Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fabric Treat

Yesterday I received a call from Cheryl at the quilt store to let me know that the fabric I helped her choose had come in! We all know that I'm a sucker for a reproduction fabric, so I raced down there the first moment I could.

I have designed a quilt based on a parquetry floor I saw at the Winchester Mystery House, and I thought it would look great made up with these fabrics. I was so hoping the fabric would come in soon, as I had planned to go Peach's fabric diet again next month. So, luckily for me, I was able to get some to work with. I may have to break the diet once if the magazine gets back to me regarding commissioning the quilt. I want to make one for the store, and one for the magazine, and I don't think I'll have quite enough fabric for both.

I did some more hand quilting on the tiny quilt last night, I love the way it's coming up. I have a lovely tidy house, so today I'm going to get busy on my sewing machine! Super fun!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Found treasure!

Yesterday afternoon I was working on my current Flylady mission. That is to spend 15 minutes each day clearing paper clutter. It's amazing to me how much it can build up ... I've found utilities accounts from our previous home filed away! But I digress ... I was working thru a basket of odds and ends under the desk, and I found some treasure!

At the top is a beanie knitted from black feathers yarn, and all it needs is to be sewed together, and below is one I've started in purple feathers, and clearly left off at some point ... and forgotten! I'm going to put these two out in plain view so I can finish them off ... just in time for summer! *lol* I don't clearly remember, but I think I may have started the hats about two years (or a little more) ago.

Also in the picture, you can see a few things piling up in the corners of my cutting table. I'm going to add 'clear the cutting table' on my list of things to do today. I always set myself goals to achieve ... or I'd just quilt all day long ... hmmm ... that sounds like fun!

I was able to finish off the binding last night for the Sunrise quilt, I stitched away and tapped my toes while watching a DVD of Saturday Night Fever ... my retro fix for the week! I'm always dissatisfied with how the movie ends though ...

Better run, Cameron sounds a little whiny ... have a great day everyone!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sunrise is quilted!

It's quilted! Yay! I can cross another off my goals list for this month.

I really like the look of this quilt, I think it's the colours that draw me in, I love blue! My first love is reproduction fabrics, but I like the fabrics in this quilt too. The fabrics for next years Thimbleberries club are wonderful also.

At quilt group today I'm going to get a start on sewing down the binding. I doubt I'll even get one quarter the way through it, I'm too much of a chatterbox, but that's what I love about quilt group, I love to meet up with my quilty friends :-)

I have also hand quilted one block of the mini quilt. I've allowed myself a whole month to do the quilting, it shouldn't take that long, but you never know what life will toss your way. It is to be handed it at the end of the month for the competition.

Well, that's it for me, I need to get some caffeine into my system and wash the floor before I make my way out into the world :-)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pincushions and tins

The thread has been sweeping though blogs, and of course I'm a late joiner ... but here I am!

Here is my not terribly interesting pincushion and tin collection. Each one has pins for a different purpose, well, the chicken hold needles (and threads), you can't see any in the picture, I hope they're not hiding inside the chicken! The chicken is made from a Doreen Speckmann pattern, it's called a 'Norwegian Chicken'.

The magnetic pin holder holds my favourite thin glass headed pins, it lives near the sewing machine, but not too near, the computer in the machine wouldn't like the magnet I'm thinking! I've noticed a lot of people like these pins.

The tin in front came from Hearst Castle when I visited with Linda earlier this year, and it holds my 'other' pins ... any random pins I find that aren't applique pins. And the applique pins are in the Haighs tin at the back.

I managed to quilt about one third of the Sunrise quilt yesterday. It's my goal to be able to hand sew the binding on the back of the quilt at quilt group tomorrow. It's a big ask, as I'm not home too much today, but I'll give it my best shot! Have a great day x o x

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Here is a picture of my 'Sunrise' quilt. It's the Thimbleberries Club project from the first half of last year. If I get the chance, today I would like to layer and baste the quilt. I did manage to get to the quilt store yesterday. I took some Voltaren, and after a few hours I was feeling like I could drive. It was still hard to turn well enough to see traffic to my right, but I was super careful. I chose a really nice double wide back from Thimbleberries, I'll try and share a picture later. Pale fabrics don't show up well in pictures though.

The quilt looks really rumply in this picture, as it's laid out in an area where there's not enough space for it. A train set has magically appeared in the lounge again, and I don't have the heart to tidy it away until Cameron goes to kindy!

Thank you so much to everyone for your lovely words about my miniature quilt, and also for your kind words and concern about my neck and shoulder. I think I've pulled a muscle, and today while still tender, it's not nearly so bad as it was yesterday, so thank you once again, you're all so lovely.

I have a few questions I need to answer from people about the Miniature Quilt. It's been a few days, so please don't be sad if I don't get to your question, it's just that I've been flaky lately!

Amy - the Calico Cat asked about how many fabrics I'd used. There are only four fabrics, the pink, green, yellow and white/cream. The green fabric has a lot of shading from blue to yellow through it, so it adds a lot of interest, and because the leaves are small, they can vary so much from leaf to leaf.

