Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quilting finished!

Here is my Zig Zag Nine Patch quilt reclining on the lounge. The quilting is finished! And the binding has been attached, all I have left to do is to hand stitch down the binding on the back of the quilt. I'll do that tonight after dinner in front of the TV I think.

I'm super thrilled with this quilt, and even though it seemed like I'd never be done with the quilting, I'm really happy with that too.

Strike one more goal off the list. Today I'm going to get some chores done, and I need to organise some groceries. I've neglected those things of late, so it'll be nice to get the house into some sort of order again.

Hope you're all having a great day, I certainly am!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zig Zag Quilting

I've been quilting away on the Zig Zag quilt these past few days, up until this morning I'd done about two bobbins worth, and today I've emptied three bobbins. While stitching away, it has been fun seeing all those fabrics in there and reminiscing about the quilts they were in, and also wondering about which quilts Linda used her fabrics in.

I'm taking a break now, if I do any more quilting today it'll be this evening. I'll give my shoulders and arms a rest, and do some of the other things I need to do ... like laundry and stuff.

I was hoping you'd be able to see the quilting better in the picture, all those setting squares you see there have been quilted, maybe if you click on the picture it will show up better. Looking at my progress, I'd say I'm around three fifths done with the quilting. It would be wonderful if I could finish the quilting in the next day or two, so that I can get the binding on by the end of the month. Let's see how I go!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Last night my friend Jane and I went out to see Westlife in concert. I don't really know much about them, but Jane is a huuuuuuge fan (being from the UK) and Westlife is from Ireland. Well, Jane was soooooo excited to see them ... and imagine how excited she was when she realised we had FRONT ROW tickets!!

BTW: Apologies for the security guys being front and centre in the picture ... Also for my little phone camera not coping well with the lights etc ...

She didn't know when she purchased them that they were front row, and just about had a meltdown when we got there, when she was home in the UK she tells me she'd have had no hope of getting into the front row. We both only had our phone-cameras with us, but I've taken a picture or two so you can see our little adventure.

It was nice to hear quite a few songs that I actually recognised, so we were able to sing along, be silly and have a great time. We got waves and smiles from a couple of the guys, I have no idea what their names were, but I'm sure Jane will fill me in all about them.

We're seeing Jane today at a BBQ with friends, and I'm sure she will be chattering all about it and wearing the t-shirt that she bought. We had a really fun night. And also some good news ... Amy's netball team produced a big win without their coach (me) - they won 20-3. So far they haven't lost this season ... it's early days yet, but things are looking good!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

As promised

As promised this morning, here is my progress for the day. I managed to get the quilt basted (well, pinned) before 11.30am, so this afternoon after picking up the kids, I got a start on the quilting. I decided to do a cute little something in the setting squares, and meander along in the nine patches. I'm sure when I'm a more experienced quilter I'll do even more adventurous quilting, but for now I'm happy with how I'm progressing.

While basting the quilt, Holly kept scampering across first the backing fabric on the floor, and then the batt, so I'd have to keep on smoothing it out. Then when I placed the top down she ran across repeatedly and skidded around catching it with her claws. It was super cute at first, then less cute, and eventually I had to put her in my bedroom, cuz I just didn't need any more reasons to procrastinate over this quilt!

And here she is helping me out while I quilt ... what a little cutie. She is growing so fast, and is already losing that little kitty face. I guess she's more of an pre-teen kitty now. I suppose she must be around 12 weeks old?

Well, I'm heading back to the machine now - I'll keep on quilting while the inspiration is with me. Have a great day! x o x

Psyched up!

The house is quiet, kids are at school/kindy, and I'm all fired up to baste the zig zag quilt. Last night I marked the quilting pattern in the cute setting squares, so I'm ready to roll! I hope this momentum lasts until I'm ready for the next stage. Nothing like the end of the month looming to get me motivated!

Also I want to show you some pictures of kitty, she's grown so much, so I'll check in later this afternoon with pictures and also to let you know how I go ... cheer me on friends!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One sock done!

Here 'tis. This is what has been keeping me busy for the last couple of days. Well, not that busy, life has been happening too, but still ... I have produced another sock! These ones are shorties, with a turn down ribbed cuff.

I love this pattern so much better than the other one, and I think it was somewhat easier too. I will have to work on my technique for the toe grafting, it's the only part of the sock that I'm not entirely thrilled with. There is a lady that comes to quilt class that can give me some clues with that. Hopefully this sock's mate will be just that bit better again. I should be like an expert by the time we all have a drawer full here!

I also adore the colours in this one, it's a super fun wool, I think I'll buy some more and make up some bits and pieces to go with the socks.

