Saturday, March 31, 2007

Blue border ... or border blues!

Yesterday afternoon I got busy putting the rest of the blue and cream blocks together. I made one hundred blocks in total, so the 6" blocks are set 10x10. I'm super happy with how they've gone together. Next, I almost pulled my stash apart looking for the perfect border fabrics.

I have decided on a biscuit coloured stripe for an inner border, which is a Thimbleberries fabric. It's actually a woven stripe - unusual for Thimbleberries. And that's where I got stuck. I just couldn't find the perfect fabric for the outer border. Nothing at all looked just right. I decided to sleep on it ...

This morning I think I have a new perspective on the border for the quilt. I think I will carry the inner border right out to the edge of the quilt (sort of like a tic-tac-toe grid) and make one extra row of blocks all around the quilt. So, I'll get busy piecing the extra 44 blocks I'll need for the border. It will be interesting to see if I can squeeze the blocks out of the strips I've cut, I have used soooooo much of the blue and cream out of the strip boxes. Or maybe I should change the blocks in the border section to red and cream ... thoughts anyone?

Friday, March 30, 2007

What to do?

I just have no idea what I want to do today. I feel the need to quilt/piece, but I've just been standing in the sewing room staring at my stash and my projects, and I couldn't settle on what to pick up. To be good, I'm not going to start a new project - I've got enough on the go that I should be able to find something ... but nothing inspires me right now.

Maybe my head knows I should be working away at the instructions for the Bears quilt, but my heart knows I have to be in the right frame of mind for that ... and I'm not right now. My friend Cheryl calls this 'the nadges' ... you know, when you just can't settle to something. So, I've pulled out the box of blue and cream blocks, I'll start pairing some more up. The top is more than half done, so wouldn't it be fun to finish a top today? It would empty out a project box, so when I'm ready, there will be a space to put a whole new project ...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Socks done ... Mitts begun

Go me! I finished the second sock this morning. I lurrrrve the colours in this yarn. I can't wait to wear them - I'm even feeling quite pleased that they're almost identical. I DO need to practice the kitchener stitch, my finishing is not great, but all in good time right?

Each sock takes one 50g ball of Patonyle yarn, and there is a reasonable amount left over from each ball, so I was doing a little web-crawling and found this pattern for Sock Wool Mitts ... well that's not what they're called, but play along with me :-) ... and my thoughts were that they'd be ideal for using up the remains of the sock wool.

I figure I'll probably make the wrist part a little shorter, just enough to tuck under a sweater while I'm out watching winter season netball or something. Anyways, just thought I'd share ... maybe it's just what you need for those sock leftovers?

It has been a very eventful couple of days. Yesterday afternoon my Sister-In-Law gave birth to a baby girl. She's the most darling tiny bundle, and is named Sophia Anna. Amy is so excited to at last have a little girl cousin. Sophia's big brother (at 15 months old) is Amy and Cam's only other cousin. We've given the new arrival some cute little gifties, but soon I'll get busy putting together a quilt for her.

And as if that wasn't exciting enough, last night Holly slipped out the front door while a parcel was being delivered. I didn't even notice her dash out. Soon afterward we realised she was missing, and we couldn't find her for three hours! We were getting really worried as we live quite close to a busy road, and she's been an indoor cat entirely, so she has no road sense. Martin eventually found her hiding down the drain at the side of the road out the front, which was such a relief. I know I wouldn't have slept a wink had we not found her.

I don't think I'll do any more knitting tonight, I feel like doing some tidying in the sewing room, and while I have that inspiration, I really should go with it!

Monday, March 26, 2007

My oldest UFO

There has been some chatter lately among bloggers about their oldest UFO. I'm really quite sure I've shared this already, but here goes anyway. My oldest one irks me at times, but for the most part, it's like a repressed memory, and here it is:

It's sort of a Baltimore applique project. I started it in a class way back I suppose in around 1996 or so. I got the top all put together over the course of a couple of years, and started hand quilting it. After a couple of blocks were finished, I didn't like how the hand quilting was coming out, so I put the project aside.

Over years it would be pushed further and further aside, until it found it's way into a box. After we moved house, the box found it way into the attic, and there it has stayed. I have promised my best friend that should I ever finish the project, it will be hers. I don't think I could bear to have it around - even in a finished state.