May Britt wondered about the scallops, I actually drew them up in Corel Draw, and printed out a small template, which I then cut out in plastic, to hopefully get them all even. Each scallop is one inch wide.

KC Quilter wondered about the size of the quilt. I would have to measure it again, as I can't actually remember, but it's between 17 and 18 inches. Each block is 4 inches, the sashing strips are a quarter inch, and I think the outer borders are just over 2 inches wide. The quilt is in my hoop right now, so I'll measure for sure another time.

Quilt Pixie asked if I'll be backing it in the green. I did want to, but I actually don't have a big enough piece of green left for the back. I shopped the stash for a backing. I will bind the quilt with the green though. I'm going to cut the strips 1.5" wide, and use a double fold binding. It should work out tiny to match the quilt.

I hope that's everyone's questions, if I've missed yours, just shoot me an email, and I'll get back to you. Have a great day everyone! x o x

Monday, September 25, 2006

A better picture

Here is the better picture I promised. I won't type up a whole lot today as I've hurt my neck and left shoulder. I'm not entirely sure what I've done, but I know whatever I did woke me up from a deep sleep last night. Ouch!

The picture above is after the quilt has been pressed and the batt and backing fabric are in place, if you look carefully, you will also see the marking lines for the quilting.

Last night I put the first few quilting stitches in before I went to bed. Today I was thinking I would go to the quilt store and get a backing and batt for the 'Sunrise' quilt which needs to be quilted, it's on my list of goals. However, I don't think I'm going to be heading too far from home. Lucky for me it is hubby's day off today and he was able to drop the kids off this morning.

I have a number of questions from people I need to catch up on, so please bear with me, and I hope I can get to them tomorrow. x o x

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Couldn't wait!

I just couldn't wait one moment longer to share the top of the mini quilt with you. Please forgive the quality of the picture. Maybe I should have opened the blinds to eliminate the striated effect?? *s*

I've just washed the quilt, so I've laid it out to dry in the lounge. I normally wouldn't wash the entire quilt at this stage, but when I spritzed the blue washout marker away last night, a little section of the pink bled. Don't you hate it when that happens? Even after testing a snippet of the fabric! Anyway, all is now well, and when the quilt has dried off I'll give it a good press.

I finished the scallop border section last night, at 1o minutes to midnight. I just couldn't go to bed knowing that the top was so close to being finished. I'm really pleased with the way it looks, and thank you for helping me with the colour placement. I had originally thought to use the green as the sashing strips, and the pink for the outer border, but I feel like this way looks better ... good thinking girls!

When I have one, I'll share a better picture. *happy dancing*

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Purple Hearts

Today I'm sharing the big sister of the miniature quilt from the other day. I made this one first, and I think I managed to lay out the applique better on the small one. You can see I've used more of 'that purple' fabric. It's almost embarrasing how many of my quilts feature log cabin blocks. This quilt was featured in an Express Publications book in 2004, it was my second quilt to be published. It's a lap size, I think around 48" x 60". I have only just brought it home this week, it has spent a lot of time at the quilt store selling patterns of itself. Nothing like putting the quilts to work!

My favourite part of this quilt is the hand quilting. I've taken a close up picture and hopefully you can see it. I decided to be brave and quilted it in purple thread. When I took the first picture I forgot to take the flash off, and I ended up with this huge white photo. I'm learning more about photography every day! Hand quilting is my favourite part of the whole process, but I'm machine quilting more and more each day. It's just so much faster to do, and many of the quilts I make are to be 'used' and don't really warrant hand quilting.

Today is a small anniversary of sorts. This is my 100th post. Who ever would have guessed I'd be able to keep it up for so long. Thank you all for stopping by, and for leaving comments, and for becoming my friends. It's been super fun! Bring on 200 posts!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Two rows ...

Hooray for Blogger being back from its outage. I have a whole pile of blogs open ready for comments!

Just a quick share today, yesterday I attached the second row to my miniature. Just one row to go before I put the border on. Normally I wouldn't share such a tiny-step by tiny-step quilt progress with you, but this seems to take so long, so I wanted to let you know I'm still working away at it.

The green fabric I purchased for this quilt is so much fun, it has lots of different shading and interest across it, it adds such a lovely dimension to the leaves.

I have almost finished my 7th block today, so I hope by the end of the weekend I'll be ready to add the border. If I'm lucky, I may be able to get to some of the other items on my goal list. When I put the list together, I had no clue it would be so hard to achieve. I had so many more items on last months list, and achieved them so much faster. Amazing how life can just get in the way!

Hope you're all having a great week x o x

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And the year before last's miniature

On this year's miniature, I've completed six blocks as of last night, and today I'll add some sashing strips, and get started on another block. It's a slow process working on the tiny applique, and I'm making myself take the time so I do it right. I'm really looking forward to the quilting on the miniature. hand quilting is one of my favourite parts of the whole process.