Nothing happening here on the quilting front. I have been making all kinds of busy to avoid it I think. I'm not sure if it's because basting is my least fave part of the process, and that's where I'm up to with the zig zag quilt, or if it's because I'm still not mentally ready to cut into the Lady Liberty fabric, or a combination of both! I think this morning I'll sew some more blue and cream blocks together, just to get myself motivated again.

On another topic, I realised a couple of posts ago I reached a 200 post milestone. Who knew I'd be able to find enough to say for 200 posts?!? It's been fun spending time with you all ... here's to 200 more!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tinking ...

Yup, I've been tinking ... that's ripping out the stitches in your knitting for the un-initiated (Read 'knit' backwards). I learned the term from the Yarn Harlot. Very funny lady, definitely recommended reading. But back to the tinking ...

Here's the sock I started a few days ago ... it's sooooo cute, I love the colours ... but take a look at the size! Those are the inch marks you see there on my cutting board! I'm following a pattern from one of the vintage pattern books from ebay. It calls for this particular yarn - Patonyle - it calls for US size 1 needles ... delightful little stiches ... cast on 60 stitches - not out of the ordinary ... and you end up with something that would fit your 5 year old child!

Now, I have skinny legs, but this is insane! Were the women of the 50's so different in the leg department? So I consulted the book I purchased the other day. The same directions for a very similar looking sock. Hmmm ... I didn't make up a sample to check my tension ... probably a fatal mistake. Sooooo I ripped it all apart and used the next size up needle and it's looking much better already. Who knew I was a super tight knitter?

Anyways, I've done about one inch of the new and improved version of the sock, and I imagine I'll get some more done today. It's 40c here today so we're not venturing far from the house. Cam has a birthday party to go to, but he won't be able to go, he's been running a temperature all night, and earlier was ill. He's all medicated up, and I'll just sit with him and have quiet time so all will be well hopefully. There have been all sorts of things going around, so I guess it was only a matter of time before he picked up one of the bugs.

All is quiet here on the quilting front, I am just waiting on a template to come in at the quilt store. It should be here in the next couple of days. I wanted a cute little something to put in the setting squares on the zig zag nine patch quilt. I haven't pinned it yet, I should do it soon. I've just been too lazy. I also haven't worked up the courage to cut into the Lady Liberty fabric yet, but I will do it ... I promise!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Paducah Challenge

Just a quick post today, I have to go get Cam from Kindy in about 5 minutes. I wanted to quickly show you my completed Paducah Challenge quilt. I just finished sewing down the binding at quilt group today.

Linda and a group of friends meet up in Paducah each year and bring along the results of their challenge from the previous year. I was with Linda last year when the girls met up, and the challenge for this year was to make up a doll quilt to be given to charity with the fabrics you see in the picture.

It took me a long time to start my challenge quilt as the fabrics are so different to anything I would have chosen, but as the time draws near to send it off, I decided to bite the bullet and just make something ... anything! I made up four DJ blocks, they are easy foundation pieced ones. The rest of the quilt went together easily, and to draw the black in the blocks out a little more, I put a piping with the binding. The quilt is around 17" square, and hopefully the quilt will be loved by a little person.

The binding didn't take long at quilt group, and with a lack of other stitching with me, I decided to cast on a sock with the Patonyle yarn I purchased the other day. I love, love, love how it's knitting up! I haven't even done one inch of knitting yet, but I can see I'll struggle to work on other things.

Well, that's it from me ... strike one goal off the list, and run out the door!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Goals first up ...

Where has February gone? I can't believe it's Valentine's day tomorrow, it means February is almost half gone already! And I've barely scratched the surface of the things I really need to do this month! I managed to complete all my January goals, let's see if I can do the same in February. Here's what I really need to do:
  • Make Valentine Project
  • Complete Zig Zag Nine Patch quilt
  • Make Paducah challenge quilt
  • Make Stash challenge top
Obviously I've already made the Valentine project, and I just love it! Thank you to Melanie for putting the idea in my head. I have to finish the Zig Zag quilt, that's a must, really, the Paducah one is too if I'm to get it to Linda in time. The Stash one is for pride, so we'll see how I go. Instead of actually chipping away at the things I do have to finish, I've been making busy doing other things.

See if you can guess what these are? I will reveal all in the fullness of time, I promise! These little darlings were last night's work. Yesterday was a busy day, lunch with a friend, a little grocery shopping, two netball training sessions and the normal every day stuff. Doesn't leave much time for stitching, but I managed just a little.

Also, I'm now up to 16 blocks of my Road to California quilt. I have 20 more to make, and I've actually made up all the four patch components of the next 20 blocks, I just need to make the four patches with half square triangles, and I can finish up assembling the blocks.

