... and he told me ... I really don't think you can! He said it would be like him going a month without buying airplane parts ... it just wouldn't happen! So now I have the extra challenge of proving Marty wrong ... he won't have seen anything like it ... determination of steel!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Eye Spy A Dolphin!

I thought I'd show you some of the progress on the Dancing Dolphin quilt today. The binding is complete, and the quilting on the dolphin has commenced. Amy is very happy that her quilt is drawing nearer to the finish line. I've been working quite hard on it this week, which is a nice change from the zero work on this quilt for the past however many years it's been sitting around. My friend Renee made this quilt at the same time I pieced mine, and hers has been finished for some time now, and even hung in our guild show some time back.

The first picture is one of the cute blocks. I had a small piece of fishy fabric, and the centres of the log cabin blocks all have a different piece of the fabric cut out. This one has clown fish (which Cameron calls Nemo). There are others with dolphins and Dory. I'm thinking about doing some beading on the coral or maybe around the edges of the fishy fabric. I'll decide when I get there :-)

Here is a close up of the Dolphin's eye. I have quilted around it with a sparkly purple DMC thread. That was kind of hard work, as the roughness of the metallic thread actually made the batting beard a little while I was pulling the thread through. The beading was fun, I like the blue and purple, but I may change the clear ones for some a little smaller, and make them a little neater. I'm not going to do that now though, because by the time I finish, I will probably say I'm happy with it.

Lastly, here is the Dolphin's tail. Once again, I quilted the tail with the sparkly purple DMC thread. I don't know if you can actually see any of the sparkle at all, it was hard to get good light this morning. By the time I got to quilting the tail last night, I figured out that when I used a bigger needle to quilt with, the quilting was easer and there was less bearding. A good lesson to learn before I started quilting on the body of the dolphin.

Thank you to everyone for their suggestions on quilting the dolphin. A number of you thought about lines echoing the shape of the dolphin, or movement lines. I thought that would be what I'd try first. If I get the chance, I'll do some of the body today, but I may not get the chance. I'm taking Amy with her 'bestie' to the Plaster Fun House again today. She loved it so much last time, so it will be a fun outing for the two of them!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

G1 - Hattie's Hen House

I was on the phone to my wonderful quilting friend Jenny yesterday, and we were discussing how the blogging had revived our interest in working on our Dear Janes. She asked me about the maths for making up the hourglass blocks - you know the shortcut ones. And then she told me she was thinking about making up the G1 block with two hourglass blocks, and applique the one on top.

You know, last time I made the DJ, I never even thought about doing it that way, and I don't know that I would have thought about it this time unless Jenny pointed it out! So, of course I had to make one up using her suggestion, and look how great it came out!

Yesterday during the day I managed to get all the machine quilting done on the Dancing Dolphin quilt, and I put the binding on too. I've only hand sewed down a little of the binding. That sounds like I'm disappointed that I didn't finish it, but I don't mean it to sound that way ... I'm thrilled with what I achieved. Today if I get the time, I would like to finish the binding, mark out some quilting to do on the dolphin itself, and I would like to have a play around with some beads. I know I have a pile of purple ones, and maybe some nice ones on the eye too?

This morning Amy had netball, her team had a great win. It was Adelaide Thunderbirds club day, so the club mascot was roaming around the courts (there are 28 courts there!) Amy had her picture with the Thunderbird ... (I think it looks like a pigeon *s* in a fun way).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fabric Depression - Not at all Depressed!

I have grappled with it for a few days, and I've decided I'm going to do it! I'm going to participate in the fabric depression! No fabric for me this month. The reason I've not leapt for it, is because I ordered some fabric from Hancocks on the 21st of last month, and I anticipate it will arrive within the next few days. I'm not sure if that constitutes a breach of my 'fabric diet', but I figure, other than that purchase, I can do this! What do you all think, does that count as last month, or this month?? Thank you so much to Peach for the wonderful graphic!

Yesterday was quilt group, so I took along some hand piecing. We're allowed to bring our machines if we want to, but I feel it's so much more social to do handwork rather than tear along on the machine. Also, Bernie is soooo weighty, and I don't care much to lug her around! We have such a huge quilt group, that I would estimate I only know about one quarter of the women there. I don't know most of the women that attend the Wednesday group, and on the Thursday I go to, I only know about half. It's my mission to get to know all the ladies ... it's going to take me some time!

30's Dear Jane accompanied me along this week, and I managed to hand piece one of the simpler blocks. I made J4 - Adelaine's Apron Strings. It's a cute block. I don't think I hand pieced it last time, but I'm enjoying the hand work this time around.