Tomorrow I should have a picture to show you of where I'm at with the current miniature, but for today's eye candy, I'm showing you the miniature I made in 2004. I think this one is my favourite of all because of the colours. Until Amy declared purple as one of her favourite colours, I hadn't really worked with it at all.

When Amy was small I made her a 'fairy' quilt which I showed on here some time ago. For that quilt I ordered some bali batik fabric in the 'amethyst' colourway for two blocks. I must have been in a fog while I was ordering, because for some reason I ordered two yards! Well, that amethyst fabric appeared in many quilts for the next few years (including the dolphin quilts that both Renee and I made), and this little quilt used the very last of the fabric.

This miniature quilt is 12" x 15". Each log cabin block is 3" wide. This quilt was actually the same as a larger quilt I made which was featured in an Express Publications book in 2004.

Well, that's it for today, I have to go get ready to take my parents to the airport. They're heading to Italy for three weeks. It's a tough life, but someone has to live it!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last year's miniature

I just love working on my miniature quilts. Lately I've been making one a year. The thing with miniatures though, is that even though they're not as much work as a full size quilt, you do a lot of work (timewise) with not much result (output-wise). I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I'm still working away on my miniature, and I don't really have much more of it to show you.

So instead I thought I'd show you my miniature from last year. It's 14" square. Yup ... 14". Each log cabin block is 2" square. Each log must be 1/4" wide. Of course I foundation pieced the log cabin blocks. I can't even imagine trying to do it any other way. I had originally designed this quilt to be a full sized one, but just haven't gotten around to making it up yet. I will get to it someday. My log cabin miniature still has the velcroes on the back from when it was hanging up at the show. Because of the velcroes, it sticks super well to the lounge in the family room, so I use it as an 'arm protector' on one of the lounges. It's getting really grotty and needs a wash.

I have entered miniatures in the guild show for the past three years, and have been super lucky to have placed first each time. I only really decided at the last minute to enter again this year, I actually had to call and make sure it was okay for me to do it, as I'd missed the deadline. Let's hope I can get the quilt finished in time, I've got about 5 weeks to go!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Panel and Featherweight

When I went to the quilt store the other day, I thought I may indulge in some retail therapy, but I didn't really have anything in mind to purchase. I saw some 30's fabrics that would be great for my 30's DJ, and took them to the counter for cutting, and that's when I saw this panel ... I thought it would be just perfect to give to my Mum for Christmas. It's her colours, and I know she'd love it. I haven't really done much with panels before, so I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to quilt this one. I know I don't want to hand quilt it, but I'm not sure what else to do. I will think about it as the time draws near.

I've taken a close up of one of the blocks, I don't know if it's easy to see in the previous picture, but there are different designs on each of the blocks to hand stitch ... like redwork ... but ummmm ... khaki-work?? Mum and Dad are heading to Italy on Thursday, so I may start working on it while they're away (depending on how I'm going with my mini-quilt). Speaking of the mini, five blocks done, four to go. It's going really well!

Both Dawn and Judy have recently posted messages about their new babies ... their Featherweights. It brought back memories of when my first Featherweight came into my life ... I believe it was fated to be mine!

After seeing Linda's Featherweights in 2000, I started my hunt for one in earnest when I returned from the US. After a while of hunting, I spoke to a friend who was a collector, and she told me that if I was lucky I may find one in an estate sale, or basically I just had to call around and let people know I was looking for one, and hopefully one would turn up. She told me that a LQS to her had a display of old treadles from a person who restored machines, so maybe I should call them and see if one was there. I called the store, and they didn't have one, but were able to give me the number of the people that restored the machines.

I called the people, and I chatted at length to a lovely lady named Lyn. She had her own personal machines, but none for sale. It was lucky that we ended up chatting for some time, because after about 20 minutes, she remembered that she and her husband had seen a Featherweight about a year or two before at an antique store in the Port. She remembered it because it looked to be in decent condition, and when they offered to buy it, the store owner turned them down. She wanted to keep it. Lucky for me, Lyn remembered the name of the store (pretty good, because I can't remember any more).

The very next morning at work I called the store. I didn't want to talk about the Featherweight immediately, if they knew I was super keen, I was worried there would be no negotiating on the price. Instead I asked what their opening hours were. It was then that I learned that the store had closed just the week before, and the owner was only there to clean up before moving out. The store was being converted into apartments. My heart just sank, because this was the only lead I had after a while of searching. I asked the lady if she still had the Featherweight, not expecting a postive result, but it was definitely my day - she still had it there! I asked if she was prepared to sell it, and based on Lyn's recollection of it being a good one, offered her $350 for it ... and she accepted! (At that time, $350 Australian would have been around $175 US) I raced down there in my lunch hour, and brought that baby home with me!

It's a darling little thing, the box is in wonderful shape, and even still has its keys. The machine is in great condition too and stitches like a dream. After a little research, I've found that my little baby was born in 1951 in Scotland. I feel so lucky, and quite sure that my Featherweight was fated to be with me. If I had waited a couple of days longer to make that call, the store would have been closed and who knows where the machine would have been! Miracles can happen!