Making up these blocks so far hasn't really made much of a visible dent in my 2.5" scraps, and when I think too much about my scrap bins, it makes me just a little tight in the chest thinking about the potential for scrap quilts in there, and how long it's going to take me to get through them all. I just have to stop thinking about it too much and keep plugging away. I'll take heart from Bonnie at Quiltville and how she's managed to empty one of her stash closets.

Well, that's it from me, I really need to get stitching!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Log Cabin Quilt

Do you remember late last year I was talking about the quilt that was going into the magazine? I had forgotten all about it until the other day when I pulled the quilt out of the cabinet, and realised I still hadn't shared a picture with you.

The quilt appeared in Australian Patchwork & Quilting in around December, and my next is due in print soon, with another to be sent off next month ... busy busy busy!

Well, here it is! The log cabin blocks are 5" finished, and I have to confess I don't remember how many are in the quilt, but it's over 100. I think there are 36 in the centre section ... and hmmm ... if I wasn't feeling so lazy today I'm sure I could work out the rest.

The blocks are all made from strips and strings left over from Thimbleberries club projects over the years. It's amazing how much of that stuff can build up. I actually managed to put a huge dent in them, but I think it's built up again already!

The picture is prior to quilting. After I quilted it, I put little clusters of buttons at the interections of the swags. It looks really cute.
I named it 'Too many Log Cabins are never enough'. In the magazine they called it 'Never Enough Log Cabins' I'm assuming for typesetting reasons. It's among my favourite quilts right now ...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Treats from Linda

Thank you so much to my wonderful friend Linda in San Jose. She sent me some parcels of treats, and they are entirely wonderful!

In the picture you can see in the back two Fons and Porter magazines which I just love, and next to them a huge pile of nine patch blocks. Linda and I have been trading nine patches for about a year, and I know I'm going to have fun using them.

Front and centre are some rolled up fat quarters, yummy reproduction fabrics - my favourites! And on the left is a gorgeous sewing kit that Linda made, and on the right is a super cool snippets bag that she made. I love each and every item, thank you so much!

Linda also sent me some knitting needles that I'd ordered from ebay and had mailed to her. I found someone selling vintage double point needles for a good price, and I snapped them up. They are in cute colours too, so I thought they were fun. You can have any colour you like here, as long as you want grey.

Amy had school netball again tonight, and her team won 29 to 7. The girls really played well, imagine how well they'll go when we can get some training in!

I'm working away at my Road to California blocks currently, and Linda is finding me a pattern that goes with the Lady Liberty fabric I showed you earlier this month. I'm so looking forward to seeing it, because I can't wait to cut into the fabric. Well, that's it from me, I'm heading back to the sewing room!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Frosted Hearts quilted!

I promised I'd show you if I managed to get my Frosted Hearts Table Topper quilted, and here it is! I finished up the quilting this afternoon. I finished all the gold coloured quilting last night, but couldn't decide on the quilting for the hearts. Instead I decided to put the rest of the binding in place, and sleep on it.

While I was at the quilt store today I was able to sew down a little of the binding, but not too much. And you'll all be pleased to know I was able to stick to my fabric diet in the presence of all the lovely fabric. It's been reasonably easy over the holidays as I wasn't at the store too often, but being there each week will be a different story.

When I got home I decided that rather than keep trying with the decorative stitches that just weren't working, I'd just do some loopy quilting on the hearts with the crimson red silk thread I bought. It looks just fine, and the top looks much more finished now. I'll stitch down the rest of the binding tonight while watching a movie. I purchased the DVD of The Devil Wears Prada the other day, and though I've already seen it at the cinema, I know I'll enjoy watching it.

Susan asked if I could show a closer picture of the quilting, so I'll do my best. I find it hard to get a good picture, especially when the quilting thread is very close to the colour of the fabric.

To me it's still hard to see the quilting, but maybe it's just my laptop?

Well, that's it from me today. I'll check in again soon!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pay attention on the road

You could be forgiven for taking the title of this post to mean something entirely different ... and while I think traffic safety is an excellent thing, it's not exactly where I'm heading. I was on the road often travelled ... the one home from the quilt store, and I glanced just a little down a side street. And I saw something I'd never seen before ... about two shops down ... a hidden (in plain view) treasure! The Yarn Barn!!

Three further streets went by before I navigated my way over to the other side of the road to cross over, and I zig-zagged my way through the back streets to find the street the shop was on ... and went on in. Well now, it was a yarn shoppers paradise, and I found a couple of treasures to take home. In one of the vintage sock pattern books I found on ebay, it calls for Patonyle yarn. I haven't seen it before in any of the shops I haunt, but here I found it in a rainbow of colours, so I selected the brightest one I saw to come home with me. Also a knitted accessories book, perfect for me. I don't think I'm ever going to commit to knit a sweater, and heaven knows we rarely need them here, but accessories, those I can do. Only twenty dollars down in the store, and a mental note to check back again.