My thoughts are that I'll pull out the hand quilting, and just machine it up. It does deserve to be finished, but I know I'll never be able to make myself continue with the hand quilting.
I'd really like to get this on the boil again and finish it this year, but I just don't know. Who knows what condition it's going to be in when I get it down ... after today I may just repress that memory a little longer ...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bits & Pieces

Here is just one picture for you to have a looky at, and I've crammed all three items I've been working on in there. Just too darned lazy to take more than one picture I guess! *s*

I've stitched the binding on the quilt, I just need to hand sew it to the back now. I've named the quilt 'Bears in the Garden'. Just a little time to write the directions for it and I can put it right outta my head.

Last night I knitted some more of my second sock. I've been so inspired by Jenny at Fairybread and Cathi from Crazed Quilter, their knitting has been wonderful eye candy, so I thought I'd go ahead and turn that heel. The heel turned just wonderfully, and I'm now working through the decreases for the instep. I can highly recommend the Yarn Harlot's book 'Knitting Rules', it has wonderful tips for the newbie sock knitter. I never would have known why it's so important to slip the first stitch when knitting the heel flap - she tells us that those slipped stitches should work out to the exact number of stitches you need to pick up when you're turning the heel. Incredibly. Useful. Book.

And lastly, there are 10 log cabin blocks there. I made them earlier this afternoon, but I can't tell you too much about those, only that they're going to a new home, and they're going to be entirely unexpected. Enough said. In fact, I have probably said too much ...

What should I do this afternoon ... knit ... or sew down binding .... decisions decisions ...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And it's quilted!

Ohhh thank heavens, it's quilted! I just finished up the last of the quilting five minutes before I had to go pick the kids up from kindy and school. I have really enjoyed quilting this project, but I don't enjoy having the time crunch so much, it would have been nice to have a little more time to relax about it. But having said that, I'm still just soooo happy with it. You can also just see a sneaky peek of my Sarah Johnson quilt there in the background. I'm sure I've shared that quilt with you all before.

This afternoon I have some chores to do, and I need to can some tomatoes we were given, so if I get a chance this evening, I'll pop the binding on after I pick Amy up from dance.

While at the quilt store yesterday, I picked up my new copy of Quilter's Companion, and while reading thru it last night, I was just so thrilled to see Bonnie's Quiltville website mentioned in the 'net fishing' article. They're doing a write up on places to find directions for string quilts, and Bonnie's site was the second site they mentioned. How fun, I always love to see our buddies names up in lights.

Well, that's it from me for today - chores are beckoning ... I'll chatter with you all later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Today my friend Karen and I travelled to Spotlight - it's a store much like Joann's in the US. Karen was looking for a cot panel, and found a very cute flannel Winnie the Pooh fabric which would do just fine, and a back for it. She was super happy, and managed to get a bargain priced rotary cutter too.

I didn't really need anything, but happened upon this Dinosaur panel which was discounted to $6.00 (a bargain in Australia - remembering that fabric is generally around $25.00 per metre - which is about a yard and two or so inches). Fabrics are that bit cheaper at Spotlight, so sometimes you can be lucky and find just what you're looking for. I also found something which I thought would make a fun back for the panel. It's flannel and I only needed 1.2 metres at $4.99 a metre - another bargain. I also picked up a couple of fat quarters - one because I've almost entirely depleted my blue stash, and the other two because I always need background prints. I always run out of them fast. You can see that Holly came along to investigate, and scampered off just as I was taking the picture.

My purchases are not strictly in accordance with my fabric diet - but I've been so good for such a long time, so I won't feel any guilt. I decided I'd really like something mindless to do after having so many 'deadline' quilts on the go. I showed Cameron my purchases after I picked him up from Kindy - thinking he'd be thrilled. After all - he loved watching Prehistoric Park ... but you can't imagine what he said ... "Mum - but dinosaurs are soooooo scary ... I can't like it!" Exactly like that - I can't like it! Well, I'm going to make it up anyway, maybe it'll grow on him ... maybe ...

Sunday, March 18, 2007


On Friday night I was able to stitch the final borders on the quilt. You can just see the fabric in the picture there. It's one I got in the US last year, I think it may have been from Carolea's. Then yesterday at the quilt store, Cheryl and I pinned like crazy ladies so the quilt was ready for quilting.