Monday, September 18, 2006

One row sashed ...

Thank you everyone for your help deciding which colour to use for the sashing. In my mind I had thought I'd use the green, but when I put the two together for the picture I wasn't sure. The consensus was definitely pink, so that's the way I've gone.

I really liked the suggestions of piecing a sashing also, but there is only one reason I didn't go for that. The sashing strips are only 1/4" wide finished, and playing with such tiny pieces would have done my head in! I didn't mention the size in my post yesterday, which I really should have done.

I'm glad you all swayed me toward the pink, as I really like the way it looks. I completed one more block last night, and I'm so looking forward to making up two more so I can put the next row on. The finished diameter of this quilt must not exceed 80", so as my quilt is going to be square, it must not exceed 20" square.

So, thank you all once again for your suggestions. You've all really come thru for me, I'm just super happy with the result!

No pounds lost for me this past week (too much eating out), but I still get to make some blocks *yay* I didn't get an opportunity to make my blocks from last week, so I'm looking forward to making them.

Also, I forgot to mention yesterday that I saw the Thimbleberries club projects for next year, and I really like them. I'm so flaky, I can't remember so much about it, but there are two colourways, and the one I like best is called 'Light and Bright'. The fabrics are just lovely. This year Cheryl received 5" swatches with the paperwork, so it was nice to be able to see the fabrics for real. Now, I think this is right, there is a main project, and 4 additional projects. Don't shoot me if I'm wrong, but the shop was super busy, and I was diverted chatting there. I'm going to participate in some way for sure ... whether it's as a student or a teacher I don't mind :-) If Thimbleberries is your thing, I'm sure you'll love it, so check it out!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Decisions decisions ...

Good morning everyone, or good afternoon or evening :-), I hope you're having a great weekend! We're having lovely weather, just perfect for being outside, so shortly I'm going to head out into the garden and do some planting.

But before I do that, I have a decision to make, and I could use some help. I just can't decide which fabric to use as the sashing between my mini blocks. I'd like to put on some sashing strips this evening. I was first of all thinking that I would use the green, but now I think the pink may look prettier. Which one would you use? The final border will use a little of the pink, but will be mainly the background fabric. I look forward to hearing what you think.

I have completed three blocks, done half of a fourth. All the circular wreaths are done, and most of the pieces are now cut out. It's still a lot of work to do, but I'm getting through it. I didn't think so at the time, but I didn't realise when I set my goals for this month, I'd set the bar really high! I hope I can get through them!

This picture is for Donna ... Linda's friend from CA, and now also my friend after my visit this year to the US. Linda, Donna, Karen, Liz, Gerri and I had the best time in Paducah, and I can't wait to return to see them all again. Donna requested in an email to see a picture of Cameron as I'd put one of Amy here a few days ago. This picture of Cameron was taken of Friday night. He and Marty had just finished putting together this go-kart (it's actually more of a soap box thing as it has no motor). An uncle won it ages ago and it's just never gotten assembled, and let me tell you, Cam loves this thing!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Amy's at the beach

This weekend Amy has gone to my parent's beach house. The picture at left is the beach behind the house, I guess Dad is cleaning the fish after a day out in the boat. The birds always hover for obvious reasons.

It's the first weekend in about 5 months that Amy has been able to go, as her Saturday netball commitments have kept her busy. She's on a break from her club team between seasons, but her school netball team is in the middle of their season. Her school team won last night after being down 8-2 at the end of the first quarter. I think the score at the end was 18-16 or something like that. They did well to come back. Dad collected her after the game, and off they went.

A number of people have asked about what netball is, and I keep forgetting to talk a little about it. It's more like basketball than anything else. We saw a kids news article about it last night, and it said that netball was invented in the USA, and originally called 'womens basketball', but obviously it really didn't stick in the States. I understand it's mostly played in Commomwealth countries. In netball, you shoot goals just like in basketball, but there is no backboard on the ring, and you're not allowed to run with the ball. You may take one step when you have the ball, and that's it. I have provided a link to netball from Wikipedia, they have excellent information on the sport. We also saw on the program that it's the highest participation sport in all of Australia!

I'm heading to the quilt store shortly. Cheryl called me yesterday and told me that the information for Thimbleberries Club for next year has come in, and she's loving it! I'd love to go have a looky ... and maybe indulge in some retail therapy ...

Have a great weekend ... x o x

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rocket quilt

Last night we went out to dinner with the netball girls, and their families, and afterwards I worked a little more on my applique blocks, so I don't really have anything new to share with you.

Instead, since Cam has been dragging it around the house this morning, I thought I'd share his Rocket Quilt with you. I should keep a diary, I either made this one early last year, or late the year before. I was lucky enough for this quilt to be commissioned into Quilters Companion magazine last year too. Cam just loves it, and it is always either on his bed or being dragged around with him.