Last night I did some machine quilting on the Dancing Dolphin quilt. I've used a variegated rayon thread in ocean colours, and I have quilted about two thirds of the main part of the quilt. I've outlined a little of the dolphin, and when I've done some more, I'll take a picture for you. I hope to get the rest of the quilt (apart from the dolphin) quilted today.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Maverick Baby Steps

Thank you to my wonderful friend Bonnie Hunter for helping me to become a member of the Quilt Maverick's webring. I have wanted to join for the longest time, but didn't think I'd been blogging for long enough, or consider myself to be quite Maverick enough. I'm certainly a scrappy quilter, and starting to push my boundaries, so maybe Bonnie's group will help me to push my boundaries further. It's fun to see that many of my friends from the Stash Quilts ring are Mavericks also! I look forward to getting to know my new friends too!

I have attached a picture for you from yesterday's Dear Tazzie class. I hope the picture is not too bad, we had a lot of light pouring in from the window. This is Wendy with her Angel quilt. It's been a while in the making, and it's looking soooo nice. She collected 'sky' fabrics for about five years before beginning. She had a book with the inspiration for the quilt (I can't remember the name of it) which has the patterns for the applique angels, a picture of the whole quilt was there, but no pattern for the quilt. I helped her to work out how to make up the background, and I drafted the scrappy stars for her. She then had the quilt professionally quilted before commencing to work on the applique angels, which is what she's currently working on. I hope Wendy enjoys seeing her quilt on the web, she will be a new visitor to my blog!

And speaking of blog visitors, a huge shout out to my wonderful friend Jenny! I'm so proud of your quilting journey, and I'm sew glad we're friends! Would you like to come and have a play date next week? I'll make lunch!

Thank you to everyone for your concern over my plumbing issues *ggls* Well now, 'plumbing issues' could be taken completely out of context?!? All is well now, hubby fixed up the tap perfectly last night, so I need have no fear of my shower now. I know that showers fittings are slightly different in the US, so I should clarify what actually happened. It was the tap thingy that fell off, not the shower head or faucet thingy. What I ended up with was a shower head flinging cold water at me with no way to turn it off ... I had to wodge the tap back on and try and turn it off ... all a little tricky when it's cold, cold water, scantily dressed ... hmmm, let's not get visual.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Log Cabins Sooo Nearly Finished

Yesterday I wanted to get as much done on the log cabin topper thingy as possible, so I got out my measurements and decided what I could do. I found that the finished measurement I needed was 26" x 74", and given I've made 12 x 12" blocks, I didn't really need to add a whole lot more for borders.

To keep in with the 1.5" logs, I decided to add a 1.5" strip through the middle of the blocks, and a 1.5" border at each end. It's unconventional I know, but I think it looks okay. I thought it would look stranger to add a 1" border on each side, so maybe I'm taking my first steps toward breaking free?? I couldn't get the whole thing in the picture, the border at the other end is a blue print.

As you can see, I've quilted it really simply with a large meander. I used a really cute variegated thread I purchased while in the US, I had just enough left after quilting the project for the magazine. I've bound the quilt with scrap 2" strips too. I love how it looks so scrappy. The binding just needs to be stitched down on the other side.

Linda J wondered about the scraps ... the bags of scraps are all leftovers from when Cheryl made up the Thimbleberries club projects for the shop over the years. I've been a club member since the shop opened, so it's fun to go through the scraps and remember which projects went with which fabrics!

Well, I'm now going to have my second attempt at showering. This morning when I was getting the water going, the tap flew off! I had to use all my early morning brain power to get the tap back on and shut off. Ewww ... I feel grimy ...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Log Cabins

Last night I got some real piecing done ... woohoo!! I made up the 12 log cabin blocks that are required for the 'table topper' for the quilt store (I couldn't get all the blocks in the picture, but trust me, there are 12 :-)) . It's not really a table topper, it's more of a fabric shelf topper. The blocks are all made from fabrics from the scrap bags that Cheryl gave me. The table topper is going to look very scrappy, and I hope really wonderful. It's going to have different borders on the sides and the top and bottom ... I can't really describe it well, but I promise to put a picture here when it's done.

I saw this on Linda J's blog, and thought it would be fun, so here's my One Word ... wow, sometimes it's tricky to use just one word!

One Word for
1. Yourself: Relaxed
2. Your partner: Motivated
3. Your hair: Blonde
4. Your Mother: Busy
5. Your Father: Amazing
6. Your Favorite Item: Featherweight
7. Your dream last night: Unsure
8. Your Favorite Drink: Coffee
9. Your Dream Home: Unsure
10. The Room You Are In: Study
11. Your pleasure: Quilting
12. Your fear: Unsure
13. Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Here 
14. Who you hung out with last night: Kids
15. What You're Not: Worrier
16. Your Best Friends: Wonderful
17. One of Your Wish List Items: Holiday
18. Your Gender: female
19. The Last Thing You Did: Breakfast
20. What You Are Wearing: Trakkie
21. Your favorite weather: Warm
22. Your Favorite Book? Persian Pickle Club (Oops, too many words)
23. Last thing you ate? Breakfast Bar
24. Your Life: Simple
25. Your mood: Happy
26. The last person you talked to on the phone: Renee
27. Who are you thinking about right now? Cameron

Hope you're all having a great week!


Related Posts with Thumbnails