Well, you know I just couldn't resist starting to quilt, so last night I completed two bobbins worth of quilting! Because I'm in a hurry to get this done, I've been doing a smallish meander, but I'm having some fun with the flowers. I don't know if you can see well in the picture, but I've given the petals some dimension and quilted little circles in the yellow part.

And this is the fabric I'm using on the back. This is another fabric from my stash. I picked it up at Hancocks of Paducah last year. I had originally thought I'd use it on the back of the DJ I'm currently working on, but because it could be years before that's finished I'll think about the back another time.

It's so nice to be almost entirely working from stash. The only things I didn't have at the ready were the pink inner border and a little more of the white fabric.

I'll bind with the blue border fabric as I've still got about a yard or so of that one left. This project has been super fun, it's not a chore to work on it at all!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Still stitching!

I'm still stitching away on the new quilt, and here's where I'm up to! I have only to put the final border on, and I need to audition a couple of fabrics first. I'd really like to get the border sewn on tonight after netball, then I can go to the quilt store tomorrow and take advantage of their tables to pin the quilt. How fun!

No sign of Holly helping while I was laying out the quilt for you to see. I think she's sleeping in our bedroom. The house is very quiet - I haven't picked up Amy from school yet, and Cam has fallen asleep after a very busy play date this morning. It seems such a shame to wake him, I'll leave it to the last minute.

I must send out an apology - for some reason I haven't been getting emails from the comments on my blog - just for the past day or so - which has meant I haven't been able to respond to anything that seems like it needed an answer. I'll check them out a little later and hopefully be able to post any answers here.

The weekend is almost here, and I'm so looking forward to a little relax time. Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Slept in ...

This morning Amy slunk into my bedroom and said 'Mum, you really need to get up, it's quarter past eight". Ohhh my goodness, did I spring into action. Amy's school actually starts at 8.30am, and Cam needed to be at his day care lady's house after I dropped Amy off. After all, I'm working at the quilt store a little later on today! I had slept right thru the alarm!! I threw on some clothes, prepared some breakfast for Cam to eat at Christines and we all bounced into the car.

Now I'm at home, and I feel just shattered - don't you hate it when the day just doesn't start right?? I know that I'll be feeling super good soon though - firstly the caffeine will start to kick in shortly, and secondly I'll be at the quilt store soon, and there's nothing like the smell and sight of all that fabric to make a quilter feel reeeeeeealllly good! I have no idea why I was so tired, I haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary, maybe I was having a really good dream that I wasn't finished up with yet?? Who knows ...

Anyways ... I promised the other day I'd draw up a diagram or something to show how to do the peacock feathers. Well, it's easy to draw it up, but it's not exactly self explanatory or anything. Can you see the drawing there, it looks a little light on the laptop.

I'll try to explain how I work these things. Each feather consists of three loops. The direction you work the first loop is the direction you're going to be heading with the last loop. So if you're ultimately wanting to be working to the right of your quilt, work the first loop to the right, the second will go to the left, and then the third to the right. You can then continue to start a new feather. It's so easy, at the bottom of the loops there's a place to rest and move your hands without making a bump. Just practice first on a piece of paper, and then move to a practice quilt sandwich. I would say the only downside to this quilting pattern is that it CAN use a LOT of thread. And speaking of thread, it looks spectacular with some of those cute shiny variegated rayon threads. Please also remember, I've said it before, I'm far from a wonderful quilter, this just works for me, and it's super fun. Let me know how you go!

And here's where I'm up to with my blocks. I just have four to put together, and then I can start working all the sashing strips into place. All the components of the blocks are already made, all the HST's, all the large flower HST's and everything is all cut and ready, they just need to be assembled.

You can see Holly there contemplating my feet ... she's about ten seconds away from attacking my thongs (that's the flip flop kind for my non-Aussie friends - not the underwear kind!). Holly is loving helping out in the sewing room ... she chases scraps of fabric all over the place, and when she's tired, she just wants to sleep in there on a folded quilt. She's a very sociable little fur-person.

Well, that should be it from me - for a sleepy gal, I've managed to type up what seems like a thesis. Hope you're all having a great day!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Piecing some more ...

Here ya go ... this is what I've been piecing on these past few days. It's starting to make some sense now. And it's why I needed a bazillion half square triangles.