The applique on the quilt is fusible rather than needleturn which I prefer. I machine blanket stitched around the pieces with a metallic silver thread which looks really cute. The body of the rocket is made with sparkly silver fabric, and after repeated washes it's somewhat less sparkly than it used to be, and the rest of the quilt has a bit of a sparkle to it!

The main blue fabric in the rest of the quilt has really cute planets and stars on it, it's by KP Kids. I had a lot of fun making this quilt, so it's wonderful that Cameron loves it so much!

Very interesting ...

Your Brain is 67% Female, 33% Male

Your brain leans female
You think with your heart, not your head
Sweet and considerate, you are a giver
But you're tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book and Knitting

I'm still finding myself compelled to knit, even though I know I should be working on my tiny applique blocks. I did a little applique last night, but I really wanted to be working on the knitting.

Now that I've moved a few rows beyond where I cast on, the loopy wool is a little easier to work with, I've never used one quite like this before, so it's a learning experience for me. I'm not sure that I'd choose this kind of wool again. I really did like the feathery type of yarn I used the other day, so I'd go for that again for sure! We're into spring, and heading toward summer, I seem to have the knitting bug in the wrong season here, I wonder if it's because I've seen all your wonderful knitting and been inspired??

Also in the picture is a book I just purchased. I just love Maeve Binchy, and have everything she ever published (well, that I know of). Her books just speak to me, I wonder if it's because of my Irish heritage? I'll add it to the pile of 'to read someday' books. I still have yet to read the Truman Capote novella I showed you some time back, and have only read about 20 pages of Persuasion. Reading is a favourite thing, but quilting trumps it, and life seems to be getting in the way lately!

Wonderful news here, my laptop is back on the information superhighway, and I'm able to cruise through blogs once more and see the pictures! It's just mysterious, and obviously some kind of obscure setting is not quite right on the desktop. I can get my life back on schedule, I felt a little lost, as my outlook calender is something that keeps me organised, all our appts etc are in there ... I even schedule my chores *blush* Anyways, life is back to normal *yay*

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mini Applique

Yesterday I decided I really need to get working on my mini applique quilt. I have six weeks to finish it, so I need to get a move on!

I'm making a total of 9 blocks, and I've completed two so far, and I've appliqued the circle wreath of a further four. I love needle turn applique, so I find it's super fun to do. I don't even mind that they're tiny pieces.

These blocks will finish at four inches square. I cut the squares out at five inches, and when I've completed them, I'll press them and trim them down. There will be some sashing in between the blocks, and an applique border. I'll show you those as they're completed.

This morning was super fun, I noticed that Donna, Linda and Karen had jointly left a comment on my blog, and they were together for a class, so I surprised them with a call! I always love to chatter with Linda, and we talk often, but I hadn't talked to Donna or Karen since I saw them in the US so it was super to catch up with them! I think of them all often, and it's wonderful they're stopping by and visiting my blog! Hi girls, I know you're reading this, and I hope you had fun at your applique class ... I still can't believe it ... hand applique??

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Strike one off the list!

First up I thought I'd share yesterday's achievements with you. I managed to get the Sister's Choice table runner quilted and bound - it's just simple quilting, but I'm happy with it. I'm a bit of a two-trick-pony at the moment with machine quilting ... it's meandering or peacock feathers for me ... but I'm getting more adventurous slowly! Because of this finish, I'm able to cross the 'two presents' off my September Goals. Yay! You can't really see in the picture, but the runner is five blocks long, and two wide.

Also in the picture are two jars of 'stewed apples'. I had a bag of apples that the kids were just not interested in eating. I made the mistake of soon afterwards buying some bigger and more interesting ones, so the bagged apples were being left alone. I was concerned they'd go bad, so I decided I'd take my new preserver on a test run and chopped them up and stewed them before putting them in jars for the unit. It was super easy, I can't believe how much better the modern units are. Just fill it with water, set the kitchen timer for 60 minutes, turn it on, and after the 60 minutes, take the jars out! Amazing! No more playing with thermometers and fiddling around. I see more canning in my future! I checked our fruit trees yesterday too, and our Elberta Peach is covered with tiny peaches about the size of my little fingernail. I hope they hold! The Apricot tree is blooming too, it should be a great year. Hubby tells me to go out and get some strawberry runners too, I love to make strawberry jam.

Hanne reminded me about our quilt block 'vitamins'. I really didn't feel like writing about it yesterday, so I'll fill you in today. I managed to lose the 200g that I 'found' last week, and also an additional 200g. Hopefully I've lost them somewhere I'm not likely to 'find' them again! I get to make some more blocks up! I'm thinking I might make up 6 blocks, the two test blocks I made up first of all need some friends I'm sure :-)

I also wanted to let everyone know I'm a little behind on my blog reading ... I've gotten a little snowed under with the new posts since I've been having the trouble seeing peoples pictures. I've discovered it's something to do with how our desktop is reacting to bloglines. If I just visit your page from my bookmarks, I can see your pictures. If I visit your page after looking at it in bloglines, I can't see your pictures. It's wierd, but I'm not going to fuss too much about it, I should be fine again when I get the laptop back on the road. It will be in the next few days. So please forgive me if you've noticed my absence ... I'm missing you too!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Some days it's hard to know what to write about. Today is one of those days. So instead of sharing something with you, I'll ask this question: What is your wish for today?