And yesterday, I headed on over to my favourite book store - Angus and Robertson - they had managed to find the two Yarn Harlot books I ordered, and so I picked them up. One had come from overseas especially for me! They do go that extra yard. I have read snippets of each of them. I do love her sense of humour ... Apparently there is a new one coming out soon ... I have a lot of reading in my future!

While at the quilt store today I picked up two more spools of the silk thread I love so. The light gold colour to finish quilting on my Valentine project, and a dark red - I thought it may be fun to do some decorative stitching on the hearts. We'll see how I go with that - I haven't really thought it through that well - it was an impulse buy.

Hopefully tonight I can finish the quilting ... you'll know for sure tomorrow!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Getting there

On Saturday evening I was able to finish putting the heart blocks together for the Frosted Hearts table topper. I like the scrappy look of the blocks, but I think if I make something similar again I may applique the whole heart rather than piece some of it. My fussy side isn't thrilled with how some of the applique section and the pieced section don't line up 100%. I'm leaving them as they are however, and forcing myself to appreciate the 'rustic' look of the blocks.

Yesterday afternoon we went to our the first birthday party of a friend's son. The kids had a blast, and we got home at around 5.30pm. After a very light dinner I was able to finish putting the top together and get busy quilting. How fun!

I have used a really cute light gold silk thread for the quilting, and because of the teeny spool, I knew I'd run out, but didn't mind, because I know I have to go to the quilt store this week. I ran short only on one border, so I thought it would be fun to see how the binding looks on the other three sides, and you can see the result. I think once I get more thread I'll do some more quilting in the centre part of the quilt too. I'm really pleased with it, and look forward to seeing it on the kitchen table. If only all projects went together so quickly!!

Amy has gone back to school today, so when Cam goes to Kindy this afternoon the house will seem very quiet. I need to go to the bookshop today too, they have called to let me know that the two Yarn Harlot books I ordered have come in, I'm really looking forward to reading them, I find her highly amusing!

Well, that's it from me, I hope you've all had a great weekend, and for my friends in the US, hope you're enjoying your Superbowl Sunday. I don't know anything about Superbowl ... but I'm assured by those in the know that it's a 'really big thing'. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

All kinds of lazy?

When I look at the end result of yesterday's stitching, I keep thinking I must have been all kinds of lazy yesterday, but then I look around at the house sparkling, and recall Amy's return to netball for the year and I remember what actually took place yesterday.

She played two games last night, so from 7pm to 10.30pm life became netball. Ohhh, and I'm not sure if it was a good move, but I'm coaching the school team now ... and they won last night! By one goal shot in the last 15 seconds of the game ... a real nail biter!

Before I go on, I have to say this - to my wonderful friend Linda in San Jose, please look away now, this post has Thimbleberries content!!

And this is what I started yesterday - a cute little table topper! I think I may be becoming a bit ADD with my stitching in the last couple of weeks, I'm feeling like I'm starting a whole lot of new things all of a sudden, and I don't normally do that ... but it's been really fun!

Melanie mentioned the other day that I still have time to put a Valentine project together, which jogged my memory about a pattern I received as a gift last year. It's super cute, and shouldn't take too long to put together, so I started cutting yesterday. I have a LOT of Thimbleberries scraps left over from club over the years, so it's going to be wonderful to use up some of it.

I managed to make up the triangle sections for the bottom of the hearts ... and that's it! But it's a start, right! I'll be able to get a lot more done today - and I'm sooooo looking forward to to the applique component - I haven't done any for a while, and I love it! This will be the first time I've ever made a Valentine quilt!

Well, that's it from me today, I'll look forward to showing you the next installment of my new project! Have a great day!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Scrap Block

Yesterday I suggegsted that I had a couple of things I was drawn to work on, and I didn't know which one I would be drawn to. Well, it ended up being the scrap block I had wanted to try. I showed you the contents of some of my scrap boxes the other day (and I must mention that I didn't achieve ALL that cutting that day - the boxes already had a lot of scrappage in them) and my 2.5" scrap bin is by far the most full, so I decided to do something to use them up.

I have always loved the Road to California block, and since I travelled to California last year, thought it would be an appropriate block to make up into a quilt. So how fun to make up four blocks - just enough to see how I could play around with them and get patterns to emerge. It's my feeling that this will be a kind of leader and ender project for me, but having said that, it's possible I'll get hooked on them and want to work on them all the time. I know that whatever I decide to do ... it will be superfun!

On another note, a big thank you to our Computerpeach Kim for fixing up my ring code for me, and also satisfying my anal side by getting the gaps between my quilt rings and graphics all the same ... Ohhh gosh, I think I need therapy!


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