Everything is cut for this quilt now, and it has all come from my stash, apart from a bit more white fabric that I needed to get. I did have some other white I could use, but I decided not to dig into my DJ fabric. Ohhh, actually, I haven't cut the first border and the big border yet, but I was thinking I'd let the quilt speak to me when I get there. My first thoughts are a fun pink narrow border, and then a blue outer border, but we'll see.

I'm itching to get piecing on the blocks again today, but I'm going to have to force myself to do some housework first, and then get back to quilting on Maureen's table runner. Thank you all for your lovely comments on my peacock feathers. They're really super easy - so if I get a chance later on I'll draw a diagram that will maybe show you how they're done. I'm so far from an expert quilter, so if I can do it, honestly anyone can! They're easier than meandering, as you have a place to rest when you get to the point at the bottom.

Anyways, that's enough from me - the faster I get the other stuff done, the faster I can get back to the piecing!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Door & Quilting

I'm loving my front door!! Does that sound crazy?? I have to begin by saying I don't pay that much attention to my front door. When I do actually see it, I think I should get it painted, but then it leaves my head. We live in one of those areas where people have the garage doors with the beepers, and you drive in, lower the door, and you're not seen again. So, we seldom use the front doors, except to let others in, and then we don't see the front of the door too much anyway.

You can see by the picture the colour of the bricks my home is built from, and prior to the picture being taken, the door was varnished, and actually the colour was not all that different from the bricks. Just yellowish flaking varnish. If we didn't do something about it, the wood was going to be badly affected by the sun, so we asked our friend Jonnie to do the work for us. I chose heritage green rather than varnish it again because it's the colour of the woodwork on the rest of the house, and I'm just loving the way it looks. It really breaks up the expanse of bricks with a different colour. We now have to take the tape off, polish up the brass and put the decorative brass back on the door. Loving it! And I'm sure you're thinking ... okay ... enough of the door ... where's the quilting?? *lol*

Here it is! Joyce asked to see a close up of the quilting on the table runner - and by the way - apologies for the apalling picture yesterday! Lazy girl that I am, I chose not to rummage around for the real camera. This is one long table runner, and this is the middle section I've started quilting on. Please don't critique my quilting too much - remember that I'm just a try-hard, but I do love this peacock feathers pattern, it just always looks so nice. I really do have to get back to quilting on the runner - I hope to have it ready to give back to Maureen on Wednesday.

I have been working away still at the blue and white quilt, and I've made over 200 of the half square triangles. I sat in front of the TV for a while last night cutting them apart and snipping off the little ears. The end of the HST's is in sight and I can start constructing the blocks! Yay!! Amy has gone to the beach house with my parents for this long weekend, so I should have lots of sewing opportunities!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Table Runner

I don't have anything especially interesting to show you today that I've been working on myself - I'm still plugging away at the half square triangles. All the machine applique is done now, I just have to get through all the cutting and sewing for the other pieces now. I'm sure I'll have some interesting show and tell with all of that soon.

Instead, I am sharing a picture of a Table Runner made by Maureen, a lovely lady from classes at the quilt store. She asked if I would quilt it for her, as she's not terribly confident with machine quilting yet. I'm using the freemotion peacock feathers - it's my favourite, and always a good one to fall back on when I'm not sure what else to do. The runner was made up with two of those cute charm packs from Moda. I don't remember the collection name, but how fun it is to use those precut squares. The girls in the Wed afternoon class are mad for these runners right now, they're fun to make and are the very best gifts.

This morning we picked up the new car - Marty got me to drive it home from the dealership - he said I should get used to it seeing it was my car. It was a white knuckled ride, I was so tense by the time we got home. It's a little quieter than my old car, and I was so worried about speeding or having an accident on my first trip. Luckily (touch wood) it was entirely uneventful, and I'm just loving the car already.

I must also send out an apology - I have been really slow catching up with everyone's blogs lately - I promise I'll catch up on you all really soon. Well, that's it from me this afternoon - I'm heading back into the sewing room now. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Machine applique

I feel like I've been working so hard at the machine applique, and I still have 9 blocks left to do. It really takes some time! I'm also making up the half square triangles I need, I've done about 80 of the 380 odd required for the quilt. I just love the colours in this quilt, and I'm just having the best time making it up.

One thing I haven't done yet this month is to set some goals for my quilting. I definitely want to finish up this quilt I'm working on, and other than that, I'm not really sure. Well, except for stick to my fabric diet of course. I'm just thrilled with how I'm not making any impulse fabric purchases lately, and I am actually starting to notice small inroads into my fabric stash. I do have a couple of fabrics in my stash I know I'll never use, so I plan to weed them out and donate them to a charity group a lady I know belongs to.