My wish is this: For the world to know peace. It's as simple and as complex as that.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Treats and more treats!

Thank you to everyone for your lovely words about Amy's win yesterday. She's feeling very proud of herself and her team. I learned after the game that most of the girls went into the game thinking they were going to lose yesterday, but they kept on trying and did their very best. I'm so pleased that their coach is one of these people that has encouraged them to keep trying and not to give up. She's the kind of coach that teaches them that winning isn't everything, but to try hard so you can feel great about the effort you've put in. The girls are having an end of season dinner on Thursday night, so if I get the chance, I might make the coach a little treat. We've all put in to purchase a present for her, and I really think she deserves it.

Last night I finished up the last stitches in the scarf for Grandpa's wife. I'm so glad that I haven't shared this blog address with any of my family, or my Christmas Gift list would be no secret to anyone! This scarf has ended up 50" long, and 6" wide. The yarn knits up so nicely. It's a shame they were the only balls I could find of this colour, I'd love to have one for me. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some more.

I'm also really glad I knit this one first, as I cast on the stitches for the scarf for my MIL last night, and the other yarn is VERY hard to work with. I hope I don't give up before I finish it. It's very loopy, and the loops don't pull through the stitches very well. I don't know how anyone would go making a whole sweater with it, you'd end up with very sore hands!

The final picture today is of a parcel of treats I received on Friday from my wonderful friend Linda from the US. Thank you so much Linda! I will mail you in a moment! She has sent me two of my favourite magazines. I always love the Vintage Quilts magazines, and the Fons and Porter magazines are great too!

Linda went to the UK last month, and was lucky enough to visit the Jane Austen museum, and the book on top there is a little souvenir for me! And inside is a postcard of Mr Darcy! It's a copy of a painted picture, and it's a wonderful likeness of the gorgeous Colin Firth. I wonder if hubby would be understanding if I had it framed??

The lovely piece of border fabric you see there is a Paducah purchase by the 5 girls I went to Paducah with. They fell in love with a quilt hanging up in Hancocks, and together purchased a whole bolt of the border fabric. I decided not to, as I was starting to worry about exceeding my luggage allowance. Well, it seems the girls are sharing the gorgeous fabric with me! Thank you so much to Linda, Gerri, Donna, Karen and Liz! *hugs* for all of you! I had the best time in Paducah with these girls, it's something I'm going to remember forever!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Wonderful news! Amy's team won their Netball Grand Final this morning! It was such a close game, I'm hoarse from cheering!

The girls are all thrilled, they hadn't won against this team on three prior occasions this season, and today they managed to pull off a win 22-21!

They were all so enthusiastic, and all sprayed their hair pink before the game, and even their coach wore a bright pink wig!

Just a wonderful way to end the season :-)

x o x

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bits and pieces

Firstly,thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in seeing my Sister's Choice blocks. I love all the scrap patterns that Bonnie Hunter puts together, and this one is no exception. I'm making a table runner for Martin's Aunt, and I've made 10 blocks. I chose this particular block, because the 2.5" strips container is bulging full. It amazes me that making these 10 blocks has not even made a visual dent in the strips! It's truly amazing how much I should be able to make with my stash! For these blocks, I kept the colours fairly delicate and not quite as scrappy as they could be. I really like them!

Next, we get to the result of my shopping trip yesterday. I had only planned to go to the store to find the navy fabric, but I knew there may be some other temptations there. I had planned as part of the Xmas presents this year to knit a scarf for my MIL and put it inside a quilted bag. So at left, you can see the result of my quick look in the wool dept. The store had a huge bin filled to the brim with run out balls of wool. They were throwing them out for 99c per ball! I was chattering to another lady there as we helped each other find the balls we were looking for, and she told me that last week she had purchased the same yarn for $7.00! The yarn in front I will use to make a scarf for Grandpa's wife, and the one in the back a scarf for my MIL. They are both colours that will suit perfectly!

Lastly, here are my other purchases. At the back are some bright fq's I picked up, I have a hole in my stash where brights are concerned, they were reduced by 30%. The navy fabric is in the middle there, it's not perfect, but I'm happy enough with it.

Our wonderful fellow blogger Kathie was so sweet, and mailed me a copy of the bag pattern she has been using, and the fabric in front is one I will use to make up some bags, and the white tape looking item at the back is some kind of 'bag handles for dummies' stuff. Apparently you can simply press it on the fabric, the perforations are where you fold in the seams, and then you fold it in half and sew! It even has a little bit of belting in it to firm the handles up a bit! So, of course I had to get some (6 metres!) ... Seriously, they've thought of everything!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A little stash enhancement

Gosh, don't these fabrics and thread look wonderful together?? Nooo ... I'm just messing with you, they're not things I'm putting together in any quilt. I just participated in a little stash enhancement at the quilt store yesterday.

The thread ... which I don't think you can tell is variegated ... is for the Winnie the Pooh quilt. The two fabrics are from the remnants bin at the quilt store, and I felt they needed a good home. The border stripe I will use in a table topper for Grandpa's wife for Xmas ... I'll work on that either this month, or next month. The 'faux' plaid I just liked the colour, and it'll be useful with my Thimbleberries scraps. I didn't find the right navy fabric, so I'll have a look at another local store (it's more like a department store) today. If they don't have the exact one, I'll settle for the closest and pretend the quilt was supposed to be like that.

Also, last night I almost finished making up 10 Sister's Choice blocks. They are from Bonnie's website ... and I'm going to make them up into a table runner for Martin's Aunt for Xmas. I'll be really pleased if I can finish 2 Xmas presents this month, I'll feel like I'm getting a little organised. I don't like the last minute rush. I'll show you the finished blocks tomorrow, along with any stash I find at the LQS today.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just me??

Is it just me ... or are others unable to see some pictures on peoples blogs? I'm cruising around the webrings and I can see pictures on older posts, but no pictures on current posts on peoples blogs ... it has me very puzzled!

More blue and cream blocks

Yesterday I talked about how I hadn't lost any weight (and actually gained a little) for the week. I had resigned myself to the fact that there wouldn't be any blue and cream blocks made this week, and then I saw Hanne's message ...

Hanne said... First - we can not have weight loss successes every week. I am at a standstill, but have lost 3 cm around the waist ! I have not been my best with the eating but have moved a lot. Let's do 4 blocks anyway - we do need vitamins, right ? ;-) Smiling is good for weight loss too !

Well, let me tell you that I needed no more encouragement! I made my four blocks, so I now have a total of 10. I really don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to make these as 'diet' blocks, I'm loving them so much I really want to keep going and making more ... but I won't ... at least not for this month!

So, those blocks took me a total of half an hour ... what else did I do yesterday ... not much! I did the grocery shopping ... made dinner, and not much more at all. I can't explain it, but I just wasn't in the mood to do anything at all, and it's just not like me. I felt a little flat. I have more energy today ... and I'm heading to the quilt store ... yay!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Top almost done!

I weighed in this morning, because I forgot to yesterday morning. I'm up 200g! I think that's around half a pound. Does that mean I have to rip apart two of my blue and cream blocks?? *lol* I don't think I'll be doing that, but I'll be taking the WW points more seriously this week. I haven't been that good, I'll be the first to admit it.

Here's a picture of where I got to yesterday with the Winnie the Pooh quilt. You can see where I'm heading with the borders now. I actually ran out of the navy fabric. I'm not sure if I have any more in the stash boxes, so I'll have a look for it this morning, if not, I'll get some at the quilt store tomorrow. No guilt about that now we're off the fabric diet.

I didn't really pay much attention to the dimensions of this quilt before I started working on it again, and it's actually quite large. Well, it's long actually. It's going to finish up over 100 inches long, and I can't remember how wide. It's going to be a challenge to quilt on the domestic machine, but I'm looking forward to it.

Thinking about the fabric diet, I have been getting some great hints from you all, I really like the sound of the Stashbusters philosophy ... that the three B's are legal buys ... Backing, Borders and Batting. I think that's a fabulous idea. I don't have a lot of big yardage that can be used for borders and backs. I'm always happy to piece backs like our good friend Bonnie Hunter, but borders are another issue for me.

Now I just wouldn't be Aussie if I didn't mention how sad I am about the passing of Steve Irwin. He was a man who lived life to the full, was a wonderful ambassador for Australia, and for all wildlife. I feel so much compassion for his very young children, and for his wife, that incredible and enthusiastic man was their world. Australia will miss him terribly.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Winnie the Pooh fabric

Thank you all so much for the encouragement and kind words about my long standing UFO. This is not my oldest UFO, but it's up there. There's one in the attic that probably won't see the light of day for a long time, it's going to take a lot of work to resurrect that one, and I'm just not ready to take it on.

Kathie asked yesterday about the Winnie the Pooh fabric, and whether it was pre or post Disney. I can tell you with certainty that it's not Classic Pooh. I assume it must be a Disney one? When I saw the fabric in a Keepsake catalogue, I really liked it, as it isn't as syrupy as some of the fabrics you see around, it still has a hand drawn look to it.

On the UFO progress, I have pieced all the sawtooth borders, and the top and bottom borders have been put onto the quilt. I hope to attach the other borders this morning, and maybe even put the final border on today. Cameron was excited to see the quilt this morning, he's never actually seen me working on it before.

On a slightly sad note, yesterday my DS accidentally smashed the screen of my laptop. I feel like I'm missing my arm, it's usually there with me in my kitchen on the bench ... telling me when I have mail ... ready with my flylady inspiration ... But the good news is, it can be repaired, and hopefully by the end of this week. Much better to have a $100.00 parts bill than a bill for a new laptop and all the headaches that go along with it.