Tomorrow I have an early start, I have to drop the kids off and get back home again in time to let the painter in. We're having the front doors and the side door to the garage painted, and I'm just so thrilled. After that, I have to be at the quilt store to look after the Thimbleberries Club girls in the morning class. I'll be back home working on deadlines in the afternoon, and then grocery shopping and hopefully collecting the new car after picking the kids up from school etc. A big day - bring it on!

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Car

Here is my new car, we still haven't picked it up yet, probably Thursday or Friday I think. I'm really looking forward to it now, but I know I'll have trouble saying goodbye to my old car. This is a dealer picture, but let's face it, I probably couldn't take one much better :-)

It's a Nissan Maxima - my old car is a Maxima too, just a few years older. I noticed that my old Maxima was called an Infinity in the US, and the cars I saw called Maxima while I was in the US we don't have here in Australia at all!

I'm still sewing away. I've fused all 32 flowers, and I'm doing machine blanket stitch around the edges. I can only do that for so long before my mind wanders, so I'm also making up half square triangles for the quilt at the same time. I have 384 2" finished HST's to make, so I'm going to be at it for a while. I'll share a picture soon I promise, there's just not much interesting to look at just yet!

We had my Puppa's 80th birthday to go to yesterday. It was just so nice meeting up with relatives we hadn't seen in a while. Also when Puppa gave a speech after cake time, he shed a few tears. It really tugged at the 'ole heartstrings. Puppa is a real old fashioned guy who doesn't share too much emotion, and when he talked about Nanna, you could see how much love he feels in his heart. Just lovely stuff.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Working at the machine applique

Hope you're all having a great Saturday. Ours is drawing to a close, it's almost 6pm, and I'm feeling ready for a sleep already! Today DH and I have spent many hours visiting car yards, and he got me a new car. We haven't picked it up yet, that will happen next week sometime I guess, and I just know that when we do pick it up, I'll be kind of sad to see my old car traded. All part of life I know, but I always get attached to things and think they have feelings. My friend said the other day that I'll soon forget as soon as I'm driving the new one around. I have a feeling she's right.

On a quilty note, I've been working on a little of the machine applique for my next project. I'm enjoying the variegated rayon thread I got the other day, it's really pretty looking, and will span the spectrum of the colours I'm using in the flowers. It's going to be another scrap quilt, and I'm hoping to get every component of it from my stash. I've taken a quick picture for you to see a couple of the blocks.

Also, a big thank you to Kim from Peach Quilting for our new fabric diet badge for this month - you're a superstar Kim!

Well, that's it from me, I'm going to put my feet up ... and I wouldn't be suprised if my eyelids go down ...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March Already!

Can you believe it? It's March already! I know February is a short month, but seriously, it felt like it was a week long!

I missed one of my goals, I just couldn't cut into that special fabric for the February Stash Challenge. I'm still determined to do it, but I think I need to find that special pattern that inspires me. My wonderful friend Linda sent me a picture of the pattern that went with the fabric, but I'm not sure that I have enough of the fabric to do it justice.

Last night I was asked to attend my old quilt group. They had organised a special presentation for me. Last year one of the group leaders had contacted me, she'd found a tree skirt at the quilt store which she thought would be great to work on at their quilt camp, and she was so pleased to find it was one of my patterns. She asked if she could buy the pattern to use, and I told her they could use it no problem, they were my group, I wouldn't charge them at all. So last night I was invited along to view all the tree skirts they made. It was super fun, and lovely to see all the old faces, and the new faces too. At some stage I may go back to the group, I stopped going when I had Cameron, it was so much harder to go out in the evenings, and I joined a daytime group instead.

And to that end, I'm off to quilt group today, and I needed some hand work to take with me, so last night after my visit, I started work on the next scrap project I have in mind, and you can see a picture of my progress. I'm just going to cut out the shapes today. We never seem to get too much done, we always chatter too much.

Also, a big thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments on my Zig Zag quilt. I'm so pleased with it, and I would like to say a huge thank you to Bonnie for the inspiration on her website. I love all her scrap quilts, and I admire her for her dedication to using up her stash. Thank you Bonnie!


Related Posts with Thumbnails