I had a wonderful day yesterday with my Dad ... or should I say that Dad had a wonderful day with his family around. Gosh I'm lucky, he's just great to be around, and he's so good to us too. During the week he knew I was excited about the preserver that I got from ebay, and when he had a chance he got me a book all about preserving. So thoughtful ... Love you Dad!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Winnie the Pooh quilt

Firstly, let me say a big Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad. We'll be catching up at a BBQ at Mum & Dad's house today. He's a wonderful man, and I'm so lucky to have him in my life.

I had no clue that Father's Day was celebrated at different times in different places, but I guess it would be more strange if everyone got together and organised it for the same time? For my friends in the US, I hope you're having a great Labor Day long weekend!

For today's dose of eye-candy, I have attached a picture of a quilt top that has been haunting me for years! This is a quilt I began piecing shortly after Cameron was born. I had decorated his room with a Winnie the Pooh theme, and had grand plans for this quilt to be ready for when he moved from the cot to a 'big boy's bed'.

As you can see, I've gotten stuck at the first mini border. I have made a mountain of half square triangles for the next part of the border, but I think it was the final border that had me unglued. I have decided to add the half square triangle border and call it finished. Maybe I'll add a plain final border, I'll decide when I get there. Cameron's room has long been themed Buzz Lightyear, and so this quilt just needs to be off the nagging UFO list, and out of my head.

On my list of goals for this month, this quilt is to be at the 'marked and pinned' stage. If I get it quilted, that will be a bonus! I would like to do some feathered wreaths in the alternate blocks, and other than that, I have no plans for the quilting ... ohh, except for the fact that this will be machine quilted, and not hand quilted like I had originally planned.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Amy's netball team had a big win this morning, and they're thru to the Grand Final next weekend! We're all so thrilled for them, they worked so hard for it! Keep your fingers crossed for them for next weekend.

We're heading off to do some shopping now, it's Father's day tomorrow, so we're going to get some treats. Where would we be without our Dad's ... ummm well, probably not here ... but you know what I mean :-)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Merit award

A big thank you to Vicky for awarding us with a cute gold star for making it through August without breaking our fabric diet! So sweet! Take a bow depression participants!

How did I go with my goals?

Well, here they are:
  • Finish Dolphin Quilt
  • Finish Piecing Atlantic Jewels
  • Start Hand Quilting October 2004 Thimbleberries Club Project
  • Sort one basket of scraps into scrap boxes
  • Don't buy any fabric!
  • Make at least 5 30's DJ blocks
  • Start piecing Double Irish Chain
  • Piece 50 scrap nine patch blocks
I think I can safely say that I achieved all but one of them, and that's the sort the scraps one. That one is kind of debatable too. I sorted a lot of scraps out, but didn't end up with an empty basket. I feel great for having sorted out so much though, and with persistance and time set aside regularly, I know I can tame this stash!

Off to set some new goals!

In training for Xmas

This drawer is an indication of my dilemma. It's overflowing with my Thimbleberries scraps. It's the top drawer of my cutting table, and I struggle to close it! I'm sure it wasn't this bad last week, but I haven't purchased any fabric, so what's going on?? I took it out yesterday and decided to spend an hour cutting up some scraps to go toward the Double Irish Chain blocks, and also to put into some of the other Thimbleberries scrap bins. (Yes, I have my T/B fabrics isolated from all the others, I don't think they play nicely with the others *kidding*) Well, that hour didn't seem to make a dent at all!

This is when it hit me, I have been sewing quite a bit this month, and I can't see too much reduction in my stash at all after a month long fabric diet! I'm thinking I will need to have another month of fabric fasting, not this month tho, Cheryl from Quiltaholics has got in some white Osnaburg for me. I've been hanging to find some, cuz it's wonderful to go with feedsacks! The weave is that little bit coarser and looks that little bit more genuinely old. But back to the stash, I seriously have enough scraps to last me forever, and I don't have such a huge stash as some people I know. Either I'm going to have to really ramp up the production (and I can't see that happening) or I'm going to need to review my spending habits.

This picture is what the title of this post is all about. We're firmly into the second part of the year now, so I'm starting to think about the Xmas gifts I would like to make for people, so I decided to do a test run on some placemats yesterday.

Now, I didn't come up with this design all by myself. I know I've seen something like this somewhere, but I don't know where. You know when you look at so many magazines, so many books, and see so much on the internet, sometimes it all becomes a bit of a blur. Well, that's what's happened. I know I've seen something like it, but without a pattern I've put my own maths into them.

I have these cute charm templates, and I'd been making the braid up using the templates and got bored with it, so I thought I'd cut it up and use it with these placemats. Some time ago I purchased a couple of yards of the Daisy Days fabric, and I really like it, so I put them to use to make up these practice placemats. I made up four, and just need to sew down the binding on the other three. I tell myself that these are for us to use, but I may yet give them to my Mum for her birthday later this month. Or ... I'll make some more ... cuz they're kinda cute ... :-)


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